The Gorries of Culnacloich, Perthshire

Helen Gorrie and the Gorries of Culnacloich

On 8th December, 1821, Helen Gorrie and James Mushet, a naller, were ‘booked’ to marry, in Renfrewshire’a Abbey parish (Paisley). Their eldest child, daughter Christina, was born the following year, apparently in Johnston by Paisley although a birth entry has not been found. (Please see the older site for some follow-up on these Mushets.)

In early 1822, when Helen and her husband decided to move to Glasgow, Helen went there in search of a place for them to live. As described elsewhere on this site, she took some clothes from a drawer in a house where she was lodging, pretended they had been sent her by her mother, sold them, was caught, and went to trial. The trial documents are held by the National Archives of Scotland, and while they are interesting in themselves - she was let off after being taken ill in the court, and the prosecutor spoke for her release! -  they are a gift to a genealogist; particularly the first Declaration of Helen Gorrie as this reveals who she was, where she’d come from, and why she had gone to Paisley (where she met and married James Mushet).

This is how it begins: 

At Glasgow the fourth day of March Eighteen hundred and twenty two
In presence of Daniel Hamilton Esquire Sheriff Substitute of Lanarkshire

Compeared Helen Gorie who being examined Declares that She is Nineteen years of age, is daughter of John Gorie farmer in Drum, in the parish of Logie Almond, in Perthshire  That she left her fathers house in November Eighteen hundred and twenty and came to Glasgow where she was fee’d to serve Doctor Pinkerton in Johnston in the County of Renfrew, and She accordingly went to Doctor [p.2] Pinkerton and remained with him until Martinmas last  That the Declarant in the end of January December last was married to James Mushet a Nailer in Johnston, and resided with him in that village until friday the fifteenth when she came into Glasgow with a view to get lodgings her husband and she having proposed to go there and live  That the Declarant lodged during that friday night in the house of Margaret Ritchie an old woman in Alston street Grahamston of Glasgow, and her husband having remained in Johnston, came and joined her on the next morning…

‘Drum’ still exists - more fully named ‘Drum of Culnacloich. At the time of Helen Gorrie there were three farmtouns, Drum, and Upper and Nether Culnacloich. These are described in the first Ordnance Survey, 1858-62, as each having a one-storey farmhouse. That of Nether Culnacloich was then ‘thatched and in very ruinous condition’ with its ‘office houses’ (farm outbuildings) then being pulled down. Those at Upper Culnacloich and at Drum however were ‘slated and in good repair’, and both stand today, with modifications, although Drum is reduced to one building, quite recently occupied but now apparently not. 

The details of Helen’s father and her home started me on a process of discovery of the Gorries of Culnacloich, which has lasted now for well over a decade. In this I’ve been assisted by documents loaned by ‘M' (I won’t make her name public but she lives locally to the area and has much knowledge), who had copies of various pieces of research done earlier, and by an interesting website on the Gorries, but I have used these only to give pointers to where I might search, or to confirm what I’ve myself found as a researcher - or to make me re-think. And on some points my research has thrown up different understandings of this family to those of the other researchers.

The pages within this section (indexed in sidebar) explore Helen’s parentage, her father and grandparents, and some ideas about earlier Gorries at Culnacloich/Condocloich.

© Jenny Blain 2017, updated 2019    email me