The Davidson Family
The Ancestors of Margaret Marion Davidson
Margaret Robinson (nee Davidson)

Davidson Family Album

G5 Robert Davidson
Isabell Roy
John Murray
(ca 1760 - )
Isobel Innes
(ca 1760 - )
Alexander Grant Lillias Stewart John Grant Isobel Crookshank
G4 Robert Davidson
(ca 1783 - 1839)
Margaret Murray
(ca 1783- )
David Grant
(ca 1795- )
Margaret Grant
(ca 1795- )
G3 Alexander Davidson
(22/4/1808 - 17/3/1890)
Marion Margaret Grant
(8/8/1823 - 21/9/1894)
G2 Margaret Marion Davidson
(6 June 1847 - 1 June 1932)
= 1872
Beriah Paterson Robinson
(25 July 1848 - ca 1902)
Davidson History
The Davidsons were sailors and merchants from in the parish of Kinloss (number 484 in the map below), which is on the coast of Moray near .

Historically the Davidson clan came from the Inverness area, see Scottish Clan History, and have continued to live in northern Scotland until modern times as this map of their distribution in 1881 shows.

Findhorn_History (51K)
Findhorn is on the Findhorn estuary at the mouth of the Findhorn River, built on what is effectively a sandspit. For many centuries it was the major seaport for Moray with records as old as 1200 showing evidence of substantial trading through Findhorn to Forres and Elgin. Even though it lost much of the trade from Elgin when the port at Lossiemouth was constructed in 1633, it remained the major port in the area.

As well as being a major trading port it also had a large fishing fleet with, in 1848, 19 boats fishing from Findhorn employing 73 boys and men.

After the railway was constructed in 1858, trade fell away until about 1870, when trading through the port was all but finished. By 1900 there were only 4 boats fishing from Findhorn employing 18 boys and men and the last boat stopped fishing from there in 1935.

Today, Findhorn is mainly a holiday destination, but the presence of RAF Kinloss (est. 1938) and the Findhorn Foundation (est. 1972) make the village a busy place.

The area has been flooded on a number of occasions and the town was moved to the current location in 1702 from its previous location 1 mile to the northwest after it was washed away. Since then, at least twenty other major floods have occurred, the last in 2002.

Pont's Map of about 1590 showing Old Findhorn. Findhorn is now located where Moortoun is shown.
Click on the map for the Pont map website.
Located near to Findhorn is Kinloss Abbey which was destroyed in the dissolution in 1652. Pont's map shows the abbey as "Killos" - about half way between Findhorn and Forres. Alexander Brodie sold the stone from the Abbey Church to Cromwell to build the Citadel at Inverness. Since the Reformation the local population had used the Chapter House as their place of worship and the Presbytery of Elgin challenged Brodie for destroying the locals place of worship. As penitence Brodie agreed to build a Parish Church for Kinloss.

Today parts of the abbey are still standing and in the grounds is the Kinloss Cemetery, where many Davidsons are buried.

Graveyard_Kinloss_Abbey_Moray (78K)
Kinloss Abbey and Graveyard

In 1657 Kinloss Parish was created (it was part of Alves Parish) and James Urquhart appointed as the First Minister.

The main town in the area is Forres. A Royal Burgh since 1140, Forres is one of Scotland's oldest towns. It has been claimed that Forres first appears, as Varis, on a map drawn by Ptolemy two thousand years ago. Slightly more recently, Forres became known to a wider audience as the location of some of the early action in Shakespeare's Macbeth.

Forres is also the name of the Parish surrounding the town.

Forres Moray
The Forres Tolbooth and Mercat Cross
Grant History
The Grant Family came from the Spey river area, an area heavily populated by Grant's, probably Duthil near in the south-west corner of (bottom center of the map). We have yet to pinpont exactly where the family lived, but we know that they were from the Cromdale and Inverallan (192 on the map) and the Duthil (271 on the map) parishes ca 1800, predominantly the area around and to the west of Grantown-on-Spey. (I have also traced several other Grant families who were from Knockando Parish - 523 on the map - but at this stage they do not seem to be linked).

Cromdale and Inverallan parish is based around Granton-on-Spey, a major center of the Grant Clan, which was founded by Sir James Grant in 1766.

Duthil parish is based on Carrbridge, about 10 miles west of Grantown. The old Duthil Kirk (about 2 miles east of Carrbridge) was built in 1826 on the site of churches extending back to before the 15th C. The Kirk (Church) contains the graves of many Grants, including a mausoleum where many of the Grant Chiefs and Earls of Seafield are interred. The Kirk was donated to the Clan Grant Society of the U.K. to be used as a Clan visitor center in Strathspey.

The number of Grant families living in the area both in the 18th / 19th C. and today makes it very difficult to pick out our family.

The Grant name, which means "big" or "more" in both French and Gaelic, dates back to the Normans as discussed in "the Grant Clan" and the family continues to live in the area today.

The Statistical Accounts of Scotland written in the 1790s and 1835 provide an excellent insight into the landscape, economy and lifestyle at that time.

From these accounts it can be seen that this was a predominantly rural area with an agricultural economy, mainly sheep farming.

Spey Valley near Grantown
Sheep grazing in the Spey Valley near Grantown
Apart from agriculture, whiskey distilling is the only major industry in the area, with legal distilling starting in 1824.
Old Parish Church - Duthil
Old Duthil Church
The first recorded Church at Duthil was built about 1400 (probably on the site of an earlier building).

The present church was built on the same site in 1826. The first of the two Grant of Grant Mausoleums beside the Church was built in 1837. The first Chief of Grant to be interred at Duthil was James Grant, third of Freuchy whose Last Will & Testament, dated 1553. ordered that he be buried in the Parish Church of Duthil.

He died and was interred here in 1585.

The first Protestant minister, William Fraser, was inducted at Duthil in 1614, 54 years after the Reformation. The Church which was dedicated to St Peter has been rebuilt on several occasions; it was renovated just before World War I by Dr Macgregor Chalmers.

In 1843 came the Disruption - the breaking away of the Free Church from the Established Church. After this the "Men of Duthil" - Presbyterians and their followers, worshipped in the open woods at Duthil for three hours every Sunday for seven years, Summer and Winter until the Free Church was built in 1850. Its first minister was a Rev John Logan. Other sections of the church broke away from the Free Church in 1893 and a Union of the Free Churches was effected in 1900

In 1909, the United Free Church built a church and manse in Main Street, Carr Bridge.

In 1930 the Church of Scotland and the Free Churches united.

The Free Church was sold in 1963 and services were held in the church hall which is situated on the road up to the old church (now Fairwinds Hotel)

Old Duthil Church closed for services in 1967 and from 4th March 1969 Duthil Church was deemed no longer in use. It was sold in 1974.

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Notes & References
  1. Davidson Clan history "Electric Scotland" website.
  2. Murray Clan history "Electric Scotland" website.
  3. Innes Clan history "Electric Scotland" website.
  4. Scot Clans
  5. "Electric Scotland".
  6. Statistical Accounts of Scotland
  7. History of Kinloss Abbey
  8. Kinloss Abbey
  9. Kinloss, from 'A Vision of Britain through Time'