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STRACHAN, John 11th Laird of Thornton, Sir
(About 1514-1587)
ERSKINE, Margaret
(About 1512-)
KEITH, William 3rd Earl Marischal
KEITH, Margaret co-heiress of Inverugie
(About 1517-)
STRACHAN, Alexander younger of Thornton, 12th Laird
(About 1536-1601)
KEITH, Isobel
(About 1544-Before 1597)
STRACHAN, John Tutor of Thornton, 'Parson' of Kincardine O'Neil, Reverend Mr
(About 1565-Before 1625)


Family Links

1. STRAITON, Catherine
2. SYMMER, Isabel

STRACHAN, John Tutor of Thornton, 'Parson' of Kincardine O'Neil, Reverend Mr 1

  • Born: About 1565
  • Marriage (1): STRAITON, Catherine before 29 March 1599 1
  • Marriage (2): SYMMER, Isabel before 19 November 1604 2
  • Died: Before 7 October 1625 2

   Other names for John were STRACHAN, John of Corskie, STRACHAN, John of Phesdo and Goislie, STRACHAN, John of Hauchheid, STRACHAN, John in Glenfarquhare,3 STRACHEN, Johne,4 STRAQUHAN, Jhone, STRAQUHANE, John of Tillifroskie, Tutor of Thornetoune 5 and STRATHAUCHINE, John of Clune.

  General Notes:

"On the 9th March 1617, confirmation was given to a lease for nineteen years, granted by the College of Aberdeen, to Alexander Strachan of Thornton, of the teinds of Hauchheid, Mains of Thornton, etc., in the parish of Aberluthnot. The lease descrilies Mr John Strachan, parson of Kincardine, as rector of the college (Privy Council Eecords, Ixxxvii., fol. 3)."

"On the 18th April 1634, he (Sir Alexander, Laird of Thornton) granted a bond to John Wood of Craigniston for 3166, 6s. 8d., 'borrowed money,' the cautioners being 'John Strachan in Glenfarquhare,'described as the granter's uncle, Mr John Strachan of Muretoun, Robert Middeltoun of Caddon, and Alexander Strachan of Goislie. Among the witnesses are 'Thomas Strachan, brother to Mr John Strachan, in Glenfarquhar,' and 'John Strachan, son to the tutor of Thorntoun' (Register
of Deeds, vol. 512)."

all from Memorials of the Families of Strachan and Wise (1877)

"The parson of Kincardine was John Strathauchine, or Strachan, a man of much consequence, being a leader in the Church Courts, a member of the Privy Council, and of the Court of High Commission. There were many Strachans in the Church at that time; one, a relative of the parson of Kincardine, was minister of Logie-Coldstone, and the first minister of the united parishes."

from History of Logie Coldstone and Braes of Cromar

(at Kincardine O'Neil in 1582)
"JOHN STRACHAN, granduncle of Alexander S. of Thornton (2nd baronet); pres. to the vicarage by James VI. 17th April 1582; was rector of King's College, Aberdeen, 1600; a member of the Assembly in 1602; Moderator of Synod 20th Feb.1606, and app. by the General Assembly,12th Dec. 1606, a member of a Committee to advise the ministers condemned for holding the Assembly at Aberdeen, to submit to His Majesty. S. was also appointed by that Assembly as Constant Moderator of the Presbytery, who were charged by the Privy Council, 17th Jan.1607, to accept him as such within twentyfour hours after notice under pain of rebellion. He was a member of the Court of High Commission 15th Feb. 1610 and 15th June 1619; died before 7th Oct. 1625. He marr.
(1) Catherine Straiton, and
(2) Isabel, daugh. of John Symmer of Bratherisch, who survived him, and had issue Alexander of Dalhakie; Robert, apprenticed to Andrew Purves, merchant, 26th July 1626; John; Katherine (marr. cont. 7th Oct. 1625, Alexander, son of Andrew Strachan, min. of Dun); a daugh. (marr. James Forbes of Cloak); Jean (marr. Adam Forbes). He is said to have had also a son, Robert, min. of Colvend." (later this last was discounted)

(at Kincardine O'Neil in 1582 in volume 8 addenda & corrigenda)
"JOHN STRACHAN, son of John S. of Thornton and Margaret Livingston, and brother of William S. of Kirkton of Kincardine O'Neil and Tilliefroskie; pres. in 1582 on death of Robert Witherspoon; canon and prebendary of Aberdeen; rector of King's College, Aberdeen, 1600, 1602, 1605, 1608-10, 1612-14; died after 6th Aug. 1621. Marr. before 19th Nov. 1604 Isabel Symmer and had issue Robert; Thomas; Isabel (marr. James Forbes of Cloak). Marr. (3) Agnes Troup and had issue Jean; his son, John, M.A., served in Muirton as heir of his father Oct. 1628. [Reg. Mag. Sig., iii, 2893; v, 1142, 1786, vi, 726, 1256, 2186, viii, 222; Retours, iv, 130; Aberdeen Sas., ii, 265, 267, iii, 421, xvi, 207; Reg. Pres. Bene., ii, 136; Aberdeen Inhib., 11th Oct. 1636; Books of Adjournal, viii, Old Series, 798, 5th April 1650; Kincardine Sas., iii, 107.]"

from Fasti Ecclesiae

Note: This man is confused more than once in Fasti Ecclesiae with another John Strachan (q.v.), son of Andrew Strachan of Tillifroskie, who was Rector of the Kincardine O'Neil parish. For example, he is recorded here as brother of William Strachan of Kirkton, which he was not. Other details, including details about his wives, are doubtful. Because of the confusion, the reader should beware because it is difficult to disentangle which pieces of information, regarding these two men, belong where. The excerpt below explains in principle the system which allowed there to be two John Strachans linked to the living in Kincardine O'Neil parish:

" In 1330, the hospital and church of Kincardine O'Neil were incorporated with the cathedral establishment of Aberdeen; the rector was raised to the dignity of a prebend; after that period, he had a manse assigned him within the chanonry, while a perpetual vicar resided at Kincardine, and discharged the duties of the benefice...

from The New Statistical Account of Scotland parish of Lumphanan

So it would seem that the appointment noted below refers to this John Strachan:

(at Lumphanan listed in FE as 1583)

"JOHN STRACHAN, min. in 1583; had a manse and glebe designated 22nd Jan. 1582-3. [Aberdeen Homings,14th Sept. 1583.]"

John was one of executors of his father's will, 14 May 1601. He was his father's eldest surviving son. His nephew was a minor, so he became his legal guardian, ie Tutor of Thornton.

On 11 March 1617 John Strachan was sponsor to sister's child, John Blackhall, at Inverurie.

"The deed by which Alexander Blackhall of that Ilk parted with Blackhall to his son, and in virtue of which the latter became William Blackhall of that Ilk during his father's lifetime, is in the following terms : It is a deed for the fulfilment of a contract of marriage entered into by Alexander Blackhall and his eldest son and heir apparent William Blackhall on the one part, and John Strathauchin designed of Clune and sometime Tutor of Thornton and his 'sister german' Elizabeth Strachan as principals on the other, with Mr. John Strachan, rector of Kincardine O'Neil, David Tulloch of Craigneston and William Strachan sometime of Tillifroskie as cautioner. This marriage contract is dated, as I have said, at Invercannie on September 4th, 1609, and the deed was presented at Aberdeen on November 23rd, 1610; the whole being confirmed by the King, as I have stated, at Edinburgh on April 4th, 1620 (Reg. Mag. Sig.)."

"Thornton Castle, lying about two miles north-west of Laurencekirk, though much modernised, retains the old round tower and battlemented block which recall the ownership of the Strachans by the sculptured armory of the trippant hart. Close by is the home farm of Hauchead, where the Tutor of Thornton and one of the curators of William Blackhall's children lived, and next that lies Halkerton, the old home of the Falconers, one of whom had been a lady of Thornton.

"John Strachan, the Tutor of Thornton, and maternal grand-uncle of John Forbes, predeceased his grand-nephew, Sir Alexander Strachan, the second Baronet of Thornton, who died without male issue in 1659. I am informed, however, by Miss McGilchrist Gilchrist (Letter), who is engaged in a careful investigation of the genealogy of this family, that the Tutor and the Baronet were both survived by the eldest son of the former, who would de jure be 'Strachan of Thornton', and should, one would have supposed, have been the third Baronet, but who, for some reason or by some arrangement, appears not to have assumed the title. The fine property of the Strachans had, by the time the second Baronet died, practically all left the hands of the main line of the family."

"According to Rogers (Memorials of the Families of Strachan and Wise, Ed. 1877, p. 51), the third Baronet was Sir James Strachan, the representative of a remote ancestor of the Tutor and of the second Baronet. Legal documents show that Margaret Strachan, the wife of the Revd. John Forbes, could not have been a daughter of Sir James Strachan (Rogers, Op. cit., p. 68). The Tutor's son, also John Strachan, had four daughters (Elizabeth, Katharine, Isobel and Margaret), and so far as is known, no male issue. The presumption therefore is, that this Margaret was the wife of John Forbes, who must, therefore, have married his second cousin."

above excerpts from The Blackhalls of that ilk and Barra, hereditary coroners and foresters of the Garioch 6 7

  Research Notes:

1529 Gilbertus Strathauchin
1531 " "
1542 Jacobus Strathauchin (Rector of St Andrews in 1543)
1600-1619 John Strauchane

1600 James Strathauchin
1629 Andrew Strachan
1634 William Strachan
1651 John Strachan

1634 Andrew Strachan

from Calendar of the University of Aberdeen

John married Catherine STRAITON before 29 March 1599.1 (Catherine STRAITON was born about 1560.)

  Marriage Notes:

George Barclay of Matheris - Catherine Strattoun relict of Thomas Barclay son of sd George B & Mr John Strachan parsone of K----- now sp of sd Catherine S"

from Register of Deeds in Brechin 1

John next married Isabel SYMMER, daughter of John SYMMER of Bratherische and Unknown, before 19 November 1604.2 (Isabel SYMMER was born about 1580.)


1 Internet Site, - Parties in the Register of Deeds of the Commissariot of Brechin.

2 e-books, Fasti Ecclesiae Scoticanae by Hew Scott.

3 e-books, Memorials of the Families of Strachan and Wise by Charles Rogers (1877).

4 Old Parish Registers of the Church of Scotland, Saint Nicholas Aberdeen Baptisms.

5 e-books, shire 6 March 1611.

6 The New Statistical Account of Scotland 1845, Lumphanan Parish.

7 e-books, History of Logie-Coldstone and Braes of Cromar by John G. Michie (1896).

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