First of all, apologies for the omission, in the last edition of The Wee Vine, of the 1859 eulogy to James Kay composed by J. S. Dunn of Arngomery. It is now included following this article.
Work in the Kirkyard was somewhat hampered in late Spring by the presence of contractors building the bus shelter and using the entrance area for storage and cement mixing, so the first task on their departure was to clear up the debris left by them.
The above process exposed, what was initially believed to be a coping stone dislodged from the entrance wall, a memorial stone with an inscription to the memory of Duncan Robertson and his wife Mary McGrigor, dated 1830! Unfortunately, as a result of years of having been lying, partially buried, in a direct route from the gate, the inscription is barely readable but archive material has identified that they lived in Arnprior and that two further Robertson burials followed in the same lair in 1892 and 1903.
In a similar vein one of the Kippen Heritage group was playing bridge with a Ms Fairlie who mentioned her forbears lived in Kippen (Loaningfoot), and had connections with the Aikman family. Coincidentally ‘Aikman’ is recorded as occupying lair No. 1 but there is no longer a stone in that position. Further on-site investigation has discovered the Aikman grave slab, dated 1786 several yards away; it appears to have been moved perhaps to protect it during slate removal on the Smiddy roof as a quantity of discarded slate was uncovered where the stone should have been!
As stones, long buried, are uncovered we are always very interested to know if anyone has any knowledge or information about the deceased, therefore we will continue to report any discoveries in The Wee Vine and be available to visitors to assist in locating memorials as was the case recently when Canadian visitors arrived at the Kirkyard.
Dale and Anita Galbraith from Canada, on holiday with Dale’s brother who now lives in
Texas, were pleased to gain access to Kippen’s historic kirkyard. They were researching their family history and looking for graveyards where ancestors named Galbraith were buried. They had come from Culcreuch Castle Hotel, the ancestral seat of the Scottish clan Galbraith for over 700 years where it was suggested to them to explore Kippen’s kirkyard. It was not to disappoint. A relevant stone was quickly located. Subsequent research by a Kippen heritage group member revealed a further significant number of Galbraith burials. This information will be forwarded to the family in Canada.
These are 3 early examples to encourage the Heritage group as to the importance of the project, in its early stages, to restore the kirkyard and enable archive material to be matched with stones and made easily accessible to people both on site and across the world on line.
Irene Chapman & June Waley, Kippen Heritage