Sarah was born 7 March, 1880 to Belfast immigrants Angus Jackson, shoemaker and his wife Helen Crow at 66 Muse Lane around 5 o’clock in the morning. The infamous Cowcaddens area has been described as one of the most horrific slums that ever existed in Scotland or on the continent. The infant mortality rate stood at 190 per 1000 births in this area of Glasgow known as the ‘rat pit’. The ‘second city of the Empire’ was a place of extremes and the Jacksons occupied the most undesirable end of that spectrum.
The next time we see a record for Sarah is in the 1881 Scotland Census. She is shown as a 1 year old female inmate of the City Parish Poorhouse along with siblings Agnes (4), John (15), Thomas (12), and David (7). Her two other brothers, James (19) and Angus (14) are found living in the back land of 81 Stirling Street. Her mother is not found in that census having died the month before. Her father is found as a patient in the Belvidere Fever and Smallpox Hospital. They had fallen prey to one of the waves of Typhus that often swept through the slums.
Sarah makes her next documented appearance in the 1891 Scotland Census where she is listed as a 12 year old scholar. Brothers James, Angus, and John are missing but, she has a new mother. Angus survived his battle with Typhus and married Elizabeth Bradford in 1885. So, the record shows Sarah now has three younger sisters, Elizabeth (6), Catherine (3), and new-born Margaret (0).
Ten years later we find Sarah in the 1901 Scotland Census. She is listed as age 21, single and head of the household at 16 Caithness Street, Cowcaddens. Her occupation is given as a Painter in Glassworks. The only other person residing there is her younger sister, Elizabeth (15) who is described as single and a lithographics worker. Her younger sister Catherine had died in 1893, younger sister Margaret died in 1892, her father died in 1892, and her step-mother died in 1900. Brothers James and Angus dropped off the radar after the 1881 census and their fate remains unknown.
Sarah married Hugh McCormick on New Year’s Eve 1902. In October of 1903 she gave birth to Catherine Hattrick McCormick. The child was premature and only lived one week. So, what we see is a woman who was born and raised in one of the most horrific areas on the planet and by the age of 23 had lost both parents, a step-mother, at least 2 sisters, and a daughter. One could be forgiven for thinking she may have been a very bitter person. However, everyone who knew her spoke of her in glowing terms. Her daughter-in-law, Ruth (Finlay) McCormick said she was “the sweetest lady” who had “a heart of gold”. Andrea (McIntyre) Donnelly wrote “…that was the only aunt that my mother, Sarah who was called after your grandmother knew and remembered as she used to visit and slip them half a crown to help them out.” Andrea’s mother was named Sarah McCormack Hewitt in one of those cases where the thought is worth more than the spelling.
Sarah passed away 11:30PM 3 January 1949 at Milngavie, Scotland.
Facts and events
Birth about March 7, 1880 Glasgow, Lanarkshire, Scotland
Death January 1949 Baldernock, Stirling, Scotland
Family with parents
Father Angus Jackson 1G (Birth: 1838 Ireland – Death: about 1892 )
Mother Helen Crow 1G (Birth: 1838 – Death: about 1881 )
Brother James Jackson (Birth: about May 18, 1861 Glasgow – Death: )
Brother Angus Jackson (Birth: December 9, 1864 Belfast, Co Antrim – Death: )
Brother John Jackson (Birth: February 10, 1867 Belfast, County Antrim, Northern Ireland
– Death: )
Brother Thomas Jackson (Birth: September 24, 1868 Belfast, Co Antrim – Death:
November 6, 1908 Springburn, Glasgow)
Sister Agnes Jackson (Birth: 1871 – Death: 1871 )
Brother David Jackson (Birth: February 8, 1874 Ireland – Death: October 1916 Bonhill,
Sister Agnes Jackson (Birth: November 14, 1876 Belfast, County Antrim, Northern
Ireland – Death: August 1931 Glasgow, Glasgow City, Scotland)
Family with husband
Husband Hugh McCormick (Birth: 1878 Tradeston, Lanark, Scotland – Death: August 11,
1952 Springburn, Glasgow)
Daughter Catherine Hattrick McCormick (Birth: 1903 – Death: October 26, 1903 )
Daughter Helen Jackson McCormick (Birth: 1904 – Death: 1971 )
Son Hugh McCormick (Birth: 1906 – Death: 1984 Glasgow, Lanarkshire, Scotland)
Son Angus Jackson McCormick (Birth: 1908 Glasgow – Death: 1994 Glasgow)
Son William McCormick (Birth: 1912 – Death: 1975 )
Son Samuel Stewart McCormick (Birth: October 11, 1914 – Death: 2006 )
Son James Hattrick McCormick (Birth: 1917 Glasgow – Death: April 30, 1970
St.Thomas, ON Canada)