Trying to find the Gordons of Ellon Castle

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During the research for her 1938 book, “General Washington’s Dilemma” Katherine Mayo consulted Colonel E W S Balfour regarding Major James Gordon, who is covered extensively in her book. She mentions precious few acknowledgements, but this appears : “Colonel E W S Balfour, Commander of the Scots Guards and present head of the Gordons of Ellon;”  So, I was delighted to find this tree which tells me that it was Edward William Sturgis Balfour 1884 – 1955 who was Mayo’s source for all things to do with James Gordon.  So far, so good, especially since I also now know that The Scotsman obituary here: relates to the son of E W S Balfour. I am, however, dismayed that the Balfour Family tree in question has no Manager.  Can anyone help me make contact with the descendants of Major Peter Edward Gerald Balfour who died in 2013? I have The Scotsman, but that is unlikely to produce results.  I just cannot believe that all the knowledge held by E W S Balfour regarding James Gordon has been lost since 1955.

Edited to add: I have just messaged Michael Thomas who may be the very person who can help me! Let's hope so!

in Genealogy Help by Anne Ammundsen G2G1 (1.1k points)
edited by Anne Ammundsen

Some info here about the Balfours

A bunch of them living, but only two of those named.

PS Actually 4 or 5 living Balfours named, now I read it again.

I have a problem - Wikipedia says James Gordon was born c. 1735, and the Landed Families blog says his apparent daughter Mary was born 1743.

Perhaps that's a typo for 1753.  Then it'll just work.

Or perhaps the earl had two sons called James.
Thank you so much for that link - with an incredible amount of information.  At first glance I think the "James Gordon" mentioned there is not the same James Gordon I seek. The one I am looking for appears to have been the illegitimate son of the 3rd Earl of Aberdeen (who had no less than four mistresses/families)!  Incredible! This is the man I am after...,_died_1783) but thank you once more and I may need to revert back to your link again.
Katherine Mayo has a great deal on the James Gordon I seek, and I'm almost 100% certain he was unmarried and childless, so I think the search for the right one is a work in progress still!
I've managed to find the man who is, I believe, the great-grandson of E W S Balfour, thanks to your link above (and with a bit of help from FB too)! Maybe I am getting close! I just need him to reply to my email...

I am extremely grateful to RJ Horace for their help. I have found and emailed three descendants now, the most hopeful of which I think will be Robert William Balfour (b. 1952) (q.v.); Lord Lieutenant for Fife. I thank you again so very much.


Such amazing help given earlier led to me being able to give James Gordon a family - his mother's gravestone was the final piece of the puzzle. I am so happy about this.  However, a family historian/friend tells me I am missing a great deal on this James Gordon - it seems he comes from a notable family. I am unable to find anything more than is now on this page,_died_1783)#Military_career .  If anyone knows something I don't know, please be kind enough to tell me (which my friend is not prepared to do - leaving me on tenterhooks)!  Many thanks, Anne

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