The place name Strathmore is derived from the Gaelic words An Srath Mor, signifying the broad or big valley. Strathmore lies in eastern Scotland, between the Grampian Mountains and the Sidlaw Hills, and runs in a north-east direction from Perth through eastern Perthshire, toward the Mearns, alias Kincardineshire. Strathmore is a fertile valley containing several small towns and many farming communities.
The emphasis of this book is on that part of Strathmore lying within the county of Angus (formerly known as Forfarshire); the western part of Strathmore, which lies in Perthshire, has been covered by Mr. Dobson in his book The People of Lowland Perthshire. The People of Strathmore identifies people living in the small towns, or burghs, of Kirriemuir, Forfar, and Brechin, as well as all the parishes in the area.
The major land-owning families of Strathmore were the Lyons based at Glamis, the Ogilvies at Cortachy, the Lindsays at Edzell, the Guthries at Guthrie, and the Carnegies (antecedents of the famous Andrew) at Farnell and at Kinnaird. These families were generally Royalist and, together with their followers, gave substantial support to the Jacobite cause in the 18th century. The Davidsons–of Harley-Davidson fame–were from Strathmore, and the book contains one of that name there, obviously of an earlier generation.
The People of Strathmore identifies over 3,000 inhabitants of that area between 1600 and 1799. In compiling this work, David Dobson has drawn on numerous primary sources, including the Angus Archives, the National Records of Scotland in Edinburgh, the records of the Royal Burgh of Forfar, and the Register of the Privy Council of Scotland series. He identifies each of the alphabetically arranged Strathmore individuals by name, occupation or other status, a date, and the source of the data. When available, he also indicates the names of the inhabitant’s relatives, vessel traveled on, education, and other particulars.