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Paul R. Swan     March 2004 Return to Home Page Swan ~ Hartzell Family History

Swan ~ Hartzell Family History

Scottish Branch Introduction

This ancestral tree shows how our direct ancestors born in Ayrshire, Scotland, are related. Hamilton Brown's daughter Jane married James W. Swan in Brooklyn, New York City on 19 Aug 1857.

Scottish Tree

The primary sources for identifying our ancestors in Scotland have been the Parochial Registers of the various parishes in Ayrshire. These registers of birth and marriage are available in several forms. The registers themselves have been filmed, and those films are available from the Family History Library (FHL) of the Morman Church. Specific baptisms and marriages appearing in the Stevenson Parochial Registers, e.g. are cited as [SPR FR22], in which FR refers to the frame number of the filming of the registers. I have copied the entries from these films for our direct ancestors, and cited them explicitly for others in our various collateral families (FHL film numbers in parentheses):

[APR] Ardrossan Parochial Registers, commencing about 1734 (#41327 and 28).

[KPR] Kilbirnie Parochial Registers, commencing about 1688 (#1041381).

[SPR] Stevenston Parochial Registers, commencing about 1700 (#1041469).

In addition, the registers have been extracted by the FHL and made available in their Scottish Church Records (SCR) and International Genealogical Index (IGI). The IGI (but not the SCR) includes also various records I'll describe herein as "submissions" in which members of the church have submitted the results of their own genealogical work. The records from SCR I'll refer to as "extracted". The SCR is apparently slightly more complete than the IGI as to extracted records, but the latter is available online, while the SCR is available on computers at the Morman Church Family History Centers. None of the extracted records provide details of occupation and residence which can be seen in the films of the registers themselves. I'll only cite the IGI as a source for submitted records which are not in the more primary sources.

Another useful source is the Ayrshire Hearth Tax for 1691, which lists householders who were taxed for each hearth in their homes to raise money for the support of the poor in the shire.

A primary source of family relationships exists in the Monumental Inscriptions found in many places in Scotland. Unfortunately, while these have been transcribed for Ayrshire, the resulting several large volumes are only available in the library in Ardrossan, although they are quite accomodating there in doing lookups.

An online source of a truly amazing amount of Ayrshire history and genealogy can be found at While somewhat tedious to navigate, I found some miscellaneous transcriptions of the Monumental Inscriptions which turned out to be very useful.

Finally, Mairi Frew has transcribed the 1819 , 1822 and 1836 Landsborough Lists for Stevenston & Saltcoats and made them available for download. These constitute three unique censuses of the inhabitants of the parish (not just members of the church), and provide invaluable genealogical information. It turns out that Mairi is a personal friend of our cousin Margaret Scott of Saltcoats (and formerly of Stevenston) who has shared her genealogical research with great generosity. You will find Margaret cited often in our Brown and McNaught chapters.

It should be mentioned how enjoyable it is to trace one's family through Scotland. Not only have so many records been preserved and made available, but the Scottish custom of identifying women by their maiden names throughout their lives immensely simplifies the problems of identification. For example, one finds listed the "Widow Brown or Janet Barber", or finds a burial record reading "Mary McNight, wife to Alexr Brown died the 17th Feby".