On the Carlyle trail – tracking down our heritage

Tom, my brother, and I are having a terrific time (our spouses also, but to a lesser degree?) visiting little hamlets, church yards, and castles that are mentioned in documentation of our strain of the Carlyle family.

Our first stop today was Torthorwald (pronounced here “Torthorwool”) where one of our great-great, etc. grandfathers was First Lord of Torthorwald, and lo and behold we found his castle! We were unable to see the inside of the church, where supposedly there is a stone with a cross-flory and sword built in.

Onward to the lovely little town of Annan and to the museum where we came acrOss the book “The Carlyle Country” by J.M. Sloan (edited by Mary Hollern) which we promptly bought.

Next stop Hoddom Castle, the birth place of a number of ancestors, which is in better condition that Torthorwlad, but the estate and castle are now used as a caravan site – a lovely one at that!

Our final destination – Ecclefechan, from where all this Carlyle madness radiates! We are staing at The Carlyle House, which turns out is directly across the street from the house where the famous Thomas Carlyle lived. By the way, The Carlyle House is amazing – an exquisitely restored Georgian home.

A jaunt to the local pub – The Ecclefechan Inn – brought us into conversation with Joe, the publican. He spotted the afore mentioned book laying on one of our tables and exclaimed that he knows Mary Hollern and asked if we’d like to meet her! Wow! This could be leading somewhere in helping us solve the problem of linking our great-great, etc. Robert, his son Odard to Crinan (back in the 1000’s). Joe promptly called Mary and arranged for her to meet us at 7!!!

Over to the church yard to look for headstones we went, but it was way to hot, the sun at the wrong angle and we will return in the morning!


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