Andrew Thomson was baptized on 5 Feb 1713 in Westerkirk, Dumfries, Scotland. He married Jannet Scott on 22 Aug 1746 in Westerkirk. They had eight children and their youngest was our direct ancestor David.
Andrew was a tenant farmer and a stonemason. He was the principal tradesman during the building of the picturesque hump-backed three-arch bridge over the Esk River near the church in Westerkirk in 1735.
Andrew was made an Elder of Westerkirk Church (Church of Scotland) in 1754. In calling itself a Presbyterian Church, the Church of Scotland declared itself to be a Church governed by elders. The minister is understood theologically to be an elder with a special task. The minister is styled as a "teaching elder", the other members of Kirk Session are known as "ruling elders". All elders are ordained by the laying on of hands. A ruling elder is ordained by the minister and Kirk Session of the parish, and is answerable to the Kirk Session. Like a minister, an elder is ordained for life.
Elders are understood to have pastoral responsibilities, which they carry out under the guidance of the minister. Usually a parish will be divided into elder’s districts, and the elders are expected to visit the church members resident in their district on a regular basis. Elders also often assist the minister in the distribution of the elements at a formal Communion Service.
All elders are members of the Kirk Session. In Andrew’s time, the Kirk session dealt with moral issues, minor criminal cases, matters of the poor and education, matters of discipline, and the general concerns of the parish.
In 1780, the family moved to Bonese, or Boonees, Dumfries which is just across the burn from Westerkirk Church and Manse, but still in the parish of Westerkirk.
Andrew is buried in Bentpath cemetery, Westerkirk Churchyard. The inscription reads: "In memory of John Thomson son to Andrew Thomson in Netherknock who died 24th June 1776 aged 22 years. Also Richard Thomson son of the said Andrew Thomson who died 24th November 1776 aged 16 years. Also Andrew Thomson in Netherknock died December 21st 1792 aged 80 years. Also Janet Scott his spouse who died February 22nd 1802 aged 85 years."
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