Fletcher Clan History
The Fletcher family finds its origin with the proud Norman people. Although the Normans came from France, they were actually of Viking origin. The Vikings raided Northern France in the late 9th and early 10th centuries. Subsequently, led by their jarl (a Scandinavian noble ranking immediately below the king), Thorfinn Rollo, they invaded France around 911. After Rollo laid siege to Paris, King Charles the Simple of France finally conceded defeat and granted northern France to Rollo, who became the first Duke of Normandy. However, rather than transforming that portion of France into another Scandinavia the Viking settlers adopted the culture of the natives and merged with them. So though they had Viking roots, it was French speaking, Christian people that invaded England, and not Norsemen.
The Fletcher surname is first found in at the Forest of Hutton in Yorkshire. They were originally descended from Jean de La Fleche, a Norman noble, who was granted lands by King William. Fletcher is of the common type of surnames known as an occupational name.
Such a surname would have been taken from the primary vocation of an ancestor of the bearer; in this case, one who makes arrows (arrowsmith). Jean de La Fleche’s descendant, Sir Bernard Fletcher moved north and was granted lands in Roxburghshire by King David of Scotland. The Fletchers later moved further north to Aberdeen, and became one of the first settlers in Glenorchy, and entered into a bond with the Stewarts. Although the Campbells dominated the Glenorchy region, the two clans enjoyed a relatively friendly relationship. The family also had a good relationship with the Stewarts of Apin for whom they helped to recover a cattle stolen by the MacDonalds.
The surname Fletcher emerged as a notable Scottish family name in Roxburghshire where John Flechyr was registered in that country around 1338. The Fletchers were found throughout the various regions of Scotland because they were the arrowsmiths of many large clans such as the Campbells, Stewarts and the MacGregors of Perthshire.
There was an alliance between the Fletchers of Glenyon and the MacGregors, for whom they were the traditional arrowsmiths. It is said that a Fletcher once saved the life of Rob Roy (MacGregor) when he was wounded.
The Fletchers were known for their courage and resistance to the authority of the crown and were involved in the “Rising of 45.” A branch of the clan also started in Glen Lyon and their stronghold was Achallader Castle in Achallandek. The Chief was known as “the Fletcher” the great bowman who saved Rob Roy MacGregor.
Our line is descended from John and Hannah Fletcher (1771). Their son Stephen was born (1807) in the village of Thornton-le-Dale (Thornton Dale) located currently in the County of North Yorkshire, Yorkshire, England. Stephen was baptized on the 21st of January 1807 at All Saints Church located in Thornton-le-Dale. In 1831, Stephen (at age 25 years) and his parents (John and Hannah each 60 years of age) left from Hull, a port city in Yorkshire, and sailed to New York City on the Brig Freake. Stephen migrated to Ontario, Canada where he met and married Clairne Saxton.