Kirkpatrick Family Research – Watties Neach / Wallace’s House

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!

Share this:


About Dawn-Ann

A home-grown British Columbian, I currently live a mobile life, mainly between Nanaimo and Calgary. Nature lover, thinker, CE-5'er and far-seer. Devoted gramma to adorable twin grandchildren. My life just keeps getting richer and better all the time!
This entry was posted in Family, Kirkpatrick and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

35 Responses to Kirkpatrick Family Research – Watties Neach / Wallace’s House

  1. Michael Patrick St.George says:

    Where to begin ? I’m engaged in the same sort of search as yours, God help me,and have run across bags of confusing websites, etc., and some very good stuff as well.It started when, having followed my father’s mob from the founding of Hatley St.George in England tempore William the Conquerer by Baldwin of Limoge,to Kilkenny county,Ireland,where we stole land from the Irish in the 1600’s,all the way to my birthplace and home in Ottawa,Canada, I decided as a project to follow my mother’s family back as well. She was a Richardson, born at Leicester, UK, in 1905, whose father, Harold Guy Kirkpatrick Richardson was related to the distant Empress Eugenie, etc., etc. I’ve accumulated a ton of stuff on my computer but am not yet at a point where I’m ready to collate it. I had no idea what I was getting involved in but it’s addictive so I guess I’ll just keep on researching the Richardson/Kirkpatrick bunch.
    Lots of luck,
    Mike St.George
    Westminster, Maryland, USA.

  2. Dawn-Ann says:

    Hi Mike, thanks for your comments. The Kirkpatrick family tree is so addicting because it does have such a wild and varied history, which also touches on royalty and intrigue and mystery. I think I want to write a book one day.

    Stay in touch and let me know how your studies go!


  3. I found this passage in the History of Kirkmichael

    “Mr. Dobie gives an excellent account of the story of Wallace’s Tower (called, on the O.S. Landranger map “Wallace’s House fort, grid reference NY033908.) The story is that, in 1297, Wallace occupied the fort with a small band whilst contemplating the capture of Lochmaben castle then held in the English interest by Graystock, an English officer and Sir Hugh Moreland. In a minor engagement Wallace met and slew Moreland with five of his followers; the spot is marked by a large stone called the “sax corses”. This reverse so infuriated Graystock that, after receiving reinforcements from England that officer attacked Wallace in his fortlet, but Wallace contrived to escape and in his turn received reinforcements from the companies of Sir John Graham and Sir Roger Kirkpatrick. The Scots turned on their pursuers at Knockwood and the English leader, Graystock, fell mortally wounded, whereupon the English turned and fled. Wallace did not follow far in pursuit but rode fast to Lochmaben castle, which was in no position to deny his entry. Hardly had Wallace taken the castle when “bands of broken men, footsore and wounded,” from the engagement at Knockwood asked for admission at the gates “only, however, to share the fate of their comrades who had been encountered in the field the day before.” (A fuller account can be found in McDowall’s History of Dumfries)”

  4. Dawn-Ann says:

    Wow – that’s fabulous information, Wallace. I’m going to check that link and I think I have the History of Dumfries somewhere… Thanks bunches! :)

  5. Mike St.George says:

    Hello again.
    Last time I emailed you was 20 march ,2009, which message is still on your site.
    You must surely by now have been on or, which seem to be connected to each other somehow (computers and the internet are, and I suspect always will be, a mystery to me) and which provide a long, detailed history of your – and my – clan Kirkpatrick. My maternal grandfather, Harold Guy Kirkpatrick Richardson,was the son of Harold Slingsby Duncombe Richardson and Florence Margaret Kirkpatrick.
    Again, lots of luck.
    Mike St.George

  6. Dawn-Ann says:

    Hi Mike. I’ll have to look up those sites. I’m afraid I haven’t had the time I’d like to do research these days. Thanks for the tips, though!

  7. James R. Henderson says:

    Although my Kirkpatrick forebears are credited as coming from “Watties Neach,” they claimed to have come from Paisley. My patronimic line includes: Andrew Kirkpatrick (Scotland 1720-New Jersey 1777), Alexander Kirkpatrick (New Jersey 1741-Tennesse 1825), Samuel Kirkpatrick (New Jersey 1766-North Carolina 1829)(a son was named Paisley Kirkpatrick), Hugh Kirkpatrick (North Carolina 1803-1883), Samuel Paisley Kirkpatrick (North Carolina 1832-1911).

  8. Dawn-Ann says:

    Hi James. That is so interesting – I had never heard of the Paisley connection before.

    The Watties Neach debate is not over. When I was looking at the area around Dublin, where some of my (our?) ancestors apparently went before they came over, I see some places called “Watty” this and that. Maybe it was a word or a name that was in use at that time, after all? It begs more research, that’s for sure – wish I had the time for it. Thanks for writing, James!

  9. grahame kirkpatrick says:

    Greetings from across the pond.
    The connection between the kirkpatrick’s and William Wallace is;

    Sir Stephen de Kirkpatrick, of closeburn and pennersax, b c1248, d after 1320
    ? Crawford wife, sister to Margaret Crawford the mother of Sir William Wallace.
    Roger son
    Duncan son, b1278, d1357,Baron of Torthorwald.

    Hope this helps

  10. Dawn-Ann says:

    Thanks Grahame! I think I remember reading something similar once but haven’t had time to work on my genealogy lately. Nice to hear from you. Where “across the pond” are you?


  11. grahame kirkpatrick says:

    Hi dawn,
    i’m located in devon, in the south west of the uk, but most of my tribe are from lancashire & before that Dumfries.


  12. Jackie says:

    Hi Grahame

    Your Kirkpatricks weren’t the floor covering manufacturers in Liverpool, born Bampton in Westmorland, descended from James and Isabella from Dumfries were they?


  13. Tony B says:

    The Liverpool Kirkpatricks who were carpet manufacturers are in our family tree, Thomas marrying Margery I’Anson.

    These have been traced back James (b 1722 in Kirkmichael) and Isabella Wilson(1726 in Kirkmichael)

    I have not been able to establish any further ancestors or siblings of James K. Kirkmichael was also the birth place for the Kirkpatricks who were the forefathers of the Empress Eugenie. If anybody can provide further information, I would be grateful.


  14. Blake Kirkpatrick says:

    Wow,so much history,sorry if I am random in here but I was looking at the family genealogy etc and found this. It’s great to hear about this all. It’s so far from where I live though

  15. Dawn-Ann says:

    Nice to meet you, Blake! Where do you live? There are Kirkpatricks all over the globe. :)

  16. Joshua Kirkpatrick says:

    I’ve recently been investigating some of my own Kirkpatrick heritage in preparation for a trip to Scotland. I saw this discussion and, though I don’t know if I have any connection to the “Watties Neach” Kirkpatricks, I found the mystery to be fascinating and dug into it a bit. For those interested, here is an updated link to the story of the Kirkmichael church which references Wallace’s House Fort:

    I also found several maps which show the location of Wallace House in the vacinity of Kirkmichael:

  17. Dawn-Ann says:

    Joshua, thanks so much for your comment and the links. I’ve been trying to find time to check it all out but things have been a little hectic around here lately. I do appreciate it, though, and will comment further when I’ve had a chance to have a good look!

  18. Carmen O'Brien says:

    My three times great grandmother was Elizabeth Kirkpatrick who married Lt. Gen. George Fead. She was first cousin to William Kirkpatrick, grandfather of Empress Eugenie. Her grandfather was Robert of Glenkiln who was beheaded in 1746 for being a Jacobite.
    Any further back on this line would be appreciated.
    As I live in Australia I can’t get to Scotland.

  19. Dawn-Ann says:

    Hi Carmen! I am not in Scotland, either (I’m in Canada), but I have some really great old books that cover a lot of that ancient Kirkpatrick history.

    See if you can get ahold of a marvelous book called Chronicles of the Kirkpatricks of Closeburn. That gives a lot of the history. Another one is Records of the Closeburn Kirkpatricks.

    And if you haven’t heard of it, see if you can get a copy of William Kirkpatrick of Malaga. That’s Eugenie’s line and should have some excellent information in it, though I haven’t yet read it.

    I hope this helps. Good luck with your search!


  20. scottstucker says:

    Incredible points. Great arguments. Keep up the good effort.

  21. callum says:

    that “skull wearing glasses” is really typical of the stylized skulls of the 1700’s and the glasses are actually the cheek bones of the skull and the slight bulge around the eye socket. look at other skulls in the past carved and they are all pretty abstract.

  22. Dawn-Ann says:

    Thanks Callum. I have heard that theory before but it really doesn’t look like cheekbones to me. And it doesn’t really look exactly like others I have seen where it really is cheekbones. Still, the artist may have put his/her own spin on things and who knows? Thanks for commenting! :)

  23. Stuart Collie says:

    Hi Dawn-Ann.
    Have been looking at the threads above and see that you have a Lt General George Fead mentioned in connection with the Kirkpatricks. My interest is with the Feads and would dearly love to know more about his siblings and parents. Carmen O’Brien and I have had many communications about the Feads but are unable to find any information on one particular sister, Tamar Fead. If you have any info on this person I would be extremely interested

  24. Dawn-Ann says:

    Hi Stuart! I just checked my database and do not have any Feads in my own lineage, unfortunately. And the only Tamar I have is Tamar Dewey, who married Samuel Spooner. Sorry I can’t be of more help!


  25. Stuart Collie says:

    Hi Dawn,

    Thanks for checking. I guess I will just have to keep looking.


  26. Fiona Whiteford says:

    Hi Dawn-Ann,
    I live in Cape Town, South Africa.
    I was very interested to come across this information! I am trying to find the link between William Kirkpatrick (father of Empress Eugenie) and Kirkpatrick Macmillan’s family (He was a blacksmith and inventor of the pedal bicycle). Kirkpatrick was born in 1812 and was one of 10 children of Robert Macmillan and Mary Auld. Another son, James Macmillan, is my 4th great grandfather on my mother’s side!
    The link may be through William Kirkpatrick’s grandmother Henriette Gillespie (wife of Robert Kirkpatrick) – but I can find no information on her other than that her father was a John Gillespie.
    Any bits of information would be greatly appreciated!
    Thank you!

  27. Dawn-Ann says:

    Hi Fiona. Thanks for commenting!

    When we were in Dumfries a few years ago we saw a replica of Kirkpatrick Macmillan’s bicycle and I got a picture of it. I was pretty excited with that find.

    I looked in my database and could find no more information on Henriette Gillespie than her name, which I got from the book Chronicles of the Kirkpatricks of Closeburn. In fact, you gave me more information in mentioning her father’s name, which I did not have.

    I’m sorry I cannot be of more help but I will let you know if I stumble upon something.

    Good luck with your research!


  28. Dawn-Ann says:

    Oh, wait! My mistake, Fiona. I was looking at Margaret Gillespie, also married to a Robert Kirkpatrick. Could this be the lady you are looking for? They did have a daughter named Henriette. Either your source got it wrong or I somehow did (will check when I have a few minutes). But maybe that’s why you couldn’t find anything on Henriette Gillespie. Just a thought!


  29. Tom Caulley says:

    I was going through my old paper records and found the following (which was passed down to in the 1980s)

    “D. & G. Standard, April 3oth 1966

    ….yesterday a reader called in from the Ruthwell area to inform us there was a field called “Watties Neuk” on the farm of Denbieyett, and near Ruthwell Station. A road leads into the and our informant understands that at one time there were houses in the Vicinity. Mrs. Helfrich is trying to trace the history of a Kirkpatrick family, some who were, according to her information, were born at “Watties Neach.”

    I also have a map with this info showing the field to be NNE of Clarencefield on a side road off of road B725
    about 0.51 miles NE of the junction of B724 & B725.

    I hope this helps.


  30. Dawn-Ann says:

    Wow! That’s a good lead. Thanks so much for sharing, Tom. I’m not sure where Ruthwell is but I’m sure I can figure it out with a bit of research.

    I really appreciate your input. Thanks again!


  31. Tom Caulley says:

    Oops I pit NNE and it should be NNW and NE=NW, My bad!

    I just made a map showing where Watties “Neach” (Neuk) is located per the above. email me directly @ tcaulleysgenmail[at]yahoo[dot]com and I’ll send the map back to you.


  32. Dawn-Ann says:

    An email is on its way – and thanks! :)

  33. Colin Carlin says:

    May I remind all those interested in the Kirkpatrick connection to the Empress Eugenie about my book?
    William Kirkpatrick of Malaga – Consul, Negociant and Entrepreneur and grand father of the Empress Eugenie. Is is available from The Grimsay Press, Glasgow and from Amazon.
    This goes though the complex Conheath branch and has numerous family trees and much other useful for Kirkpatrick family researchers.
    Colin Carlin

  34. Dawn-Ann Dawn-Ann says:

    Thank you, Colin! I do have a copy of your book and am itching to get into it, just haven’t had the time yet. Thank you for compiling all that good information for us.


  35. Tom says:

    Tony B.
    Intrigued you get back to James K born 1722 and no further. I have precisely the same problem. Can share my tree but of course its all downstream from there!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *