Emails from Callen Hull

Received: Friday, 23 April, 2010.

Hi Rob,

Well, that was a quick and fantastic reply!! Very pleased to hear back. I usually send a short introductory message to new cousin connections under the assumption that they are probably not that interested, but I see that you definitely are interested! 

So, here is our story. From what I see, your branch descends from Donald Fletcher, one of the 4 sons of Archibald the 8th Chief. I come from John of Inveroran, second son of the 8th Chief. I haven't calculated our exact cousinship yet, likely 7th cousins + The relationships get a bit murky in the late 1600s/early 1700s. Family stories and DNA have shown our connection to be accurate but the lack of a paper trail is frustrating. We were cattle drovers and shepherds who moved all over, many lived and died without ever being recorded on any official document.

John of Inveroran had more children than most things written have shown. His son, Archibald Fletcher of Ardvrecknish (1725 - 1796) is our ancestor. He married twice. Through his second wife, Flora McNab, he had a large family, but not all are accounted for. One of the sons is my 4x great grandfather. In my Ancestry family tree, I simply call him Uknown (John/Duncan) Fletcher as these are names that my father has theorized would like be his. After that, the lineage is quite clear.

My 2x great grandfather, Alexander Fletcher (1823 - 1883), was a grandson of John/Duncan and was born at Glen Orchy. Around 1850, he left Glen Orchy and went to the Isle of Mull to work for Duncan Fletcher, his cousin through one of the children from Archibald Fletcher's first marriage. Duncan had made a fortune trading in Hong Kong and so bought Glen Aros Estate on Mull in the 1840s. There, Alexander met and married Catherine McPhail and they had 5 boys and 5 girls there. The eldest, Angus, born 1855, is my great grandfather.
Duncan Fletcher of Glen Aros married but had no children. He took my great grandfather under his wing, bringing him to live in the 'big house', and it looks as if he was once training him to eventually take over the estate. Late in life, Duncan went bust and his wife, from means herself, saved the estate. When Duncan died, all of the estate went to the family of Duncan's wife, which seems to have upset my great grandfather and his family a great deal. They left the estate and my great grandfather left the island and sought work in Ayrshire.

Great grandfather, Angus Fletcher, met and married a Dumfriesshire girl while he was working in the Lowlands. I can only imagine her culture shock as she left town life, her shop job, and English speaking Scotland behind to go up to the Highlands! Angus took shepherding jobs from then on, all over Argyll. Six children were born with the second youngest being my grandfather, Alexander Fletcher (1890 - 1950), who was also a shepherd all his life. He married a Mull girl but they met on the mainland.

My shepherd grandfather was employed for a McLaren at Succoth, Dalmally when my father was born in early 1931, 4 months after his infant sister (his only sibling) had died there. That is how he came to be born in Glen Orchy. They left because too much sadness was attached to the loss of the little girl there. My grandmother was quite depressed.

My father, who is named Angus Fletcher, lost his mother when he was 6 years old. After that, he and his father moved about a lot. Sometimes my dad was with his father, other times he was left with family. It sounds very sad but the one benefit was that he saw all of the people and places that he was connected to as he moved around. His father always made sure to point out old family homes or important places as they passed them. His father died when he was 19 and so he was alone after that. He took up family tree research, somewhat, probably about that time, so 70 years ago! He has been trying to perhaps build up what was lost to him.

In 1962, he and my mother married. We lived near the village of Tayvallich in North Knapdale, Argyll. When I was a child, we all immigrated to Ontario, Canada. I have been back to Scotland 5 times since, the last in 2012 to celebrate my parents' 50th wedding anniversary.

My parents are both in a nursing home now. They managed to stay in their rural home until 18 months ago. Mum is 92 and Dad will be 90 in February. Mum is quite far into dementia but Dad is very sharp. He loves to talk about family history!! When they moved out of their house, I took charge of Dad's genealogical research and notes, and some of his many, many reference books. Yes, Dad bought Mrs. Mason's book when it came out. They had years of correspondence by mail. Dad is a stickler for accuracy so they had many 'debates'. lol I have the book now.

I have inherited the family history bug, I guess. So here I am!  I will forward this same message to Neil Fletcher, who emailed me as well, and I will send your email to my Dad. He has a laptop computer and we help him look at his emails (which he loves!) when we visit. If you want to email him he is at Yes, the spelling of Achallader is a bit off but my sister tried! ;) 

Dad did DNA testing with Ancestry first. He did the Y test with some other Fletchers here in Canada who also descend from the second marriage of Archibald Fletcher of Ardvrecknish. Then Ancestry got out of the Y business. He later tested again with FTDNA doing both the Y and the Family Finder. I too have done Family Finder at FTDNA. I have also tested with Ancestry, and also 23andme but only because I won a kit in a draw! Dad and I have our DNA data uploaded to Gedmatch and MyHeritage so we do some comparing with people who used other companies to test.

Three photos for you to start. Dad as a young man, on a bridge in Glasgow, about 1957. Dad on his 86th birthday holding his present from me. A gathering of Fletcher descendants/researchers whose people arrived in Canada during various time periods, late 1700s, mid 1840s and 1967! 

This may also interest you. The header photo is of my great grandfather, Angus Fletcher, and family. The small boy is my grandfather. Alexander Fletcher. Do you use Facebook? We have a Fletcher group there. 

Okay, that's enough for now!





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