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Scotts of Mar

Am Bothan Leathan - 22nd July 2010I am continually surprised at how a few pieces of upland of Mar lore and a few facts from the archives can be brought together to tell us something about people born in a remote glen more than 100 years ago.

For example, in the upland of Mar lore it is known that the family of Bob Scott, the former resident keeper at Luibeg, had lived in Mar for several generations, but the details of those ancestors were not generally known.

In 1829, the Muckle Spate caused significant damage in the counties of Moray and Aberdeenshire, including the upland of Mar, destroying houses, bridges, and farmland.  In Lauder (1873) the author describes the localised effects at the mouth of Gleann Gheallaidh - writing :

Hugh Macdougal, one of Lord Fife's keepers, has his house situated on an isthmus at the junction of the rivers Gouldie and Dee, in a remote part of the forest, several miles from any human dwelling

- Lauder (1873) (p185)

From that description I'm inclined to believe that that house occupied by Hugh McDougall and his family is the ruin in Gleann Gheallaidh about a third-of-a-mile from White Bridge, on the north-west side of the estate road, and named Am Bothan Leathan

In 1841, the census of that year shows Hugh (50), his wife Isabel (40), and their sons and daughters Peter (19), John (15), James (13), Catherine (12), Margaret (9), Elizabeth (7), Christy (5), and Ellen (3) living at the Sawmill in Mar Forest.  Hugh McDougall, from Fortingall, Perthshire and Isabel from Glamis, Forfarshire were Bob Scott's great-grandparents.

In 1853, an entry in the Old Parish Register recorded the illegitimate birth of Donald Scott :

Donald Scott, Shepherd to the Duke of Atholl, Parish of Blair Atholl, Perthshire and Elizabeth McDougall daughter of Hugh McDougall, formerly Game Keeper, Mar Lodge had an illegitimate Son born on the 2nd of April 1853, and baptised on the 9th of December, Eighteen hundred and fifty four years. Name Donald

Donald Scott, from Blair Atholl, Perthshire and Elizabeth McDougall were Bob Scott's grandparents - their son Donald was Bob Scott's father.

In 1861, the census of that year shows Elizabeth (27) and Donald (8) living in the household of Jane Watt (43) in Inverey.

In 1881, the census of that year shows Donald (28), working as a shepherd, living in the household of Alexander Alexander (42) at the farm of Ardfork in the parish of Meldrum, Aberdeenshire.

Donald appears to have returned to Mar in the early 1880s and become a gamekeeper on the estate.

In 1885, the Marriage Register of the parish of Pitsligo, Aberdeenshire recorded the marriage of Donald Scott (33), Gamekeeper, Derry Lodge, Mar Estate and Elizabeth Birnie (24), Domestic Servant, Knowhead, Pitsligo.

In 1891, the census of that year shows Donald (38) his wife 'Lizzie' (29) and their sons and daughters Jennie (4), Ewan (3), and Donald (1) living in the cottage of Mar Forest.

The family grew through the last-two decades of the 19th century and the first-decade of the 20th century : Jeanie (1886), Ewan (1887), Donald (1889), Jessie (1891), Frank (1893), Ronald (1895), Margaret Ann (1897), Agnes Elizabeth (1899), Nora Patricia (1901), Robert 'Bob' Lane (1903), and Walter 'Wattie' Gordon (1904).

About 1898, the family moved to Linn of Dee where Agnes Elizabeth was born and the family continued to live there into the second-decade of the 20th century.

'Lizzie' was admitted to Aberdeen Royal Infirmary, Aberdeen on 15th June 1911 where she died on 23rd June 1911.

Donald died at Linn of Dee, Mar Estate on 24th April 1915.


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