Maybole Castle Visitors
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Dave Killicoat with the Maybole Historical Society sent in this report of two recent visitors to Maybole Castle.

Murray Cook explaining the old names in Carrick to Thomas McElwain Thomas McElwain with family history charts Thomas signing the castle visitors book

Late yesterday afternoon, and just before the Castle was due to close to the public, an American visitor arrived with a small group and asked if he could come in. He was of course warmly greeted and we offered to show him round the Castle. However he said he realised he had arrived late and was actually a wee bit more interested in his family history than the Castle so he would rather see if we could help him in that way first.

I asked him his name and as soon as he said Thomas McElwain and that his roots were in Grimmet and Attiquin I immediately produced the book on the family history of the McIvain and Muir families in Carrick which was compiled from material given to the Society in May 2002 by Irene Anderson in Garvald near Edinburgh. He was somewhat flabbergasted to find that all he wanted to know was sitting there in front of him and very quickly found the link to his own ancestor who had emigrated to America in the early 18th century.

I then went on to explain to Thomas that we had already had contact with another descendant who was now living in Glasgow but was a full blooded American Indian. You can imagine my surprise when he commented on this in a foreign tongue which he then explained to me was Iroquois (American Indian) as he too was a full blooded Indian. Thomas had seen the Maybole website but had never thought that it would contain a wealth of information including his own family history and details of other contacts, but had gone immediately from the home page to the Castle Opening times and decided to visit!

With a promise of a complete copy of everything we have on the family and that Thomas would send us the American side, we then "extended" our opening hours to give the group a tour of the Castle which was all caught on film. The group left well contented and with promises of a return as soon.   (August 2004)

We received a letter from Margo Wilson of Dumbarton who enjoyed her visit to Maybole Castle in July and was prompted on her return home to send us a copy of the postcard above. She writes "I thought you might be interested in this postcard I came across among my late mother's photos. It is addressed to my grandmother who was born and raised in Maybole." Just goes to show that news travelled fast even in 1906. The Maybole exiles in the shoe factories of Govan knew about the Free Kirk going up in flames the day after it happened.

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