Sunday, March 29, 2009

The Stirling Connection.

The family of Thomas Hughan of Airds seems to have several definite but "hazy" relationships with other families...the family of David Murray was one, and the Stirling family of Edinburgh is another.
The Stirling family in question comprises of the children of Andrew Stirling, merchant of Edinburgh, and his wife Jean Hughan, and in particular their daughters Elizabeth, Magdalen and Jane.
Alexander Hughan, brother of Thomas of Airds and son of Alexander merchant of Creetown,left a bequest for the Stirling sisters when he died in 1810...
" Five hundred pounds to my relations Elizabeth, Magdalen and Jane Stirling jointly."
In 1817, Jane Hughan, the natural born daughter of Thomas Hughan, wrote in her will:
" I leave, in token of my love and gratitude, to the Miss Stirlings the sum of £100."
Thomas Hughan of Airds made no mention of them in his will of 1811, but this is no surprise as he dictated it on his deathbed and in the first of two attempts even forgot to mention the child that his wife was about to give birth to!
Thomas's sister, Jane Hughan Dalzell, included them in her will, however...
" Thirdly, under the burden of paying an annuity of £100 sterling yearly to Miss Elizabeth Stirling, Miss Magdalen Stirling and Miss Jean Stirling, my cousins..."

The term 'burden' seems to suggest that the Hughan family was in some way indebted to the Stirling sisters, and makes me wonder if they played a part in the raising of Jane and Margaret Hughan, Thomas Hughan's illegitimate daughters.
It would make perfect sense for Jane and Margaret to live with their spinster relations in Edinburgh rather than their unmarried father in London, and would explain the use of the phrase " Love and gratitude" in Jane Hughan's will.

Although we know that the Stirling girls' mother was Jane Hughan,it is through finding their Hughan grandparents that the Stirling-Hughan relationship can be mapped.
Jane Hughan married Andrew Stirling in the early 1770s...a family tree on has their marriage date as January 1, 1775, in Edinburgh, but I cannot find the relevant record on Scotlandspeople. Their first child Elizabeth was baptised in 1771, son James in 1773 and daughter Magdalen on January 1, 1775, so I have to doubt the accuracy of the 1775 marriage date.
They also have as the parents of Jane Hughan William Hughan and his wife Margaret Riddick of Logan Mill, Buittle, Kirkcudbright.William and Margaret were married on January 31, 1752, at Buittle, and had seven children:
Elizabeth born 1752
Janet born 1753
Twins Jean and Mary born 1755
John born 1756, Buittle Mill
Jean born 1759, Logan, Buittle Mill
Robert born 1764 Logan.

The names 'Jean' and 'Jane' are very interchangeable, but for the Jane Hughan who married Andrew Stirling to have been the Jean born to William and Barbara would mean that she was twelve years old when her first child Elizabeth Stirling was born in 1771! This applies to the second of daughters named of their twin daughters born in 1755 was named Jean, and because another daughter was named Jean in 1759, I am assuming that the first child by this name died.
I have just checked the original baptism record for the Hughan twins Jean and Mary, and it reads as follows: " December 10, 1755: Baptised twins, the first called Jean, the next Mary, lawful daughters to William Hughan and Margaret Riddick at Buittle Mill. Born long before the time and lived not long after baptism."
There is a possibility that the Janet Hughan who was born in 1753 may have been the Jane who married Andrew Stirling as she would have been about 18 when Elizabeth was born.However, a Janet Hughan of Buittle Mill married William Forrester in 1779. There were only two Janet Hughans born in the Buittle area during that period, and the other one was born to James Hughan and Janet Duff in 1764. Since the latter would have only been 15 in 1779, I favour the other Janet Hughan to be the most likley candidate for this marriage to William Forrester.
So where does that leave us? We have a Jean Hughan, somehow related to Thomas, Jane and Alexander Hughan, marrying Andrew Stirling in c. 1770.She would have had to have been born c. 1750 to be marrying in c. 1770.The only Jean or Jane Hughan to be born around that time is the one who is the daughter of William Hughan and Margaret Riddick, who was born 1755.Although...the Kirkmabreck parish records are full of big holes where records of baptisms just do not exist. Just because I could only find one baptism for a Jean/Jane Hughan certainly doesn't mean that there could not have been others.
I will move away from the family of William Hughan and Margaret Riddick now for a moment, but will discuss them again later as there were several Hughan families who established themselves in the Buittle parish of Kirkcudbright.
Back to the Stirlings...
Andrew Stirling who married Jane Hughan was born at Edinburgh on January 14, 1743, the son of James Stirling, merchant and Magdalen Boyes ( who were married in Edinburgh on 27 October, 1731).His siblings were:
John Stirling b April 5, 1733, Edinburgh
Grizel Stirling b September 7, 1734, Edinburgh
Christian Stirling b September 8, 1735, Edinburgh
Jane Stirling b September 29, 1737, Edinburgh
Henrietta Stirling b March 8, 1741, Edinburgh
John Stirling b January 5, 1747, Edinburgh.

Andrew Stirling's mother was the daughter of Thomas Boyes, Writer to the Signet, and his wife Grizel Hay, who were married on April 19, 1708.They had five children thus far located- twins Thomas ( also a Writer to the Signet)and James b 1709; Jean b 1710 (married Andrew Marjoribanks, 1755); Magdalen b 1711;and Grizel b 1714.
Grizel ( or Grissal) Hay had been born on March 10, 1689, in Edinburgh, the daughter of James Hay (b 1655, Carruber)and Magdalen Robertson (b 1653, Edinburgh, daughter of goldsmith George Robertson and Magdalen Primrose).

Andrew Stirling and Jane Hughan had a family of two sons and three daughters, all born and baptised in Edinburgh parish:
Elizabeth Stirling: b October 24, 1771. Did not marry.
James Stirling: b May 12, 1773. No other information.
Magdalen Stirling: b January 1, 1775.
Jane Stirling b September 26, 1777.
John Stirling b June 18, 1780. Did not marry. Was an accountant with the Royal Bank of Scotland.

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