Monumental Inscriptions of Kintail & Lochalsh, Scotland and Genealogy

Family page

Here follows a brief run through the family roots of myself and my husband. Now residents of Scotland we both started life "South of the Wall" - Hadrian's.
Photographs will be add shortly so do call back.

West Highlands of Scotland

My prominent maternal family names are Macrae, Macdonald and Cameron, plus Mackenzie, Matheson and others. All have their base in the West Highlands of Scotland. The Macrae line is said to have originated in Ireland as did several Highland names, the myths and legends of the Clan are available elsewhere. Four generations of my Macrae family have been Gamekeepers in the Kintail area for various landowners over time. On my second Macrae line, Great Grandfather Donald Macrae was a boat builder and, as I was told from childhood, the only one of seven brothers who did not emigrate in the tough times of the 1840's & 1850's. Five went to Australia, mostly Victoria and the sixth, if truth be told only emigrated to the Isle of Skye, but he did cross water! You can find more at this external link (2) mrcamlen-1908

North East Scotland

My husbands paternal family, Riddell, is found first mainly in Aberdeenshire, on the North East side of Scotland. The earliest member we know about is Andrew Riddell, a Blacksmith, born in the second half of the 1700's. He married Margaret Henderson on the 8 July 1780 at Banchory Ternan, Kincardineshire. Whilst one of his five sons followed on as a Blacksmith, others were Masons. Masons skilled in working Granite were much in demand as far away as America. Penitentiary walls of Granite were hard to deface. Youngest son James, married to Christian Craighead, travelled less far, to Sunderland in England where he was "Clerk to the Works of the Sunderland Dock Extension Company", to quote a trade journal. James's son William provides a warning not to take all census data as fact. As an adult he claims birth in Scotland, though he was in fact born Sunderland, 8 Jan. 1843. For more of this family see this external link (3) duncsr_j

Central Scotland

Slip a little further south in Scotland and you reach Stirlingshire, where my paternal ancestor's story begins. The first Thomson, one of many by name Thomas, that we know much about, was born about 1814 at Carron, son of another Thomas. There was a thriving steel works there, Thomas, probably from farming stock, went to help fuel the industrial revolution by working as a miner. He was married on the 31 Dec 1838 at Abbey, Paisley, to Margaret McDougall, sometimes spelled McDougald. That reminds us not to get too fixed on the exact spelling of our ancestor's names. Their son, wouldn't you know it, Thomas, also worked in the mines, becoming Manager of Eddle Colliery, Hamilton in 1892. He had married Ellen Buchanan in 1866 near Garthamlock, where the first of ten children were born. Others followed born at Cadder and Slammanan. Their second son John, (Yes the first was Thomas!) followed his father to Eddle Coliery as an electrician, later as Manager of Mines. John married at Douglas, Lanarkshire in 1904 to Mina Beatrice Hobkirk. Though born in Douglas her family story takes us further South to the Borders county of Roxburshire. The Thomson and Hobkirk families can be seen in the data base linked under the Borders heading.

The Borders

The first Hobkirk ancestor I can be sure of is Walter, married to Betty Dixon at Ancrum. They had at least three sons born in the 1760's at Hawick and Dunns. Their son Walter, a Gardener, also married at Ancrum in 1793 to Beatrice Dunlop. They had five known children, the middle one, Robert, a Farmer and Coal Merchant in Hawick, married at Ancrum in 1830, Margaret Roxburgh, daughter of John, a Farmer. They in turn had five known children, the middle one, John Roxburgh Hobkirk trained as a Tailor and married Mary Eliza Martin, a seamstress at Hawick in 1860. They both resided in the High Street of the town before and initially after marriage. Later John R. became Post Master at Douglas, Lanarkshire, where the youngest five of ten children were born. The second youngest being my Grand Mother Mina Beatrice Hobkirk, the future wife of Thomas Thomson above. The database for these families can be viewed at this external link.(1) hobtom1906


Now to take another trip South. Two sons of the Riddell family moved to the South of England to further their career, Alexander & William as engineers. William's work projects included Brighton Sea Wall, Renovation and Water supply for Villa Amalphi and farm in Hythe, the property of Charles Blacker Vignoles, Civil Engineer. William named his first son after him. Here he met and married Mary Hart in 1869. Their family of ten were born where ever the work took William, Brighton in Sussex, Castleford in Yorkshire, Oswestry in Shropshire and Welshpool in Powis. William was Clerk of Works to the Powis Castle Estate until he retired, he lived out his days on the estate, in North Wales. You might notice from the data base linked below that William's wife and the mother of one of his daughter-in-laws grew up within 6 miles of each other in Hampshire, both having been born in Dorset. Wales brought the families together.


William Riddell's youngest son was to marry a girl whose family roots connect us to West Wales. The names Jones and Morris are in the same parish for almost two hundred years. John, David then Thomas Jones farmed Tregynan Isaf Farm near Llanrystud, Cardiganshire. Thomas died young so the farm passed, not to his son but to the son of Thomas's wife and her second husband David Jones who was a cousin of Thomas. David continued at the farm which is even now held by a family member. Their lineage can be found at this external link (3) duncsr_j

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