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Auchmithie Families

Welcome to Auchmithie Families, the successor to Spink Ancestors.

This is a website about the Spink, Cargill, Swankie, Beattie and many other families originating in Auchmithie.

This version was first uploaded to the web in March 2014 and was moved to this web site in November 2015. This data will not be updated.

Comments and questions are welcomed. There is a topic on Auchmithie Roots called "Spink Ancestors website" in the "Just Blethering" section where comments and questions can be discussed and answered.

Auchmithie is a small village on the north-east coast of Scotland, roughly three miles from Arbroath.

Listed on the following pages are records of the various families originating in Auchmithie, mainly Spink, Cargill, Swankie, Beattie, Swan and Smith, from roughly 1600 to about 1900. These aren't records of everyone, just branches of the family trees that I've followed.

From the Aberdeen Journal 1896 : An English correspondent has been studying the ways and names of the fishermen electors in Arbroath. He declares that if a man fails to respond to the name of Swankie he will almost certainly be a Cargill or a Spink and if he is neither of these then he must be a Smith. Should a stranger happen to hit on the wrong one he will take no offence, but will say quite pleasantly that you must be thinking of his cousin. Individual members of the great family are more readily known by such lifelong titles as "Fechtin' Geordie', "Tammie Tak'-your-time", "Daintie Davie", "Laughing' Pete" etc.

From the Aberdeen Journal, December 1859: In the fishing village of Auchmithie, out of a population of 375 souls there are no fewer than 123 bearing the surname of Cargill! The remaining two-thirds of the population are mostly Swankie, Swan and Spink. The names of Beattie and Smith complete the list. Many of the Cargills are descended from John Cargill and Isobelle Bews, Isobelle died in 1743, their headstone is in the St Vigeans graveyard.

William Swankie and Margaret Lawson

Many people worldwide are descended from William Swankie and Margaret Lawson. William Swankie was born in Auchmithie in 1766 and died in Arbroath sometime after 1851. Margaret Lawson was born in Auchmithie and died between 1841 and 1851; she was registered in Arbroath on the 1841 census but died before the 1851 census. The newspaper article below shows how the descendants of William and Margaret multiplied.

From the Aberdeen Journal, 12th December 1860 :

ONE HUNDRED AND THIRTY EIGHT DESCENDANTS - In 1851, when the last census was taken, the population of the fishing village of Auchmithie, the "Musselcrag" of Sir Walter Scott's Antiquary was exactly 300; it is believed to be now about 370. As an instance of the large increase sometimes occurring in individual families, we give the following:- William Swankie, fisher, and Margaret Lawson were married in 1787, about seventy-three years ago. They had a numerous family, ten of whom grew up and married, and seven of them are at present alive. These ten have forty-two children still living, 134 grandchildren, and four great grandchildren; so that the descendants of William Swankie and Margaret Lawson alive at the moment number 187. They are all, with perhaps one exception, living in Auchmithie, or in Arbroath. How many of the 138 grandchildren of the above ten are unmarried we do not know, no doubt more than 100; and, making allowances for contingencies, that number (100) will in a few years be heads of families. Should the same rate of increase occur in their case, the descendants of William Swankie, about a century hence, will number 18,700, or as many as Arbroath at present contains.

This photo shows one of William Swankie’s great grandsons, Thomas Swankie, with his mother Jane Cargill, (wife of Daniel Swankie) and Thomas Swankie’s wife, Elizabeth Smith Spink.

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