Friday, 27 March 2009

Kirkmichael roundup

The Old Parochial Records (OPRs) of Kirkmichael, Ayrshire, Scotland contain 18 baptism and marriage records of our clan. In two reviews we have already considered eleven. We have also mentioned one other, the marriage of Jennet McElhagow and James Lockart on 11th February 1673 in Stuarton. Banns had been read in Kirkmichael on 26th January. The entry gives no clue to the parents of Jennet, nor of her age. A marriage in 1673 of a twenty year old would give a birth year of about 1653. This would indicate that she was a possible sibling of James son of Thomas, despite James' record being for McIlhagow and Jennet's being for McElhagow. We have already seen that such a name variation occurs elsewhere in this family. All David McIlhaggow's children are recorded as McElhagow!

A similar scenario may apply to another marriage. On 22nd July 1669 Thomas McElhagow married Jonet Murchie in Kirkmichael. Their banns had been read on 3rd July. If Thomas was (say) twenty when married, his birth year would be 1649. He's another candidate to be a sibling of James son of Thomas. At the time of writing we have no information about any offspring of James and Jennet Lockart, but we do have the records of the baptisms of the four children of Thomas and Jonet (nee Murchie) McElhagow. They had been married in July 1669 and John was born eight months later. He was baptised on 8th May with two witnesses, James Gibson and Andrew (?)Gothies. Thirty-three years later the last Kirkmichael OPR entry is for the baptism of David son of John McIlhagow on 20th September 1702. David son of John could well be the grandson of Thomas and Jonet (nee Murchie).

The second child of Thomas and Jonet is particularly important for us. She is Helen baptised on 6th August 1672. She is the only clan member in Kirkmichael for whom we have three records, of her baptism, her marriage and evidence of her burial. The marriage banns were read on 29th November 1697. The OPR reads 'Betwixt David Mitchell in the paroch of Stratoun and Helen Mcilhagow in this paroch maried at this kirk Decbr 26th, 1697'. It is Helen's name on the earliest gravestone (as Hellin McKlhagu) which is in Kirkmichael graveyard. It was doubtless erected by her spouse David for her and for other members of the Mitchel (to use the Memorial's spelling) family and their spouses. Helen's date of death is not recorded though it was before 1738 which is the only date on the stone. The reverse side of the stone has the bold carving of a skull and crossbones.

The third child of Thomas and Jonet was David baptised 14th March 1675. His witnesses were David Lockart, presumably his uncle James, and William Gibson, presumably one of the family of Gibsons who were Coupers in Ayr. Finally we have the third son and fourth child of Thomas and Jonet, also Thomas. He was baptised two years later, on 28th January 1677. A witness is named, possibly a James Cathcart. These references complete all the records we have from the village of Kirkmichael, before we move our attention to the nearby village of Dalmellington.

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