Monday, 28 November 2011

Isabella Oliver

This gravestone/monument attracts attention due to the large scale of the urn like object on top of the gravestone. You can see it in detail below. I'm not even sure it is an actual urn. The gravestone is located next to the right-hand side wall of the graveyard, coming in from the Main Road entrance.

The text reads as follows:



William C. Oliver

in memory

of his daughter

Isabella Oliver

who was born

at Denholm

Parish of Cavers (?)

5 September 1815

and died at Rutherford Inn

12th July 1856

Saturday, 26 November 2011

John White and Robert Cameron + family

A partially broken gravestone which has engravings on both sides and was renewed for more use in the 19th Century. Of course I can't be sure but I strongly suspect the Robert Cameron, mason, mentioned on the Renewed side was the original mason who did most of the later inscriptions. The engraving changes in style with the mention of his death.

The text on the oldest side of the stone states at the top:

John XXXIV - 15

.........shall turn again into dust


to the memory of

John White portioner Lindon

who died the 10th July 1718

aged 79 years


Elizabeth Donaldson

daughter of Thomas Donal

dson who died the 28th April 1842

aged 1 year and 4 months

You don't hear the word portioner a lot nowadays but it means the proprietor of a small portion of a larger piece of land. See this link.

On the other side of the stone it says:



by Robert Cameron

in memory of his mother

Elizabeth White

she died on 2th March 1855

aged 68 years. Also

Donald Cameron his father

who died on the 1st May 1861

aged 60 years

Also the above

Robert Cameron

mason, Linton, who died 23rd January

1912, aged 78 years

and who is interred immediately at the back

of this stone.

It remains a mystery how the Donaldsons mentioned on the first side of the stone were related to either the Camerons or the Whites.

Friday, 25 November 2011

The Muir family gravestones 3

Time for the last of the Muir family gravestones, all located together in a group of three, as can be seen in the previous 2 posts. Normally I wouldn't feature such a relatively recent gravestone but it seemed a shame to leave it out, specially as it shows this family didn't just stay in West Linton, they got a lot further afield.

Here is the text:


loving remembrance of


Thomas Ballentine Muir

late of Sao Paolo, Brazil

born Robinsland, West Linton

died in London, 8th Dec. 1933

aged 64 years

Also of his wife, our mother

Jean Gray Dyer

born Eddleston 23rd March 1870

died Sao Paolo, Brazil, 13th July

1945, in her 74th year.

Jane Craig Dalziel Muir

daughter of William Muir

Robinsland, died at Edinburgh

14th February 1938


Which is a word that's hard to translate (from the Portuguese) but roughly means a nostalgic longing. It is more fully explained here. What a beautiful word this turned out to be. I loved reading the Wikipedia explanation and the accompying painting. You learn something new everyday and I'm so pleased to get acquainted with such a lovely expression.

Tuesday, 22 November 2011

William Muir

If you refer back to the previous post you will see that this gravestone is in the middle of the 3 Muir graves.

Here is what it says:

In loving Memory


William Muir

farmer Robinsland

who died 1st April 1868, aged 40 years


Martha White

his wife, who died at Longyester

24th July 1904, aged 66 years

Also their children

John Muir

died 19th March 1857, aged 23 days

Agnes Muir

died 10th June 1883, aged 5 years

Catherine Muir

died 7th July 1863, aged 6 weeks

William Forrest Muir

died 5th February 1875, aged 8 years

and 5 months

Grace Morrison Milne

wife of James Muir

died at Glenfarg, 3rd December1929

James Muir

eldest son of William Muir

who died at Linden Lea, Peebles

26th May 1831, aged 76 years

Elizabeth Muir

died at Linden Lea, Peebles

10th March 1934.

Those who sleep in Jesus will

God bring with him.

Yet another tragic reminder of the many children who died in infancy in the 19th Century.

Tuesday, 15 November 2011

The Muir family gravestones 1

Some of the gravestones in West Linton graveyard are grouped together and that is usually because they concern members of the same family, such as the Muir one, who are the subject of this post and the next few.

This is the oldest Muir gravestone, located on the far right of the group of 3 shown in the top picture.

The text reads:



James Muir, Tenant in Robinsland

to the Memory of his son John who died

on the 25th May 1841, aged 23 years


Elizabeth Forrest, his wife

who died 19th Nov. 1850 aged 59 years
Also to the memory of the above

James Muir who died at Robinsland

13th May 1868 aged 69 years

Elizabeth Muir

their daughter who died at Earnslaw

Berwickshire, 1st Feb. 1896, aged 75 years

Saturday, 12 November 2011

Spitalhaugh servant

As I said in my previous post we aren't quite finished with the Spitalhaugh burial enclosure as there is a plaque located on one of the side walls, as seen above and in detail below. The text is very hard to read but I think it says the following:

In Memory of

Isabel Cairns

born 10th Sept. 1813, died 27th oct. 1883

for fiftyone years

in the service of the late

Sir William Fergusson Bar't (this stands for Baronet) of


and his family

by whom this is erected

Well done, good and faithful servant

enter thou into the joy of thy Lord
Can you imagine, of her 70 years on this earth, she spend 51 working as a servant to the same family who couldn't even resist mentioning their title on her wall tablet, as well as on every single one inside the enclosure. Talking of worldly thoughts!

Thursday, 10 November 2011

Spitalhaugh 3

Continuing the memorial tablets set into the wall of the Spitalhaugh burial enclosure this is the next in line. It's a very appropriate stone to commemorate during this week (tomorrow it will be the 11th hour, of the 11th day, of the 11th month of the 11th year of this century). The text reads:

In dilectem memorial

James Adam Hamilton Fergusson

lieutenant H.L.I.

born 22nd March 1892

son of Sir James R. Fergusson Bar't

killed at the battle of the Aisne in France

20th September 1914

Dulce et decorem est pro patria mori

Which translates as: it is sweet and fitting to die for your country. The H.L.I. stands for the Highland Light Infantry, now no longer in existence as such.

This stone is leaning against the wall now but was once a tablet set into the wall just like the other ones in this and the previous post. The text reads:

Charles Hamilton Fergusson

Major Seaforth Highlanders

youngest son of

Sir William Fergusson Bar't

of Spitalhaugh

born May 27th 1849, died May 23rd 1918

The last stone reads:

Katherine Hamilton Fergusson

2nd daughter of

Sir William Fergusson Bar't

of Spitalhaugh

born 3rd November 1840 died 23rd December 1932

We'll leave this burial building now but we aren't quite finished with it yet! More in the next post.

Sunday, 6 November 2011

Spitalhaugh 2

Another picture of the entry to the Spitalhaugh Burial Enclosure and as you can the original spelling seems to have been Spittlehaugh. The spelling varies from one gravestone to the other and as seen directly below even on one and the same stone.

This is the main gravestone in this enclosure and also the oldest one. As you can see from the previous post Helen Hamilton Ranken has two monuments to her name. This, the original one, explains just how important her position was as the heiress of a large estate (Spitalhaugh) which through her, came to her husband Sir William Fergusson.

Here is the full text:

Here lie the remains


Helen Hamilton Ranken

heiress of Spittlehaugh

and spouse of

William Fergusson

Professor of Surgery

in King's College, London

born in Edinburgh 12th March 1806

died in London 19th June 1861

and of

Charles Hamilton of Spitalhaugh

great-grand father of the above

4th son of John Hamilton of Gilkersgleugh

Lanarkshire, born 1696, died in August 1776

Jean Ramsay his spouse, daughter

of Andrew Ramsay of Abbotshall, Fifeshire

born 1714, died 11st Sept. 1797

Andrew Hamilton of Spitalhaugh

born 25th October 1753, died 3rd May 1807

Katherine Hamilton

born 18th May 1742, died 4th Oct. 1816

Jean Hamilton

born 20th July 1743, died May 1804

and four other daughers who died young

Barbara, Elizabeth, Charles

and Henrietta.

This seems to say one of the daughers who died young was called Charles, normally a boy's name.


beloved wife of

Sir James R. Fergusson Bar't of Spitalhaugh (see next stone)

and daughter of

William Forbes Esq. of Medwyn

b. 1845, m. 1877, d. 1878

A very short marriage indeed!

This stone reads:

In Memory of

Sir James Ranken Fergusson

2nd Baronet of Spitalhaugh

born 10 August 1835 died 28 October 1924

"After life's fitful fever he sleeps well"

There is still more to see in this enclosure and that will come in the next post.

Friday, 4 November 2011

Spitalhaugh Burial Enclosure

This is another separate building in West Linton graveyard and it is dedicated to the families living at Spittlehaugh (as it is called on the facade of this building, you'lll see different spellings too)

This is what you see when you open the cast-iron gate.

This is memorial stone for the father of most of the other people mentioned in this enclosure as you will see underneath and in future posts. It's the first stone on the left as you enter and I'm going around in a clockwise direction from this one is this and future posts.

The text reads:

To the memory of

Sir William Fergusson

Sergeant Surgeon to the Queen

1st Baron of Spitalhaugh

born 20th March 1808, died 10th February 1877

also of

Helen Hamilton Ranken

his wife

born 12th March 1806, died 19th June 1861 (she also figures on another stone in this enclosure, as per my next post to come)

and of

William Ranken Fergusson

their second son

born 25th February 1837, died 1st April 1864

Their remains are interred below

For as in Adam all die, so

in Christ shall all be made alive.

The text reads:

Helen Seymour Fergusson

youngest daugher of

Sir William Fergusson Bar't

of Spitalhaugh

born 14th February 1844, died 17th August 1938

The text on this stone reads:

Jane Porteous Fergusson

eldest daughter of

Sir William Fergusson Bar't (this means Baronet)

of Spitalhaugh

born 9th August 1838 died 16th March 1900

More about the people buried in this enclosure in the next post. I have used the spelling for Spitalhaugh as it appears on the stones but it's not consistent as you will see.

Wednesday, 2 November 2011

Edward Tod and Agnes Laing

Taking photographs of gravestones at the height of autumn seems very suitable. Somehow this season belongs to graveyards. The fallen leaves heighten the sensation of transience, time passing and lives lived. The above picture is also my blip for today, as I loved the combination of moss, decaying leaves and the trees on the hill behind. This gravestone leans against the wall dividing the graveyard and the Lower Green, It's hard to tell whether it was always situated here or has been moved to lean against the wall at some later date.

At the top there is a banner with the word XXX Memory XXX
followed by the text:

Edward Tod

who died at

Broomlee Lodge 19th March 1887

aged 57 years

and of

Agnes Laing

his wife who died 2nd June 1886

aged 50 years

and of their children

Elspeth Jane

died 17th February 1865, aged 3 months


died 9 (?) November 1878, aged 6 years


Jane Fordyce Croall

died 25th April 1885, aged 15 years

This is a close-up view of the gravestone, to show you the text more clearly. It doesn't look like there was more under the moss, and the relationship of Jane Fordyce Croall to the rest of the people mentioned on this stone, will remain a mystery. Her name gives no indication of how she belongs to them.