Alexander Mair

M, #3967, b. 9 December 1886, d. 11 January 1965
     Alexander Mair was born on 9 December 1886 at Portknockie, Banffshire, Scotland.1 He was the son of Alexander Mair and Margaret Slater Pirie. His family was known by the tee-name of "Brother" or "Brither". Alexander Mair was known by the bye-name of "Alanger". (Different sources use different spellings, with "Alanger", "Alenger" or "Alinger.")
He was listed as head of household's son in the 1891 census at Church Street, Portknockie, Banffshire, Scotland. Those recorded in the household were: Alexr Mair "Brother", head; Margaret Mair "Brother", wife; Jessie Mair "Brother", daughter; Helen Jane Mair "Brother", daughter; Maggie Mair "Brother", daughter; Alex Mair "Brother", son; Wm Mair "Brother", son; Wm Pirie, brother-in-law.2

He was listed as head of household's son in the 1901 census at 10 Portknockie, Banffshire, Scotland. Those recorded in the household were: Alex Mair Brother, head; Margaret Mair, wife; Hellen Jane Mair, daughter; Margaret Mair, daughter; Alex Mair, son; Wm Geo Mair, son.3
He was a fisherman. He married Helen Jane Mair, daughter of William Mair and Isabella Wood, on 7 December 1911 at Portknockie, Banffshire, Scotland.1 From 1912, John Wood and Alexander Mair owned the steam drifter 'Plantin' BF 453.4 He was the informant for Constance Margaret Mair's birth at 488 Portknockie, Banffshire, Scotland, on 9 February 1913.5,6,1 He was the informant for Margaret Slater Pirie's death at 7 Patrol Place, Portknockie, Banffshire, Scotland, on 5 June 1932.7
On 22 Mar 1941 he survived the loss of the Portknockie seine-net motor fishing boat 'Sickle' BF 353 that was struck broadside by a large wave and capsized close to the outer harbour mouth at Portknockie. Three of the four crew drowned. They were John Alexander Slater (skipper), his son John Bruce Slater and his brother William Slater (engineer). The sole survivor was deckhand and part-owner Alexander Mair.8
Alexander died on 11 January 1965 at Portknockie, Banffshire, Scotland, at age 78.9,1 He was buried after 11 January 1965 at Hillhead Cemetery, Portknockie, Banffshire, Scotland.9

Children of Alexander Mair and Helen Jane Mair


  1. [S1054] Dr Guy D Sutherland-Barnicoat, Neil Pirie, Information kindly supplied by Dr Guy Barnicoat of Commerce Township, Michigan, USA.
  2. [S5531] 1891, Scottish Census, "Alex Mair "Brother", son, male, age 4, born in Rathven, Banffshire, resident at Church Street, Portknockie."
  3. [S4012] 1901, Scottish Census, "Alex Mair, son, male, age 14, born in Portknockie, Banffshire, resident at 10 Portknockie."
  4. [S431] David Mair, Joseph Reid, James Campbell Smith & David E Williamson Alexander S Buchan, Steam Drifters Recalled, Portgordon to Portsoy, "BF 453 PLANTIN
    Built 1912 of wood by J. & W. McIntosh of Ianstown, Buckie for J. Wood (Widdie) & A. Mair, Portknockie, Banffshire and registered in Banff (BF 453).
    Dimensions:- 84 GRT. Length 85.20 ft., Breadth 19.00 ft., Depth 9.20 ft.
    16 inch triple expansion engine by Plenty of Newbury. 27 hp.
    Requisitioned for war service 1915 to 1917 (Pennant Number 1400) as an anti submarine net vessel fitted with 3 pdr. gun.
    26 April 1917 Mined off Standfast Point whilst on war service. There was one survivor Alex Mair (Shy), known as Alinger, Portknockie, who later was to be the only survivor when M.B. SICKLE capsized at the entrance to Portknockie Harbour."

    There has been some debate about whether Alexander Mair, a co-owner, was aboard Plantin on 26 April 1917 or another person such as the the skipper's eldest son, James Wood. No documentary evidence of the identity of the survivor has yet been found. Also, newspaper reports of Alexander Mair being the only survivor of the loss of Sickle in 1941 make no reference to him having been a survivor of the loss of Plantin. Leslie Ferguson reported that James Wood, her maternal grandfather, was the sole survivor of the loss of the Plantin, saying that "He clung onto wreckage for some unbelievable amount of time before being picked up. When asked what had kept him from going under, he replied that it was the thought of his mother with all those bairns."
  5. [S5589] Constance Margaret Mair, Register of Births in the District of Seafield in the County of Banff, "Constance Margaret Mair, 1913, February Ninth 6h A.M. at 488 Portknockie, Seafield (Rathven), Female. Father: Alexander Mair "Brother", Fisherman. Mother: Helen Mair M. S. Mair "Bobbin Shy", married 1911 December 7th in Seafield. Informant: Alexander Mair "Brother", Father. Registered: 1913, February 24th at Seafield Manse, James McIntyre, Registrar."
  6. [S772] Robert Mair, Neil Pirie, Information kindly supplied by Robert Mair of Durham, England.
  7. [S3118] Margaret Slater Pirie, Register of Deaths in the District of Seafield in the County of Banff, "Margaret Slater Mair, Widow of Alexander Mair Fisherman, died 1932, June Fifth 4h 0m P.M. at 7 Patrol Place, Portknockie, Female, 81 years. Father: James Pirie Fisherman (Deceased), Mother: Helen Pirie M.S. Slater (Deceased). Cause of death: Cerebral Degeneration, as cert. by T. MacHardy M.B., C.M, Cullen. Informant: Alexander Mair, Son, 2 Haig Street, Portknockie. Registered: 1932, June 6th at Manse of Seafield, John Taulds, Registrar."
  8. [S1332] Mary Laing, Neil Pirie, Information kindly supplied by Mary Laing of Dinnet, Aberdeenshire, Scotland.
  9. [S7665] Alexander Mair, Gravestone inscription data, "NM122108, Alexander "Alanger" Mair, c. 1887 to 11 JAN 1965. Date of Birth : c. 1887. Spouse's Name : Helen Jane Mair. Headstone Ref : H207. Date of Death : 11 JAN 1965."