In the autumn of 1921, John Fletcher, of the Inveroran branch of the family, received a suggestion from Mr.George A.J.Lee, the Deputy Keeper of the Records of Scotland – and husband of Harriet Fletcher of the Dunans family – that a Society should be formed consisting of any Fletchers who could show proof that they had connections with the old Highland families. There had been a similar idea shortly before the 1914-18 War, but the scheme lay dormant during hostilities. In the intervening period a considerable amount of information was gathered together from various sources. The Parish Registers of Glenorchy, Dunoon, Innishail, Muckairn and Kilmodan were examined, and the basis was formed for the pedigree I have since compiled. This has been divided into sections for the purpose of this book, so that the reader may more easily refer to each branch whilst reading the appropriate chapter.
The Society aimed to encourage the collection of further data in order to compile an authentic history of the Clan, and hoped for the enthusiastic support of the many Fletchers who lived abroad, as well as those nearer home.
By September 1921 the Society was again under way, and a temporary committee was formed, consisting of the following-
President Ian Archibald Fletcher (Dunans)
Vice-Presr Rev. Miles Douglas Fletcher (Pubil)
Directors Bernard Fletcher (Dunans)
John Fletcher (Inveroran)
Rev.Angus Peter Fletcher (Barran)
Dr. Duncan Johnston Fletcher
Sec. & Treas Miss Anne C. Grieve (Tyndrum)
I have indicated in brackets the respective branches to which these officers belonged. It is not clear what connection Dr. Duncan Johnston Fletcher had with the Clan, but his roots were said to be in Glenorchy, and he was therefore eligible for membership of the Society.
Copies of the rules, letter headings and envelopes were printed, and membership cards prepared. A number of Fletchers from various parts of the world began to show an interest in the venture, and John C.C. Fletcher, then living in Edinburgh, was a very lively organiser. He received a good deal of help from lan A. Fletcher and his brother Bernard. Anne Grieve was a seemingly tireless secretary, and was all the more enthusiastic because of the tremendous interest of her late uncle, Angus Fletcher of Tyndrum, who had been extremely keen on the history of the family, and had personally done considerable research prior to his death in 1911.
Bernard Fletcher of Dunans also did a lot of research, and by the year 1924 a manuscript had been prepared by John C.C. Fletcher, who had by that time been living in the United States for several years, He had, however, kept in very close touch with the Society, and with Ian Fletcher in particular. John Fletcher, in a letter to Ian Fletcher in March 1924, indicated that he was intending to have the manuscript typed and that he would have a copy sent to the Society as a gift. This was apparently done, as in December, 1926, Anne Grieve refers in a letter to Ian Fletcher to the ‘history’ being at that time in the possession of the Rev. Angus Peter Fletcher, who was then Minister at Bothwell, near Glasgow. He was, incidentally, the son of Peter Fletcher of Barran. Up to the present time I have been unable to discover the thereabouts of this ‘history’. If it does come to light before my own efforts are put to print I will add any new facts I may learn in a ‘post script’.
Altogether, between 1921 and 1926, some fifty or more Fletchers joined, or showed an interest in the Society. A few of those who wrote to the Secretary were found to be ineligible for membership, but there was no doubt at all about the origins of the majority,
Towards the end of 1926 John C.C. Fletcher died in New Haven, Connecticut. He had fought for six months against illness, which finally brought his life to a close. He left instructions in his Will that his papers were to be sent to Mr. John McGregor, W.S., of Edinburgh, who was the historian to the Clan Gregor. His wish was apparently carried out, and the McGregor Papers, which are now at Register House in Edinburgh, contain many interesting references to the Fletchers of Glenorchy. I am indebted to Col. Archibald Fletcher of Dunans for the loan of a file of letters which belonged to his father, lan A. Fletcher. This was correspondence relating to the Clan Fletcher Society, and the details therein have been extremely useful to me in tracing the descendants of some of the original members.
¬© 1973 & 1999 Margaret Mason