Origins of the Glencarnock herd at Brandon Manitoba Canada

Origins of the Glencarnock herd at Brandon Manitoba Canada

In 1889 the Hon. Walter F. C Gordon-Cumming, (brother of Sir William Gordon-Cumming, Bart of Altyre, a prominent breeder of Aberdeen-Angus in Scotland) imported to the “Old Quorn” Ranch near Calgary, Alberta, a shipment of 40 female and three male Black Angus cattle. In 1890 James D. McGregor purchased these animals and moved them to Brandon and started Glencarnock Farms. (A history of Aberdeen-Angus cattle: Sanders, Alvin Howard, 1860-1948)

“In 1889 the late Hon. Walter Gordon-Cumming brought out about 40 females and 3 bulls, taking them to the Quorn Ranch. After some negotiations with him I had an opportunity to gratify my wish to own a herd of Aberdeen-Angus. I later purchased these cattle, and moved them to Brandon, where I proceeded to build up an extensive herd. The foundation cows were good ones, with plenty of size, being lowset, thick and smooth, and, although not of the lines of breeding that might in some circles be considered fashionable today, they possessed outstanding individual excellence.” James D. Mcgregor.

 Important animals in the Foundation Glencarnock Herd

  • Imp. Vineberry, a Miss Burgess, which Mr. McGregor says would have made a record as a dairy cow if she had been tried out, is described as having plenty of size and being very smooth. Her sire was Albinus (4469) and her dam Vinebloom (8760). She came from the herd of John Hunter, Dipple, Fochabers, Scotland.
  • Flora of Altyre (13689), belonging to the Daisy of Tillyfour branch of the Queen Mother family, left at least five bulls and two heifers, thus establishing a family which Mr. McGregor still prizes.
  • Pride of Findhorn 10th (13693) was another good one.
  • Missie 3d of Glencoglass (13735) was a short-pedigree cow which some might not have valued highly, but a descendant of hers made $1,650 in 1920 at ten years of age.
  • Rose of Altyre (13695) was a useful Rose of Westertown, and the strain has been kept in the herd to this day.
  • Myrtle of Earnside (13938), a Matilda of Wester Fowlis, has descendants in many parts of western Canada.
  • Queen Mary of Altyre 10th (13694) was an excellent Mayflower from the Altyre herd, and left a long line of descendants of excellent quality.
  • Mayflower of Altyre 13th (13691) founded the Mayblossom family in the McGregor herd.
  • Nellie Lee (12464), a short pedigree cow which was a great favorite with Mr. McGregor, produced nine calves for him — four heifers and five bulls. Included with the females in this importation were three bulls:
  • Donald Dhu of Mulben (7457), used extensively in the herd, and sire of at least 80 good sons which went out among the grade herds of the western provinces. He had 35 known daughters to his credit, and therefore left a long line of descendants.
  • Royal Souter (7166), by Souter Johnny, was a Ruth bull from the herd of Dr. Clement Stephenson, Newcastle-on-Tyne, and was used extensively on unregistered cows.
  • Barrasford (6516), a Heather Bloom from the same herd, died shortly after his arrival in this country.

The most valuable bull of the three so far as results were concerned, was Donald Dhu of Mulben from the herd of John MacPherson at Mulben.

In 1902 an arrangement was made with James Bowman to go to Scotland and purchase a bull jointly. Mr Bowman went to Scotland and bought the bull Prince of Benton by Albion (6525) out of Pride of Aberdeen 96th, bred by Dr. Clement Stephenson, Newcastle-on-Tyne. This bull went on to be an excellent stud sire and show bull.  He was the most impressive sire Mr. Mcgregor has ever used.

In addition to this importation Mr. Mcgregor bought several impressive cows from the US. These included Rubicon Mignonne 12th from S. Melvin of Greenfield, Illinois. This cow became the foundress of the Mignonne family at Glencarnock. Mr McGregor described her as a find.

Mr. Mcgregor travelled to Scotland in 1909, selected and imported 10 head. Edith Erica, Erica’s Effort and Our Pretty Rose, a rose of Westertown, was purchased from the herd of the Countess Dowager of Seafield. Alexander Strachan supplied two females Eniteo, an Erica by Enjoiner and Bonny Bouquetr 6th, a Miss Burgess by Erotic. The latter cow founded the Miss Burgess family with in Mr. Mcgregor’s herd. Three head were obtained from the Earl of Rosebery, two of these were Erica of Dalmeny 2nd and Esteril of Dalmeny, both by Ebbero. The most sensational animal imported in this shipment was Violet 3rd of Congash from the herd of John McAinsh, Congash, Grantown-on-Spey.

A second importation from Scotland was made in 1912. In this shipment 5 bulls and 12 females were transported to Glencanock by Mr. Mcgregor. The bulls in this shipment were Jeshurun of Morlich, Expert of Dalmeny, Eveux of Harviestoun, Major of Wester Fowluis and Pride of Dalmeny 17th. Some of the noted females in this important shipment included Beauty 36th of Hayston, from the herd of James Whyte. Again cattle were sourced from the Countess Dowager of Seafield. This included Queen Rosie of Cullen. The Famous Elsndina came to Canada in this shipment. She founded the highly successful Elba Erica family at Glencarnock. Another noted cow was Norma Gordon of Glenlogie, by Metaphor.

A bull of note, bred in the Glencarnock herd was Edward of Glencarnock. He was created by blending the blood of Donohoeberd. He was by the Bradfute Bull bred to a prize winning cow Pride of Cherokee 19th bought from H.L. Cantine of Iowa. Edward of Glencarnock sired the great bull Blackcap Mcgregor.

In 1921 Mr. Mcgregor purchased Blackcap Revolution from Escher and Ryan, Irwin, Iowa. following the death of his herd sire Blackcap Mcgregor and finaly Mr. Mcgregor purchased a lage number of Angus females in 1923.

Mr Mcgregar’s breeding stratergies.

James D. Mcgregar did not place value on cow families only on the performance of individual cows. He selected cows that lived up to his ideals and blended many of the noted cow families. The resulting animals had a lasing influence on the Angus herds of North America/

“I have never been a great advocate of limiting my breeding operations to what are known as ‘fashionable families…..

For instance, I would say that a well-bred Queen Mother, a Pride of Aberdeen, a Barbara, a Miss Burgess, an Erica of the different branches and Blackbirds, Blackcaps and other families would be approximately of equal value…..