This small parish Kirk, less than two miles from the Stirling's of Cadder Estate is a wonderful & peaceful place. It's also an important spot for the descendants of James Stirling & Marion Reid.
A snowy start to the day
The day started off with a surprise however! When I opened the door to leave I was greeted with white stuff. Now living in Idaho mind you driving in the snow is no big deal, but driving in Scotland on VERY narrow roads, in a borrowed Peugeot, and if that isn't enough of a challenge shifting gears left handed and driving on the .... well, OTHER side of the road, I was .... A little nervous heading out. And for good reason. We had a thirty minute or so wait on the roadway for the local police to clear an accident on the way from Denny to Baldernock.
As I got closer to Baldernock on the map I could tell there was no real community center for this spot, just a "+" sign on the map to signify a parish Kirk or church. I turned onto Baldernock road, and quickly found there were NO more tire tracks on the roadway. Ahead was a sign "Ford". I looked around, but didn't see a Ford, or a Chevy, Toyota, or even a Volkswagen for that matter. Instead, around a little bend was a stream running over the road, about a foot deep or so. I turned around at that point, but stopped and reviewed the map again. Yes, this was the correct path, so I turned around again and slowly drove over the stream. It was an interesting experience let me tell you. Across the stream, up a small hill, (This car is awesome in the snow btw) and there is the Kirk. And a much larger road! Evidently I had come in the back way.
The Mayor of Baldernock?
As I got out of the car I noticed I had a visitor with horns coming up the road to see what I was up to. A Jacob's sheep, perhaps he thinks he's the mayor or something. Anyway there is over two inches of snow on the ground so checking the horizontal gravestones is out for today anyway. I'm sure the monument inscriptions and more is available, so instead of trying to clear the flat stones, I check the vertical (no Stirlings) and enjoy this wonderfully peaceful spot in Baldernock.
Baldernock Parish Kirk Graveyard
Baldernock is just a crossroads with a small parish and a graveyard surrounded by lovely Scottish Farms and houses. Some are larger than others, all are wonderful. It stopped snowing when I got here, but started up again, so I get into the car to venture over to Cadder.
ON THE ROAD TO CADDER
Between Cadder and Baldernock is less than two miles, I'd say it's not much more than a mile. Baldernock sits on a hill, just south of Strathblane Parish. If you go down the hill and across the narrow valley, Cadder is in the middle of the valley right next to the canal. There is a small river that runs between them. Since I had to cross the river, I had to go east to Balmore then head across the river and canal.
BOGTON NOT BOGTOWN
I quickly saw a sign ahead BOGTON FARM. I realized then that our ancestor Marion Reid was not from Bogtown as was listed in some records received, but BOGTON. TON means TOWN anyway, so this makes perfect sense. It's also very apparent how James Stirling of Northside would have met Marion, as BOGTON and CADDER are almost right next to each other. Once again the geography helps paint the complete picture.
The Cadder estate today is a private golf club. The last time I was here at Cadder in 1996 I didn't venture on the grounds. Today however I drive on in, the estate grounds now converted into a lovely golf course. Some of the trees are centuries old and the road winds and bends out towards the house. The sun has come out, so the new snow, sun and clear air make it stunning to say the least. The circular fort is still standing here, we drive past it and on to the house. After taking a few pictures I'm quickly spotted by a man with an obvious English Accent and asked to leave.
This parish Kirk like LeCropt, was built by the Stirling family.
Memorial to Sir Archibald Stirling of Keir
I've never been inside this Kirk, but from the outside it looks almost identical to LeCropt in both size and design. In the graveyard are quite a number of Stirlings, and a memorial to Sir Archibald Stirling of Keir by the members of the church. Sir Archibald is buried at Keir, but spent a great deal of time at this house. I've taken several pictures for you to enjoy.
NO FOOTBALL MATCH - VISIT WITH GENEALOGIST DAVID STIRLING
I had planned to attend a Scottish Football (soccer) match today, but all the extra driving time due to snow has changed the schedule. Instead I call David Stirling and make arrangements for a late visit. David's brother John has passed away since I last saw Davie as many here call him, and I'm glad to see he's doing pretty well considering. We share excited discoveries about the Stirling family as only two people who love family research can, and I busily take notes as fast as I can write. He mentioned to me he'd found a Stirling family bible in the Leighton Library in Dunblane for the Stirlings of Ardoch, and how helpful that had been, about family links to the Stirlings in Australia (Contact David if you are from that branch, he can help you!) and New Zealand and many other things that time and space won't permit here. CD's of information will be changing hands, look for an update from David on the website shortly. He also pledged his time expertise and materials to the Scottish Genealogical And Historic Research Trust, I'm grateful that David is so very supportive.
Tony Murray is the expert on Tartan who designed our Stirling Family Tartan. I first met Tony while visiting in 1996. His latest project is a families database of local families and information from the Stirling area. He has extensively researched many of the local burial records and other items. The folks at Cowans Hospital in Stirling (next to the Holy Rude Church and the cemetery) have given him some space to work from. If your ancestors are from Stirling be they Drummond, Stirlings, Erskines, Kings or whatever, Tony is a good source to check with. He's been doing this only for a short while and has already collected over 150,000 names and family relationships. He has several lines of the Stirlings that I didn't have, and will be forwarding them to me. Tony can be reached at [email protected] He's a good source to check if you have ancestors from this area, particularly if your ancestors are not from some of the larger families.
Abeen an incredible experience so far, and more excitement is still around the corner. Thanks to all of you for you encouraging comments and suggestions about the website. Please share your experiences with each other, the forum section of the website was setup so we could all do that. Meeting with David was so exciting we felt like two little kids with the keys to the candy store as we shared our discoveries about our wonderful family.
TOMORROW - A DAY OFF.... SORT OF.