Saturday, 14 August 2010

Cornish miners in Loudoun parish, Ayrshire

Ladyton Loch near Loudoun Kirk
I'm related to these people by marriage but I got interested in them because of the similarities with my miners from the Black Country and because Loudoun parish is my home patch.

One of my Price descendants married a Burley in 1900. William Burley, a miner, was born in Loudoun, lived in Glengyron Row, Cumnock, where both my ancestors and David's lived. Further research, back a generation, finds his parents Thomas Burley and Amelia Clary marrying in October 1872 in Loudoun parish. They lived in Loudoun Rows just outside Galston. His father Arthur Burley was a copper miner. Witnesses on the certificate were James Phillips and Ellen Burley.

It seems that tin and copper miner families including Burley, Phillips, Chynoweth, Harris, Luke, Bunney, Mudge and Toy all emanated from Cornwall and moved to Loudoun from around 1867. I think they were brought in because of a strike* but they went on strike too.

On 26 July 1872,  3 related couples got married in Loudoun Parish. There must have been some party that night!

Arthur Burley married Ellen Jane Phillips
Elizabeth Ann Burley married James Chynoweth
Elizabeth Ann Chynoweth married Edwin Harris

Initially it seems they stuck together with their Cornish countrymen. I try to imagine how hard it would be for the locals to understand them and vice versa.

I found a much later link though. McMeekin descendant John Murdoch McMeekin married a Luke/Bunney grand-daughter Elizabeth Ann Bunney McHoull in 1914.

Burleys here
Chynoweths here
Phillips here

* 3rd Statistical account of Scotland: Ayrshire by John Strawhorn and William Boyd 1951 page 523
"In the 1860s there arrived in Galston a group of Cornish tin-miners as strikebreakers including Chynoweths, Burleys and Lukes, who still figure among the local families, Some of these were Methodists and held meetings which attracted some following. The original Methodist groups has not survived but a group which hived off from them formed themsleves in 1871 into a company of Open Brethren whose present day successors number about 60."


  1. They moved from Cornwall to Ayrshire some went to galston some went town glengyron in skates William was the head of the family thomas was the only one of the family that moved on he married and went to london their is a family tree on the internet under mcmeekin where all that moved are on the burley family descendant's live in cumnock auchinleck springside in Irvine the only

  2. The William burley u talk about was my grandfather he moved from glengyron rows to springside row he married issabela banks and had 8/9 children their names where pimy banks Edward burley Agnes burley john burley Charles burley Elizabeth burley William burley Thomas burley James burley their was another girl but I've forgot her name descendants live in cumnock and Irvine area

  3. Thanks Charles for clarifying! You are a cousin of mine as your grandmother Mary Price is my second cousin.

  4. Sorry wrong William. Have added Isabella Banks to my tree now

  5. A lady from kirkonell did a family tree from the family leaving Cornwall up to my fathers edward generation but my family has lost it to be honest my brother would it b possible to obtain a copy of your tree so I could do a tree of our own I stay in your area

  6. I can email you a list of descendants if that helps. email me

  7. Edward Burley from Glengyron Row married Agnes Lindsay in 1900. They moved from Cumnock to Springside. Agnes's sister Jeanie is my ancestor.