OTHER STRONACH FAMILIES IN NORTH AMERICA
There are perhaps no more than ten other distinct lines of Stronachs in North America. I have included what information that I have found concerning them in the book for benefit of those Stronachs not of our family. Most of this information is in the form of letters, so these are copied herein verbatim.
LETTER FROM JAMES WATSON STRONACH, M.D.
**This is a copy of a letter given to J.M. Stronach by the late Percy d. V. Baker.
A letter from James Watson Stronach to his daughter, Mrs. J.B. Cleaver, no addresses given.
October 21, 1897
My Dear Lizzie:
I wrote to you this morning but forgot to answer your querys as to our crest. You are right, "mailed arm-in-hand, a swaord" with the motto, "Pro Rege et Patria", I had it on my signet ring and all my stationery. But having become a citizen of a Republic, I foolishly (or modestly, as you will) gave it up. As I write this, I think I erred in doing so.
If you think it worth your while to use the crst and hand it down to your children, I shall be glad for it is your inherited right. I was born where our ancestors had lived for over 500 years in the same house, which had been a castle and bore the name of "Stronavich" (which really means the home and birthplace of the Stronachs)[web mistress note: the "-avich" suffix is not Gaelic in origin, there is no letter "v" in the Gaelic alphabet] and I do not know and never have heard of any bar or spot in our escutcheon from the 14th century til now. So that you have a better right to your crest than 9/10ths of the nobility of England, including the reigning family.
If you will call at Putman's publishing house in west 23rd street you can see the crest under the title of "Cameron of Lochiel Inverness", with whom we were near kinsmen; the name being Camstron [web mistress note: the Gaelic form of Cameron is actually Camshron, with the "sh" being silent, leading to the English "Cameron".] and reversed Stronach [again, the Gaelic form is Sronach] and a literally little anglicized "Cameron". In Scots families, during the olden days the prefix in one generation was frequently the affix in the next and pretty near the same custom held good in all divisions of the Gaelic race and their spelling varied more less - some of our race being Shromach (pure Gaelic). And again, Stronech - but after all, the name as it now stands is pure, good, Gaelic; "ach" being the alternative as an affix to Mac as a prefix, so that some of our kisnman were called MacStron (looks funny doesn't it?).
George Stronach's letter to me was in reply to an inquiry of mine. A certain educated lowland Scotsman having informed me he that he believed our name was a mixing of Scots and Scandanavian. I wanted to know the truth and so wrote to George for his opinion. When I was a boy I used to visit the ruins of an old church in the forest within a mile of our home. The trees had been growing for many years (probably hundreds) but the old Kirkyard (burying place) was around the ruins, under the trees, overgrown by briars and roots of oaks. We used to scrape off the old moss from the gravestonses and try to decipher the inscriptions - this much we could nearly always make out - that beneath these flags lay former generations of Stronachs. It is not an euphonious name but it is a good, rugged, genuine highland Scots name and we have no need to be ashamed of it-- So if you wish to keep it in memory I shall be pleased, even tho' as a surname it must die out in our immediate family. Your Carolina cousins are immensely proud of it and if they keep on as they have been doing, the name and race will linger for many a years in the South... To me it has the ring of Slogan and calls up memories of the "land of brown heath and shaggy wood, the land of mountain and flood."
LETTER FROM G.B. STRONACH
** This is a copy of handwritten letter in the possession of Ruth Connell of Weston, NS.
George Stronach, Esq.
Nova Scotia, Canada
General Post Office
30 June 1886
I have taken the liberty of writing to you having seen your name and address in the Canadian P. O. Guide.
My objet is to make enquiry regarding my brother, Alexander Stronach, a native of Aberdeen in the east of Scotland.
He left home some forty years ago or more when I was a lad at school and I have never heard of him again.
There are not many of the name even in Scotland, and it appeared strange to see two of this same name in the Post Office Service in Canada.
I happen also to be in the Post Office service in Scotland. I am one of the controlling officers in the General Post Office Edinburgh, where I have been for the last thirty two years. All my brothers and sisters with the exception of James are dead.
I shall esteem it a favour if you will communicate with me and if you are no relation to my brother, perhaps you would kindly send me the address of any others of the same name whom you may chance to know --
Should you or any of your people visit Scotland, I shall be glad if you will call on me. You will find my name in the Edinburgh Directly or at the Post Office here.
With best wishes
Yours very truly
G. B. Stronach
** A second letter between the same two parties.
Your letter of 1st Dec. last reached me in London where I have ben on a visit to my daughter.
It is so good of you to answer my letter. My father was also named George Stronach, and originally came from B---- [possibly Banffshire] from the Parish of Rathan (?) in Scotland.
I have no doubt our forbearers were in some way related. I have no retired from the service of the Post Office according to a new order in Council that makes it imperative to retire at 65.
I have got a pension of 250 pounds a eyar. My oldest brother, Alexander, came to America sometime about the year 1837 and we heard that he landed at the Bay of Chaleur and married a farmer's daughter there, but we never got any word directly from himself, but merely by people who saw him. I am sorry to say that I lost my poor wife in June 1890 which was a terrible blow to me. The most dear and unselfish woman that ever lived.
I should be very pleased to hear of any of my brothers family if they are living and thank you for your kind offer to make enquiry.
My brother came from Aberdeen in the east coast of Scotland and had a brother named George who was in company with him as a fish curer. No doubt he would talk some of his people of his antecedants and it might be learned from this if he left any family.
I am his youngest brother named Gordon Barclay Stronach.
It is not unlikely that I may visit your country and so depend upon it I will make it my endeavour to see you.
Should you or any of your people ever come to Scotland I will be only too glad to have you for a short time. Although a little out of date I wish you and yours the compliments of the season and may every blessing be yours.
Yours very truly
G. B. Stronach
LETTER FROM JEANNE FRICK
Dear Ms. Crocker:
We have been told by Mr. William Pearce, Manistee, Mich, that you are researching the STRONAC/STRONACH/STRONEAGH family. My g-grandmother was Amelia (Emily) STRONACH, b. Trois Rivieres, Quebec on 29 Jan 1841, daughter of William STRONAC and Abegail--------.
Have you published anything yet? We would be interested in your booklet, if it has gone to press.
Will you please let us know if we can be of help to youw ith any other information we have, or can you help us trace her origins in any way.
Thank you for your kind attention. A self-addressed envelope is enclosed for your convenience.
Very truly yours
George and Jeanne Frick
LETTER FROM STEVE HAROLD, MANISTEE COUNTY HISTORICAL MUSEUM
Dear Mrs. Crocker
Stronachs were the first permanent settlers of Manistee County and I have always been curious about their background. Unfortunately, there is very little information to go on. The best we have is a letter from a family member written in 1940 (copy enclosed) which may be of some help to you.
Our earliest Stronach was John, born about 1795 in Scotland. I believe he may have had a brother Joseph who was drowned about 1850. John's family included: James, born 1820; Adam, born 1824 in New York; Lucy, born 1833, John born 1834; and Isabella, born 1835; all except Adam born in Canada. The information in this paragraph is all found in our 1850 Census.
It looks like this family is not related to George Stronach if the information provided the census taker was correct. If the family does fit or if you have additional information on the Manistee family, please let me know. Our limited information is due to the fact that the family had pretty well died out by the time anyone started recording history.
Steve Harold, Museum Director.
LETTER FROM JOHN STRONACH, JR.
**This is a copy of a letter to Mr. George Despres written 16 Feb 1940 by Adjutant Quarter Master, John Stronach, Jr.
(The original is in the possession of the Manistee, Mich, Museum and it is they who have provided the copy.)
My Dear Despres:
Mother has asked me to answer your letter of Feb 7th. I think your suggestion for placing a sign at "Peanut Junction" is O.K. and covers the matter in fine shape.
Somewhat later than 1841 the Stronachs built a dam across the Little Manistee River, near the South end of Manistee Lake at the place now known as "old Stronach", and erected a lumber mill there.
Neither Mother or I know the town in Canada where the Stronachs first located, it was near Toronto. At present, there is a wholesale fruit and vegetable Company in Toronto, known as Rob't Stronach and Sons.
In Raleigh, NC, there is--or was--a wholesale dry-goods co., Frank Stronach ad Sons. another Stronach family is located in Nova Scotia, Canada and still another, --a manufactuer of nails-- is in Pittsburgh, PA.
Not many are left of the Michigan branch of the Stronachs. As I hear it, they had a small lumber mill and a grist mill at Three Rivers before going to Manistee via Lake Michigan and by means of a small sail boat. They also had stock farm at Three Rivers. I do not know whether their mill was steam or water power one, altho' I would guess the latter since I have heard Dad tell of their knowledge of water power many times.
The Stronach families originally came to America via Canada from Scotland. There are a number of families there at the present time. The late Walter Gibbs told me of them many times. I think they live in Glasgow or Edinburgh. I have so busy making a living and doing other things I never did get all caught up with our family tree. I do know they were of a pioneer type in Canada and Michigan away back around 1830 or earlier.
We are pleased to know that you and yours are all well and quite O.K. With best wishes from Mrs. S, Mother and me, I am
John Stronach, Jr.