The Descendants of Duncan Seaton of Copagach and Balcraggan

Balnakeillie

Balnakeillie (Balnakeel of Lude) as shown on General Roy's map of Blair Atholl, 1747

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Duncan Seaton and Christian Stewart in Coille Bhrochain

The Blair Atholl OPR records that Duncan Seaton and Christian Stewart in Balnakeillie had a son baptised 10th October 1743, named James. Duncan probably was born around 1715 and as his eldest son was baptised as James, it is most likely that this was also the name of his father. When Duncan's son James died, a later son was given the same name showing that the name 'James' was very significant to Duncan.

The exact location of Balnakellie (Balnakeel of Lude) is not named on any map, but the Lude Estate Rentals Book records that it was a 2 merk land and close to Balintoul which, prior to the building of the Parliamentary Road, was surrounded by farmland. The name means 'Place of the Graveyard' and it is known that there was a burial ground to the south of the present day Tilt Hotel, where the River Tilt Caravan Park now exists. The area beside it was called 'Killanders' which suggests that originally there had been a church dedicated to St. Andrew. At some time around 1840 a number of stone coffins, made of several loose slabs, were discovered there and in one was a skeleton which still possessed teeth and long hair. The coffins were not disturbed but erosion of the site by the river Tilt has exposed human remains from time to time.

Duncan Seaton and his family had moved to Copagach in Glengirnaig by 1746 where their daughter Katharine was born. The move may well have been dictated by the 1745 Jacobite Rising in which many of the settlements in Blair Atholl parish were looted by both sides.

The Moulin OPR records that their son Donald, born at Copagach, was baptised 22nd May 1751. The ScotlandsPeople database lists their children Anne and George both baptised 25th July 1755, but this is incorrect. Upon inspection it is obvious that the registrar had started to repeat the previous entry which was also a Seton. He had got as far as writing down 'Anne' instead of 'George', and realising his mistake had crossed out 'Anne' before correctly inserting George's baptism. The error is confirmed as there is no mention of 'twins' or 'children'.

The last child to be born at Copagach was Robert, whose baptism appears in the Moulin OPR dated 16th February 1758. Soon afterwards Duncan and his family moved to Balcraggan where the twins James and Alexander were born. Their baptisms are recorded in the OPRs of both Moulin and Blair Atholl, but the later states that James was born on the 7th November 1763 and his brother Alexander was born on the 8th. It is rare to find not just the date of birth, but the approximate time as well.

Robert Stew(art) in Rininartar, Dull parish, and Elspeth Seaton in Bailchraggan, married 5th February 1771. As girls tended to marry in their early twenties, and there is only one Seaton family known to be living at Balcraggan, this suggests that Elspeth was another daughter, born between Katharine and Donald.

Coille_Bhrochain

Coille Bhrochain where the river Tummel joins the river Garry

Balcraggan, or Balchraggan, occassionally appears as the name of a homestead in old documents relating to Blair Atholl parish, but does not seem to appear on any of the maps for the area. Luckily, when the Blair Atholl registrar was recording the marriage between Thomas Robertson and Katharine Seaton, 12th June 1767, he wrote that Katharine Seaton lived at Balchraggan of Coille Bhrochain. So Balcraggan was one of the houses in the Coille Bhrochain settlement on the west side of the River Garry, where the Boat of Garry ferry crossed before a bridge was built. It is also the place where, it is reputed, Robert the Bruce was breakfasted with 'Athole Brose' when retreating to the safety of Clan Robertson country after his defeat at Methven in 1306. There is a fairly modern tablet in the gable wall of the ruined Coille Bhochain cottage inscribed "Robert the Bruce rested here after the Battle of Methven".

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Finlay Scott and Elspeth Seaton in Coille Bhrochain

The earliest record of Seatons living in the Coille Bhrochain area seems to be when Finlay Scott in Marg Croy of Coille Bhrochain married Elspeth Seaton in Miltown of Faskally, parish of Moulin, 14th December 1752. However Coille Bhrochain is very close to the Fonvuick/Balrobie area, where Seatons had been living for fifty years prior to that. William Scott in Coille Bhrochain, presumably his brother, married Elspeth Seaton in Fonvuick, 7th June 1753. Neither of these two Scott families have any recorded children born at Coille Bhrochain.

Duncan Seaton's wife, Christian Stewart, died shortly after the birth of the twins and, with a young family to look after, it is not surprising that Duncan remarried. The Blair Atholl OPR records that Duncan Seaton in Coille Bhrochain married Ann Stewart in Shierglas, 6th June 1765. However there do not seem to have been any children born to the couple.

Duncan Setton in Balcraggan is mentioned in the Testament Dative and Inventory of John Stewart of Bonskeid, 1768, where it is recorded that he bought several farming items, a wheel rim and a vest from the roup (auction) of John Stewart of Bonskeid's estate.

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Duncan's second wife seems to have died by 1771 as he married for the third time. The Blair Atholl OPR says that Duncan Seaton in Balchraggan and Christian Forbes in Bochonie, married 22nd February 1771. Their first son, Alexander, was born at Bailchraggain and this appears in the Blair Atholl OPR, 20th November 1771, while the birth of their second son, Patrick, also at Bailchraggain, is in the Moulin OPR dated 7th September 1773.

Duncan Seaton and Christian Forbes also seem to have had a daughter called Grace. Although her baptism does not appear in any of the OPRs, the death certificate of Grace Seaton in Balnauld of Moulin seems to suggest that this is the case. The certificate does give her father's name as Donald instead of Duncan, but this is probably an error of memory by the informant who was, herself, 76 at the time. Certainly, the full name of Grace's mother, her father's surname and her age would fit.

Grace Seaton, unmarried domestic servant aged 84 years, died at Balnauld in the parish of Moulin, 6th September 1862. Her parents were given as Donald Seaton, farmer, and Christian Forbes, both deceased. The informant was her niece Katharine Caddel. (Balnauld of Moulin was just to the south of Old Faskally House and the designation 'of Moulin' was to distinguish it from Balnald of Fincastle, Balnald of Strathgroy, Balnald of Strathtummel, and so.

As will be shown later, Katharine Caddel was the illegitimate daughter of James Seaton in Ardtulichan and Betty McFarlane. So James Seaton in Ardtulichan must be the son of Duncan Seaton and Christian Stewart who was born at Balcraggan, 7th November 1763.

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The Children of Duncan Seaton and Christian Stewart in Coille Bhrochain

Name Born Married Date Residence Died
James 10 Oct 1743 unmarried . Balnakeillie d. by 1763
Katharine 16 Oct 1746 Thomas Robertson 12 Jun 1767 Trean,
Strathgarry
h.
w.
Elspeth ~1749 Robert Stewart 5 Feb 1771 Rinanartar h.
w.
Donald 22 May 1751 . . d.
George 23 Jul 1755 Grizel Fergusson? 15 Mar 1774 Edinburgh
and Pitdornie
h. 1817?
w.
Robert 11 Feb 1758 Margaret Stewart? 29 Nov 1795 Balnafeat,
Fincastle
h.
w.
James
(twin)
7 Nov 1763 . . Ardtulichan d.
Alexander
(twin)
8 Nov 1763 unmarried . Coille Bhrochain d. by 1771

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The Children of Duncan Seaton and Christian Forbes in Coille Bhrochain

Name Born Married Date Residence Died
Alexander 20 Nov 1771 . . Balcraggan d.
Patrick 7 Dec 1773 Elspeth Seaton 17 Mar 1798 Ardtulichan h.
w.
Grace ~1778 unmarried . Fonvuick d. 6 Dec 1862

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Thomas Robertson and Katharine Seaton in Trean of Strathgarry

Thomas Robertson in Sloc of Strathgarry, Moulin parish, and Katharine Seaton in Balchraggan of Coille Bhrochain, married 12 Jun 1767 (Blair Atholl OPR).

Their first child, Donald, was born at Trean of Strathgarry, 10th March 1768. The baptism is recorded in the OPRs of both Blair Atholl and Moulin, but the Blair Atholl register has the mother's name as Margaret in error. All of the other children were born at Strathgarry, presumably in Trean.

The Children of Thomas Robertson and Katharine (Ketty) Seaton in Trean of Strathgarry

Name Born Married Date Residence Died
Donald 10 Mar 1768 . . Trean of
Strathgarry
d.
Christian 15 Sep 1771 . . Trean of
Strathgarry
d.
Margaret 20 Nov 1775 . . Trean of
Strathgarry
d.
John 1 Sep 1779 . . Trean of
Strathgarry
d.

It is worth noting that Donald's baptism is recorded a second time as Bethald Roberts (20 Mar 1768), and that Christian's baptism is also recorded for 26th instead of 15th September 1771.

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Robert Stewart and Elspeth Seaton in Rinanartar

Robert Stew(art) in Rinanartar, Dull parish, and Elspeth Seaton in Bailchraggan, married 5 Feb 1771 (Blair Atholl OPR).

The Children of Robert Stewart and Elspeth Seaton in Rinanartar

Name Born Married Date Residence Died
Alexander 2 Feb 1772 . . Rinanartar d.
Christian 10 Apr 1774 . . Rinanartar d.

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Robert Seaton and Margaret Stewart in Balnafeat, Glen Fincastle

Robert Seaton was born at Copagach in Glen Girnaig, and his baptism appears in the Moulin OPR dated 16th February 1758. Soon afterwards Duncan and his family moved to Balcraggan of Coille Bhrochain.

Dull OPR, 29th November 1795
Robert Seatton and Margaret Stewart, both in this parish, gave up their names in order to marriage.

This OPR entry does not directly link the marriage to Duncan's son Robert, but the close proximity of Balcraggan to Balnafeat, and fact that the only other recorded Robert Seaton (the illegitimate son of George Seaton) would have been even older, suggest that this is the same person. The couple had at least five children, including two sets of twins.

Dull OPR, 29th May 1799
Donald, son to Robert Seatton and Margaret Stewart in Balnafeat was baptised.

Dull OPR, 31st August 1802
Duncan and John, twin sons to Robert Seatton and Margaret Stewart in Balnafeat were baptised.

Dull OPR, 12th July 1806
Alexander and Elspet, twin children to Robert Seatton and Margaret Stewart in Balnafeat were baptised.

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James Seaton in Ardtulichan

James Setton and his brother Patrick (Peter) moved to Ardtulichan from Coille Bhrochain. They may have moved at the same time, or Peter could have followed James who was there by 1786, if not earlier. A John Seaton was living at Ardtulichan in 1785, when he married Elspeth McRaw or McCraw. This may just be a coincidence or the two men might have been related in some way.

James Setton in Ardtulichan and Betty McFarlane had an illegitimate daughter Katharine born 23 Oct 1786 (Blair Atholl OPR), and it is interesting to note that her death certificate describes her father as a butler or domestic servant.

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The Children of James Seaton in Ardtulichan

Name Born Married Date Residence Died
Katharine 23 Oct 1786 Donald Caddel 31 Mar 1820 . h.
w. 24 May 1875

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Donald Caddel and Katharine Seaton in Faskally

Moulin OPR, 31st March 1820
Donald Caldell and Catherine Seatton, both in this parish, married.

Catherine Seaton was thirty-three when she married Donald Caddel, and he was nine years younger than her.

The Minister of Moulin's census in 1820 shows them living with in Moulin village with Donald's parents.

Name Status Age Occupation Comment
John Caddel head 67y cottar
Janet McIntosh wife 57y
Donald Caddel son 25y
Catherine Seaton wife 34y

Alexander Caddel, shoemaker, and his family were living four doors away and this may have been his uncle, but there were quite a lot of Caddels living in Moulin parish at that time.

Their first two children, Eliza and Alexander were born in Moulin village after which the family moved to Faskally where Vere was born

1841 Census Moulin 2/7
Donald 45y, Catharine given as 'Bathrind'!, 45y, Ann 15y

1851 Census Moulin 2/1
Donald 55y, Catharine given as 'Bathrind'!, 65y, Veare 25y (died in Perth 1859)

1861 Census Moulin 2/1
Donald Caddle 65y, Cathrine, 73y,

1871 Census Auchtergaven 4/25
Cathrine, 86y,

Catherine Caddel, widow of Donald Caddel, lint-miller, died at Dunkeld Road, Bankfoot in Auchtergaven, on 24th May 1875, aged 91 years. Her parents were given as James Seaton, butler (domestic servant) and Betsy McFarlane, both deceased. The informant was her grandson Donald McDonald.

The Children of Donald Caddel and Katharine Seaton in Faskally

Name Born Married Date Residence Died
Eliza 20 Feb 1821 . . Faskally d.
Alexander 28 Feb 1823 . . Faskally d.
Vere 12 Aug 1825 . . Faskally d.
Catherine 18 Sep 1827 . . Faskally d.

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Patrick (Peter) Seaton and Elspeth Seaton in Ardtulichan and Inch of Aldgirnaig

Patrick (Peter) Setton moved to Ardtulichan from Coille Bhrochain, with his brother James, where he married Elspeth Setton in Bailfeolain, parish of Dull, which seems to be Pitfeolain in Glen Fincastle. There is some doubt over the actual marriage date as there appear to be four entries. Two entries dated 19th July 1801 are in the register of marriages for Dull, one being a later copy of the previous entry, but there is no corresponding entry in the Blair Atholl marriages despite it being clear that the groom was from that parish. The second, and more likely, pair are dated for March 1798.

Dull OPR, 10 Mar 1798
Peter Seten and Elspet Seaten

Blair Atholl OPR, 17 Mar 1798
Peter Setton and Elispet Setton

The couple do not appear in the Minister of Moulin's 1820 census, but by the time of the official 1841 census they were living in Moulin parish at Inch of Aldgirnaig. The site of this farm is now the Killiecrankie Visitors' Centre.

Dwelling Name Age Occupation Birth-place
4. Inch Peter Seaton 72y ag. labourer Perthshire
Elizabeth Seaton 75y Perthshire
5. Inch Margaret Seaton 55y ag. labourer Perthshire

Margaret Seaton, the 50 year-old agricultural labourer living next door, probably was the daughter of John Seaton and Isabella Stewart. Her brother James Seaton was living at Aldgirnaig, just down the road.

Peter Seaton and his wife do not seem to have had any children.

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Grace Seaton in Ardtulichan and Fonvuick

Grace Seaton was born in Coille Bhrochain moved to Ardtulichan, probably along with her brothers James and Patrick. At some time before 1841 she moved to Fonvuick, but was absent from home when the 1841 census was being carried out.

Dwelling Name Age Occupation Birth-place
25 Grace Seton absent Perthshire

Ten years later the 1851 census lists her living at Fonvuick, next to John Seton and Betsay.

Dwelling Name Related Status Age Occupation Birthplace
6. Fonvuick Grace Seaton head u/m 68y spinning yarn Moulin

She was still living in the same place during the 1861 census for Tenandry (2/1).

Dwelling Name Related Status Age Occupation Birthplace
6. Fonvuick Grace Setton head u/m 76y former dom. servant Blair Atholl

Grace Seaton, unmarried domestic servant aged 84 years, died at Balnauld in the parish of Moulin, 6th September 1862. Her parents were given as Donald Seaton, farmer, and Christian Forbes, both deceased. The informant was her niece Katharine Caddel.

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