Summers / Varady Family

Jean Summers née Downie, back left with her sister Lizzie. 

Front is Jean's son Jack with his wife Evelyn.

Agnes Sorbie was born 26th October 1863 in Stonehouse. She was the eldest child of Thomas Sorbie and Jane Robertson. Agnes married Robert Downie, a Coal Miner who had immigrated from Ireland, in Blantyre, Lanarkshire in September 1883. They had 3 children, Jean, Elizabeth and Thomas; all born in Blantyre.

Jean married John Summers who was born in Stonehouse in February 1884. John had first emigrated to the U.S. in July 1903 at the age of 19 years. He moved around, visiting Pennsylvania, Illinois, then finally down to Carbonhill, Alabama to see his Uncles Jack and Robert Frame who were working there in the mines. The Frames came from the Stonehouse and Larkhall area and John's mother was their sister Jean Frame. He arrived back in Scotland in 1906 and after one year of courtship married Jean Downie in Stonehouse on April 19th 1907.

 Their eldest child, John (Jack) was born in Blantyre in April 1908. John made another visit to America the following year, but Jean would not go at this time, so John returned to Scotland in late 1909 where he settled down with Jean for four years. In these years two more sons were born, but unfortunately their second son died. In 1913 after the death of Jean's mother Agnes Sorbie Downie they decided to emigrate to the U.S.A. for good. At this time their third son James was only five months old.

They landed in New York and went straight onto Thayer, Illinois where John's Aunt, Isabella Frame was already living with her husband Alexander Brown. Here two more children were born, Agnes and Margaret in 1915 and 1918.  The family later moved to New York City, because Jean had some Sorbie cousins who lived there. John and Jean both died in New York in the mid 1960's.

Jean and John Summers in October 1963

Their eldest Daughter Agnes Downie Summers then married Herman Speed who was from Arkansas, just prior to the Second World War. Agnes and Herman had four children also and again the first daughter was named Agnes. She married Phillip Varady in New Rochelle, New York in September 1959.

Philip is a member of our 'Sorbie e-mail group'. He had five children, including Debra who married Thomas LaDon Sewell in Maryland in June 1986.

The Varady sisters. L to R: Debi, Nancy and June.

Debi is also an extremely keen member of our e-mail group and is also researching the other Scots names of Frame, Shearer and Scobbie. She now has five sons and swears there will be "no more.."

Debi is of course the only female in the group. Clockwise to her right: Ethan (aged 5), Peter (aged 7), Matthew (aged 10), Thomas (aged 13), Andrew (aged 5) and husband Don.