Thomas, Weaver in Drum, brother of John, and his family

Another Thomas? Oh yes. Thomas, baptised 11th March 1772, brother of John, ‘popped up’ when I was doing a little research on the family history of a person on a FH group. She had an ancestor named Janet Gorrie Allan. Janet’s parents turned out to be David Allen and Mary McLellan, and David was from Auchterarder, where several of his childen were also born. David’s mother - for whom his daughter Janet was named - was Janet Gorrie, and a little investigation led back to her birth in Culnacloich, recorded in the Old Parish Records for Monzie. 

And this person turned out to have a DNA link to me, albeit a small one. Here is some of what I wrote for her, on Janet Gorrie:

The name ‘Janet Gorrie’ and her birth in Monzie point to the Gorries of Logiealmond, in Perthshire. Part of Logiealmond and Foulford are at various times designated as within Fowlis Wester parish and Monzie parish, as boundaries moved. In 1801, Coulnacloich in Logiealmond was within Fowlis Wester. There are two baptisms of a Janet Gorrie around this time in Fowlis Wester. On 1st September 1799 there is ‘Janet to James Gorrie weaver Coulnacloich and Ann Taylor’ (married Oct 27 1798, ‘both in this parish’), and on 12th February 1801 there is ‘Janet to Thos. Gorrie Farmer Drum & Margt. Gorrie’. A second recording of the latter baptism, 12th February, gives only the father’s name, Thomas Gorrie, but describes him as ‘Weaver Drum’. Other baptisms from around this time show several children of a Thomas Gorrie, always described as a weaver if a description if given, but the closeness of births indicating there was more than one Thomas with births of children at this time. Only some of the rather messy records from around 1800 show names of mothers.

Reasons for preferring the Janet baptised in 1801 are the date, though ages on censuses are not accurate, and the names of her children. She had only one son, whose name David was for his father or grandfather, but several daughters: there is no daughter Ann but the first daughter was Margaret. Unfortunately there is no death record found in the Statutory records, implying that Janet died before 1855. And indeed there is a butial record from Auchterarder26/04/1851, for Jannet Gorrie spouse of David Allan, which may hold some information although it’s not likely so say more than the names.

Going beyond Janet Gorrie is more problematic. Baptisms of children to a Thomas Gorrie from the 1780s to the 1820s include:

  • Christian 07/11/1795 father Thomas Gorrie at Drum (trade not given)
  • John 07/02/1798 father identified as ‘Thomas Gorrie Weaver Drum'
  • Thomas 05/12/1800, father 'Weaver Drum'
  • Janet 12/2/1801 (two records, one saying farmer with the mother’s name also, one weaver, both Drum, as said above)
  • Jean 04/03/1802, father is 'Weaver Drum'
  • John 21/05/1809, Monzie, Thomas Gorrie and Catharine McGregor - and subsequent births to this couple also at Monzie.

However, the records from Fowlis Wester are somewhat confused, particularly from 1799-1804, and some children’s names were not entered; for example, Helen Gorrie, daughter of John who farmed at Drum, born around 1802 and known from later records which clearly identify her. There may therefore be other children of various Thomases. 

There are no baptisms of a child of a Thomas Gorrie in Fowlis Wester, Monzie, or Methven parishes  from 1780 until 1795, so that there is a clear generational separation. Then 20/11/1791 a Thomas Gorrie was married to Helen McLeish in Monzie;  30/11/1794, a Thomas Gorrie was married to Janet Leitch in Fowlis Wester, and Christian born in 1795 is likely to be their child; 28/06/1795 a Thomas was married to Janet Scott in Methven, and there is a birth of a child William there, baptised 22/05/1796 who may be theirs and should be checked for any indication of residence; 24/11/1799 was the marriage of Thomas (known to be in Drum) and Margaret Gorrie; and finally 11/02/1809 is the marriage of a Thomas with Catherine McGregor, at Monzie.

However there were only five Thomas Gorries with baptism records in Perthshire in the mid to later 18th century. Thomas Gory son of Thomas, 03/02/1745; Thomas Gorrie son of Thomas, 11/03/1772; Thomas Gorrie son of John, 31/07/1785; and Thomas Gorrie son of William Gorrie and Grizel Dow, 15/09/1788, the first three in Fowlis Wester, the fourth in Moneydie. The fifth is Thomas Gorry son of Alexander Gorry and Augness Duff 29/03/1772, in Kinclaven, who seems unlikely from the names of the various Gorrie children of Thomases. Of these the 1788 birth can be ruled out as too late for a marriage in 1799. The 1785 baptism can probably be also ruled out as while a marriage of a boy aged 14 would be legal, it is highly unlikely at least among farming and craft people. This leaves the older Thomas, born in 1745 to a Thomas in Condocloich, and younger Thomas born in 1772 to Thomas Gorrie, Kirk Elder in Colnacloich and his spouse Janet Stewart. The first seems again unlikely - this Thomas would be aged 55 at the time of the marriage, but it is possible. The most likely, therefore, is Thomas born in 1772.

The father of this Thomas was also Thomas, born 1734, son of John Gory and Christian Allan, and several people have explored his family (though there is some dissension on who both John Gory and Christian Allan were). Thomas Gorrie senior is however well attested in Kirk Session minutes as he was an Elder of the Kirk and at times the delegate from Fowlis Wester to the Presbytery and Synod. His brother John was also at Colnacloich (to give it the spelling in the baptism records from 1772), married to Janet Watt and with children born there.

Thomas born 1772, son of Thomas the Kirk Elder, may have been the Thomas who married Janet Leitch in 1794, and this is where sorting out the genealogy becomes very confusing; however in part based on the DNA evidence the marriage of this Thomas to Margaret Gorrie seems likely. 

There were three farmtouns at Coulnacloich, designated in the 1840s Ordnance Survey books as Upper, Nether and Drum, with Nether Coulnacloich being then in ruins. (Indeed, a person I spoke with at Upper Coulnacloich could not credit that there ever was a Nether Coulnacloich - but it is recorded.)  Drum, uphill from the others, is now reduced to one building which may have been a house or may have been a barn, with some foundations of other buildings showing. Upper Coulnacloich, now simply Coulnacloich, has been modernised and is a today shop selling Harris Tweed. With three farmtouns in the 18th century, there would be scope for several families at each, possibly more in Upper Coulnacloich than in the others, and Kirk Session minutes indicate that services might be held there in addition to those in the Kirk of Fowlis Wester as there are sums for collections made at Coulnacloich.

A map from the 1860s showing Coulnacloich farms, Drum, Upper and Nether, is at https://maps.nls.uk/view/74428163 - later than the time of the Gorries, but useful to have. Nether Coulnacloich would by then be very ruined.

© Jenny Blain 2017, updated 2019    email me