I have finally completed putting together a number of loose ends which surround my great, great, grandfather’s life on Cumbrae. His memorial located in the Mid Kirkton Cemetery acknowledges that Samuel Ford was a feuar. But what exactly is a feuar, and what part had it to play in the life of Samuel and the island community on Cumbrae? I seek to draw these aspects together in Smugglers, Feuars and the Millport Plan 1779.
In order to complete my research, it was necessary to gain access to the original Fue Plan of Miln Port 1779. Because of the restrictions applying to COVID, I was not able to locate this plan until recently. Ayrshire Archive Centre forwarded me a copy of the plan but in order to do so, I had to sign a document that the image is used for family research purposes and restricted to my ‘extended family’. As you will see in reading Smugglers, Feuars and the Millport Plan 1779, Millport did not exist until the Feu Plan of 1779. The Plan created a community and those involved may well be acknowledged as part of an extended family. Regardless of the technicalities, I would urge caution in using the image of the Plan.
I have decided to publish the material I have collected over the previous fourteen years concerning the Ford/Wright genealogy.
As things turned out the Ford heritage is very much tied to Margaret Wright who married Samuel Ford on Cumbrae sometime in 1815.
The new addition to the site, including an appropriate change of name, is downloadable on the proviso that the material is used for educational or family history purposes only and that it is not used for any commercial purpose.
So what happens when the family researcher comes up with a blank, when the search engines return a ‘nil’ response?
The reaction can be unsettling to say the least. But sometimes the way out is a simply email. When I could not find a marriage certificate I finally contacted the national actives. The result was welcome but also gives some insight why your best attempts to locate the missing data are not without good reason.
Following my last article, There are Records and then there are Records, I have been contacted by a reader who quite legitimately questioned my rationale behind a statement I made with reference to the birth of Susanna Ford.
The point of concern was the fact that the source upon which I was relying, that is the birth certificate of Susanna Ford, was in fact a ‘collective’ record rather than an ‘individual’ record of Susanna’s birth. The point being made, how can I assert that such record is correct given the number of years between those who appear on the collective record? This is a thoughtful question and deserve a considered response particular given the subject matter of the previous article.