Kirkpatrick wisdom

The more research I do into the Kirkpatrick clan, the more I love and respect ‘em. No doubt there were exceptions, but for the most part I’m finding tales of love, strength, dignity and loyalty. Those who knew them seemed to be unwaveringly devoted to them. The Kirkpatricks as a whole lived life with a wicked sense of humour, strong family ties and a mighty work ethic.

My grand-uncle, Samuel D. Kirkpatrick’s “words for posterity” pretty much sum up the family code: “Live life with enthusiasm, with moderation, with service, and sympathy for less fortunate people in the world.”

More examples of the Kirkpatrick viewpoint:

Family legend tells that when many Native children in Canada were being put into residential schools the B.C. Kirkpatricks refused to break up their families in this way. They chose to remain strong family units, teaching their children how to play musical instruments and become industrious, contributing members of society. (Most of us Western Canadian Kirks have at least a smattering of Native blood.)

Another family legend tells of how some of the first American generations went south to Georgia, then came back north again because they were disgusted with the idea of slavery.

Going back even further to old Scotland, we see this about Sir James Kirkpatrick (d. 1804) in Records of the Closeburn Kirkpatricks by Major-General C. Kirkpatrick:

The Dumfries Weekly Journal of the 12th June 1804 described him as “the representative of an ancient and respectable family, which had inherited that estate in succession, for upwards of seven hundred years. Descended from this ancient race, he was inferior to none of his predecessors in that generous spirit and fortitude by which they were distinguished. Mild, gentle and courteous in his manners, he possessed at the same time that firmness and stability of mind which made him tenacious of his purposes, constant in his friendships, and steady in his principles. His principles were no other than the two great sources of human excellence – piety to God, and benevolence to men”. etc.

In another obituary reference to him it was said:- “His publick character was strongly marked by disinterestedness [free from bias or partiality] by generosity and by a firm determined spirit. Possessing in a high degree all the publick and social affections, he was always amongst the first to promote any measure which he considered as of general utility and never suffered his own private interest to stand in the way of what appeared to him to be a publick good. Warm and stead in his friendships, he never deserted those to whom he once attached himself, nor declined any exertions, however inconvenient for himself, that could [be] beneficial to them.

When I was tramping through graveyards in Scotland, over and over again I saw words like “deeply loved” and “we miss thee, dear” on Kirkpatrick gravestones.

But the story that has moved me the most in my genealogical studies so far is the tale of Alexander Richard Kirkpatrick of Dublin, Ireland (1813 – 1891). He was a scholar at Cambridge and was called to the Bar in 1840, according to Chronicles of the Kirkpatrick Family written by Alexander de Lapere Kirkpatrick.

From the book:

Mr. Kirkpatrick was beloved by all who knew him, rich and poor; the grief evinced by the latter at his funeral was very striking, and many and most touching were the tokens received by his family of their affection for him. Whilst on his other properties it was said by both Priests and others that they had never seen such deep and widespread grief, extending even to the children. He was carried to his grave by his own tenants, several of them quite poor, who had come a long distance, and at no small cost, but they looked on him as a Father and a Friend.

Wow. Would that we all could be remembered this way upon our passing.

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13 Responses to Kirkpatrick wisdom

  1. Marie says:

    It sounds like the family had great characteristics.

  2. Tim Kirkpatrick says:

    Excellent post! I see you are in the northwest. I am currently in Washington state, US and trying to do some of my own family research. I’m really interested in finding out more about the Northwest branch of the family.

  3. Dawn-Ann says:

    Hi Tim, I’m more north than west – I’m in Calgary, Canada! Nice to meet you here, though. Do you know anything about your ancestors? Our “patriarch” was Thomas Gilham Kirkpatrick, who came west for the gold rush, then moved north into Oregon and Washington, finally marrying and settling down in British Columbia.

  4. Jerome Kirkpatrick says:

    Hi Dawn, I am Tim’s dad in Madison county, Illinois. We are cousins, Thomas Gillam was grandson of Thomas Newsome Kirkpatrick who founded Edwardsville, Il. our county seat around 1805. His cabin served as the first court house there. I’ve read about Thomas Gilham’s trip west during the gold rush of 1849.

  5. Dawn-Ann says:

    Hi Jerome! How exciting to find such a link as we have! By Thomas Newsome, do you mean Thomas Newton? That’s who I have as my 4th great-grandfather and yes, he was from Illinois (though he was born in South Carolina). I haven’t double-checked my sources on that part of the tree yet, but Thomas Newton Kirkpatrick’s grandmother’s maiden name was Newton, so that makes sense. Are you still living in that area or are you on the west coast too? (I’m in Calgary, Canada.) Nice to meet you here! :)

  6. Jerome Kirkpatrick says:

    Hi Dawn, Yes, you are right it was Newton, It has been a while since I’ve read that material. I live in Granite City, Il. about 13 miles from Edwardsville, I believe that Thomas Newton and my 4th or 5th Great Grandfather were 1st cousins. I do have a friend that lives in Calgary, his’ name is Michael Jette. He worked in Granite City for a while.

  7. Jerome Kirkpatrick says:

    Hi Dawn, I looked up and see my GGG grandfather Edward M. and Thomas N. were 1st cousins.
    From then to present were Silas P 1815 – 1894, Grundy M. 1851 – 1907, Levi H. 1876 – 1941, Jerome W. 1912 – 1988, Jerome L 1942 – present.

  8. Dawn-Ann says:

    That means our connection goes almost all the way back to James “the Immigrant,” sounds like! How exciting! I’m getting ready for work right now so I’ll come back and see if I can build your line in my tree and find out what degree of cousins we are. Have a great day, Jerry! (Oh, and no, I don’t know Michael Jette.)

  9. Jerome Kirkpatrick says:

    Hi Dawn, Yes, James & Mary Newton Kirkpatrick were our common Grand parents. Francis my GGGG grandfather was uncle to Thomas Newton. With your experience in ancestor reseach I am sure you have already read the information I am going by. It is on the JPKirkpatrick site under descendants of Alexander. Anyway you have a fantastic day, and I’ll talk to you again.

  10. Dawn-Ann says:

    Jerry, I finally found some time to check out our connection and now have your lineage entered into my database. You are my 6th cousin once removed! :)

  11. Dawn-Ann says:

    Tim, with the help of some info your dad gave me, I was able to trace your lineage from our last common ancestor. We are 7th cousins! :)

  12. Trevor Kirkpatrick says:

    Hi Dawn, I have been researching my branch of the family. I descend from Bernard Law Kirkpatrick 1798-1848. He was from County Donegal, Ireland and settled in New Glascow, Nova Scotia. I recently had a DNA test done through FTDNA. I found through the site that we are dealing with two separate Kirkpatrick DNA lines. The R1b and E1b haplogroups. I have been in contact with David Strong who has been studying the families of Co. Donegal, many of which came from Scotland during the Plantations in 1607. Those Kirkpatrick’s with the E1b most likely descend from Roman soldiers who were garrisoned along Hadrians wall, many of these were from North Africa, N. Italy and Spain. The E1b appears to have come from these areas. Then theres my group the R1b1a2a1a1b which appears to have crossed over from Europe into Ireland, England and Scotland. My concern is Ivo Kirkpatrick’s line. We don’t know yet whether this family line is the E1b or R1b. I’ve seen some Calhoun’s showing E1b. Once that is established then we could take a look at possible origins to our R1b lines. I look forward to hearing any comments on this subject. Thanks

  13. Dawn-Ann says:

    Interesting – thanks Trevor! I have heard rumors of the connections to Romans and Africans, etc. Can’t wait to get my own DNA tests done. Unfortunately, I don’t have a lot of time to delve into this too much right now but keep an eye on this blog for more information as I find it.


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