Saturday, August 15, 2009

For My cousin In Argentina

Mary McKinnon Elder
Jane MacDonald Elder
Jane Elder
Major General Sir George Elder(from miniature)
Mary McKinnon Elder (top) is my great great grandmother. She died in Inveraray in 1880 and was the daughter of John Elder and Margaret McBean Elder of Isle Ornsey.Skye.
Immediately below her here is Jane McDonald(nee Elder) , her sister who married the minister of Glen Urquart we think?
Below her is Jane Elder (we think) the 2nd wife of the Colin Elder (farmer) of Skye whose first wife was Agnes McKay.
Major General Sir George Elder is the photo taken from a miniature . We have the Inventory of his possessions on his death in Madras In 1836. We also have a plaid (Tartan) of his which we still use on very cold nights on our bed !


  1. Mrs. Margaret
    Thank you so much for these portratit and photographs!. I really have no idea you have so unvaluable details about the family!.

    I can contribute with some additional dates.

    - BJ MacBean Elder was the complete name of Commander BJ Elder. He was master and later captain and commander of some ships: "Prince of Waterloo" from Aberdeen, was the first ship I could find out. "Robarts" as you mentioned and "Mauritius". I could not find out mentions about "Lady Susan".

    Look at this link:

    - I found two records about possible marriages of Jane Elder. At 1846, with Rev. Alexander Macdonald, as it is mentioned in chart family of John Elder, at Sleat. But there is another mention of a Jane Elder, daughter of John Elder (PortKnock) in a book about Disruption of 1843 with Jane probably married with Rev. Patrick Macmenamy.
    - The second wife of Colin Elder was Jane Johnstone, m. at 1847. They had two girls Matilda Ann (in honour of Alexander Macdonald Elder spouse, Matilda Ann Welsh, who lived in the family house) and Mary C. No more clues about them, just a record about a second marriage of Jane, after Colin s death.

    -I kept in touch with some relatives in Australia, descendants of Welsh family. Life of General Welsh and Captain Ligth is very interesting too. (Matilda Ann was the oldest daugther of G. Welsh, and John James Elder married with a Welsh too, Bellina Salmon Welsh, daugther of Sara, youngest daughter of G. Welsh), always at India. Capt Ligh, father in law of General Welsh was the founder of Adelaida and conquered half Australia to the Crown!

  2. - The first wife of Colin, our gggg-mother was Agnes Mackie (no relation with Mackay, as corrected me Jim Mackay of this clan)was the oldest daughter of Alexander Mackie and Elizabeth Stuart. As I found in "The Keay family", Agnes was 2d cousin of Colin Elder. Elizabeth Stuart was daughter of James Stuart and Elizabeth Elder. They came from Aberdeen and went to Chatham, Northumberland at 1830 with the whole family. (Another detail, a brother of Agnes born at 1824 was named Benjamin Elder Mackie)

    After the research, all clues told me that the family came from Aberdeen. Colin was born there, and studied there, as informed to me authorities of the Marischal College (M.A. student). Elizabeth, probably sister of Colin Elder senior (1740-1826 at Oronsay)came from Aberdeen too with Alexr. Mackie. BJ Elder begun his career at Aberdeen (some recommendation?), so I suppose they migrated around 1780 to Skye. Major General Sir George was born at Kilcoy castle, Ross and Cromarty (any relation with Elder family of Avoch and Black Isle?)I studied all of them, looking for clues!

    There are a lot of questions without answers for me.

    Were Colin Elder senior and Elizabeth Elder from Aberdeen?

    Was Major Alexander MacDonald named McD because of the wife of Colin Elder senior? (father of John and George)Was she named Jane Macdonald?

    Margaret MacBean was spouse of John Elder. Who were its parents? I at first supposed they were James MacBean and Ann Macdonald,as suggested me from Clan MacBean and by this way, justify the Macdonald name of Alexander and the name John James Elder, of the major son of Alexander Macdonald Elder.

    The father of Colin Elder senior ought to have been another John Elder, who fought at Culloden as it is mentioned in the book "The brave men of Skye"

    Some traces are totally lost for me:
    A daugther of John James Elder, named Eliza. JJ Elder was the oldest son of A. McD Elder. A second daughter, another marriage, born at India, Isabella.

    - William Elder, brother of JJ Elder, probably marriaged with "Olive", who died at Australia in a carriage accident. Any descendant?

    - I found a lot of references about Colin (Interesting link to Hugh Millier book "The Cruise of the Betsey") and habilities of John Elder on the care of land "The garden of Skye" and the building of Knock farm with the stones of Knock Castle!

    - What happen with the men of the Colin s Family? John (1831) and Alexander were brothers of Goerge Elder, my gggg-father. They disappeared in my research withouut a trace.

    - The stories in the Army of Major G. Sir George were particularly interesting for me, because of English invasion at 1806, at River Plate, are studied here from another perspective.

    - Are you in contact with other members of the family? I could check that BJ Elder Bruce had two siblings, Margaret MacBean Bruce, and Christian Bruce.

    Thanks again for your time. I dont want boring you with old stories, but I am very interested in knowing about its lives, I suppose because of we lost all contact with the family, after my g-father, Arthur Cecil Elder, died too young and I could not know him.

    They were brave men really!
    I am sorry, my english is not well enough.

  3. Anonymous18.8.09

    Looking at the link for
    the sale of the Elephant

    I wondered if anyone has a copy of
    the ELDER armorial crest used by
    the relatives of Isle of Skye.

    I have posted some links found for
    ELDER crests on my webpages

    Do any of those match your copies?
    --Nancy Elder Petersen
    Host, ELDER DNA project

  4. Hi Margaret,
    Looks like my ElderCrests webpage
    URL didn't fit on the comment format.
    Now I changed it to a TinyURL so hope
    it will work here.

    I'll also try signing up for
    Google address. I did register for
    Twitter, while joining a DNA-Genealogy conference report.

    --Nancy Elder Petersen
    Vancouver, WA USA
    ELDER DNA project

  5. Dear Margaret

    Looking for additional dates, I found two interesting references about Sir Thomas Sidney Beckiwth, who was the benefactor of Major Sir George Elder. He had an intense life too, and he is mentioned in Wikipedia!

    As I mentioned before, my gg-father was named Arthur Sidney Welsh Elder, as a recognition to Generals Beckwith and J. Welsh.

  6. As always, looking for additional information about my ancestors, I found this interesting link about the lives of Mackenzie family. One of them, John Innes Mackenzie was an apprentice when he was 15 years old, at Isle of Ornsay, with Colin Elder. A description of bussines of Colin is well made here.

    page: 42

  7. From these comments, I found another lines of investigation. Unfortunely, detailes are scarce.

    Which was the relation between Elder and Mackenzie families?. Two lineas of research: Sir George Elder was born at Kilcoy Castle, a Mackenzie property and John Innes Mackenzie was to Skye as an apprentice. Why?

    It is mentioned that another Elder made the warehouses at Oronsay. Who did it? I found a weak reference about a W. Elder...I thought it was a mistake... but, Was there another brother of Colin Elder senior? Probably..till now, references about Elizabeth only. Nevertheless, there isnt any William till 3 generations later. A brother of Arthur Sidney Welsh Elder was named William, but it sounds too weak.

    Warehouses remain standing.

  8. I found a newspaper story of travel adventures of my gg-father, in his trip from England to Argentina y Uruguay, via Rio.

    There is a mention to Rev. George Elder, minister and M.A., youngest son of Colin Elder.

  9. Hi Margaret. I hope you are enjoing these links, as I am. Attached, a new one with a portrait of Matilda Ann Welsh. As you must remember, she was Alexander MacDonald Elder´s wife. She lived at Knock house, after they came back from India.

    Matilda Ann was a daughter of General James Welsh.

    Page. 44 -Lot 302

  10. Hi Margaret

    Looking for additional clues, I found another reference about Mr. Elder, I belive Colin, living at Oronsay about 1815.

    I am actually researching about James Macdonald, who was emigrant agent, and partner of John Elder as was mentioned before. "Macdonald and Elder" run the stores of Oronsay.. I belive now this James Macdonald was J. Macdonald from Skeaboat and Hiskin, a businessman of Portree. I am waiting an answer of his descendants.

  11. In reference to last link, you can see a portrait about Isle of Ornsay, dated 1815. Is our family in the picture? Who knows...There is an anecdote about a hunting of whales at Oronsay, and the artist painted the scene...well, in the following link, a description of the episode in a book of chronicles from Scotland, dated 1815. Page 635.

    Taking account about the dates, the Elder mentioned in both books was John Elder.

  12. I found two interesting links in references to the campaing of the 95th foot brigade in South America. Both, with reference to Captain Elder. As you will see, there was a battalion of 100 men under Captain Elder command, probably the same men he recruited at Isle of Skye (mentioned on memoirs of John Innes Mackenzie).

  13. The web is an incredible source of information. And It is amazing too, the lot of datas that was recorded in old books. Attached a link of medical chirurgical transactions, mentioning the treatmant that Col. Sir George Elder received of Dr. Chas. Forbes after being injured at the battle of Badajoz at 1813. Page 452. Probably, the same treatment that evey injured soldier had, but still amazing for me to know so many details of his life.

    There is enough material to write a book!. An adventures books so interesting like a Wilbur Smith´s book.

  14. Anonymous7.9.11

    Hi Margaret

    I found an interesting book I was looking for some time. It is now available by Google. Peninsular sketches by actors on the scene, Vol. 1., edited by W.H. MAXWELL 1845

    Some literature about Napoleonic wars, mentions the chapter "The Storming of Badajoz", written by Sir George Elder. Page 304 on link attached. After reading the chapter, I found that a part of it is a transcription of a memorandum
    written by George Elder, but the rest is written by another mayor figure on this battle, named Charles, but I could not identify him.

    Anyway, it was very interesting to read some notes about this crucial battle against Napoleon army, related by our ancestor.