New Query - Can anyone help me with a place-name in Aberdeenshire, Scotland (1880s)?

+3 votes

Going by the handwriting of the transcription of the marriage certificate I have, the groom's place of birth appears to be "Potcandlick" Aberdeenshire; but my search-fu seems to be on vacation and I cannot find any such place.

Does anyone know what the place might be if not "Potcandlick"?  The groorm's father was a Crofter.

The above question was answered satisfactorily.  The new question is below and does NOT apply to the McConnachie profile as linked. 

WikiTree profile: Alec McConnachie
in Genealogy Help by Melanie Paul G2G6 Pilot (280k points)
edited by Melanie Paul

Rather than create a new thread for a very similar question, I'm bumping one of my earlier asks because this is also in Aberdeenshire.

I'm trying to decipher handwriting on a birth record.  I have most of what I need from the three registrations on the page, but this one thing is eluding me .. something of(?) Castle.  It looks like "Hill of Castle", but I didn't find such a place name.  I found the Parish ok.  I found the neighbouring Parish ok.  I found the place within the neighbouring parish ok.  It's just this "Castle" place that eludes me.

Can anyone decipher it better than I've so far managed?  I cropped the image (because it's huge) and included samples of the handwriting from the page, as well as the bit that is troubling me.

5 Answers

+10 votes
Best answer
It is Pitandlich, Towie. His birh record is on Scotlandspeople if you want to check it out.
by Lynda Crackett G2G6 Pilot (630k points)
selected by C. Mackinnon
Well done Lynda!

 was just coming back to say “wick” at the end of a place name is farm/place/village.

Ps. Sorry I went to give you an up vote and it registered a down vote, which you definitely don’t deserve.

Thanks for the info.  I registered so I could see search results, but I still hit a paywall where they want English money for me to see anything that might actually be helpful.

Thanks everyone.  smileyyes

I think I'll simply shelve this one. frown

In going back to google (because I'm a sucker who hates to admit defeat), I found a thing that says your "Pitandlich" used to be "Pitcandlich", which I can accept being transcribed to read "Pitcandlick".  (Being that my guy was pre-1892, when that change seems to have taken place.)

I think I can call this solved.  yes

Again, thank you everyone who helped!  Much  heart

C. Thanks for the best answer star.

Worth investing in a few credits if you are planning to do any serious Scottish research Melanie. If you need to view images it is pretty much your only option unless you want to take a trip to Edinburgh smiley

I would LOVE to visit the lands (plural) of my foremothers and forefathers.  It has long been a dream.  However, my husband died 6 months ago and I have no idea what my future holds.

So I sit and do family tree stuff in order to stay sane.  cheeky

I'm not sure how heavily I shall need to delve into the Scots side of things, as currently I have scads of the Aussies left to add.  The main reason I was doing Uncle Alec at this point was because I added his second wife and she looked lonely.  wink

(I have at least two other Scottish branches to deal with, eventually, McCrea and Gordon, but even there I have scads of their Aussie offspring to fit in.)

My condolences on your loss. You have chosen a good pastime to preserve your sanity, although it will on occasions drive you crazy too.

It has been driving me crazy on and off for 30-plus years!  (Hence emy comment earlier about a mental file.) 


Also, please don’t forget about Scotland’s Places

So much to browse and learn about the parishes within Scotland and all for free!  


Thanks for those links.  yes

They may come in handy with the other Scottish branches .. when I get to them.  smiley

Just to add spice, the current name of this place appears to be "Pitcandlich" WITH the "c", according to the British Ordnance Survey. Here's the relevant map (with apologies if the link doesn't work for those outside the UK...),+Aberdeenshire+[Town]&searchp=ids.srf&mapp=map.srf

@ Lynda Crackett


Just wanted to say .. your answer, back when it was given, led me to use Scotland's People a lot.  So much so, I have been able to help others because I have become reasonably familiar with "how to".  So, thank you. :)

+1 vote

In Aberdeenshire Ordinance survey place names 1865-1871.
by Marion Poole G2G Astronaut (1.1m points)

It doesn't look to be that.  I've photographed the transcription and uploaded it here ]

+1 vote
Well, the transcription does say "Potcandlick ", but I would start by looking for Portland, Wick. It is a shame we can't look at the original as it could easily have been mis-transcribed.
by Joe Farler G2G6 Pilot (116k points)

Mis-transcribings are the bane of my life! cheeky

Uh, where's "Wick"?

The thing also definitely says (as did his children) that he was from Aberdeenshire, so if "Wick" is someplace else, that won't work either..

I guess that will have to do for the profile, for now, anyway.  I have the image on there now, so anyone coming after me will at least have a starting point.  (If I were in Aus, I'd look up his kids/grandkids and ask them, but I'm not, so I can't.)
Wick is a town in Caithness (Scotland).  So the marriage certificate may be naming a village near Wick.
+2 votes
Hi Melanie,   here's a link to historical maps of Aberdeenshire.   Good luck with your search.
by Maria Maxwell G2G6 Pilot (163k points)

Thanks for the link, Maria — and thanks everyone else for the help.

I may end up sticking this one in the same "I dunno what this is" file in the back of my brain where I have a first name transcribed as "Overin" (another Scottish forebear's child).  I'm starting to think people didn't listen to accents then any more than they do now.  (My one gr-grandfather was of Swedish extraction and supposedly had a thick accent despite having been born in Liverpool.  Oh, wait, mix Liverpool with Swedish and maybe you could confuse "Halley" and "Harry", or "Sorel" with "Cyril".  *sigh*)  smiley

Oh the joys of genealogy !!
+1 vote

Hi! I don't know if you've already solved your second question, but it looks as if "Hill of Castle" is correct -- although the name is usually written as "Castlehill".  The location still appears on detailed maps of the area, about 1 mile west of Cuminestown.

The website provides this description, written around 1870:

  • CASTLEHILL: This name applies to four crofts situated on trace 3, and 1 do. [croft] on trace 6. Deriving this name from the land having been formerly the moorland, or hill pasture, attached to the farm of Castle of Auchry. The property of the Earl of Fife.

It may or may not be relevant to you, but I found this detailed account of a SHIRRAN family that lived around Hill of Castle / Castlehill:

I hope this helps!

by Sandy Lawrie G2G Rookie (230 points)

Thank you for your answer, Sandy, I had not. 

I went with Monquhitter, Aberdeenshire, Scotland as that was the part I was sure of, leaving out the "of Castle" bit. 

(My lady was not labelled with the softer "natural" of earlier times, but with the harsher "illegitimate", so I wanted everything else to be as accurate as possible.)

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