The Aikmans of Scotland and related families

1680s - The Bryce/Adam connection - Stirling

Adam Brice/Bryce married Bessie Adam before 1681 (their marriage is not obvious in Scotland's People) and they had the following children:

See below for further information regarding the children of George and Adam. Curiously, both named a daughter Sophia but it is not yet clear who they named her after; perhaps 'Bessie' was actually Sophia?

Late 1600s - The Danskine family - Stirling area

A large number of people with the name Danskine and variations lived in the Dunblane/Stirling area from around 1658. Isobell Danskine, who married Adam Brice (see above and below) in around 1722, could be either:

1720s - The Aikman families of Stirling

The parents of James Aikman, who was probably born around 1720 - 1725 in Stirling, are not yet identifiable for certain as there were several people with the same name baptised at St Ninian's, Stirling, around the same time:

Either of the last two may be the match, more likely the one baptised in 1722, on the basis that he was probably older than his wife (Sophia Bryce) when they married and his father was named James.

1720s - The Bryce/Robertson and Bryce/Danskin connections

Two brothers, George and Adam Bryce, married and both named a daughter Sophia in the early 1700s in Stirling. It is belived that Adam's daughter Sophia is the person linked with this story.

George Bryce (bap 1681) married Janet Robison (probably Janet Robertson) on 18 April 1706 at St Ninian's (Ref 488/50/45) and they had the following children, all baptised at St Ninian's in Stirling:

Adam Bryce (bap 1689) married Isabel/Isobell Dantzken (also Dansken, Dantskin, Danskin) in around 1722 (location not known). They had the following children, all baptised at St Ninian's in Stirling:

1746 - The Aikman/Bryce connection

James Aikman and Sophia Bryce (also shown as Bruce and Brice) married on 19 December 1746 at St Ninians (Ref 488/50/270). They had the following children, all baptised at St Ninian's in Stirling:

1745 - The McIntyre family - of Balquhidder

As noted below, Catharine McIntyre was recorded as being from Balquhidder when she married Peter McNee in 1798. There are two possible matches in Balquhidder records:

1746 - St Ninians accidentally blown up

The book 'Old Stories of Stirling' by William Drysdale, has the following short section titled 'Blowing Up of St. Ninians Church'.

The following extract is from the account-book of Prince Charles: 18 Jan., 1746 Saturday The Prince at Falkirk, whether he ordered the corpses of Sir Robert Munro, of Colonel Whitney, and some other officers belonging to Hawley's army, to be brought and buried in the churchyard. Jan. 22 Wednesday at Bannockburn [...] Feb. 1 Saturday The Prince and his army began their retreat from Stirling, Bannockburn, &c. By an accident the church of St. Ninians was blown up, there being a quantity of powder lodged in it. Some country people and some Highlanders were killed by the blowing up of the church.

1788 - Adam Aikman marries Janet Stevenson

Adam Aikman (bap 1759) married Janet Stevenson at St Ninian's on 17 August 1788 (Ref 488/50/361). Janet may be the daughter of John Stevenson and baptised on 19 February 1763 at Stirling (Ref 490/50/257), and possibly the sister of Jean Stevenson (bap 5 May 1757 (Ref 490/50/209)) or Jean Stevenson (bap 23 February 1769 (Ref 490/50/291)).

Adam and Janet Aikman had the following children. It is possibly worth noting the apparent seven year gap after Adam and Janet were married and when they had their first child. Does this gap provide a clue to the missing birth record for Adam? No evidence has been found so far to confirm that he was baptised at St Ninians.

As noted above, the birth of Adam Aikman is assumed based on his age when he died in 1850 aged 55. The birth of Adam Aikman in or around 1795 has not been found on either Scotland's People or FindMyPast websites, and in fact no Adam Aikman was born in the period from 1790 to 1820 anywhere in the UK. A factor that tends to confirm he was born to Adam and Janet Aikman is that he named his first son and daughter after his parents in traditional Scottish style. It might therefore be said that, although no record has yet been found of his birth, it seems consistent with other information we have available so far. However, his birth still requires confirmation.

In reply to a query about Adam Aikman's missing birth record, the Stirling Archivist checked through their Kirk Session minutes for St Ninians from 1780-1805 in early October 2017 but could find no reference to the baptism or birth. He recommended that a further check be undertaken of the old Parish Registers accessible via Scotland's People. A check of the 1795 registers (which was not free) showed the birth of James Aikman (bap 20 November 1795 (Ref 488/40/92), see below) but not Adam or any other name that looked similar to Adam Aikman. Further checks of the registers before and after 1795 will be made as time (and money) permits.

Other Stevenson/Aikman marriages

There were two other Stevenson/Aikman marriages around the same timeframe as Adam and Janet.

Hugh Stevenson married Margaret Aikman on 12 November 1780 (Ref 488/50/343).

James Aiken (misspelled from Aikman) and Elizabeth Stevenson who married at St Ninians on 13 August 1786 (Ref 488/50/357) had the following children, all baptised at St Ninians:

1798 - The McNee family - of the Port of Menteith?

As noted below, Peter McNee married Catharine McIntyre on 13 January 1798 in Kincardine. There was no-one with that name apparently registered in St Ninian's, Stirling, from 1760 to 1780. Two boys with the name Peter McNee, who might match were born in the Port of Menteith, to the west of Stirling:

1798 - The McNee / McIntyre connection

Peter McNee married Catharine McIntyre on 13 January 1798 in Kincardine. (Ref 364 10/233). Their marriage record notes that Catherine was from Balquhidder parish. Peter and Catherine McNee had the following children, all born in Kincardine, during which time the spelling of the surname varied as shown in the surnames:

From 1815 - The Aikmans of Edinburgh, New Zealand links

An Aikman family in Edinburgh was also to end up with links to New Zealand. James Aikman and May Campbell had the following children, all born in Edinburgh (685/1):

The 'Radical War', the Bonnymuir Rising of 1820 - How/if were the Aikman's involved?

On 17 November 2003, Sue Sustenance posted the following information about the Bonnymuir Rising of 1820:

I have a copy of an article from a Stirling 1903 newspaper found in a family Bible in Victoria Australia. It is a Long Service Award to Adam Aikman aged 79 years employee of Muir and Patton Ltd coal merchants. Quote "His Father was connected with the Bonnymuir Rising in 1820 and narrowly escaped being beheaded with Baird and Hardie. A tragic souvenir of those stirring times in the possession of Mr Aikman is a letter written by Hardie to his sweetheart on the eve of his execution September 7 1820". The father Adam Aikman was not transported like some, and was married in 1826 and lived in Cambusbarron.' (Source http://archiver.rootsweb.ancestry.com/th/read/SCT-STIRLINGSHIRE/2003-11/1069064796)

Was Adam Aikman involved in the Bonnymuir Rising?

The Stirling Archives website provides some background to this event. It noted that after the end of the Napoleonic wars, Britain had experienced an economic downturn. As a result, the wages of weavers halved and their conditions deteriorated rapidly. In 1813, 40,000 weavers went on strike for two months; the strike only ended when the government arrested the leaders and forced them back to work. News of the slaughter of radical protestors at Manchester in 1819 (the so-called 'Peterloo Massacre') caused concern across Britain. The government was concerned at potential dissent and set out to crush any revolutionary activities. The Aikman family were said to be weavers and may have also suffered during this period. They may also have been seen as sympathisers.

There are numerous online sources for the story of the so-called Bonnymuir Rising of 1820. The Rising was lead by a weaver named Andrew Hardie who gathered a group of men on 5 April 1820 to march from Glasgow Green to seize the Carron iron works, 22 miles away at Falkirk. On their way they were joined by John Baird. They rested at Bonnymuir, south of Bonnybridge, where they were confronted by British military forces and 18 or 19 men captured and taken as prisoners to Stirling Castle.

The only reference I can find to an Aikman connected with this Rising is in the book The Radical Rising: The Scottish Insurrection of 1820, By Peter Berresford Ellis, Seumas Mac a' Ghobhainn:

On June 21 the Bonnymuir prisoners, who had been held in Edinburgh Castle for interrogation, were taken to Stirling Castle by steam boat under a guard ... The following day, June 22, the Lords of the Commision arrived by road and were received at St Ninians by Provost Buchan and magistrates Young, Paterson, Aikman and Balfour.'

In total, 88 men were charged with treason (did this include Adam Aikman?). Three were executed [James Wilson in Glasgow on 30 August 1820, John Baird and Andrew Hardie on 8 September 1820 at Stirling] and the remainder sent to penal colonies at Botany Bay in Australia.

The names of those arrested were: John Baird, weaver, in Condorret; Thomas M'Culloch, stocking- weaver, in Glasgow; Andrew Hardie, weaver, there; John Barr, weaver, in Condorret; William Smith, weaver, there; Benjamin Moir, labourer, in Glasgow; Allan Murchie, blacksmith, there; Alexander Lattimer, weaver, there ; Alexander Johnston, weaver, there; Andrew White, bookbinder, there; David Thomson, weaver, there; James Wright, tailor, there; Wm. Clarkson, shoemaker, there; Thomas Pink, muslin singer, there; Robert Gray, weaver, there; James Cleland, smith, there; Alexander Hart, cabinetmaker, there; Thomas MTarlane, weaver, at Condorret. (Source: Old reminiscences of Glasgow and the west of Scotland : containing the trial of Thomas Muir (and others) by Mackenzie, Peter, 1799-1875. https://archive.org/details/oldreminiscences01mackiala

Although he may have been a sympathiser (and even one of the 88 considered to be linked with the event), there is as yet no evidence that any Aikman was directly involved in the rising, not that any Aikman was transported to Australia in connection with this event. However, Adam Aikman may well have known the perpetrators.

1825 - The Aikman/Murdoch connection

On 28 January 1825, James Aikman married Lilias Murdoch at Polmont, Stirling (Ref 487/30/228).

1826 - The Aikman/McNie connection

Adam Aikman (born around 1795), believed to be the son of Adam Aikman and Janet Stevenson and born in the Stirling area, married Margaret McNie (bap 27 June 1800 - 21 May 1863), the daughter of Peter McNie and Catherine McIntyre, on 2 April 1826 in St Ninians, Stirling (Ref 488 60/233). They also registered their marriage on the same day in her home town of Kincardine (Ref 364 20/73). They had eight children:

1841 census

Family history records that Adam Aikman was a wool manufacturer/woollen mill proprietor from Stirling, Scotland. In this regard it is interesting to note that his wife and some of his children were recorded as weavers in the 1851 census.

Adam Aikman and his children Adam (jnr), Peter and Janet appear in the Ancestry version of the 1841 census at St Ninian's, but curiously not in the Scotland's People version. His wife Margaret and daughter Catherine are recorded with Margaret's father Peter McNie and family at Summerlane, Kincardine. (Ref 364 3/3). It is possible that Margaret, John and James were staying with other relatives in Stirling at this time.

James Aikman (born 1802) is shown in the 1841 census (ref 487/2/11 at Polmont, Stirling) with his wife Lillias (nee Murdoch) who he married on 28 January 1825 at Polmont, and the following children:

John Aikman may be the man by that name aged 30 in the 1841 census at St Ninians, Stirling (488/1/5).

1850 - Death of Adam Aikman

On 9 July 2003, David Stirling (David@davidmstirling.freeserve.co.uk) posted the following to RootsWeb in reply to a question from Sue Sustenance about the Aikmans of Cambusbaron: 'According to the burial registers, Adam Aikman was only 55 years of age when he was buried on 02 Apr 1850 [which means he was born in 1795]. He died of a fever, and was buried opposite the watch house, south wall. He died on 29 Mar 1850 and was from North End, Cambusbarron.'

1851 census

In the 1851 census, Adam's widow Margaret Aikman (now aged 50), 'formerly a weaver's wife' born in Perthshire, and her children Peter Aikman (aged 21, a weaver), Janet Aikman (aged 18, a weaver), John Aikman (aged 13, an errand boy), James Aikman (aged 11, a scholar) and Alexander Aikman (aged 9, a scholar) living together at 23 'North End', Cambusbarron, Scotland (Ref 488/8/5 and 6). Her son Adam may be the Adam Aikman recorded in Stirling (Ref 490/14/4), aged 25, while her daughter Catherine Aikman (aged 18) is recorded living in a different location in Stirling (Ref 490/9/41)

1860 and following - Aikman deaths

According to David Stirling's post above, '... a child named Peter Aikman, aged 2, from Cambusbarron, was buried on 18 Mar 1860. He died of fever and was buried in common ground. Possible grandchild. Margaret McNie, his widow, was buried the same day as she died on 21 May 1863. She is listed as aged 62, and like her husband was buried opposite the watch house, south side. [Margaret died of cancer and was also buried opposite the watch house, south side. Her death was noted by Adam Aikman, her son.]

1870 - Peter Aikman

Adam and Margaret's son Peter Aikman married Ann Penman (see another Penman connection here)and they lived at 25 Spittal Street, Stirling. They had at least one child, Ann Aikman, born 13 July 1864, who died of fever in November 1870. She was buried on 26 November 1870 at the east end of the old building.

Peter Aikman, of 23/24 Spittal Street (possibly his work address, number 25 is not listed in the trade directory), is also recorded as a carter in the Stirling General Directories. (Source: http://digital.nls.uk/directories).

Adam Aikman is recorded as a carter at 8 Shore Road (along with 10 other tradesmen) in the 1870-1871 and 1872-1873 Stirling General Directories.

1897 - Aikmans in Stirling

The 1897 Post Office Directory lists the following Aikmans in Stirling:

1903 and after - Death of Peter Aikman and other children

According to David Stirling, Adam and Margaret's son Peter Aikman '... died 13 Feb 1903, aged 73, and their son Adam Aikman on 13 Jul 1909. Ann Aikman, daughter of Peter Aikman and Ann Penman was born 13 Jul 1864 and was buried 26 Nov 1870, having died of fever. She was buried at the east end of old building and had lived at 25 Spittal Street, Stirling Dave Stirling.

1909 - Death of Adam Aikman

Adam Aikman died on 13 July 1909.

Aikmans buried at Stirling, Scotland

The following Aikmans are buried at St. Ninians Churchyard, Kird Wynd off Main Street, Stirling, Scotland. (Source: http://www.memento-mori.co.uk/72.pdf)

Page created 11 December 2011, updated 27 January 2017. Copyright 1985 - 2017, Andrew Warland. email: andrewwarland(at)gmail.com