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The Watson family originated in Lesmahagow, Lanarkshire.  The first recorded Watson ancestor was Thomas Watson who married Margaret Findlay in 1779.


Thomas and Margaret had four children, and their third child, William Watson, born in 1785, married Elizabeth Wilson at Lesmahagow in 1804.  William and Elizabethís second child, also William Watson, born in 1807, became an estate manager. He married Janet Lindsay.  William and Janetís only child was the third William Watson, born at Burnfoot, Watsonís Land, Cambusnethan in 1831.


This story focuses on this third William Watsonís family.  William became a property owner and spirit merchant and died a wealthy man on 22 October 1910 at Kirk-knowe, Cambusnethan.  His estate was valued at 132,664 pounds. 


This William (b 1831) married twice and the two families went their separate ways, althought it is quite likely that now some relativies of these two families are living near each other in Sydney, Australia.


The sons from the first family migrated to Australia in the late nineteenth century.  The first daughter of the second family, Janet Lindsay (Jenny) Watson married Robert Scott in 1911.  Their youngest son William Watson Scott also migrated to Sydney, Australia with his family in 1970.


Williamís Youth

William Watson (b 1831) would have barely known his own father who died before 1836 when Williamís mother, Janet Lindsay, married John McArthur in New Kilpatrick Dunbarton.

In the 1841 census, William aged 9, and his mother, Janet, most likely very pregnant with her first son to John McArthur, were shown living with William's grandparents, the Lindsays, at Kirk-Knowe, Cambusnethan.  By 1851 the McArthur family, without William, had moved to Shotts. 

Williamís First Family

In the 1851 census William is still with his grandmother, Mary Lindsay in Kirk-Knowe.  At that time William was shown as a coal miner, aged 19.  Living in the next home, probably the groom's cottage, was Janet Gibb, recently widowed, with some of her sons.  William, aged about 21, soon married Janet Gibb (ne Jack) aged 36.

William became a grocer and then a spirit and wine merchant.  He was shown in the 1881 census to have 33 acres of land, most likely inherited from his father.  It is not known if this property is what is regularly called Watsonís Land.

William Watson and Janet Jack had two sons James, born in 1853 and Alexander born in October 1856.  Janet Jack died in 1872 at Watsonís Land, Cambusnethan.

In 1876 James, the eldest son, married Davina Isabella Burt in Craigends Kilbarchan Houston Renfrewshire.   Their first child, Janet Jack Watson was born at Watsonís Land, Cambusnethan in 1877.

William and Janetís second son, Alexander (b 1856) left the UK on Thursday 12 June 1879 on the ship "La Hogue" and arrived in Sydney, Australia, on 16 September 1879 on an assisted passage.  The records of arrivals into Sydney show Alexander Watson: aged 22; a labourer from Lanark; only his father, William of Lanark - was living;  he was a Presbyterian; he could read and write; he had no relative in the Colony; he was in good bodily health; and he had no complaints about his treatment during the voyage.

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