Tag Archives: Kirkliston

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 tweets, with added photos, etc.

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 2

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 tweets, with added photos, etc.

I began the day by going to obtain a readers ticket for the National Records of Scotland Historical Search Room. I arrived at the General Register House just before their doors opened at 9am. The registration process was quick and easy (as I had come fully prepared). So I was done and out again in just 20 minutes.

General Register House, from North Bridge, Edinburgh.

My plan is to return to the Historical Search Room later during my week in Edinburgh, to see some records I’ve identified from the National Records of Scotland catalogue, that look to be of interest to me. Some of these records are listed as being “off site” and need to be ordered in advance. So before leaving I made my request for those documents, so that they will be available to view on the day that I plan to go back there.

I then headed to a bus stop and caught a bus out to explore a bit of West Lothian. My first stop was Kirkliston where I had arranged to meet Joe Henderson, who was able to open the church building for me to see inside. I have visited the Kirkliston churchyard a couple of times before, but not previously seen inside the church. Joe appears to know a great deal about the history of Kirkliston church and the parish. He gave me a copy of “Kirkliston; A Parish History” by Donald Whyte, and I gave him a copy of the history I have about my WALKER family.

After a little while inside the church, we went out into the churchyard, where I went particularly to look at the WALKER family gravestones there, and to take some new photos of them. Unfortunately (as you will see from the photo – below) a bush has been allowed to grow up right in front of the oldest gravestone – that of “William WALKER, late tenant in Hiddlefold, who died on Jan.1st 1768, aged 73″. But I was able to pull the branches away enough to check the inscription, which is still readable.

3 Walker family gravestones in Kirkliston churchyard; the oldest (on left) of William Walker, d. 1/1/1768, aged 73; on right, William’s son and daughter-in-law, James Walker & Janet Flint, and centre, James & Janet’s grandson, also James, his wife, Margaret Johnston, and several of their children.

Joe was then able to give me a lift to Kilpunt. I had a good look around there, taking a number of photos, and wandered down to the nearby site of Hiddlefaulds, where the Walker family had farmed from about 1745. There is now just a pile of stones on the site of Hiddlefaulds (which I believe was demolished in the 1890’s), and all the farm buildings at Kilpunt have been converted into houses.

View of Kilpunt, from the south

From Kilpunt I went on to Broxburn, then Livingston. In the afternoon, on route back to Edinburgh, I got off the bus in Kirknewton, where the Walker family also farmed, to have a look at the old graveyard there. I didn’t really expect to find any Walker gravestone inscriptions there, but thought I’d have a good look anyway! So I looked, but didn’t find anything of family interest there!

James Hope WALKER, RFC, 1896 – 1917

With the centenary, tomorrow, of his death in a flying accident during WW1, I want to post something about this Great-Uncle, James Hope WALKER.

James Hope WALKER was born on 3rd July 1896, at Kilpunt, Kirkliston, West Lothian, the second child (first son) of Thomas George WALKER, and Helen Black WALKER (nee CADZOW). His middle-name, “Hope”, is almost certainly a nod to the family’s landlord at Kilpunt; Lord HOPE, the Earl of Hopetoun.james-hope-walker_birth-cert-merged

In 1898 the WALKER family moved south to farm in Hertfordshire; first to Hyde Hall, Buntingford (here is Hyde Hall Farm’s current website and Facebook page), and then in 1904 to Symonds Hyde, Hatfield.

James Hope WALKER joined the 14th London Regiment (the London Scottish) as a Private (Pte.). Regimental.No.4335. The photos of him wearing a kilt (below) appear to be his London Scottish regimental uniform. His medal card shows that he first entered the “Theatre of War”, in France on 4th July 1915.

This letter, dated 24th May 1916, contains an order from the War Office to J.H.Walker’s commanding officer in the London Scottish Regiment, for him to report for training with an Officer Cadet Unit, on 29th May at Whittington Barracks, Litchfield.scan0014-scaled

Transcription;

COPY
List 2. Litchfield (T.F.3)
War Office, London, S.W.
24th May 1916.
Sir,
I am directed to inform you that 4335. Pte. J.H.Walker.
of the unit under your Command, has been selected to undergo a course
of instruction in an Officer Cadet Unit, with a view to his subsequent
appointment to a commission in the Territorial Force.
I am therefore to request that you will order him to report
himself to the Commandant No 8 Officers Cadet Battn, Whittington Barracks, Litchfield.
on the 29th May 1916 not later than 4 p.m.. He should be provided
with a railway warrant for the journey, and should be in possession
of a complete kit. xxxxxxxxxxxx
It must be distinctly understood that in the event of his
failure to pass the required tests on the termination of the course
or it in any other respect he is found to be unsuitable for appoint-
-ment to a commission, he will be returned to your unit for duty in
the ranks, or otherwise disposed of as directed by the Army Council.
An acknowledgment of the receipt of this letter is not
required, but if for any reason the candidate is unable to join, a
telegram should be sent to the War Office as early as practicable,
Followed by a letter stating the circumstances.
I am, Sir, Your obedient Servant,
(Sgd) W.D. Bird.
Director of Staff Duties.
The Officer Commanding
xx 14th (Res) Bn.London Regt.
(London Scottish)
Mortlake.

On (or about) the 25th September 1916, he was commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant in the Royal Flying Corps. The London Gazette records this in a list published on 20th October 1916 (his name is about a third of the way down on the right-hand side).

One photo among WALKER family papers labels James Hope WALKER, standing on an airfield alongside 3 other (unidentified) servicemen.

James Hope WALKER was killed in a “Flying accident” on 16th March 1917, when the Bristol F.2a fighter biplane (number A3311), which he was flying, had a “loss of flying speed near ground”, at Rendcomb airfield (north of Cirencester, Gloucestershire). The “Casualty Card” from the accident is available from the RAF Museum Story Vault. It records the following;

“The court is of opinion that accident was caused by loss of flying speed owing to the fact that the pilot had switched off in order to effect a slower landing. The throttle being open seems to indicate that the pilot attempted to make use of his engine forgetting he had previously switched off.”

A group of photos among family papers, show an airfield; presumably RAF Rendcomb. Three images show Bristol F.2a fighter biplanes lined up; among them are numbers A3314 and A3329. Another 3 photos show servicemen standing around a crashed plane. This is presumably the crash which killed James Hope WALKER on 16th March 1917. But the images don’t show the plane’s number, so I can’t say for sure!

The following two cards were presumably sent to the WALKER family by the officers of the RFC at Rendcombe following his death.

James Hope WALKER is recorded on several monuments. These include the Hatfield War Memorial. Among family papers are two cards inviting his parents to the dedication of the Hatfield War Memorial on Sunday 12th June (1921) (see below). He is also recorded on a memorial at St Albans School, where he was a pupil (see the Great War Forum for details).

His gravestone, in St Luke’s Churchyard, Hatfield, also mentions one of his sisters, Beatrice Margaret. The FindAGrave website accurately connects this grave to a 1911 census record, and to the gravestones of other WALKER family members, buried at All Saints, Radwell, where there is also an inscription to him,  on the back of his parents gravestone (see; BillionGraves.com).

The portrait (below) of James Hope WALKER appears to have been painted after his death. It is signed ‘E. L. HAWES, 1919′, and “EVA L. HAWES, 24 WINDSOR RD, CHURCH END FINCHLEY” is written on the back. I have no other information about the artist. The portrait is in an envelope, addressed in pencil to James’ mother, “Mrs Walker, Radwell Bury, Baldock, Herts” (an address which his parents moved to in about 1935).

Old WALKER papers – Lease of Kilpunt – 1884

This is one in a series of blog post about some old papers of the WALKER family, from Kirkliston, West Lothian, Scotland. You can see a list of the papers that have been posted onto AFamilyHistoryBlog HERE.

IMG_7620-edThis document is a lease agreement (or “Tack”), dated 12th and 13th May 1884, made between the Earl of Hopetoun, John Adrian Louis Hope (landlord), and my paternal Gt-Gt-Grandmother, Margaret Johnston (or Walker) (tenant), for the farm at Kilpunt, Kirkliston, Mid Lothian, following the death of Margaret’s husband, James Walker, in 1881.

James Walker and Margaret Johnston (both born in 1818) had married at Bathgate, West Lothian, in February 1847. James had lived at Kilpunt from at least that date (if not earlier!). The Walker family appears to have been farming the land at Kilpunt since earlier in the 1800’s, having combined it with the neighbouring farm of Hiddlefaulds, where they had lived since 1745.

No doubt, after James Walker’s death, much of the day-to-day farm work would have been done by his son (my Gt-Grandfather), Thomas George Walker, who is a signed witness to the lease, and who inherited the lease when Margaret died in 1890.

Recently, while I was transcribing this document, I came across a document on-line, dated 1888 (so within the duration of this lease), where the Earl of Hopetoun leased land at Kilpunt for a railway line. This puts into context the need in this agreement for clauses about roads, railways, canals, etc. See that pdf document HERE. Note the map on page 6 of that PDF file. The route of the railway runs right through the site of Hiddlefaulds farm, where the Walker family had lived for around 100 years before moving into Kilpunt farmhouse in the 1840’s. The 25 inch Ordnance Survey maps available through the National Libruary of Scotland, show Hiddlefaulds on a map surveyed in 1893, but the railway in its place on a revised map of 1895.

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

Cover; IMG_9644-bTranscription of cover;

Tenants copy
Lease
between
The Earl of Hopetoun
and
Mrs Margaret Johnston or Walker
Of the Farm of Kilpunt

Dated 12th and 13th May 1884

Entry Martinmas ———– 1880
Duration ——————- 19 (Yrs)
Expiry Martinmas ———- 1899

Rent £ 565 – 2s – 6d

Page 1; IMG_9643Transcription of page 1;

Stamps;

FIVE SHILLINGS
SCOTLAND 16/05/84 (1884)
DUPLICATE OR COUNTERPART
ORIGIONAL STAMPED WITH
THREE POUNDS
SCOTLAND 26/05/84 (1884)

Text;

It is Contracted and Agreed between The Right Honorable John Adrian Louis, Earl of Hopetoun, heritable proprietor of the Lands and others aftermentioned on the one part, and Mrs Margaret Johnston or Walker, residing at Kilpunt, Widow of the late James Walker, farmer there on the other part, Considering that the said James Walker at the time of his death on sixth May Eighteen hundred and eighty-one had arranged with the said Earl of Hopetoun for a renewal of his tenancy of the farm of Kilpunt for Nineteen years from the term of Martinmass Eighteen hundred and eighty – And that although the new Lease proposed for said period was prepared and sent to him about the time of his death, that event took place before the Lease was completed and [executed] – And that by Mutual General Disposition and Settlement between and executed by the said James Walker and the said Mrs Margaret Johnston or Walker, dated fifth August Eighteen hundred and forty seven, and recorded in the Books of Council and Session, twenty-first May Eighteen hundred and eighty one, the said James Walker made over to the said Mrs Margaret Johnston or Walker everything he should die possessed of and that in virtue thereof she has, as the ^said deceased’s heir of provision and with the concurrence of the Trustee on his Sequestrated Estate and of the said Earl of Hopetoun, between carrying on the Farm since her husband’s death and is [desirous] that said Lease should be made out and completed in her name; Therefore the said Earl of Hopetoun has Set and in consideration of the Yearly Rent and other Conditions aftermentioned hereby Lets to the said Mrs Margaret Johnston or Walker, and her heirs, whether of line or provision but always without division and excluding Assignees legal or conventional, and sub-Tenants of every description All and Whole the said farm of Kilpunt in the Parish of Kirkliston, and County of Linlithgow as at present possessed by the said Mrs Margaret Johnston or Walker, and extending in all to Two hundred and fifty-three Acres, three hundred and eighty decimal parts of an acre or thereby Imperial Measure, which extents without being warranted shall for the purposes of this Lease be held to be correct; And that for Nineteen Years from and after the said term of Martinmas Eighteen hundred and eighty, which is hereby declared to have been the term of Entry under this Lease; With and under this express condition that if the said Mrs Margaret Johnston or Walker or Heirs succeeding to this Lease become Bankrupt by virtue of the Bankrupt Laws or execute a Trust Conveyance of her or his property for behoof of her or his Creditors or allow one year’s Rent to run into arrear and sequestration therefor to be awarded then and in every such case this Lease shall at the Proprietor’s option be null and void and he shall have right to assume possession of the Premises and the said Margaret Johnston or Walker obliges herself and her aforesaid to renounce possession and consents that Summary Diligence pass for removing herself or Heirs therefrom and that without prejudice to all legal remedies competent under the Act of Sederunt Seventeen hundred and fifty-six or otherwise. But declaring that the termination of this Lease under any of the foregoing conditions shall not import an acquittance or discharge of the obligation on the Tenant or her foresaids for Rent or additional Rent incurred previous to the time that she or they shall be required to remove from the subjects hereby Let. Nor shall any acquittance or discharge of any Rent or additional Rent due by the said Tenant or her foresaids under this Lease import a discharge or abandonment of any right to terminate this Lease under any of the foregoing conditions unless expressly discharged, it being hereby declared that it shall be in the power of the said Proprietor or his heirs and assignees to enforce any of the conditions herein written at any period unless he or they shall have expressly discharged them. And the said Proprietor binds himself and his foresaids to expend the Sum of Three hundred and fifty pounds Sterling in further improving the – Buildings and fences of said Farm – it being declared that this outlay shall be made at the sight and under &

J Hopetoun
Margaret Walker

Page 2; IMG_9642
Transcription of page 2;

Page Second

under the direction of the Factor to the said Proprietor – (the said Sum of Three hundred and fifty pounds with the sum of Two hundred and fifty pounds already so expended making together Six hundred pounds the Sum agreed to be so expended under the arrangements with the said deceased James Walker) Reserving always to the (said) proprietor and his foresaids from the subjects hereby Let as follows videlicet Reserving always the whole Mines, Metals, Minerals, and fossils, Coal, Marl, Clay, Gravel, Sand, Sandstone, Limestone, and Slate Quarries, on the subjects hereby Let with full power to search for, [worle], win, smelt, burn and manufacture, and to carry off the same and to sink pits, form levels, make Roads, Railroads, Canals, erect Buildings and Machinery, and carry on all works within the subjects hereby let which they may think proper and to resume the land they may think necessary for these purposes. Reserving also full power at all times to take off land from any part or parts of the subjects hereby Let for the purpose of planting or for the purpose of [fencing] or letting on Building Leases or for making, altering or widening Roads or for making Railroads or Canals or pieces of water Declaring that the Proprietor or his foresaids shall be bound always to keep properly enclosed any lands resumed for any of these purposes, at his own expense, and that the said Ten:ant shall receive for any land so resumed an abatement from the Rent in the proportion that the extent of Ground resumed [be as to] the extent of the whole subjects hereby Let. And also shall receive payment of the value of any crop which may be growing on, or unexhausted manure in the ground when resumed as the same shall be ascertained by arbitration. Reserving also to the Proprietor and his foresaids all the Woodlands and Grass in the Plantations, and all Plantations, Woods and Trees whatsoever now or that may hereafter be upon the subjects hereby Let with liberty to prune, cut and carry away the same, and to replant the land from which the same may be taken, the Tenant being indemnified only in the event of these operations occasioning damage to any growing crop, but not otherwise, as the same shall be ascertained by arbitration. And reserving also to the Proprietor and to those to whom he may give authority the use of all the existing roads on the subjects hereby Let. And reserving also power to make such additional communication Gates in the fences as they may think fit they being bound to uphold the same. Reserving also to the Proprietor, with the exception of the Tenant’s Right to kill Ground Game under the provisions of the Ground Game Act, Eighteen Hundred and Eighty, the whole Game with power to the Proprietor or those whom he may authorise to shoot, hunt, or sport, the Tenant being bound to preserve all Game from all others and to turn off all intruders Reserving also power to straighten Marches and excamb Lands with the neighbouring Proprietors and Tenants and also to make new Drains or Levels for water, the damage sustained by the Tenant in such operations being settled by arbitration, and for payment of which the proprietor shall be liable. Reserving also power at all times to enter upon the subjects hereby Let to ascertain how far the Tenant has fulfilled the obligations undertaken by her under the Reservations and Conditions contained in these presents and also if the Houses, Fences, Gates, or Drains should fall into disrepair reserving power to the Proprietor to put the same into proper order, and charge the Tenant with the expenses thereof unless she execute such repairs within one month after being required by written notice. Which Tack the said Proprietor under the Reservations and Conditions before and after mentioned binds and obliges himself his Heirs and Successors to warrant to the said Mrs Margaret Johnston or Walker, and her Heirs at all hands For which causes and on the other part, the said Mrs Margaret Johnston or Walker obliges herself and her Heirs, Executors, and Successors, to pay to the said John Adrian Louis, Earl of Hopetoun, and his Heirs and Assignees, or to his or their Commissioners, Factors, or Chamberlains, in their name, at their respective residences within the County of Linlithgow yearly, the money Rent following namely the sum of Five Hundred and Sixty-five Pounds, Two Shillings and Sixpence. Declaring that  &

J Hopetoun
Margaret Walker

Page 3; IMG_9641
Transcription of page 3;

Page Third

that the said Rent shall be payable at two terms in the year Martinmas and Whitsunday as follows at the term of Martinmas yearly the sum of Two hundred and eighty two Pounds, Eleven shillings and Threepence and at the term of Whitsunday yearly the balance of the said Rent, beginning the first terms payment at Martinmas in the year Eighteen Hundred and Eighty-one, and the next term’s payment at WhitSunday Eighteen Hundred and Eighty two in full of the first year’s Rent for crop and year Eighteen Hun:dred and Eighty one, and so forth yearly and termly thereafter during the whole years of this Lease (except in so far as already paid) with a fifth part more of each term’s Rent of liquidate penalty in case of failure and the legal interest of each term’s Rent from the respective terms of payment during the non-payment thereof. But notwithstanding the terms of payment before specified to pay the whole Rents which shall be due for their possession of the subjects hereby Let at or previous to the term of Martinmass Eighteen Hundred and Ninety-nine at which term this Lease expires. And further to keep and maintain one Hound or Pointer or other Dog when required by the Proprietor or his – Factor without any allowance therefor. And further to pay all Public and Parochial Burdens payable by Tenants by law. And further to pay at the rate of Six and one half per centum per annum upon all outlay by the said Proprietor upon the subjects hereby Let which the said Tenant may ask and the said Proprietor agree to after the date of these presents (the foresaid sums of Three hundred and fifty pounds and Two hundred and fifty pounds excepted), and also to perform all carriages free of charge connected there with or connected with the Houses and Buildings presently erected or hereafter to be erected on the subjects hereby Let both which stipulations as to interest and carriages shall be understood in all cases whether expressed or not. And further to make good to the Proprietor his foresaids any loss or damage by Fire to the whole or any of the Houses and Buildings now or hereafter to be erected on the subjects hereby Let and for further security thereof the Tenant binds and obliges herself and her foresaids at their own expense to keep always insured in name of the Proprietor and Tenant or their respective foresaids for their respective rights and interests the said whole Houses and Buildings pre:sently erected or hereafter to be erected on the subjects hereby Let against loss or damage by Fire to the extent of three-fourths of their value, and also to keep at all times insured as aforesaid against loss by Fire the whole Crop and Stocking of the said Farm to the extent of their full value all as the same may be ascertained from time to time by arbitration, and these in one of the Established Fire Insurance Offices and to exhibit to the said Proprietor or his foresaids or to his or their Factor at the term of Martinmas yearly when the first portion of each year’s Rent is payable, Receipts for the payment of the premium due at that term of Martinmas yearly for the said several Insurances for the Twelve months succeeding. Declaring that the said Proprietor or his foresaids shall if so inclined have power to make the said Insurances to be effected in name of the Proprietor and Tenant or their respective foresaids, as said is and that the said Tenant or her foresaids shall in that event be bound to repay yearly to the said Proprietor and his foresaids the annual Premium for said Insurances at said term of Martinmas yearly and that the first sums paid by the said Tenant or her foresaids at or after the said term of Martinmas yearly shall be held to be applied in repayment of the said Insurances even although the Receipt or Receipts granted therefor shall bear that the money was paid to account of Rent. And further the Tenant, subject to the expenditure of the foresaid sum of Three hundred and fifty pounds yet to be made by the Proprietor, accepts the Houses and Fences as being in a good and tenantable state. Moreover the said Tenant obliges herself to maintain and leave in a good and tenantable condition the whole Houses, Drains, and Watercourses, Fences and Gates now on or hereafter to be erected on said Farm, except such as the Proprietor has herein before become bound to keep up and maintain and also the Proprietor paying one-half of the cost of repairing Fences bounding the &

J Hopetoun
Margaret Walker

Page 4; IMG_9640
Transcription of page 4;

Page Fourth.

the Plantations and maintaining at his sole expense the Fences surrounding the land which may be resumed as aforesaid. Further the Tenant binds herself to preserve and protect the whole trees now growing on the subjects hereby Let or which may be hereafter planted, and if she fail to do so she – binds herself to pay the damage which may be incurred by her fault or negligence as the same – shall be ascertained by arbitration. And further the Tenant binds and obliges herself to accept of such Lands as may be received under an excambion provided such Lands lie contiguous to the Farm and in like manner the Tenant obliges herself to give up any Lands which may be given away in an excambion leaving all questions as to deductions or increase of Rent arising out of such changes to be settled by arbitration. And further the said Tenant binds and obliges herself to reside on the subjects hereby Let, and in the event of her death the Heir of the said Lease Shall constantly reside on the subjects hereby Let. And further the said Tenant binds and obliges herself to make no alterations on the Houses and Buildings hereby Let to her without the – leave in writing of the said Proprietor or his Factor for the time being. And with regard to the cultivation and Management of the said farm the Tenant binds and obliges herself and her foresaids to cultivate and manage it according to the rules of good husbandry and to maintain the lands in a clean and fertile condition. And particularly without prejudice to these general conditions that not more than two fifth parts of the arable lands of the said farm shall be in anyone year in White Crops declaring that Peas or Beans (except Beans properly manured with twenty tons of farm yard manure per acre, drill sown and laboured as greencrop) and Turnip Seed and […] shall in all cases be counted as part of the acreage under White Crops in any year, that not less than one fifth part of the arable lands shall be in any one year in Pasture Grass and shall be in whole fields and not in separate or detached portions of fields that not more than one-fifth part of the arable lands shall be in any one year cut for Hay that all lands that shall be in any one year in Summer Fallow or Turnips or Potatoes or other Green Crop shall be in that year well and sufficiently manured and in order thereto that not less than one-half of the lands that shall be in Summer Fallow, Turnips, or Potatoes, or other Green Crop in any year shall be – manured in that year with not less than twenty-five tons of well-rotted farmyard dung per Imperial acre and should any portion of the remaining half of the said lands have a smaller quantity than the twenty-five tons of well rotted farm-yard dung per Imperial acre applied to it the deficiency shall be made up by an application of City Manure or of approved Artificial Manures at a cost of Four Pounds Ten Shillings per acre in value of said City or Artificial Manures to be applied to each acre of the said remain:ing half of the lands in proportion to the deficiency in the quantity of farm-yard manure applied. Declaring that at the termination of this Lease no part of the said farm shall be left in Summer Fallow the – Proprietor declining to pay for Summer Fallow that in the last year of this Lease the Proprietor or Incoming Tenant shall have power to sow Grass Seed in such parts of the lands as have been in Summer Fallow or in Green Crops in the preceding year provided the same be sown along with the Spring Crop or within eight days thereafter, or if with the Wheat Crop not later than the month of April and in order thereto the Tenant in possession hereby binds herself (and her foresaids) to give six days notice in writing to the Proprietor or Incoming Tenant before beginning to sow her last Spring Crop and failing their or either of them sowing the Grass Seeds as aforesaid the said Tenant in possession hereby binds herself to do so with ten pounds of good White and Red Clover Seed and one bushel and half a bushel of Perennial Rye Grass Seed to the Imperial acre or with such kinds and quantities of Clover and Grass Seed as the Pro:praetor or Incoming Tenant may direct and for the cost of which Seed and for the sowing allenarly she shall be paid as the value thereof shall be ascertained by arbitration and in either event the said Tenant in possession shall be bound to harrow and roll in the same, in a proper manner without – charge &

J Hopetoun
Margaret Walker

Page 5; IMG_9639
Transcription of page 5;

Page Fifth.

charge, and further shall be bound not to cut or pasture with stock of any kind or otherwise injure the lands so sown down after the last Crop has been reaped. And further the whole Dung or Manure produced on the farm shall be annually applied to the lands hereby Let and expressly in the last year of this Lease the whole Dung made on the farm previous to Whitsunday of the said last year shall be applied to the lands hereby let. And further the Tenant shall leave to the Landlord or Incoming Tenant the Dung made after the term of Whitsunday in the said last year of this Lease for which she shall be paid one-half its value as the same may be ascertained by arbitration. And it is expressly stipulated that if the Tenant depart from these regulations she and her foresaids shall pay the sum of Ten Pounds Sterling of additional Rent for each acre treated or cropped differently from the mode before specified and that at the time when the Rent of the year is paid with like penalty and interest on failure which additional Rent – shall not be considered as penal but pactional the Proprietor permitting such deviations for this additional Rent. And further the said Tenant binds herself to deliver to the Proprietor or his Factor when asked a statement signed and certified by her showing the number of acres of the whole lands hereby Let with the apportionment in any year of said acreage into White Crops, Hay, Green Crops, or Fallow and Pasture. Moreover the said Mrs Margaret Johnston or Walker obliges herself and her foresaids to remove from the said farm at the expiration of this Tack without warning or process of removal, or otherwise to pay the sum of Ten Pounds Sterling of Rent per acre for each years possession thereafter and proportionately for a shorter period at the times and with penalty and interest as before mentioned and also to perform the whole other conditions in this Tack. And whereas several references are herein made to arbitration the parties oblige themselves in such cases to enter into submission to some one person of skill mutually chosen as arbiter and failing an agreement as to the choice of an arbiter the parties agree to refer the choice of an arbiter to the Sheriff of the County of Linlithgow, and it shall not be competent to bring the decision of the arbiter under revision in any Court whatever. And the said parties oblige themselves and their foresaids to Implement this Tack to each other under the penalty of Four Hundred Pounds Sterling to be paid by the party failing to the party performing or willing to perform over and above performance. And they consent to the – Registration hereof for preservation and execution. In Witness Whereof these presents written on this and the four preceding pages of paper to be duly stamped by William Lyon Mackenzie, Clerk to James Hope, Writer to the Signet, are, together with a duplicate hereof subscribed by the said Margaret Johnston or Walker, at Kilpunt aforesaid, the twelth day of May Eighteen hundred and eighty-four before these witnesses; James Law, Farmer, East Mains, Broxburn, and Thomas George Walker, residing at Kilpunt aforesaid; and by the said Earl of Hopetoun at Edinburgh the thirteenth day of said – month of May, and year last mentioned, before these Witnesses; William Lennox, Clerk to the said James Hope, and the said William Lyon Mackenzie.

William Lennox, witness
W.L. MacKenzie, witness
Tho. G Walker, witness
Robert G Keir, witness
James Law, witness
Tho. G Walker, witness

J Hopetoun
Margaret Walker

Notes;

John Adrian Louis Hope was the 7th Earl of Hopetoun, and 1st Marquess of Linlithgow.

Terms used in the text;

  • “Act of Sederunt”; in Scots law – see Wikipedia.
  • “allenarly”; meaning “solely”, or “only” – see Wiktionary.
  • “excamb”/”excambion”; in Scots law, excambion is the exchange of land – see Wikipedia.
  • “Factor”; a property manager or estate manager – see Wikipedia.
  • “Martinmas” & “Whitsunday”; Scottish term days – see Wikipedia
  • “Tack”; a lease agreement – see http://www.dsl.ac.uk/entry/snd/tack_n2
  • “videlicet”; meaning “namely”, “that is to say”, or “as follows” – see Wikipedia.

The Walker family;

  • James WALKER, b. 24/01/1818, at Hiddlefaulds, Kirkliston, the son of John Walker & Isobel Neil. d. 06/05/1881, at Kilpunt. Married; 23/02/1847, at Bathgate, to;
  • Margaret JOHNSTON, b. btw. Apr & Sept 1818, daughter of John Johnston & Margaret Young. d. 15/09/1890 (see the JOHNSTON family tree HERE).

Their children;

  • John Johnston WALKER, b. 21/01/1848, d. 19/11/1891, in New Zealand (no issue).
  • Margaret Young WALKER, b. 19/10/1849 (twin), d. 13/5/1891 (no issue).
  • James WALKER, b. 19/10/1849 (twin), d. 4/5/1851 (at 18 months).
  • Isabella Neil WALKER, b. 03/05/1852, d. 08/11/1916, m. 07/06/1894 – Thomas ALLAN (no issue).
  • Jemima Janet WALKER, b. 30 Mar 1854, d. 24/12/1892 (no issue).
  • Mary WALKER, b. 09/02/1856, d. 25/6/1903, m. John BRASH (1 daughter).
  • Thomas George WALKER, b. 04/03/1858, d. 19/10/1951, m. 19/06/1894 – Helen Black CADZOW (7 children)
  • Elizabeth Barron WALKER, b. 07/10/1860, d. 14/10/1882 (no issue).
env-back_Walker-family-dobs_300dpi
A back of an envelope note of date of James Walker & Margaret Johnston’s wedding, and DoB of their children, written (I suspect) by their son – Thomas George Walker.

For futher details see A history of the WALKER family.

env-cover_to-TG-Walker_31-12-1891_300dpi
Front of the envelope, addressed to Thomas George Walker, at Kilpunt. Postmarked 31st December 1891.

 

Old WALKER papers – Lease of Hiddlefaulds farm – 1813

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

This document is a lease agreement (or “Tack”) made in 1813 between the Earl of Hopetoun, James Hope Johnstone (landlord), and myIMG_7620-ed paternal ancestor, James Walker (tenant).

James Walker was born in Kirkliston, in August 1731 – so would be about 82 years old at the time that this lease was agreed. So it is likely that his son, John Walker (b. Jan. 1772) was running most of the day-to-day work on the farm by this time!

For an earlier (and much simpler) lease of Hiddlefaulds, agreed with James Walker in 1775, see HERE.

James Walker, and his wife, Janet Flint, both died in 1817 and are buried in Kirkliston churchyard. Their son, John Walker, is recorded in the Kirkliston parish registers as having “irregularly” married Isabel Neil, in May 1816, with their first daughter being born in August of that year!

At some point (it appears during John Walker’s time) the family also took on the tenancy of the neighbouring farm at Kilpunt.

Due to the nature/condition/size of this document, I have photographed, rather than scanned, most of the pages.

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; Lease-of-Hiddlefaulds-1813_cover_300dpiTranscription of cover;

Tack
The Earl of Hopetoun
to
James Walker
Of the farm of Hiddlefaulds
for Nineteen years from
Martinmas 1813
————
[Comp #]

Page 1; IMG_3252

Transcription of page 1;

It is Contracted and Agreed Between the Right Hon-#
-orable James Hope Johnstone Earl of Hopetoun Heritable Proprietor #
of the Lands and other aftermentioned upon the One part And James #
Walker Tenant in Hiddlefaulds upon the other part in manner #
following That is the said Earl hereby Lets and in Consideration of the #
Tack Duty and other [prastations] aftermentioned and under the conditions #
after specified Let to the said James Walker and his heirs of line and if #
only daughters to the Eldest without division without prejudice to the #
said James Walker and his heirs to settle the said lease upon any of his #
or their children and under such burdens as they may think proper #
Including all Assignees legal and conventional direct or indirect and #
also Including all subtenants without a special written permission #
from the said Earl or his Heirs and successors But Declaring as it is #
hereby expressly Provided and Declared that any Assignation Conveyance #
or sublease contary to the foresaid stipulation shall be void and null #
and of no force or effect And that immediately upon any such Assignation #
Conveyance or sublease of this Lease contary thereto being granted by the #
said James Walker of his foresaids or anywise attempted to be so #
granted by then it shall be lawful to and in the power of the said #
Earl and his foresaids to enter into possession of the farm with the #
whole Houses and pertinents hereby let And that the Lease hereby granted #
shall from henceforth cease and determine and become void and null #
without any declarator or other process of law in the same manner as #
if it had never existed or been entered into. All and Whole the #
farm of Hiddlefaulds being part of the Barony of Kilpunt with #
the House yards parts and pertinents thereto belonging all as presently #
possessed by the said James Walker himself Lying in the Parish of #
Kirkliston and County of Linlithgow. And that for the space of #
Nineteen years from and after the term of Martinmas Eighteen hundred #
and thirteen which is hereby declared to have been the term of the said #
James Walker his entry thereto in virtue hereof Reserving always #
to the said Earl and his heirs and successors full power and liberty to #
work win sell dispose of and carry away the Coal Lime, Freestone, Marle #
and in general all other Mines Metals and Minerals within the said #
lands hereby set And to  make Roads and Aqueducts and to do every thing #
necessary for these purposes the said Earl and his foresaids always #
satisfying the said James Walker and his foresaids for any damages #
that may be thereby done to the surface of the Ground at the sight of #
neutral men mutually chosen But it is Declared that the said James #
Walker and his foresaids shall have liberty to work Lime Stone within #
the lands hereby set for the use of the same and Houses thereon but not #
for sale or any other purpose whatever. Also Reserving to the said #
Earl and his foresaids full power and liberty to Straight marches and #
to excamb Lands either with the neighbouring Proprietors or with his #
own Tenants at the sight either of the Judge Ordinary or of neutral men #
they
David [Robertson] Williamson
James Walker

Page 2; IMG_3253

Transcription of page 2;

Page Second
the indemnification to the Tenant to be paid either in land or in money #
as the same shall appear most equitable to all concerned. Also Reser- #
-ving to the said Earl and his foresaids full power and liberty to cut and #
carry away all timber now growing or to be planted on the said lands #
and the said James Walker and his foresaids shall have no claim for #
any allowance when the same is done betwixt the first of November #
and the first of May And if any damage is occasioned at any other #
time the said James Walker and his foresaids shall be indemnified #
therefor at the sight of neutral men mutually chosen Also Reserving #
to the said Earl and his foresaids full right and liberty at any time #
during the Lease to resume possession of part of the said Lands for the #
purpose of Planting not exceeding the extent of three acres And the value #
of the land so resumed shall be determined by neutral men mutually #
chosen and shall be allowed to the said James Walker and his #
foresaids And it is Declared that where the Fences of the Plantations #
become fences to the Tenant and useful to the Lands then the said #
James Walker and his foresaids shall be bound to be at half the #
expense along with the Earl in keeping the said fence in repair #
Also Reserving to the said Earl and his foresaids full power and #
liberty to [fowl] or Hunt upon the Lands either by himself, Gamekeepers #
or their having special liberty but always so as not to [injure] any #
Sown or planted crop and the said James Walker and his foresaids #
shall be bound to preserve the Game from all others Also Reserving #
to the said Earl and his foresaids full right and liberty at all times #
during the Lease to inspect and examine the state and condition of the #
farm the Houses and fences And if any of them shall be found in #
disrepair the said Earl and his foresaids shall have power to require #
the Tenant in writing to do what is necessary by way of repair And #
in case the Tenant shall fail to do so within One month after such #
notification the Earl and his foresaids shall have liberty to cause the #
said repairs be executed And the expense thereof Certified by the factor #
of the said Earl without further proof the said James Walker and his #
foresaids shall be bound to pay at the next term along with their Rent. #
Also Reserving to the said Earl and his foresaids full right to #
resume possession of the said lands and others in case the said James #
Walker of his foresaids shall become legal Bankrupts in terms of the #
Act 1696 or of the 33rd of His present Majesty [Cap] 74 or of any #
other subsequent Act of the same nature Or if the said James #
Walker or his foresaids shall execute any voluntary Trust Conveyance #
of their Estate in favour of their Creditors on account of inability to pay #
their debts or although no such Conveyance is executed if they possess #
the Lands only nominally and account to their Creditors or their #
Trustees for the profits of the same, Or if the said James Walker or #
his foresaids shall allow a [Sequestration] to be applied for and #
obtained for payment of the Rent due the said Earl and his foresaids #
shall
David [Robertson] Williamson
James Walker

Page 3; IMG_3254

Transcription of page 3;

Page third
shall be entitled to enter to the possession of the said lands and others #
at the first term of Martinmas after any of the above events shall #
take place And in such cases the said James Walker hereby obliges #
him and his foresaids to renounce possession of the said lands and #
others hereby Set And Consents that Summary diligence shall pass #
for removing all concerned from the lands and thereby enable the #
said Earl and his foresaidsto set the said Lands of new to any other #
person they chose without prejudice always of the remedies provided #
in favour of Landlords either by the Common Law or the Act of #
[Sed…t] 1756 Declaring always that if the said James Walker #
or his foresaids from any of the foresaid Causes shall be unable to #
pay their Rent or to keep the farm the said Earl and his foresaids #
upon obtaining possession thereof shall be obliged to allow them #
the value of such improvements and [meliorations] of which they may #
not have reaped the benefit which allowance shall be ascertained #
by two neutral men mutually chosen Which Tack under the #
Reservations and Declarations before Written the said James Hope #
Johnstone, Earl of Hopetoun Obliges him his Heirs and Successors #
to warrant at all hands For the which Causes And upon the other #
part the said James Walker Binds and Obliges him his heirs Executors #
and representatives whomsoever to content and Pay to the said #
James Hope Johnstone, Earl of Hopetoun his Heirs and Assignees #
of to his or their factors or chamberlains in their name yearly and #
each year during the whole space foresaid of this present Tack the #
Sum of One hundred and Eighty Pounds Sterling and Twelve #
[Kain] Hens or in the [option] of the said Earl and his foresaids One #
Shilling and Sixpence Sterling for each Hen if not demanded but in #
case of their being demanded and not delivered the said James #
Walker and his foresaids shall be obliged to pay [five] Shillings Sterling #
for each undelivered Hen Begining the first years payment of #
the said Money Rent at the term of Candlemas and Lammas #
Eighteen hundred and fifteen by equal portions And that for [crops] and #
year Eighteen hundred and fourteen And of the [Kain] at the terms #
used and want or of the Conversion thereof in the option of the said #
Earl and his foresaids along and together with the said money Rent #
And so [furth] yearly and termly thereafter during all the years of #
this Tack except the Rent of the last year which it is expressly #
agreed upon and declared shall be fully and completely paid up #
at the expiry of this Lease or the said James Walker’s removal from #
the farm with One fifth part more of penalty in case of failure and #
the legal interest or Annual Rent after the respective terms at which #
the same shall become due during the nonpayment thereof Also #
to deliver to the said Earl and his foresaids yearly when required #
between Yule and Candlemas after reaping the Crops Twenty Three #
Bolls
David [Robertson] Williamson
James Walker

Page 4; IMG_3255

Transcription of page 4;

Page forth
Bolls of Oat Meal by Weight of Eight Stones Troy per Boll the beet #
of the growth of the said Lands [feed] only excepted And to Carry and #
transport the same to Hopetoun House or any place within Twelve #
Miles thereof all upon their own proper charges and expenses It being #
hereby Declared that the said James Walker and his foresaids shall #
get allowance out of the Rent beforementioned of the value of the said #
Meal at the rate of the highest fiars of the County of Linlithgow. #
As Also to keep and maintain One of the said Earl’s Hounds or Pointers #
during all the years of this Tack without any Allowance on that account. #
And the said James Walker Binds and Obliges himself and his foresaids #
to Labour the lands hereby Let according to the rules of good husbandry #
And not to wear out or deteriorate the same by undue labouring or #
improper management And particularly without prejudice to the #
said generality that the said James Walker and his foresaids shall #
not be at liberty to take more than two successive white crops from #
the same ground without the intervention of a Summer fallow or #
Green crop And never to take a wheat crop except after a summer #
fallow or Green crop Dunged And further the said James Walker #
Binds and obliges himself and his foresaids to have in each year #
during the last four years of the Lease not less than twelve acres in #
Hay and Pasture of which not more that Six acres shall be in #
Hay And also to have in each of the said last four years Eight Acres #
or […]in Summer fallow or Green crops Dunged Which Summer #
fallow or Green Crop shall along with the Succeeding Crops of Grain #
be laid down with [Grass] seeds of a proper Assortment and quantity #
for pasture or Hay and the land so laid down the said James Walker #
and his foresaids shall not be at liberty to break up again during #
the Lease not take more than One crop of Hay from the same [ground] #
And it is Declared that during these last four years the said #
James Walker and his foresaids shall not be at liberty to take two #
successive White crops without the intervention of a summer fallow #
or Green Crop Dunged But in case of the Grass [seeds] sown with #
Summerfallowed Wheat having failed they shall in that case #
(apon stating the same to the Factor of the said Earl and upon his #
being satisfied thereof) have liberty to plough up the same the #
ensuing year and to take a crop of Barley to be sown down with #
Grass Seeds. And further that in the last year of the Lease at #
any time between Martinmas and Candlemas the said Earl or the #
incoming Tenant shall have power to take Land for Summer #
fallow or Green Crop not exceeding the extent of twelve acres the #
said land to be restricted to that proportion of the Farm which in #
the due and ordinary course of management shall fall to be in #
Summerfallow or Green Crop at the time all lying in one and the #
same~
David [Robertson] Williamson
James Walker

Page 5; IMG_3256

Transcription of page 5;

Page fifth
same field if that can be effected And all the Dung of the proceding #
Crop shall be kept for the same in so far as the same shall not be #
used by the Tenant for any Horse hoed Drilled Crop for that year #
the said James Walker and his foresaids always receiving such #
indemnification for the summerfallow of Green Crop and Dung #
as _ shall be determined by neutral men One to be chosen by #
each _ party. It being understood that in case the Earl or the #
incoming Tenant shall not take ground for Summerfallow the #
last year of the Lease the Tenant shall be allowed an indemnifica- #
-tion for the Summerfallow or Green Crop he is bound to have for #
that year as the same shall be valued by neutral men mutually #
chosen And Further in case where it may be proper the Earl #
or the incoming Tenant shall have liberty to Sow Grass Seeds #
with all or any of the White Crops provided the Grass Seeds are #
Sown along with the Spring Crops or within Eight days thereafter #
If with Wheat Crop not later than the month of April And the #
said James Walker and his foresaids shall be bound to harrow #
and cover then in properly and reaping the crop to preserve #
the said grass from injury and not to allow any Cattle to pasture #
thereon either during Harvest or afterwards the said James Walker #
and his foresaids being to get allowance for any damage they #
may sustain thereby at the sight of neutral men mutually chosen #
And in Reguard the Rents herein beforementioned were fixed #
and Agreed upon on the faith that the ground should be managed #
in manner beforementioned Therefore in case the said James #
Walker or his foresaids shall Contravene the foresaid Stipulations #
respecting the management of the Farm or any of them the said #
James Walker Binds and Obliges himself and his foresaids to pay #
an additional Rent of Five Pounds Sterling per acre for each acre #
of ground which they shall so mislabour or not have in Hay #
and Pasture or in summerfallow or Green Crop as beforementioned #
or shall not allow to be summerfallowed or Sown with Grass Seeds #
by the said Earl or the incoming Tenant with the last Crop #
under this Lease and to be harrowed and Covered in as said is #
And the said James Walker binds and Obliges himself and his #
foresaids to pay the said additional Rent for each year during #
their possession after the respective Contraventions at the terms #
and under the penalty before Covenanted with regard to the said #
Stipulated Rents. And it is Declared that although an #
additional Rent is hereby Covenanted in case of Contravention #
which in all cases is to be considered as pactional and not #
penal yet the said Earl and his foresaids shall nevertheless be #
at liberty if they think proper to prevent the overlabouring or #
mismanagement~
David [Robertson] Williamson
James Walker

Page 6; IMG_3257

Transcription of page 6;

Page sixth
mismanagement of the said lands and to insist for damages #
in the ordinary way and in such manner as accords with the #
law. And the said James Walker Binds and Obliges himself #
and his foresaids to to consume the whole [praw] and fodder of all #
kinds upon the said lands that shall grow thereon during all the #
years of this Tack except the last year of their possession but #
they shall be at liberty to sell Hay at any time they shall think #
proper during the Lease As Also to lay all the Dung upon #
the said lands that shall be made thereon during all the years #
of this Tack except that of the last year which or so much thereof #
as they shall not at their removal have laid upon the lands #
they shall be obliged to sell to the said Earl and his foresaids #
or the incoming Tenant at such price as shall be fixed by #
neutral men to be mutually chosen. And Further the said #
James Walker having accepted of the whole Houses and Fences #
in the condition he was obliged to leave them by his former~ #
agreement Binds and Obliges him and his foresaids to repair #
uphold and maintain the whole of the Houses presently upon #
the Farm with what others they may build thereon during all #
the years of this Tack in a good and sufficient tenantable condition #
and to leave them in the like good and sufficient tenantable #
condition at their removal all upon their own proper charges #
and expenses. And in case the said James Walker and his #
foresaids shall build any additional Houses for their own #
conveniency the said Earl agrees to allow them Timber of the #
growth of his Plantations for Roofing and Flooring for the same #
under the direction of his Factor And they shall be obliged to #
keep and leave the said Houses in the condition beforementioned #
And to repair uphold and maintain the whole Fences and #
Gates of the Inclosures in a good and sufficent fencible condition #
during all the years of this Tack And to leave them in the like #
good and sufficent fencible condition at their removal all upon #
their own proper charges and expenses with power to the Tenant #
to claim the benefit of half Dyke with the neighbouring #
Proprietors or the Earl’s Tenants of his adjoining Farms. And #
the said James Walker Binds and Obliges himself and his #
foresaids to preserve the whole Trees planted or to be planted #
on the said Lands And in case of damage incurred by the #
tenants fault or negligence to indemnify the said Earl and his #
foresaids as the same shall be determined by neutral men #
As Also to Insure the Houses built or to be built from [loss] #
by~
David [Robertson] Williamson
James Walker

Page 7; IMG_3258

Transcription of page 7;

Page seventh
by fine in such Insurance Office as shall be approved of by the #
said Earl or his foresaids And to pay the premium and tax on #
the same regularly during the Lease And in case of any accident by #
fire to assign and transfer the Policy to the said Earl and his #
foresaids with power to recover the money arising therefrom #
which is to be applied in repairing the loss sustained And if this #
shall be neglected the Earl or his foresaids shall be entitled to #
take out Policies and to charge the said James Walker and his #
foresaids with the expense of the same together with the Annual #
premium and fare. As Also the said James Walker Binds and #
Obliges himself and his foresaids to pay the half or legal proportion #
of the Schoolmasters Salary [effiering] to the said lands and such other #
burdens as may be imposed on Tenants by law Declaring always #
that the said James Walker and his foresaids shall have no right or #
claim against the said Earl for any damages on account of Roads #
either public or parochial being carried through the Lands without #
prejudice however to any claim Competent against the County or #
Public funds. Declaring also that the said James Walker and his #
foresaids shall have right if requisite to the possession of the Barns #
and Barn yard until the term of Candlemas following the last crops #
for the purpose of threshing out the same And the said James Walker #
Binds and Obliges himself and his foresaids to flitt and Remove #
themselves families Servants Cattle and Effects furth and from #
the Lands Houses and [others] hereby Let at the expiry hereof #
without any warning of removing or other process of Law And #
in case he or his foresaids shall not flitt and remove themselves #
from the lands and others hereby Let at the expiry hereof but #
shall continue to possess by tacit relocation or in any other manner #
of way without a new bargain formally reduces into writing #
Then it is hereby Stipulated and agreed that so long as they shall #
continue to possess after the expiry hereof they shall be holden and #
Obliged as the said James Walker hereby Binds and Obliges himself #
and his foresaids to pay an yearly Rent of Five hundred and #
forty Pounds Sterling for the said lands and others in lieu and in #
place of the Rent herein before stipulated And that over and above #
and besides fulfilling the whole other forastations and conditions #
hereby incumbent on the Tenant. And Lastly the said James #
Hope Johnstone Earl of Hopetoun and the said James Walker #
hereby Oblige themselves and their foresaids to perform and fulfil #
their respective parts of the premisses to each other and the party #
failing to pay to the party observing or willing to observe their #
part thereof the sum of One hundred Pounds Sterling of liquidate #
penalty attour performance And they consent to the Registra~ #
~tion hereof in the Books of Council and Session or of any other proper #
courts~
David [Robertson] Williamson
James Walker

Page 8; IMG_3259

Transcription of page 8;

Page eighth
court for preservation And if necessary that Letters of Homing on #
Six days Charge and all other legal execution may pass upon a [Decrect] #
to be interponed hereto in usual form And Constitute

Their Procurators for that #
purpose In Witness whereof these presents written upon this and #
the Seven preceding pages of Stamped Paper by William Murrary #
clerk to John Kerr factor to the said Earl Are subscribed as follows #
[…] By the Honorable David Robertson Williamson one of the Senators #
of the College of Justice on the part of the Right Honorable the Earl of #
Hopetoun in virtue of a commission to that effect dated the Nineteenth #
day of April, Eighteen hundred and thirteen years and Registered in #
the Books of Council and Session the twentieth day of August thereafter #
At Lawers the Sixteenth day of September Eighteen hundred and #
fifteen years before these witnesses, Peter Small and James Kemp #
both his servants And by the said James Walker at Hiddlefaulds #
the twenty Second day of September and year foresaid before #
these witnesses, Thomas Cunningham his servant and the before #
mentioned William Murray ~

Peter Small – witness
James Kemp – witness
Thomas Cunningham – witness
Wm Murray – witness

David Robertson Williamson
for The Earl of Hopetoun

James Walker

Notes;

It’s easy to make false assumptions!

It’s very easy to make false assumptions; but harder to get the real facts.

I’d like to tell a cautionary tale from my own research.fieldnotebook

First some context; on occasions I’ve found other people’s family trees posted in various locations on the web, which appear to have connections to mine. They claim to have connections to the same ancestors. But there are some differences! Some “extra details” that are a surprise to me, or some clear discrepancies! So I try to contact the person who has posted the tree; to try and get more details and find out what their sources are; to see if it really does fit with my tree and whether there are new details that I can add to my tree.

Too often I’ve either had no response, or they are unable to explain the sources of their information. And too often people appear to have relied only on details obtained from the transcriptions of Parish registers (like the IGI), and to have assumed that the same “name” appearing in several places in the Parish register all relate to the same “Person”.6generation_ancestor_chart_braces

mag-glassI want to explain, from an example in my own research experience, why I believe that this particular approach is highly unreliable! And why I believe that more evidence is normally required!

It must be said that there is a scale to the reliability of this approach. If you’re dealing with particularly rare or unusual names then there may be a reasonable degree of reliability to this approach. But more often than not you’ll be dealing with relatively common names (both forenames and surnames), and here this approach is totally unreliable!

Remember also that in the past people rarely moved very far, unlike they do today. So it was very common to find extended families living geographically close together, and to find cousins or second cousins, or uncles/aunts & nephews/nieces, who shared the same names, living in the same parish. So, unless you can study the original text for un-transcribed details (which might confirm a continuity between different records), you can’t rely on a name that appears in the records on several occasions being a reference to the same person on each occasion. But also people did sometimes move, and the person you’re looking for may be married in a completely different parish to where they were christened.

IMG_7620-edIn my recent posts about Walker family papers, I have mentioned 2 examples (William Walker, b.1739, and Elizabeth Walker, b.1769) where trees posted by other people appear to have made assumptions from the Parish registers that the same “name” appearing in different places in the registers is the same “person”. But these associations seem to me to be at odds with the evidence that I have found in the original family papers that I have!

I have another example from the same family where I appear to have made the same kind of error! This demonstrates the unreliability of this approach, when there is no other evidence to support the assumptions being made!

When I uploaded my GEDCOM to FindMyPast (in Jan. 2016), I noticed that I had “Isabell Walker” (b. 23rd Aug 1729 in Kirkliston, West Lothian) recorded as marrying William Glass in May 1760. The “Walkers in Scotland” website lists the IGI transcriptions for the marriage like this;

  • 16750 – Isobel WALKER, William GLASS, marr, 4 May 1760, Edinburgh Parish Edinburgh, Midlothian, 993527
  • 16751 – Isobel WALKER, William GLASS, marr, 2 May 1760, Kirkliston West, Lothian, 1066630

The similarity of these 2 records means that they are almost certainly recording the same couple, registering their marriage in the parishes where each of them lived. This appears to be the only record for the marriage of an “Isobel Walker” (or similar name) recorded in the Kirkliston parish records. So at some point I appear to have associated this marriage with the Isabell Walker b. 23rd Aug 1729 in Kirkliston, to William Walker & Elizabeth Barron. I’m not sure if this came from seeing this association being made in someone else’s tree! But more likely, it’s an association that I had made myself!

IMG_9478-croppedI know that I’ve not found any evidence for this association from among the family papers that I have, or from any other sources. So seeing it again through the FindMyPast Family Tree Builder made me question what evidence I had for it. Nothing except the transcribed Parish registers, it seems, which I don’t think is sufficient!

So last week I started searching on-line to see if I could find any more evidence that would prove (or disprove) this association. If I couldn’t find more evidence, then I intended to delete this association from my tree, as unreliable! But it would be important to keep a separate note of it being a possibility, for future reference and further research.

As it was, I soon found evidence that this association was completely false; that the “Isobel Walker” who married “William Glass” in 1760, could not be the daughter of William Walker & Elizabeth Barron, b. 1729. The first thing I found, from Google Books, was; “The General Correspondence of James Boswell, 1766-1769: 1768-1769”; a transcription of letters, published by Edinburgh University Press in 1997. On page 92, an editors’ end-note about one of James Boswell’s letters says the following;

“ Lady Jane’s serving-maids were Isobel or Isabella (‘Tibby’) Walker and Euphemia (‘Effy’) Caw. Walker (b. 1719), a naitive of Leith, re- mained in the service of Lady Jane until Lady Jane’s death. She later (c. 1759-62) became servant to William Hogg of Edinburgh and c. 1762 married William Glass, gardener at Newliston (Douglas memorial, pp. 130-31, 142; Hamilton Proof, p. 48).”

(“Lady Jane” was; Lady Jane Douglas, married to Sir John Stewart)

This indicates that the “Isobel Walker” who married William Glass was 10 years older than the daughter of William Walker & Elizabeth Barron. None of the described life events of this Isobel Walker appear to match with what I would expect to find for the Isabell Walker in my family tree! I wanted to find out more! I wanted to check out what the source of this note; the “Douglas memorial” actually said!

After a bit of web-searching, trying slightly varying terms, I found 2 contemporary records, digitised on Google Books, which mention the Isobel Walker who married William Glass;

The Memorial for Archibald Douglas contains numerous mentions of “Tibby Walker”, or “Ifobel Walker” (the “s” being replaced with an “f” – it was common in old handwriting to sometimes write an “s” like an “f”. This practice has been copied in the original print, and in the modern, digital transcription.). She is also identified in parts of the text as “Isabella Glass”, and “Mrs Glafs”.

It takes a while to read through these references and their contexts. There are 2 or 3 points where the text indicates that Isobel was “about the age of twenty-nine” (in 1748), and that she was further advanced in years” than her colleague, Effy Caw, whose birth-date is identified in one place as “1st February 1727”. All this proves to me that this “Isobel Walker” (who married William Glass) is too old to be the “Isabell Walker” in my family tree, who was born in August 1729.

The point of this post is to show how easy it is to make false assumptions. It was unreliable for me to assume (without other evidence) that a name appearing more than once in the records of a parish related to the same person on each occasion. It may, more often, not be the case. I have tried this approach and proven it to be potentially faulty! But it seems to me that too many people take this kind of approach, or at least fail to provide sufficient details of any other evidence that they may have to support such assumptions.

The trouble I have is that when someone posts, publishes, or shares a family tree which contains this kind of assumption, these assumptions become “pseudo-facts” which people using the tree further down the line will treat as real, proven information.

JOHNSTON-family-tree-coverTake the Johnston family tree (published circa 1909). I have treated it all as fact. Looking at the tree, without other evidence to hand, you have no way of knowing if it all has evidence to prove it, or if any of it is based on assumptions (like those I’ve describe above) which may turn out to be false (if you could find the genuine evidence)! I do have other evidence which supports significant parts of the Johnston tree.

Likewise the genealogy of the “Barons of Preston” in “Some Old Families”, by Hardy Bertram McCall (published in 1890); you would probably take it on faith to be accurate! But due to the evidence that I have found in my family documents, I have some questions and doubts about that genealogy (expressed in my notes HERE).

I want my trees to be as accurate as possible; based on evidence rather than assumptions; facts rather than theories. I’m happy to discuss assumptions and theories (mine and other people’s), as you can already see from some of my blog posts. But I want to be really clear about what has evidence and what is assumed. I want to try and avoid including assumptions, that lack clear evidence, in any formal trees or genealogy reports that I post to this blog or publish anywhere else.

I hope that others will also want to be as clear in distinguishing between evidence and assumptions, and in providing reasonable evidence for their information.

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

Notes;

  • “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

Family;

“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 – letter from James Gray, to James Walker in Hiddlefaulds

This is my fifth 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 a James Gray, to James Walker, tenant in Hiddlefaulds, in Kirkliston, West Lothian, regarding the farm at Overtoun, Kirknewton, which had previously been occupied by James’ brother Thomas Walker. (James Walker was my 4x Great-grandfather).

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; letter-from-James-Gray_to-James-Walker_300dpiTranscription;

[Ed.] 7th [December] [1785]

[Sir]
I remember to have got from you some #
Considerable time ago an obligation by Mr [David] #
Wauch of Easter Newton to pay to you Two hundred #
pounds [Sterling] at the first term after you [the cold] #
put Mr Wauch in possession of the farm of Over- #
-toun [lately] possessed by the deceased Thomas #
Walker your Brother And which #
obligation is just now falen by so that I #
cannot presently lay my hand upon it #
And I am [Sir]
your obed. Servant
James Gray

To My James Walker }
tenant in Hiddlefaulds }

Notes;

David Wauch; I suspect that “Wauch” could be a mis-spelling of “Waugh”.

The farm of Easter Newton lays just to the east of Kirknewton village, Mid Lothian.

Family;

I believe that Thomas Walker (b. 1735) married Janet Brown (or Broun), in Kirkliston, West Lothian, on 16/10/1761. They had 8 children christened at Kirknewton, Mid Lothian, between 1762 and 1776. So Thomas Walker must have died at some time between 1776 and the date of this letter (1785). Following Thomas’ death the tenancy of Overtoun of Kirknewton was (according to this letter) transferred to a David Wauch (or Waugh).

Old WALKER papers – Disposition of William Walker, tenant in Hiddlefolds, 1763

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

IMG_7620-ed

Below 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 one is the “Disposition” (Will) of William Walker, whose marriage contract (from 1728) I have already posted -> HERE.

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; Wm-Walker-Disposition-cover_300dpiPage 1; William Walker - Disposition - 1763 - page-1-ed_300dpiTranscription of Page 1;

Be it known to all men by #
these presant me William Walker tennant Hiddelfold #
and also tennant in Overtoun of Kirkneuton for the love favour #
and afection that I have and bear to my Children James #
and Thomas, Jannet and Isobel Walker and to the Effect #
ther may be no Despute or Devision betuixt them at or after #
my Decease when the same in Providance shall happen therefor #
[wit] ye me to have [asigned] and disponed as I [Do] hearby asign and #
and make over and dispond to in favours of my said sons James and #
Thomas Walkers first I asigne and make over and dispond to James #
my oldest son his heirs and asigness all and sundrey my whole stocking #
Corns Cattle hors nout sheep labouring Instruments out sight and #
insight houshold plenishing and furniter of whosoever quality #
sort or Denomination that pertain and belong to me this presant #
day and date Janury the twenty eight one thousand sevin hun- #
-dred sixty three in or about Hiddlefolds and to fulfill the premices #
of the Tack together with [all] sundrie debts and sums of money #
reasting and adebted unto me this time aforesaid by whatever per- #
-son or persons upon whatsoever acoumpt – and second – #
I dispone and mak over to Thomas my youngest son his heirs #
and asigness the whole Stocking Corns Cattle hors nout sheep #
labouring Instrumints out sight and insight houshold plenishing #
whatsoever quality sort or denomination that is in or about #
the farm Overtoun of Kirkneuton and likwise he binds and #
obledg himself to pay the yearly rent and Tack Duty of Overtoun #
for this year and [crop] one thousand seven hundred and sixty two #
and every year during the tack and also he binds and oblidges #
himself to give me his father and his two sisters an equall half along #
with his brother James which shall be after mentioned. James #
and Thomas Walkers binds and obliges themselves to pay to their #
father each of them for themselves [fiftinth] pound sterling #

William Lin, witness
James Brown, witness

William Walker
James Walker
Thomas Walker

Page 2; William Walker - Disposition - 1763 - page-2-ed_300dpiTranscription of Page 2;

which is thirty pound to both and if our father require #
not the moniey nou mentoned in his life the one half #
shall be to Thomas and the other to James after his Decease #
and likwise I bind and oblige my sons James and Thomas #
with ther own consent therto to give to ther two sisters Isoble and Jannet #
Walkers portions as followeth – [Vis] to Isoble twenty five pounds #
sterling James and Thomas each one for himself paying twelve pounds #
ten shillings sterling and likwise to Jannet twenty five pounds sterling #
James for himself paying twelve pounds ten shillings sterling and #
Thomas for himself paying twelve pounds ten shillings and in case #
any of them should marrye it shall be given unto them upon Demand #
but if otherwayes they remain unmaried ther portions shall not be #
due to them or the first term martimess or whitsundy after ther fathers #
Decease and if any of them dye ther portion shall be equaly divided #
among the survivors – – I heirby have resigned given up and #
made over in favours of my two sons as is afore mentioned to James #
the farm of Hiddlefolds and all goods and effects in or about #
that farm with full pour to dispone or dispose thereof at [plisoure] #
and also with pour to him to receive the debts generaly asigned and #
to discharge the same and if need be pursue therfore as accords and #
every thing Compelant in law —-
and als[o] to Thomas the farm of Overtoun of Kirkneuton as is afore #
mentioned and all goods and effects in or about that farm or any #
ways beloning therto with full poure to dispon or dispose thereon #
at plesure and also with power to him to receive and discharge the #
debts generaly asigned and if need be pursue therefor as accords #
every thing Compelant in law —-
and we bind and oblige ourselves James for himself and Thomas #
for himself not Conjunctly but [sveraly] to fullfile our oblegations #
to our Father and sisters as is above mentioned —-
[we] all Conjunctly and unanimasly agree to what is hear insear- #
-ted in this and the other preceding page of stampt papper and willingly #
consent to the Regerstration herof in the boks of Council and Session #
or other Competant therin to remain and Constitute —-

William Lin, witness
James Brown, witness

William Walker
James Walker
Thomas Walker

Page 3; William Walker - Disposition - 1763 - page-3_bk-of-cover_300dpiTranscription of Page 3;

 – – – in witness thereof written upon stamped #
papper by James Walker I have subscribed ther presance #
at Hiddlefolds the twenty eight day of January one thousand #
seven hundred and sixty three years before these witness #
William Lin of Lins millin and James Brown #
tennant in Bromfilet

William Lin, witness
James Brown, witness

William Walker
James Walker
Thomas Walker

Notes;

Terms used in the text;

Locations;

Hiddlefold (or Hiddlefaulds) lay S.E. of Kilpunt, between Kilpunt and Birds Mill.

I believe that “Bromfilet” is Broomflat, and “Lins millin” is Lin’s Mill (which is the place where the Union Canal crosses the River Almond). Both sites lay to the south of Hiddlefaulds, on opposite sides of the River Almond.

Walker family;

0608-06_William-WALKER-tombstone_at-Kirkliston_W-Lothian
“Here lies the dust of William Walker late Tennant in Hiddle-fold… who died Jan~ 1st 1768 aged 73 years”

William Walker’s tombstone, in the churchyard of Kirkliston Parish Church, records that “William Walker, late tennant in Hiddle-fold … died Jan.1st 1768, aged 73 years“.

Note; GravestonePhotos.com has mis-transcribed William’s age as “75”! Having seen and photographed the stone myself, I am certain that it reads “aged 73”, and  other publications of “Monumental Inscriptions” that I’ve seen, agree.

Notes written by my Grandfather in the late 1950’s say that the Walkers moved from Puncheonlaw (N.E. of Kirkliston) to Hiddlefolds in 1745, and that William had inherited the tenancy at “Overtoun of Kirknewton … from his brother, David Walker, who had died, it seems, without issue“. I have not yet confirmed either of these statements from original sources!

From Kirkliston parish records I know that William Walker, and his wife Elizabeth Barron, had 5 children; “Isabell” and Janet were twins, christened on 24th August 1729, James was christened on 8th August 1731, and Thomas on 26th October 1735 (all named in William’s Disposition, above).

A third son, “William” is recorded; christened on 2nd February 1739. I have seen trees posted on-line which claim to link this christening to a marriage at Kirkliston in 1774, between another “William Walker” and Catherine Muir (see HERE ). But I believe this connection to be wrong due to the details in the Disposition above which clearly mention only 2 sons; James and Thomas (also note in that link, the supposed birth year of the father; “1706”, which does not fit with the record on his tombstone!). It is my assumption that the third son “William” (b.1739) had died sometime in childhood; before his father wrote the Disposition above.

Also the lack of any mention of William’s wife, Elizabeth Barron, in this Disposition suggests to me that she had died before it was written. I have not yet found any record of Elizabeth’s death.

If anyone has evidence that can prove (or disprove) my assumptions here, I would be very interested to see it. If you do, please leave a comment below, or use the Contact Page to get in touch. Thanks.

Old WALKER papers – Contract of marriage betuext William Waacker and Elizabeth Barron

This is the first in a series of posts about old papers of the WALKER family, from Kirkliston, West Lothian, Scotland. I will compile a list of these papers HERE.

IMG_7620-edIn January 2014 (just after I began this blog), I came home from a family gathering with an old wooden box from my aunt, stuffed full of old WALKER family papers. Many of these papers date from the 1800’s and early 1900’s. But I’m going to start by posting the contents of one particular envelope – labeled “Old Wills etc. of the Walker family”. The contents of this envelope all date from the 1700’s, and I’m going to start with the oldest document of them all – probably the oldest of any document that I’ve yet handled. It’s a marriage contract is dated “17th May 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. Then there are some notes of my own at the end.

Cover; Marriage Contract cover_300dpiTranscription of cover;

Contract of mariage
betuext

Wiliam Waacker
and
Elizabeth Barron

Page 1; Marriage contract - William Walker & Elizabeth Barron - page 1 - 300dpiTranscription of Page 1;

At Carshall the seventeen day of may on[e] thousand seven hunder and #
tewentie eight years it is appointed matrimonially contracted —- — #
and finnally ended betuext the parties following they are to say William #
Waacker in Punchunla, he for himself
     and Elizabeth Barron, lafull daughter to the deceast Thomas #
Barron in Carshall with special advice and consent of her sd brother Thomas #
on the other part in manner following that is to say ye sd William Waacker #
and Elizabeth Barron have accepted & be their presents accepts and take each other #
to be their lawfull spous & faithfully promises to solemnieze the mariage with all #
conveninl speed & sollemneity requisit in Contemplation of the which #
mariage the sd William Waacker hereby binds & oblidges him his heirs execur- #
-or succors To provid and have in readiness of his oun proper means & effects all and #
haill the soume of four hundereth — — — merks scots money & [shail] #
betuext and the term of martimess next to come and to take and add the soum to #
the locher underwritten to be payed by the sd Thomas Barron taking the burden upon his #
for his sd sister Elizabeth the soum of three hundereth merks scots money making in hail #
the soume of seven hundereth merks money forsaid and to wear #
Imploy and bestow the same upon houses lands or @rent and to take the rights and #
securities therof in favers of himself and his fuller spoues the longest liver of them #
tuo in conjunct fie & and lifrent and to the children to be procreat be- #
-tuext them in fie whilk feleazeing on third part of the sd soum of #
Seven hundereth merks to be disposed of all the pleasur of the first decea- #
sser he or she and the other two pararts to the surviver their hairs #
exers or asigness and how oft the sd soum beis uplifted the sd William #
Waacker binds & and oblidges him his hair and successers aas oft #
of new again to Imploy the samen to the effect above writen and #
[..]ever lands heritages tenements good gear of oyers the sd #
William Waacker shall happen to conquise or suceed to dureing #

William Walker
Elizabeth Barron
Thomas Barron

Page 2; Marriage-contract_Wm-Walker-&-Eliz-Barron_P2_300dpiTranscription of Page 2;

And whatever lands heritages tenements goods gear or oyers the sd William #
Waacker shall happen to conquise or suceed to dureing the sd marriage #
He binds and oblidges him and his fore[sd] to take the rights and seccuriets yr of #
to himself and his fuller spous the longest lived of them two in lifrent #
and to the children of the marraige in fie whillks felleazeing on thrid #
part therof to the pleasure of the first deceaser & the other two #
to the surviver their hairs exer or asaigness.

For the which causes on the other part the sd Thomas Barron hereby binds #
and obledges himself to contend and pay to the sd William Waacker or Elizab- #
-eth his fuller spous the soum of three hundred merks scots money & that #
betuixt the date hereof and the term of martimess next to come in name #
of locher with his sister and for more seccurity both and all parties consents #
to the registration hearof in the books of counsell and sesion or any oyer #
Judges books comelent within this Kingdom to have the strength of ane #
decreet Enerponed thereto that letters of horning on six day warning #
and others needfull may pass hereon in form as effairs and constituts #

     Their presence in wittness hereof both the sd parties #
have subscrived their with their hands (writen by James Barron brother #
to [ye] sd Elizabeth upon stampt paeper befor both place day moneth and #
year of god above written befor these wittnesses, John Lieshman in #
Craigie, James Waacker in Corstorphin rige, Thomas Honis- #
-sun in Douphington, Thomas Harde in West Craiges, John #
Barron wright in Portsbrugh, James Barron writer hereof #

William Walker
Elizabeth Barron
Thomas Barron

John Lishman, witt
James Waker, witnes
Thomas Honison, witness
Tho Hardie, witness
John Barron, witness
James Barron, witness

Notes;

Terms used in the text;

  • solemnize;     http://www.thefreedictionary.com/solemnized
  • Scots Merk; =14 shillings (originally 13s 4d, or ⅔ of a Scottish pound). For more details, see Wikipedia, or TheReformation.info.
  • martimess = Martinmass; see Wikipedia
  • oyers ? (I’m not sure what is meant here!)
  • Waacker – the writer of the text clearly mis-spells the Walker surname repeatedly. It is “Walker” because that’s how William Walker signs himself on both pages.
  • wright; probably a carpenter, a worker of wood – Wikipedia.

Locations;

NLS - Armstrong map 1773 - Kershall & GogarI believe that “Carshall” (named at the beginning of the document) lay N.W. of Gogar Mains, on the south side of Gogar Burn – about where the carpark of Edinburgh airport now sits!). Old maps from the National Library of Scotland use several different spellings, including; Kersshall, Kershall, Claywalls, & Clay Was. Parish registers of the time record Thomas Barron as a “tenant in Clay-walls”.

NLS - Thomson Atlas 1832 - Puncheon-law & KirklistonLikewise “Punchunla” appears on these old maps with several different spellings – the most regular (I believe) being “Punchinlaw” or “Puncheonlaw”. It lay on the south side of the road which runs N.E. out of Kirkliston towards Cramond and Dalmeny. It appears to have been part of the Carlowrie estate.

“Douphington” (which I believe is Dolphington) and Craigie lay further up the same road as Puncheonlaw. On the maps they appear due north of Carshall/Kershall.

West Craiges (or West Craigs) lays East of Gogar, towards Corstorphine village.

“Corstorphin rige” (or Corstorphine Rigg”) lay north of East Craigs, and west of Clermiston.

Portsbrugh; probably Portsburgh – the area of central Edinburgh, south of the castle – Wikipedia.

Witnesses;

Thomas, James, & John Barron are Elizabeth Barron’s brothers. I’ve not found out anything else about James or John! But from Corstorphine parish registers (which I’ve viewed on microfilm, and from IGI transcriptions) I have details of Thomas Barron, “tenant in Claywalls”, marring Anne Bartholomew (or Bartleman) on 17th February 1727, and having 5 children christened between 1729 and 1744.

James Walker in Corstorphine – I don’t know where he fits in! He is presumably a relative of William Walker – most likely a brother! I am aware of a well recorded Walker family living in the Corstorphine area, dating back to the early 1600’s (I obtained details from a visit to the Corstorphine Heritage Centre in 2008). (Also see HERE). I suspect there is a link here somewhere! I have just found a transcribed record HERE of James Walker in Corstorphine Rigg, married to Isabel Dowie, with a son, John, chr.19/12/1730. A number of other records of these names appear to show their marriage in Cramond in Nov. 1729, and a number of children christened in several different parishes.

John Lieshman in Craigie – I don’t know if he’s a relative. The envelope labeled “Old Wills etc. of the Walker family” also contains the Disposition of John Lishman, and the “Discharges” by his heirs in response (which I will post to the site later). William Walker appears to have been John Lishman’s executor. The surname “Leshman” appears in a family tree of “Walkers in Corstorphine”, so John Lieshman might be a cousin of William Walker!

Thomas Harde in West Craiges – When I googled “Baron family Gogar” I found this publication in Google Books. Originally published in 1890, “Some Old Families”, by Hardy Bertram McCall contains a chapter on the Hardie family (p.51), including Thomas Hardie “tenant of West Craigs” (who is a witness in the document, above). Thomas Hardie grew up at Gogar Mains, and his mother was a “Janet Baron” (shown in a Baron family tree in Some Old Families, p.53). So although its not shown in McCall’s tree, it looks highly likely to me that Thomas Hardie would be a cousin of Elizabeth Barron.

Thomas Honison in Dolphington – I have no other details about him! The surname may be mis-spelt!

I would be really interested in any other information that anyone may have about the people mentioned above, particularly if it can prove (or disprove) any family relationships to William Walker and Elizabeth Barron. Please leave a comment below, or use the Contact Page to get in touch.

Currently William Walker is my earliest known ancestor in the direct male line (my 5x Great-Grandfather – see HERE ), and I’d love to have more evidence for my assumption that Elizabeth is related to the Baron family recorded by Hardy Bertram McCall in “Some Old Families”.