The Galloway Neilsons

By Christopher Bretz


This is still a work in progress.

1644-1650 War of Three Kingdoms. 28,000 men killed. Scottish civil war 1644-1645
1645-1649 30,000 people died of the plague in Scotland between
1666 John the Martyr Nielson is killed for appearing for Covenanters at the Pentland Rising
1690s Widespread crop failure becomes known as the ill years
1695 Bank of Scotland established
1698-1699 Darien scheme, an ambitious plan devised by William Paterson to establish a colony on the Isthmus of Panama in the hope of establishing trade with the Far East. Only 300 of the 1,200 settlers survived and only one ship managed to return to Scotland. A desperate ship from the colony that called at the Jamaican city of Port Royal was refused assistance on the orders of the English government.
1707 Act of Union – Great Britain formed
1750-1850 Scot language largely replaced by English
1760 The last speaker of Galwegian Gaelic dies, although it ceased to be common in the seventeenth century.
1783 Eruption of Icelandic volcano. Many died from gas poisoning in the British Isles.
1792 Year of the Sheep and the first highland clearances
1796 Robert Burns dies near Dumfries age 37
1807 The UK outlaws slavery
1824 Gas lighting in Aberdeen
1828 Blast furnace invented by J B Neilson

Nathaniel Neilson and Barbara Agnew

Born in 1760
1785 Nathaniel Nielson travels to Jamaica (25)
Scotland, the Caribbean and the Atlantic world, 1750 - 1820 By Douglas J. Hamilton

1807-8 (47-48) Nathaniel Nielson returns to Castle Douglas from Jamaica, a rich man. Marries a much younger woman and has many children. Buy the lands of Springfield House.
1834 Letter from Nathanial to John in Canada regarding his son studying to be a physician.
1834 Nathanial dies, leaving his wife Barbara to raise the rest of their children. William leaves for the East Indies a few weeks before his death.
1841 For the census that year the residents of Springfield house included:
            Barbara Agnew, age 49 (widow)
            Barbara Rome, age 12 (daughter)
            Euphemia Douglas, age 15 (daughter)
            Mary, age 20 (daughter)
            Agnes, age 17 (daughter)
            Georgina, age 13 (daughter)
            Andrew, age 10 (son)
            Margaret Nay, age 35 (servant)
            Margaret Gordon,  age 20 (servant)
            Euphemia Douglas, age 55 (widow/independant) sister of Barbara? clearly important
            Anna Douglas, age 30
1847 Mary was married on the estate to Reverend George Brown
1851 For the census that year the residents of Springfield house included:
            Barbara Agnew, age 59 (widow)
            Barbara Rome, age 22 (daughter)
            Euphemia Douglas, age 26 (daughter)
            Agness McKee, age 28 (servant)
            John Glencross,  age 16 (agricultural labourer)
1861 For the census that year the residents of Springfield house included:
            Barbara Agnew, age 69 (widow)
            Euphemia Douglas, age 36 (daughter)   
            Ignet Kim, age 22 (servant)
            John Muir, age 15 (servant)
1861 The Glasgow and South Western railway extend a line past Springfield house.
1864 Barbara Agnew dies at Springfield house. Daughter Euphemia likely sold off the estate ~1865, possibly to George Imrie who owned it till his death in 1875. Barbara owned # shares of the railroad.