The story so far (Nov 2015)

The following is copied from the link below, courtesy of West Dunbartonshire Council Libraries and Cultural Services

“Shipbuilding was brought to Bowling by the Port Glasgow shipbuilder William McGill when in 1790 he constructed the 81-ton brig BROTHERS at the canal dry dock. William McGill returned to Bowling in 1800 along with his brother Thomas and rented the dry dock for £25 a year. Thomas McGill’s sons carried on the business until 1846 when the dry dock was removed, the canal basin enlarged and the bay transformed into a safe harbour. The largest of the 44 vessels to be built there was the 250-ton barque BOWLING in 1842. In May 1851 James Scott, then aged 21, along with the McGill brothers, David and Thomas, set up the firm Scott & McGill on ground owned by Scott’s family at the other end of the harbour, adjacent to Frisky Hall. Their first contract was for a new hand operated wooden ferry at Erskine for Lord Blantyre that could take 4 loaded carts. In 1875 wooden hulls gave way first to iron vessels and then all steel by 1894, when the firm became Scott & Sons. Almost 500 vessels later, the shipyard closed in 1979, and the site cleared some years later.”

My interpretation of the above note pretty much concurs with my family tree chart for the McGills.

The third William in the tree, 1746 – 1817, is likely to be the shipbuilder from Port Glasgow who built the brig “Brothers” in Bowling. While he obviously did return to Bowling, as he died there in 1817, I think it more likely that it was his two sons William (born 1778) and Thomas (born 1771) who continued to build ships and this was perpetuated by Thomas’ two sons David (born 1804) and Thomas (born1814) and, as referred to above, they joined with James Scott (see the Scott tree chart) to form the business of Scott & McGill.

Click here to open a family chart for the McGills in a new window.

In Old Kilpatrick graveyard there are a number of graves for members of the McGill family featured on the tree. Each paragraph represents the inscription on one headstone.

Thomas Macgill 26.10.1829 age 58, wife Jean Scott 13.1.1852 age 73, son James 25.3.1851 age 45

David McGill 17.8.1883 aged 78 [or79], wife Janet Wilson 21.12.1861 age 45, children: Jane McGill 8.1834 age 6 months, Janet McGill .6.1842 age 6, Agnes McGill.2.1857 age 2, Margaret McGill .1.1871 age 36

Thomas McGill 17.2.1882 age 67, wife Jean Scott 30.10.1849 age 31, daughter Jane 1.7.1845 age15 months, second wife Janet Wilson 5.1.1891 age 78, Margaret 7.10.1909 age 67 (wife of John Macrae late HM Customs), Robert 18.5.1914 age 60 (wife Marin McKinley 2.2.1933)

David Macgill 25.2.1918.

Source: Monumental Inscriptions JF & S Mitchell

If you would like a family tree in diagram form, please contact me with the name of the family in which you are interested and I will send you the tree.