Kilbirnie / North Ayrshire, photos/images/video, Uncategorized

#Kilbirnie First Parish Priest 1864 Death Certificate #northayrshire

Death Certificate of Father Thomas Patrick Lee, (at the bottom)  the first Parish Priest of Kilbirnie. He apparently was infected by fleas whilst giving the Last Rights aged 33.


Kilbirnie / North Ayrshire, photos/images/video, Uncategorized

St Brigids Church History 1862-1962 #kilbirnie #northayrshire

please click here for the document (PDF)  Final page here

This 27 page document produced in 1962 looks at Catholicism on the west coast of Scotland and details how the  Church in Kilbirnie came to be  opened in 1862. It contains a photo of the first priest  ( I already posted his death certificate on this blog) as well as the  surnames of all of the first Catholic families to worship in the Church which is very good for genealogy researchers.  It gives a rare glimpse of Catholic life on the west coast of Scotland and also talks about the opening of the school as well as other Churches in the area.

Kilbirnie / North Ayrshire, photos/images/video, Uncategorized

Jean Jeffrey McTaggart

This picture is of Jean Jeffrey, my Great Great Grandmother, (sometimes spelt Jeffray or Jeffries) who was married to Neil McTaggart and lived at 13 Dennyholm Street, Kilbirnie, by the mill on the site of what is now Dennyholm Wynd, Her Mother was Mary Jeffrey who married Andrew Stevenson, whose family were coal merchants in the town.

There is a family story that Neil was a twin with a brother Malcolm but I have not been able to prove that from any government records.

Jeanie had a very large family, including my Great Grandfather Neil as well as a daughter Elizabeth. Elizabeth married Samuel Cairns and two of their children are sitting on Jean´s lap. Jean was red haired and used to walk from the Dennyholm out to Glengarnock barefoot to visit some of her children

Jean died in 1927. I estimate this photo to have been taken around 1923.

Kilbirnie / North Ayrshire, Uncategorized

A Description of Kilbirnie from 1837

Click here for the link

Including the names:

Ferguson, Rev. James (reformed presbytery),  Hill cottage
Urquhart, Rev. Robert (established church),  Manse

Miller, James,  Bank
Parochial School, James Muir, master
Stewart, James,  Dennyholm

Knox, William & James,  Water side

Allan, George,  Bridge st
Allan, James,  Newtown
Allan, John,  Cockran st
Anderson, William,  Cockran st
Irvine, David,  Mill st
Sinclair, John,  Bridge st
Steel, John,  Bridge st

Barclay, James,  Bridge st
Crawford, Archibald,  Cockran st
Dickie, William,  Newtown

Watson, David, Kilbirnie Mill – Matthew Shanks, manager

Wilson & Jamesons,  Garnock mill

Orr, Robert,  Bridge st
Patton, Robert,  Bridge st
Shedden, William,  Bridge st

Allan, John,  Bridge st
Brodie, James,  Mill st
Fife, Robert (& agent),  bridge st
Fife, William (tea dealer),  Main st
Law, John,  Bridge st
Mackie, James,  Bridge st
Patton, Robert,  Bridge st
Shedden, William,  Bridge st
Walker, James,  Bridge st

Knox, Robert,  Bridge st
Russell, Allan,  Bridge st

Bryan, Hugh,  Main st
Clark, Robert,  Bridge st

Archibald, Elizabeth,  Bridge st
Crawford, Robert,  Bridge st
Durrock, Alexander,  Bridge st
Love, William,  Bridge st
McCormick, Janet,  Main st
Orr, Robert,  Bridge st
Walker, John,  Mill st

Barclay, Peter,  joiner,  Cockran st
Baxter, Daniel,  sexton
Beech, Allan,  tinsmith,  Hamilton st
Crawford, Rachael, draper,  Bridge st
Dickie, George, miller,  Nether mill
Graham, James,  cabinet maker,  Main st
Howie, Andrew,  lime burner,  Auchinleck
Jameson, James,  coal merchant,  Lade side
McCosh, John,  baker,  Main st
Montgomerie, Skeoh (?), rope maker,  Dennyholm
Orr, Robt, earthenware dealer,  Bridge st
Pebles, James, wheel maker,  Bridge st
Walker, William,  surgeon,  Main st

To Glasgow, James Allan and James Allan jnr, every Thursday.

Kilbirnie / North Ayrshire, Poems, spirituality, Uncategorized

A Snow White Blanket Dawn

And comes a snow white blanket dawn
around the Garnock way
across the darkened thoughts of man
a Love at break of day

And o´er the bogs and hills there´s ice
the cows they gently cower
a voice says “Man with all your cares
be still for just an hour”

The darkened views of waning health
exchanged for winter cheer
the snow reflects a gentle calm
upon the town so dear

And on the braes the deer are seen
walking proudly by
no man can touch their safety now
upon their mountain high

Upon the tombs of rested men
lies layers of icy sense
reflecting that the One great Mind
preserves their innocence

O the Love that comes to Man
and all that went before
with coal fires, spades and gas lamplight
the steel work furnace roared

Now with vision double glazed
with houses big and warm
we still declare it's not enough
to get us through the morn

Demanding more at every turn
it gently takes us higher
looking towards a Higher sense
than simply vain desire

Kilbirnie / North Ayrshire, Uncategorized

Mary (Maria) McTaggart 1887 – 1907

Maria McTaggart worked for W and J Knox in Kilbirnie and sadly caught her breast in one of the machines. She was a sister of my Great Grandfather Neil McTaggart.

She eventually died at the young age of 19. The family maintained it was because of her wound which became “cancerous”, yet there is no known link between a breast wound and cancer. That is now known to be an urban myth. She in fact died of a lung condition.

It seems the family were living out at “the Den” which was a little village called Barkip. It no longer exists but you can still see traces of it on the Beith to Dalry Road. It was disbanded in the early 20th Century and the people were moved to other locations such as the Longbar, Rows, Beith and Dalry. It had a Church, Bank, Post Office and school.