By Jared Linn Olar

Updated 3 October 2018



The purpose of this genealogical essay is to trace the line of the Stewarts of Gartnafuaran (one of the four principal Stewart families of Balquhidder, Perthshire) down to Robert Stewart (1655-1714), ancestor of the Stewarts of Londonderry, New Hampshire.  I will also trace the line from Robert down to my own family.


The information on the Gartnafuaran line and the link to Robert Stewart comes mainly from research by James Dinwoodie of Edinburgh, the late Kenneth Robertson, the late Philip B. Stewart II, and Gordon MacGregor.  Also, thanks to Rev. Ryk Brown and Kelsey Jackson-Williams, I supply information from Gordon MacGregor’s Landed Families of Strathearn, and from pp.173-175, 177-179 of Duncan Stewart’s A Short Historical and Genealogical Account of the Royal Family of Scotland . . . to Which is Prefixed a Genealogical and Chronological Tree of the Royal Family and the Name of Stewart (1739).


For the line from Robert Stewart (1655-1714) to my family, I rely on these three books:


- B. Frank Severance’s Genealogy and Biography of the Descendants of Walter Stewart of Scotland (1905), pp.1-22, 31-35, 167-168.

- Lois McClellan Patrie’s A History of Colrain, Massachusetts, pp.153-154, 162.

- Evangeline Linn Halleck’s Descendants of George Linn (1941), pp.1-46, 68-75, 99-100, 108, 135, 142-143, 167.


1.         Andrew Stewart, 1st. of Gartnafuaran, younger brother of William Stewart of Baldorran, whose son Walter Stewart was ancestor of the Stewarts of Ardvorlich.  The Stewarts of Baldorran were a branch of the Stewarts of Albany, descended from King Robert II of Scotland.

Concerning Andrew Stewart, 1st of Gartnafuaran, Gordon MacGregor writes in Landed Families of Strathearn:  Andrew Stewart, obtained the lands of Gartnaferan, and is styled as brother to William Stewart of Balindoran when both were appointed by Royal Letters under the Seal of King James IV dated 16 May, 1495, to give Sasine for the lands of Ardbechlorne to Archibald Edmonstone of Duntreith on 26 May, 1495.  He had Sasine for the Crown lands of Gartnaferan, in the Lordship of Balquhidder, by 1503.”

            According to Duncan Stewart (1739), the Stewarts of Gartnafuaran claimed that their founder Andrew Stewart was a son of William Stewart of Baldorran.  However, no such son appears on record, whereas William is known to have had a younger brother named Andrew.  In a communication with Rev. Ryk Brown, Gordon MacGregor explained:  “Firstly it has to be considered that there has been no son Andrew Stewart so far located for William Stewart of Balindoran and if there had been he would have been nominated as a substitute heir to his brother Walter Stewart in the lands of Duchlas in 1500 as John Stewart (1st of Glenbucky) then appears. Entails were designed to confirm destinations and, so far as was possible, keep lands in the male line.  So why exclude other sons?”  That indicates that William had no son named Andrew.  The Gartnafuaran family tradition must have mistaken William’s brother Andrew for his son.

            Andrew’s wife is unknown.  He is known to have had two sons:


            - Alexander Stewart, succeeded his father in the lands of Gartnafuaran.

            - John Stewart, ancestor of the Stewarts of Blairgarry.


2.         Alexander Stewart, 2nd. of Gartnafuaran, married (NN) Gray and had four sons.  After Alexander’s death, his widow married Macnab of that Ilk (either Finlay Macnab of Bovaine, who died childless prior to 20 July 1574, or Finlay’s brother and heir Alexander Macnab of Bovaine).

According to a document in the Reg. Privy Seal (vol. VI, no. 737, 8 Sept. 1569), “Alexander Stewart in Gartnascrow” (recte “Gartnafarow”) and his sons Andrew and Duncan were among several persons from Balquhidder (including members of the Stewart of Glenbuckie family) who were involved in the Dec. 1568 murder of Hugh and John Stewart, for which they were required to pay a gift of an escheat to Alexander Stewart of Pittareg.

            Alexander’s sons were:


            - Andrew Stewart, succeeded his father in the lands of Gartnafuaran.

- John Stewart in Kirkton, perhaps founder of a Stewart family in Glenfinglas.

            - Duncan Stewart, probably the same as Duncan MacAllester Stewart in Carnlea, mentioned in a document of 1569.

- Robert Stewart, ancestor of the Stewarts of Glenogle, also called the Stewarts of Hyndfield, Stronvar, and Clach-glas. (See “The Stewarts of Glenogle.”)


3.         Andrew Stewart, 3rd. of Gartnafuaran.  Besides the 1569 reference to Andrew in the Reg. Privy Seal, The Black Book of Taymouth shows that “Andro Stewart in Gartnafoir,” his brother “Johne Stewart in Kirkton,” and several other Stewarts signed a bond of 1557 for their kinsman Duncan Campbell of Glenorchy. Thomson’s Retours says that in 1575, “Andrew Steuart in Gartnafarrell” served on the jury as a sponsor in the Special Retour of his cousin James Stewart of Baldorran in the lands of Innercreithan and Croftinterray.  (The Ardvorlich Papers incorrectly assign the 1557 bond and the 1575 retour to the first laird of Gartnafuaran.)  Andrew Stewart, 3rd of Gartnafuaran, married his cousin (NN) Stewart, daughter of Patrick Stewart, 2nd of Glenbuckie.

Their son was:


            - Walter Stewart, who succeeded.


4.         Walter Stewart, 4th. of Gartnafuaran, married Elizabeth Buchan.  The names of Walter and Elizabeth are found in the Merrill Bible, a family Bible that had once belonged to Margaret Stewart (1731-1830), great-granddaughter of Robert Stewart the Covenanter (1655-1714).  After Margaret’s death, her Bible was inherited by the descendants of her son James Anderson (see below).

            The son of Walter and Elizabeth was:


            - Alexander Stewart, who succeeded.


5.         Alexander Stewart, 5th. of Gartnafuaran, married Janet MacGrigor, and had four sons.  Alexander and Janet are also named in the Merrill Bible.

According to The Edward S. Gray Papers, Alexander Stewart, 5th. of Gartnafuaran, was the “Allester Dow Stewart” of the 1636 Trial of Gilderoy.  However, it is more likely that Allester Dow was Alexander’s youngest son, also named Alexander.  The trial records state that Gilderoy’s party broke into and stole articles from the dwelling house of Allester Dow Stewart at “Gartnafarrow.”  James Stewart of Ardvorlich served on the jury in this trial. (Memorials of Troubles in Scotland, Spalding Club, vol. I, p.437)

Alexander and Janet’s children were:


            - Andrew Stewart, who succeeded.

- Walter Stewart, probably the “Walter Du Mor,” who, along with his two sons, fell at the Battle of Kilsyth, 15 Aug. 1645.  (See Stewarts of the South p.61)

            - Robert Stewart, perhaps Robert Stewart of Culgartmore, ancestor of the Stewarts of Collie mhori, or perhaps “Rob Dubh Mhor,” ancestor of the “Sliochd Rob Dhuibh Mhoir” (See Stewarts of the South pp.63-64).

            - Alexander Stewart, possibly Alastair Og, ancestor of the “Sliochd Sheun Rob ‘ic Alastair Oig” (See Stewarts of the South pp.64-66).


6.         Andrew Stewart, 6th. of Gartnafuaran, who married his cousin Margaret Stewart, daughter of Alexander Stewart, 1st. of Ardvorlich.  Andrew and Margaret are named in the Merrill Bible.  In a 1622 petition by Lord Madertie for relief against those chargeable with him for the taxation of the Abbey of Inchaffray, “Andrew Stewart of Gartinfarrow” was charged a sum of money “for a part in the pendicles of the Kirk of Monzievaird” (Spalding’s Memoirs of Troubles in Scotland, vol. I, p.437, and Privy Seal 1622 13th Oct., vol. xiii, p.758, first series).

The son of Andrew and Margaret was:


            - Walter Stewart, who succeeded his father.


7.         Walter Stewart, 7th. of Gartnafuaran, born 1620, who married his first cousin Isobel Stewart, daughter of John Stewart, 6th. of Glenbuckie.  Isobel’s mother was also named Isobel, sister of Walter’s mother Margaret.  Walter and Isobel are named in the Merrill Bible.  Walter was one of the signatories of the 1654 Bond of Keltney Burn in tacit support of King Charles II (see The Stewart Clan Magazine, Jan. 1940, vol. XVII, no. 7, pp. 126-127, and Dec. 1962, vol. 40, p.265).  The Edward S. Gray Papers say Walter’s will was probably confirmed 27 March 1679.

Walter and Isobel are known to have had three sons:


            - Alexander Stewart, who succeeded in the lands of Gartnafuaran.

            - Robert Stewart

- John Stewart, cf. “John Stewart in Gartnawharrow” who died Feb. 1676.


8.         Robert Stewart, 2nd. son of Walter Stewart of Gartnafuaran, was born in 1655 and died 1714.  Circa 1679, he married Janette Forsyth, perhaps the daughter of John Forsyth and Catherine Morisone.  Robert was a Covenanter and fought at the Battle of Bothwell Brigg in 1679, where the government defeated the rebel Covenanters.  Robert then fled to Ulster -- perhaps in or near Carrickfergus, County Antrim, where his eldest son John may have been born circa 1682 (at any rate, John’s wife Elizabeth Clark is said to have been from Carrickfergus).  Robert was said by his grandson Joseph to have later returned to Edinburgh and died there, but his widow Janette, son John, and other members of his family either stayed in or returned to Ulster.  It could be that the tradition Joseph related is faulty, and that Robert did not return to Scotland, but remained in Ulster and died there.  However, since Joseph heard these family traditions from his grandmother, they are likely to be accurate.  Robert’s widow Janette, son John, and other family members left Aghadowey, Ulster, in 1718 and came to America, where Janette died circa 1750.  Tradition states that Janette was buried at Chandler Hill Cemetery near Colrain, Mass.

            “Captain [John] Stewart [born 12 Sept. 1745] had a distinct remembrance of his aged great-grandmother [Janette Forsyth Stewart].  He used to relate to [his grandson] Homer her stories of the family’s persecutions by ‘Bonnie Dundee,’ in Scotland. . . . Homer H. Stuart once remarked that the character ‘Henry Morton of Milnwood,’ in Sir Walter Scott’s Romance ‘Old Mortality,’ reminded him of Robert Stuart as portrayed in these tales of Captain Stewart’s great-grandmother.  For Robert, according to these stories, fought against Monmouth and in consequence was exiled and deprived of his estate.” (Genealogy and Biography of the Descendants of Walter Stewart of Scotland, B. Frank Severance, 1905, pp.167-168)

The children of Robert and Janette were:


            - John Stewart

            - Robert Stewart, ancestor of Nora Stewart Yahl of St. Louis, Missouri.

            - Julianne Stewart

            - Samuel Stewart, said to have returned to Scotland and died there.


9.         John Stewart, born 1682 (traditionally in Edinburgh, but perhaps in or near Carrickfergus), died 6 April 1741 in Londonderry, New Hampshire, buried in Forest Hill Cemetery near Londonderry; married 1st. Elizabeth Clark of Carrickfergus; married 2nd. Elizabeth Forsyth.  John came to America in 1718 with his mother and those of his children then living.

Eight children of John are known:


            - Charles Stewart

            - Robert Stewart, married Lydia Blair (?).

            - James Stewart, married Alice Atchison (said to be the widow of his brother James), ancestor of Philip B. Stewart II (born 1922, died 24 July 1995 in Stuart, Florida), who with the help of Kenneth Robertson and James Dinwoodie discovered the significance of the Merrill Bible.

            - John Stewart, married Rebecca (Costa) Patten

            - Mary Stewart

            - Samuel Stewart, married Alice Atchison, widow of his brother James.

            - Joseph Stewart, married 1st Margaret Thompson, 2nd Hannah Hescock. In an 1818 letter to his son John, Joseph says that his family is of royal descent, belonged to the “White Rose party” (i.e., were supporters of Kings Charles I & II), and were somehow connected to “the House of Black Hall.”  Interestingly enough, through the Stewarts of Ardvorlich, a line can be traced from Gartnafuaran via the Campbells of Glenorchy to Sir John Stewart of Blackhall and Ardgowan, illegitimate son of King Robert III. (See “The Blackhall Connection”}

            - Margaret Stewart, married William Aiken.


10.       Charles Stewart, born 1705 (?), died 1777; married 1st (in 1727) Mary Eayres (Ayers), dau. of William and Mary Eayres of Londonderry, N.H.; married 2nd Martha Ayers, dau. of Samuel Ayers of Colrain, Mass.; married 3rd Jennet Linley of Pelham, Mass.

Charles had nine children:


            - Elizabeth Stewart, married her cousin John Clark of Colrain.

            - Mary Stewart, married Abraham Peck.

            - Margaret Stewart

            - William Stewart, md. Elizabeth Clark, sister of John Clark of Colrain (above).

            - John Stewart

            - Jennet Stewart, married Joseph Bell of Halifax, Vermont.

            - Rebecca Stewart, married her cousin John Stewart of Londonderry, NH.

            - Lydia Stewart, married Joseph McKown of Colrain.

            - Samuel Stewart


11.       Margaret Stewart, born 4 Oct. 1731, died 30 Dec. 1830 in Shelburne, Mass., buried in Chandler Hill Cemetery, Colrain, Mass.; married 1st (in 1751) John Kately of Colrain, died 1754; married 2nd (in early 1755) John Anderson, died 22 Dec. 1780; married 3rd (in 1781) her kinsman James Stewart, Jr., of Colrain, son of James Stewart, Sr., of Colrain.  Margaret is probably the one who wrote the names of the abovementioned Gartnafuaran Stewarts in a family Bible which was inherited by her Anderson and Merrill descendants.  The Gartnafuaran names were written in the Bible circa 1760, or perhaps as late as 1780-90.  Margaret’s Bible is the confirmatory proof that the Stewarts of Londonderry, N.H., were a branch of the Stewarts of Gartnafuaran.

Margaret had 13 children:


            - Hannah Kately

            - John Kately

            - Mary Anderson, married Matthew Barber.

            - James Anderson, married Marcy Stebbins.  The Merrill descendants of James Anderson inherited the family Bible.  The late Philip B. Stewart II saw this Bible when it was in the possession of a woman of the Merrill family who was fourth in descent from Margaret Anderson (probably Emily G. Merrill of Quincy, Mass., who died in Nov. 1971).  After Miss Merrill’s death, Philip Stewart reported, the Bible was left to a “favorite niece” in San Diego, California.

            - Rebecca Anderson

            - David Anderson, married Olive Winter.

            - Lydia Anderson

            - Elizabeth Anderson

            - Jonathan Anderson

            - Margaret Anderson, married Jonas Torrey.

            - Samuel Anderson

            - Martha Anderson

            - Sarah Anderson


12.       Rebecca (“Babra”) Anderson, born 3 Sept. 1759, died 20 Dec. 1834; married 13 May 1779 to John Linn, a Revolutionary War veteran, born 17 Aug. 1754 in Boston, Mass., died 28 April 1834 in Windsor, Maine, son of George Linn.

John and Rebecca had 11 children:


            - Mary Polly Linn, married Nehemiah Ward

            - John Linn, married 1st Nancy Hilton, married 2nd Ada Randall.

            - George Linn, died at two years of age.

            - Joseph Linn, md. 1st Sarah Kennedy, 2nd Abigail Chadwick, 3rd Esther Fletcher

            - David Linn, married 1st Mary Ann Meggs, 2nd his first cousin Betsey Russel.

            - Nathaniel Linn, married Abigail Grover Wight.

            - James Linn, married Betsey Pierce.

            - Nancy Linn, married 1st Jabez Meggs, 2nd Jacob Jewell.

            - Cyrus Linn, married Susan Smith.

            - Sarah (Sally) Linn, married Lot Chadwick.

            - George Russell Linn


13.       George Russell Linn, Free Soiler and Abolitionist, born 30 Sept. 1800 in Colrain, Mass., died 3 Nov. 1886 in Chicago, Illinois, buried in Lee Center, Illinois; married 23 Dec. 1822 to Abigail Stinson, born 11 Jan. 1799, died 12 Dec. 1880, dau. of Charles Stinson and Lydia Macomber.

George and Abigail had 10 children:


            - Albert Brown Linn, married Julia Etta Starks.  (Ancestors of Clyde R. A’Neals)

            - Daniel Wentworth Linn, married Henrietta M. Gardner.

            - Charles Franklin Linn, married Mary Asenath Wright.

            - Jacob Jewell Linn, married Sarah Katherine LaForge.

            - Herman Stinson Linn, married Catherine Emma Stephens.

            - George Webber Linn, married Lucy J. Carey.

            - Alphonso Clark Linn, engaged to Jennie Wheeler, but killed in the Civil War.

            - Sarah Emma Linn, married Arthur Cox McIntire.

            - Mary Rebecca Linn

            - Harriet Pauline Linn, married Charles Augustus North.


14.       Mary Rebecca Linn, born 1 May 1841 near Lee Center, Illinois, died 1 Dec. 1917 in Chicago; married James Monroe Shaw, a Civil War veteran of the 13th Illinois Infantry, born 26 June 1838 in Lee Center, Illinois, died 26 Dec. 1876 in Lee Center, Illinois, son of Manley Sherman Shaw and Malinda DeWolf.  James’ health was ruined from his military service, which health problems eventually took his life the day after Christmas 1876.

James and Rebecca’s children were:


            - Sherman Linn Shaw

            - Grace Shaw, married Charles Taylor Leonard.

            - George Harry Thornton Shaw, married Sarah Clark.

            - Arthur Monroe Shaw, married Henrietta Otis.

            - Emma Adelia Shaw, died at the age of 10.


15.       Sherman Linn Shaw, born 5 Oct. 1864 in Lee County, Illinois, died 9 Jan. 1942 in Lee Center, Illinois; married 1st Anna Katherine Mynard (died 1902), married 2nd Grace Esther Bender, born 26 Nov. 1878 in Mt. Carroll, Illinois, died 12 May 1941 in Lee Center, Illinois, dau. of Rev. Conrad Bender III and Clarissa Eleanor Riche.

            Sherman’s children were:


            - Gertrude Katherine Shaw, died unmarried at age 26.

            - Russel Mynard Shaw (born 1895), married Bessie C. Hewett.

            - Eleanor Shaw (born 1909), married Ormand Schmid Baylor.

            - Sherman Linn Shaw II


16.       Sherman Linn Shaw II, born 17 May 1912 in Lee Center, Illinois, died 14 Sept. 1973 in Rockford, Illinois; married 22 March 1935 to Frances Mae Miller, born 18 Feb. 1917 in Dixon, Illinois, died 5 May 1993 in Dixon, Illinois, dau. of Norman Chester Miller and Bessie Mae Young.

Their only child was:


            - Dolores Frances Shaw


17.       Dolores Frances Shaw, born 15 Aug. 1936 in Amboy, Illinois, died 10 Nov. 2007 in Dixon, Illinois; married 22 Dec. 1962 to Joseph Olar, born 4 Dec. 1927, son of Alex Olar and Rose Paskar.  Joseph currently lives in central Illinois.

            They had five sons:


            - Ethan Joseph Olar, born 28 Nov. 1963.

            - Jason Sherman Olar, born 11 August 1965.

            - Jared Linn Olar

            - Derek Andrew Olar, born 5 Nov. 1970, married Kimberly Michelle Barnett on 6 Oct. 1995, two boys, Andrew Michael and Damien Anthony.

            - Caleb Alden Olar, born 28 July 1974, married Annette Thede 26 May 2001, but divorced within a year, no children.


18.       Jared Linn Olar, born 6 Feb. 1968 in Peoria, Illinois; married 2 Feb. 1997 in Jerome, Illinois, to Christina Carlene Spencer, born 7 July 1972 near Des Moines, Iowa, daughter of Roy and Carolyn Spencer.  Jared and Christina live in central Illinois.

They have had nine children:


            - Alexander James Shaw Stewart Olar, born 13 July 1999.

            - Julia Marcellina Rose Olar, born 3 April 2001.

            - Joseph Spencer Blackhall Olar, born 30 Dec. 2002.

            - Elizabeth Pauline Frances Olar, born 24 March 2005.

            - Stephen Carl Maximilian Olar, born 21 Feb. 2007.

            - Anna Marie Dolores Olar, born 17 March 2009

            - Tiburtius Susanna Olar, born and died 10 Aug. 2011

            - Michael Anthony David Olar, born 13 June 2012

            - Sophia Jean Grace Olar, born 5 May 2015