I like unusual names and I especially like unusual first names especially female ones.
The one that started me off on this route was a witness to the marriage of Agnes McMeekin and John Ross in Cumnock in 1864 - Hamilton Stillie. I had seen Stillie before. Elizabeth Stillie was the first wife of husband's grandfather so I needed to find out more.
It turned out that these 2 Stillies were cousins.
But why was he called Hamilton? Often it would be his mother's maiden name. But not in this case. His parents were Daniel Stillie and Jean Adamson. There were 3 other Hamilton Stillies in the extended family, so it must be important.
His grandparents were James Stillie and Jane McFunn, sometimes McPhun(n) born about 1780. Only Jane survived to the first census in 1841 in Cumnock and it gave her as born in Ayrshire.
|Surname||First name(s)||Sex||Age||Occupation||Where Born||Remarks|
I left it at that for a long time but today I had another look for McFunns in Ayrshire. I did a very wide search in familysearch.org with McFunn and Ayrshire
and one jumped out at me. A Catherine McPhunn married to John Walker had a child Hamilton Walker in Galston in Ayrshire. In fact they had 2 daughters named Hamilton in 1812 and 1814. Did the Hamilton name come from the McPhunn/McFunn line?
Had another look for possible parents of Jane McFunn est DOB 1780 (as first child b 1801) and found one in Glasgow to Archibald McFunn and Hamilton Leslie. They also had a Catherine.
Looking at James Stillie's and Jane McFunn's children names
first daughter was Hamilton ( named after her mother, traditional Scottish naming pattern)
and second son was Archibald (named after Jane's father) - a perfect fit. Now I'm convinced. It doesn't tie in with 1841 census saying she was born in Ayrshire but that's not 100% reliable.
So the first Hamilton Stillie in 1801 was a girl named after her grandmother, but the other four in subsequent generations were boys.
Now to work out where Hamilton Leslie got her name from. I may be some time…