Falconer and Burnes
These families were established for many years in the same area and it is highly likely that Margaret Falconer (1659-1749) who married James Burness and a direct ancestor of the poet Robert Burns, is of the same family as Archibald Falconer who married their great grand-daughter. Indeed as these families were in the area for such a long time the connection between them might be stronger than official records reveal.
Falconer was the name given to the men who had charge of the hawks and falcons of King William the Lion c1200. The Barons Falconer of Halkerton (Hawkers Town) were the ancestors of the Earl of Kintore. The parishes of Fordoun, Garvock, Benholm, Laurencekirk and Fettercairn were all areas where Falconers settled. The parishes of Inverbervie, Glenbervie and Arbuthnot were common to the Burnes and Falconer families.
The Burnes family appears to have arrived in Scotland among the Saxon followers of Edgar Atheling after 1066, though some sources say they were followers of Edward I who was known to have been in Glenbervie and followers of that name in his retinue. The name also arises as a place name in the district in charters granted by Robert I. The Burnes family were leaseholders of the land of Bralinmuir and Bogjordan.
Two historical points of interest:
1) Alexander Falconer, farmer at Birnie, carried arms in the rebellion and after Culloden, harboured rebels. He was apprehended and taken prisoner to Brechin. It is not known if he was a direct ancestor but in the 19th Century, a William Falconer became farmer at Upper Birnie, parish of Benholm.
2) David Burness served as a volunteer in the rebel army of 1745. According to the evidence of John Hodge and George Watson, brewers in Johnshaven, “though his present whereabouts are not known.”
Archibald FALCONER was born on February 15, 1771, in Glenbervie, Kincardineshire, the child of Robert and Elspet. He married Katharine Beattie BURNESS and they had 11 children together. Katherine died in 1817, possibly in child-birth as Isabel was born that year. He later married Ann Watson on November 21, 1819 and they had one child (Allan) in 1823. Archibald died in 1851 having lived a long life of 80 years. Probably a farmer, possibly Fallside in parish of Drumoak.
Children of Archibald and Katherine:
William FALCONER was born on October 24, 1804, in Drumoak, Aberdeenshire, his father, Archibald, was 33 and his mother, Katharine, was 29. He married Mary Anne Lindsay Ronaldson and farmed in Upper Birnie and later moved to a farm at Hele Barton, Petrockstowe, Devon for 10 years from 1852-1862. He returned to farm at Candy, Glenbervie. He died from stomach cancer on March 14, 1870, in Glenbervie, Kincardineshire, at the age of 65.
John FALCONER b. 1805–1870 in • Peterculter, Aberdeenshire
Archibald FALCONER b. 1809–1899 • Fallside, Aberdeenshire
George FALCONER 1809 –
Jane FALCONER b. 25 Jan 1812 • Echt, Aberdeenshire
Alexander FALCONER b. 25 Oct 1815 • Echt, Aberdeenshire
Isabel FALCONER b. 1817 • Echt, Aberdeenshire
Allan Falconer b. 26th Feb 1823–1893 • Kinneff and Catterline, Kincardineshire – half-brother to William following his father’s marriage to Ann Watson (b 1795, died 3rd March 1850). Alan married Ann Murray on 30th Dec 1851 at Dunnottar. They moved to Petrockstowe, Devon and had four children – Elizabeth (1860), Eliza (1862), Mary (1863) and Susan (1868). He farmed at South Hill Farm. The area was well known for its Aberdeen Angus cattle and sheep rearing.
Children of William and Mary Anne Lindsay Ronaldson
William FALCONER was born on December 25, 1843, in Kincardineshire, his father, William, was 39 and his mother, Mary, was 30. He had six sons and two daughters with Williamina ALEXANDER between 1882 and 1897. He was a farmer at Cairnton, Kincardineshire and was held in high regard as a farmer. The 1871 census records him as a “farmer of 289 Acres of which 277 Arable, Employing 4 Men and Boys and 3 women”. The tenant in Candy at the time was a Charles Rankin who in 1863 took over the tenancy of Chapelfield, St Cyrus that had been given up by John Fairweather. He died on July 18 1902, in Paldy Fair, Fordoun, Kincardineshire, at the age of 58. William is buried in Benholm cemetery.
- “Paldy fair is the most considerable market; it is held on a moor, about 2 miles north of Auchinblae, at the foot of the Grampians, in the month of July, for the sale of cattle, sheep, and horses.”
The New Statistical Account of Scotland – 1837 – Fordoun, Kincardineshire
David FALCONER 26 Dec 1845–1891 • Benholm, Kincardineshire, Scotland. Merchant, Mincing Lane, London. Married Lou Bradley. Their children died without issue.
Elizabeth Brown Falconer 09 Jan 1848–1850
Mary FALCONER 04 May 1852–1929 • Benholm, Kincardineshire. Married 9th Jan 1878 to Rev R M Boyd and had 9 children. The eldest, William, was a minister in Melrose. John was killed in First World War.
John FALCONER 12 Jun 1853–1855 • Petrockstowe, Devon, England
Ann Victoria Falconer: born 9th Nov 1859 in Petrockstowe (Padstow), Devon. Married January 9, 1878, the same day as her sister Mary to John Ronaldson, her cousin. Both sisters were cousins of Elizabeth Brown Fyfe who married John Fairweather in 1848. She died 10th March 1924, 117 Devonshire Road, Forest Hill, Lewisham, London.
Aberdeen Journal 23rd July 1902
Obituary – Mr William Falconer
A wide circle of friends will learn with deep regret the announcement of the death, which occurred suddenly on Friday about 10.30am on the market stance of Paldy Fair, of Mr William Falconer, Cairnton, one of the most prominent and most highly respected agriculturists in Kincardineshire. Mr Falconer left Cairnton early in the morning to attend the market, and while in conversation with his brother-in-law, Mr D Soutar, Powis, he uttered a faint exclamation and fell to the ground. Several persons went to his assistance, along with Dr Nicoll, Hampstead Hospital, who is at present on a visit to his father, Mr David Nicoll, Schoolhouse, Tipperty, but their services were to no avail. Mr Falconer was born at Birnie, and afterwards went to England for a few years, but came back to attend the farm at Candy, in Glenbervie parish, which was leased by his father. He leased the large farm at Cairnton about 20 years ago, and since then has leased the farms at Heatheryhaugh, on the Glendye property, and Upper Powburn, and purchased the small grazing estate of Shiells in Laurencekirk. Mr Falconer was a justice of the peace for the county of Kincardine, county councillor for Fourdon, and chairman of the Parish Council and School Board of Fourdon. He was manager of the Kincardinshire Auction Company and manager of the farm at Fettercairn Distillery. Of sound judgement and wide experience, his services were in much request as a stock valuator. In the general administrative work of the county and district he took an active and intelligent share. By his many friends in the counties of Forfar and Aberdeen, as well as Kincardine, he was held in the highest esteem on account of his personal qualities and business aptitude. In private life he was the most genial of men. Mr Falconer, who was in his 59th year, is survived by a widow and six sons and two daughters, for who much sympathy is expressed.
Children of William Falconer and Williamina ALEXANDER
William Gladstone FALCONER was born in 1882 in Fordoun, Kincardineshire. Married Jessie Hall Duncan (She died in 1963 in Stracathro, Angus, Scotland). No children. William died, 27 Dec 1951 • Westburn House, Fettercairn, Aberdeenshire. Buried Laurencekirk Cemetery.
Williamina (Mina) FALCONER: 06 Aug 1883 • Cairnton, Fordoun, Kincardineshire. She married Alexander Smith on 21 December 1906 in Grand Hotel, Union Terrace, Aberdeen. After he died, she married Harold William Washington Torry on 28 April 1910 in Cairnton, Fordoun, Kincardineshire. Died, 17 Jan 1924 • Aberdeen
Daisy FALCONER 1886 • Fordoun, Kincardineshire
John Fettess FALCONER: 1889–1948 • Fordoun, Kincardineshire. He married Janet Leslie McNaughton on 31 May 1919 in Parish Church, Buckie, Rathven, Banffshire, Scotland. He married Hilda Newman. He died on 17 May 1948 in Ashgrove, Forres, Moray, Scotland, at age 59.
Harold Alexander FALCONER: 05 Feb 1891 • Fordoun, Kincardineshire. Aberdeen University Diploma in Agriculture, 1909. Commissioned, Royal Field Artillery, February 1915. Served-Home, 6 months; France, 2½ years. Final rank, Captain. Mentioned in despatches. He died on 5 May 1926 in Queen Victoria Memorial Hospital, Nice, France, at age 35.
James Douglas FALCONER: 1893 • Fordoun, Kincardineshire. He married Janet Scott Adam on 15 April 1925 in United Free Church, Laurencekirk, Kincardineshire, Scotland.
Hugh Crombie FALCONER: 1895–1966 • Born Cairnton. Fordoun, Kincardineshire. CBE OBE (military division). Sc, 1911-13. Trooper, Scottish Horse, 13 Aug. 1914; commd.. Black Watch, Sept. 1918; attd. 6th R.R.C. Served — Home, Gallipoli, Egypt, Salonika, Home, Aug. 1915-Dec. 19 19. Final rank, 2nd Lieutenant. Farmer in Berwickshire. Chairman of the British Wool Marketing Board. Played for Berwick Rangers. He married Agnes Williamina Manson on 5 October 1920 in Pittengardner, Fordoun, Kincardineshire, Scotland. He died in 1966 in Coldingham, Berwickshire, Scotland.
David George FALCONER: 1897 • Fordoun, Kincardineshire
Catherine Falconer Boyd (b. 1886 – daughter of Robert Boyd and Mary Falconer) was superintendent at North of Scotland Agricultural College. Some of her children are buried at Glenbervie. Died 1977
Children of John Ronaldson and Ann Victoria Falconer:
Evelyn RONALDSON was born on December 2, 1878, in Sutton, Surrey, her father, John, was 36 and her mother, Anne, was 19. Evelyn married John FAIRWEATHER on July 7, 1906, in Lewisham, Kent. They had four children during their marriage. She died on January 15, 1980, in Stepps, Glasgow, Lanarkshire, at the age of 101, and is buried in Bedlay Cemetery, Moodiesburn, Lanarkshire.
Winifred RONALDSON: b. 24 Feb 1880–1952 • Sutton, Surrey, England
William RONALDSON: b. 12 May 1881–1935 • Carshalton, Surrey, England