The Stewarts of the South:
The Stewarts of Gartnafuaran
Discuss these families with fellow researchers at:
Click on any of the following to be taken to that section or page.
Contents of this page
Links to other related pages on this web site
This web page is a continuation of the documentary analysis of Captain James Stewart's letters ca. 1815-1820, giving a thorough accounting of many of the Stewart families from southern Perthshire of that era. If you have come here from outside this website then you are advised to begin with The Stewarts of the South: INTRODUCTION, which includes an explanation of the document itself, and this analysis project, as well as an introduction to the Stewarts of Balquhidder Research Web Site.
Their Clan name means "Children of Voil House". The meaning of Voil is uncertain, but is believed to mean "pebbly beach", thus "Children of the house of the pebbly beach".
I am now about to proceed to the family of Gartnafuara, the third family of the Stewarts of the South who claim being descended of the oldest of the three sons.
|The preceding reference is uncertain, but is believed to refer to the three sons of Sir William Stewart, 2nd of Baldorran and 1st Baillie of Balquhidder. Duncan Stewart's 18th century genealogy of the Stewarts claimed that Andrew Stewart, 1st of Gartnafuaran was a son of William, whereas contemporary research has proved that Andrew was actually the brother of William. See our Report on the Origin of Andrew Stewart, 1st of Gartnafuaran for more information on this discrepancy. But it would seem from both Duncan's genealogy and the above reference that the Gartnafuaran Stewarts themselves mistakenly believed they were descended as Duncan suggests. It may also suggest that there was disagreement among the Ardvorlich, Glenbuckie, and Gartnuafuaran branches as to who was descended from the oldest son of Sir William, and thus, who was the most senior family.|
Although they are the last, I think they ought to be the second, at least. In general, they are something like to the family of Ardvorlich, not altogether valiant as the Glenbuckie family, but more of a Low country nature. The only distinguished character known to me of this family was one "Walter-du-mor" ("Big Black Walter") who [along] with his two sons was killed at the battle of Kilsyth, [although] some say, however, that they were killed at the battle of "Bodle brig", which was certainly not the case.
The real representative of that family at present is a young man (Walter) a clerk in London, grandson to the late Walter Stewart who disposed of the lands of Gartnafuara. The present representative's father was Alexander, who lived in a decent respectable manner from a fortune, or small income, which he had by his wife. He resided at a place called Torrie, near Callendar.
Walter has also another brother in [the] West Indies, named Alexander, who is said to be doing well.
There is also another brother of the real family and is nearest to the above mentioned; [he is] Walter, a tenant in Glenfinglas -- one of the eight tenants of the name of Stewart -- and pays a rent of one hundred guineas. This person is rather a silly indolent man, and, however, has some abilities, but cannot make any use of them, either for himself or family. [He] is married to a very genteel woman from Aberdeenshire. [He] has three sons [who are] under age.
Commonly called "Stuiartich a' Bhaid" (probably means "Stewarts of the clump/tuft/thicket") in ancient times. The oldest branch of the family of Gartnafuara was Ground Officer to the Earl of Moray in the district of Doune.
There was one Andrew Stewart, [a] tenant in Cuil-n-togle who left two sons: William and John.
James mor Stewart, formerly [a] tenant [in] Grodich [in] Glenfinglas, [who] moved [from there] to Monavrechie [in] Port [of Menteith] parish. [He was] a famous hardy soldier, who left three sons [namely]
This finishes the account of "Stuartich a'Bhaid", as they are called.
Or what is called "Sliochd Rob Dhuibh mhoir" ("Children of Big Black Rob"), who was a son of Gartnafuara, [and a] tenant of Wester Ardchubry [in] Balquhidder parish in [the] Strathyre district of Auchlessy.
|It is suggested that Rob Dubh Mor, patriarch of this branch is most likely Robert, son of Alexander, 5th of Gartnafuaran.|
|Robert Dubh Mor STEWART b: ABT 1605 in Gartnafueran, Balquhidder, Perthshire, Scotland. In which case we would have a line as follows:|
- Missing Generation (probably an Alexander, Duncan or Robert), b. ABT 1640
- Duncan STEWART, b. ABT 1680
- Rob McDonachie STEWART in Ardcheancnocan, b. ABT 1720
- Duncan STEWART of Letter and Brainchoill, b. ABT 1755
- Robert STEWART in London, b. ABT 1790
[Big Black Rob's] descendant was Rob McDonachie ("Robert, son of Duncan"), lately one of the four tenants of Ardcheanacnocan who left four sons, [namely]
This Duncan Stewart is possessed of some unprincipled abilities; he is tacksman of Brainchoill where there was once a hospitable reception for persons of every description with every mark of kindly hospitality by the late worthy family of Glenbuckie and where there is now neither house nor hall.
[The SOS Appendix has the following reference, brought forward here for reference.]
I mentioned in one of the preceding pages, concerning one Duncan Stewart, [a] tacksman of Brainchoil & Letter of the family of Gartnafuaran, which you will notice in the proper place, that he was a dangerous character which truly happened shortly after. I mentioned likewise in its proper place that Glenfinglas was 800 guineas - 100 guineas to each of the eight tenants there. This low fellow that raised himself from the dung hill by forwardness and villainy, offered 1200 Guineas for the Glen altogether with 100 guineas in the Earl of Moray's will. Now bad as he is, the coiff, the Earl would not accept of this, and only advanced the rent of �60. By this [the Earl] refused fully 400 guineas. But this present Earl, is acting by the injunctions of his father who directed him not to harass these tenants. For he is not in himself really bad, if Lady Moray and other bad councillors would not influence him. This Duncan Stewart, it cannot be denied, is a clever fellow, were he to make good use of his abilities. It was not out of mere spite and malice [that] he did this to his neighbours, who were tenants [at] the time [that] he was a cottar. His offers, however, rejected here with disdain and so might every one of his kind.
This finishes the account of "Sliochd Rob Dhuibh-mhoir". Ard-chean-cnocan, belongs to Burrel Drummond and pay of rent 100 guineas. Brainchoill and Letter pay 200 guineas. Duncan Stewart has also another farm in Glen-elg which pays �500.
The name of this clan presents a challenge when trying to reconcile it with the narrative that follows. "Sliochd sheun Rob is Alastair oig" as written means "Children of Old Rob and Young Alexander". The Gaelic word "is" is usually a form of the verb "to be", but is also used as a short form for "agus", which means "and", which would imply that the clan was named after Old Rob and Young Alexander, presumably brothers. And the opening notes below do affirm that this branch descends from two brothers, one of which is Old Rob, but the other is recorded as James, not Alexander. This is hard to reconcile. Furthermore it would represent the only example we can find where a clan was named after two brothers. The absence of "Young Alexander" and the presence of brother James in the narrative below are hard to explain if "is" is understood as "agus" or "and".
|If this branch is descended from Old Rob, descendant of Alexander The Younger, then the most likely candidate for said Alexander would be the son of Alexander, 5th of Gartnafuaran. This makes even more sense when it appears that the preceding III Branch is probably descended from Alexander's brother Robert. However our Fellow Researchers remain undecided on a preferred interpretation at this point.|
|The line delineations in this branch are not found in the original document but have been added for easier readability.|
"Sliochd sheun Rob is Alastair oig", two brothers. About three generations ago they came from Wester Invernenty in Balquhidder, (or this may also be rendered as "Sliochd sheun Rob 'ic Alastair oig". Two brothers -- about three generations ago they came from Wester Invernenty...) formerly the property of the family of Gartnafuare, afterwards that of Glenbuckie & Brainchoil, and now the property of the heirs of the late Red Duncan Stewart, Minister of Balquhidder.
The descendants of Sean Rob [are] (judging by the chronology of 2 Line, it is suggested that the following are the great-grandchildren of Sean Rob.)
Robert, [a] tenant in Duart [in] Glenfinglas, [who is] one of the eight tenants of the name of Stewart in that place, and [who] pays rent of one hundred guineas. [He] left four sons:
- Thomas emigrated some time ago to North America and had a large family
- Alan in the West Indies [who is] doing well
- John, [who] possesses the farm which his father had. [He is an] active [and] well-doing young man. Unmarried.
- Robert, a cattle-dealer in Glenfinglas. Unmarried
Robert Stewart, formerly [a] tenant of Auchinaird (Auchnahard) [in] Glenfinglas [and] again of Coillechat near Doune, [which is] Auchessy's property, and formerly belonged to the ancient family of Musket (Muschet). [This Robert is a] cousin to the former Robert. [He] left three sons:
- two in the West Indies
- and the third [is a] schoolmaster at Bannockburn near Stirling
There was another cousin of his, a Duncan Stewart, who resided at Balfron, Stirlingshire as a cotton spinner, and who formerly lived at Baile-choalish [in] Appin [in] Argyleshire. [He] left two sons:
- the one a shoemaker,
- the other a tailor,
who have both families - two sons each under age who now live in Balfron.
John Stewart, late innkeeper [at] Easter Bridge of Turk [on the] Earl of Moray's property, [in] Callander parish [at the] foot of Glenfinglas. [He was] formerly a soldier and pensioner, [and] left two sons, [namely]
- James, [an] innkeeper [in] Callendar who has one son
- Alexander, [a] crofter, under McFarlane of Coillechra [in] Callendar parish and on Loch Catherineside who has also one son.
James, [a] brother to "Sean Rob" came to Glenfinglas about three generations back (ca. 1720) and became tacksman of Grodich at Glenfinglas
I have been acquainted with their father and grandfather for the period of thirty five years.
This finishes the genealogy of this branch.
Commonly called the Stewarts of Glenogle or Cloich-glas, near Lochearnhead or Hyndfield, all in [the] parish of Balquhidder. Glenogle belongs to Lord Breadalbane, and Cloich-glas also; Hyndfield is the property of Capt Stewart [of] Glenbuckie.
|The Line numberings for the following branches do not appear in the original text but have been added for clarity.|
|For more information on this branch please refer to our Stewarts of Glenogle page.|
|The following David Stewart of Craig Ruidh was the senior male descendant of the Stewarts of Glenogle, Cloich-Glas and Hyndfield. He married Elizabeth Stewart of Benmore, whose brother purchased Glenbuckie from Alexander Stewart, 12th of Glenbuckie. Thus, the following descendants were paternally descended from the Stewarts of Glenogle, although they briefly became lairds of Glenbuckie. The entire matter is very confusing and is laid out in fuller detail on the Glenbuckie page.|
David Stewart, late of Glenbuckie, was son of John Stewart of Craig-grui and Easter Monachail in the Parish of Balquhidder. Craig-grui underwent several changes and belongs at present to a Mr Don McDonald, a great tacksman from Glenlyon. And Monachail belongs to the heiress of the late Barron McNab. This David of Craig-grui married the heiress of Glenbuckie, Capt Stewart's sister, by whom he had two sons:
[Both] young men [are] presently at Callander. The youngest [of which] I was recommending to yourself [as] they are both talking of going to the W Indies
|The following entry indicates that the following James Stewart of Stank was the cousin of John Stewart of Criag Ruidh of 1 Line above. Thus James of Stank and John of Craig Ruidh would have shared a common paternal grandfather, whose name is presently unknown.|
James Stewart, [who was a] tacksman of Stank and Leaniuch in Glenbuckie, and [also had] a fourth part of Glenfinglas, was a cousin of the above David's father (John Stewart of Craig Ruidh). [James] left one son:
This old James of Stank was once a traveling merchant, and was the cleverest and most active of his own name or any other in that country and left many good leases with a good deal of money which were very ill managed by Ardvorlich and some other tutors. Mr Stewart of Blair had his part of Glenfinglas since his settlement in Athol.
James Stewart, [a] tacksman of Auchnandave in Strathyre [in] Balquhidder Parish, [on] Buchanan of Auchlessy's property, formerly that of Arnprior. [He] left three sons, [namely]
[Caleb] pays �75 of rent.
|Balquhidder OPR records show the following about this family:|
|James STEWART, in Auchnandave in
Strathyre, b: ABT 1730, married to Jean GRAEME (of Callander?). They had
the following children:|
James Stewart, late tenant of Inverlochlarig-mor in Balquhidder, formerly [the] property of McGregor of Glencarnaig, now that of the Earl of Moray, left two sons, [namely]
(The next two entries are not shown as brothers, but onomastics and geography would favour that Duncan and Robert were brothers and both sons of a father named James. It may be speculated that their father James was the son of a Duncan, but this would be less certain.)
John Stewart, [a] crofter [in] soldiers' land (uncertain reference) near Callendar, [on] Burrel Drummond's [estate]. [He] has two sons:
James Stewart, late tenant [in] Rusgachan, [in] Strathyre, Buchanan's (of Auchlessy) property. [He] left three sons:
Patrick Stewart, [in] Burn-a-campsy, near Doune Lodge, [in] Doune Parish, has two sons
|This family has been identified. They are presented on the Glenogle page|
Donald Stewart, late crofter Aucha-raw near Loch-earn-head [in] Balquhidder Parish, [on] Lord Braidalbane's property, left five sons:
All this family are industrious and careful.
This finishes the Stewarts of Glenogle and Clachglas.
Or what is called "the Stewarts of Coille Mhori", [in] Buchanan parish, [in] Stirlingshire [on] Loch-Lomondside, to whom belonged three farms, now the property of the Duke of Montrose, [namely] Blair eagen and Claischoil, both in the parish of Aberfoil, [in the] Lordship of Menteith, and [the] Duke of Montrose's property, [along] with Coille mhoir and two other farms which they had free.
John Stewart, late tacksman of Crochavie [in] Aberfoil parish, had four sons still in life, [namely]
Alexander Stewart, late spirit dealer in Glasgow, left two sons
James Stewart, formerly a watchmaker in Glasgow who now lives in a private way upon his money, which he acquired by his wife amounting to between 15 and 20 thousand pounds. He was more fortunate than active.
James Stewart, [a] shoemaker [in the] village of Drymen [in] Stirlingshire, has five sons under age. [He is] a clever active man.
Andrew Stewart, late weaver and crofter [in] Craigoughty near the Kirkton of Aberfoil, who left:
James Stuart, [a] miller [in] Cubail-Larach, [in] Drymen parish. [He] has five sons. [He is] the stoutest and most able man in that country.
Charles Stewart, late saddler in Buchlyvi, [was] a respectable man and at one time in good circumstances who left two sons:
Both [Charles and John are] unmarried.
John, an innkeeper in Dunbarton, who has a family of three sons and daughters.
Robert Stewart, late tenant in Ardvorlich, left one son:
This finishes the Coille more family.
Or what is called "the Port-an-ealan Stewarts", [named after] a farm near Callendar on Loch Vennacherside, formerly the property of the family of Perth, now that of the Earl of Moray, and [was] held in tack by Stewart of Annat when belonging to the family of Perth.
All [are] unmarried. Rent �40.
This finishes the Stewarts of Port an Ealan - all well-doing and thrifty men.
Commonly called "Stuirtaich Chireu" ("The Dusky Brown Stewarts") from their ruddy complexion. These, in general, are not of the first rate, however they can take care of themselves.
|There is no indication given in the text as to how the Dusky Brown Stewarts are related to the Gartnafuaran family. It must be presumed that their family tradition simply claims so. The relationship between the following household must be loosely understood to be cousins, but how distant cannot be determined. The only exception are the two brothers indicated.|
James Stewart, [a] tenant in Bracklin [in] Callendar [on the] Earl of Moray's property, [which is] the best farm in the farthest east of the parish. [James] has seven sons.
It is unclear from the original text as to whether the following six men should be understood to be six of the seven sons of the preceding James, or if they are separate and independent branches of this family. The description of the brothers James and Alexander, below, and the repetition of the name James would favour the position that these following entries represent separate households who are not descended from the preceding James, but are contemporary with him.
John, [who] resides with himself.
James, [who is] a minister who got a parish from the Earl of Moray in the North (that of Alloa); the first Stewarts that ever had a presentation from that family.
Archibald, [a] tacksman of ?Drim-losgt (handwriting illegible), [in] Doune parish. Rent �120. Earl of Moray's property
Both [James and Alexander] are in good circumstances.
Bracklin formerly was rented by twelve tenants. At present it pays �150 and is well worth �350. [The farm] will keep about 60 milk cows. One-half of this farm formerly belonged to the ancient and respectable family of the Dows of Ardnahaw of whom no person in that country knows anything of. This farm is now in the policy of Stirling of Keir.
John Stewart, [a] tenant in the lots of Greenock in the ancient Barony of Callendar, [which] formerly belonged to the family of Perth [and] now [belongs] to a gentleman from Edinburgh of the name of Hunter. [John] has four sons:
- two with himself
- and two in the West Indies. The one of which made a fortune there
This barony of Callendar anciently belonged to the Livingston Earl of Callendar before it fell into the hands of the family of [the Earl of] Perth. The Livingstons were obliged to leave that country for some injustice done to a man that was hanged in that place. They left voluntarily when they heard of the injustice of his treatment.
Patrick is in Glengartan in Arasaig mor, [which is] a farm for which he pays �300 or �400 a year [to] Clan Ronald. [He] has four sons.
This finishes the "Stuirtich Chiren" and the Gartnafuaran family commonly called "Sliochd an tigh mhoil". Their property in Balquhidder was the farms of Gartnafuaran, Cean na coille, and Stronslan and Dailriach in Glenbuckie. Glen-du in Glenbuckie was their sheiling or grazing place. Gartnafuaran and Stron-slan [along] with Cean a choille and Dial riach were sold to a McLeod from Skye, and [are] now the property of John McGregor-Murray. Sir John McGregor-Murray sold Glen Mor to Capt Stewart of Glenbuckie at the rate of �4000, double the value. It is said that the Stewarts of Gartnafuaran had Wester Invernenty before it became the property of the family of Glenbuckie, and they were once laying claim to the barony of Strathgartan on Loch Catherineside.
[The present laird of] Ardvorlich knows these particulars better than any person in life.
The text continues with Section IV: Miscellany.
Site hosted by: Ryk Brown & Chuck Speed.
To contact the hosts, or any of our researchers, go to the
STEWARTS OF BALQUHIDDER DISCUSSION FORUM
and leave a message.
This page was last updated on February 05, 2010