John 'Harry' Stewart of South Lochaber, Nova Scotia (1792-1884)

The Ruins of Balchapel (Chapelton) of Borenich

The Ruins of Balchapel (Chapelton) of Borenich

The family of John 'Harry' Stewart has been pieced together from a number of sources, with his own parentage still under investigation as the records from the Perthshire area for this family are rather scant.

The first reference is the marriage of John Stewart and Margaret Robertson recorded in the Old Parish Record for Blair Atholl.

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 Stewart 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.

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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

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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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