Following the Genes

All roads lead to Glasgow … and across the oceans!

The attached series of maps shows how various branches of the family moved in and around Scotland. Click the headings below to open the associated maps.


The forebears of our Craig family name seem to have originated in Glasgow itself and moved to Rutherglen by the 1760s. Here they combined with the Campbell, Hannah and Findlay families. However, the other names in that line come from further afield. The McFarlane/McNicol branch originated on the western shore of Loch Lomond in Dunbarton and Stirling shires, and Watson in Blantyre, Lanarkshire. The Craigs had moved back to Glasgow by 1870.

Further north, the Littlejohn/McLeay line was evolving, the McLeays originating in Ross-shire, while the Littlejohns first appear in eastern Aberdeenshire. These families came together in and around the town of Keith in Banffshire between the 1820s and the 1870s, with the illegitimate Jessie Littlejohn and her half-brother John heading to Glasgow sometime in the early 1890s – her birth mother, Helen, married at Edinburgh in 1862 and settled in Auchterarder by 1865.

The Norwood branch originated in County Down in Northern Ireland with the marriage of James Norwood and Rebecca McBride in 1846. This family first went to Liverpool in England, but were in Glasgow by 1853.

Meanwhile, the Brown family were emerging in north Ayrshire, with the Wyllie/Millar branch from Beith and Pinkerton/Harper in Kilmarnock evolving between the 1790s and the 1840s. James Brown and Ann Pinkerton married in Kilmarnock in 1869, but this family ended up in Glasgow Hutchesontown by the 1890s.


John McKay, patriarch of the this branch of the family was in north Lanarkshire by 1830, though it is possible he was born in New Pitsligo, Aberdeenshire, around 1804. He married Mary Kilpatrick from Ireland around 1830, but left the family and moved to Ayrshire with his son John sometime before 1861. He eventually settled in Cumnock while his wife, Mary, remained in Lanarkshire.

Further south, the McMeekin family of Wigtownshire merged with the Flynn family of Ireland around 1835, but had moved to Cumnock in Ayrshire by 1861. Here, Elizabeth McMeekin married John [2] McKay in 1863. The Brown/McCulloch branch at this time evolved in County Down, Ireland, with Thomas Brown marrying Mary McCulloch in 1856. They had migrated to the Dallmellington district of Ayrshire by 1867. Daughter Lizzie worked briefly in Ayr around 1880, but she had moved to Cumnock and married Andrew McKay in 1889. Lizzie and Andrew later moved to Bellshill in Lanarkshire around 1900, and although they spent some time in Galston. Ayrshire around 1911, they ended their days in Bellshill.

The Šugžda/Melnikaitytė family arrived in Bellshill, Lanarkshire after fleeing from the Vilkaviškis district in Suvalki, Lithuania sometime around 1902. They moved to the nearby pit-village of Bothwellhaugh in 1911 where they remained. The sons mostly migrated to New Jersey, USA, in the early 1920s (see below), but the daughters remained. “Sarah” married George McKay and moved to Glasgow in 1929.


The Galt kindred first appeared around 1690 in Kilmaurs, Ayrshire, and combined with the Love, Cunningham and Howie families from the Kilmarnock-Kilwinning-Dreghorn districts between then and about 1820. Gabriel Galt and Margaret Howie married in 1818 in Kilwinning, but had moved to Glasgow by 1820.

The Littlejohn family (not connected to my Littlejohns) begin to emerge in and around Forgandenny, Perthshire, in the 1760s, but had moved to Kinross by 1800 where they combined with the Steedman family from Kinglassie, Fife. Richard Littlejohn had moved to Glasgow by 1816 when he married Margaret Fleming from Paisley, Renfrewshire. Gabriel [4] Galt married Helen Littlejohn in Glasgow in 1843.

Our McColl/McLean family began to emerge on Gaelic-speaking Mull, Argyllshire, from the late 1750s. John McColl married Christina McLean around 1828, but their daughter Ann had moved to Renfrewshire by 1851. Thomas [1] Barr was born in Kilmacolm in 1798, but his wife, Jean Morison, also a Gaelic speaker, had come from Islay before 1826. Their son Thomas [2] married Ann McColl at Eaglesham in 1853, and they had moved to Glasgow by 1861. Their daughter Christina Barr married John Galt in 1877, and they emigrated to Queensland, Australia, in 1883.

Our Ferguson and McKerrow lineage begin to materialise in the latter part of the 1700s around Cumnock and Auchinleck, Ayrshire. The Goudie/Bowman line originate in and around Ayr in the 1690s, but Katherin Goudie (Goldie) married James Ferguson in Cumnock in 1765. Their son Walter [1] married Agnes Phillips of County Cork, Ireland, around 1798 and joined the army the following year. They were was posted to Ireland where they had 4 children who all died in infancy. Walter then served in the Cape of Good Hope, Mauritius, and India, and all his surviving children were born on this campaign trail. The family returned to Cumnock around 1820. Son Walter [2] married Margaret McKerrow in 1836, but they emigrated with most of their children to Queensland in 1861. Their granddaughter Margaret McKerrow Ferguson married Thomas Barr Galt in Brisbane, Queensland in 1905.

Australian Migration

Between the 1850s and 1950s. several waves of our family arrived in Australia. The Schroder family left Prussia and went to Caboolture and Rockhampton in the 1870s, but all soon settled at Wararba Creek. Later generations moved to Charters Towers before finally making Brisbane their home.

The Ferguson family migrated from Ayrshire to Cedar Creek near the Gold Coast in 1861, and lived nearby until later generations married into the Hardman family and moved to Brisbane. The Hardman’s arrived in Brisbane from Lancashire somewhere around 1862.

The Galt/Barr family came straight to Brisbane from Glasgow in 1883, and have been there ever since.

There were two waves of McKay family members: one to Townsville in 1922, and the other to Ipswich via Mt Morgan by 1928. The Craig family joined them in Ipswich in 1950.

United States Migration

Most of my mother’s aunt’s and uncles (maternal and paternal), left Scotland in the 1920s and went to the USA, though some of the McKay family went to Australia. The McKay relatives mostly went to Gary, Indiana, while the Šugžda uncles went to Bayonne, New Jersey. A couple of these returned to Scotland.


Migration Patterns — No Comments

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