One of the headstones that we have selected for the School Discovery trail is that of William Hunter. In 1860, the City of Glasgow Bank opened a branch at Pathhead with William as its agent – the first banker in New Cumnock. But we will save William Hunter’s story for our School interactive application.
A walk around the kirkyard will reveal not one but two headstones to another banker, John Paterson and his family. The first is found against the kirkyard wall, close to the entrance. Named on the stone are –
- John Paterson, latterly banker in Maryhill (d. 1915, aged 80)
- widow Mary Howatson McKerrow (d. 1916, aged 81)
- daughter Maggie Dickie (d. 1866, aged 13 1/2 months)
- son John (d. 1871, aged 4 years and 3 months)
- a son and daughter who died in infancy
- son James (d. 1884, aged 22 years)
- son David McKerrow (d. Brisbane, Queensland 1915, aged 52 years)
Further along the kirkyard a second headstone is found which names all of the above family members and the following children who died in later years –
- son Peter (d.1929, aged 63 years)
- son John (d.1947, aged 73 years)
- son Frank William (d. 1948, aged 77 years)
- daughter Margaret Dickie (d. 1956, aged 87 years)
From Draper to Bank Agent
John Paterson was born in 1835, the son of James Paterson, draper in Cumnock. In 1860, now also a draper based at Holmhead, Cumnock he married Mary Howatson McKerrow of Roadinghead Farm, Auchinleck. Together they had a large family as witnessed from the names above. Their son Peter appears to be the first born in New Cumnock, in 1866 at the Post Office which sat adjacent to the Crown Inn and its coach house – a staging post for the mail coaches.
The following year the Royal Bank of Scotland opened a branch at nearby St. Blanes  and in the 1871 Census, John and Mary Paterson are resident in the ‘Bank Office and House’,with John’s profession now that of general merchant. Ten years later they are still in residence there with John’s profession now recorded as ‘Royal Bank Agent and draper’. Ten more years and in the 1891 census, John is recorded as a ‘Royal Bank Agent and Justice of the Peace’, although the branch closed two years earlier .
From New Cumnock to Maryhill
After 25 years based in New Cumnock (where children Peter, Maggie, Frank and John all were born), John and Mary Paterson moved to Maryhill in Glasgow , where John continued to work as an agent for the Royal Bank of Scotland.
The family appear in the 1901 Census records for Maryhill , including a grand-daughter Cessie born in Queensland, Australia – presumably the daughter of David McKerrow Paterson, named in the headstone in the Auld Kirkyard. Ten years later, John (now a retired bank agent) and Mary are both in the mid 70’s and son John has progressed from bank clerk to bank agent,while sons Peter and Frank are both solicitors.
John Paterson, passed away in 1915, aged 80 years at Gartnavel Hospital and his widow Mary passed away the following year.
 George Sanderson ‘New Cumnock Long Ago and Faraway’
Thanks to Hamish Paterson, Australia , descendant