Making History: Missing Fugitive Covenanters of 1684


Dear Readers, can you help find where some fugitive Covenanters lived?

A few years ago, when I was working on the published Fugitive Roll of 1684, I did not manage to discover the locations of a few fugitives. (44 out of nearly 1900 listed.)

Hopefully, you may know where they lived and can help make history. Any suggestions are welcome.

I know which county the fugitives lived in, but not where the placenames attached to their names lie, or which parish they were in. If the placename is located, then the parish can be easily identified. Please bear in mind that the spelling of the placenames are as they were recorded in 1684. In many cases they will not be the same today. In some cases the farm may only be recorded on old maps.

The NLS old maps website may be a useful tool.

Bing Maps has an OS maps view.

The following fugitives lived at locations which are still to be identified.

In Lanarkshire, or possibly in Stirlingshire or Dunbartonshire (2 fugitives):
1. ‘James Thomson, in Harestocks’
2. ‘John Browning, there [in Harestocks]’

Renfrewshire (4 fugitives):
3. ‘Alexander Syme, in Alas-bridge’
4. ‘Humphrey Atkin, in Barmushloch’
5. ‘Robert Fulton, in Barrantree’
6. ‘John Mader, servitor to John Thomson in Path-head’

Ayrshire (5 fugitives):
‘John Aird, in Auchinlochat’
‘John Arthur, in Borland’
‘James Ferguson, in Ashlie-mill’
‘John Howie, in Craich-head’
‘William Macneilly, son to Alexander Macneilly now in mains of Arstinchil’

Galloway, Wigtownshire (1 fugitive):
‘Alexander Clingen, in Kilellan’

Galloway, Kirkcudbrightshire (5 fugitives):
‘William Kevan, in Stocklin’
‘Edward Gordon, in Blacke’
‘George Macmichael, of Carskep, reset and harbour’
‘John Macchesny, in Hole, reset and harbour’
‘John Hislop, in Midairds, reset and harbour’

Dumfriesshire, Nithsdale (3 fugitives):
‘David Watson, son to the deceased James Watson at the Carse-mill’
‘Alexander Gibson, in Ford’
‘Alexander Muirhead, in Glencarse’

Dumfriesshire, Annandale (3 fugitives):
‘James Johnston, in Hayhill’
‘——– Williamson, in Shortlie’
‘John Paterson, in Sclate-mire’

Borders, Peeblesshire (2 fugitives):
‘William Forbes, servant to Thomas Weir in Sclathole’
‘Thomas Weir, merchant traveller [in Sclathole]’

Borders, Roxburgh (11 fugitives):
‘John Laidley, in Justice-lies’
‘Thomas Scot, servant in Hill-house-land’
‘Andrew Moir, in Netherton-shiels’
‘John Bell, in Netherton-shiels’
‘Andrew Hare, servant to Andrew Ainslie in Cleugh’
‘——- Johnston, fourth son to Bangleish’
‘John Ker, gardener in Knows’
‘Thomas Turnball, in Know, for reset’
‘James Scot, in Laick’
‘Thomas Yellowlees, servant to John Mein in Barns’
‘John Anderson, in the Barns’

Borders, Berwickshire (1 fugitive):
‘John Blackie, son to —— Blackie in Kittle-naked’

West Lothian, Linlithgowshire (2 fugitives):
‘James Steel, in Dunheigh’
‘William Miller, in Steels-land-head’

Mid Lothian, Edinburghshire (5 fugitives):
‘William Aikman, wright in Calderclear’
‘Andrew Mackornet, in Bogend’
John Murray, of Lumphford’
‘Robert Anderson, brother to William Anderson at Blackmire’
‘James Tennant, in Letham’

If you know where any of these locations might be, or can suggest where they might be, please let me know via a comment or email jardinesbookofmartyrs [at]

Good Luck!


~ by drmarkjardine on August 8, 2013.

9 Responses to “Making History: Missing Fugitive Covenanters of 1684”

  1. Dr. Jardine, You may already have the attached old publication, but if not, there is a long list of place names and descriptions at the back. Perhaps this may be of help. Dorothy Wiley

  2. Hello Mark, Under the 5 Ayrshire fugitives the place-name Borland appears, which I guess may be fairly common place. There is one in the parish of Old Cumnock, to the south near the boundary with New Cumnock. The surname Arthur appears in the 1691 Hearth Tax of Old and New Cumnock but is not liked to any place-name. There was a prominent Arthur family in New Cumnock in the 19th century and one left money for the building of the Arthur Memorial Free Church in the village. I wonder if Craich-head may be a reference to the Craighead area of the town (clachan then) of Cumnock. In Nithsdale we are firmer ground with Carse Mill which appears in the OS Map 1843-1882 near Friars Carse which is just upstream on the Nith from Ellisland. There is a Carse Mains and Carse Loch, so there may also have been a Glencarse nearby,, Bobby

  3. I believe there is a Boreland in almost every parish, and I was told it means the centre of the parish. Or perhaps is related to glebe lands, as the one or two I know are quite close to old kirks…

  4. Hi there…my wife is tea searching a family tree for a friend and has found James Gourlay from Cambusnethan. He fought at the Battle of Bothwell Bridge and the Battle of Drumclog. From what we have found online, he seems a bit of a character. Can you help in anyway?? We know he was buried at Cambusnethan. We also have found an obituary for his great grandson (Gibb) in 1870, which recounts some of his tales..
    Many thanks

  5. Sorry I deleted my last post

  6. Covenanters
    The Fugitive Roll of 5 May 1684.Orr, Robert, in New Dykes, [perhaps near Dikes, now Dyke (NS 488 565) and Dyke Hill, Neilston parish, or High Dykes, in Paisley parish], Renfrewshire

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