Connecting People

The Hunter Family

The Hunter Family

Can You Help?  

Can you identify any of the people in the photograph? Do you have any family connections?

This photograph we believe to be the family of James Hunter of Lochwinnoch, who first established the Calder Cabinet and Chair Works in partnership with Henry Hamilton and Robert Crawford in 1880, and subsequently James Hunter and Sons.

James Hunter died in February 1918 and, as he is not in this picture, we suspect that it was taken subsequently, possibly in the same year or in 1919. The shortening ladies skirt lengths plus a gentleman in army uniform suggest just after the First World War. James Hunter (Junior), with moustache, is on the left of the back row and his wife Elizabeth (nee Macdonald) is the lady with the fair hair, second from right in the middle row – they are the grandparents of one of us, Marlene Bryden (nee Hunter), daughter of their son Alastair.

We suspect the elderly lady is James Senior’s widow, Jessie King Hunter (nee Wilson) who died in 1930. Both James Senior and Jessie were from Beith originally.

One of the other men may be James Young Keanie of Johnstone, who established the well known firm of builders. James Keanie married Isabel Hunter the second daughter. The first daughter, Margaret, died in 1906.

One of James’ and Jessie’s sons, Alexander, was killed in action in 1915 near Ieper. He was married to Margaret E. Logan and his address is given as Braevar, Lochwinnoch, in War Graves Roll of Honour.

The Hunter family home was Afton Cottage, Calder Street, for many years but may have been sold with firm.

In addition to the Hunters, Andrew Bryden, the great grandfather of the other of us, Archie Bryden, was apparently born in Lochwinnoch about 1824. It is not known if his family, which came from Ayr, settled in the village or moved on as Andrew eventually lived in Bridgeton, Glasgow. However in the now defunct museum in the library, there was a photo of some Brydens, maybe farmers. Are there any Bryden descendants locally and could they go back to the family in the 1820’s?

We would be most grateful for any information, especially the identification of those in the photograph plus any family connections, that anyone can supply.

Many thanks.

Marlene and Archie Bryden.

Tel 01772715807 or e-mail