Firstly, I will deal with the Alexander Hughans who were linked to Burns, Kirkmabreck:
1.ALEXANDER HEUCHAN in BURNES.
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.
2. ALEXANDER HUGHAN AND ANN MORROW.
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 Ramsey
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.
NOTE: The child born to Alexander Hughan and Ann Morrow in 1775 has always been identified as "Barnsey". However, closer examination of the parish register recording his baptism shows that his name is actually "Ramsey" Hughan. He lived in Ballymagee Street in Bangor, County Down, Ireland, and was a grocer. He died on February 10, 1866 at the age of 90 years, giving him an approximate birth year of 1776. His wife died on July 16, 1860, at Ballymagee Street, Bangor, aged 84 years, so she was also born in c. 1776. Her name is unknown, as in the newspaper death notice she was referred to only as “Mrs Hughan”.
There are several other mentions of Ramsay Hughan in newspapers, as signing petitions or donating to a subscription fund, but unfortunately no death notice.
I initially discovered Ramsay Hughan years ago, and despite periodically returning to him to chase his story, I could never find anything substantial. I knew that there had to have been a connection with my story, however, as one of the brothers of my great-great grandmother, Bertha Hughan, was given the middle name of "Ramsay". The vast majority of Hughans have their origins in Kirkcudbright, particularly in the 18th and 19th centuries, so I turned to the baptism records of my own Hughan family’s parish of Kirkmaebreck. And there...standing out like a shining beacon, was a mis-transcribed baptismal record that just has to be Ramsay Hughan. Written in the online index as “Barnsey Hughan”!
I had always wondered about this unusual name of ‘Barnsey’…I had never seen it before or since. On closer examination of the parish record entry, it is obvious that the scrawl reads ‘Ramsey’ or ‘Ramsay’…the Minister’s Rs and Bs are very similar. I am positive that Barnsey Hughan never existed- he was Ramsay Hughan, and was "hiding" in full view for decades!
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.