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Historic Ayrshire

Historical Articles and Documents



Prehistoric Ayrshire



14th Earl of Eglinton


Archibald William Montgomerie, 1st Baron Ardrossan (UK) 14th Earl of Eglinton (Scotland) (1812-61)


Ayrshire Working Lives

The Ayrshire Libraries Forumís Working Lives website pulls together images of industrial, commercial and agricultural heritage in the county, opening up our rich and varied past to a world wide audience.


The Scotch-Irish

.........THE term " Scotch-Irish " is peculiarly American, and in tracing its origin we have, epitomized, the history of the people to whom it is now applied. The word seems to have come into general use since the Revolution, having been first taken as a race-name by many individuals of a very large class of people in the United States, descendants of emigrants of Scottish blood from the North of Ireland............

The volumes have been searched for Ayr, Ayrshire, Castle, Eglinton, Glencairn, Boyd, Bruce, Kennedy, Burns, Covenanters, Emigrants, Reformation, Vikings and Wallace


The Plantations of Ireland

With emphasis on Scottish movement into Ireland

There were many Plantations in 16th and 17th century Ireland involved the seizure of land owned by the native Irish and granting of it to colonists ("planters") from Britain. This process began under the reign of Henry VIII and continued under Elizabeth I, James I, Charles I, and Cromwell.


Life in the 1500s

Where many a true saying came from ........

Edgar Allan Poe

His ancestry, his early years and the connections with Ayrshire

The Great Historic Families of Scotland

Search carried out on the books. On names with a particular involvement in South West Scotland.

Rabbie Burns

Robert Burns was born near Ayr on the 25th of January, 1759.

Also a Search of Historical Families of Scotland for Robert Burns

  First Glasgow Directory

1787 Directory with an introduction and comprehensive 1787 lists

Ayrshire Directories

Pigot's reports of how the towns of Ayrshire looked in 1837, and who the local gentry, shopkeepers, tradesmen were.

The Highland Clearances

Emigration from the Highlands to America seems to have  commenced shortly after 1760

Scottish Emigration

Highland emigrants to North America

King Robert The Bruce

His ups and downs in AYRSHIRE

Robert the Bruce was crowned King of Scotland at Scone in 1306. A short time thereafter his little army was broken and routed, and he himself was a fugitive. His friends were treated with the rigour of a rigorous monarch. Some were driven from the country, some sought seclusion in flight; their lands were forfeited, their homes confiscated. 

Sir William Wallace

William Wallace is one of Scotland's greatest national heroes, undisputed leader of the Scottish resistance forces during the first years of the long and ultimately successful struggle to free Scotland from English rule at the end of the 13th Century.

After Culloden

....After his royal hignes came over the Water of Nair, after the battle, escorted by a partie of the Fitz James' horse, his highness went to the right of the highway that leads to ruthven of Badenoch..I having the cantains behinde me.....

A History of the Highlands of Scotland

From the Disturbances through to Robert the Bruce

The Covenanters

THE story of religious covenanting in Scotland covers a long period, beginning in 1557 when certain men did 'band thame selfis' to maintain 'the trew preaching of the Evangell of Jesus Christ'.

Lusitania Disaster


Lady Egidia

 Fantastic account of the ship built at Ardrossan Dockyard on her maiden voyage in 1860 from Greenock to Otago in New Zealand.

19th Century Scottish History Notes

Some notes on what southwest Scotland was like in the nineteenth century

Immigrant Ships

a complete list of the ships which carried Latter-day Saint emigrants from Europe to America from 1840 to 1868, inclusive.

See also Links Pages for Some good websites

Also Ayrshire emigrants to New Zealand


Scotland, South Dakota

It seems that General Campbell thought there should be a stage route for mail from Yankton and that a post office should be established.  He wanted to call the place Gunnville but father and the other Gunns refused their permission..The General swore and said:  "We will call it Scotland, then!"  and Scotland it was and Scotland it is.

Stewartsville Cemetery  Listings
Laurinburg, Scotland County, North Carolina

A list of the early settlers who are buried at Stewartsville. These came chiefly from Appin Argyllshire.  

A New Theory about King Arthur

The Ancient Knights Templar has excellent records on the genealogy of Arthur, Lancelot, Galahad and Perceval. These new interpretations open the gates to a complete new theory that the great knights and kings spoken about in the Legend of Arthur are really Scots.

A Story of James "Jimmie" BRAIDWOOD 1832-1879

James was born in Johnstone, Renfrewshire, Scotland in 1832. Growing up, after age five, in the home of a stepfather, Andrew DUNSMORE, "Jimmie" entered the coal mines for hire at the age of nine years; Apparently he worked in a number of mines in Ayrshire and Renfrewshire. He later learned the trade of boiler maker with a shipbuilding firm; and at age 17 1/2 he went to sea as a fireman, an occupation he followed a few years although it seems he returned to mine both coal and iron.

James BRAIDWOOD was known for sinking the first deep coal mining shaft in Will County, Illinois, near the town of Wilmington.

Craigs Confession

It consisted of three parts: (1) The old Covenant by John Craig (2) The enlarged edition by Mr. Johnston (3) The again enlarged and revised edition by Alex Henderson.

Sir Robert Boyd of Dean Castle

Sir ROBERT BOYD stood manfully by his Sovereign on the field of Bannockburn, and in return for his services there, and during the War of Independence, he received Dean Castle with it fair lands. 

Bargarran's Daughter

CHRISTIAN SHAW, the eldest daughter of the Laird of Bargarran, was inaptly named. At the age of 11 she began acting as though possessed by the devil.

The Ayrshire Legatees

by John Galt

Galt was born in Irvine on 2nd May 1779. The Ayrshire legatees was written in 1820. He died in Greenock on 11th April 1839.

Historical Tales and Legends of Ayrshire

By William Robertson

King Hacos Battle with the Scots at Largs

IT fell on this wise. The Norsemen in their strong warships had swept the western sea-board of Scotland. They held possessions on the mainland and over them they had placed rulers; they held whole islands, and on them they had set up tributary kings. The Scots, united under one king looked westward and northward; and wherever they cast their gaze, there floated the banners of Norway.

The Wraith of Lord Lyne

There were, for example, in the parish of Dalry, the Lynes, vassals of a greater house, that of the De Morvilles, who of old possessed the greater part of Cuninghame. They came, they went, they disappeared. Even their names have become extinct in the county. And yet from a remote time, down to the beginning of the seventeenth century, they played their part, and they left their influence on the countryside wherein they dwelt.


In Carrick, for instance, there was the Episcopal clergyman of Maybole, or Minniebole as it was then called, Mr. William Abercrombie, who utilized his short stay in the capital of the bailliary to some useful purpose. In all probability his congregation was small, for he was a Prelatist forced upon a Presbyterian people, but nevertheless he made good use of his opportunities for collecting knowledge and recording his impressions of the times in which he lived. A century later there was Colonel Fullarton of Fullarton who noted things as they were at that date, who spoke from a long experience, and who, apparently, was eminently solicitous to help on the social progress of the people among whom he spent his days.

The Kirk of Ayr Ruling the People

There is some truth in the conclusion, no doubt, but there is also some fiction. Were such a thing possible, and were the observer of this century suddenly to have a vision placed before him of the habits and customs of those who walked the shores and the plains of Ayrshire, and the streets of her towns and villages, and who dwelt in her castles or in her religious houses, five or six centuries ago, the social state would unquestionably present a series of startling changes............


Proverbially, bad news travels fast, and that same evening, from all parts of the immediately surrounding country, came in persons to gaze upon the corpse. Among them was James Bannatyne, the farmer of Chapeldonnan. When one of his servants had told him that there bad been a dead body cast up on the beach he had become at once intensely agitated. For three or four days previous he had been observed at irregular intervals scanning the sea and the sea beach, as if in expectation of finding something. He had also been morose, fretful, and restless, and had altogether been a changed man. There was nothing known that could account for his altered demeanour. For some weeks there had been residing with him a young man, a relative of his own, William Dalrymple by name. Somewhat suddenly, nigh a week previous to the discovery of the body, he had taken his departure; but nothing was thought of the event. Dalrymple was a native of Ayr, and had friends in different parts of the shire. He had only come to Chapeldonnan farm on a visit; and, his visit being ended, he had, as Bannatyne said, left to join his friends elsewhere.

The Death of Old King Coil

Old Kim, Cole was a merry old soul

And a merry old soul was he;

He called for his pipe, and he called for his glass,

And he called for his fiddlers three.

The Prehistoric Sires of Ayrshire

.....the lake-dwellings of Ayrshire been dug out by patient explorers to tell how our forefathers lived, and to reveal, in their relies, many of the commoner events of their everyday history.




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