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Scotland (Counties as in 1851-1901) => Scotland => Kirkcudbrightshire => Topic started by: claireandrew on Sunday 19 September 10 22:00 BST (UK)

Title: Andrew Family
Post by: claireandrew on Sunday 19 September 10 22:00 BST (UK)
Hi,
I'm not sure if any of you will be able to help with my research. 
My great grandfather, John Andrew is said to have been born in London on 17/4/1875, the illegitimate son of a maidservant to the Laird at Kenmuir Castle near the village of New Galloway in Kirkcudbrightshire in southern Scotland. The father is thought to have been the Laird’s youngest son (Surname Maxwell). Nothing is known of his mother’s fate. As a baby John returned to New Galloway and was looked after by Doctor Cowan (recorded in the census). When the money from the Laird ran out John was adopted by ‘Auntie Craig’ who he always looked on as his mother. She was the headmistress of the local school, unmarried with a brother ‘Uncle Geordie’. Jean was Uncle Geordie’s daughter.
I am trying to find out who John's mother was & whether the above details (passed down through the family) are accurate.  Does anyone know anything about my grandfather? 
Thanks,
Claire Andrew

Post split from old topic and renamed
Title: Andrew Family
Post by: Gadget on Monday 20 September 10 09:22 BST (UK)
Hi Claire

Welcome to Rootschat  :)

My ancestors were from that area  :)

T o my knowlwdge the lairds of Kenmure Castle were the Gordons:

http://www.theglenkens.org.uk/kenmuir-castle. I have quite a few local books and pamphlets but unfortunately I don't have many with me at the moment.

There were Maxwells in the area (maybe Balmaclellan - I'll check )

I'll have a look at what I've got and get back to you.


Gadget

Title: Andrew Family
Post by: Gadget on Monday 20 September 10 09:49 BST (UK)
Hi again

I don't think that the Kenmure/Maxwell story is correct.

I've found John on the 1881 in New Galloway with James Cowan, as you say. I think that the best thing for you would be to work backwards from his marriage, etc. - do you have details - was it in Scotland or England? Do you have him on any later censues, etc.?


Gadget
Title: Re: Robb Family
Post by: claireandrew on Monday 20 September 10 09:58 BST (UK)
Hi Gadget,
Thanks for replying.  I have all John's details from 1881 onwards, but nothing before.  The main problem is that we are not sure if Andrew is his surname, his mother's surname, or his middle name used as a surname.  So, I can't trace a birth cert for him.  The family story is that his mother was pregnant & sent down to London for the birth & then John was brought back by train, on his own to live with the Cowans.  They were paid for his upkeep by someone & then the money stopped & he was taken in by "Auntie Craig".  A real mystery!  I'm going up to Kells/New Galloway in a few weeks so will have a root around but am not hopeful of finding anything out.
Regards,
Claire
PS.  We have several members of the family looking into this & noone has been able to shed any light on it.
Title: Andrew Family
Post by: Gadget on Monday 20 September 10 10:04 BST (UK)
Hi again  :)

I'm starting to try to work out the connections.

I see that on the 1891 the family are in New Galloway and John is now 'Cowan'

High Street, New Galloway
GROS Ref- 868 ED 2 P 8

Jessie Craig, 49, farmer, b. New Galloway
Jessie Mary Cowan, niece, 22, teacher - unemployed, b. New Galloway
John Andrew Cowan, nephew, 15, grocer's apprentice, b. England

On the 1881, Jessie Mary was shown as the daughter of James Cowan. 

What else do you have on the Cowans as there doesn't seem to be any MIs for them in Kells


Gadget
Title: Andrew Family
Post by: claireandrew on Monday 20 September 10 10:59 BST (UK)
Hi,
I have the following:
1881- High Street, Kells
John Andrew 6 Boarder
Elizabeth Cowan 46 Wife Dressmaker
Homer Cowan (Twin) 15
James Cowan 60 Formerly teacher
Jessie M. Cowan 13
John Cowan (Twin) 15

1891-51 High Street, Kells
Jessie Craig
Jessie Mary Cowan
John Andrew

After that, I don't have any more details on the Cowans, other than that Homer Cowan is living in Burnley in 1891 & 1901.  John Andrew also moved to Burnley & they were both employed as draper's apprentices & then became Master Tailors.  John Andrew's children called him Uncle Homer.
I think the John Cowan on your records for 1891 is the twin of Homer.

Thanks,
Claire
Title: Re: Robb Family
Post by: Gadget on Monday 20 September 10 11:05 BST (UK)
In those days, there wasn't any formal adoption as we know it and the most likely people to adopt or take in children were relatives or neighbours. so it's worth exploring the Cowan family- and James's wife, Elizabeth's family.




Gadget
Title: Re: Robb Family
Post by: claireandrew on Monday 20 September 10 11:17 BST (UK)
Hi,
Yes, that's a good idea.  One of my relatives in Australia has been going through all of the female relatives that were of the right age & who were domestic servants at the time.  However, it all becomes circumstantial but that may be the best we can do.
Thanks & regards,
Claire
Title: Re: Robb Family
Post by: Gadget on Monday 20 September 10 13:00 BST (UK)
Hi Claire

I'm not sure if you've seen this and wonder if it might help.

James Cowan is listed in the Wills section of Scotlands People:

Kirkcudbright Sherriff's Court
James Cowan, 29 Sept 1901
Retired Teacher, New Galloway. Died 12 Sept 1890 at Glasserton, Wigtownshire. Intestate

It will cost £5 to get a copy. I'm not sure what it will contain but there seems a long lead time between death and settlement so it might contain something interesting.


Gadget
Title: Re: Robb Family
Post by: Gadget on Monday 20 September 10 13:23 BST (UK)
Not sure if you have this:

Jessie Isabella Craig died 1823, New Galloway, aged 82. The informant was John Cowan, nephew (present at death)

Widow of William Craig, Bank Accountant

She is was the daughter of John Muir, schoolteacher and Jessie m.s Douglas, both deceased.

James Cowan's wife was Elisabeth Muir  (IGI extracted -marriage Kells 18 Aug 1863)

So - Elisabeth and Jessie were probably sisters

James Cowan appears to have married quite late - he was still living with his mother in 1862, aged 41

So, more surnames to consider.




Gadget


Title: Re: Robb Family
Post by: Gadget on Monday 20 September 10 13:36 BST (UK)
I'm now not sure at all how this fits in:

John was adopted by ‘Auntie Craig’ who he always looked on as his mother. She was the headmistress of the local school, unmarried with a brother ‘Uncle Geordie’. Jean was Uncle Geordie’s daughter.


I'll do some more digging.

Gadget
Title: Re: Robb Family
Post by: claireandrew on Monday 20 September 10 13:41 BST (UK)
Wow, you're brilliant.  I was aware of the Muir connection through Elizabeth but didn't realise that Jessie was a Muir.
I will order a copy of the James Cowan will.  Anything is worth a try!
With regard to your last post, My Great Auntie Jessie visited New Galloway before she died & spoke to Jean (Uncle Geordie's daughter) but couldn't glean any more details on top of what we already know.  It's all a bit frustrating as my Great Aunt apparently had collated a lot of information but, when she died, it was disposed of by people who didn't appreciate the importance of it to others (unintentionally of course).
Thanks for your help.
Regards,
Claire
Title: Re: Robb Family
Post by: Gadget on Monday 20 September 10 13:50 BST (UK)
 :o

Jessie Craig nee Muir  in 1871

1 High Street, New Galloway, Kells
GROS Ref - 868 ED 2a p1
Jessie Muir, 65, annuitant, b. New Galloway
Jessie Isabella Muir, 29, schoolmistress, b. New Galloway
William Craig, boarder, 31, bank accountant, b. Dalry, Ayrshire
Title: Re: Robb Family
Post by: Gadget on Monday 20 September 10 13:57 BST (UK)
No sign of an 'official' marriage but common law was perfectly legal:

1881
Hgh Street, New Galloway
GROS Ref - 868 ED 2 P 1

Jessie I Muir, 39, teacher in public school, b. Kells
William Craig, boarder, 41, bank accountant, b. Dalry

Nothing on Jessie after 1881 - she's Craig after that.

Now could John be Jessie's child  :-\

Gadget
Title: Re: Robb Family
Post by: Gadget on Monday 20 September 10 14:03 BST (UK)
 :)

Another fiver!


Will/Testament
Kirkcudbright Sherrifs court
6 May 1889

William Craig, Accountant, Clydesdale Bank. Residing at Burnbank, New Galloway. Died 2 April 1889 at Burnbank, Aforesaid. Testate


Gadget
Title: Re: Andrew Family
Post by: Gadget on Monday 20 September 10 14:18 BST (UK)
Right - now got it all worked out a bit more :

1901

Barscolie Farm, Balmaclellan
GROS Ref - 856 ED 3 P 3

Robb
George, 32, farmer, b. Galloway
Jessie M, 32, b. -do-
William, 6
Elizabeth, 4
Mary K, 2
George, 1
Jessie Craig, aunt, living on own means, b. New Galloway
alexander Birk, 21, cattleman on farm, b. Nigg, Inverness
Margaret Peacock, 17, general servant (domestic), b. New Galloway

children b. Balmaclellan.

Marriage - 1894, Kells - George Robb to Jessie M Cowan


I have quite a few photos of the area, if you're interested. Mine were mainly Kells, Balmaclellan, Parton and Castle Douglas with a sortie into Kirkmabreck and Kirkmahoe, etc.!


Gadget
Title: Re: Andrew Family
Post by: Gadget on Monday 20 September 10 14:22 BST (UK)
a couple of Kells Church

(http://www.ancestral-tales.co.uk/assets/images/autogen/a_K03.jpg)



(http://www.ancestral-tales.co.uk/assets/images/autogen/a_K06.jpg)

 
Title: Re: Andrew Family
Post by: claireandrew on Monday 20 September 10 14:40 BST (UK)
Hi,
They're all intertwined!  Robbs, Muirs, Craigs, Cowans........very confusing!
I have just downloaded the will of James Cowan.  It doesn't tell much, only that Homer was executor & inherited all.  No mention of anyone else.
Am just getting to grips with William Craig's will which is 9 pages long (as expected for an accountant, I suppose).  Will report anything of note in a while, when my brain has worked its way around it all & deciphered the handwriting!
Regards,
Claire
Title: Re: Andrew Family
Post by: leeonarobb on Monday 20 September 10 21:32 BST (UK)
Hiya!! Reading this I'm thinking...UGH!! Been there still doing that! Scary! Thought the following may just help a little, I'm still in the throws of going through it all and editing adding etc, but this may help solve a little of the headache:

Descendants of James Cowan                                       
1 James Cowan   
..+Elizabeth Muir               
.....2  John Cowan Residence: Kenview, New Galloway, Kells, KKD, SCT   Occupation: Medical Practitioner
.........+Marion Robb   b: 04 Feb 1873 in New Galloway, Kells, KKD, SCT   m: 29 Feb 1896 in Kells, KKD, SCT d: 26 Mar 1954 in Kenview, Kells, Kirkcubrightshire, Scotland Cause of death: Myocarditis. Father: William Robb Mother: Mary Jane McKelvie   Residence: Kenview, New Galloway, Kells, KKD, SCT   
............3  John Muir Cowan b: 12 Sep 1898 in Kenview, New Galloway, Kells, KKD, SCT         
............3  James Cowan b: Abt. 1905
.....2  Jessie Mary Cowan b: Abt. 1867 d: 04 Jun 1923 in New Galloway, Kells, KKD, SCT Cause of death: Angina Pectoris
.........+George Robb   b: 25 Dec 1868 in New Galloway, Kells, KKD, SCT   m: 17 Jan 1894 in Kenview, New Galloway, Kells, KKD, SCT   d: 11 Mar 1942 in Burbank, New Galloway, Kells, KKD, SCT Cause of death: Myocarditis, Arterio Sclerosis, Chronic Asthma Father: William Robb   Mother: Mary Jane McKelvie Occupation: Farmer
............3  William Robb b: 29 Jul 1894 in Barscobe, Balmaclellan, KKD, SCT.   
............3  Elizabeth Muir Robb   b: 15 Jan 1897 in Barscobe, Balmaclellan, KKD, SCT.         
................+John Mitchell m: 05 Nov 1925 in Kells, KKD, SCT Father: James Mitchell Mother: Annie Grierson   
............3  MaryJane McKelvie Robb b: 07 Apr 1898 in Barscobe, Balmaclellan, KKD, SCT.   
............3  George Robb b: 05 Feb 1900 in Barscobe, Balmaclellan, KKD, SCT.   
............3  Jessie Craig Robb b: 20 Jan 1903 in Barscobe, Balmaclellan, KKD, SCT.            
................+Alexander James Simpson b: Abt. 1899   m: 01 Aug 1929 in Dumfries, Dumfrieshire, Scotland. Witnesses: George Monro and Mary Dawson. Father: James Simpson Mother: Annie MacDonald   
.....2  Homer Cowan      

I know somewhere in our past we've had contact with a gentleman regarding Homer, it may take me a few days as we have soooo much paper trail, but I'll try and find it for you.
Title: Re: Andrew Family
Post by: leeonarobb on Monday 20 September 10 21:34 BST (UK)
Anything with an exact date is because we have the certificate to prove it. Also have census info as well... in the paper trail! lol
Title: Re: Andrew Family
Post by: claireandrew on Monday 20 September 10 21:47 BST (UK)
Hi Leeona,
Thanks very much for taking the time to list the family.  All information is much appreciated!  I'm just about to organise my files a bit so that it all looks a bit clearer.
Thanks again & regards,
Claire