By Richard Gwynallen

Anne Allan
1729 – ?
George Ogilvie
1715 – 1795
Relationship to Fawn: 7th great-aunt and uncle-by-marriage

In Anne Allan – A Banffshire Allan-Ogilvie Connection I introduced Anne Allan and her husband George Ogilvie.  In that essay I showed that they were married on 23 July 1748 in Anne’s home town of Fordyce, Banffshire, Scotland.  We also found that they were living in Bankhead at the time their son, David, was baptized in June 1763 in Boyndie, most likely at the old Boyndie Parish Church.  There was another indication that they raised cattle.  Each of these were documented in different ways.

However, at the time, I followed an undocumented lead that the Bankhead where they were located was in Midmar in Abderdeenshire.  Just recently, I was contacted by Craig Smith who is researching his Ross ancestors that farmed the Bankhead in Midmar.  He shared information he found on other Bankhead locations closer to Boyndie that he felt were better chances for having been the location of my Allan-Ogilvie ancestors.  After my communication with Craig, and some further research of my own, I have come to the same conclusion.  I’m very grateful for Craig’s help.  It is a wonderful show of how we need each other’s fresh eyes and good ideas, and together we come closer to the truth.

That said, what do I think I now know about where Anne and George lived?

Locating the Land

We still lack any deed, or contract showing tenancy, but I believe it is likely that Bankhead Farm southwest of Boyndie was the Allan-Ogilvie farm.


There are numerous references to the farm and small farming community of Bankhead:

Gen UK online shows Bankhead at NJ606616 on the grid of the OS Explorer sheet 425.

An online publication, Farms on Parish Borders in Banff lists a farm called Bankhead in their 1876 list.

Proceedings of the Society of Antiquaries of ScotlandProceedings of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland (Volume 40, p. 172) for February 12, 1906 identifies Bankhead Farm as 2 1/2 miles southwest of Boyndie Church and one-half mile east of the Burn of Boyndie.  The publication was discussing the remains of a stone circle called St Brandan’s Stones. The stones are identified as being at the southern end of a long strip of fir trees that border Bankhead Farm on the northern end of the fir strip.

The Burn of Boyndie is the boundary between the parishes of Boyndie and Fordyce.

Burn of Boyndie

The Burn of Boyndie coursing through farm land

The Gazetteer of Scotland shows the Burn of Boyndie as rising 250 feet at Bankhead. (A historical perspective, drawn from the Ordnance Gazetteer of Scotland: A Survey of Scottish Topography, Statistical, Biographical and Historical, edited by Francis H. Groome and originally published in parts by Thomas C. Jack, Grange Publishing Works, Edinburgh between 1882 and 1885)


Indications of Ogilvie Residence on the Land

The likelihood of this location being Anne and George’s Bankhead home is strengthened because Bankhead Farm seems to have been in Ogilvie hands for many generations before Anne and George are identified as resident at Bankhead in the Bonydie Old Parish Register when their daughter, Anne’s, baptism is recorded for “28 JULY 1757 GEORGE OGILVIE in Bankhead had a Child baptized procreate twixt him & his Spouse ANNE ALLAN Called ANNE. Anne Ogilvie in Boghead & Anne Brebner in Portsoy Witnesses. [Boyndie OPR, Vol.1 p.127a].”

In Calendar of State Papers, Domestic Series, of the Reign of Charles II (Volume 11 – edited by Mary Anne Everett Green, Francis Henry Blackburne Daniell) we find that a warrant for a charter of new infeftment was given to Walter Ogilvy of Bankhead for lands in the parish of Fordyce in Banffshire on 24 April 1671.  Infeftment is the symbolic bestowing of heritable land on a person.

The following are a sample of documents indicating an Ogilvie presence on the land after Anne and George’s time, including one that speaks to a very long Ogilvie relationship to the land.

BankheadBanff1841CensusThe 1841 Scotland Census shows a George Ogilvie, born about 1811, living at Bankhead as a farmer.  His father appears to be John born about 1781 and is living with him when the 1841 was taken. records indicate that John’s father might be a William Ogilvie.

History of the Highland and Agricultural Society of Scotland by Alexander Ramsay, in the “Appendix – Awards at District Competitions, Bulls & Heifers, 1790 – 1847, shows that a George Ogilvie of Bankhead won first prize for his bull (p. 571) in 1845.

The Farmer’s Magazine shows an Ogilvie of Bankhead winning prizes at the agricultural show for his horses and pigs on 12 July 1870.

Lastly, a tombstone in the Boyndie church yard also places an Ogilvie at Bankhead in 1875, Boyndie Old Churchyard Cemeteryand that they had farmed the land upwards of 200 years:

“(288) Affection’s tribute to the memory of Elspet Ross, beloved wife of George Ogilvie, late farmer, Bank- head, who died in Buckie 29th Novr. 1875, aged 80 years; also, her descendants–Ann Rudiman Ogilvie Hutchison, who died 2nd Novr. 1877, aged 4 years, and Gilbert Robertson Hutchison, who died 17th November 1877, aged 3 months; beloved children of J. Hutchison, J.P., Buckie. ‘Mamma’s wee lambs.’ Burial Ground of the Ogilvie’s, upwards of 200 years farmers, Bankhead, and of John Hutchison, J.P., Buckie.”

Anne & George’s Children

I’ve identified with certainty six children of Anne and George: George, William, Anne, Margaret, David, and Lillias.  They were all born between 1751 and 1768.

Their first two children, George and William, were baptized in Fordyce.  The rest of the children were baptized in Boyndie.  The first of the Boyndie children was Anne, who was born in 1757.  It seems likely that Anne and George had relocated from Fordyce to Bankhead in Boyndie parish, about six miles from the town and church of Boyndie, between William’s birth in 1755 and Anne’s birth in 1757.

The Ogilvies listed above as living at Bankhead after Anne and George may or may not be descendants of Anne and George.  I have not yet made a concrete connection between any of Anne and George’s children and these later Ogilvies.  Is William, the apparent grandfather of the George Ogilvie listed in the 1841 census, the William born to Anne and George in 1755?  There are also indications that at least some of Anne and George’s descendants emigrated to South Africa by 1850.  Even if Anne and George’s children took the farm, whether by inheritance or a new tenancy agreement, they could have moved on to other occupations and locations and the land pass to the possession of other Ogilvies.

Hopefully I will be able to offer more later as to whether or not Anne and George’s descendants remained on the land, but for now I think we have identified the likely location of their farm.