This clan were members of the Clan Chattan confederation. Their originator was Farquhar, the fourth son of Alexander Cier (Shaw) of Rothiemurchus, owner of the Braes of Mar in Aberdeenshire, near which the River Dee has its source.
A 19th century depiction of a Farquharson clansman by R.R. McIan
Farquhar had a son, Donald, who married the heiress of Invercauld, Isobel Stewart, and had a son, Finla Mór. Finla Mor could be considered the first Farquharson. At the Battle of Pinkie in 1547 he was the standard bearer and died in the battle. He left nine sons, as keen to father as himself, and the clan soon became numerous and influential.
In 1595 however, they were not yet as strong as some with desires for Farquharson property, so they wisely entered a bond of manrent with the chief of the MacKintosh, thereby associating themselves with the Clan Chattan confederation. This was a popular form of household insurance in 16th century Scotland.
The Erskines attempted to reclaim the Earldom of Mar around this time. John Erskine, 18th Earl of Mar, built Braemar Castle in 1628, towards this end. Eventually however, with his foes rapidly becoming known as ‘the fighting Farquharsons’ because of their increasing ferociousness, the castle was ultimately taken from him and his plans ruined.
During the Rising of 1745, the chief of MacKintosh was Angus, who was an officer in the Black Watch, fighting against the Jacobites. His wife, however, was Anne, daughter of Farquharson of Invercauld, and she rallied the Clan MacKintosh to fight under Clan Chattan for the Jacobite cause.
When Angus was captured at the Battle of Prestonpans, he was sent home to his wife. Anne greeted him with the words, ‘Your servant, Captain’. He famously retorted, ‘Your servant, Colonel’. From then on she has been known as Colonel Anne. After later saving Bonnie Prince Charlie from capture at one point, Colonel Anne was imprisoned at Inverness for six weeks.
In 1941 Captain Alwyne Compton Farquharson of Invercauld was made Clan Chief, His estate is world famous for the Braemar Highland Gathering, a favourite with royalty since Queen Victoria’s reign. Capt. Alwyne Farquharson of Invercauld, passed away in 2021. The new Chief is his grand nephew, Phillip Compton Farquharson of Invercauld