Tag Archives: Overtoun

Scotland trip – May 2017 – day 3

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.

On Saturday morning I attended a class at the Scottish Genealogy Society’s family history library in Edinburgh. The subject was “Kirk Session Records”, led by Bruce Bishop. I found this very interesting and informative, and learnt a lot about the Scottish Kirk, how it functioned, what kind of records were (and weren’t) kept, and the limitations of those records. It was very useful in understanding how to make good use of these records in family history research.

During the afternoon I used the Edinburgh Central Library, to look at the OPR microfilm for Kirknewton parish – looking for the WALKER family at Overtown. I made some notes and printed off some images from the records, but I didn’t identify anything particularly new there!

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 – Discharge from Thomas to James Walker – 1766

This is my third 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-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 one is the “Discharge” from Thomas Walker to his older brother James. This is in response to the “Disposition” (Will) of their father, William Walker (dated 1763) which I have previously 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; Discharge_Thomas-to-James-Walker_cover_300dpi

Transcription of cover;

Discharge from
Thomas to
James Walker ___

Inside; Discharge_Thomas-to-James-Walker_page-1-ed_300dpiTranscription of inside;

I Thomas Walker tennent in Overtown and second son of #
William Walker tennent in Hiddelfolds whereas my said #
father by his latter will Dated one thousand seven hundred and #
sixty three years did verbely give to me and put me in possesion #
of the whole stocking Corns Cattle and utincels belonging to the #
said farm of Overtown as also the household plenishing as the whole #
of the above was then possesed by himself and that in Lieu and in #
full of my Receipt Declaration or Discharge for the same and my #
said father and my Brother James Walker Being now [Desir-] #
[-cous] that in Consideration of the premises I should give them the #
Discharge underwritten.

I therefor by these presents Exoner and discharg the said William #
Walker my father and the said James Walker my brother and #
there hairs Executors and successors of all further Claim or Dema- #
nd that is or may be Compelant to me against them or either #
of them Either in my said father’s lifetime or att his Death as #
portion natural Excutor or any other manner of way.

And consents to the Regestration hereof in the Books of #
Council and session or any other juges book Competant therein #
to Remain for preservation and thereto I Constitute —

My […] in witness #
whereof I have written and subscribed ther presents on stamped #
paper att Muristown the fourtenth day of June one thousand seven #
hundred and sixty sis years before these witnesses William Flint #
tennant in Muristown and James Bachon Wiright in Elestermure #
-house

Thomas Walker

William Flint, witness
James Bachon, witness

Notes;

Locations;

I’m not sure where Muristown or Elestermure are! The spellings are doubtful! I suspect that the “mure” in each name might actually be “muir” (which is common in the area). “Muristown” might perhaps be “Murieston”, laying south of Livingston, between Mid & West Calder! It anyone can help to decipher these names, please get in touch. Leave a comment below, or use the Contact Page to get in touch.

Family;

James Walker (named above) married Janet Flint in May 1766 (one month before the date of the document above). Might the “William Flint”, named as a witness above, be a relation of Thomas Walker’s sister-in-law? (I don’t know!)

 

 

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.

A history of the WALKER family

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

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

foot-cA history of the WALKER family

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    kilpunt-composite1
    Photo of Kilpunt from the south (composite of two photos)
    taken on 28th June 2005

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

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

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

He [James] had family as follows;

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

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

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

Their family;

Born at Kilpunt         ( up until 1898)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 Additional notes/comments;

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

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

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

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

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