William Laing died 19 April 1903

William Laing was born 15 September 1869, son of George Laing and Susan Walender (or Warender).  His birthplace Cumlodden in Argyll, Scotland. 

William’s family was counted in the 1861 Scotland census, in Cumlodden.  His father was a stone dresser. 

The Laing family lived in Persley, Old Machar, in Aberdeenshire, in 1871.  The family consisted of George and Susan, plus William’s siblings:  George, Isabella, Susan, Elizabeth, Jessie, and Thomas.  William’s occupation at age 11 was “scholar” and his father was still working as a stone dresser. 

In 1881, the family’s address was called Nether Buckie, in Old Machar, and William was now following his father’s trade, working as a stone cutter.   His father was called a cassieblock dresser. (I couldn’t figure out what that meant, but probably relating to stone work.)  Nether Buckie was one of a series of fishing villages on the coast on either side of the Burn of Buckie where it flows into the Moray Firth.  The villages are now known as Buckpool.  In the mid 1800s, the local laird was attempting to build a harbor here.  The harbor silted in, so the builders relocated it.  Photos of the area show stone buildings, and no doubt George and William had a hand in the building of the community.  The town has not changed much, and is well preserved.  The Moray Firth is a triangular inlet of the North Sea, and is now known for dolphin and whale watching as well as oil production. 

The 1900 census indicates that William came to the US about 1882.  Ellis Island wasn’t open yet, and I didn’t find him at Castle Garden.  Since he ended up in the greater Boston area, he probably arrived there, but I haven’t found that record. 

William married Margaret Ann Durward 7 March 1884, in Quincy MA.  She was also from Old Machar in Scotland, so it is likely that they knew each other in the old country. 

William Laing became a naturalized citizen on 15 November 1890, at US District Court in Boston.    

William and Margaret had five children – a baby boy that died at birth, and four daughters, all born in Quincy.  The family was listed in the 1900 census in Quincy, living at #5 Trafford Street.  William was a stone cutter.

William died 19 April 1903, of pulmonary tuberculosis.


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