Farmer and Miller at Lammonbie Mill (35 acres), near Lockerbie, Dumfriesshire
MBM: Robert Walker found his tombstone in the Churchyard at Applegarth, near Dumfries. The inscription was: "In memory of John Brown who died in Lammonbie Mill in November 1810 in the 61st year of his age" and below: "Also Janet, (spelt Jannet) his spouse who died 22nd Sept. 1830, aged 74 years".
The death certificate of the schoolmaster son of these two shows that John I was a farmer and miller at Lammonbie, and rented 35 acres. It confirms the name Janet Wightman for his wife. [See archive].
Neither the present owner of the Balgray Estate, which includes Lammonbie (A. Jardin Patterson) nor the descendant of the previous owner (Major P.W. Hope Johnstone, of Johnstone Bridge, Lockerbie) knew anything about the history of the Mill.
We consulted six books in Dumfries Library dealing with the area without adding to knowledge of John Brown I.
The Mill is beautifully situated on the banks of a stream on the B723 road, some 3 or 4 miles north of Lockerbie. It is a complete ruin, overgrown and hidden by trees and shrubs, deep in a little gorge of a burn. The approach is muddy. The young farmer who rents the land nearby readily pointed it out to us, and gave us permission to go down his fields to see it. But time, barbed wire and mud prevented a closer inspection.
John Brown I, and perhaps his ancestors would probably attend the nearest school, which is at Sibbaldbie, some two miles upstream. The school building is still in use, with some 16 pupils of tender age and a school mistress who lives in a more modern house nearby. Behind the school is the Cemetery, a beautifully sheltered area. Many of the stones were flat. We did not see any connected with our family. Sibbaldbie is scarcely a village, rather it is a hamlet. The whole district is delightful to visit, stimulating one's long forgotten historical lessons to some edging back.
That seems to be all we can find out about John I and his wife, Janet Wightman.
Why was he buried at Applegarth and not at Sibbaldbie? John Brown II was only a boy of 13 when his father died. We do not know the size of the family reared by John Brown I and Janet Wightman. But John Brown II was certainly their son!