The New Cumnock Mural , at the Mary Morrison Memorial Garden
History of the Parish
of New Cumnock
by Robert Guthrie
Dunbar of

The following extracts are taken from
James Paterson 'History of the County of Ayr',
Vol. I (1847).

This property belonged to a branch of the
Dunbars of Cumnock: but at what period the
family branched off from the main stock is
uncertain. The first of them we have met with is
I. John Dunbar of Knockshinnoch (~1490-1551/2)
'In his testament he constitutes as his executors 'Patricium Dunbar meum filium and heredum
apparentum, William Hamiltoun de Blantyrferme." &c. He left his son Patrick viiili. by way of
reward, to be uplifted from the lands of Makalaxastone; to his son William Hamiltoun, by
appointment, viiili.;and to John Dunbar, his son "vnam vaccam," a cow' (Paterson)

Testament of John Dunbar of Knockshinnoch

In the name of God amen. I, John Dunbar of Knockshinnoch ... sound body, as
in mind... which testament ...

I constitute ...

executors, that is, Patrick Dunbar my son and heir apparent and William
Hamilton of Blantyre

given up by me ... in the presence of ...

Inventory of his Goods

Firstly 8 cows ... 7 two sterile cows two bulls four ?animals ... and two ...

... five ?stirks 14 pigs from Knockshinnoch Also

from Maklaxarstoun in Carrick 40 sheep and 40 sheep of a value of 24 pounds

40 bolls

Debts owed to him

Firstly, Andrew McNaught 40s.

Debts which are owed to others

Also to John ... pounds of money for ... Also to Gilbert Corrie 38s.

to William Kirkwod 5s. Also to William Slowan 23s. Also to the lord of
Caprentoun 6

for ferm. Also to Adam Mason 5 3s. for ... Also to John Kennedy 30

8s. for portion of nature Also ... 40s. 10d. ... Also to John Dunbar

6s 7d for fee Also to Patrick Slowan 5s for fee Also to David Kennedy 8

... for portion of nature


Also to Patrick Dunbar my son heir apparent 8 of the value of all my

of Makalaxastone Also I give to William Hamilton my son-in-law 8 Also

to Agnes Dunbar a pregnant cow ... Also give to John Dunbar .. a cow Also

to John Dunbar my son a cow Also I give to Jonete Makquharry

... Also to my ... 6s. 8d. Also I give to Patrick Dunbar my son and heir


45s. Also to (?John) Dunbar I give a cow Also I give to Patrick Duff five ...

... John 21d. ... five

... witnesses, that is, Adam Mason, John Hog, David Kennedy and lord

Patrick Duff with many others

... John ... Cumnock

Extract of 'Testament of John Dunbar of Knockshinnoch'
reproduced from
by permission of the Scottish Archive Network (SCAN)
A copy of the Testament of John Dunbar of Knockshinnoch can be obtained through . The will specifies 'John Dunbar of Knockschenoch is too be
buried at St Conval's, Cumnock', i.e. the burial ground at Cumnock Kirk, the patrons of
which were the Dunbars of Cumnock, kinsmen of the Dunbars of Knockshinnoch.

Stuart Clarkson, of the University of Guelph, Ontario, Canada has made a valiant effort at
deciphering this old document and kindly provided an English translation of the Latin text.
One of the oldest gravestones in the Auld Kiryard, New
Cumnock appears to contain the three pairs of initials
'WH ID AR '. The ID is probably one of the Dunbar
family and possibly John (Iohn) Dunbar, although this
John Dunbar of Knockshinnoch, died 1551, can now be
discounted, since he was buried at St. Conval's burying
ground, at Cumnock Kirk (at the site of the present day
Old Cumnock parish church, in The Square, Cumnock).
The Hamilton family also held lands in New Cumnock
and we know that William Hamiltoun of Blantyrferm
married the daughter of John Dunbar of Knockshinnoch,
perhaps the above-mentioned Agnes Dunbar. Again the
WH on the stone may not be this William Hamilton (if
indeed it is a William Hamiltoun).
'WH ID AR' Stone
Auld Kirkyard
Other Dunbar names that appear in his legacy are Patrick Dunbar, his son and heir, John
Dunbar his son, another John Dunbar and possibly a third John Dunbar, and Agnes Dunbar.
The latter appears after the reference to William Hamiltoun his son-in-law , suggesting that
Agnes may be the spouse of William and therefore the daughter of John Dunbar of
Knockshinnoch. (Note: Agnes Barclay, is spouse to James Dunbar of Polqhuirter ca. 1564). The
lands of Makalaxastone are probably those of the extinct Makalston, shown in Blaeu's map of
Coila Provincia(1654), near to present day , Pathhead in New Cumnock.

Other names in the will include Andrew McNaught (cf. Andro McNaught of Braehead, Will
dated 24th May 1614); William and Patrick Slowan (cf. Robert Slowane of Rig, Will 1st May
1551 and Andrew Slowand, will 29th Mar 1552, both of whom were 'to be buried at St.
Conval's'). The Lord of Caprentoun, was William Cunningham, a descendant of whom would
become the Baron of Cumnock, in the early 17th century.
II. Patrick Dunbar of Knockshinnoch (~1515 ~1581)
'but of whom we know nothing ' (Paterson)
The name Patrick serves to remind us of the probable connection with the Dunbars of
Knockshinnoch and the Earls of Dunbar and the Dunbars of Cumnock, several of whom were
called Patrick.

III. John Dunbar of Knockshinnoch (~1540 ~ 1606)
'whose existence is ascertained from the fact that his successor is retoured 'heir of John'.

This is probably the son of John Dunbar (I) (referred to in his testament) and brother of Patrick (II)

Register of Sasines
John Dunbar of Knockshinnoch 18 Sep 1602, 15 Feb 1604, 24 Jul 1605, 11 Dec 1605, 10 Jan 1606
John Dunbar brother of George Dunbar of Barmure 17 Dec 1602, 17 Sep 1606
Hugh Dunbar, brother of John Dunbar of Knockshinnoch 18 Sep 1602

IV. George Dunbar of Knockshinnoch (~1565~1628)
'was retoured in 1611, as " heir of John Dunbar of Knockschynoch, patris, in 20 solidatis terrarum
de Knokschynnoch antiqui extentus in baronia de Cumnock'. He had, however, succeeded his
father several years before this; for, in 1605 he had sasine of the lands of Pincloe from George
Craufuird of Schankistoun. He died in 1628. In his latterwill he appoints "Johne Dunbar, his sone
and appeirand air, to be his execr. and onlie Intror." "Item, I give and levis and ordanes my said
execr to Sara Dumbar, my eldest unprovydit dochter, Vic. mks. Item, to George Dunbar, my
secund sone, fyve hundrith punds, &c. Item, to Margaret Dunbar, my dochter and her spous, twa
ky, &C. And Finalle, I declair the foirsaid twa thousand mks, above namit, left to my said wyf
and bairnes, to be full satisfactioun and contentatioun of ye jajli, conteint in ye contract of
marriage maid betwixt me and my said spouse," &c'. (Paterson), Scottish Wills
George Dunbar of Knockshinnoch, parish of Cumnock 26 Aug 1628
George Dunbar of Knockshinnoch, parish of Cumnock 18 Oct 1632 (son of George ),

Register of Sasines
George Dunbar of Barmure 19 Aug 1602 - 6 Jan 1609
George Dunbar of Knockshinnoch 24 Jul 1605, 11 Dec 1605,10 Jan 1606 18 Jun 1621,
7 Aug 1628, 7 May 1629
George Dunbar, son of John Dunbar 18 Sep 1602 -24 Jul 1605
Marion Amiligane spouse of George Dunbar, son of John Dunbar of Knockshinnoch 18 Sep 1602,
Marion Amilgane spouse of George Dunbar of Knockshinnoch 24 Jul 1605, 11 Dec 1605, 18 June
1621, 7 Aug 1628
Patrick Dunbar, brother of George Dunbar of Knockshinnoch 12 Aug 1619, 15 Jan 1620

V. John Dunbar of Knockshinnoch (~1590~1655)

'succeeded his father . He is mentioned in the Presbytery Books of Ayr in 1645' (Paterson)

Register of Sasines
John Dunbar of Knockshinnoch 7 May 1629 8 May 1641 20 Jun 1642 8 Sep 1642 9 Oct 1655
John Dunbar of Knockshinnoch, younger 4 Sep 1642
John Dunbar of Barmure 12 Dec 1623
George Dunbar son of John Dunbar of Barmure 12 Dec 1623
Anne Cunyghame, spouse of John Dunbar of Knockshinnoch 7 May 1629, 18 May 1641
George Dunbar, brother of John Dunbar of Knockshinnoch 9 Oct 1655, 23 Oct 1655

VI. Hugh Dunbar of Knockshinnoch (~1614 ~1686)
'granted a precept of clare constat, with consent of Lord Crichton, to Hugh Douglas of Garrallane,
in 1676, of these lands.' (Paterson)

Register of Sasines
Hew Dunbar of Knockshinnoch 9 Oct 1655 23 Oct 1655 14 Dec 1655 8 Aug 1656
21 Feb 1657 16 Apr 1657

'The property was soon after acquired by ____ Logan, who married the widow of
Campbell of Wellwood.' (Paterson).
Descendants of John Dunbar

1 John DUNBAR of Knockshinnoch b: Abt. 1490 d:. c. 1551
2 dau DUNBAR
+William HAMILTON of Blantyrferm d: Bef. Oct 1580 Father: William Hamilton of Blantyrferm
2 Patrick DUNBAR of Knockshinnoch b: Abt. 1515 d: Aft. 1581
+Cristina CRAUFURD
3 Isabel DUNBAR
+Patrick HAMILTON d: 10 Mar 1593/4 Father: Patrick Hamilton of Bordland
3 John DUNBAR of Barmuir; of Knockshinnoch b: Abt. 1540 d: Bef. 1594
+Elizabeth HAMILTON d: Abt. 1574
4 George DUNBAR of Barmure; of Knockshinnoch b: Abt. 1565 d: Bef. Aug 1627
5 John DUNBAR of Knockshinnoch b: Abt. 1590
6 ?Hugh DUNBAR of Knockshinnoch b: Abt. 1614 d: Aft. 1686
+George CAMPBELL in Middle Welwood b: Abt. 1608
5 George DUNBAR b: Abt. 1595
+Cristen BOSWELL d: Bef. 1664
5 Margaret DUNBAR
4 Margaret DUNBAR
+Patrick CAMPBELL of Dalhannay b: Abt. 1575 d: May 1626
4 Elizabeth DUNBAR
+Hugh CAMPBELL of Bogcorroch b: Bef. 1603 d: Aft. 1642
4 Patrick DUNBAR b: Bef. 1619
3 Patrick DUNBAR b: Bef. 1594
3 Hugh DUNBAR b: Bef. 1605
2 ?George DUNBAR

Genealogical Table for the Dunbars of Knockshinnoch
by Stuart Clarkson
Barmure : The Stewards of Scotland granted their lands of Mauchline in Kyle Stewart to
Melrose Abbey in the late 12th century. Later , other landholders gifted their lands of
Barmure, Bargour and parts of the forest of the Ayr to the Abbey. 'In 1430, these Ayrshire
lands were created a regality, an area within which the abbot and monks had almost royal
powers over their own tenants, excluding the jurisdiction of the King's officers, such as the
sheriff.' (Margaret H. B. Sanderson 'The Mauchlines Account Books of Melrose Abbey 1527-
George Dunbar appears in the Account Books along with a number of other
Barmure tenants, listed for rent arrears, where Dunbar owed the Abbot of Melrose Abbey 4
14s 4d in money-rent. This George Dunbar is probably the brother, or possibly the son, of
John Knockshinnoch of Dunbar, the tenancy of this property appears to pass to the sons of
the Dunbars of Knockshinnoch. The present day farms of Barmuir and Barmuirhill are
found less than a mile to the east of Tarbolton and Fail.

The genealogical table shows no fewer than three Dunbar - Hamilton marriages, including
Hamilton of Bordland, or what is now Borland in the parish of Old Cumnock. There are
also three Dunbar-Campbell marriages, Campbell of Dalhanna and Bogcurroch (i.e.Boig) in
what is now the parish of New Cumnock and Wellwood, now in the parish of Muirkirk, but
then part of the parish of Mauchline. Other well known Ayrshire names appears as Dunbar
spouses, namely Craufurd, Cunningham and Boswell as well as the less common name
Amiligane, an early form of the name Miligan, showing the ancient British (or Welsh) style
Ap 'son of'.