Robert Buchanan Stewart (1829-1900) - and the family feud!
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The following is extracted from My great uncle Rob's [Francis Robert Buchanan Stewart] papers concerning his Stewart ancestors:

"In August 1829 Robertson Buchanan Stewart's eldest surviving son Robert Buchanan Stewart was born following six daughters (Isobel, Amelia, Prances, Catherine, Margaret, and Martha) and a son, all of whom had died by the time Robert Buchanan Stewart was three.

"Robertson Buchanan Stewart married again, to a Miss Bannatyne of Bute, by whom he had three sons, Ninian, Alexander and Robertson."

My great aunt Mrs Walker (nee Jean Hester Fellowes Stewart) wrote the following in two letters to me:

"My great grandfather [Robertson Buchanan Stewart] married a horrible woman (we were told) for his second wife [Helen Bannatyne], and she was very unkind to my grandfather [Robert Buchanan Stewart] as a young boy. She had a son, Ninian, and I don't really know anything about him, except that he and my grandfather hated each other like poison, and always quarrelled. There were other sons, and I "believe the one called Alex was the only nice one of the bunch. There may have been daughters too - I think there were, but I don't know. Anyway it turned into a feud, and the two families were not allowed to know each other. Some years ago, after Ninian died, it was suggested that the feud should be dropped. But, the Ninian Stewarts wouldn't hear of it and I must say, we didn't care, and just thought how childish people could be. 

"My grandfather [Robert Buchanan Stewart] built a beautiful ocean going yacht, named Ceres, the 1st 3-masted ocean going steam yacht on the Clyde. The Ceres was a lovely ship, as well as historic, and there is a model of it in the Art Galleries. The whole family used to go cruising complete with tutor for the bays, and a parson, and goodness knows what else! The funnels could be made to disappear somehow - sort of folded down. He didn't use the steam very much as he loved sailing. Ninian was furious, and built a bigger one and called it May (after his wife). I don't really know any more, except that it wasn't a success, and he built another called Amy after his daughter. (Perhaps Amy was his wife and May the daughter; not sure)

"The house we rented in Lochranza every August for years, belonged to a Miss McAllister, and we found out quite by chance, that she had been the Ninian Stewart's housekeeper for years, when they lived at Keil House, on the Mull of Kintyre. We had always heard that the house was haunted, and she told us it definitely was! Nice and cheery for them, I don't think!"

My cousin "Mally" Macolm H. Beattie, (son of Janet Stuart Kennedy Stewart, known as "Jenny" or "Vivienne") informed me of another extraordinary coincidence of the interlinking of the feuding sides of the families. Mally's father, George H. Beattie, (who married my great aunt Jenny mentioned above), had a brother Joseph Hamilton Beattie, who married Margaret Antonia Makeig-Jones. It turned out that that Miss Makeig-Jones was a direct descendant of Ninian Bannatyne Stewart and that the two sides of the Stewart family did not realise this until the day of the wedding itself. One of the daughters of the marriage, Joanna, married a Mr. Thomas, and Joanna Thomas has done some considerable research into the family history. I have been in contact with her lately, although according to the feud we should not be on talking terms!


About Me

My name is Alasdair Broun and I was born and brought up in Scotland, son of a clergyman and a freelance journalist. I took up genealogy as a hobby when I was 17 and I went on to write a PhD thesis in philosophical psychology ... more >



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