This is a special edition of the Blog to wish a very Happy 90th Birthday to Fearnan’s good friend and former resident, Ian McGregor.
In pre-covid times, we would have invited Ian to a special birthday tea in the village hall, but things being as they are, we are toasting him with our teacups in digital style!
Many have fond memories of Ian and Ann’s time in the village. Ian is an enthusiast and was involved in many aspects of village life. It might have been afternoons spent painting and sketching with the Art Club, or the rather more energetic Friday evening Country Dancing after which Ian, along with Fraser Mcleod, Andy Burt and a dram or three, would put the world to rights. Other claims to fame include skiing through the village one snowy winter’s day and, of course, his book!
Ian researched and wrote Fearnan, the Story of a Highland Village of Northern Perthshire – the definitive history of Fearnan, from the Iron Age to the present day.
He has always been a great supporter of village events, regularly bringing several generations of the family to our annual Strawberry Tea in July.
Since moving to Auchterarder, Ian has continued his research – this time into his own family’s history – and has unearthed an amazing coincidence!
He had got as far as establishing that his family in Ayrshire went back to the birth of John McGregor in 1740 at Gillhead Farm near Tarbolton, but was unable to get further back – one possibility being that perhaps his family had travelled down from the north, having been cast out of their highland home in the Clearances.
Recently he decided to have his DNA tested, which opened up the opportunity to contact other researchers of family history and who shared his DNA. There were many connections, mainly from Australia, USA and U.K. However, two arrived recently with their earliest known ancestor Duncan McGregor, from Stronfearnan, born 1760, and John Dubh, no born date given.
Ian said: “Clearly I need to attempt to connect these names to my family tree. If I succeed I should perhaps be able to identify the Croft where my early family lived. That would be special for me, having chosen to retire to Fearnan with no idea that my family had lived there two and a half centuries before.”
That’s a story we will certainly keep in touch with but, in the meantime, have a wonderful 90th birthday, Ian!