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Croy's drapers
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Croy's drapers

A Tom Kent picture, date unknown, but later than picture #1294 as the frontage has changed to more like that which stands today. This is the ladies shop, on the east side of the street.
Picture added on 24 January 2006
Does anyone have a photo of the houses which used to stand immediately to the right of this photo? I think they were demolished when the ladies shop was extended. My great grandparents lived there in the early 1900s.
Added by Cathleen Spence on 24 January 2006
What was Jame's middle name?
Added by Marcena S. Croy on 15 February 2010
see picture #17772
Anonymous comment added on 15 February 2010
James Muir Croy m. Elizabeth Anne Miller and died before 1925. Their son, James Miller Croy took over the business at 43 Victoria St.Kirkwall. So this looks like a new front of shop, perhaps from when James Miller Croy took over. James Muir Croy's father was also James Muir Croy who started the draper's in the 1870s. Elizabeth Anne was born in Kirkwall in 1870 to James Bremner Miller, also a draper, and Lydia Ann Oliver (or Ollay) who are my ancestors. In the 1871 census, the Millers lived in 'Rose Villa', Kirkwall. Any photos of this hoose? By the 1881 census, James B. and Lydia Miller had relocated to Sanday. I have often wondered if they sold their Kirkwall shop to the Croys during this time or were they rivals for a while? In the 1901 census, James M. Croy and 'Eliza' are residing in 'Bellevue' off Dundas Cresc, Kirkwall along with 5 children and 4 other adults.

[Is that the Rose Villa that is on the Clay Loan in Kirkwall?- Steven]
Added by Alison Hepburn on 26 November 2010
James Bremner Miller is my g,g,g, granfather
Added by Terry Frew on 16 October 2015
I think James Muir Croy may have been my great, great, grandfather Thomas Croy's, brother. I have a James Croy in my Croy line whose mother was named Barabara Muir. My mum did tell me that her father's family had Croy's dealers in Victoria Street, Kirkwall.
Added by Marie Lavery on 17 May 2016
Hello cousins!
Which of James B's children are you descended from, Terry? I'm a G Grandchild of his daughter Lydia who was born in Kirkwall. Some of her older siblings were born in Edinburgh where James B and Lydia senior married and some seem to have stayed there when their parents headed home to Orkney to set up their draper's shop in Kirkwall.
Added by Alison Hepburn on 02 June 2016
Hello Alison
I am descended from Thomas Miller who died in Glasgow 1884.James B and his wife Lydia Ann Oliver both moved to and died in Sanday Island where he ran a hotel and post office.
His father Robert Miller was the bell ringer at St Magnus Cathedral.
The father of Lydia William Ollay died at the age of 100 years old.
Added by Terry Frew on 10 June 2016
Yes!Yes! and again YES!I often wondered if Thomas had been a sickly child as he appears at his maternal grandparents' house in both 1861 and 1871 Census Reports(Evie, Orkney) with no parents or siblings present. Still, he died relalively young at 28 if I've got the correct DOB. Born in Edinburgh, in 1856?, aged 13 in 1871 (visiting salesman and draper from Edinburgh) and yet he ends up in Glasgow! That's not what I'd been looking for!
I tried looking for James B and LAO's grave when visiting Sanday and Kirkwall but no luck. I think James B's brother John was the ancestor of a James Miller who is the only person to have been Edinburgh's Lord Provost and Lord Mayor of London. (See Who's Who) We seem to have been descended from the less prosperous brother but unless Thomas managed to make a fortune!
Added by Alison Hepburn on 09 September 2016
Hello Alison
Thomas Miller died on 6/5/1897 aged 38 years. He lived at 51 Polmadie Street Glasgow with his wife Margaret nee Brown . He was a Draper (journeyman) He died of concussion of the brain which is sometimes caused by a fall.I think the family are all buried at the kirkyard on Sanday.
Added by Terry Frew on 15 September 2016
From Orkney FHS website "Erected to the memory of GEORGE MILLER, son of JAMES & LYDIA MILLER, born 9th June 1861 died 8th Feb 1880. Their daughter ELIZABETH JANE born 4th Jan 1870 died in Kirkwall 12th Feb 1873. Their son THOMAS born 24th May 1857 died in Glasgow 2nd May 1897. LYDIA ANN OLIVER, mother, born 8th March 1822 died 6th Sept 1901. JAMES BREMNER MILLER, father, born 3rd July 1827 died 5th March 1906."
Added by Jackie Harrison on 26 September 2016
Wow! That confirms that I've got the wrong Elizabeth Miller (if she died when only three) so my relative is NOT the one married to the Croys!!!! I have received an anonymous e-mail that said there is an Eliza Miller married to the Croys but NOT MY lass. Another relative had passed that information onto me and I never checked it out myself. Thank you Jackie, any idea where the memorial is? Still related to you Terry (slightly)I've even corresponded with a descendent of the Croys in the days before internet which is how I knew their details. There still must have been a rivalry between the drapers? The more you find out, the less you know.
Added by Alison Hepburn on 03 October 2016
From the Orkney Family History Society Website the gravestone in St Olafs Cemetery reads - "In loving memory of JAMES MUIR CROY who fell asleep 29th August 1915 aged 60 years. Also his wife ELIZA SPENCE MILLER on 22nd Dec 1944 aged 89 years, their daughter LILLA who died 20th December 1959 aged 75 years. Also their daughter JESSIE ANNE who died 24th February 1977 aged 88 years".
Added by Cathleen Spence on 10 October 2016
The Miller headstone is in the Lady graveyard in Sanday. The Eliza Spence Miller married to James M Croy was the daughter of Robert Miller (tailor) of Kirkwall
Added by Jackie Harrison on 10 October 2016
Hi Alison. It's interesting to read everyone's posts about these families! You are right, I have found that the more info you get, the less you know. James Muir Croy is the brother of my gg grandfather, Thomas Croy. I have been researching the Croy's of Sanday descended from John Croy b1826 and Barbara Muir (parents of James M, Thomas and others). James' wife Eliza Spence Miller, is named on his will in 1915, also his daughter Eliza Croy, both of Dundas Crescent. The date of death on the will is as stated above by Cathleen. I have also found his father John's will which provides the link of James Muir Croy to my family, as he is stated on the will. If you need anymore info, I am happy to help, but I think your Elizabeth is not related to my Croy's.
Added by Marie Lavery on 11 October 2016
My late grandfather (Alexander Donaldson) stayed with the Croy's in c1937 at 'Bellevue' Kirkwall. Not sure why because his father was from Portknockie and don't seem to have any family connection to the Croy's. He was 17yo at the time still at school but later worked at the bank in kirkwall in c1947 and moved back to the mainland and later had a draper shop in Laurencekirk.
Added by Shaun W A Donaldson on 18 July 2019
I don't know if others have found this but I have 'discovered' Orcadians missing from Census are sometimes found lodging in NE coast villages such as Portknockie and Findochty (Finnighty). Perhaps picking up new boats/ visiting relatives. By the way Shaun, my mother Alice Tait worked in the bank in Stromness c1947 eventually marrying her workmate in 1957. My Dad came from Nairn so the bank was a great way of extending the gene pool! Still wondering if Eliza Miller is related to me as James Bremner Miller's father, Robert, may have had a son Robert in a previous marriage who became a tailor…. another mystery to solve!
Added by Alison Hepburn on 30 July 2019
I wonder if I am able to use this photograph of Croys drapers for my family tree? I don't know who I would need to ask. Could someone help. James Muir Croy was my gg grandfather's brother. I am doing my family tree and would love to use the picture.

Added by Marie on 02 August 2019
Hi Marie, if you want a high resolution copy you should contact the Orkney Library and Archive through their website, but for personal use there should be no problem with using this one. If you family tree is online please credit the picture to Orkney Library and Archive/Orkneycommunities.co.uk and provide a link to this page.
Added by Steven Heddle on 12 August 2019
Hi Steven
Thank you for the info. I wanted to make sure it was ok to use it
Added by Marie Lavery on 13 August 2019
Hello folks. After more delving into the archives I have found an Eliza Spence Miller born around 1856 to Robert Miller an older half-brother of James B. Miller which seems about right for becoming Mrs. Croy! Phew!
Added by Alison Hepburn on 19 December 2019
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