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Title: McLea in records of the Hammermen of Glasgow
Posted by: Kyle MacLea
Date: 29 October 2006

For some time, I have known that members of my Scottish McLea family were employed as blacksmiths. 

My "smithing" relatives include Peter McLea who was the father of the immigrant James Brown McLea, Peter's father John McLea, and Peter's grandfather, Peter or Patrick McKay.

As there are so few records of John, I've been looking around for some time to see if I might find him in obscure records of the non-Birth/Marriage/Death variety. One of these was the Glasgow directories, which had useful information. Another I tried were English apprenticeship records, although this was not helpful for John or his father-in-law Peter, or anyone else I'd known of.

Where else to look?

Well, it turns out there is a volume of history of the professional organization or guild of smiths in Glasgow, Scotland. Known as the Hammermen, they are chronicled in History of the Hammermen of Glasgow by Lumsden and Aitken, published in 1912. 

This volume has more than you'd ever want to know about the Hammermen, and I kept it around (and kept renewing it) on the hope I'd read it and get a better appreciation for them. The Hammermen are a long-standing Guild in Glasgow. (Note that they include much more than the Blacksmiths, too: Goldsmiths, Locksmiths, Plumbers, Engineers, Merchants, you name it.)

So, my family, of many Blacksmiths, should be listed on the List of Members. In this book, it begins in 1616, and ends in 1911, shortly before publication. Perfect for including them all (although it is probably incomplete, notwithstanding additions since 1911).

Of course, they are not listed.  But these McLeas, McLays and similar ARE listed, in case others are interested:

Name, Number, Date of Entry, Occupation, Class (apprentice or stranger), Date of Ticket, essay (kind of object made for test)

Wm. M'Lay, 855, 25 Aug 1815, blacksmith, stranger, same as entry, horseshoe and nails

Wm. M'Lea, 879, 19 Sep 1816, smith, --, --, no essay

John M'Aulay, 1219, 26 Aug 1836, tinsmith, apprentice, 30 Jun 1836, a bellied jug

David Thomson M'Lay, 1910, 22 Feb 1871, writer, stranger, same, --

John M'Lay, 2387, 7 Sep 1877, flesher, stranger, 19 Sep 1822, --

James M'Lay, 2759, 1 Sep 1886, writer, stranger, 31 Aug 1886, --

Joseph Paton M'Lay 3277, 11 Dec 1896, shipowner, stranger, 2 Mar 1895, --

Very little else of note. There are a few more M'Aulays I missed, but probably unrelated and none of them Smiths. No more M'Leas or M'Lays. None of the M'Kays are Peter or Patrick, and there is only one Livingstone listed:

John Livingstone, 484, 23 Aug 1789, smith, -- 28 Aug 1789, a lock and a pair of hinges

I'm guessing my ancestors must have flown "under the radar" of the guild -- although they are listed in those aforementioned city directories, so they weren't TOO far under the radar...

So, another minor reference can be checked off, but nothing of interest noted.  But maybe this will help someone else.  Hope so!


** This Thread has ended - Please do NOT attempt to resurrect it! **


Title:Date:Posted By:
McLea in records of the Hammermen of Glasgow29 October 2006Kyle MacLea
   McLea in records of the Hammermen of Glasgow30 October 2006Donald (Livingstone) Clink
      McLea in records of the Hammermen of Glasgow30 October 2006Kyle MacLea
         McLea in records of the Hammermen of Glasgow31 October 2006Donald (Livingstone) Clink
            McLea in records of the Hammermen of Glasgow31 October 2006Kyle MacLea
   McLea in records of the Hammermen of Glasgow30 October 2006Donald (Livingstone) Clink

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