Fintry Past

The Edmond Family

There have been Edmonds going back for over 500 years in Fintry. A will for Patrick Edmond, of Netherglinns is stored in the Mormon Salt Lake City archives. It is dated 1548 and Patrick was most likely Fintry born in the 1400s.

The Edmonds at Balafark
Balafark Farm 1896: From the left: John McNeil Edmond (Hugh’s uncle), George Edmond (Hugh’s dad) both boys are holding lambs. The girl is Elizabeth, Hugh’s aunt. The dog was called Friday! Standing are John Edmond, Hugh’s grandfather and his grandmother Annie. On the right is James Edmond who died in battle in WW1.

Rob Roy Connection

Rob Roy was the romanticised cattle raider and thorn in the flesh of the Duke of Montrose. He is known to have regularly hidden out at Broomhole by Spittalhill, to rob the factor of his rent collections in the Fintry area.

Rob Roy
Rob Roy MacGregor

In the early 1700s Margaret Edmond at Wester Balgair was cooking with a large pot over an open fireplace. She heard a noise in the wide chimney above. Suddenly one of Rob Roy’s men came scrambling down the chimney into the hearth. Margaret was reputed to have been ‘nae feart’. She lifted up the fire-poker and stuck it in the intruder, and apparently uttered the final sting with, “Keep yer innards oot o’ ma kail pot!” (Don’t contaminate my soup with your entrails … or similar!)

Culcreuch Unpaid Bill

A later Patrick Edmond worked as a blacksmith amongst other jobs. He had done much good work for Culcreuch Castle but times were hard. The Napiers who owned Culcreuch had become bankrupt. Patrick Edmond’s will on his death showed a debtor was Culcreuch. They were owing him 100 Merk Scots, or in today’s money almost £7,000.

Scots Merks
Scots Merks

Head Teacher

James Edmond, born in Provanston Farm was head teacher at the Lernock School near the corner of the gated road. He married Catherine Edmond who was a teacher at Lernock School before marriage. (See the page about schools for more information.)

Fintry's War Horse Hero

James Edmond

Another James Edmond, (Hugh’s uncle) set off from Balafark Farm to fight for King and Country in World War 1. He took with him a horse, gifted by his mother from the farm. Neither returned. Their story is told in another display here.

Black Jim Edmond

In 1867 the first of several Edmonds emigrated from Balafark Farm to the wild west of America.  Times were harder on the farm.  James had some other relatives on a farm in Wisconsin whom he joined first. Then he moved to Minnesota.  He learned that his father was now prepared to give away prematurely some of the future legacy from his estate, so James returned home.

Whilst home he married Mary Brown of Overglinns and then they sailed to America and with his inheritance bought 280 acres of very fertile land in Claremont, Minnesota.

Black JimJames Edmond was very successful.  He became the local Post Master and store owner. He owned a blacksmith’s shop and sold agricultural machinery.  He was an admired dealer of Clydesdale horses, owning an award winning stallion called ‘The Duke of Edinburgh”   imported from Scotland, which he had purchased in Wisconsin.

He was given the name Black Jim Edmond as he had a head of jet-black hair and a large black bushy beard.

Black Jim (right) outside the Post Office and store he ran in Claremont, Minnesota
Black Jim (right) outside the Post Office and store he ran in Claremont, Minnesota

Jesse James Gang Posse

In 1882 the notorious Jessie James outlaw was killed.  He had become a Robin Hood-like character but had shot a bank clerk while robbing the First National Bank of Northfield Minnesota. Fintry’s own James Edmond was actually in the Sheriff’s Posse, which rode out in search of the gang.

James Edmond’s brother, George Edmond, responded to letters from James encouraging him to emigrate.  In 1882, George and family followed. His wife Elizabeth had six children when at Blackhouse Farm near Harvieston, then five more children in the USA.  A great Scottish population gift to the new nation!

George Edmond and family in the USA
George Edmond and family in the USA

Fintry Shops

Another James Edmond ran the Fintry Main Street shop at the Cross from around 1850 – 1890. Then his brother, William Edmond took over until 1906. He was also a road haulier bringing two horse and cart loads of coal per day to Fintry from Lennoxtown.

Alexander Edmond ran a Cobbler’s shop at the west end, in Netherton Cottage where the Blue Roof Gallery is now. He was a well-known horticulturalist who helped run the Fintry Flower Show, winning many prizes for flowers and vegetables in the 1860-1880s.

Fintry Shop
Fintry Shop