The Farquharsons trace their origins from Farquhar, son of Alexander Ciar, 3rd Shaw of Rothiemurcus in Strathspey. The early history of Clan Shaw is intimately entangled with that of Clan Mackintosh.
Farquhar's son Donald married Isobel Stewart, heiress of Invercauld and he was appointed Keeper of the King's Forests of Braemar. Their son, Finlay Mor (Mac Fionlaigh Mor), the first recognised Farquharson of Invercauld, was killed carrying the Royal Standard at the Battle of Pinkie in 1547. He was outstandingly tall, and his alleged grave at Inveresk, in East Lothian, close to the battlefield, is known as “the long Highlandman's grave.”