GEA: Thornhill, Scotland

It’s been awhile since I’ve done a Google Earth Adventure. They’re fun, I need to make more time for them! I’m still in the process of collecting my data for the Menzies family. Just when I thought I was at a stopping point, I found another lead this morning. Never ending! I just have to say I love the FamilySearch indexes. Sure I can’t confirm until I set eyes on the record myself, but since I knew the maiden name of Jennie Menzies-Love’s mother I’m pretty positive about what I’ve found. So thank heaven for the California Death Index listing the mother’s maiden name! Since most of my Dad’s family stayed in New Jersey, I fretted over ever getting my hands on more records. Little did I know a bunch of New Jersey people headed west to California in the 40’s!

Anyway, back onto the Google Earth part. I found that John Menzies and Jane Ferris’ first five children were born in Scotland before the family went south to Liverpool, England. I plugged some search terms into FamilySearch’s Scotland Birth and Christening Records. Voila! I have a place! Morton by Thornhill, Dumfries, Scotland, UK. All five children born in Scotland have Christening records there and John and Jane have a marriage record there. In fact I think I found John’s birth record there too 😉 The only problem I had was that there was no Morton on any maps I looked at. I’ve run across this in the United States though, so I don’t fret too bad.

I started with Thornhill. That still exists. It just so happens there is a Morton Street that runs through the center of Thornhill. So this is where I tried my luck with a Google Earth Adventure. I figured the worst that could happen is I spend another pleasant morning touring Scotland from the comfort of my home… Too bad I was already dressed, pajamas would have made it better! Best case scenario is I’d find a church along the street.

My first thoughts were, “What a quaint little street!” Then as a long time user of Google Earth, I knew I should probably do a 360 view and see what’s around.

Oh. Well, that’s a little anti-climatic. The sad thing is the church had a For Sale sign on it. I wonder how much an old church in Scotland costs? Probably more than I could afford.

For those keeping track of my previous GEA, the very first one was a tour by Castle Menzies. I’m positive I can link my Menzies there eventually.

I’m certainly closer than I used to be! Thornhill is about 2 and a half hours south of Castle Menzies location. Not exactly a day trip in the 1800’s but it’s a lot closer than New Jersey, which is where I was before today.

Well, since my goal was accomplished I might as well keep looking around more, right?

I really do long to visit quaint little towns like this. I just love the buildings.

Full Disclosure: Starting with this picture I switched to For some reason my Google Earth is messing up so I have to re-install it and see if that will help. I’d rather not talk about it though, I’d rather look at the Scotland buildings.

There much better! I think what I love about looking around Scotland and other countries is how much older the buildings are. I’ve got a million houseplan books that show me what these old houses look like on the outside and the floor plans on the inside, but there’s nothing like seeing a real version of it.

Back to Morton Street. I love how green Scotland is. I know everywhere else is green too. It’s just that everytime I open a random street view in Scotland, it’s just so green!

I really do wonder how old these buildings are.

Then I came across this. I was curious as to what all the busses were there for. A quick Google Search told me this is Wallace Hall Academy. Well not the bus activity, but the building I couldn’t really get a look at. The original Wallace Hall Academy was established in 1723. In 1972 Wallace Hall Academy merged with Morton Academy at Thornhill (!) and they moved to the building they are in now. The revelation got me to thinking about Morton parish again. It’s got to be here somewhere!

When I looked up Closeburn, the original site of the Wallace Hall Academy, I found a little nugget of information.

The hamlet of Gatelawbridge, 2+12 miles (4 km) east of Thornhill, is on the boundary of Closeburn and Morton parishes near Crichope Linn.[1.,_Dumfries_and_Galloway]

It’s still not on the map, but looking through the street views between all three places (Closeburn, Gatelawbridge, Thornhill) I found a few more churches. So I don’t know which one my ancestors were christened in. I guess I’ll just have to take a real trip to Scotland some day and check them all. It’s a dirty job but someone’s got to do it!

Disclaimer: Google owns the images I used in the entry. I am making no profit from these images. Please don’t sue me Google, I own nothing of value except for the Mini-Oreos I ate on this trip.

One thought on “GEA: Thornhill, Scotland

  1. Brenda Thornhill Mimbs says:

    Hello, I am glad to see your postings that included Thornhill, Scotland. I was a Thornhill before I married and have always heard there was a Thornhill castle in England. But, I believe it should be in Scotland near Thornhill. I am from Georgia and Thornhill’s are quite rare.

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