View Full Version : Normans in Scotland

John Gourlay
05-01-2009, 6:30 AM
I've traced my Gourlay line back to 7th great grandfather, John Gourlay b c 1655 at Ceres, Fife. According to postings on various sites and other references, all of the Gourlays in Scotland originate from the Norman, Ingleramus de Gourlay [and spelling variants] who was granted land in the Ceres area at Kincraig and Craigrothie in 1175 by King William the Lion of Scotland, presumably for services and favours rendered.
Try as I might I've been unable to join the dots between Ingelramus and John. Anybody out there got some inside knowledge on where I should look next?
John Gourlay, Melbourne, Australia

Lesley Robertson
05-01-2009, 8:58 AM
I've traced my Gourlay line back to 7th great grandfather, John Gourlay b c 1655 at Ceres, Fife. According to postings on various sites and other references, all of the Gourlays in Scotland originate from the Norman, Ingleramus de Gourlay [and spelling variants] who was granted land in the Ceres area at Kincraig and Craigrothie in 1175 by King William the Lion of Scotland, presumably for services and favours rendered.
Try as I might I've been unable to join the dots between Ingelramus and John. Anybody out there got some inside knowledge on where I should look next?
John Gourlay, Melbourne, Australia

Because neglect, war, damp and poor materials (medieval ink was remarkably acid), there are very few surviving records from the early 17th century and beyond so I'd be surprised if you could link the two individuals. What you could do, since records for the rich tend to survive better, is try and track IdG down and see where that leads. Try the testament archive - free to search and read the index on Scotlands people, and the NAS catalogue (URLs for both in the stickies at the top to the General Scottish forum).
The most obvious starting place, however, is Black's "Surnames of Scotland" - it's the authority on surname origins and spelling variations.


John Gourlay
10-01-2009, 4:21 AM
Dear Lesley
Thanks for that. I haven't been to Testament or NAS yet, but I did find time to check the availability of Surnames of Scotland. I need a trip to the State Library in the city [Melbourne] for a look up. No closer libraries have it. I also did another Google, this time putting Craigrothie and Kincraig along with IdG into the spec. Now have much on him than previous.
John Gourlay

Lesley Robertson
10-01-2009, 10:33 AM
Dear Lesley
Thanks for that. I haven't been to Testament or NAS yet, but I did find time to check the availability of Surnames of Scotland. I need a trip to the State Library in the city [Melbourne] for a look up. No closer libraries have it. I also did another Google, this time putting Craigrothie and Kincraig along with IdG into the spec. Now have much on him than previous.
John Gourlay

Amazon UK has it.
Howeven, since you've caught me at home (where my library is), I've had a look. He says that the name probably comes from an English place name. There is a place called Gourlaw near Lasswade, Midlothian, but it's not clear if it was named for the family, or the family for it. The first entry in Scotland is Ingelramus de Gourlay who had land in Clydesdale and Lothian around 1174 (presumably the guy you mention), his son Hugh de Gurley had lands in Fife and Lothian. There was an Ingeramus Gurle in 1244, and Hugh and William Gurle were in Roxburgh 1254.
Spelling of old names is notoriously variable and this family is no different. While "Gourlay" does sound french, many of the other variants don't - Gurleghe, for example. Since Black doesn't mention a Norman origin, he obviously didn't find any evidence for one. I find the timing suggestive, however - David I started inviting his Norman friends in after 1124.

The other danger with Scottish surnames is that as surnames became commone, people sometimes took the name of their landlord or the place they came from.

It looks like there's good informatin about the two ends of the timeline, but filling in the bits between are not going to be easy - at the moment I can't think of anywhere other than NAS to look.

11-04-2009, 8:26 AM
Hi John.
I wouldnt worry to much about joining the dots. This may prove impossible.

BUT!!..don't threat. ALL Gourlays who have links to Scotland...which is pretty much ALL Gourlay no matter where they are. Are decended from Ingelramus de Gourlay.

I assume your Gourlay family came from the UK?....to Australia?.
If so ..then that is the case.

My partner Linda is also a Gourlay...and we visited the grave of Ingelramus just a few weeks ago.

He is buried in Ceres in Fife Scotland. We live not to far from there.

On the tomb there is a script it reads.

" Ingelramus de Gourlay

Came from England with Prince William

about the year 1174. And was the Progenitor

of all the Gourlays in Scotland."

So.....if your line comes from Scotland..which pretty much ALL Gourlays do....then you are related to Ingelramus..even if you cant join the dots.

Plus you are also related to my partner Linda. And even though we are not married..you are also related to me via marriages between families in my tree and Lindas.

The Gourlays married into the Culross family. The Culross family have links to the de Quincey family..and the De Quinceys have links to the Leuchars family ..which is in my tree.

All a little complex...but its out there...lol.


If you would like photos of the tombs we can exchange emails.

John Gourlay
12-04-2009, 10:25 AM
Dear Paul [and Linda]
Good to hear your story and would like to hear the rest. I'm at jgourlay at ozemail.com.au My father migrated from Dundee to Mebourne in 1922. It was his grandfather that swam the Tay from Fife to Angus as many did in the early 19th century for work in the new industrialised era. I've got his line back to my 7th great grandfather, John Gourlay, bc 1655 at Ceres. I've found no Culrosses or De Quinceys yet, so would love to swap information with you.
cheers, John Gourlay

27-04-2009, 3:09 PM
I think I have managed to solve the problem of photos John.

These are the photos I took of Ingelramus de Gourlay's tomb in Ceres, Fife, Scotland.
He is the progenitor of ALL Gourlays in Scotland.

This means all those who imigrated to the US & Australia etc..are also related.








John Gourlay
28-04-2009, 4:58 AM
Dear Paul
Thank you very much for this. I've managed to successfully download them into a file. Now comes the job of reading them. You don't happen to have the transcriptions, do you.
John Gourlay

28-04-2009, 7:21 AM
Hi John,

Yes I do have the transcripts somewhere..i did make a note of them while I was there...but for the life of me cant rememebr where I put it..lol.

The end scripts states

"Ingelramus de Gourlay
Came from England with Prince William
about the year 1174. And is the Progenitor
of all Gourlays in Scotland"

I also have what is written on the top...but as this time cant find it.

I am looking right now ..and will post once I find it ...if!


28-04-2009, 8:41 AM
Sorry should read

"Ingelramus de Gourlay
Came from England with Prince William
about the year 1174. And was the Progenitor
of all Gourlays in Scotland"


John Gourlay
29-04-2009, 7:26 AM
Thanks Paul. I'll wait, hopefully.
John g

30-04-2009, 5:45 AM
I know it has something to do with one Oliver Gourlay and his family.
I believe he was a mechant of the times and was quiet a character.

It refers to his familes dates of birth and deaths. I assume he is also buried here.
Still not found the notes I made...but I believe I can tell you the gist.

Oliver GOURLAY, Birth: 18 Aug 1740, Ceres, FIF, SCT, Death: 10 Oct 1819
married, about 20 Aug 1773, Forgan, FIF SCT (08 Aug 1773 Edinburgh Parish, Edinburgh, MLN, SCT) Janet FLEMING (Birth: about 1754, Death: 8 August 1827)
Oliver was proprietor of the estate of Craigrothie. He may have also been a Solicitor in Edinburgh
Katherine GOURLAY Gender: Female Birth: 10 JUN 1775, Christening: 12 JUN 1775 Forgan, FIF, SCT
Barbara GOURLAY Gender: Female Birth: 14 JUN 1776, Christening: 24 JUN 1776 Forgan, FIF, SCT
Helen GOURLAY Gender: Female Birth: 14 SEP 1786, Christening: 18 SEP 1786 Ceres, FIF, SCT
Margaret GOURLAY Gender: Female Birth: 18 JUL 1789, Christening: 24 JUL 1789 Ceres, FIF, SCT
Thomas GOURLAY Gender: Male Birth: 03 FEB 1794, Christening: 10 FEB 1794 Ceres, FIF, SCT, Death: 31 October 1880
Robert GOURLAY Gender: Male Birth: 24 MAR 1778, Christening: 03 APR 1778 Ceres, FIF, SCT, Death: 1 Aug 1863, 20 Howe Street, Edinburgh, MLN, SCT
married (1) Mrs. Jean STEWART (neé HENDERSON), 10 Aug 1807, Kinghorn, FIF, SCT
Jane GOURLAY Birth: 16 JUN 1808 Largo, FIF, SCT, Death: 2 Feb 1880, Unitata, Caffraria, South Africa
Helen GOURLAY Death: 12 Jan 1906
Catherine GOURLAY
David GOURLAY married (2), 1858, Mary REENAN Death: alive in 1863

I know it was something very much like this....but it certainly gives you the gist of what is written on the top. I shall try my best to find the notes I made the day we went..but as yet I just cant find them.
But the above pretty much tell you the info written on the top.
I shall ..if i find it..post the actuall script..other wise I'll have to make another visit to the tomb.

Hope this Helps.

30-04-2009, 5:53 AM
Ok..think I have found it...well...sort of..

Oliver Gourlay of Craigrothie, 10.10.1819, age 80
wife Janet Fleming, 8.8.1827, age 73
children Catherine 1775-1849
Barbara 1776-1796
Robert 1778-
Janet 1784-1784
Helen 1786-1844
Margaret 1789-1852
Thomas 1794-1880
Robert Fleming Gourlay to mother adopted her name(?) 1883

There was a little more but it was very difficult to read...until i can find my copy..I cant tell you the rest.

But here is some additional info as regards Robert Flemming Gourlay.

Robert Fleming Gourlay was born in 1778, the youngest son of Oliver Gourlay and Janet Fleming. He was educated at the University of St. Andrews, gaining a Master of Arts degree. Following that he studied agriculture at the University of Edinburgh1, where his courses included Natural History.
He moved to Upper Canada in 1817, where he became a severe critic of the Family Compact and was banished for sedition in 1819. This lasted until 1839. His 'Statistical Account of Upper Canada' (1822) continued his criticism of Canadian government. He was however also critical of the rebellious tactics of William Lyon Mackenzie, favouring more constitutional solutions.
After he moved to England in 1824, he was detained in Cold Bath Fields (a prison in Clerkenwell, London) as someone of unsound mind, where he remained until 1828. He unsuccessfully tied to attain the Chair of Agriculture at the University of Edinburgh in 1831 and a seat in Parliament the following year. He travelled to the United States, but was back living in Scotland between 1846 and 1856, where again he was unsuccessful in getting elected to Parliament. He returned to Canada, to land which he had inherited from his late wife. While there he was again unsuccessful in becoming an elected politician. He married his former housekeeper, Mary Reenan, and returned to Scotland in 1858, dying at Edinburgh in 1863.

GOURLAY, ROBERT FLEMING, scientific farmer, reformer, and author; b. 24 March 1778 at Craigrothie, Fifeshire, Scotland, third of four children of Oliver Gourlay, a substantial landowner, and Janet Fleming; m. first in 1807 Jean Henderson, and they had four children, and secondly in 1858 Mary Reenan; d. 1 Aug. 1863 in Edinburgh, Scotland. In memory of his mother, who died in 1827, he took Fleming as his middle name.
Robert Fleming Gourlay’s tumultuous moment at the centre of the Upper Canadian stage was foreshadowed in his earlier life. He received a gentleman’s education, graduating ma from St Andrews in 1797, and studying agriculture for two more years at the University of Edinburgh. In 1799 he carried out for Arthur Young, secretary of the Board of Agriculture, a study of the condition of farm labourers in two English shires which was later published and cited by Thomas Malthus. From 1800 to 1809 he managed one of his father’s farms and from 1809 to 1817 was tenant to the Duke of Somerset at Deptford Farm, Wiltshire. In both places he earned a reputation as an improving farmer and kindly landlord.
Gourlay was an agrarian radical with strong similarities to William Cobbett; both detested the Poor Laws, sympathized with the rural poor, and hoped to restore them to the world that enclosing landlords had stolen from them. They also shared a taste for personal invective. Unlike Cobbett, Gourlay was a dreamer and a visionary; out of his brain, teeming with two generations of radical polemics, he spun “new political edifices” for the transformation of a corrupted world. Some of his radicalism he inherited from his father, who had welcomed the French revolution. Gourlay himself was a democrat of a kind, but his political thought was deeply contradictory. Believing at once in human perfectibility and in the evil of all government because of the inherent vices of mankind, he proposed elaborate systems of reform, whether for land redistribution or universal education, plainly requiring complex bureaucracies to administer. These reforms he hoped to achieve by peaceful petitioning, a form of political action that depended upon corrupt governors reforming themselves, or stepping aside, when confronted by the united voice of the people.
A specific plan for organising the people, and for obtaining reform independent of parliament . . . to the people of Fife . . . of Britain!, an overgrown pamphlet published in London in 1809, is typical of his early writings. In it, Gourlay saw governments as conspiracies of the powerful to shackle mankind by “mysterious ceremonies” and “subtle machinery,” as great engines defended by the forms and quibbles of lawyers and by those “whitewashers of iniquity,” the kept clergy. Governments promoted war, abhorred by Gourlay together with all other forms of violence, solely for the selfish ends of the powerful classes. Revolution would sweep away the rotten structure, nor need revolution under proper supervision be bloody and violent; “it depends all on the management.” Change would come not from the “tainted pool” of aristocracy but from “the dwellings of the poor”; through universal suffrage a simple form of government and the rule of “pure unhampered virtue” would be created.
Gourlay’s specific plan (or “darling system”) divided Britain into voting units of 300 on a literacy suffrage. Every May Day, at six in the morning, voters would march, in dead silence, into their polling places, and there confront a voting machine of “curious workmanship.” In turn, each voter would deposit 30 voting balls in his choice of 300 chambers. At noon, the 30 men so elected were to converge with their fellows from neighbouring parishes upon a district centre, there to repeat the process. By seven in the evening, county representatives to a national assembly would have been chosen; their first task would be the preparation of a petition to the king; and they would have “nothing to do with the present Parliament.” In a revealing passage Gourlay envisioned man regenerated by his system, and himself as architect of the new world of virtue: “Lord of artless truth, of simple nature, if e’er, in time regenerating, thou giv’st me office, let it be this, to burn the lumber of antiquity! . . . O rescued man! O noble savage! now again thyself, when this is done, I’ll meet thee on the smooth green lawn, and sketch the outline of our future garden.”

30-04-2009, 5:55 AM
“Through life,” Gourlay disarmingly said of himself, “I have been enthusiastic in my pursuits.” At Deptford Farm, both enthusiasm and bad judgement brought him into collision with his neighbours and with the Duke of Somerset. His efforts to found a national organization of tenant farmers against great landlords, “the last cohort of feudal power,” caused his expulsion from the Bath and Wiltshire agricultural societies. With the duke he waged a long and costly lawsuit over the terms of his lease; the price of victory was loss of tenancy and impoverishment.
During these years, through practical philanthropy and incessant pamphleteering, Gourlay made his chief concern the state of the rural poor. Why, he inquired in his address To the labouring poor of Wily parish (1816), should millions be expended on bloody wars when “not one in ten of you has been taught to read or write”? From a reading of Malthus he drew an optimistic answer: it was not man – “a ductile animal, and a good one, when not crossed with tyranny” – but the system that was at fault. Vicious institutions like the Poor Laws had pauperized and brutalized the peasantry, and deprived them of motive and opportunity to better their condition. He petitioned parliament to abolish them and to educate the poor as part of a vast scheme of national regeneration. In another petition, to the House of Commons in 1817, he argued for a vast transfer of land to the poor. Property ownership would transform them. His simple plan (and bureaucratic nightmare) provided for governmental acquisition of 100 acres in every parish in England, to be parcelled out in half-acre allotments to paupers. Prompt payment of rent and proper tillage would win promotion from pauper to “parish holder.” £100 in a government savings bank would bring a government-built cottage of that value, and the rank of “cottage holder”; a further £60 meant the rank of “freeman” and eligibility for parish office. Thus the poor would achieve both respectability and independence.
“I am quite a radical, but I am one of my own sort,” Gourlay said of himself with much truth. “I am known both in England and in Scotland because of my peculiar opinions, and these opinions are by many misunderstood.” It was with this reputation that he departed in 1817 for Upper Canada, in hopes of retrieving his fortunes. His wife, a niece of Robert Hamilton*, had inherited 866 acres in Dereham Township, and her cousins, Thomas Clark* and William Dickson*, had both visited Deptford Farm and suggested emigration. Gourlay landed at Quebec on 31 May, intending to return to England in the autumn.
In Upper Canada he was to be accorded an importance he had never attained in Britain. The province was simmering with discontent. The end of the war with the United States had ended wartime prosperity as well. Immigration had slowed to a trickle, partly because of an imperial decision, strongly endorsed by the local administration, to forbid the granting of land to Americans. Those who had suffered losses at American hands during the war had not been compensated; militiamen who had served actively had not been awarded their promised lands. Discontent was particularly acute in the Niagara District, not only because it had been the chief cockpit of the war, but also because its local oligarchy, headed by Dickson and Clark and including Samuel Street*, Robert Nichol*, and the heirs of Robert Hamilton, held huge amounts of wild land that only immigration would render profitable. In April 1817, Nichol had boldly moved in the assembly at York (Toronto) for the lifting of the ban upon Americans and for the sale of the crown reserves. Only Lieutenant Governor Francis Gore*’s hurried prorogation prevented the adoption of all Nichol’s resolutions. Gore was also forced to dismiss Dickson, a legislative councillor, from the commission of the peace because of his refusal to deny the oath of allegiance to prospective American settlers. Here, among the province’s ruling class, were ready-made collaborators and a set of grievances for Gourlay to exploit, should he so choose.
For six weeks Gourlay stayed with Thomas Clark, nursing his mosquito bites and absorbing the Niagara viewpoint of provincial affairs. He was downcast to find that Clark could lend him no money because his capital was tied up in land, and that his wife’s property was unsaleable “because of an illegal and arbitrary order of the Lieutenant Governor,” that is, the ban upon American immigration. After a walking tour of the Genesee country of New York, however, he decided to prolong his stay. He had resolved to become a land agent, he told his wife, “to cross the Atlantic annually, and at once make my own fortune, establish a grand system of emigration, and render Upper Canada prosperous and happy.” As well, in keeping with the long-established tradition of Scottish agricultural and statistical scholarship, he intended to compile a statistical account of the province.
To these several ends, he prepared an address to the resident landowners of Upper Canada, and appended to it a list of 31 questions based upon those used by Sir John Sinclair in his Statistical account of Scotland. It was this source, and no secret design, that inspired the well-known 31st question: “What, in your opinion, retards the improvement of your township in particular, or the province in general; and what would most contribute to the same?” Through introductions provided by his Niagara friends, Gourlay met most of the leading men of York (with the notable exception of John Strachan), secured the permission of Samuel Smith*, administrator of the province, for insertion of his address in the Upper Canada Gazette, and mailed an additional 700 copies to township officials. While in York he also applied for a land grant. It appears he asked for special consideration, probably because he required a large acreage to float his emigration scheme.
The address was a skilful and effective appeal, though some found it patronizing. Disavowing any interest in political matters, Gourlay contrasted the province’s actual state with its rich prospects. Since Upper Canada had been peopled chiefly by the poor, inevitably it had a society “crude, unambitious and weak.” What was needed was not the resumption of American immigration but a plan to attract British capitalists to invest in the province and to bring out immigrants. Should that happen, then a superior society “with all the strength and order and refinement” of Britain would spring up. Gourlay proposed his statistical account as a first step in the awakening of British interest, and invited Upper Canadians to hold township meetings in order to reply to his questionnaire.

30-04-2009, 5:58 AM
In February 1818, while township meetings were still being held in many parts of the province, Gourlay abruptly altered his tone and tactics. In a second address, he announced that he had changed his mind about American immigration; Governor Gore, he thought, should have been impeached for forbidding it. Were Upper Canada part of the United States, its lands would double in value. Gourlay was not advocating annexation, though many so construed him. He was, however, throwing down the gauntlet to the provincial government, accusing it of “a system of paltry patronage and ruinous favouritism” and calling for a legislative inquiry into the state of the province followed by a commission to proceed to England with the results.
Gourlay’s decision to challenge the colonial government and one of its central policies, and to come forth not as scientific investigator but in his more accustomed guise as anti-authoritarian, was a fateful one. He offered a number of reasons for it. On a walking tour through western Upper Canada, a region settled mainly by Americans, he had found them to be “active, intelligent, friendly, and adept in the arts of settlement.” Moreover, he “could not help sympathizing” with the plight of his friends Dickson and Clark because of the ban on American immigration. As well, his application for land had been refused “by the dirty ways of Little York” and “the loathsome things of the Land Granting Department” (on the quite proper ground that he was not proposing to become an actual settler). In this, he detected the hand of that “monstrous little fool of a parson,” Strachan. Though that supposition was incorrect, he was probably right in laying at Strachan’s door the fact that not a single township report had come in from the populous Home District, and only scattered reports from districts east of York. Strachan had tried to persuade Chief Justice William Dummer Powell* and Samuel Smith that Gourlay was a “dangerous incendiary” when he had seen the first address in type at the government printer’s, and he continued to work against him behind the scenes.
All these setbacks, in combination with a number of depressing letters from his wife about Deptford Farm, threw him into “an absolute fever of care, perplexity and feeling.” Through the columns of the Niagara Spectator he poured out an extraordinary torrent of abuse against “the vile, loathsome and lazy vermin of Little York” and others hostile to him. During his provincial tours, he had picked up scandal as well as statistics, and the facility and vehemence with which he now drew upon it shook the genteel little polity of Upper Canada to its foundations. When Thomas Clark ventured to caution him, Gourlay heedlessly rushed a reply into print. Why, he asked Clark, should someone who had “contended with the second Peer of England” moderate his language when dealing with a contemptible little man who “has got on horseback.” Strachan should stop dabbling in politics and get himself to a penitentiary, as should his tool, the Reverend John Bethune* Jr, “a fool, a busybody and a slanderer.”
Even more important in polarizing opinion was Gourlay’s third address, published on 2 April 1818. He had written it “at a downsitting” on hearing that Smith had prorogued the legislature because of a collision between the two houses over money bills, thus killing an assembly motion for a legislative inquiry into the state of the province. “The Constitution of the province is in danger,” he announced; “all the blessings of social compact are running to waste.” In sweeping language, open to the most damaging interpretation, he declared that “it is the system that blasts every hope of good; and till the system is overturned, it is vain to expect anything of value from change of Representatives or Governors.” The constitution of the province being useless, he called for a direct approach to the Prince Regent through a series of meetings at the township and district levels, culminating in a provincial convention at York to draft a petition. Debate was to be avoided; “the one thing needful” for his followers to keep in mind was “a radical change of system in the government of Upper Canada.”
Though Gourlay lost his most powerful allies at this point – Clark, for example, warned the people of Niagara against “visionary enthusiasts” and the possible illegality of conventions – by early May a Niagara District meeting had been held and a draft petition adopted. One thousand copies of this petition and the Niagara proceedings were printed, and in May and June Gourlay set about distributing the pamphlet through eastern Upper Canada, arousing great controversy. In a blow-by-blow account of his eastern tour in the Spectator, he told his readers that the “grovelling wretches” he encountered in the east had “never soared into the regions of benevolence because they cannot see through the midst of their own iniquity.” In Kingston he clashed with Daniel Hagerman, John Macaulay*, and Stephen Miles, and in Prescott with Jonas Jones*. Philip VanKoughnet* followed him about ripping down his placards. At Cornwall he was assaulted by Richard Duncan Fraser*, a magistrate; in Kingston he was horsewhipped by Christopher Hagerman* for refusing to withdraw from the press a story that Hagerman’s brother “was many years confined in the States’ prison for forgery, now reported to be hanged.”
In both Kingston and Cornwall Gourlay was charged with seditious libel. In April, at Strachan’s urging, the administrator had directed Attorney General John Beverley Robinson to seize the first opportunity for prosecution in order to check “the very threatening career now entered upon.” In Robinson’s opinion, both the third address and the Niagara pamphlet contained grossly libellous passages subversive of government. Though he feared that if acquitted Gourlay would be “immediately elevated into a Champion for liberty against imaginary oppression,” the Kingston charge was laid at his instance; that of Cornwall was R. D. Fraser’s own idea.

30-04-2009, 5:58 AM
Members of the administration were particularly apprehensive about the coming convention. Robinson, for instance, thought conventions extremely dangerous “as they pointed out the mode by which popular movements, on pretences less specious than the present, can be effected:” On 4 July he compared “Mr. Gourlay’s wild measures” to those proceedings “which in another era and in other Colonies of the British Empire, terminated in Rebellion.” But neither he nor the judges could find any clearly constitutional means to suppress the convention and to punish its most active members.
The convention met in York from 6 to 10 July 1818. It was an anticlimax. Only 14 of the 25 elected district representatives came; Gourlay had hoped for 25 to match the assembly’s numbers. Although Strachan alleged that Gourlay “directed them like children,” the members showed themselves nervous about the stir they had created. They decided to call themselves “The Upper Canadian Convention of Friends to Enquiry” to distinguish their meeting from “conventions formed to control and command public affairs.” Instead of a petition to the Prince Regent, they voted to present one to the new lieutenant governor, Sir Peregrine Maitland*, and to ask him to call provincial elections. Gourlay himself seems to have been disconcerted by the poor attendance and by the criticism he received from two delegates. His own speech was singularly flat; and had it not been for his trials, he later claimed, he would have abandoned the convention on its second day “to get out of the mud of Little York by its own shifts.”
Gourlay was tried in Kingston on 15 August and in Brockville on 31 August. In both cases he defended himself; in both the jury found him innocent. Immediately after his second acquittal, he went to New York, hoping for recent letters from his wife. During his sojourn in Upper Canada, she had been braving his creditors, scraping up rent for the farm, and warding off the duke’s agents. From her husband she had heard that “I have all eyes on me here,” and that “our affairs are banished from my mind by my present avocations.” In response to the plea to “come home my dearest Gourlay” that awaited him in New York, Gourlay sent his wife a power of attorney to do what she could, for “the very effort of thought” about Deptford Farm was “painful.” “I am tossed on the capricious wave,” he wrote, “and my destiny is beyond my direction.” By October he was back in Kingston organizing township meetings to call for a provincial election. At about the same time his wife gave up the farm and took the children to Edinburgh.
Gourlay’s control over events in Upper Canada melted even more rapidly than his prospects at home. Maitland, persuaded that Gourlay was “half Cobbett and half Hunt,” obtained from the legislature, with only one dissentient in the assembly, an act banning seditious meetings. He then refused to accept from the Friends to Enquiry the petition on which so much effort had been expended, because the convention was “an unconstitutional proceeding.” Gourlay’s counterblast, a letter headed “Gagged, gagged, by Jingo!” caused the arrest of the editor of the Spectator, Bartimus Ferguson*, on a charge of seditious libel. The warrant was issued by William Dickson and William Claus*, on information from Isaac Swayze*, a Niagara assemblyman and a confidant of Dickson’s. Swayze informed Maitland’s secretary that Gourlay himself would shortly be “in Safe Keeping” or else “sent across the River.”
On 18 Dec. 1818 Swayze swore before the same two legislative councillors that Gourlay was a person of “no particular or fixed place of residence,” that he was “an evil minded and seditious person,” that he had not been an inhabitant of the province for the previous six months (having been out of the country), and that he had not taken the oath of allegiance (that is, in Upper Canada). These allegations were carefully framed to fit the provisions of the sedition act of 1804, originally passed to meet an apprehended danger from French revolutionaries and Irish radicals, and never before used against a British subject. Gourlay was to contend for the rest of his life that as a British subject the act could not apply to him, yet it is clear from the express intentions of the framers, from the sweeping language of the act itself, and from the construction given it by the judges in an opinion of 10 Nov. 1818 that he fell within its scope.
A particularly vicious provision of the act placed the burden of proof upon the accused. When Gourlay, in an appearance before Dickson and Claus, “did not give full and complete satisfaction,” he was ordered to leave the province as the act provided. On his refusal to obey, he was committed on 4 Jan. 1819 to Niagara jail to await trial. Except for a court appearance in York on 8 February to seek bail, a relief denied him by the chief justice as expressly forbidden by the act, he remained in jail until 20 August.
It was not the government which had taken the initiative in applying this “unchristian, unconstitutional, wicked, deceitful, atrocious” act. Maitland and his advisers believed with some reason that Gourlay’s influence was in decline. Strachan’s view was that his arrest was inexpedient, that sooner or later the ordinary laws of libel would have tripped him up, and that Gourlay himself was “an object of pity” who “from his youth has been restless and turbulent.” Maitland told the Colonial Office that he was “perplexed” by the arrest, but had decided to let the law take its course. Gourlay had been trapped, not by government, but by the inconvenient revival of what Strachan called “long dormant” Niagara loyalty. To Dickson and some of his friends, Gourlay had outlived his usefulness, and, with a new and tough-minded governor, become a positive danger to themselves. Seeking to re-establish their positions at York, they threw Gourlay to the wolves. Gourlay himself blamed Dickson alone; “your cousin,” he wrote his wife, “has proved himself little better than a madman.”
From jail Gourlay continued to write vigorously in the Niagara Spectator, including a fourth address to the resident landowners on 20 May. Further publications in June were voted libels by the assembly, and he was more closely confined. Want of vent for his pen and the excessive heat of his cell broke his spirit and his health. At his trial on 20 Aug. 1819, according to Gourlay and to John Charles Dent*, whose graphic account in The story of the Upper Canadian rebellion seems to be based in part on eyewitness testimony, he was mentally incapable of defending himself. Robinson, his prosecutor, termed Gourlay’s description of the trial “a tissue of falsehoods,” but there is little reason to doubt its substantial accuracy. In any event the jury’s verdict was a foregone conclusion, since in essence the trial was to determine whether or not the accused had disobeyed a legal order to leave the province. On 21 August Gourlay was on the New York side of the Niagara, a free man and a banished Briton.

30-04-2009, 5:59 AM
The chief monument to Gourlay’s stay in Upper Canada was his Statistical account, which he published in two volumes (a third was projected but not published) in London (1822). Its shrillness, irrelevancies, and disorder reflected his bitter sense of grievance and the mental depression which followed the death of his wife in 1820. With all its deficiencies, however, it is easily the best compendium of information about Upper Canada for his period. Though Gourlay made no attempt to analyse them, the 57 township reports he printed present an unrivalled picture of provincial social and economic life.
It is less easy to discern Gourlay’s relevance to the provincial reform movement, though some have contended for it. Beyond providing the useful myth of his martyrdom at the hands of a reactionary oligarchy, and perhaps some useful organizational techniques, he seems temporarily to have short-circuited reform. His egotism obscured its aims, his style brought it disrepute, and his petitioning technique was a tactical blind alley. In a real sense Gourlay was not a Upper Canadian but a British and imperial reformer. “I have little care about Canada,” he later said, “my chief efforts were made . . . for the poor of England.” He disclosed no real programme until the publication of his letter “To the parliamentary representatives of the people of Upper Canada” (otherwise “my clodhopping brothers – most august legislators”), written from Niagara jail on 7 June 1819. Here he argued (and the township reports bore him out) that the chief impediment to Upper Canadian growth was the existence of huge amounts of idle land in public and speculative hands. The more rapidly that land was converted to productive use the better, and therefore he proposed direct imperial control of land granting, the taxation of cultivated and wild lands, both public and private, and the use of the revenue and the provincial credit so established to finance both British emigration and large-scale developmental projects. In advocating the taxing of wild land and the sale of crown reserves he was only a few years in advance of his time, and in suggesting by these means the alleviation of English poverty through financed emigration he directly influenced Edward Gibbon Wakefield. Yet had he disclosed these ideas at an earlier point in his Upper Canadian career, it is most doubtful whether he would have won any following whatever.
The rest of Gourlay’s long life was warped by his Upper Canadian experience and his quest for vindication. His flair for self-advertisement and for martyrdom never deserted him. In 1822 he won notoriety in the press as the “amateur pauper” by cracking flints on the roads of Wily parish. In 1824 he was committed to Cold Bath Fields as a dangerous person of unsound mind, having tapped Henry Brougham with a riding crop in the House of Commons lobby for failing sufficiently to advocate his cause. He chose continued incarceration rather than give weight to the charge of insanity by seeking bail. His chronicle of this episode, An appeal to the common sense, mind and manhood of the British nation (1826), declared that “the world is still against me, the same world which poisoned Socrates, crucified Christ, and imprisoned Galileo.” Released in 1828, he stood unsuccessfully for the chair of agriculture at Edinburgh in 1831 and for parliament in 1832. In 1833 he went to stay with friends in Ohio, but failed to interest Ohioans in a statistical account of their state or in a project to sink pits to sea level to furnish data about the earth’s crust. The same fate befell the plans he submitted to a number of cities for their improvement. Bostonians, for example, were cold to his suggestion for a 40-foot addition to Faneuil Hall because it had “no length sufficient for its width.” From 1846 to 1856 Gourlay lived in Scotland, running for parliament in 1846 on a platform of “a bed, an umbrella and a bannock.” In 1856 he returned to Upper Canada to settle on his land at Dereham. At age 80 he contested the riding of Oxford and married Mary Reenan, his 28-year-old housekeeper. Neither venture proving successful, he left Upper Canada for Edinburgh, living there until his death.
Through all these years Gourlay sought justice from British and colonial authorities. This quest was chronicled, in part, in The banished Briton and Neptunian, his personal newspaper, bound together in 39 numbers and published in Boston in 1843. Despite everything, he remained “A Briton, and to Britain ever shall be true.” Thus, at the time of the Upper Canadian rebellion, he publicly damned William Lyon Mackenzie, whom he thought lacked stability, for his treasonable conduct, and provided Sir Francis Bond Head* with information about Patriot activities in the United States. From time to time his cause was taken up by sympathetic Canadian politicians, but he frustrated them all by his rejections of pensions and pardons as insulting. He wanted nothing less than a reversal of history. To the end, he remained convinced of the rightness of his cause and the wickedness of those who had crushed him. John Neilson*, who tried to help in 1841, told him in. a kindly letter that “you must not suppose, that in the difficulties in which you engaged in Canada, you also were entirely exempt from error.” But, Gourlay replied, that was precisely the point: “I was exempt from error, and I do most earnestly beg you to review all my writings in Canada, and detect error if you can.”

30-04-2009, 6:08 AM
Hope you find this interesting and useful.

I am at this moment trying to put together a generic family ink from Ingelaramus de Gourlay to the Gourlay's present in Scotland of the time where most folks have links.

I think i have enough to get from Ingelarmus to around 1500 maybe even a little nearer to 1600.
This would then hopfully make it eaiser for folks to make the final last link to Ingelarmus form which all the Gourlays come.

This will also mean, with a little luck, folks will be able to link togther ALL the Gourlay families into one BIG family dating from the earliest Gourlay known in Scotland.

This will be a gretabreak through as then our tree's can really start to branch out. Plus!!.. everyone will be able to know where their Gourlay ancestors fit into the line...
I know i am looking forward to being able to find my paertner Linda cousins and relatives she neevr knew she had!..will be GREAT!...maybe even orgainse and Gourlay Reunion...Now that would be GREAT! :)

With Hope to be able to pull this off...lol

John Gourlay
01-05-2009, 5:19 AM
Dear Paul
Thanks for all of that. Thankfully it agrees, just about, with my information. I managed to obtain a second hand copy via the internet of the autobiography of Robert Fleming Gourlay, published in 1971 entitled, 'Robert Gourlay, Gadfly. Forerunner of the Rebellion in Upper Canada 1837', by Lois Darroch Milani. Definately my favourite uncle. When my friends became aware of this they could tell where I got my stirring qualities from.
Oliver's father was Robert who was a brother to my David Gourlay, my 5th great grandfather. Their father was John c1678 and his father was John c 1655. That's where I hit my brickwall.
It would be great if we could crack the challenge of getting back to Ingleramus. If you would like a copy of my descendants report from 1655 John, please let me know. I'm on jgourlay [AT] ozemail [DOT] com [DOT] au
all the best
John Gourlay, the umpteenth.

21-05-2009, 9:07 AM
Hi John,

Thought I'd update you as to my progress in linking back to Ingelramus De Gourlay.

Well...I'm doing well.

I have traced his family line from him to the the 1600 century. Infact as far as around 1650 or so. It has been quite a task!.

Now ....this now means thats ALL Gourlays in Scotlands should at some point.. join this line.
As well as those outside the UK..meaning those who emigrated form the UK...

BUT!!...where they link is another story. it covers some 500+ years....and so the link between any Gourlay family could be anywhere along this time line.
Which is a considerable amount of time!
You have to see it as Ingelramus's family line being the trunk of the tree...and eveyone elses family..hangs from this as branches..etc.
But where their particular branch merge's with the trunk..is unknown.
So still some work for folks to do as regards linking families to the line.
But at least there is a target.

I do tend to be "unorthodox" in my research and how I store my info. This does lead to problems of finding things and having a complete piece of info.
As the info tends to be spread over a number of notes.

This also means the accuracy of the info and details can be a little sketchy.
But it works for me as long as I get the answer I'm looking for and it is correct.!..Hope you understand that...lol.

OK..RIGHT NOW!...this is a basic run down of the line I have found.
I do have more info...BUT!! have not spliced it all together.
So please do not complain about lack of info...this is a rough, basic copy
of the line.

It does allow anyone else to add to it and so increase the info and increase the accuracy of the line...and ...sooooo....lead to everyone being able to line to it...with luck.

Some may be able to link straight away..depending on how far they have go so far...others may have to work at it a little more.

I do have the line going further back than this in my own tree..but..it lacks accuracy as to dates etc...I need to work on it to make it more acceptable.

Reason being My family is linked to that of my partner Linda..she is a Gourlay.
And I am attempting to link our families to make my researching BOTH families easier..as I am the one doing the research!!.

I do know the they related...I have the link already....its just a case of accurately dating the link!...
The link accures around a time just before William the Conqueror....the Gourlays are related to W the C...via a connection to Williams great grandfather. Richard the 1st of Normandy.

This then connects to the Sinclair of Rosslyn, via William..which inturn links to my family via my great aunt Christina.

I do not have Lindas Gourlays linked to Ingeramus's line YET!...but I am very close to doing so. I then shall have a link going via my partner Linda..all the way back to before 1066 and then back all the way down to me!!!!.

Though I also know there are a number of links between Lindas family and myself..in between the time of William and now....BUT..this is the one I know I am close to solving..and the most interesting.

Sooooo. I shall post the line in the next post...otherwise it wont fit here...lol...back in a sec.

21-05-2009, 9:11 AM
OK..here it is...make of it what you will....but remember!

THIS IS ROUGH! ..so no complaints!


Ingelramus De Gourlay b: c1140
Ingelram de Gurley 1140

son Hugo de Gurley
son Hugh de Gourlay 1165, Kincraig, Inverness, Scotland

William de Gourlay
son of above Hugh de Gourlay b.1194, grandson of Ingelram de Gurley.
son of above Hugh de Gourlay b.1225 d.1290
great-grandson, William de Gourlay of Balgally

sons of above William de Gourlay d.c1290, Hugh de Gourlay (steward to the Earl of Dunbar)

son above William, William de Gourlay. Died in the reign of King Robert the Bruce

son of above William, Simon de Gourlay, who became coroner of Fife.
Simon de Gourlay, m.Elizabeth Alderston ( daughter and heiress of John Alderston)

sons of Simon, John and William. (John, the elder son. died young and unmarried)

Sons of above William, John and William.
John Gourlay m.daughter of Sir Walter Bickerton (Dying without surviving issue)

son of above William, Alexander Gourlay m. Margaret Lauder
Alexander & Margaret

son of above, John Gourlay

son of above John, John Gourlay
John Gourlay m. Elizabeth Abercrombie in 1443

sons of above John and Alexander.(Alex, appointed bailie of his barony of Alderston.7th January, 1467 by brother John)
John As " John Gourlay of Kincraig," m. Margaret Monypenny of Pitmilly

son of above John, Alexander.
Alexander Gourlay, m. Helen Cockburn.

children of above, William & Margaret.
Margaret.m. Patrick Blackadder.
William m. Janet Forman. Also married Janet Kellie, he died in or prior to 1560.

son of William, Alexander Gourlay (died 1600) m .Janet Scott (she died 1607)
sons of Alex & Janet
Thomas and William
William m. Elizabeth Balfour
Thomas m.Barbara Paterson of Dunmure.
Thomas died Feb1627.
Thomas & Barbara had son William.

William m. Jean Macgill of Nether Rankeillor.1st April, 1609.

children of above, Thomas, Janet.
Janet m. William Duddingston of Sandford.
Thomas As " Sir Thomas Gourley of Kincraig, Knight," m. Janet Bruce.

children of Thomas & Janet
sons: Thomas and John
daughters:Jane and Margaret.
Jane, elder daughter, married, 26th June, 1656, Robert Lentrone, Provost of St. Andrews, had son, James, baptized 23d April, 1657.
Margaret, second daughter, was baptized on the 12th March, 1642. Married, 28th December, 1665, Nathaniel Spens of Lathallan. They had son Thomas.
John, younger son of Sir Thomas Gourlay, studied medicine, first at Edinburgh, and afterwards in Paris; he, there after, practiced as a physician at Elie, in Fife. In 1660 he married Margaret, daughter of Dr. Sharp, physician in Edinburgh.. On the occasion of his marriage, he received from his father a small portion of the Alderston estate." He died in 1667, leaving two daughters, Margaret and Helen." Thomas, the elder son, died in 1661, predeceasing his father. He married, 24th July, 1657, Margaret, daughter of William Forbes, younger of Rires. by whom he had three sons sons and also a daughter Margaret, who married first, her cousin, Thomas Spens of Lathallan; and secondly, the Rev. Hew Kemp, minister at Dunfermline.

OK...I shall post updates as I sort them...I hope...but it is something for folks to go on.

21-05-2009, 9:16 AM
I had read somewhere that Ingelramus's father was named.

Thomas de Gourlay,and came from Ireland.

I don't see this as being true..as I believe his fathers name was possibly Hugh...but!...
as yet...Im still researching.

Also....there are links between the noble family of The Conquerors time and family on my mothers side.!

So I am linked on both side of my family!...hence my interest.

21-05-2009, 9:58 AM
Ingelramus De Gourlay b: c1140, aslo known as, Ingelram de Gurley 1140
son Hugo de Gurley ( maybe one and the same as below)
son Hugh de Gourlay 1165, Kincraig, Inverness, Scotland
William de Gourlay
son of above Hugh de Gourlay b.1194, grandson of Ingelram de Gurley.
son of above Hugh de Gourlay b.1225 d.1290
great-grandson, William de Gourlay of Balgally
sons of above William de Gourlay d.c1290, Hugh de Gourlay (steward to the Earl of Dunbar)
son above William, William de Gourlay. Died in the reign of King Robert the Bruce
son of above William, Simon de Gourlay, who became coroner of Fife.
Simon de Gourlay, m.Elizabeth Alderston ( daughter and heiress of John Alderston), c1342, Kincraig, Inverness, Scotland.
sons of Simon, John and William. (John, the elder son. died young and unmarried)
Sons of above William, John and William.
John Gourlay m.daughter of Sir Walter Bickerton (Dying without surviving issue), c1404, Kincraig, Inverness, Scotland.
son of above William, Alexander Gourlay m. Margaret Lauder
Alexander & Margaret
son of above, John Gourlay
son of above John, John Gourlay
John Gourlay m. Elizabeth Abercrombie c1443, Kincraig, Inverness, Scotland.
sons of above John and Alexander.(Alex, appointed bailie of his barony of Alderston.7th January, 1467 by brother John)
John As " John Gourlay of Kincraig," m. Margaret Monypenny of Pitmilly, c1480, Kincraig, Inverness, Scotland.
son of above John, Alexander.
Alexander Gourlay, born c1481, Kincraig, Inverness, Scotland. m. Helen Cockburn. c1504, Kincraig, Inverness, Scotland.
children of above, William & Margaret.
Margaret de Gourlay m. Patrick Blackadder.13.04.1542 Dunaff, Donegal, Ireland.
Patrick being born c.1517.Dunaff, Donegal, Ireland.
William m. Janet Forman. around 1530 ,Kincraig, Inverness, Scotland
He Also married Janet Kellie, he was born, around 1505, died in or prior to 1560.
son of William, Alexander Gourlay (died c1600) m .Janet Scott, 06.08.1579, Kincraig, Inverness, Scotland. (she died 1607)
sons of Alex & Janet
Thomas and William
William m. Elizabeth Balfour
Thomas m.Barbara Paterson of Dunmure. 15.02.1587.
Thomas died Feb1627.
Thomas & Barbara had son William.
William m. Jean Macgill of Nether Rankeillor.1st April, 1609.
children of above, Thomas, Janet.
Janet m. William Duddingston of Sandford. c1629.
Thomas As " Sir Thomas Gourley of Kincraig, Knight," m. Janet Bruce. c1631.
children of Thomas & Janet
sons: Thomas and John
daughters:Jane and Margaret.
Jane, elder daughter, married, 26th June, 1656, Robert Lentrone, Provost of St. Andrews, had son, James, baptized 23d April, 1657.
Margaret, second daughter, was baptized on the 12th March, 1642. Married, 28th December, 1665, Nathaniel Spens of Lathallan. They had son Thomas.
John, younger son of Sir Thomas Gourlay, studied medicine, first at Edinburgh, and afterwards in Paris; he, there after, practiced as a physician at Elie, in Fife. In 1660 he married Margaret, daughter of Dr. Sharp, physician in Edinburgh.. On the occasion of his marriage, he received from his father a small portion of the Alderston estate." He died in 1667, leaving two daughters, Margaret and Helen." Thomas, the elder son, died in 1661, predeceasing his father. He married, 24th July, 1657, Margaret, daughter of William Forbes, younger of Rires. by whom he had three sons sons and also a daughter Margaret, who married first, her cousin, Thomas Spens of Lathallan; and secondly, the Rev. Hew Kemp, minister at Dunfermline.

21-05-2009, 10:08 AM
Ok...for those who are interested...... here is the line as I have it... BEFORE..Ingelramus.

He does not appear..hence trying to see where is SHOULD be...
But as the spelling of the name varies....I can't place him..

Its probably a case of .."can't see the wood for the trees".

But I believe he was the son of Hugh de Gournay IV....hence why I say that in other post.


Eudes (Odon) de Gournay - was born about 0860, lived in Denmark and died in 0912 .


Renauld de Gournay was born after 0912 in Gourney-en-Bray, Normandy, France.

Son of Above:

Sire Hugh de Gournay I was born about 0960 in Gourney-en-Bray, Normandy, France and died after 0990 .

Son of Above:

Sire Hugh de Gournay II was born about 0998 in Gourney-en-Bray, Normandy, France and died in 1074 .
Sire Hugh - was at killed at Battle of Mortemer in 1054 against King Henri I of France.

Son of Above:

Hugh de Gournay III was born about 1026 in Gourney-en-Bray, Normandy, France and died after 1074 .

Hugh married Bastia Flaitel. Bastia was born about 1025, lived in Linton, Herefordshire, England. She was the daughter of Gerald Flaitel and daughter d'Evereux. She died in 1099 .

Son of Above:

Sire Gerard de Gournay was born about 1060 in Gourney, Normandy, France and died about 1098 in First Crusade, Holy Land .

Sire Gerard married Editha de Warenne. Editha was born about 1060 in Surry, Sussex, England. She is the daughter of William de Warenne I and Princess Gundred of England.

Son of Above:

Hugh de Gournay IV was born about 1090 and died in 1155 .
Hugh married Beatrix de Vermandois. Beatrix was born about 1090. She died about 1144 .

Hugh-Sire of Gournet-en-Bray.

Son of Above:

Sire Hugh de Gournay IV was born about 1107 in Gourney, Normandy, France and died in 1180 .
Sire Hugh married Melisende de Coucy. Melisende was born about 1126 in Boves, Somme, France. She is the daughter of Thomas de Coucy and Melisende de Crecy.

Son of Above:

Hugh de Gournay V was born about 1148 in Caister, Norfolk, England.
Hugh married Juliana de Mello. Juliana was born about 1168 in Dammertin, France. She is the daughter of Count Aubrey II de Dammartin and Mathilda de Ponthieu.
Hugh - Lord of Gournai.

Children of Above:

Anseln de Gournay was born about 1180.
Anseln married Eve Fitzrobert. Eve was born about 1185.

Agnes de Dammartin (de Gournay) was born about 1166.Buckingham, England.
Agnes maried William de Fiennes was born about 1160 Mertock, Buckingham, England.

Child of Anseln:

Robert de Gournay was born about 1205, lived in Gloucestershire, England and died in 1269 .
Robert - Lord of Beverstone.

Child of Agnes:

Enguerrand(Ingelram) de Fiennes. b.c1192,Buckingham, England

Son of Robert:

Anseln de Gournay was born about 1225, lived in Gloucestershire, England.
Anseln - - Lord of Beaverstone.

Son of Above:

John de Gournay was born about 1247 and died in 1291 .
John married Oliva Lovell. Oliva , lived in Castle Carey, Somerset, England.

Daughter of Above:

Elizabeth de Gournay was born about 1272 in Tildenham, Cone, Gloucestershire, England and died in 1311 .
Elizabeth married John Ap Adam of Beaverstone. John was born about 1270, lived in Beaverstone and Tildenham, Gloucestershire, England.

Sire meaning Sir. as in Knight.

21-05-2009, 10:13 AM
Edith de Warenne is the link to William the Conqueror.

Her mother, Gundred de Normandie, was William the C's daughter.

Correct me if I am wrong...but I'm sure it is correct.

21-05-2009, 10:16 AM
Right..I have to go out soon...but shall look in later so as to see if anyone has made a comment on what I have posted.

Hope you find this as interesting as I have .

21-05-2009, 10:34 AM
Hugh was Basile's 2nd husband after 1st husband Rauol of Gace.
Lived at Castle of Eccouche, near Falaise, Normandy as well as living in Linton, Herefordshire, England.

I assume this is where she lived before coming to England.

John Gourlay
22-05-2009, 7:14 AM

Thanks for this. It will keep me studying for quite some time. Another correspondent advised me of the Gournay, Viking link, recently.

I'll probably be back with some questions, later.

John Gourlay

22-05-2009, 12:00 PM
Hi John,

No probs.
It benefits me also.

Searching through the lines has been an adventure!

With completing the link back to Ingelramus..it should make conecting to other Gourlay families a little easier. As once they make a connection to what is basically the main Gourlay family trunk...finding where we assume ALL other Gourlay's should link could really build the definitive Gourlay tree.
This will benifit ALL Gourlays no matter where they are!.

Plus folks with links to the Gourlay name will also be able to tie into the truck and link to other families they already have, but didn't know may also be connected to both them and the Gourlays.

It's a rather an exciting prospect.!

I still have not been abkle to link my partners Gourlays to the main trunk...but I feel I'm not far off doing so. This will be fantastic for me as I can then merge Linda's tree with mine and make my research a whole lot easier!.

I hope you will find what I have posted as useful.....I can't garentee the accuracy..as alot of the info I looked at varies...but it is something to be going on with and will hopfully give clues to who goes where.

I hope to make a link to "Sir George Bruce, Culross" who is buried in Culross Abbey. Linda is going to a wedding there soon and I believe we are both linked to him. And so would be nice to confirm it before she goes. Will make a great talking point.!

We have visited the Abbey to check it out before the wedding. And as soon as I saw the info there regards Sir George and his family..I just knew there was a very good possibity I was related..and so possibly Linda.

In the cemetry next to the Abbey were grave stone containing names of people who I know believe I am already related. And they maybe the origins of the name Leuchars.

I believe these people are related to Sir George..hence why they are buried there. If my hunch is right, then I am indeed related.

Considering I started out knowing pretty much nothing about my familes past...and hoping I might find a link back to scotland, where I now live. I could have NEVER imagined I would be related to "King Robert the Bruce".
Probably the most famous Scot to ever live!....lol...

It has been a truely astonishing! journey. And I am so glad I have made the effort to trace my families past.

22-05-2009, 12:04 PM
Dont forget,

Oliver Gourlay who's family is enscribed on the top of Ingelramus's tomb, is also linked.

They are the family linked to Robert Gourlay who went to Canada.

17-07-2009, 3:52 PM
Ive just recently started tracing my Gourlay roots. I have traced back only as far as the birth of my great great great grandfather William Gourlay born in 1789 in Glasgow, son of James Gourlay and Elizabeth (Wallace)...but im still digging. Have found this search highly addictive and have thrown up a few shocks (i.e my paternal grandfather was illegitimate - and my dad didnt know that!).

If anyone has found any connections to William or to James and Elizabeth I would be grateful to hear from them as it would help my search enormously.


18-07-2009, 6:51 AM
Hi Lynne,

Welcome to the highly addictive, enjoyable, fun, & exciting (somethimes very very annoying, frustrating, expensive, demoralizing..etc etc etc) world of genealoghy...lol. :-)

Well, the Gourlay, Gourley, Gourlie, Gournay, Gournai, name is a very interesting one. And dates back to the time of William the Conqueror & beyond. Plus there are plenty of interesting stories linked to the name.

It can be a very frutsrating name, as the Gourlays sometimes tended to use the same name over and over again within the same generations.. This can really confuss things and make tracing certain folks a real headache. Especially when the same family sometimes has more than 1 child with the very same name!!.

Anyway..don't want to put you off....lol.

I just did a quick search for Jame & Elizabeth and found this which might be of interest to you.

Now, there does appear to be 2 dates given for the marriage.

The 9th May appears to be the most common date showing...but don't take it for granted that either are right...until you know for sure. But it does give you a starting point. Same for the children.

Plus there is always the possiblilty of more than 1 marriage. Worth keeping in mind.
And folks with the same names marrying in the same place, at the same time!.

James Gourlie m.Elizabeth Wallace, 16 MAY 1783 Glasgow, Lanark, Scotland
James Gourlie m.Elizabeth Wallace, 09 MAY 1783 Glasgow, Lanark, Scotland

James Gourlie, c.1758, Glasgow, Lanark, Scotland.
Elizabeth Wallace c.1762, Glasgow, Lanark, Scotland,(father, John Wallace?)


Unknown, 31 DEC 1783 Glasgow, Lanark, Scotland
David, 03 AUG 1785 Glasgow, Lanark, Scotland
William, 09 APR 1787 Glasgow, Lanark, Scotland
John, 22 MAR 1789 Glasgow, Lanark, Scotland
Aklexander, 14 JAN 1791 Glasgow, Lanark, Scotland

Something to be going on with.


18-07-2009, 11:45 AM
Aaaaahhhh the dreaded spelling of Gourlie which I have found crop up before and assumed a spelling mistake.

This info is perfect...it matches the birth date I had for James' son William exactly...although I didnt know about the other siblings but had suspected there had to be more.

P.s its your fault im researching my roots.....you gave me some great info on the Scotster website several weeks ago....thank you so much.
P.s any luck connecting your wife Linda directly to yourself yet?

Am about to give my dad a shock though....found out his father was illegitimate and that the grandfather he thought he had is actually not related |blush| oh the shame! he he

Will keep in touch and hopefully at some time in the future we will all be able to pull our resources and come up the the biggest family tree ever put down on paper. Wouldnt that be superb!

Thank you again

19-07-2009, 7:34 AM
HI Lynne!,

LOL!....yes I remember. So you decided to give genealogy ago?...well good for you. Hope you have alot of fun & great success.

I know for me it has been a real eye opener. You always believed your just an average Joe...then you find out your related to Royalty..and have a Witch in the family...lol. It's Just Crazy!.

I must admit I have negelected my tree of late as I ahve benn watching the Tour De France. I'm a BIG cycling fan, and there is nothing like the specticle of the Tour.

I saw the Tour when a couple of the stages were held here in the UK in 1994.
Stages 4 & 5. I had been watching it for as long as it had been on tv, and for it to come to the UK was something I wasn't gonna miss.!

What was great was stage 5 was held in Portsmouth!.. I was living in Portsmouth at the time. So I took the day of work to see the tour. Even if they wouldn't let me take the day off, I still would have gone..I was NOT gonna miss it.!

I spent the evening before the stage in Southsea watching the tour being built and the teams arrive. Getting glimps of my favourite riders etc. Was just unreal.!

Then the next day got my place by the start, finish line for the stage. Took snaps of the riders & celebs. I was so excited!. I just couldn't believe the Tour was in my home town!.

WAS FANTASTIC!!!!... :-)

The Tour is a sporting event like no other. Nothing comes close!.

Anyway...sorry to be going on....lol. But I do love the Tour. I hope maybe one day I can afford to to Paris and see the Finnish one day, but I doubt it.
Now with this arthritis live isn't what is used to be. I so miss ridiing my bike.

Anyway....musn't burden you with my probs.. Hope you have fun, it is a most interesting hobby.


21-07-2009, 9:48 PM
Hi Paul
Thanks for your great advice. I, like you, dont have much time to do the research...I work full time as well as run a bookkeeping business most nights and the weekend...but I often find myself doing research into my roots when I should be working. I have found out loads and found new branches to the family I didnt know existed. Its completely addictive.

Am considering setting up a web page with what ive found already. Will let you know how I get on.


21-07-2009, 11:00 PM
Sorry to butt in but WOW....what a thing to have in your family history!

I loved the pictures....jeese that tomb was made about 300 years ago (might be wrong 'cos my maths isn't very good) and it's survived the Scotish weather! WOW again!....what a heritage you have :)

22-07-2009, 8:32 AM
Thanks Orzula for your kind comments.

Im sure you yourself maybe related to the same people at somepoint.

The Gourlay name dates back to the time of William the Conqeror. In fact, Gerald de Gourlay married Judith de Warenne, daughter of William de Warenne. William was one of the wealthest people in the UK. He was William the Conquerors right hand man, and I beleive was married the William t C's wife before he was. Making Edith the daughter of William t C's wife..though not his.

Willliam de Warenne was a BIG name back then. He build & owned many Castles..in cluding the famos Lewes Castle in West Sussex. I believe he fought at the Battle of Hastings.

William was also related to WtCs. I think via William great uncle..or great grandfather...as was Gerald de Gourlay. The links coem via William grandfather, Richard Duke of Normandie.

William de Warenne as killed during one of the battles of the Revolt of 1088 by some of the barons opposed to King William Rufus II ruling ( Rufus was William the C's son and heir).

He could of been slain by my own past relation, Sir Peter Gunter (Gaunt d'Or).
He was a Knight nown as "The Knight of The Golden Glove", and fought in the 1088 Revolt on the side of the barons lead by Bernard de Neufmarche.(Newmarche) against Rufus. I believe also was related to William the C via Williams great grandfather.

Sir Peter ended up living in Wales after they had Conquered it for Rufus.
The family seat was known as Gunterstone, now called Tregunter. They living there for 600 years.

His ancestors brought lands in what is now Kensington & Cheslea in London.
The streets in the area now have names in honour of the Gunter family.
Tregunter Road in London has some of the most expensive properties in the UK. We are talking millions on pounds!. Even Madonna brought a property there.

I have recently found out that some of the Gunters lived in West Sussuex...not far from where I used to live. They owned land in at a place called Racton. There is a church there which has many items relating & dedicated to the Gunter family inside. Including a set of Knights armour worn by Sir George Gunter who lands it was.



Sir George was involded in helping King Charles escape England after the Battle of Worchester. Charles stayed with Gunters during his escape and Sir George got him the boat in which he fleed across the channel to France in.

The Gunters while in Wales married into many noble families. Including thos e which related to our present Queen. The Vaughns, Spencers, and many more.

After 600 years in Wales they moved out...some came to Berkshire, while others went to new lands in the US in the mid late 1600's.

Those in the US where very succesful, and many places in the US are named after the Gunter family. They even had their own Cavalry Unit in the US Civil war.
Those in the UK became folks of standing in many places...many becoming Mayors.

Plus there is the story of Ann Gunter....she was a supposed Witch!!.
There has been a book written about the story of how Ann become embroiled in a tale of witchcraft.




A most interesting family..as are the Gourlays. I believe these family are related are sometime around William the Conqueor. I know it's there..its just pinning it down as both families share the same families related to both families.


22-07-2009, 8:38 AM
Oh forgot..the tomb of Ingelramus de Gourlay would be about 775 years old.
I belive he died around 1225..maybe a little later. Its certainly over 700 years old for sure.

The script on the top relates to an ancestor. Oliver Gourlay & his family.
The end script relates to Ingelramus himself, accompaining the soon to be King William in 1174.

22-07-2009, 9:10 PM
Wow Paul thanks for the interesting history of your family. So the tomb is about 700 years old. I'm sorry but I don't think I'm lucky enough to find anything like that in my family!

You must have spent years researching...if I had that sort of history in my family I'm afraid I wouldn't get anything done!

I am beginning to find out a few strange things about my family but won't post them here as they relate back to the Czech Republic and possible Poland....

I'm afraid I'm going to be keeping an eye on your research (if you don't mind, that is) because I think it's fascinating....

Thanks for sharing

22-07-2009, 11:50 PM
Thank you Orzula..your to kind.

I have not been researching long..infact only about a year.
Finding links back as far as I have came fairly easy.
Once you have a name in the family which has Royal or connections to anyone of note....there tends to be alot of info out there that has been researched & collected already. Once you can connect to that info...then going back intime is made easier.

I truely knew nothing about my family past. I never meet any of my grandparents, on either side. I didn't even know their names!. Or even seen picture of them. I didn't even know where my own parents were born!!.

My parents divorced when I was 5-6 years old. I never got to know my mother that well. They have both pasted away. My father in 86 & mother in 98.
Most of my aunts & uncle have also pasted away. So I had very little to start with.

But I got a lucky tip via my mothers half sister. She mentioned my grandmother had mentioned the name "Gunter". But she didn't know who she was refering to.

I have since found out my great grandmother on my mothers side's name was Minnie Gunter.

Once I found out her name..I got lucky again as I found 2 extensive family tree website's which contained Minnie's family.

These got me back as far as 1630. Then I got a reply from an enquiry made to a possible family link. This person then gave me the next part of the line back from 1630..to 1035. I then contacted a woman in the USA who is a decendent of the same 1630 Gunter family as I was. This then gave me the link to the USA Gunter side of the family. The Gunter family line in the US has already been very well documented...with a couple of books being written about the families US history.

This women also gave me family connections from 1035 back as far as Julius Caesar & Cleopatra!!!.
She has been researching the family for many years..as many as 30+.
She also runs a DNA testing company. She has DNA tests backing up her Gunter research.

As for the Gourlay name..this is my partners family name. I have been researching her family tree also. Which....so happens to link to my Gunter name.
This links come via William the Conquerors family.

The thing is....Wiliam the Conqueror was such along time ago...many familes today can link to him and his relations. Reason being, after the Conquest of 1066, the normans came flooding across the channel looking for new lands. And so..mixing with the locals, the Anglo Saxons. And so many families today can trace themselfs back to William the C...So it's not rare as such...but how closely related is where the interest lies.

Luckerly the Gunter's & Gourlays are very closely related to WtC. As both appear to be of Norman origin before the Conquest. The Gournai, and Gaunt nobles of Normandie.

Im sure when you get really stuck in..you will find links to the families of those times....maybe even to mine!

I got lucky in my research..finding out so much so quickly..I could never of imagined being linked to such families.

It was however...a very long time ago. So to be honest..it is most interesting....but the real treasures is finding folks you are related to today that you never knew about...especially when you make contact..it's sureal.

Best of Luck in your own research...Im sure yours will be just as interesting once you get going...and whats great..you'll know you are apart of the same history of the familes and people you will read about...like Ann Gunter..the supposed Witch.

Koczar ( Paul)

23-07-2009, 9:17 PM
Hi again Paul

ive found out that a couple of my relations were either in the police or in 3/6 Battalion of the Black Watch....any idea if its possible to access records in the military (both of these relations are dead)?


25-07-2009, 7:42 PM
Hi Lynne,

Sorry didn't back sooner...have been rebuilding my pc & building a new one for my partner Linda.

Well..military records.
Best place would be the National Archives.


Though it can be a little tricky searching the site.....a little over complex.
But it does have milliary records for all the services 1st & second world war.

Ancestry also has a military section.

You might want to try making requests for help on genealogy forums.
Some folks are kind enough to look up documents from sites where they have accounts if you do not have one. But remember to say please & thank you...as some can get very miffed if they help and get no thanks.

The thing is some of these site can be expensive to get access. And if you try out "credits" for some of these sites....you need to make sure of which records you want to see..otherwise you can waste alot of money and get

I have an account at Genes Reunited. You can build a basic tree and contact possible relations. And ask for help on the forums..but it can get a little bitchy there. But getting in touch with possbile relations is the best bet for info. As those who you contact may already have alot of the info you seek.

Paul ( Koczar)

25-07-2009, 8:04 PM
Ohh....!!..They do have a military section here...

Worth taking alook & posting any questions..never know.


25-07-2009, 10:28 PM
Good thinking Paul, being 3rd Battalion Black Watch im sure someone will be able to help.....will dig out the info tomorrow (just in from a wedding reception and really need to get my head down now)

r gourlay
28-11-2009, 3:16 AM
the army records office in York or the regimental museum in Perth would be the best places to start. failing that they have a regimental association.
most of the Gourlays that i am related to were fishermen although two uncles, George and Alex went off to the Navy during ww2.
i really should introduce myself as roy gourlay, born St Andrews brought up in St Monans and Glenrothes not far from Ceres, now living just outside London.

John Gourlay
30-11-2009, 6:27 AM
Paul and now Lynne and Roy. I haven't been reading this site for a while and now I see we have new Gourlay contributers, Lynne and Roy. I've met Roy elsewhere, so a specific hello to Lynne. I'm the silly one who started this topic and like us all, have learnt a lot, partcularly from Cripes Paul. I'm still no closer to joining the dots between my 7th great grandfather, John Gourlay b c1655 and Ingleramus, but have acquired enough information from here and elsewhere to believe I'm related.
John Gourlay

07-06-2013, 6:49 PM
Can I join in the conversation?! I have been researching my Gourley line for many years with very little luck. I keep hoping to figure out how to tie into the Gourlay/Gourley/Gurley line that everyone else talks about. My gggg grandfather was Thomas Gurley born November 28, 1796 in Donegal, Ireland. It is said from his wife's, Jane, obituary that he was from Ardnamoghill. I think I have found him in the Tithe Applotments as living in Dunmore, Killea parish, Donegal. I have no other information than that he married his wife Jane, had seven chidlren; Matilda, Eliza Jane, Margaret, James, Susan, Thomas and Maria; and immigrated to the United States in June of 1836. Can anyone help me figure this out? I did notice on a few of the comments in this thread that there were other Gourley's who lived in Dunmore in the 1600's. Could these be my ancestors? Please help me if you can!

25-08-2014, 11:04 AM
Hello, I notice this original post is quite old so this may be a long shot... I am also researching the GOURLAY family line and would be interested in hearing any references you have or where your research has taken you so far. Please feel free to email me at jools_john @ yahoo . co . uk Just leave out the gaps, but don't forget the underscore. I have made contact with several 2nd and 3rd cousins in Canada and US who are descended from Robert Gourlay (1835-1924) and Margaret Blacklock (1836-1894) who emigrated to Canada with many of the children. Facebook has it's uses! :)

13-09-2014, 9:34 PM
I hope someone can point me in the right direction for my research.

4 Jan 1794 James Gourlay a Chaise Driver in Pleasance married Marion Crichton daughter of Peter Crichton at St Cuthbert, Midlothian, Scotland.

26 Jan 1794 (22 days later) Peter Gourlay was born - father James a gentleman's son and mother Mary Crighton.

I don't know if other children were born to this couple. I don't know when or where they died.
Marion Crighton was born in 1772. I would guess James Gourlay was born about 1770. James' birthplace is also unknown.

I am hoping that someone knows some possibilities for the parents of James. I would appreciate it if you could tell me of any families that suit this information: a son James born about 1770 and the father is a gentleman.

Gourlay is spelled many different ways on Peters records, but Gourlay is the way it has been spelled in my family for the last four generations. 8 Sep 1864 Peter Gourley died in lanarkshire aged 74 married to Agnes Lamond mother Mary Chrichton and father ___ Gourley, a coachman as given by Peter's son John Gourley.

Thank you for any direction.


Sue Mackay
14-09-2014, 11:36 AM
I hope someone can point me in the right direction for my research.

Hallo Irene, and a warm welcome to British Genealogy. I have copied yopur post to a thread of its own in the Scotland Forum at

Do also please read the various 'sticky' threads (http://www.british-genealogy.com/forums/23-General-Scottish-Family-History) at the top of the General Scottish Forum which may help with your research.

r gourlay
15-09-2014, 4:46 PM
I dont believe Ingleramus De Gourlay was the first Gourlay in Scotland. Hugh De Gourlay of Hailes Castle and his family were. I believe they came over in 1066 with th normans and were granted lands in Lothian. They signed up for the ragman roll and lost at the battle of Bannockburn forfeiting all land. Although I cant prove it I believe they fled the area and their flight took them across the forth to Fife where they settled. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ragman_Rolls http://www.historic-scotland.gov.uk/propertyresults/propertydetail.htm?PropID=PL_148

if this throws a spanner in the works then am sorry, i think Ingleramus was born in Hailes Castle

10-01-2020, 7:22 PM
Hi all,
Being a Gourlay myself, I've found this site extremely interesting. Decades ago, I read 'Robert Gourlay - gadfly' and I recall the author said that Robert had researched his family history back to 1174 when King William returned to Scotland from exile in France. The author said that Robert had found that the Gourlay who accompanied him home was named "Ignoramus" de Gourlay.
I've been dining out on that amusing anecdote for years now, but it is with some relief that I find our ancestor's name to be "Ingleramus". Although,I suppose that Ignoramus may have been a common name at one time.
Ingleramus was granted lands in Fife, on the promontory overlooking the Firth of Forth, with a responsibility for watching out for enemy shipping.
Scotland basically invaded Northern Ireland in the early 17th century, under the Plantation of Ulster policy. The British Crown wanted to protestantise Northern Ireland, so encouraged all those Scottish Presbyterians to go and take up land there.
My ancestor John Gourlay (the Gourlay landscape, as you know, is littered with John's) emigrated to Canada from County Tyrone in 1831, to begin the Canadian branch of the family.
Gregory Gourlay