Tuesday, 5 March 2013

Winterfield Mains, Dunbar

1832 map of Dunbar for The Great Reform Act

We look to the registration of births, marriages and deaths for the basic facts about these events. However there is often more information contained in newspapers which adds special interest, and prior to statutory registration it is particularly valuable to find such a publication. In addition to newspapers there have always been some 'upmarket' journals that have included references to 'society' events. The Gentleman's Magazine was one such and I have just come across another that I have not heard of before, called 'The New Monthly Magazine and Literary Journal'. In its part 3, on page 336, July 1st 1825 there was included a reference to the marriage of Mr. S. McElhago to Miss White. This fact of course we already knew. The new information is that it took place at Winterfield Mains, near Dunbar. The site of Winterfield Mains farm can be seen on the (almost) contemporary map above in the National Library of Scotland and more clearly on the modern map below. 

I'm afraid we don't know whether either Samuel McElhago or Janet White were resident at Winterfield Mains farm. Perhaps one or other was a tenant of the owner of Winterfield House, the main residence near that farm. By courtesy of the National Library we have not only a map of the period of the marriage. It is the 1832 map of John Thompson which shows where the farm was. We also have two illustrations of the main house itself, one of its billiards room and the other of its lounge. So we are able to put a little 'flesh' on the 'bones' of the basic facts of one of our early clan marriages. I now add a modern map which shows where Winterfield Mains is today.

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