I've now uncovered so many Australian descendants of Andrew's, which will take me a long time to sift through. Meanwhile, back in Scotland, I'm still trying to hunt down the place of birth for Walter and Helen Scott, Andrew's parents.
Ballantyne isn't a highland name, more often it's associated with the Borders, and I have a hunch that Walter and Isobel moved north for work at the beginning of the 19th century. The earliest document that I can find is an Old Parochial Register which mentions Robert's birth in 1837. The writing is difficult to read anne Robert's entry is a bit squashed in at the bottom of the page. Interestingly though, underneath his name 'Laidlaw' has been written and bracketed with 'Robert'.
What is this about? Is it Robert's middle name? Is it a link to another family member, perhaps Walter's mother? Who knows - but this morning, while chasing up some links on Robert's sister, Beth (or later Betty), I discovered that both she and Andrew (the horse borrower) worked as servants for Robert and Isobella (Anderson) Laidlaw from Achnasheen.
Isobella was born around 1796, in Yarrow, Selkirkshire, while Robert Laidlaw was born around 1793 in Moffat, Dumfriesshire - much the same age as Walter & Helen (Scott) Ballantyne. More research needs to be done on this Laidlaw line to see if there is any evidence of more links between the families.
By 1851 Robert Laidlaw is now listed as manager of sheepfarm in Achnasheen and by 1861
they are living at Auchnaclerach in the parish of Contin, Ross & Cromarty, where Robert Laidlaw is listed as a late sheep manager and their son John is a shepherd. Marion and Isabella Broadfoot – nieces - are living with them and they were also born in Yarrow, Selkirkshire.
The 1871 census shows that Robert Laidlaw, now 78, is living at Glenskaich Farm House, Fodderty, and is a sheep manager.
More to find out, as ever, but interesting!