The second of my 52 ancestors – and my other paternal grandfather – is Robert TEMPLETON, the sixth child of Kilmarnock postman William TEMPLETON and his wife, Agnes McCUTCHEON.
Robert was born just before Christmas 1849, on 23 December, in Kilmarnock in Ayrshire where he lived for the rest of his life.
In 1872 he married a girl from just over the river in the parish of Riccarton. Robert married Jane DUNLOP on 29 November 1872 in Riccarton, Ayrshire when he was 23 and she was 20. The young couple set up house in Kilmarnock and had two sons: William born on 26 February 1873, and Walter born on 4 November 1874. Unfortunately, Jane didn’t long survive the birth of her son and died on 1 December 1874. Her death certificate states that she died of fever which had lasted 14 days – possibly this was puerperal fever. Wee Walter died 10 months later, on 6 October 1875, of an inflammation of the bowels.
Three years after this, on 30 August 1878, Robert married a 29-year-old domestic servant Elizabeth YOUNG. Robert and Elizabeth had one son, George, who was born on 5 August 1880. They had been married for almost 22 years when Elizabeth died on 13 July 1900 aged 52.
Robert lived on to see his youngest son George marry in 1912, and died of acute pneumonia on 11 March 1913 aged 63 – just one month before the marriage of his eldest son, William.
Throughout his adult life, Robert worked as an iron turner and lived in a series of rented tenement flats in a small area in the south of the town bounded by the Kilmarnock Water, the River Irvine and London Road (now the B7073). However, his will shows that he also owned property at numbers 67 and 69 Robertson Place in Kilmarnock. Tracing these properties backwards through the online copies of the Valuation Rolls, Robert appears to have bought them at some time between 1895 and 1905; as in 1905 they were rented to various members of his extended family. I need to do more research in the National Records of Scotland in Edinburgh, but the question remains – why rent when you’ve already bought?