The Blackhall Connection:


The Blackhall Connection:


By Jared Olar



In a letter dated 28 Aug. 1818, Joseph Stewart of White Creek, New York, informed his son John Stewart of various family traditions regarding their ancestry.  In the letter, Joseph wrote, “By all accounts of our descent, we are of the royal house of the Stewarts . . . As far as I can learn, they belong to the House of White Rose and not altogether separated from the House of Black Hall . . . . This I knew, they belonged to the Rose party, by reason of the high esteem they had for Charles the 1st, who had many good properties.”


As researchers of this family know very well, Joseph’s letter is not at all easy to interpret. Since “White Rose” refers to the royal line, and would eventually become the symbol of the Jacobite claimants to the throne, there is a suggestion of a genealogical connection to the Royal Stewarts – as Joseph had already stated.  On the other hand, Joseph later refers to “the Rose party,” indicating not a genealogical link, but rather political support for King Charles I against Oliver Cromwell and the Duke of Argyll. 


Again, the reference to “the House of Black Hall” has led many researchers to investigate the family of the Stewarts of Blackhall and Ardgowan to find possible links to Joseph Stewart’s ancestors.  However, since “House of White Rose” seems to refer to political affiliation rather than genealogy, it’s quite possible that “House of Black Hall” is also a political reference.


Thanks to the research of Philip B. Stewart II, Kenneth Robertson, and James Dinwoodie, it is now known that Joseph’s grandfather Robert Stewart (1655-1714) was the second son of Walter Stewart of Gartnafueran (see “The Gartnafueran Connection”).  Walter Stewart was a supporter of both Kings Charles I and Charles II, and was descended in the male line from Robert Stewart, 1st Duke of Albany, son of King Robert II of Scotland.  This confirms both Joseph’s reference to royal descent and to affiliation with “the Rose party.”


But what of the reference to “Black Hall”?  Although Joseph’s words may refer to something else entirely, it is nevertheless interesting that in the female line, Joseph’s grandfather Robert Stewart did indeed have descents from the Stewarts of Blackhall and Ardgowan.  The lines are traced as follows:



1.         ROBERT III (John), King of Scots, born circa 1337, died 4 April 1406 in Rothesay Castle on the Isle of Bute.  A papal dispensation of 13 March 1365/66 allowed him to marry Annabella Drummond, by whom he had three sons and four daughters.  However, before his marriage he had two illegitimate sons by an unknown mistress (traditionally said to have been a daughter of Sir Archibald Campbell of Lochow, but that is problematic).  One of those illegitimate sons was:


2.         Sir John Stewart of Auchingoun, Blackhall, and Ardgowan, born perhaps as early as 1355, died circa 1412.  In a grant of 1402, Sir John is described as “brother-in-law” of Sir Colin Campbell of Lochow.  However, tradition states that Sir John was the son of Sir Colin’s sister.  It is possible that tradition turned Sir John’s wife into his own mother, perhaps because of a confusion between the father Robert III, whose original name was John, and the son, Sir John.  Three children of Sir John are known — two daughters and a son.  The son, John, succeeded in the lands of Auchingoun, Blackhall, and Ardgowan.  One of the daughters was:


3.         Margaret Stewart, born circa 1384, died sometime after 4 Aug. 1442, married circa 1405 (as his second wife) Sir Duncan Campbell of Lochow, 1st Lord Campbell, son of Sir Colin Campbell of Lochow, son of Sir Archibald Campbell of Lochow (see above).  They had four sons, including her eldest:


4.         Sir Colin Campbell of Glenorchy, born circa 1406, apparently died in 1475, buried in Kilmartin 26 Sept. 1475.  Sir Colin married more than once.  His last wife was Margaret Stirling, daughter of Luke Stirling of Keir, whom he married by 27 Oct. 1467.  They had two sons and two daughters, including:


5.         Mariota (Marion) Campbell, who married William Stewart, 3rd of Baldorran, sometime before 5 Oct. 1498.  William’s sons were Walter, who succeeded in the lands of Baldorran, and John, who obtained Glenbuckie.


6.         Walter Stewart, 4th of Baldorran, King’s Baillie in Balquhidder, died 1575.  He obtained a charter of confirmation of his ancestral lands in Sept. 1500, but sold Baldorran circa 1524.  Walter married Eupham Reddoch, daughter of James Reddoch of Cultobraggan, Comptroller of Scotland, and had two sons who died without issue.  By an unknown mistress, Walter had an illegitimate son, who succeeded him:


7.         James Stewart, 5th of Baldorran, who sold Baldorran to the Glorat family.  He married his cousin (NN) Stewart, daughter of Patrick Stewart, 2nd of Glenbuckie, and had five sons, including:


8.         Alexander Stewart, 1st of Ardvorlich, who married Margaret Drummond of Drummond-Erinoch.  Alexander acquired Ardvorlich circa 1580.  He and Margaret had several children, including Isobel Stewart, who married her cousin John Stewart, 6th of Glenbuckie, and:


9.         Margaret Stewart, who married Andrew Stewart, 6th of Gartnafueran.  Their son was:


10.       Walter Stewart, 7th of Gartnafueran, born 1620, who married his first cousin Isobel Stewart, daughter of John Stewart, 6th of Glenbuckie, by his wife Isobel Stewart of Ardvorlich (see no. 8 above).  Walter and Isobel’s second son was:


11.       Robert Stewart, born 1655 and died 1714, Covenanter, grandfather of Joseph Stewart.



4.         Sir Colin Campbell of Glenorchy, born circa 1406, apparently died in 1475.  His last wife was Margaret Stirling.  (Same as no. 4 above)  They had two sons and two daughters, including:


5.         John Campbell of Auchreoch, 1st of Lawers, slain on the field of Flodden, 9 Sept. 1513, married firstly Agnes (Margaret) Moncreiff, daughter of Sir John Moncreiff of that Ilk, and secondly Christian Ogilvie.  John Campbell and Agnes Moncreiff had three sons, including a second son:


6.         John Campbell, 2nd of Murthly, who died in July 1567. His first wife was Marjorie Menzies, who died before 31 July 1562, and his second wife was Margaret Drummond, daughter of William Drummond of Balloch.  He had three sons, as well as a daughter:


7.         Elizabeth Campbell, married 1564 to Sir James Campbell, 6th of Ardkinglas, who died in 1591, son of Dougal Campbell by his wife Janet Graham.  Dougal was a son of Sir John Campbell, 4th of Ardkinglas, while Janet Graham was a descendant of JAMES II, King of Scots (See “From Plantagenet to Stewart of Glenbuckie”).  James Campbell and his wife Elizabeth had a son, John, who succeeded in the lands of Ardkinglas, and a daughter:


8.         (NN) Campbell, born say 1565, first wife of Duncan Stewart, 5th of Glenbuckie.  Their son and heir was:


9.         John Stewart, 6th of Glenbuckie. (See no. 10 above)





“The Stewarts of Blackhall, Ardgowan, and Auchingowan – Part One,” by Jared L. Olar, in The Journal of Ancient and Medieval Studies XIV (1997), pp.44-52; with additions and corrections in The Journal of Ancient and Medieval Studies XV (1998), pp.22-52.


From Royal Stewart to Shaw Stewart, Janet S. Bolton, 1989, pp.2-5.


The Scots Peerage, Sir James Balfour Paul, vol. II, 1905, pp.174-178.


A Short Historical and Genealogical Account of the Royal Family of Scotland . . . to Which is Prefixed a Genealogical and Chronological Tree of the Royal Family and the Name of Stewart, Duncan Stewart, 1739, pp.173-175, 177-179.


“Stewart of Ardvorlich,” in Burke’s Landed Gentry, 1939, p.2146.


The Landed Families of Perthshire, Volume I:  The Earldom of Strathearn, Gordon A. Comrie MacGregor, 2003, pp.62, 67, 427.


Genealogy and Biography of the Descendants of Walter Stewart of Scotland, B. Frank Severance, 1905, pp.2-4, 31-35.


The remaining information above comes from the research of Kelsey Williams, James Dinwoodie of Edinburgh, the late Kenneth Robertson, and the late Philip B. Stewart II.