Page 1 The Douglas Family of Monzie and Fowlis Wester in Perthshire

We have found a new home. My thanks to Edward Hanna for his fantastic work to achieve this.

About this website

This website is primarily of interest, I imagine, to the descendants and other relatives of the Douglases who lived in the Glenalmond area of Perthshire in the 1700s and later. I hope it may also be useful for people interested in the history of that area and for anyone out there related to my other family groups in Scotland, Canada, Northern Ireland and beyond.

If you have information to share please get in touch!

I’ve been interested in genealogy since I was 10 and was blessed with parents willing to share what they knew. I’ve spent a lot of time finding out more through letters, emails, meetings, work in archive and genealogy society offices and latterly through online research. Now I want to share what I know. I hope to add more information as I find it – or as others share with me.

I am very keen to make contact with descendants of William Douglas the blacksmith at New Fowlis. I know he has descendants in the Forfar area and also in Canada. I would be pleased to make contact with relatives from any branch of the family. There are branches in Canada, USA, South Africa and Australia. My own twig is in Northern Ireland. There are still plenty of branches in different parts of Scotland and some in England.  I would love to be able to add more photos and stories about individuals on the tree. Are there any Gloag descendants out there who could provide a picture of Elizabeth Douglas and George Gloag of Muthill or bring me up to date with more relatives? I know there are family members in Australia and would love to hear from them.

Does anyone have a picture of Peter Ferguson (or Fergusson) who died so young in WW1?

I’d love to hear from any descendants of John Douglas and Catherine McCormack in the Glasgow/Cumbernauld area. Their surnames are McCormack, Pettigrew, Haney and Church.

I have a full-time job and other commitments but I will do my best to reply to queries as quickly as I can.
I developed the tree using Who Do You Think You Are’s 2005 version of Family Tree Maker and realised over time that I would have to break it into separate charts. I now use Family Tree Maker 2017.

I don’t mind relatives taking information they have gathered from here but I would appreciate it if you cite me as your source as I have tried to do for othersI trust that whoever uses the information will do so in a lawful and responsible manner.

I do not hold copyright on the images and maps here. I have exercised self-censorship on living people’s personal details, so if you are looking for someone and are frustrated that you can’t find information on their partner or their children that is the reason. If you are the person there is nothing about and want some biographical details to appear please tell me and I will be happy to add your information.

My late father provided a DNA sample to My Family Tree DNA and if you are one of the many people out there that he is related to please use the information from this site to help you pinpoint the relationship and let me know about it.

I have provided a sample to Ancestry DNA and supplied direct ancestor names only to it. Obviously the ethnic information provided is very limited but I have no interest in that aspect anyway other than to reinforce the point that my DNA is nearly wholly Scottish!

If you are on Ancestry you can access the information there. I know a lot of people are related to me via Ancestry DNA. I admit that I do find it frustrating that I find people coming up as having a large chunk of DNA in common and they don’t respond to my emails. Especially when they are happy to copy information from my tree onto their own. You are entitled to your own privacy and I will not compromise that- come on, get in touch.

​It isn’t just the Scottish side of the family that will link there- because it was me taking the test my mother’s Northern Irish relatives will come into play as well. I’ve been delighted by the number of people from England, Ireland, Canada, America and Australia that have made contact with me as a result.

You can contact the website by sending an email to:

This is NOT a link! You need to copy and paste the address!

Below: Charles Douglas, blacksmith at Tullybannochar and Kinkell Bridge (from Anne Richardson)

Names connected on these pages:

Bennett (Glasgow/Lanarkshire 1830s-1920s, Dublin 1860s-1870s) Dow (Renfrewshire/Glasgow/Lanarkshire 1800s-1900s, Australia/New Zealand 1870s- now) Galloway (1700-1890s Perthshire) Haggart (Perthshire 1700s-1860s) Christon (Perthshire 1700-1800) Roy (Perthshire 1700-1800) McKerchar (Perthshire 1750s-1870s, Canada 1830s- now) McRobbie (Perthshire 1800-1830s, Canada 1830s- now) St Amant (USA 1910s-now) Mclean (Canada 1830s- now) Russell (Glasgow 1920s, South Africa now) Gloag (Perthshire 1840s, Edinburgh 1900s, South Africa, Australia, Canada) McLachlan(Renfrewshire and Argyllshire 1830s, Greenock 1850s on) McAlister (Perthshire, Edinburgh 1900s on); Harbottle (Ontario 1890s on); Stevenson (Ontario 1900s on); Gibson (Poyntzpass/Newry 1860s on, also now Canada, Australia, New Zealand); Hanlon (Poyntzpass/Newry/ 1860s on, Bessbrook 1820s-1830s); Brown (Mullaglass 1870s-1890s and East Belfast 1890s to present, Canada 1908 to present); Smyth (Bessbrook 1860s-1870s), Reid (Bessbrook 1820s on).

I have also begun to include information on my wife’s family- Hannas from the Strangford peninsula, Jacksons from Raffrey and Barnamaghery, Pattons from Corporation Street in Belfast and Millikens from Carrickfergus.

Live Stats For Website

Above: the Glenalmond area including Milnrodgie or Buchanty, Lethendy, Kipney, Kandrum and Culnacloich. Section of OS map. Much of this area was owned by the Murray of Atholl family, one of Scotland’s most important noble families. The family papers are well preserved at Blair Castle and provide useful insight into the lives of tenants.

Our Links to the Noble Douglases

I’d love to report success on this front- not least because it would take us all back to the 1140s or so. I have found nothing to link us to the Black Douglases, Red Douglases or later emerging branches such as the Morton, Cavers, Drumlanrig etc.

That said, our forbears were tenants of a mighty family, the Murrays of Atholl, which gives us links of a kind to a great family. If you read Sir William Fraser’s The Douglas Book (available as a scanned reprint) or The History of the Houses of Douglas and Angus by Herbert Maxwell (there are copies around on the internet, I got mine in a second hand shop in Wigtown) you will see discussion about whether the noble families of Murray and Douglas were related by blood back in the mists of time anyway.

Why the long website name?

I had a good think about the name to use. Perthshire was too vague- there are clusters of Douglases around Moulin unrelated to us. Glenalmond I considered strongly- but then people might not make the link to these two parishes if they knew those names from old documents. Lethendy was another option- but the same problem applied, and it’s only when you look at the birth registration of Charles Douglas in 1816 that you see that name. Besides, people might confuse it with the parish of that name and think it was not relevant. I couldn’t say Monzie on it’s own. I couldn’t say Fowlis Wester on it’s own.

So in the end I went for the long title. Of course I hadn’t considered that people who type into a search engine something that they might know such as “Charles Douglas + blacksmith + Perthshire” were probably going to be given a link to this website anyway. Oh well: I will know next time!


If you are descended from any Browns in the Bessbrook area and if you have taken a DNA test I’d love to hear from you.

I’m also very interested in making links by DNA to Hanlons and Reids from the Bessbrook area. I have had some success with this in recent years but would be delighted to hear from more.

Monzie Church

The church at Monzie. This is where the Haggart family worshipped.

The Campbell family of Monzie Castle were the local landowners. The castle is in private hands and their papers are owned by the University of Guelph. They may hold useful information on the lives of tenants and may help us piece the Haggart family together. Any takers for this project?

                                                                  Thank You!

A lot of people have helped me over the years. I’ve tried to cite sources wherever needed. If I’ve not cited you, I apologise.

From my own family:

Firstly, my late father Charles Douglas provided information at an early age and supplemented it over 40 years.
Secondly, his cousins Douglas and Ishbel McEwan whose detailed memories are incredible.
My cousin Colin Douglas was instrumental in that he provided the first documents back around 2001 which made me make the effort to look properly.
His father and mother William and Martha Douglas provided very helpful guidance and copies of photographs and documents.

On my mother’s side, cousin Marie Houston has provided newspaper clippings and other bits and bobs of letters, prescriptions etc.

From the wider family network:

Charley Carpenter in USA has provided an enormous bank of data on the descendants of Peter Douglas who emigrated there as well as photographs and links to other descendants.
The late Maurice Rhodes in Canada helped me fill in gaps and proven to be a friend over several years.
Nora MacLean in Alberta, Canada, has pointed me in the direction of Douglases who disappeared from Scottish records in the 19th century and reappeared there. Her family tree added considerable breadth to my own research when it was added.
Schalene Dagutis in USA has provided information on the family  of John Douglas and has given guidance on sources I had not thought available. Schalene also inspired me to have the confidence to set out what I had learned on-line.

Donna Douglas in Ontario has provided very helpful information and photos on descendants of William Douglas the blacksmith. 

Anne Richardson in Scotland has provided wonderful pictures relating to the family of Charles Douglas the blacksmith’s descendants, especially the McAlisters.

Jeanette Seaman in Dumfriesshire has provided photos and information on the family of Jane Clark Douglas and John Nicoll.

Janice Aitken in Dumfriesshire has also provided photos and documents on the family of Jean Ann McAlister.

Robyn Cliff in New Zealand has provided information on the McKerracher descendants of Helen Douglas. I was delighted to find DNA proof of our connection in May 2019.

Jan Dawson in Southern Ontario has provided information on the McRobbie family in Canada.

James Stevenson Quigley in Toronto, Canada, for information on the Quigleys.

Colin Lacey has kindly given permission for the photo of Georgina Bennett.

Hannah Newsome in Scotland has provided some lovely photos and stories about the Harbottle family.

Angus G Dow has provided images relating to Alva.

Also on my mother’s side, Robert Williamson, has provided lots of photos, information and free access to his own extensive research on the Hanlon family.

My thanks to John Gallagher in Yorkshire who has provided updates on Gibson relatives in the 20th century and fascinating insights into living conditions in the Poyntzpass area. 

Barry Magennis in Australia has provided photos and information about Gibson relatives descended from Samuel Robert Gibson.

Brian Gibson in Ontario has provided information about Samuel James Vandeleur Gibson and his family.

Irenee Payne in County Kildare, Ireland, has provided photos and information about the family of Robert Samuel Gibson and Emma Higginbotham.

Cecil Miller in Belfast has provided additional information on and photos of members of mum’s Brown family. 

Beverly Percival in Canada has added information on the family of Robert Samuel Gibson.

Roger Dow and Amber Dow have provided some corrections to the Dow page. My thanks to them and apologies for the length of time it took me to follow through on this.

Professionals and Organisations:

Mrs Jane Anderson, archivist at  Blair Castle who has written to me with answers to queries and shown me original documents when I called in at the castle.
Pam McNicoll  at Alloa Library who researched for me in an effort to find what happened to an ancestor in the 1840s.
The staff of Tay Valley Family History Society.
The staff of the AK Bell Library and local history archive in Perth.

The staff of the local history archive of Stirlingshire Council.
The staff of the Mitchell Library in Glasgow.

The staff of PRONI in Northern Ireland.

I must also pay tribute to the Rootsweb and Ancestry message boards on-line for making research a lot easier and less expensive than it might be and for helping me make contacts overseas. At least, umtil they decided to stop these.

The picture above shows an unidentified 19th century person. He may or may not be a Douglas (copy of a picture from Ishbel McEwan). He could be Charles Douglas the blacksmith or Alexander Dow, Mary’s father.

If anyone out there can identify him that would be great!

The map above right from Forrester (1944)  shows the area where the Douglases, Roys, Christons and Haggarts lived between 1700 and 1820.

Useful websites:


National Archives of Scotland


Find My Past 

Charley’s Lost Cousins Project charleyscousinsproject.wordpress/com

Jim Bullen

Descendants of Robert Muir

National Library of Scotland

Puslinch Historical Society

Perthshire Crieff Strathearn Local History

My Family Tree DNA

Highland Folk Museum

My Other Interests:

Wargaming– League of Augsburg

                  – Graeco-Persian Wars

                  – Wars of the Roses

                  – Jacobite Rebellions

                  – WW1

                  – Anglo-Scottish Mediaeval Wars

Wargame design– I have designed unpublished games on the 1745 Rising, The Battle of the Boyne, Jacobite Ireland 1689-92.

Maurice Rhodes’s books

As well as pursuing a very interesting family tree Maurice has written some historical novels, available on Kindle. These are The Culloden Conspiracy, The Culloden Trust and The Culloden Bequest.

He has also written a detective story called Arcade, set in BC.

Unknown young man, seemingly Victorian period; To my mind he looks rather like Peter Douglas who emigrated to America around 1891. Could it be one of his brothers- William or Charles? Or is it a relative of Nessie Bennett- Dad says he looks like Nessie’s father (I regard this as unlikely- why would the McEwans have this picture if it came from another family?). The deep set eyes and narrow lips are reminiscent of Mary Dow so he might be a brother of Mary.

If anyone recognises him or would like to contribute pictures of other relatives I’d be delighted to hear from you!

July 2015: I THINK I have identified him as Alexander Dow who died in 1884. See the picture of Alexander with his family on “The Dows and the Dinnings” page.

Tree Chart Problems 2015

Unfortunately problems with transferring my FTM from a 32 bit to 64 bit computer have meant that the tree charts could not be exported or copied to these webpages. This is a major disappointment to me: I may not intend to print information on people say under 50 years of age and may not have put trees up for every branch of the family but I still liked the hourglass trees I had custom-designed.

I have printed the trees on FTM, scanned them with my hand-held scanner, saved them back onto the computer and then imported them to the website. I am sorry that they are a bit wobbly and cheap looking and out of focus.

I have used Paint to clean up and tidy up most of the trees; the few left looking yukky are the Canadian ones. I have tried to tidy them up.

More websites

Memorable Manitobans

Manitoba Agricultural Hall of Fame

Clan Gregor Society

Wellington County Historical Society Wellington County Branch, OGS

clarksoftomfad is a very interesting site with information on settlers in Puslinch, Ontario, the early church, the development of Puslinch and many photos.