Govan in 1911

This interactive census map of Govan allows you to search our records for individuals living in the parish  in 1911, to learn more about their living conditions, family forms, and their working lives.

Govan 1911

In 1911, around 78% of the town’s population was Scottish born (which would have included second-generation Irish), 11% were Irish, around 7% were Russian or Polish, 4% were English and the rest were drawn from diverse backgrounds including, Austria, USA, Hungary, Germany, Turkey and France. In effect, over one fifth of the town’s population were not Scots born. The impact that immigration had on Govan is difficult to measure; undoubtedly there would have existed some xenophobia but immigrants brought with them particular skill sets and an adaptability that was vital for survival. They also impacted upon the roll-call of Glasgow surnames, many of which still exist today. This is despite the mangling of non-British surnames which occurred when census staff filled in their records struggling with phonetics along the way; tracing one family we found that their surname had changed 3 times in 3 censuses.

Districts such as the Gorbals, just over the River Clyde from Glasgow city centre, had poor reputations for overcrowding, and despite city improvements during the late 19th century, many working-class families lived in cramped and sub-standard apartments.  In 1908, it was estimated that over 10,000 residents of Govan Combination parish were living more than four to a room.  What is evident from our 1911 interactive census map, is that many of the residents were employed within the shipbuilding industry which thrived in Govan during this period.

3 thoughts on “Govan in 1911”

  1. Note about Poor City Overcrowding,during 1912 on in the Borough of Gorbals /Oatlands. My Father James barclay,as a 15/16,y’old, (his mother Died shortly after his Father Emigrated to Canada’1912 ) was forced to find other accomodation for Himself and 3 younger Bothers,and 2 Sisters. They all Resided in a room & Kitchen at # 260? Caledonia Rd,Oatlands.

    1. Thanks for your post, James. That was quite an undertaking for your father, he must have been determined that the remaining family would stay together, as quite often, if the parochial authorities were involved, the family would have been split up. I’m assuming that his own father did not return from Canada immediately?

  2. Thank-you for Ok’ing me to add. Grandfathers Continued on through to find a Base to Operatate a Master Bakery Business, in Manitoba, close to border of Saskattuwan,Hwy 3. the Posted Sign said “Hillton Hills Ski-Loft ( Resturant)I chedked this out,while Working in Estivan ,vivinity,around 1988. His credintals were Posted on back of Wall Picture Frame Photo,with 7 of his brothers.too, (I had Requested to remove,) finding 23,resident Signatures on Back. in This Barclay house Lodge..! Moving onto find a Responce to Explore the Athabasca’s,River Iceboats to/ Lake Athabasca, with native Guide to Learn the Small Pelts Business Trade,thereafter, Moving to Northbay Ontario he became an “Export and Trade Dealer”, Search Deal, of Small Animall Pelts to World Markets. In Closing He Moved to New Zealand,Married an English Lady, Dat/Time UnkownReturned to Purc hased 2, Homes,in Chadwdell Heath Rumford London England for Siblings,(Ha who were getting Old) 1935/40. Later Met with G/P and G/M at My sister Betty’s Wedding 1946, lots more about Grandpa James Barclay Esq. etc: James

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