Latest entries in blue


William Hutchison
Stumbled across your site whilst trying to research family history. This photograph was probably taken around 1920. My father, William Hutchison, then lived at Barmore Farm. He is back row second from right.
Maybe others can be identified.
(Note: Can anyone help to identify  anyone else - I think the girl on the extreme left in 2nd row from the front looks like  Molly Parker (nee Armstrong).


The Malone Family
A few years ago my husband and I came down to Wigton for a few days
and visited Kirkcowan, and loved it, the local people could not have
been nicer infact we were invited to "The Pub" on the Friday night to
meet some of the older men who could help us with some of my husbands
long gone relatives, however we were leaving for home on the Thursday.

There are 4 grave stones in the cemetary which are my husbands
relatives, The Malone family, Margaret and Alex Love Brown,James and
Margaret Williamson,Mary Ellen and William McKie the 4th Jeannie Brown
aged 14yrs, I'm doing this from memory as I cannot find the photos of
the grave stones at the minute.

We looked for The Blue House while we were in Kirkcowan this was the
home of Margaret and Alex Brown, who was a master mason to trade, maybe
if someone could get me a photo of same I would be delighted or if
there is still relatives in kirkcowan who would like to get intouch at
would be great. 

Our surname is MILLAN it should be MALONE my husbands Grandfather
changed it when he married in 1892, reason ?

Thanks for your time.

Margaret Millan

The Edwards Family formerly 18 Main Street

        My Mother was born in Kirkcowan in 1925.Her maiden name was Agnes McDonald Edwards.She was the eldest of eight.Three brothers andfive sisters.She lived at 18 Main street with her parents who were ,George Galloway Edwards and Margaret Bodle.She left Wigtownshire when she was 16 and after various moves and jobs she married my father William McRobert in November 1952.They settled in Moffat and stayed in the same house all their married life.My father died in April 1997 and Mum died in 1998.They had two of a family, myself b1955 and my brother b1960.Her parents are buried in Anwoth churchyard.
     I don't know much more on my maternal descendant line but I would be most interested in any information anyone has.
           William McRobert.

Claire Eadie
Just stumbled on your site about Kirkcowan - and was so moved by it that I wanted to write a short note.
My mother was brought up in Kirkcowan and I spent all the long school holidays there at my Grannie's house with her and my Dad. I even attended Kirkcowan school for a few months, where my Mum also went, while my Dad was finishing building our new house in West Lothian.
My Mum who is still very much alive and well is Agnes Sandford (married name Eadie - she's now 80) and my Granny was Jean Sandford and my Grandpa was Willie Sandford (postman) - I see a nice picture of him on the site when he was running the Boys Brigade. My mother moved to Beechgrove (at the foot of the village across from the graveyard) from Kirkinner when she was very small but all my memories are of staying at my Grannie's house 'Stewart Terrace' at the top of the Main Street (2 down from the Church - now seems to be called Fox Cottage on Google Maps)
I have lovely childhood memories from the 70's of the play park with what seemed like the world's biggest slide. Also of cycling all the way to Craignarget beach and down what seemed like the very steep Alticry Hill. Also fond memories of playing in my Grandpa's shed half way up his garden - which at one time had been the waiting room at Kirkcowan Station!
Great job with the website - I'm now inspired to bring my own 2 children back to Kirkcowan for a holiday!

Very best regards,
Claire Eadie
(Maidenhead, Berkshire)

Gordon Tolland
I like the image of the Church on your website. My Grandfather, the Rev Hugh Tolland, was the Minister there for almost 40 years until he died in 1969. I suppose his name will still be up on a Board somewhere

( note: there are photos of Hugh & Mrs Tolland on the 'Photos' page).

Roy and Janice Hampson
Just like to say how enjoyable it's been looking at your web site, we've had a cottage in Kirkcowan for eight years now... we hope to move there when we retire, I can honestly say the friendship shown by the people of Kirkcowan has been second to are some photos taken two years ago (2010) when we had the very cold winter......
Many thanks.....

   left: Looking down Wigtown Rd - right: looking up towards former Manse    

Robert Smart
My wife and I visited Dumfries and Galloway for the first time over
Easter weekend and stayed in Dumfries. On the Saturday we travelled
round along the Solway coast road eventually reaching Kirkcowan, the
home of my great grandfather, David Morrison. I wanted to find out a
bit more about him and where he lived and we managed to find his
gravestone in the old churchyard showing that he died in 1909.
I have my grandfather's marriage certificate showing that he married
Margaret Morrison daughter of David in Kirkcowan in 1905 and on this
David Morrison is described as a woollen mill manager living at Lincuan.
I would be interested to know if this was the mill at Kirkcowan and if
David was born in the town and whether there are still any family in
the area. His wife came from Hawick and my grandfather from Galashiels.
Any information would be much appreciated. Please see attached photo of
my great grandparents grave stone.

Jim Parker
Congrats on your website. As a Newton Stewart exile here in Livingston, I met a Livingston lady born in Kirkcowan, who told me of the website.

As an old school friend of Malcom McCutcheon's, I was sorry to see news of his death in the Gazette. However I was heartened to see his family enjoying their day in Kirkcowan, and to see the photos of my team mates in the team that won the Hunter Shield for the first time.

(note: The lady I meet walking the dogs is Agnes Sandford (daughter of Bill Sandford one of the local postmen). She left Kirkcowan in 1949 for nursing in Edinburgh. She knew all my contemporaries like Malcolm, John McKie, Lindsay Tolland and Lavinia McCutcheon. She says there is another lady from Kirkcowan who used to run the newsagent's shop I got my morning paper from when I was working. Anyway, not having a PC she had to nip round to a neighbour's house to view the website, and also passed it on to her daughter, so you should be getting a few more hits. She also remembers going up to your grandad's farm (West Crosherie) to pick up the morning milk)).

I also thoroughly enjoyed the wee trip on the Paddy, it brought back many happy memories, before Dr Beeching took the axe.

Once again thanks for the memories, and I have passed the website address onto the Wigtownshire Rootsweb list, as I am sure there will be
a lot of faraway expats who would like a trip on the Paddy

Alan Leitch
I think your website is great, I really enjoyed my journey through Kirkcowan with all the wonderful old photographs as in my youth I visited Kirkcowan on many occasions with my Grandmother, as she had friends living there, she lived in Glenluce.

Unfortunately I have no photographs to donate to your site.

I enjoyed the train journey on You Tube as it reminded me of all the happy times spent in and around the South West Scotland and the train journey I was to take from Liverpool to Glenluce every year, for two weeks holiday during and after WW11.

I always knew I was near Glenluce when arriving at Kirkcowan - my mum made a flannel magically appear in her hand and she would proceed to wipe my face and hands, on an other occasion on arriving at Kirkcowan I saw two wood pigeons sitting on the waiting room roof. I pointed them out to my dad, as we had two that would often visit our garden in Liverpool, to my dismay my dad said they are the same two they have flown all the way to Scotland to tell me if you get into any mischief.

Two years ago I was on holiday in Glenluce and paid a visit to Kirkcowan with a view of hopefully seeing Glendarroch Lodge. As my great Grandfather and great Grandmother lived there, he was a shepherd and she worked as a Laundress

I was informed by a local resident that it had burned down in the 1960s - do you have any photographs or information regarding Glendarroch Lodge.

Although I was born and bred in England in my heart I am a Scot as all my family,
dating back to the 1700s, came from Glenluce.

Christine Craig (nee Boyd)
My name is Christine Craig(nee Boyd). My Grandfather was David Boyd and was the postman in Kirkcowan, my Grandmother was Rebecca or Rae as she was known by.They lived in Skeldon on the Main Street. I have so many happy memories of going there for my holidays. Would love to hear some feedback from anyone that knew them.  Thankyou.

Bob Johnstone
Bob, whose late father was the minister at Kirkcowan in the 1970s, recalls spending many happy holidays and weekends in the village -'nice place and nice people'.

Nan Connell (McMaster)
I was born and brought up in Kirkcowan (daughter of Alex McMaster shown in one of the photos of the Boy's Brigade, around 1950 and mentioned by Sandy McKie in his memories of the village). We lived in Church Street.

For nine years I taught in the village school where I had also been a pupil. I am the class teacher shown in the 1953/54 photo. I also taught Julie Willis (Moreland) and her brother Leonard.

Most of those who have shared memories are known to me. I remember the McNeill family coming to Kirkcowan from Canada. Ruby and Pat, mother and uncle of Anne-Marie Johnson were at school with me and I remember Kathleen and Helena travelling to the Douglas Ewart by bus. I thought of them all recently when visiting Vancouver.

John Dickson is a nephew as I was married to his uncle, also John Dickson, who sadly passed away in 1970. We moved to Livingston when son Graham was two years old and nephew John was a baby. Fifty years later, now widowed for a second time, I am still in Livingston which has grown from being a small village to be a very large town. However, after all this time I have very fond memories of Kirkcowan and still love to visit regularly.

Sandy McKie is also known to me. His mother and mine were school friends. When in Kirkcowan on holiday he and his brother Douglas often visited our home. resplendent in Fleet Air Arm uniform he was Best Man at the wedding of my cousin Bill Giddings at which I was bridesmaid. I last saw him around 1950 when he visited with his new bride. At that time his parents lived in Bromyard herefordshire. I continued to hear news of him until the death fo his cousin Margaret Rae several years ago. If possible I would love to get in touch with him - If you see this Sandy let me know and I can help you make contact).

(Note: Nan has also provided me with several new names for the photos and a few corrections - thank you.)

Kie Stewart
I can remember, as a very young child (probably 3-4 years old) disappearing from home, often for the whole day with Billy McKie, to look for gull's eggs on the Crosherie Moor. Quite why gulls would nest on the Crosherie Moor never occurred to us. Both our mothers were frantic, each blaming the other's child for leading their little darling astray - actually we were both as bad as each other and were always getting up to mischief..

I also remember  in the 1940s, scurrying up closes to hide from my Aunt Jean and Uncle Walter(Stewart), from West Crosherie, when they were delivering milk to the village in their pony and trap, so that they wouldn't tell my mother where I was. Needless to say they saw me every time.

As you can tell I was always wandering away from home as a child so my grandfather (Forester Willie McKie who lived in one of the Kirkland Cottages) built a gate for the house at 11 Main Street (now replaced by a new build and numbered 41) to stop me. Forever the adventurer I managed to climb over the gate and often found myself at Willie Armstrong's Grocery Store asking for chocolate - of course I never got any.

Did we really eat omelettes made from Lapwing(Peewit) eggs in those days ?

We later moved to Boreland Lodge (near Inchmalloch) where we were living when we were old enough to go school. My brother, who is older than me,  and I started school at the same time because of a dispute over travel arrangements with the Director of Education. Boreland Lodge is just under three miles from the school and, as such, did not qualify for us to be collected by school transport. As a result we had to walk through the wood and across the Crosherie Moor to reach the village. This involved jumping ditches and other obstacles. Transport would have been available if we had walked almost the same distance away from the village to pick up the school transport at Mindork. My father refused and as a result kept my brother off school until I was old enough to join him. The irony is that many years later when I was in my final year at the Douglas Ewart (age 18) and living near Bargrennan (actually around two miles from Bargrennan) a special car was provided to transport me to catch the bus at Bargrennan ! On the way back from school we would call at my grandparent's farm at West Crosherie and pick up a can of milk. I had to take turns at carrying this but didn't care to so made sure that I tripped and spilt it which meant that my brother had to return to the farm to get some more - devious or what ! On Thursday nights we would stay at West Crosherie after attending 'Children's Hour' in the village hall (see photos page).

I also remember Bobby Drysedale visiting West Crosherie (my grandfather's farm) with his threshing machine. Bobby used to hire out this service to all the farmers. In those days neighbouring farmers helped each other on threshing day and the womenfolk would bring out food in wicker baskets. The corn stooks were loaded on to trailers and taken back to the farmyard to be threshed where they were forked up to the top of the huge wooden contraption. The threshing machine was connected to a tractor which drove the large wheels linked by long canvas belts. The wheels were uncovered and really quite dangerous.  It was dry, dusty work and must have affected worker's lungs. as a child, of course, it was all very exciting.

Finally I was one of the school children lining Church Street in 1953 to wave to the Queen as she passed through the village on her way to the Stranraer Cattle Show (see Little Known Facts). I remember we all got a commemorative mug to celebrate the Coronation. Has anyone still got their one? - I don't remember what happened to mine.

Julie Willis (Moreland)
I have enjoyed the content of Kirkcowan (out of this world).
The content has certainly evoked memories. I remember my gran and aunts talking about the choral and amateur dramatic society. The names from the past remind one how fast times slips along. I did have many old photographs but I feel sure that I disposed of them when I sorted my late mother's effects, but I will check particularly as a lot of them had identified the people in them. Hence my recognition of the names on the site.
I was particularly moved by Ann Marie Johnston's memories. I remember her mum (Ruby McNeill) packing her trunk to return to Canada when I was a little girl. I was more hindering Ruby and mum than helping. - and of course their return family visit in the 70s which I'm sure was '72 as they stayed with us for a week or so.
My cousin and I think that we have turned into our grannies after looking at the site because we could remember so much and to we had a great laugh finding ourselves in the field outside the school. We had forgotten that we used to be allowed outside in good weather.
Thanks for the reminder that Kirkcowan might be a small village and out of this world but it has spread its influence to many parts of the world.

(note: Julie would like to get in touch with Ann Marie whose brother visited her in Huddersfield, more years ago than she cares to remember, when he and his friend were doing the expat's obligatory Europe tour. She says it is too easy to lose touch in this modern world...... I will pass Julie's contact details on to Ann Marie). Thank you for the name checks.

John Dickson
I was born in the village and lived there for 20/25 years. My mum was a McCutcheon (Elizabeth known as Betty), my dad Chris Dickson. Malcolm McCutcheon, who died recently, was a cousin of mine,
The Dicksons lived at 'Bagbie' 48 Main Street and we sold Sunday newspapers from the back door so the whole village, near enough, came to our house on a Sunday. As well as the papers our back kitchen would be full of locals drinking tea and catching up with last week's gossip
A street name I have for you is the 'Straights'. This was the lane between us and John Cloy, the cobbler, next door. The lane allowed access to a water well which was in our rose garden.
My dad, Chris Dickson, is in the 1949 Choral Society photograph standing behind Nancy Dickson, his sister. In the photograph of the 'reopening of the village hall' my sister Marnell is the girl front row right.
I was taken right back to my childhood when I saw the old photos and the names.
As a matter of interest I have been trying to find the photograph taken the day after Tarff Rover's club house was burned down. I can remember running out of the village hall that night, from a party, up Teapot Close and down through the fields behind Ballgreen Farm to get to the pavillion and seeing it go up in smoke. I remember seeing grown men crying as the flames reached into the dark sky, also some men running inside to try to rescue trophies and photographs. I think it was about 1973/4.
Thanks for the memories.
Note: Has anyone got a copy of the photograph of the burned out club house ? - if so please email or send a copy to me and I will include it on the website and make sure that John receives a copy.
- thank you Lynn McLaughlin (Bob's grand-daughter) for the photo.

Anne- Marie Johnson

I have enjoyed viewing your site on Kirkcowan. My mother's family has a very long history there, the McNeills. My grandparents were Anne & Hugh McNeill. My paternal great grandfather, Patrick NcNeill lived there many many years. My grandparents, Anne & Hugh came to Canada, met and married in Canada, then returned to Scotland for a visit and WW2 broke out. As they did not have Canadian citizenship they were not allowed to return to Canada despite four of their five kids being born in Vancouver. As the kids were so young they, of course, stayed with their parents and grew up in Kirkcowan. My mother was their eldest daughter, Ruby.
I recognise some of the names, such as; Murray, Morland and Crozier. I have two paintings from A. Crozier who gave them to my Mum when we visited Kirkcowan in the 1970's. My Mum told us many stories about Kirkcowan and I would love to visit again at some time.
In the picture of the 1949 Rangers top row, second to the left is my aunt Kathleen McNeill. All the family has looked at the photo and we are of a consensus that it is her.

John E Byers
' My mother's family came from Kirkcowan and I remember coming there for visits and holidays as a young boy - a lot of the current names are familiar. I recollect the Post Office, Paterson's Shop and the Village Pump.My grandfather, William Edwards, was a Master Tailor and I believe he played for Tarff Rovers in his younger days (known as Jinky Edwards).My mother Janet and her siblings George, James, Marion and Mary lived just down from the Post Office and my mother worked in the Mill before entering domestic service. My visits were in the late thirties and early forties and I have often intended coming for a look round, cemetary etc, but have not yet managed it.

Sandy McKie
Alexander McKie (Sandy) is the grandson of Thomas McKie & Marion Crozier (sister of John Crozier 'the founder of Kirkcowan's musical heritage') and the son of David Crozier McKie and Jeanie D McGuffog Muir writes to say:

Grandmother Marion McKie was a sister of great uncle John Crozier (Orchestra and Choir) and of great uncle Jimmie, who ran the corner shop which doubled as a Post Office, subsequently run by my uncle Jim, his son. I am not clear who was actually Postmaster but Alec McMaster was certainly the postman and possibly also Postmaster. The whole family lived there with great uncle Jimmy - uncle Jim, Marion (who worked in Newton Stewart with a solicitor with links to the Galloway Gazette), Peggy, great aunt Jessie and I think, great aunt Jeannie.

The more I think of it the more I realize how the McKies, their spouses and progeny made Kirkcowan almost self sufficient. The stonemasons built, repaired and renovated the houses, including roofing. The coal merchants (carters) provided heating for the homes including collecting coal from Kirkcowan railway station and peat from the moors. The Croziers, great uncle John, who was joined by my uncle Bob and his wife (Emily Welsh - daughter of Jimmy Welsh who worked in the boot and shoe making (repairing) business of my mother's father Alexander Muir, who was in partnership with my great uncle, his brother, Willie Muir, after their father Andrew Muir died), great uncle John's business as clothiers, male and female garments made, altered etc. to clothe Kirkcowan. A great uncle, mother's uncle Jimmy Muir, was a 'packman' who arranged delivery of cloth etc from Bradford and other places. Uncle John Laurie married asister of grandmother Marion McKie (another Crozier) and owned the provision shop opposite the Crozier shop, and which was subsequently run by his two sons David & John Laurie - with whom I spent a lot of summertime delivering to the outlying farms in a Morris Oxford van - I suspect that in earlier days quite a lot of provisions might have been 'poached' - salmon, trout, rabbits and some like honey, provided by my Grandpa Muir who had extensive hives in the Gargeries and elswhere - so we provided housing, warmth, clothing and boots, food for the table, and music for the soul -  What more could you ask ?'
He also recalls a sister of his grandfather Alexander Muir, Mary, who married Andrew Stewart (also related to the McKie's through marriage) - she lived in the terrace at the top of the town just beyond Alexander Muir's boot shop. He remembers that they called her 'wee black auntie Mary'.

Recalls one of Kirkcowan's male 'characters', whose local pub was the Tarff Hotel at the bottom of the village, always playing cards facing the pub mirrors so that he could see the cards of the other players - I know his name do you ?