Family Crest from South Ayrshire
By Gloria Girvan Akin
This project is dedicated to:
- John McKinley Girvan (1920-?), son of David Girvan from whom he heard intriguing stories as a child about his paternal grand parents and his great grand father, John Girvan #1 (1798-1878). These stories never left him and in his later years they prompted him to get further information, first in Jamaica, then in Scotland. He made several trips, met many ‘cousins’, in particular a Robert Girvan from Maybole, who had himself kept up on the history of the Girvans. John McKinley Girvan gleaned much information not only from him (Robert), but from family members and friends made while in Maybole. John McKinley Girvan even started a travel agency there. In Jamaica he continued the research, went to the archives and obtained further information which confirmed, in detail, the basics of this work.
- To Clarissa Evans, a cousin who expanded John’s information on the Girvan family. A lady with with a phenomenal memory, she not only gave the stories to her children and grandchildren, but also graciously and generously shared information with John McKinley Girvan and gave Gloria Girvan Akin notes. Clarissa did not confine her knowledge to the Girvan beginnings but recounted in detail and wrote down information on all her children and their spouses.
- To my sister, Edna Dewdney (dates) and cousin, Marie Leon for their memories, background knowledge and information which helped so much in confirming, adding to and clarifying elements of this project.
- To Inga Hunter, Australia, who ‘literally’ discovered her Jamaican cousins with the help of her husband while on a trip to England. Curious as to whether there were still Girvans in Jamaica, she chose Norman Girvan’s name from the telephone book and immediately contacted him. The rest, as they say is history. Inga’s chart of dates and information on her Girvan family through William, John #1 and Thomas’ younger brother, was most helpful in bringing these three lines together.
- To Madge Gossett, daughter of Clarissa Evans who eagerly shared any information that she had with us and for her endeavors to find out information on Estrina Strachan, mother of Jane Thom, and for her encouragement.
- To Anne Girvan, wife of John Thom Mckinley Girvan who presented us with the accumulated research, thus helping us launch this project.
- To sisters, nephews, nieces, sons and cousins who made significant contributions and who encouraged us to complete this task. Without their enthusiasm this could never have come to fruition, this project would never have been completed.
Gloria Girvan Akin
The next triptych of posts will appear Sunday, Jan. 18 and will feature Gloria’s narratives of John, Thomas and William Girvan who emigrated to Jamaica from Scotland in 1825.