The Stewarts of Ardvorlich,
Comrie, Perthshire, Scotland
The senior branch of the Stewarts of Balquhidder
leads us to talk of deadly feuds..."
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Welcome to my page on the Stewarts of Ardvorlich, Perthshire, Scotland. This page is part of my personal family history website and represents one of my own ancestral lines.
This page is also 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 of Ardvorlich who live at Ardvorlich, Comrie Parish, Perthshire, Scotland. They are the senior branch of the Stewarts of Balquhidder. The Stewarts of Balquhidder are a Highland clan in much the same way as the better known Clan Stewart of Appin. The Stewarts of Balquhidder include the Stewart families of Ardvorlich, Glenbuckie, Annat, and Gartnafuaran, all of whom descended from Robert Stewart, King Robert II of Scots.
The Stewarts of Ardvorlich established themselves at Ardvorlich on the south shore of Loch Earn, straddling the parishes of Balquhidder to the west and Comrie to the east, in Perthshire, Scotland. They were a notorious clan whose early exploits were fictionalized by Sir Walter Scott in his book, A Legend of Montrose. They were involved in the proscriptions against Clan Gregor which led to all of the MacGregor name being mercilessly hunted. They were involved in brazen cattle raids, murder, and magic. They had dealings with the notorious Rob Roy MacGregor. And the Stewarts of Ardvorlich still occupy the same property today as their earliest ancestor, Alexander Stewart, 1st Ardvorlich, did over 400 years ago.
If you are following my own family line, the "Comrie Stewarts" of Puslinch, Ontario, Canada, then we are descended from the Stewarts of Dalveich, a cadet branch of the Stewarts of Ardvorlich, descended from an illegitimate son of James Stewart, 2nd Ardvorlich, discussed below.
For a discussion on the ancestors of the Ardvorlich family, please refer to the Principal Families of the Balquhidder Stewarts page.
Photo by Ryk Brown, ©2005 Stewarts of Balquhidder Research Group
Ardvorlich is located roughly midway along the south shore of Loch Earn ("The Lake of the Irish") in Perthshire, Scotland (see map below). It is located at the west end of the parish of Comrie, but it closely borders with the neighbouring parish of Balquhidder. The current laird of Ardvorlich is Alexander (Sandy) Stewart, 15th of Ardvorlich. Ardvorlich, in Gaelic, is Ard Mhor an t-Sluic, which means "the high lands (or shielings) of the great hollow". Ardvorlich is located at the foot of Benvorlich ("the mountain of the great hollow").
More photos of Ardvorlich and surrounding area can be
found on our
Ardvorlich Photo Page
Just west of Loch Earn is the mediaeval chapel of Dundurn. Dundurn derives from the Gaelic dun dórn which means "fort of the fist." So named because the hill is shaped like a fist. Dundurn was the location of an early Pictish hill-fort or castle and was the seat of one of the early Pictish Kingdoms
This Pre-Reformation chapel was dedicated to St. Fillan and became disused after the Reformation. It is now a ruin. The chapel burial grounds are reserved for members of the family of the Stewarts of Ardvorlich. The interior of the chapel is reserved for the burials of the early clan chiefs.
Mitchell's Monumental Inscriptions describes the burials in Dundurn Chapel:
26 (in chapel ruin) This chapel, dedicated in early times to ST. Finnan (sic) the Leper, has been since 1586, the burial place of the sept or clan of STEWART of Ardvorlich. At the east end lie the bodies of the following chiefs of that race:
Alexander STEWART (1st) of Ardvorlich and wife Margaret Drummond (of) Drummonderinoch 1618;
Major James STEWART (2nd) of Ardvorlich and wife Barbara MURRAY (of) Buchanty 1662;
Robert STEWART (3rd) of Ardvorlich and wife Jean DRUMMOND, Cormie, 1680;
James STEWART (4th) of Ardvorlich and wife Elizabeth BUCHANAN of that Ilk, 1698;
(Robert Stewart, 5th of Ardvorlich is noticeably absent from the list.)
Robert STEWART (6th) of Ardvorlich, died unmarried, 1760;
Robert STEWART (7th) of Ardvorlich and wife Margaret STEWART of Annat, 1760;
William STEWART (8th) of Ardvorlich 1838 and his wife Helen MAXTONE (of) Cultoquhey, 1853;
Robert STEWART (9th) of Ardvorlich died unmarried 1854;
Col. Robert STEWART of the Bengal Staff Corps, 10th of Ardvorlich, 6 JUN 1882, age 52; daughter Charlotte 13 APR 1918, age 55; Allan MacAulay.
Also of the family James STEWART (1800-1810), Anthony STEWART, student of medicine, 1807-1827, Marjory STEWART of Ardvorlich Cottage, 1805-1878, Georgina Marjory STEWART, born 1871 and died at Strathyre 1873, William Charles Robert STEWART born 1861, killed at Ardvorlich by accident 1875,
In the year 1580, Alexander Stewart (born ca. 1557), the grandson of Walter Stewart, the 2nd Royal Baillie of Balquhidder, acquired the property Ardvorlich as a freeholder of the Crown. Ardvorlich is located on the southern shore of Loch Earn (meaning "Lake of the Irish") in western Highland Perthshire. The Stewarts of Ardvorlich have held the estate for over 400 years and continue to do so to this day. The present laird is also named Alexander "Sandy" Stewart.
Alexander (or "Alistair") Stewart, 1st of Ardvorlich, was the son of James Stewart, 4th of Baldorran and his wife, a daughter of Stewart of Glenbuckie. (Some sources incorrectly show Alexander as the son of William Stewart, 3rd of Baldorran and his wife, Euphemia Reddoch.) Alexander Stewart was the brother of John Stewart, ancestor of the Annat Stewarts (some sources incorrectly show John of Annat as a son of Alexander of Ardvorlich).
Alexander Stewart of Ardvorlich became chief of the Clan Mac-Mhic-Bhaltair, which means "sons of the son of Walter". Alexander was given Letters of Reversion, with consent of his wife and eldest son, James, for the lands of Lurg, for 500 merks Scots, in favour of John Drummond of Drummonderinoch, on 3 Dec 1609.
Events involving the families of Drummonderinoch and Ardvorlich would soon lead to the outlawing of the name MacGregor, a proscription that lasted for over 100 years, and a bounty on the head of anyone known to be a MacGregor. The story is told by Sir Walter Scott in his novel, A Legend of Montrose, under the guise of the house of Darnlinvarach. This story goes like this:
[Warning - this story is rather gruesome]
Alexander Stewart of Ardvorlich was married to Margaret Drummond of Drummonderinoch. Her brother, John Drummond, 4th Laird of Drummonderinoch, was keeper of the royal forest near Balquhidder. One day John caught a group of MacGregors poaching in the forest. As punishment for poaching he cut off their ears and sent them home humiliated. (Some versions say that John Drummond hanged the poachers as this was their second offence, and that he clipped their ears on their first offence.)
The poachers ran home to their clansmen who were outraged at the humiliation brought upon their kin by John Drummond. The MacGregors vowed to have their revenge on Drummonderinoch and set out after him. When they found him, they killed him, cut off his head, wrapped his head in their tartan, and headed off to visit Drummond's sister at the house of Ardvorlich.
When they arrived at Ardvorlich they found Alexander Stewart away and Margaret home alone. They asked for hospitality and were invited in. (In Highland culture, hospitality is an extremely important virtue. It would be a significant social sin to refuse hospitality to anyone at your door.) Margaret quickly brought bread, cheese, and drink, and then went off to the kitchen to prepare a more substantial meal for her guests. While Margaret was out of the room the MacGregors took the severed head of her brother and placed it on the dining table. They then proceeded to stuff her brother's mouth with the bread and cheese she had brought them.
When Margaret returned to the dining room with the meal for her guests she was greeted by the gruesome severed head of her brother disgraced with her hospitable offerings. Margaret became hysterical (understandably) and ran from the house into the forest not to be heard from for days. To compound matters, Margaret was also pregnant at the time and nearly full-term.
When Alexander returned home, he was distraught and combed the woods for his pregnant wife, but to no avail. Servants claimed to see glimpses of Margaret on the fringes of the forest but then she would disappear into the trees again before anyone could catch her. Eventually she did return home, but with a surprise. According to family legend, while she'd been away in the forest she gave birth to her child, a son, James.
|"Margaret ran up Ben Voirlich where she had her baby at a place now called the Lady's loch. It lies high up the mountain side (the mountains are about 2500 feet in height)." -- Peter McNaughtan, formerly of Comrie (private correspondence, 2003)|
|Some MacGregor descendants today claim that the MacGregors were wrongly accused. This matter is discussed more fully on my Drummonderinoch Page.|
All lands and title were stripped from the MacGregors. The name MacGregor itself was outlawed. Anyone found using the name MacGregor could be killed without consequence. MacGregors either had to change their names or flee to the hills to avoid being killed. Anyone who was accused of a crime and who was able to capture or kill a MacGregor would receive a full pardon for their crime, regardless of how severe the crime was -- even murderers were pardoned if they could bring a MacGregor to heel. This proscription lasted for over 100 years before it was finally lifted!
Lest one be mistaken so as to think that the Ardvorlich Stewarts were only the victims of crime and violence, in 1592 Alistair (Alexander) Stewart of Ardvorlich led a cattle raid on Drumquhassil near Drymen in Lennox. Now cattle raiding into the Lowlands was certainly not uncommon among Highland clans. Highlanders were known to slip down in the dead of night into the Lowland farms, sneak away with a few head, and disappear into the darkness of the night time Highland hills. However Alistair Stewart of Ardvorlich apparently felt no need for the cover of darkness nor anything quite so clandestine. He felt so confident that he marched down into the Lennox in the middle of the day with his clan behind him and two bagpipers leading the way announcing their impending arrival.
According to James Stewart in The Settlements of Western Perthshire, "...from the writ against the Stewarts of Ardvorlich for their raiding of the Lennox in 1592. The spoil consisted of three hundred sheep, one hundred and ninety-six cattle, and sixty-six horses. p73
Another interesting fact about this raid is that the Stewarts of Ardvorlich's former residence of Baldorran was also located in Lennox about 10 miles from Drumquhassil. So they were really poaching their own former neighbours!
Alexander Stewart married to Margaret DRUMMOND, daughter of John Drummond 3rd of Drummonderinoch. Alexander and Margaret had the following children:
Duncan is recorded in The Ardvorlich History as having been the "first" of this family to settle in Glen Finglas. Duncan's eldest brother, James Stewart, 2nd of Ardvorlich, was responsible for The Clearing of Glen Finglas. Afterwards, James was rewarded with lands in Glen Finglas which he divided into 8 portions and shared them with the major cadet branches of the Stewarts of Balquhidder, keeping 3 portions for himself. James never resided in Glen Finglas but seems to have put Duncan in charge of his Glen Finglas lands. Descendant information below would appear to indicate that the Ardvorlich portion of Glen Finglas comprised the west side of the Glen encompassing the farm of Grodich.
Duncan also held the lands of Auchraig and Inchalbeg near Lake Rusky in Menteith. It is unclear where his primary residence was: Grodich, Auchraig, or Inchalbeg. These lands are deep in the heart of Clan Graham country which must have made for a very uncomfortable holding after Duncan's oldest brother, James Beag Stewart, 2nd of Ardvorlich, murdered James Graham, Lord Kilpont, and prompted the Grahams to swear a blood feud against the Stewarts of Ardvorlich.
Duncan's testament is registered in the Dunblane Commissariat Records on 16 Nov 1632; "Stewart, Duncan, son to Alaster Stewart, in Ardvorlich."
The son of Alexander Stewart and Margaret Drummond, who was allegedly born in the forest in 1589, was named James Beag Stewart. (He should not be confused with the earlier James Beag Stewart, 1st of Balindoran. "Beag" is a common Gaelic nickname which means "small". It would be like calling him "Little Jim" Stewart.) Contrary to his nickname of "little", this James Beag Stewart apparently grew to be a large, powerful, and angry man. It is said that he could cause a man's fingernails to bleed just by shaking his hand. He spent his entire life exacting revenge on the MacGregors for the murder of his uncle Drummonderinoch, taking full advantage of the liberties accorded by the proscription. On one occasion he took a dozen MacGregors and hanged them himself near Comrie rather than turn them over to the Crown for prosecution. By the time of his death he had so many enemies that his body had to be buried in secret for fear of his grave being violated.
Sometime around the turn of the 17th century a group of MacGregors forcibly occupied Glen Finglas in Callander parish, just south of Glen Buckie. They were said to have been the cause of great mischief there. These lands belonged to the Earl of Moray at the time and he wanted the MacGregors removed. The Earl's deputy forester at that time was Duncan Stewart, 5th of Glenbuckie, who had a natural son, John Dubh Beag Stewart. The Earl commission John Dubh Beag Stewart and Maj. James Beag Stewart of Ardvorlich (as clan chief) to raise a force of men and forcibly remove the MacGregor's from Glen Finglas. The Major readily agreed to this task as yet another opportunity to exact his revenge on the MacGregors. Sometime around the year 1620 the Stewarts successfully evicted the MacGregors from Glen Finglas and captured the chief of the MacGregors. For their efforts, Maj. James Beag Stewart was granted the lands of Glen Finglas. He divided these lands among the major cadet branches of the Stewarts of Balquhidder and gave one-quarter to the family of the Stewarts of Glenbuckie, one-quarter to the family of the Stewarts of Gartnafuaran, one-eighth to the Stewarts of Annat and kept the remaining three-eights for himself. This story is told in fuller detail on our Stewarts of Glen Finglas page. It appears that the Major gave the Ardvorlich portion of the Glen Finglas lands to his younger brother, Duncan Oag Stewart to occupy.
James is cited in the following two bonds:
1622 Bond by Alexander Stewart in Ardworlich [Ardvorlich], James Stewart, his eldest son, Alexander Stewart in Portnellane [Portnellan]; Andrew Stewart of Blairgarrie, Duncan Stewart in Monochole [Monachyle], Alexander Stewart in Glenogle [Glen Ogle]; John Dow Stewart [of Glenbuckie] in Glenfinglas [Glen Finglas], Walter Stewart, his brother german, and Duncan Stewart in [illegible]; for themselves and "the haill remanent persounes of the name of Steuart duelland [dwelling] within Balquhidder and Stragartnay [Strath Gartney]", whereby they bind themselves to William [Graham], earl of Monteth [Menteith], Lord Kilpont and Elistoun [Lennieston], promising that if they at any time injure or wrong said earl, they will pay to him 100 merks Scots; that they will not aid anyone put to the horn at his instance, under penalty of 500 merks Scots in case of failure; and that they will not conceal any danger which may befall said earl by day or night, but will inform him of same with all possible diligence."
11 JUN 1622. Bond by James Stewart, son of Alexander Stewart in Ardvurliche [Ardvorlich], and Alexander McKen (MacIain) Stewart in Portnellen [Portnellan], to William, Earl of Montethe [Menteith], who has become cautioner to produce Andrew Stewart, son of Alexander Stewart in Glenogle [Glen Ogle], before the lords of secret council, whereby they undertake to produce said Alexander accordingly, under penalty of 500 merks.
James Beag was granted letters of Reversion for the lands of Port of Lochearn (present-day St. Fillans) and Moral (east of St. Fillans in Comrie) to John Drummond, Earl of Perth, in 1627.
James Beag Stewart led a life worth writing about, and the story of his life is featured in the book, A Legend of Montrose, by Sir Walter Scott. Scott's character, Alan Macauley is really based on the life of James Beag Stewart. There's much more about his life than can be told here, but one story is significant because it brings us to the next era in our family history, the Stewarts of Dalveich.
In the Scottish civil wars of the 17th century, James Beag Stewart was loyal to the James Graham, 1st Marquis of Montrose. James Beag attained the rank of Major in Montrose's army and fought in the battle of Tibbermuir in 1645.
Battle of Tibbemuir: 1st September 1644
James Graham, Marquis of Montrose, with 2000 Highlanders and Irish defeated a Covenanter force of 6000 under Lord Elcho at Tippermore (Tibbermuir in Gaelic) and occupied Perth. This was the first battle in Montrose's failed rebellion in support of Charles I carried out while the main Scottish army was in England supporting the Government forces there. Few died in the battle but an estimated 2000 died in the following massacre - this puts Tippermore at about the same level of post-battle massacre as Culloden! (http://www.perthshire-scotland.co.uk/about3.htm)
Montrose's most loyal aid was John Graham, Lord Kilpont, eldest son of William Graham, Earl of Airth and Menteith. Kilpont was described as a "very close friend" of James Beag Stewart. Today we can safely say that the evidence shows they were lovers. In fact, the Graham account of the murder (shown below) specifically states "After the banquet a quarrel of some sort arose between Kilpont and his intimate friend, James Stewart of Ardvoirlich, who had shared his tent and his bed...." But in the 17th century such an accusation was solidly denied by the house of Ardvorlich. The Stewart family claimed that they were just "very intimate friends who often shared a tent".
At one point James Beag and Lord Kilpont had a dispute (allegedly fuelled by a great deal of whisky) that became physical. During the altercation Kilpont was fatally stabbed by James Beag. James not only killed his "very close friend", but he simultaneously killed the most loyal aid of his patron, Montrose. James had to flee the wrath of Montrose. And he did so with such haste that he even abandoned his own son, Harry, who had been mortally wounded on the battlefield, and left him to die of his injuries. James fled to the side of Montrose's enemy, Campbell, the Duke of Argyll.
Kilpont's wife, who was also a Graham, was so angered by the incident that she swore a blood feud against the Stewarts of Ardvorlich.
Because Argyll was loyal to the Crown and was the eventual victor in the war, James Beag Stewart, as a follower of Argyll, was branded a hero instead of a murderer and was granted a full pardon for the murder he committed. The murder was considered "justifiable" by the Crown as the victim was a "rebel".
The full transcript of the Parliamentary Record of the Pardon for James Stewart is enclosed at the right. It reveals some interesting facts. Most notably that it is not just James Beag Stewart who is named in the pardon. Also pardoned are the heads of several branches of the Stewarts of Balquhidder, namely: Robert Stewart, son of James of Ardvorlich, Duncan McRobert Stewart in Balquhidder (Glen Ogle), Andrew Stewart in Balquhidder (Gartnafuaran), and Walter Stewart in Glenfinglas (Gartnafuaran). All of these men were close kin of James. It says they all initially served Montrose and then, having realized the error of their ways, they sought to persuade Kilpont to join them in going over to Campbell's side. Kilpont objected. The fight broke out between Kilpont and Ardvorlich, and Ardvorlich had to kill Kilpont in self-defence. All of them are accounted as former rebels whose later repentance and defection to the "right side" warranted their pardon.
The inclusion of the other clansmen raises some interesting possible interpretations. It could imply that the murder of Kilpont may not have been solely motivated by drunken rage, but may indeed have had political overtones. Or it could mean that the other Stewart clansmen, having discovered that their chief had just murdered Kilpont, either feared for their own lives too or they didn't want to abandon their chief and defected with him.
The popular version of the murder of Lord Kilpont attributes James' motives to nothing more than an uncontrollable rage. He was reputed to be a man with a wicked temper who would kill without a second thought (which seems to be an accurate description), so he was accused of killing Kilpont in cold blood without provocation, and was branded a murderer. That's the version that was committed to history by Bishop Wishart, Chaplain to Montrose, and to fiction by Sir Walter Scott. However in a preface to Scott's book written in the early 19th century, the publisher tells a different version of the story as told to him by Robert Stewart, the 7th Laird of Ardvorlich.
Robert of Ardvorlich denies the angry temperament of James Beag; he denies the homosexual relationship between James Beag and Kilpont and he denies that the murder was in cold blood; he claims that the killing was justifiable. He alleges that the dispute arose because of atrocities committed on the lands of Ardvorlich by Irish conscripts who were fighting for Montrose. This is a reasonable suggestion as those same Irish conscripts, under Colkitto, Montrose’s lieutenant general, burned Ardveich on the north shore of Loch Earn. James Beag confronted Kilpont about the matter seeking damages from Montrose. There was a disagreement over the matter and a brawl ensued in which Kilpont was accidentally stabbed. Robert of Ardvorlich also alleges that Kilpont was involved in some ill-business behind the back of Montrose which James Beag discovered and which fuelled Kilpont's anger.
|What is significant for researchers of the later cadet branch, the Stewarts of Dalveich (this author's own family), is not so much the second version of the events, but how this second version of the story came to be known. According to the publisher's preface in A Legend of Montrose, Robert Stewart, 7th Laird of Ardvorlich, learned of the "true" version of the events from a distant cousin who was descended from James Beag's natural son John Dubh Mhor Stewart (see below). John Dubh Mohr claimed to have been a first-hand witness to the dispute between his father and Lord Kilpont and passed on the "true" version through his descendants.|
Following is the Graham version of the Murder of Kilpont, from The Lake Of Menteith - Its Islands And Vicinity, With Historical Accounts Of The Priory Of Inchmahome And The Earldom Of Menteith - By A. F. Hutchinson, 1899
last page is missing
In the summer of 1647 Maj. James Beag Stewart of Ardvorlich was serving as an officer under General David Leslie, Lord Newark, and was present at the massacre at Dunaverty, Southend, Kintyre, Argyll, Scotland on which occasion he is said to have interceded on behalf of Capt. James Stewart of Blackhall to spare Blackhall's life. (http://www.kintyremag.co.uk/1999/30/page11.html )
After the death of Charles I, James signed the 1654 Bond of Keltney Burn along with the heads of all the other Stewart houses in Balquhidder, Athol, and Appin swearing tacit allegiance to King Charles II. This Bond was signed during the era of Cromwell's Commonwealth and would have been considered treasonous.
Sometime around 1620, James Beag was enlisted by the Earl of Moray (Murray) to expel Clan Gregor from Glen Finglas. James enlisted the assistance of his cousin John Dubh Mor Stewart of the Glenbuckie family and together they were successful in expelling the MacGregors and capturing their chief, whom they marched as a prisoner to Doune Castle. Stewarts of the South implies that John Dubh Mor was the one primarily responsible, but that James Beag, being the senior, took the credit. For this expedition the Earl of Moray was successful in securing a Royal pardon for James Beag for the murder of Kilpont, and James Beag was granted significant lands in Glenfinglas. He gave one-fourth to Glenbuckie, one-fourth to Gartnafuaran and kept one-half for himself. The Stewarts of Annat complained that they had been left out and James conceded one-eighth of the original to Annat.
A commemorative stone stands testament to a raid on Ardvorlich by seven MacDonalds, guided by a MacGregor. Stewart and his men killed all seven of the MacDonalds and dragged their bodies down to the lochside for burial. Many years later, when the present lochside road was being built, seven skeletons were unearthed and have since been re-interred nearby. The skeletons were found on the road passing through the croft of Moral, where this author's family later lived.. -- http://www.scottish-towns.co.uk/perthshire/fillans/stewarts.html
It was said that James never spared a MacGregor and that "his Mother's sufferings always came before him like blood into the eyes". There is a commemorative stone to the death of Major James Stewart, when his clansmen were carrying the body down the lochside to St. Fillans to be buried in the old saint's kirk at Dundurn. The MacGregors, having sworn to avenge themselves for his harryings and killings, were determined to cut off his head and set out to intercept the funeral party. Their intention was betrayed and the Stewarts secretly buried the Major by the lochside and, when times were quieter, returned to take the body to Dundurn.
The chief of the Clan Stewart had made many enemies, but
always managed to avoid them. He died peacefully in bed but his enemies,
possibly Grahams or MacGregors heard of his death, and, furious at having been
cheated of their revenge swore to desecrate his body on its way to burial at St
Fillans. The funeral procession, having left the Stewart home at
Ardvorlich house further down the road, then a track and much higher up the
hillside at that time, were forewarned and buried their chief in a shallow grave
down the hillside close to Lochearn where he was left for several years until
more peaceful times. He was then dug up to be safely buried in the proper place.
A stone marks the spot where his body was hidden.
-- Alistair Reid, http://www.incallander.co.uk/drive3.htm
Maj. James Beag STEWART , 2nd of Ardvorlich, b: 1589 at the Lady's Loch on Ben Vorlich, Comrie, Perthshire, Scotland as the son of Alexander Stewart, 1st of Ardvorlich and Margaret Drummond of Drummonderinoch (shown above). James Beag Stewart married firstly to Barbara MURRAY of Buchanty, daughter of Robert and Barbara Murray of Buchanty. A sasine to "James Stewart, son of Alexander Stewart in Ardvorlich and Katherine Murray for the lands of Port of Lochearn 14 Nov. 1620" helps us establish the date of their marriage as being no later than 1620. It may be that this sasine was part of the marriage contract. They had the following children:
James married secondly to Janet BUCHANAN, widow of Walter Buchanan, ancestor of Arnprior. Her birth surname is unknown. They had no known children. James had the following "natural" (i.e. illegitimate) son by an unknown woman, probably born between his marriages.
The original line of Ardvorlich only lasted for a few more generations before the male line died out. The next few successions can be a little confusing to follow and some genealogies show the succession differently, particularly www.stirnet.com. For these subsequent generations we are following Gordon MacGregor's, The Landed Families of Strathearn.
Robert STEWART , 3rd of Ardvorlich b: ABT 7 NOV 1625 in Ardvorlich, Comrie, Perthshire, Scotland as the son of Maj. James Beag Stewart, 2nd Laird of Ardvorlich and Barbara Murray (shown above). Robert Stewart, 3rd of Ardvorlich, was born in 1625 and married Jean DRUMMOND of Comrie. They had the following children:
Robert Stewart, 3rd of Ardvorlich, "went over the hill" and had a natural son by an unknown woman:
McOrriston was one of the residence of two of the sons of James Stewart, 4th of Ardvorlich.
James STEWART , 4th Laird Of Ardvorlich, Chamberlain to the Earl Moray, Governor of Doune Castle, Justice of the Peace for Perthshire, was born in 1655 in Kilmadock, Perthshire, Scotland as the son of Robert Stewart, 3rd Laird of Ardvorlich and Jean Drummond of Comrie (shown above). James acted as Chamberlain to the Earl Moray in which capacity he functioned as governor of Doune Castle (right). In 1690 he was appointed Justice of the Peace for Perthshire. He was in the regiment commanded by Lord William Murray sent to Inverary to secure the Duke of Argyll's forfeited estates. (MacGregor) .
The succession of the governorship of Doune becomes unclear at this point and is currently being researched. It appears presently that David Stewart, below, succeeded his father as Governor of Doune Castle, and that his natural son, Donald, *MAY* have succeeded him. In 1745 MacGregor of Glengyle was appointed by the Bonnie Prince Charlie as temporary governor of Doune during the '45 uprising. After which David Stewart (below) was arrested and died in prison, and his natural son, Donald, went into hiding in Aberdeen.
James STEWART married about 1682 to Elizabeth BUCHANAN of that ilk. She was baptized 25 MAY 1651 in Kilmadock, Perthshire, Scotland, as the daughter of John Buchanan, 19th Lord of Buchanan and his wife Mary Erskine, daughter of Henry Erskine, Lord of Cardross. James' marriage to Elizabeth Buchanan was not very popular with her family. They charged that she had married beneath her station. However the marriage was approved by her uncle, then the Lord of Cardross, which settled other family members' concerns. James Stewart and Elizabeth Buchanan had the following children:
David is shown in the Ardvorlich History and MacGregor's Landed Families as being a son of James Stewart, 4th of Ardvorlich.
David is described in Stewarts of the South as follows: "The old Branch of Ardvorlich Family (& sometime Macorriston) became extinct when the present Mr Stewart's father became heir - the last branch which you may see in Duncan Stewart's History was Robert a rude and boisterous man, he died without issue [sic - actually Ardvorlich passed first to David's cousin, Robert, 6th Ardvorlich]. Next David, his brother, was Tenant in Glenfinglas (and sometimes in Macorriston) was Forrester to the Earl of Murray. He was married to a daughter of Steward of Balled [actually she was a daughter of Stewart of Fungorth, believed to be of the family of Balled] and widow of Campbell of Lochdochard by whom he had one son - he was a promising youth he was slain at the unfortunate battle of Culloden. [sic - The Stewarts of the South has confused the two sons. See below.]"
David's baptism, shown above, is not certain. The entry in question shows no name for the child of James Stewart of Ardvorlich and Elizabeth whose baptism is recorded in Kilmadock. As David's birth is unaccounted for, it is believed this entry is David Stewart.
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 is also referenced in a book called "Jacobites of Perthshire" by Frances McDonnell in which we find him described as a Major in the Jacobite army, specifically responsible for collecting Bonnie Prince Charlie's revenues, and also as a Jacobite officer who helped take possession of Doune Castle, presumably in the company of MacGregor of Glengyle.
"David Stewart, Major, of Ballahallan, parish of Callander, Lord George Murray's Regiment, Brother of Stewart of Ardvorlich "Collected his Majesty's Revenue" He was caught with six other refugees in a hut on the Braes of Leny. He put up a stiff fight, but was taken to Stirling, where he died of his wounds. The Prisoner's Roll shows that while in prison he was in hospital with a gunshot wound of the thigh and that a surgeon's fee of 6s. 8d. was paid for treating him. The evidence brought against him was that "he was seen at Dunblane dressed and armed like a rebel Highlander wearing a white Cockade. Others stated that he acted as rebel officer in taking possession of Castle Doune with a body of armed men." He was specially excepted from the Act of pardon of June 1747. Imprisoned 19 July 1746 Braes of Leny, 20 July 1746 Stirling Castle."
A more detailed account of David's capture is found here:
Upon the 15th Instant, Capt. James Campbell, commanding the Perth Volunteers in Balquhidder, having information of several Rebel Officers having returned to the Braes of that Country, went himself with a Party by the South side of the loch, whilst Daniel M’Euen, his Ensign, went up the Strath of that Country, towards Glenkarnock; but notwithstanding all the precaution used by the Captain, they found Means to escape, 12 towards the Braes of Brodalbine, and 18 towards the Breas of Lenny, and the Forrest of Glenartney. The Captain having Information thereof, marched with about 30 of his Men towards the Breas of Lenny, divided them so as to surround a party of them in a Sheill [a summer hut up in the hills used for grazing livestock], and to guard the Passes below, that none of them might escape. About Five o’Clock the Party under Ensign M’Euen surrounded a Lodge or Sheilling hut, from which they received a very brisk Fire, from the Door and two Windows, for 15 Minutes or upwards, which was returned by the Volunteers with the same Alacrity; afterwards the Rebels lodged in the Hutt, being all wounded except one, surrendered, viz. Major Stewart, Brother to the Laird of Advorlick; Capt. Malcolm M’Gregor of Comour; Capt. Donald MacLaren; Sergeant King, Alias M’Ree, late of Sir Patrick Murray’s Highland Regiment, and three private Men. Of our Men none were hurt tho’ several Balls went through their Cloaths, especially Thomas More the late Lieutenant Follie, who always shewed himself upon every Occasion, willing to destroy Rebels. (Extract of a Letter from Sterling, dated July 22, 1746)
In the preceding excerpt we also find the confusing reference in which David is described as "of Ballahallan" in Callander parish. The reference is believed to refer to the property of Ballochallan which is actually in Kilmadock parish but is located not far from Doune. The reference is confusing as the property of Ballochallan was held consistently through this period by the family of Stewart of Ballochallan who were a cadet branch of the Stewarts of Annat. Thus David could not have been "of Ballochallan." We also find in the Muster Roll's of The '45 a reference to David's natural son, Donald as "Donald Stewart, son of David Stewart of Ballachallan." The origin of this alleged association with Ballochallan still eludes us. It is possible that David may have resided "in" Ballochallan, but the designation "of" implies property ownership and David never owned Ballochallan. It's also possible the name may be a confusion for another property not yet identified. However, this confusing reference has caused a further confusion in some genealogies equating Maj. David Stewart with David Hume Stewart, 3rd of Ballochallan. However, the reference above states that Maj. David Stewart was "brother of Stewart of Ardvorlich." The Stewart of Ardvorlich at the time was Robert Stewart, 5th of Ardvorlich.
David's testament is registered as: Testament of David Stewart in Glenfinglas who died in November of 1746 given up by the Earl of Moray as creditor.
David is mentioned in the following excerpt from the (John) MacGregor Collection:
"Discharge David Stewart of his sallery as forrester 1743 ---I David Stewart forrester to the Right Honorabel the Earl of Moray in Glenfinglas Grant me to have received from James Maul factor to the said Earl the soume of one hundred pounds scots money in full payment of my forresters sallery, cropt seventeen hundred and fortie thrie years and hearby discharges the ~~~ as witness my hand at Doun the 29th day of March 1745 years. (signed) Dav. Stewart."
David had relations with an unknown woman by whom he had the following natural child:
David Stewart had the following known lawful child:
David is believed to have had relations with Mary STEWART and had the following natural child:
David married Margaret STEWART of Fungorth, daughter of William Stewart, 2nd of Fungorth. Commissariat Records of Dunkeld confirm that David married Margaret Stewart "sister german to the deceased Patrick Stewart, merchant in Edinburgh, first married to Alexander Campbell of Lochdochart, and thereafter married to David Stewart, brother to Robert of Ardvorlich (12 Dec 1750)". The date of this entry is problematic as it post-dates David's death. The date given here may not represent the date of their marriage, but may represent the date of Margaret Stewart's death.
Further information on the descendants of Alexander Stewart and Mary Stewart of Craigton can be found in the Stewarts of Craigton section.
Alexander Stewart married secondly to Anna GRAHAM-alias-MCGREGOR of Kilmannan, daughter of Archibald GRAHAM-alias-MCGREGOR, Chief Of Clan Gregor. What makes this marriage so interesting is that 200 years prior the ancestors of this couple swore a blood feud against each other.
Robert Stewart was baptized at Stirling on 6 MAY 1681. He was the son of James Stewart, 4th of Ardvorlich (shown above). Robert was only 17 years old when he succeeded his father to the lands of Ardvorlich upon his father's death in 1698. Robert held the estate of Ardvorlich until his own death in Jan 1751 without issue. The estate of Ardvorlich then passed to his cousin, another Robert Stewart, son of Alexander Stewart of Lurgavowie and Gardeith, who was in turn the son of Robert Stewart, 3rd of Ardvorlich. Robert Stewart, 6th of Ardvorlich, was described as "an idiot" and held the estate of Ardvorlich for no more than three years before his cousin, another Robert Stewart, 7th of Ardvorlich, assumed responsibility for the estate. This rapid succession of three Roberts in a row has caused confusion in many genealogies including www.stirnet.com.
This Robert was the laird of Ardvorlich in 1739 when Duncan Stewart wrote his seminal history of the Stewarts, and this Robert is shown as the current laird in that publication. However, when the later author of Stewarts of the South ca 1818 described the transition of Ardvorlich from one Robert to the next, he mistakenly confuses Robert Stewart, 5th of Ardvorlich, and Robert Stewart, 6th of Ardvorlich, when he says: "The old Branch of Ardvorlich Family (& sometime Macorriston) became extinct when the present Mr Stewart's father became heir - the last branch which you may see in Duncan Stewart's History was Robert a rude and boisterous man, he died without issue."
It is Robert Stewart, 6th of Ardvorlich, who was the last of the original line to hold Ardvorlich and who is believed to be the one described as "a rude and boisterous man."
Curiously, this Robert is the only Chief of Ardvorlich who is not listed on the family stone at Dundurn. This is a difficult curiosity to explain given Robert appears to have been one of the longest serving lairds in the history of the family. One is left to ponder if the later descendants themselves may have conflated the two Roberts into one.
Robert STEWART , 6th of Ardvorlich b: ABT 1690 in Gardeith, Perthshire, Scotland, shown above as the son of Alexander Stewart of Lurgavowie and Gardeith and Catherine Drummond. Alexander was the son of Robert Stewart, 3rd of Ardvorlich.
This Robert succeeded to the lands of Ardvorlich in 1751 upon the death of his cousin, Robert Stewart, 5th of Ardvorlich. According to the Ardvorlich Stone, Robert Stewart, 6th of Ardvorlich, died unmarried in 1760. His death represented the end of the original branch of Ardvorlich.
This Robert is confusingly described in Stewarts of the South as: "The old Branch of Ardvorlich Family (& sometime Macorriston) became extinct when the present Mr Stewart's father became heir - the last branch which you may see in Duncan Stewart's History was Robert a rude and boisterous man, he died without issue."
This Robert is the one who was the last of the original line of Ardvorlich and is probably the one intended by the description as "a rude and boisterous man." However he is not the laird of Ardvorlich described in Duncan Stewart's History. Duncan Stewart's History of the Stewarts was published in 1739 when Robert Stewart, 5th of Ardvorlich, was still the laird, and prior to this Robert Stewart becoming laird.
This Robert is also described in the following reference from the John MacGregor Collection: "Catherine Drummond and [her son] Robert Stewart, she was mother to R Stewart an idiot and alimented him 1721 – 1751. In that year he succeeded Buchannan to Ardvorlich. (Norison’s Decisions No.46, p412, Vol.1 ) He died unmarried in 1760 – Dundurn Tombstone."
The reference to Robert "succeeding Buchanan" is of uncertain meaning. We are not aware of any Buchanan family holding Ardvorlich during this time. However the reference to Robert being "an idiot" who was "alimented" ("provided support") by his mother for 30 years may help explain the odd succession that followed.
As this Robert was the last male of his line and had no male heirs, the next in line to inherit Ardvorlich was Robert's fourth-cousin, (another) Robert Stewart, 5th of Balimeanach. Although Robert Stewart, 6th of Ardvorlich inherited Ardvorlich in 1751 and did not die until 1760, the Comrie OPR reveals that Robert Stewart, 5th of Balimeanach, was already residing at Ardvorlich as early as 1751 and styled "of Ardvorlich" by 1754. (See notes on that Robert for more information.) According to the Ardvorlich Stone, Robert Stewart 6th of Ardvorlich and Robert Stewart 5th of Balimeanach & 7th of Ardvorlich both died in 1760.
The fact that Robert Stewart, 6th of Ardvorlich, is described above as "an idiot" who had to be supported by his mother for most of his adult life, and the fact that his successor was acting as laird while this Robert was yet still living, suggests that Robert Stewart, 6th of Ardvorlich, may have been incapable of managing the affairs of the estate and that his fourth-cousin assumed responsibility for Ardvorlich prior to actually inheriting it.
After the death of Robert Stewart, 6th Ardvorlich, the estate passed to a distant cousin from the house of Balimeanach. We must therefore back up a hundred years to pick up the line of Balimeanach. Balimeanach is located on the south shore of Loch Earn just east of Ardvorlich. Balimeanach comes from the Gaelic Baile + Meadhanach, which means "middle township". Thus there are many places in Perthshire named Balimeanach. This particular Balimeanach was known more fully as Balimeanach of Ardvorlich.
William Stewart, 1st of Balimeanach, b: ABT 1595 in Ardvorlich, Comrie, Perthshire, Scotland, shown above as a son of Alexander Stewart, 1st of Ardvorlich. William Stewart obtained the lands of Balemeanoch of Ardvorlich from his father in 1617. Stewarts of the South mistakenly refers to William Stewart as "an uncle's son" to Major James Beag Stewart, 2nd Ardvorlich, when in fact William Stewart, 1st Balimeanach, was James' brother. William married about 1628 to Janet COMRIE, daughter of John Comrie, 10th of that ilk. Janet was born about 1610 in Comrie, Perthshire, Scotland. (www.stirnet.com reverses the wives of the 1st and 2nd Balimeanach. We follow MacGregor.) William and Janet had the following children:
Robert STEWART, 2nd of Balimeanach, was born about 1630 in Balimeanach, Comrie, Perthshire, Scotland. He married Margaret MCMIAN/MCMEAN/MCINVAN, daughter of the forester of Glenartney. They had the following children:
William STEUART, 4th of Balimeanach married on 14 MAR 1706 in Comrie, Perthshire, Scotland to Christian STEWART. She was born 5 FEB 1690/91 in Milntown of Strathgartney, Callandar, Perthshire, Scotland as the daughter of Patrick Stewart, brother of John Stewart, 9th of Glenbuckie. The parish register records: "14th March 1706, Which day William Stewart in Ballomonach of Ardborlich gives up his name in order to Proclamation with Christan Stewart in Milntown of Srathgartney in the Parish of Callandar. William and Christian had the following children:
Robert Stewart was born in Balimeanach and baptized on 20 NOV 1707 at Comrie, Perthshire, Scotland, shown above as the son of William Stewart 4th of Balimeanach and Christian Stewart. In 1760, this Robert's distant cousin, another Robert Stewart who was 6th of Ardvorlich, died without heirs and the principal branch of Ardvorlich died out with him. As such the estate devolved upon the second branch of the family to this Robert Stewart who became 7th of Ardvorlich. Although the death of Robert Stewart, 6th of Ardvorlich, is given as 1760, this Robert was already residing at Ardvorlich as early as 1751 when his daughter Catherine was born there, and he was already being styled "of Ardvorlich" as early as 1754 when his son John was born and Robert was recorded in the Comrie OPR as "of Ardvorlich."
This is the Robert referred to in Stewarts of the South as follows:
"2 Branch Robert Stewart Taxman of Balimeanach father to the present Mr Stewart when he was born there was thirteen between him and the estate. It was with some difficulty he got the estate at all as he was not an active man himself. This family were called the House of Balimeanach of which farm they had a wadset or Feu of which they were dispossessed in an unlawful way by Robert of the first branch a rude and unruly man. The first of this Branch was one William an Uncle's son to Major Stewart (sic) he was called William MacAlastir, the major mentioned above was the bloody M James Stewart who killed Lord Kilpont. Ardvorlich is on the South Side of Lochearn parish of Comrie County of Perth."
The author of Stewarts of the South mistakenly says that the first of the Balimeanach line was "an uncle's son" to Major James Beag Stewart, 2nd Ardvorlich, when in fact William Stewart, 1st Balimeanach, was James' brother.
This Robert Stewart was described in Stewarts of the South as a "simple man of little experience". On two occasions he almost gave up the estate of Ardvorlich to his cousins. One occasion happened when his distant cousin, David Stewart of Ballachallan, tried to swindle him out of the property by offering to pay Robert's debt and some money to Robert and to leave Robert the estate if he died without children. Robert was talked out of accepting the deal by his wife and his brother James.
The other time came when Stewart of Appin tried to buy Ardvorlich, but the infamous Rob Roy MacGregor intervened:
Robert Stewart, 7th of Ardvorlich, was an acquaintance of Rob Roy MacGregor according to the following excerpt from the Stewarts of the South:
The late Robert Stewart of Ardvorlich intended to sell Ardvorlich itself, and would actually have sold it if it were not for advice given to him by Rob Roy McGregor - famed for good as well as bad actions - when he was driven from Callander and Balquhidder for his pranks upon the Duke of Montrose. Rob Roy was a fugitive at Auch Glenurchay. Robert of Ardvorlich lodged a night with Rob Roy when Robert Stewart was going to sell Ardvorlich to Stewart of Appin. Rob Roy advised him to keep Feuer of Ardvorlich and that the Feu should keep him.
It is remarkable that an Ardvorlich Stewart would take advice from a MacGregor after the murder of Drummonderinoch. If the reader thinks those memories were forgiven and forgotten by the mid-18th century, let me share with you a 20th century story. I am informed by Gordon MacGregor, a Strathearn historian who is descended from two of the alleged murderers of Drummonderinoch, as follows:
"John Stewart, late of Ardvorlich (14th), flung my uncle, the then Chief Inspector of the Perthshire Police, out of his house for our part in this crime fully 400 hundred years later!! Long are the memories in Highland Strathearn!" (Gordon MacGregor, private correspondence)
Robert STEUART married Margaret STEWART, of Drumvaich of the Annat family. She was baptized 18 FEB 1713/14 in Doune, Perthshire, Scotland, the daughter of Alexander Stewart, 4th Annat and Isabel Fullarton of Greenhall (some sources show her as the daughter of John Stewart, 5th of Annat who died without issue in 1745). Robert Steuart, 7th of Ardvorlich, and his wife, Margaret Stewart, had the following children:
The question of Allan's mother is a different matter. The Comrie OPR clearly shows the marriage of Robert MacNab, 2nd of Dundurn, to Jean Stewart of Ardvorlich and shows the baptisms of their children with Jean Stewart as the mother. However, Allan was born three years prior to his father's marriage to Jean Stewart of Ardvorlich. Thus Allan was either from a previous marriage or was illegitimate. No record of any previous marriage has been found so it would appear that Allan was probably illegitimate. Burke's Landed Gentry (LG19 I:951) gives Allan's mother as "Mary Stuart" with no further information on her. Some unverified on-line genealogies show Mary Stuart as a descendant of the Stuarts of Ardgowan, but we have found no evidence to support this claim. ElectricScotland shows Allan McNab's mother as Jean Stewart of Ardvorlich, but gives no evidence to support its claim either. If ElectricScotland is correct then Robert MacNab, 2nd of Dundurn, fathered a child with Jean Stewart of Ardvorlich and then later married her. Either way, Jean Stewart of Ardvorlich was at least the step-mother of Allan MacNab if not his full mother.
Allan MacNab was a Lieutenant and served in the 3rd Dragoons, the 71st Highland Light Infantry, and the (Loyalist) Queen's Rangers. Allan immigrated to Newark, Ontario, Canada (then the capital of the province of Upper Canada and presently known as Niagara-on-the-Lake) where he served as the principal aide-de-camp to General Simcoe, 1st Governor of Upper Canada, and commander of the Queen's Rangers. Just prior to 1812, Simcoe disbanded the Queen's Rangers and moved his capital from Newark to "Muddy" York, Upper Canada (present-day Toronto, Ontario, Canada). The MacNab family moved with Simcoe to York.
The Dictionary of Canadian Biography says the following about Allan MacNab:
Allan Napier MacNab’s father had been a lieutenant in John Graves Simcoe’s 2nd corps of Queen’s Rangers which saw action in the American revolution. Put on half pay, he settled in York (Toronto) where he was denied further military preferment and a high civil placement. A sometimes bankrupt Allan MacNab struggled on the fringe of Upper Canada’s Tory society.
Allan married on 31 MAY 1792 in Holy Trinity Cathedral, Quebec, Quebec, Canada to Anne Nancy NAPIER b: AUG 1772 in Quebec, Quebec, Canada, daughter of Capt. William Napier, commissioner of the port of Quebec, Lower Canada. They had the following children (among others not shown here):
Jean Stewart may have married secondly on 17 JUL 1784 in Balquhidder to James STEWART in Carstran, in which she is recorded as "Jean Stewart in Ardvorlich". It is not known if they had any children.
William Stewart, 8th of Ardvorlich, b: 10 JUN 1754 in Comrie, Perthshire, Scotland, shown above as the son of Robert Steuart 7th of Ardvorlich and Margaret Stewart. William is the person referred to as "the present Mister Stewart" in Stewarts of the South. William Stewart served as Chamberlain and Factor to the Earl of Breadalbane at Edinample Castle, located just west of Ardvorlich on the south shore of Loch Earn. William married on 28 AUG 1797 in Comrie, Perthshire or Edinburgh, Midlothian, Scotland, to Helen MAXTONE, daughter of James Maxtone of Cultoquhey. She was born 16 APR 1769 in Fowlis Wester, Perthshire, Scotland. Interestingly, their marriage is recorded in Comrie as well as Edinburgh. It is speculated, therefore, that they were married in Edinburgh, and that the marriage was also recorded in their home parish of Comrie. William and Helen had the following family:
Memorial in Dundurn Chapel: "Sacred to the memory of William Stewart, Esquire, of Ardvorlich, eldest son of the late Major W.M. Stewart of the Bengal Army, Lieutenant in the Honourable East India Company's Bengal Artillery, and Captain Commandant of a battery in Scindiah's contingent, who was severely wounded in the execution of his duty at Gwalior on the night of the 14th of June 1857, by the mutinous Sepoys and by them murdered on the following morning, aged 30 years. Also to the memory of his wife Jane Turnley, aged 27 years, youngest daughter of the late Hill Willson Esquire, Lieutenant in the Honourable East India Company's Bengal Engineers; and their son Robert Walter aged 2 years, who were killed on the night of the 14th idem, among the first victims of the Mutiny of Gwalior in the East Indies where the remains of both the parents and child lie interred. This tablet is erected by his widowed mother and her children."
Col. Anthony STEWART b: 20 SEP 1834 in India. Anthony attained the rank of Colonel in the Bengal Staff Corps. In 1881 Anthony's wife and children were residing in Preston, Sussex, England. Anthony was absent at the time of the census. Anthony married on 7 MAY 1857 in Bengal, India to Charlotte Pretyman BARLOW b: ABT 1835 in England. They had the following children:
Col. John STEWART, Companion of the Most Eminent Order of the Indian Empire, 12th of Ardvorlich, was born 24 MAR 1833 in Chunar, Bengal, India, shown above as a son of Maj. William Murray Stewart and Charlotte Debnam. He married on 14 JUL 1857 to Elizabeth Magdalene Amelia WEBSTER, daughter of General Thomas Webster of Balgarvie. He entered the Royal Bengal Artillery in 1857 and during the Mutiny was employed protecting the communications of the Bengal Armyin Oudh. He became a Colonel in 1882 and in that same year he succeeded his brothers to the lands of Ardvorlich. In 1888 he retired to the lands of Ardvorlich. John and Amelia had the following children:
Click on any of the family headings to be taken to that family's page:
The Stewarts of Laggan
This branch is erroneously accounted in Stewarts of the South as a cadet of II Branch - The Stewarts of Balimeanach.
Primary Residence(s): Balimeanach of Ardvorlich, Laggan
Secondary Residence(s): Ardvorlich, Ardoch
Tertiary Residence(s): Kincardine
The Stewarts of Ardvorlich owned a sweet red charm-stone known as the clach dearg (Gaelic for "red stone", pronounced "klachk jeerk"), which, it is said, had the properties to cure sick cattle when they drank water in which it had been dipped. This stone was originally owned by the Stewarts of Balquhidder, and family tradition asserts that it was brought back from the Crusades. -- I. Moncrieffe, The Highland Clans (London, 1967), 21.
Perthshire Diary 2 SEP 1745 has the following to say about the Clach Dearg:
Many of the old Highland chiefs were men of great sophistication and education. Yet they were also capable of accepting without question the efficacy and powers of certain ancient stones and talismans.
The Clach Dhearg (Red stone) of Ardvorlich is a case in point. It was said to have been brought back from the Crusades in the 14th Century. It was a crystal ball mounted in silver and was owned by the Stewarts of Balquhidder.
Owners of sick cattle from a large area would come with kegs of water to Ardvorlich. There, the custodian’s wife would dangle the stone by a chain in the water, rotating it three times clockwise while reciting a Gaelic charm. Providing the owner took the keg of water straight home without entering any house on the way the water was deemed a sure cure for sick cattle.
The importance of the Clach Dhearg was such that in a dispute over the chieftainship of the Stewarts of Balquhidder, the issue was settled on Mac Mhic Bhaltair because he had possession of the stone.
The Stewarts of the South letter, mentioned below, gives an account of the lands held by the Ardvorlichs at the beginning of the 19th century. The values given for the lands are a reference to their annual rental value.
|1 Ardvorlich estate about £600 per annum.|
|2 They had MacCurrastan in Monteith, Down (Doune) parish, which is now the Earl of Murray's property. A part of the staircase is still remaining as well as the orchard. A family of the name of MacCurrastan resided here and the family of Ardvorlich occasionally. This part was sold by the late Robert of Ardvorlich's father to Hume of Argadie, to whom David Stewart of Balchallan was heir. David Stewart of Ballachallan, in turn, sold it to Lord Doun, which he much regretted afterwards. It lies adjacent to the Carse of Frews, a large property of the Earl of Murray - rent £200|
|3 Auchraig & Letter Do, which are at present Benny Munrow's property sold by the late Robert's father to a family of the name of Stirling, who sold it again to one McFarlane, from whom the late David of Balchallan swindled it. £300 rent. Although they were his sister's children it was once a grazing place to the Ardvorlich family.|
|4 Wester Town of Argadie sold by the late Robert's father to the present Lord Down's great-grandfather. £150 of rent.|
|5 Tombeath near ?Anie, Callander parish, now sold by the family of Drummond to Stirling of Kier|
|6 Druimardoch, Braes of Lenny, now Buchanan of Lennys, bought from Drummond of Perth|
|7 Stroineadragain Brealenny sold by the late Robert's father to the Perth family. The whole £350 of rent.|
|8 Tommferrain in Munivaird parish, now belonging to Lord Balgray. Once belonging to Riddoch, proprietors of a great part of Strathearn. This farm was sold rather in a compulsive way by Major Stewart's son (Robert Stewart, 3rd Ardvorlich) to Campbell of Lawirs as they were in great power at that time. Lawirs or Ardle or Fordie once belonged to Riddoch before the Campbells got it.|
|Besides the above mentioned, the Ardvorlich family had the lucrative tack of one-fourth of Glenfinglas and other tacks from the family of Perth.|
The following gravestone is found in Dundurn Cemetery, Lochearnside. As this cemetery is reserved solely for the Stewarts of Ardvorlich, then the following entry must be from this family, although he has not presently been accounted for.
In memory of John Stewart, for 45 years the Head Forester to his Grace the Duke of Argyll at Inverary Castle, who died at Crieff on 27 FEB 1892, aged 78 years. Also Margaret Rodger his wife who died at Kingsbarns 11 MAY 1902.
John STEWART, b. ABT 1814. He married on 26 AUG 1857 in Inverary and Glenaray, Argyll, Scotland to Margaret RODGERS. The IGI shows no children for this family.
|A brief history of the Stewarts of Ardvorlich||http://www.scottish-towns.co.uk/perthshire/fillans/stewarts.html|
|Geography and history of Ardvorlich||http://www.incallander.co.uk/drive3.htm|
|Photo of Loch Earn||http://www.scotcolour.com/southernpm/Loch Earnardvorlich.htm|
|Description of Ardvorlich house||http://www.chuckspeed.com/balquhidder/history/ardvorlich.html|
|The murder of Lord Kilpont||http://www.perthshirediary.com/html/day0301.html|
|General information on Strathearn||http://www.strathearn.com|
|A genealogy of the Stewarts of Ardvorlich||http://www.stirnet.com/HTML/genie/british/ss4tz/stewart15.htm|
|Debating the "official" version of the death of John Drummonderinoch||http://www.employees.org/~mcgregor/clan_library/clan_library_drummond-ernoch.html|
|Battle of Tippermuir (death of Harry Stewart of Ardvorlich, murder of Lord Kilpont by James Stewart of Ardvorlich)||http://www.theteacher99.btinternet.co.uk/ecivil/tippermuir.htm|
|Genealogies of Mediaeval British families||http://www.stirnet.com/HTML/genie/genfam.htm|
|European Royalty and Nobility||http://worldroots.com/brigitte/royal/royal00.htm|
|Stewarts of Balquhidder||http://www.rootsweb.com/~onwellin/pioneers/1pioneers.htm|
|Another Ardvorlich Genealogy||http://www.alsiris.com/g/d2/I004241.shtml|
|Clan Stewart at Electric Scotland||http://www.electricscotland.com/webclans/stoz/stewart.html|
|Online Gaelic Dictionaries||http://www.ceantar.org/Dicts/search.html|
|Another Online Gaelic Dictionary||http://www.sst.ph.ic.ac.uk/angus/Faclair/|
|The Landed Families of Strathearn by Gordon MacGregor||See note here|
|Balquhidder MacGregor Marriages||http://www.clangregor.org/macgregor/parish-balqm.htm|
|General Perthshire Information||http://www.perthshire-scotland.co.uk/|
|The Stewart Society||http://www.stewartsociety.org/|
|Partial Ancestry of Ardvorlich (cntrl-F "Ardvorlich" -- you'll find it)||http://homepage.tinet.ie/~donnaweb/info/article11.html|
|King Robert the Bruce||http://www.scotlandspast.org/robert1274.cfm|
|Perthshire GenWeb Project||http://www.rootsweb.com/~sctper/|
|Scottish Parish Statistical Accounts||http://edina.ac.uk/stat-acc-scot/|
|Stewart Clan Magazine Index||http://users.hol.gr/~mkyritsi/index.htm|
I find it just too cumbersome to give a footnote to each of the thousands of ancestors and descendants of the Ardvorlich Stewarts, so I have compiled a list of my primary source information here for others to reference. If you have questions about the source of a particular entry please contact me and I will do my best to answer your question.
For the descendant lines of the Ardvorlich family our primary sources are:
|The Landed Families of Strathearn, by Gordon MacGregor, 2003, (see the link list above).|
|The Stewarts of the South believed to be authored by Captain James Stewart, ca 1820. This letter can be found elsewhere on this site with a more full explanation.|
|Private correspondence with the Stewart Society.|
|Parish records for Comrie, Balquhidder and surrounding parishes|
|Scottish census records 1841, 1851, 1861, 1871, 188, 1891, 1901|
|Various testaments and sasines|
|Various contributions by private researchers descended from the Ardvorlich Stewarts|
For the ancestral lines of the Ardvorlich family our primary sources are:
|The Landed Families of Strathearn, by Gordon MacGregor (see above). This is my primary source for the noble landed families.|
|The Settlements of Western Perthshire, by James Stewart, Pentland Press,1990 (out of print).|
|Genealogy of the Stewarts, by Duncan Stewart, 1739.|
|The Heraldry of the Stewarts, by G. Harvey Johnston, Edinburgh, 1906.|
|Britain's Royal Families, by Alison Weir, Pimlico Publishing, 2002.|
|The Kings and Queens of Britain, by John Cannon and Anne Hargreaves, Oxford Publishing, 2001.|
|www.stirnet.com . Where MacGregor stops, this website picks up. I realize the hazards of relying on websites for genealogical data, and genealogy websites abound with varying quality, but this site provides good source information and seems to be one of the more reliable online sources.|
I have been criticized by some for including legendary ancestors in my database, but where I have done so I have tried to indicate it in the notes. However any serious genealogist should read the older data with an eye of scepticism anyway. Any data that is over 1000 years old should not be considered entirely reliable. I include this information for my own enjoyment. Please feel free to ignore the legendary data if it does not meet your standards.
For more information on
any individual person featured on this page,
1. click on the INDEX button below,
2. then select the first letter of the surname you are looking for.
The index button will take you to my searchable GEDCOM database hosted by RootsWeb's World Connect Project. This allows you to download my GEDCOM in 10-generation chunks. Then you can import my data directly into your own genealogy program without having to retype it.
= This person has known descendants.
ABT = "about" and is used in three ways:
Where it precedes a precise date of birth, such as "ABT 3 DEC 1855", then it means that the person was baptized on 3 DEC 1795, but his/her exact date of birth is unknown.
Where it precedes a semi-precise date of birth with the month only given, such as "ABT DEC 1855", then that means that the birth is recorded in the civil birth registrations for the quarter ending with that month. Thus the person's birth was registered sometime between the beginning of October 1855 and the end of December 1855, but no baptism record has been found nor any more precise birth record.
Where it precedes a year only, such as "ABT 1855", then it means that there is no information on the person's birth date at all and an educated guess has been made that he/she was probably born sometime around 1855.
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This page was last updated on January 23, 2010
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