Arms of the Stewarts, Dukes of Albany
Website begun April 2007
Last updated 7 June 2020
Welcome to the website of amateur family historian Jared L. Olar
Here you may read what I have been able to discover about the families of my OLAR and SHAW ancestors and the families of my wife's SPENCER and RIGGS ancestors.
A welcome and a note to visitors: Please keep in mind that this website is a work in progress. I strive for accuracy and seek to incorporate solid genealogical scholarship, but errors inevitably creep into family history. In addition, keep in mind that some of the genealogies presented here are in a rough or even raw, early draft -- if you come back later, the genealogy may be updated or corrected or perhaps even overhauled. If any of my information is helpful to you, please feel free to use it to augment and (hopefully) correct your own genealogical records (and my deepest thanks to my fellow researchers who assist me in spotting and correcting my mistakes). I only request that visitors do me and other researchers the courtesy of clearly stating if my website is one of your sources -- please include links to any of my webpages that you rely on as a source. Thanks, and may you have success in your own genealogical endeavors!
** I am always happy to receive additions and corrections to our family records. **
A warm welcome to this website's visitors this week, both near (Fort Huachuaca, Sierra Vista, Arizona) and far (Hawes, Yorkshire, England)!
"A people who take no pride in the noble achievements of remote ancestors will never achieve anything worthy to be remembered by remote descendants." -- Lord Macaulay, History of England.
Website IndexOlar Genealogy
Soldiers of the American Revolution
Notable Genealogical Relationships
Ancestral Surname Index (1600 to present, alphabetised)
Olar and Spencer DNA, with Ancestral Surname Index (1600 to present, by nationality)
The first order of business here is to say "thank you." Ever since I first took a serious interest in my genealogy at the age of 12, many people have provided invaluable assistance in my research, and it would be a great injustice if I did not express my gratitude to them. First and foremost, my thanks must go to my late mother, Dolores Frances Shaw Olar (1936-2007), and my late grandmother, Frances M. Miller Shaw Keithahn (1917-1993), from whom I inherited not only a large amount of genealogical information -- the fruit of my grandmothers' many years of research -- but more importantly, it is thanks to them that I became interested in our family's history. Next, I must thank my late cousin, Clyde R. A'Neals (1911-1996), who shared with me the results of his decades of genealogical research, and his daughter, Geri Carver, who continued to assist me after her father's death.
All descendants and researchers of the Stewarts of Londonderry, New Hampshire, owe a great debt of gratitude to the late Philip Battell Stewart II (1922-1995), to whom the credit goes for discovering the link to the Stewarts of Gartnafuaran, Perthshire, Scotland. The late Scots genealogical researcher Kenneth Robertson also offered crucial assistance to Philip B. Stewart, as did retired Scots genealogical researcher James Dinwoodie. It is thanks to Mr. Dinwoodie that I was informed of the evidence supporting the Gartnafuaran connection to the Stewarts of Londonderry.
My fellow participants in The Stewarts of Balquhidder Research Group have provided and continue to provide immense assistance, especially Rev. Ryk Brown, Chuck Speed, Charles Stuart, Belinda Dettmann, and Kelsey Jackson-Williams. The Stewarts of Balquhidder Research Forum has particularly benefited from the research of Gordon MacGregor.
In some way, each of these cousins and helpers, and so many others I have not named, have made their own individual contributions to the research findings at this website. Thank you all!
The second order of business here is to answer this question: Why is the website named "Fess Chequy"? In the terminology of European heraldry, that is the name of the distinctive heraldic symbol of the great Scottish family of Stewart. The "fess chequy" is a checkered blue and white band that stretches horizontally across the shield. On the Shaw side, I am descended from the Stewarts of Londonderry, New Hampshire, who were a branch of the Stewarts of Gartnafuaran, Perthshire, Scotland. I have spent many years researching my Stewart ancestry, and in tracing my ancestors I have made the greatest headway with the Stewarts. Naturally, then, at this website I place a special emphasis on the ancestry of the Stewarts of Gartnafuaran -- so "Fess Chequy" seemed to be a fitting name.
This website has been online since April 2007 and is a work in progress, but for now my descent from the Stewarts of Gartnafuaran may be found here:
The Gartnafueran Connection
The history of the Stewarts of Gartnafuaran is known for more than 300 years, from their origins just before 1500 until about 1815. They were one of the four principal families of the Stewarts of Balquhidder, a group of families who descended from the Stewarts of Baldorran, who were in turn a branch of the Royal House of Stewart in Scotland. As I mentioned above, I am a member of The Stewarts of Balquhidder Research Group, co-hosted on the internet by my distant cousins and fellow Stewart descendants Chuck Speed and Rev. Ryk Brown.
Here are links to the forum:
The Stewarts of Balquhidder Research Group (Chuck Speed's page)
The Principal Families of the Stewarts of Balquhidder (Ryk Brown's page)
"The profit of my living long ago I dedicated to the unloving dead, Though all my service they shall never know Whose world is vanished and their name unsaid. For none remembers now the good, the ill They did, the deeds they thought should last for aye; But in the little room my voice can fill They shall not be forgotten till I die. So, in a lonely churchyard by the shore, The sea winds sift the sand across the mounds And those forgotten graves are found no more, And no man knows the churchyard's holy bounds; Till one comes by and stoops with reverent hands To clear the graves of their encumbering sands."
-- Author Unknown, quoted in Severance's History of the Stewarts of Londonderry