East Dunbartonshire Council Archives (I): Campsie parish records

Copyright © 2008 Iain Kennedy

Campsie parish was in Stirlingshire until the county reorganisation in 1975 when it and its records were transferred to East Dunbartonshire. Consult the parish records at Kirkintilloch library.

Full pauper rolls are thin on the ground for Campsie, and many of the documents that survive are too fragile to be viewed by the public. The only self-contained roll that can be viewed is for parts of 1860, document PD 4/2/1. Remember that Scottish women maintained their maiden names on marrying, it is insufficient to search under Kennedy!

List of paupers chargeable to the parish of Campsie and residing therein or in the immediate neighbourhood. March 1860.

There are no entries in the index under Kennedy but two key spouses are listed under their maiden names.

McLennan or Kennedy, Mary. Residing Flemings Land, Lennoxtown aged 48, born Campsie. Married. Partially disabled. Keeps house. Weekly aliment 2/6. Husband John Kennedy shoemaker Lennoxtown separated from her. He is in bad health and poor.

O'Donnell or Kennedy, Mary. residing Brashburn age 40 born Ireland. Widow. Able Keeps house. Aliment 2/6. Dependents Mary 17, Patrick 14 mill worker, Agnes 12 millworker, Margaret 8 scholar, Michael 6.

Both of these families are known and have been written up on my mini-study "The Irish and Scottish Kennedys of Campsie" (as family #s 6 and 2 respectively). Michael, son of Mary O'Donnell and James Kennedy, was later a claimant for poor relief in Glasgow.

Mary McLennan married shoemaker John Kennedy in Campsie in 1837 and had only one recorded child, Angus born 1838 who seems to have perished as a child. This name alone sticks out as it is so strongly Highland for its time - in the 1851 census 53 out of the 56 Angus Kennedys are natives of the Highlands. Mary McLennan is without doubt the second wife of John Kennedy of Laroch, Drymen parish, son of Angus Kennedy from Rannoch and his wife Elizabeth McKay; and the record tells us that his first wife Catherine McLean must have died between 1834 (birth of their last child Mary in Springburn) and 1837. There were several other John Kennedys in the parish, mostly Irish natives, but none were shoemakers.

From this sole surviving pauper roll I turned to the minute books of the parochial board, for which I viewed volumes covering 1858-63 and 1871-79.

PD/1/1/2 Parochial board minute book 1858-63.

There are 14 Kennedy references from the discussions about poor relief claims, of which 11 relate to either John Kennedy the shoemaker or his separated wife Mary!

5 Apr 1859 Mary McLennan Kennedy at present to be allowed an aliment of 2/6 per week

7 Jun 1859 John Kennedy Lennoxtown to be allowed an aliment of 1/- a week.

5 Jul 1859 John Kennedy to be struck off roll

14 Feb 1860 Jane Kennedy case admitted

3 Apr1860 John Kennedy Lennoxtown to be allowed an aliment of 1/- a week

25 Sep 1860 Mary McLennan or Kennedy case to be considered; John Kennedy outdoor relief refused [these two entries were on adjacent lines in the minutes].

25 Sep 1860 Dennis Carr whose wife [Mary Kennedy] has been placed in Gartnavel Asylum proceeding approved of.

2 Oct 1860 John Kennedy petition rejected

5 Feb 1861 John Kennedy outdoor relief refused

13 Aug 1861 John Kennedy to be allowed 1/- a week

11 Mar 1862 John Kennedy outdoor relief refused and past aliment not to be paid to him

12 Aug 1862 Mary McLennan Lennoxtown listed at 2/6 (#75 on pauper roll)

12 Aug 1862 John Kennedy arrangements made by the Inspector with his sons agreed to.

This last is presumed to refer to John's sons John and James who were both married with young children in Lennoxtown. The correspondence would be in the letters book but the book for 1862 has not survived and the other books are both too fragile for public viewing, and lack an index. John Kennedy died in 1868 in Lennoxtown (but not, note, described then as a pauper). Mary McLennan his second wife died a pauper in 1887 at Crosshill, Lennoxtown.

Unfortunately there is further loss of records and there is no minute book covering the remainder of John's life, although I assume that following the aforementioned 1862 arrangement there were no further claims for relief. The next available minute book covers 1871-79 and features more references to Mary McLennan amongst others.

PD 1/1/3 Parochial board minute book 1871-79

In addition to the index entries, several part rolls are transcribed so there are sometimes further records if you read the whole book. Mary McLennan/Kennedy appears at least four times:

4 Feb 1873 Lennoxtown receiving 3/- per week

17 Mar 1874 Main Street. 3/- to be continued

2 May 1876 ditto

6 Feb 1877 ditto

The other Kennedy entries are as follows.

11 Sep 1871 Robert Kennedy Torrance outdoor relief refused

2 Oct 1871 Margaret Carr or Kennedy now in Stirling District Asylum. £25 pa.

6 Feb 1872 Sarah Little or Kennedy Rowantreefaulds to be allowed an aliment of 3/6 per week (see mini-study family #7)

17 Jun 1872 Michael Kennedy case admitted [this can't be the same as the earlier Michael Kennedy since he died in 1871]

1 Apr 1873 Margaret Carr or Kennedy reduced to £24 pa

13 Jan 1874 Joseph Kennedy 3-5-0 rental sustained

17 Mar 1874 Margaret Carr or Kennedy aliment continued

7 Nov 1876 Sarah Little or Kennedy reduced to 3/4 per week. Boy working

1 Apr 1879 Sarah Little or Kennedy struck off roll, family supporting.

Dennis Carr and his Kennedy wife appear to be from Ireland, based on the 1851 census for the parish.