Tuesday, 27 September 2011

The Sherriff Family, Part 2

The following information, again in the form of a 'Time-Line' is the most straightforward way
of tracking John Bell Sherriff, son of George Serriff & Margaret Bell.

In 1883, George Sherriff  married Catherine Jane Nimmo, daughter of Alexander Nimmo of Howkerse, in the Parish of Bothkennar and of Westbank, Falkirk, Lieutenant-Colonel, Stirlingshire Volunteers.

1891 Scotland Census– George Sherriff, age 35,
living at the Temperance Hotel, Larbert, Occupation: Distiller
(Also living there was his wife Catherine Jane, age 29, born Falkirk, daughter Flora  age 3
and son John George Sherriff age 7 months, both born in Falkirk)

1896 George inherited the Estate of Carronvale on the death of his father John Bell Sherriff.

1901 Scotland Census–living at Carronvale House are George & Catherine Jane’s children
(Daughter Flora, age 13. son John George age 10, daughter Edith Mary age 8,
Alexander Nimmo age 6, Christopher Bell age 5 and son George age 2)

The whereabouts of the parents at the time of the 1901 Census is unknown

Their children:

Helen Russell Sherriff, born 18th March 1885, died 8th February 1886 (11 months)
Flora Sherriff, born c1888, died …………? (married Andrew McDowall*)
John George Sherriff, born 24th August 1890, KIA 25th April 1915 (age 24)
Alexander Nimmo Sherriff, born 13th August 1894, KIA 1st November 1914 (age 20)
Edith Mary Sherriff, born 25th July 1892, died 4th March 1940 (age..) married Rheinhart De Kat**

*Andrew McDowall (husband of Flora Sherriff), Lieutenant, 2nd Lowland Brigade, Royal Field Artillery resided at Girstingwood, Kircudbright at the time their Ante-Nuptial Contract was drawn up at Edinburgh on 16th September 1915.

**Rheinhart De Kat (husband of Edith Mary Sherriff) was a Traveller for the Polak Frutal Works Co., Amersfoort, Netherlands at the time their Ante-Nuptial Contract was drawn up in Edinburgh on 11th April 1922. He was domiciled at 5 Van Nagell Straat, Zwolle, Kingdom of Netherlands.
Their marriage took place in Australia.

In memory of GEORGE SHERRIFF of Carronvale, Born 24th March 1856 died 10th November 1908
HELEN RUSSEL his daughter born 18th March 1885 died 8th February 1886
ALEXANDER NIMMO his second son, 2nd Lieut., Northhamptonshire Regiment
Born 13th August 1894 killed in action near Ypres 1st November 1914 and buried in a wood near Hooge
JOHN GEORGE his eldest son, Lieut. 7th Argyll & Sutherland Highlanders
Born 24th August 1890 killed in action in Flanders 25th April 1915 and buried in a field near St. Julien

Both sons were killed in the Great War, the following details are extracted from the Commonwealth War Graves Commission Database:

Initials: A N
Nationality: United Kingdom
Rank: Second Lieutenant
Regiment/Service: Northamptonshire Regiment
Unit Text: 1st Bn.
Age: 20
Date of Death: 30/10/1914
Additional information: Son of George and Catherine J. Sherriff, of Carronvale, Larbert, Stirlingshire.
Casualty Type: Commonwealth War Dead
Grave/Memorial Reference: Panel 43 and 45.

Initials: J G
Nationality: United Kingdom
Rank: Lieutenant
Regiment/Service: Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders
Unit Text: 7th Bn.
Age: 24
Date of Death: 26/04/1915
Additional information: Son of George and Catherine J. Sherriff, of Carronvale, Larbert, Stirlingshire.
Casualty Type: Commonwealth War Dead
Grave/Memorial Reference: Panel 42 and 44.
Both brothers are listed on Larbert's Civic War Memorial

During the First World War, the Officers of the 8th Battalion Scottish Rifles (Cameronians)
were billeted in the stables of the Carronvale Estate. Carronvale House.

Catherine Jane Sherriff nee Nimmo, (George’s wife) born 24th September 1861,
died 16th February 1936 (age 74) was the last of the family to live at Carronvale.

In memory of CATHERINE JANE NIMMO wife of George Sherriff
Born 24th September 1861 died 16th February 1936
Their youngest daughter EDITH MARY SHERRIFF wife of Rheinhart De Kat,
Born 25th July 1892 died 4th March 1940

After Catherine Jane’s death the house was sold in to the Prudential Insurance Company and was used by them for the storage of records during the Second World War later being sold on to the Boy’s Brigade and is Scottish Headquaters & the National Training Centre for the B.B’s.

Permission was kindly granted by the Boys’ Brigade to photograph the building (September 2011).

Carronvale House is Category ‘A’ Listed (Up-graded from Category ‘B’ to ‘A’ 8th April 1993)

The British Listed Buildings online database describes Carronvale House as follows: “Extensively remodelled country house 1897, Sir John Burnet, architect, but incorporating walls of earlier house (18th century with 2 added wings in 1820s). Large 2-storey house with neo-Georgian details, planned around small internal court. Harled with ashlar dressings, modern red felt tiled roof. Entrance front, near symmetrical, 5-bay; central door, pilastered and consoled, (1897), 2 flanking windows with circa 1820 delicately carved consoled cornices. 2 wider advanced wings with canted ground floor windows, centre lights with curvilinear rail over casements, bipartite above, additional single storey projection to W. All other windows sash and case with 15-pane glazing. To E and W of main front set back bays with elaborately pilastered and decorated ashlar 1st floor facades. To W elevation ground floor verandah.
To E lower service court (now altered) Interior: finely executed woodwork throughout:
main front rooms with stained glass panels of castles.
Outer hall, marble floor and bold plain chimneypiece with columned overmantel:
decorative Renaissance detail screen and internal porch. Panelled stair hall, stair with wine glass balusters, coved ceiling to upper landing supported on cherub consoles, screens at either end of landing, stained glass Art Nouveau stair window. Drawing Room, marble chimneypiece with overmantel incorporating cherubs and swags, deep frieze, plaster panelled ceiling, Former Library, 3 French windows with coloured glass, chimneypiece and overmantel, coved ceiling. Dining Room, elaborate chimneypiece with timber details rising to timber joisted ceiling. Simple but consistent detail in 1st floor rooms (2 amalgamated to front of house). Extensive walls (formerly part of walled garden and stable range to N and E.)”

Unfortunately, anyone wishing to visit some of these graves might be disappointed as the following photograph shows ......

all the Plaques and Stones are completely overgrown


The Sherriff Family, Part 1

Our story begins in the year 1761 when, on the 12th of December, Thomas Sherriff married Marion Cowie at Bothkennar and the couple subsequently had 4 sons and three daughters:

(The year 1761 also an important year for the Muir Family, see: ‘Larbert to the Carribean’, (20th September 2011)

Christian – born 1762 (Christened at Bothkennar 19th December 1762)
Marion – born 1765 (Christened at Larbert 26th May 1765)
George,  born 1768 (Christened at Larbert 8th May 1768, died 1843)
William, born 1776, Christened at Larbert 22nd December 1776)
Thomas born 1778, (Christened at Larbert 3rd December 1778)
Alexander , born 1780 (Christened at Larbert 1st September 1780)
Mary – (no verifying information found)

George Sherriff the eldest son of Thomas & Marion was a notable engineer. He served his apprenticeship in the famous firm of Boulton & Watt, of Birmingham (Watt being the celebrated  James Watt). He was recommended by them for the post of manager of the Imperial Engineering Works in St. Petersburg, and while in the service of the Russian Government he received numerous tokens of appreciation of his work, which extended through the reigns of the Tsars Nicholas and Alexander. He was decorated by one, received a gold snuff box from the other and later, on leaving the firm of Boulton & Watt, he was given a handsome desk from James Watt.

George was also the founder of Dalderse Iron Foundry and builder of Abbotshaugh house. He spent much of his working life in St. Petersburg, Russia and is reported as having died there on 10th December 1843 aged 75 although no verification of this can be found.

He married his first wife, Sarah Roper of Kirkcaldy c1792 who died shortly after the birth (c1795) of their first and only child, daughter Sarah Roper Sherriff and was presumably buried in Russia.

Daughter Sarah Roper Sherriff died of Peritonitis at Pollokshields, Glasgow on July 13th 1855 aged 59. Her Death Registration lists her as having lived in Pollokshields for 2 months, previously in Russia, but she is known to have been in Scotland in 1851 at the time of the 1851 Census. She was buried in the Southern Necropolis, Glasgow.

On the 17th January 1808 at Falkirk, George married Margaret Bell, born 19th July 1784, daughter of John Bell and Marion Cuthill of Camelon, Falkirk.

Margaret Bell’s siblings:
John born 1786, Christopher born 1788, Thomas Allan born 1797 died 2nd June 1870, Christopher born 1799 died 4th July 1861, Archibald born 1782, Margaret born 1784, James born 1789, James born 1791, Marion born 1793 and Ann born 1794 died 22nd August 1859.

(The dates of death for Ann, Christopher and Thomas Allan Sherriff were taken from the Monumental Inscription)

George and Margaret Sherriff nee Bell’s children:
Marion – born 1808* (Christened at Falkirk 21st December 1808, died 26th December 1883 age 76)
Margaret – born 1810 (Christened at Falkirk 18th April 1810, died 1st May 1887)
Thomas – born 1811 (Christened at Falkirk 27th October 1811)
Ann – born 22nd March 1813 (Christened at Falkirk 3rd April 1813, died 1st May 1887 age 74)
George William – born 1819 (Christened at Falkirk 26th February 1819, died July/August 1835 in Russia)
John Bell Sherriff – born 1821 (Christened at Falkirk 18th November 1821)
Alexander Sherriff, born 1826 died 1826 in Russia)

The above births are all listed on the International Genealogical Index (Family Search).

The deaths/burials of George William, Alexander and their mother Margaret are recorded in he ‘Records of the Congregational Church, St. Petersburg, Russia.

In memory of MARION born 13th December 1807 died 26th December 1883
Eldest daughter of GEORGE SHERRIFF, St. Petersburg
Also of her sister ANN born 22nd March 1813 died 1st May 1887
Youngest daughter of GEORGE SHERRIFF, St. Petersburg

*Note that the Monumental Inscription lists Marion’s date of birth as 13th December 1807)

The Inscription on the cross above the gravestone of Marion and Ann Sherriff reads: Erected by John Bell Sherriff, Carronvale, 1st January 1881 which indicates that although the first burial was his aunt, Ann Bell in 1859, this stone was not erected until 22 years later.

The inclusion of the ‘Bells’ on this stone not only verifies their relationship with the Sherriff Family,
but also their ‘half-ownership’ of the lair.

The above ‘Oval Plot’ sits in the centre of the ‘New Burial Ground’ in Larbert Old Parish Churchyard.
It was purchased by John Bell Sherriff of Carronvale and Christopher Bell (his uncle) of Abbotshaugh
on 9th October 1857. The total amount paid for the ground was £4
(equal to the cost of 10 Lairs @ 8/- each). John and Christopher each paying £2.
The dimensions of the lair measure 21 feet in length x approximately 12 feet in breadth.


To the memory of CHRISTOPHER BELL Esqr., who died at Abbot Haugh 4th July 1861 
Also his sister ANN BELL who died 22nd August 1859
And their brother THOMAS ALLAN BELL who died 2nd June 1870

The following information, in the form of a 'Time-Line' is the most straightforward way of tracking John Bell Sherriff, son of George Serriff & Margaret Bell.

1841 Scotland Census – Age 20, living at Abbotshaugh with members of the Bell Family
(siblings of his father’s first wife Margaret Bell, i.e. his uncles & aunt)

1851 Scotland Census– Age 29, living at Westercommon, Glasgow, Occupation: Wine & Spirit Merchant
Also living there was his half-sister Sarah Sherriff, age 56, a British Subject born Russia)

Marriage On 27th September 1854, at the Parish Church of Stepney
John Bell Sherriff, age 32, Merchant, residing in Glasgow, son of George Sherriff, Engineer
And Flora Taylor, age 20, residing in Stepney, daughter of Colin Taylor, Merchant

Son George born 24th March 1856 (later to marry Catherine Jane Nimmo).

Daughter Margaret Eugenie Flora born 30th March 1857 (later to marry William Kinross Gair).
The couple were to have no children.

Carronvale House was purchased in 1857 by John Bell Sherriff

1861 Scotland Census– Age 39, living at Carronvale House, Occupation: Merchant
Also living there were his wife  Flora, age 26, born in Killarow, Isle of Islay, Argyll and their 2 children, George age 5 and Margaret Eugenie Flora Sherriff age 4.

1871 England Census– Age 49, living in London, Occupation: Landowner
Also living there were his wife  Flora, age 26, born in Killarow, Isle of Islay, Argyll and daughter Margaret Eugenie Flora, age 14
(The whereabouts of son George age 15 – is unknown, he does not appear with the family)

John’s wife Flora Taylor died 11th August 1876 and is buried in Larbert Old Parish Churchyard.

In memory of FLORA wife of (John Bell) Sherriff, died at Carronvale 11th August 1876.

The above stone lying to the right of Flora’s stone has no visible inscription

1881 Scotland Census– Age 59, living at Carronvale House, Occupation: Distiller
(Also living there was son George age 25
and sister-in-law Margaret Taylor  age 41, born Kilmeny, Isle of Islay, Argyll)

1891 Scotland Census– Age 69, living at Beechmount, Occupation: Distiller

In memory of MARGARET EUGENIE FLORA wife of William Kinross Gair
and only daughter of John Bell Sherriff
Born 30th March 1857, died at Stenhouse 30th June 1895
 In memory of JOHN BELL SHERRIFF died at Carronvale 25th November 1896 aged 75 years.

According to the publication ‘The Lands & Lairds of Larbert & Dunipace Parishes’ John Bell Sherriff died at Carronvale on Tuesday 10 November 1896 aged 73 and was buried in the Family Burial Ground at Larbert on Friday 13th November 1896 - the M.I. lists his date of death as 25th November.

Continued in 'The Sherriff Family, Part 2'

Tuesday, 20 September 2011

Larbert to the Carribean

It seems a shame to leave Larbert Churchyard when there so many fascinating stones and no doubt equally as fascinating stories behind each one of them, so a few will be added in the near future.

The entire Churchyard is Category ‘A’ listed.

It is unknown when the Muir Family stone would have been erected, but if it was at the time of the first death in 1761, then this year, 2011 would age it at 250 years old. It may have been restored or erected at a much later date, but no details or verification of this have been found.

To put things into ‘perspective’ historically ……
1746 – Battle of Culloden
1759 – Birth of Robert Burns
1761  - The Coronation of George III
1761 – Birth of General Sir John Moore
1761 – The Dunmore ‘Pineapple’ built
1761 - Marriage of Thomas Sherriff and Marion Cowie*
1768 – Encyclopaedia Britannica published
1770 – Birth of James Hogg (the Ettrick Shepherd)
1770 – Birth of William Wordsworth
1775 - Birth of Jane Austen
1789 – Beginning of the French Revolution

It was over 100 years after the death of James Muir that Robert Louis Stevenson’s ‘Treasure Island’ was first published .....

*See 'The Sherriff Family' (27th September 2011)

Indwellers in the Baroney of Quarole
In memory of JAMES MUIR their brother
Who lost his life (with another of the hands)
At Hispaniola in Mounta Christa River (going over the Barr for fresh water)
Out of the longboat belonging to the Prince Ferdinand.
Andrew Anderson, Captain & were taken up and interred by him on the the 9th May MDCCLXI (1761)
The deceast JAMES MUIR was born the 25th of June MDCCCXLII (1742)
In the old town of Stenhouse in this Parish

Extract from Larbert OPR's of James' birth, June 25th 1742 showing his parents and the names of 2 Witnesses,
John Barden (or Burden) and John Melvill.

Hispaniola, the second largest island in the Carribean
is now 'modern day' Haiti in the west and the Dominican Republic in the east.

Friday, 16 September 2011

Larbert Old Parish Churchyard - Carron Company Enclosure

The British Listed Buildings online database describes the Carron (Company) Enclosure as follows: In the north-west corner of the churchyard, large and irregular in shape with boundary/retaining wall topped by spear-headed cast iron railings with decorative scrolled brackets; 3 steps to gate on south side: Channelled sandstone ashlar Distyle Doric mausoleum at west of enclosure with 3 steps to portico; cast-bronze door, barrel-vaulted ceiling and angel memorial on plinth inscribed to William Dawson.

Tall fluted column topped with urn inscribed on 4 sides to Joseph Stainton and various members of his family.

Graves of other managers of the Carron Ironworks including several sarcophagi-shaped tombs and a brown marble Celtic Cross.

Possibly the first of these monuments to be erected (as it contains the eariest dates) was that of Joseph Stainton Esq., Biggarshiels.

The inscription states that it was erected by Carron Company where he was Manager from 1786
until his death in 1825, aged 69.

Also listed are: Lucien Stainton youngest son, died 1823 aged 18 months,
Joseph Stainton, eldest son, died April 1843 aged 22,
Caroline MacLaren Stainton, daughter, widow of James MacLaren Esq.,
of Constable, Barton Yorkshire, died 1908 aged 86,
Jane Stainton, Joseph’s widow who died 6th February 1885 aged 83.

The remainder of the monuments within the enclosure, including the mausoleum, all appear
to be for members of the Dawson Family.

Living at Carron in 1841, the Census shows: (Siblings?) Joseph Dawson age 50, Manager for Carron Co., William Dawson age 45, Sub-Manager for Carron Co., Anne Dawson, age 40 and a Henry Stainton age 15.

Joseph died at Carron on 5th January 1850 aged 61.
The inscription on his stone lists that he was born in Keswick, Cumberland, England
on 7th May 1788 and that he was Manager of Carron Co. 1825 – 1850.
(The year 1850 ties in exactly with the date of death for Joseph Stainton, his predecessor.)

Joseph Dawson, born Keswick, Cumberland  7th May 1788  died at Carron 5th January 1850    

 Anne Dawson daughter of William Dawson, Keswick Born 21st March 1801 died 3rd April 1881.

By 1851, Carron Company’s Manager was William Dawson. He, his wife Margaret (nee Taylor) and their children William, Anne and Dinah Margaret were living at Carron Post Office. Dinah was the second of their daughters to be given that name, the first and eldest daughter Dinah was born in 1843 but died just before her third birthday in 1846.

In memory of DINAH the eldest daughter of WILLIAM DAWSON Esq.,
Manager for Carron Company
Born at Carron 6th December 1843 died 13th October 1846.

Ten years later, in 1861, William appears on the Census on his own living in Larbert whilst his wife Margaret, eldest son William and 2 daughters Anne & Dinah were living in Edinburgh,
possibly at a second family home.

Margaret Dawson (nee Taylor) was born at Carron on 8th July 1820 and died 18th June 1867.

Margaret Dawson's monument.

William Dawson, son of William & Margaret who was born at Carron on 28th September 1842
died at Kirn on 27th January 1867. His tomb is a large pink granite sarcophagus with a 'cameo' portrait on the front side facing the churchyard.

'Cameo' of William Dawson Jnr.

William Senior  age 76, still listed on the 1871 Census as Manager of the Carron Co., was living in Larbert with daughters Ann and Dinah. He died at Carron 3 years later on 9th April 1874 aged 79 and is buried within the mausoleum at the west side of the enclosure.

The Edinburgh Gazette of August 12th 1932 (Page 672) reported that “the lateWilliam  Dawson of Gairdoch & Powfoulis by his Trust Disposition and Settlement dated 2nd April 1867, and recorded in the Books of Council and Session on 17th April 1874” had set up ‘provision of a Bursary at the University of Edinburgh.’

According to the University of Edinburgh’s Website (Expeditions Committee): “The Trustees of the William Dawson Bursaries award a small number of bursaries for students within the College of Science and Engineering. These Bursaries are open to students in or entering the College and studying for the degree of BSc in Engineering or Biology and is tenable for 3 years and is based on academic excellence. Nominations are made via Directors of Studies to the Associate Dean, College of Science and Engineering Office.”

Anne Dawson married Sir Thomas Dawson Brodie, Writer to the Signet, Baronet of Idvies (1832 – 1896) between 1871 and 1881. She was his second wife – it is unknown whether the couple had any children.

The 1881 and 1891 Census both show that Dinah Margaret, Ann’s younger sister
lived with them at 9 Ainslie Place, Edinburgh.
Thomas Dawson Brodie died in 1896 and was buried in Dean Cemetery, Edinburgh.
Anne & Dinah continued living at 9 Ainslie Place to at least 1901 - possibly up until Anne’s death in 1903. Anne was buried beside her husband.

A plaque mounted on the inside of William Dawson’s mausoleum in Larbert Old Parish Churchyard lists Anne Dawson, wife of Thomas Dawson Brodie, Baronet of Idvies and that she is buried beside her husband. Also listed on the plaque is Dinah Margaret Dawson of Gairdoch and Powfoulis,
born 18th December 1848, died 15th May 1910.

There is one other stone in the Carron Enclosure to a Thomas Dawson.
The inscription is as follows: “In memory of Thomas Dawson, born at Keswick, 15th July 1807,
died at Uddingston 23rd November 1873.

Thomas was possibly a fourth sibling to Joseph, born 1788, William born 1796
and Anne, born 1801.

His Death Registration lists the following information:
Thomas Dawson, Single, age 66. Manager of Carron Ironwork Company
died 23rd November 1873 at Meadow Bank, Uddingston
Son of William Dawson, Manufacturer and Dinah Dawson (nee Stainton), both deceased.
The Registration was made by James Anderson, Gardener at Meadow Bank.

One solid/verified relationship between the Stainton & Dawson families has been ‘solved’ through the marriage of William Dawson & Dinah Sainton…..
Did they meet whilst Joseph Stainton was Manager at Carron, was Dinah his daughter,
was the young Henry Stainton listed with the Dawsons on the 1841 Census a close relation? 

That’s for another day!