Brian Barclay, my fourth cousin, was born in Loanhead, near Edinburgh, and emigrated with his parents to Canada in the 1960's, then moved on to the States. His wife, Connie, is interested in genealogy and got in touch with me after coming across the website whilst researching the Barclays. We have exchanged various pieces of information, and both considerably expanded our respective family trees. Some of the information on the Barclay link to the United States is given here below. Read on for the U.S.A. connection!

Brian, his sister and Connie at Edinburgh Castle William Hogg Barclay - Brian's grandfather Mary Hogg - Brian's great-grandmother

Brian is descended from David Barclay and Barbara Ness. David was the son of David Barclay and Margaret Ford, whose older son James (married Agnes Turner) my line descends from. Two of the farms where David Barclay worked whilst he and Margaret Ford were having their family are illustrated on the Barclay History page - Pitcairn (now a Ranger Station), and Bandon, which is still a working smallholding. Several of Brian's relatives still live in the Markinch and Glenrothes area. Brian's father William was from Leslie, and his mother from Markinch. Brian emigrated to Canada at the age of 12, with his parents, and from there to the United States. He has six brothers and sisters, 3 of whom live in Canada, and the other 3 in Arizona, U.S.A.

James and David's sister Jean married George Meldrum from Leslie in 1848, and emigrated to Utah, USA. More of this story lower down. David Barclay senior lost his wife Margaret Ford in 1833, and remarried a year or so later to a Jean Graham. Their son Michael also emigrated to the USA in 1878, with his wife Margaret Findlay and their 3 children. They also settled in Utah.

George Meldrum John Barclay Meldrum Jane Barclay

The picture on the left shows George Meldrum, the one on the right Jane Barclay, and in the centre is their second son, John Barclay Meldrum.

George Meldrum, of Markinch, mrried Jane Barclay, of Leslie, on 17th January 1848, in Jane's home parish. They became members of the Church of Latter Day Saints (Mormons) whilst living in Fife. On March 21st, 1860, together with their 5 sons, aged between 11 years and 4 months, they prepared to emigrate to America. On 30th March that year they set sail on the ship "Underwriter", whic arrived in New York 1st May 1860. From there they travelled by train to Florence, Nebraska, as far west as the rairoad ran at that time. They joined the 9th Handcart Company, and on June 1st set out on the 1,000 mile trek to Salt Lake City. The company consisted of 233 persons, 43 handcarts, 10 tents, 6 wagons and 38 oxen.

George and Jane pulled the handcart all the way, with the elder sons John, 11, and David, 8, walking all the way. They reached their destination safely on 27th August 1860, after many hardships. From Salt Lake City they moved 67 miles to Provo, Utah, and set up home there. George was a cobbler to trade, and set up business there. He bought several acres of land, and grew fruit trees, corn and potatoes. He also did missionary work for the LDS church, returning to Scotland in 1877 to preach in Glasgow and the Shetland Islands.

Jane died on 19th January 1903, and eventually George moved in with his son, George Jr., in Provo, spending the last 3 years of his life with his son. He died on 21st February 1917, of a stroke, at the respectable age of 86 years. The Meldrums left 9 children, 46 grand-children, and 5 great grandchildren. Many of their descendants still live in the area.

A drawing of the trek - George pulls the cart while Jane and the boys walk alongside.

Michael Barclay was born 29th August 1839 in Leslie, son of David Barclay and his second wife, Jean Graham. He married Margaret Finlay in 1873, in Glasgow, and they had 3 children before emigrating to the USA in September 1878. The family and their children, David Graham Findlay (7th May, 1874), Margaret Roxburgh Barclay (11th Jan, 1876) and Robina Finlay Barclay (8th Dec, 1877) arrived in the USA in September 1878, and reached Provo, Utah, in October of that year. After reaching Utah they had two other children, Michael Barclay born May 29, 1880, and Janie Graham Barclay b. Dec 26, 1882 in Provo, before Margaret died in 1883. Michael himself was injured in a work accident, and eventually became unable to look after the children, who were dispersed around the community.

His son Michael, born 29th May 1880 in Provo, had a fairly hard time, being hired out to a farmer who beat him regularly. He then worked for a sheep farmer, and in this way learned his trade. Working with the sheep farmers in the area, he earned enough to start up on his own. His father died in 1908, just before Michael married Effie Gardner on 3rd March 1909. They settled down in Spanish Fork, Utah, in 1910, and had 3 sons and two daughters. Effie died in 1942, and Michael remarried in 1949, to Rose Mortimer. He died in Arizona on 22nd December 1959.

Many of Michael's descendants still live in the area.