Re: [Peterhead] Minister at St Fergus Church
- I googled The National Library of Scotland and it seems to have some
entries, but not much detail. You could try contacting them. Not sure
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> Thanks Anne
> I may be able to visit Peterhead next year. Are the Buchan Observer
> archives also held in Edinburgh or London?
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- Hi Thomas,
I presume that by "St Fergus church, Peterhead" you mean the church in
the village of St Fergus, near Peterhead. I have just received from
the Family History Society of Buchan a copy of the book "St Fergus
Past and Present" by Helen Birnie and Sheila Jessiman. It has a
chapter on the church, and I searched through it for mention of your
ancestor, but could not find his name anywhere. The book records that
Rev. James Mitchell was minister from 1854-94 and his son-in-law Alex
Watt was minister from 1895-1946. I searched for mention of ministers
of other denominations than Church of Scotland, but could not find
anything. It seems possible that your ancestor may have belonged to
one of the secessionist groups that existed after the disruption of
1843, but few details of these are given. There is a paragraph on the
United Free church at Sheilhill (close to St Fergus), but no mention
of a James Strachan. Likewise, no James Strachan is mentioned in the
paragraph on "Other Denominations". Might your ancestor have been an
assistant minister at the time? I don't know if they had them in St
Sorry not to have been of much help. I too am frustrated in my attempt
to find out about ancestors from St Fergus.
Best wishes in your search,
I can't help you on the Buchan Observer but another resource to try is the Aberdeenshire County Library headquarters in Oldmeldrum. Also try searching on Google. I found the following:
James Strachan [Strahan], was born 1st May 1863 Fyvie, the son of John Strachan. He was appointed as the Minister of the Free Church of St Fergus as Mary already mentioned in a previous response, located in Shielhill, in about 1893. He was much published. He attended Aberdeen University as did his brother Dr Robert Strachan, b 4 April 1864, Fyvie & later of Wilson College, Bombay.
Your James Strachan's appointment appears to have been reported in the Aberdeen Weekly Journal Wednesday, April 23, 1890; Issue 10987. There appears to have been an Action for Slander against him while he was at St Fergus in 1893/1894 much reported in the Aberdeen Weekly Journal. Try the Aberdeen City Library for copies of this. However, a faster route would be to try the British Newspapers database 1800-1900 - available free in the UK via a University library. Depending where you are located, also available via your local LDS family History Centre or online for a small day fee via Gale Databases online http://newspapers.bl.uk/blcs/start.do.
There is a book called "The county of Aberdeen" By Henry Hamilton pg 304 which mentions the Free Church at Sheilhill. A Preview version is on Google Books.
In 1903 James Strachan was appointed the minister at Belgrave Presbyterian Church in London. He eventually became Professor of Hebrew at Magee College in Londonderry where he died 1926. So lots more areas for research.
Last but not least, as he attended Aberdeen University, the Aberdeen University Review v. 13-14 - published 1926 - has a write up on him on pg 288. He is also mentioned in the 1938 edition.
- Thank you Charlotte. I do already have a lot of information about James
Strachan. It was this 'action for slander' which caused him much distress, as
recorded in his diary, that I wanted to get more information about. I will
access the British Library newspaper through my nearest university.
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