Stewarts of Campbeltown

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Stewarts of Campbeltown

Postby JulieBotel » Sun Feb 16, 2014 8:58 pm

:) I am new to the Kintyre Forum and hope you can provide me with some advice for a trip to Campbeltown in late May.

First, let me provide some background on our family. My father, Lachlan Stewart Gatter, was born in Newburgh, NY in 1890.

His mother, mother, Mary Amelia Stewart, had begun to do quite a good deal of investigation into her Stewart roots, and prepared a book for my father which contained many letters, charts, documents, etc. relating to his forebears. My mother gave me that book when I was quite young, and I have kept up the interest in tracing our ancestral roots by way of an Ancestry.com account.

My grandmother, Mary Amelia Stewart, was born on May 20, 1863 in Newburgh, NY. Her father, Captain Lachlan Stewart, was born in Greenock November 19, 1830. Although he emigrated from Greenock, which, as you know, is in the north of the Kintyre peninsula, it appears that most of the previous Stewarts all lived in or around Campbeltown (Peninver, and Skerobinraid or Park farm). His father, John Stewart, was born in 1749 in South Kintyre (Park). He died in April 1806 in Skipness. HIs father, Andrew Stewart, was born in 1715 in Skeroblinraid or Park Farm. He died there at the age of 75. I did have some indication that his father was John Stewart who was born in 1680 in Dunblane in the north of the Kintyre peninsula, but I now suspect that his father was actually John Stewart, born April 1, 1683 in Campbeltown. While we are on our trip, I would like to try to find out who my 5th great-grandfater actually was, and are there any generations there before him which we might uncover.

My sisters and I were originally thinking of getting a train (via BritRail pass) from Glasgow to the coast and taking a ferry from Troon to Campbeltown. I have a room reserved for three nights at the Craigard House Hotel, in late May. How many days would you recommend we spend in Campbeltown if we want to do some research into our Stewart ancestors? Do you think we will be able to visit grave-sites of our ancestors and do some research into their histories? Is the Craigard House a god place to stay, or should we look into something more central? I was thinking about returning to Glasgow via bus along the west coast. Is that worth the time, or would you recommend we fly into and out of Campbeltown? Either way (ferry/bus or flight) we will need to hire a car and driver when we get to Campbeltown. Do you have any recommendations regarding local transport?

WHEW, I know this is a LOT to ask, and I do hope someone will be kind enough to provide some assistance.
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Re: Stewarts of Campbeltown

Postby MPR » Mon Feb 17, 2014 12:58 am

you will be well cared for at craigard, there are a couple of local garages that hire cars,3 days may not be enough for the area and def take the bus back to Glasgow. Also do a search on here for other stewart posters.
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Re: Stewarts of Campbeltown

Postby Lussa » Mon Feb 17, 2014 12:01 pm

Hi there girls ! Skeroblinraid is now known as Low Park, since Park was divided into High Park and Low Park. Both are part of the McCartney estate. Also, I seem to remember Stewarts being in Low Ranachan before he bought that around 1970.
You are nowadays allowed by law to walk on privately owned land, so you can visit the places you refer to. If you take the Longrow road out of Campbeltown, following the Glasgow sign, you will pass a business park on your left after a couple of minutes. Shortly after this you will see a sign on your right for Gobagrennan. Take this road all the way up the hill until the road begins to drop downhill. On your right you will see the old Calliburn quarry, where you can park your car. Just a short walk back up the road brings you to a track with a locked gate. Climb over the gate and follow the track down and round through the wooded area and you will come out at Low Park. From there you can continue a short distance to Skeroblin Loch. Enjoy your visit and good luck with your research !
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Re: Stewarts of Campbeltown

Postby JulieBotel » Mon Feb 17, 2014 1:59 pm

Thank you so much for your help!
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Re: Stewarts of Campbeltown

Postby Shona » Mon Feb 17, 2014 3:28 pm

You may be interested to read this article about the Revd Alexander Stewart (1755-1798), another son of Andrew Stewart and Barbara McVicar of Park or Skeroblinraid).

THE REV ALEXANDER STEWART (1755-1798) OF THE KINTYRE 'PARK' STEWARTS: FACTS AND HEARSAY
David Jackson

A few years ago when investigating my Kintyre Stewart ancestors I was shocked to learn not only that the early church records of Killean and Ki1chenzie Parish had been irretrievably destroyed in the late 18th century, but also that one of my early Stewart relations was somehow involved in their destruction! That relation was the Rev. Alexander Stewart (1755-1798), son of Andrew Stewart in Park or Skeroblinraid (1715-1790) and Barbara McVicar (1715-1799). He was then minister of Killean and Ki1chenzie combined parishes, having previously served as an army deputy-chaplain of the 42nd Highlanders (the 'Black Watch' or Royal Highland Regiment). Though hearsay and scandal are not normal subjects for local history, I can perhaps be forgiven for presenting here all that I could subsequently learn about Alexander Stewart's life and deeds - rumoured bar sinister and all. (1)

Most of the details about the life of the Rev. Alexander Stewart are provided in a brief biographical sketch contained in the official Scottish Church History, the Fasti Ecclesiae Scoticanae. (2) I quote that account here, filling in some abbreviations (my additions appear between square brackets):

ALEXANDER STUART, born 1755, second son of Andrew S., farmer at Park, in the parish; educated at Univ. of Glasgow, licen. by Presb. of Islay 5th April 1780, ord[ ained] by it 18th April 1782, as deputy-chaplain of the 42nd Highlanders; adm[itted] to Jura and Colonsay 22nd Sept. 1786; pres[ented] by John, Duke of Argyll, Oct. 1790; trans[lated] and adm. 15th June 1791; died 22nd Dec. 1798. He man. 21st Aug. 1788, Margaret (died 6th Sept. 1832) daugh. of Robert Thomson, his predecessor, and had issue - Robert born 6th June 1789; Charles born 5th March 1791 [both these sons were officers in the army and fought at Waterloo]; Andrew born 9th April 1792; James born 10th April 1794; Alexander McDonald, born 16th Feb. 1797. Publication: Account of the Parish (Sinclair's Stat. Ace., xix.)

Thus the Rev~ Alexander began his ecclesiastical career at Islay in 1780, after he had completed his studies at the University of Glasgow. Then in 1782 he was ordained as assistant chaplain of the 42nd Regiment, which was the Black Watch (Royal Highland Regiment) of Canada. His period with the Black Watch was 1782-86, and the regiment was in Canada (Halifax, Nova Scotia, and Cape Breton) from 1782-1789.

After four years in Nova Scotia, he returned to Scotland. He ministered at Jura and Colonsay for about four or five years (1786-1790/91) and then at the combined parishes of Kil1ean and Ki1chenzie for seven years (1791-1798). He wrote the Statistical Account for the parish of Killean and Ki1chenzie in 1797. During his term, the parish records were destroyed by fire, and experts on local history repeat the oral account that this event was connected with his having found a bar sinister in his tree!

The implication of this rumor is that Alexander found in the parish birth records evidence of iIIegitimacy in his own family tree and so burnt the entire book just to get rid of one entry. For me the theory sounds far-fetched, since there should have been easier ways to efface a single entry than consigning the entire volume to flames. But perhaps Kintyre historians have more evidence of Alexander's blundering short-sightedness. Or was this to be understood as an unpremeditated crime of passion - for a crime it would have been - committed in a pique of offended honour by the community's chief opponent of 'natural' (or 'unlawfully born') children? Even assuming that the rumour is correct, Alexander should have known that more than one Stewart noble line issued originally from the 'natural son' of a less-than-matrimonial union.

Or could the illegitimate birth have been on his maternal side, in the ancestry of Barbara McVicar? Barbara was, I think, the granddaughter of Bailie Patrick McVicar and Barbara Campbell and thus would have been great-granddaughter of Major John Campbell (d. 1685). This John Campbell, according to tradition, was the unacknowledged son of one of the Earls of Argyll. (3)

Though the contemporary baptism records of Killean and Ki1chenzie were thus forever lost, one of Alexander's successors did add the following records for the children of Alexander and his wife Margaret Thomson (d. 1832) to the subsequent parish records: Names of the Children Lawfully born to the Rev. Alex. Stuart late Minister of Killean and Margaret Thomson his spouse:
•Robert, born in Jura 6th June 1789
•Charles born at RosshiII [now Rosehill] 5th of March 1791
•Andrew born at ditto 9 of April 1792
•James born at ditto 10 April 1794
•Alexander Donald born do. 16th July 1797.
It is interes
ting to note that the mother of Alexander's wife was Elizabeth Stewart, oldest daughter of the Rev. Charles Stewart (1682-1765), a minister from another of the al1ied Stewart families in southern Kintyre in the 18th century. Charles Stewart's life has been investigated by the late Mr. Ian Stewart in two previous issues of this journal. (4)

Descendants of Alexander Stewart

As for the Rev. Alexander's sons, the eldest of whom was just nine at his father's death, most went on to lead a military life. As far as I could determine, none of his descendants followed in his footsteps and chose an ecclesiastical career. A little more could be learned about his sons:
•(1) Robert Thomson Stewart, b. 6 June 1789, Lieu1. 28th Reg1. of Foot & at Waterloo in 1815. Married 1. Agnes Fish. 2. Harriet Campbell (c. 1791 - 26 July 1880). In 1851 Census residing with Harriet and daughter Jessie at Grassfield, Tarbert. Robert Thomson Stewart died 28 Jan. 1870, at Princes S1., Campbeltown (record 507 228).
•(2) Charles Stewart, b. 5 March 1791, said by family tradition to have been an 'officer in army and at Waterloo, 1815'; in Gortanane, Killean and Ki1chenzie, 1841 Census, where he is said to be 50 years old, Army, 71st.
•(3) Andrew Stewart, b. 9 Apr. 1792
•(4) James Stewart, b. 10 ApI. 1794, according to family tradition: 'an officer in army and at Waterloo, 1815'.
•(5) Alexander McDonald Stewart~, b. 16 Feb. 1797; in Gortanane, Killean and Ki1chenzie, 1841 Census, 40 years old, Marines.

Robert Thomson Stewart was named after his maternal grandfather, the Rev. Robert Thomson. He belonged to the 28th Regiment, which was the Gloucestershire Regiment. In the Waterloo Roll he is mentioned as 'Robert Thomson Stuart 28 (or North Glos.) Reg1. of Foot Ensign 5 Aug 1813.' On his death record (Campbeltown, 507 28) it is stated that he was 'Lieutenant 28th Foot (half pay)'. The death record of his second wife, Harriet Campbell Stewart (Campbeltown, 507 143) states that he was 'Lieutenant H.M .. Bart'.' The same record reveals that her parents were John Campbell, Commander H.M. Revenue service (deceased) and Mary Hewitt (deceased).

The entry for Robert Thomson Stewart's second marriage, in the Campbeltown O.P.R., reads: 'Robert Stewart lieutenant of [illegible] regiment of foot and Harriet Campbell, both of this parish were married 13th June 1831.' One can see that Harriet was not the mother of his daughter Jessie (c 1818 - 1899). This second marriage evidently resulted in' no issue, or at least none that survived. But his first marriage, to Agnes Fish, produced more than one child. These seem to have included:
•(1) Jessie Stuart, b. c. 1819; d. 10 March 1899, Greenock, rec. no. 564/2 160), never married.
•(2) ?Charles, b. c. 1826
•(3) ?Margaret, b. c. 1826
•(4) Andrew Charles James Stewart; b. 10 May 1829, bapt. 7 Aug 1829, Campbeltown O.P.R.

Jessie was living with her parents at Grassfield, Tarbert, in the 1851 Census. The same daughter, Jessie, was living 40 years later at 51 Union St., Greenock, at the time of the Census of 5 April 1891. She was listed there as cousin of the head of household, Elisa Robertson (age 66, b. Greenock). Jessie was then 71, living on 'private means', born Campbeltown. Her death record (d. 10 March 1899, Greenock, rec. no. 564/2 160), gives the information that her mother was 'Agnes Stuart m. Fish (dec)'.

Three further children, one or more of whom were probably Jessie's siblings, were: Charles Steuart, age 15, b Argyll; Margaret, age 15, b. Argyll; and Andrew, age 12, b. Argyll. These Stewart children are listed consecutively in the Census of 7 June 1841 on the farm Gortanane, Killean and Ki1chenzie, appearing just before their paternal uncles Charles and Alexander Stewart. The latter two brothers of Robert . Thomson Stewart are here said to be, respectively: 50 years old, 'Army 71st', born Argyll, and 40 years old, 'Marines', born Argyll. The main farmer of Gortanane at the time was 'Mrs. Stewart' (Agnes Clark, widow of Peter Stewart [1790-1835], son of William Stewart [farmer Calliburn] and Mary McConachy).

That one or more of the three children were children of Robert is supported by the fact that the 12-year-old Andrew on the farm perfectly matches the 'Andrew Charles James Stewart' who was born 10 May 1829 and bapt. 7 Aug 1829, Campbeltown. The Old Parish Record described him as 'lawful son of Lieutenant Robert Stewart and Agnes Stewart'. Moreover, it is otherwise known that Robert was renting 'Gortanane House' from MacDonald of Largie in 1848. The archives in Lochgilphead contain records of Robert then paying the annual rent of £13 5s and record that he was then £11 17s 6d in arrears from the year before. (5)

Lieutenant Robert Stewart died in 1870 and his grave monument is found in Kilkerran. It reads: 'Sacred to the memory of Robert Thomson Stuart late Lieut. in H.M. 28th Regiment of Foot who died 28th January 1870, in his 81st year And his wife Harriet Campbell who died 26th July 1880 in her 89th year Also his daughter Jessie Stuart died 10th March 1899 in her 81st year.'

So far I have been unable to trace further Robert Thomson Stewart's brother (3) Andrew Stewart, b. 9 Apr. 1792 (died young?) or (4) James Stewart, b. 10 Apr. 1794, the second of whom was likewise, according to later American family tradition, an 'officer in army and at Waterloo, 1815' .

Concluding Remarks

The above lines are presented as a preliminary report. I confess that I have not yet scoured all relevant church and military records in search of further clues - a blot on the honour of a historian almost as great as a bar sinister. I am sure more could be found out about Rev. Alexander and his kin if the right sources could only be traced.

Unlike many of the 'Park' Stewarts, Rev Alexander Stewart did not live to old age. He died at the age of just 41 or 42, before his youngest son had reached the age of two. Could a difficult situation at home after his death have encouraged his sons to enlist in the army? Their father, the former army chaplain and Kintyre minister, might well have guided them in other directions had he been granted a longer span of years. Such speculations aside, it would be fascinating to learn more about what happened to those priceless parish records and Alexander's role in the matter
Last edited by Shona on Mon Feb 17, 2014 7:32 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Stewarts of Campbeltown

Postby Shona » Mon Feb 17, 2014 4:22 pm

There is a headstone in Kilkenzie churchyard which may be of interest to you. It reads:

Erected to
the memory of Andrew
Stewart late tenant in park
who died May 22 1790 aged
75 and Barbara McVicar
his spouse who died Feb
29 1799 aged 84 years
This is the place intended
for their family
Last edited by Shona on Mon Feb 17, 2014 4:36 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Stewarts of Campbeltown

Postby Shona » Mon Feb 17, 2014 4:30 pm

In 1729, John Stewart renewed his 19-year lease on High Park.
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Re: Stewarts of Campbeltown

Postby Shona » Mon Feb 17, 2014 4:33 pm

This is form the Duke of Argyll census from 1792:

Skeroblinraid

Barabra McVicar, 71
Archibald Stuart, 35
Mary McLean, 26
Robert Stuart, 25
Alexander Stuart, 4
Donald Stuart, 2
Andrew Stuart, 28
Katherine McWilliam, 24
Andrew Stuart, 1
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Re: Stewarts of Campbeltown

Postby JulieBotel » Mon Feb 17, 2014 7:17 pm

Shona, Thank you so much!
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Re: Stewarts of Campbeltown

Postby Shona » Mon Feb 17, 2014 7:46 pm

Where are my manners? I should have welcomed you to The Kintyre Forum!

I wonder of you've used Scotland's People as well as Ancestry.com in your research?

You will have a lovely time exploring the area when you visit in May - a gorgeous time of year. You certainly need to have a look at that gravestone in Kilchenzie churchyard. It's not too far out of Campbeltown on the Tarbert road. The church itself it ruinous. You should also visit A'Chleit church (take a stroll along the beach, too) and the old parish church at Killean, given your connection with the Revd Alexander Stewart.

Have you checked out the following site? You can do searches for headstones in Kintyre cemeteries:

http://www.ralstongenealogy.com/kilkenziegraves.php
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Re: Stewarts of Campbeltown

Postby David Jackson » Wed Jul 17, 2019 6:29 am

Dear Shona,

Many thanks for posting my old article on the Park Stewarts above.

I now have a more detailed (book length) study of my Stewart ancestry.


It was privately published in 1997 and deposited in a few key libraries in the USA and UK.

David Paul Jackson
The Ancestry and Descendants of Alexander Stewart (1 Oct. 1857-22 Oct. 1938)
(Tacoma, WA: 1997)

I can now share the text file. (I'm hoping to have a pdf version made soon.)

All good wishes,
DJ
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Re: Stewarts of Campbeltown

Postby Donnie » Wed Aug 14, 2019 7:26 pm

With reference to David Jackson’s book which was published in 1997.
Because of the internet and the progress of yDNA testing many of the genealogy questions raised in the book have now been resolved. These modern aids were not available to earlier researchers of the Stewarts of High Park, Kintyre.
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Re: Stewarts of Campbeltown

Postby Donnie » Sat Aug 31, 2019 11:42 am

The High Park Stewarts are descended from John Stewart (1634-1658) the 13th Laird of Ardgowan/Blackhall. It is an illegitimate line hence no information on any of the published genealogies. Descendants carry the unique yDNA marker SNP ZZ52 which was discovered through the University of Strathclyde's Bannockburn Project.
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Re: Stewarts of Campbeltown

Postby shumayes » Thu Aug 20, 2020 2:45 pm

Hi

I am interested in the Park Stewarts. I am trying to trace a James Stewart (typically) probably born mid 18th century. He was apparently an Army Officer and may or may not have died in the East Indies. Not sure of Regiment, and have searched the relevant military records. He had a child, Elisabeth Stewart (dob and place unknown but likely turn of 18/19th century) with an Ayrshire lady, Janet Dunbar. Elisabeth ended up marrying a Hendry from Campbeltown.

The obvious place to start would have been Ayrshire Stewarts but no real DNA evidence. I have DNA links to the Park Stewarts (both me, my closest family and a fourth cousin from the Hendry/Stewart line), but also a potential Stewart link into Kilbarchan in Renfrewshire, and also the Stewarts of Balquhidder (weak but dispersed and focused around Ledcreich and Annat branches). A monumental DNA sludge puddle, as many contemporary Scots are!

I am happy to share Gedmatch numbers in an attempt to get a little closer, if anyone is a confirmed ancestor of the Park Stewarts. I have been looking at the social history (given disputed parentage etc) and I note the yNDA link already mentioned above to Ardgowan and Blackhall Stewarts although the centuries elapsed inbetween are of far more interest to me than the lineage back to the very distant past. I

was wondering if anyone had explored the links of the Park Stewarts into the Presbyterian / Covenanter traditions of the 17th century. If there is still uncertainty about how the Park Stewarts they came to be in Kintyre, and they were Lowland Gaelic speakers, I am even more intrigued. If you have discounted Stewarts of Appin, and the lowland Stewarts, could there be a link to the Highland-but-Lowland Gaelic-speaking (and indeed Gaelic bible translating) Stewarts of Balquhidder? They too had a line of Reverends (and indeed army chaplains) including some that went westwards to Argyll. And some familial Covenanter links back in 17th century. Just trying to sense of my puddle but interested also in what has been explored in respect of the Park Stewarts and the wider Stewart diaspora of the 17-18th-19th century.
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Re: Stewarts of Campbeltown

Postby shumayes » Thu Aug 20, 2020 2:50 pm

Hi

I am interested in the Park Stewarts. I am trying to trace a James Stewart (typically) probably born mid 18th century. He was apparently an Army Officer and may or may not have died in the East Indies. Not sure of Regiment, and have searched the relevant military records. He had a child, Elisabeth Stewart (dob and place unknown but likely turn of 18/19th century) with an Ayrshire lady, Janet Dunbar. Elisabeth ended up marrying a Hendry from Campbeltown.

The obvious place to start would have been Ayrshire Stewarts but no real DNA evidence. I have DNA links to the Park Stewarts (both me, my closest family and a fourth cousin from the Hendry/Stewart line), but also a potential Stewart link into Kilbarchan in Renfrewshire, and also the Stewarts of Balquhidder (weak but dispersed and focused around Ledcreich and Annat branches). A monumental DNA sludge puddle, as many contemporary Scots are!

I am happy to share Gedmatch numbers in an attempt to get a little closer, if anyone is a confirmed ancestor of the Park Stewarts. I have been looking at the social history (given disputed parentage etc) and I note the yNDA link already mentioned above to Ardgowan and Blackhall Stewarts although the centuries elapsed inbetween are of far more interest to me than the lineage back to the very distant past. I

was wondering if anyone had explored the links of the Park Stewarts into the Presbyterian / Covenanter traditions of the 17th century. If there is still uncertainty about how the Park Stewarts they came to be in Kintyre, and they were Lowland Gaelic speakers, I am even more intrigued. If you have discounted Stewarts of Appin, and the lowland Stewarts, could there be a link to the Highland-but-Lowland Gaelic-speaking (and indeed Gaelic bible translating) Stewarts of Balquhidder? They too had a line of Reverends (and indeed army chaplains) including some that went westwards to Argyll. And some familial Covenanter links back in 17th century. Just trying to sense of my puddle but interested also in what has been explored in respect of the Park Stewarts and the wider Stewart diaspora of the 17-18th-19th century.
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