Copyright 2024 Mary McGonigal Updated 12 July 2024 'Update' refers to the whole section update, not to each separate file.
LINESS, Arthur


Family Links

1. DONNLEY, Isabella

LINESS, Arthur 1

  • Born: 1762, Ireland 2
  • Marriage (1): DONNLEY, Isabella about 1789
  • Died: February 1842, St Mirin's RC Chapel, Paisley, Renfrewshire, Scotland

   Other names for Arthur were LAIN(AS), Arthur,3 LEINISS, Arthur,4 LENNIS, Arthur, LINIS, Arthur, LINNIS, Arthur, LYNES, Arthur 2 5 and LYNIS, Arthur.6

  General Notes:

Arthur was a baptismal sponsor on a number of occasions, for example:

Roman Catholic Records
St Mirin's Parish Paisley

"Baptismal Register 1829
Birth date Nov 17 (presumably 1828)
Baptism date 27 (presumably June, since although the priest does not note the month, that appears to be where he is in the year)

Thomas lawful son of Thomas McKinlay and Anne (McGlone crossed out) McMcDonald [sic] born the 17th November was baptized by me Sponsors Arthur Liness and Margaret Lynch
(signed) William Stewart"

Note: the disorganisation evident on these two register pages ir rarely encountered.

There is evidence of an Arthur Lennis or Lynas being a director of a Catholic school in Paisley In the 1830s.

The 1841 census for Paisley High recorded Arthur Lynes living with his wife at 20 Queen Street where the enumerator noted there were 'several buildings'. Arthur was in the age range 75-79 years and was a shoemaker. He had been born in Ireland.

Roman Catholic Records
St Mirin's Parish Paisley

"Obituary 1842
(immediately before name marked Feby) Arthur Lynas
(third from end of list, well after Sepr) Mrs Lynas"

When his daughter Catherine Quigley died in 1873, her death certificate recorded her father as "Arthur Lynis Shoemaker Journeyman (Deceased)".

In 1883 Arthur's daughter, Margaret Leiness, widow of William Hammond, died in Paisley at the recorded age of 80 years. Arthur was recorded in her death certificate as a 'shoemaker deceased'. 2 4 6 7 8

  Research Notes:


from a website that offers 25 name derivations at

This name is unusual as it represents one of the matronymic forms of the name "Line", or "Lina", a medieval female given name which was short for such women's names as "Cateline", "Adeline", and "Emmeline".

Matronymic names, derived from the name of the first bearer's mother, are far less common than patronymic names since western society has generally been patriarchal throughout recorded history.

Earl recordings of the surname can be found in Yorkshire including "Linous", (1572), "Lynis", (1644) and "Lynus", (1663). Arthur Lynas married Agnes Telzerson on October 3rd 1557 at Stainton in Cleveland, Yorkshire.

The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Reginald Lynes, which was dated 1340, in the Cambridgeshire Assize Rolls, during the reign of King Edward III, 1327 - 1377.

The modern surname can be found as Lines, Lynes, Lind, Lynde, and Lynn.

Motto: Semper virescit virtus
Motto translated: Virtue always flourishes


Robert Tweedlie wrote in June 2002 about his search in the directories in the museum in Paisley:
'... under the heading of Roman Catholic
Directors of the school was one Arthur LYNAS.

So I went back over the directories, checked alll towns and villages given, but couldn't find an address. Then I went back to 1834-35 and there he was again as a director of the school (not quite sure what a director of a school would have done in those days) only his name was given as Arthur LENNIS."

Checked back to 1831-32 Arthur LYNAS/LENNIS wasn't there.'

With regard to a director of the Catholic school's function, it would be along these lines: where communities wanted Sunday schools or regular schools opened, they had to pay for these themselves, the buildings, staff, materials and upkeep. Sometimes money was gifted by wealthier patrons or donors, but mostly the families had to find the cash. The directors would be the people interested enough and trusted enough by the community to oversee the arrangements, the hours, the bills, the curriculum. The 1872 Act changed this situation and school boards were then formed.

In the 1830s many children whom we would consider to be of school age were already working for a wage to increase family income. School classes may, where available, clashed with their work hours, leaving them only the possibility of Sunday schools or evening schools.

Similarly many families could not afford to pay or to pay very much for a child's schooling, and especially where there were many children in a family. Many relied for their schooling costs on charitable donation.

In 1815 one twelfth of the population of Scotland were children who attended day schools, but by 1834 the fraction had risen slightly to one 1833 the proportions of the population attending day schools at such weaving centres as Dundee, Glasgow and Paisley were one fourteenth, one fifteenth and one fifteenth respectively.


The early history of the Paisley RC mission is slight. Before the building of the chapel in 1808 Mass was said at a place called "Wee Steeple", Orr Square, off High Street. The building demolished some time ago, but next to it, or even the house that replaced it, was for years a Catholic school and was used afterwards as the Young Men's Society Hall. This, by all accounts, was the first place Mass was offered in Paisley.

For reasons unknown the quasi chapel was removed from Orr Square to the garret of a large building fronting Lawn Street, and situated at the end of old Smith Mills and the beginning of Gauze Street. There Mass was said until the present chapel was built by Bishop Scott.

The priest who said Mass at Orr Square was a French refugee named Depredotte, Depredeau or Depreau. He is said to have taught a school in the same room. Father William Rattray is the first priest's name in the baptismal register, July 17 1808.

St Mirin's Paisley, opened in 1809, the first Catholic Church in the West of Scotland after the Reformation, was replaced in 1932 by the present day St Mirin's Cathedral. It attained cathedral status in 1947 following estabishment of the Diocese of Paisley by Apostolic Constitution Maxime Interest of Pius XII. Until 1822 when the mission of Ayr was established the Paisley mission covered the greater part of Ayrshire as well as Renfrewshire. St John's Church Barrhead was opened in 1841 and two years later Barrhead became a separate mission. Similarly, Houston in 1847.
___________________________________________________________________________ 9 10

  Noted events in his life were:

1. witness to marriage, 15 August 1819, St Mirin's RC Chapel, Paisley, Renfrewshire, Scotland. 11 An Arthur Lyniss was witness with Henry Hughes at marriage of Peter Haggarty and Martha Christie.

Fr James McLachlan was the celebrant.

2. sponsor at baptism, 12 September 1819, St Mirin's RC Chapel, Paisley, Renfrewshire, Scotland. An Arthur Lynass was sponsor with Elizabeth Runcie at the baptism of Katharin daughter of James and Hannah Whitte.

Fr James McLachlan was the celebrant.

Note: Elizabeth Runcie was a servant to the presbytery and church according to a note in the register

3. sponsor at baptism, 4 February 1821, St Mirin's RC Chapel, Paisley, Renfrewshire, Scotland. Arthur Liness and Margaret Liness were sponsors at the baptism of Elizabeth, daughter of Denis Prentice and Jane Harper. The child had been born on Jan 23 of the same year.

4. sponsor at baptism, 18 March 1824, St Mirin's RC Chapel, Paisley, Renfrewshire, Scotland. An Arthur Liness and Margaret Liness were sponsors at the baptism of Patrick Quigly, son of John Quigly and Catherine Lynis.

Fr William Caven baptised the child.

5. witness to marriage, 3 May 1825, St Mirin's RC Chapel, Paisley, Renfrewshire, Scotland. 12 The wedding was between Thomas Kiney and Ann McDonal. The priest was W. Caven. The other names witness was Margaret Deasson.

In the baptism of his son Thomas in 1829 the surname is noted as McKinlay.

6. sponsor at baptism, 14 May 1826, St Mirin's RC Chapel, Paisley, Renfrewshire, Scotland. 13 An Arthur Linnis and Margaret Linnis were sponsors at the baptism of John McKiney by Fr William Caven. The child was son of Ann McDonald and Thomas McKiney.

7. sponsor at baptism, 12 August 1827, St Mirin's RC Chapel, Paisley, Renfrewshire, Scotland. 14 An Arthur Linis and Margaret Linis were sponsors at the baptis of Margaret Prentiss by Fr William Caven. She was the daughter of Denis Prentiss and Jane Harper.

8. sponsor at baptism, 1 March 1828, St Mirin's RC Chapel, Paisley, Renfrewshire, Scotland. 15 Arthur Linnis and Isabella Donnelly were sponsors to Mary Fullarton, daughter of John Fullarton and Susan Hagan or Higgins.

The priest was William Caven.

Arthur married Isabella DONNLEY about 1789. (Isabella DONNLEY was born in 1764 in Ireland 2 and died November-December 1842 in St Mirin's RC Parish, Paisley, Renfrewshire, Scotland 16.)


1 Norman Murray, The Cotton Handloom Weavers 1750-1850 A Social History (1978), Ch7.

2 1841 UK Census, Paisley High en d 17 page 9 20 Queen Street.

3 Roman Catholic Records, St Andrew's RC parish Glasgow Baptisms 1798.

4 GRO Scotland, Death Paisley 1883 RDS 573 No 629.

5 Roman Catholic Records, Index of Baptisms.

6 GRO Scotland, Airdrie Lanarkshire Deaths 1873.

7 GRO Scotland, 1825 May 13 Paisley marriages.

8 GRO Scotland, Death certificate Paisley 1883 RDS 573 No 629/daughter Margaret.

9 Rev Bernard J Canning, Glimpses of St Mary's Paisley 1876-1976 (1976).

10 Internet Site,

11 GRO Scotland, St Mirin's Paisley marriages 1819.

12 GRO Scotland, St Mirin's Paisley marriages 1825.

13 GRO Scotland, St Mirin's Paisley baptisms 1826.

14 GRO Scotland, St Mirin's Paisley baptisms 1827.

15 GRO Scotland, St Mirin's Paisley baptisms 1828.

16 GRO Scotland, 'Obituary' list St Mirin's 1842.

Copyright 2024 Mary McGonigal

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