Family Facts and Rumours

This page presents information relating to substantiated and rumoured family connections to people of note:

     Your comments and information are welcome:    

Thomas Main DD:
Thomas Main DD (1816 - 1881) was said by my grandmother Mary Saunders (nee Main 1881-1974) to be related to our family. There is a substantiated link from direct ancestor John Main of Glentore born 1789.  Thomas was his nephew, son of John's brother Robert (1784-1858) and Janet Hutchison.
John Cunningham Laird of Craigends:
Thomas Main DD married Wilhelmina Cunningham, daughter of John Cunningham, Laird of Craigends (1759-1822).
John Douglas Edward Henry Campbell, Duke of Argyll:
Wilhelmina Main's sister, Ann Colquhoun Cunningham married John, Duke of Argyll, in 1831 at Kilbarchen, Renfrew.

Henry Bell:
Henry Bell (built the first commercially successful steamship in Europe. The "Comet" sailed on the Clyde between Greenock and Glasgow. 
Henry was born at Torphichen in 1767 and died at Helensburgh in 1830. He Married Margaret Young.  There are no known children and therefore no direct line of ancestry. 
My mother Margaret Downs Saunders and my maternal grandmother Mary Saunders ms Main said there was a family connection.  The link in the direct line is through Jean Main ms Bell , my grandmother's grandmother. She was born (1795) and raised in Slamannan about five miles West of Torphichen. Her parents were William Bell (the oldest substantiated Bell relative in our family) born 1772 at Slamannan, Stirling, and Jean Duncan born 1773 at Abercorn. 
A plausible but unsubstantiated link to Henry Bell can be found as follows:
Parents of William Bell (1772), William Bell (Torphichen, 1735) and Janet Graham (Slamannan 1743). IGI Record of birthdate birthplace and parents. All of William Bell and Janet Graham's children are shown as being born at Slamannan.
His Parents were Patrick Bell (1702) and Janet Meek (circa 1704).
They also had a son Patrick Bell (William's brother) born in 1753.
This Patrick Bell and his wife Margaret Easton were the parents of Henry Bell.

The main weakness in this chain is the lack of a substantiated link from William (1735) to Patrick Bell (1702) and Janet Meek. The only known children of William (1735) and Janet Graham were Janet, John, William, and Charles. The naming convention suggests William's father may have been John, and there is no child called Patrick. 

James Hogg and Will O' Whaup:

There is a belief handed down from previous generations of my branch of the Laidlaw family that there is a connection to James Hogg through his mother Margaret Laidlaw, and to James Hogg's grandfather William Laidlaw of Phawhope.

James Hogg has stated in his works that William was his grandfather  and was one of the "Laidlaws of Craik" born in 1691.

Attempts so far to substantiate a link have failed. This does not mean that there is not one, but if there is one it is likely to be a generation or more back from our oldest known direct ancestor, Andrew Laidlaw of Gair. Andrew was born circa 1725, place of birth unknown, and married Agnes Glendinning at Westerkirk, Dumfries in 1746. Andrew and Agnes's first children were born at Glenkerry, a little closer to Ettrick from Gair along Tima Water, and subsequent children at Gair . Will was born in 1691 and would therefore be from a previous generation, so it is possible that Andrew and Will had a common grandfather. 

Support for a link depends mainly on the name and the fact that Andrew and Agnes and subsequent generations lived at Gair.  Tima Water runs along the western edge of Craik forest.