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The Rhinds of Arrochar (plus Huxtables & Hamiltons)

by David & John Gillon


The Rhinds in Arrochar. (with some links to the Huxtables and Hamiltons) by David and John Gillon sons of Sarah Huxtable Gillon (nee Rhind)

We have deliberately not included the details of any living members of the family. They are free to add their names if they wish. There are many Rhinds scattered across the country who are descendents of the Rhinds of Arrochar and we apologise in advance for any mistakes or omissions in this text. If you spot any please email us at

Blacks Surnames suggests that name Rhind was derived from the village of that name in the Kingdom of Fife. There are many Rhinds from central Scotland up to Inverness. Many of them were stonemasons and some became renown as sculptors, particularly in the Edinburgh area.

The Rhind direct association with Arrochar started in the early 1800's and ended in 2006 with the death of the writers' aunt Jane Martin Meechan Rhind aged 92. From the late 1800's the Rhinds were closely related to the Huxtables and Hamiltons and as a result the 3 surnames appear as a middle name for many of these family members. We have added some information about the Huxtables and Hamiltons at the end of these notes. Because the names Rhind and Huxtable are not common it is easy to trace these families and be sure that all the residents of Arrochar with those names are related, but there may be Hamiltons in Arrochar who are not related.

The main line of the Arrochar Rhinds runs from Alexander Rhind through his son Walter to the present day.

Alexander Rhind was born in 1788 at Tarbet, Argyll. His father William was a stonemason who came to Argyll from Dumbarton Castle in 1773 to work on the Argyll section of the Highland Roads and Bridges. Alexander was one of at least 11 children. The family moved around Argyllshire as William worked building various bridges and roads. Our best guess at the moment is that William was born 1746 in Prestonpans the son of William Rhind and Agnes Balk. The reason for this guess is that William junior called his first child Agnes which is not a common Rhind name. The family finally settled in the Strachur area. They were Freemasons, as well as stonemasons and blacksmiths. There are Rhind gravestones engraved with Masonic symbols.

Exactly when Alexander moved to Arrochar is not known but he married Janet MacFarlane at Ardentinnie in 1810. He was Blacksmith there and she was the daughter of a ferryman, Walter MacFarlane. With a name like McFarlane it would be reasonable to think Janet was from the Arrochar area, but the 1851 census lists her as born in Johnstone, Renfrewshire, about 1795. In turn Alexander and Janet had about 10 children. The birth and census records show that the family may have moved to Port Glasgow shortly after they married but moved to Arrochar within a couple of years.

From the birth of his eldest son William in 1814, and perhaps earlier, until his death at age 68 in 1857, Alexander lived at Tynaclach. We have a copy from the Scottish Records Office of a "Sasine" (lease?) between Sir James Colquhoun of Luss, Baronet, and Alexander "for the causes therein specified Sold Alienated and disowned and in feu farm let and Demitted", "All and Whole that portion of Ground consisting of one half acre and Twenty Perches - Imperial measure being part of the farm of Stronafyne in the parish of Arrochar", dated 1835. A feuduty of 5 pounds sterling per year with various interest penalties for late payment was set in the document. His wife Janet died in 1858. His occupation was shown on the census as blacksmith employing one man, his son Walter also listed as a blacksmith.

Alexander's children were: -
Catherine born 1811?, at Port Glasgow, later married Robert Govan (Gavin) and lived in Glasgow.
All the rest of the children were born at Arrochar.
William born 1814 appears to have moved to Falkirk
Janet born 1815. Died in Glasgow in 1859 and was single. Her brother Martin signed the death certificate.
Agnes born 1817 later married John McDougald of Arrochar but lived in Glasgow.
Walter born 1820 see below.
Isobel born 1823. In 1845 married Thomas Barrett (Burrett) and lived in Glasgow.
Helen born 1825. In 1847 married Peter Campbell and lived in Arrochar.
Martin born 1829. In ? married Helen McPhail and lived in Glasgow. Died in Glasgow 1900. Had son Martin at Arrochar in 1868 but he died in 1895 in Glasgow. He was single and a carter. He died in some sort of accident.
Alexander born 1831, died young.
Mary born 1833. She had a son James Rhind in 1856 at Tynaclach, who lived with his uncle John and Agnes McDougall (her sister) in Glasgow. She married a widower Robert Muirhead in 1861 and lived in Glasgow but unfortunately died in 1868.
Alexander born 1839 later married Mary Ging and lived at Kilmarnock.

Walter continued the family association with Arrochar. In 1843 he fathered a son John Rhind with Mary MacFarlane. John at age 7 is listed in the census as living with his grandparents Alex and Mary MacFarlane at Inverchullin.

In 1851 Walter married Sarah McNicol of Glen Orchy. and had at least 6 boys and 3 girls. In the 1850's they moved to Glasgow, then about 1860 they moved to "Fiolin Reach", Lochgoilhead but sometime in the 1860's they moved back to Ballyhennan on the Tarbet road. Walter died in 1886 at Upper Ballyhennan. After Walter's death Sarah lived at first with her unmarried son Alexander at Ballyhennan but later moved to Tighloan, Tarbet. Sarah died in 1909 aged 76. her address is given as Tynaclach.

Walter's children
John born 1843 to Mary McFarlane. Married 1868 at Arrochar to Catherine Hunter. His usual address on the marriage certificate is Prince Consort, steamer, Loch Lomond. They had a daughter Christine in 1868 at Arrochar. John lived with the MacFarlanes into the 1870's but what happened to his wife and daughter is unknown. John himself was a seaman and the last we can find of him is as Mate of the ship Merlin in Larne harbour in the 1891 census, age 45, where he is still listed as married.

Catherine RhindAlexander born 1851 at Glenorchy. In early 1870's worked for his uncle James McNicol blacksmith at Glenorchy. Fathered John McNicol Rhind with Margaret Anderson in 1877 at Glenorchy. We have no further information about John or Margaret at the moment. Alex returned to Ballyhennan between 1881 and 1891 to live with his Mother. He was a blacksmith. In the 1891 census he and his mother are listed as bilingual, Gaelic and English. He died in 1900 at Tarbet and his death certificate states he was single.

John born 1853? in Glasgow. Died 1875 of a fever lasting 20 days. He was single and working as a shepherd near Kirkintilloch.

Walter born 1855 in Partick. We have no information about him after the 1871 census.
Malcolm born 1858 at Lochgoilhead. Died 1864 age 6 at Upper Inveruglas.
Janet (Jessie) born 1859 at Lochgoilhead. Married William McIntosh (widower) in 1894 in Glasgow. He worked at Inversnaid Hotel as a gardener or coachman. She died aged 81 in 1940 in Arrochar.Catherine Rhind

Catherine born 1861 at Coilessan, West Loch Longside. In 1884 she had a son Allan Rhind while working as a domestic servant in Glasgow. Allan's name was changed to Malcolm a year later. In 1891 she was living with her mother and brother at Ballyhennan. In 1900 she had a second son Thomas Huxtable Rhind while working as a laundress in Edinburgh and again in the 1901 census she was living with her mother but this time at Tighloan, Tarbet. She is listed as bilingual, Gaelic and English. There are more notes on Malcolm and Thomas below. In 1919 she married Henry Pannell skilled operator at the Range (widower). They both were living at Tighnaclach. She died in 1932 age 71 at Chestnut Cottage, Arrochar.

Sarah McNicol Rhind born 1866 at Upper Ballyhennan. In 1893 married Thomas Huxtable in Edinburgh. see notes on Huxtables below. She died in Arrochar in 1942 age 76. (click here to see the gravestone).
Twins Martin and Malcolm born 1868 at Upper Ballyhennan.
Martin's name was changed to James. In 1891 he was working (and living with) as a hammerman for his brother Alexander the blacksmith at Ballyhennan. In 1897 he married Jeanie Colville and they moved to Cowdenbeath then Kinross as a coachman. He died in Kinross in 1936. He had Walter Alexander born 1900, died 1968, Robert John 1906, and Janet McNicol 1910.

Malcolm McNicolMalcolm McNicol Rhind born 1868 at Ballyhennan. In 1901 age 32 (coachman) he married Janet Addison Paterson in Fife and was living in Dunfermline. Don't know exactly when he returned to Arrochar but his son Walter was married in Arrochar in 1930 and was a labourer at the range. His son David Walter was born in Arrochar in 1939 but moved back to Fifeshire. Malcolm died 1947 aged 78 at Kirkfield Place, Arrochar. His wife died the same year in Fife. (click here to see the gravestone).

Malcomh and janet RhindMalcolm (Cally) and Thomas (Tam) Huxtable Rhind, sons of Catherine Rhind.
Cally was born in Glasgow in 1886. In the 1891 census he was with his mother at Ballyhennan. After that We have temporarily lost trace of him, until he was married in 1913 (age 30?) to Janet Hamilton, His address is shown as Tynaclach and his occupation as labourer at the range.

Their first daughter, Jane Martin Meechan Rhind was born in 1914 at Tynaclach, and died 2006 at Cobbler View. She was named after her grandmother Jane Meechan (Michan), wife of her mother's father, James Hamilton.

Cally enlisted and there his confusion over his war service as he is believed to have used his father's name. Many of the First World War records were destroyed in the WW2 biltz of the UK, and we have so far not been able to find his service records. We know he did serve in the Black Watch and was wounded early on receiving shrapnel in his back. He may also have had some connection with the Fife and Forfar yeomanry, which was a mounted unit, but was absorbed into the Black Watch at the start of WW1.

Their second daughter, Catherine was born 1917 at High Kirkfield, and died in 1971 at Cobbler View. It is interesting that her birth was registered by her father who was shown as a charge hand at the range and had presumably been invalided out of the Black Watch by that time.
Sarah Huxtable born 1920 at High Kirkfield. Sarah RhindDied 1986 at Clarkston, Glasgow. The writers' mother.
Jamesina Hamilton born 1923 at Kirkfield. Died 1997 at Cobbler View
Alexander born 1927 at the Admiralty Cottages. Died 1971 in Johannesburg, South Africa.

By this time Cally was a charge hand at the range.

During the Second World War Cally was in the Home Guard, Sandy (click here for further info on Sandy) in the Home Guard and later the Merchant Navy, Jean served in the ATS, Sarah (Sally) also served in the ATS, Catherine (Kit) served in the RAF as a nurse and at the end of the war was stationed for a time in Egypt and Ina in the ATS.

Cally died in 1949 at the Admiralty Cottages, age 64. His wife Janet (nee Hamilton) died in 1966 at Cobbler View, age 83.

Tam was born in Edinburgh in 1900. His middle name was Huxtable. His mother was working as a laundress at the time. Her sister, Sarah, had married Thomas Huxtable and was living in Edinburgh at that time. Tam is listed in the 1901 census living at Tynloan with his mother. He was too young for active service in WW1 but joined the Argylls in 1918 and served in India. He gave his occupation as shepherd when he enlisted. After his discharge in 1922 he married Hannah Gardner in 1925 at Bonhill. He was 25 and a Railway surfaceman. His usual address was given as Chestnut Cottage, Arrochar, which was his mother's address. Later he lived with his wife in Lochgoilhead. During WW2 Tam served in the Home Guard and received a commendation for his service. On enlisting in the Home Guard he gave his address as High Glencroe, but sometime during the war he moved to Mountview, Lochgoilhead. Unfortunately their only child Janetta died in 1958 at "Planetree" Lochgoilhead aged 32. Tam and his wife continued to live in Lochgoilhead until she died in 1963, age 70, and he died in 1978 at age 78.

Here are some recollections of our mother Sally Gillon (nee Sarah Huxtable Rhind) about her father Malcolm "Cally" Rhind. As a child she could Sarah Rhind - to Mother with loveremember Cally having to go the doctor to have small pieces of shrapnel removed from his back from wounds received during the first World War. Occasionally the shrapnel would appear just under the skin from deeper down and the doctor would cut them out. She remembered him building his own wooden dinghy so he could set a fishing net in the loch and remembered seeing dolphins in the loch.Lance Corporal Sarah Rhind front 3rd from left
While working on the Peggy, the range torpedo recovery vessel one day his wage packet dropped out of his pocket and over the side. Presumably it contained coins as it sank to the bottom. Fortunately a diver working on the Peggy was able to recover it for him. When he retired his colleagues presented him with a model of the Peggy in a glass case which they had made themselves. It is still in our possession. When he died his colleagues from the range all attended the funeral. We believe they were refused time off because of an Admiralty Inspection of the range but they all went anyway.
She also recalled when Tam lived in Glencroe, he woke late one winter morning puzzled why it was so dark so late until he tried to go outside only to find snow drifted over the top of the door and windows.

After Cally's wife Janet (nee Hamilton) died in 1966 only our 3 maiden aunts (Kit, Ina and Jean) remained of the Rhinds living in Arrochar. Jean was the last survivor, dying in 2006.

The Huxtables

The first trace we have of the Huxtables is in the Scottish census of 1881 in Edinburgh. They may be a Yorkshire Family. Thomas Huxtable (senior) the son of a shoemaker Arthur Huxtable was born in England, as were Thomas (junior) and Caroline, although his wife Mary Carracher (or Kirracher) was born in Edinburgh. When he died in 1918 Thomas senior's death certificate shows him as an army pensioner having served as a private in the 1st. Dragoon Guards. He is shown in the census as a stableman.

I am not sure exactly how many children he had but have found:-

Caroline born Yorkshire 1860? Married John Campbell 1888. Died at Arrochar in 1944 age 84.
Thomas born England 1864? Married Sarah McNicol Rhind in 1893. See below.
Alice born 1866, died 1938 age 72 in Edinburgh.
Mary born England 1869
Leonora born Ireland 1875, died 1948 age 75 in Edinburgh.
Ernest born South Leith 1883.

I assume the family moved around because Thomas senior was still in the army prior to 1880. Thomas junior served his apprenticeship as a saddler in Edinburgh.

The connection between the Rhinds and Huxtables started in the late 1880's early 1890's. Caroline Huxtable was working at the Tarbet hotel and married John Campbell of Tarbet. It is believed Thomas Huxtable (junior), her brother visited her at Tarbet and met Sarah McNicol Rhind (the daughter of Walter and Sarah Rhind) and later married her in 1893 in Edinburgh.

Thomas junior and Sarah's first child Sarah McNicol Huxtable was born in 1894 but unfortunately died the same year. In 1897 Sarah McNicol Rhind Huxtable was born in Edinburgh Then followed:-

Mamie born 1898? in India?
Leonora born 1899 in Colchester Barracks? Died in 1980 at Arrochar
Alexander born 1905 Dublin. Married Hannah Monaghan (1908-1986). Died 1973 at Arrochar. They had 3 children in the 1930's but unfortunately Edward died as a baby. Alexander was a skilled labourer at the range.

From family history we believe Thomas junior was also in the Lancers (6th and 17th) and travelled while serving hence the children all being born in different countries. There is a medal card at the National Archives, Kew, for a Thomas Huxtable in the Tank Corps, which may be his as the lancers all became mechanised regiments. Thomas died in the Victoria Infirmary, Glasgow in 1928. He was living at Tighness and was a jobbing gardener. His wife Sarah died in 1942 at Kirkfield Place, but her usual residence is given as Chestnut Cottage on the death certificate.

Thomas' wife Sarah provides the link with the Rhinds and his daughter Sarah the link to the Hamiltons. In 1924 Sarah McNicol Rhind Huxtable married Charles Stewart Hamilton. Charles died in 1958 and Sarah in 1973 in Arrochar. Their children and descendents are still in Arrochar, England and Australia.

See also

The Hamiltons

James Hamilton senior (son of Robert Hamilton and Margaret McDonald) came to Scotland from Ireland sometime in the 1830's. His wife Janet Cassidy's family came from Antrim. He was a road labourer living at Kilervan. Killirvan (there are various spellings) was an estate of the Duke of Argyll's, a couple miles east of Macrahanish in Kintyre. Trodigal east and west are in the same area. There were coal diggings at Trodigal and the coal was carried to Campbeltown on the light railway.

From the census we know they had at least 6 children, James junior, Janet, Margaret, Donald, Daniel and Mary born during the 1850's. James senior died in 1864 aged 55 of typhus fever, and Janet in 1874 aged 64. The descendents of their children still live in the Campbelltown area.

James junior was born about 1839 in the parish of Southend. In 1871 he married Jane Michan (Meechan) whose family were fisherman from Ireland. Her parents were William Michan and Catherine (or Mary-Ann) Stewart. Stewart and Meechan have been carried down as a middle name in several generations.

They had a large family, Kate, William, Robert Daniel, Janet, Charles, James and ?. their descendents are still in the Campbeltown area.

Janet provides the link to the Rhinds. She was born in 1882 in Campbeltown. In 1913 she married Malcolm Rhind at Arrochar. Between 1901 and 1913 we believe Janet worked for a time as a housekeeper in Ballachulish. P.J.Cronin, the author, is said to have met her there and used her as the model for Janet the housekeeper in his famous novel Doctor Finlay's casebook.

Charles provides the link to the Huxtables. He was born in 1888 in Campbeltown and married Sarah McNicol Rhind Huxtable in 1924 at Arrochar. I assume he followed his sister Janet to Arrochar. His occupation is given as Labourer at the range. Charles died in 1956, and Sarah in 1973. She was known as Aunt Cissie to our branch of the Rhinds. Their children and descendents are still in Arrochar, England and Australia.

Ian Hamilton told the writer that when he was very young he and his mother buried his grandfather's lancer's sabre and breastplate on the shore to avoid a family argument over who should have them. Unfortunately the they forgot the exact spot and they have never been found.

The Rhind/Huxtable/Hamilton relationship: -

Catherine Rhind sister to Sarah McNicol Rhind who married Thomas Huxtable. Catherine's son Malcolm Rhind married Janet Hamilton whose brother Charles married Sarah McNicol Rhind Huxtable (Thomas and Sarah's daughter).