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We are considered a sept of Clan Farquharson today.

Farquharson Badge

Farquharson Tartan

Finley Coat of Arms
According to Stout there was an ancient "Clan Fionnladh" (Fionnlaigh) predating Clan Farquharson from which we are descended. Some say the name Finley is derived from the Gaelic names Fionnlaoch or Finlocha meaning "Fair hero." It first appeared according to the Ancient Genealogies around 200 BC. Stout says it is derived from the Gaelic Finnladh which meand "son of Fergus".

Stout's source for the ancient genealogies was the manuscript "Pedigrees" at the Society of Genealogy, London. According to him the clan Finley was outlawed after Macbeth was killed and as a result took on the name Farquharson for several generations. Eugenius MCFINLAY, a fourth son of Macbeth born around 1200 in Aberdeenshire , also known as Shaw Farquhar(son), was chief Clan Finley. This was the first use Farquharson in the ancient genealogies.
I couldn't find any other use of the name Farquharson before or after this until the 1400's when the descendants of Ferquhard Shaw took the name of Farquharson from Ferquhard. The current Clan Farquharson is descended from this line.

In "Scottish Clans and Regiments", Sir Thomas Inns states:
"The old Clan Fionnladh reemerged in the early part of the thirteenth century as one of the original 16 Clans of the "Hail Kin Clan Chattan"

Because of this [Finley being outlawed] the Clan FIONNLAGH took on the name of the Clan FARQUHARSON, so named because of the Farquhar SHAW of Rothiemurchus. WOOD and FRANCE state: "In 1236 in the Braes of Mar at the head of Aberdeenshire, Scotland, there was a certain chief named FEARCHAR, son of FARQUHAR, who was the fourth son of Shaw DUBH of Rothiemurchus, who was head of a powerful clan known in the Highlands as Clan FIONNLAGH, a sept of the great confederation, Clan CHATTAN, which held large possessions which were acquired by marriage with the heiress of Invercauld and from this FEARCHAR.

Clan Farquharson was part of the Clan Chattan confederation which included Clan Shaw, Clan Macintosh, Macpherson, Macbean, Davidson and Clan Farquharson. The genealogies get very complicated at this point.

Shaw "Mor", great-grandson of Angus, 6th Chief of MacKintosh and Eva of Clan Chattan was, by tradition, the leader of Clan Chattan. His son, James, was killed at Harlaw in 1411 but his heir, Alasdair "Ciar" succeded him.

The Clan Farquharson page at says:
Clan Farquharson, of Celtic origin, derives from Farquhar, fourth son of Alexander "Ciar" Mackintosh of Rothiemurchus, 5th Chief of Clan Shaw. A grant of arms made by Lord Lyon in 1697 stated that John Farquharson of Invercauld was lawfully descended of Shaw son of MacDuff, Thane of Fife whose successors had the name Shaw until Farquhar Shaw, son to Shaw of Rothiemerchus, Chief of the whole name came to be called Farquharson. Thus the Farquharsons branched from Clan Shaw. Farquhar settled in the Braes of Mar and was appointed baillie or chamberlain thereof. It was Donald Farquharson who married Isobel Stewart, heiress of Invercauld and their son Finlay Mór, 1st of the House of Farquharson of Invercauld, who gave to the Farquharson Chiefs their style MacFionnlaidh (siol Fhionnlaidh or descendents of Finlay).

At Clan MacKintosh it states: "Angus [the 20th chief of MacKintosh], married Anne, daughter of Farquharson of Invercauld, a lady who distinguished herself greatly inthe rebelion of 1745."

William McKinley, 25th president of the United States, ancestors were also MacIntosh of clan Farquharson.

History of the Shaw/Seath Clan states:
Shaw Macduff, a younger son of Duncan, Thane of Fife (a descendant of Kenneth mac Alpin) assisted King Malcolm IV in putting down a rebellion in Moray and he was made keeper of Inverness castle. Shaw's grandson was granted land in Rothiemurchus (in Strathspey). His son married a daughter of the Macdonald Lord of Islay in 1291.

Patricia Myers wrote:
Farquhar Shaw, the fourth son of Alexander III, Shaw of Rothiemurchus, was the ancestor of Clan FARQUHARSON. His son married the heiress of Invercauld and the Clan gained its lands on Deeside. Its most famous chief was Farquhar, Finla Mor who consolidated the Clan and who carried the Royal Standard at the Battle of Pinkie in 1547 fighting for Mary, Queen of Scots."


Braemar Castle, was owned by the Farquharson family in 1731 and Invercauld Castle still is owned and occupied by the Farquharson family.

Invercauld Castle

Braemar Castle

Near Braemar, Aberdeenshire - Royal Deeside. The Farquharson estate which included both castles covers about 200,000 acres of forest and moor in the Grampian Highlands. Breamar castle sits across the River Dee from INVERCAULD Castle. The Clan Chief today is Capt. A. Farquharson of Invercauld, the 16th Chief. He and his wife live in Invercauld Castle. His wife is former Frances Rodney who use to be editor of Harper's Bazaar magazine and fashion editor of Vogue magaizine.

Directions: Braemar Castle, located ˝ mile north of Braemar on the A93, is open April 10 to October 31, Saturday through Thursday from 10 to 6.
To reach Braemar from Edinburgh follow the A90 over the Forth Road Bridge to the M90 heading north to Perth. Just before Perth take junction 10 to junction 11; then take the A93 exit to Braemar (approximately 90 miles from Edinburgh)
Balmoral Castle, the summer home of the Royal Family, is 8 mi. North on A93.

Braemar Info. at Travel Lady, Invercauld Estate at
Castle of Invercauld at scottishcastles-info, at Scottish-Castle-Holidays.
Braemar Map at MultiMap, Aberdeenshire Map at Univ. of Edinburgh


A possible genealogy may go something like this. This is pieced together from several other histories Shaw, Mackintosh and Farquharson and cannot be confirmed.
Shaw MacDuff, son of the third Earl of Fife
. Duncan (4th Earl of Fife) MacDuff (d. 1154)
.. Shaw Mackintosh, the first Chief of the Clan, died in 1179
... Shaw (d. 1210)
.... William
..... Shaw (d. 1265)
...... Farquhar MacKintosh
....... Angus ("Mor" Mackintosh) 6th Chief of MacKintosh (d. 1345)
........ +Eva, (m. 1291) descended from Gillichattan Mor and her father
                        was Gilpatric, or Dougal Dall
........ Ian-
......... Gilchrist-
.......... Shaw "Mor" Mackintosh (fought at Perth in 1396)
........... James (d. 1411)
............ Alexander Cier (Alister "Ciar")(Shaw) of Rothiemurchus,
                5th chief of Clan Shaw
...             owner of the Braes of Mar in Aberdeenshire.
............. Farquhar
.............. Donald Farquharson
............... +Isobel Stewart, heiress of Invercauld
............... Farquhar, Finla Mor (b. abt. 1487; d. 1547)

                Consolidated the Clan and
                was killed at the Battle of Pinkie in 1547.

................ William Farquharson
................. Janet Farquharson
.................. Alexander McComie
................... John McIntosh  (d. 12 JAN 1676 in Crandart)

The Farquharson History at says they took
the name Farquharson from Ferquhard Shaw and gives the following lineage:
......... Shaw MacDuff
.......... Shaw Corshiacalich (d. 1405 Rothiemurchus)
            (Led the Chattan men in the Great Clan Battle
             on the North Inch of Perth in 1396)
           +daughter of Clinie MacPherson
........... Ferquhard Shaw (settled in the Brae Mar)
            + daughter of Patrick Donnacha
............ Ferchar Chief of Clan
              + daughter of the Chisholm of Strathglas
.............. ?
............... Finnula Mor, or Great Findlay, (b. abt. 1487; d. 1547)
                                  died in Battle of Pinkie
                 + Beatrice Gordon
................ John

See also: Finley Findings International
Clan Farquharson pages at, and at , ScotClans, Finley Farquharson Discussions, The Clan Farquharson of Invercauld,
Clan Shaw and Shaw History. .
Sources for Clan Farquharson, Messages regarding Clan Finley/Farquharson
Return to the Finley Page.

last updated 11 June 2003