I had noticed in the 1841 census for Creetown an old soldier by the name of William Hughan, who was 70 years old and an 'Army P', meaning 'army pensioner'. He was living with two younger Hughans, John and Elizabeth, presumably his children or even grandchildren.
It was not until I was chasing another William Hughan that the pieces of the soldier Hughan puzzle began to fall into place, and I discovered the identity of both Williams.
I had spotted the younger William Hughan in census returns for 1841,1861 and 1871 when he appeared to be working for, but not a member of, Peter Hughan's family as the latter farmed firstly at Meiklecarse and then Cults.
He also signed Peter Hughan's will as a witness on February 26,1876, being described as "William Hughan, Dairyman, residing at Cults". He was obviously related in some way to the Hughans of Cults Farm, but how?
Various census returns gave William Hughan's year of birth as between 1816 and 1821, and his place of birth as Creetown or Kirkmabreck. Perusal of the Kirkmabreck parish baptismal records for that period have only one contender for this William Hughan:
11 July, 1816: William Hughan and Betty Brown, Balhasie, a son William.
The location of 'Balhasie' also struck a cord, as this was the location where Samuel Hughan and Mary McKie, parents of Peter Hughan of Cults, were situated.It is quite feasible that Samuel Hughan and William Hughan Senior were brothers- Samuel was born c. 1768, William Senior c. 1771, and both associated with Balhasie. Unfortunately, neither appear in the Kirkmabreck records. A tantalising snippet of a book online shows a tiny portion of the ancestry of a family that includes Samuel Hughan and Mary McKie. The only part of the family tree visible is "Samuel Hughan born March 1, 1838, son of Peter Hughan(1804-1877), who was the son of Samuel Hughan (1767-1835) who was the son of William Hughan of Scotland."
I would love to know more...such as where the information came from that nominated a William Hughan as Samuel's father(and perhaps the father of soldier William!)
Assumptions aside, we know that William Hughan and Elizabeth "Betty" Brown had at least three more children other than William. Their issue was:
William Hughan baptised 11/07/1816, parents in Balhasie.
Elizabeth Hughan baptised December 20, 1817, parents in Balhasie.
John Hughan born August 15, 1824, Wigtown.
John Hughan baptised August 14, 1826, parents in Balhasie.
John born 1824 must have died in infancy for John born 1826 to have acquired his name.
Elizabeth Brown Hughan, I believe, was the Elizabeth Hughan who was buried in Creetown Kirkyard on August 21, 1840, aged 57. This puts her date of birth as c. 1783, which is well within the range for a mother having children 1816-1826.
Her husband, William Hughan, was still alive for the 1841 census:
St John's Street, Creetown.
William Hughan/ 70/ Army P/ born in Kirkcudbrightshire
Elizabeth Hughan/20/born Kirkcudbrightshire
John Hughan/15/ born Kirkcudbrightshire.
Yes...William, husband of Betty Brown and father of William of Meiklecarse and Cults Farms, was the mystery soldier! I have ordered his pensioner's discharge documents (Royal Hospital Kilmainham) from Documentsonline. In the meantime, a summary of his career is as follows:
"William Hughan. Born Kirkmabreck, Galway. Served 19th Foot Regiment; 12th Royal Veteran Battalion. Discharged aged 50."
I think Elizabeth Hughan, daughter of William Hughan and Elizabeth Brown, may have married James McLachlan in Kirkmabreck on September 9,1842. Both lived in the same street in Creetown in 1841. James was an apprentice joiner in 1841, and by 1851 he and his family were living in Balmaghie parish with his father John, who was also a joiner, and siblings Isabella and William. James McLachlan and Elizabeth Hughan had two sons in the 1851 census-William born c. 1846, England, and John born c. 1848, England.
Another link appears between the families of William Hughan the soldier and Samuel Hughan of Balhasie when it is discovered that the two McLachlan boys, William and James, were both born at East Stonehouse in 1845 and 1847. East Stonehouse is, of course, the town in Devon where the two sons of Samuel Hughan - Peter and William- established themselves..Peter for a short while, and William for many years.
Of John Hughan, son of William Hughan and Elizabeth Brown, i have as yet found no trace.
William Hughan the Dairyman, son of William and Elizabeth, married Mary Butters on June 6, 1845, in Kirkmabreck. Mary was the daughter of Thomas Butters, carrier of Dunbeattie, and Mary Stewart. At the time of their marriage William was described as "greive of Meikle Carse", a greive being a steward or manager.This insinuates that he managed Meiklecarse Farm for Peter Hughan, and then later worked for him again when Peter had taken over the lease at Cults farm.
Following William Hughan through the census returns 1841 through 1891 we find:
1841: Meiklecarse, Minnigaff.
William Hughan/25/ ag lab/ born in Kirkcudbright
1851: Blair Street, Dunbeattie, Urr, Kirkcudbright.
William Hughan/head/33/carter/born Kirkmabreck
Mary Hughan/wife/domestic duties/born Urr, Kirkcudbright
Agness Hughan/daughter/5/scholar/born Kirkmabreck
William Hughan/son/8 months/born Kirkmabreck.
1861: Cults Farm, Garlieston.
William Hughan/head/40/dairyman/born Kirkmabreck
Mary Hughan/wife/35/born Dalbeattie
Agnes Hughan/daughter/14/dairymaid/born Minnigaff
William Hughan/son/10/ scholar/ born Creetown.
Mary Anne Hughan/daughter/7/ born Sorbie
James B. Hughan/son/3/ born Sorbie.
1871: Cults Dairy, Garlieston.
William Hughan/head/50/dairyman/born Creetown
Mary Hughan/wife/46/dairyman's wife/born Dalbeattie
William Hughan/son/20/farm servant/born Kirkcudbright
Mary Ann Hughan/daughter/ 17/dairymaid/born Sorbie
James Hughan/son/13/scholar/born Sorbie
Eliza McCluggan/30/domestic servant/born Ireland.
1881: 301 High Street, Dalbeattie, Urr.
William Hughan/head/64/carter/born Creetown
Mary Hughan/wife/68/born Urr
William Hughan/son/30/carter/born Creetown.
1891: 301 High Street, Dalbeattie, Urr.
William Hughan/head/76/ retired carter/ born Kirkmabreck
Mary Hughan/wife/68/born Urr
James Hughan/son/32/tea merchant/born Sorbie
William Butters/brother-in-law/66/stone cutter retired
A chance reference to a book on the Butters family Genealogy, published in the U.S in the late 1890s, allowed me to gain more information on the family of Mary Butters and William Hughan that I would never have discovered using census returns alone:
" MARY BUTTERS: Born in Dalbeattie, Kirkcudbright, Scotland, daughter of Thomas Butters and Mary Stewart.Married in Minnigaff, Co. Wigtown, William, son of William and Elizabeth (Brown) HUYHAN (first time I have ever seen this spelling variation of Hughan!)of Creetown Kirkcudbright.
In the year 1853 they came to America, landing in New York, and resided with their uncle, William Butters, at 61 Fulton Street. Mr. Huyhan obtained a position as coachman with Mr. Job Jackson, residing in Flatbush. After a stay of six months the family returned to Scotland, and in 1896 were living at 301 High Street, Dalbeattie.
Children: Agnes Huyhan born 1846
William Huyhan born 1850.
Mary Ann Huyhan born 1853
James Huyhan born 1857."
William Hughan, dairyman, died on June 3, 1898, at his home 301 High Street, Dalbeattie.He was 81 years old, and his son-in-law, William Sinclair, who registered his death, did not know the names of his parents.William Hughan's occupation was "Dairyman-retired. Married to Mary Butters."
Children of William Hughan and Mary Butters:
Agnes Jane Hughan: baptised April 25, 1846, Kirkmabreck. Married William Sinclair, 1865, Sorbie.William was a master cabinet maker and joiner. After their marriage they moved to Bootle in Lancashire where William worked as a ship joiner, and where their children Mary Ann, John, Elizabeth, William and James were born. Between 1876 and 1879, William moved his family back to Dalbeattie, where he ran his own cabinet making and joiners business in High Street. Children Agnes Jane, Jessie and Thomas Butters Sinclair were born in Dalbeattie in c. 1879, 1880 and 1883 respectively.
Agnes Hughan Sinclair died on September 26, 1883, at 128 High Street, Dalbeattie. She was 36 years of age, and died of "malignant disease of stomach, several years,haemorrhage of stomach,half an hour." Her parents were given as William Hughan, carter, and Mary Butters.
Her husband, William Sinclair, remarried a woman named Susan.
WILLIAM HUGHAN: baptised July 21, 1850, Kirkmabreck. Never married. Worked as a commercial traveller. Died May 3, 1918, at 301 High Street, Dalbeattie, of carcinoma of the stomach, aged 67. His brother, James B. Hughan, registered his brother's death.
MARY ANN HUGHAN: born c. 1854, Sorbie. Married police constable Robert Douglas on December 31, 1875, at Cults,Sorbie, aged 22. Mary Ann's parents were William Hughan, dairyman, and Mary Butters, and her usual residence was Cults, Sorbie.Mary Ann returned with Robert to Liverpool where he was a member of the police force. In 1881, the couple were living at 68 Troughton Street, West Derby, Liverpool, with two sons, William aged 4 and Robert aged 4 months, and Robert's widowed mother, 69 year old Catherine Douglas from Scotland.
The 1891 census finds the Douglas family at 46 Winifred Street, West Derby. Robert is now a 38 year old Police Sergeant, and while a daughter has been born- 8 year old Mary Ann- second son Robert is missing from the family home, perhaps having died in infancy. Eldest child, 14 year old William, is an apprentice printer and compositor.
The 1901 census reveals that Robert has moved up the promotional ladder again...he is now a Police Inspector.Son William is a compositor, and daughter Mary Ann aged 18 is living at home with no occupation, besides probably helping her mother Mary Ann to run the household at 93 Northbrook Street, Toxeth Park.
JAMES BUTTERS HUGHAN: born c. 1858, Sorbie. Died 1940, aged 82, at Dalbeattie.In the 1881 census, James was boarding with the Douglas family in West Derby, Mary Ann Douglas being his sister. His occupation was given as 'grocer's shopman', and he was 22 years old. In 1891 32 year old James was back in Scotland, living with his parents and working as a tea merchant.
The last trace of James Butter Hughan came in the 1901 census. He was living at 301 High Street,Dalbeattie ( his parents' residence before their deaths), and his occupation was 'merchant's clerk'. His 22 year old neice, Agnes Sinclair, was living with James as his housekeeper.
James Butters Hughan lived at 301 High Street Dalbeattie until his death on March 30, 1940. He never married, and was 82 years old when he died of chronic bronchitis and emphysema. His death was registered by his nephew, William Sinclair, who gave his parents as 'William Hughan,carter,(deceased) and Mary Butters'.
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...
Above: Entry from the Kirkmabreck Parish Register that shows that Peter Hughan was baptised on October 30, 1804, the elder of two sons bor...
This couple were married on April 21, 1792, at Kirkinner,Wigtownshire. Kirkinner is located across the bay from Kirkmabreck, about 16 miles ...