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Midi file playing now.'THE MONIKIE STORY'

Monikie Parish Kirk, Angus, Scotland. Forget the blurb, I just want to buy a copy !

The Parish Kirk, Monikie

A fascinating social history of
the Parish of Monikie through the ages,
by the late W. Douglas Chisholm M.A.


First published in 1982

(Sound  system switched on?)

There are no books for sale, but it is now available on CD-ROM - possibly in various computer file formats - and even by Email attachment.

Digital File copies on 'sold' CD-ROM or by email attachment which were purchased prior to November 2005 do not have a book index.  You can get a copy HERE. 

See Amendment table near foot of page for the latest news.


The year 1982 saw the Falklands War, the birth of Prince William to Prince Charles and the late Princess Diana of Wales, the Tudor ship Mary Rose raised from the seabed, the closure of the De Lorean car manufactory in Northern Ireland, the Pope's first visit to Britain in 450 years and the women's protest at Greenham Common Airbase in England.

During that year W. Douglas Chisholm, then Minister of Monikie Kirk, published his book, "The Monikie Story". I can recall his visit one day in June when, acting as his own salesman, he offered a copy of his book to my family. Like many in the parish and beyond, we anxiously awaited reading this book, and were pleased to be personally offered a copy by Mr. Chisholm. He kindly signed the copy we bought, had a chat (which we always welcomed) and moved on to his next "customer".

All 500 copies of the book, most autographed, were quickly sold, failing to meet the demand. Gradually thereafter a small, but steady, demand for the book developed, and over the years the book became more and more sought after. Although some local libraries, as well as others further afield, had copies, persons wishing to consult the book had to be satisfied with public reference copies, or trying to persuade a friend or neighbour to lend their copy (some of which have yet to find their return!). The book has become a "must-have", but second-hand copies are virtually unobtainable as owners of the first version are loath to part with them, knowing that no further copies were to be made available -

The late, Mr. Chisholm gave his permission to have his very popular and sought-after book re-printed by Pitnolen Publications, of Monikie, Scotland.

This version of the book is substantially a facsimile of the original pages, but with a new index. Proceeds from this project raised much-needed funds for local charities, Monikie & Newbigging Church, the Monikie War Memorial Hall, and currently, towards the renewal of the Scout Hut.

To give you an idea of the content you will find below, extracts from the original book which are reproduced in the re-printed version. Alternatively go to the ordering section lower on this page.

The 1982 rear cover -

"In this social history of the Angus Parish of Monikie, the Minister traces the life of the people from the earliest times down to the modern farms and housing estates. In it, he describes, not only the life of the Kirk, but also the changes in agriculture and in education. He gives an account of the Panmure Estate down the centuries and writes of some of the events and characters connected with Monikie."

. . . and from W. Douglas Chisholm  -

W. Douglas Chisholm, from the cover of the first book print in 1983.


In the making of this social history of the Parish of Monikie, I have been indebted to many people and I wish to thank them, one and all. Some of them are mentioned in the Notes by name, but I would like to thank especially Mrs. Christine Peterson and her daughter Joanna for the etchings of the Kirk, Mr. Dick Sutherland for his sketches, and Mrs. Sandra Ward for the maps. The encouragement of Parishioners has been quite fantastic. It is sad, though, that so many of the older people who generously gave me tales and reminiscences have passed away before seeing them in print.

Permission has been given to use the Old Parish Records, and other material also.

I have found that there is a deep interest in things of the past. I trust that this contribution will encourage such interest on the part of local people. There is still much evidence from the past to be seen, if people know what to look for and where it is to be found. Further, quite a few overseas friends come to Angus, seeking out information about their forebears. Perhaps, here they will find something of interest. I hope too that this book will be of some assistance to students, many of whom come to me for information about their local projects. This may help them in their field work and in their search for sources.

I have enjoyed trying to unravel the warp and woof of Parish life down the centuries and gazing upon the long, colourful cavalcade of the personalities involved. I hope the reader will enjoy it also.

I therefore, dedicate this Story to Almighty God whom it has pleased to set me for the last twenty years in the long line of priests and ministers in the Parish. Conscious of its shortcomings, I offer it to my dear people who have been repeatedly taught that history is His Story.

W. Douglas Chisholm, Feast of St. Andrew, 30th November, 1981.

. . . and also his -


"The Monikie Story" is the story of the people in the Parish of Monikie in the County of Angus. It is about the way they lived in days gone by, about their houses and daily work and about the environment in which they dwelt. In this context, "Monikie" refers not to the modern Village of Monikie, but to the Parish area of some 8,800 acres. It is roughly in the shape of a pear, tapering Southward and includes the present day Villages of Monikie and Newbigging. The boundary begins at the sea, moves through Balhungie to Old Downie and then continues through part of the Panmure Estate to Crombie Reservoir. From there, it goes across to Downiebank, the TV mast and the Bankheads and so to Carrot Hill and the Dod. Back from there to include the Densides, it takes in Lovehall and crosses over the hill to Cunmont, Newbigging Toll and Ardestie and so to the sea again.

Contemporary writings, official records and a selection of relevant books as well as oral transmission, have all been drawn upon, in order to give some kind of picture of what life was like in former days. This account has been brought right up to date, to the year 1981.

Since the Church was and still is so closely bound up with the social life of the people it is inevitable that this is in large measure, but not entirely so, the Story of the Kirk of Monikie. That Story begins in the 13th Century when monks from the Tironensian Abbey of Arbroath surveyed the land and chose a site for Christian worship. William the Lion gifted Monikie to the Abbey about 1190. This was confirmed in 1211, and again, by Pope Honorius III in 1219. The chapel was dedicated to St. Andrew. To the East of the farm steading of East Hillhead, there is a well called St. Andrew's Well, but there is no reason to doubt that this first Christian foundation was where the present Kirk of Monikie stands, beside the plentiful water of the Monikie Burn and on a place suitable for settlement.

The Monikie Story - Chapter headings -


The Beginnings

1. The Early Centuries
2. The Church in the Medieval Period
3. The Age of the Small Castle


Into the Seventeenth Century

1. The Reformation Years
2. The 57 Years of the Durham-Auchinleck Ministry
3. Makgill's Fascinating Family
4. The 17th Century in the Session Records
5. The Panmure Family in the 17th Century
6. The Earliest Map of Monikie


1. Of William Rait, Episcopacy and Jacobites


1. Mr. James Goodsir and the Kirk Bell
2. The Heritors
3. Kirk Session Responsibilities
4. The Parish Schools
5. Mr. George Johnston, Minister 1738-73
6. George Dempster, Merchant
7. Mr. James Hunter, Minister 1774-1782
8. Alexander Balfour, the Monikie Poet and Writer
9. Dr. William Maule, the Moderate
10. Sir John Sinclair's Statistical Account
11. The Churchyard in the 18th Century

The Nineteenth Century

1. The Plight of the Poor
2. The Rebuilding of the Kirk
3. The Linen Trade in the 19th Century Parish
4. The Rev. James Miller and the New
    Statistical Account
5. The Beginnings of the Aberdeen-Angus Breed
6. The Disruption of 1843
7. The Rev. Thomas McKie
8. Sickness and Disease
9. The Story of Monikie Waterworks
10. The Rev. John Reid and his Family
11. Kirk Affairs
12. School Affairs
13. Estate Affairs
14. The Craigton Free Church
15. The Coming of the Railway and the Rise of Monikie Village


The Twentieth Century

1. The Rev. Andrew Armit
2. The Pre-War Kirk Life
3. James Scott Skinner, the Strathspey King
4. The Pre-War School Life
5. The Old Testament Scholar
6. The Parish in the 1914-18 War
7. Bankhead School
8. Between the Wars: the Rise of the Organisations
9. The Long Road to Church Re-union
10. The Rev. Andrew Burt and the Parish in the Second World War
11. The Parish After the War
12. The Third Statistical Account
13. The Number Game
14. Change and Expansion


This edition has a 1998 Preface by the author, and a Preamble with some extra information. The pages of the new version are printed on 100% recycled paper.

The original has been, and is, regularly used in educational establishments and proves to be an excellent teaching aid. As mentioned already, its attraction is not just local, but relevant in all Scottish (at least) areas.

The 'book' costs only 10.00 (TEN G.B. POUNDS in CASH) per copy (unchanged since publication) and is now only available in digital form.  Look below for FULL PURCHASE DETAILS.

Please have a look at an excellent  REVIEW received of the book.

Surely you cannot now resist the urge to purchase the book so here are the  .  .


List of sources and of the payment methods available -

  1. Ordering by post, (from any address world-wide - see below for details of how to pay). Please write to -

    Monikie Shoppe,
    DD5 3QA
    enclosing Sterling cheque - see below).

  2. Collect your book/s locally after making an agreed arrangement - ask Webmaster.

  3. By E-mail, direct to Monikie - click the EMAIL button at the bottom of this page.

    Orders by cheque, draft or Postal Order MUST be payable in G.B. POUNDS STERLING and include sufficient amount for post and packaging.  Contact the Webmaster about payment.  If you are unable to arrange for STERLING funds please contact the Webmaster about alternative arrangements which MAY be possible.

  4. We regret that orders by credit or debit card can no longer be processed.

  5. T.V.F.H.S. have other books for sale (check-out their publications) at the Research Centre, 179 - 181 Princes Street, Dundee, Scotland, and will accept orders from members and non-members, if they have any books left.

The following retail premises kindly sold books, when available, and we are grateful for their assistance.

  1. The "Shoppe" in Monikie Village (No books left - ask about CD-ROM).

  2. The Post Office and Shop in Newbigging Village. (No books left)

Any enquiries about this 'book' which cannot be answered by reference to this webpage should be telephoned, or sent to the postal (SAE please) address above, or preferably by email - details below.

Inclusive Mailing Costs


Please click CONTACT or EMAIL at foot of page for enquiries and orders.

You can check-out the approximate cost in YOUR currency by visiting

Table of Progress
14th May 1998 Book published !
Hard-back copies NOT YET AVAILABLE.
31st May 1998 A few hard-back copies NOW AVAILABLE.
10th July 1998 A special, leather-bound copy of the book was recently presented to the author as thanks for his agreement to have his book re-printed.
30th July 1998 The FULL index has been put on-line "to encourage sales" so if you find your ancestor listed buy the book! - or even if you don't!  Follow the link above to the INDEX.
.. July 1999 Advert in The Scots Magazine for the benefit of purchasers world-wide - very disappointing response.
Mid - 2000 A small booklet about the Hillock Church (closed several years ago) and Newbigging Church is in production.  It was planned to coincide with the closure of Newbigging Church in 2000, but there is still some doubt about that matter.  The booklet will effectively be a compilation of earlier works from various dates, together with some updated information. Details will appear here.
 January 2001 This 'Compilation' booklet was made available, but only printed and hand-bound to order.
 June  2001 "The COMPILATION" booklet is now available in a 'professionally-bound' format.  It also includes an article from an Australian contributor about his Newbigging ancestor. There is still no further information regarding the proposed closure of Newbigging Church.

MAY 2003


Copies of the reprinted version of the book are NO LONGER AVAILABLE, but I have can often provide files on packaged CD-ROM which will allow for continued sales to benefit local charity.  It may also be available by Email attachment.
Purchasers can either, read the text on screen, or print the file using their own print resources.  The various computer file versions should allow use by IBM compatible and Apple Mac users. Please ask the webmaster by email for more information!

Copies of  "The Compilation" may be available from Church Office Bearers.

February 2012 A trial version for Kindle has been prepared in PDF format, but will suit other hardware.

It is likely that you are interested in Family History for this area of East Scotland - please visit the Tay Valley Family History Society website. Membership of the society will bring you great benefits and is VERY good value. It is only with their valuable assistance that the 'new' version of "THE MONIKIE STORY" was be produced, thank you.

You are strongly recommended to discover more about the Monikie parish area, (and other subjects) including aerial views, just use the links on each page, or better still, use the site search engine to look for names and items of interest - there are over 220 pages!

(The music you may be hearing is of the song "Will ye no' come back again?" - the question is put to Bonnie Prince Charlie (Charles Edward Stuart) when he left the Isle of Skye, Scotland, on 20th September 1746, (after the fiasco that was The Battle of Culloden, the last battle fought on British soil, on the 16th April 1746) and he sailed over the "friendly Main" for France, to exile and his eventual pathetic death in Italy.)

Look, too, at what might be said to be the fore-runner to 'The Monikie Story', the Statistical Accounts of Scotland for the Parish of Monikie, for the years 1791/99; 1842 and the mid 1900s.  Other parishes are available there, too.

Please click CONTACT and EMAIL for enquiries and orders.


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This page was updated - 09 December, 2014




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