brian mckay's family tree
William Cochrane Rogers
William Cochrane Rogers
My Dad tells me that Willie Rodger was known as 'Jinkie'. He used to play the accordion or melodeon and many's the time my Dad can remember him 'stotin doon the road' blind drunk. One curious thing is that my Dad insists he has memories of Willie lurching past our house in West Bowling Green Street, in a drunken fashion. Certainly William lived in West Bowling Green Street and would have passed ours if he had been drinking in the pubs of Leith, BUT, we didn't move into West Bowling Green Street until 1953 and according to his death certificate William died in 1948. So, presumably my Dad's memory is playing tricks on him??
KEY EVENTS AND DATES
Birth - 15th August 1867
William was born at 2 a.m. at 19 Laurie's Close, Giles Street, Leith. His parents were Thomas Rogers (5) and Jane Stewart. Their marriage date was shown as 29th June 1862. William's father reported the birth.
The Census shows that William, aged 3, lived with his father, Thomas Roger, aged 35 and employed as a Loftman and his mother, Jane, aged 36, at Broad Wynd, South Leith. Also living there were his brothers and sisters - Mary (7), Thomas (5) and Maria (1), as well as his step-brother, Alexander Drummond, aged 11. William's place of birth is recorded as South Leith.
The Census shows that William, aged 13 lived with his father, Thomas Roger, aged 45 and employed as a Labourer and his mother Jane, aged 47, at 10 Graham Street, Leith. Also living there were his brothers and sisters - Alexander (21), Mary (17), Thomas (15) and James (7). William's place of birth is recorded as South Leith.
Marriage - 26th April 1889
William Roger married Isabella Fraser Brand Campbell at St Thomas Manse, South Leith. It's tempting to think that William and Isabella may have been childhood sweethearts - they were certainly born very close to each other and less than a year apart - so may well have grown up side by side - nice thought. William was aged 21when he married and was employed as a Labourer. Both he and Isabella lived at 21 Bowling Green Street in Leith. Their witnesses were Alexander Shiels and Margaret Campbell (Isabella's sister, perhaps?). Thomas's parents were both alive at the time.
16th July 1889
William's daughter, Margaret Richmond Rodger, was born at 3.30 a.m. at 7 Admiralty Street, Leith. William was employed as Boilermaker's Labourer at the time. Margaret's birth was less than two months after her parents were married - what scandal.
16th August 1890
William's second daughter Jane Stewart Rodger was born at 40 Pitt Street, Leith. Apparently named after her paternal grandmother
The Census shows that William Rodger was living at 8 Pitt Street, Leith. Strangely so were his parents, brother and niece. However according to the Census they were in separate households. Also living in William's household were his wife and daughter Meggie Rodger. William was aged 24 and was employed as a Hammerman.
10th April 1992
And another daughter, Isabella Brand Rodger - born at 21 North Fort Street, Leith.
26th March 1893
Yet another daughter Mary Campbell Rodger was born at 21 North Fort Street.
8th September 1896
William's first son, David Purves Campbell Rodger, was born in Tennant Street (no number given), Leith.
10th January 1898
William's second son was born this day - Harry William Tite Rodger. He was born at 17 Bonnington Road, Leith and I presume named after his Aunt Mary's husband, Henry William Tite.
8th August 1899
I have yet to find a record of his death, but presumably Harry William Tite Rodger died in infancy, as on this date William had another son called Harry - Harry Adams Davidson Rodger. He was born in 8 Tennant Street Leith. I haven't come across any Adams's or Davidsons yet, but given that many of William's and Isabella's children are named after family members, I imagine Harry was too. As a youngster, Harry injured his big toe playing football. This bothered him all his life and was thought to have caused later psychiatric problems. He later married Sarah.
The Census records that William Rodger, aged 33 and his wife Bella Rodger (34), lived at 8 Tennant Street, Leith. He was employed as a Tanner's Labourer. At that time they had six children living with them - Margaret (11), a scholar; Bella (8, also a scholar; Thomas (6), scholar; David (4); William (2) and Henry (1).
12th September 1901
William had another son, called Francis Gallacher Rodger, also born at 8 Tennant Street, Leith. Another one whose middle name's origin currently eludes me. During the First World War, Francie served in the Merchant Navy. His ship was sunk and after taking to the lifeboats, he and his comrades were killed by German pilots who machine gunned them mercilessly. He's buried in Kirkwall. My Dad says Francie was a very broad man "broad as a horse" - presumably he was told this, perhaps by his Mum?. He married Meg.
6th March 1904
William's son John was born in Bonnington Road, Leith (couldn't make out the number).
28th September 1906
Another son, Frederick William Henry Rodger was born in 19 Bonnington Road, Leith - possibly the same place as John?
4th February 1908
Twins Alwyn Day Rodger and James Rodger were born at 4.45 pm and 5.40 pm respectively in 53 Couper Street, Leith. Ally and Jimmy to my Dad, always struggled to get work throughout their life.
19th November 1910
After a gap of 17 years since his last daughter was born, William's daughter Williamina Campbell Rodger was born at 15 Couper Street, Leith.
The Census records that William, aged 43 and his wife Isabella, aged 44, lived at 15 Couper Street, Leith. Also living there were their children - Isabella (18), Thomas (16), Harry (11), Francis, (9), John (7), Frederick (4), Alwin (3) and James (3). William's occupation was "Tannery Worker" and his place of birth was recorded as "Midlothian, Leith". Williamina is not shown in the record, so it is possible she died shortly after her birth.
3rd December 1912
Finally (at least as far as I have found so far) William had another daughter, Mary Moffat Henry Rodger, born at 15 Couper Street, Leith. I don't know where the 'Henry' came from, but Mary Moffat was William's paternal Grandmother's name. This is the second Mary, so did Mary Campbell Rodger die young? In due course, Mary married a Duncan Muir, a milk delivery man.
25th May 1928
William's wife Isabella died at 00.30 a.m. at the Eastern General Hospital. She was aged 61. Her death certificate showed her to have been married to William Cochrane Rodger. Her death was reported by her son John Rodger, who lived at 15 Couper Street, Leith. Interestingly this is the only time William is shown to have had a middle name. I have no doubt that we have the correct death certificate for Isabella, but it is curious - I wonder where it comes from.
Death - 28th July 1948
William Rodger died at 11.40 p.m. at 1 Glenlockhart Road, Edinburgh (possibly this was the address of a hospital as his home address was 38 West Bowling Green Street, Leith). He was aged 80 and a widower. The cause of death was Broncho Pneumonia. His death was reported by his son, Thomas Rodger, who lived at 12 Piershill Square East, Edinburgh.
Note the differing spellings of William's surname - he started off life as Rogers, got married as Roger and died as Rodger.