In my search for the “missing link” between my family and the Kirkpatricks of old, I think I may have found George of Knock Kirkpatrick who was one of the “Covenanters” who fled to Ireland in 1690. Our family tradition hints that James “The Immigrant” Kirkpatrick came with his brothers from Ireland and I have found a trace of a trail between him and ol’ George of Knock, but that will need to be confirmed.
Here is a bit about George, taken from Chronicles of the Kirkpatrick Family by Alexander de Lapere Kirkpatrick, written in the 1800s.
George Kirkpatrick of Knock, eldest son of William, last Lord of Kirkmichael, was an officer in King William’s army during the early years of his life. At first sight this fact seems difficult to reconcile with the family affection towards the House of Stuart; but Scottish History tells us of the terrible woes of the Covenanters and the awful persecution that raged throughout Scotland from 1661 to 1688 … no portion of the country suffered more severely than Dumfrieshire and Galloway.
…[George of Knock] first came to Ireland in 1690, “in the ship that broke the Boom across Derry Harbour,” being then nineteen years of age, an officer, several of his kinsfolk, the Kirkpatricks of Larne, and the Wilsons had settled in this country at the time.
At Mrs. Wilson’s, 32 Elgin Road, Dublin, are two ancient wooden arm chairs that were brought over from Scotland by their Wilson and Kirkpatrick forbears, the two families having intermarried at that date, according to the Wilson family tree. One Miss Kirkpatrick that married a Wilson, is said to have been endowed with second sight. [Dawn’s note: does it run in the family?]
George left the army with the rank of major, and settled down at Knock, where Mr. Campbell Gracie remarks, “he took an active interest in the affairs of his Church at Garrell,” a trait that has re-appeared in several of his descendants. His is buried in the Kirkyard there in the same grave as his father and beside his brother Robert of Glenkila, who was beheaded for his adherence to Prince Charles Edward.
In 1861, the tombstone was in good preservation, and the inscription read –
Here lies the corps of
who departed this life
9th June, 1686.
(Here the Coat of Arms is engraved in high relief)
His eldest son, GEORGE OF KNOCK
who departed this life, 1738,
aged 67 years.
George of Knock had four sons – George, William, Alexander and Robert, and three daughters – Anne, Grizzel and Joane.
The book goes on to describe the son Alexander’s marriage and offspring, but little is said about the other children and what became of them.
The reason I am not 100 percent certain that ol’ George of Knock is our connection is that family tradition, according to jpkirkpatrick.com, says this: “The tradition of the descendants of James Kirkpatrick … are that this is a Scottish family that moved to North Ireland, in a ‘neck-saving’ operation… It had been believed that in 1746, James migrated to Northern Ireland with his father and five brothers. (New information has been found to show that James and his four brothers migrated from Belfast, Ireland to the colonies in 1736. Originally it was believed that two younger brothers, Andrew and Alexander had left Scotland about this time and came to the colonies, while the remainder of the family migrated to N. Ireland, and thence came to the colonies in the later years. Evidence now shows that the family had moved to N. Ireland in 1725, and thence to the Americas in 1736.)”
However, those dates don’t jibe with George’s and therein lies the mystery. If the persecution in Scotland took place from 1661 to 1688 and George of Knock moved to Belfast in 1690, how is James the Immigrant connected? I feel fairly certain there is a connection there somewhere but will need to do more homework.