Attached is some information on my home village, the place where most of our Sorbie ancestors lived

I was born in 1935 in Argyle Street and moved away in 1961 to Larkhall, just down the road. I seem to be the only one going back in history who was not involved in weaving as my Father helped my Grandfather with silk weaving when he was 12 years of age.

Early history of Stonehouse parish or lands go back to the time of the Damnii the most powerful and civilised Tribe in North Britain whose language may still be traced in the names of some of the localities and burns (streams). In an endeavour to subdue this tribe, the Romans did much to civilise them, by introducing the arts of industry; and they materially helped to beautify and enrich the country by planting orchards in Clydesdale which have been famous for ages, and are still there.

Above the River Avon [tributary of the Clyde] is the old church of St Ninian and Churchyard and it is believed that a Druid worshipping place was nearby overlooking a stilted village on the Banks of the Avon.

The above Churchyard is where the early generations of Sorbies are buried.

Druids were the predecessors in this country of these early preachers of the gospel—St Ninian and his successors; and an erection of stones, in circular fashion, in some places still marks the out the ancient heathen places of worship, as for example Stonehenge.”Lets go up to the Stanes” is a form of expression that was common up to recent times in some localities, meaning to go to worship. It was the language of those who adhered to the new faith, and furnishes us with the original Saxon forms of Stanes, Stannas,  Stanhus, Stanhous, Stonehouse, some people say that the name came from the Romans Stannis, and there is a part Roman Road, and Fort nearby.

Sir William the Fleming “De Douglas” I of Stanhus. Was the first recorded owner of the lands of Stonehouse, and was handed down to the Duke of Hamilton’s ancestors around 1454 and through time was owned by Sir James Lockhart of Lee around 1667

Catcastle between Stonehouse and Strathaven was the above mentioned Roman Fort and nearby was found urns containing ashes of Romans, and it is believed that there was a battle in the area.

Population of Stonehouse in 1690 was 272 and in the parish 600.

In 1790 in the village 596 and in the parish 467.

(Majority of females 80) Farmers,  56;  Weavers, 131; Masons,9 ;  Shoemakers,15 ;  Wrights,6 ;  Smiths, 4 ; Tailors,6 ; Coopers,2)

In 1851 town 2086 rest of parish 695.

In 1861 town 2585 rest of parish 682.

In 1871 town 2632 rest of parish 554.

In 1881 town 2613 rest of parish 559.

The population now must be around 6000 in the town.

 To be continued. 

   Tom Sorbie. 


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