The exact year of John's birth is unsure, but it is between 1821 and 1825. He was born in Minnigaff, Kirkcudbrightshire.
According to a paternity case report dated 21 Feb 1851, John was the father of Isabella Hay or Hastings born 12 August 1847. The mother was Elizabeth Hay who later married John Hastings. On the 1851 census, Isabella's surname was given as Hastings.
John Married Agnes Nish (McNish) in Kirkmabreck in 1850.
They appear to have had a total of 11 children of whom 1 died at birth, or shortly after, and another (Alexander) in infancy. To-date, I have found 29 grandchildren.
John's Surname was 'Skimming' at birth and marriage but by the time of the 1891 census he had changed this to 'McSkimming', his occupation was agricultural labourer.
John died in 1892 in Tongland.
The source of this information was his Death Certificate and the 6 Censuses between 1841 and 1891
In 1841 at the age of 15, John lived with his family in Blackcraig, after marrying Agnes he lived for short while with her parents in Kirkmabreck. At that time, I believe that it was normal for agricultural workers to have only short term employment and since their housing went with the job, the whole family had to move every year or so. Between 1854 and 1871, the family moved around the county, presumably working at different farms, until around 1871 when they settled in Ringford which is in the parish of Tongland.