From Mike Bilham, 15 Sep 2006: I'm trying to locate
an address, possibly a farmstead, called Skylahill, possibly in
or near to Newmilns, Ayrshire. I came across the place by accident
on the web. It is listed in nine entries in response to 'Skylahill'
in the Yahoo search engine. They all seem to date to the nineteenth
century. Unfirtunately none of them really locates the place and
the attribution to Newmilns isn't backed up. I can't find it on
online OS maps, old or modern, Nor can I see it on the old maps
on the National Library of Scotland website, which I can only search
visually. I had previously looked through the volumes of early Scottish
public records for Ayrshire items starting with Sk-, without coming
across it. I couldn't find it in the Scottish National Archives
or SCAN websites. My interest lies in academic place-name research.
The specific subject in this case is the transmission of possible
Anglian (Northumbrian) place-names in Scotland in areas where the
Old English language may have died out uder pressure from the Cumbric
language of early medieval southern Scotland (related to Welsh)
or to medieval Gaelic. Useful material in this search is incredibly
rare, hence the chasing up of such shadows! The general run of Anglian
place-names will not do - it has to be items which speakers of Cumbric
or Gaelic, especially the latter, may have found hard to pronounce
and therefore altered slightly, to fit their habits of speech. I
don't think there's anything published of this sort of technical
character, so I have to search for possible examples myself.The
places named have to be in areas where I can make a case that similar
alteration under Norse influence is unlikely. That cuts out most
of Dumfriesshire, and probably the coastal stretch of Galloway.
Ayrshire is the best bet of the remaining possibilities. Most of
the items turn out to be no good, but it's worth a throw! Thanks
for your help.
From David McClure: There is no such or similar
name in the 'Gazetteer of Ayrshire 1750-1800' in Ayrshire at
the Time of Burns, ed. John Strawhorn, Ayrshire Collections
Vol. 5, 1959. Have you tried the Scottish
From Bill Morton, 15 Sep 2006: This suggestion
may be totally wrong as I am no expert but is it possible that the
farm of Skellyhill at the end of the road which starts at Kirkland
Road in Darvel is the location you are looking for? It isn't too
far from Newmilns and within the same Parish.
band in Buttermarket Close, Ayr (John Faulds Davidson snr 23/05/1906
From Frances Carson, 5 Sep 2006: Can anyone help
with an impossible task of turning up with a photograph of my very
elusive grandfather. He lived in old Ferguson Street Ayr, married
to Frances Rowan Hill, had 7 children (6 lassies 1 boy- who was
the apple of his fathers eye). He was a tailor to trade but worked
down Ayr shipyard until his death in 1947. My grandfather died when
my father was only 8 years old. He lost his best friend. He has
tried verywhere to aquire a photograph but papa seems to have avoided
the lense very successfully. I think this was mainly due to the
fact that he had a spinal deformity (perhaps?). My mother died 7
weeks ago and i would love to see him smile. Can anybody out there
help at all?
ps- He played with some mates in a band 4 piece, up Buttermarket
Close (next to M&S Ayr). He played the banjo. He was known as
"wee Joannie" (brother of Wullie).
From David McClure: But for your postscript I
would have regared this as a private family history matter unsuitable
for posting on this site. However, someone might remember the band
in Buttermarket Close.
Wilson's printing press and the Ayr Advertiser
From Robert Kirkwood, 1 March 2006: I enjoyed
reading the article by Rob Close
regarding the Ayr Advertiser. I retired a few years ago after
spending my working life in the printing trade. In 1953 I started
as an apprentice in the Irvine Valley News in Newmilns, where I
still live. When my time was out I did two years’ National Service,
then, on demob in 1960, after being interviewed by W. H. Dunlop,
I got a job as a compositor in the Advertiser, where I stayed for
just over a year. The photo of the Advertiser building in those
days brought back a few memories. Some names from the shop floor
that I can just about remember: George Rilley (foreman), Emlyn ‘Taffy’
Evans (father of chapel), Jimmie Findlater, Jimmie Austin, Ernie
Middleton, Hugh Frazer, Dick McDavid, Georgie Blane. I spoke to
Georgie a few years later when she was working in the pay desk at
the Pavilion Ballroom. At that time I was playing in the saxophone
section of Andy Currie’s (soon to be disbanded) band.
One of the few perks in working for the Tizer occurred on race
days, when five or six of us were chosen to sell race cards. We
were taken in the van up to the racecourse, each with a bundle of
programmes which we sold, at a shilling each, from the wee booths
provided for us. The management seemed to turn a blind eye to the
fact that we all managed to smuggle a dozen or so cards ‘up oor
jooks’ to sell on our own behalf. As usually happens, some people
went over the score, and that put an end to the free trips to the
I was interested to see the photograph of T M Gemmell, the man
who destroyed what surely today would have been one of Scotland’s
national treasures. For the past year or so I have been researching
the possibility of building a replica of John Wilson’s printing
press. In the early nineteen-seventies, when Kilmarnock town centre
was being ‘improved’, it was suggested that there might be built
a museum of local history, with a replica of Wilson’s press as the
centrepiece. Nothing came of this, and on making inquiries I was
told that the problem seemed to be that nobody really knew what
the press looked like. This surprised me, because it didn’t take
a lot of research to find out that Wilson’s press looked exactly
like every other press in use anywhere in the civilised world at
that time. Based on an improved version of Gutenberg’s original,
this was a design that was to prevail for over three hundred years,
until these small wooden presses were replaced in the late eighteenth
century by larger, stronger, cast-iron models. Referred to nowadays
as the Common Press, I was able to track down a few survivors, the
most important being in the Smithsonian Institute in Washington
DC. This press had been operated by a young Benjamin Franklin, who
served his apprenticeship as a printer. A few years ago a detailed
examination was made of the press, when it was carefully measured,
photographed and even x-rayed, and detailed plans were printed to
enable the construction of such a press. I recently managed to obtain
a set of these plans. I am also in contact with a university in
USA who have built a press, using the aforesaid plans. They actually
transport it to various local schools and colleges to enable pupils
to set type and print using the machine.
Having proved the possibility of building a replica, all I have
to do now is find people to construct it and think where in Kilmarnock
it might be displayed! I have received much help and encouragement
from, among others, the Ayrshire Association of Burns Clubs, one
of whose members has sourced the correct type of seasoned timber
required. It’s early days yet, but hopefully some day we might be
able to recreate the small wooden contraption that gave Robert Burns
to the world.
James Howie, slavetrader
From Mary Grace Howie, 12 March 2006: I am interested
in a Captain James Howie from Troon. He was the most infamous 'blackbirder'
(that was a man who captured indigenous men for slaves) in the 1880's.
For years he sailed in the area of the Solomon Islands but eventually
was captured with three of his men, by a local chief and they all
were decapitated. In the 1851 census he lived at 48 Church Lane
Troon. Does anyone know where that would have been?
mining training centre
From John McDougall, 12 March 2006: I am searching
for information on anyone that has photograghs taken at the mining
training centre Dungavel. I believe that i am pictured in courses
49 or 59 that would be 1963/4 or anything on Glenburn pit.
Andy Maitland, 16 Mar 2006: I am a collector of old Scottish
pottery ginger beer and related bottles and I am looking for information
on old pre 1930 rubbish coups in the Ayrshire area. I have already
identified the locale of some of these but not for the majority
of towns/villages in Ayrshire. Does anyone remember where these
& Saltcoats Golf Club
From Marie Dughan, 18 Sep 2006: I am researching
defunct golf clubs/courses throughout the UK, and am interested
in Ardrossan & Saltcoats. I am particularly looking for any
information about course layout and a brief history of the club,
including any prominent members, etc. I would be very grateful for
any help you might be able to provide.
and Auchenleck castles on the Lugar
From Moira McDougall, 16 March 2006: I am trying
to find out more about the castles at Ochiltree and Auchinleck on
either side of the river Lugar. Was there ever a bridge linking
them? I have come across an oil painting by Alexander Nasmyth at
Aberdeen Art Gallery which is titled Castle at River Lugar and seems
to depict these 2 castles, but with a bridge between them - is this
artistic licence? I have visited the sites of these castles, but
find the geography difficult to decipher, as Ochiltree Castle is
simply a mound, and there seems to be 2 Castles at Auchinleck. Any
From Gerard Green, 24 Sep 2006: I am the secretary
for the Kingswell boys football club under 14s. Could you please
provide any information on the history of Kingswell. The boys are
struggling just now financially and it is part of my remit to keep
the club afloat. I intend to help anyway I can and also motivate
the club to go forward. I am particularly interested in providing
a crest relating to Kingswell for the club to be proud to wear,
is there one you know of we could use.
From David McClure: 'King's Well was the principal
inn between Glasgow and Kilmarnock. It is so called, because when
a King James was riding on his way to administer justice, his horse
after drinking at the well was shortly afterwards engulfed in a
quagmire, which thereafter was called the King's Stable.' From Ayrshire
1745-1950 by James Edward Shaw (1953). The inn was in Fenwick
parish. Kingswell Farm and Kingswell Toll are mentioned in Annals
of Fenwick by James Taylor (AANHS, 1970). You may find more
in other local history books - try the Dick Institute (principal
library) in Kilmarnock. I think you will have to create your own
crest. Shaw's story should provide some ideas.
Pyroligneous Acid Works
From Hank Edenborn: I found your article on the
Kilkerran Pyroligneous Acid Works to be very interesting. I have
been investigating similar abandoned wood chemical plants in northern
Pennsylvania, USA, where the residual tar was generally discarded,
resulting in contemporary environmental problems. Your article was
the first mention I have seen of the actual use of the tar from
these plants as an actual product (export for painting the bases
of rubber trees). I gather that the accumulation of such tars at
the Kilkerran site did not occur. Perhaps I will get a chance to
visit the location on my next visit to the UK. My wife and I were
on Skye for a few days several years ago and loved the west coast
of Scotland. Thanks again for the interesting website. Best wishes,
Hank Edenborn, Research Microbiologist, National Energy Technology
Laboratory, U.S. Department of Energy.
From David McClure: Thank you for your comments.
I am no expert, but superficially the wooded site does not display
signs of tar contamination. If you do visit it, I would be interested
in your assessment.
Huts, Dundonald (near Irvine)
From Joan Beer, 4 September 2006: I am trying
to find any information or old photographs of Meadowside Park Huts.
I believe they had an association in Irvine and that my father used
to holiday there as a child in 1935/36. I would love to hear from
anyone who has heard of or remembers anything about this.
From Benjamin Allison, 24 Sep 2006: Old Irvine
by David Pettigrew has a photo of the huts dated 1936. There
is also a reference in Memories of Auld Irvine by Mae Mcewan.
RAF Dundonald was near the site; and the huts can be seen in an
map. [Note 'Meadowhead' on this map.] There is now a pulp mill
on the site.
J. Scott, photographer, Ardrossan
From Cheryl Bray, 24 March 2006: I am trying to
find out if the photography business of Walter J. Scott is still
going or if his family still live in Ardrossan. He was a late 19th
century photographer. I am trying to get a photo of his cleared.
If you have any information about him it would be much appreciated.
Boyd of Penkill, poet
From Carolin Ritter, 27 March 2006: I'm looking
for the grave of Mark Alexander Boyd (poet) of Penkill. I'll be
in Scotland soon. Does anyone know where on the old Dailly churchyard
his grave is? I'd be very grateful if anyone could help.
and Glenburn Miners' Rows
From Ian Potts, 3 September 2006: Can anyone provide
a photograph of the Mossblown Miners Row (referred to as the Pole
Row) My grandfather lived in No. 13. Or where I can get information.
I am also looking for photographs of the Glenburn
Miners Rows. This consisted of three rows. They were demolished
and rebuilt in 1972 I believe. [For photograph of Glenburn Rows
click on link.]
Colliery Rows and/or Deepdraught Cottages
From David Thom, 27 March 2006: Has anyone seen
photographs of Bartonholm Colliery Rows and/or Deepdraught Cottages,
[Irvine] circa 1880? If so,I would appreciate a reference to view
Braes or Asloss Mains, Kilmarnock
From Pamela Wilson, 1 April 2006: looking for
info surrounding the house Ilive in. have managed to go back to
1856 when it was known as 'Sliddery Braes' and is situated within
the Dean Estate in kilmarnock. Became known as Assloss mains in
1910. In 1856 the freestone mine belonging to J
& M Craig existed within the Dean Estate and i am trying
to find out if my house was for a worker from the mine or a worker
from the estate.
church in Hurlford
From John Haining, 1 April 2006: There is a church
building situated on Mauchline Road,Hurlford, at the east side of
Blair Park and which closed sometime during the 1950s when it was
used as a cash & carry. I can remember my mother going there
to worship and I wondered if anyone can confirm if it was a Church
of Scotland; date it closed; name of last Minister; when it was
built. Your help is much appreciated.
From Diane Wallace, 2 April 2006: I am interested
in the history of an old estate called "Crosbie towers"
which is now a caravan park. I have tried looking in various websites
etc and cant find anything about the families that owned the property
pre 1900 and when looking through any Ayrshire websites about West
Kilbride there is never any mention of it or the families that owned
it and wondered why.
From William Davey, 7 Sep 2006: Information regarding
previous owners can be found in the Statistical Account for Scotland
1834 - 45 on pages 249, 250 and 254. There is a suggestion that
William Wallace hid in the Old Crosby Tower. I hope this is of some
From David McClure: New Statistical Account
of Scotland, Vol. 5, 1845, 254: Crosby, adjoining Southanan,
comprehends a pretty extensive portion of hill land, lying along
the east side of the parish, and abounds in moor game. The property
belongs to John Crawfurd of Auchnames, whose ancestor acquired it
from his connections, the original family, of the same name and
designation, about the beginning of last century. There is a small
manion-house on it, erected near the end of the seventeenth century,
which was long ruinous, but is now being restored in good taste
by the proprietor. Crosby was an ancient inheritance of the Crawfurds
of Lowdon, sheriffs of Ayr, and there seems great probability that
it was at the original 'Tower of Crosby' that the hero of Scotland,
Wallace, found refuge with his uncle, Sir Ronald Crawfurd, during
his outlawry by the English authorities.* This incident, it is true,
has often been assigned to Crosby in Kyle, but, there seems great
reason to think, erroneously. Crosby in Cunningham is uniformly
contradistinguished from the other as 'Crosby-Crawfurd' in all early
writings; and the intelligent Chalmers, speaking of Crosby in Kyle,
distinctly states it to have 'belonged to the family of Fullarton
in the twelfth century, and probably from an earlier age.'
* [original footnote] Pont thus alludes to the Tower of Crosby:
'Crosby toure is the habitatione of William Craufurd of Auchnaims,
by divers thought to be cheiffe of the Craufurds. He holds the same
of the Earls of Glencairn. This surname is very ancient, and did
memorable service under King Alexander the 3rd, at the batell of
Largis, by quhome their good service was recompensed with divers
lands and possessiones. Acccording to the old common rithme,
They had Draffen, Methweine, and rich erth Stevinstone;
Cameltoune, Knockawart, and fair Lowdoune.'
Victorian grandfather clock by Hugh Miller of Stewarton
From Barbara Murray, 3 April 2006: I have a grandfather
clock which is early Victorian and was made by a Hugh Millar of
Stewarton. Is there any information on this gentleman? I can trace
my relatives who lived in Stewarton back to 18th century, but have
no information on the clock which has been handed down through the
McCabe GC, killed in explosion at Ardeer on 2nd April 1940
From Marion Hebblethwaite, 27 August 2006: I
am writing a series of books on all the GCs. John was killed in
an explosion in Irvine armoury /explosive factory ? Ardeer on 2nd
April 1940. He has been almost completely ignored to date in books
on the the George Cross and I would like to remedy this - if you
have any information that could do him justice or know where I can
go for help - please advise - he was not married but had at least
a sister. Others involved were Hugh McCelland and John Kerr though
I think there were a number of casualties. Please advise - where
do you think McCabe would have been buried - he lived in Irvine.
From Sally Walker née McCubbin, 20 August 2006:
My family (McCubbin) were in some way connected to this
building ( now only a few stones) 1709-1745 and possibly earlier.
I would love to know more about their connection (the eldest John
may have been a tailor), and if it was a farmstead, settlement or
just a castle alone. Is there any recorded history? Was it owned
by the Kennedy family and is that the same branch as the Earls of
Sally Walker Nee McCubbin
provost of Kilwinning c. 1925
From John Thompson, 21 August 2006: I am looking
for any information on my great grandfather Robert Smith who I believe
was the first Labour Provost of Kilwinning c.1925.
history of paediatric care in South Ayrshire
From Lisa Boyle, 3 May 2006: I am researching
the history of Paediatric care in South Ayrshire - in particular
the old Seafield Childrens Hospital. My research is part of a college
project and which I am hoping to complete in time for the centralisation
of paediatric in patient services at Crosshouse Hospital. I would
be grateful for any information?
House, Dundonald Road, Kilmarnock
FromRosemary Ferguson, 3 May 2006: can anyone
tell me who built Mount House in Dundonald Rd Kilmarnock. I know
it was the family home of the Guthries.
From David McClure: See Ayrshire & Arran: an illustrated
historical guide by Rob Close (RIAS, 1992), 107.
From David McClure: this enquiry has now been posted as a discussion
topic in the Ayrshire History Google Group;
From Jim Cochrane, 4 May 2006: Can anyone help.
Recently discoverd while metal detecting, a small brass coin (about
the size of a 5 pence piece)which has a hole in the middle of it.
One side is blank, however on the other at the top of the coin there
is an open eye symbol, and at the bottom an open right hand symbol.
Also to the left of the hole is the capitol letter "A".
Can anyone tell me where this coin originates from, and what was
its use - could it have a masonic connection?
monastery on island in Fergus Loch
Murdoch procurator fiscal
From Catherine Hutchison, 20 May 2006: Trying
to find more about Alexander Murdoch fiscal in Ayr at the time of
the Wallston Toll burning.
I believe he might be an ancestor of mine.
From John Humphrey, 9 Sep 2006: According to documents
of the Ayr Assize in 1826-7, Alexander Murdoch ,Writer in Ayr, was
Procurator Fiscal of the Court. At the same time, James Murdoch
- a relative? - was Messenger at Arms.
From James Farquhar, 20 May 2006: The Barr Village
Hall was formerly called the Carnegie Morton Hall and the original
part was built either just before or after the first war.It was
paid for by the Trustees of the Carnegie Morton Trust. Can you trace
whether a Trust with this title is still in existance and if so
can you find their address? We are trying to find out who owns the
From Robert Mather, 25 May 2006: I am interested
to know about a caravan park from the 1960s. It was then known as
Knoweside Caravan Park and it had beautiful views of Ailsa Craig.
can you tell me if it still exists and by what name is it known
Boyd, Kilmarnock FC, 1908-1909 (James Boyd?)
From Nathan Kinmont, 28 May 2006: looking for
info on John Boyd who played for Kilmarnock F.C. 1908-1909 he is
my great uncle.
From Ronald Neilson, 13 Sep 2006: There is a James
Boyd who played for Kilmarnock 1908-1909. He was an inside left,
made 5 appearances, scoring 1 goal. His debut was on 15.08.08 against
Partick Thistle which was a Scottish League Division 1 match. His
career began at Airdrieonians in 1900, thereafter to Kilmarnock
in July 1908, then to Dykehead in August 1909, and finally, Bathgate
August 1910. During his time with Kilmarnock FC he is described
as 'an experienced player who made a successful debut for Kilmarnock
and opened the scoring and had a fine game in the 4-1 win over Partick
Thistle.' Unfortunately, his subsequent form was poor. These details
are from The Who's Who of Kilmarnock FC compiled by Bill
Donnachie, published in 1989 by Mainstream Publishing Company, Edinburgh.
Also included in the book is a photograph of the 1909 Kilmarnock
FC, but no names are attached.
Note: There is only 1 other Boyd listed as having played for Kilmarnock,
and that was 1948-1952. Hope this is of some assistance.
roads, 18/19 C
From David Simpson, 28 May 2006: I'm interested
in the development of roads around S.Carrick and particularly in
Girvan itself, through the 18th and early 19th C. I've poured over
maps from Thomson, Ainslie, Skinner and Taylor and Herman Moll.
Which was the main road South from Maybole? Where did the Daily-Kilkerran
Road feature? Girvan town seems to have its present layout from
1856- but it seems it was surprisingly different, I think, in 1800.
The Avenue was important. Ballochbroach was a toll at the start
of the Newton Stewart Road. Was the Ballybroke Road the main way
South, out of town, then? I've looked at the 19th C Girvan Minute
Book- but that didn't help. What should I read? Can you help?
From David McClure: See Tolls and Tacksmen
by David McClure (AANHS, 1994). The references will point you
to other sources.
From Stuart Mitchell, 30 May 2006: The stone tower
ajacent to the control tower of Prestwick airport has always interested
me and now that I am moving away from the district I would like
to hear of any information on the tower before I go.
From David McClure: You may be thinking of the
Shaw Tower. See Historic Prestwick and its surroundings (AANHS,
McQuater, inscribed desk 1840
From Thelma Thornton, 4 June 2006: I'm trying
to help an 86 year old Australian trace his Scottish family. Mrs
Henderson and 2 children left Scotland in 1840, travelling with
a family friend, Alexander McQuater. A portable desk inscribed "To
Alexander McQuater, from his friends, in Ayr, 1 September 1840 on
the occasion of his departure for Australia" is in the possession
of my friend,Ronald Henderson.
Ronald desperately wants to find his family. Can anyone help,please.
I think Alexander McQuater was a Messenger at Arms, Ayr, 1837.
From John Humphrey, 9 Sep 2006: According to documents
of the Ayr Assize in 1826-7, Alexander McQuater was at that time
clerk to the sheriff-clerk of Ayr.
Milestones on Irvine to Stewarton road; 2)
Chapeltoun and Lambroughton; 3) General Roy's
From Roger Griffith, 9 June 2006: Excellent site
- I was talking to a Mrs.Jenny Wilson of Bloomridge near Stewarton
and she said that she remembers the milestones being buried during
WW2 and they never dug them up again. This would be the Stewarton
to Irvine road via Torranyard. I have written a history of the lands
of Chapeltoun and Lambroughton - they are on Wikipedia if this is
of interest. Can anyone help me to locate a copy of General Roy's
map of Ayrshire? I am interested in the Kilmaurs and Stewarton areas.
Arts Centre, Irvine
From Katrina Caldwell, 14 June 2006: I am interested
in finding out about the history of the Harbour Arts Centre, Irvine
- previous usages etc. Can anyone suggest any sites I might look
at or local history books or contacts?
and Wellhill farms, New Cumnock
From Cherie McLean, 19 June 2006: I am looking
for information on two farms "Benston" and "Wellhill",
New Cumnock, which were part of the Dumfries Estate, owned by the
marques of Bute. My Arthur family were tenant farmers here for at
least 180 years. Any information at all would be gratfully received,
also any website address for same.
From Wilma McAdam, 19 June 2006: I am trying to
find a picture of Dalry Road in Kilwinning, so far can only find
one of the start of the road. I am looking for one that depicts
the old houses on the right and McGavin Park on the left, or even
that land before it came to be a park. I have been reading on McGavin
and the fact that he left the park for the kilwinning people, and
as my brother has bought a house accross from the park, I thought
it would be nice to have a picture as that part of the road used
to be. Thanks in advance for any help.
brothers, Kilmarnock, painters for Royal Court
From Paul Tannock, 19 June 2006: Any information
on the Tannock brothers who were painters for the Royal Court and
who hailed from Kilmarnock?
supply etc, 19th C.
From Mij Woodward, 20 June 2006: I am interested
in learning about what the water supply was like in Newmilns and
Galston in the years 1840-1870. Did weavers' cottages have internal
water supply, or did water need to be brought to each home from
a well or other central source? Also, how was household refuse and
excrement handled? I have information about more populated areas
such as Kilmarnock and Glasgow. How can I research what went on
in Newmilns and Galston? Finally, thank you so much for your wonderful
site. It is so helpful.
and Wilson, furniture makers in Beith
From Jim Dale, 23 June 2006: Galt and Wilson,
Beith furniture makers.Does anyone have any knowledge of this company
please? My great grandfather was William Candlish Wilson of the
From Kirsty Evans, 23 June 2006: just wondering
if you could help me i am looking for a photo of the Newmilns Public
school that burnt down in February 1960. It is my dad's 60th this
december and i am trying to put a "this is your life"
book to gether for him. If you could help or point me in the right
direction, i would most appreciate it.
From Roger Griffith, 25 June 2006: I am interested
in the name Standalane which turns up frequently in the Stewarton
and Kilmaurs area and no doubt elsewhere. Is it just a house or
farm which is in an isolated position or does it have a Scots, legal
or any other fixed meaning?
From James Brown, 6 July 2006: do you have any
information on Stair hone mill?
From David McClure: See Ayrshire Honestones
by D. Gordon Tucker, (AANHS, 1983), which is an account of
'The Water of Ayr and Tam o' Shanter Hone Works at Stair and the
history of the industry in Britain. You may find a copy in a library,
or through a second-hand book site.
Craig clockmaker in Galston c. 1800
From Leonard Amendola, 12 July 2006: I own a Scottish
tall case clock that has the name, Robert Craig /Galston on the
dial. I believe he made tall case clocks circa 1800. Any information
you could provide would be most appreciated.
accident at Killoch 1959
From Nancy King, 7 August 2006: Does anyone have
any information on a Quintin Stewart who was killed in a crane accident
at the Killoch Pit in 1959?
From Norma Shields, 9 August 2006: My brother-in-law
has just bought a beautiful picture of old Troon Harbour filled
with fishing boats by a Tony McGowne. Does anyone have any information
on this artist and his works. My grandfather had fishing boats in
Dunure and I think this artist may have worked around the same time
House, Saltcoats Harbour
From Jim McCreadie, Fremantle, Western Australia, 12
August 2006: On 1 March 1905, the Murray & Co. 'kipper
house' at Saltcoats Harbour burned to the ground. The timber building
was described as being situated 'between the harbour wall and the
harbour house.' Despite being born and raised in Saltcoats, I cannot
recall any construction other than a stone building which still
stands to this day. I would be extremely grateful to receive a copy
(for private genealogy purposes) of a map that details the location
of the 'kipper house'.
bookcase with similarities to one purchased for Dumfries House in
From Marie Louise de la Vergne, M. Clayton Brown, New Orleans,
8 August 2006: To Whom It May Concern, I am a personal
property appraiser in New Orleans, Louisiana, USA. I am trying to
get in touch with the curator of English furniture for Ayrshire.
I have a client who purchased a George III Mahogany and Parcel-
Gilt Breakfront Library Bookcase. It is out of Chippendale's Director.
However, it has carved gilt mullions that are similar to the central
door of a bookcase supplied by Chippendale to William, 5th Earl
of Dumfries, for Ayrshire in 1763. I wanted to get in touch with
the expert on Chippendale furniture. If you know the persons name
and contact information I would appreciate it if you would share
it. Thank you for whatever assistance you can provide. Sincerely,
Marie Louise de la Vergne, M. Clayton Brown
1724 St. Andrew Street, New Orleans, LA 70113, (504) 522-5058.
Blair, gift of park in Dalry
From Ian Foster, 25 July 2006: I have received
a very frail copy of the Friday 21 July 1893 edition of the Ardrossan
and Saltcoats Herald. Is anyone interested? I got it as part of
research into the Blair family and it includes the opening of the
Dalry Public Park, a gift of John Blair. He was to become a very
senior commercial lawyer in Glasgow in about 1900. If anyone knows
about what happened to his family later, I would love to know. He
had brothers Archibald and William - both involved in insurance
companies. I believe William died in the USA in the 1920s.
A John VANS, Merchant in Ayr, m 11 Mar 1697 Jonat CRAWFORD, dau
of the late Provost of Ayr - but I can't read her father's first
name. Does anyone have a record of the Provosts of Ayr?
from David McClure: Hugh Crauford was Ayr provost
in 1693. There is a list in: John Strawhorn, The History of
Ayr: Royal Burgh and County Town (Edinburgh, 1989), 283-285.
From Alan McCulloch, 26 July 2006: Could anyone
give me information on a Fruit Merchants in Ayr, Possibly between
1921 and 1946, it would have been run by the McCulloch and Beggs
family of Gartmore in Carrick Road, Ayr.
the Great of Prussia at Perceton
From Neil Ritchie, Military Journal, 28 July 2006: I
read in an article that Frederick the Great of Prussia visited Irvine
and made a trip to Perceton before returning to Potsdam. I was wondering
if anyone knew anymore about his visit and why he came.
From Malcolm McClure, 1 April 06: I take it that
you wrote the addendum to the John L McAdam page on the McAdam
I am interetsed in this because of the possibility that John's grandmother
was Agnes McClure, who married Quintin McAdam in 1712 at Straiton.
Cal Scottish Papers has following
1674 marriage 14th July 1674 Kirkmichael Issobell Campbell and Gilbert
McClure (See below)
1675 Quintin McAdam of Dalmellington wit. Wm McClure
1687 McAdam Barnsholm Kirkmichael mentions Margaret McClure
Quintin McAdam (younger) in Dalmellington child named Quintin born
19th August 1694.
Wm McClure smith in Plashon a child named Anne born 16th October
1712 Quintin McAdam married Agnes McClure reg. in Straiton.
Apparently John's father was James McAdam of Waterhead but perhaps
you can confirm whether James's parents were Quintin and Agnes.
This seems likely as the text says that John L.'s 2 cousins were
both called Quinton McAdam, so the names are suggestive of the above
Many of the Ayrshire McClures seem to have been close associates
of the Kennedys of Blairquhan and it is significant that James McAdam
moved there in the 1760s if his mother was a McClure.
It seems that The Ayr Bank was established by John McAdam, (not
James) according to
and was amalgamated with Douglas, Heron & Co in 1771. which
failed spectacularly in 1772 and ruined David McClure, amongst others.
Also was Anne also known as Agnes? I should also like to know whether
in Scotland Issobell was another name for Elizabeth? (As Gilbert
McClure and wife Elizabeth appear shortly afterwards in Donegal.)
Any help with these points would be appreciated.
From David McClure: 1) Yes I wrote the addendum.
2) My article 'James McAdam; Waterhead to Whitefoord' will appear
in Ayrshire Notes 31 (in press). Later I will add it to the Ayrshire
3) John Loudon's grandfather James McAdam in 1715 married Margaret
Reid, daughter of John Reid of Mid-Helliar.
4) John McAdam of Craigengillan founded a bank in Ayr. It was taken
over by Douglas, Heron and Co.
Children's Home, Irvine
From Maureen Long, 29 Sep 05: I am looking into
the history of Burnside Childrens Home in Irvine. When it opened
etc. Can anyone help me please.
From Jim Smaltz, 12 Sep 2006: I noticed a posting
of someone who was interested in information about Burnside Children’s
Home. My partner’s parents – Helen and Jack Johnston ran this facility
for many years. Iain Johnston (Sunnyvale, CA) and his sister Evelyn
Welsh (Prestwick) lived there as children. If this person is still
needing information I am sure they would be a wealth of information.
From David McClure: Can you provide contact details?
Announcement by North Ayrshire Council, 2003: On
2 September 2003 the Corporate Services Committee agreed to the
sale of the former Burnside Children's Home at Kilwinning Road,
From Alan Rosevear, 25 Sep 05: Excellent survey
of Ayrshire Milestones. The Milestone
Society (a registered charity) is surveying all surviving milestones
in Britain and has advice on restoration. Lots of data on English
milestones but patchy on Scottish and Welsh (at present) so help
From Linda McFarlane, 15 Sep 05: Can anyone tel
me anything about an artist called A.S. Gibson. I think he was /
is from Dalry. I have a painting of his which is of the view of
Largs town from the Hayley Brae. Any information welcome.
From Lindsey Buster, 7 Sep 05: Researching the
origins and history of St Bride's Chapel, Lochranza Isle of Arran.
There is no surface evidence and the last foundation stones were
removed circa 1830 by John Kerr. Any further information re links
with Saddell or KILWINNING abbey (or perhaps built by owners of
Lochranza Castle), would be useful. [This is RCAHMS Site Number
Playing Field, Saltcoats
From Linda Gilmour, 6 Sep 05: Does anyone have
documentation or knowledge of Laighdykes playing field registered
as land held under the common good fund. Would be grateful of any
From Gilbert Taylor, 6 Sep 05: I am a member of
the Laighdykes Residents Committee in Saltcoats and are presently
involved in an argument with North Ayrshire Council regarding Laighdykes
Playing Fields at Jacks Road Saltcoats. I wonder if you have any
information regarding common good land in Saltcoats. We would appreciate
any information you could give us to resolve this dispute.
Christine McBeath, 1 Sep 05: Is anyone interested in the
Troon Bandstand. I have a key "The Town Council of the Burgh
of Troon" presented to Mrs RA Miller by Walter McFarlane &
Co Saracen Foundry at opening of Troon Bandstand July 1907. Mrs
Isabella Millar was my grandmothers sister i.e. my great aunt.
house railway station
From Stewart Clark, 26 Aug 05: Info wanted on
the railway station serving Dumfries house & surrounding areas
of this estate in Cumnock East Ayrshire.
article by Andrew Robertson
From Tricia Robertson, 23 Aug 05: looking for
a copy of my husband (Andrew Robertson)of 21 Enoch road , Maybole,
article on him joining Royal Navy appeared in paper around Dec 1985
- May 1986.
From David McClure: There are collections of local
newspapers in the Scottish
and Local History Library at Carnegie Library in Ayr.
in Scotland during WW2
From Gillian Nelson, 23 Aug 05: I am writing my
masters dissertation about American service men in WWII Scotland.
I would be very grateful if anyone with personal recollections of
the GIs in Scotland would share their memories with me.
Street Lane, Ayr
From Christine McIlwraith, 22 Aug 05: what was
Green Street Lane in 1969?
From David McClure: See Rob Close, The
Street Names of Ayr, Ayr 2001.
From Heathert Wyper, 22 Aug 05: How can I review
a publication listed in the bibliography? The item I am interested
in is as follows: Morton, William W. ed., Alexander Morton 1844
- 1923. A short account of his life .. from articles written by
John Livingstone of Darvel and published in the Kilmarnock Standard,
From David McClure: The following is available
at Abe Books.
Alexander Morton 1844 - 1923 Pioneer of the Lace Industry in Scotland,
Morton William W. ed. Although the subtitle is different, I think
it is the same book.
pit disaster 1909
From Alexis Goudie, 19 Aug 05: Can anyone give
me information about the caprington pit disaster December 10th 1909,
where 10 lost their lives, including my great grandfather, Peter
Main Street Dalry
From Kirstine McDowall, 11 Aug 05: Does anyone
have a picture or a postcard showing the Baker's shop in Main Street,
Dalry. Ideally from the 40s or 50s. The shop belonged to my grandfather
George McDowall during this period but no-one in the family has
a picture of the shop or knows what it was called. I'd be very grateful
for any info.
From Kevin Sinclair, 26 Sep 2006: Main Street
Dalry at that time had 4 bakers: Patterson's, Miller's, Donald's,
and your grandfather's. As Kirstine is probably aware, her grandfather's
brother also had a baker's shop, at the same time. This was situated
on New Street, where the Fu Yuen Chinese restaurant now is. As for
the names of the shops, both were called McDowall's, but George's
shop was known as 'wee McDowall's' as his shop was slightly smaller.
Today the shop is still a baker's shop. It was known as Anderson's
and now is called McKenzie's, and is still very popular with the
townspeople. Igot this info from my mother who was reared in Dalry
in the 30s-50s era. I am also friendly with Stewart McDowall, the
son of George's brother. Stewart told me he is a trained baker and
regularly bakes cakes for coffee mornings raffles etc. Iwill speak
to him soon, and any other info he gives me, Iwill forward it to
crash, Crosshill, 1952
From Ed Murdoch, 2 Aug 05: I am looking for details
of a military plane crash in Crosshill, Ayrshire that happened approximately
in 1954. I remember it as being a Canadian "Sabre" fighter
plane piloted by a Canadian who had been on a training exercise.
I was a schoolboy at Crosshill Primary when it happened and witnessed
the prelude to the crash. The plane (or its exhaust) blew the slates
of of the roof of my home at 1 Carrick Drive. The schoolchildren
all attended a memorial service for the pilot that lost his life.
I would appreciate hearing from anyone who can add to my memories
of the event.
From David McClure: A jet plane crashed at Mackailston
Farm, which lies by the Water of Girvan on the north side of Crosshill.
It was reported in the Ayrshire Post on 26th December 1952,
From David McClure: There is an illustrated survey
of Ayrshire fingerposts
on the Ayrshire History website. Anyone who shares my interrest
in their preservation wil be interested in a recent report by English
Heritage which says that traditional signposts, or fingerposts,
should be maintained and reintroduced because they are a key part
of the identity of rural areas. The Departmetn of Transport has
issued a leaflet, 'Traditional Direction Signs', to be sent to councils
and highway agencies (in England). According to Philip Davies of
English Heritage: 'Traditional direction signs are an integral part
of the character of the English countryside and suburbs. They enrich
the countryside wherever they are found. Many still survive, but
are inneed of repair and restoration.' English Heritage is calling
for the fingerposts to be regularly maintained as part of councils'
maintenance budgets in local transport plans. Funding for repairing
or reintroducing them - as part of village design statements, parish
plans and quiet lanes - exits under the Local Heritage Initiative,
a scheme funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund and the Nationwide
Farquhar (his letter concerning Ayrshire pits, 1847).
From Elizabeth Andrews, 24 July 05: Hello, I have
recently come across a letter dated 2 April 1847 from Blackcraft,
Auchenlecl from from my grgrgrgrandfather Adam Farquhar to his bro
Hugh in Quebec Canada. He mentions many names and places ie: Bank
Pit on the pit head is this a coal mine? my gggfather Adam Scott
worked there. How about Gafswater, Grieve hill or Mansfield boaring
for coal. Could some one tell me ref where these "Pits"
are, were they part of a miners row? If i bought a book, what would
you suggest for info on area and mining etc. I was thinking of "Coal
Mines of New Cumnock" by J Carvel. any help is greatly appreciated.
From David McClure: The letter sounds like a fascinating
document. Would you consider sending me a transcription and images
of the letter for use on this site (and probably also for publication
in Ayrshire Notes)? You will find a list of Ayrshire
pits operating between 1900 and 1947 in the article by George E.
Sleight, 'Ayrshire Coal Mining and Ancillary Industries', in Ayrshire
Collections, vol. 7, 1966, 103-119. Mansfield, Grieveshill,
and Bank, all New Cumnock pits, are included, but not Gasswater.
You will find Gasswater
in Ayrshire Miners Rows. I do not know the book you mention,
but from its title it should be what you are looking for.
at Hillhead on Ayr to Cumnock road
From Janie Roberts: I am working for a property
development company and have been asked by my director to research
the Plan Fire Clay works at Knockentiber. We are looking for any
history or photographs from this site.
From David McClure: According to John Strawhorn
and William Boyd, Ayrshire: the third statistical account of
Scotland, Edinburgh, 1951, 472, 'Up the road from Knockentiber
is a private mine where Messrs. J. & R. Howie win coal and clay
under licence from the National Coal Board [and] make tiles with
the clay at the Plann Brickworks[.]'
From David McClure: You might look for Scottish
Refractory Industry 1830-1980, by K. W. Sanderson, which in
1991 was reported to be available from the author at 22 Belgrave
Crescent, Edinburgh EH4 3AL, price £15. According to a brief
note it 'includes [a] detailed study of the fireclay industry in
north Ayrshire.' Note that in 1867 'Plan House' in the parish of
Kilmaurs was the residence of John McKnight of Knockentiber [CO3/1/11,
From Francisco Haro, 30 Sep 05: Information from
a fascinating informative, 95 page illustrated booklet published
by RCAHMS "Brick, Tile and Fireclay Industries in Scotland".
Plann Fireclay Works, Crosshouse, Kilmarnock. c1899 - Mid 1970s.
Closed 1969. Demolished 1978. Plann was situated at the North West
side of the bridge going over the Kilmarnock - Dalry - Glasgow /
Irvine - Glasgow Line Junction at Knockentiber. See the map below.
Robert Hendrie 1895 -1918
From Tom Hendrie, 18 July 05: A recent article
in the Scottish Daily Record has prompted my interest in my Great
Uncle. Robert Hendrie was born in Ayr (Bothil Street??) on 6 March
1895, the second youngest of four brothers. Robert's father (also
Thomas) married Jeannie Capperauld and was a journeyman tailor and
I briefly remember meeting him in the mid 50s living in Govan, Glasgow.
He was a very, very old man and I was a very, very wee boy! Robert
lived in Riccarton near Ayr, when he first enlisted as No 7505 in
the Royal Scots Fusiliers. He had two other brothers Charles and
David Capperauld Hendrie. Any information would help me at the moment
I am especially interested in finding any other relatives who might
want to attend the ceremony in France on the 87th anniversary of
his death and any photos of old Riccarton.
D. Strachan, groceries, provisons, wines and spirits, Maybole?
From Cathy Hines, 15 July 05: I was wondering
if you could help me out. I have attached a picture showing a man
standing in the doorway of J.D. Stratchan groceries shop. We have
always thought that the man was our great grandfather, Charles James
Whyte and that the picture was taken in Maybole. I've been doing
a lot of family history research in the last few years, and now
I'm not so sure that either piece of information is correct. I read
your article on the Finlayson Arms,
Coylton and you mention a John Stratchan in the article. Could this
picture be of his store? Any assistance that you can provide would
be greatly appreciated.
From David McClure: The shop in the photograph
is not the Finlayson Arms, Coylton.
Memorial at Drumclog (in the Lanarkshire parish of Avondale)
From David Thom, 14 July 05: Does anyone know who
the building contractor was for this 'obelisk', or where I could
find possible details on its commissioning? Also, if any photographs
were taken at the laying of its foundation stone and / or subsequent
dedication? [I'm uncertain if the work preceded the introduction
of photography] I have mailed the 'Ancient Monuments' people but
so far, they have not been of help.
From David McClure: Battle of Drumclog monument
is listed by RCAHMS, NMRS site number NS 63NW 9.1. There is no archaeological
information apart from the following reference: Campbell, T (1996)
Standing witnesses: an illustrated guide to the Scottish Covenanters,
Edinburgh 1996, 14-15, 52, 95, 106, 130, 135, 136-137, 142, 143-144
ff. The following non-statutory information is also provided by
RCAHMS: 'Erected 1839, and rebuilt 1867. Granite monument, with
stepped plinth, pedestal and tall slender obelisk. Inscription on
face of pedestal. Enclosed by plain iron railings. Inscription reads
"In commemoration of the victory obtained on this battlefield
on sabbath the 1st of June 1679 by our covenanting forefathers over
Graham of Claverhouse and his dragoons." The dates are inscribed
on the back.' Please note that the foregoing information from RCAHMS
is Crown Copyright.
From Robert Smith, 24 July 05: It may be of interest
to your correspondent to know that the remnants of the original
monument can be seen in the Car Park of Baxters Tea Rooms on the
nearby A71 road. The staff are most helpful. Also the John Hastie
Museum in Strathaven has some interesting relics of the battle.
The museum is located beside Strathaven Park. There is a Conventicle
held at the site of the battlefield on the Sunday nearest to 1st
June, to commemorate the event every year. It would be wonderful
to see a good turnout at this service. No other generation will
never leave such a legacy such as this.
From David Thom, 26 July 05: Thank you very much
for answering my enquiry regarding the Covenanter Memorial at Drumclog.
The information you have given me is of great value to my research
and I am in the process of accessing the literature references here
in Edinburgh (Central & National Libraries).
One wee snippet which may be of interest to the "Milestone"
page: [See Milestone at Hillhead above]
Hetrick, poet, Dalmellington
From Frances Whistler, 13 July 05: Having chanced
on the web page of your article on the Dalmellington
Volunteers, published in Ayrshire Notes No.19 (2000) and with
an appendix of 12 March 2001. I notice that Robert Hetrick was one
of the volunteers, and wondered if you knew whether this was the
blacksmith poet of that name? I am trying to find out more about
him, having recently picked up an edition of his poems - a reprint
from the 1870s of a much earlier, privately-printed edition (of
1826, I believe: I don't have the volume in front of me). Several
of the poems are patriotic and specifically about, and against,
Napoleon. They are also remarkably deft, in a sub-Burns way.
Any information about Hetrick that you can send me - even his life-dates
- would be valuable. He - or possibly a son - appears in Dalmellington
in Pigot's 1837 Directory, but I've not managed to find anything
else about him.
From Lorna Craig, 6 Jluy 05: I am researching
several families who lived in various Ayrshire mining communities
in the nineteenth century. I would be interested to hear of the
existence of any old photos of the communities at Fergushill (parish
of Kilwinning), Connel Park (parish of New Cumnock), Glenbuck (parish
of Muirkirk) or Kilgrammie (parish of Dailly). I would also be grateful
for any information about an accident in No.17 (or 12?) coal pit
in Fergushill on 3 June 1864, in which an ancestor died. I do not
know whether this was a single death or something on a larger scale.
(I do not live in Ayrshire so do not have easy access to any newspapers
of the time).
Lovely Legs Competition at Butlins
From Barry Elliott, 4 July 05: looking for a photo
of a Margaret Elliott who won the lovely legs competition at Butlins
in the 70s; it was in the papers at the time.
From David McClure: Both the Ayrshire Post and
the Ayr Advertiser are available in the Local and Scottish History
Department of the Carnegie Library, Ayr. See also the account on
and Kilgour bricks
commons / common good land
From Andy Wightman, 28 June 05: I'm currently
researching the current extent and status of burgh commons/common
good land in the Burghs of Ayrshire. I would be pleased to hear
from anyone else who shares this interest. I am a writer and researcher
on land issues in Scotland (author of Who Owns Scotland, Canongate,
From Andy Wightman, 20 July 05: Many thanks. Am
reading John Strawhorn's book on History of Ayr. Pity he could not
locate a map of Ayr's common lands like he does for Irvine in his
book book on that burgh on pg C7.
From Ross Mitchell, 28 June 05: researching artist
who lived at 144 Welbeck Crescent in Troon who painted two watercolours
I have. The paintings are 1950s or 1960s and are of Irish seascapes.
"the Twelve Pins" and "Gortine Bay", both in
Connemara near Roundstone. Any information will be gratefully received.
The artist was known as JOHN HOUSTON.
From Nancy Lindsay, 21 July 05: I too have a watercolour
by him of a site in Connemara. I have long wondered if this is the
same John Houston who was an art teacher at Grange Academy in Kilmarnock,
when I was there in the seventies. I would be interested in any
information Ross Mitchell has on him.
There was a John Adam Houston (1811-1884). He was presumably British
(his main country affiliation was GBR) and his fields were 'landscape,
genre, portrait'. This information was produced by a search for
'"John Houston" artist' which found him on the Ask
Art site. From the dates this is not your man, but may be of
From David Thom, 5 Aug 05: A picture of the ruins
of Whiskeyhall c.1947. [Clipping form one of the local newspapers
- probably the Ayrshire Post]
From David Thom, 24 June 05: I am researching
the history of "Whiskeyhall", a farm in the Parish of
Tarbolton, which was tenanted by several generations of my relatives.
The Scottish Land Records (under land & estates owned by the
Oswalds of Auchencruive) cite "The Lands of Southside - commonly
called 'Whiskeyhall' by the local population", and an early
map from c.1828 clearly shows "Whiskyhaw". Part of the
farm was 'requisitioned' in the 1860's for the construction of the
Ayr to Mauchline branch of the G&SWR and what was left of it
(c.15 acres) lay across the tracks immediately to the north &
east of Annbank Station. Whiskeyhall was built over in the late
1940's and is now part of Mossblown - a road there still bearing
the name. My g.g.g. grandfather never knew where the name came from
but it is believed that the area was possibly the site of an illicit
still, or a clandestine store for smuggled liquor. The name appears
differently over many years & documents - 'Whisky' appears as
'Whiskey' & 'Whiskie', and 'Hall' appears as Ha' & Haw.
Also, the name appears as one word and occasionally with the 'Hall'
separated. I am interested to know if anyone knows the origin of
the name or has any further information on "The Lands of Southside".
Quinton Kennedy (d. 1762)
From Mimi Sansbury, 24 June 05: Doing personal
research on Captain Quinton Kennedy who distinguished himself in
the French & Indian War (44th of Foot, Ranger deployments, 22nd
of foot) and died on Martinique in 1762. Would like to know who
his family was and whether anything was published about him.
From David Cassidy, 19 June 05: I am trying to
find information on the Cassels family who were blacksmiths in Riccarton.
I know that various members of the family stayed at 11 High Glencairn
Street [Kilmarnock], and 13 & 15 Old Street [Riccarton](where
I believe the blacksmiths shop was). Dates of residence I have range
from 1826 to at least 1918.
From Davy Torbit, 4 Oct 05: I am not sure of the
mans first name but Mr Cassels lives in the village of Rankinston
Ayrshire and he told me that his family were originally blacksmiths
from Riccarton. He won't be hard to find as it is a small village.
He might stay in the converted church.
From Arlene Watts, 12 June 05: Crown Inn/Hotel,Saltcoats,
corner of Chapel Well Street and Dockhead Street. Was owned by my
great-great grandmother Agnes Alexander. Would like to know if there
has been any books written that have a history of this building
and its owners/renters, pictures.
From Deborah Gulliver, 11 June 05: I am about
to start researching the village of Trabboch for my dissertation
and would be very grateful for any information on the village.
From David McClure: See the Trabboch
section in Ayrshire Miners' Rows on this site. I am sure you will
be referring to all the usual sources. Note the article by Barbara
E. Paterson, 'The Social and Working Conditions of the Ayrshire
Mining Population, 1840-1875', which is in Ayrshire Collections,
vol. 10, AANHS 1972. I hope the posting here brings forward
people with their own memories and photographs of Trabboch.
bridge and Green Knowe barrow, Dalry
From Scott Manson, 31 May 05: Does anyone know
anything about a tumulus which appears on the 1864 ordnance survey
map of Dalry? It is located near the corner of today's A737 and
the Saltcoats Road at the southern end of the town. On the map it
is shown as the 'Green Knave'. Unfortunately this mound seems to
have been flattened around the 1920's to level off land for the
construction of houses. Also, does anyone know when the current
Lynn Bridge near the same location was built? I am doing a calculated
guess at the 18th c.
From David McClure: Do you mean the bridge over
the Caaf near Lynn Glen on the minor road from Saltcoats or the
bridge, also over Caaf Water, on the A737? The commissioners of
supply granted money for the erection of a bridge over 'Calf Water'
in 1724, which I take to be the latter, now known as Caaf Bridge.
The tumulus is site no. NS24NE.4 in the National Monuments Record
of Scotland under the name 'Green Knowe'. It is classed as a barrow.
An 1856 note in the record (copyright RCAHMS) reads: 'A very small
knowe in which seven stone coffins and an urn, all containing burnt
bones, were discovered about 1776. The hill now appears to be natural
but there was previously an earthen mound which has been levelled
by ploughing.' Later notes observe the levelling of the site, not
occupied by a house and garden.
From John, 4 June 05: We came through Hurlford
heading towards the large A77/Kilmarnock roundabout and spotted
what looked to be a derelict building back off the road just opposite
the Kaimshill Cemetery. Does anyone know the name of the building
or the street it is on or its history?
From David McClure: The house is Kaimshill and
it is on Riccarton Road at NS444367.
House, Monkton Road, Prestwick
From Phil Stanton, 29 May 05: I have recently purchased
an Elkington silver plated beer mug, with the words "Orangefield
Hotel Company" on it. The word "Orangefield" is in
a banner above an orange tree, with the words "Hotel"
and "Company" on either side of the tree. Research shows
that Orangefield House, on Monkton Road, was turned into a hotel
in 1933, and remained so until about 1939, when it was requisitioned
to become the officer's mess, for the RAF station. Does anyone know
if the hotel traded as the "Orangefield Hotel Company",
or able to impart knowledge on the Hotel life of the manor?
From David McClure, 2 July 05: The mansion house
of Orangefield was erected either for James Macrae some time between
1731 and 1746, or for his heir Charles Dalrymple, between 1746 and
1753. Macrae, the son of a widowed washerwoman, returned to Monkton
in 1731 after a successful career in India, having risen to the
height of the governorship of Madras in 1725, and no doubt having
filled his boots with booty, as was the custom. Macrae adopted the
four daughters of a cousin, wife of tradesman Hugh McGuire. The
second daughter married Charles Dalrymple, sheriff-clerk of Ayr,
and he was in possession of the estate of Orangefield by 1746. Their
son James Dalrymple of Orangefield dissipated his wealth in high
living, and disposed of Orangefield shortly before his death in
1795. It was one of the most substantial houses in Ayrshire in the
eighteenth century, having 40 windows in 1753; compare the nearby
and still-standing Adamton House, which had 34 in the same year.
In a 1964 photograph of Prestwick Airport it can be seen with the
control tower erected on its roof, standing among trees. It was
demolished in 1966. [Information from: C.S. Dougall, The Burns
Country, London 1904; John Strawhorn, ed., Ayrshire at
the Time of Burns, Ayrshire Collections Vol. 5, 1959; John
Strawhorn and Ken Andrew, Discovering Ayrshire, Edinburgh
1988 (which contains the photograph mentioned above, p.51); National
Archives of Scotland, E326/1/11, Ayrshire window tax records; 'Prestwick:
a century in flight', article on the BBC website (seen 2 July
From Avril Macdonald, 24 May 05: I am interested
in the history of the buildings and farms which make up Monkcastle,
between Dalry and Kilwinning and wondered if anyone could tell me
if there ever was a 'monk's castle' or anything similar there.
From Jim Cochrane, 10 July 05: There is a book
in Ardrossan Library (local history department) entitled "CASTLES
AND MANSIONS OF AYRSHIRE." Plenty of information in this for
Avril MacDonald on Monkcastle.
From Mr T. McDermott, 13 July 05: Monks Castle
was a grange of Kilwinning Abbey, a Tironisian foundation in the
12th century. The remains of the grange are still in existence.
A grange is a house for monks to stay in when working at a distance
from the abbey.
From David McClure: RCAHMS lists Monk Castle as
NS24NE 2, located at NS 29150 47354. The following information from
RCAHMS is Crown Copyright: 'Monk Castle (MacGibbon and Ross) Monkcastle
(Tranter): This small, late 16th century mansion has long been ruinous,
but its walls remain entire. It measures some 48ft by 18ft, standing
two storeys high, with a central staircase tower projecting, and
rising one storey higher. The interior is entirely ruinous, the
ground floor is vaulted. The property early belonged to Kilwinning
Abbey, but at the Reformation was obtained by the Duke of Chatelherault,
who bestowed it on his son Claud, Commendator of Paisley, which
may accoount for the mitred head which appears with other sculptures,
on a panel above the doorway. D MacGibbon and T Ross 1889; N Tranter
1965. Visited by OS (DS) 6 September 1956: The remains of Monk Castle
are as described. The fabric is in good condition but has been extensively
restored by modern brickwork. Visited by OS (JRL) 26 October 1982:
Alexander (1849-1921), from Patna.
From EJ Raymond, 22 May 05: I am interest to research
information about William Alexander (1849 - 1921) who was a deaf
mute. He was a popular character in Patna, outside Ayr in Scotland.
Where can I find more information about him?
From Louise McCamley, 29 July 05: Saw a request
on Ayrshire History for information about a character called William
Alexander (1849 -1927). My mother remembers stories of him and there
is a picture in a local history book where it explains that he came
to Patna from Dailly with his father in 1851. The manager of Dalmellington
Iron Works gave him a place at the works school. He became an apprentice
shoemaker and later did odd jobs. He was often to be seen sitting
at the monument in Patna. He is buried in Patna cemetery and his
popularity ensured a large turn out at the funeral. Hope this is
of help. I can email you the article and picture when I get the
book from my mother. [Please email to Ayrshire History.]
on Todhill(s) Farm
From Jim Cochrane, 17 May 05: While out walking
recently I came across what I think is a pretty old milestone. It
is sited on the banks of the river Garnock in Kilwinning - at the
edge of a field roughly 700 yards south of Todhill Farm. Strange
thing is though the stone (approx four feet high and made of sandstone
I think) has an arrow chiselled into one side pointing west across
the river towards the sand dunes in Ardeer, with no evidence of
an old bridge to be seen. I see, however, from a 1775 map of the
area that there was a road ran through it from Stevenston Cross
going to Bartonholm. An 1829 map shows no such road. Are you aware
of this milestone (if it is one) which is hidden away amongst bushes
and trees. [Jim subsequently sent more information and photographs,
one of which is shown below.]
From David McClure: Thanks for all the photos.
It is certainly an interesting stone and I plan to come and see
it one day. It lies on or about the line of the turnpike road between
Irvine and Saltcoats, but the holes suggest it was a structural
stone. The arrow and line correspond roughly to a bench mark, but
these are generally found at the top of a milestone. I don't expect
my visit will resolve anything, but it will satisfy my curiosity.
The stone is not listed by RCAHMS.
From Jim Dale, 19 May 2006: If it is the same
"todhills" and I think it is, then I have a tree for the
Smith family who were there for many years, a detailed survey done
in 18? for the purpose of measuring the farm, an account of a family
reunion in 18? with photograph and several pages of text dated 18?
regarding the stones and special trees planted. Where to begin?
It's a lot to scan and I have no wish to bung up your system. If
you indicate what you find of interest I will send it by return.
From Frank Maguire, 16 May 05: I am undertaking
research into Dalmellington from 1690 - 1750. Any assistance or
information would be greatly appreciated.
at Dalry; Merksworth pit
From Scott Manson, 8 May 05: Does anyone have
information on a tumulus which once existed at the junction of the
A737 and the Dalry-Saltcoats Road at the southern end of Dalry?
It appears on the 1864 ordnance survey map as 'tumulus' and with
the name 'The Green Knave'. The tumulus appears to disappear from
maps in the 1920's when a couple of houses were built on the land
and the hill levelled. Also, does anyone know when the Merksworth
Pit across the road closed?
From Mary Connelly, 8 May 05: I am interested
in finding out if anyone remembers an amateur boxer from Kilmarnock
called Edward Connelly, who is my father. He may have had the nickname
"Ed the Con" and boxed in the 40's.
From Catherine Law, 5 May 05: Rosanne Park, born
1870, Watson Park, Old Cumnock. Does anyone know where this is?
1901 census: H.M. Prison, Ayr: Rose Ann Park or Savage, Prisoner.
Is there access to these records? And where would they be?
From Nanette McLean, 20 Sep 05: I hope that I
have the correct information. I worked in the County Buildings,
Wellington Square, Ayr from 1065 until 1971 and often heard stories
of the old prison. I think that it was on the land now occupied
bythe County Buildings i.e. land to the seaward side of the building
behindthe Sheriff Court.
From David McClure: See also the section on the
County Buildings in the article on the Commissioners
of Scots in Carrick
From Catherine Czerkawska, 20 April 2005: Excellent
site! I am currently researching connections between Mary Queen
of Scots and Carrick. I know about the Kennedy connections, and
a little about Jane Kennedy who was her lady in waiting, and who
put the blindfold around her eyes at her execution - also about
Mary's visit to Carrick, and Crossraguel, but any other info would
be much appreciated.
Alexander Boyd (poet) of Penkill
From Catherine Czerkawska, 20 April 2005: Also,
can anyone tell me exactly where poet Mark Alexander Boyd of Penkill,
who died in 1601, is buried in Old Dailly Kirkyard?I've had a look
around, but many gravestones are defaced. I found an old Boyd Mausoleum
with what looks like an inscription for his brother(?) but nothing
for Mark Alexander. I wonder if anyone can help.
From Janet Lightbody, 19 April 05: Dalblair house,
Glenmuir, Cumnock - would like to know its history and when it was
From David McClure: Dalblair House in Ayr belonged
to Provost David Limond. He also owned the small estate of Dalblair
- note that the present farm buildings there are on the right bank
of the Glenmuir Water, and so are in Auchinleck parish. This is
the case too on the first OS (1857), where 'Dalblair Cottages' are
marked beside what are presumably farm buildings. Was there a 'Dalblair
House' there, as opposed to a farmhouse? In the late eighteenth
century there was no house at Dalblair with 7 or more windows (qualifying
for window tax). At the time of the NSA (1837), the only
mansion in the parish of Auchinleck was Auchinleck House. For more
on Dalblair House, Ayr, see The Street Names of Ayr by
Rob Close, AANHS, Ayr 2001.
From Jude McMillan, 15 April 05: Am researching
the history and hopefully the present on Broadshean Kirkoswald.
Can anyone tell me if it was a single farm or a collection of houses,
if it was tenanted or owned.
From David McClure: Broadshean is a farm. The
present house is at NS249068.
From Bill Braniff, 14 April 05: I am interested
in the 'Powder Magazine' at Knockinglaw Kilmarnock shown on the
Ordance Survey map of Ayrshire 1898-1904.
From Tom Morrison, 26 July 05: I don't know much
about this only that it also appears on 1860 Ordnance Survey map.
Its modern day location is now known as Knockinlaw Mount a place
I visited many years ago. There was the remains of an old building
but could be overgrown now, or 'landscaped'.
From David McClure: Note that the modern spelling
is without the 'g': Knockinlaw. One of the published histories of
Kilmarnock may have information about the powder magazine. Its location,
Knockinlaw Mount, is the site of a former tumulus at NS426397. There
was a tumulus there where two urns were found c. 1796 by a Mr Cuthbertson
who was making a road. About half the tumulus remained in 1856.
By 1895 it had all been removed. In 1956 the site was described
as a natural mound planted with trees and enclosed by a fragmentary
tree-ring. There were no recognisable remains of a tumulus. [The
foregoing archaeological information is from RCAHMS and is Crown
Copyright.] See John Smith, Prehistoric Man in Ayrshire, London
1895, 95. In the first OS (1856) the powder magazine is depicted
adjacent to or on the tumulus (see below). The east-west road which
Cuthbertson was presumable engaged in making was not a turnpike.
The road on the left heading north-east was the turnpike from Kilmarnock
by Kilmaurs to Stewarton. A check-bar was placed across the Knockinlaw
From Gordon McCutcheon, 13 April 05: I am trying
to find out any information at all on the Ayr home guard. My late
father was a member. Are there official records filed away anywhere
From Ian Evans, 11 April 05: I wonder if you can
help me. My wife and I are regular visitors to her son and family
who live at Gadgirth in Coylton. I am a retired professional naturalist,
and to keep me out of mischief on our visits I have started a detailed
study of the landscape and wildlife of the parish of Coylton. I
had taken what I thought were the contemporary boundaries of the
parish from the first edition of the O.S. 1:50,000 map, which shows
them as cut off along the lines of the modern district boundary
between Burnside (NS 437148) and north of Littlemill (NS 448157).
However, I see from the parish map on your excellent website that,
in 1951, the parish of Coylton extended south along the Water of
Coyle to just north of Benquhat Hill (NS 4609), which considerably
adds to my area of interest. Could you tell me what the current
position is? The historic parish will, in fact, serve my purpose
as well or better than any recent versions, but I should like to
know where I stand.
From David McClure: Coylton parish boundaries
are on sheet 67 of the one inch OS published in 1964. As you say,
the boundary follows the Water of Coyle south, takes an irregular
line west just north of the summit of Benquhat Hill, and then follows
the Bow Burn north, passing near Burnside. I can find this same
boundary on the First Series 1:50,000 map. Thank you for your comments
on the site. You showed more confidence in the precision of the
Ayrshire parish sketch map than I would do myself - I am relieved
that in this instance it passes the test. You will find a good fold-out
map of Ayrshire parishes in Ayrshire: The Third Statistical
Account of Scotland, John Strawhorn and William Boyd, eds.,
You may be aware that in 1777 Rev. John Steel, minister of Stair,
wrote a minute of the improvements he had made to the Gadgirth estate
since it came into his possession in 1740. This was addressed to
Andrew Wight, in connection with his enquiry into the Present
State of Husbandry in Scotland. See Ayrshire in the Age
of Improvement, David McClure, ed., AANHS, Ayr 2002, 28-34.
An assessment of the traces, if any, of this work visible in the
landscape today would be very interesting. I have wondered if any
of the trees on the estate owe their presence to John Steel.
From Ian Evans, 11 April 05: A second point [see
above]. I was looking at your paper on milestones. During some fieldwork
on 1st April, I came across a milestone on the south side of a back
road that runs north-east from Old Toll to Cameronsholm, at approx.
grid ref. NS 374212. It was roughly triangular and bore the inscription
'AYR 2 3/4 MILES' on one side and a longer indecipherable name (?Ann
Bank) '2 MILES' on the other. Is this on the line of an older road,
and what might the other destination be?
From David McClure: The
destination is Auchencruive. This is one of the earliest milestones
in Ayrshire. It dates from the early turnpike period, the
second half of the eighteenth century. However, the line it
stands on was never turnpiked. It was an estate (and possibly
parish) road, serving the Auchincruive lands of Richard Oswald.
Photo by David McClure, 12 March 2003.
From Stewart Clark, 8 April 05: I am looking for
Info on the following - The history of Dumfries House Railway station
& Grounds etc. The History of Glaisnock House Chapel & grounds.
From David McClure: See John Strawhorn, The
New History of Cumnock, Cumnock 1966. This will give you some
information and lists other sources.
From Kevin Sinclair, 29 September 2006: this station
opened in1882. This line was part of the Ayr-Cumnock branch including
Annbank, Ochiltree, Drongan, Dumfries House and Skares. This route
was served by trains Ayr-Cronberry, Ayr-Muirkirk, Ayr-Carlisle,
Ayr-Lanark and even Ayr-Edinburgh. The branch closed for passenger
traffic on 1951, although Dumfries House station closed 13 june
1949 for some reason. Dumfries House station was built to serve
the estate and local area.
From Jill Smith, 8 April 05: I am interested in
learning about the coalmining areas in Ayrshire as I have many coalmining
ancestors, especially from the areas of Kilmarnock and Riccarton.
I'd particularly like to know where Laputa Row, Riccarton was ...
my grandmother was born there.
From David McClure: There is now a Laputa Place
in Riccarton at NS421354. This was a coalmining area on the Caprington
estate. However, the row is not shown on the first OS (1857), indicating
it was erected later. You will probably find it on the 2nd or 3rd
OS map, and in a Kilmarnock postal directory of the period. Laputa
was of course the aerial island in Swift's Gulliver's Travels.
A greater contrast with a miners' row can hardly be imagined.
It must have been named by someone with a sense of irony.
From Sheila Hislop, 5 April 05: I am looking for
any information and/or newspaper cuttings on the opening of Maidens
harbour in 1955.
From David McClure: See Angus Graham, Old
Ayrshire Harbours, AANHS 1984; John Strawhorn and William Boyd,
eds., Ayrshire: The Third Statistical Account of Scotland, Edinburgh
1951. You could check the Ayrshire Post catalogue in the
Scottish and Local History section of the Carnegie Library in Ayr.
From Mij Woodward, 3 April 05: Am enjoying your
site on Ayrshire history. Can you recommend some good reading on
the social history of loom weavers in Loudoun during the mid-1800's?
Non-fiction or fictional. My ancestors were loom weavers, and they
lived on a street where EVERYONE were weavers, including children
of 12 or 13! Would love to find out more about this. Also, my son
and I will be visiting Ayrshire in May.
From David McClure: Norman Murray, The Scottish
Hand Loom Weavers 1790-1850: A Social History, Edinburgh, 1978.
You should be able to find a second-hand copy.
of Wallston Toll - Trial 20 September, 1815
From John McGee, 3 April 05: I found your site
tremendously interesting as it can help bring researchers in touch
through documented historical detail with their ancestors. I realise
this site is not a family history forum, however, when you find
details of actions of ancestors it adds a touch of reality that
these people did actually exist. John McGie appeared as a witness
at the trial in the circuit court in Ayr of the accused relating
to the burning of the toll bar at Wallston, Tarbolton in June, 1815.
John McGie was born in Drongan, parish of Stair in 1782 to Robert
McGie (brother of David McGie, my great-great-great-grandfather)and
was baptized by Mr Steele. Mr Steele was a well-known minister in
Ayrshire and it was recorded in Stair Old Parish Records; "The
Rev. John Steele Esq. of Gadgirth, and minister of Stair, died on
the 12th of April 1804 in the 94th year of his age and 69th year
of his ministry". As stated in the record John McGie was a
collier at Knockshuggle colliery, parish of Coylton. He married
Agnes Steven in 1803 recorded in Coylton OPR 583/2; "No.5 McGhee
& Steven; June 25th; John McGhee and Agnes Steven both in this
parish gave in their names to be proclaimed in order to marriage
and were married soon afterwards at St Quivox". The year of
the riot at Wallston Toll they had a daughter Margaret, which confirms
that it is the same John McGie stated in the court records; Coylton
OPR 583/1&3; 1815; No.2 McGee; February 15th; John McGie and
Agnes Steven in Knockshoggle-holm had a child in lawful marriage
(born 14th inst) baptized, named Margaret". I am assuming that
Knockshoggle-holm is the mining village which serviced Knockshuggle
Colliery. Like some of the defendants in the trial he did not fare
too well financial and is recorded living, age 68, at 111 Whang
Street, Beith in 1851 Census with wife Agnes and recorded as "Pauper,
formerly collier, born Ayrshire, Stair".
From David McClure: Thank you John. I have added
a link to this postscript from the article on the incident at Wallston
Girvan (d. 1968), Newmilns provost etc.
From Susannah Walker, 30 March 2005: any info
on George Girvan alderman and provost of Newmilns also secretary
of the Scottish Lace and Textile Worker's Union. He died in 1968;
wife's name was Susannah Maria Zillah (this is my name too); had
sons, George, John, and William. William was the first Valley lad
to die in World War Two. His name is on the war memorial in Newmilns.
He was my Father.
From John G. Connell, 9 June 05: My grandmother
was a sister to George and I have some of the Girvan family history.
What information are you looking for?
From Stephen Brown, 3 July 05: Could you inform
Susanah Walker that George Girvan has a road named after him in
Newmilns: Girvan Crescent. She may also be interested to know that
he played football in Spain whilst working over there in the Catalonian
Lace Industry. For a good book see the History of Newmilns
printed by Walker & Connell Darvel.
From William Hunter, 29 Mar 05: Any information
regarding Hunterston Castle or Hunterston House or Hunters of Hunterston.
From Ben Marsden, 18 March 05:I have been admiring
your website on Ayrshire history! But more particularly, you note
the appearance of a Macorne Rankine of Drumdow at a meeting of trustees
for the turnpike roads you have studied - I wonder if it is possible
to give me any further details?
Context for this: I am writing a biography of Macquorn Rankine
(sic), the grandson of Macorne Rankine of Drumdow. My subject was
a professor of engineering at Glasgow University, but little has
ever been said about his various ancestors (who turn out to be rather
fascinating). I know that Macorne Rankine had an army career from
1755 to 1774 - broken by a period on half-pay from 1763 to very
late 1770 - so I am curious to know if he was in Drumdow during
this period, or after his resignation mid 1774. I understand he
married one Jane McAdam (1756-1838) but they are usually located
in Maybole. Any help or pointers much appreciated! There is clearly
much to find out
about the family, and about the later Macquorn's life in Ayr - e.g.,
I know that he was at school at the academy c. 1828-9.
Best wishes, Ben. ( Dr Ben Marsden, Book Reviews Editor, British
Journal for the History of Science, (until 10 February 2005), Cultural
History Programme, Department of History, School of Divinity, History
and Philosophy, University of Aberdeen.
From David McClure: Drumdow, in the parish of
Stair, was obtained by John Rankin of Beoch circa 1758. He was succeeded
by Malcolm Rankin before 1788, and by Captain Macquorn Rankin(died
1813) in 1788. Beoch, Maybole parish, was obtained by John Rankine
'also ofDdrumdow', circa 1758. He was succeeded by Captain Macquorn
Rankine in 1788. [These notes are from the 'Gazetteer of Ayrshire',
Ayrshire at the Time of Burns, Ayrshire Collections vol.
5, AANHS 1959.] Macorn Rankine attended the Ayrshire land tax meeting
as 'younger of Beoch' in 1776, as 'of Beoch' in 1780, 1797, 1798,
and 1799, and as 'of Drumdow' in 1800. The name of John Rankine
of Drumdow appears in 1822, 1827, 1829, 1831, and 1832; and John
Rankine of Beoch in 1858, 1859, 1834, 1866, 1867, 1869, 1871, and
1883. Designations in these sederunts are not evidence of place
of residence. [These notes are from my index of attendance at Ayrshire
land tax meetings.] In 1797 Macorn Rankine was the resident owner
or renter of a 16-windowed inhabited house in Ayr. There is no other
record for Macorn Rankin [and spelling variants], and no record
at all for Beoch or Drumdow. [From my database of Ayrshire window
tax records, 1756/1757, 1771/1772, 1797/1798.]
From Ben Marsden, 9 May 05: I'm extremely grateful
to you for the time you spent looking into this. A few weeks ago
I made a trip over to Ayr to see what I could drum up directly and
stumbled upon some of the points (only some) you make in you very
I am convinced that 'Malcolm Rankine' (mentioned below) was in
fact a misspelling of Capt Macquorn/Macorne Rankine. My reasons
for this are: 'John Rankin of Beoch' (mentioned in the Ayrshire
gazeteer) was likely Macorne Rankine's father who certainly died
in 1758; the official 'Army Lists' make the same mistake (e.g.,
listing Malcolm Rankine, rather than Macorne Rankine, as on half
pay etc during the 1760s). I know that Capt Macorne Rankine's elder
son was John Rankine, advocate, also described as 'of Drumdow' and
the dates you give are very helpful since they help me to speculate
more precisely on the date at which he emigrated to Canandiagua
in North America. For this branch of the Rankine family there is
an extant (table) gravestone in the Auld Kirk graveyard - giving
names and vital dates for many family members, back to a William
Rankine, father of John, father of Macorne, father of John and also
of Lieut David Rankine - this last being the father of Prof Macquorn
Rankine, of Glasgow University, who is also listed on the stone
- although almost certainly buried in Glasgow. The published transcription
of the stone (with the others of this graveyard, available in the
Carnegie Library in Ayr) is actually rather inaccurate, but much
of the stone for later generations is, with difficulty, legible.
I wonder if others would be interested in my attempt at a more accurate
transcription, bearing in mind the details I have gleaned from other
sources (e.g., Scottish Record Office etc). Many thanks again for
your response, which is much appreciated.
From Michael Avery, 15 May 2006: I would be interested
in Mr. Marsdens transcription of the stone referring to the family
of Prof Macquorn Rankine, of Glasgow University.
Jan Dowie, 14 Mar 05: Can anyone tell me if Lintmill in
Sorn was a mill, a house or an area, as ThomasDowie is recorded
as being there?
From David McClure: According to John Hume in'The
Mills of the River Ayr' (Ayrshire Collections, vol. 8,
AANHS 1969) a lint mill was reputed to have existed on the River
Ayr in the parish of Sorn (or Dalgain), on the left bank and about
a quarter of amile downstream from the present bridge on the A713.
'Linthouse' appears at this spot on the first OS (1856).
From David Gibson, 27 May 05: the ruins of the
Lintmill are still to be seen on the banks of the River Ayr. They
are situated midway between the old and the new bridge on the opposite
side from the village (left bank of the river).
House, Knockcushan Street, Girvan
From Anastasia Warwick, 9 Mar 05:I am interested
in finding out information about "The Town House" in Knockcushan
Street, Girvan. I believe it was bequeathed to the town of Girvan
by the Andrews family - When and why are a mystery.
From Jim Cochrane, 9 Mar 05: 1 Would like to know
if Ashgrove Mount, near Auchenkist Farm on the western outskirts
of Kilwinning, was the site of an ancient burial mound or fortification.
2 Puzzled about a steep hill on the Kilwinning/Dalry back Road (Blair
Road), close to Blair Ardoch Farm. Always thought it was called
Brushman's Brae, yet an 1860 map of Kilwinning clearly has it as
Burstenman's Brae. How in heaven's name did it get this title and
why/when was it changed.
3 Looking for information on the ruins of Ashgrove House, again
near Auchenkist Farm, and Fairlie Bog Farm. Regarding the latter,
an 1860 map of Kilwinning shows a ruin close to this long gone farm,
which used to sit in the grounds of what is now Kilwinning Sports
Club - has anyone any clues to what the ruin might have been.
4 As far as local legend goes the 'Three Mounds', (3 ancient tree
covered, 30' high hills in a triangular shape) situated beside the
river Garnock, approximately 800 yards north of the Woodwynd Housing
scheme, are supposed to have been a special meeting place for Druids.
I would appreciate any information relating to this site.
From Robyn Shaw, 9 Mar 05: I am searching for
information on Shawwood and its estate. If anyone has any information
and/or pictures I would be very greatful.
From Linda Herbertson: Do you mean the farm outside
From David McClure: I assumed the enquiry concerned
the farm in Tarbolton parish, at one time the estate of David McClure,
landlord of William Burnes (father of Robert Burns).
From Alan Ritchie, 5 June 2006: My AndrewTaylor
family lived at Shawwood from 1850-1901. Shawwood is/was a farm
just outside Catrine on the road to Auchileck. It lies in a hollow
on the right hand side of the road.
Pit Disaster, 7th September 1950
From Alison Waugh, 3 Mar 05: I am looking for
any information on the Knockshinnoch disaster as my grandfather
was one of the trapped mineworkers. His name was Neil McCulloch.
From David McClure: The following book is listed
in the Ayrshire bibliography
on this site: Sellwood, Arthur and Mary, Black Avalanche. The
Knockshinnoch Pit Disaster [7th September 1950], 1960. There
are two copies for sale on the Abe
Fron Jeannie Bell, NZ, 29 April 05: Bob Guthrie's
excellent website has an excellent account
of the disaster. Lots of info on there, also a forum available,
where quite a number people who visit there often can supply extra
wee bits for you. If my memory servs me right, I think there are
also some photos about it on there.
From the Revd Norman L Faulds, 10 Sep 05: My father,
Sam Faulds, was a reporter in Ayr for the Daily Record. He was away
for several days covering the story. As a seven year-old child I
remember being taken by my uncle, who had a car, to see where my
father was and being told that under my feet men were trapped and
other men were battling to get them out. It is something I have
never forgotten. My great grandfather, on my mother's side, was
a winder in the pit at Drumley. Alison Waugh must be proud of her
grandfather. He and his like were brave men.
Castle, Knockentiber, parish of Kilmaurs
From Bill McHarg, 20 Feb 05: I have long been
aware of Busby/Busbie castle at Knockentiber East Ayrshire but cant
find any info. It does however show up on old maps. Could anyone
please furnish me with some information on this?
From David McClure: The location is NS397390,
and it appears on the 1st OS. The castle is listed by RCAHMS, with
the following (summarised) information (RCAHMS copyright): 1) D
MacGibbon and T Ross 1889; D M'Naught 1912. Busbie Castle, now ruinous,
is a simple keep, built about 1600. It measures 37½ft by
24½ft and is about 50ft high. The property of Busbie formed
part of the barony of Robertoun, possessed by the Mowats from about
1400 to the mid-17th century. 2) Visited by OS (DS) 15 August 1956.
Busbie Castle is now a pile of overgrown rubble. No details of the
building are identifiable and the foundations cannot be traced.
It was demolished recently as it was in a dangerous condition. 3)
Visited by OS (JRL) 27 May 1982. The rubble debris of Busbie Castle
was finally levelled about five years ago (local information) to
form an artificial terrace on the S side of a smallholding. Numerous
carved stones and masonry blocks are heaped around the base of the
From Robin Parker, 17 Feb 05: I am looking for
the history of the Star Inn, Five Roads, Kilwinning occupied by
George Watson between 1841 and his death in 1859. Any information
From Patricia Irving, 16 Feb 05: Looking for history
of the coal dock at Girvan Harbour, which was used as a drop off
point for ships to deliver coal to the Ailsa Craig. We're currently
working with a group in Girvan to renovate the old Coal Dock site,
but require some historical information for interpretation boards.
Photographs, maps or just pointing us the right direction would
From David McClure: According to Rev. Peter McMaster
writing in 1837 (NSA), a small quay for coal and grain
had only recently been constructed, before which the harbour was
reported to be in a 'state of nature'. This quay is not marked (or
at least not labelled) on the 1st OS. See: Angus Graham, Old
Ayrshire Harbours, AANHS [Ayr] 1984. Further improvement of
the harbour was said to be contemplated by the 'principal proprietor'.
At the time of the erection of the small quay, this was Sir Hew
Hamilton-Dalrymple (1774-1834) and his son, also Sir Hew, 6th baronet
(1814-1887). The 5th baronet's unentailed estates passed to his
daughter Henrietta, Duchesse de Coigny, who was the principal proprietor
in the parish of Girvan in 1837 according to McMaster. It may be
worth checking the three-volume catalogue of the muniments of the
Hamiltons of Bargany (GD109) in the National Archives of Scotland.
Since there may have been correspondence with other proprietors
in the parish, you could also look at: Ailsa muniments (GD25); and
Craufurd of Ardmillan (GD001/604). There may be others, but I only
have a note of these.
From David Mullan, 11 Feb 05: Can an one shed
any light on the Enterkine pit disaster after the war? We are researching
my wife's family story and her late grandfather was a survivor of
House and Ballochmyle Hospital
family, shoemakers in Kilmarnock
From Lancelot Barron, 7 Feb 05: I'm trying to
find information on the Clark family who manufactured shoes in Kilmarnock.
George Clark was born there 29 Oct 1833. (Employed 80 men, 27 girls,
6 boys) He married Elizabeth ???.
Their first 4 children were born in Brazil. Their later children
born in Kilmarnock. One of his family founded Saxone Shoe Company
with someone called Jack Abbott. Can anyone assist?
From Sarah Clark, 2 June 05: I have always been
told that we had a family connection to Saxone shoes. Relatively
convoluted but if you email me with what information you require
I'll see if I can help. I don't think we have any written evidence,
it's just oral history. But we are Clarks, we are from Kilmarnock,
and we do have a connection with Saxone shoes.
From Susan Bradbury, 12 July 2006:
I would like to know about the history of Saxone shoes (originally
owned by the Clark family of London road Kilmarnock)in particular
their South American connection with Palmeiras.
From Kim Harris, 29 August 2006: I have a 1936
Bedford Van, used to deliver Saxone shoes from Kilmarnock up until
about 1952. I’d love to put it back into it’s original livery but
can’t find much on Saxone at all. Can anyone help?
From Andy Lamb, 13 March 2006: I have just come
across your post on Ayrshirehistory.org.uk on the Clark connection
to Saxone shoes. I thought the information below might be of interest,
even though there may not be a direct link. My father's family originates
in Ayrshire, and we have a Clark connection. My father's paternal
grandmother was Ellen Boyd Clark, and her parents were William Clark
- born c1830 - and Jane Walker; perhaps William and George Clark
that you mention are related....? In addition, one of Ellen's children,
Mary Reid Lamb, worked all her life for Saxones in Kilmarnock.
Century Ayrshire Brickworks and Tileworks
From Pete Brown, 2 Feb 05: Has anyone published
any information on brickworks and tileworks in Ayrshire? I have
discovered that members of my family (surname Brown) worked at a
number of these during the 19th century including:- Failford Tileworks,
Drumbain Tileworks, Kirkoswald; Hillhead Brickworks, Kilmarnock.
They also worked at various other brickworks throughout central
Scotland. I would be grateful for help to find anything which has
been published about them.
From David McClure: See the entry on J
& M Craig, Kilmarnock. You will find a number of entries
for brick-making in South-West Scotland (though it does not cover
Ayrshire) in: Ian Donnachie, Industrial Archaeology of Galloway,
Newton Abbott 1971.
From Patsy, 29 Jan 05: I have been trying to trace
my greatgrandfather for many years in all. I have found he had put
Kilmarnock as his place of birth and this followed on all his life.
I can find no trace of him there. I know they came originally from
Ireland. His father was meant to be a coal miner which I thought
fitted with the Kilmarnock area. The only trace I can find to a
child with the same name is in a place called St Quivox. I am not
in Scotland so could anyone answer is it likely you could put place
of birth Kilmarnock if you were born in St Quivox and is there any
Mining connection there? Also if you left Ireland would you be likely
to turn up in St Quivox?
From David McClure: Have a look at the Ayrshire
Parish Map on this site; St. Quivox is 29b and Kilmarnock is
15. There were mines in St. Quivox, and Irish immigrants could be
found there (as elsewhere in Ayrshire).
From Alan Reid, 29 June 05: My family, the Reids
left Belfast at the turn of the 18th century and settled in St Quivox.
There they inter-married with another working class family from
Ireland so that suggested to me that there was quite a big ex pat
Irish community in the area. Today there is a village called St
Quivox with a Victorian school house, used by social services and
an 18th century church But it is really difficult to get a sense
of what St Quivox parish might have been like at the time (unless,
of course, you find the appropriate local history book which I haven't
had the time to do! If in doubt Google: St Quivox [from a scotgaz
site] Located to the east of Prestwick, 3 miles (5 km) north east
of Ayr, in South Ayrshire, St Quivox is little more than a few cottages,
a church, dating back to the mid 18th Century, and an associated
manse. Nearby is the Scottish Agricultural College and Research
Institute at Auchincruive. Eventually my family settled in Ayr,
in the poor quarter, the Spean Cope which I gather had quite a big
ex Irish community. As industrialisation gathered pace many more
would have left rural St Quivox to find work in Kilmarnock.
From David McClure: The few buildings in the vicinity
of the church give quite a misleading impression of the parish.
The starting point should always be the old and new statistical
accounts. From these you will learn that the parish of St. Quivox
extends down the right bank of the Ayr as far as the old bridge
(auld brig) of Ayr, where it met the parish of Newton. Wallacetown
developed in this western part of the parish, and grew to such an
extent that by 1792 its population was 960, while the rural part
of the parish (there being no other town or village in it) had a
population of 490. From the 1792 Old Statistical Account
of the parish: About 30 years ago, the late Sir Thomas Wallace
of Craigie began to feu houses and gardens from the north end of
the old bridge at Ayr. At that time, there were not above 8 or 10
straggling houses about the Bridge–end; and now, in 1792, by a gradual
increase, there are 250 families living in Wallacetown, so named
after its founder. This increase of inhabitants has been owing,
1st, to the extensive collieries which have been wrought on the
Blackhouse estate in this parish, and on the lands belonging to
the community of Newton adjoining to it. 2d, Many farmers advanced
in life, or unwilling to take their farms at a high additional rent,
find houses in Wallacetown, to which they carried their capital,
and became dealers in grain, meal, malt, &c. 3d, Mechanics of
all sorts flocked into it, and feued houses, or rented those than
were built by others, with a view to profit. They are here exempted
from the laws or regulations of the incorporated trades in the adjoining
royal burgh of Ayr. 4th, A considerable number from Ireland and
the West Highlands settled here, as weavers, day–labourers, &c
because they could get higher wages than at home. It is a considerable
disadvantage to this populous and thriving town, that there are
no established magistrates residing in it; and evil which is the
less likely to be soom remedied, as the present superior of Wallacetown
resides at a distance, and has little more connection with it than
to uplift the feu–duties. The attention and activity of the magistrates
in Ayr and Newton to preserve good order in their towns, often drives
disorderly people, and vagrants of different descriptions, to Wallacetown.
By the activity of some of the principal inhabitants, who, from
regard to peace and good order, officiate as constables, this evil
has been in some degree checked; and the managers of the collieries
have much merit in their attention to the morals of the people employed
by them. When it is considered, that the inhabitants are a mixture
of English, Irish, and Highlanders, with the original feuers, who
were natives of the county of Ayr, it will be found that there is
as much peace and decency of behaviour among them as can well be
expected. They are 3 miles distant from the parish church, in which
they have no seats; but have good  opportunity of attneding
public worship at the church of Newton, which is built at the west
end of one of their streets, or at the Seceding meeting–house, which
stands at the east end of it.
'Spion Kop' (and other spellings) was an informal name bestowen
on Craigmillar Buildings, King Street, Ayr, erected on from 1897
to provide 'healthy buildings for the working classes, at moderate
rents'. [Information on Spion Kop and Craigmillar Buildings from
Rob Close, The Street Names of Ayr, AANHS, Ayr, 2001.]
From Arnold Thomson, 25 Jan 05: Biggart Hospital,
Prestwick celebrates its 100th anniversary this year. I have some
info. on the Biggarts, but would welcome anything on the Biggart
Hospital, which was originally The Biggart Memorial Home for Crippled
From David McClure: Have you seen the entry for
the Biggart Hospital in Historic Prestwick and its surroundings,
AANHS [Ayr] 2003? Local newspapers, particularly at the time
of its opening, are an obvious source. You could check the Ayrshire
Post catalogue in the Scottish and Local History section of the
Carnegie Library in Ayr.
From Evelyn Coutts, 13 Mar 05: I have a photograph
on a postcard of The Biggart Home, Prestwick.This was found in my
Mother's (aged 94 Annie Dolan) belongings. I am aware from your
site postings that this used to be a hospital for crippled children
and would like to find out more about the history. The photo is
dated around early 1930s and shows the building with children in
beds outside in the garden area.
From Arnold Thomson, 25 Sep 05: I am very belatedly
updating myself from your web-site. I completed research on the
Biggart Hospital and am delighted to remind everyone that an historical
booklet was published in May to celebrate Biggart's Centenary Year.
The booklet contains excellent info. on the hospital and the Biggart
Family. It can be purchased from The Volunteers Shop at Biggart
Hospital. All proceeds go the the volunteers.
From Mark Thompson, 20 Jan 05: I hope you might
be able to help me - I am trying to locate a portrait of Sir Hugh
Montgomery. Montgomery and his fellow Ayrshireman James Hamilton
were granted lands in County Down, Ulster by James 1 in 1606; Montgomery
eventually became Viscount Montgomery of the Ards. May 2006 is the
400th anniversary of this event, and I am assisting with plans to
mark the anniversary with a suitable commemoration. We have located
a portrait of Hamilton at Castle Ward, a National Trust property
in County Down. Montgomery is proving to be elusive - I hope you
might be able to help.
From Colin Kennedy, 4 Oct 05: I am assisting
in plans to mark the 400th Anniversary of the arrival of the first
Scots settlers in County Down, lead by Ayrshire "soldier and
entrepreneur" Hugh Montgomery, later Sir Hugh Montgomery and
subsequently Viscount Montgomery of the Ards. From information available
we have been able to identify that this took place in May 1606,
however there is no reference to a specific date. If anyone could
assist or point me in the right direction, I would be most grateful.
From David McClure: Sir Hugh presumably came from
the same Montgomery stable as the earls of Eglinton.
mill at Seamill
From Bill Hunter, 19th Jan 05: Do you have any
information about a lint mill at Seamill? I believe it closed around
1840 and was a hotel now a dwelling house.
From David McClure: According to Rev. Arthur Oughterson
(OSA, 1791-1799), the people of the parish of West Kilbride
were actively engaged in both the raising of flax and the production
of coarse linen. Half a century later the Rev. Thomas Findlay wrote
(NSA, 1837): 'Flax may be said to have wholly disappeared,
scarcely a patch being now to be seen.' Neither mentioned a lint
mill. The RCAHMS lists a lint mill in Seamill at Glenbride. This
is near the east end of Chapelton Lane, and on its north side. The
grid reference is NS204470.
From Donald Manson, 30 March 2006: As far as I
am aware the hotel it became was the Glenbryde Hotel which closed
as a hotel around 1980. It was developed into flats I believe.
Patna; Robert Burns' Valley of Doon
From Donald Reid, 19th Feb 05: I will shortly
(30th March 2005) publish YESTERDAY'S PATNA AND THE LOST VILLAGES
OF DOON VALLEY. This book is currently at print. It is limited to
900 numbered and signed copies. The book tells part of the story
of what are often referred to now as ghost villages, namely, Lethanhill/Burnfoothill;
Benwhat; Corbie Craigs; Craigmark; Beoch; Kerse, Tongue Row and
Cairntable. It is illustrated with 110 photographs of people, places
and events. Part of the story is told through the reminiscences
of former residents of the Lost Villages. The stories are often
heart-renching and very humbling. A copy of this book will, once
available, be supplied to David McClure for favour of review on
this site. It is also my intention once the book has sold out to
supply a full copy of the manuscript and photographs for the editor
to publish as he wishes. The next book by Donald L Reid currently
under research is ROBERT BURNS' VALLEY OF DOON and the author (Tel
01505-503801) is keen to identify any known associations between
Scotland's Bard and the Valley of Doon. This book is almost finished
and is currently being revised, but there is sufficient time to
include interestingly different information and photographs. All
information supplied will be appropriately acknowledged in the book.
Donald L Reid can
be contacted direct at:
7 Manuel Avenue, Beith, North Ayrshire, KA15 1BJ Tel No 01505-503801.
He would very much value any assistance.
From Donald Reid, 10 May 05: I have finished the
manuscript for Robert Burns' Valley of Doon and now need to select
photos. I am keen to include a few previously unpublished school
photos of any school in the Doon Valley. I need a nice clear photo
and the names from left to right beinning at the back row: middle
row etc to the front. If you are able to assist this would be very
helpful. There may also be other unpublsihed photos which would
strike a chord, especially groups of folk where they can be named.
This is fairly urgent as Ottakars are keen to have this book by
August. Any assistance greatly apprecited. Thanks.
on the Ayr-Glasgow road
From Ruth Duncan: I am researching the validity
of an old family story that my great or great great granfather was
a stage coached driver of some repute. He drove, or so the story
goes, a stage coach possible the Royal Mail coach from Glasgow to
Ayr. The bit of the story I am interested in is the part where Loganswell
[Loganswell Farm is at NS513521 - in Renfrewshire] on the A77 road
to Glasgow was supposed to have been named after him, his surname
and my maiden name being Logan.
Although not directly related to the Bensley
Wood topic, I thought this photo, taken looking south, of part
of Bensley Village, 3 miles from Kilwinning, might be of interest.
The 2 houses on the extreme right of the photograph are still standing.
My late Mother went to Fergushill school along a good bit left of
the area in the photograph as a child.
See also Benslie,
in Ayrshire Miners' Rows.
From Ruth Duncan, 18 Jan 05: We recently built
our house on an area of land in Benslie Village, North Ayrshire.
In clearing part of the garden area we uncovered part of the foundations
belonging to one of the miners cottages that previously occupied
the site. I would like to know more about the history of the cottages
and if possible some information about the people who lived here
and how they lived.
Forster Fraser, Ayr Observer
From Jean Coker, Jacksonville, Florida, USA, 1 Jan 05:
I am searching my Auld family and have recently found a
cousin, Agnes Auld, whose father David Auld lived in Inverkeithing,
married John Forster Fraser (sometimes apparently spelled Frazer).
Agnes' obituary says that she died in Edinburgh in 1843 and was
the wife of John Forster Fraser, late editor of the Ayr Observer.
Can anyone provide me with some help in learning more about the
history of the newspaper and perhaps what years he served as the
editor of the paper? When he died? Of if he had an obituary in the
Ayr Observer? Or if there is any information about children or other
family members? I plan a trip to Scotland in the spring so could
personally do some of the spade work if I knew where to start. Thanks.
From David McClure: See the article by Rob Close,
'Two Hundred Years of the Ayr Advertiser', in Ayrshire
2003, and in particular 'Appendix 3: Ayr Observer'.
weavers, 19th C.
From Jenelle McCarrick, 14 Jan 05: I am researching
the descendents of Thomas Neill (also spelt O'Neill/Neil) and Margaret
BELL married 1825 Girvan, Ayrshire. Thomas was a head loom weaver,
on the 1861 census, they lived at 9 Dalrymple Street. Margaret his
wife, was a winder of weft(?) Ann a cotton weaver, Hugh a cotton
weaver, James an apprentice baker and Ann's illigetimate daughter
Margaret aged 2 lived with them. Some of the family came to Kepple
Bay in 1863 on the Rockhampton, would like to find relatives, if
any left behind. Thank you, just found this site.
From David McClure: see below.
From Lisa Hutchison, 12 Jan 05: Are there any
old photos of Rankinston?
From David Law, 24th Feb 05: A
friend of mine sent me this image some time ago and thought it might
be of interest.
From David McClure: This photo has also been added
to the section on Rankinston
in Ayrshire Miners' Rows on this site.
From Alex Fergusson, 3 Mar 05: Looking for any
old photos of Rankinston or stories that may have been handed down
through the ages about the village or its residents. Thanks to David
Law for his posting of the Plantation Row photo.
From Eleanor Lindsay, 5 March 2006: I was very
interested in your photograph of Rankinston - PlantationRow as my
family lived in Rankinston from 1880s to the 1940s. I showed my
mother ( who is 98) the photograph and she gasped as the three people
at the door are her aunts and uncle. they lived in plantation Row
till about1913 and then lived at Seaview at the top of the brae.
I have been given a lot of old photos but many are in their own
garden though I know I have a picture of the unveiling of the War
Memorial. The family was called McDowall and my Great Aunt Eleanor
was the Registrar for many years and then my Aunt Nan took over
from her. Nan is 92 and is in a home in Crieff.
Your site is very interesting as i am very involved in my family
From Annie Clark, 12 Jan 05: I am trying to find
the history of Boghall Cottages Ayr, KA6 6ET. I am advised they
were farm workers cottages, possibly part of the Cassillis estate,
but cannot find any information. An inscription on a wall in my
cottage was written in 1886. Any help would be much appreciated.
From Joe Keatings, 11 Jan 05: trying to get details
of an accidental death in Port Lane colliery Riccarton on April
17 1862 an explosion killed Thomas Trainer , an ancestor of mine
. Where would I find such info.? any info on colliery ?
From Colin Bismor, 11 Jan 05: Trying to find information
on plane crash near Dreghorn (Capringstone Farm).The accident occurred
in the late 50s. I believe it was a military flight from Prestwick.
From Tom Howe, 3 May 2005: As a child I can remember
seeing the crashed plane in trees on the left just outside Dreghorn
when travelling towards Springside on a bus. At the time it looked
to me like a light civilian aircraft.
From David Gallacher, 18 Aug 05: This was the
very late 50s, I think either '58 or '59. I was a small boy (born
'53) living in Perceton Row at the time and we had to walk past
the crash site enroute to Dreghorn and school (up the Coach Brae).
It crashed on the pocket of land SW of the farmhouse, within the
bend of the River Annick, on the opposite bank from the "coup".
I remember the excitement at the time. The aircraft was yellow colour
and at the time I was told it was a "trainer" from Prestwick,
which all adds up.
Skylahill Ayrshire and Caddle
From Anne Whiteford, 8 Jan 05: I am researching
family history and am trying to find out what and where Skylahill
Ayrshire and Caddle Park Ardrossan were or are.
From Alasdair Shearer, 8 Jan 05: My great grandfather
William Shearer played football in the 1890s with Ayr F.C. before
they merged with Ayr Parkhouse to become Ayr United. One of the
players in United's first game (a friendly against Hurlford in 1910)
was named Shearer but I have no first name. He was still involved
with the team at his death in 1923. Does anyone have information
on Ayr F.C. in the 1890s, particularly team lists etc.
From Agnes Connett, 22 Dec 04: I am trying to
find out why the Barracks at Troon was called the "Willockston"
From David McClure: Note on the Armstrongs Map
of Ayrshire 1775 the farm 'Wilstoun Darby', approximately where
Marr College stands today. 'Wilstoun' or 'Willstoun' was interchangeable
with 'Wallacetoun' - see 'Gazeteer of Ayrshire 1750-1800' in Ayrshire
at the Time of Burns, John Strawhorn, ed., AANHS 1959, 351.
From the same page note 'Willockston' in Mauchline was contracted
to 'Wilkston'. According to the 1st OS, 1857, the farm on the Troon
site was 'Wallacefield': NGR NS332315. Until a record of the naming
of the barracks, with rationale, emerges, I think that it is reasonable
to conjecture that in this instance 'Willstoun' became 'Willockston'
rather than 'Wallaceton'. In 'Wilstoun Darby', note the similarity
of 'Darby' to 'Darley', the name of the nearby burn.
From David McClure: David B. Smith has pointed
out to me that Willockston is shown on the 1st OS, east of the railway
and just south of the Troon-Loans road, at about NS333310, where
the cemetary is located today. He added that some information on
Willockston Barracks will be found in the book by I. M. Mackintosh,
Old Troon and District: An Historical Account, 1969, 2nd
ed. 1972; and that hole 17 on Loch Green municipal golf course is
known as The Barracks.
YMCA Boxing Club
From John Fulton, 18 Dec 04: endeavouring to find
information relating to YMCA boxing club in Ayr in the early 1930's.
Particular interest would be any reference to William Fulton and
his competitions and results.
From David McClure: You may find something in
the Ayrshire Post Index in the Scottish and Local History Section
of the Carnegie Library, Ayr. This covers 'Events, Obituaries, etc.
in South Ayrshire [from 1920]. N.B. Births, Marriages and Deaths
Ayrshire in 17th C.
From John Anderson, 14 Dec 04:I am interested
in any books/articles/references to the life and times of east Ayrshire
in the 17th Century as background for a book I intend to write.
My paricular interest is in the Mauchline area.
Marshall, Evangelist, Author & Pioneer
From John Anderson, 17 Dec 04: Can anyone please
tell me how I could either buy or borrow a copy of the book "Alexander
Marshall, Evangelist, Author & Pioneer" by John Hawthorn.
Alexander Marshall, was born at Stranraer in 1846 and died, and
is buried, at Prestwick in 1928.
From David McClure: Blythswood
Bookshop lists a copy for £5 plus post and packing.
competitions in Troon
From Jean McKee, 28 Nov 04: I am trying to find
details of shooting competitions back in 1900- 1903 in Troon. I
am particularly interested in Stephen Nash who took part in a few.
Any info would be greatly appreciated.
From David McClure: Perhaps someone currently
involved in a shooting club in Ayrshire will know where the information
may be found. There are contacts for four clubs listed on the South
Ayrshire Sports Council website.
From Nanette McLean, 20 Sep 05: I have a medal
from early in 1900s which was presented to my Grandfather, George
Murray Black- . It was for shooting and was presented by the officers
of the Royal Scots Fuseliers. Perhaps yours too may be of military
From Donna Petrie, 13 Dec 04:I would like to know
if there are any sites, or books about the weavers in Ayrshire,
or even Irvine.
From David McClure: I do not know of any sites,
but the following book has many Ayrshire references: Norman Murray,
The Scottish Hand Loom Weavers 1790-1850, A Social History,
accident at Cunninghamhead station
From Linda Conn, 28 Nov 04: I am trying to trace
any information on Elizabeth Kennedy who lost both arms when she
fell beneath a train at Cunninghamhead Station. I don't have an
exact date but I think probably between 1885 - 1900.
songs of Ayrshire
From Pete Heywood, 30 Nov 04:I am not researching
anything specifically - yet - but I am interested in traditional
songs. Some areas of Scotland are rich in traditional songs, but
I am not aware of many Ayrshire songs. Given the diverse history
of struggle, radicalism, mining, farming etc., I find this strange.
Does anybody know of any collections? The
Tradition Bearers website.
From Marion Mitchell, 16 Dec 04: Hi. ever heard
of Robert Burns.......... he wrote songs about Ayrshire.
of Fairfield, Monkton
From Jim McCrone, 3 Dec 04: I've recently moved
to Monkton and am trying to learn local history. Just north of the
village are some building and graveyard remains at a location named
as "Fairfield " in some old maps I have, and AANHS Mnograph
No 28 mentions Campbells of Fairfield. I'm having difficulty getting
much further. Any suggestions would be appreciated.
From David McClure: In 1756 William Campbell of
Fairfield occupied a house with 11 windows in Monkton parish [Window
Tax records, E326/1/11]. Compare, in the same parish, Orangefield
39; Munktown 18; Adamtown 30. In 1797 there was a Mrs Fullarton
resident at Fairfield (30 windows) [E326/1/16]. Fairfield was originally
Monkton Mains; the William Campbell who possessed it in 1773 was
provost of Ayr 1783-4 and died c.1791; he was succeeded by William
Gunning Campbell [John Strawhorn, ed., Ayrshire at the Time
of Burns, (Ayrshire Collections, Vol. 5), 1959, 292-3]. In
1832 (0r 1837) the landowner was W. G. (presumably William Gunning)
Campbell, one of the principal landowners in the combined parishes
of Monkton and Prestwick [NSA, Monkton & Prestwick,
1832 rev. 1837, 173]. To investigate further and enquire about other
possible sources, I suggest you visit the Scottish and Local History
Section, Carnegie Library, Ayr.
From Adam Dunlop, 18 Nov 04: I am trying to find
the name of a sanitorium in Riccarton where a relative died in 1921.
Can anyone offer help?
From Helen Skehill, 12 Dec 04: Torrance House
on Riccarton Road was a sanitorium. It is now a nursing home, Torrance
Lodge. It lies on the south side of the A71, between the bypass
(A77) and Hurlford.
From Bill Braniff, 11 Jan 05: My Auntie was in
a sanatorium in Riccarton named Kaimshill. It may have changed its
name but was well known as Kaimshill in my youth.
Mill; James Templeton, Carpet Manufacturer
James McCardle, 16 Nov 04: Family history centred
on great-grandparents living in SKELDON MILLS COTTAGES near Dalrymple,
Ayrshire during the years from about 1879 to 1906 - Knox Family
- James Knox buried in Dalrymple churchyard Grave No.83.
Interest in any history of Skeldon Mills (Woollen Mills) on banks
of River Doon; now place only marked by plaque - is now caravan,
camping site. old pictures, drawings or illustrations, etc. or previous
research history of wool weaving etc. in Ayrshire which may contain
From Marjorie Templeton, 4 April 05: William Templeton
1782-1839 who was the Woollen Manufacturer at Skeldon Mills is my
gr. gr. gr. grandfather. He died of an accidental death, probably
at the woollen mill in 1839. His daughter, Margaret Templeton (1810-1907)
married John Dempster 1802-1884 and they came to America in 1841,
lived in Michigan & Iowa where they are buried. James Templeton
b. 1812-?, Carpet Manufacturer in Ayr, and David Templeton 1818-1881,
tenant in 1851, are the brothers of Margaret Templeton Dempster.
Would be very interested in any stories about this family. John
Dempster & Margaret Templeton Dempster lived at Skeldon Mill
Cottages, Waterside in the 1840 census, just before their journey
to America in 1841.
From Samantha Spanton, 11 June 05: Looking for
any information about J. Templeton clocks made in Ayr. We have a
Grandfather clock in the family made by this name, and we would
like to find information on its history.
Campbell of Netherplace
From Kevin O'Neill, 21 Nov 04: I am trying to
find the identity of an artist who did a charcoal and chalk drawing
of William Campbell of Netherplace marking his death in 1843.
and Borestone Rows, Dalry
From Trudy ?, 19 Nov 04: I am researching my
GGGrandparents, Miles & Margaret (McShane) McCann. Miles died
in Dalry in 1869 at age 61. They were living on Burnside Row at
the time of his death. Both ancestors were born in N. Ireland, circa
1808. Miles was an iron miner. Their children include Alice, b.
N. Ireland in 1836, Mary, b. Lanarkshire, 1844, John, b. 1849 Kilbirnie,
Patrick, b. 1852 Kilbirnie and Margaret, b. 1856 Kilbirnie. Any
help greatly appreciated. Trudy.
From David McClure: Please note that this is not
a family history site. Genealogical enquiries will not be posted
unless there is an aspect of the enquiry which I feel is of wider
interest and utility. This is a case of point. Burnside does not
appear on modern OS maps, though Burnside Bridge appears on 1:25,000
maps (not 1:50,000). According to the 1st OS (1856) Burnside was
at NS296512, immediately on the SW side of the junction of the B780
[road numbers are modern] with the B784, between the junction and
a lane which is still there. On the other (W) side of this lane
lay the similar Borestone. Both consisted of miners' rows. Neither
appear in Ayrshire Miners'
Rows 1913, possibly because they had been abandoned before that
date. The B780 crosses Burnside Bridge over the Pitcon Burn on the
N side of the junction. There was a Burnside School on the E side
of the B780, between the junction and Lintseeridge farm lane. There
was also a school in Borestone. Borestone and Burnside were situated
between the junction and Pitcon Mains. A toll house stood on the
B784 adjacent to the junction. There were both ironstone and coal
mines in the neighbourhood. Ironstone was not being mined in the
parish at the time of the New Statistical Account (June 1836), though
the author (Rev. Thomas Johnstone) mentions ironstone on the estate
of Swinridgemuir, and its recent discovery on the estate of Blair,
the largest in the parish. It is clear from the account that the
mining settlements of Burnside and Boreland did not exist at the
time of writing. They were created between then and 1856. Section
0f the 1st OS showing Burnside and Borestone.
From Sharon McBride 10 Dec 04: Re. Irish Ironstone
Miners in Dalry. My Harley & Houston families arrived in Scotland
from Donegal, Ireland in the late 1840s. They are listed in census
records as Ironstone Miners working at Borestone. In 1851 census
they are at Blaire Row, in 1861 & 1871 they are at Blair Front
Row & in 1881 at Borestone No 26, Dalry, Ayr. I am interested
in finding out more about where & how they lived. I would assume
they came to Scotland because of the famine in Ireland but wonder
if perhaps the mine owners actually brought all these Irish families
in to work their mines, perhaps on an indenture system as the majority
of workers seem to be Irish.
From David McClure: See R. H. Campbell, 'The Iron
Industry in Ayrshire', in Ayrshire Collections, Vol. 7,
1966, 90-102 for a short history. The following extract is from
the section headed 'Social Change' (page 99): 'In Dalry,
the centre of the early developments, the transformation
was conspicuous. In 1847, a year when the Irish were pouring into
the parish, the Inspectior of Mines commented that "it will
require all the attention and foresight of the proprietors to prevent
the growth and increase, in the parish of Dalry, of those evils
which have arisen so manifestly in the Coatbridge and Airdrie district
of Lanarkshire, from the permitted operation of causes which inevitably
undermine the morals of a people" (fn. Report of the Inspector
of Mines, 1847, XVI, 401, p.19). A decade later the editor
of the Maitland Club's edition of Timothy Pont's Cunninghame
still spoke of the "rapid expansion and improvement"
in many Ayrshire towns. The weavers' cottages, which had been added
to the old agricultural community in the late eighteenth and early
nineteenth century, had Victorian tenements added to them, while
the place of the more isolated rural communities of the past was
taken by the miners' rows, the most interesting and characteristic
addition of the period, few of which were built in the existing
towns, and so failed to gain the advantages of such limited social
provision as was to be found in them.' The author continues with
a description of the 'squalid conditions of the rows that
grew up with the iron and coal industry in Ayrshire'. See also Ayrshire
Miners' Rows 1913 (link above), and Barbara E. Paterson, 'The
Social and Working Conditions of the Ayrshire Mining Population,
1840-1875', in Ayrshire Collections, Vol. 10, 1972, 201-260.
From Sheila Cunningham:
Does anyone know the location of New Single Row, Dalry,
From Margaret Teague, 22 Nov 04: Muirkirk Parish
of Ayrshire records show that the Menzies family I am researching
lived in a place called Coltburn in the general time period of 1810's
to 1830. I have been unable to find any other reference to such
a village. One old map of Muirkirk Parish shows a burn named Coltburn
south of the village of Muirkirk. Does anyone have any information
From David McClure: In the 1790s there was a colliery
at Coltburn, Muirkirk. Where 'sheepfold' is marked on the current
OS 1:25,000 map at NS693258, just S of Springfield Farm, the 1st
OS (1859) shows 'Coltburn (ruin)', which appears to be the foundations
of two miners' rows. There are 'Old Coal Pits' nearby. A resident
of Coltburn was probably a miner inhabiting a rudimentary terraced
cottage in a miners' row. For descriptions of surviving miners'
rows as they were early in the twentieth century, see Ayrshire
Miners' Rows 1913. There was indeed a Colt Burn. However, Coltburn
was situated N of an unnamed (so far as the maps cited above are
concerned) tributary of the Garpel Water, while the Colt Burn feeds
into the same further upstream at NS691253. If you just have the
1:50,000 map sheet 71, follow the minor road S from Muirkirk through
Kames. The unnamed building lying on the E of the track S of Kames
is (or was) Springhill. Coltburn lay immediately adjacent to the
track on its W side between Springhill and 'Cairn'. This cairn is
the monument on the site of McAdam's tar kilns.
the 20th century caveman of Bennane Head, Ayrshire
From Gordon Cutting, 1 Nov 04: As a child I remember
a man that lived in a cave that had the front bricked up. This hermit
was a well to do banker in his former years. The people of Ballantrae
(including my grandmother) used to leave him his Sunday and Xmas
dinners on a wall close by for him. He died in the Davidson cottage
hospital in Girvan in the 1980's/early 1990's. I would appreciate
it if any info about him (who I believe to be Snib or Snibb) could
From David McClure: See the article by Elizabeth
Robertson, 'Snib Scott, banker to caveman' in Scots Magazine,
August 1993, 141-145. There is a monument to Scott on the foreshore
near to his cave, bearing the following inscription: 'HENRY EWING
TORBET (Snib) of Bennane Cave, 1912-1983. RESPECTED AND INDEPENDENT'.
According to the author, his home was in Dundee, where
he worked in a bank for 11 years, and became engaged to marry, but
gave it all up for reasons unknown. For some time he wandered about
the west Highlands, existing as a vagrant about Arrochar and Fort
William, and then settled in a derelict miner's cottage at Waterside
in Ayrshire. (More about Ayrshire
miners' cottages. You can see that the cave may have been a
distinct improvement on the cottage.) He made his home in the Bennane
cave several years after giving up his former respectable life.
From Carol Ross, 19 April 05: i was looking through
your site tonight and came to the question from Gordon Cutting trying
to find out information about Snib. Ihave in fact actually met Snib
many years ago, a very interesting character indeed. I used to work
in the bakers in Ballantrae which was then owned by my family, and
Snib used to find coppers lying about the road etc. and would come
in the shop for '' A loaf of Bread!!'' - he had a gruff very polite
voice. I'd be delighted to tell Gordon all i know.
From Carol Ross, 14 May 05: Hi David..apart from
what I've told you theres not a lot else really...except Ido remember
Snib fell on the beach one day and was taken to the Davidson Hospital
in Girvan, where he stayed for a while. When he came back out he
went back to his cave to live even though the authorities wanted
him to have a house either in Ballantrae or Girvan! As always Isuppose
home is best! My brother and some of the local boys (in their teens)
went to visit Snib to see how he was doing and he offered them a
seat by his fire (in the cave) and sat speaking to them for a long
while. Snib was a very private man but if you approached him he
talked for a wee while then moved on. Also some of the local folk
of Ballantrae left him various things (as in food) outside the cave.
He wouldent accept anything if you handed it to him in the street
(he would shout at you!) but, if folk left something for him Isuppose
it was more of a gift to him than charity which he wasn't comfortable
in accepting. I used to watch him go through the bins for cigarette
buts etc and when Iwas wee he was a scary figure but as I grew up
he became part of normal life in Ballantrae. Everyone missed him
very much when he died. Hope that helps a wee bit, regards,
Bruntwood House, Galston
From Ken Binnie, 16 Nov 04: I have recently become
the new owner of Bruntwood House, a B listed building situated by
Galston Ayrshire and would be interested in tracing any of its origins
etc as it dates back to around 1725. My wife and I start renovation
works on it very shortly.
William Dunn, vintner in
Ayr, and the Glasgow-Ayr Mail Coach
From Bill Cochrane, 24 Oct 04: I came upon your
website while browsing for information on the start of the Royal
Mail Coaches in Scotland. The Ayrshire site turned up because of
the related Turnpike Roads. I wonder if you have come across any
information on the start of the first Ayr-Glasgow Royal Mail Coach?
To-date, I have narrowed the time-frame to "sometime in 1790".
My best guess is in July-September of 1790. It started at 9am from
the Saracen's Head Inn, Gallowgate, Glasgow terminating at Dun's,
Sandgate, Ayr. It took 4 hrs to Kilmarnock and another 2hrs to reach
Ayr. I have assumed Dun was an Innkeeper at the time and not the
Post Office (earliest name I have is Miss Mitchell, postmistress
ca 1800). I searched the Ayrshire site for "Royal Mail Coach"
& "Mail Coach" without any relevant hits. Any help
would be much appreciated. Thanks, Bill Cochrane, Ontario, Canada.
From David McClure: The earliest notice concerning
for the Ayr-Glasgow coach I have seen is the following from the
Glasgow Advertiser 11-14/3/1791: 'The stage from Ayr to Glasgow
arrives at Irvine before departure of the Greenock stage.' This
suggests it was a going concern at that time.
From Bill Cochrane: Many thanks for the information
on the Glasgow-Ayr Royal Mail Coach. Using your March 1791 date
I backtracked the announcements in the 1790-91 Edinburgh Advertisers
(issues of this newspaper are in the Archives of the University
of Guelph here in Canada).Unfortunately, I didn't find a GPO Royal
Mail Coach announcement with the start date of the Glasgow-Ayr service.
However, I did find an announcement by a William Dunn, King's Arms
Inn, Ayr stating the Royal Mail Coach starts from his premises every
day at 7.30am for Glasgow. This is dated 21-28 Sept 1790. So I reckon
the Mail Coach start date was July/August 1790. Mr Dunn announced
he had just started a Diligence 3 times a week to Portpatrick.Do
you have any information on this William Dunn, proprietor of the
King's Arms Inn eg location? He was still running the Mail Coach
From David McClure: According to John Strawhorn,
History of Ayr, Edinburgh 1989, 135, The King's Arms was at the
foot of the High Street. It was rebuilt after a fire in 1833. In
1790 it would have been a very mean building. According to the window
tax rolls (E326/1/1340) in 1797-1798 William Dunn was occupier of
the Star Inn which had fewer than 8 windows. No other inn was named,
but there were other innkeepers whose inns had 8, 9, or 10 windows.
William Dunn became a burgess and freeman of Ayr on 3rd July 1782,
'vintner, in right of his wife Mary Campbell, daughter of Patrick
Campbell, glazier, burgess and freeman' (Alistair Lindsay and Jean
Kennedy, eds, The Burgesses and Guild Brethren of Ayr 1647-1846,
Ayr 2002, 179) He advertised in Galsgow Mercury 30/5-6/6/1787: [Thanks
for custom. William Dun, vintner, Kings Arms Inn, Ayr.] 'That the
bridge toll may be no objection, allowance will be made of the full
toll on all chaises hired from him to go northward, as also to such
of his friends on that side of the river coming to this place.'
From Glasgow Advertiser 24-27/6/1791: 'Glasgow and Ayr Coach, by
Paisley, Beith, and Irvine. The Proprietors of this Coach, having
found it more suitable for the accommodation of passengers to run
a Coach, instead of a Diligence, betwixt Glasgow and Ayr, upon Mondays,
Wednesdays, and Fridays, beg leave to intimate to their Friends
and the Public, that they have provided Two Handsome easy Coaches
for that purpose, and their Coaches began to run on Monday last,
the 20th current, from the shop of Brash and Reid, Booksellers and
Stationers, opposite to the Laigh Kirk Close, Trongate, Glasgow,
at nine o’clock in the morning, and from John Simson’s, vintner
in Ayr, at eight o’clock same morning. This coach is well calculated
for the accommodation of passengers to or from Port-Patrick, as
it arrives at Ayr on the evenings of Monday, Wednesday, and Friday,
and the Diligence to the Port, leaves Ayr on the mornings of Tuesday,
Thursday, and Saturday … [Calls at Paisley 10.30 a.m., Beith 1.30
p.m., Irvine 3.30.] Passengers are allowed fourteen lib. luggage.
[Tickets: Glasgow – Beith 3s 8d; to Irvine 6s 2d; Ayr 8s 8d.]' In
the Glasgow Advertiser 4-7/1/1793, 16, John Simson is described
as 'vintner at Bridgend of Ayr'. The Royal Mail Coach from Glasgow
to Ayr was run by Smart and Bain, later Bain. See for instance Glasgow
Advertiser, 27/6/1794: Joseph Bain, and formerly Smart and Bain,
is responsible for running the Royal Mail Coach to Carlisle etc.
[Joseph Bain, from the] 'Coach Office, Tontine …continues to run
… on his own account, the following Public Carriages, viz.
The Royal Mail Coach to Carlisle, etc.
The Royal Mail Coach to Ayr.
The Royal Mail Coach to Paisley.
The Prince of Wales Diligence, by Whitburn, to Edinburgh, and
The Princess Royal Diligence, by Cumbernauld, to ditto.
He also continues to run several elegant Post chaises, Street Coaches,
and to provide Hearses, Mourning Coaches, etc.'
crash in St. Quivox Road, Prestwick.
From Ewen Shields, 14 Oct 04: My mother tells
me that her mother (ie my maternal grandmother) witnessed the crash
of a bi-plane trainer aircraft at the top of St. Quivox Road [Prestwick].
This at a time when my grandparents house was the last one in the
road and beyond was countryside. My grandmother and a neighbour
pulled the pilot and trainee from the 'plane but I believe both
died from their injuries. Post-war I believe. Any info...
From David McClure: In the Scottish & Local
History section of the Carnegie Library in Ayr (South Ayrshire Libraries)
there is a card index to the Ayrshire Post since 1920. I have looked
up plane crashes (aeroplane etc) but found nothing that seems to
match the incident in question. The nearest is a crash at Hillside
Avenue, Prestwick, in 1944: ''25 die when plane hits houses',
AP 1/9/1944, 4. There is also 'Plane mishap at [Prestwick] airport,
AP 22/12/1954, 11.
From Ewen Shields: Thank you for doing your detective
work, can you put my original query on your message board thing,
my mother is still adamant that this happened. Thanks,Ewen.
From G McMenamin, 12 May 05: Early on Monday morning
29th August 1944 a low flying plane struck a chimney of no. 59 Berelands
Road, hit no. 60, then crashed into Nos. 4 and 6 Hillside Avenue.
Luckily no. 4 was temp vacant, and eleven persons escaped from the
others before all the houses were engulfed in flames. Four workers
lodging in No. 6 were killed, and five year old Irene Haswell died
on the way to hospital. Those twenty others who were crew and passengers
on the plane also died. There was another plane crash in 1941 at
Whitletts which killed 22.
From Heather Downer, 14 Nov 04: Looking for general
information on the Ayrshire Militia, in particular their activities
from c 1840-1880. Have found an ancestor who was a Sgt. Major and
was married in Cephalonia in 1851 - John Lockhart m Catherine Rafferty.
On 1881 Census they were living in the Militia Quarters in Ayr,
John show as a Militia Pensioner. Any help much appreciated.
From Alan Ritchie, 11 Sep 04: I am researching
the farm called Laigh Blackwood or Little Blackwood which is just
east of Kilmarnock near Moscow . This farm was the family home of
my Ritchie family from 1830-1855. The family home is still standing
as I have been able to procue some photos. One of the photos shows
the door lintel dated 1721. Is there any kind person that would
be able to give me some snippets of of this farm's history. Any
material would be appreciated. Regards Alan Ritchie NEW ZEALAND.
From Robert Smith, 16 July 05: Regarding Mr Ritchie's
enquiry about the above farm. I have been making enquiries about
the farm called Little Blackwood. Apparently nobody knows exactly
where it stood. The Registers of Scotland, despite valiant efforts
on my behalf, can only find vague references to it. Laigh Blackwood
and Little Blackwood are different farms. Both formed part of the
lands of Darquhillan or Darwhilling as it is nowadays. Records from
Edinburgh mention them separately when itemising the estate. The
fact that this farm has been allowed to disappear off the map is
a particular tragedy as in April 1684, a Covenanter, named John
White was shot dead by Government Troops under 'Bluidy Inglis'.
They disturbed a prayer meeting at the farm. Some of the worshippers
escaped but most were captured and taken to Newmilns 'Keep' They
eventually were rescued by a Mr Browning from Lanfine with his adherents.
Mr White after being shot was decapitated and his head taken to
Newmilns where it was used as a football by troops on the village
green. The tenant of Little Blackwood was James Paton whose wife
was surnamed Wylie. Her father lived at Darwhilling. I have made
a lot of enquiries in the area, to no avail. The original families
have moved away. Mr Loudoun of Dykescroft Farm, very kindly showed
me the traditional site of Little Blackwood which was handed down
by word of mouth. This however does not equate with the description
given in the Sasine Register, although it is quite vague in itself.
The present owner of Laigh Blackwood is new to the area, from London
and does not know the history of the farm in any detail. If Mr Ritchie
wants to contact me, I will forward what information I have.
From Alan Ritchie, 30 Jul 05: Thanks Robert for
your great amount of research material on Little Blackwood/Laigh
Blackwood farms. My family is stated as living at Laigh Blackwood
in the 1841 census and 1851cesus . I have been researching these
farms as the same but you have been able to find information that
they are different porperties. I have the information on the death
of James White but would appreciate any other information that you
From Brian Walker, 24 Jun 04: ! understand that
a bomb fell on Kilmarnock during war. I am told by my father in
law, John Bissett, that his father was killed by the bomb. Can anyone
point me to details of the bombing?
From Bill Braniff, 11 Jan 05: I remember a bomb
falling and demolishing half fo one house in Culzean Crecent. A
bomb also dropped on the cemetry which is adjacent to Culzean Crecent.
It was fully written up in the Kilmarnock Standard so questions
could be directed there.
From Francisco Haro, 15 Jan 05: I researched the
Kilmarnock Bombing about 6 years ago as part of my wife's genealogy
project as her grandfather's and great grand parent's grave was
hit by one of the bombs which dropped on Kilmarnock on Tuesday 6th
May 1941. I put an appeal for information in the Kilmarnock Standard
and received considerable information from first hand experience
and theoretical responses from a wide ranging sections of the community.
I have established that the bombs fell in a line approx from the
field south west of the ford at Dean Park near Dark Path, to Culzean
Crescent where the only casualties and deaths occurred...and then
out to Riccarton Moss .. I can account for more or less all of the
locations where they fall. The building which was struck was situated
on the crest if the hill on left hand side of Culzean Crescent coming
from London Road.... it can be clearly seen that one of the blocks
of 4 flats is different and more modern looking from the surrounding
houses. As you say Mr. John Bisset and his housekeeper, Dorothy
Armour, were among the casualties. Incidentally, Mr. Bisset was
termed in the small report in The Standard that week as being a
Deaf Mute ......which would not be politically correct in this day
and age. There has been various theories mooted as to the reason
for the Bombing. but my own opinion is that the aircraft was either
lost or had engine trouble and jettisoned the bombs.... the whole
operation being unplanned..... It would not make sense to drop the
bombs through the Cemetery of all places !!! ... and if the Luftwaffe
intended to bomb Kilmarnock proper, then that's what would have
happened. The reason for my theory of the aircraft (Heinkels were
used in the Greenock bombing) being lost or having engine trouble
is that the 6th of May 1941 was one of the two consecutive nights
that Greenock was bombed. The information above, and more, was given
to Frank Beattie and is included in his book Proud Kilmarnock,
Stories of a Town, (2002) . If anyone is interested I can show
them personally any of the sites or confirm information above, including
correspondences received from from Kilmarnock Standard readers.
From John Bissett, 3 May 2005:
I am the great-nephew of the John Bissett who found dead in the
early morning of May 6th 1941 as a result of the bomb/s that fell
on Culzean Crescent. On the BBC's website, WW2 People's War, an
article of 23 July 2003 quotes Jean Raymond who worked at Ardeer
Munitions Factory. She stated that one night while travelling home
by train they were 'pursued by a German aircraft'. She says that
the next day she heard that the plane had dropped its payload of
bombs over Kilmarnock.
The Kilmarnock bomb is mention in 'Kilmarnock's
Mobile Operating Theatre', an article on the BBC website.
From Mark Bissett, 3 July 2006: I am the grandson
of the John Bissett who was killed in the air raid on Kilmarnock
on May 6th 1941. I would like to get in contact with John Bissett,
great-nephew of my grandgather, who posted the reply of 3May 2005.
Miller, photographer, Old Cumnock
From Carolyn, Winnipeg Canada, 25 Oct 04: I'm
trying to date family portraits taken by A. Miller of Old Cumnock.
Does anyone have any idea of the dates for this business. thanks
for any help on this.
to William Smith of Townhead of Newmilns
From Jeff Loughridge, 31 Ocy 04: Having taken
to 'off road cycling' in Whitelee forest, I have come across a quite
an impressive memorial. It is very inaccessible although its entirely
possible that I didn't choose the easiest route to get to it. It's
an obelisk style monument with a wrought iron fence around it about
25ft x 25ft. Sadly it's in quite a state of disrepair. I guess it
was built long before a forest was put there. The memorial is for
Euphemia Whyte and her husband William Smith (I think)of Townhead
Newmilns and both died around early 1900's. Being an Ulsterman,
I have absolutely no family connections in the Ayrshire area so
to be honest I'm just curious about the background to it, who these
people were etc. Any comments would be most appreciated.
From David McClure: Thank you for your enquiry.
I cannot find this in the National Monuments Record of Scotland.
Can you give me a map reference? I will post your enquiry on the
site after preliminary investigation.
From Jeff Loughridge: Possibly because it's a
'private memorial', it maybe doesn't exist on National Records.
I wish I had taken my camera with me when I went there on Saturday.
As mentioned it's a nightmare to get to...very marshy land. Every
time you take a step, it's a lottery as to whether you step on something
remotely solid or you're up to your knees in 'mush'. There is bound
to be a more accessible route to it although there is nothing indicated
on the map. The best map to use is Ordnance Survey Explorer 334.
This is the 1:25000 scale. I think you can get them in WH Smiths
or failing that from the ordnance survey website. You will recognise
it by the fact that it has a picture of Loudoun Castle on the front.
The map reference is NS599439 by national grid method. A farmer
at High Alderstocks Farm to the east of the monument (suspicious
of what I was up to) told me that she knew of the memorial but had
never been there. However she did tell me that the residents at
Laigh Alderstocks Farm nearby knew more about it. By virtue of barking
dogs, I didn't venture down that far. It's an impressive memorial
by anyone's standard. These people must have been important and/or
wealthy. Hope this helps.
From David McClure: William Smith of Townhead
of Newmilns was an Ayrshire commissioner of supply (and very likely
JP and roads trustee) who attended the Land Tax meetings in Ayr
in 1865, 1869, 1883, and 1889. Townhead of Newmilns was his estate.
The monument appears on 1:10,000 sheet NS54SE beside the Padonochie
Burn. It is actually out of Ayrshire in South Lanarkshire. I did
not see a better
approach than from the Alderstocks farm lane. I will make further
enquiry when I have time. If you want to follow it up yourself,
the Baird Institute in Cumnock is the best place - this is East
Ayrshire's local history centre. I am sure that William Smith will
be mentioned in a history of Newmilns. [I did try to email you but
the address you sent from was rejected when I tried to reply].
From Marjorie Macrae: My grandfather William Macrae
was a Solicitor and the Town Clerk for Stewarton in 1909, and for
sometime thereafter. He was born in Dumfries in 1876 and was still
here then my father was born in 1916. I cannot find the right area
to find any information on the time my grandfather was in office.
I would really appreicate someone pointing me in the right direction
as he must have left some paper trail during his time as Town Clerk.
I do know that when he died in 1951 there was an article written
about him in the newspaper. Which one? I'm not sure about that either,
any help you can give me would be much appreciated. Thank you. Marjorie
Gordon and Mary Baird, Benwhat.
I am researching my family from Dalmellington...the Gordons and
Bairds. William Gordon was an Irish emmigrant who came to the area
to work in the Ironworks in the 1860s. He lived in Benwhat (Benquat)
after he married Mary Baird, daughter of Alexander Baird and Ann
Green. William and Mary Baird-Gordon had six children: John-Isabella
twins; Annie Gordon (married: Baird); Eliza (married: Parker); George
(died as a young boy) James Gordon William died in 1894 after an
accident. The family then moved onto Motherwell Scotland. John,
my g-grandfather emmigrated to the United States. [Any information
welcome.] Thanks. Diane Gordon-Le Fevre.
From David McClure: It would be worth looking
for a copy of Benwhat and Corbie Crags: a brief history, by
R. Farrell, 1983, if you have not already seen it.
Lace - Hans and Moses Wilson; also J & J Wilson & Co.
From Stuart Brown, 17 Jun 04: While researching
my family in Newmilns I bought and read the book by James Mair about
the lace makers strike. On the death cert for Hans Wilson -my Gt.Gt.Gt
Grandad (died Newmilns 1907 aged 80) it describes him as Hand Loom
Weaver. It also gives his father (James Wilson - deceased) as the
same trade and Hans's son (also named Hans).
It is fascinating to look at the photo of the old bearded hand loom
weaver in the book and think that it is possibly 1 in a 100 chance
of being either of them, and even more chance of it being a relative.
Sadly I have now hit a brick wall.
Does anyone out there have any further info/knowledge on Hans or
Moses. In the Canadian Census it shows a James Wilson with grandson
Hans, and I am wondering if there was a historical reason why they
may have gone out there - if of course it is the same two people.
Hans's mother i.e. James's wife (???) is shown as Mary Steen, a
well researched family, but again I find dead ends with any Mary
Steen having a relationship with James Wilson in the 1820's. PLEASE
can someone help before I go insane.
Finally does anyone know of "New Georgeville Cottage",
also connected to the family, where it is, or why it should have
such an American sounding name. Any answers or general comments
would be appreciated.
From John Campbell Wilson: I was excited to see
a recent posting on the research page of your website for the name
Wilson of the Newmilns/Galston area. I have done a fair bit of reserch
into this, my family tree, and I wonder if you could pass my email
address on to the enquirer? We could then hopefully share some information,
and perhaps meet a distant relation or two!!
From David McClure: I have sent Stuart Campbell's
From Susan Paradis, 4 Sep 04: My gr. gr. gr. grandfather
was James Wilson b. 1811, died 12/25/1896 in Newmilns, married to
Margaret Reid, b. 1814, died 8/29/1900 in Newmilns. He was a lace
manufacturer under the name of J. & J. Wilson & Co. which
his sons James and John Wilson continued. My records show that John
was born in 1852, married Helen Mair and died in 1917. James was
born in 1850, married Marion Nelson and died in 1933. My gr. gr.
grandmother was Agnes Wilson b 1839. In 1861 she married John Neill
(blacksmith born 1840 in Loudon) and moved to Partick and then after
his death in 1901, emigrated to the US in 1907. I am looking for
any descendents of this family still living in the Newmilns area,
as I would like to find out more than I have found in history books
on Newmilns and gleaned from reading the cemetery stones in the
cemetery up on the hill a number of years ago. Thanks from California,
Can anyone give me information about the origin, naming and history
of Guilliland Farm, Dundonald? Thanks, Robert Gilliland, Australia.
From David McClure: Gulliland Farm is not found
in the 'Gazetteer of Ayrshire', which you will find in Ayrshire
at the Time of Burns, AANHS, Ayr, (1959). This lists all estates
and farms found in Armstrong's Map of Ayrshire (1775) and Roy's
Johnson's Map of Ayrshire (1828) shows both High Gullieland and
There is no Gullieland (or similar) to be found in Dundonald parish
in Timperley's survey of landownership in Scotland around 1770 (Loretta
R. Timperley, A Directory of Landownership in Scotland, Scottish
record Society, Edinburgh, 1976.
We may surmise that the two farms were created by division between
1775 and 1828. The One-inch map in the Second Ordance Survey of
Scotland (revised 1895, published 1897) shows the single farm of
From Robert Gilliland, 13 June 05: Thank you for
the information about Guilliland farm, Dundonald. However I believe
there was an area with that name in Dundonald before the farm. George
F. Black in his book "The Surnames of Scotland" mentions
it, and I came across a reference to a trap being set for smugglers
at "the Guilliland" in a history book of Dundonald while
doing research at Kilmarnock library. Can anyone tell me more?
& Sons, aerated water manufacturers, Ardrossan
I came across your excellent site and I wondered if anyone could
assist me with the above. I am researching my dissertation in economic
and social history and I am interested in the growth of aerated
water manufacturing in the 19th C. My great-grandfather had a firm
'Jas. Lee & Sons' in Ardrossan, and it was this that stimulated
my interest. Any information, but especially records, would be extremely
helpful and very much appreciated. Kind Regards, Campbell Wilson.
From Tom Caldwell: My GGrandfther Joseph Caldwell
had a similar works in Kilmarnock over the turn of the century.
It was located at "Riverbank" in Greenholm Street. I think
he was established pre-1880 and the business was run as "Joseph
Caldwell" until he died in 1917. After this three of his children
carried on the firm until about 1930. After this Thomas & Adam
Caldwell ran a firm together. this split into the separate businesses
of Thomas (my grandfather) and Adam. Thomas Caldwell & Sons
carried on until 1949 when my grandfather sold his business in East
Shaw Street to the Scottish Co-operative Society. Adam's business
soldiered on in Glencairn Street until the 1960's when it was closed
down. Co-incidentally my GGrandmother and wife of Joseph was Janet
Wilson. I would like to compare notes if possible. I saw the old
works in Greenholm Street in 1957 including a label room full of
old labels from many local firms that had closed down. I now live
in Australia. Tom Caldwell, Coffs Harbour.
prisoner-of-war camp at Cumnock
From Patricia Spaull, Perth, Western Australia:
I am a genealogist residing in Australia and I remember my father
telling me about his time spent in a German Prisoner of War camp
in Ayrshire. I believe that there was one at Cumnock. Does anyone
have any details regarding this or could they direct me to a site
where I can obtain more information.
From Ron Tannock: I remember there being a POW
camp at Auchinleck during the Second World War. Auchinleck is only
two miles north of Cumnock. The best source of information would
be Baird.Institute@east-ayrshire.gov.uk. Regards, Ron Tannock, New
From David McClure: Ron's note sent me to the
Third Statistical Account of Ayrshire, John Strawhorn and
William Boyd, Edinburgh 1951, from which comes the following (page
664): 'Pennylands [Auchinleck parish] lying to the south-west of
the village [of Auchinleck] between the Barony Road and the River
Lugar, was originally part of the Dumfries House estate. During
the last War [WWII] it was taken over by the War Office for use
as a camp, and soldiers of many nationalities were billeted there.
Later it was converted into a Prisoner of War camp and there are
still entanglements left over from that time.' There is more concerning
its later use as a Polish repatriation centre.
From Drew Moyes: Re POW camps - you presumably
know about the camp that was at Kingencleugh [Mauchline parish].
I have been told it was initially for Italian prisoners but may
also have been used for Polish forces. The outline of hut foundations
was still visible 8-10 years ago. Drew.
From David McClure: This sent me back to the Third
Statistical Account, page 699: 'It was hoped at one time that
the Prisoners of War Camp at Kingencleugh, from which some 500 prisoners,
first Italians and later Germans, went out to labour on farms in
the districts around, might be made available for local housing
once the Germans had gone home, but it is now  occupied by
"displaced persons" from Central Europe.' From 1800 Kingencleugh
was the property of the Alexanders of Ballochmyle.
From Bob Scott, 17 April 2005: Further to the
email from Patricia Spaull, I don't know the date, re the POW Camp
at Auchinleck, I would be most interested to hear if her father
is still alive, and can recall his time at the camp. I am currently
researching Axis POW camps in Scotland for a research degree at
the University of Glasgow. I am currently in the process of harvesting
as much information as I can with a view to establishing how these
camps functioned both as a 'military' unit, and also as part of
the local infrastructure. The camp at Auchinleck was a base camp,
and was quite spread out, when compared to the camp at Mauchline,
which was a 'standard' POW camp, following a pattern which was replicated
in many locations across the country. Any assistance you can provide
would be most appreciated. Regards, Bob Scott,
Strathaven (although a native of Symington, Ayrshire).
From David Gibson, 27 May 05: this camp was at
Auchinleck. I remember when the PoWs reconstructed Auchinleck Talbot
football field and dressing rooms. I also was the proud owner of
a model spitfire decorated in pokerwork made by one of the prisoners,
which cost me 10 woodbine. The foundations of the camp are still
there to this day.
From Judy Buller, Canada:Looking for any info
on what Corraith was and may be now. Ancestor was noted as a "portioner
of Corraith" c 1750. Have found it on a modern map but have
no idea of what it was or is (village, farm?). There appears to
be other Allasons listed as portioners and of Corraith as well.
Also interested in suggestions of finding information related to
Isabella Poe married to James Allason (portioner of Corraith). They
have the births of 3 children recorded in the Dundonald parish register
(1756, 57 and 60). There is no marriage entry for them. Have no
idea of where Isabella might have come from or where to begin looking.
From David McClure: Corraith is a farm on Dundonald
Hill, about 4.5 km from Troon and 2 km from Symington, Ayrshire.
The house was for some time a youth hostel.
From Kirsty Jess, 25 Aug 05: I am looking for
any information anyone can give me about The Youth Hostel that used
to be at Corraith Symington. It was knocked down roughly 1968. Any
information would be great. I stayed there as a young girl and am
moving back up. Anyone who can help. Thank you.
From Christine McBeath, 1 Sep 05: I have discoverd
that my GGGG grandfather William Wallace and his wife Mary Wardrobe
(spelling on marriage certificate) were servants to Robert Allason
of Corraith. They were married in Symington 06/11/1789.
From Patty McCann: My great- grand father was
born in Boylston, Old Cumnock, Ayrshire. His name was Patrick McCann.
His family was originally from Northern Ireland but they went to
Scotland during the potato famine. All I know about the McCann family
is that my great-grandfather was born in Boylston, Scotland. I have
been trying so hard to figure out if Boylston is a town or maybe
just a farmland and what my great-grandfather's family did for a
living while they were in Boylston. Patrick McCann was the only
member of his family to returned to Ireland and he settled in Divernagh,
Bessbrook, County Armagh. There is not much around Divernagh it
is a townland, and Patrick rented a small cottage on a farm while
he lived there. My great-grandmother's maiden name was Wilson. I
have often wonder if Patrick met her in Boylston because I don't
know what would have made him return to Ireland and I do know that
my great-grandmother's family (the Wilsons) did not live too far
from Bessbrook. They lived in Culliville. Anything you could tell
me about Boylston would be greatly appreciated.
From David McClure: Boylston is a farm at National
Grid Reference NS595201. This is on the minor road east of Cumnock
leading to Dalblair. There was an ironworks at nearby Lugar and
much coal-mining in the area.
From Michelle McCubbin: I am looking for any
infomation or photos about Hogston Farm, Maidens. It was a tattie
farm with the Irish workers staying in the barns but it has been
lying derilect for a number of years. Since moving in last year
to restore it back to the lovely steading it once was, we have been
told that it was once the home of Helen Mctaggart who married Douglas
Graham (Tam o' Shanter). Can
anyone help with any history of the place?
From David McClure: For more about Irish migrant
labour and the potato harvest, see the book by Heather Holmes: As
Good as a Holiday: Potato Harvesting in the Lothians from 1870 to
the Present, Tuckwell, 2000. The AANHS (Ayrshire Archaeological
and Natural History Society) will be publishing another book by
Heather Holmes later this year, concerning Irish workers and the
early potato harvest in Ayrshire. In connection with this, I am
looking for suitable photographs: migrant Irish workers in the fields,
at rest, or travelling between farms; accommodation and facilities;
Arms, Laigh Coylton
I have recently bought the Coylton Arms(Laigh Coylton) and am
trying to research any history about it. Do you know of any, or
where I get can some information. I see a short reference in the
piece by Rob Close but little else. Thanks in advance, Joe Roney.
From David McClure: The article by Rob Close gives
you a fair idea of the sources which are available to anyone researching
the history of an inn. Just take a look at his endnotes. He also
mentioned the Coylton Arms briefly in 'Ayrshire & Arran: An
Illustrated Architectural Guide', 1992: 'At Low Coylton, the old
kirk, medieval, fragmentary, repaired in 1776, and the couthy Coylton
Arms, c.1800.' There is a useful book by David Moody in the Batsford
Local History Series - 'Scottish Towns: Sources for Local Historians',
1992, which describes records such as title deeds, sasines, valuation
rolls, dean of guild records and others.
From Zoe Stray: My Nan used to live in The Coylton
Arms when she was a little girl (she's 80 now). Her mother used
to own it and it was left to her in the previous owner's will. I
would like some more information myself on this pub as I want to
take my Nan here soon. I believe it had guest rooms at some point.
Are these still available or, even, is it still a pub? [Yes, it
is still a pub.].
From Jean Stoddart, 18 Mar 05: I have some information
re Alexander Waters which may be of interest
to Catherine Fitchell of Australia. I may also be able to supply
some anecdotal information re Coylton Arms Inn in Laigh Coylton.
My school, St. Cuthbert's Primary in Maybole, is South Ayrshire
representative in a pilot project being run by the Lighthouse Trust.
There were 5 areas in Scotland chosen with one school for each area.
Our project is Maybole Town Hall and we are trying to contact as
many people as possible to help us make this a really memorable
initiative for the children.
Please could you let me know if you would be interested in helping
The address is: -
St. Cuthbert's Primary School
Maybole, KA 19 7HD
butler at Killochan Castle in 1881
I am researching the surname of BRAMWELL who in 1881 census
was the Head Butler of Killochan Castle in Ayr.
Haven't been able to find out any more but would appreciate any
information. Thank you. Michelle White.
From David McClure: Killochan Castle lies on the
left bank of the Water of Girvan, near Old Dailly and about 3 miles
from the town of Girvan, Ayrshire. As I am sure you have realised,
there is a sketch of the castle on the Home page of Ayrshire History.
Click here to go to a short article
about the castle. Bramwell is a rare surname in Ayrshire. The butler
probably came from the southwest of England.
Kennedy of Drumellan.
Can you tell e anything about the Primrose Kennedy. Did she attend
the first Burns supper in 1801? Thanks, Dennis Pattenden.
From David McClure: Primrose Kennedy of Drumellan
was an Ayrshire landowner. I do not know if he attended the first
Burns Supper, though I am sure that the attendance was a matter
of record. His son, Primrose William Kennedy (1800-63) was a leading
banker in Ayr and Provost 1855-61.
Frim Jim Johnstone, 12 June 05: John Strawhorn's
book on Ayrshire Burns Lore states that 9 men attended the first
Burns' Supper in Burns' cottage in 1801. Primrose Kennedy was listed
amongst the attendees and the Rev. Hamilton Paul delivered an ode
in remembrance of the poet.
From W J (Bill) Kennedy, 12 March 2006: I am researching
genealogical details of my family tree, and am interested in finding
more about Primrose Kennedy of Drummellan.My grandfather was William
Primrose Kennedy who died in Australia, maybe in 1913 aged around
90. I suspect that his father may have been Primrose William Kennedy
(1800-1863) described in Ayrshire History as "Leading Banker
and Provost1855-1861)I suspect that Primrose Kennedy b. 6/6/1756
of Drummellan "Ayrshire landowner" may be Primrose William's
father, and possibly my great grandfather.
From Jim Jeffrey, 4 Feb 04: Hi, Just browsing
your site while searching for list of early Ayrshire photographers.
Great list by Rob Close!!!
Can I contact him as I am looking to date (track) an early photo
by Newmilns photographer, R? Wragg . Of the four photographer's
I was interested in Rob's article gave me three, only Wragg is not
The photo is of my gggrandfather. It showed up in Coalgate, Oklahoma,
but I never heard his name when I was growing up in Ayrshire!!!!!
At least it has his name on it but I have a few doubts unless I
can date the photographers studio.
Thanks and look forward to hearing from you. .
Esq. of Enterkine
I recently purchased the following book:
Mackenzie of Rosehaugh, George, Sir (1636-1691), 'Observations
upon the Laws and Customs of Nations, as to Precedency and The Science
of Herauldry, Treated as a part of the Civil law, and Law of Nations',
in a single volume (Heir of Andrew Anderson, Edinburgh, M.DC.LXXX
(1680). Affixed in the book is the bookplate of William Cuninghame,
Esq. of Enterkine. I am trying identify who this person is, and
any additional information about him. Any help would be most appreciated.
Thanks in advance. Regards, Donald Draper Campbell, Alexandria,
VA USA. .
From David McClure, Ayrshire History: Enterkine
is an estate in the parish of Tarbolton, a few miles east of Ayr.
Enterkine House is now a hotel. Between the years 1715 and 1743,
John Cunynghame of Enterkine was recorded as a commissioner of supply
attending land tax meetings in Ayr. His son was Alexander, who attended
only the 1782 land tax meeting. Alexander's son was William, who
attended a number of land tax meetings between 1799 and 1821. From
'Ayrshire at the Time of Burns': 'William Cuninghame ... in 1788
celebrated his coming-of-age by a Fête Champètre (v.
Burns poem); at the same time his two mansions of Annbank and Enterkine
were undergoing repairs; in 1794 he married Catherine Stewart, daughter
of Major General Stewart of Stair and Mrs Stewart of Stair and Afton.
About 1795 Mrs Stewart of Afton purchased forty acres from her son-in-law
and built Afton Lodge where she lived till her death in 1808. In
1798 another part of the [Enterkine] estate was sold, becoming Smithfield.'
William Greig and
With reference to William Grieg and Fanning Island, there is a
memorial plaque there which shows his death in 1892 as mentioned
in Rob Close's article but the birth date is 1957 instead of the
expected 1821. There is also Hugh Grieg 1885-1956. A photo of the
plaque is available upon request. Richard.
Click here to go to the article
on William Greig and Fanning Island.
Muirton. Beith, and
I would be grateful for any information regarding a place called
Muirton, shown on early OS maps but now built over. Also any information
on a family called Fulton, that once held this land.
Many thanks for any help. Bernard Butcher.
Waters, mason and builder
Hello from down under,
I found on the internet a list of issues of Ayrshire Notes and their
contents which include an article on Alexander Waters, mason and
builder [in AN25]. I was most interested as my greatgrandmother's
sister, Elizabeth Monteith, married an Alexander Waters who was
a mason in Coylton, and I think this may be the same one. I noticed
a witness on their marriage was Ian J McGill, surgeon, Sundrum.
So if it is not the same Alexander, then I suspect it would be a
close relation. The Alexander I am interested in was born about
1831, supposedly in Jamaica according to census records, and died
in Coylton in 1894. I would be happy to purchase a copy of the issue
in question but the instructions on the web page only give the post
free price in the UK so I was unsure how to go about it. - what
the cost would be (air mail preferred) and how I could send the
money I would be grateful if you could advise me if this is the
person I'm interested in and how I could obtain a copy.
Regards, Catherine Fitchett, Christchurch, New Zealand.
From David McClure, Ayrshire History. The Alexander
Waters in the article was employed on the Sundrum estate in the
Ayrshire parish of Coylton. The 1881 census records his age as 49,
which means he is approximately of the target age. I am emailing
you a copy of the article. See also the posting on the Coylton
From Catherine Fitchett: Thanks you for this article,
it is indeed my greatgreataunt Elizabeth's husband. I note that
the author says he would be interested in hearing from anyone who
has further information on Waters. I could provide what I know (although
not a lot) - can you tell me where I would send it? Regards, Catherine
Parkinson (1876-1918), Kilwinning
Carruthers, Police Superintendant, Mauchline
From Gary Carruthers: My ggg grandfather appears in the
1861 & 1871 census for Mauchline, Ayrshire at Grays Bridge St
and was Police Superintendent. He was born in Dumfries and returned
there after his wife Elizabeth Carlyle died in Mauchline 1873. I
would assume that someone holding this rank would leave a paper
trail but after years of enquiries and research I cant find any
further reference to his life and times. All police records seem
to have been "misplaced". Can anyone help me to get back
on track? Gary Carruthers, Australia.
From John Haining, 14 Dec 04: Your enquirer perhaps
should write to The Chief Constable, Strathclyde Police, 174 Pitt
Street, Glasgow G2 and ask if they have any record of Supt Carruthers.
Mauchline was part of the former Ayrshire Constabulary which amalgamated
on 15 May 1975 with several other forces (I think 8) to form Strathclyde
Police under the umbrella of Strathclyde Regional Council. Since
then Strathclyde Police retain the name but the former Strathclyde
Regional Council exists in name only, it being broken up into various
Councils. It may be that someone at East Ayrshire Council or some
of the other Ayrshire Councils have records going back that far.
There are many other sources he can enquire from e.g Census information;
housing;newspapers of the time e.g his appointment would have been
big news. I hope this information is of help.
From Wilma Gibb, 29 Jan 05: Could you please give
me more information re: Supt Carruthers.
I was searching for my GGG Grandfather and as far as I can gather
we are the only Carruthers family in Galston. They originally came
from Dromore in Ireland. I found him in a census at Cessnock Cottage,
Galston. and wonder if there is any connection. I was born in Galston
and came to Canada in l965. I am very interested in Ayrshire History.
Loved your site. Wilma Gibb
From Gary Carruthers, 23 July 05: Thank you for
your advice John Haining – I have contacted just about all authorities
regarding a paper trail for George Carruthers, Police Supt at Mauchline
and have even had several researchers on the case but George and
his family are not to be found except in the 1861 & 1871 census
for Grays Bridge St, Mauchline. (No one can even find this address
anymore?). So far as Police records go they appear to have been
lost or misplaced according to the authorities. Also thanks to Wilma
Gibbs who states that her Carruthers family came from Ireland. Wilma
please contact me and I will send you my family details[email address
sent to Wilma]. George and his family came from Dumfries and did
disappear after from 1830-1860 .. maybe they did go to Ireland?
From Andrew Suns, 9 Aug 05: I served in Ayrshire
Constabulary/Strathclyde Police from 1969 until 1987. During this
time a superintendent George Carruthers served in the Kilmarnock
area (I believe in the C.I.D). He retired in the 70s; might be a
relation of the George Carruthers mentioned. Iam sure old colleagues
are still around.
From Tom Paterson, 15 August 2006: In 1861/1871
there would propably only be one police constable, if any, stationed
at Mauchline. In the 1960s there was one sergeant and four constables.
There is little likelihood of there being a police superintendent
of Constabulary at Mauchline at the date in question. However, the
fact that Mr Carruthers is recorded as a police superintendent does
not necesarily mean that he was a member of the Ayrshire Constabulary.
At the time in question, the term 'police' also referred to other
occupations other than police constables. One of my forebears was
a police weigher, not employed by the constabulary, at The Tron
in Glasgow at the time in question.
Mr Carruthers may well have been a superintendent of cleaning or
similar local authority occupation and perhaps research should be
made with the local authority and not the police authority. Mr Suns
reference to a police superintendent actually refers to a George
farm or house, 3 miles south of Galston
I am researching the above 'L' plan laird's house. Would
info. on house or families who lived there.
Many thanks, Dr James D Floyd, Edinburgh. .
I assume you have seen the comment in Rob Close, Ayrshire and
Arran: an illustrated architectural guide, Edinburgh 1992,
From Mitchell Connor: I am currently studying
Architectural Conservation at GCBP and am carrying out a feasability
study on Sornhill House for my end of year project. To date I have
managed to source drawings, surveys and history of the building.
I will forward any of the previous that you require. Any other information
would be much appreciated.
My grandfather was a journeyman grocer when he emmigrated
to Canada in 1911. Prior to his leaving he was presented with a
watch from friends and employees of Hugh Higgins. If anyone could
shed some light on who this man was and his business (in Dalry,
Ayrshire) and what became of the business - is it still there? I
do have limited information - there was a small business on, I think,
New Street. Donna Kirkwood, Calgary, Alberta, Canada.
and Ritchie, Kilmarnock
I am trying to find any information on the Grant and Ritchie
engineering works of Townholm Kilmarnock that was in operation around
1880-1920 Any information would be appreciated. Alan Ritchie Gore,
New Zealand. .
From Frank Beattie: Both Thomas Maxwell Grant
and William Ritchie were employed by Andrew Barclay in his Caledonia
engineering works in Kilmarnock. Early in 1876 George Caldwell died.
He had owned a small engineering plant at Townholm, Kilmarnock for
28 years. When this business was put up for sale, Grant, Ritchie
and a Dr James McAlister, set up Grant, Ritchie & Co. A local
anecdote says that when Grant and Ritchie left Barclay's for the
last time, they took bundles of drawings with them, perhaps explaining
why Grant, Ritchie locomotives appear to be clones of Barclay locos.
The partnership became a limited company in 1905. Thomas Maxwell
Grant died in 1911 and William Ritchie died in 1912. The firm's
main produce was mine machinery, but locomotives were made as a
sideline. The business closed in 1926 and was officially wound up
in 1928. [Addition by Frank Beattie:] The main source was The
Locomotive Builders of Kilmarnock, by Russell Wear, published
in 1977 by the Industrial Railway Society.
Davd Watkins, 10 Sep 04: I know that Gr built
a few Steam locos, 2 of which survive, inc No 272 which I have recently
purchased. Is there any further info on any of the locos available,
other than in the Loco Builders of Kilmarnock? are there any archived
drawings available anywhere? Regards, Dave Watkins, Ribble Steam
From Francisco Haro, 15 Jan 05: Although this
reponse is not directly connected with the actual Grant Ritchie
works, I thought it an interesting additon. A few years ago I was
researching the locos which worked at the Eglinton Iron Works, Kilwinning
.. attached is a photo of a Grant Ritchie 0-4-0 Saddle Tank which
was built in 1911. Makers No. 531. I believe it might be prior to
an overhall to take it to Bairds & dalmellington in 1937. The
full description of this engine is given in David L. Smith's book
The Dallmellington Iron Co. Its Engines and Men on pages
225 & 226. There is also an amusing story of the Engine's transfer
from Kilwinning to Waterside. It had a very chequered career as
follows. New to Eglinton Ironworks, Kilwinning. 1911 (Although Eglinton
Ironworks closed 1920 - 1921, Bairds still had mining interests
in the area); Bairds & Dallmellington 1937 after an overhaul
and was given a re-paint and re-numbering to job to Bairds &
Dalmellington No. 23. on arrival (this is the amusing transport
story mentioned in David L Smith's book); Mauchline Colliery 1950;
back to Bairds & Dallmellington 1963; Kames Colliery, Muirkirk
Nov. 1967; Cairnhill Colliery, Lugar. Jan. 1967; Killoch Colliery
Nov. 1969; scrapped on site in Nov. 1971. Such an undignified end
after 60 years of hard toil! I hope this is of interest although
as said, not directly connected to the Grant Ritchie works - BUT
the only Grant Ritchie engine to work at Eglinton AND the longest
serving engine by far as well, which must be witness to the quality
of engines built there.
& M Craig, Kilmarnock
From Jeff Buchan, 6 Aug 05: Rev. Henry Ritchie Buchan was
my grandfather and minister at Kilbirnie as you say. I have just
started my family history earlier this year. I am happy to share
the limited information that I have, so would be in a position to
answer questions on that basis. I am presently having difficulty
in getting the exact DOB and DOD of Henry's father, who lived in
Fife. Henry appears in the 1881 census at Edinburgh University.
From J. Martin: I am looking for information on
the above. He was a Minister in the parish of Beith, around 1900.
Does anyone know which church he was minister of ? Any information
gratefully received. J.Martin. .
You could also try one of the Ayrshire
Family History Societies and related sites.
From A. MacKay: According to the book Kilbirnie
Auld Kirk A History by John Lauchland, Rev. Henry Ritchie Buchan
was minister of the Kilbirnie Auld Kirk from 1886 until his death
on April 15, 1918. Before 1886 he had been an assistant to the previous
incumbent, Rev. John Orr. There are many references to Rev. Buchan
and also a small photograph in this 156 page volume published in
2000 by The Friends of the Auld Kirk Heritage Group. The book costs
£5.00. The Friends may be contacted at Kirk House, Kirkland
Road, Kilbirnie, KA25 6HP.
From Agnes Harris , Elder of Kilbirnie Auld Kirk, 12 March
2006: Henry Ritchie Buchan's gravestone is in the churchyard
of Kilbirnie Auld Kirk. He is buried beside other past ministers
of the church. The inscription reads - "In memory of Henry
Ritchie Buchan Minister of this parish for 32 years. Died 15th April
1918 age 61 and of his wife Jessie Blackwood Orr died 22nd January
1942 aged 76."
John Smith Memorial Stone
In Montgreenan woods there is a memorial stone near the
site of Montgreenan Castle to John Smith of the 10th Ohio Volunteers
who died in Chattanooga, Tennessee in 1863. This regiment fought
at the Battle of Chatanooga in the American Civil War. Does anyone
know who this John Smith was and why his memorial stone is in Montgreenan
woods? Thanks, Chris Hawksworth.
From John Macfarlane, 6 July 2006: I was wondering
if you got any reply's to your post on Ayrshire history web site
about the John Smith Memorial Stone ? The Stone is on our farm and
I have always been curious about it.
From David McClure: Unfortunately not. He may have
come from a Smith faily living in the neighbourhood in 1863. The
1841 and 1851 censuses may help. A local newspaper may have recorded
the erection of the stone. I would like to have a photograph and
transcription to post on the site. This may encourage some response.
Could you put a posting on yout website for research into
the Sawney Bean Family for me please. I am a film student who is
currently researching a short documentary film as part of my course,
I have chosen to do a piece on the Bean family. I am looking for
any local historians to do a short interview on the subject and
any other information on the local legend. Thank you for your time.
Scott Johnson. .
If you check the contents of Ayrshire Notes (see the bibliography
section of the Ayrshire History website) you will see that we have
published two articles on Sawney Bean in recent issues. The first
set out the 'history'; the second debunked it. The second article
has since been published on the Ayrshire History website. Click
here to go to it.
I suppose you know about Samuel Crockett's The Grey Man, (1896).
Regards, David McClure.
I am trying to research an aircraft accident in Prestwick on 28th
A USAAF aircraft crashed into Hillside Avenue killing 5 civilians,
my grandfather amongst them. I would like to hear from anyone who
has any more info.
Photographs (e-mail copies are fine) would be most appreciated.
The aircraft was a Douglas C54a transport with 20 people on board.
Any information would be great.
From David McClure: There are two reports on this
crash in the Ayrshire Post for 1st September 1944: '25 perish when
plane hits houses', p7; [Hillside Avenue] 'Effects of crash at Prestwick',
p4. Another Prestwick aircrash.
From Alasdair Shearer, 27th November 2004: My
father remembers this well. Here are his own words.
'In 1944, I was 16 and working at number five hangar at Prestwick
Airport. I live in Ayr half way along Prestwick Road. One Sunday
night in August, the 27th I believe, I got in late and was closing
the blackout curtains in my bedroom when there was a huge flash
of light which I thought was something over the sea (I was facing
east). There was no sound and it was just after 11:00 pm.The next
morning the bus to work passed, on the right hand side of the road
somewhere in Prestwick, the wreckage of a C54 Skymaster and a row
of completely demolished houses, five I heard. No one in them could
have survived. The tail of the plane was sticking up from the wreckage,
almost undamaged. Everything was blackened. The civil defence teams
must have worked through the night putting out fires and removing
bodies for there was no activity when the bus passed. I don't know
how many civilians were killed, more than five I've always believed.
Two of the dead were young men who worked with me in number five
hangar. They were both twenty three and worked in the radio room.
I remember their faces but not their names. Neither of them was
married nor were they Ayr locals, but had been posted to Prestwick
Airport from elsewere. Joseph Shearer 2004.'
and Isle of Arran
From J. Martin: I am looking for information on
children who were boarded out from Irvine Poorhouse to the Isle
of Arran. Any recollections, histories, articles and links gratefully
From Bill Braniff, 6 Jan 05: I have information
on 3 children moved from Irvine Poorhouse Hospital on 13 October
1941 to Quarriers Homes in Bridge of Weir and would be interested
in communicating with genuine historians. I am interested in aquiring
more information on this place.
From Dorothy McVey, 19 June 2006: Hello I was
raised in the homes and ive just read your add and if you want any
imformation you must write to Bill Dunbar of Quarriers Village as
its called now, you can get him at the office care of Quarriers
Springfield House, Largs
Several years ago I purchased an antique bible with the name Grace
Montgomery inscribed in it. It also says "To Grace Montgomery,
best wishes from her sincere friends". Signed by the Davidsons.
It says Springfield House, Largs...yr 1862. It also has several
psalms quoted. I am fascinated with this person and who she was.
Can you please tell anything about the history of the Springfield
House? What was its original use? What was the reason she may have
left for the US? Anything would help.
From Allison Massage, 15 May 05: In the past I
have written asking if anyone had any information a Grace Montgomery.
I am still searching. Can anyone tell me what Springfield House
is or was?
I am seeking information regarding St Andrews Home, a convalescent
hopsital in Millport, which was opened sometime in the late 1930's
and closed in the early 1950's. As a young 7 year old I spent 2
years in that establishment with suspected TB.
From Bill Braniff, 6 Jan 05: My Auntie Nan was
in Millport Sanatorium in the 40s and I would be interested in any
information anyone has on this place.
From Margaret Murphy, 17 June 2006: was patient
in St. Andrews MILLPORT in the early 1950's looking for info of
actual site. Spent 2 yrs there until it closed.
From Donald Manson, 30 March 2006: I have an uncle
who died there in August 1939 from TB. I recall on a visit to Millport
some years ago going to the local library where I found the location
of the hospital. The library also had photographs of the home. The
original boundary wall still exist but there is now a housing development
on the land.
From: Jon Loney 26 July 2003
Regarding my research posting on Benslie Wood, there is a discussion
about this if you are interested.
& J Taylor
From: Jan Munachen 18 August 2003
Can anyone provide information on this old
With Jan Munachen's permission, the photograph was used on the
cover of Ayrshire Notes 25, which included a short article
on the firm whose workers it showed. See the article by Rob Close:
J & A Taylor, Engineers, Ayr
From: David Donachie 21 May 2003
I am researching an area in south Ayrshire called Brockloch.
I am looking for information on 'Brockloch Tower/Castle' who were
the owners and if the lands held a Charter or was created into a
Barony. Regards, Dave. .
From John Haining: Hi Dave, I was born at Burnside,
parish of New Cumnock on 1941. I visited that location as recently
as last Wednesday when I toured the remains of the village. There
is a farm called "Brockloch" immediately south of the
village and which is signposted today. This area was subjected to
"open cast" mining operations with the result that a lot
of the original topography was lost. The last time I walked that
area it looked like a lunar landscape with brown water running everywhere.
I do not know if the farm is still there but I remember "a
burn" running from the farm through the east side of the village
near Burnside farm. When I was a very young boy - 1950 - I recall
walking up the Brockloch with my mother and father. Perhaps some
of the old maps will give you a better feel for the area. If you
go into google and type New Cumnock or Burnside/Burnfoot it will
open the map page for you. I hope this helps you. Yours aye, John.
From David McClure: There is also a Brochloch
near Maybole, the scene of a pitched battle in 1601 between the
Kennedys of Cassillis and the Kennedys of Bargany. See, for instance,
John Strawhorn, Ayrshire: the story of a county, AANHS,
1975, 63. I have checked three Brocklochs in Ayrshire in the RCAHMS
database and found no tower, castle or other listed ancient or historical
monument at any of them. They are:1) farm near Burnside, New Cumnock
parish (NS595105); 2) farm near Maybole, Maybole parish (NS290113)
- and another called East Brockloch is adjacent; 3) building (farm?)
above Water of Assel, Girvan parish (NX257950). Note that the 'Ruins
of Castles' table which is part of the 'Gazetteer of Ayrshire, 1750-1800'
in Ayrshire at the Time of Burns (Ayrshire Collections Vol.
5), ed. John Strawhorn, AANHS, 1959, does not list Brockloch.
A search in the RCAHMS database for 'Brockloch, Strathclyde' (searching
by counties is not an option) yielded no records.
BRIG JESSIE 1818
From: CAL. MOORE 23 April 2003
I thought I would pass the information I have gathered along. Hoping
that you may be able to expand on any of this information. This
would be most helpful. regards, Cal. Moore, Sarnia, ON. Can. To
all concerned, I have been researching this Brig, and this Brig
only for a number of years now. My family forefathers came to Canada
from County Down, Ireland in June of 1818 landing at St. Andrews,
New Brunswick. There are few official accounts of the Jessie's visits
to Canada. There are accounts of the Jessie's visits to Savannah,Georgia
and Prince Edward Island which I can provide. It seems that it sailed
a route from Belfast, Greenock, Clyde to Price Edward Island, St.
Andrews, NB, and Savannah, Georgia. The Brig was constructed in
Ayre, Scotland in 1817. The following is a timetable for it's movements:
1817 - Jessie built, Ayre, Scotland, owner W. Smith, 213 tons (Lloyds
records- May 1, 1818 report, from Green Book,insurers/underwriters)
Mar. 14, 1818 Jessie at Clyde, Scotland (Savannah Daily Gazette)
May 1, 1818 Jessie at Belfast, Ireland, to St. Andrews, NB (surveyed
here - Lloyds) June of 1818 Jessie at St. Andrew's, NB (my Moore
records) June 10, 1818 [2 vessels], from Ireland to St. Andrews
and PEI., 600+ passengers (PEI Ships database) NOTE: Vessels stopped
in PEI first, then went on to NB destinations. Dec. 25, 1818 Jessie
arrives at Savannah (Lloyds records) Jan. 4-6, 1819 Jessie preparing
for departure from Savannah, Georgia (Savannah Daily Gazette) NOTE:
As reported in the Gazette, see Jno. Speakman and Co. to apply for
freight transport. Feb. 8, 1819 Jessie at Greenock, Scotland (Lloyds
records) --------1819 Jessie at Greenock, Jessie, Lyon, owner Cowan
and Co. (Lloyds records) June 9, 1819 the Ship *Alexander, Lyon,
from Greenock to Rustico Harbour, PEI. (PEI Gazette, Custom House)
NOTE: As reported (Lloyds records), the following, 169 tons, constructed
in New Carlisle 1818, port of survey is Greenock, sailed for Prince
Edward Island. Captain R. Lyon, owner Rennie. Same construction
as the Jessie but smaller, brig, square rigging, single deck with
beams. Note: The initial is R. Lyon. Were there two different Capt.
Lyon's? William and R.? April 17, 1820 the Jessie, from Carse, Dumphries,
Scotland, to PEI and NB, 179 passengers to Lot 20 via Mirimachi,
NB (PEI Ships database) Note: Additional info. From (Lloyds records)
Port of Survey, Greenock, owners Cowan and Co., Capt. Lyon (no initial)
If anyone can provide some added details for any of the above mentioned
people or ships I could forward this information to the proper Archives
people. My main objectives are to make the landing of the Jessie
in St. Andrew's, NB official and acceptable to the archivers. I
also would like to pass this along to the many people who can claim
their ancestors arrived to Canada on the Jessie. This letter is
intended to be sent out to many researchers. Please check out the
Ships List at The Island Register (PEI) if you haven't already.
A very good one! I am a novice at this so I welcome most any information.
Thank you. Regards, C. F. Moore, Canada.
From Robert Reid. I perhaps should explain to you that
I thought Ayrshire History an appropriate forum for this enquiry
because the few Scottish references I have to the game suggest its
popularity in Ayrshire.
I’d be interested to hear from anybody who plays/has played
the card game known as ‘Catch-the-Ten’, ‘Catch-Honours’, ‘Lang Tens’
etc. (and in England as ‘Scotch Whist’). It’s a traditional Scottish
card game mentioned by Scott and Galt and, though one can find its
rules in books on card games, I’m interested in verifying these
against actual practice. I’d also be glad for any information on
the history of the game and on literary allusions to it. .
The S.S. Main of Main colliery Skewen, S. Wales was sunk
by U-boat action on 9th October 1917 on the west coast of Scotland
in Luce Bay. The only survivor was the captain (McCorquadale). Apparently
the ships bell found its way to a pub in Ayr and when the landlord
retired it was in his house. I would love to trace the bell but
any information would be helpful.
EDGAR ALLAN POE
My husband's aunt (who's almost 85) mentioned to us that Edgar
Allan Poe used to live with a family in Kilmarnock during his early
years of growing up... Does anyone know any more than this?
The Allan's are related to our family and some say that he added
the Allan as a middle name when he returned to the USA.
Look forward to someone putting some light on this subject before
our aunt passes on!
Many thanks. [from The Watts]
Response from Frank Beattie
Edgar Allan Poe did indeed spend some time living in Irvine and
often visited the Allans of Kilmarnock. His Kilmarnock connections
were the subject of a chapter in my book, Proud Kilmarnock; Stories
of a town. Robert Densmore Brill, of Hawaii, has extensively
researched the Scottish influence on Poe and the possible affects
his stay in Ayrshire had on his later writing. He has also found
the links between the Poe and and Allan families. The Allans of
Ayrshire founded the Allan Shipping Line, which in turn founded
the Canadian Pacific Railway. I'd be happy to go in to more detail
on request. Frank Beattie.
From Louise Greaves, 1 October 2006: Edgar Allan
Poe used to stay with my GtGtGtGt grandparents at Minnigaff, Newton
Stewart. I am also related to the Allans of Kilmarnock and Dundonald
whom he used to stay with. If you contact me I shall be more than
happy to give you more information.
From Janette Smith: Does anyone have any knowledge
of Danial Gallacher, who worked on the Kilmarnock Standard abt 1870,
and had some poems and a small book published by the K.S.
From Warren Gallacher, 8 May 2006: I am responding
with regard to a Research Posting on Ayrshire History that Janette
Smith submitted regarding Daniel Gallacher from Kilmarnock. However,
I do not know when the Research Posting was submitted. Daniel Gallacher
wrote a small book of poems which was published by the Kilmarnock
Standard around 1870 or so. As far as I am aware, Daniel Gallacher
was one of my ancestors and my father has a copy of Daniel's book
of poems in his possession, which I have seen and read some of them.
I am interested in knowing what Janette's interest is in Daniel
Gallacher, for I would very much like to know and even help with
any research Janette might be doing.
or fiddle making in Ayrshire
From George Weir: I am presently researching the
history of violin/fiddle making in Ayrshire. Any information on
amateur or professional makers is welcome as is information on violins
by such makers. If you know of such or any other historical sources
of such details I would be glad to hear from you.
From Ceri Barlow, 29 July 05: I would also love
to find out a little on this subject. My interest is sparked , as
I own a violin made by a James L Wilson of Greenock, and it is by
far my favourite violin. He was born in Galston, Ayrshire in 1847,
and was awarded a gold medal in the Greenock Exhibition in 1893.
I would love to find out more about him, and his background. If
you should come across any information on Mr Wilson in your research,
I’d love to hear from you.
From Vina Urquhart, 11 Sep 2006: My grandfather
James Wilson (born 1881) of Mauchline, a joiner by trade, taught
fiddle and played in several orchestras. He made fiddles and once
made a miniature one for Sir Harry Lauder. He received an award
for his efforts teaching fiddle to youths in a boys' Borstal(?)
in the Mauchline area. I'd be glad to hear from George or Ceri and
to hear anything anyone knows of my grandfather's fiddling activities.
From George Weir, 11 Sep 2006: I would be grateful
if you could post a response to my earlier research posting about
VIOLIN / FIDDLE MAKING IN AYRSHIRE.In response to Ceri Barlow's
reply, I would like to add the following:
The Galston born maker James L Wilson gets a mention in the classic
book by William Honeyman on Scottish Violin Makers (published
~1900s). Perhaps this is your source of information on this maker?
As well as mention of the Greenock Exhibition prize, Honeyman remarks
on the quality of Wilson's work, especially the fine tone and amber
varnish. Wilson is also noted as having invented 'a very ingenious
and easy working purfling tool'. Wilson's violins have no label
but have the author's name, date of making and instrument number
written inside the violin back. If possible, I would be interested
to see some photos of your instrument (for which you might contact
me directly at [email address sent to Ceri Barlow]. Many thanks.
Dr George R S Weir, Department of Computer & Information Sciences,
Livingstone Tower, University of Strathclyde, Glasgow G1 1XH, UK.
BENSLIE WOOD, KILWINNING
Does anyone know about recent archaeological studies carried out
Wood in Kilwinning which revealed the ruins of an old church?
This was mentioned in this Spanish language website: http://www.geocities.com/symbolos/hrdm.htm
John Loney. .
Note by dmcc: the Spanish website cited concerns a Masonic ritual,
the 'Ritual for the Degree Heredom of Kilwinning' - which can be
found in English at www.stelling.nl/vrijmetselarij/ovoros_r1e.html
Click here for further discussion including a response from
David Easton of RCAHMS.
Could anyone suggest a book which has estimates of the population
Ayrshire at each 100 years from 500 AD to 1700 AD? Ken Berry. .
Can anyone tell me what the World War II bunker at Fairlie was used
It is listed in the Defence of Britain database
Type of site
SRF, with sketch site plan
Recorder - P. Cobb
Fairlie, North Ayrshire, Scotland
Grid reference NS 2028
NMR reference NS25SW
The NGR is near to the Southern of the two Hunterston roundabouts
there is a large concrete structure visible in the coal & ore
Martin Briscoe. .
David Wilson MacArthur. Click
here to go to this posting.
and Smith, Shipbuilders and Shipowners, Ayr c.1790 to 1806.
Click the link to go to the posting.
race courses and the history of horse racing in Ayr
I am interested in any information at all about the above
subject. I am doing this research with a view to publishing
articles or writing a book.
I hope people can find the time to share their findings with me.
Sue Lynes. .
From Cathy Hatfield: I saw the above post at your
website. I don't have any information for Sue Lynes, but would like
to be put in touch, or on a list for the results of her research.
My grandfather (whom I never knew) was a numbers runner at Ayr Racecourse,
great uncles were grooms at various areas around Ayr, although I
don't know if it was at the race course. Actually, a census said
one was at CastleHill stables. Anyhow, I would be fastinated to
read any information Sue has gathered. Thank you, Cathy Hatfield,
Fountain Valley, California
Train, author: I am researching the life of antiquary and
author Joseph Train, born 1779 in Sorn on the Gilmilnscroft estate.
Any details anyone can provide concerning the family, their friends,
and their lives, will be very much appreciated. Many thanks, Ian
From Denise Douglas, Australia: I have one Adam
TRAIN b.1798 at Mauchline, Ayrshire, the son of Hugh TRAIN and Janet
? Adam Train married twice, firstly, to Margaret BROWN in 1820 at
Mauchline, (they had six children - Margaret, Janet, Hugh, Alexander,
Adam & James), and secondly, to Janet FARQUHAR in 1836 at Mauchline
(5 children - John, Robert, William, Elizabeth & Joseph). I
don't know if there is a connection to your Joseph TRAIN, [other
than the fact that they were all in the parish of Sorn, around the
same time, and their surname is not a very common one], but would
love to hear from you if you think there may be a link.