Glimpses of a family history

Crichie Square

Landed families have left an ineradicable mark on the landscape of the Buchan. In particular, in the late 18th and 19th centuries many lairds in the area developed planned villages as means of populating and developing agriculture on their lands, and fishing where their lands extended to the coast. Some of the planned villages were new foundations, such as the one with the slightly risible name of New Leeds; others such as New Pitsligo, were developments of previously existing settlements. The inhabitants of these villages have been very resistant to the renaming of their communities, and many still prefer to retain the old name, for example Cyack instead of New Pitsligo, a preference that causes confusion to incomers. One such improving laird, John Burnett-Stuart, about 1763, developed the village of Crichie into New Crichie, and afterwards renamed the village Stuartfield to make it sound more attractive to potential feuars.

The account, written by Geordie Burnett Stuart of Dens and Crichie, provides some pieces of a jigsaw of family connections developed through the feudal history of Buchan, and glimpses of the lives of the families who have shaped the area.

(Revision date: Tuesday 19th October 2010)