Local Snippets 4



News Items - A Source of Information and Education about our Ancestors...


Local newspapers are a great source of information for family historians and researchers. We are especially lucky in Aberdeen with records of one paper - The Aberdeen Journal - dating back to the 18th century. In this section we will record just a few snippets of local interest from our papers - some trivial, some tragic, but all fascinating. Let's hope you find something of interest - I'll be surprised if you don't!

The Aberdeen Journal, November 17th, 1830

Died at Stonehaven on the 5th inst., the Rev John Ballantyne, minister of the United Associate Congregation there, in the 51st year of his age and 25th of his ministry. In all the higher qualities of the man, the Christian, and the minister - unaffected piety, unswerving, integrity, a vigorous and cultivated mind - Mr Ballantyne was eminently distinguished. As an author, his work on the Human Mind has been highly appreciated by those who are best qualified to form an opinion of its merits; and in his "Comparison of Established and Dissenting Churches" he has written on the subject of ecclesiastical polity with an intelligence, and energy, and an honest conviction, which even those who differ from him in his views must acknowledge and respect. As a minister his personal character and public faithfulness and his attention paid especially to the religious education of the young, will make his name remembered and his memory revered by all classes in the town where he lived and laboured. Among his brethren of the Presbytery of which he was a member and throughout the Secession church his loss is greatly deplored.

 The Aberdeen Journal, December 22nd, 1830

Many of our readers can recollect the state of the old road between this city and Stonehaven; when being jolted over it in a post-chaise generally occupied three or four hours, and was even then attended with some danger. The present one, from Bridge of Dee to the latter place, formed upwards of 30 years ago, and still among the best turnpike roads in the Kingdom is one of the great many improvements for which this part of the country is indebted to the public spirit of the Magistrates of Aberdeen. The balance which remained due for this work to the Treasurer of the City, amounting to something more than eleven pounds, has just been paid up by a Committee of Road Trustees of the County of Kincardine who have thus acquired right to the revenues of the road and undertaken its future charge and management. In consequence Mr Scott of Brotherton and Mr Silver of Netherley have accepted the office of Honorary Treasurers; and Mr P Christain has been appointed Clerk of the Road.

The Aberdeen Journal, January 5th, 1831

Laurencekirk - On Friday week the road hence to Stonehaven became impervious to the equestrian, the snow having been blown to a considerable height in many places. In the evening the Defiance Coach stuck fast, about three miles to the north, and remained there till Monday morning. The other coach, the Union, proceeded no farther than this place. On Sunday afternoon, the proprietors of the latter coach employed a number of men to cast the snow, and made the coach to force her way through.

The Aberdeen Journal, February 16th, 1831

Thursday last being the Candlemas market day, the prices of cattle were rather low. A very singular circumstance took place in the course of the day. A cow, far gone with calf, belonging to Mr Dunbar, Gabertstripes, having been brought by its master to the market to be disposed of, took fright at something, and ran off the market green down to the water of Cowie, at that time considerably swelled, and having succeeded in wading across the water, made the best of her way to the sea, into which she finally ran, and swam out for about a mile. The owner meantime having gone to the Bridge of Cowie in hopes of finding her on shore, and having succeeded in procuring a boat, the cow was brought back to land, some say nothing the worse of her nautical excursion. The man was obliged by the boat's crew to pay one pound for their trouble, and eight shillings as their allowance for drink. During these transactions, the town was in a state of complete uproar. The numerous conflicting reports spread abroad of a boat being upset, and the whole crew lost - of a man having fallen over the pier, and been drowned - of a cart having passed over an infant of three years of age, and broken both its legs - were indeed most distressing, and it was not for some time that the truth could be ascertained.

The Aberdeen Journal, March 16th, 1831

Stonehaven, March 10th, 1831 - Melancholy accident - Five Lives Lost - The fishertown of Cowie, adjoining this place, was thrown into the utmost confusion on Tuesday, by as lamentable an occurrence as has happened in this neighbourhood for well-nigh thirty years. One of the boats belonging to the above place, being, as was supposed, about ten miles out at sea, having a piece of wreck in tow, and all her sail set, was struck by a heavy sea, which upset her, and precipitated all her crew, six number, into the mighty deep. The circumstance was noticed by the crew of another boat, about three mile from the place where the event occurred, who arrived in time to save one of these unfortunate men from a watery grave. One of those who are lost has left a family of seven children to lament his unhappy fate. We understand a subscription is about to be set on foot for the relief of these sufferers. The boat came on shore in the Bay of Nigg on Wednesday.

The Aberdeen Journal, May 11th, 1831

On Wednesday, the United Associate congregation, Stonehaven gave a call to the Rev. David Todd to be their pastor. The Rev. Mr Paterson preached and presided on the occasion.

The Aberdeen Journal, November 30th, 1831

Stonehaven, 28th November - On Thursday last some horses and carts were arriving from the country, about the time the parochial school of Dunnottar was dismissed for their dinner hour, and as the boys in their playfulness were running about the street, one of them, about 10 years of age, son of David Napier, fell just before the horse of the leading cart; the man who had charge of it, had a hold of the bridle at the time, but the boy fell so close before him, and so unexpectedly, that he was struck on the breast or belly by the horse's fore-foot ere it was possible to stop him, although the man instantly and forcibly exerted himself to do so. Medical aid was immediately procured; but, we regret to say, without effect, as the poor boy expired on Saturday morning.

The Aberdeen Journal, January 4th, 1832

Stonehaven, 2nd January - Another fatal accident happened in this town on Saturday last. A very fine child, a boy about 20 months old, belonging to William Donaldson, Barclay Street, was killed by a cart-wheel passing over his body. The mother of the infant saw him opposite her window, holding up his arms for assistance, to be lifted from the street to the pavement, and ordered her sister to go and bring him over. On seeing her coming, he turned round, in a playful manner, to run from her - at that instant two carts were passing, and he fell, or the horse's foot struck him down, and ere the cart could be stopped, the wheel went over him. He expired a few minutes after being carried into the house.

The Aberdeen Journal, March 7th, 1832

Mr Barclay of Ury has placed 50 bolls of coals at the disposal of the Church Session, for distribution among the poor in the new town of Stonehaven; and, we understand, he has intimated to the Board of Health in Stonehaven, that he will readily furnish a suitable home for an hospital, should cholera make its appearance in that town.


The Aberdeen Journal, April 25th, 1832

We understand that a Board of Health has been constituted at Stonehaven, under the authority of His Majesty's Privy Council, consisting of the following gentlemen, viz:- Hugh Fullerton, Sheriff Sustitute; Peter Christian, Chief Magistrate; the Rev George Thomson, minister of Fetteresso; Rev Alex. Irvine, minister of Dunnottar; Rev. George Garden; Presbyter of the Scottish Episcopal Church; Rev. David Todd, minister of the United Secession Church; Wm. Stewart, Sheriff-clerk; J. Tindal, Procurator-Fiscal; Charles Monro, writer; J. Burness, banker; A. Smart, Alex. Burnett, and A. W. Kinnear, writers. Mr Fullerton has been elected Chairman, Mr Charles Graham Monro, secretary, and Mr John Beattie, Treasurer.