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Finley Farquharson discussions

Following are messages on message boards and responses to my queries.

Dan Greene wrote:
Several Shaws are mentioned: Farquhar was the son of Shaw of Rothimerchus, Thane of Fife, himself the third son of Shaw McDuff, Thane of Fife. Findla/Finley/Findlay/Finlay and several other variations in the Farquharson lines descend from Findla Mor(e) ,famous for being killed while serving as Royal Standard Bearer at the Battle of Pinkie in 1547, but none as early as the 1200 date you note. A John Shaw is included "the eleventh man inclusive lineally descended from the great McDuff", also called Corshiaclach for his buck tooth. I have left a message today with an uncle who has a copy of The Records of Old Aberdeen, 1157-1903, to see if you ancestor may be mentioned. I will let you know when I hear from him. At eighty-nine he has begun to divest of some of his many antiquarian volumes. If the search proves successful and you are interested we can see if he interested in selling the title. In the meantime I will read a bit further in The Records of Invercauld and pass on anything I find. Should you choose to place you name on the waiting list, you would currently stand fourth. No deposit is required as the copies are becoming more and more scarce. Am traveling to the UK in April and hope to successfully follow a lead or two then.

Helen Finley wrote:
The clan Finley was outlawed after the McBeadea thing and as a reslt joined the clan Farquharson. A Finley was, from that point on, Chief of the clan Chatten, which was a group of clans. The Finley's were ancient royalty.
Patricia Myers wrote:
In her Finley Book Leslie wrote that Fergus McFinlay was also known as Farquhar Shaw of Rothiemurchus. He was a tenant of Rossen,Cromarty in 1210. He married McHardy heiress of Invercauld in Aberedeenshire, making this the Clan seat which it is to this day. Eugenius was the fourth son of Fergus and also known as Shaw Farquhar[son] who was murdered by Walter,Seneschal of Scotland in 1223. This is the claimed origin of the Clan Farquharson. Fearchar McFinlay lived in Aberdeenshire in 1236 and was recognized as chief of the bannished clan FIONNLADH [FINLAY] It is with Fearchar that we begin our Finley family history. Farquharson is of celtic origin. Some of them were originally known by SHAW. The offspring of the Shaw of Rothiemurchus took the name FARQUHARSON.
Willis Finley wrote:

Date: Tue, 15 May 2001

According to information I have the Clan Farquharson was derived from the Farquharsons of Inverclaud, the main branch was Farhuhar or Fearchard, a son of Alister "Keir Mackintosh or Shaw of Rotheiemurchus, grandson of Shaw Mor. Farquhar who lived in the reign of James III (1460-1488). This is brief summary.

Finlay, Findlay, Finley, Finlayson derived from the Gaelic "fionnlaoch" meaning fair hero. Finlayus witness in 1246. Fynlai provost on Stirling in 1327. Findlay mor of Great Findlay was killed at Pinkie in 1547: he was a grandson of Fearchar from which the nameFarquharson was derived.

Hope this helps. There are a number of books that address the Scottish Clans and their Septs. As Finley is a Sept of Clan Farquharson.

Posted on the Finley Forum at
Subject: Clan Farquharson/Fionnladh
Posted by: Stan Cowan
Date: February 23, 1998 at 22:15:34
I'm confused. I followed the advice of Pamela Holden (elsewhere in this forum) and looked up Clan Farquharson on the web page I found the same information that I had earlier found at another site, According to both of these sources Clan Farquharson (which appears to be synonymous with Clan Fionnladh or Fionnlaigh, originated with Finlay Mor, who died in 1547. Both sources also mention that Clan Farquharson is a branch of the Clan Chattan Confederation.

The book "Findley Genealogy" by Mrs. Robert A. Hughes (see my other notes on this page) quotes the following from another book, "Torrence and Allied Families": "Fearchar was chief of a powerful clan known as Clan Fionnladh, a sept of the great confederation, Clan Chatton, the year 1236." It is easy to see that Farquhar and Fearchar might be variations of the same name. This book also traces Fearchar's ancestry back to Macbeth and a couple of generations before him, and states that his father, Finley McRuaidhri, was "The Earl of Moray, Chief of Clan Fionnladh." Macbeth was born about 1005. This places the clan a half millenium earlier than the above references.

The Hughes book further states: "Fionnladh, from which the name Finley is derived, is a combination of the Gaelic words Fionn, meaning Fergus, and Ladh, meaning boy or child. From this root have come the different spellings such as Finleg, Finlegh, Finley, Finlay, Findley and Findlay. All are pure Scotch and identical in origin." I infer from this that Fionnladh/Findley means the same as Ferguson (or Farquharson?).

Can anyone clarify this?

Posted by: William Barnett
 Date: June 04, 1999 at 19:30:51
In Reply to: Clan Farquharson/Fionnladh by Stan Cowan

Farquharson became the underground name for the Findley's several different times the last being in the 1650's or there about. There is a great little book "The Clan Finley" by Stout. It is out of print, but can be found and is put out on loan from several places. It traces the name Findley back to about 300 BC. Stout visited by Grandfather when I was a small boy after WW2 when he was doing the research. My Grandfather would not give him any information about his family. He said most of the Findley's in the South wanted to be paid, that they were the true Scots.


Re: Clan Farquharson/Fionnladh
Posted by: Chuck Finley
Date: July 19, 1998 at 16:40:22
In Reply to: Clan Farquharson/Fionnladh by Stan Cowan

In my research, the Clan Farguharson, Clan MacKintosh and Clan Shaw descend from the original Clan Fionnlaidh (Finley). This old Clan was outlawed when Macbeth & Lulach was defeated by Malcolm-111. The Clan Farquharson descend from Eugenius MacFionley (Farquhar Shaw) fourth son of Alexander Shaw of Rothurmurius, chief of the Clan Fionnlaidh,a Sept of the original Hail-Kin Clan Chattan.This Farquhar lived in the early part of the 13th century. The olden Clan Fionnlaidh descend from Fiacha O'Fhionnholia, King of Northern Ireland around 50ad.
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last updated 15 May 2001