John Leask 1844 – 1905

My Scottish link has been established. My great-great grandfather was born in Glasgow but moved to Plaistow in East London in the 19th Century. There is a nice connection here. When I was young my father gave me a tour of his employers Curwen Printing Works when he worked in Plaistow.

John was a Seaman and a Donkey Man which caused us some head scratching when we found out. A donkey engine is a general purpose steam engine found on ships. We believe he spent his early years in Glasgow but as a result of his maritime connections found himself in London where he started a family. At the time of his death he was living in Southsea near Portsmouth and had a job in the Docks at Southampton. We found out this year, 2009 that a daughter only died in 1997 aged 100. What a shame we didn’t know her.

John died as a result of a fall at work and a newspaper report is reproduced here. I cant imagine present day Health and Safety being satisfied with an “overbalanced himself” excuse for a death.

In September we visited old Southampton Cemetery to find his grave.

He was buried in a paupers Grave along with 21 other people. Seven of those were stillborn babies. There was no headstone and it was only working out the graves location from other headstones did we know where it was.

One Response to John Leask 1844 – 1905

  1. Ray Price-Waddington says:

    1885 Kansas State Census, Raymond, RICE, KS
    Leisk, Thomas age 25 and Agnes C, Leisk age 20 b Scotland and here living in the household of Peter Smith age 43, here a merchant, and his wife Elizabeth R. Smith nee Bruce. The Leisks and Smiths were born in Scotland. This turns out to be in the Shetlands. I’m wondering if they were related. and any further info.

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