When in doubt search immigration records, which for years, I never did. In one swoop I found long-lost relatives, my husband’s great aunt, Annie Hird daughter of Ann Findlay and Alexander Hird. I happened upon an immigration record for her elusive nephew, Charles Graham Baird which gave his final destination as Springfield, Massachusetts the address of his cousin, Alexander Hird Graham. After years of zilch for Annie and her nephew Charles, I was on a roll.

Allan McFadyen, son of Charles and his wife Catherine Ferguson migrated to the United States in 1888 (1900 US Census). For years I searched for him and here he is at 1582 Pleasant St, Fall River, Massachusetts happily married to Irish lass, Mary Sullivan, with children, Charles, Lizzie (Elizabeth), John, Mary and Catherine (Kate). I was pretty chuffed when I found him and at the same time disappointed that the surname is now spelt McFadden. More about Allan in a later blog.

Annie Hird, a flax mill worker and Charles S Graham both of Montrose married probably before the January 1886 birth of nephew, Charles Graham Baird. Two years later at Montrose, Annie gave birth to son, Alexander Hird Graham on 3 December 1888.

Daughter, Margaret Ann Graham was born in Ludlow, Massachusetts in June 1891, followed by Charles in 1893 who passed away in July 1894 and Helen Adams Graham in October of 1894.

On 27 February 1896, Charles Graham of 17 Whitney St, Ludlow was naturalised in the Police Court, Springfield, Mass., presumably with wife, Annie.

In 1910, Annie and Charles had been married for twenty five years. Annie had given birth to five children with three still living. Charles an overseer worked in a jute mill, as did daughters Maggie a reeler and Ellen a baller. They rented their home at 22 Sewell St and 36 year old Walter M Graham, Charles brother lived with the family. Son Alexander worked as an electrician.

LIFE IN LUDLOW – (Late Industrial Period:  1870-1915)  The Ludlow Manufacturing Company was formed in 1868; new mills were erected in the 80s and 90s; tenements built to house its many immigrant employees [by 1905 over 45% of the population were foreign born].  November 25, 1909 – EXODUS OF LUDLOW STRIKERS IS BEGUN:  About 300 of the strikers who have been served with orders to evict the company’s tenements left town today to look for work elsewhere.  Towards the end of this period, Ludlow Manufacturing Associates were one of the largest jute manufacturing plants in the world.  In 1901, new building work completed: Mill Number 8; the Red Bridge Generating Station and several two and three-story brick commercial blocks, most notably the Post Office building.  Source:  http://www.ludlowmp.org/html/history.html

14th January 1912:  CROWN ON MAGGIE’S HEAD.  BEST OF ALL WOMEN SKATERS.  Mrs McMillan is Outclassed.  Ludlow Girl Adds Another to Her Many Successes in Championship Events [The Springfield Sunday Republican page 2]

Miss Maggie Graham of Ludlow the champion woman skater of the United States, easily defeated Mrs Frank McMillan of Fort Lee, NJ, the former holder of the title in a contest for national championship honors, held in connection with the eighth annual skating championship races conducted by the Springfield skating club at Van Horn reservoir yesterday afternoon.  The race was one of the most spectacular ever seen in this city and demonstrated beyond doubt that Miss Graham has a full right to the woman’s championship skating title.  She outdistanced her smaller rival from the start and held the lead throughout the two laps.

There were fully 4000 people in attendance despite the extreme cold which prevailed.  The crowd was perhaps one of the largest that ever attended a contest of this kind in Springfield.

The court for the races was in splendid shape, the park officials having cleared the entire edge of the reservoir of snow.  The course proper was one-quarter of a mile around and was on the inside of the cleared section.  The snow had been scraped entirely free of the ice and no person was permitted to skate on it prior to the races, a wise precaution since it enable the various contestants to show off to excellent advantage.

The races started at 2 o’clock when the woman’s championship contests was held.   It had been anticipated that Mrs McMillan would make a strong bid for the title, which she had lost in Boston last year but from the start it was evident that if she entertained such hopes, they were forgotten before the first lap was made.  Miss Graham ran away from her rival at the start and after the first quarter-mile had gained such a big lead that she was able to take things her own way on the final stretch to record a time of one minute and 41.45 seconds.

November 1913 was a busy month for the Graham’s

An article on page 20 of the Springfield Union (Springfield, MA) Friday November 7, 1913

Miss Margaret A Graham aged 19 years of Ludlow, holder of the half mile amateur ice skating championship for women and the winner of numerous cups and trophies won during the last four years on different rinks in the East, left yesterday for San Francisco, Cal. where she will make her residence. Miss Graham came into prominence in February 1910 when she won the half mile amateur championship in the remarkable time of 1 minute and 40 seconds. She defeated Mrs Frank MacMillian of Ft. Lee, NJ at Ft. Lee in 1911 in a half mile race, defeating her twice afterward in 1912, once at the Boston Arena and later in Springfield. She also defeated Miss Dolly Peterson of Boston in that city in March 1912.

Besides her prowess at skating, Miss Graham is also an excellent boxer, hunter, baseball and basketball player. She holds the woman’s record for distance in throwing a baseball 325 feet 9 inches. Miss Graham weighs about 195 pounds and is 6 feet 2 1/2 inches in height.

And the following week reported in The Springfield Daily Republican: Friday November 14, 1913: Page 16 under heading: Ludlow:  A PRETTY HOME WEDDING

A pretty home wedding took place at the residence of Charles S Graham, 22 Sewell Street on Wednesday evening, when Miss Margaret Cochrane of Springfield became the bride of the only son of Alexander H Graham. Rev. Frederick B Noyes, pastor of Union Church, performed the ceremony and the young couple were attended by David Miller and Nellie Graham of Ludlow. Following the ceremony a wedding lunch was served and later the couple left for a wedding trip. They were recipients of many gifts. The groom is an electrician at the plant of the Fiberloid Company in Indian Orchard.

Margaret born in Dundee, Scotland 20 July 1888 to Alexander Cochrane and his wife Isabella Mathers arrived in Massachusetts about 1909 and worked as a Cook before her marriage.

Wed Nov 19, 1913:  The following officers of Brigham Lodge of Masons were installed last night:  S.D., Alexander H Graham.  (Other names of interest: Robert Milne and Alexander Kidd).  The Springfield Daily News.

Tues Evening Nov 23, 1915:  Alexander H Graham of Highland Ave is kept to the house with an attack of tonsilitis.  The Springfield Union.

Involved in the local community, Charles and Annie were members of the Union Church at Ludlow.  As well Charles was a member of Clan MacLennan, Brigham Lodge of Masons and Ludlow lodge of Moose.

The Springfield Weekly Republican: Thursday, December 12 1918:  Page 10 under heading: Obituaries – Death of Mrs Charles Graham

Mrs Anna Hurd [sic] Graham, 62 wife of Charles Graham died at her home on Sewall Street, Ludlow last week. She had been ailing for a long time, but was able to be about. Wednesday morning she went to one of the stores and while there lapsed into unconsciousness and remained in that state until her death. She was a native of Montrose, Scot and came to live in Ludlow with her husband 29 years ago. She is survived by two daughters, Miss Margaret Graham of California and Mrs Robert Lyman of Brunswick, Ga. and one son, Alexander H Graham of Ludlow.

Annie’s death record is available on familysearch.org. Two factors contributed to her death, cerebral haemorrhage and chronic [interstitial or industrial something]. She was buried at Island Pond cemetery.