Ministers in Clola and Balfron

Looking for Scottish Ancestors

Moderator: Global Moderators

iangmacdonald
Posts: 22
Joined: Thu Oct 05, 2006 10:34 am
Location: Surrey

Ministers in Clola and Balfron

Post by iangmacdonald » Wed Oct 11, 2006 8:05 pm

Is there an easy way to find out about reverend gentlemen who are not of the established church? I know that DavidWW has posted a list of heavy tomes, but the heart sinks a little at the thought of them.

Down the tree I have a Rev William Mitchel b 17/12/1747 at Old Deer, Aberdeenshire who is described as Minister of Clola (close to Old Deer) at the time of his marriage 18/09/1782 in Old Deer to Catharine Mitchel and who is still the minister at the time of his daughter Margaret's birth in 1790.

Curiously Catharine/Katharine, b 26/01/1757, is the daughter of the Rev James Mitchel minister of Balfron, Stirlingshire - a sign of church solidarity. He is at Balfron at the time of his marriage to Jeany Drysdale in 1756 and again at the time of his daughters marriage in 1782.

Today's Balfron church has a nice website that lists all its ministers but with no Mitchel - and indeed on Katharine's birth certificate he appears to be described as of the apsicate congregation (an obscure word that I believe means outside the door, i.e dissenting). If James is a dissenter presumably William also is.

Any thoughts?
Interested in McDonald, Cabrach; McDonald, Moy/Perth; Watt, Peterculter/Kinellar; Spark, Cookney/Muchalls;
Fraser, Auldearn; Johnston/Johnson, Aberdeen/Norway; Lawson, Dysart/Kilconquhar; Couts and Jack, Lonmay/Peterhead

DavidWW
Posts: 5057
Joined: Sat Dec 11, 2004 9:47 pm

Post by DavidWW » Wed Oct 11, 2006 10:15 pm

Are you sure that the word is not associate?, - maybe written aƒsociate, i.e. the old style "ƒs" for "ss" ?

See http://www.genoot.com/downloads/BVRI2/S ... balfron%22

David

Isabel H
Posts: 68
Joined: Fri Oct 13, 2006 2:47 pm
Location: Scotland

Post by Isabel H » Fri Oct 13, 2006 3:00 pm

A quick online search shows that Clola was part of the Free Church of Scotland from the early 1800s.

Davie
Posts: 607
Joined: Fri Aug 12, 2005 4:36 pm
Location: Glasgow

Post by Davie » Sat Oct 14, 2006 5:30 pm

hi
It is possible, seeing it is Balfron you mention, that James Mitchell was a minister of the United Secession Church.
I can find no reference to James on any of the records I have in the flat.
A John Mitchell from the same area is mentioned, but at a later time.
The Minister of The USC in Glasgow
He died in 1844, just after the Disruption.
However, I’ll see if I can find any other info. when I am home next week
Davie

iangmacdonald
Posts: 22
Joined: Thu Oct 05, 2006 10:34 am
Location: Surrey

Clola and Balfron

Post by iangmacdonald » Wed Oct 18, 2006 12:54 pm

It is wonderful what a few nudges in a different direction can do.

Associate is certainly the right word (though apsicate would have been a great find) and the Associate Presbytery is a group of secessionists first formed in 1733 then splitting further in 1747 into Burghers and Anti-burghers.

Chasing the churches rather than the people has also been instructive, both at Clola and Balfron.

I eventually found a piece about Trinity Church, Peterhead on the website http://www.peterhead.org.uk/religion/trinity.htm which gave me this: "indeed since 1747, there were two small Presbyterian Churches in Scotland, which had this word "Associate" in their names. They both had their origins in the Associate Presbytery of 1733. In 1747 they became divided over the Burgess Oath. This was an oath then required of civil magistrates when they took office. It required them to swear that they professed and allowed the true religion "presently professed within this realm" and authorised by the laws thereof and that they would abide by that religion and defend it to their life's end, renouncing the Roman religion and Popery. The Secession came to Peterhead in 1790, 43 years after the cleavage over the Burgess Oath, and it came in its Anti-Burgher form. It came to Buchan in that form through the influence of the Rev Alexander Moncrieff. He was an ardent Seceder of the Anti-Bergher persuasion, a friend of the Fergusons of Kinmundy, and like many other men of repute he visited Peterhead to drink the water of the "Wine Well". Through his influence with the Kinmundy family, an Anti-Bergher congregation was founded at Clola in 1769. Prior to 1790 the Peterhead Seceders walked to Clola on Sundays. By 1790 however, they were sufficiently strong to build a church in Windmill Street - the "North Kirk". But they did not prosper. They called a minister in 1796 but he was the first and last Anti-Bergher minister in Peterhead. Dissensions arose over a property that had been left, and they began a meeting of their own in Uphill Lane but under the auspices of the Associate Berghers. They went from strength to strength and in 1820 were joined by the remnants of the "North Kirk"."

In Balfron it seems there was also a large congregation of anti-burgher seceeders, possibly based at the Holm church.

Sadly I've yet to find any mention of the ministers involved - but at least the likelihood is that they belonged to the Associate Session of anti-burghers (however, this is all quite some time before the formation of the Free Church).
Interested in McDonald, Cabrach; McDonald, Moy/Perth; Watt, Peterculter/Kinellar; Spark, Cookney/Muchalls;
Fraser, Auldearn; Johnston/Johnson, Aberdeen/Norway; Lawson, Dysart/Kilconquhar; Couts and Jack, Lonmay/Peterhead

Davie
Posts: 607
Joined: Fri Aug 12, 2005 4:36 pm
Location: Glasgow

Post by Davie » Wed Oct 18, 2006 7:50 pm

Hi
You are correct about the Kirk being in the Holm of Balfron.
The records are in Stirling Library from the seventeen forties.

There were quite a few Secessionist congregations all over Scotland.
It is always worth looking at the records from them.
As they have documentation of marriages that don’t appear on the OPR.
Unfortunately, for anyone researching their family history is that some of the parents, connected with these churches omitted the registration of the names of their children.

Davie

isodavidson
Posts: 8
Joined: Tue Oct 24, 2006 6:55 pm

Rev William Mitchell

Post by isodavidson » Tue Oct 24, 2006 7:06 pm

I am really interested in what you have on Rev William and Katherine Mitchell. I wondered where she came from and went to the local library yesterday to see what I could find out. There are a couple of wee booklets on the history of the Church of Clola.

William Mitchell, native of Old Deer was ordained as Pastor in 1770. every 3rd Sunday he preached at Whitehill until the congregration became large enough for it's own Minister - Rev Mr Barlass - hence Barlass as the middle name of son William.

Mr Mitchell died in April 1832 He was tall, portly, ruddy complexioned with hair silvered with age.

Mr Mitchells assistants in the latter part of his Ministry were generally his son-in-law the saintly Templeton from Aberdeen, the judicous Bunyan, Whitehill & lively Robertson, Craigdam

Rev James Templeton married Jane Mitchell
Hugh Munro married Margaret Mitchell
Elisabeth Davidson married John Mitchell

& can't find the others.

John was my 3x grandfather

Regards

Iso Davidson

iangmacdonald
Posts: 22
Joined: Thu Oct 05, 2006 10:34 am
Location: Surrey

Rev William Mitchel

Post by iangmacdonald » Wed Oct 25, 2006 10:44 am

Iso, I am amazed. This is why I joined up to talkingscot. There is always someone out there who has the answer.

What is this booklet that has so much information about William Mitchel? Where can it be found?

However, where one door opens often another closes (possibly).

I urgently need to know what you know about the Margaret/Hugh Monro link and how certain you are that it is William's daughter Margaret who marries him.

I have mostly been trawlling through scotlandspeople but a refresher in familysearch.org has now given me 3 Margaret Mitchel marriages in Old Deer in 1812, 1813 and 1814!

My Margaret, a 3g grandmother, is the 1813 marriage to Alexander Smith. If she is not William's daughter then I lose my links to the reverend gentlemen which would be sad since they seem so interesting. (1814 is to a William Brown)

I have more detail of Katharine's origins which I'll sort out later. The LDS Ancestral File entry is not right - she is not from Old Deer. 26/01/1757 is the correct date but she is born in Balfron, the daughter of Rev James Mitchel - hence the chat here about Balfron churches.
Interested in McDonald, Cabrach; McDonald, Moy/Perth; Watt, Peterculter/Kinellar; Spark, Cookney/Muchalls;
Fraser, Auldearn; Johnston/Johnson, Aberdeen/Norway; Lawson, Dysart/Kilconquhar; Couts and Jack, Lonmay/Peterhead

isodavidson
Posts: 8
Joined: Tue Oct 24, 2006 6:55 pm

William Katherine Mitchell Clola

Post by isodavidson » Wed Oct 25, 2006 8:56 pm

I have been doing quite a bit of Mitchel(l) research lately as they are well intermingled with the Davidsons but it is hard to know how the Mitchel(l)s relate to each other. My main Mitchells are from New Deer but I have known for a long time that I was descended from William, Minister at Clola. As I said his son John married Elizabeth Davidson, her father was the Corn Miller at Clola.

There are 2 booklets on the history of Clola Church. They are available in some of the libraries in Aberdeenshire and the FHS but I don't know about further afield. They have a lot of information about the church and the Seceeders, antiburghers and all that stuff - and the original church was the lee of a peatstack in some farmers yard! There is not a lot about William - I wrote the gist of it in the last message.

While I was raking for info on the Mitchells, I came across a woman in Canada looking for the Munros. I can't remember if it was her or me who connected them to the Mitchells the Minister.

So I looked at William Mitchells will on Scotlands People. The will appears to have been written fairly early - March 2nd 1802 and starts by dissolving the marriage contract between William and Katherine made in Stonehaven 19th September 1782. This is presumably a post nuptial agreement - there are one or two of them on the Scotlands People wills bit of the website and I have found others in the family.

The will ambles on about selling everything including land in Fraserburgh but allowing Katherine some furniture and linen for her needs. Then there are a number of codicils at the end including one where he explains that the bankruptcy of his son John and son in law Hugh Munros mercantile business has much reduced his assets. So - from that I realised that Katherine was likely to be from 'South of Stonehaven' and Hugh Munro was married to a daughter - which turned out to be Margaret. Hugh and Margaret are toll keepers at Arbroath in the 1841 census, the 2 Williams have died, Elizabeth & John have vanished off the face of the earth, Jean/Jane has died and is buried in St Clements in Aberdeen and David has vanished too. James died in 1844.

I suspect James - your Balfron Minister will be related to this family - that seems to be the way my family works!

Can't help you on the other Margaret Mitchells in Old Deer - I find wills useful but it does get expensive.


Regards


Isobel

iangmacdonald
Posts: 22
Joined: Thu Oct 05, 2006 10:34 am
Location: Surrey

Post by iangmacdonald » Thu Oct 26, 2006 1:20 pm

Ah well! Hugh Monro appearing in William’s will means that my Margaret Mitchell is not William’s daughter. Mine marries Alexander Smith at Old Deer and has a son, Ferguson Smith, who does well and rises to be an Advocate’s Writer and chief clerk in an Aberdeen law office.

Does anyone know how to find out what law office he might have worked in (1850-1880 period)?

So, in the hope that it may help others, here is my take on the reverends. Stuff in italics is quoting from GROS records I’ve acquired.

William Mitchel is born 20/12/1747 at Old Deer to “John Mitchell merchant in Deer” “of his spouse Margaret Cordiner”. There is some confusion over his death since an LDS Family Group record gives it as 16/04/1832 while an Individual Record posted by an LDS member Phyllis Milne of Melbourne, Australia gives it as 16/04/1839. Does the will offer a definitive date?

Incidentally Phyllis quotes the source of her information as Birth and Christening record 228 Vol1. I’m still a bit new to all this. Does anyone know what that refers to? (records for children appear also in 228 Vol2 and 472 Vol1 and the William/Catherine marriage is in 228 Vol2). (Phyllis also list 2 children of Jean Mitchel and James Templeton – Catherine, 28/05/1804 and Margaret, 24/11/1805)

William marries at Old Deer 18/09/1782 – “William Mitchel Minister of the Gospel at Clolah & Miss Catharine Mitchel lawful daughter of the Reverend Mr James Mitchel Minister of the Gospel at Balfron”. They have 7 children all at Old Deer (John, 1783; Jean, 1785; James, 1787; William Barlass, 1788; Margaret, 1790; William, 1792; David, 1797). There are GROS entries for all of them, but I’ve only ever looked at Margaret’s.

His wife is baptised 26/01/157 at Balfron (not Old Deer as the LDS Family Group records suggest) “Katharine lawful daughter to Mr James Mitchel … Jean Drysdale”.

William’s parents John Mitchell and Margaret Cordiner produce 4 children at Old Deer – John, 1744; Margaret, 1745; William, 1747; Elizabeth, 1750. I can find no sign of their marriage. John does nor seem to have been born in Old Deer and Margaret is elusive – there are possibilities at Ellon, 1722 and Cruden, 1723, but I’ve not checked them out for further clues. Incidentally Phyllis Milne of Australia suggests that John is a minister too. Is there any other evidence of that?

Catharine/Catherine/Katharine’s parents proclaim their banns 13/03/1756 at Balfron. “Mr James Mitchell Minister of the Associate Congregation and Miss Jeany Drysdale lawful daughter to Alexander Drysdale merchant in Alloa”. They have 4 children at Balfron – Katharine, 1757; James, 1758; Alexander, 1759; John, 1762.

I’ve not been able to find James’ birth, however Jean turns up at Alloa, 23/01/1737, “Allexr Drysdale and Catharine Jamison in Alloa had a lawful daughter … Jean

Jeany’s parents Alexander and Catharine have 3 children at Alloa – Jean, 1737; Mary, 1738; Margaret, 1740. A search for their marriage gave 2 Drysdale/Jamison records for 1736. An Alloa, Clackmannan record gives the banns on 13/03/1736 and states that that marriage took place on 09/04/1736. However there is also a record for 09/04/1736 at Logie, Perthshire. Lo and behold they were actually married at Logie where it says “The which day upon production of a Testimonial from Alloa Alexander Drysdale and Catharine Jamison both in the said parish were married.” A rare but neat tie up.

Well that’s it. They are not mine but they are interesting and if there is any more information I’d be glad to hear of it.

Let me also throw in some further references to the churches.

There is a nice site Called Balfron’s heritage with an intriguing item on the possible link between the Holm church and the architect Alexander ‘Greek’ Thomson.
http://www.balfronheritage.org.uk/research
James Mitchel may well have preached there.

Another remarkable site is the Dictionary of Scottish Architects, which to my amazement lists the details of the rebuild of Clola church in 1863.

http://www.codexgeo.co.uk/dsa/architect ... id=M000798
http://www.codexgeo.co.uk/dsa/building_ ... id=M003993


So, who now is my Margaret Mitchel that marries Alexander Smith at Old Deer, 12/11/1813?
Interested in McDonald, Cabrach; McDonald, Moy/Perth; Watt, Peterculter/Kinellar; Spark, Cookney/Muchalls;
Fraser, Auldearn; Johnston/Johnson, Aberdeen/Norway; Lawson, Dysart/Kilconquhar; Couts and Jack, Lonmay/Peterhead

Post Reply