Monthly Archives: September 2016

Why You Might Want a Personal Genealogy Blog on WordPress

This morning I came across this great article about how to create a Genealogy Blog (like AFamilyHistoryBlog) using WordPress. It includes a lot of facts, that I didn’t know, about just how popular the WordPress service is for creating sites like this. I would encourage people to read it, so I’m sharing the link here;

Why You Might Want a Personal Genealogy Blog on WordPress

“You probably can find dozens of reasons for creating a blog. In addition, you can probably find dozens of companies that will host a blog for you. Given the choices and the reasons available, tryin…

Source: Why You Might Want a Personal Genealogy Blog on WordPress, at Dick Eastman’s Online Genealogy Newsletter.

wordpress-logoThis is a good follow-up to the article that I wrote a few months ago for my local Family History Society (which I copied onto AFamilyHistoryBlog) about my Creating a Family History Blog.

I would really like to encourage other people to have a go at doing likewise.

Advertisements

A History of Kilpunt, by Robert Barclay-Allardice, February 1880

This is one in a series of blog post about some old papers of the WALKER family, from Kirkliston, West Lothian, Scotland. See a list of these papers HERE.

I was recently contacted through my blog by a descendant of the KEIR family who lived at Kilpunt farm in the 1840’s, prior to the WALKERs moving there. I had mentioned in a post HERE, that Post Office Directories record a “Mrs KEIR” living at Kilpunt in 1842, when the WALKERs still lived at the neighbouring farm of Hiddlefaulds. But by the 1851 census, the WALKERs were living at Kilpunt (where they remained until 1898).

OS-25in-map-1854_6inch_view-74427798_Linlith-sheet6
Hiddlefaulds & Kilpunt shown on Ordnance Survey map, 6 inch:1 Mile, 1st edition, Linlithgowshire – Sheet 6, published 1856. (click image to link to the map at http://maps.nls.uk )

Following that contact, my site appears to have been some inspiration for this KEIR descendant and some of his relatives to create their own Family History Blog about their KEIR ancestry, which is here; https://keirfamilygenealogy.wordpress.com/

IMG_7620-edDue to this contact, I looked out a document from the chest of WALKER family papers that tells a bit of the history of Kilpunt, which I have now transcribed (below).

This letter is signed by “R.Barclay-Allardice.“, who I believe to be a “Robert Barclay-Allardice” (b.1841, d.1913); the grandson of “Captain” Robert Barclay Allardice (for more details of this family, please see HERE).

I want to note that, from old maps, I believe the original house of the Barony of Kilpunt lay West-North-West of the existing (ex-farm)house at Kilpunt, towards Broxburn, beside the burn (see the NLS map, above). Little, if any, trace of that house remains!

Please click on the images below to see the scanned pages at full resolution. Transcribed text appears in a Maroon colour below each scanned image. At the bottom I’ve made some further notes about the document.

I have also included links to further information, within the transcribed text. Much of what R.Barclay-Allardice wrote in this letter, dated February 1880, appears to be copied from (or repeated in) many other sources from the same period or earlier, many of which are now available on the internet.

Page 1; letter_r-barclay-allardice_to_j-walker_re-kilpunt-1880_p1-300dpi

Transcription of page 1;

*how far back I do not know.
6th February 1880.
Sir
As they are of interest to you & to […]
Hopetoun, I send you notes of Kilpunt, in
a fuller form than I gave them to
you yesterday.
The lands of Kilpunt and [Elieston] were
originally * in the possession of the family
of Graham of Dundaff, (now Duke of
Montrose). In the year 1371, (I think)
a younger son of Graham of Dundaff,
Sir Patrick Graham, – received them as
patrimony – he married Euphemia Stuart,
in her own right Countess of Strathearn.
She was the only child of Prince David, Earl
of Strathearn, one of the sons of King Robert
the Second of Scotland. At Sir Patrick’s
death (who was Jure uxoris Earl of
Strathearn, the lands passed to his
eldest son Malise Earl of Strathearn

Page 2; letter_r-barclay-allardice_to_j-walker_re-kilpunt-1880_p2-300dpi

Transcription of page 2;

And Menteith – Kilpunt remained
the property of the Earls of Menteith
till the year 1694. When the last Earl
of Menteith and Airth died ^(in that year,) he left
Kilpunt & […] to his nephew & heir
of line, (eldest son of his sister Lady Mary
Graham or Allardice) – Sir George Allar-
-dice of Allardice, Kincardinshire, Knight.
By him Kilpunt was sold, but whether
direct to the Hopetoun family I am
not sure. The eldest sons of the Earls
of Monteith & Airth took the title of
Lord Graham of Kilpont and Kilbryde,**
but were always called Lord Kilpont, so as
to be distinguished from the Montrose
Grahams. John, Lord Kilpont, father
of the last Earl of Menteith & Airth, was killed
at the camp of Collace in Perthshire by
James Stewart of Ardvoirlich, and his murder

Page 3; letter_r-barclay-allardice_to_j-walker_re-kilpunt-1880_p3-300dpi

Transcription of page 3;

forms the groundwork of Sir Walter Scott’s
“Legend of Montrose”, one of his novels.
Notes of Charters of Kilpunt and Elieston
may be found in the Reports of the Royal
Commission on Historical Manuscripts
printed by [Government] as Parliamentary
Blue Books – in the 3rd Report which
contains report on the Duke of Montrose’s
Menteith documents – & in the 5th Report
which contains the report on my mother
Mrs Barclay-Allardice’s papers.

I am, faithfully,
R.Barclay-Allardice.

Mr J. Walker
Kilpunt
Broxburn.

** Kilbryde is an estate in Perthshire now belonging
to Sir James Campbell Burt.

Notes;

There is a lot of information on the internet providing more details about the people, places, titles, and events mentioned in this letter (above). Many of these sources make mention of Kilpunt (or “Kilpont”). I’ve included hyperlinks in the transcribed text to some of these references, and make a further list below, of the references I’ve found;

A document titled “10 papers relating to claims to the earldom of Airth” (dated 1839), relating to a claim by R. Barclay-Allardice’s grandfather, “Captain” Robert Barclay-Allardice, to the title of “Earl of Airth”, appears to contain the source for much of the contents of the letter above. So does another report about that claim, dating from the same time; see archive.org.

The National Archives at Kew appear to hold a number of documents about the Barclay-Allardice family and their title claims, HERE.

Some of the place-names in this document have variations of spelling, e.g;

  • Kilpunt / Kilpont / Kinpunt
  • Elieston / Elliston / Illieston ; see ScotlandsPlaces

The property, and the title “Baron of Kilpunt”, were owned by the Earls of Hopetoun from a date which I don’t know, and which the above letter doesn’t make clear, until a change in Scottish law in the early 2000’s, which separated the ownership of the land from ownership of the ‘title’. This allowed the Earl, or Marquess of Linlithgow, to sell the title for a reported £50,000, and to separately sell the property to developers. Information on-line (here) indicates that the title “Baroness of Kilpunt” is now held by a member of the Cadzow family, who were cousins of my Walker family, and who farmed at Kilpunt from 1898, when the Walkers moved south to Hertfordshire. But I have yet to check out the details of this!

kilpunt-composite1The Kilpunt farm house was referbished in the 2000’s and sold on, and new houses have been built in its walled garden (to the south). The barns, or “Steadings”, have also been converted into houses, and I believe that developers have outline plans to build housing on the surrounding farmland.

If you have, or know, anything that would shed more light on this history of Kilpunt (either the place and its souroundings, and/or the title and those who have claimed it), I would be interested to know. If so, please leave a comment below, or use the Contact Page to get in touch. Thanks.

Old WALKER papers – JOHNSTON samplers

This is one in a series of blog post about some old papers of the WALKER family, from Kirkliston, West Lothian, Scotland. See a list of these papers HERE.

In the Walker family we have these two framed samplers which are full of genealogy information.

Sampler by Margaret JOHNSTONSampler by Mary YOUNG

One sampler was done by Margaret JOHNSTON (my paternal Gt-Gt-Grandmother, born in 1818), when she was “aged 8” (circa 1826-27). This sampler contains a series of initials on two rows, begining half-way down, which appear to be those of Margaret’s parents and siblings. Each pair of initials is beneath what appears to be a crown; IMG_2199_Margaret-Johnston-sampler_cropped

J.J. – M.Y. – M.J. – T.J. – J.J. – I.J. – J.J. – C.J.

  • J.J. = John Johnston, b. 25/9/1786, d. 9/5/1872 (father)
  • M.Y. = Margaret Young, chr. 14/11/1793, d. 29/6/1878 (mother)

Children;

  • M.J. = Mary Johnston, (dates unknown!)
  • T.J. = Thomas Johnston, b.abt. 1816, d. 8/12/1892
  • J.J. = John Johnston, b. 1/4/1821, d. 6/10/1906
  • I.J. = Isabella Johnston, b.abt. 1823
  • J.J. = James Johnston (twin), b.abt. 1826, d. 10/12/1845
  • C.J. = Charles Johnston (twin), b.abt. 1826, d. 24/10/1868
margaret-johnston-stood-photo_d-1890_200dpi
Photo of Margaret JOHNSTON (unknown date)

For further details of the above, please see the JOHNSTON family tree.

Here (right) is one of two photos I have of an adult Margaret JOHNSTON (I also have one of her husband, James WALKER, from the same date).

The date of this photo is unknown, but I guess about 1848. The name and address of the photographer, on the reverse, suggests a date between 1848 and 1865.

The second, older sampler appears to be by Mary YOUNG (b, 1777); the older sister of Margaret Johnston’s mother, Margaret YOUNG (b. 1793, Ecclesmachan, W.Lothian). At the bottom of this sampler there is a confusion of names and initials, some of which (it suggests to me) may be later additions to the sampler in an attempt to represent the whole family, including siblings not born when the sampler was origionally made! But at the top – 3rd line down – there is a clear set of initials of family members; IMG_2198_Mary-Young-sampler_cropped

3rd row;

  • * T.Y. – M.S. – A.Y. – J.Y. – M.Y. – A.Y. – T.Y. – J.Y. * A.S. – M.F. *

Bottom 1/3rd;

  • * THOMAS YOUNG * MARY SMITH *
  • MARY YOUNG / 1789 * JY * MK * AY *
  • CY * WY
  • JY, AY, TY, J(Y), – – – * TY, MS *
  • MY / A(LE)XA(—) SMITH * MARY FISHER *

Note; the letter “J” might alternatively be an “I“. I have transcribed it as a “J” because that is what fits with the matching records I’ve found; see below.

Using the initials identified in this sampler (above), I searched the IGI transcriptions of parish registers and was able to find what I believe to be closely matching details for birth/christening dates. Death dates are based on notes I’ve found among family papers about tombstones in Abercorn Churchyard, West Lothian, some of which I’ve been able to confirm through images available at BillionGraves.com as follows;

from the 3rd row;

  • T.Y. = Thomas YOUNG, b. circa 1747, d. 17/03/1824. (father)
  • M.S. = Mary SMITH, b. 01/02/1753, Muiravonside, Stirling. d. 27/04/1820. (mother)
  • A.Y. = Alexander YOUNG, chr. 04/02/1774, Ecclesmachan, West Lothian.
  • J.Y. = John YOUNG, chr. 09/01/1776, Ecclesmachan, West Lothian. d. 13/10/1844.
  • M.Y. = Mary YOUNG, chr. 11/12/1777, Ecclesmachan, West Lothian. d. 04/06/1845.
  • A.Y. = Alexander YOUNG, chr. 23/02/1780, Ecclesmachan, West Lothian. d. 18/12/1805.
  • T.Y. = Thomas YOUNG, chr. 24/01/1783, Ecclesmachan, West Lothian. d. 27/12/1811.
  • J.Y. = James YOUNG, chr. 06/06/1785, Ecclesmachan, West Lothian.
  • A.S. = Alexander SMITH, (dates unknown). (maternal Grandfather)
  • M.F. = Mary FISHER, (dates unknown). (maternal Grandmother)

Missing from this row of initials are 4 younger siblings, which might hint at the date when it was done. The missing siblings were;

  • William YOUNG, chr. 18/04/1788, Ecclesmachan, West Lothian.
  • Charles YOUNG, chr. 09/09/1790, Ecclesmachan, West Lothian. d. 05/07/1844.
  • Margaret YOUNG, chr. 14/11/1793, Ecclesmachan, West Lothian. d. 29/06/1878
  • Robert YOUNG, chr. 07/06/1796, Ecclesmachan, West Lothian. d. ? (an infant).

The bottom third of the sampler begins clearly with the parents’ names; THOMAS YOUNG and MARY SMITH, then the name MARY YOUNG (who’s handywork I believe this sampler is), and a year; 1789, which presumably represents a completion point for this sampler. The very bottom row appears to name the maternal grandparents; ALEXANDER SMITH and MARY FISHER.

If you could shed any more light on these families and their relations, perhaps through other original family documents, please leave a comment below or use the Contact Page to get in touch. Thanks.