FIFTY YEARS AGO Thursday December 12, 1968
Barbour family centenary
Just over 100 years ago this month, a 25year-old farmer left the lands of his forebears in North Ayrshire and came to settle in Kintyre. He was John Barbour – a surname that is today almost synonymous with agriculture in Kintyre. For many generations, the Barbours were tenant farmers in the district of Lochwinnoch but about the beginning of the 18th century, some of them drifted westwards to the parish of West Kilbride and there, on the farm of Biglees, John Barbour was born on January 8, 1843. He came to Kintyre in October 1868 to take over the tenancy of Aucharua Farm on the Duke of Argyll’s estate. In November 1871, he married Miss Margaret Gemmell, daughter of Mr Thomas Gemmell of Dalrioch, near Campbeltown. Mr Barbour was the tenant of Aucharua for 51 years. He was a successful farmer with a special interest in the breeding of horses, and was for many years a member and director of the Clydesdale Horse Society. He was known to be a good man of business, shrewd and enterprising to a degree, and he was also a man of many interests, including politics. He was a strong upholder of church establishment in Scotland and a faithful member of the parish kirk. In the early 1880s, Mr Barbour was appointed Inspector of Poor and Registrar for the parish of Southend and clerk to the parish council. These duties he carried out diligently for nearly 40 years.