The Gatherers - A Historyby William Alexander Gatherer 
PETER  b. c1670, d.1710. (see note 1)
1 I have not yet found Peter's birth, but the following occurrences in the OPRs (Old Parish Records) place the family in Drainie in the county of Elgin during the 17th century, and Peter was probably among them (some of the records are torn and some are faded).
2 This James was the father of James (1732). He lived in Covesea, a village near Lossiemouth in the parish of Drainie. He had a younger sister called Joan born in 1703. His father, Peter Gederer (elder) died in 1710 at Covesea and was buried in Ogston. These Gederers were respectable enough folk, as we know from parish records of marriages and deaths. Examples:
3 James Gaderer had an older brother, George (b.1726), who settled in Elgin, probably as a writer (a lawyer), and an older sister, Elspeth (b.1725); this name recurs throughout the 18th century. In 1720 (16th May), a James Gadderer in Covesea "three days agoe... gone out of his father's house and being found the next day at the shoar lying dead among water and buried at Hogstoun (Ogston)". This James cannot be the father of JG (b.1732) but could have been an older brother or uncle. Parents did sometimes name a child after a dead sibling.
Covesea (locally pronounced Caw-sea) was a small village in the parish of Drainie (or Drainy), on the coast of the Moray Firth, north of Elgin and west of Lossiemouth.
4 In the 19th century there occurs a series of Gatherers in the Paisley district. I do not know anything about the provenance of this family. Seeing John's birth at Houston and Killellan, I was dubious whether he was in our direct line, but the marriage of James (1732) to Elizabeth Munro confirmed that he was; and John's marriage to Helen George at Keith in 1807 provided further confirmation that there was a connection between the families. In 1775 James and Elizabeth had a son called Alexander - John's elder brother - baptized at Kilbarchan.
5 John and Helen had a son George in 1813 and a son Francis Alexander in 1823, both born in Keith. They also had a daughter Margaret (b.1813 in Keith). In 1851 Margaret became a nun in Glasgow, taking the name Sister Mary Margaret in the Order of St Francis. She died on 18th April, 1885 aged 75, in the convent in Charlotte Street, Glasgow. Alexander (b.1816) married Margaret Giles at Rothiemay in 1841, and their son James was born that year. In the same year another Alexander Gatherer married a Margaret Jales (sic) at Forgue! I have no knowledge of these persons. James Gatherer married Isabella Mitchell at Grange in 1863, and the certificate records that James's father, Alexander, an agricultural labourer, was deceased. In searching for Alexander's death I came upon the death of an Alexander Gatherer who died in George Street, Edinburgh in 1861. He was registered as a pauper, formerly French Polisher. His father was Robert Gatherer and his mother was Agnes Common (nothing of whom is known to me) and he died of 'organic disease of the stomach'. Our Alexander died in 1858 at Rothiemay at the age of 42 (though this age is given as 39 on the death certificate). He and Margaret had eight or nine children, whose names and dates I am now researching.
6 On the marriage certificate James's occupation is given as Farm Servant, and Isabella's as Domestic Servant. She signed the certificate with a cross; this is likely to mean that she was illiterate. In the Census for 1891 the following information is given:
Wife Isabella, b.Grange
Residence 29a Princes Street
Sons Charles, age 11; Lachlan M., age 4; Alexander, age 7
Other households included in the 1891 Census were:
Residence: 13a Princes Street
Grandson: Alex. Brown
I presume that James and Isabella had sons and daughters who had left home by 1891. Some may have died; some may have been born after 1891.