Monday, May 31, 2010

Family groupings with Alexander Hughan as the Father.

Because my great-great-great-great grandfather was Alexander Hughan of Burns Park, Kirkmabreck, about whom I know absolutely nothing, I have gathered information from the Kirkmabreck Parish Registers and grouped into families children whose father was stated as being 'Alexander Hughan/Heughan/Heuchan/Huchan'.

Firstly, I will deal with the Alexander Hughans who were linked to Burns, Kirkmabreck:

There are three recorded baptisms in Kirkmabreck Parish with this fellow as the father:
1718: April 13, Alexander Heuchan in Burnes a son baptised called Alexander.
1721: April 10: Alexander Heuchan in Burnes a son baptised, Patrick.
1726: March 25. Alexander Heuchan in Burnes a son baptised, Andrew.

This Alexander( c. 1670-1733) is buried in the old Kirkmabreck Kirkyard with his wife Margaret Dunniston (c. 1682-1757)It is recorded in the Kirkmabreck Memorial Inscriptions that children born to Alexander and Margaret included Samuel, Peter, Alexander,Helen, Agnes and Jean.Their memorial was erected by youngest son, Andrew Hughan, a merchant in Creetown(1726-1809).
Unfortunately, these Heuchan/Hughan children would have married and had children of their own around the period of the missing Kirkmabreck records, so we miss an entire generation of Hughans, and then pick up the next generation when the records resume again.

The first recorded child born to this couple was baptised in 1775 in Kirkmabreck Parish, and the last in 1782:
1775: February 14: Alexander Heughan and Ann Morrow a son Barnsey
1780: November 27: Alexander Hughan and Ann Morrow in Kirkbride a son William.
1782: January 3: Alexander Hughan and Ann Morrow in Kirkbride had a child named Helen.
1784: April 30: Alexander Hughan and Ann Morrow in Kirkbride had a daughter Ann.

Two other children most likely can be attributed to this couple:
1777: Alexander Hughan in Kirkbride a daughter Mally.
1778: November 6:Alexander Hughan in Kirkbride a daughter Jean.

In the latter two cases, the mother was not named, but the location 'Kirkbride' was identical to the residence of Alexander and Ann Morrow, and the two girls fit in nicely between the 1775 birth of Barnsey and the 1780 birth of William.

No more children belonging to Alexander and Ann of Kirkbride have been found beyond the 1784 baptism of Ann Hughan, but three years after that entry we find the baptism of Alexander Hughan:
1787: June 6. Alexander Hughan and Agnes Herris in Kirkbride, a son Alexander.

By the baptism of their next child in 1792, Alexander and Agnes are recorded as being "in Burns", as they are for their final child Robert Hughan recorded in 1795.

The burning question is...did Ann Morrow die after the birth of daughter Ann in 1784, and did her husband Alexander remarry Agnes Herris and go on to have a further three children? Or are the two Alexander Hughans of Kirkbride two completely different men?
Alexander Hughan and his wife Agnes Herris are without a doubt my great-great-great-great grandparents, but I have not been able to locate their births or deaths. They would have had to have been born before 1767, taking into account an average age of 20 at the birth of their first child as a couple in 1787. Of course, if it was Alexander's second marriage, he would have been born much earlier- before 1755.

The distance between Kirkbride and Kirkmabreck as taken from a military map constructed in the mid-1700s by William Roy, was less than two miles. Ferrytown of Cree, which later became Creetown, was a further couple of miles north of Kirkmabreck. Burns Park, where Robert Alexander Hughan, my great-great-great grandfather, was born in 1795, was situated in the rolling hills just outside Creetown, above the Balloch Burn.

HISTORY OF KIRKBRIDE: Located in Kirkmabreck parish.A little south of the old Kirkmabreck Cemetery , at a place now called Kirkbride Mills, there was of old a chapel dedicated to St. Bridget, and called Kilbride or Kirkbride. The chapel stood by the shore of Wigton Bay, on the west of the burn of Carsluith, where a hamlet bore the name of Kirkbride.
In 1799 the estate known as 'Kirkbride' was owned by William Hannay. Early in the 1800s Kirkbride, Kilcronchie and Falbae were owned by Thomas Hughan, a native of Creetown who went to London and made a considerable fortune. His son Thomas inherited the lands from his father after the latter's death in 1811(Thomas Senior died just a day before the birth of his only son and heir). The three farms owned by Thomas Hughan- Kirkbride, Falbae and Kilcronkie- had as their main residence a lovely home known as Hill House, located on the outskirts of Creetown, the front of which is made of polished granite.
The localities of Kirkmabreck, Ferry (or Ferrytown of Cree, which later became Creetown), Burns, Kirkbride and Carlsuith are all in very close proximity to eachother. Kirkbride is just to the south of Creetown and Kirkmabreck, and very close to Carlsuith.

BURNS: The Farm Horse Tax rolls list the names of the owner and number of horses and mules used in husbandry or trade in 1797-1798. The list for Kirkmabreck Parish contains references to the following Hughans:
Alexander Hughan in Burns had one horse and had to pay duty of two shillings. The entry above Alexander's was for Andrew Hannay of Burns who owned three horses, two of whom were liable for duty totalling four shillings.

Mrs Hughan in Creetown had two horses and had to pay duty of four shillings; Peter Hughan of Balhasie had one horse and William Hughan of Balhasie also had one horse, both owing the Government a tax duty of two shillings each.
This 'Mrs Hughan' was Margaret Gerrant Hughan, wife of Alexander Hughan, merchant in Creetown, and mother of Thomas Hughan of London.

Although Thomas Hughan and later his son possessed farms in the parish of Kirkmabreck, Thomas Hughan Senior was often referred to as 'Thomas Hughan of Airds', which was in the parish of Kells.His son became 'Of Airds' as well up until his death in 1879.
With Balmaclellan, Dalry and Carsphairn, Kells made up the district known as the Glenkens. The property known as Airds was owned in the 1600s by the Gordons of Earlston. It was later owned by the family of McGhie, then passed by purchase to a family named Livingstone. In 1799, Andrew Livingstone was described as 'of Airds'. The land he owned in that year was described as the farms of Upper and Nether Airds, Bennan Hill, Ringour, Mossdale, Nook, Quarterland, Park, Bridge, Croft and Boat Croft. Andrew Livingstone married Elizabeth, daughter of John McCulloch of Barholm, Kirkmabreck, and the couple had a son, John, and two daughters.
John Livingstone succeeded from his father.The next owner of Airds of Kells was Thomas Hughan, followed by his son Thomas.
Airds of Kells Farmhouse was originally built in circa 1726 and had previously been the manor house of the Airds estate. In recent years it has undergone a magnificent restoration, and has been restored to its former glory to the grand stately home which it formerly was.
Because Thomas Hughan Senior possessed the two homes at Hill House, Creetown, and Airds, Kells,plus homes in London, I wonder if he placed a Hughan relative in the former to manage the estate whilst he resided mainly in London and Airds? It would certainly explain the association of my Robert Alexander Hughan and his family with Burns Park.

Upon the death of Thomas Hughan the Younger on 24 March 1879, his grandson, Sir Arthur John Henniker-Hughan, 6th Baronet (24 January 1866 – 4 October 1925)inherited the estate at Airds. Arthur was the second son of Sir Brydges Henniker Bt. (of Newton Hall in Essex) and Louisa Hughan (Thomas Hughan's third daughter) of Airds House, Parton, Galloway.As he was the second son, and not expected to inherit, he was bequeathed the Hughan family estates in Galloway by his maternal grandfather, Thomas Hughan. He inherited following the death of his Aunt, Wilhelmina Mary Houghton Hughan, in 1896, at which point he took the second surname Hughan.Following the sudden and unexpected death of his brother, Colonel Sir Frederick Henniker, in late 1908 he succeeded to the Henniker Baronetcy as well (as the sixth Baronet), but continued to live at Airds in Galloway.He married Inger Hutchison of Balmaghie in January 1904,and the couple had three daughters, Beryl, Rhona and Alison (Sally).

Arthur Henniker-Hughan died of pneumonia on 4 October 1925 at a nursing home in London, aged 59. As he left no male heir the Henniker baronetcy passed on his death to distant cousin, Sir Robert Henniker.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Early family groupings.

From the entries in the Kirkmabreck parish registers from 1703 onwards, we can see that there were several Heuchan men who were fathering children in the parish during the early 18th Century...Patrick, William, John and Alexander.
The 1671 will of Thomas Heuchan of Blairs, Kirkmabreck Parish, mentions sons Patrick, Walter and John, so it is most likley that these Heuchan baptisms were grandchildren or great-grandchildren of this Thomas Heuchan.

About 17km away, in Girthon parish, there was another family of Heuchans being born around the same time period. The parents were Thomas Heuchan and his wife Elizabeth McSkimmin, who had married on April 12, 1716, at Girthon. Children located for this couple are:
Patrick son of Thomas Huchan and Elizbeth McSkimmin was baptised,14 July, 1717, Girthon.
Jane daughter to Thomas Heuchan and Elizabeth McSkimmin in Clachan baptised February 7, 1720, Girthon.
Alexander son to Thomas Heuchan and Elizabeth Skimmin in Clachan baptised June 16, 1723, Girthon
Thomas son to Thomas Huchan and Elizabeth McSkimmin in Drumwal baptised March 23, 1729.

Why I think this family are related closely to the Kirkmabreck Hughans is the fact that eight years before the marriage in Girthon parish of Thomas Heuchan to Elizabeth McSkimmin, there was a marriage between Alexander Huchan, of Kirkmabreck, to Margaret Diddiston, also at Girthon, on 16/03/1708.
This is the couple who lived at Burns, Kirkmabreck, raised a large family and are both buried in the old Kirkmabreck Kirkyard...

" Burying place of Alex Hughan late in Burns died 28.1.1733 aged 63, wife Margaret Dunniston died April 2, 1757, aged 75.Children Samuel, Peter, Alex, Helen, Agnes and Jean. Erected by Andrew Heuchan in Creetown died 20/01/1809 aged 83. Wife Elizabeth Moat died April 26, 1789, aged 51." This Andrew was also the son of Alexander and Margaret, as we have his baptism record from 1725-Alexander Heuchan in Burns a son Andrew.

First recorded Hughan baptisms in Kirkmabreck.

1705: Alexander Heuchan in Spittal had a son David
1705: Patrick Heuchan in Bridge had a son Alexander
1707: John Heuchan in Buss(??) had a son Samuel
1708: Patrick Heuchan in Buss(??) had a son Samuel
1709: John Heuchan in Blairs had a daughter Jennat.
1713: William Heuchan in Bahassie had a daughter Sara
1718: Alexander Heuchan in Burns had a son Alexander.
1721: Alexander Heuchan in Burnes had a son Patrick
1725: Alexander Heuchan in Burnes had a son Andrew
-Events not recorded-
1762: James Hughan in Cleughead(??) a son James
1758: William Hughan in Balhasie a son James
1767: William Hughan in Kilwhirn a daughter Nellie
1768: Alexander Hughan in Ferry Town a daughter Jean.
1775: Alexander Hughan and Ann Morrow a son Barnsey
1777: Alexander Hughan in Kirkbride a daughter Mally
1778: Alexander Hughan in Kirkbride a daughter Jean.
1780: Alexander Hughan and Ann Morrow in Kirkbride a son William
1782: Alexander Hughan and Ann Morrow in Kirkbride a daughter Helen.
1784: Alexander Hughan and Ann Morrow in Kirkbride a daughter Ann
1784: James Hughan and Rachel McMulroch in Creetown a son John
1787: Alexander Hughan and Agnes Herris in Kirkbride a son Alexander.
1792: Alexander Hughan and Agnes Herris in Burns a daughter Agnes.
1795: Alexander Hughan and Agnes Herris in Burns a son Robert.

1796: James Hughan and Agnes Cutcheon in Cassencarry(??) a son Peter
1799: Robert Hughan and Agnes Mckenzie in Creetown a daughter Ann
1800: James Hughan in Cassencarry twins, Charles and Margaret.
1804: Alexander Hughan in Muir of Bagby a son Gordon.
1804: Samuel Hughan of Balhasie a son Peter
1806: Samuel Hughan and Mary McKie of Balhasie a son William.
1807: Alexander Hughan in Pibble a daughter Mary
1807: Alexander Hughan in Creetown a daughter Mary Anne.

Kirkmabreck Baptisms part 8

Kirkmabreck Baptisms Part 7

Kirkmabreck Baptisms part 6

Kirkmabreck Baptisms Part 5

Kirkmabreck Baptisms part 4

Kirkmabreck baptisms part 3

Kirkmabreck Baptisms Part 2

Kirkmabreck Baptisms Part One.

Kirkmabreck Parish registers.

The 'New Statistical Account of Scotland, 1845' sets out in detail the failings of the Kirkmabreck parish record-keepers:

" There are three Volumes of Registers. The first volume embraces the time that elapsed between 1703 to 1792. From 1703 to 1739, they have been kept with great regularity. From 1740 to 1756 there are no entries whatever. From 1756 to 1792 they have been kept imperfectly. Some of the intermediate years have no entry, others only one, but towards the middle, and onwards to the end of the above period, they were kept with great regularity.
Volume 2: commenced May 1823 and carried on with great regularity until May 1834.
Vol. 3 begind June 1834 and continues to the present date."

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Will of Thomas Heuchan in Blairs, 1671.

Above: The will of Thomas Heuchan of Blairs, Kirkmabreck, Kirkcudbright, in 1671.

For those of you who enjoy a challenge, please feel free to try to interpret the squiggles and dashes that to my eyes constitute this parts it honestly looks as though a chicken has had its feet dipped in ink and then let loose to dance upon the page. Some words are clear enough...for example, I can pick out several names:-
Patrick Heuchan
Joan McConchie
Jennett Pringell
Margaret Heuchan
Walter Heuchan
William Pringell

I think in one part it also requests Walter, Patrick and John Heuchan to share something equally amongst them, and in another mentions Jannet Heuchan daughter.

Some of these names correspond with the Heuchans named in the Coventers list of roughly the same time frame- John, Marion and Walter Heuchan in Blairs; Patrick in nearby Balhasie.

Hughan/Heuchan Covenanters

Above: Late 1700s maps of the area of Kirkmabreck Parish which was home to my Hughans. The top map shows the location of Blairs, Spittal, Balhasie and Ferry Town of Cree (which became 'Creetown'). The lower map is from slightly down the coast, and shows the settlement of Kirkmabreck itself, and also Kirkbride where my Hughan line lived at one stage.

From the "Scottish Covenanters Index" comes the following list of Heuchans:

Agnes in Kirkdale
Alexander in Bardrokott
Alexander in Spittal
Gilbert in Balgredane
Isabel in Little Galtway
Janet in Little Stockarton
Janet in Little Stockarton
Jean in Ferrie
John in Brockloch
John in Blairs
John in Blairs
Margaret in Brockloch
Margaret in Little Stockarton
Marion in Blairs
Patrick in Balhasie
Rachel in Ferrie
Walter in Blairs
William in Ferrie
William in Logane
William in Logane

In the list of Minnigaff Covenanters, we also find:
Patrick Heuchane in Bargallie
Jon and Thomas Heuchanes
John Heuchane
Thomas Heuchane
Alexander Heuchanes in Bardrochwood
Alexander Heuchane in Reddock.

Earliest records of Hughans in Kirkcudbright.

I have sadly neglected this blog at the expense of my specific Hughan line, but the past week has been spent gathering up every Hughan record that I have accumulated over the years, and trying to assemble them in some sort of order. Because of the missing Kirkmabreck parish records around the middle of the 18th century I will never be able to link families with 100% accuracy or certainty, but there is no doubt in the world that the families of Huchan/ Heuchan/Heughan/Heuchane and the most recent variation of Hughan who were born and lived in Kirkmabreck parish and surrounds were all related.
The earliest records that I have found concern two Heuchanes in Kirkcudbright in the late 1500s....
MATHEW HEUCHANE: burgess of Kirkcudbright, 27 October 1593.
MARTIN HEUCHANE: in Half-Markland, parish of Kirkcudbright, 6 February 1597-98.
From: Commissariat Record of Edinburgh, Register of testaments part 1, 1514-1600.

From 'Early Documents,1575-1599:
" 352. Herbert and John Mulligane in Clios, May 5, 1597: Kirkcudbright. testament of Martin Heuchane in Half Markland in the Parish of Kirkcudbright who died in May 1597, given up by himself on May 5 in the presence of Andrew Heuchane, Robert McCaine, John Crawford all burgesses of Kirkcudbright and William Heuchane brother of the defunct. There is the usual inventory of crops and stock..."

It is not surprising to find Heuchans on the list of 17th Century Covenanters, as Galloway/Kirkcudbright were very strong in their support of the Presbyterian faith during the religious turmoil of the time.Very briefly, a Covenanter was a Scottish Presbyterian who supported either of two agreements - the National Covenant of 1638 or the Solemn League and Covenant of 1643- intended to defend and extend Presbyterianism. The Covenanters protest was against the religious policies of Charles 1, who wanted to set up a Scottish Church with Bishops and a similar structure to the Church of England. The Covenanters were steadfast in their Presbyterian beliefs and refused to take an oath unto the King stating that he was the head of the church. They believed that Christ was the Head of the Church and their loyalty to this belief allowed them to sacrifice their lives for it. The Royalists and Dragoons, who were seeking to bring them into obedience to the King, relentlessly pursued the Covenanters across the country.

Major McCulloch of Barholm, Kirkmabreck parish, was martyred for his religious beliefs.In 1662 he was fined eight hundred pounds by Middleton's Parliament for his non-conformity. Soldiers were quartered on his estate for thirty days at a time, during which period he not only had to feed them but also pay them! He was taken prisoner while fighting at the Battle of Pentland, and the Privy Council ordained that his head and right hand be cut off. His head was to be stuck up in the market cross of Kirkcudbright, and his hand taken to Ayr or Lanark because that was where the Covenant was renewed with'uplifted hands'.But McCulloch's corpse was spared that final indignity. On the evening of the execution he was laid to rest in the Greyfriars Kirkyard, Edinburgh where his epitaph reads: "Major John McKoolo, west countryman, executed."
After his execution, McCulloch's son was seized and kept imprisoned for a year, and the Barholm estate was forfeited(although it was reinstated after the Revolution).
The 'New Statistical Account of Scotland- Dumfries, Kirkcudbright and Wigton' published in 1845 contains a snippet connecting the Hughans with the McCullochs of Barholm:
"...And it is a singular fact, which I state on the authority of the present Mr. McCulloch of Barholm, that John Knox had his hiding place in the old tower of Barholm for some time previous to his escape to the continent.
This circumstance Mr. McCulloch learned from an old man of the name of Andrew Hughan, who was running footman to Mr. McCulloch's great-great grandfather, and who said that he recollected John Knox's signature on the wall of the small arched apartment or bed-room at the head of the staircase."
This event supposedly occurred in 1566.

Margaret Hook, mother of Thomas Hughan's two daughters

At last... after years of pondering the mystery of who was the mother of Thomas Hughan's two natural daughters, Jane and Margaret, the a...