Gargunnock Village History  .....and other things

Genealogy is all about people and over the past 14 years many amateur genealogists have made contact through this site and often I have been able to assist them in their quest for more knowledge of their ancestors.

External resources available are for example….

The Family Search site is free and as good a place to begin as any.

The Scotlands People Website, has the ultimate store of Scottish data (at a price)

The Stirling Council Archives can be of great help.

Pre-1855 Monumental Inscriptions in West Stirlingshire Alison Mitchell’s revised edition of her parents reference book is available from the Scottish Genealogy Society

Where I can help out is through my local knowledge of family and place names, present and past and through local archives, both written and photographic.  For example....

Church Supplements (Magazines) 1888 to 1950  -  LATEST EDITION

2527 entries for mainly local people and places.  See the Parish Magazines tab

The latest addition to my  database, this has proved popular and helpful to many  of you looking for “leaves” to add to the family tree.  Sometimes your ancestor may turn out to have had a eulogy  in these pages or to have been active in locally in some other way.  That may be recorded in these pages

Monumental Inscriptions in the old Kirkyard.  

Not just pre-1855 but all of them in word-for-word form.  See Monumental Inscriptions in the sub-menu of this page

Gravestones Map showing location of gravestones in the old Kirkyard for when you come here.

Register of Proclamations of Marriage 1883 - 1977 Contact me for details

Register of Baptisms. Contact me for details

John, you do not know me, my name is Jim Baird, but I now live on Vancouver Island in Victoria, the capital of British Columbia having emigrated here form Britain 22 years ago, but I have many, many fond and happy memories of Gargunnock and when I was reading your Web page it brought it all back to me.


Approximately 68 years ago when I was 6 years old my mother, Bell Baird was an old friend of Jean Hunter, who had the little shop, half-way up the street on the left hand side past the old post office and many a weekend my mother and I spent with my "Aunt Jean and Uncle Martha".  Betty McLaren lived on the otherside of the road about 50 yards further on and had a girl called Johan and a boy called John.  When Aunt Jean had no room for me to sleep I would be farmed out the Betty McLaren to sleep.

    I used to guddle for fish in the burn using a tin placed in the water in front of a stone and as you tilted the stone over, if there was a little fish under it, you lifted the tin and caught the fish as it tried to escape. I, being from Glasgow, had to be shown how to do this by the village boys but have never forgotten how it is done.

    There was a swimming hole - not very deep - where the water was taken from to drive the Mill Wheel at the farm and although the water was cold - for a city boy it was paradise to swim out in the open with the cows grazing on the bank.

    There was a girl called Irene Maxwell who used to visit Aunt Jean very regularly...................

But I did recall Jim, from childhood memories.  A good pianist I recall, and this email was only the first of many that we exchanged.

HI John.


My name is Nancy Lakey and I live in Wichita, Kansas USA..  I'm looking for any info you might have on a castle 9 miles West of Stirling.


My father-n-law does the family history and he thinks he has traced his side back to a John Lecky de Leky, Malcolm, "Lord Of Leky" 1500!


The way the Lakey name is spelled now it has changed over time and he thinks this John Lecky is related to us.My father-n-law is pretty good at checking these things out. The Lakey name had many spellings till this one.


I have a friend in England who sent me a map showing a Leckie land west of Gargunnock. So I'm thinking that is the place where a John Lecky (born 1500) lived at one time. He is also the one who told me about your website.


Nancy Lakey, USA

Nancy was delighted to receive the booklet “The Lairds of Leckie,” found in the Church archives, which I emailed to her.  Contact me for a copy.

The following are typical of the emails received over the years


What a great site you have created!  I found your site through the Gargunnock Village one and enjoyed every detail.  I had planned to visit your community this summer but when the problem with animal diseases made the news early this year I decided to postpone my visit.  When I was talking about these travel plans at a family gathering this summer, my brothers and sister also expressed an interest so I am gathering so details for our trip next year.

We are all young grandparents, born during and after the war and plan to do quite a bit of walking during the holiday.  Any details on walks in your area would be appreciated.  Our last ancestor to live in Scotland was Rebecca Forrester (father James Forrester, mother Janet Murdock) who was born in Gargunnock parish in 1782 and came to Canada with her husband Robert Blair in the 1820s.  I am fortunate to have a relative who has done an amazing job of tracing all of their North American descendants.  Anyway John, enjoyed you site immensely and though I should warn you that your village will likely be invaded by some curious Canadians next year.



Hi John.

I live in Christchurch New Zealand and am a great grand daughter of Robert McNair who was born 6 Oct 1843 at Gargunnock.  He was the son of John McNair (1799) and Margaret Doig  and a cousin to Wendy Simes great grandfather.

I have not had the internet very long, well I did get it in the last

century at least. Anyway as it happened I was playing on this confounded machine and stumbled upon Wendy.  I had been searching in Scotland prior to my computer days and certainly before the Net. To cut a long story short I told her of Gargunnock and what I had so far and PRESTO your web page. I have enjoyed it very much and have down loaded the pictures and photos for my file.

I had a 2nd cousin William McNair Harvey who lived in Gargunnock prior to the 2nd world war and his parents James Moon Harvey and Elsie Coutts McNair lived in what is now McNair house and I believe it was the family home of his parents William McNair (1840) and Elsie Coutts and my great

grandfather.   I would be ever SO grateful if you would E

mail me what you sent Wendy, or I could send some postal coupons to cover snail mail costs. A girl can get desperate.

I have a poetry book sent by my great grandfather to William's

grandfather in 1861 and when the house at Gargunnock was cleaned out after his parents died he kept it and sent it back to me. How wonderful this computer age is to genealogists.  Now we just need someone to invent a way to expand time, oh and money.

I believe you are not a genealogist ?  This surprises me somewhat ,I didn't think there was anyone left who wasn't and you do such  wonderful service enlightening the world about Gargunnock I felt sure it was research based.

I think I have probably confused you enough for one day.  I look forward

with anticipation to some reply


Janet Miller, Feb. 2000

Janet later made the journey to Gargunnock and has returned more than once since then.  It would take more than a couple of earthquakes to keep her away she says!

A Word of Advice....

….to anyone reading this whose parents or grandparents are still hale and hearty.  

If there’s one thing I have learnt over the years, from all the amateur genealogists who have taken the trouble to make contact through this website, it is that it’s generally later in life that an interest in one’s genealogy develops.  

Unfortunately by then parents and grandparents may no longer be around to answer all the questions you could have asked, but didn’t!. So if you’re lucky enough to still have them around go and speak to them.

.........and do it now, right now!  You won’t regret it.

Or of course if you are a grandparent then write down as much as you can remember of family history and give a copy to your family.  Don’t say I didn’t warn you!



Some of the requests for information I regretfully cannot help with so I’ll post some here in case you can


From Val Wylie....

I’m on the Chrystal trail again and wonder if you have ever heard of Dorothy Marie Campbell Owen, nee Chrystal, born 1908 in Oban, who evidently drew up a Chrystal Tree?  I am led to believe also that her remains were scattered or that she was buried in Kippen.  I therefore also wonder if you know of anyone in Kippen interested in family History who might have heard of DMC Owen?  I’m awfully keen to track down the Tree she compiled as it seems to take the family name and its origins further back than anyone else has done, and I am therefore exceedingly interested in the sources she used.  She seems to be a bit mysterious and I believe that she died at a great age, and I am presently waiting for the arrival of what I hope may be her Death certificate from Somerset, but, being an English one, I realise that it may not offer me much information about her.

Incidentally, I did duly manage to transcribe all the 480 handwritten names on the Chrystal tree drawn up by James Chrystal, Writer, of Stirling in 1844, which I mentioned to you in my email of 11 June 2009, and I offered a copy to the Central Library Archives in Stirling but they don’t seem to collect such things, so I am just mentioning it to you again in case you ever come across anyone seeking information about the descendants of Duncan Chrystal who sheltered James Ure of Shirgarton, the Covenanter, farmer at the Dub, at the moor-end in 1679.


I hope that you are well and still doing sterling work in Gargunnock.


Kind regards,


Val Wylie