The 'Harry' Stewarts of Glen Fincastle in Perthshire and Lochaber, Nova Scotia (1792-1884)

Glen Fincastle

Glen Fincastle, showing Dundavie and Pitfeolan (James Stobie, 1783)

The 'Harry' Stewart families have been pieced together from a number of sources, and are still under investigation as the records from the Perthshire area for this family are rather scant. Letters written by William Stewart of Westchester, Nova Scotia, in the 1880s describes how Robert 'Harry' Stewart of Glen Fincastle in Perthshire, Scotland emigrated to Nova Scotia in 1832 and was followed by his brother John 'Harry' Stewart the next year.

Robert 'Harry' Stewart was a weaver in Dundavie, Glen Fincastle. He was born 17th March 1790, the son of Henry Stewart and Barbara McIntosh. In the “History of Nova Scotia” by David Allison, Halifax 1916, he mentions that Robert's brother, John 'Harry' Stewart was a cousin of Lord Harry Stewart (i.e. Henry Stewart, 10th of Fincastle), implying that this was the reason for the 'Harry' epithet. There is no evidence of such a connection and in Gaelic communities it was, and still is, common to distinguish individuals with the same name by adding their father's name. This could then be applied to the whole family, for example John's daughter was known as Barbara 'Harry' Stewart.

Henry Stewart married Barbara McIntosh, 25th November 1786, but the Dull OPR is as enigmatic as ever saying only that both parties were from Dull parish. Barbara may be the daughter of Angus McIntosh and Christian Stewart, born 19th February 1764, but this has yet to be confirmed. All of their children were born at Dundavie, Glen Fincastle.

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Generation 2: The children of Henry Stewart and Barbara McIntosh in Glen Fincastle

Name Born Married Date Residence Died
Robert Mar 20 1790 Isabella McGlashan Dec 12 1813 South Lochaber h.
w.
John Dec 30 1796 Margaret Robertson Nov 6 1825 South Lochaber h. May 10 1884
w.
Henry ~1798 Margaret McIntosh 30 Nov 1822 Dundavie h. May 13 1876
w. after 1876
Peter (Patrick) May 25 1803 Isabella
Ferguson
Mar 30 1830
(Moulin OPR)
h.
w.
James Apr 4 1806 Christian McIntosh Oct 7 1832 Baluaine h.
w.

Although the baptism of James appears in the Dull parish OPR, dated 30th April 1806, it also appears in the Blair Atholl OPR in 1833 in unusual circumstances. The 1833 entry relates to the baptism of Henry Stewart, lawful son to James Stewart and Christian McIntosh at Woodend, Fincastle, parish of Dull, 29th April 1833. The two entries which precede this one in the OPR, appear to be the baptisms of the parents: James Stewart, 4 Apr 1806, and Christian McIntosh, 11 Nov 1815. Although these are baptisms which took place in Glen Fincastle, Dull parish, they must have been recorded in the Blair Atholl OPR after James and his family had moved to Baluaine:

"James, lawful son to Henry Stewart and Ann McIntosh (Ann crossed out and replaced by Barbara) in Dundavie, Fincastle, parish of Dull, 4th April 1806".

"Christian, lawful daughter to John McIntosh and Elizabeth Reid in Balnafead, Fincastle, parish of Dull, 11th November 1815".

It is also worth noting that there are no baptisms for daughters. Perhaps there were no daughters, but it is more likely that only Henry's sons were baptised.

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Robert 'Harry' Stewart and Isabella McGlashan in Glen Fincastle and Nova Scotia

Robert married Isabella McGlashan, the daughter of William McGlashan in Pitagowan, Blair Atholl parish. The OPR entries (6th November 1813, Dull, and 12th December 1813, Blair Atholl merely state that Robert was living in (Glen) Fincastle. It is interesting to note that Isabella's mother was Margaret Stewart from Dundavie - perhaps Robert and Isabella were cousins.

The family emigrated to Nova Scotia in 1832 on the Charlotte Kerr, along with the families of 'Deacon' Robert Stewart from Balcastle, and James 'the Tailor' Stewart from Chamberbane.

In the letters written by William Stewart of Westchester, he says: "Rob Hari also had a family. His eldest William I think about 12 years old, small for his age, a very pious youth, like his parents. He became an Episcopal cleric and went to P.E.I. and died there, so I heard."

By the time of the 1871 census Robert was a widow living with his unmarried daughters Margaret and Isabel. His sons Peter and Alexander were living with their families in the adjacent houses.

Generation 3: The children of Robert 'Harry' Stewart and Isabella McGlashan of Glen Fincastle

Name Born Married Date Residence Died
Susan May 26 1815 . . . h.
w.
Margaret Apr 3 1817 unmarried . Lochaber Lake d. after 1901
Barbara Jun 19 1819 . . . h.
w.
William Jul 16 1822 . . P.E.I. d.
Helen Jun 2 1823 . . . h.
w.
Isabel Oct 22 1824 unmarried . Lochaber Lake d. Dec 1 1920*
Peter Jul 1 1827 Sarah ...... . Lochaber Lake h. by 1881
w.
Alexander Jul 20 1831 Ann McMillan Dec 30 1856** Lochaber Lake h.
w. by 1891

* Informant - Robert Grant, grand-nephew.
** Marriage date from Arthur's birth certificate.

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Generation 4: The children of Peter 'Harry' Stewart and Sarah ......... of Lochaber Lake, Nova Scotia

Name Born Married Date Residence Died
Robert H. ~1859 unmarried . Lochaber Lake d. May 25 1873*
Jane Helen
(Janie Ellen)
~1864 Joseph Gentles
(baker)
Dec 7 1882 . h.
w.

* Drowned.

-

Alexander 'Harry' Stewart married Ann McMillan, the daughter of Hugh McMillan and Janet MacGregor, 27th December 1856. Hugh McMillan was a pioneer settler from 1808.

Generation 4: The children of Alexander 'Harry' Stewart and Ann McMillan of Lochaber Lake, Nova Scotia

Name Born Married Date Residence Died
Catharine A. ~1860 . . . h.
w.
Sarah B. ~1864 . . . h.
w.
William R. ~1866 . . . h.
w.
George H. ~1868 . . . h.
w.
Arthur S. Jan 19 1873 . . . h.
w.

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John 'Harry' Stewart and Margaret Robertson in Glen Fincastle and Nova Scotia

Blair Atholl, 1825
John Stewart and Margaret Robertson both in Chapleton of this parish (married) 6th November.

Chapleton, or Balchapel, was a small homestead on the north side of Loch Tummel, Perthshire, just below the Borenich burial ground. Balchapel of Borenich is now in ruins and gradually disappearing, but it is evident from what remains that it was only big enough for a couple of families. The records give no indication that either John or Margaret were born there, and they seem to have moved a couple of miles eastwards to Glen Fincastle soon after their marriage, as this is where their son James was born.

Dull, 1826
James, son to John Stewart and Margaret Robertson in Balnald (of Fincastle) baptised 17th November.

The International Genealogical Index (IGI) states that John was born on 12th November 1826, but the source of this information is unknown.

From the dates on her tombstone it would appear that their eldest daughter Barbara was born in 1828, but there is no record of Barbara's baptism in the Old Parish Records. The IGI states that John and Margaret's second son, Peter, was christened on 26th December 1829.

Dull, 1826
Peter, son to John Stewart and Margaret Robertson in Balnald, baptised 29th December.

It is known that John Stewart and his family emigrated to Nova Scotia in 1833 on the same ship as the Stewarts of Balcastle, as there is a reference to these events in the “History of Nova Scotia” by David Allison, Halifax 1916 (volume 3, page 681). In this work David Allison mentions a local entrepreneur, James H. Stewart of Antigonish County, who was John Stewart's grandson.

Mr James H. Stewart was born in Lochaber, Antigonish Couty, Nova Scotia, April 19th 1863. He was the son of Alexander D. Stewart and Christina Stewart.

The father was born in Blair Atholl, Perthshire in 1827 and emigrating with his parents to Lochaber in 1833; came on a sailing vessel to Halifax, where they took another vessel to Sherbrooke and they finally settles at Lochaber on a farm. He married Christina Stewart, March 17th 1857, and lived at Lochaber until he died February 5th 1895. The father's parents were Ellen (McDonald) Stewart; they were both natives of Scotland, where they spent their earlier years till emigrating in 1833.

The mother was born in Lochaber, February 25th 1839, and died Nova Scotia May 8th 1886; she was a daughter of John Stewart and Margaret Robertson, who emigrated to Lochaber from Blair Atholl, Scotland, in 1833 on the same vessel as the father's parents. The mother's father was a cousin of Lord Harry Stewart.

Alexander Donald Stewart was born in Balcastle of Borenich and the following entry appears in the Balir Atholl OPR.

Blair Atholl, 1827
Alexander, lawful son to Donald Stewart and Hellen McDonald his spouse in Balichastle was born 4th August and baptised 6th.

Christina seems to have been their only child born in Nova Scotia, but it is possible that others were born between 1833 and 1839.

The last comment by David Allison concerning John Stewart's connection to Lord Harry Stewart may be helpful in tracing his ancestry. It is assumed that this family link, which must have been a source of pride as it was remembered by subsequent generations, is the source of the 'Harey' or 'Harry' to distinguish this family of Stewarts from others in the Lochaber area. Another useful piece of information is that the 1833 emigration group of 'Deacon' Robert Stewart, Donald Robert Stewart, Thomas McLauchlin and John 'Harry' Stewart, also included John 'Harry' Stewart's brother, Robert.

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The children of John 'Harry' Stewart and Margaret Robertson, who emigrated from Scotland and settled in South Lochaber, Nova Scotia, in the year 1833.

Name Born Married Date Residence Died
James Nov 12 1826 Jane Stewart . South Lochaber h. Jan 14 1909
w. Jun 6 1896
Barbara 1828 1. Robert Stewart
2. James Malloy
. South Lochaber h1. 1855
w. 1867
Peter Dec 26 1829 . . . d.
Christina Feb 25 1839 Alexander Stewart Mar 17 1857 Lochaber N.S. h. Feb 5 1895
w. May 8 1886

John 'Harry' Stewart and his family settled in South Lochaber and are found in the 1881 census. Barbra Malay is probably their grand-daughter.

Goshen and Giant's Lake, Guysborough, District 8, Household 70

Name Status Age Birth-place Occupation Religion
John Stewart M 84y Scotland farmer Presbyterian
Margaret Stewart M 74y Scotland Presbyterian
Barbra Malay 14y Scotland Presbyterian

John 'Harry' Stewart died in 1884 and was buried in the Stewart Cemetery, South Lochaber, Guysborough County. His memorial stone reads "Gone Home. In memory of John Stewart who died May 10 1884 aged 92 years. Also his wife Margaret Robertson". (photographs of the memorial stones in this cemetery, taken by Maureen Brown, are available on the internet).

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John 'Harry' Stewart's son James married Jane, the daughter of 'Big' John Stewart and Ann McDonald, and farmed in South Lochaber close to his parents. The 1881 Canadian census shows the family as follows:

Goshen and Giant's Lake, Guysborough, District 8, Household 67

Name Status Age Birth-place Occupation Religion
James Stewart M 54y Scotland farmer Presbyterian
Jane Stewart M 49y Nova Scotia Presbyterian
Alexander Stewart 23y Nova Scotia farmer Presbyterian
Jane Stewart 22y Nova Scotia Presbyterian
Margaret Stewart 18y Nova Scotia Presbyterian
Hugh Stewart 16y Nova Scotia farmer's son Presbyterian
Albert Stewart 12y Nova Scotia Presbyterian
Mary Stewart 9y Nova Scotia Presbyterian

Their son James married his cousin Annie MacEachern (the daughter of Cecilia Stewart and Alexander MacEachern of Lochaber). The married couple moved to North Dakota, USA.

Their son Hugh D. Stewart was born 24th May 1864 and died 21st September 1885 aged 21 years. He is buried in the Stewart cemetery, South Lochaber.

-

John 'Harry' Stewart's daughter Barbara married Robert, the son of 'Big' John Stewart and Ann McDonald. They settled in South Lochaber where they had three children: John R, born 1851; Robert, born 1853; and Annie (Barbara Ann), born 1854. Barbara's husband Robert died in 1855 and Barbara later married James Malloy. There is a memorial stone to Barbara Stewart Malloy (1828 - 1867) in the South Lochaber cemetery.

Their son John R. Stewart married his first cousin Christina Ann 'Harry' Stewart, the daughter of James 'Harry' Stewart and Jane Stewart. The young couple and their family were living next to John 'Harry' Stewart and Margaret Robertson at the time of the 1881 census.

Goshen and Giant's Lake, Guysborough, District 8, Household 71

Name Status Age Birth-place Occupation Religion
John R. Stewart M 29y Nova Scotia farmer Presbyterian
Christy Stewart M 21y Nova Scotia Presbyterian
Laura Stewart 2y Nova Scotia Presbyterian
Janet Stewart 6m Nova Scotia Presbyterian
James Malay (Malloy) 18 Nova Scotia servant Baptist

-

John 'Harry' Stewart's daughter Christina married Alexander Donald Stewart.

Reference has already been made to the “History of Nova Scotia” by David Allison which relates the emigration of Alexander and Christina's families from Borenich in 1833. Further information on Alexander Donald Stewart, his family, and his ancestors is to be found in the Record Room under the title of "Donald Stewart of North Lochaber, N.S. (1792-1855)".

Alexander and Christina appear in the 1881 Canadian census, with Alexander's brother and his widowed mother, Helen MacDonald, living in adjacent properties.

Lochaber, Antigonish, District 21B, Household 111

Name Status Age Birth-place Occupation Religion
Alexander Stewart M 54y Scotland farmer Presbyterian
Christy Stewart M 42y Nova Scotia Presbyterian
Daniel Stewart 22y Nova Scotia farmer Presbyterian
John Stewart 21y Nova Scotia farmer Presbyterian
Alexander Stewart 17y Nova Scotia farmer Presbyterian
James Stewart 17y Nova Scotia farmer Presbyterian
Geddis Stewart 16y Nova Scotia farmer Presbyterian
Maggie Stewart 13y Nova Scotia Presbyterian
Ellen Stewart 11y Nova Scotia Presbyterian
Franklin Stewart 9y Nova Scotia Presbyterian
Peter Stewart 7y Nova Scotia Presbyterian
William Stewart 4y Nova Scotia Presbyterian
Barbara Stewart 1y Nova Scotia Presbyterian

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The Descendants of John 'Harry' Stewart of South Lochaber

The Descendants of John 'Harry' Stewart of Borenich and South Lochaber, Nova Scotia

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Henry Stewart and Margaret McIntosh in Dundavie, Glen Fincastle

Henry Stewart married Margaret McIntosh, 30th November 1822. The Dull OPR merely states that they were "both of this parish", which is not very enlightening.

Margaret's death certificate shows that she was the daughter of Donald McIntosh (parish of Dull) and Margaret Fraser in Tomanbuie (of Borenich) who married 23rd November 1786. She had three brothers who were baptised: Angus, 3rd December 1791; John, 15th July 1796; and James, 23rd March 1798. Her mother, Margaret Fraser, was born at Balcastle (Sep 4 1760), the daughter of John Fraser in Balchapel and Isobel Stewart in Bohally (married Dec 12 1745).

The first six children of Henry Stewart and Margaret McIntosh were born at Dundavie, and they were still living there when the Fincastle Estate was put up for sale. The London Edition of The Courier advertised the sale (29th September 1831), announcing that Henry Stewart at Dundavie would point out the estate boundaries to prospective buyers. After the birth of Elizabeth in 1835 the family moved to Pitfeolain where Henry was born in 1839, and they were still there during the 1841 census.

Dwelling Name Age Occupation Birth-place
Pitfeolan Henry Stewart 45y handloom weaver Perthshire
Margaret Stewart 44y Perthshire
Margaret Stewart 15y Perthshire
John Stewart 7y Perthshire
Elizabeth Stewart 6y Perthshire
Henry Stewart 2y Perthshire

By the time of the 1851 census, Henry Stewart had changed professions and had become a farmer of 10 acres at Balinluig. This farm is now the Queen's View Visitor Centre owned by the Forestry Commission for Scotland.

Name Relation Status Age Occupation Birth-place
Hendry Stewart head marr 55y farmer of 10 acres Dull
Margaret Stewart dau u/m 25y Dull
John Stewart son u/m 17y Dull
Hendry Stewart son u/m 12y Dull
Margaret
Pearson *
niece u/m 4y Moneydie
Hendry Fergusson visitor marr 25y hostler Dull
Barbara Campbell visitor marr 30y hostler's wife Dull
Euphemia Stewart head u/m 56y grocer Dull

* The daughter of James Pearson and Barbara Stewart, born 12th April 1847, Moneydie parish. Probably Henry's grand-daughter rather than his niece.

Generation 3: The children of Henry Stewart and Margaret McIntosh in Dundavie, Glen Fincastle

-

Name Born Married Date Residence Died
Barbara Sep 16 1823 James Pearson Jan 10 1846 Moneydie parish h.
w.
Margaret May 12 1825 . . Dundavie h.
w.
Janet Sep 12 1827 . . Dundavie h.
w.
Christ(ian) Sep 4 1829 . . Dundavie h.
w.
John Aug 13 1832 . . Dundavie h.
w.
Elizabeth May 1 1835 . . Dundavie h.
w.
Henry Mar 6 1839 . . Pitfeolain h.
w.
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