Archibald Smith Rae 1903-1952

Archibald and Margaret

My paternal grandfather, Archibald Smith Rae, was born on 4 September 1903 in Craigneuk, Lanarkshire, Scotland.  He was the third child of Robert Armstrong Rae, a coal minerand Margaret McGarrity. Robert and Margaret had six children between 1899 and 1925.

  • Sarah Born 1899
  • John born 1901
  • Archibald Smith Born 1903
  • Robert Armstrong Born 1907
  • James Born 1910
  • Andrew Born 1925

After leaving school, Archibald followed in his father’s footsteps and became a coal miner.  He met Margaret Dalziel Dickson, a confectionery worker and the couple were married on 25 June 1926 at Wishaw Manse.  Margaret would have been noticeably pregnant at the time as their son, Robert Armstrong Rae, was born on 2 September 1926.  Robert was my father.

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For a short period of time, presumably for work reasons, the family moved to Partick in Glasgow and lived in a flat in Sandy Road.  It was in Partick that daughter, Mary Calderhead Rae was born in 1931.  She was always known as ‘May’.

Archibald Smith Rae died on January 26 1952.  He collapsed and died at his workplace, Lanakshire Steelworks in Motherwell.  The cause of death was coronary thrombosis.  He was just 48 years old. He is buried in Cambusnethan Cemetery.

Archibald and Margaret headstone

That is all I know of my grandfather.  I don’t know how he spent his free time.  I don’t even know what people called him.  I am assuming he was ‘Archie’.  He died long before I was born and I don’t recall my father ever talking about him.  If he did, it was at a time when I wasn’t interested in family history and with my father and Aunt May also dead for many years there is no one left to ask.  I have so many questions.

It is important for anyone making a start on their family tree to ask grandparents, parents, aunts and uncles about their family memories. Find out what documents and photographs still exist within the family.  Knowing the relevant facts and dates is important but it would be nice to know the stories in order to really know the person.