Robert Johnstone resided at Kirkcroft from 1898 until his death in 1927.
Robert Johnstone was born in 1853 to parents John Morgan Johnstone(1787-1871) and Maria Rickards(1813-1892).
Robert had 5 siblings.
Henry James Johnstone(1847-?) – Worked as a cooper. Married Agnes Johnstone.
Martha Jane Johnstone(1851-1863)
Alexander S Johnstone(1859-1937) – Married Catherine. Worked as an engine stoker. Lived in Carlisle.
After leaving school Robert served his apprenticeship as a carpenter and then traveled to Liverpool (the birthplace of his father) to work as a journeyman. After deciding that he did not like city life he returned to his native parish and set up business there. About this time a new parish school had been built for the area and Robert purchased the old school premises. Robert was appointed sub postmaster for the parish and also ran his own coal agency.
He was twice elected to the county council for the Gretna East and Half Morton division and was a member of the parish council from its inception until his death in 1927. He was elected to the school board of Gretna on several occasions and became a member of the School management committee.
Robert Johnston died the day after his seventy fourth birthday due to complications after a hospital operation.
Robert Johnstone was twice married and may have had a son before this time – John Morgan Johnstone(1874-1941)
Firstly to Ellen Girr McKnight(1860-1879). They had one son John G Johnstone(1879-?)
Secondly to Rachel Thompson(1859-1910). They had 4 children. James A Johnstone(1895), Maria J Johnstone(1896), Joseph Johnstone(1899), Robert Johnstone(1900).
Robert Johnstones Family
Ellen Girr McKnight was the Daughter of John McKnight(Shoemaker) and Ellen McTaggart. Ellen married Robert Johnstone on the 29th of august 1879. She died on the 9th of december of the same year. The cause of death was puerperal fever which occurred 6 days after the birth of her son.
Rachel Thompson was the daughter of James Thompson (Butcher) and Isabella Thompson. She was born and grew up in Gretna and in the 1891 census was working as a servant on a farm in the Bogheads area of Gretna (which is close to where the motorway services now are). In the 1901 census Robert and Rachel are married with 4 children. Rachel died of Phthisis Pulmonalis(Tuberculosis) on October 29th 1910.
John Morgan Johnstone appears on the 1881 census and is shown on the census as being the son of Robert Johnstone. However, it is more likely that he is the son of Thomas Johnstone (Roberts brother). John Morgan Johnstone emigrated to the United States. He married Meta Schwark and the couple ran an ice-cream and candy store in Chicago.
Maria J Johnston became sub postmistress for Gretna Green after the death of her father in 1927. She remained there until around the time of the second world war.
Joseph Johnstone served in the army during world war 1. He was in the Mechanical Transport division of the Army Service Corps and his profession at the time of enlisting was Chauffeur.