John, farmer at Drum, and his Parents Thomas Gorrie and Janet Stewart

The family of John Gorrie, farmer at Drum of Culnacloich

Helen Gorrie  doesn’t have a birth record. Alas, while there are copious records for Fowlis Wester (in which parish the Culnacloich area of Logiealmond was recorded during much of the 18th century), the records for 1802 are rather sparse: entries on one page show twelve baptisms, a considerably lower number than for most other years. There is also damage to pages so that some records may have been ‘lost’ or are now indecipherable, and there is duplication of some records, so that it appears that an attempt may have been made by a later clerk (with different handwriting from that of the more ’scrappy’ records which appear to be the original)  to rationalise the records for the few years around 1800, but still there is not a full record. Logiealmond records are also found with those from Monzie, Methven and Moneydie (there are none for Logiealmond parish in itself). 

John Gorrie had married Christian Halley in 1790 (this record does exist), he in Fowlis Wester and she in Methven parish, and they had at least two other children, John born around 1796 (with no record) and Margaret baptised on 16th June 1799, the entry stating, ‘Margt. to John Gorrie in Culnacloich and [blank] Hally his spouse’. Both Margaret and her brother John lived into the time of statutory records, whereas their sister Helen did not. This brother John, a Law Clerk, died in 1873, in Glasgow, his death registration confirming his parents as John Gorrie, farmer, and Christina Halley. Margaret died in 1874, at Milton of Cultoquhey, Fowlis Wester, her death registration likewise confirming parentage: she is in Cultoquhey in the 1851 census with her husband Archibald Carmichael and her father John Gorrie, who is now retired from farming at Drum. As no death entry has been found for farmer John himself, it appears that (unfortunately for genealogists) he died between 1851 and 1854. 

It seems very possible that John, the father, was previously married to Katherine Gordon, and a son Thomas was baptised on 31 July 1785, his father named as John ‘in Culnacloich’. This Thomas, a shepherd, died in 1872, in Gilmerton village, Fowlis Wester, widower of Catherine McGregor; he can be found in the 1841 census (his age wildly out at 40) with Catherine Gorrie aged 50 and Mary, 20, their first daughter baptised at Monzie 09 May 1819. Two other children, Helen and Janet, were baptised in Fowlis Wester in 1823 and 1826.

Around the beginning of the 19th century there are other Gorries mentioned in Culnacloich, including Thomas, weaver in Drum, and there will be more on this Thomas anon. But first, the parentage of John.

The family of Thomas Gorrie and Janet Stewart at Condocloich

John Gorrie was the eldest child of Thomas Gorrie and Janet Stewart. (The spellings Stewart and Stuart are both used, and Gorrie can earlier be written as Gorie and Gory.) John’s baptism was 20th October 1763, with his father identified as Thomas Gorrie in ‘Condocloich’ - this is the name often used for Culnacloich in earlier records, both of course subject to multiple spellings. The parents were proclaimed for marriage in both Fowlis Wester and Monzie, the Fowlis Wester record dated 8th November 1762 stating, ‘Thomas Gorrie in this parish and Janet Stewart in the parish of Monzie’.

Children of Thomas Gorrie and Janet Stewart were:

  1. John in 1763, baptised 20 Oct 1763 - described above
  2. Willliam, 1765, 28 Apr
  3. Andrew, 1767, 30 May
  4. James, 1769, 2 April
  5. Thomas, 1772, 11th March, father ‘Elder’
  6. Daniel, 1774, 1 Dec, father ‘Elder’
  7. Katharine, 1777, 13 July 1777
  8. an unnamed son who died at or soon after birth, 1779, in record for 18th October
  9. Janet, about 1782

There were several other Gorrie families in the Culnacloich/Condocloich farmtouns. A Donald Gorrie is mentioned having children there, including Lillias baptised in 1766, John with a son Donald in the same year, William with a child in 1777. There were Gorries elsewhere nearby, such as a James Gorry in Wester Buchanty who had a daughter baptised in 1764, so that it’s necessary to look at the baptism records to identify the place. Occasionally additional information is given. In 1767 an entry for 10th October reads, ‘William to Donald Gorrie son to Donald in upper Conducloich’. It is unfortunate that few include mothers’ names, the clerk putting ‘&’ but than leaving a space. The entry for Andrew, 30th May 1767, gives his father as ‘Thomas Gorrie in Nether Conducloich and [blank] his spouse. An entry for the birth of a Janet Gorrie, 21st February 1770 confusingly names parents as ‘Donald Gorrie in Culnacloich & Janet Stewart his Spouse’, and indeed there was a marriage of Donald Gorrie and Jannet Stewart rather earlier, in February 1752, and a later marriage of a Donald Gorrie with a Janet Stoddart, 16th November 1766.

James’s entry, 2 April 1769, gives parents as Thomas Gorrie ‘in Culnacloich’ and Janet Stewart. That for Thomas, 11th March 1772, nicely has ‘Thomas to Thomas Gorrie Elder in Colnacloich & his Spouse Janet Stewart’ with the entry above, on the same date, for William son of ‘John Gorrie in Colnacloich & his spouse Janet Watts’; Daniel’s baptism likewise names both parents, with Thomas as ‘Elder’, while Katherine’s only names Thomas in Condocloich, and the un-named child’s is very heavily scored through (and this child may have been stillborn). 

For Janet I have found no baptism record (though there is likely to have been one) but a Statutory record from Monzie giving her death on 28th August 1856 names her parents as Thomas Gorrie, Farmer, and Janet Stewart or Gorrie (both deceased). Janet’s name is given as ‘Gorrie or Hally’, the old Scottish form giving both birth (legal) and married (convenience) names; she was aged 74, died at Woodburn Cairnies and the informant was her daughter Margret Hally. Janet is in the 1851 census, at Woodburn Cottages, with daughters Margaret, 29, Helen, 27, and an older son, Robert, 42; and in Braehead in 1841 with her husband Thomas and children Thomas, 35, and Margaret, 20.

Why do I say that there is likely to have been a record for Janet? Not only because the other children are listed, but because her father, Thomas was an Elder of Session, that is, part of the governance of the Kirk and parish locally. From Kirk Session minutes, he was appointed as the representative of the Session to the Presbytery and Synod on at least two occasions (1785 and 1790) and quite possibly on others also.

Janet Stewart, spouse of Thomas, was born at Dallick, in Logiealmond and nearby to Culnacloich, variously reported within the parishes of Monzie and Fowlis Wester. She was baptised in Monzie on 4 July 1742, the second of five children of John Stuart and Janet Campbell who were married on 2nd March 1739, her siblings being Isabel, Margaret, Catherine and John. There were many Stewart families in that area of Perthshire, and I currently do not have more information on her ancestry.

Thomas Gorrie himself was born at Condocloich, son of John Gory and Christian Allen, and so continues the story of the Gorries of Condocloich back a further generation. This story is complex and so takes us to another page, for Earlier Gorries in Culnocloich (link in sidebar).

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