2. William (Milby)2 Melvin, Jr. (William (Milby)1) was born in County Down, Ireland about 1835. William died December 17, 1859 in Barrhill, Scotland, at 24 years of age.
William married Fanny Stevenson in Barrhill, Scotland, January 1, 1858. Fanny was born in County Antrim, Ireland January 1, 1838. Fanny was the daughter of Robert Stevenson and Jane Henderson. She married John (Milby) Melvin in Scotland, September 15, 1885. Fanny died April 19, 1910 in Omaha, Nebraska, at 72 years of age.
Note: Professional genealogists specializing in Northern Ireland were contracted by Howard Maahs to assess the probablility of finding more detailed information regarding the Stevenson family but because of poor Irish records, the absence of indices and not knowing the county, village or parish in which they lived, finding any information seems to be almost impossible. Fanny's mother, Jane Henderson, daughter of William Henderson and Eliza McDonald is as far back in Ireland that could be found.
Fanny and her mother Jane Stevenson, then a widow, immigrated from possibly County Down, Ireland to Colmonell parish in Scotland about the mid 1850 's and always resided together. County Down is considered to be mostly protestant which would go along with the church Fanny was married in later in life.
Fanny met William Milby in Colmonell parish. She was 19 years old working as a farm servant and William was 23 years old working as an agricultural laborer when they married in the Free Church of Scotland in 1858, which was Protestant specifically Presbyterian.
Fanny and William had their first child, Hugh, seven months later. Fanny was pregnant with her second child when William died suddenly. The cause of death was recorded officially as "Supposed heart disease. Dropt down suddenly. Not certified." Six months later, Elizabeth Milbay was born. Fanny called her Eliza Jane.
By mid 1861, Fanny and her mother were residing together and were recorded as outdoor laborers according to the 1861 census of Colmonell.
Around 1862, not long after her first husband William died, Fanny and her brother-in-law, John, moved to Maybole, Scotland, 25 miles north of Barrhill, and lived there together for two years. Fanny found employment as a muslin sewer or seamstress while John worked as an agricultural laborer. It was here that Fanny gave birth to John.
By mid 1864, they all moved back to Colmonell parish, which encompassed both Colmonell and Barrhill villages, residing at Artenoch Cottages where she bore John's other seven children. Fanny's mother died at age 61 not long after Fanny's fourth child, James, was born. In the 1871 and 1881 census, Fanny was listed as a housekeeper.
In mid 1881, the family moved to 14 Burnside Cottage, several miles from Barrhill village. Burnside was a large estate and they were agricultural laborers. By then, only 3 of their children, James, Jessie and Alexander lived at home.
Burnside estate has since been subdivided into various smaller portions, with one of these portions still today bearing the original name of Burnside. According to Howard Maahs, the access to this portion is by a winding, unpaved, often muddy road, now frequently used by logging trucks to access nearby woodlands. A modern house presently exists on this Burnside property along with several outbuildings, all surrounded by farmland. The cottagers where the workers once lived, have since been demolished.
In 1885, John and Fanny married in Paisley, a city 70 miles north. They stayed with John's brother or cousin, James Melvin, a tailor, in Paisley for the marriage.
Paisley is only 12 miles from Glasgow, the port city, where two months later, on November 14, 1885, Fanny and her 4 children, Robert (almost 19), James (almost 17), Jessie (age 12) and Alexander (age 10), along with Fanny's eldest daughter Elizabeth (age 25), her husband, William Valentine (though it was spelled Ballantyne on the passenger list, about age 25) and their two sons, Hugh (3) and William (1), departed for America. John returned to Colmonell parish where he lived for the rest of his life.
The steamship, Circassia, was built in 1883 and had one steam funnel, but was also fitted with three masts rigged for sail in the event of engine failure. This was the first North Atlantic liner to have refrigerated space for carrying foodstuffs. They traveled third class, in No. 2 steerage, one of the least expensive accommodations offered. Transit time between Glasgow and New York was typically about ten days including a stop in Moville, Northern Ireland, to pick up additional passengers. They arrived on the steamship Circassia at the port of New York on Nov. 24, 1885 and later joined John and William in Nebraska.
For many years, Fanny lived in Fremont, Nebraska either with or next door to her various children. Over time, most of Fanny's children relocated to Omaha until in 1903, she did so herself, moving in with Alexander and his family on 4607 North 22nd Street, where she resided until her death seven years later. Also living with Alexander at the time was William, who never married.
Living immediately next door to Alexander, at 4609 North 22nd Street, was Fanny's son John and his family. The 1808 California Street address on Fanny's death certificate was that of Fanny's eldest daughter, Elizabeth, and her family. Therefore, it would have been at Elizabeth's house, located only 3½ miles south of Alexander's house, where Fanny received end-of-life care, presumably following a brief period of declining health.
Fanny died at age 72 on April 19, 1910 from senile atrophy. It was interesting to note that Fanny never applied for U.S. citizenship.
William (Milby) Melvin immigrated in the mid 1850's to Barrhill, Scotland as did his brothers John and Hugh. He was an agricultural laborer.
William died suddenly and unexpectedly just one and a half years after being married. The cause of death was recorded officially as, "Supposed heart disease. Dropt down suddenly. Not certified." His brother John served as the informant on the death record. William died near Barhill, Scotland and most likely was buried in a Colmonell churchyard.
William (Milby) Melvin Jr. and Fanny Stevenson had the following children:
Note: By age 13, Hugh had left home as he wasn't on the 1881 census. No evidence of Hugh has been found either in Scotland or in America. It was noted that his mother Fanny remarked, on the 1900 Nebraska census, that 8 of her 10 children were still then living therefore he was still living then.
+ 6 ii. Elizabeth (Milbay) Melvin, was born June 30, 1860.
3. Hugh (Milby)2 Melvin (William (Milby)1) was born in Ireland about 1838. Hugh died March 5, 1884 in New Cumnock, Scotland, at 45 years of age.
Hugh married Jane Hughes in Scotland, October 18, 1859.
Hugh (Milby) Melvin and Jane Hughes had the following children:
8 ii. Hugh Melvin, was born in Scotland June 23, 1870. He married Marion Seaton June 9, 1893. Marion was born August 7, 1868.
4. John (Milby)2 Melvin (William (Milby)1) was born in County Down, Ireland about 1839. John died June 12, 1913 in Stranraer, Wigtownshire, Scotland, at 73 years of age.
John married Fanny Stevenson in Scotland, September 15, 1885. Fanny was born in County Antrim, Ireland January 1, 1838. She married William (Milby) Melvin Jr. in Barrhill, Scotland, January 1, 1858. Fanny died April 19, 1910 in Omaha, Nebraska, at 72 years of age.
Note: John was born in County Down, Ireland in about 1839. County Down is located on Northern Ireland's east coast just 50 miles west of the Scottish mainland across the North channel.
John, along with his older brother, William Milby, and possibly another brother, Hugh Milby, immigrated to Barhill village, Colmonell parish, Ayrshire, Scotland in the 1850's. Colmonell parish lies in the southwestern region of Ayrshire which means the county of Ayr. Many Irish people were leaving due to the potato famine and high rent from Irish landlords.
John lived with his sister-in-law, Fanny, in Maybole, after his brother William's death. Later they moved back to Barrhill. Around 1873, John learned to read and write as documents were signed by him from then on. It was then that the surname "Melvin" entered in consistent usage. Prior to that time, John, Fanny, William and Jane had all been illiterate as evidenced by the fact that they signed documents with their X mark.
John's occupation was always given as "agricultural laborer" rather than as a tenant farmer on rented land. As a sharecropper he was provided with land, housing, farm implements, seed, etc., from the landowner in exchange for only his labor. His income was then derived from the crops which he shared with the landowner.
Fanny and John had eight children together before they married in 1885. It was also then that Fanny and four of their children immigrated to Nebraska to live near her older sons, John and William, who had already immigrated to Nebraska.
John stayed behind in Scotland at Colmonell parish. He lived with William Stevenson and family according to the 1891 census as a general laborer. By 1901, he relocated to a dwelling in Colmonell with a single man named John Lawson. They both were employed at drainers (workers who lay drain pipes).
As John's health declined in later years, it was noted that he died in a health facility in Stranraer, 25 miles southwest of Colmonell, on June 12, 1913. The cause of death was recorded as cerebral hemorrhage accompanied by aphasia. Both conditions were present for about five months. This affected his ability to speak, write or give signs.
John (Milby) Melvin and Fanny Stevenson had the following children:
10 ii. William (Milville) Melvin, was born in Barrhill, Ayrshire, Scotland August 8, 1864. William died February 2, 1941 in Omaha, Nebraska, at 76 years of age.
Note: Fanny and John moved back to Colmonell parish by mid 1864 and resided at Artenoch Cottages where William was born.
William immigrated to Nebraska and never married. He departed Glasgow, alone under the name of William Melville, his birth surname, at age 19 on the steamship Circassia arriving at the port of New York on April 16, 1884. He and his brother John, who had arrived two years earlier, settled in Dodge County, Nebraska and in mid Oct. 1885, executed a Declaration of Intention for U.S. citzenship. His occupation was a carpenter and he died at the age of 75 from a cerebral hemorrhage.
+ 11 iii. Robert Stevenson Melvin, was born November 27, 1866.
+ 12 iv. James (Milven) Melvin, was born January 15, 1869.
13 v. Sarah Stevenson Melvin, was born in Barrhill, Ayrshire, Scotland January 12, 1871. Sarah died October 7, 1873 in Barrhill, Scotland, at 2 years of age.
Note: Sarah died at age 2 1/2 from pneumonia due to diptheria. It was noted on the 1871 census, that all of John and Fanny's children are listed under the surname of Milby (Melvin) which was the same as John. Fanny's surname was then listed as Milby, although she is specifically identified as a widow and the sister-in-law of John. Her occupation is given as housekeeper. Also noted on the census is the absence of Hugh, Fanny and William's eldest child.
+ 14 vi. Jessie Melvin, was born March 15, 1873.
+ 15 vii. Alexander Melvin, was born August 9, 1875.
16 viii. Thomas Melvin, was born in Barrhill, Ayrshire, Scotland May 3, 1877. Thomas died July 1, 1877 in Barrhill, Scotland, at less than one year of age.
Note: Thomas died at the age of two months from catarrhal laryngitis. He was the last of John and Fanny's 8 children.