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Livingstones of Fordell

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Seven years ago, after completing a Photographic History of Cowdenbeath, I became interested in the way of life of the collier. In particular, a reference to Jennie Livingstone, being "Belle of the Ball" in Fordell in the nineteenth century, aroused my curiosity. I decided to research the Livingstone Family history.

This booklet is the result of these researches over the past few years. I have found it fascinating and rewarding and the search still continues. It will, I hope, be of interest to my own family but others I hope will receive it with interest.

The traditional Family Tree is, of course, included. It was, however, the fact the family were colliers, on the Lands of Fordell that was the particular fascination for me.

I have included brief summaries of the Fordell Estate and the Scottish collier in order to place in context the Livingstone who lived and died so many years ago.

I acknowledge here, and in the Bibliography, the tremendous value of the Reverend Stephen's "History of Inverkeithing & Rosyth", R. Page Arnot's "History of the Scottish Miner" and the booklet entitled "Fordell Railway" by J. C. Inglis.[1]

I also express my thanks to Moira Malcolm for her efforts in typing the script. She gave of her time and expertise willingly and for this I am most grateful.

W. B. Livingstone

11 Linburn Road,

June, 1980

About the Author

At the time of publication of this booklet, Bill worked at Inverkeithing High School where he was a teacher for many years, and then the Head Schoolmaster. Bill writes:
My office overlooks the Lands of Fordell and I work less than one mile from "Ye Old Coaltoun of Fordell." The Old Parish Church of Dalgety lies two miels to the east of the School.


The Lands of Fordell

Reference is made to the Lands of Fordell in the "Charters of Inchcolme" as early as the first quarter of the 13th century. Later mention is also made in 1240 as the Lands of Fordell belonging to Sir William de Hereth.

However it is the relationship of the Henderson family with Fordell and the subsequent development of the cola pits which is of interest to his booklet.

The earliest association of the name Henderson with Fordell is found in a charter granted at Fordell on August 14th 1465 and witnessed by "John Henryson of Fordale, Sergeant of said Barony of Fordale".

Early in the 16th century James Henrysone, Burgess of Edinburgh, acquired the greater part of the lands of Fordale from the descendants of Sir William Airth of Fordell among whom they had been divided. James Henrysone received along with his wife a Crown Charter uniting the whole into the Barony of Fordell. This Charter was received from James IV in 1511. James and his oldest son were both killed at the Battle of Flodden on September 9th 1513.[2]

Fordell estates continued in the hands of the Henderson family throughout the centuries until they passed into the Earl of Buckinghamshire's family through marriage.

It was during these years that coal mining developed and the collier became part of the Fordell scene.

The earliest coal workings in Scotland were situated north and south of the Forth. As far as can be traced these were in existence from the 13th century onwards and were mainly isolated diggings or outcrops. It was not until the 16th century that coal mining became an industry. As the early workings became exhausted pits were sunk further inland. Each step away from the harbours rendered the problem of transport more and more acute.

According to the "Statistical Account of Scotland 1795" coal was worked on Fordell Estate in the latter part of the 16th century. The early workings were near Broomieside Farm, about a mile north of Fordell Castle. The first workings were on this outcrop. When this was exhausted new pits were sunk. Colliers' cottages were built and these can be seen clearly on early maps of the period.

The Old Parish Records of Dalgety tell us in 1718 of "ye Coaltoun of Fordell" and Ainslie's Map of 1775 shows this village clearly just north of Broomieside Farm. By the end of the 18th century the main workings were here and appropriately called "Coultoun". This later was referred to as "Colton".

On 21th July, 1752, Sir Robert Henderson Bart acquired land on the Firth of Forth. A harbour was constructed with two small piers - St. David's Harbour. Houses were built on the South Pier and Salt Pans on the West side. The Coal road was extended from Fordell across the Inverkeithing/Aberdour road. Coal was transported by horse and pannier to the harbour for "foreign trade".

A wooden railway was laid down in the second half of the 18th century. It is shown on Ainslie's Map of 1775. In 1798 Sir John Henderson extended his coal field and obtained from William Weymss, Laird of Cuttlehill, a lease of the coal in his estate to the north.

With this development a great period of expansion resulted. Fordell Village grew and was well established by 1800. The original "Coultoun of Fordell" became deserted and the colliers moved about a mile farther north to the Fordell Village. This was the village that was in existence well into the 20th century and the village referred to in Robert Holman's "Behind the Diamond Panes".[3]

Map of Fordell

The Collier

Much has been written about the coalminer and his way of life, and, if interested, the reader would be well advised to read "The History of the Scottish Miner" by R. Page. Arnot.[4]

The early mining of coal, as is well established, was by the monks of the various Abbeys surrounding the shores of the Forth. Records show that the monks of Newbattle Abbey and Inchcolme Abbey used to work the "coalheughs" or outcrops.

Mining became an industry with rapid growth during the reign of James VI. With this expansion new and deeper pits were sunk and other problems of water, ventilation, winding, and above all labour came to the fore. The greatest problem of all was the supply of labour for the pits to meet the sudden and enormous expansion of the market.

In the year 1606 the coalminers were made into slaves. the act of Parliament which accomplished this and solved the manpower problem was in force for nearly two centuries from 1606 to 1799, and its victims could still be met in the times of our grandfathers.

The Dissolution of the Monasteries cast upon the countryside those for whom there was no agricultural type of work. Laws exceedingly harsh were enacted against what were termed "vagrants and beggars". In 1606 the new act had several main provisions. First, no one could hire a coalminer without leave of the Coal Owner. Second, no coalminer could leave his place of work without the consent of the Owner. Thirdly, the new employer was forced to surrender the miner within twenty-four hours. Fourth, a deserting miner was to be deemed a thief (he had stolen himself away from his owner).

In 1641 a further act deprived the colliers of their days holidays and ordained they must work six days a week throughout the year.

The 1606 Act was carried out to the letter and succeeded in making the collier an enslaved class. Their lot was very similar to that of the negroes on the plantations in the South of the United States prior to the Civil War.

A custom grew up among the miners of "arling" their children to the Coal Master. This "arling" which was the sale of future labour of the child in return for a sum of money was witnessed by the minister and others became a formal and regular custom. Thus the child of the collier was sold into slavery. "Wives, sons and daughters went on from generation to generation under the system which was the family doom." So said Lord Cockburn in his "Memorials".

The wives and daughters were the coal bearers who went to the coal face, took the coal to the pit bottom then climbed up ladders to the surface. They did this many times a day.

The legal and social degradation by many Acts of Parliament caused the rest of the population to look upon the miners as something less than human. They were herded together in miserable hovels in villages close to the pits. In Fife the dead collier was not allowed to be buried in the same ground as a free labourer.

An inquiry was set up to look into Coal Mining in 1840 and an extract from the evidence gives some example of how the miner and his family lived.

Margaret Leveston, 6 years old, coal bearer.

"Been down the pit at coal carrying for six weeks; makes 10 to 14 rakes (journeys) a day; carries a full 56 lbs. of coal in a wood backit. The work is na guid; it is so very sair. I work with sister Jesse and mother; dinna ken the time we gang it is gae dark. Get plenty of broth and porridge and run home and get a bannock. never been to school it is so very far away."

Another example is the evidence of a 12 year old boy.

Alexander Reid, aged 12.

"I have worked two years at Sherriff-hall and go below at two or three in the morning and hew coal till six at night. The pit I work in is very wet. We often work in slush over our shoe tops. When first below I used to fall asleep. It is most terrible work. I am wrought in a 30 inch seam and am obliged to twist myself up to work on my side. This is my everyday work except Friday when I go down at 12 at night and come up at 12 noon."

It was not until 1842 that Parliament passed a bill that women, girls and boys under 10 were not to be employed underground.

This therefore was the life style of the collier. this was the way of life for the Livingstone family from which I descend. They lived for over two centuries on the Lands of Fordell as pit men and colliers.

The Livingstone Family

All of the foregoing chapters are of interest to the Livingstone family because it was as colliers they lived and died. They worked on the lands of Fordell for over 200 years during the hard and degrading period of the collier's history. the extracts from the evidence given to the Royal Commission of 1840 could easily have been that of one of the Livingstone family in Fordell.

It was not until 1923 that my line of descent managed to escape from the life style of the collier and even then it was by chance. My father, Thomas Muir Livingstone, was sent by his father to No. 7 Pit in Cowdenbeath with instructions to report to the Colliery Office. He was to ask for a certain Davie... with a view to getting a job. The fact that this man was underground and my father turned away was of considerable interest to me. My father not only turned his back on the gates of the pit but on a whole way of life the Livingstone family had followed for nearly 250 years if not longer.

It is perhaps curious to note that when attempting to trace the history of my family that the very degradation as recorded in the previous chapter has in fact made the task that much easier. Due to the Act of 1606 making colliers serfs, the inability of any Livingstone leaving Fordell Coal Pits until 1800 or thereabouts has enabled me to concentrate my efforts on the Lands of Fordell.

Also, the fact of the custom of "arling" the children as described previously ensured that nearly all of the Livingstone family were baptized and consequently recorded in the Old Parish Records. Extracts from these records can be seen at the end of this chapter.

It was not until around about 1846, shortly after their marriage, that Thomas Livingstone and Barbara Muir, both of Fordell, decided, due to the new freedom, to leave Fordell. It appears they set up house in Auchterderran and their first born Robert was born there in 1848. Thomas later with his large family moved to Kingseat. The present members of the Livingstone family know well the association of Kingseat with Thomas' son also named Thomas. this Thomas had a son William, my grandfather, and also a son Archibald still living today in Detroit, U.S.A.

The complete family tree, as at present researched, is at the end of the booklet. I am still pursuing these researches and it is to be hoped successfully. As can be seen from the extracts the present family can be traced back to just before 1700. Information at present leads me to believe that I can establish the family in and around Inverkeithing even earlier, perhaps going back as far as 1500. Any subsequent information will be added as soon as my researches are complete.

However although there is a gap before 1700 it is perhaps interesting to note that the name Livingston is associated with Fordell very early indeed. Just what association the early records have with the present family is of course obscure.

From Geo. Black, Ph.D., "Summaries of Scotland", the origin of the name and earliest recorded mention of Livingstone make interesting reading.

According to Black it appears a Saxon name Leving settled in Scotland under David 1st. He obtained a charter of lands in West Lothian. Two sons Alexander and William are mentioned in early charters between 1165 and 1214.

It is recorded in 1290 that "William Livingston witnessed a charter" by Malcolm and that Sir Archibald de Levingstoun of Edinburghshire rendered homage in 1296. It is interesting to note that William and Archibald are names used throughout the centuries by the present family. This in itself of course means nothing.

The Reverend William Stephen in his "History of Inverkeithing and Rosyth" brings forth other interesting information regarding the Livingston family.[5] Early records tell us of Sir John de Livingstone K. T. described as the Lord of Lochore on July 3rd 1395. However the first mention of the association of Fordell with the name Livingstone appears in the Inventory of Fordell Writs.

In 1485 David and Alexander Scott, sons of William Scott and Christian Livingstone, daughter of John Livingstone of Masterton and Agnes, daughter and heir of Sir William Airth of Fordell received a charter of part of the lands of Fordell on August 14, 1465.

Later a further association is established.

"Alexander Livingstoun, son and heir apparent of Thomas Livingstone of Hanying married Janet daughter of James Henderson of Fordell and Jean - contract October 29th 1603".

From these early records it is clear that the Livingstone family have had for centuries a close association with the lands of Fordell. Whether the present family of which I belong is related to these early Livingstones must be doubtful. However, what seems certain is that the strain in which I am interested certainly were labourers and colliers from the mid 1600s. There also appears a tenuous connection between the Scotts, Livingstones, and Henderson the eventual owners of Fordell Estate.

I have attempted to give a brief background to the Livingstone family from their beginnings in the dark recesses of history, their association with Fordell Estate and to their centuries of hard toil in the coal pits. To those members of the family related directly or through marriage to myself I trust they will find it of interest.

The story is by no means complete. I hope that in my continuing researches I may manage to prise open some more doors which will give us a fuller picture of the family.

There appears at the present no heroic Livingstone alongside Wellington at Waterloo or Prince Charles at Culloden.

However the family had their own heroes- those were of course the men, women and children toiling in the bowels of the earth. Like so many others in so many families that type of hero is largely unsung. I trust that my own family when older will look back at their ancestors with admiration and awe just as I do today.

The bold facts only have been listed. There are doubtless countless stories and anecdotes that the present family remember. The foregoing facts I hope will cement the little stories and give a sense of continuing history to the family. I'm sure my grandfather William and his gentle pawkie wife Janet, who thought all the Livingstones "impident", would have enjoyed reading about the family.

Extracts from Records Relating to the Family

In this chapter I list simply the extracts taken mainly from the Old Parish Register of Dalgety (O.P.R. Dalgety) relating to the family. These can be put side by side with the diagrammatic family tree. The only extract not positively established as belonging to the family is that regarding a certain Margaret Livingstone of Inverkeithing. However, I am sure this woman was related to the Margaret born 1742 in the Coaltoun of Fordell.

All other extracts relate directly to the Family Tree.

1.Inverkeithing Presbytery Records 1667.
 "May 22nd 1667. The Presbytery having met after prayers. Compearit Margaret Livingstone in Innerkeithin, who being chargit with frequent scawlding and flytting and of a wicked and vicious converations by the Kird Sessione, to suspend her from Church benefits till she testifies her amendment and this to the intimat from the pulipt to the congregations".
2.O.P.R. Dalgety.
 William Livingstone and Anne Browne had a child baptized name William in Ye Coaltoun of Fordell born 12th February, 1722.
3.O.P.R. Dalgety.
 June 23rd 1723. This day Archibald Livingstoune and Christian Muir gave up their names in Ye Coaltoun to be proclaimed and were married.
4.O.P.R. Dalgety.
 May 5th 1723. John Livingstoun and Elizabeth Gibson gave up their names in Ye Coaltoun to be proclaimed and were married.
5.O.P.R. Dalgety.
 October 9th 1734. Was born James Livingstone lawful son of Archibald Livingstone and Christian Muir in Ye Coaltoun was baptized October 13th 1734 before witnesses.
6.O.P.R. Dalgety.
 March 20th 1731. Was born William lawful son to Archibald Livingstone and Christian Muir in Coaltoun 1731.
7.O.P.R. Dalgety. 1728.
 Was born Marion Livingstone daughter to Archibald Livingstone and Christian Moor was born in Ye Coaltoun, October 18th 1728.
8.O.P.R. Dalgety. 1742.
 Was born Margaret Livingstone, lawful daughter of Archibald Livingstone and Christian Muir in Ye Coaltoun baptized May nd 1742.
9.O.P.R. Dalgety. 1739.
 Was born Betsi, lawful daughter of Archibald Livingstone and Christian Muir in Ye Coaltoun of Fordell baptized May 6th 1739 before these witnesses Robert Muir and James Muir.
10.O.P.R. Dalgety. 1759.
 James Livingstone and Christian Muir gave up their names for proclamation in order to marriage and after orderly proclamation were married in July 13th 1759.
11.O.P.R. Dalgety. 1762.
 Was born Robert Livingstone lawful son to James Livingstone and Christian Muir in the Coaltoun of Fordell and baptized on the 24th October before these witnesses John Beveridge and Archibald Livingstone and others.
12.O.P.R. Dalgety. 1782.
 Which day the Session being met after prayers and constituted compeared this day Archibald Livingstoun and Gisell Muir and owned their clandestine marriage and produced their marriage lines dated June rd. They were rebuked and seriously exhorted to repentance.
13.O.P.R. Dalgety. 1783.
 March 23rd 1783. Was born James Livingstone son to Archibald Livingstone and Giselle Muir was born 16 March 1783 in the Redraws.
14.O.P.R. Dalgety. 1787.
 Robert, the lawful son to Erchibald Livingstoun and Greselle Moor his spouse was born 21 April 1787 and baptized before witnesses.
15.O.P.R. Dalgety. 1810.
 On which day the Session being met and constituted compeared Robert Livingstone and Agnes Muir, acknowledged their irregular marriage by lines dated October 15th 1809, were rebuked and paid the fine - 2/6 pence.
16.O.P.R. Dalgety. 1810.
 Agnes, lawful daughter to Robert Livingstone and Agnes Muir in Fordell Colliery was born 2nd September, 1810.
17.O.P.R. Dalgety. 1845.
 6th December, 1845. Which day Thomas Livingstone and Barbara Muir both in this parish gave up their names for proclamation in order to marriage and after being regularly proclaimed weree married.
18.Note. Death Certificate.
 Thomas Livingston, coal miner, widower of Barbara Muir died 25th May, 1890 at Kingseat, Dunfermline, aged 75 years, son of Robert Livingston, coal miner (dec.) and Agnes Muir (dec.). Cause of death old age as certified by A. L. Bell, M.D. signed Archibald Livingstone, son, Kingseat.
19.1871. Census of Dunfermline 424 Div. 7 No. 166 Kingseat.
Thomas Livingstone,  head,    married 48 yrs.  coal miner  born Fordell
Barbara     "        wife        "    47 yrs.                "     "
Robert      "        son    un   "    23 yrs.    "    "      "  Auchterderran
Thomas      "        son    un   "    20 yrs.    "    "      "     "
Helen       "       daugh.  un   "    18 yrs.                "     "
Jane        "       daugh.  un   "    16 yrs.                "     "
Grace       "       daugh.  un   "    13 yrs.   scholar      "     "
Barbara     "       daugh.  un   "     9 yrs.      "         "   Fordell
Archibald   "        son    un   "     4 yrs.                "   Beath
20.Birth 405/39 1855.
 Jane Livingstone, female, born 31 March, 1855 at Hindloup, Auchterderran, Fife, daughter of Thomas Livingstone, coal miner, 31 years, born Fordell, and Barbara Livingstone M/S Muir her 5th child, 30 years, born Fordell, (parents marriage 1845 Crossgates, 2 boys and 2 girls living) signed Thomas Livingstone, his X mark Jas. Dall witness, John Wishart witness.
21.Marriage 424/22 1872.
 8 March, 1872 at Halbeath, Dunfermline, after forms of Est. Church, Thomas Livingston, coal miner, bachelor 21 years. Kingseat, Dunfermline, son of Thomas Livingstone, coal miner, and Barbara Livingston M/S Muir, married Agnes Beveridge, outdoor worker, spinster, 22 years, Halbeath, Dunfermline, daughter of William Beveridge, coal miner (deceased) and Jane Beveridge M/S Anderson. Witnesses Robert Livingston and James Ramsay.
22.Marriage 410/91 1908.
 5th June, 1908 at Wardlaw Street, Cowdenbeath, after forms of the United Free Church, William Livingstone, colliery enginekeeper, bachelor 26 years Main Street, Kingseat, Dunfermline, son of Thomas Livingstone, coal miner, and Agnes Livingstone M/S Beveridge. MARRIED Janet E. Campbell, damask factory weaver, spinster 24 years, Wardlaw Street, Cowdenbeath, daughter of Robert Campbell, coal miner and Elizabeth Campbell M/S Gilbert. Witnesses Archie Livingstone and Lizzie G. Campbell.
23.Birth 410/487 1909.
 Thomas Livingstone, born 24 February 1909 at Wardlaw Street, Cowdenbeath, son of William Livingstone, colliery enginekeeper and Janet Erskine Livingstone M/S Campbell, signed William Livingstone, father.
24.Marriage 282/29 1935
 1 January, 1935 at Elim Foursquare Gospel Church, Dundee, after banns according to the form of the Foursquare Gospel Church, Thomas Livingstone, painter (journeyman) bachelor, 25 years, 30 Keir Street, Cowdenbeath, son of William Livingstone, colliery engineman, and Janet Livingstone M/S Campbell. MARRIED Catherine McLauchlan Gallanders, fancy goods shop assistant, spinster, 23 years, 7 Dallfield Terrace, Dundee, daughter of John Gallanders, colliery engineman and Marry Gallanders M/S McMorrow. Witnesses Robert C. Livingstone and Cissie Gallanders.
25.Birth 442/436 1936.
 William Beveridge Livingstone, born 9th June, 1936 at Maternity Hospital, Kirkcaldy, son of Thomas Muir Livingstone, house painter, usual residence, 51 Broad Street, Cowdenbeath, and Catherine Livingstone M/S Gallanders, signed Thomas M. Livingstone, father.

Family Tree

The American Connection

About one year after I had completed my researches into my Family History an unusual and exciting event occurred. I had put most of my notes into booklet form and had issued them to my immediate family. I am pleased to note that they were received with enthusiasm but there I thought the matter ended.

I received a telephone call from Sheila Pitcairn. Sheila had assisted me at the Record Office in Edinburgh during my researches, and had been most helpful. It transpired that she had met that day, Donald Whyte a well known professional Genealogist. When she asked what he was working on at present he replied "The Livingstones of Fordell." She proceeded to inform him of my researches and gave him my name and address. Unknown to me he included this tidbit of information in his report to his client - an American, named Judge Ariel Crowley of Idaho City.

This chance meeting in Edinburgh has since opened up an entirely new aspect of the Family History and established an American connection which hitherto, had been unknown. I have been, over the past two years, in regular correspondence with Judge Crowley and have been most grateful for his help and assistance in furthering my researches. His own material, and other details researched by Donald Whyte has all been made readily available.

Judge Crowley's connection with the family is his wife. He married Davida Lacy Livingston of Fountain Green, Utah. They both derived great pleasure in researching the Livingston family and indeed assisted with the formation of the "The Livingston Family Association". I am in regular communication now also with the Association and receive regular Newsheets from America.

The Family Association hold a three-day convention every year where Family information is exchanged and the Scottish connection underlined. This booklet has been widely published and circulated and I am delighted to know that so many have had pleasure from reading it.

It is my fond hope that in the near future I may attend one of the Conventions as the "Scottish connection". I have been told I am assured a most cordial welcome.[6]

Furthermore two years ago I had the pleasure of spending two days with one of hte "American" Livingstones.[7]

Max and Lillian Livingston both travelled to Scotland on holiday and met with me and my family. They had both been at the Livingston Family Association Convention prior to departure and had received a rousing reception from over 400 people when they stood up and told them of the visit.

They visited the Old Parish Church of Dalgety and the Lands of Fordell. They viewed the River Forth and walked around the lands of their forebearers. They were deeply touched and it was a pleasure for us all to meet them.

Max and Lillian are both members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. They, like many Livingstones in Utah are Mormons and it was they who explained to me our family's connection. Mormons, as part of their faith, believe in "Baptism for the Dead." They therefore attempt to trace their forebearers and enter them into the Church. A by-product for non-members of course is the worlds' most complete set of record for genealogy research.

Thanks to that chance meeting of Sheila Pitcairn and Donald Whyte in Edinburgh, the two inter-related strains of the family, separated over 130 years ago have come together. It pieces together, telling of early lifestyles, members of the Livingstone family.

Judge Crowley, like me, has found it impossible to go back further than Archibald Livingstone, born in 1702. We are both pursuing various records and documents for some clue of this early Livingstone in the hope we can go even further back in time. It was, in Scotland, a period of great social and religious upheaval so the task will prove difficult if not impossible.

When one reads in the next chapter of James Livintgston's life it amazes me how I have not come very far in 300 years.

Today I live only three miles from the old "Coaltoun of Fordell." My family, as recorded in previous chapters, moved to Auchterderran, to Kingseat and then to Cowdenbeath. As my father Tam says "Oor Bill is the only wan tae mak the toon!" That may be, but its a fact I am still as near the Lands of Fordell as any of the Livingstones.

James Livingstone, as seen from the Extracts, was born in 1783 in the "Red Raw". That building still stands and recently standing there, overlooking new farmland, it is difficult to imagine the lifestyle. Just as difficult to imagine is another James and his trek across the plains of Americas in the 1850's.

They, and I, are all of the one family. The latest addition to the family is Campbell Livingstone and Sylvia's son Grant John.

It is pleasing to note that Gilbert his grandfather, has presented him with a Family Tree and booklet as christening present. He, and his family, I trust like me, will share in all that has gone before.

The American Connection

Below, shown in detail is the "American Connection". Only marriage dates are shown. Both strains of the Family come together with Archibald and Grisell Muir who married on 22nd June, 1782.

        Archibald Livingstone - Grisell Muir
                 m. 22nd June 1782
        |                                 |
Robert - Agnes Muir             James - Christine Campbell Livingstone
m. 15th October 1809            m. 9th October 1807  (full cousins)
        |                                 |
        |                                 |
Thomas - Barbara Muir           Archibald - Helen Conner
m. 5th December 1845            m. 2nd December 1832
        |                                 |
        |                                 |
Thomas - Agnes Beveridge        James - Agnes Widdison
m. 8th March 1872               m. 7th June 1859
        |                                 |
        |                                 |
William - Janet Campbell        Charles - Julia Sellars
m. 5th June 1908                m. 25th December 1886
        |                                 |
        |                                 |
Thomas - Catherine Gallanders   Davida - Ariel Crowley
m. 1 January 1935               m. 1927
William - Jean Roy
m. 14th July 1962

The Emigrant Scot

The Livingstone Family Association in America is founded on the memory, and subsequent family, of a lone Scot who emigrated to the United States in 1853.[8] Other Livingstones now subscribe to the Association and in many ways it is a Scots Society, like many others in the United States. It was partly due to the beliefs of the Church of the Latter Day Saints but above all it was due to that lone Scot.

He was James Campbell Livingstone, son of Archibald Livingstone born in Fordell in 1808. Archibald was the grandson of Archibald and Grisell Muir. Another grandson was Thomas who married Barbara Muir - my direct ancestor.

All the Livingstons of course lived and worked in Dalgety Parish and the lands of Fordell. I now refer to the foregoing chapter on the Scottish Collier.

After the inquisitious slave laws of employment had been repealed around 1800 it was Archibald and Thomas' generation who were the first to take advantage of their new freedom. Thomas, as recorded in previous chapter married and set up home in Auchterderran later Kingseat.

Archiblad on the other hand moved west to Lanarkshire to Shotts. Here he married Helen Connors. It was their son James who started the "American" connection. My father's "Kingseat" grandfather was a full cousin of James. My father today has vague memories of his father mentioning his relations in Shotts.

James Livingstone was born in Shotts in 1833. A brief summary of his life, in his own words, is at the end of this chapter. This deposition was taken down shortly before he died in 1909.

In this statement James states how he became a member of the Church of the Latter Day Saints while he was in Scotland. This I found surprising. He must have been one of the very early recruits to the Church. He later tells of meeting the founder Joseph Smith's wife and also Brigham Young the other legendary figure. He lived for a period with Brigham Young and his family.

It was his desire and conviction with the Church that decided him to emigrate. His story is fascinating particularly the seven months trek across the great plains by wagon train. Although James does make light of this journey in his statement, it is on record in various histories of the west how the Plain Indian constantly attacked the wagon trains.

James was an Indian fighter for a number of years in the early days of Utah. In his obituary published in the Salt Lake Herald it states that "he was a member and leader of the exploring and Indian schirmishing parties in the pioneer days."

He retained until his death a broad Scots accent. In his deposition there are some spelling errors. These were because his words were written exactly as he spoke e.g. "Edinburry".

It is this James, devout Mormon, who is looked upon by many of the Livingstone Family Association in the United States as the founder father of their family. What has been existing for them is the further detail of a Collier's life in Scotland that the family followed for centuries previously.

A much fuller history of James, his family and lifestyle will be able to be had in a recent publication by the Family Association. Ron Livingstone, a lawyer, has undertaken the task of producing a detailed book of the family of James and his American descendants. Entitled "The Descendants of Archibald Livingstone" it is expected to be published in June 1980. I look forward with interest to reading it.

Sketch of the Life of James Campbell Livingston

This statement was taken from James Livingstone shortly before his death in 1909

My grandfather's name was James Campbell Livingston. He was born March 25, 1785. My grandmother, Christina Campbell was born February 14, 1789, both being born near Dunfermline, Fifeshire, Scotland. They were married October 9, 1807.

Archibald Livingston, my father, was born July 25, 1808, and my mother, Helen Conor, was born October 26, 1811. They were both born, as near as we can learn, near Mid Lothin, Edinburry, Scotland, and were married at Shotts Iron Works, near their birth place. I being their oldest child was born December 2, 1833 at Shotts Iron Works, Lanarkshire, Scotland.

My mother died when I was five years old and I was cared for by my stepmother, Jean Bain Livingston until I was fifteen years old at which time, in February 1849, she died and in April the same year my father died, both having died when the dread epidemic of cholera swept Scotland.

I was then the oldest of six children the youngest then only nine months old. My brother Charles and I worked very hard for the support of the younger children and my grandmother acted the part of a kind and loving mother to us all.

On May 7, 1849 I was baptized by Elder Paul Gourley and confirmed a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. I was ordained a Teacher by Elder Robert Baird in the year 1850. Also ordained a Priest by Elder James Letham in 1851.

In the Spring of 1853 it was considered wise for me to emigrate to Zion. My brother Charles assumed the care of the family and on March 15 I sailed from Glasgow, Scotland, and on March 28 left Liverpool on the good ship Falcon, via New Orleans. We were nine weeks and two days on the sea. We went up the Mississippi River to Keo Kuk a few miles below Nauvoo, the outfitting place for the emigration across the plains. We stopped at this place several weeks, breaking cattle and organizing companies for the great journey to the Rocky Mountains. At this place I was detailed to guard and herd cattle as they were brought from the outfitting trains. While herding stock nearly opposite Nauvoo on the Iowa side of the river in company with R. W. Attwood, I had the pleasure of visiting the Mansion House at Nauvoo and spent the night there with Emma Smith and her children by Major Biddaman the man to whom she was married after the death of the Prophet. Our stay there was made a very pleasant one through the kindness of Major Biddaman who took us in his carriage to view the home of Joseph Smith. The Temple had been burned but part of the walls were standing, and we were much interested even in the ruins.

I arrived in Salt Lake City October 16, 1853 having been seven months on the journey in Captain Appelton Harmon's Ox Team Company. I traveled from the Mississippi River and drove an ox team the entire distance walking and fording rivers and streams.

The Lord blessed me by sea and by land for which I was very thankful especially for the good health I enjoyed.

On my arrival I went to work for Brigham Young making a wagon road up City Creek Canyon. I worked for him for about three weeks and then went to work in the quarry at the mouth of Red Butte Canyon getting out rock for the wall around Temple Block. I worked all winter and in the summer following 1854 I had saved $200.00 which I turned into the emigration fund and through the kindness of Brigham Young sent for my brothers, sisters, grandmother, uncle and aunt, and gave a note for the balance of their emigration fees. Myself, brother Charles, and brother Archibald settled for this soon after their arrival.

On June 7, 1854 I was married to Agnes Widdison by Bishop Lythe of the 11th ward. I built my first adobe room with a dirt roof in the Summer of 1855 and lived in it in an unfurnished condition the following winter.

In the year 1857 my wife Agnes and myself received our endowments and were married for time and eternity in the new endowment house.

On July 24, 1857 we were at the head of Big Cottonwood Canyon when A. O. Smoot, Judson Stoddard and O. P. Rockwell arrived with tidings of the start of Johnson's army. President Young called the people together and told us to "Fear not" that God was our friend. In the summer the Militia was called out and I was among the number and stayed in the mountains until December 2, 1857.

In the spring my time was occupied moving church property south to Provo with a crowd of men under the direction of Bishop John Sharp. I helped make a road up Provo Canyon. On this job we found very heavy rock work and with a few men and oxen it was rather hard work.

After the troops arrived, my brother Charles and I took a contract to cut and pile cord wood for them. Later, in the fall, I took a contract from Woodmansee Brothers to build a canyon road to American Fork Canyon. The Woodmansee Brothers built a large saw mill in the canyon at this time. From this time until 1880 my time was occupied in contracting and in this same year I was called to take men and start getting out granite from the mouth of Little Cottonwood Canyon for the Temple. We worked a few months every fall until 1865 when work was commenced to build a canal to ship granite for the Temple. In that summer I made two trips to Montana, then known as Bannock Country. I had charge of twenty-four wagons loaded with butter and flour and both trips were very successful.

In the latter part of October 1863 after the arrival of General Connor's troops and their location at Camp Douglas it was deemed advisable to have a man who could go into their quarters at any time day or night and become acquainted with officers and men that might know the plans. At that time there was a bitter feeling manifest by both officers and privates against President Young and our leaders and a great many threats were made against them. A number of bishops and leading men of the city were called to select a man they thought suitable for such a mission. Bishop Sharp invited myself and Captain Burt to attend the meeting. He also had asked us to present the name of Jason Luce which we did. There were quite a number of names presented. President Young listened very attentively and asked a great many questions after hearing all the brothers have their say. Then he said, and I shall never forget his words, "Brethren, I do not think you have mentioned the right man yet." He then described the kind of a man he wanted. He then walked over to where I was sitting between Bishop Sharp and Captain Burt and placed his hand on my shoulder saying, "Here is the man to perform that mission." I was set apart by Bishop Sharp, Bishop Wells, and President Young, and was blessed by the Lord and performed the duties that were required of me to the entire satisfaction of the brethren over me.

In the year 1862 I entered into the holy order of plural marriage by marrying Miss Hannah Widdison, sister of my wife Agnes. In 1867 my two wives Agnes and Hannah received our second endowments, President Wells and Joseph F. Smith officiating.

In June 1868 I was sent with about one hundred men to start grading the Western Pacific Railroad at Devils Gate in Weber Canyon under the direction of Bishop Sharp. I organized four camps between Strawberry Ford and the mouth of the Canyon. After getting them started I was again called to go to Lost Creek and start work on two tunnels near that point. We finished up the work at the mouth of Weber Canyon in February 1869. I again took about three hundred men to the Promontory on a heavy rock contract for Bishop Sharp. At this place in our labor I used about eight tons of nitroglycerin, handled and exploded by myself. It was here I had the misfortune of having my right arm and hand so badly shattered by a blast that one year later it became necessary to have it amputated.

In the year 1870 I was again sent out with my men to work at the granite quarry quarrying rock for the Temple and from that time until the cap stone was quarried I was in full charge of the Temple quarry. While quarrying rock for the Temple we had a beautiful resort in the mountains known as Wasatch. Here the leading men of the church had summer homes where they lived with their families during the summer months. I became very well acquainted with these good people and enjoyed their society very much.

I may state that I was sworn in as a Special Police along with one hundred more men and covenanted to serve as long as I was needed. I served for thirty-five years without pay until the death of Captain Burt. I also served as Deputy Sherriff of Salt Lake County under R. T. Burton, J. R. Goulding, Stephen Taylor, Theo McKean and J. R. Burt.

I also served in the Nauvoo Legion from my arrival in this country until it was disorganized and had held the rank of Sergeant, First Lieutenant and at the time it was disbanded was captain of the company which was Company A, Third Regiment, Nauvoo Legion.

I also married Miss Ann Muir in the Holy Order of Plural Marriage January 26, 1873. From my three marriages were born eighteen children and at this time six have gone to the great beyond.

I was clerk for the 18th Quorum of Seventies for twelve years and was one of the presidents of that quorum for ten years. I was always on hand by day or night to defend the interests of Zion and in this late day when life's battles are nearly over, I am pleased to know that I still retain the confidence of the leaders of Israel.

James Campbell Livingston served as Patriarch of the Church for seven years prior to his death at the age of seventy-six years on October 17, 1909 in Fountain Green.

See also

References and Notes

  1. The Fordell Railway by J. C. Inglis and F. Inglis
  2. Charters of Inchcolme and Olde Fordell Writs
  3. Behind the Diamon Panes by Robert Holman
  4. Arnot, R. Page (19550). The History of the Scottish Miner. 
  5. History of Inverkeithing and Rosyth by the Reverend William Stephen, B.D.
  6. Bill and his wife Jean have attended two Livingston Family Association reunions - in 1990 and again in 2001.
  7. Over the years, Bill and Jean have hosted many American cousins, who are all greatful for Jean and Bill's hospitality and first-hand tours of Dalgety and the surrounding area.
  8. Actually, the Livingston Family Association consists of descendants of not only James Campbell, but his siblings who also immigrated and had posterity, including Charles, Isabella, William, and Archibald.

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