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A Recognised Collection of National Importance

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Family history enquiries are the most common type of enquiry that the Museum receives. Here we list, by surname, any such enquiries in the hope that (with consent) we can help put researchers interested in researching the same person in touch with one another. We also welcome non family history enquiries.

Please contact us by e-mail if you would like to get in touch with someone regarding the enquiries on this page or if you would like to add your own research enquiry to the list.

Enquiries Listed by Surname

Foulds: William Foulds, father in law of John Wishart was born in Paisley in 1830, into a family of the renowned Paisley  Weavers jus as hand loom weaving was collapsing.  He became a wine merchant and then a distiller, buying several small whisky distillers. He died in 1890 - before his daughter married John Wishart but his company William Foulds & Company continued as in 1918 when John was a director of the Scottish Oil Agency Ltd he was also listed as a director of William Faulds Ltd (in liquidation). None of this or anything I have found suggests any connection with the Shale Oil Industry.  However in one of the booklets on the Shale Industry in Broxburn Library I saw a reference to William Foulds, Distiller of Glasgow as one of the founding directors of The Broxburn Oil Co, I think in 1859.  I didn't keep a copy of that page but I will look for it (9th March 2012).

Gillies: I am researching my family history from Linlithgow, Scotland. John Gillies was born in 1862 in Hart Hill (Harthill) Scotland. In the 1891 census of Scotland, his occupation is listed as a shale miner. He was married to Catherine Stewart and at the time of 1891 had two children. Catherine died in 1902 and John brought his 5 small children, all girls to the United States. John died in 1951 in Washington, Pennsylvania (24th November 2011).

Philbin: John Philbin was an Irish shale miner who brought up his family of 6 children with his wife Mary (nee Loftus) in Uphall Station. He died on 3 July 1916 at the Royal Infirmary, Edinburgh, from injuries sustained on the same day in No. 4 Shale Mine, Pumpherston, when a shot which he had lighted went off and struck him. Also Nicholas Philbin, whose apprenticeship as a fitter / turner began in 1929 at Middelton Hall in Uphall and who died in 1966. He went on to be a foreman at Weirs Pumps in Glasgow (24th November 2011).

Wishart: John Wishart, born on 27/08/1860 in Cadder.
by 1881 he was a commercial clerk (oil) living in east Glasgow
in 1891 he was an Oil Company Secretary - living in a better part of Glasgow
in 1895 he married Mary Foulds, d of William Foulds (dec), Distiller, in Glasgow.  I suspect that John Wishart may have met his wife to be through business connections - and that having a friendship with William Foulds, who appears to have been very wealthy at death, may have helped a boy from a poor family (as John was) get on.
In 1901 he was in a large house, best part of Glasgow West end, complete with servants and describing himself as a Mineral Oil Manufacturer.
I haven't checked him against the 1911 census yet
In 1918 he stood down as a director of The Scottish Oil Agency Ltd, when his other directorships included MD of Oakbank Oil Company Ltd, director Dalmeny Oil Company Ltd,  Gavin Paul & Son (coal mine in Bathgate) plus various rubber companies and rather intriguingly, the Campbeltown and Machrihanish Light Rail Company and Moss Empires, owners of a multitude of big theatres, originating in Edinburgh (An interesting man)
He died in Glasgow in 1928 at 65, described as a Company Director and his Glasgow Herald Obituary said MD of Oakbank Oil Company Ltd.  He died of cirrhosis (Maybe an aspect of having so many directorships) (9th March 2012).

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We are happy to licence use of many images, extracts, and other resources of this website under a Creative Commons attribution, non-commercial licence (Scotland). See full copyright statement. Such material should be attributed to Almond Valley Heritage Trust and, where practical, a hyperlink provided to www.scottishshale.co.uk.