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Hiring fairs in Ireland

Hiring fairs, which were held twice a year in Spring and in Autumn, were places where more mobile farm workers could hope to find jobs. These fairs had come into being during the Middle Ages when, after the Black Death, agricultural workers were hard to come by. In order to stop desperate farmers offering excessive wages to find workers it was decided that they should be hired in public and that each worker should carry an emblem of his trade to ensure that workers were hired at the correct rate.

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Working on the farm

An analysis of KILKIE occupations in the 18th and early 19th century show all but one of them listed as “agricultural labourers”  The one non ag-lab was listed as a farmer owning less than an acre of land which was rented from a landlord (Griffiths valuation 1859).

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John Kilkie and Annie Dougan

Today I came across the grave stone of John Kilkie and Annie Dougan in the Old Eastwood Cemetery. John is the son of Edward and Margaret Kilkie. Unfortunately the headstone is lying on the ground now.

My grandparents and sister Rita are somewhere in this cemetery but as there is no stone I have still to find them. I am sure there must be lots of Kilkies in this cemetery as it is so close to Pollokshaws.

Inscription reads:

Of your charity
Pray for the souls of
ANNIE DOUGAN
Beloved wife of
JOHN KILKIE
Died 2 Sept 1954
Aged 83 years
Also our parents who are interred in this cemetery
Also the above JOHN KILKIE
Died 8 Oct 1965
Aged 87 years

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