The Stewarts in Glen Finglas,
Callander, Perthshire, Scotland
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This page is part of the Stewarts of Balquhidder Research Group Web Site jointly hosted by myself, Ryk Brown, and my research partner, Chuck Speed. The research presented on this page is not ours alone. It is the product of all the Fellow Researchers of the Stewarts of Balquhidder Research Group. We are indebted to them for their generous contributions. This page is intended as a place for researchers to freely and cooperatively share our research with each other. The first-time reader is advised to begin with the introduction found on the Principal Families Page before proceeding on with this page.
This page introduces you to the Stewarts in Glen Finglas. They include several branches of Stewarts who were all cadets of the Baldorran/Balquhidder Stewarts and who lived in Glenfinglas during the 17th-19th centuries.
Glen Finglas in relation to Callander
Glen Finglas is located in Callander parish, northwest of Loch Venacher and south of Glen Buckie. Prior to the late 19th century it was a thriving glen of good farmland, rich with inhabitants and history. According to Glen Finglas -- Woodland Trust Scotland, "Glen Finglas was possibly the most popular of all royal hunting forests. David II, Robert II, James I, II, III, IV and V and many important Scottish Earls hunted here. In particular, James II built a permanent hunting lodge in the glen." Today it is almost completely vacant of inhabitants, having been damned up and flooded (see photos at right), and it now provides part of the water supply for the city of Glasgow. All of the small farm settlements in Glen Finglas mentioned on this page no longer exist. The last of them was abandoned in the late 19th century, and at least two of them are now submerged beneath the waters of the man-made Glen Finglas Reservoir.
Strictly speaking, the name should be spelled as two separate words, "Glen Finglas", when referring to the glen itself and the compound spelling of Glenfinglas should only be used as an adjective, such as when referring to the the clan name of the inhabitants, i.e. The Glenfinglas Stewarts.
The name Glen Finglas comes from Gaelic roots, but its meaning is disputed.
Some gazetteers give the etymology of Glen Finglas as Gleann Fionn Ghlais, "Glen of the White Stream. Another etymology has been suggested as Gleann na fiodhan glas, "Glen of the Grey Timber". Both of these suggest the roots of the name Glen Finglas are topographical in origin. However, we would suggest otherwise. We would suggest that the name derives from one an early inhabitant, Finlay Glas Farquharson.
We find in 17th and 18th century local parish records that the name of Glen Finglas is at times referred to as: Glen Finlayglas, Glenfinlayson, and Glenmacfinlay. In Gaelic these would be Glean Fionnlaigh Glas ("The Glen of Finlay the Grey") or Glean mac Fionnlaigh ("The Glen of Finlay's Son"). These names all seem infer that Glen Finglas was named after a person, either "Finlay The Grey", or "the son of Finlay".
Finlay or Fionnlaigh was a popular Gaelic forename from fionn laoch, originally meaning "fair hero". The patronymic form is mac Fhionnlaigh in which the 'f' becomes silent and becomes Anglicized as McKinlay.
Suggesting that the name of Glen Finglas derives from the personal name of Finlay Glas, rather than from topographical origins, makes even more sense when one considers the number of families of the name McKinlay who resided in the area.
The senior local branch of the McKinlays settled at 'The Anie', in the Pass of Leny in Strathyre, just east of Glen Finglas. William MacKinlay, former President of the United States was descended from McKinlays of the Anie.
click to enlarge
The McKinlays of the Anie claim descent from Finlay Mor Farquharson of Braemar, although that claim is disputed as the genealogical tree of Finlay Mor Farquharson fails to reveal any surviving male issue of the sons of his first marriage. (http://homepages.rootsweb.com/~mckinlay/) It may be that the McKinlays descend from illegitimate offspring. Regardless of the validity of the McKinlay ancestry, it is at least true that the McKinlays of the Anie believed they were descended from Finlay Mor Farquharson. And that was certainly the local tradition in Strathyre.
The traditional ancestral burial ground for the McKinlays of the Anie is at St. Bride's Chapel, just south of the Anie in Strathyre.
There is a small lake in the pass between Glen Finglas and the Stank Glen leading down into Strathyre just across from the Anie. This lake is called Lochan nan Corp which means "Small Lake of the Corpses" "Lochan nan Corp received its name from...a funeral party from Glenfinglas, passing over the mountain to the churchyard of St. Bride.... [They] passed over the loch imagining that the frozen surface was strong enough...the ice gave way and the whole company...perished in the loch." (W. Marshall, Historic Scenes in Perthshire, 1879, p. 394) (See photos at right.) The identity of the family who perished in Lochan nan Corp is not recorded, but it would seem certain that if they were a funeral procession bound for St. Bride's then they must have been McKinlays. If they were coming from Glen Finglas then this would further support the suggestion that the early inhabitants of Glen Finglas were McKinlays.
Stewarts of the South (ca. 1815) indicates that Glen Finglas was originally populated by a group of "Clan Resans." The identity of Clan Resans is uncertain, in fact we have found no record of any such clan. However "Resans" may simply be a truncated corruption of the final syllables of (Farquh)arsons. In the local Perthshire dialect the 'qhu' is pronounced like an English 'w'. And, in it's lenited form, Farquharson would become Fharquharson, in which the 'Fh' is silent. Thus, Fharquharsons (in the Anglo plural form) would be pronounced something like "arwarsans", which begins to sound fairly close to "Resans".
Thus, the reference from Stewarts of the South may also support the suggestion that the original inhabitants of Glen Finglas were McKinlays who claimed descent from Clan Farquharson.
It seems reasonable to suggest that Finlay Mor Farqhuarson may have had a son named Finlay Glas who was the first to settle in Glen Finglas and after whom the Glen was named. He likely had descendants who resided in Glen Finglas and these McKinlays would have been cousins to the McKinlays of the Anie. It is likely they who perished in Lochan nan Corp. As it is recorded that "the whole company of them perished" then it is likely they left no descendants and little or no written record.
We would therefore suggest that the original inhabitants of Glen Finglas were MacKinlays who claimed descent from Finlay Mor Farquharson of Braemar, and who were cousins of the McKinlays of The Anie, and that Glen Finglas was named after a son or descendant of Finlay Mor who was called Finlay Glas, or "Finlay the Grey".
The tragedy on Lochan nan Corp claimed the lives of "the whole company" of McKinlays from Glen Finglas, thus leaving Glen Finglas momentarily unoccupied. A group of MacGregors quickly seized upon the vacancy left by the tragedy and forcefully occupied Glen Finglas for themselves. The MacGregor presence in Glen Finglas was about to become the root cause of the subsequent Stewart occupancy of Glen Finglas.
As many of the later Stewarts in Glen Finglas married McKinlays from the Anie family, it may be of interest to their descendants to say a little more of the origins of the McKinlays of the Anie before we return to the Stewarts.
Clan Farquharson derives its name from Farquhar Shaw, 4th son of Alexander "Ciar" Mackintosh of Rothiemurchus, 5th Chief of Clan Shaw, who settled in the Braes of Mar (Braemar), the source of the River Dee. His descendants took the name Farquharson. Farquhar Shaw's son (Donald) married Isobel Stewart, heiress of Invercauld, however, it was their son, Finlay Mor who has become known as the first real Farquharson. He was killed during the Battle of Pinkie in 1547, aged 60, while performing the duty of the King's Standard Bearer. His nine sons ensured that the clan became numerous and influential. In 1595 the clan entered a bond of manrent with the Clan MacKintosh, so also associating themselves with the Chattan Confederation. (Wikipedia)
Four sons of Finlay McKinlay settled at Anie, of whom a grandson, John McKinlay in Anie, born about 1645 had three sons: Donald, b 1669, James "the Trooper" went to Ireland and then to America and was ancestor of President McKinlay, John, b.1679 and died 1732. His descendant John who died 1812 was the last McKinley in Anie. Cathrine, daughter of the last John, was wife of Robert McLaren, the next tenant of Anie. Cathrine's mother, four brothers and two sisters emigrated to the USA, where their descendants were still scattered about in1904. Five of Robert McLaren's sons went to America - one a farmer in Michigan, the others farmers in Ontario.
(The Stirling Antiquary iii, 1904, article by Robert McLaren)
We know from the introduction to the Stewarts of Balquhidder (see Principal Families) that in the Exchequer Rolls of 1502-1515 Sir William Stewart 2nd of Baldorran and his eldest son, Walter Stewart, 3rd of Baldorran, are listed as Crown tenants in the lands of Estir and Westir Duchraa (these lands were also known as Innerquhawawane and Glenmaan) and Blarbaith. The location of these lands has not been accurately identified, but they are described as forming "part of Glenfinglas" (Ardvorlich History). It is believed that Glenmaan is the same as Glean nam Meann, which lands encompass the sheiling lands north of Glen Finglas and south of Glen Buckie.
The Ardvorlich History also indicates that "the first person of the name of Stewart actually settled in Glenfinglas, was "James Stewart in Glen", who is mentioned in 1575 in the special Retour of James Stewart of BALDOFRAN (Baldorran) in the lands of EMYRCRETHAN and CROFTINTARRAY." (The exact location of these places in Glenfinglas is unknown.) The most likely candidate for this James would be son of Alexander Stewart, 4th of Glenbuckie, who is believed to have had no descendants.
The Ardvorlich History also mentions Alasdair Dubh nan Damh Stewart from Clan Appin who came to Glenfinglas as a drover. However, Stewarts of the South indicates that it was more likely Alexander's father, Duncan, who was the first. It also indicates that this family came "with Glenbuckie", presumably at the invitation of John Dubh Beag Stewart. (see below)
The Ardvorlich History mentions that the first Stewart to be associated with Glen Finglas was James Stewart of Beith (father of the 1st Lord Doune) who was given possession of Glen Finglas as Steward for the Earl of Menteith. He was ancestor to the later Stewart Earls of Moray who were the landlords of Glenfinglas. James Stewart of Beith is described below in more detail than what might seem necessary at first. However the detail reveals the nature of the very close relationship between the families of Stewarts who occupied Glenfinglas and the family of Stewarts who were their landlords.
Sir James Stewart of Beath/Beith, Constable of Doune Castle
Sir James Stewart of Beith was a son of Andrew Stewart, 2nd Lord Avandale, who was son of Alexander Stewart, 1st Lord Avandale, who was son of Walter Stewart, Baron of Morphie, who was son of Sir Walter Stewart of Lennox, who was brother to James Mhor Stewart of Albany, progenitor of the Baldorran Stewarts, ancestor of the Glenfinglas Stewarts. Thus James Stewart of Beith was a fourth cousin to James Stewart in Balquhidder, last of the Baldorran Family.
Sir James Stewart of Beith was the brother of Henry Stewart, 1st Lord Methven who married Margaret Tudor, widow of King James IV (and sister of the English King Henry VIII). As Queen of Scotland, Doune Castle became Margaret's residence. Doune Castle had previously been the possession of the Albany Stewarts, ancestors of the Baldorran and Beith Stewarts. In 1528, Margaret Tudor appointed her new brother-in-law, Sir James Stewart of Beith, as constable of Doune Castle. He died in 1547 and was succeeded by his son, James Stewart, who was created 1st Lord Doune in 1580 (by King James Stewart VI) and whose son, James Stewart, became 2nd Earl of Moray by marriage to Elizabeth Stewart, Countess of Moray, daughter of James Stewart, 1st Earl of Moray. Thus, by this circuitous route, the castle of Doune returned to the descendants of the same family who had previously been forfeit.
(There are enough James Stewarts above to confuse even the most careful reader.)
James Stewart of Beith did not actually reside in Glenfinglas but was merely the laird. We know that prior to this point, the early Baldorran Stewarts already held some land in Glenfinglas and were already residing on an island in Loch Venacher just south of Glenfinglas and were establishing cadet branches in the area.
Sometime before 1580, Duncan Stewart, son of Alexander Stewart, 4th of Glenbuckie, was appointed as Deputy Royal Forrester in Glenfinglas. Duncan was later to become 5th of Glenbuckie, but at the time he was merely the younger brother of Patrick Stewart, younger of Glenbuckie (latterly 1st of Ledcreich). Duncan was deputy to Sir James Stewart of Beith. Prior to this time the office of Forester had been held by the Edmonstone family who were so outraged at losing their hereditary office that they killed James Stewart of Beith. The office of Forester of Glenfinglas remained in the Glenbuckie and Ardvorlich families for many generations afterwards.
As discussed above, Stewarts of the South notes that prior to the arrival of the first Stewarts, the principal occupants of Glenfinglas were several families of "Clan Resans" who were "almost lost except some old men and children in crossing the hill from Glenfinglas to an adjacent part of the parish of Callander with a burial in winter by coming unawares upon a small lake where the ice gave way and they were all drowned." Some members of Glan Gregor, seizing upon the misfortunes of Clan Resans forcibly occupied Glenfinglas. This is believed to have occurred sometime in the late 16th or early 17th century. The Earl of Moray wanted the MacGregors removed and he turned to the family of his Forester to do so. -- The reference to Clan Resans (probably McKinlays) is explained more fully above, under "The Glen of Finlay the Grey".
Major James Beag Stewart, 2nd of Ardvorlich, Chief of the Baldorran/Balquhidder Clan, and John Dubh Beag Stewart, son of Duncan Stewart, 5th of Glenbuckie, the Earl's Deputy Forester, led an expedition into Glen Finglas to remove the MacGregors. Ardvorlich already had an intense hatred for the MacGregors for their murder of his uncle, Drummonderinoch. The expedition was successful and the leader of the MacGregors was captured and later executed. In return, Ardvorlich was granted extensive lands in Glenfinglas from Lord Doune.
As John Dubh Mor Stewart of Glenbuckie is recorded in a 1622 Bond as being "in Glenfinglas" then the Clearing of the Glen must have occurred before 1622. (Stewarts of the South erroneously indicates that Major Stewart was also granted a pardon for his murder of Lord Kilpont, but that murder actually took place in 1645 -- long after the clearing of Glen Finglas.)
19th Century OS Map showing the original Glen Finglas settlements with blue overlay showing the approximate area now covered by the Glen Finglas Reservoir. Tom Buidhe ("Yellow Knoll"), formerly a hill, is now an islet shown by the green outline.
Major James Beag Stewart, 2nd of Ardvorlich, divided his new lands in Glen Finglas into four: one quarter to the Stewarts of Glenbuckie, one quarter to the Stewarts of Gartnafuaran, and half for himself. The Stewarts of Annat complained at being left out, so Major Stewart granted them one-fourth of his half. Thus the lands came to be accounted in 8 portions. We know that James Beag never resided in Glen Finglas, but his younger brother, Duncan Oag Stewart, occupied the Ardvorlich portion. We know that John Dubh Beg Stewart of the Glenbuckie family occupied the Glenbuckie portion, and it seems that he shared the Glenbuckie portion with a drover from the Appin Stewarts (see below). The Gartnafuaran portion appears to have been occupied by Alexander Dubh Oig Stewart, son of Alexander Stewart, 5th of Gartnafuaran, but we are not certain about this. The Annat portion was occupied by John Buidhe Mor Stewart, natural son of John Stewart, 2nd of Annat.
Thus the eight portions of Glen Finglas began as follows:
Glenbuckie portion which we believe was gifted to Alasdair Dubh nan Damh Stewart, from the Invernahyle branch of Clan Stewart of Appin.*
* It seems unlikely that Glenbuckie would have given half of his Glen Finglas portion to a Stewart of Clan Appin just because they were good friends. What seems far more likely is that Alasdair Dubh nan Damh Stewart of Invernahyle married a daughter of Duncan Stewart, 5th of Glenbuckie, though we have no record of such a marriage. The fact that Alasdair's nickname "nan Damh" bears such a resemblance to Ardnandave (Ard nan Damh) in nearby Strathyre, just east of Glen Finglas, may indicate that Alasdair's family may have occupied Ardnandave prior to acquiring their portion of Glen Finglas.
The Ardvorlich History lists the eight portioners of Glen Finglas a little over a century later at the time of the "Glen Affair" -- a dispute between the eight portioners of Glen Finglas and their landlord, the Earl of Moray (Murray) in Doune. It is described in The Ardvorlich History as follows: "[John Ban] was famous for a plea with old Lord Moray, 'in which a' (all) the lawyers in Edinburgh were employed.' It was about unpaid rent which John Bhan said had been gifted to him by the late Earl."
A later obituary for James Stewart in Duart (d.1895) describes the dispute in much more detail (and contradicts The Ardvorlich History account in some details):
The only recorded outstanding event which seems to have agitated the tenants of the glen to any extent was when, about the year 1770, the then Dowager Countess of Moray tried to evict them from their holding on the ground that a new lease agreed to be granted to them by her husband, Earl James, two years before his death, had never been signed by him, and, farther, that he had no right to grant that lease, as the life-rent of the glen had been conveyed to her in her marriage contract in security of her jointure. The Court of Session decided in favour of the Countess, and loud were the lamentations of the Stewarts at having to leave the land they and their forebears had occupied so long. Fortunately, however, they found a friend in the new Earl (Francis, eighth Earl), between whom and the Dowager, his stepmother, there seems to have been little love lost. He advised them to appeal their case to the House of Lords, and found them part, if not the whole, of the means to do so; and the result was that on 24th March 1773 their appeal was sustained, and the decision of the Court of Session reversed.
According to The Ardvorlich History, it appears that The Glen Affair occurred in 1755 and was still under appeal in 1772. In the meantime, some of the original parties had died and their cases were appealed by their heirs. Thus the list of original complainants and later appellants give us, in some cases, a two generation picture.
David Stewart, deceased in 1772, appealed by his sisters Janet and Mary. (Dr. David Stewart in Auchnahard, son of Alexander, 10th of Glenbuckie) No surviving children.
We have a later portrait of the eight portioners of Glen Finglas, provided to us in Stewarts of the South, which was written ca. 1815-1820 and lists the eight portioners of Glen Finglas at that time. The only problem is that the document actually lists nine portioners for only eight properties:
John Stewart of the Grodich, son of John Stewart in Auchnahaird, son of John Ban Mor Stewart, Bains of Glenfinglas Family. (See below)
Robert Ban Stewart in Auchnahard, son of John Ban Mor Stewart, Bains of Glenfinglas Family. (See below)
Duncan Stewart in Auchnahard, son of John Ban Mor Stewart, Bains of Glenfinglas Family. (See below)
John Stewart in Glenfinglas, (probably the upper western portion) son of Iain Dubh Stewart (Stewarts of the South Glenbuckie, III Branch, Line 4).
John Stewart in Duart, son of Walter Stewart, 10th of Gartnafuaran.
Robert Stewart in Duart (Stewarts of the South Gartnafuaran Family, IV Branch, Line 1)
Stewarts of the South lists the following as "former" tenants in Glen Finglas
Walter Stewart (nephew to the John Stewart, son of Iain Dubh, above) once Tacksman of one eighth of Glenfinglas left two sons - now cottagers [at] Duncragan [on] Sir Pat[rick] Murray's estate [in] Callander parish, bought from [the Earl of] Perth family. (Stewarts of the South Glenbuckie, III Branch, Line 4)
Walter STEWART, in Brig o' Turk b: ABT 1740 in Brig o' Turk, Kilmadock, Perthshire, Scotland, great-grandson of Duncan Stewart, 8th of Glenbuckie. Formerly held one of the eight portions of Glenfinglas, but was forfeited for cutting down a tree without permission. His portion likely went to one of the Bains.
Evidence below (See Duncan of Ardvorlich) seems to suggest that the descendants of Duncan Oag Stewart of the Ardvorlich Family sold, lost or gave up their portions of Glenfinglas and moved elsewhere (to Menteith and Loch Katrine). The Ardvorlich share of Glenfinglas began as 3/8 in the early 17th century, but by 200 years later their portion of Glenfinglas was gone and appears to have been eventually acquired by the Annat branch who were themselves a cadet branch of Ardvorlich anyway. The Glenbuckie portions seem to have been initially shared with the Appin family. It appears that during the 18th century, the Glenbuckie portions may have been added to (perhaps picking up some of the former Ardvorlich portions), but later lost, and in one case forfeited, as the Glenbuckie portion in 1820 was again only 1/8. The Gartnafuaran Family seems to have held their two portions without disruption. The Appin Family also seems to have held their 1/8 portion without disruption. But the Annat Family seems to be the clear beneficiaries of the losses of the others. They began with only one portion, but by 1815 they had expanded their holdings to four portions, all held by sons of John Ban Mor Stewart of the Bains of Glenfinglas.
The Eight Portions of Glenfinglas as accounted by families are:
|Initial holdings ca. 1620||
Final holdings ca. 1820
Emigration began to play a significant factor in the 19th century and after 1820 many of these families left the Glen. According to The Ardvorlich History, by the mid-19th century almost all of these families had immigrated to Canada.
A later obituary for James Stewart of Duart who died in 1895 gives us a wonderful portrait of the relationships between the various branches of Stewarts residing in Glenfinglas:
Glenfinglas was held jointly by six tenants (sic) ---all Stewarts of course---each of them having his own farmhouse and steading, with a separate allotment of arable ground, on which he grazed his own cows and raised his own crops; while the hill pasture, the most important part of the holding, was held by the whole six in common, the stock of sheep thereon, numbering 8000 or more, being mutual property. Two of the tenants were annually elected managers to attend to the sales of sheep and the buying in of fresh breeding stock for the year; and while it might have been supposed that disagreements would have occurred occasionally, this was not the case, for the system had, through generations of practice, been brought to perfection, and the utmost harmony and good-fellowship prevailed among the tenants from the earliest recorded time. When any question arose as to which tenant was to do any particular piece of work for the general good, or on any other point, the matter was invariably settled, and satisfactorily, by “casting lots.”
For a period of certainly more than two hundred years this little colony, or community, of Stewarts quietly pursued the even tenor of their ways----a shrewd, industrious, exemplary set of people, little troubled with the tumults and on-goings in the outside world.
The “risings” of 1715 and 1745 passed by without affecting them in any way, as, true and staunch to their chief and landlord, the Earl of Moray, they obeyed his wishes and took no part in these events....
With one exception, the Stewarts were all adherents of the Established Church, although in the early part of last century all the inhabitants of Glenfinglass were Episcopalian; and they were, without exception, Conservative in politics.
John Bane Stewart and others, Lessees of Glen Finglas v. Margaret, Countess Dowager of Moray, and Frances, Earl of Moray
Submitted by Anne Danielson
Click to enlarge
We have seen from above that the key Stewart families residing in Glenfinglas (and present research would suggest that they were the only Stewarts in Glenfinglas) were cadet branches of the following principal families:
|Stewart of Ardvorlich|
|Stewart of Glenbuckie|
|Stewart of Annat|
|Stewart of Gartnafuaran|
|Stewart of Invernahyle of Appin|
The first four of these families were closely related to each other and all descend from the earlier Stewarts of Baldorran. They were all "Clan" by blood. The Stewarts of Invernahyle were far more distantly related; probably distant enough to be considered more "friends" than "kin". Yet all of the branches of these families who resided in Glenfinglas considered themselves to be one clan together, and behaved as such.
Duncan Oag Stewart of the Ardvorlich family is described as the first Ardvorlich Stewart in Glenfinglas, but it is clear that he was preceded by other Stewarts from Glenbuckie and Appin. Even though he was not the first of this clan to reside in Glenfinglas, as the resident representative of the senior branch of the Baldorran Stewarts, Duncan appears to have been deferred to as the chieftain of the Glenfinglas Stewarts during his lifetime, with the senior chief being recognized as his older brother, James Stewart, 2nd of Ardvorlich. This deference seems to have remained with the Ardvorlich Stewarts as late as the 19th century. (Ardvorlich History)
Duncan's descendants seem to have remained in Glenfinglas for three or four generations, but beyond that they seem to have moved on elsewhere. By the early 1700s at least part of the Ardvorlich portion was occupied by David Stewart, son of James Stewart, 5th of Ardvorlich. David Stewart was then serving as Forester for the Earl Murray, Lord Doune, in Glenfinglas, while David's father, James, was serving as Steward of Doune Castle. However David was also a key participant in the failed Jacobite Rising of 1745 and was captured and imprisoned at Stirling. He died in prison and left no lawful descendants in Glenfinglas or elsewhere.
John Dubh Beag Stewart of the Glenbuckie Family was one of the principal clearers of the Glen, however his descendants do not seem to have remained a strong presence in Glenfinglas.
We have very little information about the Gartnafuaran occupants of Glenfinglas, but it appears that their holdings did not pass consistently through descendants of any one sub-branch, but may have been held by the senior line and occupied by various cadets.
There was also one branch of the Stewarts of Appin who settled in Glenfinglas sometime in the late 16th century. They came as cattle drovers and settled in Duart. Their interests, though smaller than the rest, remained strongly held by the same family who are reasonably well documented below.
By far the most enduring and prosperous branch seems to have been the descendants of John Buidhe Mor Stewart of the Annat family who settled in Auchnahard and whose descendants became known as the Bains of Glenfinglas. They began with only one of the eight portions, but by the early nineteenth century had expanded their holdings to four. Thus they held an equal portion to all the other branches combined.
By 1875 social conditions had changed dramatically and Glenfinglas was nearly empty of inhabitants. The last of the Stewarts to reside in Glenfinglas was one James Stewart of Duart (b. 1813), a bachelor who died in 1895 in a much celebrated manner. On his father's side he was descended from the Invernahyle of Appin branch, but both his mother and grandmother were Bain-Stewarts of the Annat Family. Thus he was descended from the two strongest branches in Glenfinglas. But with his passing the Stewarts of Glenfinglas were no more.
Each of these branches is described below in as much detail as we presently know.
The Stewarts in Grodich have been moved to their own page: Stewart of Ardvorlich Branch III
David STEWART, Forester of Glen Finglas b: ABT 9 APR 1684 in Glenfinglas, Callander, Perthshire, Scotland, son of James Stewart, 4th of Ardvorlich. The descendants of this Stewart branch were also not long in Glenfinglas as David became a casualty of the '45 and his descendants scattered. David was appointed Forester in Glenfinglas for the Earl of Moray. David was arrested for his participation in the Jacobite uprising of 1745. He was imprisoned in the tollbooth at Stirling where he later died. David left one lawful son who died without issue and one natural son who was forced into hiding and fled to Aberdeen after the '45 and had descendants. David left no descendants in Glenfinglas. His descendant information is presented on the Stewarts of Ardvorlich page.
Information on this branch can be found on our Stewart of Ardvorlich Branch VI page.
John Dubh Beag STEWART, in Muirlaggan, was born ABT 1605 in Glenbuckie, Balquhidder, Perthshire, Scotland, as a son of Duncan Stewart, 5th of Glenbuckie, by his second wife, Katherine MacGregor. John Dubh Beag Stewart and his cousin, Maj, James Beag Stewart, 2nd of Ardvorlich, were jointly responsible for The Clearing of Glen Finglas ca. 1620. (See explanation above.) John's descendants are presented on the Stewart of Glenbuckie Branch II page.
This family has been moved to their own page: Stewart of Glenbuckie Branch III.
The next record we have of a Glenbuckie Stewart in Glenfinglas is Lt. Walter Stewart, son of Duncan Stewart, 8th of Glenbuckie. His family is presented on the Glenbuckie Page.
Duncan Stewart in Duart and Coirchrombie can be found on the Stewarts of Glenbuckie Branch VII page.
The Bain-Stewarts in Auchnahard have been moved to their own page: Stewarts of Auchnahard
We know that the Gartnafuaran Stewarts initially received one-fourth of Glenfinglas after the Clearing of the Glen, ca. 1620, but we do not know who actually occupied the Gartnafuaran portion of Glenfinglas. The Ardvorlich History lists an Alexander mac Iain Stewart and a Walter mac Iain Dubh Stewart (presumed to be brothers) living in Glenfinglas in 1623. These brothers can be eliminated as occupying the Glenbuckie portion despite the Glenbuckie portion being won by a John Dubh Beg Stewart, as the John Dubh Beg Stewart of Glenbuckie would be contemporary with Alexander and could not be his father. He can be eliminated as an occupier of the Ardvorlich portion as he could not fit with that family. He does not fit onomastically with the Appin branch either. Thus that leaves only the Annat and Gartnafuaran portions. The Annat portion was occupied by John Buidhe Mor Stewart and Alexander and Walter could both easily fit both chronologically and onomastically as the two unknown sons of John Buidhe Mor Stewart. However their Gaelic nickname of "Dubh" would exclude them. The patriarch of the Annat branch was John Buidhe, or "John of the yellow hair", and his descendants became known "The Bains" or "The fair-haired Stewarts". But the Alexander here was known as a son of "the black haired John". Thus they could not be sons of "the yellow haired John". Even if Alexander and Walter had dark hair themselves they could not be sons of John Buidhe and still be called "mac Iain Dubh"; in such a case they would be known as "Dubh mac Iain". Thus the only remaining family they could be from would be Gartnafuaran and the only John they could be sons of would be this John. Thus it is suggested that John Stewart of Kirkton was the recipient of the Gartnafuaran portion of Glenfinglas and that it was his sons who were known as "mac Iain Dubh".
John "Dubh" STEWART , in Kirktown and Glenfinglas b: ABT 1535 in Gartnafuaran, Balquhidder, Perthshire, Scotland as the son of Alexander Stewart, 2nd of Gartnafuaran. The Ardvorlich History incorrectly says that John was ancestor of the Stewarts of Hyndfield. MacGregor does not show John. However, The Black Book of Taymouth shows that “Andro Stewart in Gartnafoir,” his brother “Johne Stewart in Kirkton,” and several other Stewarts signed a bond of 1557 for their kinsman Duncan Campbell of Glenorchy (Olar). The Ardvorlich History - Glenfinglas Section records an Alexander, son of John who was one of the earliest Stewarts in Glenfinglas: "1623 Alexander S. alias M'ean, John, Archibald, and Andrew, his sons, Walter M'eandowie alias Stewart, Vol. 1 p.71." (M'ean = "mac Iain", or "son of John". M'eandowie = "mac Iain Dubh" or "son of Black John", thus Walter appears to another son of Alexander.) Alexander would fit as a son of this John. We know that the Gartnafuaran family acquired a 1/4 portion of Glenfinglas just before 1622 but we have no record of which Gartnafuaran Stewart occupied that Glenfinglas portion. As we have the record of this Alexander in Glenfinglas who fits with this Gartnafuaran family and does not appear to in any of the other families in Glenfinglas, then it is suggested that Alexander is indeed the son of this John and that John Dubh Stewart in Kirktown and his descendants occupied the Gartnafuaran portion of Glenfinglas.
Alexander mac Iain STEWART, in Glenfinglas, b. ABT 1560
John STEWART, b. ABT 1590
Archibald STEWART, b. ABT 1593
Andrew STEWART, b. ABT 1596
Walter mac Iain Dubh STEWART, in Glenfinglas, b. ABT 1570
Walter STEWART, born ABT 1760 in Callander, Perthshire, Scotland, son of Walter Stewart, 10th of Gartnafuaran who sold the lands of Gartnafuaran and moved to Glenfinglas. He is believed to be the person described in Stewarts of the South as: "There is also another brother of the real family and is nearest to the above mentioned Walter; [he is] 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." And also as: "Mr Walter Stewart, Auchnahard [in] Glenfinglas, of the first branch of Gartnafuaran family, but very [illegible] them, an indifferent character to be so near the head of a family. £105. Earl of Murray's property. Unjustly turned out since this was wrote." It is further suggested that Walter may be the same Walter found in the Callander OPR as follows: Walter Stewart in Auchnahard who married Elizabeth ROBERTSON and had at least two sons
From Stewarts of the South II Branch, Stewart a Bhaid
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 family has been moved to their own page: Stewart of Gartnafuaran Branch IV
James Stewart, 1st of Stank and Liannach is recorded in Stewarts of the South as a "tacksman of Stank and Leaniuch (Liannach) in Glenbuckie, and [also had] a fourth part of Glenfinglas." However OPR information on the Stank family appears to indicate that none of the Stank Stewarts ever resided in Glenfinglas. It would appear that James merely held the tack of 1/4 of Glenfinglas and received the rentals thereof while residing in Stank in Strathyre. Since this family likely never resided in Glen Finglas they are presented on the Stewarts of Glenogle page.
This family has been moved to their own page: Invernahyle Stewarts in Glen Finglas.
The preceding report was originally based on information submitted by Malcolm Gray but has been expanded upon by several members of our research team and with generous assistance from Gordon MacGregor. The principal sources of information for this report come from:
Major John Stewart of Ardvorlich produced a History of the Ardvorlich Stewarts (date uncertain). This book was not published publicly, but only privately. A copy exists with the Stewart Society and another with the Public Library in Edinburgh. The remaining copies are believed to be only within the family. We have been fortunate to receive some photocopies of pages from the Stewart Society, but we would be very blessed by an opportunity to view the entire work. Hopefully that opportunity will come in the future. The photocopies we have received pertain to the Glenfinglas chapter of the book. Because of the length of the excerpt it has been placed on its own page. Click here for Ardvorlich History Notes on Glenfinglas.
Plus we have the following unaccounted for, who could be descendants of Duncan Oag Stewart, or could descend from Andrew, 2nd of Gartnafuaran, or may be from the Lednascridan family of Ardvorlich
Testament of Andrew Stewart in Glenfinglas who died in October of 1675 given up by Patrick Stewart, his eldest son on behalf of Alexander and Mary Stewart, his brother and sister.
Testament of William Stewart in Glenfinglas who died in August of 1668 given up by Duncan, Andrew, James, Alexander, Robert, Anna, Mary, Katherine and Elizabeth, his bairns.
And the following unaccounted for:
Testament of Alexander Stewart son of the deceased John Stewart in Glenfinglas who died in September of 1646 given up by Alexander Stewart in Alloway (Alloa) as executor.
Testament of Donald Stewart in Glenfinglas who died in November of 1671 given up by Janet Stewart, his spouse, as executor.
The Donald Stewart who died in November of 1671 could be identical with the Donald brother of Alexander, 7th of Glenbuckie. (MacGregor)
1620, 6th July, RPC vol. XII, p.317 - Commissioned by Lord Hay with Johnne Stewart in Portre and Johnne and Alexander Stewart in Glenfinglas to apprehend and try Johnne Roy McDuff in Rannache for stealing under cloud and silence of night 4ky and ane meir pertaining to Donald McEanlay (McKinley) in Dulater.
1639, RPC, vol. VII (2nd Series), p.107 - John, Alaster, and Walter Stewart in Glen, tennants to the Earl of Moray. Cattle stolen from.
1679, Register of Deeds. Bond. James Stewart in Dowart in Glenfinglas.
1623 Alexander S. alias M'ean, John, Archibald, and Andrew, his sons, Walter M'eandowie alias Stewart, Vol. 1 p.71. [M'ean = "mac Iain", or "son of John". M'eandowie = "mac Iain Dubh". Thus Walter appears to another son of Alexander.]
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