Kirkconnell Family History
According to Watson Kirkconnell who prepared a genealogical sketch, Kirkconnells originate from the south of Scotland near Dumphries.
The roots of the name trace back to the
former location of a church (kirk) founded by Saint Connell an Irish bishop and missionary saint and a disciple of Saint Columba of
Iona, "the apostle to the Picts"..
Epicopus" Of Conallus, and of the Prophecy of Patrick concerning
The Saint Prophesieth of a Certain Youth.
CXXXVIII Of Conallus and of his Shield. Added by KHK)
Saint Connell's floruit is given in the
Acta Sanctorum as SD 609 and his day as June 2nd. He played a large part in evangelizing
of Galloway and Dumfries.
The place-name was used as a surname originally in the Stewarty of Kirkcudbright,
lying a few miles South Southwest of the town of Dumfries. The Kirkconnell name was found
here from the 12th to the 19th centuries. It is from this area that all
Kirkconnell's have immigrated from.
Early parchment deeds, preserved by the abbey of
Holm Cultram , document that the
estate was bounded on the east by the estuary of the
Nith, and ranged from the Cargen
Water on the North to Drum Burn seven miles farther South. It stretched westward about
four miles to the line of Glensone Burn and culminated in the southwest in the
broadsholdered peak of
Criffell (`1867 feet ) These sites have squares drawn around them
on the large map.
Within the estate are the ruins of
Sweetheart Abbey and the hamlet of New Abbey,
founded on the tract after 1269, by the
Devorgila de Balliol, widow of
, the founder of Balliol College, Oxford.
Also belonging to the Kirkconnell lairds, according to the early charters, were
extensive estates of Mabie and Auchenreoch, lying immediately to the west of the
Kirkconnell Estate proper. The total area of the family's original holdings are
approximately 40 square miles.
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