The Annan Observer (Scotland) reported Uncle Geordie Miller’s/Riggfoot livestock buying trip to Britain in 1861. This article was reprinted in The Canadian Agriculturist magazine, as illustrated. This was Uncle Geordie’s first trip back to Scotland since he emigrated to Canada in 1832. Simon Beattie left Newbie farm in Scotland to come to Canada in 1854 with “Atha” Willie Miller on the Helen Douglas. He worked on Uncle Geordie’s Riggfoot farm as manager, and accompanied Uncle Geordie on this trip. Under Uncle Geordie’s expert guidance, Beattie developed a reputation of being “a superman with livestock.” This report is also the first known instance of a Miller woman (probably Mary L. Miller) going on a family livestock buying trip. The eclectic collection of over 100 animals was a typical importation, with livestock carefully selected not only for use at Riggfoot farm, but also for customer orders.
Notes: a one-year-old male sheep is known as a shearling, a gimmer is the female equivalent. The article is transcribed as originally printed, with several spelling errors.
Source: Shipment of Stock for America., The Canadian Agriculturist or Journal and Transactions of the Board of Agriculture of Upper Canada, Toronto, Vol. XIII, No. 11, June 1, 1861, p. 329.


Shipment of Stock for America

We find the following paragraph in reference to the shipment of stock referred to in a communication in our last number, in the Annan Observer.

“On Wednesday the Helen Douglas, of Annan, started from Annan Waterfoot for Quebec, freighted with a full cargo of stock for America. She has been chartered by three parties who have for some months past been purchasing farm stock for shipment to Canada and New York State, namely: Mr. George Miller, of Markham, near Toronto,—formerly of Riggfoot in the parish of Cummertrees,—who has re-visited his native country after an absence of nearly thirty years ; by Simon Beattie, also from Markham—a Nephew of Mr. James Beattie in Newbie; and by Mr. Brodie, of New York State, a native of Ayrshire. Mr. Miller takes out six Galloway Cattle, purchased from Mr. Graham, of Shaw; one Ayrshire cow and calf; two cotswold rams, and six gimmers from Glocestershire; one ram and ten gimmers, Shropshire Downs; five Liecester rams and eight gimmers from the stock of Mr. Wilkins, of Tinwald Downs; and two Cheviot rams and nine gimmers, from the stock of Mr. Graham Shaw. He also takes with him three Boars, and a Sow and pigs; some poultry; a large cock and hen pheasant from Knockhill; and a beautiful Mule for the use of Miss Miller, who accompanies her father. Mr. Beattie’s stock consists of a two year-old Durham heifer, from the no less famous Newbie Galloway herd; an Ayrshire Cow; a very fine Cotswold ram, and four gimmers from the stock of Mr. Walker of North Leech, Gloucestershire; two Leicester rams, twelve shearling rams, and six gimmers from the well-known Leicester stocks of Messrs. Simpson, Sandys & Barton, in Yorkshire, and of Mr. Beattie, Newbie. The sheep have all been selected with great care—the Leicester Rams at a cost of not less than £15 sterling a piece, (equal to $75 each.) Mr. Brodie takes out to New York State, by way of Quebec, an Ayrshire Bull, a Cow and three Heifers, selected from the best dairy stocks in Ayrshire; two Leicester rams, and six gimmers, and three Highland sheep. There are also on board sheep dogs and two greyhounds, and a number of farming implements, as well as an abundance of Swedes, mangel wurzel, oil cake, corn, hay, &c, as provisions for the stock during the voyage.”