The Spaldings of Ashintully, Perthshire, Scotland
The Spalding family highlighted here lived in Perthshire,
Scotland, for several hundred years before 1745, and dispersed to
Germany, Sweden, Jamacia, Georgia, Liverpool and elsewhere. The
castle of Ashintully was the clan center in Perthshire.
Spalding highlights and lowlights
In 1318, Peter Spalding helped followers of Robert the Bruce
enter and sieze the town of Berwick from the English. He was
English and a burgess of the town, but he was married to a
cousin of Sir Robert Keith, Marshall of Scotland. He was
granted lands by Bruce on 1 May 1319 in Ballourthy and Petmethy
in Forfarshire (now Angus), together with the Keepership of the
Royal Forest of Kilgerry. He also received a flag with a gate
upon it, having a portcullis half raised, and the motto "Nobile
Around 1060, King Malcolm III "Canmore", who killed Macbeth in 1057,
built Whitefield Castle in Strathardle as a hunting lodge. Over 500
years later, in 1576, Colonel David Spalding led members of his clan
to fight in Flanders for the King of Spain. After 7 years, with the
resulting plunder, he built Ashintully Castle, 1 km to the southeast
of Whitefield Castle, which served as a model.
In 1615, David "Deas" Spalding started the first regular Highlands
market place: "Michael Mass Fair". In Gaelic he was called "Daidh
Deas" (line over "e" in Deas). Deas, as here used, requires
half-a-dozen English words to give the full meaning - ever, or very
restless, ready, brave, wise, etc. Deas means south, and is a relic
of Druid sun-worship. Everything if south or sunwards was perfect.
But 200 years later, another David Spalding, also Laird of Ashintully,
was remembered much more harshly. "He condemned and executed
many most unrighteously, particularly a man of the name of Duncan,
who was drowned in a sack in what is still called 'Duncan's Pool.'"
During the early 1700's, the family followed the Jacobite cause,
lost its lands, and dispersed.
Over the years, offshoots of the original Spaldings of Berwick
migrated to Aberdeen, Perthshire, Edinburgh, Germany, Sweden,
Jamaica, Liverpool, and Georgia. At least three books have been
written about them, by the branches in Germany, Liverpool and Georgia.
The Aberdeen branch might be related to the well-known historical
society the "Spalding Club" established in 1839. Ashintully
Castle, now a 3000-acre sheep ranch and
Bed&Breakfast, has been visited
by Spaldings from these places and more.
Following the stories of these people, and the times in which
they lived, is fascinating, and makes history come alive.
Just think. Until the mid 1700's there were no roads or wheeled
vehicles of any kind in this part of the highlands, and Gaelic was
[To be added: accomplishments of Thomas Spalding of Sapelo,
Thomas Spalding Wylly his grandson in gold rush times,
Drs Robert and Hinton Spalding in Jamaica, etc.]
The action takes place in Strathardle, a valley at the beginning of the
Scottish Highlands in Perth county, which is part of the Tayside
district. The "District of Atholl" seems to be a smaller area also
containing Strathardle. It is a beautiful area consisting of rolling
hills separated by glacial valleys. These are the foothills of the
Grampian Mountains. The most popular skiing in Scotland is at the top
of nearby Glenshee.
Find Dundee on a map, between Edinburgh and Aberdeen on the east coast.
27 km NW is Blairgowrie, and twice as far is Pitlochry. 18 km NW of
Blairgowrie is the village of Kirkmichael.
2.5 km NE of Kirkmichael is Ashintully Castle, 120 m higher at
an altitude of 340 m. The ordinance survey grid references are
NO 10125 61264. It is marked on both the Ordinance
Survey Landranger map (1:50,000), sheet 43 "Braemar & Blair Atholl"
and the 1:25,000 Pathfinder map, sheet 295 "Upper Glen Shee".
Get also Landranger Sheet 53 "Blairgowrie" and Pathfinder sheet
310 "Bridge of Cally". The pathfinder maps include lots more
names of small landholdings which come up all the time.
Kirkmichael is lat 56 degrees 44 minutes North, lon 3 deg 30 min West.
I've made a small attempt at a
gazetteer of Strathardle:
a detailed list of places mentioned in
"Strathardle, Its History and Its People" and their
- 1286 to 1390 Wars of Independence against England
- 1319-05-01 Robert the Bruce rewards Peter Spalding, for help
capturing the town of Berwick, with lands in Forfarshire.
- 1456 David Spalding sat in Parliament of Scotland for Burgh of Dundee
- 1545 George Wishart and John Knox begin spreading Protestantism in Scotland
- 1560 First Reformation Parliament, First Book of Discipline
- 1562 Reformation reaches Strathardle, eviction of Priest John Hammill
- 1576 Colonel David Spalding fights in Flanders for King of Spain for 7 years
- 1583 Colonel David Spalding, Laird of Ashintully, builds
Ashintully Castle with the plunder from Flanders
- 1583 New Laird of Ashintully: Andrew Spalding, son of David
- 1587 Execution of Mary Queen of Scots
- 1603 James VI of Scotland becomes James I, King of England
- 1607-11-30 Laird Andrew Spalding died
- 1607 New Laird of Ashintully: David Deas Spalding son of Andrew
- 1609-06-22 Testament of "Andro Spalding of Essintullie"
- 1615 David Deas Spalding granted rights to organize Michaelmas market by James VI
- 1638 National Covenant: Protestant, anti-Catholic; pro King but anti-bishop
- 1641 Laird David died in Dunstaffnage Castle
- 1641 New Laird of Ashintully: William Spalding 2nd cousin of David
- 1644 Campaign of Earl of Montrose, James Graham against Covenanters, Argyll, Campbells
- 1649-08-04 Records on "Rentall of the County of Perth, by Act of ... Parliament"
- 1650 First parish records of birth, death, etc. are recorded.
- 1651 Rev. Francis Piersone, parish minister of Kirkmichael,
forms Presbytery (?) Marries daughter of Andrew "Madadh Brae"
Spalding at some point
- 1651 Cromwellian occupation of Scotland
- 1661 Laird William Spalding died
- 1661 New Laird of Ashintully: Andrew "Madadh Brae" Spalding, son of William
- 1675 Birthbrief by Charles II indicates they are "lesser barons" (no "baron" title)
- 1681 Act of Parliament for Andrew Spalding - the "mains of Ashintully"
- 1689 Crown offered to Protestants William and Mary, but opposed in Highlands
- 1689 James Graham "Bonnie Dundee" leads Jacobite Rebellion, wins at Killiecrankie, and dies
- 1705-01 Laird Andrew Spalding died
- 1705 New Laird of Ashintully: David Spalding son of Andrew
- 1707 Parliamentary Union with England
- 1715 Jacobite Rebellion led by Earl of Mar, defeated at Sheriffmuir
- 1744 Laird David Spalding died
- 1745 Jacobite Rebellion - Bonnie Prince Charlie, defeated at Culloden in 1746
- 1777 First road, bridge, connects Strathardle with Blairgowrie and the lowlands
- 1947 Aton family, 3 daughters, sold Ashintully to family of current owners?
When I'm finished cross-checking the genealogy in my computer
(containing a few hundred entries now) I'll
provide a GEDCOM file and an HTML version of it here.
I have a copy of these
- F.J.S and M.S, Notes and Traditions Concerning the Family of Spalding (PDF with attempt at OCR)
1914, Henry Young & Sons, Liverpool. 250 pages.
- A. G. Reid "Strathardle - Its History and its People",
2nd Edition, Blairgowrie Printers 1986, 1992
- E Merton Coulter's "Thomas Spalding of Sapelo"
Louisana State University Press, Univ, LA 1940
- Lovell, Caroline Couper, "The Golden Isles of Georgia", 1939,
Little, Brown and Company, Boston. 300 p.
- Vanstory, Burnette, "Georgia's Land of the Golden Isles",
Revised Ed. 1970, University of Georgia Press, Athens. 225 p.
- Sasines of Perth, Edinburgh, & general register:
RS 52/22 pp 395v-396v C044361 1740-10-21 James Spalding - missing last page
RS 52/23 pp 276r-277r C044361 1743-05-09 John Spalding
RS 52/23 pp 344v-345v C044388 1743-11-29 Thomas Bisset of Glenilbert <= Thomas Spalding
RS 27/135 pp 175r-177r C044401 1749-03-21 James Spalding of Bonnymills
RS 27/143 pp 346r-351f C044401 1754-05-18 James Spalding of Bonnymilns
RS 27/144 pp 259v C044401 1754-09-26 Ann Learmonth, relict of Thomas Spalding of Leith Mill
RS 27/155 pp 328r-337v C044401 1760-03-04 James Spalding of Bonnytoun Milns
RS 27/201 pp 215v-221r C044401 1772-10-20 James Spalding, merchant in Georgia
get: RS 27/17 pp 473-? 1719-01-16 John Spalding - mentions Thomas Spalding
- Wylly, Thomas Spalding,
"Westward Ho - in '49": Memoirs of Captain Thomas S. Wylly.
Pacific Historian 22(Spring 1978): 71-96; (Summer 1978): 120-144;
(Fall 1978): 274-297; (Winter 1978): 327-352.
-- A fascinating gold rush memoir by my great-great-grandfather, a
descendant of these Spaldings, scanned in by my mom!
Internet sources on Spaldings
- Spalding Memorial -
an ambitious project to update and publish information based
on a 1300 page/15000 name book first published in 1872.
The Spalding Family of Monroe Michigan
(was ncbi) -
Andrew Spalding born in Perthshire, Scotland in 1790
and Isabella Morris, born April 1803, married
September 25, 1824 in Bendochy, Scotland. They
immigrated to the US in 1843. It shouldn't be too hard
to find a link from Andrew to the other Spaldings discussed here.
Spalding and Dawson Families -
Lots of information about some Spaldings in Great
Britain, Maryland, Kentucky, who may or may not be related.
Thomas Spalding was born in Fornham All Saints Parish, County
Suffolk, England, around 1640. He came to Maryland about
General Internet sources
Other useful references
- C. Fergusson, "Sketches of Strathardle":
Lectures of Charles Ferguson to the Gaelic Society,
1889-1900 at Inverness, transcripts held by the
- Privy Council records of some sort on disciplinary measures.
- Register of Alyth
- Register of Deeds, Durie (e.g. vol 229 heritable Bond 30 may 1750)
- Register of Edinburgh Academy (and/or University?)
- "Records of Invercauld"
- Maps: 1st Ordinance Survey map of 1867
- William Owen, "Highland place-names", Great Glen Publications,
- Major-General Stewart, "Sketches of the Highlanders", vol i, p 70.
- John Prebble, "The Lion in the North - One Thousand Years
of Scotland's History", Penguin, 1981 edition.
- Andrew Fisher, "A Traveller's History of Scotland", 1994
- Indexes to the "Service of Heirs in Scotland".
- Duke of Athole, "Families of Tullybardine and Atholl"
- Lachlan Rattray, Mansuscripts.
- Stodart, "Scottish Arms"
- "Jacobite correspondence of the Atholl family, during the Rebellion,
- "Old Law Paper, Edinburgh. First Division, Feb 15, 1814"
Ashintully estate dispute
- Major ?T. D.? Robertson-Reid "A Short History of Clan Robertson"
- Liddell, Colin Pitlochhry - Heritage of Highland District"(?)
- McDonald - "History of Blairbowrie", 1899.
- Marshall, "Historic Scenes of Perthshire"
- Scottish Statistical Accounts, 1791 (the first)
- Ghost of Mause (Fiction?)
- Living in Atholl : A Social History of the Estates, 1685-1785
- Rights of Way - a guide to the law in Scotland published by
The Scottish Rights of Way Society Ltd, 1 Luton Place,
Edinburgh, EH8 9PH. ISBN: 0 9502811 31.
- Journal of Roman Archaeology, volume 4 (1991), p 315..Lawrence Keppie
Roman Britain beyond Hadrian's Wall: some recent research
W. S. HANSON, Agricola and the conquest of the north;
G. S. MAXWELL, A battle lost: Romans and Caledonians at Mons
G. S. MAXWELL, The Romans in Scotland;
S. S. FRERE and J. J. WILKES, Strageath, excavations
within the Roman fort, 1973-86.
Mormon library in Salt Lake:
- Eduard Spalding in German "Spaldings in Scotland, Sweden & Germany",
1898, 88p? 0282490
- Charles Spalding "Some memoranda in relation to Thomas Spalding
of Sapelo" 35 p ms. 1878 0184501 item 14
- Bible records 1772-1904 40 p. Sara Leake Spalding et al. 0203240
- Johnstone & Spalding Families of Eastern Scotland.
Film area 0924442 item 2
Listed by Amazon.com:
- Monumental inscriptions (pre-1855) in North Perthshire John
Fowler Mitchell (Hard to Find)
- Perthshire in history and legend Archie McKerracher (Hard to
- (perthshire book??), Leah Leneman / Hardcover / Published 1986
Our Price: $30.00
Please let me know of any corrections, additions, or other good sources!
If you can read handwritten sasines from Edinburgh in the 1700's
(see the list above), I'm willing to pay for transcriptions!
Last modified: Fri Feb 12 2010