Special visitors to Aboyne Games

Duncan Mackintosh and wife Annie will visit the games for the first time on Saturday
Duncan Mackintosh and wife Annie will visit the games for the first time on Saturday

Descendants of one of the founders of Aboyne Highland Games will travel more than 3,000 miles to attend the event for the first time this Saturday.

Duncan Mackintosh, the great-grandson of William Mackintosh, the founding chairman of the games, is making the journey from America with his family after discovering his ancestor’s connection in an article online.

The massed pipe bands at last year's Aboyne Highland Games. Picture: Harry Scott

The massed pipe bands at last year's Aboyne Highland Games. Picture: Harry Scott

William Mackintosh was one of 20 men who organised the inaugural Aboyne games in 1867, creating an annual event that remains popular today. His identity was only fully discovered two years ago as part of celebrations to mark the 150th anniversary.

The current committee asked Aberdeen and North-East Scotland Family History Society to provide some insight into the names of the founding committee listed in the minute book from 1867.

Following significant research, the mysterious figure listed simply as the Lord Provost of Aboyne was revealed as William Mackintosh, who was born in early 1830 in the Inverness-shire parish of Daviot and Dunlichity

After making his startling discovery last year, Duncan, vowed to attend the Royal Deeside event and celebrate his family’s link with it.

Joining Duncan, who worked in the North American hardwood manufacturing industry before retiring, and his wife Annie, a grammar school teacher, on the trip will be their daughters Eliza and Adelaide.

be their daughters Eliza and Adelaide.

Duncan said: “I knew my family came from Aboyne, but did not know anything about my great-grandfather’s connection with Aboyne Highland Games or being Lord Provost of Aboyne.

“When my father and I visited in 1967 he showed me where the family had stayed at Mill Cottage in Aboyne before they moved to Aberdeen.

“Learning what we have in the past year has filled in some of the blanks about our Scottish family tree and opens doors to enable further exploration.”

Duncan’s grandfather, also William, was born in Aboyne in 1879, the youngest of six children of William Mackintosh and Mary Symon.

Games chairman Alistair Grant said: “When we set out to build a picture of our founding committee as part of our 150th anniversary celebrations in 2017, we never expected to be contacted by one of their descendants living overseas.

“We were surprised when Duncan got in touch and are thrilled that he and his family are making the journey across the Atlantic to attend this year’s Aboyne Highland Games.”

Thousands are expected to head for the Green on Saturday with events starting at 10.30am.