Friday, January 29, 2010

Lanark Society Settlers

Britain’s wartime economy ended in 1815, and England and Scotland went into an economic depression which fed unrest and radical disturbances. In addition to the political unrest, high rates of unemployment had caused significant poverty among the classes of people who were otherwise capable of supporting their families when work was available to them. The return of the men who had been employed by the military, as well as continued immigration from Ireland and the Highlands, created a particularly serious glut of labor in the Scottish counties of Lanark and Renfrew.(1)

Knowing of the economic and political dissatisfaction of the time period, it becomes clear why Robert’s unjust imprisonment in Stirling Castle would be an event sufficient for him to make the final decision to uproot his family and leave his homeland. Robert, along with two of his older children, William and Mary, traveled to America with the Hamilton Emigration Society. This was one of the many societies which assisted the people who are now referred to as the Lanark Society Settlers. During the years of 1820 and 1821, twenty-nine hundred people emigrated from this area of Scotland to Upper Canada with the assistance of the societies and the government.(2)

A circular published in Glasgow on 3 June 1820 stated that the government had agreed to assist a few hundred people from that area to emigrate to Upper Canada on the condition that they pay their own passage. This circular was published shortly before Robert would have been released from Stirling Castle. His wife, Margaret, would have been aware of this offer, and when he was released, she likely saw it as a way to remove her husband from the danger of being arrested again.

Those who were able to emigrate were required to provide the cost of their transportation from Greenock to Quebec and provisions of food for an eighty-four day passage. Upon arrival, the government would grant each family one hundred acres of land contingent upon residence and partial cultivation, pay for the surveying of that land, provide transportation from Quebec to the actual settlement area, provide seed and tools, and provide advances of money during the first six months of settlement.(3)

During the months of April and May 1821, four ships carried society members from Greenock to Quebec to receive government land grants in Upper Canada. The total number of individuals who emigrated was 1883. The third ship that year, the Commerce, carried 422 people. It sailed on 11 May and arrived on 20 June. Captain Coverdale reported the deaths of two children and one woman during passage, and no births.(4) This was the ship that Robert, William, and Mary sailed on.(5) The Gardners were among the relative few who were able to provide sufficient funds for three family members to emigrate in 1821 and begin establishing their family in America.

Upon arrival, Robert Gardner received his land grant of one hundred acres in the east half of lot six, concession five of Dalhousie, and his date of settlement was recorded as 15 July 1821.(6) The money he received on arrival appears to have been £6 13s. 4d. He also received £10 on 1 September 1821 and an additional £10 on 11 January 1822. His total debt to the government after the first six months in Canada was recorded as £26 13s. 4d., repayable in ten years.(7)

Below is a map of Robert Gardner's land grant in Dalhousie Township.

1. Smout, T. C. A History of the Scottish People, 1560-1830 (New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1969), 401; Robert Lamond, Narrative of the Rise & Progress of Emigration, from the Counties of Lanark & Renfrew, to the New Settlements in Upper Canada (Glasgow: Chalmers & Collins, 1821), 6.

2. Lamond, Rise and Progress of Emigration, 5.

3. Lamond, Rise and Progress of Emigration, 20.

4. Lamond, Rise and Progress of Emigration, 63.

5. David Dobson, Directory of Scottish Settlers in North America, 1625-1825 (Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., c1984-1993), 5:97.

6. Ontario Crown Lands Department, “Persons Located by the Military Settling Dept., Entitled to Patent Grants, Lanark (Vol. 104) 1822" in Land Records ca. 1792-1876 (Salt Lake City: Filmed by the Genealogical Society of Utah, 1982-1984), microfilm no. 1,319,967, item 5, p. 13, #379.

7. Ontario Crown Lands Department, “Account of Monies Advanced to Lanark Settlers” (Vol. 107) 1820-1822" in Land Records ca. 1792-1876 (Salt Lake City: Filmed by the Genealogical Society of Utah, 1982-1984), microfilm no. 1,319,967, item 9, Hamilton Emigration Society, Robert Gardner entry.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Robert Gardner's time in the Stirling Castle Jail

When Archibald’s father, Robert Gardner, was taken to Stirling Castle, he was held for nine weeks before the judges came. During those two months, Robert’s wife and children fully understood the seriousness of the charge of treason. An indictment required the oath of two witnesses,(1) and conviction resulted in execution. Archibald’s autobiography states that his father was released when nobody brought anything against him.

Historical records indicate that forty-seven men were taken to Stirling Castle, and twenty-four of them were tried and sentenced to death. Based on Archibald’s autobiography, Robert must have been one of the men who was released without being tried. Nineteen of the death sentences were commuted, and those men were sent to Botany Bay in Australia.(2)

Jails in the castles were nothing like modern-day prisons. Below are pictures of the jail in Stirling Castle.

Robert likely spent his nine weeks waiting in a similar cell for a trial that would never occur. The family said he was accused out of spite, and Robert was indignant that the government of his country had the power to hold an innocent man under such conditions. Within seven weeks of the time he was released, Robert Gardner and his family were included on a list of over six thousand Scottish people from the Glasgow area who wanted to leave their homeland.(3)

Archibald was only a small child when his father was released from Stirling Castle, but he had vivid memories of their reunion. When he was forty-two years old, he wrote, “I Remember the day he come back when crowds come to see him I was then only 5 years old & my Mother took me by the hand & we met him on the Burn green outside of the town[.]”

The Burn Green was located to the east of the road leading south from the Garrel Mill.

Below is a picture of the Burn Green today. It’s a beautiful grassy park area surrounded by homes.

1. Scotland, Courts of Oyer and Terminer and General Gaol Delivery and C. J. Green, Trials for High Treason, in Scotland, Under a Special Commission, Held at Stirling, Glasgow, Dumbarton, Paisley, and Ayr, in the Year 1820 (Edinburgh: Manners and Miller, 1825), 1:25, 26.

2. Tom Steel, Scotland’s Story: A New Perspective (London: Collins, 1984), 199, 200.

3. Robert Lamond, Narrative of the Rise & Progress of Emigration, from the Counties of Lanark & Renfrew, to the New Settlements in Upper Canada (Glasgow: Chalmers & Collins, 1821), 17-19.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Kilsyth, Scotland and the Battle of Bonnymuir

About the year 1819, when Archibald was four years old, Robert Gardner moved his family from the Garrel Mill House down into the town of Kilsyth. There he managed a tavern, as he had in his earlier years. Their home was two houses from the Cross of Kilsyth. This picture is of some of the old buildings still standing in the town of Kilsyth.

By 1820, there was great unrest in Scotland, and a general strike was called for on April 1st. On April 5th, three groups of rebels gathered, and two of them made their way toward the Carron iron works in an attempt to seize the guns there. The leaders of these two groups were Andrew Hardie and John Baird. That night, the Kilsyth Troop of the Stirlingshire Yeomanry was staying at the Inn in Kilsyth.

Archibald's autobiography describes an incident where his brother, William, blew his glass bugle to signal the turnout at midnight at the Cross of Kilsyth. Archibald states that William did not know the purpose, but he associated this event with the defeat of the radicals at the Battle of Bonnymuir. It would appear that William's signal gathered the troops staying in the town of Kilsyth to go to battle against the rebels.

After the battle, many people were carried away to jails and castles, having been accused of being part of the rebellion. Robert Gardner was one of those who was accused, and he was taken from his place of business and imprisoned in Stirling Castle. (The photo in the header of this blog is of Stirling Castle.) As a result of this rebellion, Baird and Hardie were tried and convicted of treason. They were hung in Stirling on September 8, 1820.

The map below shows the Garrel Oat mill to the north of the town, the main part of Kilsyth was to the west of the road heading south from the mill, and the church (Kirk) where Archibald's birth was recorded was south of the town.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Archibald's birth in Kilsyth, Scotland

Archibald Gardner was born in the mill house across the street from the Garrell Oat Mill in Kilsyth, Stirling, Scotland on 2 September 1814. His birth was recorded two years later in the Kilsyth parish registers, vol. 6, p. 108 (FHL #1,041,950 item 3).

Archibald's father, Robert Gardner, was renting the Garrell Mill from the Canal Company. Both the old stone mill and the mill house are still standing and are currently serving as private residences.

They are located just past the first curve in the Tak ma doon Road up the hill from Stirling Road. Water still runs in the mill race.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Archibald Gardner, my 2gg father

When I was a child, my mother felt it was important for us to know more about our family and the legacy that our ancestors have left us. She decided that she would read to us each week from The Life of Archibald Gardner by Delila Gardner Hughes. Mom lived in Afton, Wyoming for part of her childhood and she personally knew some of the family members mentioned in the book. Even at a young age, I could feel the love my mother had for her family. Because of the knowledge I gained about my family, I also came to love them. By the time I left for college, I decided to take a family history course for fun to learn more about how to conduct research. It only took a few months for me to decide to change my major and pursue family history as a career.

I am now an Accredited Genealogist, and I teach family history at Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah. I have decided to create a blog to begin sharing some of my research and knowledge about the Gardner family. My intent is to begin by writing about some of the places associated with Archibald's life.