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Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Ancient Kirkpatrick cousin, or, Do I see a trip to Ireland in my future?

Posted by Dawn-Ann on September 7, 2009

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
WILLIAM KIRKPATRICK
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.

The Kirkpatrick way

Posted by Dawn-Ann on September 6, 2009


B.J. as a young girl.

Isn’t it so incredible how life can blind-side you sometimes? One day you’re going about your business and the next you are immersed in a crisis of great proportions and your whole life is changed. No, wait. One minute you’re going about your business and the next minute you get “the call.”

Three weeks ago my beautiful sister “B.J.” landed herself in ICU, where she is to this day. Her poor body ravaged by the effects of sepsis, she struggles daily for her life – but oh what a fighter she is! The doctor told us she had something like 4% odds a couple of days in and now, three weeks later, the odds are more like 50/50. But it’s going to be a long, hard climb for poor B.J. and she will likely have some severe physical challenges when she comes through. Still, we are remaining upbeat and optimistic as much as we can and surrounding her daughters and Doug, her fella, with love.

I have been charged with sending email updates to all those who can’t be here, so that gives me something to focus on; my little bit of helping instead of feeling helpless. Our tremendous family has banded around and helped pay up the utilities, keep the house clean, drive the girls around and miscellaneous odd things. Many, many prayers are being said and those who can are also performing Reiki and other types of energy healing – up close and from a distance. A fundraising garage sale is being planned and bottle drives have already begun.

All of this is being done with strength, smarts and humour because that’s the Kirkpatrick way. We laugh. We cry. But we roll up our sleeves and “git ‘er done.”

Tomorrow my remaining upright sisters and I are getting together for dessert at the Cheesecake Cafe. Our purpose? To appreciate the dickens out of each other while we still can, to celebrate sisters, and to honour B.J.’s immense bravery and strength as she moves through this tragedy. I’m sure she’ll be joining us in spirit.

With any luck, you’ll be reading about a very happy ending right here. Watch for it.

Kirkpatrick and Bowe history – wild football game at Alkali Lake

Posted by Dawn-Ann on July 3, 2009


Samuel Davidson Kirkpatrick as a young man, probably around the time he is writing about here

I am preparing a family history binder for the Kirkpatrick Family Reunion this weekend and was reading some of Great Uncle Sam’s writings last night. Uncle Sam was a prolific writer and his stories are a boon to anyone trying to put together local family history. He was born and raised in the interior of British Columbia. His father, Thomas Gilham Kirkpatrick, is considered the “patriarch” of our branch of the clan.

I thought I’d pass along this passage, as it shows a bit about both the Kirkpatrick sense of fun and their pioneer spirit. I tidied up the spelling and grammar to make it a bit smoother to read. By the way, the “Jim” in this story is James Douglas Kirkpatrick. Enjoy!

On Sunday I went with John Sr. and his cowboys. We coralled a buch of wild horses and brought in a half dozen to be broke to the saddle. Every night after supper the Indians gathered around and their best buckaroos rode those wild horses. They put on a miniature rodeo.

There was a big crowd on hand and they all enjoyed the fun. Those riders were game and very seldom thrown. Of course, they did not comply with the rules of our modern stampedes, but they put on a good show. There were no shutes; the horse was brought out to the center of the yard with just a neck rope and a hackamor. He was snubbed to the saddle of another rider and a blindfold tied over his eyes. Then a cowboy grabbed the horse’s ears and pulled his head down between his elbows and held him while the saddle was cinched on. The rider stepped up, pulled his hat good and tight, then mounted. He grabbed the horn with both hands and shouted, “Let ‘er go, Gallagher!” The blind was pulled free and they were in action.

The rider usually lost his hat on about the second jump, as when a rider pulls leather his head is bound to flop.

By this time I was thinking about heading for home but Jim said wait another week. I want to take you on a grizzly bear hunt next Sunday. This appealed to me, as I had a rifle that I was proud of, so I remained another week.

Jim, John [Bowe] and I went out Saturday evening to what was known as the Milk Ranch, about 12 miles east. An Indian reported to Jim that a steer had been killed out there by a grizzly bear. We stayed overnight. There was a cabin, a barn and a fenced pasture.

We were up before daybreak and went on foot to where the steer had been killed, but there was nothing left but bones. The bears would not be back, so after breakfast we saddled up and Jim took us out to where he had killed a huge grizzly a month or so before. The coyotes had done a good job on that carcass.

Then we separated and roamed the back country, hoping we would spot a bear, or perhaps another kill, but found nothing. It was easy going through open timber with small meadows and pools of water where we saw bear tracks, but no bears. After lunch at the cabin, we headed for the Home Ranch. Again we separated to see what we could find. There were plenty of live cattle but no dead ones. We had no luck, but had a fine trip and I saw a lot of ideal cattle country.

I expressed my intention of leaving soon. The folks wanted a day or so to make orders for things needed that could be sent out from Clinton by the weekly stage. They gave everyone a chance to add to the list, so it was agreed that I would pull out Wednesday.

On the last evening we had a football game. Jim had got in some balls the year before and taught the Indians the rules of the game. They were eager and soon became experts in maneuvering a ball with their feet.

The playing field was from near the ranch house north. Jim said, “Okay, we will have a short game; 30 minutes without changing ends.” Sides were chosen; I was among them. The rules called for 11 men a side, but I’ll swear there were 20 a side in this game. Jim did not play; he was to be the referee.

We took the field. Jim tooted his whistle and the game was away to a flying start. Within minutes, positions were ignored and rules were forgotten. Everybody chased the ball. There were so many players on the field you couldn’t drive the ball without hitting someone. The old chief sat on a post near the barn, shouting at the top of his voice in his own language. It seemed everybody was shouting orders to their partners and no one was listening. One minute the whole gang was rushing towards the north pole and the next minute they were like a flock of geese heading south. One man got a black eye when hit by the ball. Very often one man kicked another instead of the ball, but the Indians all wore moccasins so there was never anyone hurt. I was kicked twice on the shins, once on the rear end, but I rushed madly on.

I wanted to get a kick at that ball. Sad to say I only got one chance, then I missed as the ball was breaking all speed limits at the time, heading towards the enemy fullback, who sent the ball high over the gang near our goal and resulted in a goal being scored a short time later. Time was running out on us. The game went on and it seemed to me our team was tiring. We lost ground and it was our goaltender that turned the tables, making a long pass down the field, where a couple of our boys took posession of the ball. Then, after a brilliant display of the Highland Fling, a bit of hopscotch and a final twist, a goal was scored and the game tied and one and all, everyone was satisfied. The Indians went up the road, all talking and laughing. The old chief with his cap in his hand was still shouting at the top of his voice. So the knowledge and pleasure that was brought to those people by brother Jim will never be forgotten.

Well, that ended my visit at Alkali Lake and, believe it or not, this happened 65 years ago [ca. 1900].

William James Kirkpatrick

Posted by Dawn-Ann on June 20, 2009

Although I have not yet found the connection between this fellow and our immediate family, he has such an interesting bio I thought I’d share.

William James Kirkpatrick was a musician and songwriter. Born in Pennsylvania in 1838, he wrote many spiritual hymns that are still being sung today. Read more of William’s bio here.

Jane Kirkpatrick

Posted by Dawn-Ann on May 3, 2009

Further to my decision of yesterday, I did a search on Amazon.com to see if there are any other Kirkpatrick writers of note. There are many. But a happy coincidence I discovered was a lady named Jane Kirkpatrick who lives in Oregon. She has written a number of books that seem to be on many of the same themes I enjoy exploring – homesteading, community and spirit.

Of particular interest to me in my “urban homesteading” phase is her book called Homestead: Modern Pioneers Pursuing the Edge of Possibility. The Amazon review says, “Joining her husband in the fight to create a home out of a rugged stretch of sagebrush, rattlesnakes, and sand in eastern Oregon, Jane Kirkpatrick uneasily relinquishes the security of a professional career; the convenience of electricity, running water, and a phone line; and, perhaps most daunting, the pleasures of sporting a professional manicure. But the pull of the land is irresistible, and they dream of gathering their first harvest from a yet-to-be-planted vineyard.”

Looks interesting! I think I’ll have to order this and have myself a good read!

Kirkpatrick Family Research – Watties Neach / Wallace’s House

Posted by Dawn-Ann on February 15, 2009

I’ve been interested in my genealogy since I was a young girl and the advent of the Internet has been a great boon for my research. However, I have discovered it’s also a frustrating source of greatly inaccurate information. Unfortunately, much of the Kirkpatrick information out there is suspect. Many well-meaning people are simply copying and pasting scads of information that is just not correct.

To that end, I guess it shall be left up to me to rectify the situation. As I find time, I have been poring over some intriguing publications I have stumbled upon about the Kirkpatricks. I’m piecing together a family tree, one tiny clue at a time, and my aim is to verify as much of it as I can from reliable sources. When I am satisfied that I have something worth sharing, I will do so here. Watch for it!

So, here’s the first tip for Kirkpatrick researchers. There is no “Watties Neach.” Not now. Never was. It’s a mis-translated (probably mis-read from old documents) phrase that has been copied and pasted into many, many Kirkpatrick family trees.

I first got an inkling of this when I was trying to figure out where exactly Watties Neach was. I was having a dickens of a time and could find no record of it anywhere (I am the Queen of the Search Engines and can sniff out information pretty quickly.) Then I stumbled upon an old email in a genealogical research site. Someone who had lived and worked in the area suggested that Watties Neach was likely a mis-reading of Wallace’s House. Indeed, it is easy to see how double l’s could have been mistaken for double t’s on old documents, but how house could become neach is a bit of a stretch.

Then, when I was in Scotland last summer, I stopped in at the Dumfries and Galloway Family History Society. A very helpful, very knowledgeable lady there told me that neach is probably a mis-reading of neuch, which in the old language meant “corner” or “place.” Bingo! Wallace’s Neuch! There is a recorded association between the Kirkpatricks and the Wallaces and many Kirks came from that area (though I have yet to figure out what exactly that association was).

Fun and interesting stuff. Wish I had tons more time to work on the research!

DNA Genealogy

Posted by Dawn-Ann on February 5, 2009

So, I am thinking of getting my DNA analyzed for genealogical purposes. And I’m considering going through Family Tree DNA because it is the one that’s been most recommended to me by my genealogy-studying colleagues.

Family Tree DNA will test womens’ mtDNA and/or men’s Y-DNA. The former is what is handed down from mother to daughter and the latter is what men pass down to their sons. Unfortunately, I can only see my maternal heritage unless I get my dad or a male cousin to take the test, as well. But it’s kind of neat what a person CAN find out.

Family Tree DNA has a number of projects they’re working on and if there isn’t one for you, you can start your own.  I searched for Kirkpatrick and found a project has, indeed, already started for that.  The Kirkpatrick Surname Project has 21 members already!  However, the test is for Y-DNA and my father would have to submit to it.  I’ll have to check further to see if there are any maternal last names I could search for.

Kirkpatricks galore

Posted by Dawn-Ann on November 11, 2008

The Kirkpatrick crest and motto on a family mausoleum in Dumfries

This is the last day of my five-day weekend and I have it earmarked for genealogy. Well, genealogy and laundry, but the laundry kind of does itself in the background, for the most part. So, I have one whole day of genealogical bliss ahead of me!

I am still looking for the “missing link” that will tie my Kirkpatricks into the Kirkpatricks of old. I am this close and expect to accomplish it today. In the mean time, here is something interesting I found. Her Imperial Majesty, the Empress Eugènie, who eventually married Napoleon, had Kirkpatrick roots. Here is how it goes, from her mother on down, according to one source I found:

  1. Marie Manuelita Elizabeth Kirkpatrick, m. Don Cipriano de Palafoix, Count de Montijo
  2. William Kirkpatrick of Malaga, 1764-1837, m. “Fanny” (probably Doña Francesca), daughter of the Baron de Grivegnée of Malaga (Spain)
  3. William Kirkpatrick of Conheath, 1736-1787, m. Mary Wilson of Kelton, Kirkcudbright (Scotland)
  4. Robert Kirkpatrick, 2nd son of William Kirkpatrick, Lord of Kirkmichael, m. Henrietta Gillespie of Craighsheille; d. 1746
  5. William Kirkpatrick IV, Lord of Kirkmichael, d. 9 June 1686
  6. Alexander Kirkpatrick III, Lord of Kirkmichael, m. Margaret, daughter of Sir Thomas Kirkpatrick of Closeburne
  7. William Kirkpatrick II, Lord of Kirkmichael, 1548
  8. Alexander Kirkpatrick I, Lord of Kirkmichael, 1484, second son of Sir Roger Kirkpatrick of Closeburne
  9. Sir Roger Kirkpatrick of Closeburne, m. The Hon. Margaret Somerville, daughter of Lord Somerville, grand-daughter of Alexander, Lord Darnley
  10. Sir Winfred Kirkpatrick of Closeburne
  11. Sir Roger Kirkpatrick of Closeburn and Caerlaverock, d. 1357
  12. Sir Roger Kirkpatrick, 1305, “I mak sicker”
  13. Stephen, Lord of Closeburne, 1278
  14. Adam Kirkpatrick, Lord of Closeburne
  15. Yvone de Kirkpatrick of Closeburne, 1232, m. The Lady Euphemia Bruce, daughter of the Lord of Annandale
  16. Yvone de Kirkpatrick, Lord of Closeburne, 1135
  17. Cospatric, Cumberland, 1066
  18. The Kirkpatricks held lands in Nithsdale in A.D. 800
  19. Cella Patricii, A.D. 370
  20. The Tribe of Alsani, 300
  21. Finn Mac-Cual (ancient Irish king), A.D. 200

Of course, the last three are not provable and are only family legend, but I have learned that often such legends hold a grain of truth. The rest have been more or less proven, with the first known record being a legal document with the first Yvone’s name on it (No. 16; Yvone was probably pronounced “Ivan” or “Ewan”). Number 12 is the guy who gave us our motto by helping Robert the Bruce get rid of Red Comyn.

I think my family will tie in at approximately the No. 5 or No. 6 position, as that is the date frame and location of the highest Kirks on my tree. I just have to find that missing link!

Kirkpatrick family connections to the world

Posted by Dawn-Ann on October 15, 2008

Me at Closeburn Castle, which is still occupied by Kirkpatricks! Technically, I think I was trespassing onto a personal driveway, but we just took quick pictures and left.

I have been tracing my family tree and on a recent trip to Scotland managed to gather scads of material that I still need to sift through and enter into my database. However, there is a gap between our Kirkpatricks and the lords and knights of old. I think I have found the missing link, but it still needs some verification – hopefully I’ll find that in the above-mentioned scads of material.

If my links are sound and we really are descended from the Kirkpatricks of old (a probability, as there weren’t a lot of them back then and theoretically we are ALL descended from them), then that also ties us in to a couple of royal lines. For instance, Euphemia de Bruce of the royal Bruce line of Scotland, married Ivone Kirkpatrick back in the 1200′s sometime. As well, Lady Margaret de Sommerville, who was a daughter of the Royal House of Stuarts, married Sir Roger Kirkpatrick in about 1508.

The Kirkpatrick motto on the last standing wall of the old Closeburn church.

My trip was full of happy coincidences and at least once I said aloud, “These Kirkpatricks want their story told.” Maybe I’m just the gal to do it.

Home to Scotland, home from Scotland

Posted by Dawn-Ann on September 12, 2008

I’ve been away for a few weeks; only now getting back in the saddle. We went to Scotland, where we did some castle searching (and finding) and graveyard tromping. Tom wanted to go home to the place of his nativity and I wanted to do some family tree research. Took tons of pictures and absorbed the countryside. Ate huge and hearty breakfasts and relished thick brogues (“I know we’re talking the same language, but I don’t understand a WORD you’re saying!”).

It felt good to find my roots, or at least a couple of them. I found a family mausoleum in Dumfries and family gravestones in Closeburn. Now, rather than being just names of birthplaces in my genealogy chart, the towns have real structure and texture in my mind. Family history became more real to me and I was moved by some of the things I learned.

I’m still absorbing it all.

Somehow the world is now a much smaller place to me and history is much closer.

Scottish morning (click for full size)