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1911 Census - Famous Scots

Contemporary heroes

Alastair Sim, Actor and director

Alastair Sim, CBE (9 October 1900 - 19 August 1976) was a Scottish character actor who appeared in a string of classic British films. He left school at fourteen, working as a delivery boy before much later founding his own school of drama and speech training. He turned professional on the stage only at the age of 30.

At the time of the 1911 census Alastair was 10 years old, living at 73 Viewforth, Edinburgh, with his parents Alexander, a tailor and clothier, and Isabella. Also in the house were his brother William (16), an apprentice law clerk, sisters Kathleen (15) and Johanna (11).


Alastair Sim

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Jimmy Shand, Musician

Sir James Shand MBE (28 January 1908 - 23 December 2000) was a much-loved Scottish musician who played traditional Scottish dance music on the accordion.

In 1911 Jimmy was 3 years old and lived at East Wemyss, with his parents Erskine Shand, a pit head man (42) and Mary Shand (36, m/s Gourlay). Also in the house were his brothers George (11), David (8), Erskine (6), sisters Catherine (12), Agnes (10) and Erskine's niece Mary Shand (4).

Sir james Shand

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Manny Shinwell, politician and tailor

Emanuel Shinwell, Baron Shinwell (18 October 1884 - 8 May 1986), familiarly known as Manny, was a British trade union official, Labour politician and one of the leading figures of Red Clydeside. In 1911 he was a member of the Independent Labour Party and very involved in the Clyde dock strike that year.

At the time of the census Manny was 26 years old, working as a tailor in a clothing factory. (He had left school at the age of 11 to become an apprentice in the tailoring trade.) He lived at 34 George Drive, Govan, with his English wife Fanny, children Louisa (6) and Samuel (4). Only two rooms in their tenement flat had windows.

Emanuel Shinwell

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Elsie Inglis (1864 - 1917) Physician and surgeon

Elsie Inglis (1864 - 1917), physician and surgeon, was best known for her heroic role in founding and running the Scottish Women's Hospitals for Foreigh Service during the First World War. She worked mainly in Serbia, before returning to Britain in 1917, when she died of cancer. To honour her achievements the Elsie Inglis Memorial Maternity Hospital was built from public subscription and opened in Edinburgh in 1925. (It closed in 1992.)

In 1911 Inglis was aged 46, working as surgeon in the Bruntsfield Hospital for Women. The Census records her visiting a friend, Florence White, a social worker and matron of a girls club, who lived in Strathkinness, near St Andrews, Fife.

Elsie Inglis

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John Logie Baird, Engineer

John Logie Baird, FRSE (1888-1946) was a Scottish engineer and inventor of the world's first practical, publicly demonstrated television system, and also the world's first fully electronic colour television tube.

At the time of the 1911 census Baird was 22 years old. He had studied electrical engineering at the Glasgow and West of Scotland Technical College, and was now working as an apprentice draughtsman in a motor car works. He was living at The Lodge, Helensburgh with his parents John, a retired Church of Scotland minister (68), and Jessie (60), and his sister Jean (25), a private teacher.

John Logie Baird

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Charles Rennie Mackintosh - Architect, Designer and Artist

Charles Rennie Mackintosh (7 June 1868 - 10 December 1928) was a Scottish architect, designer, water-colourist and decorative artist. He was a designer in the Arts and Crafts movement and also the main exponent of Art Nouveau in the United Kingdom.

In 1911, Charles was a 42 year old architect living at 78 Anne Street in Kelvinside, Glasgow, with his wife, Margaret, nee Macdonald (43), a well-known artist, and Margaret's sister, Frances McNair, also an artist, who was married to the artist and designer, Herbert McNair. The two sisters are noted as working on their art at home. Two servants completed the household.

Charles Rennie McIntosh

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Heroes of our Time

Lawrence Tynes, American Footballer

Lawrence James Henry Tynes (born May 3, 1978, Greenock, Scotland) is an American football placekicker for the New York Giants. He was originally signed by the Kansas City Chiefs as an undrafted free agent in 2001.

At the time of the 1911 census, Richard Moran, his maternal great grand father, and his father, James Moran, a ship painter from Ireland, were inmates in Sweeneys Common Lodging House, in Greenock, with dozens of other inmates. Richard's mother, Elizabeth Moran (m/s Campbell) had died in 1901 of typhoid.

Laurence Tynes

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Ewan McGregor, Actor

Ewan Gordon McGregor (born 31 March 1971 in Perth) is a Scottish actor. He has had success in mainstream, indie and art house films. He is perhaps best known for his roles as Mark Renton in the 1996 film Trainspotting, the young Obi-Wan Kenobi in the Star Wars trilogy and Christian in the 2001 film Moulin Rouge!

Ewan MacGregor's paternal great grandparents were John McIndoe and Mary McIndoe (m/s Clark). In 1911 John McIndoe, whose original name was Juan, was Chancellor of the Chilean Consulate in Glasgow, and the 1911 census reveals that he was born in Chile in about 1884. (His father was Robert McIndoe, a civil engineer, one of many expatriate Scots working in South America.)

By 1906, the year of his marriage to Mary Forrester Clark, John McIndoe had moved to Glasgow and was working as an electrical engineer. Around 1911 he was appointed Chancellor of the Chilean Consulate in Glasgow, working under Alfredo Rojas, the Consul, and J C Roger, Vice Consul. In 1916-17 he is listed in the Post Office Directory as Juan Macindoe, Vice Consul and Chancellor at the Consulate. Later he retired to Crieff and died in 1962.

At the time of the 1911 census, John McIndoe, and his wife Mary lived at 69 Leslie Street, Pollockshields with Mary's mother, Isabella Clark, a wine and spirit merchant, originally from Maybole. She was a widow aged 50. Her husband George had died of brain disease in 1902.

Also in the house were Mary's elder sister, Robina, and Robina's husband Benjamin Lester, manager of a wine and spirit merchant's business, who presumably worked for his mother-in-law. There were two Lester children: George (6), and Isabella (2).

Isabella Clark's niece, Grace McMillan (27), had been a witness at John and Mary's wedding in Glasgow in 1906. A servant also lived in the house.

John and Mary's daughter Isabella married James P MacGregor, a grocer. Their son James MacGregor (b.1942) is Ewan Macgregor's father.

Ewan McGregor

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Paolo Nutini, Singer and Musician

Paolo Giovanni Nutini (born 9 January 1987) is a Scottish singer, songwriter and musician from Paisley. Both his parents are Scottish, although his father is of Italian descent, from Barga, Tuscany, and his family has been in Scotland for two generations.

Paolo's parental grandfather was Alfredo Castelveechi. In 1911, Alfredo was 19 years old and lived with his elder brother, Guido, at 56 Caledonia Street Paisley, with an Italian boarder. They were both naturalised British subjects.

At the time Alfredo was working in an ice cream shop, but later went on to become a fish restaurateur, dying in Barrhead in 1942.

Paolo Nutini

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Robert Carlyle, Actor

Robert Carlyle, OBE (born 14 April 1961 in Glasgow) is a Scottish film and television actor. He is known for a variety of roles including those in Trainspotting, Hamish Macbeth, The Full Monty, The World is Not Enough, Angela's Ashes, The 51st State, and 28 Weeks Later.

In 1911, Robert's grandfather, Peter Carlyle (or Gordon)** was 15 years old and was working as an apprentice pastry baker. He lived with his parents John Carlyle, a brewery labourer and Agnes Carlyle, m/s Gordon, at 61 John Knox Street, Glasgow. Also living there were brothers John (20), a brewery labourer, David (12), Joseph (9), both scholars.

Peter was born Peter Gordon, the illegitimate son of Agnes Gordon, who did not marry John Carlyle until 5 years after Peter was born.

Robert Carlyle

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Ronnie Corbett, Actor and Comedian

Ronald Balfour "Ronnie" Corbett, OBE (born 4 December 1930 in Edinburgh) is a Scottish actor and comedian who had a long association with Ronnie Barker in the British television comedy series The Two Ronnies. He achieved prominence in David Frost's 1960s satirical comedy programme, The Frost Report.

In 1911, his father, William Corbett was 12 years old and was a scholar. He lived with his father, Walter Corbett, a lorry coal man and his step mother Margaret Corbett, m/s Allan, at 121 Lauriston Place, Edinburgh.

His natural mother, Isabella Allan had died in 1902 of septic peritonitis.

Also in the house were William's brother George (10) and sister Isabella (8).

Ronnie Corbett

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Eddi Reader, Musician

Eddi Reader MBE (born Sadenia Reader; 29 August 1959 in Glasgow) is a Scottish singer songwriter known for her work with Fairground Attraction and for an enduring solo career. She has won three Brit Awards and topped both the album and singles charts. In 2003 she showcased the works of Scotland's national poet, Robert Burns.

At the time of the 1911 census, her grandfather, Daniel Reader was 1 year old and lived with her parents, Charles Reader, an iron sawyer, and Elizabeth Reader (m/s Brennan) at 59 Dover Street, Glasgow. Also living in the house were Daniel's brothers James (12), and Alexander (9).

Eddie Reader

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Gordon Ramsay, Celebrity Chef

Gordon James Ramsay, OBE (born 8 November 1966 in Johnstone), is a Scottish chef, television personality and restaurateur. He has been awarded 12 Michelin Stars. Ramsay is known for presenting TV programmes about competitive cookery and food, such as the British series Hell's Kitchen, The F Word, and Ramsay's Kitchen Nightmares, along with the U.S. versions of some of them.

In 1911 his great grandparents, James Watson Ramsay, a hoistman, and Jeanie Beaton Ramsay (m/s Parker) lived at 5 Newton Street, Paisley, with their 3 daughters Martha (11), Jeanie (8) and Mary (5).

Gordon Ramsey

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Sam Torrance, Golfer

Sam Torrance OBE (born 24 August 1953 in Kilwinning) is a Scottish professional golfer and broadcaster. He was one of the leading players on the European Tour from the mid 1970s to the late 1990s, with 21 Tour wins. Torrance was a member of European Ryder Cup teams on eight occasions, from 1981 to 1995 consecutively; he was on Cup-winning teams in 1985, 1987, 1989, and 1995. He was the winning non-playing captain of the European Ryder Cup team in 2002. Torrance was honoured with the MBE (1996) and OBE (2003), for his outstanding contributions to golf.

In 1911 his grandfather, Samuel Torrance, was 10 years old and lived at 44 Graham Street, Johnstone, with his parents David Torrance, a flax mill hand and Bridget Torrance (m/s Sheridan).

Also in the house were brothers William (12), a scholar, John (4), sisters Lizzie (14), a flax spinner, and Mary (9), a scholar.

Sam Torrance

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Billy Connolly Entertainer & actor

Billy Connolly, OBE, is an internationally known comedian and actor.

In 1911 Billy's maternal grandfather, Neil McLean (1902-1997), was a nine year-old schoolboy, living with his parents Neil and Catherine, at 21 Wellington Lane, Glasgow (Broomielaw ward). Also living there were two elder brothers and a sister, as well as a nephew only one year younger than himself, making a household of seven. Only two rooms in the flat had a window.

Neil and Catherine had migrated from their native Mull to Glasgow, where they married and where Neil found work as a boilerman, and later as a river pilot. Billy's family tradition is that he wore a sea cap, and hung fish to dry outside his tenement window. In 1911 he was employed as a watchman, and all his family except his grandson are declared as speaking Gaelic and English in this census.

Young Neil went on to become an inspector for Glasgow Transport Corporation. In 1920 he married Flora MacGowan, an Irish Roman Catholic. In 1940 their daughter Mary ('Mamie') married William Connolly, and their son Billy was born in 1942.

Billy Connolly

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Brian Cox, Actor

Brian Cox, OBE is an acclaimed actor, known for his versatile performances on stage and screen.

In 1911 Brian's father, Charles McArdle Cox was seven years old and living with his parents and five siblings at 4 Hillbank Road, Dundee. Charles (born 1904) was the youngest of 13 children, and the census shows that four of his brothers and sisters were dead by 1911. His father Hugh (51) had long worked as a dock labourer, but most of his children of working age were employed in Dundee's jute mills, or worked in related jobs. Charles himself began work in a mill aged 14, but from the late 1920s ran a grocer's shop until his death in 1955.

The 1911 census entry shows Charles's eldest brother Bernard Cox (27), a dock labourer, was the head of the household. Of his other siblings, Andrew (18) had been injured while employed in a ropeworks in 1910, but the Census shows that by the next year he was back to work as a twine boiler in a jute factory. Like many Dundonians he joined the Highland Light Infantry in the First World War, and was killed in the Battle of Neuve Chapelle in March 1915.

His younger brother Thomas (15) was a carder in a jute factory in 1911. He served with a Field Ambulance Unit in France during the First World War, married a local girl there, and later worked mainly as a nurse.

Brian Cox

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