George Halliday was most likely born sometime between 18391 and 18433 in Belfast1, Ireland. Depending on which census or marriage license you look at his age varied. Based on his marriage certificates6,7 his father’s name was James. Based on the name of his youngest daughter and his death certificate8 his mother’s name was Sarah Parker. Read more in my blog post about his parents and siblings10.
Sometime after he was born, and likely after 1851, George moved to the Preston area of Lancashire. George was living in Preston, Lancashire, England by his marriage to Mary Ann Hodson on 13 August 18606. Although on his daughter’s marriage documents and his death certificate8 his first wife’s name is quoted as Hutchison, it has been established through record checking and confirmed through DNA matching that the correct name is Hodson9. At the time of his marriage, he was living at Bishopgate in Preston and was a labourer.
In January of 1861, George and Mary Ann’s daughter Alice was born in Preston. By April of that year, for the census1, George and his family were living in Garstang. George was a Jobber at a cotton mill. A jobber could be someone who was being paid by the “job” piecemeal11. However, it is more likely that George was a dealer in goods, organizing what was needed for the mill.
In 1869, George was working as a cattle dealer and living on Sedwick Street in Preston5. However, by 1871, George was a widower and had moved with his daughter Alice to Glasgow where George was working as a wine merchant2.
On 2 July 1872, George married Janet “Jessie” Cochrane7. At that time, he was living at 28 Surrey Street in Glasgow, Scotland, and was working as a spirit merchant. As directories at that time listed wine merchants separate from spirit merchants and had a separate category for those that were both wine and spirit, he may have switched what he was dealing with.
George and Jessie had George in 1874 when they were living at 202 Baltic Street in Glasgow and he was working as an oil merchant. Their next child, James Cochrane Halliday, was born in 1879. At that time, they were still living at Landressy Street and George was working as an oil dealer. In 1881, at the time of the census3, George and Jessie were living on Landressy Street in Glasgow, and George was working as a general dealer.
In 1882 when Jessie Cochrane Halliday was born they were living on 7 Main Street in Glasgow; and in 1887 they were living at 78 Muslin Street. In both of these documents George is listed as an oil merchant. Yet, on the 1891 census4, George is listed as a general dealer, and he and Jessie and their family were still living at 78 Muslin Street.
There are further differences in his listings as a dealer as in 1886 when Alice married, she listed George as a Chandler. A chandler11 is a dealer or trader, normally associated with ships. The differences in what he was dealing between the censuses and the birth records may be caused by who the informant was. In all of the Scotland birth certificates, Jessie was the informant. The census taker may have generalized to dealer or it may be that George was the informant and considered himself a general dealer.
It is interesting that George worked as a dealer all of his life as he was illiterate, on both of his marriage certificates he made his mark as he could not sign his name. So, all of those deals must have been made with a handshake and on his word.
George was possibly not a religious man. His first marriage to Mary Ann Hodson was in the Church of England when he was in England, his second to Jessie Cochran was in Scotland and in the Church of Scotland.
George lived to only approximately 58 years (his age stayed within a couple of years after he was married to Jessie) and he died on 29 August 19008 of general disability after being sick a year and at that time Jessie listed him as an iron dealer.
1Census. 1861. England. Catterall, Lancashire. RG 9/3153. p. 20. Https://www.ancestry.ca : accessed February 2019.
2Census. 1871. Scotland. Laureston, Glasgow. 644/10/96/16. http://www.scotlandspeople.gov.uk : accessed 2017.
3Census. 1881. Scotland. Greenhead, Glasgow, Lanarkshire. 644/4/75/3. https://www.scotlandspeople.gov.uk : accessed March 2018.
4Census, 1891. Scotland. Bridgeton, Glasgow, Lanarkshire. 644/1/13/4. https://www.scotlandspeople.gov.uk : accessed March 2018.
5Directories. England. 1869. Commercial and General Directory of Preston. Preston: Chas. Greenall. By Geo. A. Gillett.
6Marriages (CR) England, Preston, Lancaster. 13 August 1860. HOLLIDAY, George and HODSON, Mary Ann. No 300.
7Marriages (CR) Scotland. Hutchesontown, Glasgow, Lanarkshire. 2 July 1872. HALLIDAY, George and COCHRANE, Jessie. 644/10 0200. https://www.scotlandspeople.gov.uk : accessed May 2019.
8Deaths (CR) Scotland, Bridgeton, Glasgow, Lanarkshire. 29 August 1900. HALLIDAY, George. no. 1012. https://www.scotlandspeople.gov.uk : accessed March 2018.