McWhirter – Third generation

Margaret McWhirter

b. 18 Nov 1813,. Girvan, Ayrshire,[17] m. Alex Shaw, occupation: Farmer. They lived in the farm of Leffin near Ballantrae and had two children: Maggie and Annie. (JGMW p.16)

RWPMW writes

There is a place marked Leffin on Blaeu’s Atlas of Carrick (DOC.91) about four miles east of Ballantrae on the south side of the Water of Tig. On the modern OS map (1:25,000) there is a place marked as Leffin Donald at about the same location (grid ref. 141820). On my grandfather’s sketch map (DOC 90) there is a place marked Leffen close to one of the streams that drains off the Hill of Knockdolian and about a couple of miles north east of Ballantrae but he has not marked the other. Bleau has marked Leffin Mains at about the same location. It is not shown on a modern OS map but Leffin Knowes is marked at about the right location on the 1:25,000 OS map 513. It is not clear which of these two is the Leffin referred to above. (RWPMW 2 Nov 1998).


i      Maggie Shaw m. James Andrew, occupation: Exciseman in Helensburgh.

          ii     Annie.

John McWhirter

b. 7 Mar 1819, Lendal Foot, Ayrshire.,[18] occupation: Inn keeper, m. 27 Nov 1855, in Burnside, Mauchline, Ayrshire.,[19] Mary Anne Smith, b. 6 Nov 1833, (daughter of Robert Smith and Jessie Young) d. 11 Aug 1925. John died 5 Sep 1880, Crosshill, Ayrshire.

JGMW writes

John McWhirter, my grand father was born on 7 Mar 1819 in Whitehouse about Lendal Foot (between Girvan and Ballantrae) near to Carleton Castle. Later he left Colmonell to go to live in Straiton, Ayrshire where he was ‘minister’s man’ to the Rev. Mr Blair. However he quarrelled with Blair’s wife and thereafter worked on Blairquhan estate (near Straiton). He became an inn keeper, maybe first in Straiton, but certainly later in Crosshill.  On 27 Nov 1855 John McWhirter married Mary Ann Smith (L8) in Mauchline, Ayrshire. At his marriage to my grand mother  it is recorded that he was an inn keeper in Straiton. They were married at Burnside in Mauchline (United Presbyterian Church of Scotland). He, his wife and family moved to Crosshill, Ayrshire on 28 May 1860 and took over The Head Inn. They had nine children, the older ones being born in Straiton, the younger ones in Crosshill in the Heid Inn. He died on 5 Sep 1880 aged 61 with ‘inflamation of the bowels’ which probably meant – in modern language – appendicitis with peritonitis.  John’s death is recorded as being due to hepatitis but my father told me it was from ‘inflamation of the bowel’ that he died. My father was 18 years of age at that time. John McWhirter died in Crosshill and was interred in Kirkmichael Old Cemetery where his daughters Jessie and Annie and his wife Mary Anne Smith were also buried. (JGMW pp.11 to 14 and DOC.85)

In A & A Mitchell’s ‘Pre1855 gravestone inscriptions for Carrick[20] there is an entry for Kirkmichael:-

‘Grave 62     John McWhirter died Crosshill 5 Sep 1880 aged 60, 1st daughter Jessie died Crosshill 23 Mar1904 aged 47, son John died Bunbury West Australia, daughter Annie died Crosshill 23 Nov 1918 aged 45 by wife Mary A Smith died Crosshill 11 Aug 1925 aged 92.’ (RWPMW 1999 June 7)


JGMW writes

My paternal grandmother Mary Ann Smith was born on 6 Nov 1833 at her mother’s father’s farm which seems to have been called Readinghead or Readingside or Rodingside. She was schooled at Crosslands (or Crosshands which is on the map not far from Lowersbridge). When she was married to John Smith she was recorded as a laundry maid in Straiton although her usual residence was Mauchline. She carried on the Heid Inn in Crosshill after her husband John died, latterly with the help of my Aunts Annie (D8) and Jean (D9) and my Uncle Tom (D7). While she was living in the Heid Inn with my Aunts and Uncle, I used to spend holidays with her, especially during the years I was at Girvan School; once when my cousin Madge was also there. She died on 11 Aug 1925 from senile degeneration and cardiac failure at the Heid Inn at the recorded age of 93 years.  She was buried in Kirkmichael Old Cemetery. The gravestone says that she died aged 92 on 11 Aug 1925. (JGMW pp.99 to 102 and DOC.85).


i      Jessie McWhirter b. 7 Dec 1856, Straiton, Ayrshire., d. 23 Mar 1904, Crosshill. [21]

Jessie McWhirter was born in Straiton on 7 Dec 1856. She died of rheumatic fever in Crosshill on 23 Mar 1904 aged 47 and was interred in Kirkmichael Old Cemetery. The cause of death was recorded as cardiac disease. Reg. No. 584.b/7. (JGMW pp.21 and 22)

ii     James, b. 1 Feb 1858.

iii    Gilbert, b. 10 Apr 1859.

iv    John, b. 12 Jul 1860

v     Robert, b. 21 Dec. 1861.

vi    Mary  b. 2 Jun 1866, d. 3 Mar 1954, Auchalton, Crosshill, Ayrshire. [22]

Mary was born at Crosshill on 2-6-1866. She never married. She ran the coffee house in Maybole for many years. She died  from senile degeneration in the home of her sister Jean Auld at Auchalton, Crosshill on 3-3-1954 age 87 and is buried in Crosshill Cemetery.  (JGMW pp.33 and 34).

        vii   Thomas Braidwood b. 20 May 1870.

viii  Annie  b. 9 Oct 1872, occupation Spinster, d. 22 Nov 1918.

Annie was born in Crosshill on 9 Oct 1872. She remained unmarried.

JGMW writes

When I was a boy I stayed at various times at the Heid Inn, Crosshill with my grandmother and there were also Tom (JGMW-D7) my uncle and Annie and Jean (JGMW-D9) my aunts before Tom and Margaret got married. Annie died  of influenza and pneumonia at Crosshill on 22 Nov 1918 aged 46 and is buried in Kirkmichael Old Cemetery. (JGMW p.36)

        ix    Jean b. 8 Nov 1875.

Martha McWhirter

b. circa 1825, m. Tom Hunter.

Martha married Tom Hunter in Maybole, Ayrshire. Tom and Marth Hunter had two children:- Tom and Martha. (JGMW pp.14 and 16)

JGMW writes

Tom lived in Maybole, Ayrshire. My father took me to Maybole to attend Tom Hunter’s funeral when I was a boy. (JGMW p.14).


i      Tom Hunter.

Tom lived in Maybole, Ayrshire. My father took me to Maybole to attend Tom Hunter’s funeral when I was a boy. (JGMW p.14).

ii     Martha.

Jean McWhirter

m. William McGowan.

Jean married William McGowan. They lived on the south side of Glasgow (I think in Newlands). Once when we were staying in Glasgow my partent took their family to visit the McGowans. My recollection is that they had three children: Archibald (Baldie), Another son (maybe Arthur) and Nellie. (JGMW p.16)


i      Archibald McGowan

Archibald (Baldie) who at the time of our visit (when JGMW’s parents took their family to visit the McGowans in Glasgow; see notes on Jean above) was a medical student. When he graduated he went to London and practiced homeopathy in Harley Street. He and his daughter calld on me in the x-ray department of the Dumfries and Galloway Royal Infirmary on 10 Sep 1954. I have an entry in my diary for that date thus: ‘Arthur McGowan and his daughter Elizabeth from London call to see me on their way to Monreith’. It may be that Arthur was the name of the second son. Whe he called he told me that he was a homeopathic doctor practicing in London. (JGMW pp.15 and 16)

ii     ? McGowan.

Jean and William had another son whose name I have forgotten (maybe called Arthur). I don’t know what became of him. (JGMW pp.16 and 18)

 iii    Nellie.

Detail on the next (fourth) generation here.

[17] IGI list from Richard Petit.

[18] Registered at Girvan, Ayrshire No.594, Vol.2. Son of Gilbert McW in Whitehouse and Anne Logn. JGMW p.11.

[19] United Presbyterian Church of Scotland (604/13)

[20] Record of births and baptisms, Mauchline (604/4) Family of John Smith and Janet Young (Marriage date not given).

[21] Reg. number 584b/7

[22] Reg No. 584.b/3 Mary died at Auchalton, Crosshill 3-3-1954.