Connection of the Spring, Sherrat, Cattanach, Cromar, Shaw, Garden, Mortimer, and Gordon families to Farquharson of Finzean

My maternal grandfather was Paul Farquharson TAYLOR. The story had been handed down in our family that FARQUHARSON was an important Scottish family, and that a lady of that family had married “beneath her” to our ancestor Robert SHERRAT, who was a groundskeeper on the estate. Like many such family stories, there was a kernel of truth in it but covered in much embellishment. With a good amount of help and research, I uncovered the real story, which is quite interesting. In 1792, Archibald FARQUHARSON, the aging 7th laird of Finzean, married a young girl from Aberdeen named Christian SPRING. In 1793, they had a son named Archibald, but the elder Archibald died only a few years later. Christian (SPRING) FARQUHARSON lived until 1849 (outliving her only son), and continued to be associated with the Farquharson of Finzean estates for the remainder of her life. Christian's sister Isobel SPRING married Robert SHERRAT (my 4x-great-grandfather) shortly after the old laird died, and they moved to Finzean, where Robert was overseer until the young 8th laird came of age.

The SPRING family were so proud of the match with the eminent FARQUHARSON family that the name Farquharson, as well as Archibald and Christian, were perpetuated in the families of Christian's siblings for at least five generations and even after emigration. As far as I have traced the SPRING descendants (as yet incomplete), I have found 9 children with Farquharson as a middle name, 4 sons named Farquharson (or Farquhar), 7 sons named Archibald, and 9 daughters named Christian, among the SHERRAT, CATANACH, CROMAR, SHAW, GARDEN, MORTIMER and GORDON families that married with the SPRING family. These families mostly lived in the Aberdeenshire parishes of Birse and Lumphanan, although the SHERRAT and CATANACH names were carried on in Wellington County, Ontario, Canada after about 1833, the GARDEN family were in London, and the MORTIMER family in Aberdeen.

I have discovered a fair amount about the descendants of Robert SPRING (father of Christian and Isobel), although my information remains incomplete. What I do know is presented below in two forms. The first is a chart of descendants, showing the next four generations after Robert SPRING, with very abbreviated birth years and place notes. Note the many Archibalds, Christians, and Farquharsons (including all the 'F.' middle initials). Below the chart is a table, showing the significant events in all of these families, arranged by time (rows) and place (columns). This gives an overall impression of how the family moved and spread geographically, as well as the details of who was where when.




The table below shows events related to the descendants of Robert Spring and their interaction with the Farquharsons of Finzean, arranged by time and place.

Date

Birse

Lumphanan

Aberdeen

Glenmuick

Elsewhere in Britain

North America

1742

Robert Farquharson, 4th of Finzean, dies, son Francis becomes 5th laird.






1759

Francis Farquharson purchases Tillyfruskie from Ochterlony family.






1760



Robert Spring c. son George (Banchory-Ternan)




1762



Robert Spring c. dau. Isobel (Banchory-Ternan)




1764



Robert Spring and Margaret Mearns c. dau. Mary (Udny)




1768



Robert Spring and Margaret Mearns c. dau. Christian (Udny)




1771



Robert Spring and Margaret Mearns c. son Robert (Udny)




1780


Francis Farquharson adds large holdings in Lumphanan to the estate, including Auchinhove.





1786

Francis Farquharson, 5th of Finzean, dies with no direct heirs. His cousin Francis, age 70, a prosperous merchant in Campbeltown, Kintyre (SW Scotland), becomes 6th laird.






1787

Francis Farquharson, 6th of Finzean, dies, leaving the estate to his son Archibald, age abt 55, also a Campbeltown merchant.






1791

Alexander Farquharson, 3rd of Balfour, dies, estate is sold.






1792

Archibald Farquharson, 7th of Finzean, m. Christian Spring






1793

Archibald Farquharson, 7th of Finzean c. son Archibald






1795



Robert Spring m. Margaret Gordon (St.Nicholas)




1796

Archibald Farquharson, 7th of Finzean, dies


Robert Sherrat, gardener in Nigg, m. Isobel Spring, in Old Machar




1797

Robert Sherrat, overseer at Finzean, c. dau Christian


Robert Spring c. dau. Christian Farquharson (St.Nicholas)




Date

Birse

Lumphanan

Aberdeen

Glenmuick

Elsewhere in Britain

North America

1798

List of inhabitants at Finzean incl. Archd Farquharson, Mrs. Farquharson [sr], Ann Sherrat, Robert Sherret, Isobel Spring, Christian Sherret (u/7)






1799







1801

At Finzean: Archd Farquharson, Mrs. Farquharson, Robert Sherrat, Isobel Spring, Christian (u/7), Mary (u/7)


Robert Spring c. dau. Margaret (St.Nicholas)




1802

Robert Sherrat, overseer at Finzean, c. son Archibald




William Farquharson, noted Edinburgh surgeon, has son Francis, future 10th of Finzean.


1805

Robert Sherrat, overseer at Finzean, c. dau Isobel






1808

Listed at Finzean: Mr Sherrat (overseer), Mrs Sherrat, Christian, Mary, Archd (u/7), Isabel (u/7)






1812

Listed at Ramahaggan: Robert Sherrat, Mrs. Sherrat, Christn, Mary, Archd, Isabella.
Alexander Smart in Boghead, c. son Robert Sherrat, witness Robert Sherrat in Tillyfruskie.






1813







1814

Archibald Farquharson, 8th of Finzean, m. Frances Russell of Blackhall and Glendye (bordering estates), they live at Blackhall.






1815

Christian Sherrat, dau of Robt Sherrat in Tillyfruskie, m. James Cattanach, witness Archibald Farquharson Esq of Finzean.






1817

Christian Farquharson Cattanach b. Woodend (dies in infancy)






1818

Robert Sherrat in Tillyfruskie dies (mortcloth paid in Birse)
Archibald Cattanach b. Woodend






1819

Listed at Woodend: James Cattanach, Christian Sherrat, Archd (u/7), Mrs Sherrat (widow), Archd, Isobel (but not Mary).
Frances Cattanach b. Woodend


Hugh Garden m. Christian F. Spring at St.Nicholas.They live in London.




Date

Birse

Lumphanan

Aberdeen

Glenmuick

Elsewhere in Britain

North America

1820





Margaret Garden b. London


1821

James Cattanach b. Woodend




Grizzell Garden b. London


1823

Archibald Farquharson sells Blackhall, moves back to Finzean.
John Cattanach b. Woodend

Christian Farquharson takes up residence at Auchinhove Cottage.
Mary Sherrat m. Robert Cromar.



Christian Farquharson Garden b. London


1825

Robert Sherrat Cattanach b. Woodend




Elizabeth Garden b. London


1826


Robert Cromar (Jr) b. North Burnside

Margaret Spring m. Alexander Mortimer at St.Nicholas.




1827



Margaret Mortimer b. St.Nicholas


Jane Garden b. London


1828

Andrew Cattanach b. Woodend

Robert Cromar (Sr) dies?

Barbara Mortimer b. St.Nicholas




1829





Robert Spring Garden b. London


1830


Mary Sherrat m. James Shaw, farmer in Tillyching.

Christian Farquharson Mortimer b. St.Nicholas




1831

Isabella Sherrit Cattanach b. Woodend




Hugh Garden b. London


1832


James Shaw b. Tillyching

Alexander Mortimer b. St.Nicholas




1833





Alexander Garden b. London


1834


George Spring Shaw b. Tillyching

Robert Mortimer b. St.Nicholas


Isabella Garden b. London


1835


Archibald Shaw b. Tillyching




Christian Sherrat, b. Nichol, Wellington, Ontario, Canada.

1836



George Mortimer b. St.Nicholas


Mary Douglas Garden b. London.
Francis Farquharson, surgeon in Edinburgh, has son Robert, future 11th laird of Finzean.


1837


Charles Shaw b. Tillyching




John Sherrat, b. Nichol, Ontario
George Cattanach, b. Ontario

1838



Gordon George Mortimer b. St.N.
Margaret Gordon (wife of Robert Spring, trades burgess in Aberdeen) dies, age 72. Buried in St.Nicholas.




1839


Farquharson Shaw b. Tillyching, dies in infancy




Archibald Farquharson Sherrat, Jr. b. Nichol, Ontario

1840


Christian Farquharson Shaw b. Tillyching




David Cattanach, b. Ontario

1841

Archibald Farquharson, 8th of Finzean, dies with no direct heirs. His uncle John, age 70s, becomes 9th laird. His widow goes to Banchory. (Who is in Finzean 1841-49?)

Census at Auchinhove: Christian Farquharson (ind, 70), servants.
At Tillyching: James Shaw, Mary Sherrat, children including Robert Cromar.

Isabella Gordon Mortimer b. St.Nicholas




Date

Birse

Lumphanan

Aberdeen

Glenmuick

Elsewhere in Britain

North America

1842






Jean Sherrat, b. Nichol, Ontario

1843


Farquharson Shaw b. Tillyching





1844






Farquharson Sherrat, b. Nichol

1847






Mary Sherrat, b. Nichol, Ontario

1849

Francis Farquharson becomes 10th of Finzean on death of his distant cousin John. Takes up residence.

Christian Spring, age 81 dies in Auchinhove. Buried in Birse. Heirs include brother Robert Spring, niece Mary Sherrat, and Mary's children.



John Farquharson, 9th of Finzean, dies unmarried, in Hertfordshire, having been an absentee laird.
Hugh Garden, accoutrement maker in London, is executor of Christian Spring's will.


1850






John Cattanach, b. Ontario

1851






Isabella Sherrat, b. Nichol, Ontario
Census at Nichol, Ontario: Archibald Sherrat, wife Mary, and all 7 children; James & Christian Cattanach, Robt, Geo, David.

1853


Mary Ann Cromar, b. Auchinhove





1855


Farquharson Shaw Cromar, b. Auchinhove





1857


James Shaw Cromar, b. Auchinhove





1859


Christian Shaw Cromar, b. Auchinhove





1860



Robert Spring, shipowner and baker, d. in Springbank Cottage, Banchory-Devenick, age 89. Buried in St.Nicholas. Will executed by daughters Christian and Margaret (living at Springbank. widow?)




1861






Census at Nichol, Ontario: Archibald Sherrat, wife and 5 children (Christian and Arch Jr grown and gone); James & Christian Cattanach, Robt, Geo, David, John.

1862


Robert & George (twins?) Cromar, b. Auchinhove





1865


Christian Farquharson Shaw, in Auchinhove Cottage, m. William Gordon, late Ceylon planter, of Dorsincilly & Littlemill, Glenmuick.




Annie Sherratt, dau of John, b. Nichol, Ontario
Jane Sherratt, dau of Farquharson, b. Nichol, Ontario

1866




Mary Elizabeth Gordon b. in Dorsincilly



Date

Birse

Lumphanan

Aberdeen

Glenmuick

Elsewhere in Britain

North America

1867






Archibald Sherratt, son of John, b. Nichol, Ontario

1868




William James Gordon b. in Dorsincilly (died in infancy)


John Sherratt, son of Farquharson, b. Nichol, Ontario

1870




Christian William Gordon b. in Dorsincilly


Mary Sherratt, dau of John, b. Nichol, Ontario
Archibald Sherratt, son of Farquharson, b. Nichol, Ontario

1871



Mary Sherrat, buried St. Finnans.

Alice Maud Gordon b. in Dorsincilly.
Mary Sherrat, 72 d. in Dorsincilly.


Census at Nichol, Ontario: Archibald Sherratt (Sr), wife, and dau Isabella; Farquharson Sherratt with wife Susanna and 2 children; George Catanach, brother Robert, mother Christian.

1872




Isabella Gordon b. in Dorsincilly



1873




Alexander William Gordon b. in Dorsincilly


Elizabeth Sherratt, dau of Archibald, b. Nichol, Ontario

1874




Charles Farquharson Shaw Gordon b. in Dorsincilly



1875






William Sherratt, son of Archibald, b. Nichol, Ontario

1877






Mary Jane Sherratt, dau of Archibald, b. Nichol, Ontario

1881


Census at Auchinhove: Robert Cromar, wife Elizabeth, Farquharson, Christian, Robert (III)




Census at Nichol, Ontario has George Catanach, brother Robert, mother Christian.
Census at Glengarry, Lancaster, Ontario has James “Catnick” (Jr) family.

1901







1903






Paul Farquharson Taylor, son of Elizabeth Sherratt, b. in New York

1910


Robert Cromar, 84 d. in Woodbine Cottage, buried Kirkton of Aboyne.


Robert Cromar (III) in Crofts reports his father's death.






If you have any personal or research interest in these families, I would be delighted to hear from you at tomchatt@earthlink.net. My research is greatly indebted to Sharon Jameson, an extraordinary genealogist and research colleague, and to Eileen Bailey, archivist at the Birse Community Trust. The Trust supports a variety of worthwhile activities for the community of Birse, including preservation of its cultural and historical heritage, and appreciates any donations.