Tag Archives: Queensferry

Scotland trip – May 2017 – day 7

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

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

Hopetoun House

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

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

The archive room at Hopetoun House

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

Document bundles in the Hopetoun Archives

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Old WALKER papers – Disposition of John Lishman to Isobell Gray, his spouse

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

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

I have already posted those documents that are by, or speak directly about my Walker ancestors. In this, and the following documents, I am unsure of the nature of the connection to the Walker family. Please see my notes at the bottom.

This is a Disposition by John Lishman to his wife, Isobell Gray. John was a witness to the marriage contract of my ancestors; William Walker and Elizabeth Barron, in 1728.

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

Cover; Disposition-of-John-Lishman_1749_cover_300dpiTranscription of cover;

Disposition and

John Lishman
Isobell Gray, his




Page 1; Disposition-of-John-Lishman_1749_page-1_300dpiTranscription of page 1;

Be it known to all men by these presents me John Lishman tenent in Craigie for as much as #
there was no contract of marriage betwixt me and Isobel Gray my Spouse the time of our ~ #
marriage that we have no children existing thereof And that the said Isobel Gray my spouse #
by her frugality and industry has been very Instrumentall in acquiring what means and effects #
we are possest of Therefore and for the love favour and affection that I have and bear to my #
said spouse and other grave and weighty considerations moving me Wilt ye me to have given #
granted assigned and disponed Like as In case she shall survive me and with and under #
the reservation and provision aftermentioned I by these presents Give grant assign and dispone #
from me my heirs executors and all others my assignoys To and in favours of the said Isobell #
Gray my spouse her heirs executors and assigneys whatsoever All and sundry debts and sums #
of money one addebted and resting or that shall be one addebted and resting to me the time #
of my decease by bond bill ticket accompt decreed paction promise or any other way whatso #
ever together with the haill voutchors and instructions of the said debts haill tenor and ~ #
contents thereof and all that may follow thereupon As also all and sundry my cropt and cornes #
of all kinds and denominations; haill Instruments of husbandry and labour with all goods gear and #
horss, nolt sheep household plenishing and furniture outsight and insight gold silver banknotes #
and all other moveables and execurtory as well heirship as others of whatsoever kind quality #
name of denomination the same be presently pertaining and belonging to me or that shall #
pertain and belong to me the time of my death Dispensing with the generality of these #
presents and declaring the same to be as sufficient valid and effectual in favours of my sd #
spouse and her foresaid As if every particular debt and haill other effects above Disponed had been #
herein specially and particularly in sort and disponed or as if the same had been disponed #
conform to a signed inventory And for that one I surrogat and substitute my said spouse and – #
her forsaids in my full right and place of the promisses for ever In case she survive me ~ #
with full power to her and them to ask crave receive intromelt with and uplift sell use and #
dispose upon the moveables and executry in my own possession and if need bees to call and #
pursue the debitors in the sums of money foresaid and to obtain decreets and use all maner of diligence #
for recoverie thereof compone transact and agree thereanent and upon payment to grant #
receipts and discharges which shall be sufficient and generally all and sundry other things #
necessary [aneul] the promisses to do and [exorce] amply and freely That I could do in my #
own lifetime or before granting this present Disposition and assignation which with #
and under the […] and provision after mentioned I bind and oblige me my heirs executors #

Page 2; Disposition-of-John-Lishman_1749_page-2_300dpi

Transcription of page 2;

and successors whatsoever to warrand to my spouse and her foresaids from my own property #
fact and deed allennerly done or to be done in prejudice hereof Reserving nevertheless #
to me my own liferent use and enjoyment of the haill promisses during my lifetime #
And full and free power to me at any time or upon sickbed or the paynt of death to alter #
innovat recall or change these presents in haill or in part as freely in all respects as if these #
presents has never been made or granted But in case these presents be not so changed and #
recalled by me and be found either in my own custody or in the keeping of any other – #
person for my behoove I declare the same shall be held and repale a delivered and valid #
evident in favours of my said spouse notwithstanding of any law or practisce in the #
contrary And in that case by her using and accepting of these presents she shall be bound #
and obliged to pay and [defray] all my sickbed and funeral charges servants fees and all #
other my just and Lawful debts Consenting to the registration hereof in the books of #
Council and session or other Judges books competent therein to remain for preservation #
To which effect I constitute.
My [prors..]: In witness whereof (Written upon stamped paper by #
Robert Blair Clerk of Queensferrie) I have subscrived these presents. Att Queensferry #
the Twenty fifth ~ day of March – One Thousand Seven hundred and #
fourtie nine years before these witnesses. Edward Ramage – ye merchant in #
Queensferrie and the said Robert Blair

John Lishman

Edward Ramage, junior witness
Robt: Blair, witness.


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

John Lishman (Leshman/ Leishman/ Lieshman); I have found a record from the parish registers of a marriage in Dalmeny, on 4th July 1705, between John Leechman and Isobel Gray. John Leishman was a witness to the marriage contract of my ancestors; William Walker and Elizabeth Barron, in 1728. I don’t have any firm evidence for a family relationship, but a suspicion that John Leshman might be a cousin of William Walker.

Parish records for Walkers in the Corstorphine area (compiled by Norman Walker) include a marriage between a Robert Walker and Janet Leshman, on 11th June 1691. They then had one daughter, Janet, christened on 16th July 1693. Could they also be the parents of my ancestor, William Walker? And could Janet Leshman be a sister or aunt of John Lishman?

If anyone knows of evidence that can prove (or disprove) my theories 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.