Peter Flynn and his wife Betty Connell came from Ireland to Wigtownshire in the early 1800s. Their daughter Helen (sometimes called “Alice”), was born in the Parish of Penninghame (probably in Newton Stewart) around 1806, but their next three children, Elizabeth, Jean and Andrew, were born retrospectively in Balfern, Culscadden and Garlieston. The family likely moved around as Peter took work at various farms, before they finally settled at Pouton Lodge sometime before 1851.

Helen “Alice” Flynn had an illegitimate son, William, with John [3] McMeekin before they married at Garlieston in 1835. William remained with his Flynn grandparents at Garlieston, but John and Helen soon moved to Newton Stewart where they had seven more children — this family had moved to Cumnock, Ayrshire, by 1861. John and his seven siblings had likely been born at Castle Stewart, 4 km (3 miles) to the north of Newton Stewart.

Jessie Logan McKay, the illegitimate daughter of my great-grandfather Andrew McKay and millworker Jessie Logan, was born at Kirkcowan in April 1889. By this time, her father had married Lizzie Brown, and Jessie was brought up in her father’s household in Cumnock, and later Galston.


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