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Looking for Elizabeth Chirnside's family

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Elaine Report 11 Jan 2020 21:23

My 3 x great grandmother Elizabeth Chirnside, born in Burnhouses around 1785, had a son John Thomson (born Eccles 1819-died 1887) with John Thomson. As far as I know John and Elizabeth were never married. John Thomson (Junior) is buried in Tweedmouth Cemetary. His wife Louisa Freeman is buried in a London cemetary with some of her children and great-grandchildren.

I would very much like to find out more about the Chirnside connection - my Great Grandfather's sister Alice Chirnside (who later married a Russell) and his daughter Alice Chirnside (who died young from Parkinson's Diesase, no children) were both named after Elizabeth Chirnside, but without a marriage certificate/record it is hard to know who her parents were. William Chirnside seems to be a possinibility because of the location, but I am really not too sure. :-)


safc Report 11 Jan 2020 21:30


Baptism entry While we have made all efforts to correctly record the information in the original document there may be different interpretations of the written words. If you have access to the original document and believe we have made a mistake you are encouraged to report this to us. Report an Error in this Data Field
(only fields with a value are shown) Value
County Northumberland
Place Kyloe
Church name St Nicholas
Register type Transcript
Baptism date 11 Jun 1786
Person forename Elizabeth
Person sex F
Father forename James
Mother forename Ann
Father surname CHIRNSIDE
Person abode Brock Mill
Father occupation Hind
Notes Mother name uncertain as enclosed in brackets by original transcriber
Transcribed by Lynne Kermode
File line number 406

Marked As Answer Marked as Answered

Shirley~I,m getting the hang of it

Shirley~I,m getting the hang of it Report 11 Jan 2020 21:32

Where is burnhouses.?

What about this one ?
Elizabeth Chirnside
Birth Date: 14 May 1783
Gender: Female
Event Type: Baptism
Father: William Chirnside
Baptism Date: 17 May 1783
Baptism Place: Alnwick, Northumberland, England
Denomination: Presbyterian
Piece Title: Piece 1697: Alnwick, Sion Meeting House (formerly Bondgate) (Presbyterian), 1781-1820

Elizabeth Churnside
Gender: Female
Baptism Date: 17 May 1783
Baptism Place: Rock,Northumberland,England
Father: William Churnside
Mother: Isabel
FHL Film Number: 94970


safc Report 11 Jan 2020 21:32

Kyloe is a civil parish in the county of Northumberland, about 8 miles south-east of Berwick-on-Tweed. The grade-II-listed former Church of St Nicholas in Kyloe was built in the 18th century,


safc Report 11 Jan 2020 21:41








60 17


View image (6 credits)






50 215


View image (6 credits)






50 65


from scotlands people


malyon Report 11 Jan 2020 21:45

Elizabeth Chirnside
mentioned in the record of Mathew Sprot

30 June 1816

Name: Elizabeth Chirnside
Sex: Female
Husband: Mathew Sprot
Other information in the record of Mathew Sprot
from England, Northumberland, Parish Registers, 1538-1950

Mathew Sprot
Event Type:
Event Place:
Tweedmouth, Northumberland, England, United Kingdom
Marital Status:
Spouse's Name:
Elizabeth Chirnside
Spouse's Gender:
Spouse's Marital Status:


Elaine Report 11 Jan 2020 21:48

Thank you, safc and Shirley! I am not entirely sure where Burnhouses is myself, but I was given the following information by a fellow researcher/connected family member whom I met on Ancestry, which seems to indicate the Tweed Valley is in Scotland? This is what they had to say:

"Your question about John Thomson made me search out my notes and I found that I had got his place of birth from the 1861 Census when, aged 40, he was living at Thornyhill Cottage at Lesmahagow with his wife Louisa(30) and their 1 yr old son John Freeman Thomson. John senior's place of birth was recorded as Eccles, Berwickshire. This prompted me to search for his birth on Scotland's People and I found a John Thomson's birth recorded on page 158 of the Eccles Parish Records as being the illegitimate son of John Thomson and Elizabeth Chirnside of Burnhouses born 8th July 1819. I have attached a copy of the birth record that I downloaded.

This fits with what you were saying about the Chirnside name but I was unable to find the marriage anywhere on Scotland's People - or did she bring the child up herself? The name Chirnside is locally common in that part of the Tweed valley and there are later census records showing an unmarried Elizabeth Chirnsides living with a sister but by the 1861 census your John is away and married with his own family."

I will look more closely at the records you have both shared, thank you for those! The dates would seem to be 'ball park' as they say! I have yet to find death or burial info for either John or Elizabeth. Thomson is such a common name in Scotland/The Borders, rather like Smith or Jones in the UK!!


safc Report 11 Jan 2020 22:18







40 158



Elaine Report 11 Jan 2020 22:47

Oooooh!!! safc, you are a rock star!! So... it looks like they married the following year, then.... how I did not find this on Ancestry I do not know, but that looks very much like them! Thank you! I'll order the certificate right away... :-D (Note: I will keep this thread open until it arrives, then I will update with the details, in case anyone else comes looking later on...)


safc Report 11 Jan 2020 23:00

hi Elaine

that's john thomson

baptism 1820

not the marriage


Elaine Report 11 Jan 2020 23:10

Ah... I saw the 'M' and thought it was the marriage!! I guess they never did marry then, at least not at that point... :-)


ErikaH Report 12 Jan 2020 10:39

Burnhouse, is close to DUNS in Berwickshire, Scotland

Where did you find info about Elizabeth's birth year?

Or is it guesswork based on when she gave birth?


KathleenBell Report 12 Jan 2020 11:30

There were quite a lot of "Irregular" marriages in the area at that time which will not be found in parish records.

I have a little book of Irregular Border Marriages advertised in the Berwick Advertiser and other border papers from 1808 to 1864.

There are 7 Chirnside marriages in it - all in Northumberland - but unfortunately there isn't one for Elizabeth Chirnside.

Kath. x


ArgyllGran Report 12 Jan 2020 11:58

Either of the first two Coldingham births posted by safc could be the right one - right area, anyway. (1791 or 1796)

If you have good factual reason to think that c1795 is correct for her birth, then the 1796 one might be it.

There's also a village called Chirnside between Duns and Coldingham - nearer to Duns than to Coldingham.

Oops, sorry - I misread the birth year . Elaine says 1785, not 1795.


ErikaH Report 12 Jan 2020 12:04

OP suggests c1785 for the birth


Maddie Report 12 Jan 2020 12:16

elizabeth 1791 ????

Last name Chirnside
Marriage year 1826
Marriage date 29 Jun 1826
Marriage place Coldingham,Berwick,Scotland
Spouse's first name(s) John
Spouse's last name Logan
Place Coldingham
County Berwickshire
Country Scotland
Father's first name(s) Thomas
Father's last name Chirnside
Spouse's father's first name(s) James
Spouse's father's last name Logan


Elaine Report 12 Jan 2020 16:56

Wow, so many lovely people, thank you all! I'll try to answer in order:

ErikaH; thanks for the location info - I'll be heading back to Google Maps shortly! The birth year is an approximation, mainly from Ancestry records, but it's by no means certain as I was hoping for a birth record or a marriage record to help verify her parents! So it's a 'TBC' at the moment!

Kathleen Bell; Ah, that's a shame! I'm coming to the conclusion that John & Elizabeth never formally married... perhaps being a 'canny Scot' he/they didn't want to pay for a marriage license?! :-) (or couldn't afford to). Certainly it wasn't talked about that great-great grandfather was illegitimate, but I do remember my uncle saying that he started to research the family history and "found a skeleton in the closet" so he stopped! He would never say what it was, but I'm thinking that this may have been it... I will probably never know.

ArgyllGran; Yes, it could be that Elizabeth was a few years younger than John, but didn't admit to it, perhaps? It seems that many men married younger women... indeed another member of the same family (Thomson) married a man 25 years her senior - he had recently been widowed and had children, so I suspect it may not have been 'love' but practicality. For all that, the lady didn't live very much longer than her much older husband! :-(

Maddie: Thank you but I don't think this Elizabeth Chirnside is the one, as my ELizabeth's 'spouse' was John Thomson, not Logan. Unless she gave birth to son John in 1819 and then left the father of her child and married John Logan a few years later....? Possible I suppose, as I don't know if John Jnr has any siblings. I've not yet been able to verify the birth dates or places of John or Elizabeth, only their son John born 1819, baptised 1820 and died Feb 1887 is certainty. Which is why it is so frustrating that there appears to be no formal marriage. Even John Thomson Jnr's birthplace is given on census forms as 'Scotland'. It was the baptism of John Jnr which gave his mother Elizabeth's birthplace ('Elizabeth Chirnside of Burnhouses'). I guess I need to concentrate now on baptism records for Elizabeth Chirnside to see if Burnhouses pops up again... Knowing that John Jnr was born in Eccles narrows it down a bit!


ArgyllGran Report 12 Jan 2020 17:50

I've had a look at John Thomson's birth record in 1820.
It doesn't say that Elizabeth was born in Burnhouses.

Burnhouses was her address at the time of John's birth.

Granted, at that time she probably hadn't moved far from her birthplace.

Eccles is about 6 miles NE of Kelso, and roughly about 8 miles as the crow flies S of Duns.


ArgyllGran Report 12 Jan 2020 18:09

I think Burnhouse was the name of the cottage where she lived.

A plantation which chiefly consist of beech and fir trees, extending for nearly a mile along the southern and steep banks of the Lambden Burn, from the boundary of the adjoining parish of Hume to ****** a small cottage called "Burnhouse" *****from which it has received its name. It is the property of Sir Hugh Campbell Bart, [Baronet] Marchmont and was planted by the late Colonel Murray, who, when a child was brought to the spot, where a spade and sapling was handed to him, which he put in the ground and planting the first tree. __"

These people are listed as "Authority for spelling";
******Mr. Thompson Marchmont. ****** Mr. Johnston Kennetsideheads Mr. Stevenson Schoolmaster. Eccles

Lambden Burn
Lambden Burn is a stream in Scotland. Lambden Burn is situated northeast of Leitholm.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Leitholm (Scots: Leithowm)[1] is a village in the Scottish Borders area of Scotland, 4 miles (6.4 km) north-west of Coldstream, in the former county of Berwickshire.
Other places nearby include the Crosshall cross, Duns, **** Eccles, **** Ednam, Fogo, Greenlaw, Hume Castle, Polwarth, Westruther.

Leitholm is only about 3 miles away from Eccles.


ArgyllGran Report 12 Jan 2020 18:21

Link to mention of "plan of the farm of Burnhouses", on the Marchmont Estate, Eccles.

Dated 1777.
Apparently held in the National Records of Scotland.

Also this dated 1792:
Plan of the farms of Burnhouses and Herdrig