Name: John STUART
Birth: 1709 in Balquhidder, Perthshire, Scotland
Death: AFT 1745
John is described in family tradition as a Jacobite soldier and a younger brother of James "Seamus na Coille" Stewart, 2nd in Cuilt, however this is chronologically challenging. It is more likely that he was the younger brother of James Stewart, 1st in Cuilt, and that the two Jameses have simply been confused for each other.
According to research done by a descendant of this branch (Alison Milnes from Yorkshire) John was born in 1709. He fought at Culloden in 1746 with the Jacobites. He is believed to have remained in the area of Culloden after the battle and settled in Elginshire. Subsequent research has more precisely identified his location to be a farmstead called Leth na Coille near the village of Nethy Bridge on the edge of the Abernethy Forest in Upper Strathspey, Moray, Scotland (about 30 km southwest of Elgin) in the heart of Clan Grant territory. It would appear that John Stuart may have taken refuge under the protection of Clan Grant. It is noteworthy that John's son, Donald, married the daughter of one of the senior families of Clan Grant and that one of the founding partners in The Northwest Company was Robert Grant, a London merchant born in Upper Strathspey.
According to a reference cited below, John's grandson, John Stuart, the fur trader and explorer for The Northwest Company, was a cousin to David Stuart an earlier fur trader and explorer for The Northwest Company (son of James McTavish McAlasdair Stewart, 2nd of Cuilt, shown below). As such, this John Stuart's line must descend from the Cuilt Stewarts.
It is worth drawing attention to the fact that John Stuart's residence was named Leth na Coille (also found as Leth-na-Coyle and Leanchoil). Leth na Coille literally means "side of the woods" or "next to the woods". The fact that this residence was located on the outskirts of the Abernethy Forest would easily explain its name. But it cannot be ignored that John's birth family resided at Tigh na Coille in Strathyre. It's possible that the name of Leth na Coille may also have been chosen as an homage to the family's primary residence, Tigh na Coille.
John Stuart married Marjory STEWART, presumably in Moray, but no record of their marriage has been found. According to family tradition, Marjory was born 1729 in Leanchoil Farm, Abernethy, Speyside, Elginshire, Scotland, however this may be a confusion with her later residence, or it could indicate that the farmstead of Leth na Coil came into the family by way of this marriage. It might be suggested that the cousinship between John Stuart the Explorer, below and David Stewart the Explorer above, was a maternal cousinship on Marjory's side, however that would be highly unlikely as Marjory's Stewart family was already in Elgin, perhaps residing at Leanchoil in 1729, before the Rising. The more reasonable explanation is that John Stuart simply settled into the area after Culloden, as we have seen that others also did.
Father: Alexander STEWART Predecessor of Cuilt b: 1663 in Balquhidder, Perthshire, Scotland
Marjory STUART b: ABT 1710 in Leanchoil Farm, Speyside, Elgin, Scotland
- Donald STUART b: ABT 1740 in Upper Strathspey, Moray, Scotland