Gilbert Grierson (1728-1794) and Bucklerhole farm
Gilbert Grierson (1728) and his wife Agnes Mundell farmed Bucklerhole, they had four children, Margaret, Mary, William and Robert. Very little is recorded about Gilbert however; the Dumfries Weekly Journal, dated 4th May 1779, contains a short entry: Gilbert Grierson in Bucklerhole, won a prize for the Best Bakewell Ram, in the Society for the Encouragement of Agriculture Show, held in Dumfries on the 1st of May 1779. On his death in 1794, Gilbert’s elder son William Grierson (1761) continued to farm in Bucklerhole.
William married Jean Johnstone of Bengalhill Lockerbie at Torthorwald in August 1790. They had two children Gilbert (1791) who died in infancy, and William (1792). Jean died in 1804 when William was only 12 years old. William senior was remarried in December 1806 to Jean Charteris some 15 years his junior. Jean from Torthorwald was a descendant of the Charteris family of Amisfield, thought to have had French connections around the time of the Norman Conquest.
William and Jean had seven children, James, Agnes, Robert, Richard, John who died in infancy, Jean and Anne. William lived to the age of 76 and after his death Jean Charteris continued to farm Bucklerhole which had now expanded into two sites. Early maps show this second site marked Bucklerhole just 800 metres from Rockhall House. That site is now known as West Mains Farm (pictured right) and was farmed by Jeans younger son Robert Grierson. Richard Grierson lived at Woodside Mill.
William’s son from his first marriage William (1792) became a farmer; he married Margaret Kelton and in 1825 led a group of Scottish farmers to Argentina where they settled at Monte Grande, now a district of Buenos Aries. Details of Williams’s voyage to South America (Voyage of the Symmetry) are recorded in a book “From Caledonia to the Pampas”. Not all of Williams family moved to Argentina, a daughter is recorded as remaining with relatives in Dumfriesshire. William died of a fall from his horse in 1847.
Williams’s granddaughter Dr Cecilia Grierson (1859) was the first female to qualify as a doctor in Argentina, a region of Buenos Aries has been named after her. Dr Cecilia Grierson wrote in the preface to Williams book, that her great grandparents were direct descendents of Sir Robert Grierson of Lag.
Whilst Jean Charteris continued to farm Bucklerhole, James Grierson (1807) her eldest son moved to Dalton some 5 miles to the east where he farmed Rotchell a substantial farm on the banks of the Annan river. One census shows that 35 labourers were employed at the farm. Jean Charteris’s will indicates that she had loaned James a sum of money, maybe to finance this new project. James married Anne Nicholson of Mouswald, they had 11 children three of whom died under the age of 7. James died in 1865 at Drummuir in Mouswald where his son James farmed. Anne died at Woodside Mill Mouswald in 1873. The family grave is in Mouswald cemetery.
By now the railway had reached Dumfries making the journey south much easier. James’s second son William (1837) moved south to Oxfordshire where he continued to farm before changing his trade to travelling draper. He married Agnes Wallace of Kirkbean, a location visible across the river Nith from Mouswald. They were married at Aston Rowant Oxon. They had 6 children, 4 were born in Oxfordshire/Buckinghamshire whilst the two youngest children were born in Dumfriesshire at Oxgang Lodge and North Carthat farm both of which were homes of family members. William moved to Maidenhead where he became an Alderman and served as deputy mayor of Maidenhead. His two elder sons James and William followed him into the drapery trade.
James’s first son Jonah (1833) died at, and quite probably farmed at Scalehill Farm Lockerbie. His younger sons, John Charteris Grierson farmed at Bengalhill Lockerbie (pictured right), whilst James Grierson farmed at Drummuir Mouswald.
Thomas Nicholson Grierson (1851) the youngest son of James and Anne shared the wanderlust of his elder brother but ventured further to Nowra South Australia where he was a well respected cattle authority and Judge. His death is recorded on his fathers grave at Mouswald.
James’s three surviving daughters remained in the Dumfries area and are buried in an adjacent grave in Mouswald cemetery.
Mike Grierson, 2010