Brought to you by
Ewing Family Association.
ORIGIN OF THE EWING NAME--page 3
Continuing to quote from (John G. Harrison, "A WEB OF KINSHIP - The Ewing family in the Stirling Area in the 17th Century" pp. 5-7):
Most modern indexers, dealing with manuscript sources, place the Z forms under Y, as Young. I have checked many such entries for Ewing connections and it has further underlined the close ties between Youngs and Ewings. However, I will report only on those lines which seem to end as Ewings, ignoring those which become Youngs, unless they have some direct bearing on the main Ewing story.
The Terminal -son
In the 15th and 16th century I suspect there was another change. In the Cornton area, in 1480, were Michael and William Ewison, in 1492 Thomas Ewyngson and the widow of William Hewyngson and in 1563, Thomas Youngar (or Zoungar). By the 1590s the ancestors of the Youngs are said to have lived there past memory of man. Other people called Ewingson etc can be found in Stirling and the area in the 16th century and before but the name is absent by 1600.
Many families, during this period, dropped a terminal -son from their name. John Dickson became John Dick, John Christieson was sometimes called John Christie and the family called Ritchieson about 1600 have become Ritchie by 1700. Ewingson and Hewyngson are really quite close to Ewing. It cannot be proved but I have little doubt that Michael and William of 1492 are the ancestors of Thomas Young (alias Ewing) in 1600. I haven't found a Zouingson; but one might exist somewhere!
Most of my information has been drawn from manuscript sources and I use the original spelling, putting Z for "yogh". But where I have consulted printed sources and it has not been possible to check back to the original manuscript, I have copied the printed source. This report will be no less consistent in spelling that were 17th century clerks. But you may still find the same person's name spelt in more than one way.
A final variation is between Ewing and Eweine. Most of the Ewings, as already noted, are always written Ewing. However, the names of William Ewing in Raploch and John Ewing, mason, are sometimes written as Eweine. I do not know how significant this is.
Women and Womens' Names
In Scotland, till the fairly recent past, women retained their own name when they married, making it much easier to follow them through life.
Most of the records available to us today are about property and money, which were mainly dealt with by men. Women are often mentioned only incidentally and many women from the past have left no record at all; the single reference to Jonat Ewing, daughter of John of Powhouse, was found after combing 11 volumes of unindexed manuscript!
Scope of the Report
The rest of this report is confined to the Ewing/Zoung family in the Stirling area; the period covered is roughly from about 1600 to 1700.
The records available before 1600 are rather patchy, though there are short runs of baptismal and marriage registers for Stirling for the late 16th century, which I have obviously consulted.
After the mid 17th century the urban Stirling Ewings were reduced to a single line, descendants of Maurice. Whichever branch William originated in, it is clear that he was no longer in Stirling by the late 17th century, so I do not report on this period in the town.
In the first half of the century, however, searchable records for the rural area are almost entirely confined to the land- owning elite and the small minority who left testaments; the second half of the century brings lower status people into the records in greater numbers, particularly through the IGI for St Ninians, and I therefore report on these. They help to illustrate what was going on earlier amongst the tenants and lease-holders.
Search of the Sheriff Court records for Stirlingshire would certainly have increased the coverage of the early 17th century rural area; however, there are dozens of large, unindexed manuscript volumes and literally hundreds of boxes of unsorted material. Random search is simply unrealistic.
A Web of Kinship
In the summer of 1606 Stirling was struck by plague and over 600 people died (the pre-plague population may have been 2-3000). On 26th September Marion Zung, spouse of Thomas Chalmers, maltman, lay dying in one of the ludges or huts which had been built outside the town for the sick and she dictated her last wishes to William Zoung, notary. She was owed money for the rent of Southfield by Thomas Ewing, servitor to the Earl of Mar; she owed money to two people called Zoung in the Buckieside area and she appointed Thomas Zoung, merchant of Stirling, her brother, as one of her executors; this last Thomas may be the same person as Thomas Ewing, the servitor. She died before the end of the month. In this single document almost every main strand of the Ewing/Zoung family in east- central Scotland is represented. The tragedy in the hut was at the centre of a web of kinship which we will now explore.
Mr. Harrison's report continues for several pages. However, the kinship that he describes in his report can not be linked to the family that is being documented in this work.