Ancient Forests of Angus Scotland





Thus I started on my journey attempting to find my Lindsay ancestors. A disinherited child was literally erased from existence from all family genealogy records, church records, and his name never spoken of again. The name John Lindsay is the most common name given male boys in the Lindsay clan. It was equivalent to searching for John Smith in the United States.

Through marriage the Lindsays acquired two-thirds of the county of Angus. The Highland district of Glenesk by marriage to the heiress of the Stirlings of Edzell. They also inherited the Abernethy lands in Angus. The marriage of David Lindsay, Earl of Huntingdon, resulted in great landholdings in the Forfarshire County, Scotland. The Lindsays came to occupy much of this district and by the 1800s had over 100 family branches living in the area.
Scotland in historic times was covered by vast stretches of wooded forests. Many of these forests were destroyed by removal of many oak trees for lumber, farming and the introduction of Caviot Sheep. The employment of Gamekeepers was associated with these great forests. The book "Lands of the Lindsays" identified these forests of old: Deer Forest, Kilgerry Forest, Montrethmont Forest, Alyth Forest, Plater Forest, and Kinblethmont.
The Gamekeeper's Daughter folklore legend had its origin in one of these six forests, which were occupied simultaneously by both the Lindsays and Guthries.The Bowmans occupied these lands also as their names appear in Parish records for all these regions as early as the 1600s when records were started. The Guthries of Halkerton held the barony by right of the office of royal falconers in Angus during the 17th and 18th century.

ANCIENT FORESTS of 16th Century Angus, Scotland


The Deer Forest is the farthest north, located in the Parish of Lochlee (Glenesk).The Lindsay castle Invermark Castle was built on the banks of the Lee in 1526 and was tenanted by shepards.

From 1593-1594 David Lindsay, 9th Earl of Crawford brought miners from Germany to find minerals of gold, silver, brass and tin.The surname Bowman in its German origin is spelled Bauman.

Located near Invermark on the hill of Drum is an old gamekeepers home. It is one of the highest inhabited lodgings in Scotland at 1,250 feet above sea level.



David Skair
Proprietor of Burnside
Proprietorship passed on to Alex 1743
Alexander Skair (1684-1751)
& wife Margaret Wedderburn
Ann Skair (1724-1801)
married David Guthrie (1717-1781)
Ann brought Burnside to the
Guthries through her
marriage to David
Alexander Guthrie (1747-1836)
wife Margaret Guthrie1755-1839)
married 8 March 1776
Children: Margaret b. 1777, David b. 1778, James 1788, Thomas 1792, and
Alexander 1796, merchant Singapore/London.
Betty, Isobel, Alex, & Helen, d. in infancy

Reference: Pre-1855 Gravestone Inscriptions
Menumuir Cemetery GS 14, &16


The Kilgerry Forest is just south of the Deer Forest and is located in the Parish of Menmuir.

Royalty had a hunting seat in the Kilgerry Forest in the 13th century. A royal residence once ornamented the now comparatively bleak landscape. The forest covered the hills of Caterthun and Lundie.

Proprietors in the late 1500s included the Lindsays of Balhall. Menmuir is the burial place of the Guthries whose principal farm was called Burnside.

Chronological list of Keepers of the Forest of Kilgery

1318 - Peter de Spalding
1445 - John Smyth
1455 - Alexander of Fowlartone
1461 - William Somyr of Balzeordie
1470 - George Somyr of Balzeordie
1488 - Thomas de Collace - half the foggage in
the Forest of Kilgery.
1494 - Cristiane Guthrie, widow of George Somyr. Male line failed middle of 1750s.
ca. 1750 - Alexander Carnegie of Balnamoon & wife Margaret Graham



 The Forest of Montreuthmont was located in the Parish or Ferne.

The King visited the forest of Montreuthmont when it was owned by Lord Carnegie, Earl of Southesk in 1617, during which time his Highness amused himself hunting in the adjoining forest.

Lord Carnegie was one of 14 children born to Sir Robert Carnegie and Margaret Guthrie, daughter of Guthrie of Lunan. The Carnegies occupied the Kinnaird Castle.

The Barony of the Guthries was located just south of the forest of Montreuthmont. Castle Guthrie was built in 1468 by Sir David Guthrie.


ALYTH FOREST, Parish of Ruthven, Queich, & Alytb

The Forest of Alyth was located in the parishes of Ruthven, Queich and Alyth. It was a royal sporting field in old times.

The castles of Inverqueich and Corb had probably been used as hunting seats by the Scottish kings.

Guinevera in the 12th century was held prisoner in the Inver(QUEICH) Castle.

The Lindsays held these lands from the 12th-15th century when Inverqueich Castle passed from the Lindsays due to the extravagance and imprudence of the son of the "Wicked Master".




The Plater Forest was located in the Parish of Finhaven near Glamis Castle. The forest extended from the south side of the hill of Finhaven to the hill of Kirriemuir- a distance of at least seven miles. Also the lands between the Noran River and Finehaven which is called Mark-house, "the castle in the forest."

The Lindsays of the Barnyards (constables); the Lindsays of Halch of Tannadyce (constables); the Lindsay of Auchenleck (hereditary armour bearer); and Lindsays of Little Coull, of Glenquich, of Markhouse, of Woodray, and of Balgavies occupied areas surround the Plater forest.

Sir Walter of Balgavies, acquired the lands of Balgavies in 1571 and held the Barony which included the Hilton of Guthrie.

Chronological order of Keepers of the Forest of Plater

ca. 1250 - William Comyn, Earl of Buchan
1308 - Philip the Forester ca.
1332 - Sir Robert, son of Bruce
1334 - Hew Polayne
1334-1370 - William, Earl of Ross
1370-1375 - Sir David de Anandia
1375 - Sir Alexander Lindsay of Glenesk.
1380 - Son Sir David, Earl of Crawford, was supposed to have built the first castle in Finhaven. Earl David also founded the "Lodging" in the Nethergate of Dundee and was so extensive that it stretched from the street south to the river Tay, and being entered by a massive gateway, on which there was a battlement bearing the legend "David Lord Lindsay, Earl of Crawford." The Earl of Crawfords, a branch of the Lindsay clan,
held Finhaven for 300 years.
1672 - The Carnegie family succeeded the Lindsay family to the Lordship of Finhaven.

Gamekkeeper Appointment

1771, Sept 2. Glammis Castle. -Deed by John, Earl of Strathmore and Kinghorn,
appointing Robert Graham of Fintrie, esquire, gamekeeper to the Earl and to Archibald
Douglas of Douglas, for all their lands in the counties of Forfar and Perth, with full
powers to him to kill the game, to hunt and to fish, and also to grant licences to others
and to appoint deputies. Signed Bowes Strathmore, Witnesses, Thomas Lyon, brother
to the Earl; Sir Blakiston Conyers, bart., of Chester-le-Street; and James Menzies of

Reference: "The Manuscripts in the Possession of Sir John James Graham, of Fintry, K..C.M.G." page 223. Historical Manuscripts Commission. Report of Manuscripts in Various Collections, Volume 4. Dublin. Printed for his Majesty's Stationaery Office by John Falconner, 53 Upper Sackville Street. 1907.





Kinblethmont "theKing's blythe mount," was believed to be the hunting seat of William the Lion. The GUTHRIES were designed of Kinblethmont from at least the year 1470 till 1594. They were of the family Lindsay of Colliston and sold Kinblethmont to Master Peter Young about 1582.

Kinblethmont is located halfway between Colliston and Inverkeilor.

  The founder of the Kinblethmont branch of the family of Lindsay, in the 1570s, was Alexander, youngest son of the 10th Earl of Crawford, and wife Margaret Beaton. Alexander, also known as Lord Spynie married Jean Lyon, daughter of John, 8th Lord Glamis. Lord Spynie died in a riot which occurred between young Edzell and the Master of Crawford, on the High Street of Edinburgh, on the 5th of July 1607.

David Guthrie, esquire to the Earl of Crawford, purchased the barony of Guthrie from the Earl of Crawford about 1465. David Guthrie also purchased the church of Guthrie, from the Abbey of Arbroath. The castle of Guthrie was built about 1468.

  Kinblethmont Forest is in the upper right hand corner of the adjacent map.

The Parish of Carmyllie lies nine miles southwest of the Kinblethmont Forest.

The Cotton of West Skichen, Curleys and Cotton of Carnegie, in the lower left-hand corner of map, lies 2 miles further southeast of the Parish of Carmyllie. This is where the children of John Bowman and Helen Guthrie were born between 1825 and 1839.

Carbuddo (Newton of Kirkbuddo)
was first a chapelry belonging to the
church of Guthrie consisting of about
6 acres. The Lindsays were lords of
Carbuddo from at least about the
middle of the 15th century, down to
the early part of the 16th century. The
property then passed on to Sir Thomas Erskine of Brechin.


Early Bowmans in parish register had named spelled Browmm, Browm, and Bowman.

  • 1696, June John Browmm, the ground of Carbudo (Kirkbuddo) had a son baptized Thomas. Witnesses Thomas Lindsay and Androw Chrigston (Crichton).

  • 1701, July - John Browm, the ground of Kirkbuddo had a son baptized called John. Witness: Jas. Asplone (sp?) and Alison Lindsay.



    1. Lord John Lindsay, "The Lives of the Lindsays" 1882
    2. Andrew Jervise, "The History and Traditions of the Land of the Lindsays" Edinburgh: David Douglas 1882
    3. Nigel Tranter & Michael Cyprien, "A Travellers' Guidebook to the Scotland of Robert the Bruce" Spencer Publications, London, England, 1985.
    4. Andrew Fisher, "A Treaveller's History of Scotland" Interlink Books, Brooklyn, New York, 1990.
    5. "The Manuscripts in the possession of Sir John James Graham, of Fintry, K. C. M. G." Historical Manuscripts Commission, Volume 4, 1907.


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