|Vol. 1, No. 2 - June 2003
Joseph F. Buchanan
Since I sent out the first edition of this newsletter, I have received a few comments, but generally I have not heard much about it. This issue contains a summary of some of my studies over the last few months. My focus has chiefly been on the history of Scotland as you can tell by this paper. Unfortunately, I have not been to Scotland, so when I refer to the places as beautiful, my judgement is based chiefly on the report of others. I am looking a bit into the Dack line in Ireland and hope to find some success over the next few months. At the end of this publication I am including a dream that Grandfather had. I hope it can stir a few feelings.
Buchanans of Strathendrick
When our ancestor Anselan fled Ireland in 1016 (fifty years before William the Conquerer invaded England from Normandy), he settled in a beautiful little valley which is now called Strathendrick. Strath is the Scottish word for "broad valley" and the stream is called Endrick Water. It flows from the hills northeast of Glasgow running west and empties into Loch Lomond. Loch Lomond is described and the largest fresh body of water in the United Kingdom. The area is also named Lennox historically. The Buchanans are descended from this Anselan, described as "one Anselan O'Kyan (or O'Cahan), son of a petty king of Ulster" [pg. 283, Strathendrick and its Inhabitants... by John S. Guthrie, Glasgow University Press, 1896]. He acquired lands in Lennox either by marriage or as a reward from King Malcolm II of Scotland.
The Buchanans lived in this valley from this time on. Our ancestors left when George Buchanan sold his lands in Blairlusk (near Loch Lomond) to his brother William in 1674 and moved to Tyrone County, Ireland. These were troubled times in Scotland (actually, the history of Scotland is replete with troubled times), mainly to do with the free practice of religion. It appears that our ancestors were Presbyterian and "Covenanters" that fled Scotland at this time. Historians refer to this era as the "Killing Times" when those who would not submit to the government proclaimed religion tried to practice their religion in secret, but were hunted and attacked by government soldiers.
In the beginning of that century, King James VI of Scotland became King James I of England (the same who commisioned the King James Bible). King James was tutored as a young boy and youth by George Buchanan, a noted Scottish scholar and second cousin of our ancestor Thomas Buchanan. A monument to George Buchanan can be found in Killearn, Scotland, a city in Strathendrick.
Currently, the Endrick Water is a protected waterway and is famous for fly fishing.
Ancient Buchanan Pedigree - discrepancies
I have compared a number of reference sources for ancient Buchanan genealogy and have found a few places where the historians have disagreed. Unfortunately, the original sources of information for genealogy this far back are scarce or missing. The best references are documents about land charters. The four sources I compared are:
1. "The Family of Buchanan" by William of Auchmar, published 1723.
2. "Strathendrick and its inhabitants from early times" by John Guthrie Smith, published 1896. Excerpts
3. The Buchanan Book, compiled by George Wenzel Buchanan, unpublished.
4. Records downloaded from the Ancestral File of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Click here for a chart of the four references
All four of these agree on the following (the numbers correspond to the generation numbering by George Wenzel Buchanan):
108. Anselan MacCausland, 7th Laird of Buchanan, about 1205
109. Gilbert Buchanan, 8th Laird of Buchanan, mentioned in 1231 and 1274
110. Sir Maurice Buchanan, 9th Laird of Buchanan, mentioned in 1274 and 1290
111. Sir Maurice Buchanan, 10th Laird of Buchanan, mentioned in 1320
112. Sir Walter Buchanan, 11th Laird of Buchanan, mentioned in 1373 charted from King Robert II
From here, John Guthrie Smith believes that Walter's son is 114. Sir Walter Buchanan who married Lady Isobel Stuart. The other three references show Walter's son as 113. John Buchanan. Smith also questions whether Sir Walter married Lady Isobel after he already had his other children, including our ancestor. These are undesputed (other than Thomas's mother):
114. Sir Walter Buchanan, who married Isobel Stuart (royal Scottish line) and was mentioned in charters in 1398 or 1443, depending on the source.
115. Thomas Buchanan, given Carbeth Lands in 1461 by his brother, Patrick
John Guthrie Smith shows Thomas' son as being Thomas Buchanan who received lands from his father in 1482. He shows this Thomas's son as being John Buchanan. The other sources show John Buchanan as the son and not grandson of 115. Thomas Buchanan
116. John Buchanan.
Both John Guthrie Smith and Auchmar record that John's Brother, Thomas Buchanan was the first son and was heir, but that he had no children. Both the Buchanan Book and PAF show an extra Thomas Buchanan in the line here, but I believe that that Thomas was really the Thomas who had no children, based on John Guthrie Smith and Auchmar's research. That would then bring us to:
118. Thomas Buchanan, mentioned in a charted in 1555.
There is no disagreement in lineage past this point.
Basically, since the Church does not allow temple work in general for people who lived prior to the 1500's, there is no need to worry about these changes except just to try to lay out a pedigree chart. I believe that the records are difficult to interpret so any of these options could be true, though I consider John Guthrie Smith's record to be quite well researched and probably the most credible. That would make it:
Anselan MacCausland, 7th Laird of Buchanan, about 1205
Gilbert Buchanan, 8th Laird of Buchanan, mentioned in 1231 and 1274
Sir Maurice Buchanan, 9th Laird of Buchanan, mentioned in 1274 and 1290
Sir Maurice Buchanan, 10th Laird of Buchanan, mentioned in 1320
Sir Walter Buchanan, 11th Laird of Buchanan, mentioned in 1373 charted from King Robert II
Sir Walter Buchanan, who married Isobel Stuart and was mentioned in 1398 or 1443.
Thomas Buchanan, given Carbeth Lands in 1461 by his brother, Patrick
Thomas Buchanan who received lands from his father in 1482
John Buchanan (abt 1475)
Thomas Buchanan (abt 1525), mentioned in a charter in 1555.
John Buchanan (abt 1545), mentioned in 1591
George Buchanan (abt 1580), who acquired Blairlusk estate
John Buchanan (abt 1622)
George Buchanan, who moved to Ireland in 1674.
Map of Strathendrick
I found a nice map of the region and scanned it for use here. The places mentioned in genealogy include: Lennox (the whole region), Carbeth (Killearn and Balfron on the west end), Easter Ballat (north of Carbeth) and Blairlusk (on the east below Loch Lomond). You can also find the Buchanan Castle near Drymen.The area is about 15 miles north of Glasgow with the west end being in Loch Lomond.
Here is the map (Click for actual map) (note that the lines are 1 mile apart).
I also have a chart of Buchanan genealogy in Scottish Royalty
[Quoting from his own document...] I have been thinking about genealogy for a long time but I never really realized the importance and magnitude, of this work and the importance of all of our greatest efforts in searching for the names of our kindred dead. Until about two years ago. I would like very much to have told you this a year ago when it was fresh on my mind, but I will never forget it.
On the 25th of May 1970 I was taken to the David O. McKay Hospital in Ogden suffering from pain and nausea. It was a bad heart attack. They gave me good care and in a few days I felt much better. About ten days later I was still in intensive care, I had another severe attack. They had me wired to a monitor so every heart beat could be recorded. When I came to at about 2:00 o'clock in the morning the doctor and two nurses were standing over me I was being fed intravenously. Oxygen was at their fingertips, blood transfusion ready, etc. etc I had been and was so very nauseated and so much chest pain! They had given me a heavy shot in the hip for nausea and one in my arm for pain. I was so weak and exhausted I could hardly move. As I partially opened my eyes I could see the doctor and nurses watching the monitor which was running wild. They didn't know it, but I could see the reflection in the window when the Venetian blind was pulled up. One of the nurses glanced over at the doctor and he shook his head as much as to say, "He can't last long, " I wasn't frightened, I thought if this is it, it will soon be over. The three filed quietly out of the room. The monitor was recording over their desk, one of the nurses returned and wiped my face and head which was covered with perspiration, the room was air-conditioned, so it was weakness. As she quietly left the room she closed the door. The room was totally dark, my head was tipped toward the door. I was resting and wide awake.
I thought I could see someone coming in the distance. As I watched the person drew nearer I recognized her as my mother. She looked so beautiful and much younger than I ever remembered Mother. Her hair was done so becoming and her clothes looked so nice. She stood right by my bedside. If I had not been so weak I could have taken her in my arms. But I was surprised, she wasn't smiling at me I wondered what I had done wrong, or was it something that I hadn't done? For Mother always had a smile for me. She raised her eyes, as if she was seeing something coming over us. I turned my eyes in the same direction, and here came the people-four and eight and twelve and more abreast coming right over us about 20 feet above us. They were horizontal, not standing upright. It looked like their mode of travel. And such beautiful people, their hair done so becoming, their robes were white and fit so beautifully. The men's robes were much plainer than the ladies'. The power of gravity didn't seem to have any effect on them, their robes fit beautifully and their eyes were beautiful; the blue-eyed ones beautiful blue, and the dark-eyed ones, the whites of their eyes just shone. Their hair done so becoming and they all looked so young, not over 25 or 30 years old, They kept coming and coming more and more. I was surprised again for none were smiling. They weren't frowning but they had such pleading expressions on their faces, like they were saying, "Can't you help us? Won't you do more ? Won't you try harder to help us? " They kept coming and coming There were hundreds and hundreds of them. I glanced up at Mother, who was still standing by my side, to see how she was taking it. She looked down at me and raised her brows as much as to say, "This is what I wanted you to see. " I glanced back up to see if they were still coming, but they were gone. Mother stood by my bedside for about one minute. She raised her hand as if to touch me or place her hand on my chest, but if she touched me I didn't feel it. I think I never shed so many tears at one time in all my life as I did from then till morning. The nurse came in just before daylight and said, "Oh ! You have been perspiring so much again, I will change your pillow."
Now, dear ones, I don't want you thinking that I think that I have lived a life good enough to have a direct revelation from our Heavenly Father, but I do think that my mother was given the privilege to come to my bedside and helped me to see some of our great responsibilities here on this earth. And you know my mother wasn't selfish, these weren't just her kinfolks, they belong to all of us. Mother always lived for services I hope that this will touch the hearts of all of us, and that we will all be more united in performing this great responsibility.