by David John ALLARDICE (1941 - )


Our Ancestors

A family wheel of our branch of the family has been developed by Bronwyn DALDY nee ALLARDICE, with information compiled by her father, the late Rev Ronald William ALLARDICE and his cousin Stephen Russell ALLARDICE. This traces our family back to John ALLARDICE who married Margaret GOURLAY on 21 Feb 1839, and lived on the south east fringe of Glasgow in the Cambuslang, Rutherglen and Eastfield coal mining area where John held the position of Pit Manager. They had 10 children, the seventh of which was my great grandfather, Nicol Kirkwood Allardice born 27 Aug 1858, who migrated to Australia at 21 on the iron ship Peterborough. He arrived and settled in Sydney on 26 Aug 1880.

The wheel traces Nicol’s descendants, and we have now computerized this information and added some more speculative information on his ancestors, tracing the family back to the mid 1700s, still involved in coal mining around Glasgow and further south around Kilmarnock another coal mining area historically. This information also came through Stephen Allardice with inputs from Isabel Hiscock nee Allardice of Gordon, Sydney and Jean Peden of Raglan New Zealand.

Nicol’s eldest brother Thomas Gourlay Allardice born about 1843, also had 10 children, some of whom migrated to New Zealand, others to India, USA and Australia. Jean Peden is the grand daughter of Thomas’ sixth child, Archibald Robertson Allardice, while Isabel Hiscock is the grand daughter of James, (born 1855), another of Nicol’s older brothers. William (born 1863), another older brother, migrated to Australia before Nicol and established a carpentry and undertaking business in Bowral, NSW and later at Hurstville in Sydney. His branch spells the name Allerdice, possibly due to a phonetic spelling variation by a clerk, when they arrived from Scotland.

Nicol married Sarah Anne SHELTON (b. 30 June 1863 in Derbyshire) in Balmain on 28 June 1883 and they had seven children, the third of which was John Kirkwood ALLARDICE (b. 21 Dec 1886), my grandfather. The youngest, Grace Winifred NICHOLSON nee ALLARDICE of Chatswood, NSW, passed away in 1995. Stephen Russel ALLARDICE, a recently deceased grandson of Nicol has provided more detail of the members of Nicol’s family in separate notes.

My grandfather, John (Jack) Kirkwood ALLARDICE married in 1911 to Lucy Viola THOMPSON of the pioneer RoughlEy family of Dural near Parramatta. They had three sons, Ronald William, Kenneth John (my father) and Reginald Charles. They moved to Melbourne, where the most of Jack’s descendants still reside, and settled in Highfield Road, Canterbury. Jack was a senior manager in the Melbourne Herald’s photogravure section.

Ronald became a Methodist minister, highly respected for his contribution to the Western Samoan community where he spent 17 years as a missionary to 1959, and a further five years on special studies on retirement. He was also the first Moderator of the Uniting Church of Australia and was awarded an AM, Member of the Order of Australia, in 1982 for services to religion. Ron produced the first Samoan English dictionary and was one of the few Europeans to be able to speak the language of the chiefs and orators.

Kenneth John (Ken senior) followed his father Jack’s lead and after an apprenticeship at the Herald as a lithoplate operator, eventually formed Allardice Graphic Arts, a company still managed by his second son, my brother, Kenneth Albert (Ken junior). It is interesting to note that Ken Jr’s son Andrew recently joined the company to become the 4th consecutive generation in the graphic printing industry. Ron’s elder son Ron Jr also started at the Melbourne Herald before moving to the West Australian in Perth. During the 2nd War, Ken Snr served in New Guinea in the 3rd Field Ambulance and at one stage found himself nursing in hospital with malaria, two Allardice cousins from Sydney, Ern and Nicol, who he had not seen for 15 years or so.

Reginald, Jack’s third son, was a salesman with Kalamazoo. He had a distinguished War record flying Flying Sunderland seaplanes for the RAF, hunting U-Boats in the North Sea. With author and best man Ivan Southall in his crew, they were notable for having accepted the surrender of the first German U-Boat to surface on the cessation of hostilities.

Ken’s wife and my mother Melva nee BREWSTER is the only surviving member of Jack’s children’s generation.


The Lands of Allardice

In 1992, my wife and I visited the Stonehaven – Inverbervie area on the East Coast of Scotland between Aberdeen and Montrose. This is the area from which the ALLARDICEs originated. Although we only had a couple of nights in the area, we picked up some useful information which may be of interest to other members of the family to save time if you plan to visit.

The main street of Stonehaven is Allardice Street. Robert Barclay-Allardice of Urie built the Market Buildings (originally the County Offices) facing Allardice Street in 1826, according to a plaque on the wall. His son, Captain Robert Barclay-Allardice, was "a noted pedestrian" and reportedly founded the local Whisky Distillery, to help the farmers dispose of surplus barley in difficult times. There is a good Scottish Tourist Board office in Allardice Street that can assist with directions, information, publications and bookings.

Just South of Stonehaven is the historic remains of Dunottar Castle, but the Allardice lands, according to Scottish clan maps, are about 10-20 kms further South, inland from Inverbervie, in an area locally called The Mearns.

We visited the Castle of Allardice, South of the Bervie Road on the North bank of Bervie Water, about 1.5 km West of Inverbervie. The Castle is more of a baronial mansion, but does have fortifications and is located on a defensive ridge high above a loop in the Bervie Water.

Allardice Castle taken by Rev R W Allardice 1986

The Castle dates back at least to the 17th century and almost certainly is on the site of an earlier Allardice Castle.

Apparently around 1850, the Castle was lived in by a gentleman farmer, Mr Anderson, who was tenant for the Mains of Allardice Farm, but the castle fell into disrepair by 1907. It is now owned and lived in by a Mr Cowie, an accountant with family roots in the Stonehaven area, and has been restored into excellent condition. We did not go inside the castle and the owner, while quite friendly, referred to lots of Allardices visiting, particularly from the USA, and expecting to have access to the family mansion. He said he had a listing of the owners of the Castle, dating back to the 15th century, but unfortunately has not provided me with the promised copy.

We also visited the area for a day in January 1997, when, although colder with a little snow on the ground, the scenery was better. With no leaves on the trees, features such as the castle could be seen from long distances, even from the main bridge at Inverbervie. On this second visit we did not go down the drive as the signs had been removed and the gates closed on the driveway, clearly discouraging visitors to even find the place.

Further west up the Bervie valley, is the Arbuthnott Parish Church of St Ternan, which has been in continuous use since the 12th Century. The early Allardices were buried in the earthen floor of the church and bone chips were encountered when excavating to put in a wooden floor in 1850-51. The more affluent ARBUTHNOTTS from further up the valley were buried in a crypt in a side chapel.

There is a plaque on the wall of the church from Robert Barclay-Allardice, commemorating the Allardice ancestors buried therein.











If I got the date right, 1893, this is consistent as there was a major fire in the church in 1890. The Arbuthnott church visitors book included several Allardices mainly from USA and UK.

Robert Barclay-Allardice, probably the grandfather of the donator of the plaque above, is credited in a book The Lairds of Arbuthnott by Christie Bing, sister of the current Viscount Arbuthnott, with introducing advanced farming techniques to the area around 1790. These included crop rotation, clearing rocks from fields and using lime and fertilisers. He had trained in agriculture in Norfolk and the Arbuthnotts rapidly took up his methods further up the Bervie valley and significantly increased the farm productivity in the area. This is almost certainly the same Barclay-Allardice who built the Market Buildings in Stonehaven.

In the vicinity of Allardice Castle we saw the Mains of Allardice (farm) and the restored remains of Mill of Allardice. We passed another property on the Bervie Road, Denhead of Allardyce, as well as Leys of Allardice, and Hill of Allardice is referred to in texts.

The name appears to be spelt occasionally with a ‘y’ in the area. The Clan Graham INTERNET data reports that Allardice, Allardyce and Allardes are various spellings for the same name, to deal with the ability of clerks at the times these were recorded. These clerks had a varied educational background and as such they had different spelling capabilities.

Just near Arbuthnott on the Bervie Road is a visitors centre to commemorate Lewis Grassic Gibbon, a famous author from The Mearns. It contained several displays on life in the area and they were very helpful with advice to find the church and the castle. It is there that we purchased an informative 1992 reprint of a booklet on Arbuthnott written in 1907 to raise funds for a Parish Hall. It is entitled ARBUTHNOTT- With some reminiscences of the PARISH 60 years ago by Geo Clark Suttie a retired clergyman. It has several references to the Allardices in the area, including the following:


The Allardice Family

Nesbit says that William the Lion gave charters of the lands of Alrethis or Allardice, locally pronounced Airdis, in the Mearns, to a person who afterwards assumed that name, and the Baron of Allardice did homage to King Edward in August 1296. The lairds of Allardice are occasionally referred to as witnessing charters etc and as taking part in the public business of these remote times. In the parliament of 1560, held in Edinburgh, the laird of Allardice, whose wife was a daughter of Robert Arbuthnott, voted for the abolition of the Papal Jurisdiction in Scotland. About 1660, John Allardice of Allardice was created a baronet. Sir George Allardice, who died in 1709 was a sometime Member of Parliament for the burgh of Kintore, and strongly supported the Union. He was also the Master of the Scotch Mint.

Sarah Anne, great grand daughter of Sir George, became heiress of Allardice and married Robert Barclay of Urie, (near Stonehaven) who assumed the additional name of Allardice. This lady died in 1833, and was succeeded by her son Captain Robert Barclay-Allardice, the celebrated pedestrian after whose death ( in 1854) the estate of Allardice was sold to Lord Arbuthnott, and now forms part of the Arbuthnott estates. The Allardice family became Quakers, which may account for the intimacy with the Barclays, which led to the marriage referred to. The head of this ancient family is now we believe, Mr Robert Barclay-Allardice, Mayor of Lostwitheal in Cornwall, who is at present a claimant to the dormant titles of Earl of Airth and Menteith.

Elsewhere the book states::

The Castle of Allardice, a portion of which it is said was erected in 1662 by Sir John Allardice, who in that year married Lady Mary Graham, daughter of the Earl of Menteith and Airth, probably occupies the site of a much older residence.

There is a stone in the Castle wall, marked 1542, with the Allardice Coat of Arms engraved.

Stone in wall of Allardice Castle with date (1542) and Allardice Coat of Arms

It seems that at the time the Arbuthnott booklet was written (1907), and for about 60 years before, there were few significant Allardices in the Arbuthnott Parish. The Barclay-Allardices may have resided closer to Stonehaven (at Urie?) which could explain why the Castle fell into disrepair. Perhaps they moved to Cornwall later and contributed the church plaque from there.


The Allardice Coat of Arms and Motto

The Scottish Clans Web-site on the INTERNET, under Allardice, reports that the Allardices, although not a common name, are an Armigerous family (ie have a Coat of Arms).

The arms are:

  • Argent, a fess wavy Gules between three boar’s heads erased Sable’
    (ie a silver/white shield with a wavy red horizontal band separating three black boar’s heads.

This is topped with a crest of:

  • ‘a demi-savage holding in the dexter hand a scimitar all Proper’
    (ie a small native holding aloft in his right hand a scimitar).

The family motto is reported to be :

  • ‘In the defence of the distressed’.

No Tartan or Badge information is available for Allardice, but normally the Graham of Menteith tartan is worn.

This description matches the coat of arms and crest which are engraved into the ‘date’ stone in the Allardice castle wall illustrated earlier. It also comprises 50% of the shield (upper left and lower right quarters) on a composite colored shield engraved on the plaque in the Arbuthnott church. The other quarters appear to be Barclay and Graham arms derivatives.


The Graham Connection

The Allardice-Graham marriage in 1662 (see above) explains why the family Clan is listed as Graham of Menteith, although there is a Graham of Montrose sept, and Montrose is just south of Inverbervie.

The Graham line in Menteith faltered when the only child, a daughter Lady Mary GRAHAM married Sir John Allardice in 1662. The more aggressive East Coast Grahams such as the Duke of Montrose became the dominant branch. At one stage Montrose marched north and laid waste the Allardice and Arbuthnott lands around Inverbervie despite the family connections.

Menteith is marked as a Graham clan territory with Lake Menteith and its Port of Menteith (for rowing boats only) and the Hills of Menteith, about 40 kms North East of Glasgow. It is mid way between Stirling and Loch Lomond. We visited the area in January 1997 when the lake was partly frozen.

In addition the Graham Clan historic seat, Mugdock Castle is in a state park about 20 km north of Glasgow, in foothills with a strategic view over the Clyde Valley and Glasgow. The Graham Clan Foundation, based in the USA is restoring the old castle. Mugdock Castle is surrounded by delightful features, like Hangman’s Hill and The Drowning Pond (apparently women were drowned, as hanging was not ladylike).

The Clan Graham Society (USA) has a significant presence on the INTERNET, web page: .  There is also a Clan Graham Association in the UK, web page :


Other Connections

The Menteith connection may possibly be the route by which the Allardice name moved from the East Coast around Aberdeen to the West Coast Ayr/Kilmarnock and then Glasgow coal mining areas from where our ancestors immigrated to Australia. There are still many Allardices and Allardyces in the Angus and Grampians Shires and Aberdeen phone directories, and some with the earlier spelling Allardes. Our branch still has a gap to fill in tracing from Menteith to the Ayr/Kilmarnock area where our trail starts, before moving to Glasgow.

Mr Cowie, the current resident of the Allardice Castle, said that a Glenn Allardyce of Houston Texas had done a fair bit of research in 1991. We established contact with Glen who has traced his ancestors to an English naval officer William Allardyce (b.1777) of Ber near Aberdeen, who migrated to Halifax, Nova Scotia in 1799. Two of William’s sons set up a boat building business in Galveston, Texas and took part in the defence of Galveston when attacked by the Union navy in the civil war. Most of his more recent relatives are from the Deep South (riverboat captains and some Robert E Lee Allardyces), and many are/have been heavily involved in the Texas/Louisiana oil industry.

Glen ALLARDYCE has also established a link back to the 13th Century Norman origins in the Bervie Valley. Unfortunately he has not established any link with the Glasgow branch, although he is aware of their existence. It would be good to maintain contact with him because of the volume of research he has conducted. He has for example found evidence of Capt Robert Barclay-Allardice walking and lecturing on farming in Canada in the 19th century.

I am aware of another USA Allardice connection, another Dr David Allardice from the Carolinas, who spent a period teaching at an International school in Aberdeen.

There is another group of the Allardices in Melbourne, not related to Nicol, but we have not established any connection yet.

A Mrs Sally Gunn of Dwellingup WA has also contacted me. She refers to Robert Barclay-Allardice as her great grand mother’s husband. She is interested in tracing family connections and has been provided with most of the material included here. However she is unlikely to be connected to the Glasgow branch of the tree.


Going There?

If any one is thinking of visiting the area, we drove from Edinburgh along the coast and a car is the easiest way to get around. There is a bus and train service from Edinburgh to Aberdeen, which stops at Stonehaven. Some years ago my sister Denise and husband Gavin toured the area by bicycle. We stayed in a good bed and breakfast place at Gourdon, a fishing village about 2 km South of Inverbervie. There are also self contained cottages available for rent in the Old School buildings next to the Arbuthnott church.

The tourist office in Stonehaven is also useful If you are traveling from London, the Scottish Tourist Board office near Piccadilly Circus can provide lots of maps, background information, bookings etc. While The Mearns is not the highlight of the tourist circuit, some of the villages are worth visiting. The area is very close to the Tourist Board’s Whisky Trail and Castle Trail, and includes the scenery of the Grampians, the coast and Balmoral Castle.



If you would like any further information or if you have any updates or other information which may be of interest, please contact me at the address below.



Dr David John Allardice

10 Arcady Grove
Vermont, Victoria, 3133, Australia

Phone: +61 (0)3 9874 1280 Mobile: 0418 100 361
Fax: +61 (0)3 9874 0714 e-Mail:


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Last updated: March 05, 2014