John Gordon of Forgue (1749 – 1810)

John Gordon of Forgue and resident of Auchabar, Comisty and Dummuies at various times of his life was born in April 1749, possibly in Cairnton, Fourdon, a farm situated about 61 miles from Forgue (via road way). As his baptism records that his father was ‘In’ Cairnton at the time. He was the son of James Gordon of Cobairdy Esquire (1724 – 1773) and Lady Mary Forbes (1725 – 1793).

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Baptism Record of John Gordon “1749 April Jas Gordon in Cairntonn had a son baptized named John witnesses Wm Anderson elder & yr there”

His Baptism record is interesting as it was clearly written into the parish records after the event took place, it can be found in the document squeezed in next to the date ‘May 5th’. Perhaps his Baptism was kept private from officials to hide his fathers return to Scotland (below explains his father’s precarious situation).

John Gordon was born four years after the Jacobite uprising of 1745 and three years after the Battle of Culloden which took place on the 16th April 1746 South east of Inverness and a few miles south west of Nairn in Scotland. His father James Gordon fought at the battle alongside 7000 Highlander’s under the command of Bonnie Prince Charlie. There was no victory for the Highlanders.

The casualties of the Highland army are unknown but are believed to have been around 1,000.

Culloden marked the end of the military phase of the Jacobite Rebellion of 1745/6. The battle was followed by a lengthy period of suppression in the Highlands marked by massacre and despoiling. Of the officers and chiefs who escaped the battle, those who could fled to Europe and served in foreign armies. Some were in due course permitted to return. Many of the Jacobite rank and file fled to the American colonies. The prisoners were tried at Berwick, York and London and around 80 were executed, the last in 1754.

James Gordon plays a significant part in the Culloden story as he was a close companion of Bonnie Prince Charlie, following the battle James fled to Paris, France where he spent a year in Exhile 1746 – 1747, with many Jacobite commanders including Charlie.

A gold Watch-Chain which belonged to Prince Charles Edward Stuart was given by him to James Gordon of Cobairdy. On his taking leave of the Prince at Paris in 1747.

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A gold Watch-Chain which belonged to Prince Charles Edward Stuart was given by him to James Gordon of Cobairdy. On his taking leave of the Prince at Paris

James Gordon of Cobairdy Esquire and his wife Lady Mary Forbes had seven children between 1742 – 1751, all were baptised in Forgue Parish Church. Below is a list of these baptism’s plus timeline.

Marriage of James Gordon and Mary Forbes took place before 1742 (correct date and place is currently unknown).

(i) James Gordon – baptised 9 May 1742

(ii) Sir Ernest ‘of Park’ Gordon – baptised 3 June 1743

(iii) William Gordon – baptised 4 August 1744

(iv) Mary Elizabeth Gordon – baptised 1745 (correct date unknown, but believed to have been in 1745)

JACOBITE UPRISING – 1745/6

THE BATTLE OF CULLODEN – 16 April 1746

EXHILE IN PARIS FRANCE – 1746 – 1747

James Gordon returns to Scotland Autumn 1747

(v) Son of Gordon – baptised June 1748 (possibly died in infancy).

(vi) John Gordon – baptised 1 April 1749

(vii) Isobel Gordon – baptised 25 January 1751

James Gordon Returns to Paris in 1752.

He later returns to Scotland and allowed to live out the remainder of his life, in 1771 Custom House, 35 Regent Quay, Aberdeen was built for him.

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Custom House, 35 Regent Quay, Aberdeen – Built for James Gordon in 1771

John Gordon of Forgue’s family descend from the Gordon’s of Park, the estate and titles were passed to his elder brother Sir Ernest Gordon of Park (1742 – 1800).

John Gordon remained in Forgue, Aberdeenshire where all of his children were later baptised, some of the Baptism records for his children record John as living in – auchabar and then Comisty Some of the Baptism’s of John’s children had witnesess present that resided in Cobairdy, Aberdeenshire.

Below is a list of marriages and children of John Gordon of Forgue.

All but three of the baptism’s took place in Forgue, Aberdeenshire.

Marriage of John Gordon and Jean Walker (1754 – 1790) daughter of Alexander Walker of Parkhead and Margaret Porter.

Marriage – 8th June 1772 – Saint Nicholas, Aberdeen, Aberdeenshire, Scotland

(i) Isobel Gordon – baptised 25 April 1773 (Father: John Gordon listed as living in Auchabar)

(ii) Serjeant John Gordon (fought at the Battle of Waterloo) – baptised 12 February 1775 (Father: John Gordon listed as living in Auchabar / Witnesses: John Forbes and John Faskan).

(iii) Jean Gordon – baptised 17 January 1779 (Father: John Gordon listed as living in Auchabar / Witnesses: John Forbes and John Faskan)

(iv) Helen Gordon – baptised 22 July 1781 (Father: John Gordon listed as living in Auchabar). Helen is my 5th great grandmother.

Marriage of John Gordon and Elspet Fordyce (1749 – 1816) daughter of James Fordyce and Margaret Ridit.

Marriage – 1775 – Forgue, Aberdeenshire, Scotland (both were widows)

(v) Mary Gordon – baptised 5 September 1790 (Father: John Gordon listed as living in Comisty / Witnesses: William Tring & William Duncan of Cobairdy).

(vi) William Gordon ‘later of Grange’ – baptised 14 January 1793 (Father: John Gordon listed as living in Comisty / Witnesses: William Tring & William Duncan of Cobairdy)

THE following baptisms took place in Drumblade, Aberdeenshire

(vii) James Gordon – baptised 7 June 1795 (Father: John Gordon listed as living in Dummuies / Witnesses: Alexander Christies & John Stroth of Dummuries)

(viii) Robert Gordon – baptised 17 May 1797 (Father: John Gordon listed as living in Dummuies / Witnesses: Alexander Christie & John Stroth)

(ix) Alexander Gordon – baptised 14 June 1799 (Father: John Gordon listed as living in Dummuies / Witnesses: Alexander Christie & John Stroth).

John Gordon of Forgue later resided in Comisty, where he lived out the remainder of his life on a large farm estate, he is recorded as being buried on the 29 June 1810 in Drumblade Kirkyard.

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