Charles Runciman Sr

Charles John Thomson Runciman Sr (1881 - 1969)

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Charles John Thomson Runciman Sr
Born in Glasgow, Lanarkshire, Scotland, United Kingdommap
Ancestors ancestors
Husband of — married in Kelvin, Glasgow, Lanarkshire, Scotlandmap
Descendants descendants
Died in Saltcoats, Ayrshire, Scotland, United Kingdommap
Profile last modified | Created 30 Aug 2013
This page has been accessed 393 times.

Categories: Runciman Lineage 1b - William Runciman of Crail.



This biography was part written by Alan Runciman and part auto-generated by a GEDCOM import.


Charles John Thomson /Runciman/. His wife called him 'Charlie'. [1][2]


Date: 25 DEC 1881. Typical for those with Christmas Day birthdays, Charles always felt robbed of his birthday as it was overtaken by Christmas Day.
Place: Glasgow, Lanarkshire, Scotland. At his parents' home, 259 New City Road. [3][4][5]


Husband: Charles John Thomson Runciman
Wife: Elizabeth Armstrong
Child: Arthur Alan Runciman
Child: Charles John Thomson Runciman
Date: 5 June 1914
Place: Kelvin, Glasgow, Lanarkshire, Scotland[6]

The marriage took place in the bride's home, 36 Simpson Street, Glasgow, fairly customary for the time, 'after Banns according to the United Free Church.' Charles was described as bachelor, aged 31 and a scientific instrument maker (journeyman). The couple's witnesses were Henrietta Armstrong (a sister of the bride) and Martin Edgar, most probably a friend of the groom. Research indicates that Martin was the son of a Martin Edgar Sr who hailed originally from Maybole, Ayrshire. The Edgar family had come across from Ireland in the 1800s, just as had the Armstrong family. Whether this was in any way the initial link - or even a family relationship - has not been determined.

It's not known how the couple met but living in the same area suggests local socialising.


Date: 1969
Place: Saltcoats, , Ayrshire, Scotland[7]


Charles is buried in a Runciman family plot in Mearnskirk Cemetery. (See photograph). The plot consists of 3 adjoining lairs. The cemetery is about 1/4 mile from the parish church known as Mearns Kirk whose original Kirk yard burial ground is full. There's been a religious settlement on the site since the 800s.


Reference: 64332

Data Changed

GEDCom Date: Prior to import, this record was last changed 29 JUL 2013. Manual changes by Alan Runciman occur at various later dates.

Ancestors of Interest

John Potter, a Scottish Covenanter captured after the Battle of Airdsmoss & hanged at the Mercat Cross, Edinburgh in 1680.

William Runciman of Crail, who drowned with 7 other fishermen in the Crail Fishing Disaster, 1765.

More information about the Crail Fishing Disaster & its 250th Anniversary Commemoration is here Disaster.

WikiTree Profiles of Interest -

To visit any of the Free Space Profiles follow the appropriate link below-

Runciman Lineage 1b-The Early Generations As the name implies this Profile covers the latest research known of the earliest ancestors on the 'Crail' Line.

Crail Fishing Disaster History and Latest News

Alan is a descendant of William of Crail who drowned with 7 others in the 1765 Crail Fishing Disaster. A 250th anniversary commemoration for the drownings was held in Crail on 16 May 2015.

Scotland and Beyond

In 2004 a history of the William Runciman of Crail line was published. The decision was made that the latest research & continuing updates be published on the web rather than in print. At the same time Jen Jelley & Diane Middleton, compilers & publishers of the 2004 publication kindly agreed to make it available to view online. This Profile contains the links.


Scientific Instrument Engineer[8]


Charles relocated his family (wife Elizabeth Armstrong, sons Charles and Alan) to Gourock when he took a big step in taking employment at HM Torpedo Factory.

In Glasgow the family lived in a tenement property. The move to Gourock was a major family decision as they decided whether to take the big financial step of moving into a beautiful detached bungalow on a hillside overlooking the Firth of Clyde, but an area completely new to them. Eventually, after considerable debate, this ambitious move was made.

I don't think the "Torpedo Factory" had any other name. Originally based in Woolwich, London it was transferred to Greenock in 1911. "Clyde Built" had a global reputation and its products (ships & associated engineered products) equipped the world. Workers from Woolwich were transferred along with the workload. Apparently they were not impressed by the accommodation available in Greenock, where there was a history of considerable poverty. It seems to have come as a culture shock to the incomers to come up against damp housing and, for example, the "recess" - beds kept in a 'hole in the wall' (a concept of recessed bedding, which saved space in the sitting room during the day, folded up and recessed against the wall). Instead, transferred workers chose nearby Gourock where the quality of housing stock was so much better. In this short period of transfer from Woolwich the modestly sized town of Gourock's population grew by 2,000.

The siting of the Royal Navy's Torpedo Factory at Greenock made the whole area of Greenock, Gourock & Port Glasgow a prime target for Germany's intensive bombing campaigns, most notably the blitz in 1941. Old footage of what Greenock was like in Charles' time during WW2 is linked here Greenock Blitz.

As a scientific instrument maker, Charles input would have been a crucial part of production. After retirement and post-WW2, Charles volunteered himself to HM Coastguard to monitor the waters of the Clyde for sunken & unexploded mines. This continued until the couple, noticeably older, moved house in 1958 to live with their son Alan & family in Newton Mearns, a suburb of Glasgow. Another interest of Charles was learning foreign languages. He was learned in Latin - and I think Greek - from a young age. In retirement he was proficient in reading 7 languages. He was an avid reader of all the classic novels.

Although he was no longer associated with it by this stage, the Torpedo Factory was transferred to Alexandra, Dunbartonshire, Scotland, eventually closing completely in 1960.

Alan Runciman (grandson, b1946)

Alan Runciman[9]

Census Data

Date: 1891
Place: Glasgow Barony, , Lanarkshire, Scotland
Note: RUNCIMAN: James 50; Mary 38; Children: Annie 17 pupil teacher; James 15 electrical instrument maker; William 13, Jeanie 11, Charles J 9 scholars; (all b Glasgow); Daniel 4 b Partick, LKS; Mary 6mths b Glasgow[10]
Date: 1901
Place: Glasgow, Dist of Kelvin, Lanarkshire, Scotland
Note: RUNCIMAN: James 60 engine pattern maker b Glasgow; Mary 49 b Murrayfield Edin; Children: James T 25 electical engineer; William M D 23 theological student, Jeanie S 21 teacher, Charles J S 19 elec instruemnet maker app; (all b Glasgow); Donald S 14 heraldic engraver app b Patrick, LKS; Mary S 10 scholar b Glasgow; Lodger Elizabeth L ROBERTSON 24 tailoress b Helensburgh Argyllshire; Visitor: Jane M ROBERTSON 30 cook dom[11]


  • Source: S212 Title: 1891 Census for Scotland, Record Type: Census transcripts, Location: Scotland, Record Info: via Abbreviation: Census: 1891 SCT via Ancestry Publication: 1891 Repository: #R121
  • Repository: R121 Name: Address: Country: USA
  • Source: S2970 Title: Statutory Registers Index: SCT, Subject: Births deaths marriages index, Location: Scotland 1855+, Film Number: Abbreviation: SCT: SR Index Note: (index searches)
  • Source: S3027 Title: EM RUNCIMAN/WISHART/JAMIESON ex Alan R, Address: Ayr, SCT, Author E-mail: Abbreviation: EM RUNCIMAN/WISHART/JAMIESON ex Alan R Author: Alan RUNCIMAN
  • Source: S3222 Title: "Scotland and Beyond" (2004) plus subsequent research by Alan RUNCIMAN, Ros RUNCIMAN, Lawrence FLETCHER, Lorna HENDERSON & many, many others, Compiler Address: UK, Australia and New Zealand Abbreviation: "Scotland and Beyond" (2004), plus subsequent research Author: Diane Middleton Jen Jelley Alan Runciman Ros Runciman Laurie Fletcher Lorna Henderson and many others Publication: Jul 2013 Note: imported on 2013/07/24 at 15:44:27.
  • Source: S3223 Title: Birth Registration Abbreviation: Birth Registration
  • Source: S3224 Title: Old Gourock Abbreviation: Old Gourock Publication: Stenlake Publishing
  1. Source: #S212 Page: Kelvin, Glasgow Barony, LKS, Reg 644/9 ED 9 Pg 17 Sched 88, hsehold of James & Mary RUNCIMAN, extracted Jun 2007
  2. Source: #S3027 Page: Birth 1881 Dth 1969 Charles John Thomson s/o James RUNCIMAN & Mary THOMSON, extracted from MyHeritage William of Crail tree, Jun 2011
  3. Source: #S3223 Page: Kelvin, Glasgow (from the original extract; no filing references shown) CONT 6 JAN 1882
  4. Source: #S2970 Page: Birth reg. 1882 Charles John Th RUNCIMAN , reg. Kelvin, Glasgow City, LKS, 644/09 0027, extracted from index Jan 2012
  5. Source: #S212 Page: Kelvin, Glasgow Barony, LKS, Reg 644/9 ED 9 Pg 17 Sched 88, hsehold of James & Mary RUNCIMAN, extracted Jun 2007
  6. Source: #S2970 Page: Marr. 1914 Charles J Thoms RUNCIMAN & Elizabeth ARMSTRONG, re.g Kelvin, LKS 644/13 0145, extracted from index Jan 2012
  7. Source: #S2970 Page: Dth 1969 Charles John T RUNCIMAN , aged 87, reg. Eastwood & Mearns, RFW 562/00 0324, extracted from index Jan 2012
  8. Source: #S3222
  9. Source: #S3224
  10. Source: #S212 Page: Kelvin, Glasgow Barony, LKS, Reg 644/9 ED 9 Pg 17 Sched 88, hsehold of James & Mary RUNCIMAN, extracted Jun 2007
  11. Source: #S214 Page: Kelvin, Glasgow Barony, LKS, Reg 644/9 ED 13 Pg 9 Sched 57, hsehold of James & Mary RUNCIMAN, extracted Jun 2007


Thank you to Alan Runciman for creating WikiTree profile Runciman-598 through the import of RUNCIMANAlansPaternal4WikiTreeAug2013.ged on Aug 29, 2013. Click to the Changes page for the details of edits by Alan and others.

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DNA Connections
It may be possible to confirm family relationships with Charles by comparing test results with other carriers of his Y-chromosome or his mother's mitochondrial DNA. Y-chromosome DNA test-takers in his direct paternal line on WikiTree: It is likely that these autosomal DNA test-takers will share DNA with Charles:

Have you taken a DNA test for genealogy? If so, login to add it. If not, see our friends at Ancestry DNA.

Images: 2
At his back door
At his back door

The grave is one of 3 lairs in a Runciman plot purchased by Alan Runciman Sr in 1956.
The grave is one of 3 lairs in a Runciman plot purchased by Alan Runciman Sr in 1956.


Charles is 26 degrees from Robin Helstrom, 28 degrees from Katy Jurado and 19 degrees from Victoria of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland on our single family tree. Login to find your connection.

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