These pdf transcripts come from a small family archive of legal documents, private and business correspondence which originate from interlinked land-owning families in Atholl in Highland Perthshire. The archive was cherry-picked by the Scottish Record Office, now the Scottish National Archive, in 1948, and documents are lodged there in GD1/53. In 2010 the rest of the papers were acquired by the National Library of Scotland, Acc.13156
The material consists, in the main, of transcriptions of correspondence. The earliest relates to the Stewarts of Drumcharry who obtained their first charter in 1613. The estate lay east of the village of Fortingall. In the 18th century this family also obtained charters for the adjacent estates of Garth and Inchgarth. There are two particular characters of interest within this family. Robert Stewart of Garth who died in 1820, and his second son Major-General David Stewart of Garth, author of ‘Sketches of the Highlanders’ which was published in 1822 and is seminal in the study of Highland social history . The latter’s papers formed the basis of ‘The First Highlander' etc. Within this file are letters to and from his brother-in-law, the Rev Alexander Irvine.
Robert of Garth married the heiress of the nearby estate of Kynachan which lies between the river Tummel and Schiehallion. The Stewarts of Kynachan were a cadet of the Stewarts of Ballechin, descended from James I. Their papers begin in 1700 and concern the two lairds John and his son David who played a prominent role in the Risings of 1715 and 1745 respectively. The latter’s exploits are dealt with in ‘The Lady of Kynachan’ 1995.
None of Robert of Garth’s three sons married. His eldest daughter Janet eloped with the son of one of her father’s tenants, Alexander Irvine 1773-1824, who was then minister of Fortingall and moved from there to Little Dunkeld. His correspondence is an element of the papers.
Janet and Alexander Irvine’s eldest son, Rev Alexander Robertson Irvine, minister of Foss and, later, Blair Atholl, married Sophia Robertson. She was the heiress to the small estate of Kindrochit by Struan which had been held by charter by her family, a cadet of the Robertsons of Faskally, since 1613. Her father Duncan, was a captain in the 88th Foot, the Connaught Rangers, during the Napoleonic War, her uncle a doctor in the army who settled in Montreal after the war. Letters home from both are within these papers together with responses from Atholl informing them of local news and gossip. David Stewart Irvine 1810-1839 was a younger son of Janet and Alexander. He died in 'Glasgow of Typhoid at 28' and was a merchant, dealing mostly with the import of products from the Stewart of Garth family holdings in the West Indies about which he reported to his elder brother.
James Robertson, Invervack, was a nephew of Duncan of Kindrochit and an Edinburgh lawyer. His correspondence to the family is below. Although not directly linked to the rest of the material, transcripts of his Journals are also included. He was forty two years old when he was appointed Sheriff Substitute of North Argyll in March 1842 and came to live in Tobermory on the Island of Mull. He remained there until March 1846 when he was appointed Sheriff Substitute of Orkney. The four files of his Journal were transcribed by the late Dr Joseph Buist Loudon. Some of the Mull Journal was been published by the Argyll & Bute Library Service in 2001, but much remains unpublished.
These families were part of a network of lairds who had intermarried for centuries. Within the correspondence they write about their concerns, each other, their tenants and give a picture of the society of their time and place which was an interlude between the collapse of the Clan system and economic change which swept almost all the Atholl lairds away in the nineteenth century.
The papers have been transcribed at various times and further material will be added. They are unedited and make no claim to be easily digested. Indexing and corrections are incomplete. Nonetheless the information may be useful for those tracing their family histories in Highland Perthshire. The genealogy and kinship files show relationships between the main correspondents as well as more substantial Stewart genealogies by courtesy of Gordon MacGregor.
The Atholl Stewarts Census is the result of a census of Stewarts living in Atholl in 1817 commissioned by David Stewart of Garth who wished to know from which Stewart families they claimed descent.
Please email any questions.
Robert Stewart of Garth 1740-1822
John Stewart of Kynachan 1665-1730
Kynahchan, Drumcharry and Garth docs
David Stewart of Garth 1772-1829
David Stewart of Garth correspondence
Duncan Robertson of Kindrochit 1779-1836
William Robertson 1784-1844
Dr WM Robertson, Montreal
Sophia Robertson, nee Stewart, of Kindrochit
Sophie Irvine nee Robertson 1821-1856
Sophie Irvine nee Robertson of Kindrochit
Rev Alexander Robertson Irvine 1773-1824
Rev Alexander Irvine 1773-1824
Rev Alexander Robertson Irvine
David Stewart Irvine
James Robertson Inverack
Ballechin Stewarts genealogy
Garth Stewarts genealogy
Robertson of Kindrochit kinships
James Robertson 1799-1876
Index to Mull journal
Journal of James Robertson 1842 1842 1844
Journal of James Robertson 1845 1846 1847
Journal of James Robertson 1848 1849 1850
Journal of James Robertson 1851 1852 1853