Margaret Gorman was born approximately 1838 in Ireland1,2. This year agrees with both her death certificate and the age on the 1901 census. She was born to parents Patrick Gorman and Margaret Coulter.
Her father was a general labourer and therefore could have travelled; however, it is most likely in Northern Ireland that she was born. It was in Northern Ireland in Ballyheridan in the county of Armagh that she married Joseph McKee3 at the age of 20. They were married in the Roman Catholic church.
Joseph was a farm labourer, which is likely why they were in Armagh. In Armagh has about 6,000 acres of Bramley apples, producing 40,000 tonnes5. As with most townlands, Ballyheridan is small at just over ½ square mile (327 acres, 0 roods, 20 perches).
Joseph and Margaret had eight children, spaced approximately two years apart. Elizabeth (1859), Mary (1860), William James (1862), Margaret, called Maggie (1865), Joseph (1867), Sarah Anne (1870), Patrick (1872) and John (1875). All of the children were born in Ballyheridan.
Mary and Sarah Anne married and remained in Armagh. However, many of the other children followed the work to Glasgow. Almost 29% of all Irish immigrants settled in Glasgow during this period. It is said that the Irish Catholics went wherever physical strength was needed. They worked in the coal mines, dock work and labouring of all kinds4. This was certainly true of the McKees as William was a chemical worker, Joseph a mine work and Maggie’s husband Jacob a shop man.
Eventually, after the death of her husband in 1882, Margaret also moved to Glasgow to live with her son Joseph. She was living with him in 19012 on King Street in Rutherglen when the census was taken.
Margaret died in 1901 at the age of 721. At that time she was still living with Joseph on King Street in Rutherglen. She died of senility and gradual cardiac failure. She is buried in the common ground at St. Peter’s Dalbeth Cemetery in Glasgow6.
2Census. 1901. Scotland. Rutherglen. 654/19/2. http://www.scotlandspeople.gov.uk : accessed 2017.
3Marriages (NCR) Ireland. Ballyheridan, Armagh. 18 February 1858. MCKEE, Joseph and GORMAN, Margaret. https://registers.nli.ie/pages/vtls000632474_088 : accessed 2019.
4https://www.johngraycentre.org/about/archives/brief-history-emigration-immigration-scotland-research-guide-2/ : accessed 7 February 2020.
5https://www.ireland.com/en-ca/destinations/northern-ireland/county-armagh/?ds_c=TI_CA_EN_PRO_BMM_All+Island_NA_NI_NA_NA_NA_ACP_Northern-Ireland&ds_ag=NI%7CArmagh&ds_k=%2Barmagh+%2Bireland&gclid=Cj0KCQiAsvTxBRDkARIsAH4W_j886qrpqW0WZ9EzZvLsFBD_2myLMSZ98bsqMl4bdU6MIrhGZ01aOaMaAsfkEALw_wcB&gclsrc=aw.ds : accessed 7 February 2020.
6Burials (NPR) Scotland. St. Peter’s Dalbeth, Glasgow. 19 August 1910. MCKEE, Margaret. Catholic Registers Deaths and Burials CSP 14/926. http://www.scotlandspeople.com : accessed February 2020.