The Coyles Of Kilsyth – Part One

Categories Coyle, Kilsyth, Locations
Coyles Of Kilsyth

Unlike my Father and his family, my Mother and her sisters often discussed family history.   As a young boy I listened their stories about my Grandfather Patrick Coyle’s relatives : The Coyles of Kilsyth.

I remember visiting people in Kilsyth in the late 1980s and early 1990s.  At the time it never registered those people were Mum’s cousins.

Interest in my Kilsyth Coyle ancestry developed later in life through my research.  All but too late as generations passed.

Kilsyth And My Coyle Family

Kilsyth is a town that lies halfway between Glasgow and Stirling. I am going to be lazy and share with you some links going into detail about my ancestor town. 

Coyles of Kilsyth
Kilsyth Sign

The Wikipedia page for the town is informative and worth a read. Also worth reading about Kilsyth’s history is at Undiscovered Scotland’s feature page on Kilsyth.

During the latter half of the 19th Century, there were a few Kilsyth Coyle families. I and some online genealogists of acquaintance don’t have evidence they were related. 

To help other family history addicts and lost relatives out there, my Kilsyth Coyle family married into the Starr/Stars family.  I’ll get to that shortly.

My Coyle ancestors moved to the town in the the latter half of the 19th Century.  Originally from County Tyrone, Ireland: family stories mention Fintona

Kyle or Coyle?

The earliest Coyles of Kilsyth I can find are my 3rd Great Grandparents James Kyle/Coyle (EST 1790 – BEF 1863) and Mary McCairns/McEarns, or McKearns (ABT 1801 – 1863)  Depending on documents the spelling of surnames differs.  However my Mother recalled the Coyle surname was originally Kyle.

Much later I was informed by a distant Cousin who is related to the Coyles of Kilsyth that the surname originally was Coyle.  Kyle could have been recorded by enumerators due to accents.   

One thing for sure is that it makes looking for records relating to my Coyles of Kilsyth that little more difficult than it should be.

During my research, I have found records of my relatives’ surname listed as Coil, Kyle, and Koyle. 

Incidentally I remember my Grandfather pronouncing his surname as
” Kyle”.

Francis Kyle And Sarah Starrs

The 1861 Scotland Census lists a number of my Coyles Of Kilsyth family.  My 2nd Great Grandfather Francis Kyle (ABT 1840 – 1887) appears as a 21 year old Coal Miner from Tyrone.  Francis is listed as living with Mary and elder brother James (ABT 1883 – 1872) in Main Street, Kilsyth. 

Another sibling, Martha (ABT 1838 – 1867) lived in Brick Row, Kilsyth and married with a family.   – I’ll touch on this shortly.

On 16th September 1862, Francis Kyle married Sarah Starrs (ABT 1841 – 1900) at the United Presbyterian Church, Kilsyth.  The Starrs also hailed from Tyrone, where Sarah was born.   Sarah’s parents, Hugh (ABT 1805 – BEF 1862) and Mary Jane Harvey Docherty (ABT 1810 – BEF 1862) are recorded as deceased.

Will Starr
Will Starr 1922-1976 
Photo: HandsUpForTrad

For those who are fans of traditional Scottish Music, the Accordionist Will Starr is my relative. He was my 3rd Cousin 1st Removed. – The Great Grandson of Sarah Starrs’ brother Michael (ABT 1825 – 1895)

Coyles Of Kilsyth Religious Mystery

The religious change of my Coyle of Kilsyth ancestry is a question Ive yet to find an answer for. I’m open to suggestions.

Kyle/Coyle Children

Again, the different names and spelling changes in the records makes finding all of my Coyles Of Kilsyth ancestors a time consuming challenge. 

There are likely to be some gaps in my findings to date.

Francis and Sarah had at least 11 children.  Their son, Francis (1866 – 1939) my Great Grandfather.

Mary1863 -1934
Jane1864 - 1936
Francis1866 - 1939
Ellen1868 - 1927
Margaret1870 - 1926
Bridget1871 - 1920
Rebecca1873 - 1873
Susan1878 -1956
Isabella1882 -1941
William1883 -1915


William Coyle (1883- 1915) served in the First World War.  A Private in the Royal Scots ( Lothian Regiment ) Service Number: 12314.  William fell on 4th November 1915.   

His remains have yet to be found. 

William is commemorated at Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial

The 19th Century Coyles of Kilsyth lived hard lives with the men working in the Coal Mines or as Labourers.  The family grew and in some branches, they were mentioned in the local press from time to time. 

For all the wrong reasons.

But thats for Part Two..

Family History addict since 2012. Now documenting my findings and insights online.

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