Monthly Archives: June 2017

Scotland trip – May 2017 – day 7

I’m aiming to write and post a little bit each day about the family history research I’m doing, and what I find, during a week staying​ in Edinburgh. But for personal privacy, the posting of these travels on AFamilyHistoryBlog will be delayed by a few days, and will not necessarily be in day by day order! Some of these posts may be given later tweaks, with added photos, etc.

Update; You can now see all the posts from my May 2017 Scotland trip, here;
Day 1day 2day 3day 4day 5day 6day 7 – & day 8 & the big family gathering.

Hopetoun House

I spent much of a day in the archives at Hopetoun House, South Queensferry, near Edinburgh. I was looking into my WALKER ancestors, who were tenant farmers on the Hopetoun Estate through from the mid 18th to the end of the 19th century, and into the farms where they lived and worked.

Among other things, there are bits in the Walker family history, originally written by my Grandfather in the 1950’s, which I don’t know any original sources for. So I was hoping that I might find some of those in the Hopetoun archive records.

The archive room at Hopetoun House

I had previously been in contact by email with the volunteer archivists at Hopetoun, so they knew that I planned to visit. I arrived at Hopetoun House at 10:30am, as it was opening to public visitors. I went in to the lower ground floor reception, to the right of the main staircase up to the front door (where most public visitors go into the house). I was soon met by one of the archivists, Richard, who took me up through service stairs and corridors, to an archive research room on an upper floor.

Document bundles in the Hopetoun Archives

I spent several hours there, looking through a number of bundles of old documents; lease agreements (tacks), etc, and was permitted to photograph anything I saw that looked to be of interest. Each bundle has a reference number, and is catalogued in the National Register of Archives for Scotland (NRAS). All the papers in the Hopetoun Archives appear to begin with the catalogue reference “NRAS888/”. In the archive room I was able to search this catalogue, on a computer, to identify the catalogue entries that looked to be of most interest.

(Unfortunately on the internet the full catalogue does not appear to be available! When I search the NRAS Register, it only gives the “top level record” for the papers of the Hopetoun Estate; NRAS888. The individual records, which I was able to search for in the archive room at Hopetoun House, do not appear to be available to search for online!)

Among the papers I saw, there were estate copies of two or three of the same documents that I’ve already posted copies of onto AFamilyHistoryBlog from among the WALKER family papers that I have.

My STAR FINDS from among the papers that I saw at Hopetoun House were plans of Hiddlefaulds (which was demolished in the 1890’s) and of the farm buildings at Kilpunt – both plans dated 1841, along with notes which confirmed that the WALKER family became tenants at Hiddlefaulds in (or slightly before) 1745.

A printed document about the rental income from the estates of “Pumpberston, Illieston, and Kilpunt”, (associated with the sale of these estates at the time that Lord Hope acquired them, circa 1760), details that William WALKER was the tenant in Hiddlefaulds in 1745, but a David KER was the tenant in 1740. A handwritten footnote on this page says that “when Will Walker took Hiddlefaulds he was promised a Tack [a lease agreement] but never got it.“! So the original paperwork was never done!

In total, I took over 170 photos of the documents I saw, that looked to be of interest to me in my family history. These came from the following NRAS catologue numbers (with partial descriptions);

  • NRAS 888/16/Bundle 4; miscellaneous papers – including “lease of Kilpunt – 1843”
  • NRAS 888/28/Bundle 8; “papers relative to lease of Newmains, Overtoun and Kilpunt” – 1834
  • NRAS 888/28/Bundle 10; Tacks and Papers as to Kilpunt and Illieston, 1760 – 1830″
  • NRAS 888/40/Bundle 3; “papers relating to the lease of Kilpunt – including sketches for farm buildings – 1842”
  • NRAS 888/1879; “sketch of lands (of Kilpunt) – 1757”.

Its worth noting that the NRAS catalogue descriptions tend to identify the titled estates (such as Kilpunt), but not individual farms (such as Hiddlefaulds).

Its going to take me some time to process all of this, and I know that if I ever get the time and opportunity to go back to the Hopetoun Archives, there is quite a lot more of interest to look at there.

From what I heard the archivist saying, I gather that they have had very few people, like me, visiting the Hopetoun archives to do family history research into the tenant farmers on the estate. But from what I’ve seen, the Hopetoun archives must be a great resource for anyone who is researching a family history with this kind of connection to the Hopetoun estate.

Advertisements

Scotland trip – May 2017 – day 6

I’m aiming to write and post a little bit each day about the family history research I’m doing, and what I find, during a week staying​ in Edinburgh. But for personal privacy, the posting of these travels on AFamilyHistoryBlog will be delayed by a few days, and will not necessarily be in day by day order! Some of these posts may be given later tweaks, with added photos, etc.

Update; You can now see all the posts from my May 2017 Scotland trip, here;
Day 1day 2day 3day 4day 5day 6day 7 – & day 8 & the big family gathering.

I took the train to Kirkcaldy, in Fife, where I went first into the museum and gallery, next to the railway station. I had a good look round the museum, and then the gallery, where there was a painting on display by my Great-grandfather, Sir William Oliphant Hutchison, of his wife Margery (Walton) and their two sons, Peter and Robert.

I then went into the local and family history room to see what I could find there. The librarian looked out for me a book titled “The Hutchisons of Kirkcaldy; A History of the Family and the Firm”. No author was identified for this text! But it looks likely to me to be by “J. Douglas Hutchison”, who complied the Hutchison family tree that I have a copy of (dated 1987), which traces the family (descendants) of the corn merchant and founder of Hutchisons Mill, Robert Hutchison, and his wife, Mary Oliphant. Title page

After looking through some of this book, I asked the librarian if I could copy some of it, using the camera on my tablet to turn it into a PDF file. But due to copyright principles, I could only copy a small portion of the book! So I focused on the start of the book, which dealt a little with some earlier generations of the Hutchison family, and with Robert Hutchison’s life up to the point of his marriage to Mary Oliphant in 1837. I would be very interested to obtain a copy of the whole document. If anyone can provide me with a copy, or knows where I can get one, then please leave a comment below, or use the Contact Page to get in touch. Thanks.

When I left Kirkcaldy Galleries, I went to have a little look round the town. Looking in the graveyard of Kirkcaldy Old Kirk, I found and gravestones with inscriptions to several members of the OLIPHANT and HUTCHISON families which I took photos of. These inscriptions included Robert HUTCHISON, and his wives; Mary OLIPHANT, and Jessie THOMSON. Another gravestone named Mary OLIPHANT’s Great-grandparents; “Robert OLIPHANT” and “Janet BETT”, “set up by” Mary’s grandfathers; “William and Henry OLIPHANT”. OLIPHANT gravestone in Kirkcaldy old kirkyard

Scotland trip – May 2017 – day 5

I’m aiming to write and post a little bit each day about the family history research I’m doing, and what I find, during a week staying​ in Edinburgh. But for personal privacy, the posting of these travels on AFamilyHistoryBlog will be delayed by a few days, and will not necessarily be in day by day order! Some of these posts may be given later tweaks, with added photos, etc.

Update; You can now see all the posts from my May 2017 Scotland trip, here;
Day 1day 2day 3day 4day 5day 6day 7 – & day 8 & the big family gathering.

General Register House, from North Bridge, Edinburgh.

National Records of Scotland, General Register House, Edinburgh.

I spent a large part of the day in the National Records of Scotland, Historical Search Room at the General Register House. I arrived before their doors opened at 9am. When I got into​ the search room I was immediately handed 3 of the “Kirkcaldy Burgh Register of Deeds” books that I had requested when I registered​ on Friday.

So I began by looking in the oldest of ​these books, at a record involving “Issobel WYSE”, the wife of “James OLYPHANT”, and her sister, “Janet WYSE” (wife of John [S~~irkar]). The old writing is difficult to interpret, so I got permission to photograph the pages that I was interested in, so that I can work on them from the photos, more carefully, later. James OLIPHANT and Isobel WYSE are the first (oldest) couple that I have in my OLIPHANT / HUTCHISON family tree (my 8x great-grandparents). So this entry in the “Register of Deeds of the Burgh of Kirkcaldy”, adds the names of Isobel’s parents.

I then turned to the latest book of Deeds, containing several entries that I wanted to look at. First was the “Trust Disposition and Settlement by Henry OLYPHANT, in favour of George DOUGAL, and others”.

Next; the “Disposition and Deed of Settlement by Henry OLIPHANT, to His wife”; img; 9868 – 9873, followed immediately by the “Deed of Agreement among (Henry’s) widow & children, and Mutual Discharge”; img; 9867 – 9884 (9885).

There was a lot in all this! More than I can process in a day! So by 1pm, I had had enough of the Kirkcaldy Burgh records! The first book had already confirmed for me the names of Isobel WYSE’s parents (something I think I had a suggestion of from searching the IGI, but this is the first confirmed source!).

So then I turned to some pieces that I wanted to look at, about the BARRON family in West Lothian. I had ordered 2 off-site records to look at; the marriage contract of Janet BARRON and Henry HARDIE, in 1684, then a collection of papers from c.1708, apparently about a dispute between Janet BARRON and one of her sons; Henry HARDIE. I photographed these. There may well be evidence in there to connect them to Elizabeth BARRON (m. William WALKER!)! I then ordered some of the documents about the BARRONs of Preston, and it appears to confirm my suspicion that there is NO link between these two families, proving Hardy Bertram McCall to have been wrong about this.

By 2:30pm I had had enough, so wrapped up what I was doing, handed back the documents I had out, and left the Register House to find some lunch in the nearby Waverley Mall.

After lunch, between about 3 & 4pm I had a wander around the National Gallery, where I saw one painting by E.A.WALTON, among several other by the Glasgow Boys. I then went to the Edinburgh Central Library for about an hour, between 4 & 5pm to look at some OPR micro-films.

Scotland trip – May 2017 – day 4

I’m aiming to write and post a little bit each day about the family history research I’m doing, and what I find, during a week staying​ in Edinburgh. But for personal privacy, the posting of these travels on AFamilyHistoryBlog will be delayed by a few days, and will not necessarily be in day by day order! Some of these posts may be given later tweaks, with added photos, etc.

Update; You can now see all the posts from my May 2017 Scotland trip, here;
Day 1day 2day 3day 4day 5day 6day 7 – & day 8 & the big family gathering.

I got a train from Edinburgh, and spent a day exploring Glasgow. This is the first time that I’ve ever been into Glasgow.

From Glasgow Central station I headed first to see the Glasgow School of Art (GSA), walking up Hope Street, & along Renfrew Street. My great-grandfather, Sir William Oliphant Hutchison, was Director of the GSA, from 1933-1943. When I arrived at the GSA, I bought a ticket for the next “Macintosh at the GSA tour”.

Model of the Macintosh building at the GSA

The tour is about 45 minutes long. It was very focused on Charles Rennie Macintosh and his design of the old GSA building, which is currently in scaffolding, under restoration following a fire in 2014. Boards around the building site explain some of the GSA’s history. Restoration is expected to be finished and the old building reopened in 2019 – so it is on my bucket list to return, to see it once restored. The tour also looked at C.R.Macintosh’s art, and his later furniture design, along with some of his wife’s work, all within the GSA’s modern (2014) building, across the street from the C.R. Macintosh building.

GSA Macintosh building in scaffolding

After leaving the GSA, I headed towards the Kelvingrove, stopping in Kelvingrove park to eat some lunch. When I reached the Kelvingrove museum I found the fine central hall filled with music from its organ being played. I enjoyed looking round the galleries, especially the Glasgow Boys gallery which was very good, with several paintings there by my 2x great-grandfather, E.A.Walton. I also liked the gallery of work by the “Scottish Colourists” a lot, and a gallery of Joseph Crawhall’s work (who was one of the Glasgow Boys). Kelvingrove is definitely a place I’d like to spend more time looking round.