The Gamekeepers Daughter Folklore Scotland



The search for my Scottish ancestry began with a simple
question to my Aunt Bowman,

"What Scottish Clan do we belong to?"

"Clan Lindsay," she replied. "But, how can that be?" I asked.
"Aren't we part of Clan Farquharson?"

Aunt Bowman then recited the family folklore story
of the Gameskeeper's Daughter passed down through
eleven generations of Bowmans.



The tale begins over three hundred years ago in Angus County, Scotland, an area covering Dundee north to Montrose, more commonly known as the Land of the Lindsays. In about the year 1582, a Miss Bowman, a daughter of a gamekeeper, married John Lindsay, of the Lindsay clan of landed-gentry and fame. During the 16th century marriages of landed-gentry and upper nobility were pre-arranged on the basis of economics and possession of lands. An example of a planned marriage is the marriage between David Lindsay of England and Miss Haddington of England, resulting in David becoming the owner of nearly all of Angus, Scotland..

John Lindsay's marriage to Miss Bowman, a commoner, meant no added wealth to the Lindsay family. Young John Lindsay, having disgraced his father's family name, was disinherited and banned from using the family surname Lindsay. Miss Bowman's father, the Gamekeeper, accepted John into his family. John Lindsay adopted his wife's BOWMAN surname as his own.

Mr. Bowman trained John (Lindsay) Bowman in the occupation of Gamekeeping and gave him his first gamekeeper stick which is a rapier knife that unscrews out of a cane. This gamekeeper stick has been passed down through the Bowman family along with the paisley shawl which Miss Bowman was "Churched" in. Churched (kirked) describes the Scottish tradition of the bride attending church on the first Sabbath after marriage, wearing a shawl which is presented to her as a gift from the groom's family. The newlyweds, according to custom, married on either a Friday or Saturday, were accompanied by the inspiring strains of the Highland bagpipes on the way to the church.


Illustration of a Warrener (gamekeeper of small game) ) in the 18th century. Photo: Library of Congress, Digital Collection.
"The Warrener" published between 1900-1912. Creator: George Moreland 1763-1804, artist.
Detroit Publishing Company, Thistle Publications 1913. Gift: State Historical Society of Colorado 1949.


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