Henry Rankin (also known as “Harry Snr” and “Old Rankin”)

by untangledwebl

Henry was the father of Club Members HarryRobin, Cunningham and William “Tiny” Rankin.

Earliest records show that the Rankin family stayed in Side Street, Balerno but, by 1920, they were resident in Society Buildings, Balerno renting a house from James McCullagh.

It’s thought unlikely that Henry was significantly involved in ‘Let it Blaw’ albeit he may well have attended annual suppers without his presence being recorded. Henry was also the brother of William Rankin who it seems reasonable to assume introduced the four Rankin boys to ‘Let it Blaw.’

An example of how families found it difficult to keep in touch during the early Rankin era is how the two brothers, Henry and William, ended up with sons (cousins) with the same first name. Henry Rankin  and William Rankin travelled to the Edinburgh area from Kilsyth about the same time. William settled in Balerno first, followed by Henry a couple of years later. In August 1887 William and his wife had a son they called “Cunningham” after William & Henry’s father. In Edinburgh during September 1888, Henry and his wife also had a son who they likewise called “Cunningham” after William & Henry’s father. In the days before emails and text messages such confusions must have been commonplace.

So, for a few years, once Henry & family moved from Edinburgh to Currie, the Balerno/Currie area had two “Cunningham Rankins” who were much about the same age. Records show that  William & family left the Balerno area prior to 1911 so it seems reasonable to assume that ‘our’ Cunningham Rankin who joined ‘Let it Blaw’ in 1914 was the son of Henry, and NOT William’s son.

At risk of confusing those who are not already bewildered, Henry and William had another brother called Alex who resided in the Kilsyth area for most of his life. In 1900 he too had a son who was called “Cunningham Rankin“. Three cousins all with the same name !