The Corsock Neilsons: A Galloway Family
de Fergus Neilson
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Through seven or eight years involved in researching, writing and rewriting five volumes of family history I have unearthed uncountable cousins and ten family lines. The shortest family line commencing in the mid-1700s, with the longest going back into the 11th century. Antecedents from Scotland, Ireland, Wales and England, as well as from Germany, Norman and Huguenot France, the Channel Islands and Dutch New York. Royalty, nobility, establishment clergy and fundamentalist hill preachers, military men from generals to cashiered troopers, admirals and privateers, a Lord Chief Justice and a probationary constable drummed out of the Metropolitan Police for petty theft. This particular volume covers a family of Galloway Scots thought to be descended from the natural sons of Neil 2nd Earl of Carrick. They were documented owners of the Corsock estates in what is now Kirkudbrightshire from around 1440. A family drawn into religious conflict and insurrection through the Killing Times (1661-1688). Execution, fines, forfeitures and bad business decisions leading to the loss of estates in the mid-18th century. Some recovery of respectability and fortune in the 19th century and now a widespread family of cousins across four continents. This is as much a story of adventures in the serendipity trade as it is the telling of a single family history. Not necessarily aimed at historical exactitude, but at inspiring others to toss pebbles into the pond of coincidence and track the resulting ripples wherever they might lead.
Born in England. Lived in France, Scotland, Canada, Japan and Australia. Perennial student. Officer cadet in the RAF, merchant banker, ski lift operator, brewery executive, management consultant, private equity investor and now aspirant social network entrepreneur. Amateur genealogist, cyclist and ocean swimmer. Happily unmarried to Jan-Elizabeth Kennings.