Tuesday, August 18, 2009



  1. Hi Margaret,
    Thanks for the great photos of
    the ELDER family on Isle of Skye.
    I haven't found my ELDER connection
    in Scotland yet, but have been
    talking with Miguel, and other
    ELDER researchers.
    I'll make a TinyURL to fit here,for
    my webpage notes about Isle of Skye,

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

  2. Miguel and Nancy-when I am not wall to wall Family , here for the Summer Vacation I will let you both have my e- mail address. I am not a genealogist but more a keeper of the family memory . XM

  3. I bravely have asked the Antiques Dealer
    if he could display the ELDER Crest from
    the opposite side of this Antique Elephant,
    which was once owned by Capt. Benjamin John ELDER
    from the Isle of Skye, while he was in India.
    Photo of the first side now posted (hoping to see the Crest side soon):

    He replied:
    From: Walpole Antiques
    Subject: The Elder Elephant
    To: "Nancy Elder Petersen"
    Date: Thursday, September 3, 2009
    Dear Nancy,
    I will organize a photograph over the next few days and get back to you as soon as possible.
    With kind regards,

  4. Nancy Elder Petersen5.9.09

    Have you heard of this ELDER family
    in Yorkshire?
    Possible John J. Elder on ships to Africa in 1951
    1901 Ancestry.com census
    Name: John J Elder
    Age: 3
    Estimated Birth Year: abt 1898
    Relation: Son
    Father's Name: Henry
    Mother's Name: Mary A
    Gender: Male
    Where born: Whitby, Yorkshire, England
    Civil parish: Whitby
    Ecclesiastical parish: Whitby St Mary and St Peter
    County/Island: Yorkshire
    Country: England
    Registration district: Whitby
    Sub-registration district: Whitby
    ED, institution, or vessel: 6
    Household schedule number: 63
    Household Members:
    Name Age
    Henry Elder 50 b. Whitby, Yorkshire (Occ. Mariner - Oyston's Yard)
    Mary A Elder 42
    Richard Elder 18
    Wilfred Elder 14
    Henry Elder 5
    John J Elder 3
    Source Citation: Class: RG13; Piece: 4559; Folio: 107; Page: 10.

  5. There are 2 Elders in the telephone directory in Whitby still. They are nothing to do with my family line as far as I know. We came to Yorkshire ib the 1870 s when my great grandfather Benjamin John Elder Bruce (came from Scotland) got the job of Chief Waterworks engineer for Kingston on Hull (aka Hull)

  6. Nancy Elder Petersen8.9.09

    I've been looking for Clan Brodie, Brodie of Brodie,
    as mentioned in the Antique Elephant description.
    Found them near Inverness and the Mackintosh Clan

    "The lands of Brodie {Map} are between Morayshire and Nairnshire, on the modern border that separates the Scottish Highlands and Moray.
    Brodie Castle is near Forres in the Moray region of Scotland.
    The original Z plan castle was built in 1567 by Clan Brodie
    but destroyed by fire in 1645 by Lewis Gordon of Clan Gordon, the 3rd Marquess of Huntly. It was greatly expanded in 1824 by the architect William Burn who turned it into a fortified house.
    Another Brodie Castle exists in Madras, India.

    --Nancy Elder Petersen
    Host, ELDER DNA project

  7. Nancy Elder Petersen8.9.09

    Hi folks,
    Today I received the photo - "hand with quill pen"
    shown as artistic Elder Crest for
    Capt. (and Commander) Benjamin John ELDER of Isle of Skye and India
    --Crest photo by Walpole's Antiques - Sept. 8, 2009

    First Side photo: Antique Elephant from India

    The "hand with quill pen" does look similar to one of the drawings in
    the ELDER Crest article published by Donna Logan in the ELDER
    Family Newsletter, posted

    More ELDER CREST notes:

    Hand - Pledge of faith, sincerity, and justice
    Pen - Art of writing and educated employment

    --Nancy Elder Petersen
    Host, ELDER DNA project

  8. Nancy Elder Petersen9.9.09

    Using Google, I just found a different description for the ELDER Crest
    from my own paper files -- described as: "In dexter hand a palm branch"
    I wonder which is the correct description?

    Compare the "Tennessee ELDER Crest"

    From book:
    "Families named Elder in East Tennessee" (DNA of "FRANKLIN CO PA")
    compiled by Virginia Knight Nelson
    Includes indexes
    Samuel Elder (b. ?- d. ca. 1811) married Hannah (b. ?-d. 1829), who later married James Moore (b. ?-1831) in 1814. Samuel is of Scotch-Irish ancestry. Descendants and relatives lived in Tennessee, North and South Carolina, Maryland, Virginia, Pennsylvania and elsewhere.
    Subjects: Elder, Geer, Moore, Tallent
    Call Number Location Availability
    929.273 EL22n FHL FAM HIST Book Available
    Format Books/Monographs
    Publication Knoxville, Tennessee : Virginia Knight Nelson, 1986
    Physical : 1 v. (various pagings) : ill., coat of arms,
    facsims., geneal. tables, maps, ports.

    Palm Branch: Victory, justice, and royal honour

  9. Nancy Elder Petersen10.9.09

    Today I found a reference online to "a palm-branch" which may have been used
    to describe the "Tennessee ELDER Crest"
    as well as the Crest on Benjamin John Elder's Elephant Antique (Side 2).
    - from "Book of Family Crests" - illustration cited as Plate 61 (not found online).
    Published 1882 By Reeves and Turner
    — Sco ., a dexter hand holding a palm-branch, ppr. pl. 61, n. 7.
    motto: Virtate duce. ...

    Page image - text:

    Subtitle:...."Comprising nearly EVERY FAMILY BEARING
    Accompanied by Upwards of FOUR THOUSAND ENGRAVINGS..."

    MOTTO index shows an entry for VIRTUTE DUCE:
    which must be for "Sir George ELDER, KCB - Knight Commander of the Bath"
    who joined the military from ISLE OF SKYE. He was actually born near Inverness.
    - Google Books Result:
    "Virtute duce: With virtue my guide. Elder, KCB ; Shannon ; Shand"

    Also using motto of Virtute Duce: Shannan, MacShannon
    Found elsewhere:
    "the MacShannons of today are descended from the ancient family of McShenoig,
    the hereditary harpers to the Clan Donald, who held the important castle at
    Dunaverty Point on the south coast of Kintyre from the 13th to the 16th century...."

    Currently on ISLE OF SKYE is the Clan Donald Library & Museum of the Isles,
    located in Parish of Sleat near the "Sir GEORGE ELDER" and family location.

    --Nancy Elder Petersen
    Host, ELDER DNA project

  10. Nancy Elder Petersen10.9.09

    Just found image in Google Books online: vol. 1 of "The Book of Family Crests"
    (took a long time to load 61 plates from the end of the book)

    Indexed ELDER: Sco ., a dexter hand holding a palm-branch, ppr. pl. 61, n. 7.
    Plate 61 number 7 - image

  11. Thanks to Mrs Nancy Elder, that send to me the following transcription that I asked for of some interesting notes of the book "Glencoe and Beyond: The sheep farming years 1780-1830"

    Page 146: RE: Archibald Dhu MacDonell as Tacksman of Kyles Knoydart
    "Archibald [also called "Archy Du"] did purchase the stock of two of the
    existing tenants, John and Roderick MacDonald, who decided to go to America.
    The cash for this was advanced by Mr John Elder of the firm
    of McDonald and Elder, merchants at Isleornsay in Skye."

    More on page 146:
    McDonald and Elder, Merchants, Isleornsay
    "The firm of McDonald and Elder, who figure in some of these transactions, traded as
    merchants for at least thirty-seven years. In 1790 Mr. Donald Smith wrote from Inverness to Mr. George Gibson in Rotterdam: "I am applied by my Two Young Friends Messrs. Alexander McDonald and John Elder to write you on their behalf whose orders you will please execute on the very best terms within your power...to strengthen their credit I hereby promise to see you regularly paid."
    "In 1798, McDonald and Elder wrote from Camuscross, near Isleornsay in Skye, to Alexander Macdonell, writer in Inverness, to get a bill protested. (Footnote 53 - not copied)."
    "Most of their business seems to have been as general merchants, with customers in Skye and on the adjacent parts of the mainland. For a time around 1816 and 1817 they had a third partner, Duncan M'Innes. (Footnote 54 - not copied).
    There are indications that besides the usual business of merchants, they were willing to advance sums of money. Their assistance to Archibald Dhu at Kyles Knoydart is one example. In 1819 they took steps to recover 244 Pounds 5 s. 0 d. plus interest from another Archibald MacDonald, the tacksman of Ord in Skye. The amount is large enough to suggest that money had been advanced to him. (Footnote 55 - not copied)"

    Page 147:
    "In 1818 they were interested in obtaining oak bark from the Keppoch wood in Lochaber. They were still in business in Sleat in 1827, and there is a reference in the same year to "Mr. Colin Elder sometime merchant at Kyleakin, now residing at Isleornsay." He was John Elder's son."
    (Footnote 56, 57 - not copied)
    Appendix A (begins on page 215 - topic Financial Transactions:

    Page 217. ..."Merchants may have been another source of credit. The firm of McDonald and Elder, merchants in Sleat, seem to have given Archibald Dhu MacDonell in Knoydart access to funds and credit when he needed it"
    (see Chapter 10 - "Knoydart and Glendessary," page 141, etc.).

    I am a little confuse about some point. The mention in page 146 refers to an Alexander Macdonald as partner of John Elder. But the following reference from “Decision of Court of session -1752-1808”, mentions a James Macdonald. I found a lot of references about this agent, that I believe was James Macdonald of Skeabost and Heisker, merchant at Portree. The company, Macdonald and Elder, and James Macdonald are mentioned too in the book, “The Hector….” Both references are contemporaries (1790-1793). I thought in a relation father-son between James and Alexander, but first known son of J. Macdonald of Sekeabost was Donald Macdonald. Maybe they were brothers.

    The name Alexander Macdonald could explain the name of the second son of John Elder: Alexander Macdonald Elder.


  12. My research about the company "MacDonald and Elder" is on stand by. I am waiting some comments of Mr.Neil MacGillvray who is Chairman of the Local History Society of Sleat. He is researching the development of IsleOronsay as a fishing port, and The Elder family in those years. Probably, A. Macdonald was not the mentioned A McD from Heisker, even he was an emigration agent too. Probably A McD was another one from Knock, and a possible brother of a James MacDonald, from Knock too. (This information is courtesy of Mrs. Margaret Macdonald from the Clan Donald)

    I made some advances about another branch of our family. As I mentioned before, Agnes Mackie, and her husband, Colin Elder, were second cousins. Elizabeth Elder, g-mother of Agnes, and wife of James Stuart, was probably sister of Colin Elder sr, father of John Elder and Sir George.

    My advances are now related with Agnes Mackie family. Her siblings are mentioned here:


    I found out now information about their sisters:

    Alexina, married with Rev. Peter Keay. Can you believe me that I found out her wedding dress?


    Elizabeth Stewart Mackie, was married with Richard Hutchison. A biography of this businessman here:




    Again, it is mentioned that Mackie-Stewart family came from Aberdeen, the place where Colin Elder was born.

    Charlotte Augusta Mackie, who lived at Colin Elder house (records at 1840 census), was married with Rev. John Fraser.

    All of their direct descendants are mentioned here:


    John Mackie, another brother is probably mentioned in the chronicles of New Brunswick.

    I believe all of us had a common ancestor, probably a John Elder, father of Elizabeth Elder and Colin Elder Sr., born abt. 1720 at Aberdeen.

  13. Hi Margaret

    I believe I made today an amazing discovery to add to my research about Elder ancestors.

    As you must remember, in the book "The brave men of Skye", it is mentioned:

    "The Elders had fighting blood in their veins from both sides of the
    house, ancestors of theirs (Stuart and Elder) having fought at
    Culloden on the side of the Prince."

    I was tracing the records about the Culloden Battle. There were almost 6000 soldiers jacobites. But there are interesting and complete records about the prisoners taken by English army.

    Under the supposition that our ancestor wasn´t killed there, and he was the father of Colin Elder Sr. (1740-1826)I found only 2 candidates:

    1. John Elder, servant at Park, Banff, to Sir William Gordon of Park. This candidate could perfectly match, because of the father of Colin Elder Sr., with oldest son named John, probably had a father named John. So, the sequence could have been, as I mentioned before, John /Colin/ John /Colin.

    The records say "lurking".
    Banff looks close to Aberdeen to me. (Please tell me if Iam wrong).

    2. But, it is never so easy. The other candidate is William Elder, servant at...Kilcoy! from the Cromarty regiment, under the Chatham Clan...

    I believe that probably he is not our ancestor, besides the fact Sir George Elder was born at Kilcoy Castle 40 years later. The reasons are:

    1. The name William is not related with the family in following generations, only over tangential branches.

    2. This William was captured at Culloden and probably was sent to America around 1747. (I lookig for details about it). The records says "Prisoner and Transported"

    But if the 2d point is wrong, Colin Elder Sr. could have taken his name from Sir Colin Mackenzie of Kilcoy, who was contemporary and lived at Kilcoy Castle.



  14. I will transcript an interesting paragraph I found, that I believe is enough information to discarding William Elder from Kilcoy. The Cromarty Regiment, where William Elder took part, was taken prisoner a day before Culloden Battle.

    "In the 1745 Rebellion George MacKenzie, Third Earl of Cromartie, raised a regiment recruited in large part from his tenants in Coigach and officered by their Tacksmen to fight for Bonnie Prince Charlie. The regiment was sent north early in 1746 to occupy SutherlandShire, and captured Dunrobin Castle there in the last siege battle fought in Britain. While rushing south to rejoin the main Jacobite army the regiment was captured by the Sutherland Militia the day before the Battle of Culloden.

    Some of Cromartie's Regiment drowned trying to swim across Dornoch Firth to Easter Ross, others escaped across the mountains and slowly made their way home, but 218 were taken prisoner, including the Earl and his 20 year old son John MacKenzie, titled Lord MacLeod. One third of the prisoners died in brutal captivity, 152 survived to be transported to exile in Barbados. Jamaica, and the American colonies. A lucky ten were pardoned including Lord MacLeod, who was pardoned on condition that within six months of his majority (21st birthday) he convey to the Crown all his rights in the Earldom. He did so, and departed for a distinguished military career in Europe.

    The captured Jacobite Lairds, including Cromartie, were imprisoned in the Tower of London, and sentenced by trial in the House of Lords to beheading. His sentence was commuted to a lifetime of house arrest in England after his pregnant wife pleaded for mercy with the King and Duke of Cumberland. Cromartie spent the next two decades locked away in poverty stripped of lands and title, till his death 29 September 1766 in Poland Street, London. "

    Another sources in the following attached links.



    In the followinw book, unfortunately with snipped view, I found William Elder was probably transported to America aboard of "Alexander & James" prison ship, around 1746.


    Probably some reference on this book, not available yet.

    "Directory of Scots Banished to Plantations, 1650-1775"

  15. Another reference about John Elder of Park:


    "Sir William Gordon of Park was joined in the rebelion of 1745 by his servants David Wilson, John Chapman, John Elder and John Grant"

  16. The following pages were copied of the Book:

    Records of the county of Banff, 1660-1760, one hundred years of county government", pages 372 / 373

    "Three months later Prince Charlie unfurled his standard at
    Glenfinnan, and was soon to be joined by the Convener of Banffshire,
    accompanied by four of his men servants. Appointed Lieutenant-Col,
    of Lord Ogilvie's Regiment, he took part in the march to Derby, in the retreat to Scotland, and was present at Culloden, dressed, as a witness
    depones against him, in "a sort of highland clothes." 1 The Chevalier
    De Johnstone gives a graphic account of forgathering with Park, Lord
    Lewis Gordon, Gordon of Avochie, and Park's half-brother, Cobairdy,
    at Rothiemurchus after Culloden, and of their journey to Park. There
    the laird, attainted, lurked for nearly two years, more than once hunted
    from hiding place to hiding place by the King's troops. 2 A report which
    reached the Government in November 1746 that Sir William Gordon
    with several others had escaped abroad in a Danish ship, which they
    had boarded in small boats from Arbroath, was unfounded. On 4th
    November 1747 the Earl of Findlater and Seafield reported to the
    Lord Justice Clerk that on the preceding Sunday a futile search had
    been made by two parties of soldiers from Banff and Cullen for persons
    attainted and exempted from the indemnity. He continues 3 " Captain
    Gordon, of General Blakney's Regiment, who commands in Bamff,
    writes me that on their road a well-dressed man crossed their front at a
    quarter of a mile's distance at a hand gallop. Upon which the Captain
    thought it necessary to send an officer to examine him, which when he
    perceived he set spurs to his horse, and then both the Captain and the
    officer pursued him, on which he drove through the boggs up a hill as
    fast as he could ; but the officers in pursuing got their horses bogg'd,
    and found themselves invironed with dykes and boggs, so that he fairly
    made his escape through his better knowledge of the country, and that
    upon their examining the country people who saw him they said it was
    Sir William Gordon of Park. Captain Gordon further adds that by
    the way he came, it was imagined he had been drove from one of the
    houses searched by Captain Wheelock, the commanding officer at

    Shortly after this he escaped abroad, and was joined in France by
    his wife, Lady Janet Duff, eldest daughter of Lord Braco. He died
    in France, at Uouai, on 5th June 1751. The estate of Park, which
    had been entailed in 1713, passed under his attainder to his brother,
    Captain John Gordon, after a long litigation, 1751-54, in the Court of

    The four mentioned servants were Wilson, Chapman, Elder and Grant.


    Some books mention to Sir William fighting close to Price Charles in the battlefield of Culloden.

  17. Google map: From town of BANFF to Cornhill, Banffshire, 8.4 miles, 12 min (A98 and A95)

    Castle of Park, Cornhill, Banffshire

    Castle of Park, Banff. Ideal location for an intimate wedding in Scotland.
    "This romantic pink castle, the earliest part of which dates from 1530, was the home of the Gordon-Duff family until the late 20th century.
    The current owners, Neil & Rebecca Campbell Wilson took over the castle with 40 acres of grounds in 2007 and after completely restoring the interior of the castle to its former glory by filling it with Antique furniture and hanging the walls with their collection of mainly British Romantic Art they began the task of bringing the garden back to life. The garden, which had undergone considerable landscaping in Victorian times, still boasts picturesque waterfalls, several ponds, an orchard, woodland walks, a laburnum avenue and a rhododendron tunnel.
    A beautiful setting for any event."

    --Nancy Elder Petersen
    Host, ELDER DNA project

  18. There was a John Elder, born abt. 1713 at Ordiquhill, father Alexander Elder.

    " Ordiquhill, a parish of Banffshire, to the N containing Cornhill village, ½ mile SSE of Cornhill station in Fordyce parish, this being 8½ miles SW by W of Banff, under which it has a post and railway telegraph office. It is bounded NW by Fordyce, NE by Boyndie, SE and S by Marnoch, and SW by Grange. Its utmost length, from NE to SW, is 41/8 miles; its utmost breadth is 2¾ miles; and its area is 4758 acres, of which 3¾ are water. ...

    The drainage is carried north-north-eastward by head-streams of the Burn of Boyne; and in the extreme N the surface declines to 240 feet above sea-level, thence rising to 410 feet near Rothen, 711 at Corn Hill, 865 at Culvie Hill, 890 at Weather Hill on the southern border, and 1409 at Knock Hill on the meeting-point with Grange and Fordyce, the summit of which last, Knock Hill, is covered by a stratified bed of moss 15 to 20 feet deep. The predominant rocks are mica slate and gneiss, with some granite; but they mostly lie under thick deposits of coarse, gritty, ferruginous clay. Trap boulders are everywhere plentiful; serpentine rock, prolonged from the famous beds and pits near Portsoy, occurs along the eastern base of Knock Hill; and specimens of garnet, tourmaline, asbestos, and rock-cork are found. The soil is in most parts deep, but lies on a cold retentive bottom. Till 1842 nearly half the entire area continued to be pastoral or waste; but the greater part of it has since been brought under the plough; and some 350 acres are under wood. Park House, 1] mile SSE of Cornhill station, is a good and commodious mansion, enlarged in 1829. Its owner, Major Lachlan Duff Gordon-Duff (b. 1817; suc. 1855), is sole proprietor. (See Botriphnie.) Ordiquhill is in the [presbytery of Fordyce and the synod of -Aberdeen; the living is worth £272. The parish church, 2 miles SSW of Cornhill station, is a neat edifice of 1805, containing 490 sittings. There is also a Free church; and Park female and Ordiquhill public schools, with respective accommodation for 74 and 120 children, had (1883) an average attendance of 73 and 66, and grants of £63, 17s. 6d. and £64, 9s. Valuation (1860) £3067, (1884) £3477. Pop. (1801) 510, (183l) 655, (186l) 764, (1871) 761, (1881) 714.—Ord. Sur., shs. 86, 96, 1876.
    Ordiquhill through timeA Vision of Britain through Time includes a large library of local statistics for administrative units. For the best overall sense of how the area containing Ordiquhill has changed, please see our redistricted information for the modern district of Aberdeenshire. More detailed statistical data are available under Units and statistics, which includes both administrative units covering Ordiquhill and units named after it."

    "Park, a mansion in Ordiquhill parish, Banffshire, 13/8 mile SSE of Cornhill station, this being 8½ miles SW by W of Banff. It was enlarged in 1829, and is a spacious and handsome edifice. Its owner, Lachlan Duff GordonDuff, Esq. (b. 1817; suc. 1855), Liberal M. P. for Banffshire 1857-61, holds 13,053 acres in the shire, valued at £7418 per annum. See Botriphnie.—Ord. Sur., sh. 86, 1876"