Barrie - Inches connection
Ploughman, lived in the parish of Kettins in Perthshire in the late 18th
Century. His second child, Betty, met a Shoemaker called John Inches, probably in Dundee, in the
early 1840s. They got married in 1843 and lived in a 3-room shop on the corner
of Camperdown Court and Barrack
Street in central Dundee until
John’s death in 1878. He had a prosperous business that employed 6 men in its
heyday. His second daughter Betsy, born in 1856, was one of his machinists. She
married Perth man John Stewart
in 1876, and went to live in Glasgow, where
he worked for the Scottish Cooperative Society. Their daughter Jane married
into the Hamilton family
from Dumfriesshire and became mother-in-law to one of the Glasgow Batesons, who
eventually returned to the ancestral home in Windhill, Yorkshire.
Betsy Inches was a
short, good-looking woman, quiet and not given to making fanciful statements.
She, or her mother, was reputed to have witnessed the Tay Bridge
disaster on the night of Sunday
December 28 1879, when a train from the south fell into the
river. How she managed to see the bridge on a stormy winter’s night, when the
flat she lived in did not have a view of the river, is not clear. She is also said
to have claimed that JM Barrie, the
playwright, was her cousin, or second cousin.
face of it, the evidence is not promising: the surname endings – Ogilvie and
Ogilvy are usually different; and the locations are different - the Ogilvies came
from Kettins, near Coupar Angus in Perthshire, while JM Barrie’s Ogilvy
ancestors were from the Kirriemuir area in Angus.
Barrie was the son of Margaret Ogilvy and David Barrie. His maternal
grandparents were Alexander Ogilvy and Mary
Edward. Betsy’s grandparents were Thomas Ogilvie and Janet Millar. They
could not have been cousins since there is no common grandfather.
JM Barrie’s grandmother May (or Mary) Edward probably came from Ascreavie in
Kingoldrum parish, just to the west of Kirriemuir. Her husband, and JM Barrie’s
grandfather, Alexander Ogilvy, came from Upper
Ascreavie farm. Betsy Inches’s aunt was called Innes (from the Gaelic innis, meaning island or meadow), Edward. Innis, or Eunice, was born in
Kingoldrum parish, probably at Upper Ascreavie, where
her father Peter was a tenant farmer. These small farm communities contained
few families - Ogilvy, Edward and Stormonth were the principal names and
intermarriage must have been common. Unfortunately, there is no firm evidence
that Peter Edward and May Edward were related: little is known of May Edward,
except that she married around 1815 and died about 1827. This suggests a birth
in the late 1790s; Peter Edward’s father was probably Robert Edward, who
married in 1769 and died in 1776. He had three children: Janet was born in
1770, Peter in 1772 and Jean in December 1774. There is no May or Mary in the
record, and given his early death, he wouldn’t have had time to produce one.
although it is perfectly plausible that Betsy Inches and Margaret Ogilvy were
cousins by marriage, the evidence at present is inconclusive.
are at least 2 characters in the records with interesting names: William Barrie
Inches was born in 1872 in Dundee, but
no link with either our Barries or our
Inches has been found. And a James Inches married a Jane Barrie in Liff in 1892
but, again, no links have been found.
had four brothers and two sisters, all of whom are mentioned on a monument
erected at Kingoldrum Parish Church. Innes
herself is on the Ogilvy family tombstone in Newtyle Parish Churchyard.
Thomas, born around 1808, was a General Labourer in
James, the firstborn, and William and David were
all medical practitioners in the Forfar area.
David died at the age of 24 of TB.
James practised as an MRCS in Forfar.
Edward called himself a Surgeon and practised medicine in Dunnichen and
Carmyllie parishes. He occupied a modest house in the village of Letham and
never married. This may help to explain how he came to be worth over £8000 in
cash at his death in 1889. Clearly something of an eccentric, his Will makes
interesting reading: his nephew Charles, for instance, “is to get nothing, nor
to be allowed to enter my house; that's him settled”.