I’m glad I went back to the ScotlandsPeople Research Centre in the National Archives today because I missed something yesterday. I thought I might have found Mary Milligan’s birth record but I was wrong. According to her tombstone in Hancock County, Ohio, she died at the age of 77 years, 7 months on September 27, 1850. The birth record I thought I found was from 1780, which would be too recent, but this morning I widened my search and found “Mary lawful daughter of Anthony Milligane & Raphael at Balomar[?] Feb. 16 1773” in the Kirkcudbright Old Parish Records. Since I’m American, my foreign geography knowledge is lacking so I had to consult a map and, to my joy, I discovered that Kirkcudbright neighbors Dumfries so I think that’s very probably her birth record and thus I learned my great great great great great grandparents’ names. I was then able to find their marriage record from 1768 and discovered that Mary’s mother was Elizabeth Milligan neé Raphael and I also found Mary’s older sister and younger brother.
To celebrate I thought I’d go find a nice old cemetery to wander on a rainy day. I had read that Old Calton Cemetery was nice and it’s very close to the archives so I walked over only to discover that it was closed until September for repairs. As a backup, I thought I’d visit the old observatory on Calton Hill, which is practically across the street from the cemetery, though elevated by a hundred meters. After a lovely climb/walk to the top with lots of spectacular views, I discovered the observatory was closed for renovation.
Undaunted, I found Greyfriars Kirkyard was open with lots of wonderful stone work on display around the centuries old graves. Greyfriars is also famous for “Greyfriars Bobby” a Skye Terrier who guarded his human’s grave for fourteen years until he too died. The dog’s stone is right at the entrance, not far from a sign that (apparently without irony) indicates dogs are not allowed in the cemetery.