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John Mckeand/Elizabeth McCourtie c1811-1890's

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AnnMac Report 7 Feb 2013 17:16

Still no progress on birth of John McKeand c.1811. About to declare this officially a dead end!
Many thanks to the kind people on this site who helped me identify the above couple as the parents of my gt grandfather John Smith McKeand 1852-1937. I've found his baptism record which confirms his parentage. But I am now a bit stuck finding out more about them, apart from the births of their 11 children.Family search tells me they married in July1832 in Buittle Kirkcudbright and gives the source as Scotland ODM. Is there any way I can access or order a copy of the original record? I can't get a match to these details when I search on Scotlandspeople.

I'd also like to find records to confirm John McKend's birth - from the census this must have been around 1812/13 and was in Balmaghie, Kirkcudbrightshire (tho' in one place it is described as Dornock, Balmaghie - my grasp of Scottish geography isn't great!) . I think his father may have been called Alexander McKeand, born around 1770 in Kirkcudbrightshire, because there is a 70 yr old of that name living with the family in 1841. Can anyone help me trace John or Alexander or is this too far back in time to find agricultural labourers?
Similary if i could find out more about Elizabeth McCourtie's birth and parents that would be great. Again I have a Familysearch record showing her birth in July 1811 in Kelton Kirkcudbright and her parents as Alexander McCourty and Margaret Crosbie but when I try to find that on Scotlandspeople (which might give me an image or the details to order a copy) I draw a blank.
As ever I'd be immensely grateful for any pointers or tips on how to unravel this - or confirmation that I'm officially at the end of the road!


Reggie Report 7 Feb 2013 17:24

Previous thread.......for info


AnnMac Report 7 Feb 2013 17:31

Reggie - Thanks for adding the previous thread. I did think of attaching it (if I'd known how to!) but as there were some deadends in there and it was quite long I thought it best to summarise what I'm now looking for. Was that incorrect etiquette for this forum? I'm still finding my feet with this. I can't quite believe how helpful strangers are willing to be and I'd hate to cause offence!


BeverleyW Report 7 Feb 2013 17:41

On ScotlandsPeople there is one match for a female birth between June and August 1811 in Kelton, Kirkudbright., surname McCourtie (+ variants) and father's name Alexander. I don't have credits to look any further, I'm afraid. Adding the first name Elizabeth removes the match, so it may be a red herring.


AnnMac Report 7 Feb 2013 17:47

Beverly - thanks, I'll spend a few credits on following that up and let you know where it gets me.


AnnMac Report 7 Feb 2013 18:00

Bingo! Found the original baptism record for Elizabeth McCourty. Thank you Beverly.
The scotlandspeople search facility is weird! As you say, adding Elizabeth made the record disappear - but that's exactly what she was called!


AnnMac Report 7 Feb 2013 21:37

Can anyone please advise on how I can access an image or order a copy of the marriage in 1862 in Buittle, Kirkcudbright? It's so frustratiing to know it exists but not to be able to see it! :-(

Also no progress yet on the birth of John Mckeand/Mckind/Mckend. Does no response from you lovely people mean there is nothing out there to find?


BeverleyW Report 7 Feb 2013 22:18

1832 or 1862??

Also, what was the name of John's oldest son, please?


AnnMac Report 8 Feb 2013 10:55

Sorry, yes the marriage I'm trying get my hands on was in 27 July 1832, not 1862, at Buittle Kirkcudbright between John McKeand (spelt Mc Kind in the Family search record) and Elisabeth Mc Courty.
They had 11 children, the 10th of which was my Gt Grandfather John Smith McKeand - baptised Dumfries Sept 1852. I think they had a son before him - named Alexander - born 1836 at Borgue, Kirkcudbright, but he doesn't appear with the rest of the family on the 1841 census, so I presume he died young. In case it helps, the couple's offspring were:
Margaret Crosbie McKeand 1833 Balmaghie
Jane(t) 1834 Twynholm
Alexander 1836 Borgue - I guess he died young
Mary Ann 1838 Borgue
Elizabeth 1840 Borgue
Agnes 1842 Kirkcudbright
Possibly another girl in here who died young ? Or in the gap between Ann and John?
Matilda 1846 Kelton
Ann P 1849 Maxwelltown/Troqueer
John Smith 1852 Maxwelltown (sometimes listed as Dumfries, sometimes Kirkcudbright!)
Jane Smith 1855 Irongray, Kirkcudbrightshire - listed on birth record as 11th child, two siblings having died.

The birth I'm trying to locate is their father John McKeand - born c 1812 at Balmaghie, Kirkcudbrightshire according to census records. I'm guessing his father was called Alexander McKeand, born c. 1770 give or take 5 yrs. All agricultural labourers born in Kirkcudbrightshire.

Thanks for responding - I was about to give up in desparation!


BeverleyW Report 8 Feb 2013 17:04

Hi Ann
The reason I asked was that generally the first son was called after his father's father, so if he was Alexander then it reinforces the theory that John's father was Alexander.

Again this might be a total waste of time but I have been looking for the marriage and have got this result on ScotlandsPeople:

Surname McCourtey - - traditional soundex
Forename Eli - - forenames that begin with
Date from 1st January 1834
Date to 31st December 1834
County Kirkudbright
Parishes All

Searching with these parameters brings up just one result.
I know that it's not exactly the same as the FamilySearch record but it's the best I have found!


AnnMac Report 8 Feb 2013 22:42

Thanks for the suggestion but I'm afraid this turns out to be an Elizabeth McCartney and a John Thompson, married in Rerrick, which isn't a part of Kirkcudbrightshire that has cropped up before . So not a good match on the names or the location. Plus the date would make their first two children illegitimate.Not that that would be that unusual I suppose but taken togehther I don't think this is it!

The problem is that so much of the Buittle record on Familysearch sounds right - the date, their names are almost exactly right bar a bit of funny spelling, and the location is pretty close to where they both came from. I just can't fathom what record the Familysearch people have found that I can't get hold of! I'm wondering if I can get an image direct from them. Have you ever tried that?


AnnMac Report 8 Feb 2013 22:54

Just found Elisabeth McCourtie's parents in 1841 census. Doesn't help pin down Elisabeth's marriage but a slight sense of satisfaction all the same!

1841 census transcription details for: Meckle Richorn, Meckle Richorn, Urr

National Archive Reference:
RG number:
Reg. District:
Sub District:

City/Municipal Borough:
Address:Meckle Richorn, Meckle Richorn, Urr


MCCOURTY, Alexr M 60 1781 Ag Lab Kirkcudbrightshire

MCCOURTY, Margaret F 55 1786 Kirkcudbrightshire

Why are all these old chaps called Alexander and all agricultural labourers! Very confusing.


BeverleyW Report 8 Feb 2013 22:57

I don't live in England or anywhere which has a Family Search Centre in near proximity.
I agree with you that the marriage record you have found on FamilySearch looks like the right one. I can only think that in transcription there has been a slip. There are so many possible variations both of McKeand and McCourtie that finding the right combination of spellings would be a miracle!
Depending on where you live, perhaps you could get in touch with a Family Search centre to find the original image. Don't expect much information though, you might be disappointed.


AnnMac Report 8 Feb 2013 23:55

My nearest centre is Cardiff which isn't too inconvenient - I'm just not sure what you get to see from their microfilms and whether you can take copies! I'd be glad to hear from anyone else with experience of this process.


BeverleyW Report 9 Feb 2013 08:34

From the FamilySearch site:

The Vital Records Index - Western Europe contains information from birth, christening, and marriage records from selected localities in Western European countries. The Western Europe Indexes include:

Records that cover an approximate time period from the late 1500s to the late 1800s. In a few cases they may range into the early 1900s.
Church records and civil registrations.
Approximately 10 million birth or christening records and 2.5 million marriages records.
Names of the principal individual, his or her parents, and, for christenings, often the grandparents.
Birth, christening, death, and marriage event dates and places.
Source reference information that allows you to refer back to the original record on microfilm.

You can view the index at many FamilySearch Centers. <<<<<<<


AnnMac Report 9 Feb 2013 12:25

I've contacted the LatterDay Saints/Family Search website and they've given me an email address to apply to for a hard copy. In case this is of interets to others, the email address is
I've now sent them all the reference numbers from the record I found and wait to see what their response is. No indication yet of what they will charge, but if I can get an email image or a hard copy in the post it will be a lot better than travelling to Cardiff to look at a microfilm. Fingers crossed!


AnnMac Report 9 Feb 2013 14:51

Just spotted a second family called McKeand living near my lot in a village in Borgue in 1841 (same census page). Head of that household is called William McKeand, shown as 5 years older than my John McKeand but 1841 was the year of roundings so the age gap could be less. So I've searched for William's birth and up it came straight away - July 1812 in Colvend, Kirkcudbrightshire. Why can't my direct line ancestors be so easy to find? Interesting detail which seems to provide a link - William's father was called Alexander. I reckon that's the 70 yr old Alexander who was living with the younger brother a few doors away. Guesswork of course but progress of sorts! Bad news is that the baptism record is very blotchy so the mother's name isn't visible. So I've got no more names to assist the search.
I'll have to admit defeat soon!


Potty Report 9 Feb 2013 15:04


Have you looked for deaths for John and Elizabeth on scotlandspeople? If they died after 1855 their death registrations should have their parents' names. Do you know that Scottish registrations have more info that English & Welsh ones? ie, birth regostrations give date and place of parents' marriage; marriages give names of mothers as well as fathers and deaths give parents' names.


Potty Report 9 Feb 2013 15:57

The familysearch record for the 1832 marriage has him as John McKind; scotlandspeople has a marriage for a John McKind to an Elizabeth on 12 August 1832 - not McCourtie and not in either Kirkcudbrightshire or Dumfries-shire. The familysearch record could be banns not marriage.


Potty Report 9 Feb 2013 16:03

Just to give you some idea of the geography of the area (there is also a Kelton in Dumfries-shire)

"Kelton, Kirkcudbrightshire...It is bounded on the north, by Crossmichael; on the east, by Buittle; on the south, by Rerwick and Kirkcudbright; and on the west, by the river Dee, which separates it from Balmaghie and Tongland.