Seeking information to build family tree

The great, great, great, great grandson of a Menmuir or Aberlemno innkeeper is keen to piece together more information about the family.

Myles Cowie from Mintlaw, Peterhead, has managed to track his family back to 18th century, when his great, great, great, great grandfather James Cowie married his wife Margaret Bean on November 17, 1794 at Aberlemno, but has struggled to gather any more information.

Originally from Arbroath, Myles moved from the area when he was 21.

Myles said: “Like a lot of other people, especially older people like myself, you start to think about your past a wee bit.

“I thought to myself that time is getting on and if I don’t get round to it now I will never get round to it.

“The other reason was that my name is actually David Myles Cowie and I had always wondered where the Myles part of it came from.

“The Myles bit was always a bit of a slight mystery to me, although I was told that it comes from relatives in Carmyllie.

“It was only as I got older that I thought I would find out exactly where this name comes from and I found out eventually that it was in fact a family surname.

“My father’s name was David and he died just before I was born. I was given the name David Myles Cowie but I have used Myles all my life.

“I found out that the Myles part of my name originated from Carmyllie from people who I think were in farmers or blacksmithing.

“I then slowly worked my way back until I got to my great, great, great grandparents who were James Cowie and Jean Gordon.

“I then found that James’ father, also James, married a Margaret Bean on November 22, 1794 but this is all that I have found out about them.

“The reason for this is that up until 1854 when two people married they usually used old parish registers to record the marriage they just recorded that James Cowie and Margaret Bean got married at this parish. Later on the registers recorded all of the the parents names of those who were getting married so that you could follow the family back.

“This would probably be the last link that I would be looking at as I do not think I will be able to get any further back.”

Myles thinks that James Cowie senior was an innkeeper in either Menmuir or Aberlemno.

According to Census reports James and Margaret had eight children who were all born in Aberlemno.

They were:- Agnes, born October 11, 1795; Alexander, born April 20, 1797; James, born January 7, 1799; David, born November 30, 1800; Mary, born January 30, 1803; Elizabeth (Betty), born March 20, 1805; Ann, Born February 1, 1807; William, born May 5, 1808.

Myles’ family tree can be accessed at, by entering James Cowie Snr in the search box.

The family tree will be found under the Cowie Family Tree Roots and Branches.

If you have any information about James Cowie snr. contact Myles Cowie (telephone 01771 623428) at 42 James Mitchell Place, Mintlaw, Peterhead, Aberdeenshire, AB24 5ES.