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!
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:
- Marie Manuelita Elizabeth Kirkpatrick, m. Don Cipriano de Palafoix, Count de Montijo
- William Kirkpatrick of Malaga, 1764-1837, m. “Fanny” (probably Doña Francesca), daughter of the Baron de Grivegnée of Malaga (Spain)
- William Kirkpatrick of Conheath, 1736-1787, m. Mary Wilson of Kelton, Kirkcudbright (Scotland)
- Robert Kirkpatrick, 2nd son of William Kirkpatrick, Lord of Kirkmichael, m. Henrietta Gillespie of Craighsheille; d. 1746
- William Kirkpatrick IV, Lord of Kirkmichael, d. 9 June 1686
- Alexander Kirkpatrick III, Lord of Kirkmichael, m. Margaret, daughter of Sir Thomas Kirkpatrick of Closeburne
- William Kirkpatrick II, Lord of Kirkmichael, 1548
- Alexander Kirkpatrick I, Lord of Kirkmichael, 1484, second son of Sir Roger Kirkpatrick of Closeburne
- Sir Roger Kirkpatrick of Closeburne, m. The Hon. Margaret Somerville, daughter of Lord Somerville, grand-daughter of Alexander, Lord Darnley
- Sir Winfred Kirkpatrick of Closeburne
- Sir Roger Kirkpatrick of Closeburn and Caerlaverock, d. 1357
- Sir Roger Kirkpatrick, 1305, “I mak sicker”
- Stephen, Lord of Closeburne, 1278
- Adam Kirkpatrick, Lord of Closeburne
- Yvone de Kirkpatrick of Closeburne, 1232, m. The Lady Euphemia Bruce, daughter of the Lord of Annandale
- Yvone de Kirkpatrick, Lord of Closeburne, 1135
- Cospatric, Cumberland, 1066
- The Kirkpatricks held lands in Nithsdale in A.D. 800
- Cella Patricii, A.D. 370
- The Tribe of Alsani, 300
- 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!
Posted by Dawn-Ann on October 17, 2008
I am reading a fascinating book called Realm of the Ring Lords, which looks at ancient legends to see if there may have been some basis in fact to them. It goes into a lot of cool things like dragon queens and ring lords and their possible foundations in ancient history. Anyway, there’s an interesting chapter on King Arthur which says he may have been a Scot. Here’s a brief quote:
[After going through various kings that others had attributed to be King Arthur, the author says], “What is certain is that, in the year 600, another royal Arthur fought at the subsequent Battle of Camelyn, west of Falkirk in Scotland – a battle which is detailed in the Chronicles of the Picts and Scots. This other Arthur was undoubtedly the famed king of the Grail stories. Not only was he proclaimed High King and Sovereign Commander of the Britons in 574, but he was the only recorded Arthur ever born as the son of a Pendragon. He was Prince Arthur of Dalriada, the son of King Aedan mac Gabran of Scots, and his mother was Ygerna d’Avallon whose own mother, Viviane del Acqs, was the recognized Lady of the Lake. Born in 559, he was the only royal Arthur with a son named Modred and a sister called Morgaine (referred to in Royal Irish Academy texts as ‘Muirgein, daughter of Aedan in Belach Gabrain’), just as related in the Grail legends. Arthur’s primary seat was at Carlisle – the City of the legion (Caer leon) – from where he controlled the military defence of the English-Scottish border country. Arthur mac Aedan is cited in St. Adamnan of Iona’s 7th-century Life of St. Columba; his kingly installation by the druid Merlin Emrys is recorded in the Chronicle of the Scots; his legacy is upheld by the Celtic Apostolic Church of Scotland, while famous conflicts (including the Battle of Badon Hill) with which he is traditionally associated are recorded in the Chronicles of Holyrood and of Melrose, the Irish Tigernach Annals and the Books of Leinster and Ballymote.”
Interesting. Who’d have thunk it?
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.
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)