Some time ago I had an email from Jane in New Zealand who had traced her family history back to Katherine Inglis, who married a John Black, way back in 1792! This makes us distant relations as I am descended from a brother of Katherine’s father! Complicated stuff! Anyway I was able to tell Jane a bit more about Katherine’s ancestry, which interested her enough to want to visit Cupar in Fife where our Inglis family lived at that time.
Coming to Scotland was just part of a bigger trip Jane planned, and we arranged to meet at the Scotland’s People Centre, in Edinburgh one day, and next day to go over to Fife. It meant that I left Colin up on Deeside with Janet, Mark and Ian, and drove down to Edinburgh to be able to meet Jane next day.
Of course neither of us had a clue what the other looked like, but with the help of the supervisors at SPC, we finally got together. I was allocated the desk next to Jane so was able to help her decipher names and occupations on the records she was looking up.
Next day I drove up to Cupar to meet Jane again in the afternoon. I had told her the story of the Inglis family emerging out of the mists of time at Carslogie March, and owning land nearby, so we drove out of town a little to where, I discovered last time I was there, Carslogie March must have been. Today there are two 18th century cottages, one called the March Toll, but I am certain this was approximately where our ancestors of the 16th century family had lived. We talked with the owner of the second cottage, who said there had been two older cottages in the area but they had been demolished years ago. I’m not even sure they would have dated back far enough to have been the family’s home. The Carslogie estate was vast, and encompassed several farms. I expect all the land in this photo would have been the property of the family at Carslogie House at some time.
Right across the road was the house I now know to have been Bondfield, the house that was built by Jane’s Katherine’s father, James Inglis, in 1815-17, on land that had belonged to the family for several generations.
Jane with her umbrella at the front door of Bondfield, which has since been renamed.
I had forgotten it was raining when we were there!
By this stage Katherine would have been married to her John Black and living at the farm of Bankhead of Inchdairnie with their 11 children. Note for Jane: John Black owned a silver or metal watch, which possibly set him amongst the “well-to-do”. He was taxed on it in 1797’s clock and watch tax, the amount of one shilling and tenpence ha’penny – which sounds like a lot for those days. Today it would equate to less than 9 pence , but of course the relative value would be much much more!
James’ two unmarried daughters, Katherine’s sisters, went to live with their father at Bondfield, and the house stayed in the family till Euphemia’s death in 1871.
So, from the old Bondfield we jumped back in the car and drove on up the road to see the 16th century tower house of Carslogie (ruined now) that most probably our ancesters saw being built. Maybe they even had a hand in the building of it! Who knows! Here’s Jane getting into some welly boots to walk through the field to the house.
This is the front of the house with Jane on her way across. It seems to have fallen into further disrepair since I last saw it, and of course all the trees growing inside will be undermining the building even more with their ever growing roots.
Have a look at the drawing made in the 1800s of how the house looked then, taken from the front, and photos of the interior, as well as a floor plan. The next photos were taken looking through what was most likely a doorway connecting the main tower with the extension of the drawing, and over the main door.
while the next one was taken over the top of the front door, the arch leading to the cellars underground. It’s such a shame the place is filled with all that fallen rubble and the trees, as the place has quite a history to it.
One of these days the crack in the side wall will just break the building apart and the back will fall down.
There was one more place we had to visit and that was Russell Mill where our Inglis ancestors lived and worked after being at Carslogie March. They were most probably flour millers, though the mill went through at least two incarnations afterwards. It became a linen mill, and more recently a precast concrete factory. It’s empty now!
What we should have done was to drive to where Katherine was born in 1766. The old farmhouse seems to have disappeared though I have suspicions that a nearby farm might actually have been the Inglis home. I apologise to Jane for not thinking of visiting this area. The farm cottages that now own the name are actually much more modern….. and as for the farm where Katherine spent her married life, I think I have found it just to the east of Kinglassie. I must go and take photos next time I am over in that direction. I thought it might have been swallowed up by Kinglassie or Glenrothes by now. Not far off it though! It would have been a bit of a drive from Cupar though.
Next time Jane?
Talk again soon.