Bio – Margaret Mary Lamb (1860-c.1927)

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks – Week 47 – Margaret Mary Lamb (1860-)

By – Don Taylor 

No Story Too Small

It is often said that when you do research it is imperative that you obtain the actual record and not rely solely upon indexes.  Margaret Mary Lamb McAllister is an example of that.  I thought I know Margaret’s death.  Right name, right place, about the right year, even the right cemetery, or so it appeared.  However, when I ordered an actual death certificate I was surprised.  Not the right Margaret McAllister. Back to the drawing board to find the right Margaret McAllister’s death information.

Bio – Margaret Mary Lamb (1860-c.1927)

Margaret Mary Lamb was born in April of 1860, in Appleby-in-Westmorland, Cumbria, England, to Edward and Jane Lamb (or Lambe). Appleby-in-Westmorland is near the Lake District National Park in northern England.

Margaret’s father died when she was young. We don’t know if the family moved to Egremont, Cumbria, England, before or after Edward died. However, we do know that according to the 1871 England Census, her mother was widowed and running a beer house in Egremont . She also had an older sister, also named Jane, who lived with them at the beerhouse. They had a sixteen-year-old domestic servant, Elizabeth Wardle, living with them as well.

St. Michael’s Church in Workington before fire.

Margaret moved up the coast to Maryport and was living there when she married Peter McAllister on 22 August 1878. At the Parish (St. Michael’s) Church in Workington.
Margaret was 18 and Peter was a 26 year-old seaman living in Workington.

The following year, 1879, their first child, Frank, was born.  On March 21, 1881, their second child, Elizabeth was born and the young family was living in Workington on High Church Street.

The following year, 1882, their second son, Edward Lamb McAllister was born in Cockermouth.  Cockermouth is about 7 miles east of Workington and is where Peter was born. Peter may have had family there when Margaret gave birth or they may have lived there a short time.
In 1884, Hannah was born and the family was back in Workington, living at 8 Lamport Street.

SS British King
Photo courtesy: Ancestry.Com

In June of 1885, Margaret’s husband Peter headed for America and left Margaret in England. In June the following year, Sargaret headed to America with her four children, Frank, Elizabeth, Edward, and Hannah, aboard the steamship The British King, which arrived at Philadelphia.  She and the children joined Peter in Catasauqua, Lehigh, Pennsylvania.

1887 was a year of both joy and tragedy. In March, their fifth child, John William, was born, but in May their oldest son, Frank, who was only eight-years old, drowned in the Lehigh Canal.

In 1889, their last child, Joseph M. McAllister was born in Catasauqua.

House that Peter built at corner of Vine and Cologne
“Vine” was changed to “Berg” and house was
numbered 2800 Berg
Photo Courtesy: Google Maps.

The family moved to Pittsburgh sometime in 1890 as evidenced by Peter taking out a building permit for a 16×32 two-story house at corner of Vine & Cologne in Pittsburgh.

Pittsburgh in the early 1890 was a tumultuous time in the steel industry with labor-management clashes regularly.  Margaret’s husband, Peter, was in the thick of it, being arrested at the Homestead Steel Plant on 2 September 1892.

On 24 February 1894, Margaret’s husband, Peter, became a citizen of the United States. Due to naturalization laws, when Peter became a citizen, so did Margaret. Vine Street was renamed Berg Street and the family lived there, 2800 Berg Street, which is at the corner of Berg and Cologne. The house that Peter built stands today.

The family moved over to Patterson Street sometime between 1894 and 1900.

In 1905, Margaret’s daughter Hannah took up with an older man, Rufus Darling, who was more than twice Hannah’s age. Hannah was 21 and Rufus was 48. In March of 1906, Hannah had her first child, Elizabeth.  In December of 1906, she got pregnant again. This time Rufus made an honest woman of her and in February, 1907, Hannah and Rufus were married. In August of 1907, their second child, Robert Harry Darling, was born.

About 1906, son Edward Lamb McAllister married Violet Yellig. They had three children, Edward L., Albert W., and Paul Y.  Violet died in October of 1910. And Edward married Therisa Bauckmann. Therisa died in November, 1924 of a cerebral hemorrhage and stroke. The following year, 1925, Edward was murdered in Savannah, GA.

In 1909, their oldest daughter, Elizabeth, married Harold Lane. They would go on to have three children, James Allen, Frank C., and Katherine Lane.

Family oral history indicates that Margaret sided with Hannah during the events between Hannah and Rufus, while Peter was aghast at the idea of his youngest daughter taking up with a man nearly as old as he was. It is clear that Margaret and Peter were estranged before 1910. The 1910 census indicates Margaret living in the Berg Street house with son Joseph, daughter Elizabeth and Elizabeth’s husband Harold Land and Elizabeth’s son James.  I haven’t been able to find Peter in the 1910 Census; however, in 1914 he is living at 2237 Salisbury in Pittsburgh.

On 13 July 1913, tragedy struck again and daughter Hannah died of “pelvic peritonitis due to a ruptured ovarian cyst.“ Hannah’s two young children, Elizabeth and Robert, came to live with their grandmother, Margaret, rather then with their father, Rufus.

About the same time, in 1913, Margaret’s youngest son, Joseph, married Myrtle (last name unknown). They would go on to have four children,  Margaret, Jack, Lewis, and Elizabetha.

View of Downtown Pittsburgh Today from
411 Arlington Ave.
Courtesy: Google Maps

The 1920 Census finds the 59 year-old Margaret living at 411 Arlington Ave. Interestingly, she is listed as Widowed, although her husband Peter was living cross town at 2237 Salisberry Street. Peter would get a passport in 1921 and return to England, apparently never to return. Living with Margaret was her 13 year-old granddaughter, Elizabeth, and her 12 year-old grandson, Robert Harry Darling.  Also living with Margaret was her son John, John’s wife Emma, and their two daughters, Lillian and Helen. Today, 411 Arlington Ave. is a vacant lot on the side of a very steep hill, but has a great view.

Margaret is mentioned as being alive when her son, Edward Lamb McAllister, was murdered January,  1925, in Georgia; however, I have found no mention of her after that.

There was a Margaret McAllister, who was also born in England and who died in Pittsburgh on 27 Mar 1929.  For a while I thought this was my Margaret McAllister’s death date; however, when I ordered and received a copy of the death certificate, I found that it was a different Margaret McAllister, this one was married to a John McAllister and the informant didn’t fit our McAllister family.  So, this is one of those cases where I thought I had valid information but once the actual document was received I knew it was wrong.

Further Actions: 

Continue search for Margaret McAllister’s death and burial.  Because she owned the property at 411 Arlington, there should be records of that property transfer and possibly probate records.
Follow other descendants of Margaret McAllister and connect with cousins. 

List of Greats
1. Hannah (Anna) McAllister Darling (1884-1913)
2. Margaret Mary Lamb McAllister (1860-c.1928)
3. Edward Lamb (…-c. 1875)

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