Inspiration and Incentive

What is the relevance of family history? Part of it is simply finding the names of your ancestors listed in connection with the main players and events in history. My maternal grandmothers name was Jane Gartshore Smith. Her parents were Marion Reid Gartshore and James Smith .These names were found in Kirkintilloch, Dunbartonshire, a place with some historical connection to Charles I, Bonny Prince Charlie and Robert the Bruce.

Kirkintilloch and Glasgow

Kirkintilloch and Glasgow

The name Gartshore (in the form Galfrud) was found on a charter of exgambion (land grant) from Alexander II and was written about in a book by Thomas Watson called “Kirkintilloch, Town and Parish” (1894).

Gartshore Land Grant

Gartshore Land Grant

Later on in the book he quotes :

Gartshore and King Charles I

Gartshore and King Charles I

I have not researched these families intensively yet but I did have an experience with a lady  who is related to the Gartshore family that came to Canada around 1800. They were an educated family of engineers and one of them, John Gartshore became well known in Canada for supplying steam driven pumping engines to the old Hamilton Waterworks. We have the same ancestors up to a certain period but then my “Two Brother” theory kicks in. That is based on the concept that every family will have two brothers who part ways and the fortunes of their families differ accordingly, either up or down. If you would like to read about the above John you will find a paper on him by his descendants here.  The Gartshore estate in Kirkintilloch passed into the hands of a Murray who took the name of Gartshore but it is now basically a pile of rubble.

What happened to my family up to 1800 I will have to find out. As far as I can tell they were miners and then iron-workers. As I say my grandmother was the first over in 1913. Her family were a direct product of the Industrial Revolution. Glasgow was the archetypal city of that era, calling herself “The Second City of the Empire”.

Watson also writes about James Smith as being one of the Covenanters,who is buried at the Martyr’s Stone outside of Kirkintilloch.

Martyrs Stone t.wat.

Martyr's Stone

Martyr's Stone (fjstuart)

Martyr’s Stone (fjstuart)

The two were found unarmed and made an example of but gave up their lives willingly.

The  MacDowall clan were part of the rising against Robert the Bruce.Their kin, the MacDougall’s were in possession of the Brooch of Lorn, said to be torn off of the Bruce’s cloak when they ambushed him at the Battle of Dalrigh. Today there is some question as to the authenticity of the brooch but it has been legend for many years. William McDowell was my 2nd great grandfather. His family went to Ulster during the Plantation of Ireland.

On the flip-side, my maiden name is Beauchamp. That side of the family is French-Canadian. William de Beauchamp, the Earl of Warwick, was Edward I’s best friend and lead military commander against the Welsh . There is a long history of chivalry and crusades in that family and a Coat of Arms.

Beauchamp Coat of Arms

Beauchamp Coat of Arms

Which would you rather, a colorful history or a page of names and dates? How much is YOUR ancestors life worth?

 

 

 

 

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Consorting With the Enemy

A section from Wikipedia on Kirkintilloch, Dunbarton says the following:
“Following the Scottish victory in the wars of independence and the subsequent decline of Clan Cumming, the baronies of Kirkintilloch, Lenzie, and Cumbernauld were granted by Robert Bruce to Sir Malcolm Fleming, Sheriff of Dumbarton and a supporter of the Bruce faction in the war. Hitherto part of Stirlingshire, the area subsequently became a detached part of the county of Dumbarton, in which it remains today.

On 3 January 1746, the retreating Jacobite army of Charles Stuart made its way through Kirkintilloch, on its way back from Derby, and on the march to Falkirk and ultimately Culloden. One of the Highland army’s stragglers was shot dead at the town cross by a man hidden in a barn at the Kiln Close (where the library now stands). On hearing of the murder, Charles halted his army on the Kilsyth road and threatened to turn back and burn the town. The town magistrates persuaded him to continue marching, in return for an unspecified payment, and the town was spared.”

We know that John Gartshore was granted  land in a charter by Alexander II sometime between 1211 and 1231. (Thomas Watson). On the charter, is the name of William Cumin (Comyn) whose descendant, John Comyn was in competition for the crown of Scotland with Robert Bruce. So, you might say that the Gartshore’s were with the Comyns. After Bruce killed John Comyn (or rather his cohorts did) he granted the land to Malcolm Fleming . Civil war ensued, and one would assume that the Garshore’s remained loyal to the Comyns though that would have to be proven.

When Charles Stuart passed through Kirkintilloch, it is possible that some of our family would have been there but they seemed to be down in Blairlin close to Coatbridge by that time. There are births between the two places in the family. Certainly, they would have had family or friends who were there.

Like Coatbridge, Kirkintilloch became  “a hotbed of the industrial revolution”. Canals were built along with a railway connecting the two places. They both became suppliers of iron and coal. Kirkintilloch became known as producer of the red  post and phone boxes so well-known around the world

What brought the Gartshores down to The Monklands? Very likely work just as in modern day.

The Gartshore Estate

It is really thrilling to see how your family might have been connected to historical figures. Right now I am looking to see if the Gartshore family had any connection to Robert the Bruce. We do know that the family goes a long way back in Kirkintilloch, Dunbartonshire, Scotland. Information on the Gartshore Estate is at this link.

The original land was granted in the 14th century. A house was built in the 17th century which was demolished and rebuilt by William Whitelaw in 1887. It was a beautiful place which included stables and a Quaker burial ground for the Gray family who had married in. Again, part of my grandmother’s family. Sadly, the house was demolished in the 1950’s. Their are ruins there but the stable block has been kept and converted into residences.

Gartshore House

Gartshore House

Gartshore Stables

Gartshore Stables

Interestingly, the owner of Gartshore had interests in the coal and iron industry in Coatbridge where the Smiths and Gartshores lived and worked.