Gazlay Family History

FamilyWilliam McGregor


FatherDavid McGregor (ca. 1812 - 15 July 1898)
MotherJanet Sinclair (ca. 1809 - 11 May 1887)

Personal Information

Record Created: 23 February 2009; Last Edited: 8 February 2015 
NameWilliam McGregor
Born 28 December 1835 in Dunfermline, Fifeshire, Scotland: Twin.1
Married 5 December 1862 in Dunfermline, Fifeshire, Scotland to Margaret Brown2
Died 13 January 1933 in Dunfermline, Fifeshire, Scotland


William’s obituary provides an interesting summary of his life:3


Dunfermline’s Oldest Inhabitant

Death of Mr. W. McGregor


With the passing of Mr. William McGregor, whose death took place yesterday at his home at 26 Castleblair Park, Dunfermline has lost its oldest inhabitant. Mr. McGregor had reached the ripe old age of 97 and retained all of his faculties till the end. A native of Dunfermline, Mr. McGregor was associated during the whole of his working life with the linen industry, and was one of the remaining few who had witnessed the change from the hand-loom to the power-loom. Originally a hand-loom weaver himself, he was later in the employment of Erskine Beveridge &. Company, Limited. He was engaged in Dundee for a time and then went to Ireland where he spent seventeen years. Returning to Dunfermline he entered the employment of R.E. Walker Reid & Company, Ltd., as a yarn dresser at their Albany Works, where he remained until his retirement in 1910.

Covering such a long span of years, Mr. McGregor’s reminiscences of Dunfermline were naturally of a most interesting character, and on more than one occasion here have appeared in the columns of the Press his recollections of outstanding events in the history of the town. A keen student of Politics he at one time enjoyed the reputation of being the only workingman Tory in Dunfermline. Until advancing years prevented his pursuit of the pastime, angling was his principal hobby. Another hobby which claimed his attention was that of crayon sketching.

Mr. McGregor is survived by three sons, two of whom reside in America, the other being Mr. W.B. McGregor, designer, Dunfermline. A sister of the deceased gentleman, Mrs. Fraser, who resides in Dewar Street, is 91 years of age.


Another much longer Press article the following week indicates that, as a boy, William played with Andrew Carnegie, the world famous philanthropist who was also a Dunfermline native. Their respective parents were apparently very well acquainted. William and Margaret’s eldest son David was born in Dunfermline before they moved to Lisburn, County Down, Ireland. Their other children were born in Ireland.

Surviving artifacts associated with William include several photographs of him (1924 1930), a pencil sketch of a linen design (traditionally attributed to him although possibly the work of his son William B.), and a statement of his son David’s birth William signed many years after the fact (since it is also “witnessed” by his son William B.). William completed the purchase of plots V177 and V178 in the Dunfermline Cemetery on 22 July 1898, six days after his father was interred. William and Margaret are both buried there.


Spouse 1FamilyMargaret Brown (daughter of William Brown and Jean Semple)
Born 29 December 1837 in Dunfermline, Fifeshire, Scotland
Married 5 December 1862 in Dunfermline, Fifeshire, Scotland to William McGregor
Died 19 January 1903 in Dunfermline, Fifeshire, Scotland
Children of William McGregor and Margaret Brown:
+1.FamilyDavid McGregor
Born 7 September 1864 in Dunfermline, Fifeshire, Scotland
Married 25 April 1890 in Scotch Presbyterian Church, New York, New York to Nellie Birrell Patterson
Died 12 February 1944 in West Orange, Essex County, New Jersey
2.FamilyWilliam Brown McGregor
Born 26 March 1868 in Waringstown, County Down, Ireland
Died 4 August 1945 in Dunfermline, Fifeshire, Scotland
3.FamilyJane Semple ‘Jeanie’ McGregor
Born 1 June 1870 in Belfast, County Down, Ireland
Died 26 April 1929 in Dunfermline, Fifeshire, Scotland
4.FamilyJanet Sinclair McGregor
Born 1 March 1875 in Lisburn, Antrim, Ireland
+5.FamilyJames Brown MacGregor
Born 5 March 1877 in Lisburn, Antrim, Ireland
Married ca. 1906 to Julia C. Morton
Died 1948


  1. Parochial Registers, County of Fife, Dunfermline, Scotland, B. 1834-1854, Vol. 424-14, Page 79; microfilm 1040105, available at Family History Library, Annandale, Virginia; birth of Margaret and William McGregor (twins) on 28 December 1835; the record names their parents, David McGregor and his wife Janet Sinclair.
  2. Parochial Registers, County of Fife, Dunfermline, m. 1820-1848, Vol. 424-16, marriage of William McGregor and Margaret Brown, 5 December 1862 in Dunfermline.
  3. Obituary, The Dunfermline Press, Dunfermline, Scotland, 14 January 1933, William McGregor, age 97. The article provides vital and detailed biographical information.