The Lamont (McGilliwie) Family of Balnald, Strathtummel

On 25th November 1804 Peter Lamont in Balnald married Jean Stewart in Balnabodach.

Blair Atholl OPR, 25th November 1804,
Peter Lamont in Bailnald and Jean Stewart in Bailnambodach, both in this parish (married)

Jean Stewart was born 10th February 1780. She was the daughter of William Stewart of Balnabodach and Margaret Stewart of Edintian, Glen Fincastle, in the parish of Dull who married 30th April 1779. Her father William Stewart had been born 3rd May 1747, the son of Donald Stewart of Croftcarnoch and Margaret McLauchlane. The selection of William as a forename so soon after the battle of Culloden in 1746, suggests that Donald Stewart was emphasising that he was not a Jacobite sympathiser, and the records seem to show that very few of the Strathtummel people had been drawn into the conflict.

In contrast to his wife Jean Stewart, little could be discovered about the origins of Peter Lamont.

Peter Lamont's children were all born at Balnald of Strathtummel. The baptism of their first child, Neil, appears as normal in the Blair Atholl OPR, but those of Margaret, William, Peter and Jean were all entered into the OPR at the time of Jean's baptism, despite having different baptismal dates. The reason for this is uncertain. Possibly they were baptised by the minister of a different denomination, and recorded in a family bible until the birth of Jean.

Blair Atholl OPR, baptisms

Neil, lawful son to Peter Lamont in Bailenald and Jean Stewart his spouse was born 23rd and baptised 27th October (1805).

Margaret, lawful daughter to Peter Lamont and Jean Stewart his spouse in Bailnald, was born 3rd February 1808 and baptised 7th.

William, lawful son to the foresaid parents was born the 30th August 1810 and baptised the 31st.

Peter, lawful son to the said parents was born the 23rd June 1813 and baptised 28th.

Jean, lawful daughter to the foregoing was born the 14th October 1816 and baptised 18th.

Donald, lawful son to Peter Lamont in Bailenald and Jean Stewart his spouse, was born 6th May (1819) and baptised 8th.

Elspeth, lawful daughter to Peter Lamont in Bailenald and Jean Stewart his spouse, was born 20th October and baptised 4th November 1821.

Another reason might have been the inability to pay the tax for registration. The Atholl Estate rent book of 1812 shows that Neil and Peter Lamont had Balnald on a 15 year tack (lease) with a rent of 24, and around this time they were owing 49 16s 0d. Obviously things must have improved as later the factor noted that 49 16s 0d had been received. The factor also commented in 1822 that Lamont was "a good tenant for that country and has improved two and a half acres of outfield". This gave them 11 1/2 acres of arable, 11 1/2 acres of pasture and 70 acres of hill pasture. However the factor was rather over-optimistic about the quality of the land when he wrote that both oats and barley should give a return of 3 to 1.

The crop in 1822 was believed to be:

4 acres of oats (7 bolls*), which returned 14 bolls;
23/4 acres of barley (3 bolls), which returned 8 bolls;
1/2 acre of peas (1 boll), which returned 1 boll;
1/4 acre of turnips, which returned 1/4 boll;
11/2 acres of potatoes, which returned 26 bolls;
11/2 acres of grass, which returned 48 stone;
1/4 acre of lint, but the crop was lost

*Up until 1824 a wide diversity of weights and measures were used in Scotland. The basic unit of dry capacity was the 'boll', derived from the word 'bowl'. The size of a boll depended on what was being measured. For oats and barley, one boll was approximately 210 litres, but for peas it was approximately 145 litres.

In 1822 the factor also noted that the tenants had built a smithy, and were allowed to cut wood to fuel it. This is the first record of a smithy at Balnald, and appears to coincide with the building of the Lochtummel Inn and the new road between the Garry Bridge and Tummelbridge.

By 1825 there were financial problems again as Neil and Peter were unable to pay 12 of their rent which was due at the Kilmaveonaig Fair. However, by September when their crops had been harvested and sold, the outstanding rent was paid. The rent books do not show the relationship between Neil and Peter Lamont, but as Neil is always mentioned first this indicates that he was either Peter's father or his elder brother. Neil died before 1837 as he is no longer mentioned in the rental by that date.

Peter's daughter Margaret married Peter McDougall, who is said to have been a blacksmith from Fortingall parish. It is possible that he worked the forge at Balnald, but he also farmed as he paid 4 rent for the Balnald pendicle from 1837 to 1839.

Blair Atholl OPR, 26th January 1834,
Peter McDougall and Margaret Lamont, both in Balnald of this parish (married)

Their daughter Jean McDougall was born 16th February 1835 according to Australian sources, and she is believed to have died in Australia 28th August 1884.

Peter McDougall and his family emigrated to Australia in 1839, along with Margaret's brother, Peter Lamont. They sailed on an old East India ship named the 'Buckinghamshire', which made a single journey to Port Adelaide carrying 447 emigrants on behalf of the Commissioners for the Colonisation of South Australia. The ship left London 11th December 1838 and arrived 22nd March 1839. A classified list of the emigrants was published in the South Australian Gazette and Colonial Register (30th March 1839). The ship's manifest mentions Peter McDougall, aged 29, blacksmith, and his wife aged 28 and his 3-year-old daughter. It also mentions Peter Lamont, aged 29, brick-layer, his wife aged 29, and 2 children. (Note: The Stewart family may be that of Donald Stewart and Janet Stewart of Balnabodach, Strathtummel).

Peter Lamont senior probably died early in 1839 as he is mentioned in the rent book, for the last time, in May of that year, and the October 1840 list of tenants at Balnald only mentions Mrs Lamont and her family of Donald and Elizabeth. Thus Peter Lamont's place of birth cannot be found from the 1841 census.

Dwelling Name Age Occupation Birth-place
Balnald Donald Lamont 21y farmer Perthshire
widow Lamont 60y Perthshire
Elspet Lamont 19y Perthshire
John Campbell 17y servant Perthshire
Lawrence Spence(?) 12y herd Perthshire
Jannet Horn 23y Perthshire
John Lamont 4y Perthshire
Peter Lamont 1y Perthshire

By 1850 the Lamont family had moved from Balnald and the tenancy was taken over by James Stewart who was paying 24 in rent, and 9 for the new house, with David Reid taking over the Balnald pendicle for a rent of 4. The new house appears to be the one which is shown on the south side of the road on the first Ordnance Survey map, and is named 'Balnauld'. Earlier plans of the Balnald policies show an earlier house further down towards the loch, beside the river, as well as three buildings to the north of the road. One of these became the dairy of the Lochtummel Inn, while a row of dwellings further back are shown in an early drawing of the Inn

Map of the Policies of Balnald of Strathtummel Balnald of Strathtummel, behind the Inn

Map of the Policies of Balnald of Strathtummel (left) and Balnald of Strathtummel beyond the Inn (right)

Little is known about Peter's son Donald, but he was living at Dalno during the 1891 census.

Dwelling Name Related Status Age Occupation Birthplace
Dalnoe Cottage Donald Lamont head widower 72y road contractor Blair Atholl
William Lamont son u/m 33y gardiner Blair Atholl

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Although nothing was known about the origins of Peter Lamont senior, there were other Lamont marriages at Balnald in the early 1800s, and it seemed likely that these were the marriages of Peter's brothers and sisters.

On 24th March 1800, John Lamont in Balnald married Janet McGlashan in Blairfetty. The Blair Atholl OPR does not record any children being baptised.

On 4th June 1815, Neil Lamont in Balnald married Catherine Dow in Tressait. Once again the Blair Atholl OPR does not record any children being baptised.

On 16th March 1817, Helen Lamont in Balnald married John Stewart in Balcastle. Within a year they had decided to emigrate to Canada. In 1818, three ships (the 'Curlew', 'Sophia' and 'Jane') were hired by John Robertson of Breadalbane to take settlers to Beckwith Township in Lanark County, Ontario. John and Helen were one of the two families from Blair Atholl parish who embarked on the 260 ton brig 'Curlew' bound for Montreal on 21st July 1818. The passenger list shows that they had a 3 month old child (Isabella) and were accompanied by a 16 year old boy named John Robertson. For further details see - The Family of John Stewart and Helen Lamont of Beckwith Township, Ontario.

On 1st March 1818, Elizabeth Lamont in Balnald married Alexander McIntosh in Ceannaghlinne, Glen Girnaig, parish of Moulin. The couple also emigrated to Beckwith Township. Alexander died 31st August 1855 and Elizabeth died 1st July 1871. Both are buried in the Kennedy Cemetery. Their daughter Janet is thought to have been born in Scotland in 1819. She married Peter McDiarmid who was a farmed Lot 22W, Concession 4 at Beckwith.

It was noticed that Peter Lamont's eldest son and Helen Lamont's second eldest son were both named 'Neil'. Assuming that they were following traditional naming patterns, this suggested that Neil had been the Peter's father rather than his older brother. Unfortunately no record of a Neil Lamont or Lamond could be found, and this seemed to be the end of the matter .... or was it?

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While researching another unrelated family, the Lamonds of Bohespic, there was a stroke of luck. William Lamond in Bohespic married Helen Low who lived in the parish of Logierait. As a consequence the marriage was recorded in both parishes, but William had a different name.

Logierait OPR (marriages)

William Lammond in Blair Athole parish and Helen Lowe in this parish registered their names for proclamation of the Banns of marriage, thrice Sunday first. 9th November 1803.

Blair Atholl OPR (marriages)

William McGillavie, Over Bohespic and Helen Low, Bailehnoic (?), parish of Logierate November 14th (1803)

So it seemed that, at this time, the registrar in Blair Atholl was using the surname 'McGilliwie' for this family and probably would be doing the same for other Lamont and Lamond families. Looking again at the Atholl Estate rent books, the registrar was not the only person to call these people 'McGilliwie' as the 1808 rent book shows that Neil and Peter McGillawie of Balnald were paying 15 rental for land above the Pass of Killiecrankie. Presumably this was the summer shieling where the livestock was kept whilst the grass grew on the Balnald pasture.

This change of name also made it possible to identify Neil, his wife and their children.

Blair Atholl OPR (marriages) 1771

Neil McGilliwie in Bohalie and Elspeth McDonald in Chamberbane (married) December 19th.

Dull OPR (marriages) 19th December 1771

Neill McGilliwie in this parish and Elizabeth McDonald in the parish of Blair Atholl gave up their names to be proclaimed in order to marriage.

Elspeth was probably born 16th June 1751, the daughter of Alexander McDonald and Helen Stewart (married 22nd December 1743) who originally came from Croftdouglas but moved to Chamberbane by 1764.

The baptisms of Neil and Elspeth's children shows that the family moved from Bohally to Balnald, at some time between 1775 and 1779.

Blair Atholl OPR (baptisms)

1775. Neil McGilliwie in Bohalie and Elspeth McDonald his spouse had a son born and baptised the twenty eight day of February, named Alexander

1779. Neil McGilliwie in Balnald of Strathtumble and Elspeth McDonald his wife had a lawful son born the ninth, baptised the twelfth of June, named Charles

1783. Neil McGilliwie in Chamberbane of Strathtimel and Elspeth McDonald his wife had a child born 17th, and baptised 19th of February, named Christian

1786. Neil McGilliwie in Balnald of Strathtimel and Elspeth McDonald his wife had a son born 30th September, and baptised 1st October, named Neil

1789. Neil McGilliwie in Balnald of Strathtimel and Elspeth McDonald his wife had a child born 17th and baptised 20th March, named Helen

1792. Neil McGilliwie in Balnald of Strathtimel and Elspeth McDonald his wife had a child baptised 10th June, named Elspeth

From these baptisms we can identify Neil, Helen and Elizabeth who all married from Balnald, but it does not account for either John who married in 1800, or for Peter! Was there a second Lamont family at Balnald?

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