The Gourlays

The family tree below represents the maternal side of my family, the Gourlays. The data was gathered and the tree constructed by my cousin Gordon McCaffer , born, raised and still living in Moodiesburn.

We are stuck at our great, great, great-grand parents John and Lilias and anyone who can add any information about them, their parents or grand parents are invited to contact us.

John and Lilias were married on 23/08/1804 in Leuchars. They had 8 children between Aug 1805 and April 1829,. 5 boys and 3 girls. Two are registered in Leuchars parish and 6 in Logie ( Fife) parish.

Their son, William (born 04/09/1808) married Elizabeth Dewar 03/08/1833, they had 10 children between Nov 1835 and March 1853. 7 boys and 3 girls. The family moved around various parishes in Fife area. The occupations of these generations was mainly farm labourers.

So it appears that Fife was the original location of our Gourlays. If you check the web site you will see that in 1998 Fife was still a centre for the name Gourlay, so the Gourlay diaspora doesn't seem to have spread too far.

Our Grand Father was Andrew Cairns Gourlay born in Murroes, Forfarshire in 1878. By 1901 he had moved to police barracks in Cambusnethan, Wishaw and in 1910 the family moved to Carnbroe, Airdrie. Around 1915 they moved to the village of Annathill, Lanarkshire ,where he was employed as the village police constable for the Lanarkshire Constabulary. Annathill was a mining village serving Bedlay Coal Mine. Some of the half remembered tales of his time as a police constable are that he had only one arrest in his career and the poor criminal was a miner relieving himself on the way home from the pub who was charged with indecent exposure. My father recalled that he didn't arrest many but he had a large pair of leather gauntlets used to clip miscreants round the ear. Another tale is that during the 1926 General Strike one duty was to escort the Pit Safety Officer from the village to the pit and that the pit road was lined with miners shouting 'scab'. The stark contrast that this creates with a single policeman escorting a safety officer with the scenes of mounted police baton charges at Orgreave in 1984 is some sort of commentary on the evolution of our society. The final tale is that he cut down a washing line because the poor housewife had dared put out her washing on a Sunday. His only arrest, the clipping of miscreants round the ear andthe washing line incident all indicate the different set of values that existed then as does the miners' strike story. We believe he retired early from the police in 1929 and moved in 1936 to Mollinsburn

However in terms of our family tree the importance of moving to Annathill was that the adjacent village was Leckethill. The Gourlays of Annathill had four daughters and two sons, the McCaffers of Leckethill had five sons and two daughters. So the inevitable happened my father John married Catherine Turner Gourlay and Gordon's father Archibald married Catherine's younger sister Mary. It was Archibald's second marriage as his first wife Christina Frame and mother of their son Ronald (not me, my cousin) died when Ronald was about five. The patronymic system of naming children was that the eldest son was named after the paternal grand-father so in our generation there were three Ronald McCaffers.

If anyone is able to add anything to the Gourlay family tree we would be pleased to hear from them. Messages to: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Gourlay family (1)Comp

The above family photogragh taken around 1927/28 has our Grand Father Andrew Gourlay and our Grand Mother Mary Gourlay ( nee Anderson) surrounded by their six children. Left to right the children are William (Bill), Catherine (Kate)-my mother, Robert (Bob), Margaret, Mary ,Gordon's mother and the baby of the family Janet in the centre. The photographer's name is given as Hume of Girvan. Girvan is a seaside resort on the Ayrshire Coast suggesting that this photograph was taken on a family holiday.


The picture above on the left is Andrew Gourlay in his police uniform. The five stripes on his left arm are Merit Stripes awarded for five years service. The five stripes show that this picture was taken after 25 years of service which was completed in 1926. This picture could have been taken on the award of the fifth stripe or on retirement in 1929. The badge on his left arm is the Ambulance Badge. The Cap badge is the Lanarkshire Eagle Badge.

The picture on theright is with two colleagues, Andrew is on the left. The photograph on the right looks to be of two young newly trained recruits with a more senior officer in the front who has at least 5 years service, the Merit Stripe being worn on the right arm at that time.The officers are in Dress Uniform as shown by their white gloves. The gaiters that they are wearing show that they belong to a County Police Force. The Cap Badge is the Victoria Badge and is consistent with Andrew joining the Lanarkshire Constabulary in 1901.

I'm grateful to the Curator of the Glasgow Police Museum

for the information on the Uniforms.

We extended the family tree on June 18th 2011 when we welcomed Clare to the family on the marriage of Andrew, our son, and Clare.

 leaving web

 Family group web

 Clare and Andrewvleaving St Mary the Virgin, Parish Church, Westerham, Kent on June 18th 2011

 Our new extended family, Margaret and I on the back row, Clare's parents Roy and Shiela and her sister Karen in the middle

Church,WesterhamKent  Gourlaytree2

Copy of Great grandma G or A

This is a photograph of our Great Grand Mother Anderson, mother of Mary Gourlay.

Police groupcompressed

In this photograph Andrew Gourlay is on the right of the the three in the back row. The best suggestion is that this is a photograph of a shift. There is a clear order of rank. The Officer in the centre of the front row is an inspector. The two officers to the right (as we look at the photograph) are sergeants as indicated by the black sergeant's stripes and the black buttons on their uniform. The officer on the left of the inspector is also a sergeant and the one on the extreme left has fifteen years of service as indicated by his Merit Stripes. So the order is senior officers to the front and junior officers at the rear. The shift are not wearing their gaiters which might suggest that they had been at a parade and the photograph was taken to record the event. The Cap Badge may be the King's Badge which would date the photograph after 1903. The barred windows of the building behind gives the whole scene a grim look.

Again I'm grateful to the Curator of the Glasgow Police Museum for the information on the Uniforms and the interpretation of the scene.

Below is a picture of our Grandfather Andrew Gourlay's brother Peter (3rd June 1890-6 th January 1940), birthplace Auchterhouse. His butcher's shop was at 64 Hawkhill Dundee. We haven't yet identified the two assistants to his left ( as we look at it) but the wee one has a definite Gourlay look about him so we're guessing that its his son.

Gourlay the butcher Web