- Residence: Agnes McKenzie Fisher and James Conway lived at Kilwinning, Ayrshire, Scotland; Kilwinning is described in a directory published by Pigot & Co in 1837 as … an ancient and thriving little manufacturing town … 24 miles from Glasgow, 3 nw of Irvine, 4 ne of Saltcoats, the like distance s of Dalry, 10 nw of Kilmarnock and 5 from Ardrossan; situate on rising ground about 2 miles from the sea; stretching westward from the right bank of the Garnock, and approached through long ambrageous paths, skirted by beautiful fields. It consists chiefly of one street and bye-lanes, with a few rows of modern houses. The weaving and manufacture of gauzes, muslins, shawls, etc are carried on, to an important extent, for the Glasgow and Paisley markets, to which they are conveyed by the local agents. The agricultural produce of the parish is likewise considerable; and coals, which are obtained in abundance, are conveyed by a railway passing from east to west across the parish. …
Kilwinning was the first place in Scotland where free masonry was established; it is said to have been introduced by the foreign architect who was employed in erecting the monastery here. The abbey is thought to have been built about 1140. Briefly, free masonry is accepted as having been born out of the guilds of craftsmen of the middle ages, in particular the masons. A mason often had to travel the length of the county to seek work. He had to prove his rank and ability to his prospective employer. This he did by showing that he was in possession of certain secrets that he had learnt from his guild.
The Statistical Account written by the Rev. Archibald Blair Campbell in April 1842 describes Kilwinning in great ecclesiastical detail, but includes gems such as (describing the population of around 630 families in the town): There are three individuals deaf and dumb in the parish, two fatuous, and two blind. … There is no smuggling. Poaching is carried on to a small extent. He continues: The male inhabitants of Kilwinning are chiefly employed in weaving and mining; the females in sewing. The only individuals found necessary for keeping the peace are one of the county police and a sheriff-officer. … Formerly there were several stagecoaches, which passed through Kilwinning to Glasgow and other places, but they have all given up since the opening of the Glasgow and Ayr Railway, about two years ago, which affords the greatest facilities, both for travelling and the conveyance of goods, and farm produce.
He is highly critical of the 27 licensed Inns or Alehouses in the parish – Their effect on the morals of the people, especially the miners and inhabitants of the town, is of the most pernicious description. In his conclusion he observes The inhabitants are, we believe, more industrious than they were towards the end of last century; but they are more extravagant both in regard to their clothing and mode of living, and it is to be feared, less contented with their circumstances. … The desire for luxuries is, in many instances, too prevalent, and a want of prudence, foresight, and economy, often appears. The inhabitants of the parish, in general, are intelligent and well informed, and many of them are exemplary in the discharge of all the duties of their station.1,2
- Residence*: Agnes McKenzie Fisher and James Conway lived at Troon, Ayrshire, Scotland; Today, Troon is most famous for its golfing associations and as a holiday resort, but owes its origins to coal and the railways.
In the Second Statistical Account written in 1841 by The Rev. Alexander Willison, The Rev. James Fleming, Troon, and The Rev. David Wilson, Fullarton, the village of Troon in the parish of Dundonald is described as having a population of 1,409 souls that appears to have been a significant rise over the previous count in 1831. The reason is to be ascribed to general causes; but particularly of late years to the erection of the harbour … and the consequent increase of its trade; and also to its becoming a favourite place of resort for sea-bathing quarters.
The Account describes the turnpike roads from Irvine to Ayr and Irvine to Dalmellington, along with the Kilmarnock to Troon road as the roads in every direction are good. Indeed there are few parishes of equal extent so well accommodated in this respect. … In addition to these, there are parish roads in every direction kept in tolerably good repair, and affording every requisite means of communication. The only thing that the mounted traveller has reason to complain of is the abundance of tolls; but as the toll seems to be indigenous to the county, let us pay and pass on; for in this case we fear there is very little hope of writing them down. The harbour for depth of water and readiness of entrance, is one of the best in the neighbourhood. … A wet dock is in the course of excavation from the solid rock. There are two dry docks. … The trade is chiefly in coal and timber. Timber was imported; coal exported via the Kilmarnock railway.
The Account also notes the harbour has a good lighthouse supported from its own funds. A Church (of Scotland) was built in Troon in 1837 – previously the parishioners had to travel four or more miles which would have rendered anything like a regular attendance upon ordinances altogether impracticable. Elementary schooling was available at a cost of from 2s to 4s 6d per quarter.
Commenting on the arrangements for poor relief, the writers say that the good old spirit of Scottish independence, which once spurned the kirk-box, as almost worse than starvation, is fast dying away, and that few indeed now think it any degradation to have their wants so supplied. This is surely a symptom of change not for the better, and as it is, from accounts, very generally manifested, we trust it will meet with due consideration from those whose special business it is to provide and legislate for the poor. So, are things much different today, one wonders?
All in all, these gentlemen seem fairly pleased with the progress made since the First Statistical Account some 60 or so years previously. Referring to the parish as a whole they say the condition of all classes, even the poorest, has very much improved. … An entire new town and harbour have risen up at Troon; two railroads have been constructed; common roads have been formed, and all much repaired; what were little better than mud-walls have given place to substantial stone and lime, and in many places to elegant architecture. The comfortable, but unstable, thatch has been supplanted by slate; the fertility of the soil, by a better system of culture, has been inconceivably improved. Money with all ranks is much more abundant; and all these things tell upon the comfort, as we would hope upon the gratitude, of those who enjoy them.3
- Birth*: Agnes McKenzie Fisher was born on 14 March 1842 at Monkton & Prestwick, Ayrshire, Scotland; Agnes Fisher lawful daughter of William Fisher and Marion McKenzie spouses was born at Prestwick 14th March 1842 and baptised by the Rev Mr Burns (recorded in 1845.)4,5
- She was the daughter of William Fisher and Marion McKenzie.
- Residence*: Agnes McKenzie Fisher lived on 7 April 1861 at Orangefield House, Monkton, Ayrshire, Scotland;
Orangefield House has some significance in the Monkton area. Originally, it was built as Monkton House by Hugh Baillie around 1740. The design was by Samuel Neilson, a mason who sometimes made designs for country houses. Dr Baillie’s financial circumstances caused the rapid sale of the estate to James Macrae of Blackheath who had returned, enriched, after holding the position of Governor of Madras. The house was rebuilt and renamed later in the 18th century and it was this elegant and pedimented mansion that survived well into the 20th century. Various additions and alterations were constructed in the early 1900s with the house being converted to an hotel in 1933, following the building of Prestwick Airport on the former estate. The house was transformed into the terminal building with, incredibly, the control tower built through the roof! In 1966 the disfigured house was completely demolished to accommodate the taxi rank for the airport.6
- (Bride) Marriage*: She married James Conway, son of John Conway and Jane Waugh, on 7 June 1861 at Dundonald, Troon, Ayrshire, Scotland; 1861 marriages in the parish of Dundonald in the county of Ayr, ref 8; 1861 June Seventh, Troon, after banns according to the forms of the Free Church of Scotland; signed James Conway masons labourer bachelor, 24, ur Monkton, parents John Conway masons labourer and Jane Conway ms Waugh; signed Agnes Fisher domestic servant spinster, 19, us Troon, parents William Fisher lumper at Troon and Marion Fisher ms McKenzie (dec); signed A H Cowan minister, A T McClenaghan, Eliza Jane Kean, witnesses; registered 1861 June 12th at Dundonald, David Halbert registrar.7,8
- Married Name: As of 7 June 1861, her married name was Conway.
- (Informant) Birth: Agnes McKenzie Fisher registered the birth of Robert Fisher McKenzie Conway on 30 May 1883 at 4 Rosebank Street, Dundee, Forfarshire, Scotland; 1883 births in the district of St Clement in the burgh of Dundee; 406; Robert McKenzie Fisher Conway; 1883 May Thirtieth 3h 30m pm, 4 Rosebank Street Dundee; m; James Conway bakers' van driver, Agnes Conway ms Fisher, 1861 June 7th Troon; Agnes Conway mother; 1883 June 13 at Dundee Thomas Scott assistant registrar DS.9
- Event-Misc*: Agnes McKenzie Fisher and James Conway celebrated their Golden Wedding Anniversary on 7 June 1911 at Mathers Hotel, Dundee, Angus, Scotland.10
- Event-Misc: Agnes McKenzie Fisher and James Conway celebrated their Diamond Wedding Anniversary on 8 June 1921 at Masonic Hall, Cupar, Fife, Scotland.10
- Photograph*: Agnes Fisher Miller and Agnes McKenzie Fisher are in this photograph taken say 1922.11
- (Spouse) Death: Her spouse James Conway died on 27 June 1923 at Blebo Craigs, Kemback, Fife, Scotland; 1923 Deaths in the Parish of Kemback in the County of Fife, # 6; James Conway, Farm Overseer (retired) married to Agnes Fisher 1923 June 27th 6h 0m PM Blebo Craigs, Kemback male aged 88 years Father John Conway, mason (deceased) Mother Jane Conway ms Waugh (deceased) intestinal obstruction 2 days as certified by J Macdonald MB & CM Informant James B D Duncan neighbour, Blebo Craigs Kemback registered 1923 June 28th at Kemback A J C Provan registrar.12
- (Witness) Newspaper Article: Agnes McKenzie Fisher was mentioned in a newspaper article about James Conway on 29 June 1923. DEATHS.
CONWAY - At Blebo Craigs, on June 27th, James Conway, beloved husband of Agnes Fisher, in his 88th year. Funeral private. This the only intimation.13
- (Tenant) Valuation Roll*: Agnes McKenzie Fisher was a tenant at House, House & Garden, Blebo Craigs, Cupar, Fife, Scotland, 1925 Valuation Roll, County of Fife, Parish of Kemback, Year 1920-1921
refs 206&7, house, & house and garden, Blebo Craigs; proprietrixes Misses Mary F. and Jeanie Conway, per John Pearson, 37 Castle Street, Tayport; tenant and occupier Mrs Agnes Conway; yearly rent or value £2 and £4 in 1925.14
- Photograph*: Agnes McKenzie Fisher is in this photograph taken in 1929 at Blebo Craigs, Cupar, Fife, Scotland, along with John Conway, William Fisher Conway, James Conway, Samuel Meney Conway and Robert Fisher McKenzie Conway.15
- (Witness) Photograph: Agnes McKenzie Fisher is in this photograph taken in 1929 at Blebo Craigs, Cupar, Fife, Scotland, along with Audrey Malvina Conway, Jane Hutchison Wilkie.15
- (Witness) Marriage: Agnes McKenzie Fisher witnessed the marriage of Joseph Stanley Andrews and Hope Myra Morrison Conway on Monday, 21 June 1937 at Baptist Church, Hamilton, Lanarkshire, Scotland; 1937 marriages in the district of Hamilton in the county of Lanark, ref 162, 1937 on the Twenty-First day of June at Baptist Church Hamilton after banns according to the forms of the Baptist Church, signed Joseph Stanley Andrews Baptist Church Minister bachelor aged 25, 18 Mount Stewart Street Carluke, parents James Smith Andrews Baptist Church minister and Janet Andrews ms Lees; signed Hope Myrra Morrison Conway chiropodist spinster aged 22, 13 Bent Road Hamilton, parents Robert Fisher Conway Baptist Church minister and Elizabeth Miller Conway ms Morrison; signed John Conway minister emetrius Free Church of England Bristol, signed Ruth Fisher Conway Chrystal Bank Hamilton, Douglas Cameron Smith 5 Manse Crescent Stirling witnesses; registered 1937 Jane 22nd at Hamilton James Frame registrar
[and from photograph provided by their grand-daughter].17,18
- (Witness) Newspaper Article: Agnes McKenzie Fisher and James Conway was mentioned in a newspaper article about Jeannie Conway on 23 May 1938. CONWAY - At Dundee, on 21st of May, Jeannie, daughter of Agnes Conway and the late James Conway, Blebo Craigs. Funeral private, no flowers.19
- (Deceased) Death*: Agnes McKenzie Fisher died on 14 December 1938 at 11 Gray Street, Broughty Ferry, Dundee, Angus, Scotland, at age 96 1938 Deaths in the District of Broughty Ferry in the County of Angus, # 112; Agnes Conway widow of James Conway, Commercial Traveller 1938 December 14th 8h 0m AM 11 Gray Street, Broughty Ferry female aged 96 years Father John Fisher (sic), carpenter (deceased) Mother Marion Fisher ms McKenzie (deceased) senility - age 96 9/12 cardiac failure as certified by David Mann MB, FRCS Ed informant Mary Conway daughter present registered 1938 December 14th at Broughty Ferry John R Dryden registrar.20
- (Witness) Newspaper Article: She and James Conway was mentioned in a newspaper article about Agnes Fisher Conway on 13 February 1939. CONWAY - Suddenly, on 12th February, Agnes Fisher Conway, daughter of the late James and Agnes Conway, Blebo Craigs, Cupar.21
- (Witness) Newspaper Article: Agnes McKenzie Fisher and James Conway was mentioned in a newspaper article about Agnes Fisher Conway on 15 February 1939. CONWAY - Suddenly, on 12th February, Agnes Fisher Conway, daughter of the late James and Agnes Conway, Blebo Craigs, Cupar.22
- (Witness) Note for Web: Agnes McKenzie Fisher and Marion McKenzie Conway, John Conway, William Fisher Conway, Jeannie Conway, Elizabeth Conway, Agnes Fisher Conway, James Conway, Janet Meney Conway, Samuel Meney Conway and Robert Fisher McKenzie Conway was mentioned with Mary Fisher Conway in 1983. From the pen of Marion C Miller (1983) :
Under the Rose
'Under the rose, Kate, under the rose', my great aunt Mary would frequently whisper to my mother. Many years were to elapse before I understood that information imparted subrosa (under the rose) was only intended for tried, tested and trustworthy ears. At the advance of avid young listeners, X-certificate conversation would come to an abrupt halt. My great aunt would suck her teeth back into their normal position with a sharp, resounding and final click. As age had withered her fuselage, the teeth no longer fitted snugly into the contours of her mouth. With the porcelain in position she was quite unable to chew. Always allocated prime position next to my father at the head of the table, she removed her teeth just after grace and before demolition commenced. She was not given to secreting her discarded treasures in the folds of her lavender-laced handkerchief. No ... she was a forthright sort of person. Her teeth, both sets, were planted on her side plate where they glared relentlessly at my father, assaulting his appetite and inducing temporary anorexia.
There was no wine at table in my childhood, and glasses for water or lemonade were only in evidence on high occasions. There was always a glass of water for great aunt Mary. No ... she didn't drink it ... but she liked to rinse her teeth before returning them to the ill fitting aperture, when the repast was over.
At that time we thought she must be very old, but she was in fact still in her lively seventies and had many a tale to tell. She had been an upper crust 'howdie' before trained midwives were commonplace. Entering the homes of the renowned and rich prior to the event, she supervised the birthing process, hurrying the event along with her own secret concoction of raspberry leaf tea. She would remain in residence for at least a month after delivery and often for much longer. If her departure was at all delayed there was every chance that there would be another child on the way soon to guarantee her continued employment.
Great aunt Mary liked to dress in black and indeed it showed off her pure white hair to greatest advantage. She also used her sombre dresses as a backcloth against which she could display her many swinging chains of beads, multi-coloured neckerchiefs, and large brooches set with precious or semi-precious stones, all donated by thankful parents.
'When I was with Sir Andrew and Lady X', she would commence and you knew you were about to have a glimpse of life in a society in which you were never likely to mingle. She had been accustomed to a life of refinement, but she was wiling to share her treasured memories with those in humbler circumstances. But she was not all prim and proper. She loved a party and she could jangle her beads in a neat-ankled Charleston which left mouth agape. Nowadays she would have been accorded the title of 'great old swinger'.
If we thought she was old, what of the ancient monument? Her mother was still alive and maintained in a state of semi preservation by another spinster daughter in a rambling house in the country. My great grandmotther was open for viewing between the hours of 3 and 4pm. The old lady was like a mechanical toy which had seen better days, there being residual movement in her head, one arm and those searching piercing eyes where ambition still flickered. She might be dessicated almost mummified, but when her hand beckoned from within the folds of her many shawls the recipient of the gesture approached with a degree of trepidiation and a touch of reverence.
The eyes below the lace-capped head would search for evidence of her genetic contribution. These eyes had seen a lot of life. The offshoot of an immigrant Irish family fleeing from the potato famine she had been fortunate to find work as a "tweenie" in an Ayrshire mansion. Crossed with my great grandfather of similar peasant origin she was to produce a brood of thirteen children of whom nine survived. The unashamed ambition which hovered behind her eyelids had seen three of her sons launched into the ordained ministry. In her lifetime she had seen the strength of her genetic contribution raise her descendants from menial tasks in the dusty mills to solid middle class. As she started to fadde into insignificance heer off shoots embraced the church, the law, medicine and commerce. She missed her hundredth birthday and her royal telegram only by a short head. If she knew her great great grandson whilst still a schoolboy had been selected because of his inate talent in communication to sit next to a royal prince at a private dinner ... she would have been pleased, but not I think surprised. I doubt whether she would have subscribed to the theory that the stars govern your fate ... I think she knew that she handed something on ... and if it's the blarney ... it's genetically dominant.
What was it that reminded me of great aunt Mary ... it was a word association! It's quite a popular party game but the technique is also used by psychiatrists to probe the mysteries of the mind. You may reveal too much by a straight swift answer, so I always allow the word to linger in my cerebral pathways until multiple cross connections have suitably disguised my tortuous mental process.
I know ... I was in the kitchen waiting for the beans to heat. Lovely to think that the good old 57s are enjoying a comeback in the high fibre diet. The radio was muttering away in the background, but I heard only one word 'ROOTS'. My first thought was teeth, because that canine has been knawing away for months, then followed swiftly the thought of origins and ancestors ... finally there was the closing snap reminiscent of gnashing dentures and my brain had solved the equation Roots + Teeth = Great Aunt Mary.
Sometime I must sweep some more of the dust from my cerebral computer and write more of my forebears ... or is it all too confidential? Could I perhaps just whisper it to a few of my friends ... 'Under the rose' of course.23
- (Bride) Marriage*: Agnes McKenzie Fisher married James Conway, son of John Conway and Jane Waugh, on 7 June 1861 at Dundonald, Troon, Ayrshire, Scotland; 1861 marriages in the parish of Dundonald in the county of Ayr, ref 8; 1861 June Seventh, Troon, after banns according to the forms of the Free Church of Scotland; signed James Conway masons labourer bachelor, 24, ur Monkton, parents John Conway masons labourer and Jane Conway ms Waugh; signed Agnes Fisher domestic servant spinster, 19, us Troon, parents William Fisher lumper at Troon and Marion Fisher ms McKenzie (dec); signed A H Cowan minister, A T McClenaghan, Eliza Jane Kean, witnesses; registered 1861 June 12th at Dundonald, David Halbert registrar.7,8
- [S49] Website Web Site online (www.) http://www.ayrshireroots.com/Towns/Kilwinning/Kilwinning%201837.htm
- [S49] Website Web Site online (www.) http://stat-acc-scot.edina.ac.uk/sas/sas.asp/?monospace=&twoup=&nohighlight=&account=2&transcript=&session-id=0e6ad3fbea8061a21f0cb372871b1e9b&naecache=5&accountrec=4685&navbar=&action=publicdisplay&parish=Kilwinning&county=Ayrshire&pagesize=
- [S49] Website Web Site online (www.) http://stat-acc-scot.edina.ac.uk/sas/sas.asp/?monospace=&twoup=&nohighlight=&account=2&transcript=&session-id=0eb5a1951110fc447daf8f49002ce21f&naecache=5&accountrec=4533&navbar=&action=publicdisplay&parish=Dundonald&county=Ayrshire&pagesize=
- [S1] International Genealogical Index (IGI) (Salt Lake City, Utah, USA: International Genealogical Index), C116064.
- [S35] Old Parochial Register of pre-1855 (General Record Office of Scotland) GROS ref 606-0030 0208 image held: recorded 1845 [Jan 2007].
- [S34] Book at Ayr Library? PC [Aug 2003].
- [S1] International Genealogical Index (IGI), 7119729.
- [S64] Unknown subject, International Genealogical Index (IGI) (New Register House, Edinburgh, Scotland: General Record Office of Scotland), GROS statutory marriage Troon 590/00 0008 [Oct 2010].
- [S14] General Record Office for Scotland, online www.scotlandspeople.gov.uk, General Record Office for Scotland (Edinburgh, Scotland), GROS statutory births 282/03 0406 [Jul 2010].
- [S4] James Conway - Agnes McKenzie Fisher, Autograph Book, 7 Jun 1911 & 1921, PC Carson, 2 Gillburn Road, Dundee, Scotland, Golden Wedding & Diamond Wedding Autograph Book.
- [S43] LB [Feb 2018].
- [S50] Unknown subject, General Record Office of Scotland, New Register House, Edinburgh, Scotland, GROS statutory death 1923 Kemback 6 [Jun 2004].
- [S54] Website findmypast.co.uk (www.findmypast.co.uk) Newspaper & Periodicals 1923-06-29 Dundee Courier [Oct 2015].
- [S51] General Record Office for Scotland, online www.scotlandspeople.gov.uk, General Record Office for Scotland (Edinburgh, Scotland), Valuation Rolls, County of Fife, Parish of Kemback, Year 1925-1926, ref 206&7 [Oct 2016].
- [S43] PCC - AC photograph album.
- PCC - AC photograph album
- [S40] JF [Oct 2010].
- [S64] General Record Office for Scotland, GROS Statutory marriage Hamilton 1937 647/00 0162 image held [Aug 2011].
- [S54] Website findmypast.co.uk (www.findmypast.co.uk) Newspaper & Periodicals 1938-05-23 Dundee Courier [Oct 2015].
- [S50] General Record Office for Scotland, GROS statutory deaths Broughty Ferry 1938 [May2004].
- [S54] Website findmypast.co.uk (www.findmypast.co.uk) Newspaper & Periodicals 1939-02-13 Dundee Courier [Oct 2015].
- [S54] Website findmypast.co.uk (www.findmypast.co.uk) Newspaper & Periodicals 1939-02-15 Fife Herald [Oct 2015].
- [S33] Interview , MCM Copyright 1983.
- [S17] General Record Office for Scotland, online www.scotlandspeople.gov.uk, General Record Office for Scotland (Edinburgh, Scotland), GROS census 1851 Monkton [Jun 2004].
- [S9] Website Ancestry.co.uk (www.ancestry.co.uk) 1861 Scotland census; CSSCT1861-88; Monkton, ed 2, page 1 [Oct 2010].
- [S17] General Record Office for Scotland, GROS census 1861 Monkton [Jun 2004].
- [S17] General Record Office for Scotland, GROS census 1871 Civil Parish & Town of Kilwinning, Ayrshire; Rail Gate House; [Jun 2004].
- [S17] General Record Office for Scotland, FHL Film 0203484 GRO ref vol 282-3 EnumDist 20 page 45.
- [S17] General Record Office for Scotland, GROS census 1891 Civil Parish of Dundee, Parish of Rosebank, 6th Burgh Ward of Dundee; 11 Dons Road; [Jun 2004].
- [S17] General Record Office for Scotland, GROS statutory census 1901 Civil Parish of Dairsie, Part of Parliamentary Burgh of East Fife, Hamlet of Lydox Mill [Jun 2004].
- [S17] General Record Office for Scotland, GROS census 1911 433/00 002/00 006 [Apr 2011].
Agnes McKenzie Fisher
Mother*: Marion McKenzie b. 4 Oct 1812, d. c May 1845
John Conway+ b. 10 Dec 1863, d. 17 Nov 1949
William Fisher Conway+ b. 13 Oct 1865, d. 21 Jan 1941
Jeannie Conway b. 30 Jan 1868, d. 21 May 1938
Elizabeth Conway b. 12 Mar 1870, d. 17 Oct 1903
Agnes Fisher Conway b. 4 Sep 1872, d. 12 Feb 1939
James Conway+ b. 22 Sep 1874, d. 15 Sep 1962
Janet Meney Conway+ b. 24 Feb 1877, d. 28 Jan 1946
Mary Fisher Conway b. 13 Apr 1879, d. 1 Jan 1962
Samuel Meney Conway+ b. 19 Aug 1881, d. 20 Dec 1940
Robert Fisher McKenzie Conway+ b. 30 May 1883, d. 24 Aug 1947
Carson, Jane c 1790 descendants
Conway, Hugh c 1780 descendants
Fisher, Charles c1765 descendants
Maitland, Agnes c1766 descendants
McConnell, Helen c1765 descendants
McKenzie, Robert c1770 descendants
McWilliam, William c1765 descendants
Pollock, Marion c1770 descendants
Waugh, James c1790 descendants