John Brodie (1855 – 1920) and Margaret Easton Weir

John Brodie, my great grandfather, my grandmother, Agnes McKenzie Brodie Dean’s, father, was born in Linlithgow, West Lothian, Scotland on Sep. 20, 1855, son of John Brodie and Agnes McKenzie.

On January 4, 1880 in the Morningside[1] Parish Church, he married Margaret Easton Weir. Their first child, Jane Easton Brodie, our (Great) “Aunt Jean[2]” was born the following year.

In the 1881 Census, the family was listed as living at Ballencrieff Mains, a farm just outside and to the NE of Bathgate with a two-month old daughter Jane (i.e. “Jean”). John was listed as a farm servant.

John Brodie & 2nd wife, Jessie Dunn

Altogether, they had four daughters including my grandmother Agnes who was born in 1882 in the District of Bathgate.

Margaret died about 1886, when Agnes was four, possibly in childbirth with their last daughter Elizabeth “Bess” Brodie.

John remarried his housekeeper, Jessie Dunn, a few years later.

In the 1891 Census, the new family was listed as still living at Ballencrieff Mains, with, in addition to Jean, my grandmother Agnes and her sisters Maggie and Elizabeth.

John was alive in 1914 when visited by my grandmother Agnes and three of her children[3]

My Aunt Dorothy recalls him when the Agnes and the family returned to Scotland and were stranded there for the duration of the First World War.  “We arrived with no problems and went directly to my grandfather’s (Brodie) home in Linlithgow[4] (Glen Lodge). It was a large stone house on the hill at the entrance to the Estate. He was the manager and I am not sure of the name, but I think it belonged to Sir John Eaton (Easton?). To get to the house (my grandfather’s) we had to travel down a country road, under the canal[5] through a gate and up the winding stone steps.”

See:  here  for more on John’s latter life and death


[1] a district in the south-west of Edinburgh,

[2] Not the Jean Brodie whose “Prime” was made famous by Muriel Spark

[3] They arrived in Scotland just as WWI broke out and were trapped there for the duration.

[4] 15 miles (west) of Edinburgh

[5] Linlithgow lies on the Edinburgh & Glasgow Union Canal

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