[Under construction. Map updated 5 Dec 2023.]

The old north-east counties of Scotland: Aberdeenshire and Banffshire

The Littlejohn and Garden families lived in Aberdeenshire, with several generations working on farms over a wide area, particularly around the Chapel of Garioch (pronounced ’gee-ree’). It’s also possible the McKay family originated in the parish of Tyrie.

The McLeay family originated about 90 km (60 miles) to the west in Dingwall, Ross-shire (see map below). However, before 1823, John McLeay had moved to Cairnie Parish where he married Janet Mair, and five of their children were born at Crackans Farm. His brother Donald had moved to Cullen on the Firth, while some sisters went to Edinburgh. John and Janet later settled in Keith, Banffshire, where their next four children were born. Their son, Alexander, moved north to Whitehills where he married Sarah Wood and had 12 children. The Wood family had originated in King Edward Parish.

John [2] Littlejohn fathered my great-grandmother Jessie Littlejohn while working in Cairnie Parish in the 1860s. It seems as if John [2] had been born in Forgue, but his family had moved around the farms in that part of Aberdeenshire. He eventually moved south to West Aberdeenshire where he lived and worked from at least 1881. John had no contact with his daughter throughout his life. He married  a single mother, Mary Martin, in 1875, but had no other children. He died in Tarland in 1923.

This map shows the area around Dingwall, Ross-shire, where Murdoch McLeay and Anne McRae lived, and their children were born.


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