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James Orr/Margaret Allan Research Notes

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Fifth Generation

James Orr [Sr] (MA60) and Margaret Allan [Sr] (MA61), James Allan (MA62) and Margaret Kirkwood (MA63)


Because of the information contained in their marriage records, identifying the baptisms and parents of this generation ahould not have been as difficult as it had been for James Orr [Jr] (MA30) and Margaret Allan [Jr] (MA31).  That was a reasonable assumption for James Orr [Sr], but Margaret Allan [Sr] proved more of a challenge, primarily because the findings were not in agreement with Ancestry Trees.

James Orr [Sr]  James Orr [Sr] (MA60) and Margaret Allan [Sr] (MA61) were married 11 Oct 1750 (Church of Scotland, Kilbirnie, Ayrshire, Parish register for 1750).  The record names their fathers: James Orr [Sr.] was the son of deceased? Patrick Orr, farmer in Lochridge; Margaret Allan [Sr] was the daughter of James Allan of Whiteredden.

Records have been found for only three children of James Orr [Sr] and Margaret Allan [Sr], all baptized in Kilbirnie:

  1. Margarat Orr, Christening Date: 24 Dec 1752
  2. Patrick Orr, Christening Date: 1 Aug 1756
  3. James Orr, Christening Date: 15 Feb 1761

Margaret Orr, daughter of James, died at Lochridge 7 Jun 1763.

Early years for Kilbirnie records did not appear in Family Search, so all productive searches were done in Scotland's People.  The first search was for marriages from 1538 to 1725, with no restriction on location, for a Patrick Orr.  Only four records were located.  Two of those were in distant counties, Stirling and West Lothian.  The other two were in Kilbirnie, Ayr:

  1. 30 Dec 1692, Orr, Patrick/Issabell Ramsey, Kilbirnie,Ayr 596/00 0010 0014
  2. 02 Sep 1701, Orr, Patrick/Margaret Millar, Kilbirnie, Ayr 596/00 0010 0031

The search for James Orr, son of Patrick Orr, incorporated all children surnamed Orr with a father named Patrick who were baptized between 1692 and 1740 in Kilbirnie.  Using the criteria used for James Orr [Jr.], this assumes that he was born after 1692 (date of the Orr/Ramsey marriage, but age 60 at birth of first child in 1752), and that he was born before 1733 (at least age 17 at his 1750 marriage), but may have had later siblings.  No children were found for Patrick Orr and Issabell Ramsey, ruling them out as candidates.  Two of the children were baptized in Maybole Parish, children of Patrick Orr and Agnes Gray.  Neither of those children were named James.  The remaining children were baptized in Kilbirnie parish, and all were children of Patrick Orr and Margaret Millar/Miller:

  1. 12 Oct 1704, Orr, William, Parents: Patrick Orr/Margaret Millar, 596/00 0010 0039
  2. 22 Sep 1706, Orr, John, Parents: Patrick Orr/Margaret Millar, 596/00 0010 0042
  3. 20 Mar 1709, Orr, Elizabeth, Parents: Patrick Orr/Margaret Millar, 596/00 0010 0048
  4. 02 Mar 1712, Orr, Patrick, Parents: Patrick Orr/Margaret Miller, 596/00 0010 0053
  5. 21 Dec 1714, Orr, Thomas, Parents: Patrick Orr/Margaret Miller, 596/00 0010 0058
  6. 07 Jul 1717, Orr, Jean, Parents: Patrick Orr/Margaret Miller, 596/00 0010 0063
  7. 31 Jul 1720, Orr, Robert, Parents: Patrick Orr/Margaret Miller, 596/00 0010 0068
  8. 22 Mar 1724, Orr, James, Parents: Patrick Orr/Margaret Miller, 596/00 0010 0073

Thus, James Orr [Sr], youngest child of Patrick Orr, farmer in Lochridge, and Margaret Miller, was baptized 22 Mar 1724 at Kilbirnie (Church of Scotland, Kilbirnie, Ayrshire, Parish register for 1724 p.69).

Margaret Allan [Sr]  James [Sr] is the father of James [Jr].  Margaret Allan [Sr] is not the mother of Margaret Allan [Jr], she is the mother of James [Jr].  As noted earlier, according to her marriage record, Margaret Allan [Sr] was the daughter of James Allan of Whiteridden (no known connection to the James Allan who married Agnes Rodger, great-granddaughter of James Orr [Sr] and Margaret Allan [Sr]).

The search for Margaret Allan, daughter of James Allan, was more difficult.  Allan is a very common surname, and James is a very common given name.  Many of the Ancestry Trees, even those that have her marriage date in 1750, give her father's name as David.  Others don't name her father, but none of them give her father's name as James.

My search began with the premise that Margaret Allan [Sr]'s marriage record is correct and her father is James Allan from Whitereddin in Kilbirnie.  Marriages of James Allan in Ayr were searched from 1538-1735 (the records in Kilbirnie begin in 1688 according to the Family History Library Catalog), identified thirteen marriages, three of them in Kilbirnie:

  1. 20 Nov 1711, Allan, James/Jean Allan 596/00 0010 0051
  2. 05 Jun 1716, Allan, James/Jean Gulliland 596/00 0010 0060
  3. 10 Nov 1726, Allan, James/Janet Allan 596/00 0010 0074

The next search was of children born in Kilbirnie to James Allan between 1711 and 1740.  There were 13 children, from six different families.  Two families were eliminated because they did not have a daughter Margaret.  A third family was given a low priority because their daughter Margaret was born in 1735, and would have been only 15 years old at the time of her 1750 marriage.  That left three possible candidates for Margaret [Sr].  The original baptism records were examined, and the residence of the father is noted:

  1. 29 Mar 1724, Allan, Margarat, daughter of James Allan/Jean Allan 596/00 0010 0073; father on record: James of Whitereddin; interesting coincidence? Margaret's baptism is the next item following the record of James [Sr]'s baptism
  2. 17 Aug 1729, Allan, Margarat, daughter of James Allan/Jean Gulliland 596/00 0010 0082; father on record: James of Green brae
  3. 18 Aug 1728, Allan, Margarat, daughter of James Allan/Janet Allan 596/00 0010 0081; father on record: farmer in Holmhead

Notice that the three girls match the three marriages listed above.  None of their baptism dates or father's names match the information on Ancestry Trees.  However, the record seems clear: that Margaret Allan [Sr] (MA61) was baptized on 29 Mar 1724 (Church of Scotland, Kilbirnie, Ayrshire, Parish register for 1724 p.69), the daughter of James Allan and Jean Allan of Whitereddin.

James Allan  James Allan (MA62) and Margaret Kirkwood (MA63) were married 5 Apr 1757 (Church of Scotland, Kilbirnie, Ayrshire, Parish register for 1757).  The record names their fathers: James Allan, farmer in Glengarth, was the son of deceased John Allan of Glengarth; Margaret Kirkwood was the daughter of deceased James Kirkwood of Barshaw?.

Records have been found for nine children of James Allan and Margaret Kirkwood, all baptized in Kilbirnie:

  1. Janet Allan, Christening Date: 12 Mar 1758
  2. John Allan, Christening Date: 8 Nov 1759
  3. Margarat Allan, Christening Date: 8 Oct 1762
  4. Isabel Allan, Christening Date: 9 Dec 1764
  5. Jean Allan, Christening Date: 5 Apr 1767
  6. Agness Allan, Christening Date: 15 Feb 1770
  7. James Allan, Christening Date: 12 Apr 1772
  8. Jean Allan, Christening Date: 1 December 1774
  9. Ann Allan, Christening Date: 15 June 1777
A search for the baptism of James Allan (MA62) assumed that he was born after 1688 (in case his 1757 marriage to Margaret Kirkwood was not his first), and that he was born before 1740 (at least age 17 at his 1757 marriage).  Scotland's People birth/baptism indexes for Ayr identified 12 possibilities, three of them in Kilbirnie parish:

  1. 20 Jan 1717, Allan, James; John Allan of Auchenfade/Margarat Harvie 596/00 0010 0063
  2. 08 Nov 1727, Allan, James; John Allan of Ladyland/Janet Jameison 596/00 0010 0078
  3. 15 Sep 1728, Allan, James; John Allan of Glengarth/Isabel Gavin 596/00 0010 0081

We know the father, but the Scottish family naming practices can be helpful in selecting the mother:

  • 1st daughter named after maternal grandmother - 1st daughter=Janet
  • 2nd daughter named after paternal grandmother - 2nd daughter=Margaret
  • 3rd daughter named after mother - 3rd daughter=Isabel

In this case the tradition did not work - John Allan of Glengarth and Isabel Gavin were the parents of James (Church of Scotland, Kilbirnie, Ayrshire, Parish register for 1728 p.77).

Margaret Kirkwood  According to her marriage record, Margaret Kirkwood (MA63) was the daughter of deceased James Kirkwood of Barshaw?.  A search for the baptism of Margaret Kirkwood assumed that she was born after 1727 (age 50 at birth of last child in 1777), and that she was born before 1742 (at least age 15 at her 1757 marriage).  Scotland's People birth/baptism indexes for Ayr identified three possibilities, only one of of them in Kilbirnie parish: Margaret, daughter of James Kirkwood, farmer in Bashaw, and Janet Orr, was baptized 3 Feb 1734 (Church of Scotland, Kilbirnie, Ayrshire, Parish register for 1734 p.82).

James Orr/Margaret Allan Research Notes-Fourth Generation
James Orr/Margaret Allan Research Notes-Sixth Generation

Return to James Orr [Sr.] in McKaig Notes
Return to Margaret Allan [Sr.] in McKaig Notes
Return to James Allan in McKaig Notes
Return to Jean Allan in McKaig Notes


© 2014 Shirley York Anderson