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 Christina and Donald McLEAN from Scotland 1837




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  • Name Jane ROBERTSON 
    Gender Female 
    Biography Notes John Macleod stated that "She belonged to an upper class family in Aberdeenshire. When she was sent to Aberdeen to finish her education, she came to know her future husband who was then in that city learning the trade of wheelwright. The young folk took to one another and they made a runaway match. She came to Lochaber with no Gaelic but learned the language yet so as to speak it always as an acquired one. Disowned, she went to Lochaber by the name of A' Bhean Ghallda or the Lowland wife. She saw to it that her children got from herself a course of English and practical education . Likely she had a course in Aberdeen of what used to be called 'The White Seam'. She taught my great grandmother to spin and weave linen and my sister still has a tablecloth which this daughter made. She grew the flax, scutched it, spun it, and then wove it. Home industries counted for something in those days. It was something more than fancy work. People depended on their own initiative and enterprise. In those days this was an uncommon thing that a whole family boys and girls should get an English education in the fastness of wild Lochaber. There were in the extensive parishes of Kilmallie and Kilmonivaig a few S.P.C.K. schools where the education was being given in English only. These however met the needs of anyone who was within reach of them. One should not forget the extent of these continguous parishes, the two largest in Scotland" (p236&237).
    * Jane and Donald 'made a runaway match' and she was disowned by her upper class family - ie they eloped from Aberdeen to Achnacarry.
    * Achnacarry is near Loch Arkaig.
    * 'My great-grandmother' is Jane's daughter who we worked out was Jane Cameron.
    * White seam is practical household skills, focusing on plain sewing.
    * Scutching is separating the flax fibers from the woody part by hammering it.
    * Credibility: This extract from John Macleod's memoirs is our only source about Jane Robertson. It is important to us because it links her to Donald Cameron and therefore, we think, to our Christ'n. Can we rely on it? This part of the memoirs is a fourth-hand account. John must have based it on what he remembers being told by his mother (Isabella), from what she remembers she had been told by his grandmother (Mary who died when John was a baby), who in turn had heard these stories from when her mother (Jane Cameron) was a little girl. Despite this, we accept this because the rest of John's memoirs are so meticulously recorded.
    Person ID I-3771  Christina and Donald McLean
    Last Modified 6 Jul 2020 

    Family Donald CAMERON 
    Children of marriage Donald Cameron and Jane Robertson had at least two daughters - Christ'n and Jane. For Christ'n, this was sourced by John's memoirs. For Jane, it was sourced by the combination of the memoirs and her daughter's death record. We have not found the sisters' OPRs because all OPRs in the parish of Kilmallie prior to 1773 are missing. So we do not have their birthdates and birthplaces (but we assume Achnacarry).
    Although there are no OPRs for these two sisters, there are nine OPR contenders for their siblings. All have their father as Donald MacMillan. Three have the mother Janet Robertson - born in 1762, 1765 & 1768 - all in Blair Athol. Six have the mother Janet (no surname) - in 1763, 1783, 1785, 1790, 1793 & 1796 - all born in Fortingall. Blair Athol is location 155 kms west of Aberdeen and 106 kms east of Achncarry. Fortingall is located 42 kms south of Blair Athol, 175 kms southwest of Aberdeen, and 122 southeast of Achnacarry. Blair Athol and Fortingall are too far from Aberdeen and Achnacarry to be compatible with where Donald and Jane met (Aberdeen) or where they lived in their married life (Achnacarry). We believe that Christ'n was born in 1771, so the births in the late 1760s are compatible with being her siblings, but the births in 1790s are improbable. Unless other corroborative details can be found, none of the nine appear to be part of this family. = DISCOUNTED.
    * Alexander Cameron, son of Donald Cameron & Janet Robertson - 24th Feb 1762 in Blair Athol
    * Margaret Cameron, daughter of Donald Cameron & Janet - 17th July 1763 in Fortingall
    * Marjory Cameron, daughter Donald & Janet Robertson - 29th April 1765 in Blair Athol
    * Grissel Cameron, daughter of Donald & Janet Robertson - 1st July 1768 in Blair Athol
    * Catharine Cameron, daugther of Donald Cameron & Janet - 8th June 1783 in Fortingall
    * Angus Cameron, son of Donald Cameron & Janet - 20th Nov 1785 in Fortingall
    * John Cameron, son of Donald Cameronf & Janet - 5th Dec 1790 in Fortingall
    * Ewen Cameron, son of Donald Cameron & Janet - 7th April 1793 in Fortingall
    * Margaret Cameron, daughter of Donald Cameron & Janet - 15th July 1796 in Fortingall
    +1. Christian Christ'n CAMERON  []
    +2. Jean CAMERON  []
    Last Modified 6 Jul 2020 15:33:09 
    Family ID F-3063  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

  • Small Print
    D57 - Donald Cameron & Jane Robertson
    D57 - Donald Cameron & Jane Robertson
    Donald and Jane met when they were each training in Aberdeen. He was training as a millwright and she was learning homecrafts. They eloped to Achnacarry where Donald was a saw miller. Jane was from the lowlands, and had to adjust to highland culture and learn Gaelic - she was always considered an outsider.
    Jane and Donald had at least two children - Jean in the late 1760s and Christ'n about 1771. Jane taught them needlework and English.
    Donald's saw mill developed to become a substantial supplier of lumber to distant customers.
    (Updated September 2020)

  • Sources 
    1. [S-223] John Macleod's Memoirs - see D56 in Small Print, p236 & 237.