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Scottish Place Names

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  • Julie Stackable
    ... Rowenside Hills ... Anybody out there have this? I m dying to know if these places existed in period. They are only about 3km outside of Ardrossan and are
    Message 1 of 9 , Dec 27, 2001
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      > > >Does anyone on this list have one of those
      > books
      > > >on etymology of placenames? I'm trying to
      > figure
      > > >out if two places in Scotland existed in
      > period -
      > >[snip]
      > > I'm
      > > >looking into Rowanside Burn and the
      Rowenside Hills
      > What is really needed is
      >
      > Johnston, James B. Place-Names of Scotland. 3rd
      > ed. East Ardsley,
      > England: S. R. Publishers, 1970.
      Anybody out there have this? I'm dying to know if
      these places existed in period. They are only
      about 3km outside of Ardrossan and are the
      perfect place for my persona Margaret to be
      living. But, I don't want to incorporate
      something that was named in the 70's into my
      story.... A better look at the Ordnance Survey
      maps is making me very afraid they didn't exist
      then - it looks like Rowenside Burn is feeding
      off teh Mill Glen Reservoir, which I have to
      assume is modern. But, hills being hills, that
      name may be older. Here's hoping....
      Toujours a vos ordres,
      Margaret Hepburn


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    • Nancy Zupanic
      ... Greetings Margaret! I have forwarded your question on to the An Tir heralds, in the hopes that one of them might have this book or other resources to help
      Message 2 of 9 , Dec 27, 2001
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        > > Johnston, James B. Place-Names of Scotland. 3rd
        > > ed. East Ardsley,
        > > England: S. R. Publishers, 1970.
        > Anybody out there have this? I'm dying to know if
        > these places existed in period.

        Greetings Margaret!

        I have forwarded your question on to the An Tir heralds, in the hopes that
        one of them might have this book or other resources to help answer your
        question. I'll pass an answer along as soon as I get one, if I do indeed
        get an answer.

        Yours In Service

        Muirgheal
      • malvoisine
        Many thanks for that - duh, being in the SCA, it of course never occurred to me to ask a herald...I also sent a request today to the Scottish Executive -
        Message 3 of 9 , Dec 27, 2001
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          Many thanks for that - duh, being in the SCA, it of course never
          occurred to me to ask a herald...I also sent a request today to the
          Scottish Executive - something like their Parliaments info service
          and also asked who I could ask - we'll see who's faster, altho' their
          site guarantees a reply in 10 days...
          Toujours a vos ordres,
          Margaret Hepburn
          --- In albanach@y..., "Nancy Zupanic" <bearpaws@i...> wrote:
          > > > Johnston, James B. Place-Names of Scotland. 3rd
          > > > ed. East Ardsley,
          > > > England: S. R. Publishers, 1970.
          > > Anybody out there have this? I'm dying to know if
          > > these places existed in period.
          >
          > Greetings Margaret!
          >
          > I have forwarded your question on to the An Tir heralds, in the
          hopes that
          > one of them might have this book or other resources
        • Sharon L. Krossa
          ... I don t have Johnston, unfortunately, but you can try to find out if it existed at least in the 19th century by checking
          Message 4 of 9 , Dec 28, 2001
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            At 1:04 PM -0800 12/27/01, Julie Stackable wrote:
            > > > >Does anyone on this list have one of those
            > > books
            > > > >on etymology of placenames? I'm trying to
            > > figure
            > > > >out if two places in Scotland existed in
            > > period -
            > > >[snip]
            > > > I'm
            > > > >looking into Rowanside Burn and the
            >Rowenside Hills
            > > What is really needed is
            > >
            > > Johnston, James B. Place-Names of Scotland. 3rd
            > > ed. East Ardsley,
            > > England: S. R. Publishers, 1970.
            >Anybody out there have this? I'm dying to know if
            >these places existed in period. They are only
            >about 3km outside of Ardrossan and are the
            >perfect place for my persona Margaret to be
            >living. But, I don't want to incorporate
            >something that was named in the 70's into my
            >story.... A better look at the Ordnance Survey
            >maps is making me very afraid they didn't exist
            >then - it looks like Rowenside Burn is feeding
            >off teh Mill Glen Reservoir, which I have to
            >assume is modern. But, hills being hills, that
            >name may be older. Here's hoping....

            I don't have Johnston, unfortunately, but you can try to find out if
            it existed at least in the 19th century by checking

            http://www.ordnancesurvey.co.uk/getamap/

            for the modern location and then clicking on the link for a
            historical map of the area, which will take you to

            http://www.old-maps.co.uk/

            for mid-19th century maps of the same place.

            When I do this, I get to

            http://www.old-maps.co.uk/index_external.htm?easting=223690&northing=645720

            and surroundings, which does show both Rowanside Hills and Rowanside
            Burn in the 1858. So the names weren't invented in the 1970s. But
            then, a lot could happen between 1600 and 1858...

            The names are striking me as being strange. "-side" in Scottish
            placenames tends to refer to the area around a river, so "Xside" is
            the place around the "X" river. (As in "Clydeside" being the area
            around the river Clyde, "Deeside" being the area around the river
            Dee, etc.) So "Rowanside Burn" strikes me as a rather strange name --
            is there a river named "Rowan" in the area?

            Actually, looking further into this, I find in the Concise Scots
            Dictionary (CSD -- the one by the Scottish National Dictionary
            Association) s.v. "side": "2 <usu[ally] following a place-name>
            direction, district <la18-, now local Sh-SW: 'I'm newcome frae
            Dunbartonside.'>" (la18- means late 18th century onwards). So it
            looks like the "side" thing may be used for more than just the areas
            around rivers (the use I am most familiar with), but it also seems to
            be saying that this use is 18th century and not period. (Compare this
            to American English "I'm from the East Side [of some city, etc.]")

            So <Rowanside> and <Rowanside Anything> is still looking strange for
            period, though I don't really have the resources to pin it down for
            certain. I'd like to check the OED for "side", but I don't have easy
            access to it.

            Finally, tonight I visited a friend who did have Johnston, and looked
            up anything with <Rowan> and found only <Rowantree>, which was
            undated. Johnston is not exhaustive, of course, so that a place name
            was not found there doesn't mean it didn't exist. But it doesn't help
            ;-)

            So, I can't be very encouraging, I'm afraid!

            Sharon
            --
            Sharon L. Krossa, krossa@...
          • Nancy Zupanic
            ... The An Tir Heralds also tried in vane to find exactly what you were looking for, but they gave back quite a response! As there were several replies, I ll
            Message 5 of 9 , Dec 28, 2001
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              > > > > I'm
              > > > > >looking into Rowanside Burn and the
              > >Rowenside Hills

              Sharon Krossa wrote:

              > I don't have Johnston, unfortunately, but you can try to find out if
              > it existed at least in the 19th century by checking
              >
              > http://www.ordnancesurvey.co.uk/getamap/
              >
              > for the modern location and then clicking on the link for a
              > historical map of the area, which will take you to
              >
              > http://www.old-maps.co.uk/

              The An Tir Heralds also tried in vane to find exactly what you were looking
              for, but they gave back quite a response! As there were several replies,
              I'll forward them privately to Margaret (hope that's okay, Margaret?).

              I have to get to work. But perhaps Margaret, if you have some time, can
              look up a couple of places at the links Sharon provided that the heralds
              found, that seemed to be the most encouraging of the responses. Ruborough
              Hill (mentioned in Reaney & Wilson's "English Surnames" on pg. 384, sub
              Rowberry, as a name source), and Reuenhala (found in A.D. Mills English
              Place-Names dated 1068).

              Off to work,

              Muirgheal
            • Sharon L. Krossa
              ... I d be interested in seeing them too -- I may be able to add something to what they found. Sharon -- Sharon L. Krossa, krossa@alumnae.mtholyoke.edu
              Message 6 of 9 , Dec 28, 2001
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                At 8:59 AM -0800 12/28/01, Nancy Zupanic wrote:
                > > > > > I'm
                > > > > > >looking into Rowanside Burn and the
                > > >Rowenside Hills
                >
                >Sharon Krossa wrote:
                >
                > > I don't have Johnston, unfortunately, but you can try to find out if
                > > it existed at least in the 19th century by checking
                > >
                > > http://www.ordnancesurvey.co.uk/getamap/
                > >
                > > for the modern location and then clicking on the link for a
                > > historical map of the area, which will take you to
                > >
                > > http://www.old-maps.co.uk/
                >
                >The An Tir Heralds also tried in vane to find exactly what you were looking
                >for, but they gave back quite a response! As there were several replies,
                >I'll forward them privately to Margaret (hope that's okay, Margaret?).

                I'd be interested in seeing them too -- I may be able to add
                something to what they found.

                Sharon
                --
                Sharon L. Krossa, krossa@...
              • Sharon L. Krossa
                Further resources: I have discovered a web site with Timothy Pont s late 16th century detailed maps of Scotland online -- this would be a good place to look to
                Message 7 of 9 , Dec 28, 2001
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                  Further resources:

                  I have discovered a web site with Timothy Pont's late 16th century
                  detailed maps of Scotland online -- this would be a good place to
                  look to see what placenames were used near Ardrossan in the late 16th
                  century:

                  http://www.nls.uk/pont/

                  Oops, except that Ayrshire doesn't seem to have a surviving map by
                  Pont... oh, well, it's a pretty neat site anyway!

                  Sharon
                  --
                  Sharon L. Krossa, krossa@...
                • Julie Stackable
                  Wow! Thank you all for such in-depth help! Sharon - the Ordnance Survey map site was where I found this - I was doing simple scans around Ardrossan trying to
                  Message 8 of 9 , Dec 28, 2001
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                    Wow! Thank you all for such in-depth help! Sharon
                    - the Ordnance Survey map site was where I found
                    this - I was doing simple scans around Ardrossan
                    trying to figure out where a farm just outside
                    town might be when I found this - unfortunately,
                    for two or three nights in a row (when I'm
                    usually researching bizarre things like this in
                    the wee sma's) the historic map part of the
                    Ordnance survey was down - guess you had better
                    luck! The thing I am most afraid of is because
                    Rowanside is a very popular cottage/house name
                    all over the UK (for those who haven't been there
                    - even the scummiest falling down,
                    should-be-condemned house in Britain almost
                    always has a name!) and I'm halfway afraid this
                    might be some sort of back-formation - auld
                    MacGregor built his detached bungalow here in
                    1840 and named it 'Rowenside' and everyone
                    started calling the stream that ran behind the
                    house 'Rowenside Burn' because it was more
                    picturesque than Pig Muck Burn, as it used to be
                    called......As I'm sure all of you know - the
                    more picturesque Scotland was, the more the
                    Victorians would sight-see! Still looking, still
                    fingers crossed...
                    Margaret Hepburn


                    __________________________________________________
                    Do You Yahoo!?
                    Send your FREE holiday greetings online!
                    http://greetings.yahoo.com
                  • Sharon L. Krossa
                    ... And your fears may be well founded -- I haven t found any Rowan in the area to be side to, and so far as indicated the signs seem to be pointing to
                    Message 9 of 9 , Dec 28, 2001
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                      At 1:54 PM -0800 12/28/01, Julie Stackable wrote:
                      >Wow! Thank you all for such in-depth help! Sharon
                      >- the Ordnance Survey map site was where I found
                      >this - I was doing simple scans around Ardrossan
                      >trying to figure out where a farm just outside
                      >town might be when I found this - unfortunately,
                      >for two or three nights in a row (when I'm
                      >usually researching bizarre things like this in
                      >the wee sma's) the historic map part of the
                      >Ordnance survey was down - guess you had better
                      >luck! The thing I am most afraid of is because
                      >Rowanside is a very popular cottage/house name
                      >all over the UK (for those who haven't been there
                      >- even the scummiest falling down,
                      >should-be-condemned house in Britain almost
                      >always has a name!) and I'm halfway afraid this
                      >might be some sort of back-formation - auld
                      >MacGregor built his detached bungalow here in
                      >1840 and named it 'Rowenside' and everyone
                      >started calling the stream that ran behind the
                      >house 'Rowenside Burn' because it was more
                      >picturesque than Pig Muck Burn, as it used to be
                      >called......As I'm sure all of you know - the
                      >more picturesque Scotland was, the more the
                      >Victorians would sight-see! Still looking, still
                      >fingers crossed...

                      And your fears may be well founded -- I haven't found any "Rowan" in
                      the area to be "side" to, and so far as indicated the signs seem to
                      be pointing to "side" used in this geographic fashion being 18th
                      century. To be frank, if I were you, I'd abandon "Rowanside" and look
                      to some of the other places named in the area.

                      I have found another excellent resource, and one that seems to have
                      some details for Ayrshire -- check out the digitized maps from the
                      collections of the National Library of Scotland at

                      http://www.nls.uk/digitallibrary/map/index.html

                      This is an amazing collection of historical maps, fully zoomable and in colour.

                      I've also added links to the various mapping resources I've come up
                      with to the main page of Medieval Scotland under a new "Historical
                      and Modern Maps" section:

                      http://www.MedievalScotland.org/

                      Sharon
                      --
                      Sharon L. Krossa, krossa@...
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