James Shaw I

James Shaw I

17 December 1847 - 23 May 1935


old farm steading
Stand Farm steading in 2005

James Shaw, (my great-grandfather), was born on the 17th December 1847 to Agnes (Waugh) and Joseph Shaw at Stand Farm, Stand, Lanarkshire, Scotland. He was their second child, the first son and would prove to be the penultimate survivor of a total of thirteen children. By convention he would have been named after his grandfather, James Shaw, farmer at Glenhead, Cumbernauld.

Infant Mortality

Four of James' siblings wouldn't survive into their teens. When he was 4, in 1852, his brother Joseph died aged 8 months. A couple of years after his sister Janet died aged 18 months. Later that same year his eldest sister, Agnes, would die aged 8 when he was almost 7. The names Joseph, Janet and Agnes would be given to new siblings. His youngest sister, Mary, died aged 6 months but by then James was 21.


old newspaper cutting
Advertisment for the lease of Carrickstone 1864

In 1865 , when James was 17, the family moved about 10 miles north to Carrickstone, a 211 acre farm on the Cumbernauld estate, owned by Cornwallis Maude-Fleming. (This was a return to Cumbernauld farming for his parents, Joseph, brought up at Glenhead, and Agnes, brought up at Crowbank, its neighbour). The estate overseer was Alexander Whitecross. He had a son and two daughters. The eldest daughter, Margaret, married James on 19th November 1875 when they were both 27. They rented a house and a shop, a dairy, in Cumbernauld owned by Margaret's father.

1876 was a year of great change in Cumbernauld, the estate passed out of the hands of the aristocracy and was bought by 'new money', John William Burns, a Glasgow ship owner, for around £165,000. Burns took posession on Whitsunday, 4th June. At that time Cumbernauld House had been empty since 1861 and it was rented out to a Mr Frazer, a chemist of Glasgow, who instigated a programme of repairs, but before they were completed the house burnt down in March 1877.

For whatever reason Alexander Whitecross, his wife and youngest daughter, left Scotland and in 1877 was working at Dundrum, Co. Tipperary, Ireland for Viscount Hawarden, husband of the (deceased) daughter of Admiral Charles Elphinstone Fleeming, the owner of Cumbernauld estate until 1840.


On 4th January 1878 his brother John married 'the girl next door', Agnes Main, from Muirhead. John was working in Glasgow as a driver of a bread van. The couple moved into their new home in 49 Lumsden Street, Glasgow. However five days later John dies from intussusception, (obstruction of the bowel).

A year later, on 29th April 1879 his 16 year-old brother Robert, returning to Carrickstone by train from Glasgow to Dullatur, crossed the line behind the train and was struck by an express from Edinburgh. He died at home at 1:30 a.m. the following day. Aged 32 James had lost six of his eventual twelve siblings.


old street map
Shaw's Dairy, probably on the west side of East John St., near Lyon St.

By 1881 James and Margaret own a dairy at 62 East John Street, Glasgow, and they have a son Joseph and two daughters, Barbara and Agnes. Most of the houses hereabout had many families living in them but theirs was a single household comprising the family and Jessie Barrie, a niece of Margaret, employed as a servant/shopkeeper, Marion Muir, servant/dairymaid and Anne Roberts, servant/nurse, (daughter Agnes being only two months old). Also resident was 16 year-old James Marshall, described as a scholar/boarder, (perhaps another relative?). A third daughter, Marion, was born in 1883 but sadly only survives a year. In 1886 a second son, Andrew was born. [East John Street was the southern extension of Bluevale Street, beyond the railway. Number 62 was south of the junction with Lyon Street, just north of the Gallowgate].


old farmyard, hay ricks and horses
Ramoan Farm steading from the south. The building with the chimneys is the farmhouse

A year later James has returned to farming and has taken on the tenancy of Ramoan, Glenboig, about 4 miles south-west of Carrickstone and two miles west of his birthplace in Stand. He is now 39. Jessie (age 14) is employed as a domestic servant and nephew George Forrester as a farm servant. Margaret and James go on to have three more children, James, (my grandfather), Thomas and Margaret.

Leaving Cumbernauld

two gravestones
James is commemorated on the left-hand stone, below his Whitecross in-laws, his wife and his sister. The right-hand stone records his Shaw grandparents, his parents and some siblings. (Cumbernauld Cemetery and the Old Kirkyard)

On 21st February 1883 his father dies, aged 74, leaving his mother and brothers Joseph and William to run Carrickstone. In June of that year brother Joseph marries Elizabeth Mackay in Glasgow. By the following year he owns a dairy at 208 Main Street, Bridgeton, Glasgow. His sister Agnes, married to William Young in October 1884 and previously employed as childminder, writes to her mother at Carrickstone in November 1884 from her new home in East Kilbride. In December 1887 his brother William sails for Australia with brother-in-law George Main. Their mother has retired to South Muirside by 1891 and is living in 15 Camden Street, Glasgow, where she dies on 15th March 1905 aged 76.


old man on farm wall with four children
Grandfather with grandchildren James, James, Agnes and Margaret, about 1924

Of his seven children, all but one marries. Two go on to have three children each, two have one child each, one is child-less and one adopts a child.

James is pre-deceased by his youngest child, Margaret and his oldest grandson, Alexander.


old man standing on farm road
James Shaw on his farm road

At the age of 64 James retires from farming and moves to 'Auchairn' Townhead Road, Coatbridge. In July 1912 the Glenboig Established Church present him with a gold watch and pair of spectacles in recognition of his service to the church as an elder since the formation of the mission. His eldest son, Joseph and wife Agnes take over Ramoan. James later moves to Lochview Terrace, Gartcosh, where his wife Margaret dies in 1920, aged 72. James then moves to "Ramoan" 19 Johnston Road, Gartcosh, where he dies in 1935 aged 87, father of four sons and four daughters, and grandfather to five grandaughters, two grandsons and one adopted grandson.