We use cookies to track visitor statistics and personalise adverts. This info is shared with Google. Only use the site if you agree to this. OK, I agree

Glenbuchat Heritage

83 James Strachan Drumnagarrow
The Glenbuchat Image Library
83 James Strachan Drumnagarrow

Information about Drumnagarrow from Patrick's People website by kind permission of the author Mary McGonigal

Drumnagarrow (Glenbucket). Druim nan gearran, "ridge of the horses."

Half way up the north side of the Glen situated well up the hillside is a small cottage of Drumnagarrow.

Despite its apparent insignificance the cottage holds a lot of history. This was the home of James Strachan, the famous fiddler, known as Drumnagarry or Drumnagarrow. James daughter Mary also went on to marry William Hardie, whose son was one of Scotland’s most famous violin makers James Hardie.

He is the inspiration behind the tune Drumnagarry (or the fishers Rant) composed by the famous Deesde fiddler Scott Skinner.
(THE FISHER'S RANT. AKA and see “Drumnagarry.” Scottish, Strathspey. G Major.
J. Scott Skinner (1904) attributes the melody to J. Hardy. He notes: “The late John Strachan…”Drumnagarrow,” is said to have had a hand in this tune.”)

The Aberdeen Journal wrote in 1820,
James Strachan - here entitled Drumnagarrow - provided inspiration for celebration:
"The Right Honourable the Earl of Fife, and suite, arrived at Glenbucket the 5th curt, on his way to Duff House. On Monday, his Lordship's numerous tenantry, hearing of their Noble and beloved Master being among them, assembled to the number of several hundreds, with all the bonny lasses of the glen, to make merry for the occasion. The weather being very fine a large barn and extensive tent were fitted up, and brilliantly illuminated for the occasion, replenished with plenty of bread and cheese, and mountain dew. At eight o'clock, a deputation of about a hundred handsome highlanders, accompanied by Drumnagarrow, and his soul-inspiring band, waited on his Lordship, at the Manse, who most condescendingly walked to the ball-room, filled with beauty: - the surrounding mountains blazing with bon-fires - the rugged peak of Benew one sheet of flame."

From other sources we know that Strachan's forte was as a fiddle player, and other fiddlers, James Scott Skinner, for example, have paid tribute to his skill and brilliance.

From Memoir of the family of M'Combie, a branch of the Clan M'Intosh (1887)
“Mr M'Combie is an enthusiast in Scottish music, and an excellent judge of it, and has a fine collection of old strathspeys, many of them in MS., and very rare. He loves to recall the powers of the late Mr James Strachan, the famous Drumnagarrow, who used to be the leading player at the Easter Skene balls many years ago."

In a long poem by John Imlah in 1841 (copy below|) and entitled ‘Drumnagarrow’ he mentions in his notes the Skene festivities

“At a late festivity in the Parish of Skene, Mr Strachan better known by the appellation of Drumnagarrow, made some most effective appeals to the feelings and the feet of his audience and which did not fail to awaken enthusiastic expressions of delight in the evolutions of the dance. Perhaps, after the benevolent object contemplated by the meeting the erection of Schools in some destitute parts of the Parish and the bonnie lasses, Drumnagarrow was the great attraction of the evening. He has enjoyed for many years a high fame throughout Aberdeenshire as a performer of reels and strathspeys and the writer of this has no hope that what he has penned will add to that fame but a wish to attest what he saw and felt on the occasion alluded to above. This Poem if it may be dignified by such a title having appeared in a northern newspaper it was communicated to the Author that he had over praised Drumnagarrow and that there were others in as great repute and request in the country. With regard to the former charge, it is very like to be true, as he has neither skill nor critical knowledge of the gentle art, and he may be one of the many that praise when they are pleased and are pleased they know not why. He questions not the truth of the latter assertion that he, Drumnagarrow, has many equals in the country round about. He is happy to hear and believe that such is the case, and hopes for the sake of our national tunes and taste broad, Scotland may have ever cause to exclaim like the monarch of old that she has five hundred good as he.”

Finally the family tree is shown at the foot of the article.


To be a bard it disna follow
In trio duet or in solo
That I maun pipe to please Apollo
His bow and arrows
I ll roose the bow that beats his
That's Drumnagarrow's

The bow that bids the catgut chords
Speak far mair eloquent than words
When lads and lasses bend the boards
O ha or laft
That even ladies wi their lords
Gars dance like daft

O Drumnagarrow how few now
Like thee can draw the bold lang bow
To warm the breast and weet the brow
Wi maddning glee
The mantle o the mighty Gow
Was fa en on thee

Last ouk I heard you scrape at Skene
Where gladdened ears and glancing e en
And pechin breath tauld weel
I ween Frae a afore ye
Thou rt Orpheus o Aberdeen
Glenbickit's glory

The Braes o Mar prime can ye play
And Lady Mary Ramsay's lay
But when the order o the day
Is Tulloch's lilt
Then feet and fingers heugh and hey
Will answer till’t

Why need I mention those or these
Thou hast the soul and elbow grease
To play wi earnest vir and ease
The hale collection
O Neil and ithers too and please
A to perfection

In brogue or boot for spring heeled
Thou madest the rustic dancers jump
Till I was fley d ilk ither thump
That shook the biggin
Wad bring the house down in a lump
Floor wa's and riggin

Music tis said can rive the rock
And rend the trunk o gnarl d oak
This will I say and nae in joke
A strain frae Strachan
Will mak a man o stiflfest stock
As swack as saughen

Wae worth the wretch foul be his fa
Our ancient springs wad chase awa
Frae lowly cot or lofty ha
Our rants and reels
To wanton waltzes bring us a
And queer quadrilles

Gie me the gear that gars me feel
The life o life frae head to heel
To whirl thro jig strathspey or reel
As licht's a feather
Quadrilles and waltzes to the deil
May gang the gither

New fangled notions over nice
Are now our vile besettin vice
And close as iron cauld as ice
Our generation
Alas that auld springs gie nae price
Thro out our nation

That man o marvels Paganini
Some thocht a dei1 some a genii
He monie a bonnie gowden guinea
Out o us diddled
Had he been Scotch I’d bet a pin he
Had poorly fiddled

The limmer fashion plague upon her
She mak's an honest stamach scunner
And widenin a our een wi won’er
At our gyte gentrie
We see a prophet has nae honor
In his ain kintrie

Foul fa the tempora mutantur
They’ve work d wi monie things
I fear some modish ban or banter
Will daur to middle
Wi puir auld Scotland's pipe and
And four stringed fiddle

Fareweel to feeling when ye part
Ye strains that need nae aid frae art
That come and gang frae heart to heart
Yet hae the skill
To bid emotion's tear drap start
Or rapture thrill

O let near ilka ingle neuk
The green bagged fiddle hae its heuk
To hang like smoket flitch or fleuk
Wi some ane near it
Wi willing heart by ear or beuk
To let us hear it

Alas my dancin days are o er
My feats are past on festive floor
The spirit and the spunk o yore
Waes me I ween
Are nae sae apt for spree or splore
As they hae been

Yet now to Norlan rant or reel
Some stirrin o langsyne I feel
Whene er our hame o er dances wheel
I tak a part
But och I ve now a heavier heel
And heavier heart

There was a time a joyous time
Lang ere I tried the trade of rhyme
When Lewie Fleemin's strains sublime
Were a the go
Then boyhood prankit in its prime
Nor wist o woe

And ne er was galliard better graced
And ne er was fiddler blither faced
That hour was his Cremona placed
Tween chin and shouther
Losh how the daffin younkers raced
In transports thro’ther

Can I forget thee in my metre
No by the Pope and eke St Peter
For fiddler finer ne er was eater
O brose and brochan
Magnus Apollo o Monquhitter
And boast o Buchan

When ye screw d roun your temp ring pegs
And made the thairms to thirl my fegs
Gallant and quean loupt to their legs
To foot it finely
As rants and reels strathspeys and jigs
Ye played divinely

Peace to thy shade unstrain d unstrung
Thy bow and fiddle that have hung
Lang on the willow mute thy tongue
And thrilling tones
The girse and gowan lang have sprung
Above thy bones

Still fiddiest thou in men's abodes
Untainted yet by modern modes
Who oft the lofty play house gods
Hast fired to frenzy
Or stiff and streekit neath the clods
Art thou M’Kenzie

I hope thou’rt twistin still the pins
To active limbs aud sweatin skins
Lest gout get at our shanks and shins
Lang be ye liver
O gin I were where Gadie rins
Play that for ever

I ll nae deny t tho vulgar be t
I ve listen d strains in lane and street
O native birth sae simply sweet
Artless and wild
That made me merry garr d me greet
Even like a child

How aft it was my wont to jog
Amid thy train blin Willie Hogg
When Cock a Bendy was in vogue
And sack d thee siller
Or Drone's braid shouther d brawny
The brosy miller

Then Willie ye your sweet voice lent
To your as sweet accompaniment
O the poor stranger maid that went
Too far from home
I hope maids will tak better tent
In days to come

Art thou in being still and he
The Turkey merchant wont to be
Fidus Achates unto thee
A blin e ed brither
Wha heard delights he could na see
As weel's anither

What feeling did your friendship bind
Twas fellow feeling made ye kind
For as the baith o ye were blind
As a stane wa
Nae fauts wi ither could ye find
Ye never saw

In London lives as choice a chiel
Born of the land o famous Neil
As ever heated rustic's heel
Or cit's or sailor's
And finely can he play
The Dei1 Amang the Tailors

Fair Athole's woods Braedalbin's braes
First heard his hand at Highland lays
Lang time ago yet Willie plays
In London now
The music o the olden days
Wi brilliant bow

And few you ll find sae pleased to play
To matron grave and maiden gay
When join’d wi mates at close o day
By choice or chance
To wile an idle hour away
Wi friendly dance

Forego not Willie nor forget
The Norlan springs o native set
When friends wi friends for mirth are met
To foot it fine
But keep thou up the auld style yet
For auld lang syne

O mair than a thy minstrel art
In which sae weel thou play st thy part
For manners bland and honest heart
My rhyme wad roose thee
The curse o Cromwell be their smart
Wha wad abuse thee

To mark it never was my lot
A countryman was worth a groat
In head or heart wha kindled not
At native strains
And felt not a the brither Scot
Throb thro his veins

There's ane I ken o Border birth
That's wander d to the ends o earth
And round has ranged its globular girth
Yet Scotia's still
Her strains to mourning or to mirth
Can work at will

Flowers o the Forest let but glide
Then tears will answer in a tide
And the Blue Bonnets spur the pride
O the old Border
But kittle up Lock Erochside
He's prime in order

And nearer to the northern star
Where waves amid the wilds o Mar
An ancient forest wide and far
By nature planted
He loves the lay o Lochnagar
Young Byron chanted

I like to see sic specimen
O man begat in Scottish glen
Wha loves the land the but or ben
That gae him birth
I find them aye the best o men
In wit or worth

I m now a stranger on that strand
Albeit it is my native land
Yet here's my head my heart my hand
Wi him wha will
For Scotland strike for Scotland stand
Thro good and ill

Her worthiest sons hae loved her best
Her heroism in honoured rest
Proved well the patriots sternest test
In battle gory
That dulce et decorum est
Pro patria mori

Oh music in thy charmed shell
What mystic mighty powers dwell
How grief will sigh and gladness swell
At thy controul
All own the magic o thy spell
Wha hae a soul

T’was well the Bard of Avon wrote
That man but breathes to plague and plot
In love a blank on life a blot
Wha music loathes
And let such man be trusted not
The Goth o Goths

The painter's tints may be profane
Polluted be the poet's strain
But she in every varied vein
The sister art
Sweet music never stamps a stain
On mind or heart

When deep her plaintive measures flow
The brain will think the breast will throe
The soul be wrapt wi genial glow
In musings meet
And learn the luxury of woe
Though sad yet sweet

When deil’s held in hellish thrall
The spirit o the wayward Saul
As music came at David's call
Like breathing balm
Music to deil is bitter gall
The king grew calm

O is it not a sight o sights
When music cheers blithe auld Yule nights
To view our day toiled rustic wights
Sic lively prancers
Gleg jinkin like the Northern lights
The Merry Dancers

Sae was it twenty years ago
In thee braid Buchan thro and thro
And fain my hope it still is so
Or then alas
Our ancient countrie's come unto
A woeful pass

In England Merrie England ance
As still amid the vines o France
The village fete and rural dance
Cheer d peer and peasant glance
Now chilled and changed ne er meets your
Such prospect pleasant

Now leisure comes to wearied labour
But brings na neighbour blithe wi neighbour
Enjoying merry pipe and tabor
But pipes and porter
And waur than these in tap room gabber
A summat shorter

Ye men o title might and treasure
O still gie labour in its leisure
For hours o pain ae hour o pleasure
What nature wants
And less o legislative measure
Frae MP saunts

The peasants base the social pillar
The brookie smith the dusty miller
The clod shod clown earth's humblest tiller
In sod bulit sheeling
May hae mair sense than some wi siller
And finer feeling

The horny hand that bauds the plough
The thud that fells the forest bough
The pith that gars the furnace glo v
And stithie ring
To these a classes meikle owe
Frae kerne to king

To them wha weave or twirl the pirn
For cotton claith or woo or yarn
Wha speel the wud or hew the cairn
We a are debtors
Then lat them ease enjoyment earn
As weel's their betters

Their feelings flesh their blude and bane
By passion appetite and pain
Are acted on the same's your ain
Tho low their station T
hen think and thole as men for men
O God's creation

Some plough the sea and some the soil
And some maun tro ck wi ither's toil
While some maun spend and some maun spoil
The warld's a wheel
And elbow grease the essential oil
To gar it reel

The man o lear and man o leather
Are necessary to each ither
We re a dependent things thegither
Thro every grade
And he's the greatest man o either
Best at his trade

We ve ministers to pray and preach
And dominies to task and teach
We ve doctors too to lance and leech
O sma pretence
And lawyer louns less spare or speech
Than sober sense

Pity their parents didna find
Lines meeter for their lack o mind
Better to be a burn the wind
And nae a failure
Or even that fraction o mankind
A decent tailor

Better to be an honest yeoman
A trusty herd a steady ploughman
Or flunky to some gentlewoman
If good at either
Than learning Hebrew Greek and Roman
Wi nous for neither

The many are a country's stay
Base tho they be to gentler clay
If neath the fabric they decay
A mole may see it
Column and cap
where will be they In ruins wi it

Then never be that class neglected
But ever be their rights respected
And every end by law effected
Improve their pleasures
Whose sweat created and collected
Our trade and treasures

Wise in their own conceit MP s
Having when gout will let their ease
Plan out for puir folk what they please
What may be fairly meant
Trusting frae acts o grace to free's
By acts o Parliament

They deal not law wi even hand
They press the lowly o the land
But spare the spread on Sunda grand
O er fine mahogany
0 fie fie Pouter Plumptre and
Sir Andrew Agony

I freely own the impropriety
Nay waur the imprudence e en impiety
O sots that soak to inebriety
Tis man's black bane
The very sorrow o society
The curse o Cain

That ill that wimples thro the worm
Ca d mountain dew frae Cairngorm
Frae glens o stills or hills o storm
Wi anti bottlers
Has ceased the cry refrain reform
And be teetottlers

But why at whisky a this wrath
Wi a the scorn and a the scaith
But few the comforts poortith hath
Whence joy to borrow
And cheer it on its plodding path
O sweat and sorrow

For ever since the warld began
Since Adam spaded and Eve span
Hath wine made glad the heart o man
Then sure its use
Should ne er be barr d by mortals ban
For its abuse

The grapes that purple southern plain
Will cluster not in our domain
But bear will braird a goodly grain
And so I say
It's aye the safest drink to drain
The vin du pays

There is a time for all things so
The Preacher said lang lang ago
A time for joy a time for woe
And in its season
For soul and song and flask to flow
Yet a in reason

I hae a notion in my noddle
May be it is nae worth a boddle
That some that wi the mash pot muddle
On trash o tea
Are just as daft as they wha fuddle
On barley bree

But I ll leave preaching to the priest
It's nae my taste or trade at least
For they wha on the Fiars feast
Should teach the people
And guard frae Babylonish beast
Stipend and steeple

I first begoud about a bow
A lang ane I ve been drawin now
And shootin on the wing I trow
Wi aimless arrow
What was my theme
O what but thou Blithe Drumnagarrow

O Drumnie words are a too weak
In English Latin erse or Greek
The sum o thy deserts to speak
In ample phrase
And sic a screed as I can squeak
Is sorry praise

I ve lang been frae my native sphere
Wi English jinglin in my ear
That faith I ve lost the knack
I fear O scribblin Scotch
And now hae gabbered out some gear
Like a hotch potch

There some ca rhyme a graceless crime
A woefu wastin o our time
The mair sae mine that hath nae styme
O licht frae heaven I
t's like the Wall o Spa my rhyme
As got tis given

Still fires the soul to hear and hail
O Clann na Gael ann gualibh a chielle
The Pibroch pealing on the gale
Or melts wi grief
When wakes the Coronach's deep wail
O er cairn tombed chief

By birken shaw and flowery mead
The shepherd loves the aiten reed
Beside the Teviot and the Tweed
And dowie Yarrow
Let Dee and Don aye hae a screed
Frae Drumnagarrow

O Drumnie never may thy heart
Affliction's arrows make to smart
Proof against a but Cupid's dart
Unless already
Thou st safely placed that tender part
Wi some kind lady

I ve heard and wonder d wi the rest
Our finish d fiddlers bow their best
Wha science but not soul expressed
Like thy wild lays
That kindle up the zeal and zest
O ither days

If e er again we twa should meet
Atween your fiddle and my feet
We ll gar the hours fly swift and sweet
Wi step and strain
Until auld Time wi speed sae fleet
Shall pech again

Strachan thou ultimus Romanorum
That scrap st in Scotia's quire and quorum
Lang may ye push about the jorum
Wi choicest chiels
And drive them wud wi Tullochgorum
The reel o reels

Be life wi thee a cloudless simmer
Welcome to cronie and to kimmer
Lang mayst thou mak the tremblin timmer
Thy music feel
While sturdy loun and strappin limmer
Loup skip and squeel

In fame and favour mayst thou grow
Shunning the broadway leading low
Mid a the fiddles in a row _
That top the narrow
Flourish like Aaron's rod the bow
O Drumnagarrow

Gude prosper a that may concern
Thy hame an haddin board and bairn
Be evergreen the bays ye earn
Till full o days
And lowly laid a noble cairn
May Scotia raise

On ilka Scot be dool and shame
Upon his head upon his hame
And a the plagues that ever came
Of old on Pharoah
Wha scorns thy numbers and thy name
O Drumnagarrow

Last ouk I heard you scrape at Skene
At a late festivity in the Parish of Skene Mr Strachan better known by the appellation of Drumnagarrow made some most effective appeals to the feelings and the feet of his audience and which did not fail to awaken enthusiastic expressions of delight in the evolutions of the dance Perhaps after the benevolent object contemplated by the meeting the erection of Schools in some destitute parts of the Parish and the bonnie lasses Drumnagarrow was the great attraction of the evening He has enjoyed for many years a high fame throughout Aberdeenshire as a performer of reels and strathspeys and the writer of this has no hope that what he has penned will add to that fame but a wish to attest what he saw and felt on the occasion alluded to above This Poem if it may be dignified by such a title having appeared in a northern newspaper it was communicated to the Author that he had over praised Drumnagarrow and that there were others in as great repute and request in the country With regard to the former charge it is very like to be true as he has neither skill nor critical knowledge of the gentle art and he may be one of the many that praise when they are pleased and are pleased they know not why He questions not the truth of the latter assertion that he Drumnagarrow has many equals in the country round about He is happy to hear and believe that such is the case and hopes for the sake of our national tunes and taste broad Scotland may have ever cause to exclaim like the monarch of old that she has five hundred good as he

Magnus Apollo o Monguhitter
JEFFREY the younger whose father had some reputation as a piper is still well remembered throughout the north east district of Aberdeenshire both for his excellence as a musician and his amiable qualities as a man

Amid thy train blin Willie Hogg
WILLIE HOGG for many years held on the tenor of his way through the streets of Aberdeen and was well known and attended in his musical peregrinations Calder Fair the Miller o Drone I ma poor stranger and far from my home Hearts of Oak &c were wont to be his favourite ditties and his entertainments were frequently vocal and instrumental His voice and its violin accompaniment were guiltless of committing any harmonious combination for they melodiously went note for note the same

It's like the wall o Spa my rhyme As got tis given
THE Wall or Well o Spa is a fountain in Aberdeen to which from olden time some peculiar and efficacious medicinal properties have been attributed The structure of stone work that encloses it was erected by the famous Painter Jameson called the Scottish Vandyke Over one of the springs for there are two are graven this rhythmical distich now nearly obliterated by time and I fear ill usage
As heaven gives me
So give I thee

Family Tree

STRACHEN, James 'Drumnagarrow'
Christened: 4 September 1783, Glenbucket Parish, Aberdeenshire, Scotland
Marriage: McKENZIE, Ann 1805 or earlier
Died: 2 October 1874 at 9.00 am, Balachailoch, Strathdon Parish, Aberdeenshire, Scotland

STRACHEN, Margaret

Old Parish register Glenbucket Parish Baptisms September 4 1783
James Strachen in Drumnagarrie and Jean Thom his spouse had a son baptised called James before witnesses"
Another record exists in the IGI of a baptism on 4 September 1783 of James Strachen whose father was James Strachen. In it the names of the witnesses were noted as 'John and James Forbeses in Tambreak'.

In 1851 James Strachan was living in the parish of Aberdeen Greyfriars with his daughter Ann. James was recorded as 64 years of age and Ann as 26 years. Both had been born in Glenbucket Parish, Aberdeenshire. Ann was single and recorded as a house servant. James was a widower and by occupation was a musician.

The 1861 census for Strathdon Parish in Aberdeenshire recorded Margaret Coutts living at Ballochhilech with James Warrack, styled the head of the household, and James Strachan, recorded as a lodger. Margaret Coutts was recorded as a domestic servant. James Warrack was a merchant grocer who had been born in Towie parish. He was unmarried and aged 57 years. Margaret Coutts was unmarried and aged 50 years. Her birthplace was Strathdon parish. James Strachan was a widower, aged 78 years, and a musician. His birthplace was Glenbucket parish.

In 1871, the census recorded Margaret Coutts as head of a household living at Ballochhilech in Strathdon Parish, Aberdeenshire. She was unmarried and aged 65 years. Her birthplace was Strathdon parish, and her occupation that of merchant grocer. Two others lived in the household: James Strachan, recorded as her uncle, a musician of 87 years and a widower whose birthplace was Glenbucket; and James Warrack, designated a boarder, who was a retired farmer's son, unmarried, aged 66 years, who had been born in Towie Parish.

James Strachan, a carpenter and widower of Ann McKenzie, died 2 October 1874 in Strathdon Parish. His recorded age at death was 91 years. His parents were both deceased.

In the death certificate of his son, James, in 1894, James Strachan was recorded as a farmer, deceased.

In the death certificate of his daughter, Mary Hardie, in 1910, James Strachan was recorded as a farmer.

James Strachan’s ‘Drumagarrow’ father

Christened: 16 March 1744, Glenbucket Parish, Aberdeenshire, Scotland
Marriage: THOM, Jean in July-August 1769 in Glenbucket Parish, Aberdeenshire, Scotland
Died: 1 June 1828, Mains of Tillyangus, Clatt, Aberdeenshire, Scotland

THOM, Jean
STRACHEN, Christian+
STRACHEN, Margaret+
STRACHEN, James 'Drumnagarrow'+

Baptisms Glenbuchat1744 March 16
STRACHEN Baptized James son to William Strachen in Drumnagarie"

A granddaughter of James Strachen was baptised in 1805, the entry containing the following:
Old Parish Register Glenbuchat Parish Baptisms 9 January 1805
Said day James Strachen in Drumnagarie & Ann McKenzie his spouse had a daughter baptised called Mary before witnesses"

An alternative record of this baptism records the information above and adds:
John Christi in Belnacraig & James Strachen elder in Drumnagarie"
This therefore may have recorded James Strachen as alive in 1805.

In one of the two entries for the baptism of his grandson, John Strachen, in 1806, the text reads
"James Strachen younger in Drumgarrie & Anna McKensie his spouse ...etc"
thus suggesting that this James Strachen, the elder, his father, may have still been living then in 1806.
In the Inventory of the Moveable Estate of the deceased James Strachan compiled in James Strachan was recorded as 'sometime farmer at Parkstile of Tillyfour, Oyne, and latterly residing at Mains of Tillyangus who died on the first day of June one thousand eight hundred and twenty eight years'. because James died intestate, his daughter signed an affidavit concerning his estate. 'Aberdeen 31st July 1828. The above is the Inventory of the moveable estate of the deceased James Strachan, father of me Mrs Christian Strachan or Home referred to in the affidavit emitted by me as his Executive before the Commissary of Aberdeen of this date (signed) Christian Strachan'. the document goes on to confirm that Christian Strachan resided at Mains of Tillyangus, but curiously refers to her as the 'only surviving child of the deceased James Strachan sometime farmer residing at Parkstile of Tillyfour of Oyne and latterly residing at Mains of Tillyangus aforesaid and wife of Peter Home farmer there.' The document authorised Christian Strachan to enter into the possession and management of her father's moveable estate. The value of that estate was between one hundred and two hundred pounds sterling.

In the death certificate of his son, James, in 1874, James was recorded as 'James Strachan, farmer (deceased)'.


In the Appendix to the Strachans of Glenkindie 1357-1726 by Colonel James Allardyce LLD, printed in Aberdeen, in the nineteenth century for private circulation, there appears this quotation which undoubtedly applies to the family under review here:

There was also a family of Strachans at Drumnagarrow in Glenbucket, (now, it is believed, extinct,) which was understood to be of the Glenkindie stock. The last of this family was a famous violinist, and had a great reputation as a player of strathspeys."

The family was not, in fact, extinct as stated, though there was a famous violinist, John Strachan, baptised 1775 in Glenbucket Parish, son of James Strachan, who composed 'The Fisher's Rant' later renamed 'Drumnagarry'.

Grandfather of Drumnagarrow

STRACHEN, William 1
Christened: 8 October 1702, Saint Nicholas Parish, Aberdeen, Scotland
Marriage: SMITH, Barbara in 1736 in Glenbucket Parish, Aberdeenshire, Scotland

SMITH, Barbara

Old Parish Register Saint Nicholas Parish Aberdeen Births
"Strachan October 8th 1702 James Strachan burger and piriwigmaker and Marjorie Tavendale his spouse had a son named William baptised by Mr William Forbes Minister of the Gospell at Leslie William Sympson merchant and Postmaster, William Burnet Merchant, William Rag son to bailie Rag, and William Cruickshank merchant godfathers"

"In the baptism record of his son, James, in 1744 in Glenbucket Parish, Aberdeenshire, William Strachen was recorded thus:
"March 14 1744 James son to William Strachen in Drumnagarie"

The baptismal register of Glenbucket Parish recorded the baptism on 10 January 1745 of 'Margaret daughter to Margaret Couts Wm. Strachen sponsor'. Margaret Couts married Peter Smith in 1748 in Glenbucket.

In 1775 this William Strachen may have been one of the witnesses, along with Arthur Thom, at the baptism of John Strachen, son of James Strachen and Jean Thom:
Baptisms Glenbuchat 1775 February 29
STRACHEN James Strachen in Drumnagarie had a son baptized named John before witnesses Arthur Thom in Bellamore and ... William Strachen in Drumnagarie"

William married Barbara SMITH, daughter of John SMITH and Jeane RENNEY, in 1736 in Glenbucket Parish, Aberdeenshire, Scotland. (Barbara SMITH was christened on 2 October 1709 in Clatt Parish, Aberdeenshire, Scotland.)

Great grandfather of James Strachan ‘Drumnagarrow’

Christened: 31 October 1658, Saint Nicholas Parish, Aberdeen, Scotland
Marriage (1): BURNET, Catherin on 8 March 1676 in Strathdon Parish, Aberdeenshire,
Marriage (2): BURNET, Isobell 1690 or earlier
Marriage (3): TAVINDAILE, Mariorie on 5 May 1701 in Saint Nicholas Parish, Aberdeen,
Another name for James was STRAQUHAN, James.

1. BURNET, Catherin

2. BURNET, Isobell
STRACHAN, Alexander
STRACHAN, James Minister of Kinkell (Reverend )+

3. TAVINDAILE, Mariorie
STRACHEN, William+
STRACHAN, Christian

An entry from Records of Old Aberdeen reads:
1700. Mar. 2. George Walker, maltman at Litlemill ; James Fiddes, son to James Fiddes, merchant ; John Smith, younger son to John Smith in Seaton ; George Mckallan, servitor to Jannet Moir; Wm Forbes, onlie son to Wm Forbes, taylor; James Strachan, barbor; Wm Walker, servitor to the sd. George Walker; John Taylor, eldest son to umqle George Taylor in Seton.


"By the middle of the 16th century there were, in broad terms, a very few physicians (mostly with a degree from Oxford or Cambridge) who diagnosed internal problems; barbers who conducted minor surgery such as bloodletting and drawing teeth; surgeons who carried out major surgery in the presence of a physician (both barbers and surgeons had generally been apprenticed); and apothecaries (also apprenticed) who sold drugs and sometimes treated patients. As already indicated, however, the situation was far more complicated than would appear from such a simple statement. There was much overlap and frequent disputes between the various representative bodies that developed....

As the historian Margaret Pelling said about membership of the Barber-Surgeons' Company in London in the 17th century, many in that period were actually distillers, innkeepers, hosiers, colourers, pinmakers, hatpressers, musicians, dyers, perfumers, tallowchandlers and tailors..."

James married Catherin BURNET, daughter of Jhone BURNET of Elrick and Mariorie HOWESONE, on 8 March 1676 in Strathdon Parish, Aberdeenshire, Scotland.1 (Catherin BURNET was christened on 4 May 1654 in Aberdeen, Scotland 2.)

Old Parish registers Strathdon & Corgarff Parish Aberdeenshire
8 March 1676 James Straquhan servitour to the Laird of Glenkindie now at the miln of Glenkinday brought a testimonial from the minister of Chappell of Gareoch that he was contracted there with ane Catherine Burnet and after proclamation he received a testimonial to be married at the south kirk
James next married Isobell BURNET, daughter of Thomas BURNET and Janet SCHAND, 1690 or earlier. (Isobell BURNET was christened on 1 February 1668 in Saint Nicholas Parish, Aberdeen, Scotland 2.)

James next married Mariorie TAVINDAILE, daughter of James TAVINDAILE and Unknown, on 5 May 1701 in Saint Nicholas Parish, Aberdeen, Scotland. (Mariorie TAVINDAILE was christened on 6 April 1684 in Rayne Parish, Aberdeenshire, Scotland 2.)

Old Parish Register Saint Nicholas Parish
5 May 1701 James Strachan barber and periwigmaker and Marjory Tevindale contracted George Gordon Tayleor caur. for him and Rot. Burnett for her"

Picture added on 01 October 2010 at 23:58
This picture is in the following groups
Please add your comments about this picture using the form below.


Your Name

Your email address - this will be shown on the page and will allow the system to notify you of further comments added to this picture.


55 Glenbuchat Newspaper Cuttings53 Glenbuchat Newspaper Cutings52 Glenbuchat Newspaper cuttings34  Alexander Walker Autobiography 1898  Comment33  Alexander Walker Autobiography 1898  Pt 632  Alexander Walker Autobiography 1898 Pt 531  Alexander Walker Autobiography 1898 Pt 4 30 Alexander Walker Autobiography 1898 Pt 329 Alexander Walker Autobiography 1898 Pt 228 Alexander Walker Autobiography 1898 Pt 1