Tag Archives: Hiddlefolds

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.

Old WALKER papers – Inventory of Effects at Hiddlefaulds and Kilpunt – August 1840

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.

IMG_7620-edThis inventory, dated “August 1840”, appears to have been made following the death of John Walker (my paternal 3x Gt-Grandfather).

John was born in Kirkliston on 13th January 1772, and married Isobel Neil in May 1816. Following the death of his parents in 1817, John continued to farm at Hiddlefaulds, in Kirkliston parish, where his father had agreed a new 19 year lease in 1813.

It appears that at some point, during John Walker’s time, the family took on the tenancy of the neighbouring farm at Kilpunt. Post Office Directories from the time, still name “John Walker” as living at Hiddlefaulds, circa 1843, with a Mrs Keir at Kilpunt. But by the time of the 1851 census, John Walker’s son, James, is living at Kilpunt.

Early Ordnance Survey maps (available from the National Library of Scotland website) show Hiddlefaulds and Kilpunt in the 1850’s ;

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 )

(Click HERE for a modern Google Maps view of the same area.)

Here is a close-up of Hiddlefaulds from the 25 inch to 1 Mile map of the same date;

Hiddlefaulds on Ordnance Survey map, 25 inch:1 Mile, 1st edition, Linlithgowshire Sheet VI.15, published 1856. (click image to link to the map at http://maps.nls.uk )

The document below appears to be the only evidence that I have for the date of John Walker’s death. So far I have been unable to find a tombstone for him, or for his wife, Isobel, who I believe died in 1860.

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

Cover; Inventory-of-Effects-at-Hiddlefaulds_1840_cover_300dpiTranscription of cover;

Inventory and
Appraisment of
Effects on Hiddlefaulds
and Kilpunt which
belonged to the Late
Mr Walker

Page 1; Inventory-of-Effects-at-Hiddlefaulds_1840_p1-ed_300dpiTranscription of page 1;

Inventory and Appraisment of Effects on #
Hiddlefaulds and Kilpunt which belonged to #
the late Mr Walker farmer at Hiddlefaulds #
August 1840

  Dining Room £ /s /d
1 7 Chairs at 5[.] 1 /15 /-
2 1 Dining table – /15 /-
3 […] & […] – /5 /-
4 2 […] […] – /3 /-
5 2 Bottles with a little Whisky – /8 /-
6 12 Tumblers & 12 Glasses – /10 /-
7 3 […] pots & [set] of china – /10 /-
8 2 […] […] – /1 /-
9 2 salt dishes & 2 mustards – /1 /6
10 6 Toddy Ladles – /3 /6
11 1 [Doz*] small plates – /1 /6
12 1 Jar with a little Whisky – /2 /6
13 Old […] – /- /6
14 A [looking] Glass – /5 /-
15 A Barometer – /6 /-
16 2 [arnamentats] – /7 /-
17 Carpet & Hearth rug – /- /6
18 Portrait – /1 /6
19 Chest of Drawers 1 /10 /-
20 2 [kinfe] […] – /7 /-
21 [First] [bed] Room  
22 2 [bed] [Ticks] – /12 /-
23 3 old chairs – /5 /-
  [carried forward] £ 8 /10 /6

Page 2; Inventory-of-Effects-at-Hiddlefaulds_1840_p2-ed_300dpiTranscription of page 2;

  [First] Bed Room continued Brought over £8 /10s /6d
24 1 Round Table – /3 /-
25 [Basin] [Stand] [..] – /1 /6
26 [brumb] cloth – /2 /-
27 A [Map] – /2 /-
28 [Fishing] [roll] – /- /3
29 An old Wardrobe – /6 /-
30 2 Close beds – /15 /-
  Milk House  
31 Milk House & dairy [utensils] 1 /10 /-
32 5 [Doz*] bottles – /7 /6
33 1 load Oat meal 2 /5 /-
  Eastern Bed Room  
34 2 small boxes – /3 /-
35 2 knife boxes – /2 /-
36 4 old chests 1 /10 /-
37 20 [pair] home made Blankets
5 /- /-
38 20 – [shawers]    (ditto)
3 /10 /-
39 40 [pair] sheets
10 /- /-
40 2 [Doz*] Towels
– /3 /6
41 6 Table cloths
2 /2 /-
42 Bed Tick with [Bobles] and Pillows
– /12 /-
  Servants Bed Room  
43 1 [common] [bell] with [curtains]
– /9 /-
44 1 old [B…] […]
– /2 /6
45 [B…] & [Chese] in [Ditto]
– /4 /-
46 Trunk
– /5 /-
47 Box
– /2 /3
48 2 [sheets] of Wollen [fam]
– /3 /-
49 3 (ditto) Linen
– /4 /6
50 2 (ditto) Tow
– /3 /-
51 2 old Band Bales
– /9 /3
52 1 ” [Hardrefer]
– /5 /-
53 1 ½ [Doz*] [bottles]
– /2 /3
  [carried forward]
£39 /6 /-

Page 3; Inventory-of-Effects-at-Hiddlefaulds_1840_p3-ed_300dpiTranscription of page 3;

  Servants Bed Room continued £39 /6s /-d
54 2 pair Brass Candlesticks – /7 /6
55 1 small Copper kettle – /2 /6
56 old Sofa – /3 /-
57 6 old chairs 1 /4 /-
58 […] cloth and Rug – /3 /-
59 1 small Mahogany Table – /12 /-
60 1 — Common — (ditto) – /2 /-
61 [Grate] & [Fire] Irons – /3 /6
62 small round Table – /1 /-
63 2 [close] [Beds] – /9 /-
64 2 [Bed] [Ticks] with Bolsters & Pillows – /18 /-
65 [Bed] covers – /12 /-
66 [Tea] Trays – /3 /-
67 1 Old eight day clock 1 /- /-
68 A Gun – /8 /-
69 3 Saws – /3 /6
70 Old crockery – /3 /-
71 2 [Doz*] knifes & forks 1 /7 /-
72 2  ”   kitchen spoons – /4 /6
73 1  ”   […] (ditto) – /4 /6
74 1  ”   silver Tea spoons 2 /2 /-
75 1 pair sugar Tongs – /3 /6
  Horse Harness & Implements of
  6 sets cart & Plough harness 6 /- /-
  1 set old harness – /10 /-
  1 […] & Riding Sadle 1 /10 /-
  2 Old [briads] – /1 /6
  Straw Barn  
  1 […] chest – /5 /-
  14 Hoes – /7 /-
  [carried forward] £58 /16 /-

Page 4; Inventory-of-Effects-at-Hiddlefaulds_1840_p4-ed_300dpiTranscription of page 4;

Straw Barn continued £58 /16 /-
4 Rakes – /3 /-
2 [Forks] & 1 […] – /3 /-
1 Large Hammer – /2 /-
7 Bays with corn dust – /10 /-
30 Empty Bays 2 /- /-
3 Stands Hay Ropes – /12 /-
1 Old Thrashing Mill 5 /- /-
1 pair [Fanners] 1 /5 /-
2 [Thrashing] Tubs – /6 /-
1 [Firm] – /- /6
Boiler House  
1 Boilers 1 /5 /-
3 [Grapes] – /4 /6
1 Broken Table – /- /9
Live Stock  
7 Work Horses 77 /- /-
1 Riding – (ditto) 18 /- /-
4 Milk Cows 36 /- /-
4 – [2] year old [stots] 42 /- /-
15 – Milk calves 9 /- /-
2 – 1 year old (ditto) 3 /- /-
2 – 1 year old colts 14 /- /-
Manure in Court Yard 6 /- /-
3 Broad Swine 2 /5 /-
16 pigs 4 /- /-
2 [..akes] – /2 /6
1 Turnip barrow – /4 /-
1 Thrashing Mill 30 /- /-
1 Pair [Tanners] 3 /10 /-
[N..les] & other Barn utensiles – /15 /-
6 [blon] Carts 27 /- /-
3 Pair wood Harrows 1 /7 /-
[carried forward] £344 /11 /3

Page 5; Inventory-of-Effects-at-Hiddlefaulds_1840_p5-ed_300dpiTranscription of page 5;

Brought forward £344 /11 /3
3 Wood Ploughs 2 /2 /-
1 Iron Plough 1 /10 /-
1 Grubber 1 /1 /-
1 Wheel barrow – /4 /-
3 Thraw crooks – /1 /6
2 Stone Rollers 1 /5 /-
3 Ladders – /9 /6
Old Straw 2 /10 /-
1 Water Barrel – /7 /6
Manure at Hiddlefaulds 2 /5 /-
2 Hand barrows – /2 /4
5 Geese – /10 /-
1 [Doz*] [Fowls] – /15 /-
1 old cart frame – /2 /6

Growing Crops at Hiddlefaulds, and Kilpunt_

14 Acres Barley 84 /- /-
11 “ Oats 88 /- /-
11 “ Turnips 99 /- /-
8 “ Oats 68 /- /-
8 “ Barley 60 /- /-
2 “ [Tares] 10 /- /-
4 “ Potatoes 38 /- /-
10 “ Wheat 80 /- /-
7 “ (ditto) 66 /3 /-
2 “ (ditto) 18 /- /-
7 “ Barley 64 /15 /-
5 “ Oats 37 /10 /-
1 Old Bean Stalk 3 /- /-
4 Loom Carts 4 /4 /-
    £1078 /8 /7


Page 6; Inventory-of-Effects-at-Hiddlefaulds_1840_p6_300dpiTranscription of page 6;

[I] [wrrie] 31st August 1840. All the articles #
writen upon the Five preceeding pages have #
been inspected and appraised by me #
licenced Auctioneer here, for the purpose of #
asertaining the legacy duty, and to the #
best of my Judgment this is a fair #
valuation amounting to One Thousand #
and Seventy eight pounds eight shillings and #
seven pence Sterling.
Robert Gray.


  • * “Doz” ; I think means a “dozen” (or 12).

The only item in this inventory that I believe I can identify with any certainty is the “Old eight day clock”, in the Lobby (no.67, on p.3). I can’t confirm the age of this clock! But it is said to have been passed down the Walker family line since William Walker (who married Elizabeth Barron in 1728).


Old WALKER papers – Discharge from Patrick Keir to William Walker

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

IMG_7620-edBelow is one of several documents from an envelope labeled “Old Wills etc. of the Walker family”, which is part of a box full of family papers that I received from my aunt at a family gathering in January 2014. The contents of this envelope all date from the 1700’s.

I have previously posted all those documents that are by, or speak directly about my Walker ancestors. I am now posting some documents where I am unsure of the nature of the connection to the Walker family. Please see my notes at the bottom.

This is the first of two Discharges to William Walker (my ancestor) and Isobell Gray, the widow of John Lishman. I have previously posted John Lishman’s Disposition. John was a witness to the marriage contract of my ancestors; William Walker and Elizabeth Barron, in 1728.

IMG_9490-croppedPlease click on the images to see the scans at full resolution. Transcribed text appears in a Maroon colour below each scanned image. At the bottom I’ve made some notes of my own about the document.

Cover; Discharge_Patrick-Keir_to-Wm-Walker_1753_cover_300dpiTranscription of cover;

Pat Keir
Wm Walker
on Isabell Grays [..]

Inside; Discharge_Patrick-Keir_to-Wm-Walker_1753_inside_300dpiTranscription of inside;

I Mr Patrick Keir in the Blair of Carnock grants me to have received #
from William Walker in Hiddlefaulds on account of Isabell Gray relict of #
John Leishman late tenent in Craigie the Sum of Two hundred Merks Scots #
money assigned to me by the said Isabell Gray in her Settlement of which #
sum of Two hundred Merks forsaid I hereby grant the Receipt And discharges #
and simpliciter exoners the saids Isabell Gray and William Waker and #
all concerned thereof for now and ever In witness whereof I have written & #
subscribed these presents at Hiddlefaulds the twenty fifth day of October #
One thousand Seven hundred and fifty three years.  Patrick Keir


Blair of Carnock; I think this is at Carnock in Fife – now “Blair Lodge”, Oakley.

Craigie; a farm laying southeast of South Queensferry, and northeast of Kirkliston village.

Leishman; the surname is spelt in a number of ways in the documents I’ve seen, including; Leishman, Leshman, & Lishman. For my notes on how John Leishman might relate to William Walker, see John Lishman’s Disposition.

Scots Merk; =14 shillings (originally 13s 4d, or ⅔ of a Scottish pound). For more details, see Wikipedia, or TheReformation.info.

Old WALKER papers – I, James Walker

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

IMG_7620-edBelow is one of several documents from an envelope labeled “Old Wills etc. of the Walker family”, which is part of a box full of family papers that I received from my aunt at a family gathering in January 2014. The contents of this envelope all date from the 1700’s.

This letter is from James Walker, b.1769. He is the nephew of the James Walker mentioned in several other documents that I’ve posted. He’s the son of Thomas Walker (b.1735), and grandson of William Walker & Elizabeth Barron (m.1728).

IMG_9490-croppedPlease click on the images to see the scans at full resolution. Transcribed text appears in a Maroon colour below each scanned image. At the bottom I’ve made some notes of my own about the document.

Letter; I-James-Walker_1789_300dpiTranscription;

I, James Wallker, being in a laguishine Condition #
and going twenty one years, called Lues Alexandr #
tenant in Murend and David Fortune tenant #
in Birds mill to bear witness what my #
wills is which I declare befor them to be #
as follows. I would have my uncel James #
Walker if Providen should take me #
away to pay all my just debts to give my #
sister Elizabeth five pounds hir husband #
five pounds my cusion John Walker five #
pounds the first term after my decease #
and my Mother to Lifereant what remains #
which will be more than one hundred #
pounds sterling and then at her death to #
be divided equally among my survive- #
-ng sistors leaving the management of all #
to my three uncles James Broun, Peller #
Broun and James Walker this [I atest] #
Before thes as above Hiddlefolds twenty #
fourth of subtember 1789

Witnes Lewis Alexander
David Fortuna, witness

James Walker


  • “Murend”; Muirend lays southwest of Hiddlefaulds, across the Union Canal.
  • “Birds Mill”; lays southeast of Hiddlefaulds, on the River Almond.

Lewis Alexander, tenant in Muirend; There is a gravestone in St Nicholas churchyard, Uphall, EH52 6JP, West Lothian, which from the dates on it, could be recording the parents and siblings of the witness to the document above. See grave no.60, here; http://www.uphall.org/downloads/stnicholas-gravestones.pdf


“James Broun” and “Peller Broun” (possibly “Peter” Broun) appear to be the brothers of Janet Broun (or Brown), who married Thomas Walker, at Kirkliston on 16/10/1761. Thomas and Janet had 8 children christened at Kirknewton, Mid Lothian;

  • Mary, chr. 5/9/1762
  • Janet, chr. 3/11/1763
  • Elizabeth, chr. 17/1/1764, (married bef.1789, according to the letter above)
  • Marion, chr. 31/5/1767
  • James, chr. 14/5/1769 (writer of the letter, above)
  • Isobel, chr. 28/9/1771
  • Margaret, chr. 9/5/1773
  • Jean, chr. 10/5/1776 (source; IGI).

Thomas Walker’s brother, James Walker (b.1731) married Janet Flint and had 3 children;

  • Mary, b. 23/6/1767
  • Elizabeth, b. 1/10/1769
  • John, b. 13/1/1772 (he “irregularly” married Isabel Neil, in May 1816)

Note that the girls here share the same names as their cousins, which could cause confusion when we search the parish registers!

There is a marriage in the Kirkliston parish registers between an “Elizabeth Walker” and James Cunningham on 11/6/1785. I once found a tree on-line which had assumed that this Elizabeth was the daughter of James W & Janet Flint! But she would have been only 16 years old at that time (unusual, but not impossible!). However the evidence in the document above, which says that Elizabeth, the daughter of Thomas W & Janet Broun, was married before 1789, leads me to believe that she is the wife of James Cunningham. She would have been 21 at the time of that marriage.

I would be interested to find any other evidence that could confirm which “Elizabeth” married James Cunningham, or that could help to solve any similar confusions that might occur. If you have (or know of) such evidence please use the Contact Form. Thanks.

Old WALKER papers – Lease of Hiddlefaulds to James Walker – 1775

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

IMG_7620-edBelow is one of several documents from an envelope labeled “Old Wills etc. of the Walker family”, which is part of a box full of family papers that I received from my aunt at a family gathering in January 2014. The contents of this envelope all date from the 1700’s.

This letter is from the Earl of Hopetoun, agreeing to lease the farm of Hiddlefaulds, in Kirkliston, West Lothian, to James Walker (my 4x Great-grandfather) from 1775, for two further terms of 19 years each. Family notes say that the Walker family (under James’ father, William) first moved to Hiddlefaulds in 1745.

IMG_9490-croppedPlease click on the images to see the scans at full resolution. Transcribed text appears in a Maroon colour below each scanned image. At the bottom I’ve made some notes of my own about the document.

Lease; lease-of-Hiddlefaulds_1775_300dpiTranscription of lease;

Hope house, 19th Sept 1775

I hereby agree ^ {[.] for the Earl of Hopetoun} to give you a lease of the #
farm of Hiddlefaulds, which you presently #
possess for Nineteen years from [Mart next] #
Seventeen Hundred and Seventy five for your offer #
of the following rent and upon the following #
Conditions [viz] you are to pay a yearly rent #
of Twenty three Bolls Barley and Twenty three #
Bolls of Oat meal with Nineteen pound sterl[ing] #
of Money rent at the usual terms, and you are #
to Inclose the whole farm during the lease #
into Six Inclosures, none of them to exceed fifteen #
acres, and your lease is to contain all the #
clauses in ^ {the Earls} other Leases. If you have #
Inclosed and dived the farm as above said #
during the above lease and the fences in a #
sufficient fencable condition ^ {The Earl} shall renew your #
lease for nineteen years more upon your #
demanding it, at the above [actual] rent [viz] [twenty] #
three Bolls Barley and Twenty three Bolls meal #
and Twenty Six pound sterl[ing] of money rent and #
you become bound to uphold and maintain the #
fences during the second lease and to leave #
them in a sufficient fencable condition at the #
end thereof –
For the Earl of Hopetoun

To Jas Walker Tennant
in Hiddlefaulds of Kinpunt


Term used in the text;

On the reverse of this letter are written a series of numbers, being added up. I am unsure of the meaning/significance of these (if any)!;



James Walker (named above) married Janet Flint in May 1766 (recorded in the parish registers in both Kirkliston and Mid Calder). They had 2 daughters; Mary (b. June 1767), and Elizabeth (b. Oct. 1769), and one son; John (b. Jan. 1772). John would continue farming at Hiddlefaulds after the deaths of James & Janet (who both died in 1817). I don’t have any more information about the daughters, beyond their birth/christening dates!

A history of the WALKER family

The following history was originally compiled and written by T.G.A. WALKER, circa 1957. The versions of this history that I’ve seen don’t contain any notes as to his sources for the information. And while some sources must be from old family papers (which I have seen, and which remain in the family), others remain a mystery.

This history was retyped, with minor edits and corrections, and with some additional information/details inserted in italics, by M. WALKER in 2004, with further additions/editing in response to further research at several subsequent dates. I endeavour to explain my edits to the text, and my sources, at the end.

foot-cA history of the WALKER family

By tradition, the Walker family came originally from the district around PERTH and at some date not known moved to a farm, now no longer in existence, called PUNCHEONLAW [or Punchinlaw] which lay north-east of the village of KIRKLISTON, on a back road towards Cramond, just west of Edinburgh.[i]

William Walker of Punchin Law moved to the farm of HIDDLEFAULDS [or Hiddlefolds] now in the parish of Broxburn, but historically in Kirkliston parish, in the year 1745, being a tenant of the Earl of HOPETOUN; he also farmed for a time at OVERTOUN of KIRKNEUTON, which he had taken over from his brother, David Walker, who had died, it seems, without issue.

William married Elizabeth BARRON (or BARON) of Corstorphine on 14th June 1728 and they had two daughters, twins, Isabell and Janet, born 23rd August 1729 and three sons, James born 5th August 1731, Thomas born about 20th October 1735, and William, born 27th January 1739,[ii] of whom James took over the farm on the death of his father in 1768. James married Janet Flint in May 1766 and they had a son, John, born on 13th Jan 1772 along with two daughters; Mary, born 23rd June 1767, and Elisabeth on 1st October 1769.[iii] John was “irregularly” married to Isabel Neil in May 1816.[iv] She was born in February 1788. John took over the farm on the death of his farther in 1817. James died 4th April 1817, aged 85, and Janet Flint died 12th Dec. 1817, aged 79.[v]

At about this date the family took over the lease of the adjoining farm of Kilpunt (or Kilpont), also on the Hopetoun Estate, making the two farms into one. In the course of time the farm buildings of Hiddlefaulds were used for other purposes, and a row of farm cottages were put up with the stones. [Records indicate that the Walker family was still living at Hiddlefaulds in 1842, but were living at Kilpunt by the time of the 1851 census.]

An anecdote of the times with it’s general lawlessness is the story of a Walker of about these times who had a horse stolen during the night and when daylight came, tracked the thief and came upon him in a wood some miles away. They fell to with their swords, and the thief was run through, and Walker came back with his horse.

There are more details of the family of John Walker than previous generations. He had two sons and four daughters;

  • Janet   .  . b. 19 Aug. 1816  .  married William HUNTER, baker, of Broxburn.
  • James .  . b. 24 Jan. 1818  .  married Margaret JOHNSTON in 1847.
  • John .  .  . b. 29 Oct 1820   .   d. 15 Nov. 1825
  • Isbel  .  .  . b. 26 Mar 1822
  • Mary  .  .  . b. 15 Dec 1824   .  [married John KERR]
  • Barbara  . b. 21 Feb 1827   .  [married David BARTHOLOMEW]

    Photo of Kilpunt from the south (composite of two photos)
    taken on 28th June 2005

John Walker died in [Aug.] 1840 and James carried on the farm at Kilpunt. [Isbel MacNeil died in about 1860]. James married Margaret Johnston at Bathgate in 1847. She came of a family of much distinction, they owning the newspaper ‘The Falkirk Herald’ and who had brothers who were prominent Bankers in Glasgow.

The sister of James [i.e. Janet] who married Wm. Hunter of Broxburn had a son who went to Natal, [South] Africa as an engineer, who planned and built the railway there [was manager of the Natal Railway, abt. 1880’s.].

James was well known in Edinburgh, where he had a house, and did much entertaining, among his guests was a Mr Necker, an International Banker and important in his day, who came from Switzerland.

He [James] had family as follows;

  • John Johnston .  .   b. 21 Jan 1848        d. 19 Nov 1891 in N.Z.
  • Margaret Young (twin)                                d. 13 May 1891
  • James   .  .  (twin)  .  b. 19 Oct 1849        d.  4 May 1851
  • Isabella Neill .  .  .  .  b. 3 May 1851        m. Thomas ALLAN
  • Jemima Janet .  .  .  b. 30 Mar 1854
  • Mary .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  b. 9 Feb 1856         m. John BRASH
  • Thomas George   .  b. 4 Mar 1858        m. Helen Black CADZOW
  • Elizabeth Barron  .  b. 7 Oct 1860         d. 14 Oct 1882

John [Johnston] Walker went to New Zealand in 1869 and was manager of a large Sheep Station at Edendale until 1877, when he decided to start on his own, and took up a virgin block of land on the Otamakapua Block. In 1891 he went to Feilding to have treatment for a severe attack of fever and was treated by a Doctor Charlton without success, and died on 19th November 1891. On his retirement from the sheep station, where he was most popular, he was presented with a very handsome gold watch and chain.

On the death of James Walker in 1881 the farm at Kilpunt was carried on by Thomas George Walker, who married Helen Black Cadzow at Bangour [just north of Livingston, West Lothian], on the 19th June 1894.

Their family;

Born at Kilpunt         ( up until 1898)

  • Helen Cadzow WALKER  b. 31 May 1895           m. Jeremiah INNS
  • James Hope          “             b. 3 July 1896              d. 16 Mar 1917
  • Isobel MacNeil     “             b. 22 Feb 1898            m. Henry W. GEORGE

Born at Hyde Hall, Buntingford, Hertfordshire (1898 – 1904)

  • Beatrice Margaret             b. 3 Aug 1900              d. Feb. 1972
  • Mary Winifred                     b. 14 Feb 1903            d. 18 Apr 1996

Born at Symonds Hyde, Hatfield, Hertfordshire (1904 – .)

  • Ethel Marian                         b. 4 Nov 1905             m. Lyle STEWART
  • Thomas George Allan     b. 24 June 1908        m. Linnaea C. ELLIOTT

[i] T. G. A. Walker writes of “a farm called PUNCHIN LAW (spelling doubtful) which lay close to the farm of THREE-MILE-TOWN on the Linlithgow to Edinburgh road, about three miles from Linlithgow.” But viewing old maps of ‘Linlithgowshire’ (West Lothian) online at www.nls.uk/maps (at July 2005), two maps (dated 1818 and 1820) identify a farm of ‘Puncheon Law’ laying in the parish of Kirkliston, north-east of Kirkliston village (quite some distance east of Three-Mile-Town). No other locations of a similar name are evident on these maps.

[ii] These dates and the names of Elizabeth Barron and Isabell, Janet & William Walker, come from OPR 667/1; Kirkliston parish records on microfilm. Viewed 29th June 2005 at the Scottish Genealogy Society; Family History Library, 15 Victoria Terrace, Edinburgh.

[iii] Dates and the daughters’ names come from OPR 667/1; Kirkliston parish records on microfilm. (as note 2).

[iv]John Walker and Isabel Neil, both of this parish (Kirkliston) were irregularly married and had their marriage confirmed by the session.” Entry dated 25th May 1816 from OPR 667/1; Kirkliston parish records on microfilm. (as note 2). The fact that their 1st daughter, Janet, was born less than 3 months later is a hint at what was going on! Looking into the Kirk Session records might provide additional information of interest about this.

[v] Dates of death for James and Janet taken from a tombstone in Kirkliston kirkyard on 28th June 2005.

 Additional notes/comments;

IMG_7620-edSince first re-typing the above history, I have discovered the original family papers which must have been the source for much of the history – particularly the early parts. (I plan to post images and transcriptions of those documents onto this site in future). So the following notes have a lot to do with the extra details that I have so far gleaned from these documents.

I remain unclear about where the idea comes from, of the WALKER family “coming originally from the district around Perth“. I have yet to see any evidence for that!

My suspicion is that my WALKER family is connected to WALKERs who lived in the neighbouring parish of Corstorphine for at least 2 or 3 generations prior to the family that I have firm details for. A lot of work into WALKERs in Corstorphine has been done by Norman WALKER, from Australia, who traces his WALKER family back to Corstorphine in the early 1600s.

I have seen no evidence for William’s brother, “David“, who is supposed to have farmed at Overtoun of Kirknewton! But among the family papers, William’s disposition shows that he left the farm at Overtoun to “Thomas, my youngest son“. This suggests that William and Elizabeth’s third son (also called William, b.1739) had died at a young age – as he is not mentioned in his father’s disposition.

On-line I have seen someone making a connection between William Walker (b. 1739) and a marriage in 1774 between a William Walker and Catherine Muir. But based on the family documents that I’ve seen, particularly the disposition of William WALKER (Snr.), I see no evidence for such a link to be made. (If anyone can provide me with clear evidence of that link, I will happily revise my assumptions. This site is all about sharing evidence.).