The immediate ancestor of the Farquharsons of Invercauld, the main branch, was Farquhar or Fearchard, a son of Alister "Keir" Mackintosh or Shaw of Rothiemurchus, grandson of Shaw Mor. Farquhar, who lived in the reign of James III, settled in the Braes of Mar, and was appointed baillie or hereditary chamberlain thereof. His sons were called Farquharson, the first of the name in Scotland. His eldest son, Donald, married a daughter of Duncan Stewart, commonly called Duncan Downa Dona, of the family of Mar, and obtained a considerable addition to his paternal inheritance, for faithful services rendered to the crown.

Donald's son and successor, Findla or Findlay, commonly called from his great size and strength, Findla Mhor, or great Findla, lived in the beginning of the sixteenth century. His descendants were called MacIanla or Mackinlay. Before his time the Farquharsons were called in Gaelic, clan Erachar or Earachar, the Gaelic for Farquhar, and most of the branches of the family, especially those who settled in Athole, were called MacEarachar. Those of the descendants of Findla Mhor who settled in the Lowlands had their name of Mackinlay changed into Finlayson.

Findla Mhor, by his first wife, a daughter of the Baron Reid of Kincardine Stewart, had four sons, the descendants of whom settled on the borders of Braemar, and some of them in the district of Athole.

His eldest son, William, who died in the reign of James IV, had four sons. The eldest, John, had an only son, Robert, who succeeded him. He died in the reign of Charles II.

Robert's son, Alexander Farquharson of Invercauld, married Isabella, daughter of William Mackintosh of that ilk, captain of the clan Chattan, and had three sons.

William, the eldest son, dying unmarried, was succeeded by the second son, John, who carried on the line of the family. Alexander, the third son, got the lands of Monaltrie, and married Anne, daughter of Francis Farquharson, Esq. of Finzean.

The above-mentioned John Farquharson of Invercauld, the ninth from Farquhar the founder of the family, was four times married. His children by his first two wives died young. By his third wife, Margaret, daughter of Lord James Murray, son of the first Marquis of Athole, he had two sons and two daughters. His elder daughter, Anne, married Eneas Mackintosh of that ilk, and was the celebrated Lady Mackintosh, who, in 1745, defeated the design of the Earl of Loudon to make prisoner Price Charles at Moy castle. By his fourth wife, a daughter of Forbes of Waterton, he had a son and two daughters, and died in 1750.

His eldest son, James Farquharson of Invercauld, greatly improved his estates, both in appearance and product. He married Amelia, the widow of the eighth Lord Sinclair, and daughter of Lord George Murray, lieutenant-general of Prince Charle's army, and had a large family, who all died except the youngest, a daughter, Catherine. On his death, in 1806, this lady succeeded to the estates. She married, 16th June 1798, Captain James Ross, R.N. (who took the name of Farquharson, and died in 1810), second son of Sir John Lockhart Ross of Balnagowan, Baronet, and by him had a son, James Farquharson, a magistrate and deputy-lieutenant of Aberdeenshire, representative of the family.

There are several branches of this clan, of which we shall mention the Farquharsons of Whitehouse, who are descended from Donald Farquharson of Castleton of Braemar and Monaltrie, living in 1580, eldest son, by his second wife, of Findla Mhor, above mentioned.

Farquharson of Finzean is the heir male of the clan, and claims the chieftainship, the heir of line being Farquharson of Invercauld. His estate forms nearly half of the parish of Birse, Aberdeenshire. The family, of which he is representative, came originally from Braemar, but they have held property in the parish for many generation. On the death of Archibald Farquharson, Esq. of Finzean, in 1841, that estate came into the possession of his uncle, John Farquharson, Esq, residing in London, who died in 1849, and was succeeded by his third cousin, Dr Francis Farquharson. This gentleman, before succeeding to Finzean, represented the family of Farquharson of Balfour, a small property in the same parish and county, sold by his grandfather.

The Farquharsons, according to Duncan Forbes "the only clan family in Aberdeenshire", and the estimated strength of which was 500 men, were among the most faithful adherents of the house of Stuart, and throughout all the struggles in its behalf constantly acted up to their motto, "Fife et Fortitidine". The old motto of the clan was. "We force nae friend, we fear nae foe". They fought under Montrose, and formed part of the Scottish army under Charles II at Worcestor in 1651. They also joined the forces under the Viscount of Dundee in 1689, and at the outbreak of the rebellion of 1715 they were the first to muster at the summons of the Earl of Mar.

In 1745, the Farquharsons joined Prince Charles, and formed two battalions, the one under the command of Farquharson of Monaltrie, and the other of Farquharsons of Balmoral; but they did not accompany the Prince in his epedition into England. Farquharson of Invercauld was treated by government with considerable leniency for his share in the rebellion, but his kinsman, Farquharson of Balmoral, was specially excepted from mercy in the act of indemnity passed in June 1747.