|Who was'Papa Camlet?'
Clue 4 - Kate: 'Camlet John's' Niece
Gordons o' Girnoc
| My Family - 'Camlet John'
The Girnoc Farms
|"John Gordon in Camlet had a niece Kate Gordon, who married ------ Fraser, and died at Dryley, or Tomnakeist, Glenmuick, about 30 or 40 years ago. She had one son, who was drowned while bathing in the Dee "one Sacred Sunday at Ballater about 1850."
J.M.Bulloch (written c1903)
|Our suspect in this regard was a certain Kate Gordon, who was documented by Dr Bulloch, as having been a 'niece of Camlet John.' This Kate Gordon was said to have 'married a Fraser.'
Thus 'dear auld Kate' who died after 1855 was to serve as 'apparently solid clue' number 4.
Her death certificate was easily found: Kate Gordon of Tulloch died in May 1879 at the grand old age of 90. She was thus born circa 1789. The informant at her death was her neighbour, Charles Sandison of Tomnikiest Toll House who supplied the parents of Kate Gordon as: John Gordon (deceased farmer) and Elizabeth Middleton (deceased.)
So that brought forth a new puzzle: if Kate's father was John Gordon, then she could not be a niece of 'Camlet John'. Was it the case then that she was in fact a grand-niece or cousin?
Donald Whyte's "Gordons in Upper Deeside" casts doubt upon the accuracy of the details supplied by the informant, for in the section on TULLICH, we find the only Kate Gordon known to be born in Deeside in the late 18th century as:
Katherine Gordon, born at Etnach on the 9th May 1791
Her parents were listed as John Gordon and Jean Middlelton (definitely not Elizabeth.) Without doubt, the informant, Charles Sandison (Kate's neighbour) gave in details that were partly incorrect. It would be unfair to expect much more given that Kate was 90 when she died, and as such her parents would by then have been long dead. Furthermore Charles Sandison was not even of family - simply he was a neighbour.
Yet we should thank Charles Sandison, for his erroneous submission was to lodge unconsciously within the vacuous depths of this writer's cerebrum and when it reappeared it was to do so as a revelation: a revelation that was to potentially link 'Camlet' of Deeside with 'Lost' of Strathdon.
It all began to unfold when the writer was given some details relating to the 'Gordons of Lost.' In particular there was a letter from Charles Gordon of Lost farm in which he mentioned his grandfather 'John Gordon who died in 1876 aged 75.' The death certificate of this John Gordon was easily found:
Farmer, married to Elizabeth Middleton, previously widower of Ann Crawford
Died on the 3rd of August 1876 at 1am
At Lost, Strathdon
Father: Peter Gordon - farmer (D)
Mother: Jane Muil (D)
Death Cause: Died suddenly - supposed disease of heart
Informant: George Gordon (son) - present
So there it was: John Gordon of Lost married to Elizabeth Middleton! This of course tapped that vacuum and brought the writer back full circle to 'dear auld Kate.'
Now there was to be some missing-pieces here (aren't there always) and thus in a wish not to 'out-pace' the facts, every effort was taken to go slow. So far the writer had established that:
1) Kate Gordon was born 1791 - the daughter of John Gordon and Jean Middleton
2) John Gordon of Lost was born 1798 (married Eliz Middleton) - and was the son of Peter Gordon and Jean Muill.
Returning to Donald Whyte's work we find just TWO entries for Tullich: the first for the parents of Kate, the second for the parents of John. Vis-ŕ-vis:
*PETER GORDON, and Jean Muil, both in Tullich, married 15th July 1792, and recorded the baptisms of two children in the Glenmuick register:
1. Elizabeth, b. Mosstown, Braes of Cromar, and bapt 10.9.1793.
2. Charles, b. Mosstown, Braes of Cromar, and bapt 26.10.1795.
3. John Gordon (of Lost)...was not listed by Whyte, but has been added by the writer
*JOHN GORDON, possibly a native of Glenmuick, married Jean Middleton, 1st August 1789 and had issue:
1. Katherine, born Etnach, 9.5.1791
2. Alexander, b. Style of Tullich, bapt. 10.8.1793.
3. Peter, b. Style of Tullich, bapt. 25.8.1796.
4. Jean, b. Style of Tullich, bapt. 6.2.1799.
Would it be safe then to assume these two (marked*) as brothers? That is an assumption that this writer is inclined to believe - however this must be stressed remains fully speculative. It would also mean that if Kate was a grand-niece of 'Camlet John' that the father of these two brothers was himself a brother of 'Camlet John!'
So Clue number 4...tantalizes, but still cuts short of revealing Camlet!
|The above representation is entirely hypothetical. However it does set the task: to find the father of John and Peter Gordon (in the blue boxes above.)
This may prove a task too far: however research to date does potentially link John and Peter Gordon to:
These further findings are ellucidated below.
|LOST in STRATHDON?
So what else can be gleaned from the little we have? Well perhaps most obviously there is the connection between the Gordons (at one time in Tullich) and the Middleton family. Also we have the parish baptismal records for the children of the two brothers:
1) John Gordon and Jean Middleton had at least four children born between 1791 and 1799. Katherine (who was to become 'auld Kate') was born at Etnach in Glentannar, whilst the other three: Alexander, Peter and Jean, were born at Style of Tullich.
2) Peter Gordon and Jean Muil also had at least four children. Elizabeth (born 1793) and Charles (born 1795) both at Mosstown, Braes of Cromar, then John Gordon (later of Lost) in February 1798. There was also a later son called George.
Mosstown, Braes of Cromar, lies within the west side of Logie-Coldstone parish. It is important that this Mosstown should not be confused with Mosstown o' Blelack, which is on the other side of the parish and outwith Upper Deeside.
Now the reader will have realized well before now that this writer has not, as yet, been able to fully connect this all together. The work presented here is based upon associations. Indeed it is this writer's experience that for every discovery made there follows a string of 'next stage' questions. Now that is surely the challenge of Inextricable Camlet!
You may have noticed that this section was entitled 'Lost in Strathdon' and so far, you might rightly claim, precious little has been devoted to this - Deeside's beautiful counterpart. Well it is time to reverse that situation.
The main lead into Strathdon will be through Peter Gordon, once in Tullich, later of Lost. First however I want to raise attention to one further potential Dee-Don alliance: this relates to JOSEPH GORDON - a name that has forever intrigued this writer (….you may recall that 'Camlet John' called his first son Joseph.) This name has for many years also captured the interest of a fellow researcher, particularly after the discovery that when her great-great -uncle John Coutts,,came to Australia aboard the 'Spartan' in 1842, he was accompanied by two special passengers: Janet Grant and Joseph Gordon.
It is recalled within family-lore that John Coutts and Janet Grant met after the voyage "at the house of a mutual Gordon relative." It has been concluded that this could only have been that other 'special companion' Joseph Gordon. A warming footnote is that within a year of this meeting, Janet Grant and John Coutts were married during June of 1843 in Sydney.
So who WAS this JOSEPH GORDON?
Well he was second son of the Joseph Gordon who married Rachel Tastard in July 1788. This 'the father' Joseph Gordon is most likely (in the opinion of this writer and as previously rehearsed) a brother of 'Camlet John.' Rachel Tastard, after bearing Joseph (senior) four children, died. In May 1800, Joseph (senior) re-married, this time to Margaret Stewart, with whom he brought forth 8 more bairns. Joseph (senior) lived a long life: in the 1841 census we find him with Margaret his wife at Cambus o' May. They are living with James Ogg and family. There must have been a further move to his son Donald's domicile in Broughty Ferry, as it is recorded that Joseph Gordon (senior) died there c1850.
1841 census - Cambus O May
James OGG, age 67yrs, Publican, Yes born in the parish
George OGG, age 40yrs, Cattle dealer, Yes born in the parish
John OGG, age 25yrs, Farmer, Yes born in the parish
Elizabeth COPLAND, age 25yrs, Family Servant, Yes born in the parish
Agnes GORDON, age 14yrs, Family Servant, Yes born in the parish
Archibald EWEN, age 15yrs, Agricultural Labourer, Yes born in the parish
Joseph GORDON, age 85yrs, Stocking Merchant, Yes born in the parish (born c1756)
Margaret GORDON, age 69yrs, Yes born in the parish
Joseph Gordon (junior) - he of the 'Spartan voyagers' - was born at Bovaglie farm in 1794, before emigrating he was Butler for the Earl of Airlie at Cortachy Castle. He later returned to Scotland and died in Dundee in March of 1881.
What on earth (I hear you say) has any of this to do with 'Lost in Strathdon?' Well let us not forget that other special 'Spartanite' - Janet Grant!
Janet Grant was born you see in Cabrach, Strathdon in the year of 1821. Her father was Robert Grant, and perhaps no surprise here, her mother was a Gordon - Janet Gordon.
So was this where 'the mutual cousins' came in? Yes it was to appear so!
Janet Gordon was born circa 1781 in Parish of Glengairn and "…from family notes her parents were Peter Gordon and Elizabeth McKenzie from Parish of Glengairn."
It is this Janet Gordon that leads us to Lost (oh you must forgive the writer, but he could not resist dropping that pun!) In fact, I am sure the reader would agree: 'Leads us to Lost' would be as good a title for this account as 'Inextricably Camlet!'
So what can be said of Janet Gordon and her link to Lost Farm. Janet Gordon married Robert Grant in March of 1803: the parish record is as follows:
"Robert Grant in the Parish of Strathdon and Janet Gordon in the Parish of Glengairn were matrimonially contracted and consigned Pledges with Andrew Keir, Treasurer."
The date of birth of Janet can also be gleaned from the 1841 census, which gave in the ages of Robert Grant as 65 years and Janet Gordon his wife as 61 years: thus the estimation that Janet Gordon was born c1781.
It is worth labouring one point here: Janet Gordon was from Glengairn. Does this act as an indicator thatthat the Gordons of Camlet branched out to Glengairn: or (equally plausible) vice-versa!
Robert Grant and Janet Gordon had at least six children, including the last born, Janet Grant, our 'noble Spartanite.' However it is their second son Peter that generates some interest, for when he was baptized in November 1807 one of the witnesses was no other than 'Peter Gordon of Lost.'
Peter Gordon of Lost died in March 1837. How is this known - well he left behind a detailed Testament and Inventory which was lodged with Aberdeen Sheriff Court on the 10th of that month. These documents were to serve further clues, which would take Peter Gordon of Lost back to Logie-Coldstone parish. It was there at Mosstown (Braes of Cromar) that the children of Peter Gordon and his wife Jean Muil were born.
The first obvious tie to Logie-Coldstone was Jean Muill (the wife of Peter Gordon of Lost) who was born in the parish in April 1768. Her father was John Muill and her mother Elizabeth Farquharson. They married in the parish in 1765 and had a small bounty of children. It was no great surprise then to find that the executors of the Will of Peter Gordon in Lost, who died in 1837, were Robert Muil, farmer in Nether Sauchen and Francis Muil, Teacher in Gordon's Hospital Aberdeen.
The second tie to Logie-Coldstone may be more important than the one given above. Again from his Will, it emerged that Peter Gordon in Lost had a lease of the farm from Sir Charles Forbes 1st Baronet of Newe and Edinglassie. Now this is where (from Camlet point of view) it gets interesting! The father of Sir Charles Forbes was reverend George Forbes of Lochell. In turn the parents of Reverend George are: John Forbes 2nd of Bellabeg and Christian Shepherd.
Christian Shepherd had a sister Isobel. Their father was Reverend John Shepherd of Logie-Coldstone. Now if the reader has been truly attentive, then good recall should underscore this ISOBEL SHEPHERD (see the page on Crathienaird and the Mormon) for this was the very woman who has been recorded by the 'Mormons' as the MOTHER of 'Camlet John'
It was Isobel Shepherd who married John Gordon of Correcrhrie, Logie Coldstone on the third last day of 1742. This John Gordon was later known as 'John Gordon of Crathienaird' who we know died at Milton of Rippachie in 1766.
It has been postulated by some researchers (and in particular by Dorothy Sellors) that 'The Minister of The Camlet' given notoriety by Stirton in his volume on Crathie, was none other than Reverend John Shepherd, 'grandfather' of 'Camlet John.'
Summary of this Chapter:
1) The chapter started with 'auld Kate' niece (or grand-niece) of 'Camlet John.' Her father John Gordon (married to Jean Middleton), was probably a brother or cousin of 'Peter Gordon of Lost.'
2) The next connection to emerge was between Peter Gordon of Lost and Janet Gordon, mother of Janet Grant.
3) It was Janet Grant who travelled on the 'Spartan' to Australia with Joseph Gordon (junior) her 'mutual cousin.' The father of this Joseph Gordon, who was also known as Joseph Gordon (1756-1850) has been regarded as a brother of 'Camlet John.'
4) Peter Gordon of Lost, was tenant for Sir Charles Forbes, whose father Reverend George Forbes (according to the Mormon theory) was a full FIRST COUSIN of 'Camlet John.'
Got that! Yes surely it would be fair to say…..'Lost in Strathdon!'