Music playing is called Braes o' Banff
from Bagpipes At Best

Banffshire Index
Written and Researched by Margaret Odrowaz-Sypniewska, B.F.A.

The Oak tree is a symbol of great strength and royalty. Sacred mistletoe grows on oak trees. Its berries (mistletoe) glisten like pearls. The mistletoe symbolizes immortality.

The Bilberry Oak is the clan plant of the Buchanans and Watts. The Buchanans and Watt families are only two of my families that came from Banffshire.


Banffshire is one of the north-east counties of Scotland; bounded on the north by the Moray frith or the German ocean; on the east and south by Aberdeenshire; and on the west by the shires of Inverness and Elgin. This country according to Mr. Souter in his "Agricultural Survey of Banffshire" published in 1812, might be comprehended in an isosceles triangle, on a base of 30 miles along the coast from Tromp-head, on the border of Aberdeenshire, to the influx of the Spey, on the confines of Moray; its height being 64 miles inland from the shore.

Banffshire is 686 miles square with hilly mountainous country, interspered with fertile valleys well adapted to the cultivation of corn and grass. Principal products are cattle, corn, and fish (haddock, skate, whitings, holy but, dog fish, and occasionally turbot and mackeral).

In 1555, the Scottish parliament made a law forbidding the impersonation of Robin Hood and Little John, in open-air plays in royal burghs. The punishment for this new crime was five years in prison. It was feared that these plays might incite rebellious activities.

MacPherson's Rant

James MacPherson was akin to Robin Hood. He was the bastard son of a gypsy woman and a local laird. James MacPherson, Sr. James. Jr. was hung in 1700 for being an outlaw. He traveled with the Gypsies and robbed the rich farmers of Banffshire, to give to the poor. He ran amok of Laird Duff, of Braco. After being robbed Laird Duff decided to raise a posse to track James down and bring him to justice.

James MacPherson was surrounded and arrested at a fair. A woman threw a blanket over him from an upstairs window as he was fleeing his foe. Condemned to hang from the gallows he wrote a tune entitled "MacPherson's Rant." On finishing his song he offered his fiddle to any MacPherson in the crowd. When no takers came forward, McPherson broke his fiddle over his executioner's head and launched himself to immortality. His fiddle is still on display at the Clan McPherson House Museum in Newton More, Inverness, Scotland.

Families and Clans:
The Balfour Clan The Clan Chattan The Clark Family The Dall Family The Dow Family
The Farquarson Family The Findlater Ogilvy Family The Grieve Family The Moir Family Ogilvie Clan
St. John Ogilvie Famous Ogilvies The Shee Family The Watt Family The Clark Censuses

Parishes and Towns:

Berryhillock The Deskford Church Findlater District Fordyce Parish Old Deskford Church
New Deskford Church Deskford Parish Ordiquhill Church


Banff.Moray Castles

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