Rothiemurchus Estate is situated in County Inverness on more than 24,000 acres of land that lies at the heart of the Cairngorm mountains in the Highlands of Scotland. It is the place where John and Betty Taylor More lived for two years before departing for the New World in the Fall of 1772. The Estate grounds, and especially the Rothiemurchus Churchyard and Boring Mill Cottage, has the most direct links to John and Betty in Scotland.
History of the Estate relates that, in the late 1500's, John Grant of Freuchie acquired the lease for his second son, Patrick who became the first Grant laird of Rothiemurchus. Shortly after, a royal charter gave outright title and the Grant family has held the stewardship of the estate unbroken over 400 years to the present day. The current Owner Trustees of Rothiemurchus is John P Grant and the Rothiemurchus Estate Trust.
Today, Rothiemurchus is a favorite vacation spot and natural preserve. It has a 50km footpath network, tours and amazing activities in heart-stoppingly beautiful surroundings. Rothiemurchus shops sell their own wild venison, naturally produced Highland beef and Rainbow Trout, as well as delicious luxury foods, finest Scottish craftwork and gifts, amazing cards and toys, and a full range of fishing tackle. Within its boundaries Rothiemurchus has one of the largest remaining parts of the ancient Caledonian Forest, which is of exceptional national significance, as it is continuously managed for the natural regeneration of trees without interruption.
Sites specifically linked to John and Betty are the Rothiemurchus Churchyard ruins and the Boring Mill Cottage, both of which are located on the Estate.
JMA descendants who want to visit Rothiemurchus should first check out their excellent website at www.rothiemurchus.net for directions, activites, services, where to stay. The best way to assure that you will see everything you are interested in is to send an email to pre-arrange a tour. Or, you can just stop by the Rothiemurchus Visitor Centre to obtain information.
Below are some images from the Rothiemurchus Estate.
From top to bottom -
--Herd of red deer being raised on the Estate.
--Rothiemurchus Churchyard Ruins. This is a probable site of John and Betty's parish since both Betty's mother and John's brother are buried here.
According to the Chronicles of the More Family published by JMA in 1955, John and Betty's family were, "ready to go [to America] in the autumn of 1772. John's relatives were ...nearby but Betty's were fifty miles away. When message reached Elgin, her aged mother set out on the rough journey up the Spey Valley and reached Rothiemurchus only to sicken and die almost immediatley. "
She was buried in the Rothiemurchus churchyard where her gravestone was described as, "lying flat on the south side of Rothiemurchus church and bearing the following legend: 'Here lies the body of Jean Innes, relict of Robert Taylor, sometime dyster in Elgin, who died September, 1772, aged 72 years, being on a visit to her daughter Betty, spouse of John More, then in this parish."
Unfortunately, the gravestone today cannot be located and it is believed to be lost.
--Highland cattle roam the Estate
--The Doune...a ruined island castle on Loch an Eilein is estimated to be at least 600 years old and was used as a refuge in troubled times. The castle was used in the 1700's to hold Jacobite prisoners, but later fell into disuse as Scotland became a more peaceful country.
The Visitor Centre at Loch an Eilein and the surrounding area are part
of the story of Rothiemurchus through the centuries. The loch was at
one time dammed to provide water to float cut timber down to the River
Spey. Limestone was quarried nearby and burnt in the lime kiln beside
the Visitor Centre. Traces can still be seen of the small community which
lived and worked beside the loch.