Grace Govans (above) lived much of her life in Portland Row, Hurlford and a period in Mill Lane Crookedholm after she was married. Her father, Hugh Govans (1839 - 1915) also lived in Portland Row and worked in the pits around Hurlford as an enginekeeper for most of his life. He had four sisters and one brother. His father, Robert Govan (b. 1814) married Agnes Parker in 1834.
Robert was born in Monkton, near Prestwick in Ayrshire, and had four sisters, five brothers and a step sister from his father's second marriage. His mother died a few days after giving birth to his sister, Jean in 1818. It's most probably that the baby didn't survive the birth either as Robert's step sister was also named Jean.
Robert was a miner and moved his young family to Barlieth, just outside of Hurlford, making him the first Govans to move to the little Ayrshire town. His elder brother, James (1800 - 1877) provides a fertile source of family interest that I will share in another post.
Robert's father was James Govan (1777 - 1847) and he was born in Barony, Glasgow. GENUKI says,
" Locating Barony on a map can be a somewhat perplexing business - for you will almost certainly fail to locate it on any modern map! Today, what was Barony parish has long been eaten up by the city of Glasgow. In the past it represented lands which were to the north of the city and which were, in those days, more rural - they included Maryhill, Lambhill, Bishopriggs, Kelvinside, Possil, Balornock, Springburn, Provanmill, Millerston, Dennistoun, Garthamlock, Carntyne, Palton, Barlanark, Shettleston, Tollcross and Barrachnie. (Some of these cross parish boundaries).
The one reminder of the name Barony is the former Barony Church, now Strathclyde University's Barony Hall, which is located directly opposite Glasgow Cathedral."
In 1799, aged just 22, James married Sarah Howat in Tarbolton, Ayrshire. where James' eldest son was born in 1800. James married Jean Downie after the death of his first wife and they had one child together.
I managed to go back one more generation to find James' father. James Govan, my 5th great grandfather, was born on 28th April 1744 and married Agnes Syme on 19th May 1770 in the Parish of Barony, Lanarkshire. He died on 31st January 1831 aged 86. He had three children that I know of, Girzel (b. 1774), Robert (b. 1786) and James.
What have I learned form this research? Most of the Govans were miners and moved aroundAyrshire, some settling around Prestwick and others in Hurlford. A few of the siblings emmigrated to South Africa and Australia.
One, however, has been linked to a murder....but you're going to have to wait for that!
The Govans Tree
- Grace Govans 1864 - 1950 (My great grandmother)
- Hugh Govans 1839 - 1915
- Robert Govan 1814 -
- James Govan 1777 - 1847
- James Govan 1744 - 1831