Ewen Lamont and Sarah Macpherson (Picture courtesy of Harold S. Macleod). Ewen Lamont was born in 1817, in  Bernisdale, Isle of Skye, son of Malcolm Lamont and Isabella Macdonald of Skye, emigrants to Uigg PEI on the Mary Kennedy in 1829. Ewen was age 13 years when they emigrated to PEI. He was Head Master of the famed Uigg Grammar School circa 1860 and an Elder in the Church of Scotland. Ewen liked to write and he composed religious poems, both in English and Gaelic, some of which still exist.  He married  Sarah Macpherson  in Belle River, Prince Edward Island, daughter of John Macpherson and Mary Currie.

Donald MacLeod of Galtrigill
Prince Charlie’s Pilot

Galtrigill Click to see PDF document from Noni Brown.

Or read the detailed history of the Pilot by clicking on the link ‘MacLeod of Galtrigill’ in the blogroll to the right of the screen.

Skye is the largest and most northerly island in the Inner Hebrides of Scotland and in Scottish Gaelic it is commonly referred to as An t-Eilean Sgitheanach (“The Winged Isle”). It has also been referred to as ‘Eilean a’Cheo’ which means ‘Isle of Mist’. The predominant clans to be found in Skye were the MacLeods, MacDonalds, MacKinnons, Nicholsons and MacAskills. Edinbane in the north  was founded in 1809 by  Kenneth MacLeod who at the age of 15  went to India with one golden guinea in his pocket  and  took the river boat down to Calcutta. He visited a place where an auction of the contents of a sugar factory was in progress, bought a copper boiler and this set him on the ladder to making a fortune in India planting indigo. Dunvegan  is the seat of the Clan Macleod and the  North-West’s history is as compelling as its landscape and wildlife. Legends and myth abound as well as intrigue and passion, feuds and  bloody battles. Slave trading of the inhabitants around the Jacobite Rebellions found many local folk kidnapped and sold to the plantations in the Carolinas. This trade in white slaves had the full sanction of the MacDonald and MacLeod chiefs at the time and was quickly hushed up when it came to light in 1733.

Historical visitors include Boswell and Johnson, Bonnie Prince Charlie, and Flora Macdonald. Dunvegan was also home to the legendary and world acclaimed MacCrimmon pipers.The MacCrimmons  were the hereditary pipers to the Clan MacLeod and they changed the whole face of piping to bequeath the world over two hundred years a legacy of great music.

Pride of place in the Skye bardic tradition must surely go to Mary MacPherson, Mairi Mhor nan Oran. Even a casual glance at her work brings joyously back to life not only herself but the Skye social scene of the mid nineteenth century emigration years.  The pleasure and pride that she took in her younger-generation island men and women jumps out from her song, ‘Camanachd Ghlaschu’.

‘S iad gillean mo rùin a thogadh mo shunnd,
‘S i seo a’ Bhliadhna Ùr thug sòlas duinn;
‘S iad gillean mo rùin a thogadh mo shunnd.

Bha bonnaich gun taing is pailteas dhiubh ann,
‘S clann-nighean nan gleann gan còcaireachd.

‘S e an sealladh as brèagha a chunnaic mi riamh,
Gach òigear gun ghiamh ‘s a chòta dheth.

Bha cuid dhiubh cho luath ri fèidh air an ruaig,
‘S cha chluinnte ach “A-suas i, Dhòmhnaill,” leotha.

‘S e duine gun tùr nach faiceadh le shùil,
Gun robh iad bho thùs an òige ris.

Suidhibh, a chlann is gabhaidh sinn rann,
Gun cuirear an dràm an òrdugh dhuibh.

The Crofters’ Wars

 After the Highland Clearances life became almost totally impossible for those who remained. The collection of seaweed from the shore was forbidden and crofters were not permitted to keep dogs. Other impositions included the right of the landlord to demand free labour and crofters were not allowed to remove marauding deer from their land.

By the mid 1870’s crofters were harbouring thoughts of revolt and a new newspaper called The Highlander  focused attention on their plight. Public opinion had galvanised against landlordism and crofters began to resist eviction orders. Soon there was chaos and near riot. On Lord MacDonald’s estate at Braes, an old grievance was revived when crofters demanded grazings taken over by the landlord’s sheep be handed back. They refused to pay rent until their demands were met and a Sheriff’s Officer was sent out with summonses of ejection on 7th April 1882. A band of crofters  forced him to bum his papers so fifty policemen were sent from Glasgow to Skye to help settle the uprising.  One hundred men, women and children with sticks or stones met the policemen and charged at them and, in the scuffle that followed, a number of crofters were taken prisoner. Small fines were imposed but it was clear that law and order had broken down.

An outburst of crofter rebellion then took place at Glendale  when crofters who allowed their stock to wander over a neighbouring farm were arrested and imprisoned for two months. Scottish MPs promoted a petition to set up a Royal Commission on Highland distress and the result was a formidable indictment of the Highland land-owning class. However, the Commission did not recommend any official revision of rents and islanders were not content with proposals that did not include security of tenure and fair rents. In 1884 there was again unrest in Glendale and the Government sent in marines with gunboats to intimidate the crofters. This brought the crofters’ cause again to the forefront of public attention.

The Highland Land League nominated crofter candidates to stand as independent members of parliament and this Crofters’ Party became the first Labour Party in Britain. The four new crofter MPs succeeded in introducing the Crofters’ Holdings (Scotland) Act in 1886 which gave security of tenure to the crofter and compensation for improvement. However, landlords continued to ignore the new legislation or made attempts to evict crofters before cases could be heard. Encounters took place later in 1886 when writs were served at bayonet point and it was not until the 1920s that land tribunals were introduced.

Skye is nowadays more famous for its whisky and the Talisker distillery, built in 1830 by Hugh & Kenneth MacAskill, produces the whisky that was the favourite of writer Robert Louis Stevenson.


111 responses to “Skye

  1. Don MacFarlane

    September 22, 2013 at 1:00 pm

    Skye Placenames
    From Noni Brown’

    Click on highlighted link to open the document.

    A quick scan of the names appears to break them down into two groups of etymology. About half of them are obviously Gaelic in origin; about half are not seemingly Gaelic, perhaps Norse?

    Examples Of Gaelic Origin:

    Portree ‘Port [an] Righ’ – Port of the King (which King as there were no kings?)
    Tote ‘Tobht’ – ruin of a house (what was special about the property that a place was named after even its ruin?)
    Lonfearn ‘Lon Fearna’ – pond of the alders.
    Cuither ‘Cuithir’ – rock-studded area or fortress.

    Examples of Non-Gaelic Names:

    All places ending in – Shader (common also in Lewis).
    Places beginning with Penny (Peina).

    A study of names supplied by Noni could be quite rewarding and give insights into aspects of Skye history. It has been suggested that landmarks visible from the sea would tend to have been given Norse names by the sea-faring Vikings.

    Names of possible historical significance

    Tobar nan Druidhean (Draoidhean)- Well of the Druids
    Kilmoluag – St Moluag’s Church
    Osmigarry – Osmund’s enclosure
    Hinnisdale – Hengist’s valley
    Kyleakin – Hakin’s Channel
    Sgulamus – Skulli’s restplace
    Oransay – St Oran’s isle
    Calligarry – Gorry’s wood
    Clach Oscair – Oscar’s Stone
    Kilmaree – St Maolrubha’s church
    Inveralivaig – mouth of Olaf’s River
    Bernisdale – Bjorn’s valley
    Kildonan – St Donan’s church
    Moonen – Munan’s bay
    Erbusaig – Erb’s Bay

    Highland and Island Placenames.1
    Highland and Island Placenames.2

    • Don MacFarlane

      September 22, 2013 at 8:24 pm

      Celtic Saints in Skye

      Saint Moluag, Saint Donnan and Saint Maolrubha were all seemingly worshipped in Skye around 600 AD, around the time that the Irish language (Erse) travelled across to the Western seaboard of Scotland. The language is little changed since although Scottish Gaelic has taken on an identity of its own. Those three saints came from Northern Ireland in the trail of St Columba to spread the gospel to Pictish heathens. None of them settled in Skye but may have evangelised there and had churches named after them. They settled instead in Lismore, Eigg and Applecross around the time that Coumba settled in Iona.

    • Flutterbye

      September 24, 2013 at 8:23 am

      Hi Don,
      All place names should have an initial after the name but seems I may have deleted some .. should be G: Gaelic N: Norse: E: English (2) L: Latin (1) Icel: Icelandic (2).

      The list contains many names that do not appear on modern maps.

    • Angus Macmillan

      September 24, 2013 at 9:28 am

      I have a feeling that a couple of the explanations of the names overplay things a bit? Both Kilmore and Armadale mention connections with the ‘Lords of the Isles’. There were only ever four of these: Good John of Islay was the first, Donald of Harlaw, Earl of Ross the second, Alexander III and John IV, who was forfeited in 1493. Certainly none of the above were buried at Kilmore. A Clan Donald territory was only established in Skye, by Uisdean MacDonald in 1469 and it will be his descendants who were buried there. Armadale was in effect a 19th century folly and so certainly had nothing to do with the Lords of the Isles

  2. Don MacFarlane

    September 20, 2013 at 7:10 pm

    Duplicate of Galtrigill-related post from Gordon MacLeod on the Uist page as it seems all to do with Skye.

    Just typing from memory here but I’m pretty certain Donald of Galtrigal was Donald, son of the John of Raasay, who appears in the MacLeods of Trumpan genealogy and whose descendants were known as the millers. I’m also pretty sure that this John of Raasay was John II of the Rigg family.

    An obituary for a Kirsty Macleod, a direct descendant of that line, states she was the pilot’s dscendant, furthermore her brother Murdo is recorded on the Tobar an Dualchais site stating that Donald worked the mill in Glendale.

    The first of the Macleods of Rigg was John, second son of Alexander 5th of Raasay. He was otherwise known as Iain Garbh or Mor. Raasay tradition says he was a natural or illegitimate son and that his mother was a Macdonald (probably of Rigg,a Macdonald tack in Trotternish).

    Other traditions of Iain Garbh say that he was a cadet of the MacLeods of Dunvegan, from whom he had gotten Raasay and that he rebuilt or improved Brochel Castle and was the last of the MacGillechalluims to live there. Some have dismissed these traditions but in May 1655 MacLeod of Dunvegan did indeed gain the life-rent of Raasay from Cromwell.

    Iain Garbh was married to Janet, daughter of Rory Mor MacLeod of Dunvegan, and was therefore an uncle of the Dunvegan chief of 1655. Some sources say that he had no children but Raasay tradition speaks of an Iain Og. The old pipe tune ‘Macleod of Raasays Salute’ was originally titled ‘Cumha Iain Mhic Iain Ghairbh’ or lament for John, son of John Garbh. Furthermore the proprietor of Raasay in 1679/80 is recorded as John Macleod.

    Raasay traditions say the succession was disputed after Iain Garbh’s drowning in 1671 and that his brother Murdo, the tutor, tried to exclude Iain Og. The contemporary poet Mary MacLeod said that Iain Garbh’s only brother took his place. That must have been the tutor to Alexander, son of Malcolm, older brother of the tutor and younger half brother to Iain Garbh. Raasay tradition states this Malcolm also drowned in 1671.

    In 1688 Janet and Julia, daughters and only children of Alexander 6th of Raasay, older half brother of Iain Garbh successfully claimed the Raasay estates. Janet is said to have resigned her half of the rights to her first cousin Alexander (the tutor’s charge) Julia sold her rights to this Alexander in 1692 and the current chiefs are his descendants.

    Donald Macleod of Galtrigal’s son, Alexander the Miller, was almost certainly both the Alexander Macleod of Glendale and the Alexander Macleod of the Raasay family, recorded in Macleod genealogies, who married a daughter of John MacLeod of Drynoch, son of Norman Mor.

    Tote and neighbouring townships in Snizort were part of an area sometimes called Ung na Cille, long owned by the Macleods of Raasay. In 1726, for the fee of 4000 Merks, a William MacLeod of Ebost bought these lands (to be possessed under Macleod of Raasay until repayment of the fee). William MacLeod was a business associate and brother in law of Bailie John Steuart and he was married to Marian, daughter of Norman Mor of Drynoch. John MacLeod of Drynoch ran a ship for the Bailie and the business was mainly the delivery of meal.

    William MacLeod of Ebost died without male issue and in all likelihood the lands of Ung na Cille (including Tote) were passed to his widow, Marian MacLeod. Marian MacLeod probably then passed Ung na Cille to her niece, daughter of John of Drynoch and wife of Alexander the miller.

    Alexander the Miller and his wife, the daughter of Drynoch, were probably the parents of Donald (named for his grandfather the pilot), father of Alexander Macleod of Ung na Cille, John Macleod of Balmore and Norman Macleod of Struan. The Macleod family of Bolvean, near Orbost were also descendants.

    Alexander the Miller’s other son William (not a name usually associated with the Raasay Macleods) was probably named for William of Ebost. He married Elizabeth or Betsy Beaton of Auchork, Trotternish (from a family who originally came from Waternish).

    One of William and Betsy Macleod’s sons, John, was born in Peinstaphen in Waternish, so that family must have returned to that part of Skye. Another son, Neil, was in Galtrigal around 1815, as was his brother Donald. John (born Peinstaphen) was in Galtrigill on the 1841 and 1851 censuses. His son Neil was painted by MacLeay for his Highlanders of Scotland series in 1868 and although he spent much of his life in the south he returned to Skye as an old man, dying in Galtrigill in the late 1890s.

    Regarding Noni’s own descent from the pilot, I would say the kilt pin in her family’s possession (mentioned on another page of this site) can’t on it’s own be considered proof of a connection to the pilot. It could just as likely have come from her Macdonald ancestors and it was probably part of the bundle of women’s clothes the Prince discarded near Kingsburgh on his way to Portree. In saying that, if I remember correctly, Donald Macleod who emigrated to Oz (brother of Noni’s ancestor William and another named for William of Ebost?), had a child born in Tote in the 1820s. Indeed rental records for the Raasay estate from 1822 show that there were two Donald Macleods in Tote, one of them a miller.

    It’s likely Noni’s ancestor Malcolm Macleod (father of William and his brother who went to Oz, Donald of Tote) was another son of Alexander the Miller (son of the pilot) and his wife, a daughter of John of Drynoch, son of Norman Mor.

    I must also mention that Donald of Galtrigill’s glasses, which are now on display in Dunvegan castle, were donated by a Peggy Macleod, a descendant of a Norman Macleod of the Rigg family. This Norman was married to a woman of the clan Alasdair Ruadh branch of the MacLeods and one of his grandchildren was the famous Dotair Ban of North Uist.

    Fred T. MacLeod, author of a history of the MacCrimmons, was descended from another Macleod family from Colbost near Galtrigill. They also claimed descent from the Raasay and clan, Alasdair Ruadh Macleods, who traced their descent to a Norman Macleod, said to have fought at Culloden with a battle-axe.

  3. Stephen Martin

    July 16, 2013 at 8:44 am

    Tracing Martin and MacNab family history.

    Sorry if my post is out of place, but would anyone have any history or ancestry on John Martin (b.1803, living in Kilmuir in 1841 census) who married Anabella MacNab (b.1806, living in Kilmuir in 1841). The parents of John are thought to have been John Martin and Jane/Jessie (surname not known). I have made extensive searches on Scotland’s People to no avail.

    Also, Anabella’s parents were meant to be Donald MacNab and Sarah (Marion?) MacMullan (MacMillan?).

    Please send any emails to

    We have the history beneath both of our grandparents, but are uncertain also of their (John and Anabella) brothers’ and sisters’ names.

    Many thanks
    Steve Martin, Canberra, Australia

    • Waxwing

      July 16, 2013 at 7:22 pm

      It would be extremely useful for this site to hear from you just how far you have got with the search – meaning what successes you have had, what brickwalls or deadends you have encountered, what frustrations you have had with the on-line searches, what flashes of inspiration you have had, what unexpected nuggets you have come across, or anything else? After that kind of headstart the website would be very happy to see of what assistance it can be.

      • dlapeyrouse

        July 30, 2013 at 4:28 pm

        I’m not sure who your post was meant for. That’s the only problem I have with this site. When I get a notice about a comment on one of my posts, when I click on it – it doesn’t take me to that post. And there is so much on here, I can never seem to find the post I get a notice on, so things just end up ‘wherever’. So I stopped posting on here for that reason.

        With that said, the wealth of historical information Don shared with me months ago was extremely appreciated, and I would interact on here more if I weren’t so challenged in finding my way to where I want to be among all the posts when trying to reply.

        I got an alert this morning where someone replied to one of my old posts and I can’t locate that reply on here to save my life! Sigh.

        • Don MacFarlane

          July 30, 2013 at 10:33 pm

          Noni is taking over as administrator of the Skye page, which is your main Scottish place of interest, so watch this space! She might be able to structure that page to address the specific query you have raised.

          My post was meant for Stephen Martin but he has not replied to it so we will have to see. If Noni can dig up something about the MacNabs of Skye I will contact him to let him know. The Martins of Skye are a different kettle of fish as they were a much more prominent family, worthy of study nonetheless for historical reasons.

  4. dlapeyrouse

    January 8, 2013 at 10:23 am

    Well, that’s one more must-read book for my list! I’m going to end up with quite a library with all this at some point! Thank you for sharing that. I often say, “So many relatives, so little time”. It’s equally true of the data – so much to read, and I can’t absorb it all fast enough!

  5. Don MacFarlane

    December 27, 2012 at 11:21 am

    An Leabhar-Cheist Prostanach

    At 1857 in Kyleakin, a Gaelic version of the Shorter Catechism was made for general release which had been translated by Glenelg Synod from the English publication by Dr R P Blakeney, Deacon of Birkenhead. The English version was titled ‘Protestant Catechism – or Popery Refuted and Protestantism Established’. Its purpose was that it would educate in their own language the God-fearing Protestant folk in the Scottish Highlands and immunise them against the supposed contagion of Catholicism.

    As a Protestant who was taught the Shorter Catechism in a Catholic School in South Uist I look forward to studying this volume to get some grasp of the paranoia that was prevalent in the Highlands.

    • Don MacFarlane

      December 27, 2012 at 12:32 pm

      Translation of Part of the Introduction

      ‘Tha an Leabhar feumail so air a sgriobhadh, le deadh run agus gradh diadhaidh, chum eolas glan a thoirt do Phrostanaich agus do Phapanaich air firinnibh luachmhor an Fhior Chreidimh’


      This useful Book was written with good intent and godly love to bring unadulterated knowledge to Protestants and Papists alike about the precious truths contained in the True Faith.

      • Don MacFarlane

        December 27, 2012 at 1:40 pm

        Excerpts from the Protestant Catechism

        Ceist: ‘Car son a ghoirear an t-ainm Prostanach dhiut’?
        Freagairt: ‘A chionn gu’m buin mi do Eaglais a tha togail fianuis an aghaidh mhearachdan Eaglais na Roimh’.


        Question: ‘Why are you called Protestant’?
        Answer: ‘Because I belong to a Church that gives witness against the errors of the Church of Rome’.

        • Don MacFarlane

          December 27, 2012 at 1:46 pm

          Excerpt 2 from Protestant Catechism

          C. ‘Ciod iad na mearachdan’?
          F. ‘Tha a chuid as mogha dhiubh ann an Creud Phap Pius IV’.

          Q. ‘Which are these errors’?
          A. ‘Most of them are in the Creed of Pope Pius IV’.

          • Don MacFarlane

            December 27, 2012 at 1:53 pm

            Excerpt 3 from Protestant Catechism.

            C. ‘Am bheil thu an aghaidh an Chreud uile’?
            F. ‘Chan’eil. Tha mi ag aideachadh a cheud chuid de’n Chreud Nicenach do bhrigh gum faodar e bhi dearbhadh o’n Sgriobtuir’.

            Q. ‘Are you opposed to the whole Creed’?
            A. ‘No. I accept the first part, which is the Nicene Creed, as it can be proven from Scripture’.

            The rest of the Catechism goes on to denounce tenets of the Catholic faith such as papal sovereignty, papal infallibility, ‘idolatry’, mediation of saints, Marian devotion, Latin mass, penance, indulgence, unction, purgatory, venial v. mortal sins, confessional, absolution, salvation exclusive to catholicism, excess number of sacraments, transsubstantiation, angels, celibacy, excommunication.

    • Don MacFarlane

      August 3, 2013 at 11:20 am

      Latter-Day Haldane Apostles

      Catechists and ministers of Skye: fire-and-brimstone preachers, and opponents of the Moderates who supposedly let their congregations and their souls go to sleep (no word of my ancestor, Rev Donald MacFarlane, founder of the Free Kirk and fierce upholder of the Westminster Confession of Faith, but he came later in the nineteenth century)

      Alexander MacLeod
      John MacCowan
      Donald MacQueen
      Hector MacLean
      Donald Munro
      Ronald MacDonald

      • Don MacFarlane

        August 3, 2013 at 8:31 pm

        Westminster Confession of Faith 1649 (in Gaelic)

        From Library of MacDonnell of Glengarry


        ‘Ni bhfuil ach aon Dia amhain; neach nach fedir gu hiomlan ga thuigsin; Uilechumhachdach; Ard-uachdarrach; Ag oibruighadh a huile neithe da reir Comhairle a Thoil; Chum a Ghloire fein; Ro Ghradhach; Throcaireach; Fhadfhuilingtheach; Pailt ann a Maitheas agus a Bhfhirinn; Ag maitheadh agus a toirt fuath do gach uile Peacaidh’.

        Translation: There is only one God; One who cannot be fully understood; All-powerful; Almighty; Working all things according to His will; For His own glory; All-loving; Merciful; All-enduring; Plentiful in His goodness and truth; Forgiving and relieving every sin.

        The Irish origins of tbe Scottish Gaelic language are very evident in the volume,those origins still having been retained more than a thousand years after the language migrated from Ireland. Such phrases for example as ‘Ni bhfuil’ (the normal phrase in Irish to this day) have instead evolved into the more customary ‘Cha’n eil’ which is in Scottish Gaelic today, both phrases meaning ‘is not’.

        • Don MacFarlane

          August 6, 2013 at 3:49 pm

          McDonnell County, Ontario

          The MacDonnell who owned this volume, like his forbears and descendents, seems to have been a right twat.

          Angus may have information on the Glengarry County (Ontario) settlement of the clansmen who were Cleared by MacDonnell en masse and who emigrated to Canada to make way for sheep.

          If anyone has knowledge of how feudalism defined and controlled clanship and social structure in the Highlands that would be greatly appreciated. It seems that Sir Lloyd Geering is right when he says that religious extremists like MacDonnell are always more concerned with the afterlife of self than with the present life of others.

  6. dlapeyrouse

    December 27, 2012 at 2:35 am

    In addition to the other families I posted about, I have very sketchy info on my Currie ancestors from Scotland. Someone had posted this about the family. I don’t know who any of these people are but they are somehow connected, supposedly, to my ancestors Archibald Currie and his wife Mary (my 6x great-grandparents) for whom I have no other info. What info I have picks up with their daughter Mary Currie who married John McEachin. Here is the post:

    Currie, Flora (c. 1777-1862), married to John McPhail, weaver, died 26 Jan. 1862 at Fishnish aged 85. F. John Currie, farmer, dec. M. Mary Currie, M/S McLean. Nat. decay. Signed Archibald [?] McPhail, son, present. [Salen CR] [Note: Recorded baptisms to this couple were in Scallastle 1799 3 Dec. Archibald; 1801 29 Dec. Mary; 1804 22 April Donald; 1809 22 Jan. at Garmony, John; 9 June 1811 at Garmony Donald;4 April 1813 at Garmony Neil; 14 Sept. 1817 at Scallastle, Duncan; Flora is mentioned in diary of Lauchlan Maclaine, 11 March 1832 when she had a fight with Kate McLaine, Rankin’s wife; Matter was brought before Kirk Session. In 1841 census family was at Garmony where there were 6 families of McPhails. John & Flory 65 and 55 had Archibald 30, Mary 30, Donald 25 shoemaker, Duncan 20. In 1851 census at Fishnish, Flora was a widow, 74, living alone with her unmarried son Archibald 51 (b.1799). By 1861 Archibald is a pauper.]

    Mary Currie McEachin’s gravemarker in North Carolina, USA reads: Sacred to the memory of Mary McEachin, Sr.a native of Scotland, who departed this life June 26th 1837 in the 87th year of her life.

    She was my 5x great-grandmother. Interestingly, the name of the county where the old cemetery is located was Scotland County, North Carolina. Her daughter Mary Elizabeth married Angus McLean, so on that part of my family line, we are descended from the marriage of those two Scottish families. It wasn’t until my great-great-grandparents that that Scottish line in our ancestry was diluted when Angus and Mary Elizabeth’s son Angus Alexander McLean – now McLain in America – married Mary Matilda Norris of English descent and they were my great-great-great grandparents. So, I like to think of it that although I’ve never set foot on Scottish soil, relatively speaking until just a very few generations ago, we had a line purely from Scotland from which we’re descended. Our Scottish line mixed with English blood in 1830, not so very long ago in the big picture of things. It makes me feel disconnected from that near bond to Scotland though to think that we know so little of that heritage.

    • Angus MacMillan

      December 28, 2012 at 12:18 am

      When replying yesterday, I did not deal with those named Currie. That is an anglicisation of the Gaelic MacMhuirich. The MacMhuirichs were hereditary bards and seanachies first to Clan Donald from the 1220s and then from some time about 1500 or thereafter to Clanranald.

      The first was Muireadhach O’Daly who used his axe to split the skull of a rent collector who spoke rudely to him in 1213. He escaped to Scotland, becoming known as Muireadhach Albannach, Mureach of Scotland, went on the 5th Crusade and then settled in Islay as bard to Angus Og MacDonald, friend of King Robert the Bruce, and ruler of the Isles.

      The Lordship of the Isles was forfeited by the Crown in 1493 and it limped on until 1550. The bardic families found other things to do and are well recorded in the inner isles, Kintyre and north to Moidart. Meanwhile, a member of the family had been taken on as bard by a Clanranald chief and they had grace and favour lands at Stilligarry in South Uist until the mid-1700s; and they had also spread as bards/seanachies to the adjining island of Benbecula, where their role persisted till about 1800 and there are quite a few descendant families today.

      In South Uist they became Currie and in Benbecula a different priest recorded them mainly as MacPherson. Last year a flagstone memorial to Lachlan MacMhuirich, who gave the incitement to Battle at Harlaw in 1411, was unveiled at Makars’ Court in Edinburgh and in August this year Clan Currie held its annual symposium in South Uist and erected a cairn to the bards at Stilligarry. It was the longest-lived of the hereditary professional families of the Gaeltachd and is a distinguished heritage well worth researching if you can.

      • dlapeyrouse

        December 28, 2012 at 12:54 am

        Once again, you’ve given me some excellent historical information, Angus. Thank you so much for your time in this. You’ve given me quite a few leads to dig into. Meanwhile, earlier today I was puttering around in other family lines and realized I have a wealth of Scottish heritage on my dad’s side. I hadn’t looked at it in some time and hadn’t put it together in my head when I began researching these Scottish lines from my mother’s side. Something you posted triggered a memory of having seen a particular name, I looked it up and and realized I was overlooking literally hundreds of years of Scottish ancestry on the other side. Now you’ve got me wondering if way back up the line the two families were in any way related. And it turns out, my son has even more Scottish ancestry from his dad’s side to throw into the mix.

        And to mix it up even more, on my mother’s side we have some Muscogee Creek ancestry and they were known for taking in Scottish men and making them chiefs. There are a number of sketches of them in the Smithsonian in Creek headdress and kilts, with surnames of MacIntosh and McGillivray. They came from Scotland, married Creek women, some became chiefs, some died here and some returned to Scotland. They all left half-Scottish Muscogee Creek descendants. I’m not a direct descendant of any of theirs, but they married into the families I’m from and therefore their descendants are my distant cousins. Because they aren’t my direct ancestors, I won’t be researching their lines, but I thought you might find it interesting. I didn’t add them all to my family tree data because of their just being relations by marriage or distant cousins, but here is a bit of what I do have:

        Lachlan McGillivray b. 1718 Drumanglass, Invernesshire married Sehoy II of the Wind Clan of the Muscogee Creek. She and her family were very prominent and her mother Sehoy I is considered to have been a great beauty. Lachlan and Sehoy II’s granddaughter Margaret “Peggy” McGillivray married Charles Cornells. Charles was the grandson of my 6x-great grandmother, Autucky of the Wind Clan by my 6x-step-grandfather (she had a family after my grandfather died). So all those families are interwoven.

        The most infamous of the Scottish/Creek chiefs was William McIntosh –

        He ceded Creek lands to the new American government without the consent of the Creek people and council and was sentenced to be executed for that deed. My own 5x great-grandfather Chief Far Off aka Little Prince was on the council that voted for the execution. Interestingly, there was a monument to my 6x great-grandfather Chief Mad Dog (these are their American names given to them, not their true Creek names which I can’t spell without looking them up) and it was removed to a more remote location in order to put up a large monument to McIntosh, because to the Americans he was a hero for selling them the Creek lands. To the Creek he betrayed his people, to the new Americans he was a martyr. Oh well…

        Anyway, there are surely folks there in Scotland who are distantly related to some Scottish-Muscogee Creek descendants in America. Just thought I’d share that bit of history. It may not be of much interest to folks in Scotland, but it was a very big part of early American history because the Muscogee Creek occupied almost the entire southeastern United States until Chief McIntosh sold it out from under them. So, he’s a hero or a scoundrel, depending on which side of that particular fence you stand. I was just fascinated when I began researching my Creek roots to discover they had several men from Scotland not only marry into their nation, but marry into the Wind Clan (the oldest and most prominent clan) and once they married in – they were treated as full members of the Creek Nation and made chiefs.

        The Muscogee Creek weren’t your typical American Indians. Some had plantations and slaves. They adapted their dress after the French and other Europeans. Both my 6th and 5th grandfathers were given medals by President George Washington and they were considered great statesmen. There is a sketch of my grandfather Chief Far Off in the Smithsonian. My 5th grandmother, Far Off’s wife, was a white woman from the Hale family of England. Her father was a British soldier stationed in American to fight the American Revolutionary soldiers and they were allies with the Creek.

  7. Don MacFarlane

    December 26, 2012 at 6:53 pm

    From Debby Lapeyrouse

    My mother’s family is entirely from the British Isles. Her mother was a McLain (MacLean) and her father was a Morgan. The Morgan side has been extensively documented from Wales.

    1. My 6x great grandfather was John MacLean who became McLain on the American side years later. He was born in 1692 in the Parish of Strath in the territory of the MacKinnons. He died on Mar 2 1787 in Robeson County, North Carolina, USA. He was actively engaged in the rebellions of 1715 and 1745 in favor of the Stuarts. Reportedly, in Scotland at the time of the revolution there was no more zealous Whig than he, and though he was too old to join the army, he urged his sons and neighbors to do so. According to family tradition, he fought with Prince Charles at Culloden.

    John emigrated to America in 1773 when he was about 81 years of age and is considered the American patriarch of this line of my family. Daniel, from whom I’m descended, had arrived in America in 1771 and one of his children died on the trip. John joined his son Daniel in American two years later and brought two more of his sons with him, John and Malcolm.

    This is other general info we have on John. John McLean, the father of Daniel, Malcom and John was a very pious man. In Scotland he assisted his pastor by going from house to house to teach the Shorter Catachism to the illiterate – a man of excellent mind, extraordinary memory, firmness of purpose and energy of character.

    Some general info I found on Wikipedia about the clan:

    ‘Clan Maclean is a Highland Scottish clan. They are one of the oldest clans in the Highlands and they owned large tracts of land in Argyll as well as the Inner Hebrides. Many early MacLeans became famous for their honour, strength and courage in battle. They were involved in many clan skirmishes with the MacKinnons, Camerons, MacDonalds and Campbells. They were fierce Jacobites fighting in all of the Jacobite risings.

    There are several different origins for the surname Maclean, however, the clan surname is an Anglicisation of the Scottish Gaelic Mac Gille Eathain. This was the patronymic form of the personal name meaning “servant of (Saint) John”. They are descendents of Loarn mac Eirc, a fifth century king of Dál Riata. The family grew very powerful throughout the Hebrides and Highlands through allegiances with the Catholic Church in the ninth century, with the MacDonalds in the thirteenth century, and with the MacKays and MacLeods in the sixteenth century. The early kings of Scotland also befriended the clan for their knowledge of the sea and their large numbers of sea-going vessels, which were useful against the Viking raids in the ninth century.

    2. Mary MacKinnon (McKinnon) MacLean was John’s wife and my 6x-great grandmother. She was Born between About 1695 and 1715 in the Isle of Skye. No tombstone has been found for her in America and, given that she died prior to the immigration of John and his sons to America, we believe she is buried in Scotland, probably on the Isle of Skye. We believe her father’s name ‘may’ have been John MacKinnon. Reportedly she married John in 1735 on the Isle of Skye.

    3. Daniel MacLean was born in 1736 on the Isle of Skye – my 5x great-grandfather, hevwas the first of his family to immigrate to America. Daniel emigrated from the Isle of Skye to this country in 1771, landing in Wilmington, NC, on June 12, 1772. He brought with him three children, Flora, Angus, and John. One child died on the passage over and another daughter, Isabel, was born in America. He died in America in or around 1812-1813. He fought in the American Revolution.

    4. Elizabeth Nicholson, the wife of Daniel, was my 5x great-grandmother and she was Born in 1732 on the Isle of Skye. She died in America. Her father, James Nicholson,mhad also immigrated to America. In 1919 a grave was found and this article ran in the newspaper: It is most likely Elizabeth’s brother, James rather than her father James, since he was 28 years old at death, per the tombstone inscription:

    Nov. 20, 1919 Robesonian Newspaper, page 1:

    Lone Tombstone Bearing Name of James Nicholson Found in Woods.

    ‘ A lone tombstone bearing the name of James Nicholson was found in some woods in Alfordsville township last week by a force of men cutting right-of-way for the Beaufort of Lumber Company. According to the inscription on the tomb, Nicholson was buried in 1775. The inscription also showed that Nicholson came to America from Scotland and belonged to some lodge or society in Scotland. No other signs of a cemetery could be found by the men who made the discovery, it is said’.

    According to Lucius McRae:

    ” Elizabeth … was 10 years older than [Daniel] but outlived him by nine years. Her two brothers, both named John, settled in Massachusetts. She lived to be 95 but never used or needed glasses, and her hair, very black, never changed color. Se lived with her son John during her last years.”

    5. Angus MacLean – son of Daniel and Elizabeth above, my gggg-grandfather, was born in 1765 on the Isle of Skye and was one of the children who immigrated with his parents. I have no other information on him other than his death info in America. He married in America and died in Mississippi, where I was born and raised.

    6. The McLeod family comes in on my son’s father’s side, married into their McCoy family branch. I can’t put my hands on that info at this time, as far as who McLeod was. However, I have been working on their McCoy line and have traced it way through various spellings. I haven’t filled in all the data though. I have added dates and sketchy info back to the birth of Angus Dubh McKay in 1360. We have this info about him and his wife:

    In 1431 the Battle of Drumnacoub took place where Angus Dubh MacKay defeated Angus Moray near Tongue in Sutherland. Angus married Elizabeth, sister to Domhnall of Islay, Lord of the Isles. Her dowry was a hundred fighting men from Lochaber. Their sons were known as the Abrach MacKays and they inherited Elizabeth’s coat of arms whose supporters were bears. My son is descended from that line from Alexander McCoy, born about 1665 in Sutherlandshire, who immigrated to America. His wife was Frances Sutherland McCoy, born c. 1677 in Duffus in Moray. They were my son’s 8x great-grandparents.

    Discovering any of our Scottish roots is a relatively new revelation. I had never been sure if McLain in America had Scottish or Irish roots, but it turned out they settled in Mississippi in an area of Scottish descendants that included my late husband’s Gilbert family as well. We had not realized they basically created a Scottish settlement in Wayne and Greene counties, Mississippi.

    I’m not sure what you have in mind for the forum you mentioned but I’ll be happy to participate. I’d love to discover if I have distant relations still living in Scotland with whom I can learn more about these family histories.

    • Don MacFarlane

      December 26, 2012 at 9:38 pm

      Some Random Thoughts on the MacLean Account

      These thoughts are just teasers at this point to provoke some fresh thinking about Debby’s research which we are very pleased to be able to post on this site. None of the following rambles should be taken as gospel at this point and all are amenable to correction from any better-informed sources.

      Point One: The Isle of Skye has never been in Argyllshire and was for the greatest period part of Inverness-shire.

      Point Two: It needs to be researched whether Dalriada reached as far up the western seaboard as the Isle of Skye.

      Point Three: The MacLeans were of Duart on the Isle of Mull, which they shared with a lesser clan, the Macquarries, who owned the part of Mull proximate to Ulva. The clan MacLaine is of Lochbuie, also on the isle of Mull, and is a related clan. The names give grounds for confusion as they have at times been interchangeable, at other times not. The history of the MacLeans, like most other clans, is one that is full of treachery, murder of cousins and unholy alliances.

      Point Four: The MacDonalds of Sleat in Skye were Jacobites but the MacLeods were not and they tried to stay out of the rebellions. The MacLeans intermarried a lot with the Campbells, the Dukes of Argyll, who were strongly Hanoverian ie anti-Jacobite. So it needs further research who this particular branch of MacLeans were and why did they end up in Skye to continue Jacobite activities.

      Point Five: The name Daniel in the Highlands was really Donald so the name could appear in either form on documents – something to look out for.

      That is all for starters but there is a lot more meat to this story to come and hopefully Angus MacMillan and others will chip in.

    • dlapeyrouse

      December 27, 2012 at 2:08 am

      I won’t be surprised to learn there are errors in my data, as you pointed out about the location of Argyllshire. After all, my info is only as reliable as the source and I have not personally validated any of the information past what was shared by others online. I haven’t known where to start. Hopefully this site will be that place.

      I have seen references to Duart Castle in our family data. To my knowledge, our line didn’t use the MacLaine or McLain variant of the MacLean or McLean name until they became Americanized. It came down to my immediate family in Mississippi, USA as McLain, my grandmother being a McLain of this descent married to a Morgan of Welsh descent. So while I know very little of my heritage and probably don’t have all the facts correct, I feel a strong affinity for the people of Scotland, Ireland and Wales and hope to sort out our heritage a bit better. Thanks for any contribution here to that effort.

      • Angus MacMillan

        December 27, 2012 at 1:34 pm

        I think I can help a little to sort out the background you have picked up from sundry sources.

        It is true that the MacLeans claim descent from Loarn, one of the three brothers credited with founding Scottish Dalriada. How they fit in is not nearly as clear as the tale of the other descendants of Loarn though. What happened was that Dalriada took over the two Pictish Kingdoms in about 800. The leaders among Loarn’s descendants moved to Moray, which was safer at a time when the Norse were conquering the western isles and seaboard. They left Godfrey of Oriel to protect their rear and that was the origin of Somerled and his Clan Donald descendants and their claim to rulership in the west.

        About 1100, Norse rule was beginning to weaken and the Kings of Alba [by that time the Gabrain descendants of Loarn’s brother Fergus] appointed Bishop Cormac not only as Bishop but as landholder in the west. He was a descendant of Loarn/MacBeth/Airbertach. One son was Guaire, from whom the MacQuarries who had the southern half of Mull, the northern half remaining with Somerled; others were name fathers of the MacMillans, MacKinnons who were also in Mull not Strath at that time, MacNab, Leny, MacIntosh etc. There was a complete run of these Clan Morgan [a complete coincidence as Morgan/Morgainn was nothing to do with your Welsh ancestry] from Dunkeld in the east to the islands of the west. There was no sign of the MacLeans for another 300 years and they arrived as clients of Clan Donald.

        The Clan associations focus simply on the two main MacLean lines in Mull, the related MacLeans of Duart and of Lochbuie, the former on the northeast and the latter on the south western corner of the island. Both but especially Duart were under pressure over the centuries from being accessible to the Campbells of Breadalbane and Agyll, both generally supporters of the Government and increasingly Protestant. By the time of Culloden, despite the recognition of the MacLeans as royalist and Bonnie fighters, these lines were not really terribly Jacobite in an active sense. The Duart chief had already been arrested as a French spy and was in gaol in Edinburgh throughout the ’45 rising. Lochbuie remained neutral and MacLean of Coll was openly Hanoverian.

        The whole MacLean effort in the Jacobite interest was led by a set of smaller branches that had strayed north of the Sound of Mull and were cheek by jowl with the resolutely Catholic and Jacobite Clanranald in Moidart and Arisaig. The MacLeans in question were those of Ardgour, Kingairloch and Drimnin. I am pretty sure that is where your folks in Strath will have originated; their lands look straight across to the Cuillin. You mention MacEachin. The MacEachins at Drumdarroch in Arisaig were MacLeans descended from an Eachainn i.e. Hector. Some made their way to South Ust and Neil MacEachan was both the real hero of the saving of Bonnie Prince Charlie and father of Napoleon’s Marshall MacDonald, the Duke of Tarentum. Nicolson was specifically a Skye name – look up Skorrybreck. Many of the folks carrying these names remained firmly Catholic long after Mull had gone Protestant but Skye was also strongly Protestant.

        • dlapeyrouse

          December 27, 2012 at 6:14 pm

          Angus, thank you so much for this history of the names. I am going to print this out and read it over probably several times and check into the leads you suggest. I’m sure I will have questions in that process, and I hope you be so kind as to allow me to pose them to you since you seem most knowledgeable.

          It has been exciting for me to find this site and communicate a bit with Don. He has been tremendously helpful with some inquiries I had about my family line from Ireland. Actually, I have a long line of well-researched Morgan ancestry, my mother herself being a Morgan by birth. I had communicated via email with Don about that but on this site here I was looking into my Scottish ancestry.

          In general, my family tree includes the Blakeneys of Ireland, the Morgans of Wales, and the Scottish families I’d posted about here. Don helped me tie up some loose ends with the Blakeneys. The Morgan history is well-documented. So it’s my Scottish roots I’m most desirous of digging into. Our American Morgan line is descended from Rev. Col. Morgan Morgan b. in Glamorganshire Wales in 1688 who migrated to Virginia USA. Our Blakeney line is from Capt. John Blakeney, Esq. from the Mt. Blakeney Ireland line. On the American side, the way these lines converge is that my maternal grandmother was a McLain (MacLean) who married a Morgan, thus tying all those Scottish and Welsh lines together through my mother.

          Having read my post on my Scottish ancestors, you can see that’s where I have the most sketchy information and I am so excited to have found this scholarly site on which to investigate that heritage. I am intrigued by the mention of the Morgans as related to this Scottish history! Thank you so much for taking time to respond so thoroughly to my post.

        • dlapeyrouse

          January 2, 2013 at 11:05 am

          Hi Angus,

          I was piddling around in my family tree a bit and had another Scottish surprise. The Strickland line below is the Strickland line on my maternal grandmother’s side that married into the McLean/Mclain line. This Sir William de Strickland and Elizabeth d’Eyncourt Strickland were my 15x great-grandparents. I didn’t realize until tonight that she had such a Scottish ancestry that merged with the others. I obviously have more research to do on this line, because I only have it back a generations to Sir Edgar de Dunbar, Knight, b. Abt 1122, of, Dunbar, East Lothian, Scotland and his wife Alice de Greystoke, my 19x great-grandparents.

          And it won’t surprise me one bit at this point if you don’t know a whole lot more of their history than I do. 🙂

          William De STRICKLAND (Sir)
          Born: ABT 1242

          Died: 1305

          Notes: Elizabeth d’Eyncourt descended maternally from the great house of Dunbar, cadets of the Scottish kings, and from the Uchtred, Earldorman of Northumberland and his third wife Aelfgifu, daughter of King Aethelred the Unready. Thus while Strickland is English, the descendants of Sir William and Elizabeth can claim Scottish descent. The surnames Dunbar, Home, Dundas, Corbett, Clugston, Nesbit, Washington, Neville, Herying and Gray, along with Strickland, are all Septs of Clan Dunbar.

          Father: Robert De STRICKLAND (Sir)
          Mother: Dau. De GENELLESTANE

          Married: Elizabeth d’EYNCOURT (d. 1273) (dau. of Ralph d’Eyncourt and Alice De Thursby)


          1. Walter De STRICKLAND (Sir)
          2. Joan De STRICKLAND
          3. William De STRICKLAND
          4. John De STRICKLAND (b. 1272 – d. 1352)
          5. Robert De STRICKLAND
          6. Hugh De STRICKLAND
          7. Roger De STRICKLAND

          • Angus MacMillan

            January 2, 2013 at 5:16 pm

            A fascinating string to trace back and investigate in detail. Hours of fun to be had. Not a lot of Gaelic there, I am afraid though, so you are quite right in thinking they will be a mystery to me. Bladhna Mhath Ur. Angus

            • dlapeyrouse

              January 2, 2013 at 5:44 pm

              I just knew you’d have some info on the Clan Dunbar that was referenced. That was something I hadn’t picked up on before and hadn’t realized that back behind my Strickland lines was a Scottish line married into them. So, yes, a lot more research to be done!

              • Angus MacMillan

                January 2, 2013 at 7:35 pm

                Sorry, I hadn’t meant to leave you hanging but I remain modest about my knowledge away from the islands as it is very much schoolboy stuff. In case it helps, I mentioned the division of Moray under descendants of Loarn and Atholl under the descendants of Fergus mac Erc as the two Kingdoms that effectively replaced Dalriada. Under the old Brehon law, one or the other according to who was most suitable, supplied the Ard Righ, the High King of Alba. That system came under challenge from emergent feudalism, which hankered after primogeniture, succession of the eldest son, in the early 1000s, hence the problems involving MacBeth killing Duncan and Duncan’s son Malcolm III Canmore in turn killing MacBeth. Duncan and Malcolm were from the Gabrain i.e. Fergus line. It was Duncan’s mother, Bethoc, daughter of King Alexander, I think it was, who in the absence of a male successor, handed on the claim to the throne to Duncan. She was married to Crinan the Thane. They were, if I recall aright, the ancestors of the Dunbar line. They will be readily available via Google and any other standard histories of the MacBeth time in the run up tp 1040. I hope this helps but do question if you need more help.

                • dlapeyrouse

                  January 6, 2013 at 5:36 pm

                  All this takes a good bit of time. As I continually say, so many relatives – so little time. LOL Anyway, I just made another connection. I knew that back behind the Strickland line was Adam de Castlerock. I was researching him today and, lo and behold, the base of the Strickland line that I’ve always thought was British – is Scottish. Adam de Castlerock, Cadet of Vaux, b. 1140, was my 19x great-grandfather. It was his son who began using the Strickland name, only it began as Walter de Castlerock de Strikeland. Anyway, Adam was born in UK, Scotland, Argyll and Bute, Locgilphead, Carrick Castle. It seems that lately more and more of the lines behind the lines I’ve been researching the past couple of years are turning out to be Scottish! It will take me a good while to research them all. What I love about what you and Donald have shared with me is the history of not necessarily my specific ancestors but the history of the era they lived in. It makes them come more alive for me to know what the politics of the time were, what the area looks like today, and everything else you’ve shared. Meanwhile, I have a lot of research yet to be done, but I’m beginning to feel like there is a Scotsman around every turn! I’m loving it!

                • dlapeyrouse

                  January 6, 2013 at 5:50 pm

                  Angus, I have a question. It may be a stupid question, but… When researching and I find roots in Ireland or Scotland “sometimes” (not every case certainly) it will be pointed out they were originally Norman and not Gaelic. Some of these Norman lines go way, way back and obviously settled in Ireland and Scotland, married there, raised families there, etc. So the question is – how long does a family that moves to those areas from elsewhere have to be established in those countries before they’re no longer considered outsiders and can say they are Irish or Scottish? The reason I ask is that I was born in America and consider myself an American. Clearly, every person of European descent comes from a family lines from other countries. I don’t call myself a British-American, Irish-American, Scottish-American, whatever. America is still an infant country compared to European countries, so we have been here a shorter time than those of my Norman ancestors who settled in Ireland and Scotland and made those areas there homes. And, it would seem to me that from history in general, the isles were all originally settled by people from somewhere else who made their way there and “became” the Gaelic people of those lands. They came from somewhere. They didn’t just spring up on the isles themselves. So, in that sense, why are they more Scottish or Irish than later people who did the same thing? I don’t mean my question in a controversial way and some may laugh at the question, but “in my mind” it all seems logical to me. LOL But, I figure if anyone can explain it to me, you or Donald can. To me, when I have ancestors born and raised in Scotland or Ireland, regardless of where their people originally came there from, they’re Scottish and Irish. That doesn’t seem to be the way it’s regarded though. So how do I determine which of my ancestors are “true” Scots and Irish and which will forever be seen as “others” who settled there? It’s a distinction I need to be able to make for my own benefit in how I list them in my family tree. If they were born and raised there, I’ve been listing them as Scottish or Irish and have only since being on this site realized that’s probably not how they should be correctly listed. ??? Thanks!

                  • Angus MacMillan

                    January 7, 2013 at 10:52 am

                    Hi again. There is not a simple answer to your question about nationality, not because the issue is difficult but because there are multiple answers that retain explanatory merit – where you lose explanatory intelligence if you roll them together.

                    There is a phrase that you can put a cat in a fish shop but that does not make it a cod. By the same token, the fact that I live in England does not make me English. However, common sense suggests that, if my descendants remain for three or four generations, eventually they will see themselves as English, with much justification as they will sound English and culturally have become English as a whole raft of distinctively Scottish usages and customs fade away. At the same time, it will remain a matter of choice if, deep down they keep a folk memory of Scottish ancestry and of being a bit different and, if truth is told, slightly superior. There is another wee saying that every Scotsman that crosses the border into England raises the IQ of two nations. No doubt the English have equivalent jokey prejudices in the other direction.

                    However, historical origins at particular periods can have significance and can be very long lived. The attempt to make Scotland a single, coherent, feudal state dates from the second half of the 11th century after Malcolm III Canmore killed MacBeth. That effectively abolished the dual kingdom situation of equality between Moray and Atholl, with high kingship switching between the two. There was accordingly the core of a stable state. However, there remained a problem with actual and would-be independent statelets. There was Fergus of Galloway in the South West, Argyll, owing allegiance for Kintyre and the Islands to Norway, Ross and wester Moray that supported successive MacHeth rebellions for some hundreds of years.

                    We talked before about Bishop Cormac from the Loarn line being given extensive lands from Dunkeld in the east westwards to Mull and north-south on the west coast from Glasgow to Badenoch. That was just after 1100 and merely strengthened the Gaelic Kingdom of the Isles established by Somerled between the 1120s and his death in the 1160s. Accordingly, the smartest of the sons of Malcolm III, King David I, came up with another solution. As heir, just as we now have a Prince of Wales, he had run the Scottish territories in England, including Cumbria, part of Northumberland and even Huntingdon in the South East Midlands. Here he had been exposed to the strength of the Norman families that had arrived with William I the Comqueror and that the latter had used to conquer and pacify his kingdom. David held a hiring fair in Carlsle and recruited a number of such families for Scotland.

                    He planted them between the core of his kingdom and the difficult periphery. The de Bruces and Douglases were interposed to corral Galloway; what became the Stewarts were introduced as Royal dapifers or stewards in Renfrewshire; Comyns were settled in Badenoch; Sinclairs protected the Lothians from the south and so on.

                    Of course, over the centuries these and the other Norman families became in a sense Scottish but never Scots. Scotti was the Saxon word for an Irishman i.e. a Gaelic speaker, just as welsh was the Saxon for a foreigner. So, all these subtleties remain somewhere in the background of our notion of nationhood. Hope that makes some sense.

                    • dlapeyrouse

                      January 7, 2013 at 10:57 pm

                      I feel a bit stupid about my question now. After I had posted it, I mentioned it to my son and he made the point that just because we were born in America doesn’t make us native Americans like the indigenous Native Americans. I guess I didn’t stop to think it through about nationality vs. indigenous to the country simply because far enough back, everyone that is anywhere (regardless of how long) ultimately came there from somewhere else, just as the Native Americans originally came to the American continent from elsewhere long ago. I went for over-simplification that made sense to me at the time. LOL

                      After his comment and reading your response, I totally understand. I love reading your responses. They’re so full of history and heritage, just the stuff I love. I love not to just find the names of my ancestors but to try to understand who they were and what made them what they were, because all that eventually resulted in “me” and is part of me. I just want to be more aware of who and what was part of that process. I feel I know myself better for the knowledge. I’m very proud of the “true” Scottish heritage I have that isn’t from Norman ancestry, but I was just curious about why it’s always pointed out they were Normans and not Scottish no matter how long they had been in Scotland.

                      Your explanation with the fish analogy is perfect. And your point about the Scottish-Native Americans claiming their Scottish heritage back in the day is really no different than my own position of being an “American” who is a mixture of Irish, Scottish, Native American, French, etc. and wanting to embrace all parts of what went into making me “me”. Probably every white American is a mixture of sorts like myself. “White American” could easily be described as a mixed race. LOL I’m nothing in particular but a bit of many things.

                      In my research, I have learned what I’m “more of”, like learning that in my MacLean line, for example, it was an unbroken Scottish line until about 1832 when one of the men married a British woman. Also, learning that right down to my mother our Welsh Morgan line is an unbroken line of Morgan males until she married my father, but she herself is neither Welsh from her dad nor Scottish from her mother. She is Welsh, Scottish, British, Choctaw and Muscogee Creek “American’. But had one single one of those ancestral elements been otherwise, she wouldn’t be who she is, wouldn’t even exist.

                      As you can tell, I find the whole “process” fascinating, and I have begun to look forward to your scholarly responses that give me so much more richness than expected. 🙂 I guess the part that is a bit sad for me is that I can’t say I’m Scottish, nor Irish, nor Welsh, or anything else in particular. I’m a hodgepodge, and I envy those of you who have an unbroken heritage and who have those long-standing ties to the culture and the land and can claim your clan and wear your tartan, etc. I guess it’s sort of like black Americans who try to discover which African tribe they’re from and take on those names and try to learn that heritage to keep it alive in their generation and for their children, to embrace something from their ancestors into their contemporary lives to honor their heritage. I think having solid knowledge of who you and are where you’re from and what “belongs” to you by right of blood in that way has meaning. I feel like a patchwork quilt! LOL

                    • Don MacFarlane

                      January 8, 2013 at 12:26 am

                      Patchwork quilt or rich tapestry? Your mixed heritage makes me feel quite envious.

                      Celts, whether P-Celt (Brythonic) or Q-Celt (Gaelic) have only been around for about three thousand years. They are all thought by Prof Stephen Oppenheimer to have travelled up from the Basque country of Northern Spain.

                      I am not so sure about American Indians but I vaguely remember reading once they crossed the Bering Strait which was then a landbridge with Asia and they moved down south from there.

                  • Don MacFarlane

                    January 7, 2013 at 3:26 pm

                    Scots Wha Hae

                    My answer to the question ‘who can be called Scots?’ is along similar lines to the answer given by Angus. Scholars who have looked into this question make a distinction between primordialist and situationalist national identity but I would break identity down much further into domains.

                    Within a cultural context, various domains could include –

                    Resonance (History, Race, Ancestry, Narratives, Symbols).

                    Markers (Location, Rights, Values, Folkways, Religion).

                    Traits (Bonds, Sentiments, Temperament, Entitlement, Disposition, Emotion).

                    Dynamics (Affiliation, Autonomy, Striving, Conformity, Congruence, Empathy).

                    Response (Defence, Survival, Conflict, Assimilation, Adaptation).

                    Was Willie MacIntosh, who was of mixed Creek Indian-Scottish blood but with his Glengarry bonnet and kilt and allegiance to the British Crown, not at least part-Scottish? Likewise with President Obama, the first ‘black President’. Is he not at least part-Irish?

                    Not forgetting the saviour of the British Empire who was Irish-born and reared in Dublin but who declared indignantly, ‘being born in a stable does not make you a horse!’ – Lord Wellington.

                    Likewise the saviour, together with Prince Metternich, of Europe who insisted he was British despite being of Scottish ancestry but who was born and reared in County Down – Robert Stewart, Viscount Castlereagh.

                    Saying nothing of General Hugh MacKay of Scourie who was a Gaelic-speaking Scot from Sutherland who helped a Dutchman to oust the King of Scotland, James II.

                    Saying nothing of Sir Roger Casement, an Irishman from Northern Ireland, who was hanged as a traitor because he had accepted a British knighthood. Had he and Erskine Childers stayed Irish they would not have been hanged. In other words, when all is said and done, what nationality you end up as depends, not quite on the day of the week, but on the calendar!

                    • dlapeyrouse

                      January 8, 2013 at 1:15 am

                      I love your humor, Donald! The calendar, indeed! And you have the horse analogy equal to Angus’ fish analogy. I certainly enjoy the responses from the two of you! I erroneously attributed the Scottish-Creek comment to Angus, having read the two responses back-to-back. Perhaps you saw my response to his post. Angus gave me an attitude adjustment. I said I’m a patchwork quilt and he posed that perhaps I’m a rich tapestry. That is a delightfully more appealing way to look at it. I do have a varied heritage and it is richly interesting, so I will forever more think of it as rich tapestry rather than patchwork quilt.

                      Now I pose another question to the two of you wonderful gentleman. My entire life, before I knew I had a drop of Native American blood in me, I had an affinity for Native Americans. Too long of a story about that to get into, but along the way I had more than one person many years ago to the present state that being Native American is in part a matter of spirit. I have only ever had one other such affinity and that has been to things Gaelic – the countries, the music, novels and movies with those settings, etc. I’ve always been very much drawn to them. And before I knew my actual heritage, I “felt” something attracting me to all that as if it was a “right fit” for my inner self, like they speak to something missing from the life I have here and now.

                      Now I can’t help but wonder about something. They say our very cells have genetic memory. Do you think it’s possible that through our DNA we innately sense something of ourselves of which we have no present conscious knowledge? It’s the kind of thing when you hear a piece of music that just touches your soul, or you go to place where the very ground upon which you stand feels like “home”. I am profoundly moved by the fact that the two cultures I have always been most drawn to turn out to be part of my very own heritage. Coincidence or DNA? The saying “It’s in the blood” comes to mind. It may not be every scientific and it may not be a way to validate ones heritage at all, but it does seem to be “something”. At least that is how it feels to me as I make these discoveries about my ancestral past.

                      I guess if you grow up “there” and experience the culture from birth, while you may take pride in your heritage – you probably never have reason to feel that feeling that something is missing, that there is an empty spot. I feel much more complete within myself the more I learn of my ancestors. As my son has said, it explains a lot – about our families, the characteristics in our families, and ourselves. His interest in genealogy has been as much for psychological research, in that regard, more than just connecting the dots that this person married this person and they were your ancestral grandparents.

                      So I’ve been pondering my own inner experiences before and since studying my ancestry, and I do feel a sense of there being something deeper to our connection to the past than we might think. This may be why more primitive societies had ancestor worship and made such a point to orally pass on stories of their ancestors and culture, because they may not have had the education of people today but they were more in tune with the connection on a deeper level. They felt their ancestors were always with them and they felt a need to honor their memory in their everyday lives. We’ve largely grown away from feeling that kind of connection to the past, living in a busy culture with so many distractions and focused in the here and now and the future, which is not a bad thing. But I think sometimes we lose some of what is important.

                      I do tend to go on and I can’t seem to say anything in a few words, and I fear I risk being considered a total kook. LOL But, I still can’t help wonder if when we have a sort of “calling” to one culture or another, it might not very well be something within us that “knows” that’s part of who the totality of who we are.

                    • dlapeyrouse

                      January 8, 2013 at 1:18 am

                      I just realized I did it again – I attributed your comment about Scottish-Creek to Angus and yours about tapestry vs. patchwork quilt to Angus. I promise, I am reading everything and know who said what at the time I read it, but in responding, I’ve gotten it a bit jumbled up. I’ll have to start referring back to the responses before posting to them so I keep them straight, rather than relying on my memory! So, thank YOU for that lovely comment. Something that lovely certainly needs to be credited to the correct source! My apologies!

                    • dlapeyrouse

                      January 8, 2013 at 6:39 am

                      Don, yes, the Native Americans are said to have come across the Bering Strait from Asia long ago. The Creek have an interesting route though. It seems the Muscogee Creek of Southeastern United States are descended from the Mayans. They were definitely part of the moundbuilding society and it is only in more recent archealogy that the link from the Muscogee in the USA to the Mayans has been made. So, their ancestors would have migrated in a completely surprising route of having gone as far South as the region of the Mayan ruins and then at some point began a northern migration.

                      There are also Muscogee Creek in Alaska, suprisingly, but the moundbuilding link, the language, and even some of their pottery are proving a link to the Mayans. It is now also considered that the ancient Mayans may have used a water route to Southeastern USA, not just by land. What is a really odd thing was the discovery of pottery in the shape of a Chihauhau dog in Muscogee Creek sites that is almost identical to those found at Mayan sites. Southeastern Native Americans with Chihauhaus!

                      Like the Scottish, the Creek had clans and they weren’t one unified nation. Each of their settlements had its own local government and then all were united by councils made up of those chiefs from the various settlements that were widely scattered. I may not know for sure which Scottish clan I’m descended from just yet, but from the Creek I am Wind Clan, which happens to be the oldest of all Muscogee clans. They were revered and even feared by other clans because they reportedly could cause earthquakes and were some of the first to be able to make fire. So no one wanted to cross them. LOL

                      As we’ve touched on the subject already of the Scottish and Scottish-Creek males who became chiefs in the Creek Nation, I can’t help but wonder why the Scottish and Creek were so drawn to each other to make several such alliances. I only know of one other mixed marriage that was French and Creek and my own ancestors who were British and Creek. All the others seem to have been Scottish. It should be reasonably easy, I would think, for the MacGIllivray and MacIntosh people in Scotland to identify which of those today are related to the Scottish-Creek chiefs. Some became historically noted and they have sketches of them in the Smithsonian etc. They were certainly a distinguished people, nothing at all like the typical plains Indians most people identify as being the stereotypical American Indian – neither in dress, dwellings or customs.

                      It would be interesting to know what Scottish customs might have become incorporated here or what Native influence might have been taken back to Scotland, as some of them did return there. I haven’t studied all the various Native American tribes, but I’ve not heard of any others than the Creek who made Scotsmen or Scot/Creek ‘halfbreeds’ their chiefs like the Creek did.

                    • Don MacFarlane

                      January 8, 2013 at 10:15 am

                      The book on the customs of the American Indians has a nice section on the Creek Indians and makes mention of Alexander McGillivray


                      Cuthbert Grant was a Metis Indian from the Hudson Bay area in Canada who encountered Lord Selkirk and his band of emigrants from the Western Isles. Cuthbert also had a Scottish Highland father, this kind of parentage being not unheard of in these parts, much like the Muskoki or Creek Indians of the Deep South of the US.

    • Noni Brown

      July 30, 2013 at 10:12 am

      In a letter from the son of Alexander Morrison dated Feb 1784, relating to the estate of Donald Roy Macdonald, it refers to the deceased’s Lawyer in Wllmington as a Mr. McLane (McLean). I would like to know of a lawyer in Wilmington circa 1783-84 who may have acted on behalf of Donald Roy Macdonald of Baleshare.

  8. Donald J. McDonald

    November 20, 2012 at 3:25 pm

    I am searching for Information on Hector McDonald, b. 1699 who immigrated to North Carolina in 1774 at age 75. He had three sons with him, Alexander, George and John. He also had two Campbell grandsons, Hector Campbell and Alexander Campbell. He resided last at Langwall, in the Parish of Rogart, in the County of Sutherland, upon the Estate of Sutherland. Does anyone have any genealogy records of him and his family.

    • Pamela

      December 6, 2013 at 9:44 am

      Mr. McDonald

      I realize that your post is over a year old but if you get this reply I hope it’s helpful. While researching my McLeod family line just before finding this wonderful site and thus your post, I ran across a site containing information regarding emigrants from England and Scotland to North Carolina during the 1770s. I understand it may not be specifically what you’re looking for but if you’ve never seen this it’s very interesting (to me, anyway!):

      “Commissioners of the Customs in Scotland to John Robinson Sir.
      The Officers of the Customs in the Islands of Schetland in consequence of the Instructions received from hence, having particularly examined sundry Emigrants for America, put into Schetland by Distress of “Weather; We have inclosed the said Examinations, (Copies of them) as containing apparently the genuine Causes of many Persons leaving the Country, and going to America, desiring you will lay the same before the Lords Commissioners of the Treasury for their Information.
      Customhouse Edinburgh, 30 May 1774, George Clerk Maxwell, Basil Cochrane

      Port Lerwick
      Report of the Examination of the Emigrants from the Counties of Caithness and Sutherland on board the Ship Bachelor of Leith bound to Wilmington in North Carolina.

      Hector Mcdonald, Aged 75, married, a farmer, hath three sons who emigrate with him, John, Alexander & George from 27 to 22 years old, also two grand-children, Hector Campbell aged 16, and Alexr Campbell aged 12, who go to their Mother already in Carolina. Resided last at Langwall in the Parish of Rogart in the County of Sutherland, upon the Estate of Sutherland.

      Intends to go to North Carolina, Left his own Country because the Rents of his possession had been raised from One pound seven shillings to Four pounds, while the price of the Cattle raised upon it fell more than One half and, not being in a Corn Country the price of Bread was so far advanced, that a Cow formerly worth from 50sh. to £3 – could only purchase a Boll of Meal.

      He suffered much by the death of Cattle, and still more by oppressive Services exacted by the factor, being obliged to work with his People & Cattle for 40 days and more each year without a bit of Bread. That falling into reduced Circumstances he was assured by some of his children already in America that his Family might subsist more comfortably there, and in all events they can scarce be worse. Ascribes the excessive price of corn to the consumption of it in distilling.”

      I hope I’ve copied and pasted this correctly. You may find other useful info in the passenger lists and other examinations. If I find anything else I’ll post again.

      North Carolina, USA

      • Don MacFarlane

        December 7, 2013 at 10:49 am

        Dictionary of Scottish Emigrants

        This compilation of names of emigrants during the 1700s to the US, largely made up of Jacobite prisoners in 1716 and of those from the mass exodus from the Highlands in 1774-75 (during the start of the American Revolutionary War), mainly from Glenorchy near Lochawe in Argyllshire, Breadalbane in Perthshire, Appin near Loch Linnhe in Argyllshire, and Strathnaven in Caithness, was put together by senior members of the Scottish Genealogical Society.

        Most of these territories belonged to Campbells and Stewarts, both of these clans being closely linked to the British monarchy (King George III) of the day. These connections were of little use to the emigrants who were not shielded by their chiefs and were instead compelled to leave due to rack-renting and impoverishment. There was also a smattering of emigrants from the Isle of Lewis who took up positions as domestic servants to better-heeled emigrants.

        Despite the short shrift these Highland emigrants received from the British Establishment, many of them fought for the King in their new home, with Flora MacDonald being their mascot:

        Settlements of Scottish Highlanders in North Carolina
        Scottish Highlanders are said to have settled on the Cape Fear River as early as 1729 or even as early as 1715. Neill MacNeill of Jura brought over a colony of more than 350 from Argyllshire in 1739, and large numbers in 1746 after Culloden settled there.

        Cross Creek, now Fayetteville, was the centre of these Highland settlements. The Scots Magazine for September, 1769, records that the ship Molly sailed from Islay on August 21, full of passengers for North Carolina, which was the third emigration from Argyll since the war.

        A subsequent issue states that fifty-four vessels, full of emigrants from the Western Islands and other parts of the Highlands, sailed for North Carolina between April and July, 1770, conveying 1,200 emigrants. Early in 1771, 500 emigrants from Islay and adjoining isles prepared to sail for America and the ship Adventure sailed from Loch Erribol on Sunday, August 17, 1772, with upwards of 200 emigrants from Sutherlandshire for North Carolina.

        In 1772 the great Macdonald emigration began and continued until the breaking out of the war in America. In 1753, it was estimated that there were 1,000 Scotsmen in the single county of Cumberland capable of bearing arms, of whom Macdonalds were the most numerous.

      • Don MacFarlane

        December 7, 2013 at 6:49 pm

  9. Olaf McDaniel

    October 1, 2012 at 1:02 pm

    It is with great interest that I have read the information on Donald and Catherine Macdonald and their son Murdoch. In the comment dated July 30, 2009, it is suggested that Murdoch might have been taken prisoner and deported to Jamaica.

    I would like to interest you in a different theory. We know that (our) Mordach is the founder of the MacDaniel family in the Netherlands. MacDaniel is a Dutch translation of MacDonald. We know that he arrived in the Netherlands around 1747-1748, most likely that he fled Scotland as a result of the Jacobite revolution. We have a complete picture of the 208 MacDaniel’s since his arrival.

    I am member of the 8th generation and presently the writer of the history of my family. I would be very interested in the sources that you mention in your above mentioned comments and learn more about the possibility that Mordach was not deported but shipped to the Netherlands. Could there have been more Mordach Macdonalds with a father called Donald and a mother called Catherine?

    Looking forward to your reply,

    Olaf MacDaniel,
    The Netherlands

  10. Christine

    July 25, 2012 at 11:51 pm

    Thanks for your sharing. It is difficult to comprehend these days how dastardly some of these ancestors were. I suppose it has always been the case that one man’s hero is another’s nemesis. Still it is fascinating and I will carry on doing some more digging into connections and learning from the other posts.

    • Don MacFarlane

      July 26, 2012 at 12:09 am

      You’re very welcome as it has been a great learning curve for me as well for things to do with Skye. Most of this stuff can be got off the internet and it is only a matter of keeping an eye out for contradictory information. We know that can be rife in web sites that merely regurgitate or recycle without checking near-contemporary sources. I find that American and Canadian university libraries have taken the trouble to digitise and archive their antique books on and those can be most useful, as can the on-line Burke’s Peerage for aristocratic families.

  11. Don MacFarlane

    July 25, 2012 at 5:16 pm

    MacLeods of Dunvegan in Their Heyday

    Roderick MacLeod 1693-

    Reported to have relinquished the old traditions of keeping a bard, a piper and a fool (court comedian or jester) in favour of a groom, gamekeeper and dog.

    “Rory was not an English gentleman, he merely aped the manners of one”.

    Roderick’s only child, a daughter Anne, married Donald MacLeod of Bernera and produced twenty children. As there was no male issue, Roderick was succeeded by his brother, Norman, in 1699.

    Norman MacLeod 1699-

    Married in 1703 to the daughter of Lord Lovat, by whom he had one child, a son, who was born after his death in 1706 and who became his successor.This Norman MacLeod Junior inherited the goodly sum of £60,000 as well as the Dunvegan estate. This Lord Lovat, cousin to MacLeod, inveigled MacLeod to collude with Lord Grange, aka Sir Alexander MacDonald of Sleat, to abduct and falsely imprison Lady Grange, who was Sleat’s wife, for almost ten years on the remote islands of Heisker and St Kilda. During all of this time, MacLeod continued to act a MP for Inverness-shire, all the while it was common knowledge that MacDonald had disposed in this inhuman way, Heathcliffe-fashion,of his wife.

    This Norman MacLeod encouraged Prince Charles Stuart to come to Scotland to seek his Crown, only then to betray the Prince’s presence to Duncan Forbes, President of the Court of Session (who also covered up the later aborted slaverunning attempt):

    “It is certain that the pretended Prince of Wales has been hovering along the coast between Ardnamurchan and Glenelg. Sir Alexander MacDonald and I can easily raise 2000 men for the King’s service if they are wanted”.

    • Gordon Macleod

      November 5, 2012 at 3:40 pm

      Norman had two sons, the elder John died aged 2 in October 1706, when a surgeon Glencarss was called in to attend “the late Laird of MacLeod’s eldest son on his deathbed”. Source: The Chiefs of Clan Macleod by Alick Morrison.

    • Gordon Macleod

      November 5, 2012 at 3:55 pm

      Lady Grange was married to James Erskine or Lord Grange, a lawyer with Jacobite sympathies. Sir Alexander Macdonald of Sleat was married first to Anne Erskine and second to Margaret Montgomerie.

  12. Willie Orr

    March 11, 2012 at 4:30 pm

    Can anyone give me details of Skye people sold into slavery by the MacLeods in the early 18th century?

    • Don MacFarlane

      March 12, 2012 at 12:12 pm

      There is a peculiar dearth of information on Skye folk being transported as slaves to Carolina. Even Celeste Ray’s excellent book, ‘Transatlantic Scots’, makes no reference to it. It looks like a bit of digging is required but an initial source on this topic comes from Patricia Lelievre from Prince Edward Island:

      DONALD MACLEOD, a.k.a: ‘The Old Trojan’, was born ca. 1693 in Bernera, Outer Hebrides and died in 1783 aged 90. He was buried in Rodel, Harris, and had 9 children by his third wife, Margaret. It was Donald’s son, Captain Norman MacLeod from Bernera, who was accused of kidnapping over 100 men, women and children one evening from their homes in Skye in 1739 to sell as slaves in USA. Sir Alexander Macdonald, 7th Baronet of Sleat, was also implicated in the slavery and fled to live in Northern Ireland before he returned in 1745 to Skye where he aided the government.

      As one of the victims later recounted, they were ‘all guarded and delivered… and a good deal of them were at the same time bound and tied.’ The plan was to ship the prisoners to either New England or Pennsylvania, where they would be sold as servants, but when the vessel stopped to take on supplies at Donaghadie, in Northern Ireland, they escaped across the surrounding countryside… neither MacDonald or MacLeod was ever prosecuted.” (Ekirch)

      • Angus Macmillan

        March 23, 2012 at 9:53 pm

        The Old Trojan was called on, as part of his tack, to supply Militia for the MacLeods/Government in 1745. He replied by sending a force under Norman above and sent a message to the effect that this was in accord with his duty and he would have led it himself had he not had a more pressing engagement. He then went off to join the Jacobite forces. Norman and his troop formed one of the groups guarding the Skye coast proximate to Sir Aleander MacDonald’s home at Monksradt when Royal Charlie and Flora MacDonald etc. landed there after escaping from Benbecula.

        • Gordon Macleod

          June 2, 2012 at 11:02 pm

          An interesting tidbit regarding the Old Trojan – I remember hearing or reading somewhere that during his lifetime, he was known as Donald Ruadh of the Moustaches or Whiskers.

      • Christine Benjamin-Young

        July 24, 2012 at 1:56 am

        I have just discovered your site and am fascinated by how knowledgable you are. I have just recently started looking at the family tree and have discovered that my husband appears to be descended from the son of this notorious Captain Norman MacLeod and his wife Anne of Berneray. The ancestor is Archibald Macleod who appears to have married Colina Campbell (daughter of John Campbell of Lochend and Annabella Melfort) and they all emigrated to Australia about 1820. I should be very interested to learn more about the family and hope you can help.

        • Don MacFarlane

          July 24, 2012 at 5:47 pm

          I haven’t really studied the family tree with regard to the MacLeod side of things but it looks like Captain Norman MacLeod gets a passing mention in the PEI Island Register site but that’s all? Nonetheless, Patricia LeLievre might be worth contacting as she has obviously done a lot of digging. I am not an expert on Skye myself and do not have an expert such as Angus MacMillan for the Uists to call upon.

          Meantime, it looks like your husband’s ancestor was uncle through marriage to Sir John Campbell, grandson of John Campbell of Lochend and Annabella Campbell of Melfort (I don’t think Melfort was a surname, it was a placename).


          These Campbells were a cadet branch of the Dukes of Argyll and a Colina Campbell of that vintage and exact lineage is reported to have been the mother of Sir Colin Campbell who served with distinction in the Peninsular War under Wellington.

          There is some confusion here with regard to whether the designation of Melfort was on the male or female side of the union as Annabella has been referred to in places as a Campbell of Achallader and that she married into the Melforts. There is contrary information, however, which clearly places her as being a Melfort. The truth of the matter appears to be that Achallader, Kilmelfort, Kilninver and Melfort were probably used interchangeably and all refer to the same family. Their base appears to have been between Glenorchy in Perthshire and Lismore in Argyllshire. The story goes that an ancestor, Black Duncan Campbell, acquired Achallader by foul means from the rightful owners, the Fletchers, who as a result became dispossessed due to being Jacobites. The Campbells were monarchists and supporters of King William of Orange.

          The subsequent generation that settled in NSW is listed in

          The progenitor, Patrick Frederick Campbell b. 1806 is recorded as having been born in Singleton NSW, a town founded by his future father-in-law, Benjamin Singleton. Patrick became an innkeeper but he had difficulty keeping a license. He had eleven children by two separate women (?), Hannah having died when she was 40, and in the NSW records of BDM there appear the following deaths:

          Mother called Anne, living in Casino, Richmond River and Newcastle- deceased were Patrick F, Flora and George.
          Mother called Hanna (nee Singleton), living in Casino,Narrabri, Grafton and Singleton – deceased were Dalmahoy,Alexander,Benjamin, John and Edward.

          All of this requires further research from you and this website would love to have further feedback on what appears to have been a family who were as much about great distinction as roguery. A full history of the Campbells of Melfort stretches back into the beginnings of the Scottish nation.

          Lina Moffitt at has a photo of the elderly Sir John Campbell taken at Campsie, Sydney and may have more.

          None of these later-generation Campbells have anything to do with your direct family tree, of course, as you are MacLeods and they are remote cousins, but a fascinating story nonetheless. We should get round to the MacLeods now and maybe it will be as colourful?

          • Don MacFarlane

            July 24, 2012 at 11:07 pm

            Letter from Campbell Senior to Patrick Gerard, son

            Letter: 27 Jul 1827 Newcastle, NSW, Australia 3 4

            My dear Patrick,

            I delayed in replying to your letter in hopes that I should be able to say something as to your wishes in exchanging your Grant of Land to the Coal River but I am still unable to say anything decisive as Oxley is unwell and the Govt. seems undetermined as to the proper mode of proceeding. It occurs to me however, that the best way will be for you to Memorial for a Grant putting the land received from Sir Thomas Brisbane down as for Charles and Dalmahoy and if you can get it, it will be an advantage, if not you will still have your share of what is up here but I shall be able soon to say something more decisive and shall write to you as soon as possible in the mean time you may be on the look out for a track will answer and perhaps we might as well relinquish what we have up here and take all down at the Coal River but of this hereafter.

            I have got your pay and have taken up the Bill to MacWhittie. I did not ask him to renew it but if you have particular occasion for money send up a Bill the same as the last we signed and I will try to get it discounted for such sum as you require but if you can do without it you had better as you will save the interest.

            I had a letter from John. He is well but William has been ill and he says we may expect him down here, John has got a good situation if he has his health he will do well. He is in the Nizams Civil Service and has 1200 Rupees a month besides his pay as a lieutenant and Rank going on. He says it is now within two of the top of the Lieutenants. William has not been so lucky poor fellow. He has got no appointment yet.

            This day I got a letter from your aunt Barbara but it is of an old date and directed to you r sister Colin. She says she had written to me but I have not yet got it if she did. She says all friends in the Highlands are well.

            I shall write again when I come here next week. Margaret takes up school at Paramatta in eight or ten days. In haste

            I am my dear Patrick

            Your affectionate father

            JOHN CAMPBELL

        • Veronica Hagart.

          October 24, 2012 at 4:52 am

          At the moment I am researching James McLeod (18-tailor) from Alvie, arrived in N.S.W. in Nov 1838 on the St.George from Oban. He was with Charles Sturt on his explorations in Australia during 1838. He also was with Hume’s team on his trip to Port Phillip. I think this Mr. McLeod was Donald McLeod, Staff Surgeon to Sir Thomas Brisbane and Family. Brisbane was the Governor. Most official Exploring teams had a doctor on board.

          After much service, Brisbane granted an estate to McLeod, a home built in 1856 which was named “Bernera” after his former home on the island of Bernera, Scotland. Subdivision of the Estate began in 1889 but the house burnt down in April 1986. There are remains.

          “Bernera Homestead Site” and “Bernera Road” are little bits of trivia…Cheers… Veronica.H.

      • Don MacFarlane

        July 25, 2012 at 8:52 am

        As usual, there appears to be a lot of misinformation or confusion about. Crann Tara puts about that Norman MacLeod was a brother-in-law of Sir Alexander MacDonald of Sleat, his co-conspirator in the abduction fiasco. According to Burke’s Peerage, Sir Alexander was married firstly to Anne Erskine, an only child (who died aged 27), and then to Margaret Montgomerie. MacLeod had umpteen female siblings of Lady Margaret (who was a daughter of the Earl of Eglinton) to choose from but, unfortunately for him, they all married into high-ranking families or died young.

        Norman MacLeod of Dunvegan, who as Chief of Dunvegan was in fact son-in-law to Sir Alexander MacDonald of Sleat, was named as the co-conspirator in the slavery attempt. He left so many skeletons in the cupboard they are maybe best left there (?) and he was popularly known, even to this day, as ‘An Droch Dhuine’, or the Bad Man. His behaviour was probably no worse than that of many of his ancestors or their contemporaries but times had moved on.

        Norman had four legitimate daughters (his first marriage) and one son (his second marriage) who carried on the name and the chiefship of Dunvegan. He had to rely on the advocacy of Duncan Forbes,Lord President of the Court of Session, to bail him out of different scrapes he got himself in, including the abduction episode. Why Forbes put up with him is another question as it can have done his own reputation no good. It may have been because Norman was even willing to hunt down his own father, a closet Jacobite, whereas Norman himself sucked up to Forbes who was a staunch monarchist whose family in Inverness was greatly despised and hounded for siding with the King,’honour amongst thieves’?

        All of this is fine and dandy but does this make this Norman MacLeod a different one to the Norman MacLeod mentioned in the earlier posting that refers to a birthplace in Rodel in Harris? Yes and No. Norman MacLeod’s agent is reported to have been a Harrisman of the same name, and also a cousin, who did his dirty work for Dunvegan. The Dunvegan Norman MacLeod is said to have then sold off his Rodel estate to pay off his substantial £50,000 debt (almost £4 million pounds in today’s money), possibly because his slavery enterprise had to be called off.

        More input from someone else is needed to sort out this muddle.

        • Gordon Macleod

          November 5, 2012 at 5:05 pm

          Capt Norman MacLeod of Unish (of the Lady Grange affair) hunted his own father (Donald of Berneray, the Old Trojan). Norman of Dunvegan, “An Droch Dhuine” was a son of Norman the 20th chief. The MacLeod genealogy pages can be found here:


      • Gordon Macleod

        November 5, 2012 at 4:02 pm

        It was Norman MacLeod (the old Trojan’s son) who fled to Northern Ireland, not Sir Alexander of Sleat.

  13. auldacquaintance

    December 12, 2011 at 4:45 pm

    That Old-Style Religion

    It would be safe to say that the Haldanes’ Mission was very successful indeed, and it established worship-communities all over the North of Scotland, including a very successful mission to the Northern Isles. The Haldanes laid the foundations for further missions to build upon.

    Columba is credited with bringing Christianity to Scotland but the major work was built upon by others. Likewise, the Haldanes performed that role in their Evangelical mission; others followed suit. Some were persuaded and continued in small numbers in their communities before others came to help ‘spread the Word’. Like introducing new music into an area, some took to, many did not. At later stages, ‘concerts’ were advertised, friends went to see a ‘star’ performing, and more were taken in.

    Evangelical Missionaries were the pop stars of their day, odd as that might seem now. But in a time and in a world where nothing out of the ordinary happened, they seemed very glamorous. Part of religion’s attraction has always been about entertainment. I should know, I was such an entertainer.

  14. auldacquaintance

    December 11, 2011 at 6:35 pm

    I have just had another look at the timeline. The Haldanes would have been leading the initial Missions in late 1700s, so this period of Evangelical Mission in the 1800s would be a later one than the original missions to the Highlands and Islands. Most likely by the 1800s this would be part of the continuing Mission run by the Scottish Missionary Society. There were various of these Missionary Societies on the go, including the most famous one, The London Missionary Society. This was the Society that David Livingston worked for, and it did most of its mission in Africa and the Far East. The Society which would most probably be responsible for the Canadian Mission would have been The Commonwealth Missionary Society. Nearly all of these Missions were run by Congregationalists and eventually would merge together as one Society. In fact it is still around today and is called the Council for World Mission.

    • Don MacFarlane

      December 12, 2011 at 10:57 am

      Judging by that, then, the Haldane mission could not have been that successful. The accounts given of the Skye people prior to the so-called Renewal of the 1840s were that they were a right heathen bunch! Hence, all the more credit goes to the likes of the Apostle of the North?

  15. Don MacFarlane

    December 9, 2011 at 8:32 pm

    The Skye Evangelical Revival 1842-69

    In an account attributed to a “native of Skye”, the author of a document published in 1827, records: –

    “When a relation of mine died in 1799, I knew he lived without worshipping God, either privately or publicly. He was an utter stranger to Jesus Christ, yet he was reckoned among the best in the parish and one deserving of heaven and eternal happiness, merely for his good doings. The parish minister said of him and another, “If as many shall go to hell as the bible declares, we cannot get room there.”

    Some of the Evangelists

    James Haldane
    Rev John MacLeod
    Rev Norman MacLeod
    Dr Robert Candlish
    Major Neil MacLeod
    Rev Roderick MacLeod
    Dr Begg
    Rev John Swanson
    Dr John MacDonald, ‘Apostle of the North’
    Duncan Campbell
    Rev John MacRae
    Hugh Miller
    Rev John Kennedy

    Editorial Comment

    Despite the efforts of these evangelical stalwarts, there appears to have been left some work to do as my GG-grand-uncle, Rev Donald MacFarlane of Raasay, brought about the split of the Free Presbyterian Church from the Free Church in the latter days of the nineteenth century.

    • auldacquaintance

      December 10, 2011 at 6:29 pm

      The Skye Revival was led by the Haldane Brothers, a missionary work to the Highlands and Islands of Scotland. These ministers were not static in one place but rather travelled from one community to another spreading the Gospel. The Haldanes went on from this point in history to be the founders of both the Baptist and Congregational churches in Scotland. Our GG-grand uncle, Rev Donald MacFarlane was from North Uist and was in charge of Raasay church at the time of the walk out from the Free Church, in the argument over its changes in regard to the Westminster Confession of faith.

      • Don MacFarlane

        December 11, 2011 at 6:04 pm

        Transatlantic Spread of Gaelic Gospel

        This Highland and Gaelic evangelical movement seems to have carried across the water to the maritime provinces of Canada? Other ministers, this time active in Canada in the 1800s, were:

        Rev Peter MacLean
        Samuel MacLeod
        Ewen Lamont
        Norman MacPherson
        Rev PR Foster

      • Don MacFarlane

        December 11, 2011 at 8:24 pm

        Contemporary Account of the 1842 Skye Revival from Rev James MacQueen (An t-Urramach Seumas MacCuidhein), Broadford Baptist Church

        “I never saw the church so lively and zealous as at present. I never saw such a general desire to hear [the Gospel] in every part of the station, and through the whole Island. Four persons were baptised since I last wrote to you and I cannot visit one half of the places to which I am invited. This awakening commenced in the north of Skye, by means of a Gaelic schoolmaster, and it has extended to all the parishes of the Island. Some who are affected prove by their conduct that they have not known the evils of sin, notwithstanding their agitation. There is, however, a wonderful change in the conduct of the people, and much attention is paid to the word of God.”

  16. Kerstina MacKenzie MacAskill

    September 16, 2011 at 2:06 am

    I’m related to Hugh MacLeod of Macleod (Chief of Dunvegan Castle right now) through my father, Kenneth MacAskill. I was wondering if there is an updated family tree? Or any family tree that could get at least to my father and his 2 brothers and sister. I took history as a subject, so this would be perfect for me and also I love to find out about my family history. It’s awesome to know you have such a wonderful family history, so could someone or anyone – if you know about a family tree – please tell me about it, that would be fantastic, thank-you 🙂

    • Don MacFarlane

      February 14, 2012 at 11:09 am

      My initial thoughts were that this shouldn’t be too difficult to do through Burke’s Peerage as I tracked a forgotten or overlooked member of the Clanranald MacDonald line that way recently (see Uist page). A quick look, however, would seem to show that the more recent Burke records for the MacLeods are very patchy indeed.

      It appears the MacLeod male line ran out with Hugh MacLeod (present chief)’s grandfather who was in fact a Woolridge Gordon who took on the MacLeod mantle through marriage to Joan MacLeod, daughter of John Macleod of Dunvegan. Details for other Gordons, siblings of Macleod of MacLeod, are not recorded and the only other line is a generation back who became MacNabs.

      In other words, there are no DNA-haplotype MacLeods left in the present chiefly line which is in fact now morganatic. It might be useful with regards this particular query to know the maiden name of the mother of the MacAskill mentioned? In the meantime, there is a very useful Macleod Chiefs website which does a Cooks Tour on them from their very beginning. I also aim to get Seoras, the website administrator for that particular site, on board for your query.

      • Gordon Macleod

        November 5, 2012 at 4:24 pm

        Sir Reginald MacLeod was the last of the male line of Dunvegan MacLeods, dying in the 1930s. At Sir Reginald’s death, MacLeod of Talisker became the senior male line representative of the Siol Tormod but showed no interest in the chiefship. Reginald’s eldest daughter Dame Flora succeeded to the chiefship, she married Hubert Walter and had two daughters, the second of whom, Joan, married Capt Robert Wolridge-Gordon. Joan’s younger son John was named by his grandmother as successor to Dunvegan, on the condition that he change his name to MacLeod. John’s son Hugh is the current MacLeod of Dunvegan.

  17. donfad

    August 25, 2011 at 5:55 pm

    Beaton (Bethune) Physicians of the Isle of Skye

    Beatons (Bethunes or MacBeths) were hereditary physicians to the Chiefs of the MacLeods and the MacDonalds.

    From Historical Account by A. Bethune-Baker (ex-1778)

    Dr Peter Bethune (Beaton) circa 1729
    “being a famous physician, was called to Argyleshire to practise his skill and from thence received an invitation to the Isle of Sky from the lairds of M’Donald and M’Leod. The Doctor, upon condition to settle in the country, was promised as much land as he inclined to possess, on the promise on the Doctor’s side, that one of his posterity, particularly the eldest son of the family, if he had a turn for it, should be educated as a physician,without any expence to him or his successors, whilst any of them continued in that country and inclined to the study of physic or medicine”.

    Dr Farquhar Bethune (son of Peter)
    “having been sent for by the Earl of Sutherland, to attend his Countess in a dangerous illness, he was returning home in a ten oared boat and happened to land in an island which was not inhabited. Here the Doctor and his crew, proposed to stay a little and refresh themselves ; but alas ! the boat being not well fastened to the shore, went off with their provisions aboard, and twenty days thereafter came into Dunrobin the Earl’s seat, whole and entire. The Earl immediately sent out some able hands in quest of them; but before they could possibly reach the island, all of them had died for want of food”.

    Dr Angus Bethune (son of Farquhar)
    “Angus wrote a system of physic, entitled ‘The Lilly of Medicine’, which he finished at the foot of Montpelier, after he had studied twenty eight years. The system contains many curious discoveries concerning the nature of diseases and their cures but none is able to read it now as it is in the Irish character and in contractions belonging to it”.

    Dr Farquhar Beaton (son of the second Dr. Angus) circa 1774
    Farquhar did not at first study physic (medicine) but he eventually settled in ‘such a remote corner as Sky’ where ‘he would not find encouragement proportionable to his pains and improvement’.

    Dr Neil Beaton (son of Dr Farquhar)
    “Neil was a man of great skill in physic,which seemed more natural than acquired. He got little or no education, and yet had singular success in curing several dangerous distemper^. He did not appear in the quality of a physician, until he arrived at the age of 40. He pretended to judge of the various properties of plants and roots by their different tastes. He nicely observed the colours of their flowers, from whence he learned their astringent and loosening loosening qualities. He extracted the juice of plants and roots after a chymical way, peculiar to himself, and with little or no charge. He considered the constitutions of his patients before he administered any medicines to them. And he formed such a system for curing diseases, as served for a rule and directory to him on all occasions. He treated
    Riverius’s ‘Lilium Medicinic’, and some other practical pieces,that he heard of, with contempt and disdain, since, in several instances, their methods of curing had failed when his had been successful. Some of the diseases cured by him were running sores in the legs and arms, and grievious headaches. He had the boldness and resolution to cut a piece out of a woman’s skull broader than halfacrown, and by this operation restored her to perfect health”.

  18. Jan

    July 11, 2011 at 8:16 pm

    I am trying to find out the destination of the ‘Frere’, a prison ship from Tilbury carrying Jacobite prisoners in March 1747. It is listed as leaving Tilbury for Jamaica/Barbados. Has anyone any idea as to the exact destination or any idea as to where I might look to find out the answer.

    • donfad

      July 12, 2011 at 1:09 am

      Your best bet may be to get onto the Rootschat Jacobites blogsite:,282134.100.html

      Once logged on, try to get into discussion with ‘Old Rowley’ who seems to be the main man and he has garnered a lot of information on the Jacobite Prisoners of ’45 who were imprisoned in Tilbury Fort in Essex. There was a mass transportationon on 31st March 1747, via ships ‘Frere’ and others, of those who survived the rigours of that dungeon and their destination is listed as Barbados.

  19. Don MacFarlane

    February 23, 2011 at 11:55 pm

    Capercaillie as soundtrack.

  20. lisa greene

    October 25, 2010 at 12:30 am

    Does anyone have any information on the Gilzeanes? My grandfather told me about two Scottish brothers who owned a plantation in Jamaica and called it Dunvegan. Is the Gilzeane name Scottish and do they have anything to do with the MacLeods?

    • Don MacFarlane

      October 25, 2010 at 9:45 pm

      The name Gilzean is thought to be the Lowland version of MacLean – therefore there is no connection with MacLeod. Another school of thought is that Gilzean was the original form of MacLean and it has only survived in the Lowlands. Alan Gilzean is the most famous of the name and he played soccer for Scotland.

  21. Miguel

    August 10, 2010 at 3:43 pm

    I found a lot of information about my family since a Colin Elder Sr. (1740-1726) migrated to Skye abt. 1770. Two of his sons, John and Sir George had interesting lives – John, as a merchant at Oronsay and Inverness (he is mentioned in the book “Glencoe and beyond: the sheep farming years 1780-1830), and Sir George with an amazing military career.

    I am a descendant of Colin Elder, oldest son of John Elder, who was merchant too at Isle of Oronsay and Skye till his death at 1851. He is mentioned in the book “The cruise of the Betsey”, by Hugh Miller. He and his brothers, Commander Benjamin Elder, and Lt. Col. Alex. Macdonald Elder, had a naval company around 1835-1850, Elder and Co, with some ships. They traded on the route India (Calcutta/Madras) and England. Records of these vessels mention the ships Mauritius and Robarts among others.

    The youngest son of Colin, Rev. George Elder at Woolwich, Greenwich, Kent, was my ggg-father. One of his sons, Arthur Sidney Welsh Elder, civil engineer, was contracted by a rail company and travelled to Argentina at 1911, with my g-father, Arthur, and his brother William George. Descendants of this branch of the family have lived here since then.

  22. Don MacFarlane

    July 27, 2010 at 9:41 pm

    The Sleat Local History Society (Comunn Eachdraidh) appears to have a fairly active website with forum and might be worth a visit. An extensive history on Sir George Elder is supplied by Nancy Elder-Petersen, although she implies that Sir George was an honorary Skyeman who was born in South East Ross-shire, overlooking the Beauly Firth. Miguel has also heavily researched the Elders, being one himself, and he is very knowledgeable about the General.

    There was a very extensive emigration from the Highlands of Scotland to Argentina and it is a credit to Miguel that he has kept alive such a strong interest in his ancestral roots. Pending further postings from Miguel and hopefully a potted history as to how his ancestors settled there, a website on Scottish Settlers in Argentina gives a good background. An even more comprehensive website is British Settlers in Argentina, which has full BDM records from the mid 1800s.

    Any information on the Reverend Donald MacDonald from Benbecula who served there would also be welcome; there are also pockets of Spoken Gaelic which have survived in Argentina.

  23. Miguel

    July 27, 2010 at 6:10 pm

    As I mentioned before, the company “MacDonald and Elder” ran the stores of the Isle of Ornsay around 1790 till 1820. I believe that this MacDonald was James Macdonald of Heisker and Skeabost, merchant at Portree on those years. The company is mentioned in the book, “After the Hector: The Scottish pioneers of Nova Scotia and Cape Breton…”, Chapter 9. Any additional information would be appreciated.

  24. Don MacFarlane

    June 20, 2010 at 6:27 pm

    Lyrics to the song ‘Edinbane’.

    ‘S an t-Aodann Bàn cha’n fhàg mi e
    Gun rann chur as a dheidh
    Tha ann an tàmh mo phàrantan
    A thog ‘s a leig mo chèis
    ‘S cho fad ‘s a bhios ann àit aca
    Bi àit’ agam dha’n teid

    I cannot leave Edinbane
    Without a verse in its honour
    My parents who remain there
    Have guided my life’s steps
    As long as they have a place there
    They will keep a place for me.

    A more tangible souvenir of Edinbane can be got in the form of a piece of pattery pandcrafted in Coshletter in Edinbane Pottery.

  25. Don MacFarlane

    June 20, 2010 at 9:29 am

    Coshletter in Duirinish in Skye, not to be confused with Coshletter in Duirinish across the Kyle of Lochalsh from Skye, is in the parish of Dunvegan and Bracadale. It is listed as a Natural Heritage Zone to protect its river (Abhainn Choisleadar) for its excellent fishing. There is also a Monadh Choisleadar which is a stretch of moorland in the same area. The conclusion is that the Loch Harport connection is a red herring and that Coshletter (map attached) is in fact directly across from Edinbane on the other side of the River Coishleitir (Abhainn Choishleitir), with a nearby forest with rare birds. The ‘coastal hamlet’ tag is probably what threw the searcher off as Coshletter is really an extension or suburb of Edinbane at the point where the River Coshletter feeds into the inland sealoch of Loch Greshornish. Note the multiple spellings of Coshletter which adds to the confusion but the problem is now solved!

  26. Don MacFarlane

    June 19, 2010 at 11:29 pm

    There would appear to be two Coshaletters (Coshletters) after all and the one in question here is on the other side of Loch Greshornish, looking directly across the water to Edinbane. Coshaletter was ‘cleared’ around the time the MacFarlanes left for Australia and hardship continued up until the time of the Napier Commission in 1883. Napier Minutes can be downloaded but be warned – it takes 5 minutes so go off and make some tea! – but the contents are worth it. The history of Greshornish house, which belonged to Kenneth Macleod, the landlord of Edinbane can be found at

  27. Don MacFarlane

    June 19, 2010 at 4:10 pm

    English translation of picture in Am Baile website of Edinbane (Aodann Ban) from Cois Leiter (Coshaletter).

    Sealladh traidiseanta air coimhearsnachd croitearachd, ‘s e an t-Aodann Bàn a tha sa chairt-phuist seo.
    A traditional scene of a crofting community in Edinbane is seen in this postcard.

    Tha gach croit a’ sìneadh a-mach fo gach taigh gu ruige an loch mara Loch Ghrìsinis.
    Each croft stretches from a homestead down to the sea-loch of Loch Grishinish.

    Tha clachan beag an Aodainn Bhàin na laighe ris an làimh dheis, a-mach às an dealbh, aig ceann an locha.
    The hamlet of Edinbane is on the left hand side, out of vision, and at the head of the loch.

    Chaidh am baile a stèidheachadh le Coinneach MacLeòid, fear a thàinig o theaghlach cho sean ‘s a bh’ air an Eilean.
    The hamlet was founded by Kenneth MacLeod, from a long-established family on the island.

    Rinn e fhortan sna liosan-planntachais teatha agus guirmein sna h-Ìnnseachan, agus thill e dhachaigh.
    He made his fortune in the Indian tea and indigo plantations and he returned home.

    An uair sin cheannaich e oighreachdan Orboist agus Ghrìsinis agus thog e a’ chiad ospadal san Eilean Sgitheanach, Ospadal Gheusto san Aodann Bhàn ann an 1870.
    He then purchased the estates of Orbost and Grishinish and he built the first hospital in Skye, Gesto Hospital in Edinbane, in 1870.

  28. Don MacFarlane

    June 19, 2010 at 2:46 pm

    For some photos of the general area of Loch Harport visit the Scotland Flavour website. The distance from Coshaletter on Loch Harport to Edinbane is 15 miles. I assume it is the same place and that there is not another Coshaletter, especially as it is referred to as a ‘coastal hamlet’.

    Incidentally, I think our ancestors might have been related in the early 1800s! MacFarlane is an uncommon name and not one that is indigenous to Skye. My MacFarlane ancestors also came from Edinbane but they only left to go the short distance across the Minch to the Outer Hebrides (Uist) while yours went to the far side of the world (Australia). Your ancestral family sounds very interesting – a young widow with seven children emigrating that vast distance in those times – so please feel free to post on this page any more information you have on the circumstances. My ancestor left to become estate manager in Uist for the notorious Colonel Gordon of Cluny (least said, soonest mended)!

    • Roddy MacFarlane

      April 17, 2012 at 10:20 am

      I’m a MacFarlane from Edinbane who I believe has ancestors with Uist connections. When did yours leave Edinbane to go to Uist?

  29. Don MacFarlane

    June 19, 2010 at 10:50 am

    Coshaletter probably refers to a place just outside Gesto, near Struan. I have never been there but it looks like a beautiful and remote spot across the sound from Portalong and overlooking Loch Bracadale. I didn’t have too much trouble tracking this spot down after I reverted to what I guessed might be the Gaelic derivation of the name – Cois a Leitir, translated as Foot or Lower (Cois) Slope of a Hill(Leitir).

    Check out the site Am Baile for more.

  30. Larissa

    June 19, 2010 at 7:30 am

    I am in Sydney, Australia and have a gggg grandfather and grandmother of the names Malcolm MacFarlane and Mary McAuley who I was told were from “the coastal hamlet of Coshaletter” on the Isle of Skye. I have never been able to find where this place existed. The story was that Mary migrated to Australia with 7 of her 8 children after Malcolm died at sea. I have no idea what happened to the other child ! Has anyone heard of this hamlet ?

    • Roddy MacFarlane

      April 17, 2012 at 10:14 am

      Any idea when your ancestors emigrated to Oz. I am one of two remaining MacFarlanes still living in Edinbane

    • Roddy MacFarlane

      April 17, 2012 at 2:29 pm

      There was a ship the Ontario which sailed for Sydney on 3rd Aug 1852 on which Malcolm and Mary MacFarlane and their family sailed.

  31. Don MacFarlane

    July 30, 2009 at 9:28 am

    From Noni Brown

    I have read “Prince Charlie’s Pilot” and enjoyed it very much – also “The Lion in Mourning” – very comprehensive and informative.

    We didn’t know Catherine was 20+ years younger than Donald, giving her a birth date of c1700. We had her birth date to be around Donald’s in about 1682 , based on that he died on 10 Oct 1749 age 67. Perhaps Donald was married previously? Where did you find information on Catherine’s birth date?

    According to family tradition, it was the Prince who gave his scarf pin to Donald or Murdoch as a little token to remember him. Another family tradition has been to pass this Pin down from youngest son to eldest son to youngest son and so on. Norma Beard now 82 yr, another descendent, told me recently the “Pin” was an ordinary scarf pin that was on some clothing given to the Prince by a lady Jacobite supporter, from her household, to replace his torn and worn clothing, during the 60 days he spent in hiding with Donald and Murdoch. This “Pin” is still displayed by the current family, “keepers of the Pin”, at New South Wales Macleod Clan gatherings.

    According to the article, “The Glenaladale Pioneers”, Donald and Catherine lived next to the “Manners Stone” at Galtrigal. A story about the “Manners Stone”, apparently told by a Galtrigal man, went – “Now, the man on whose land it was thrown had six strong sons, and when his crops were trampled down and ruined by people visiting and circling the stone he grew angry and told his sons to remove it. They did, and they threw it into the ravine [there is a deep ravine close by] and it broke. …. Sheriff Nicholson came from Husabost and was angry and said, “Replace the stone as it was or on rent day you’ll lose your croft”. This may of course have had nothing to do with this Donald.

    Another article in the “Celtic Magazine” says Donald was a well-to-do farmer and tenant of Norman Macleod, 22nd Chief of Dunvegan. We know Donald was also a well known Trader and as well as a Pilot and Helmsman – who sent his son Murdoch to the Grammer School in Inverness. There is a possibility that young Murdoch was the 18 yr old Murdoch Macleod, one of hundreds of Jacobite Prisoners “Banished to Jamaica or Barbados” in 1747 as an indentured servant under Samuel Smith.

    Various members of the family have just about exhausted all avenues, including trips to Skye to research Donald, Murdoch and link to our Malcolm Macleod. Norma Macleod from Skye-Roots could not find any records for any of our family prior to 1820. Perhaps the only way to find out now is to pay for professional research of the library archivists at Dunvegan Castle (Macleod’s Galtrigal Estate records) and Armadale Castle (MacDonald’s Monkstadt Estate Records). Estate records could contain old records and names of household servants, tenants, crofters and families. I recently emailed requests to both for professional research – no response as yet.

    • Mary MacLeod

      November 26, 2010 at 7:50 am

      Don’t waste your money on a professional research. Instead, look into genealogy fraud. Germans seized MacLeod Castle (Dunvegan) during the “Norman” invasion (Norman means Saxon). I’m a MacLeod, and I discovered that the MacLeod genealogy was altered by Germans using the alias MacLeod.

      • chaylene grace mcleod

        January 31, 2013 at 2:11 am

        My name is Chaylene Mcleod living in NZ and a direct descendant from Isaac Mcleod who came out on the Seagull. I was born in Helensville and I am very interested in any further information on the above.

        • Angus Macmillan

          January 31, 2013 at 2:43 pm

          Chaylene, my advice would be to ignore the above, as everyone else seems to have done. It is either simply deeply misinformed or the putative start to the introduction of some kind of outlandish agenda. Norman refers to Norseman and not to any sort of Saxon. The takeover of a slice of northern France (and of eastern Ireland) by the Norse, in the first case by William the Bastard’s ancestor, is well recorded. The MacLeods post-date the Norman Conquest, which is what I take it is referenced as the Norman invasion, so there was no castle for Germans to seize at the time. In any case, stone-built castles like Dunvegan did not arrive till much later.

    • Gordon Macleod

      January 7, 2012 at 9:05 pm

      If Catherine’s son Murdoch, who was born c. 1730, was her last child, she could quite easily have been in her early forties when he was born. This would give her a birth date of c. 1688.

  32. MIGUEL

    June 16, 2009 at 7:58 pm

    I am particularly interested in knowing some additional information about my family. Till now, I know that my ggggg-father, John Elder lived in Skye, and had a company there, as an emigration agent, “MacDonald and Elder”, with some ships (“The Rifleman”), 1790 approx. His son, Colin Elder, had a shop at Isle of Ornsay. A brother of John, Major General Sir George Elder, was born at Kilcoy, and joined the army at Sleat as a rifleman. He fought with Wellington against Napoleon. A reference about a father of John and George is another Colin (1740-1826), who died at Ornsay. I believe they came from Aberdeen, but some relation with John Elder is possible. A large number of them were clergymen.

  33. Angus Macmillan

    July 6, 2008 at 8:35 am

    This is very much the tradition of the main group of Buchanans in the Lennox on mainland Scotland. The tradition does have a major contradiction though. It is of descent from Cain, a son of MacBeth i.e. after 1050 a.d. but that the O’Cahan or O’Kane who came from Ireland and obtained the clan lands to the east of Loch Lomond, was escaping after participating in a massacre of King Canute’s forces; that would have required him to be born a hundred years earlier.

    It is quite useful to have the entry under Skye as it seems unlikely that the Buchanan group in the islands had any connection with the Cannanaich, sons of the Canon, Lennox clan. The tradition in the Western Isles case is that the Buchanans there were of the distinct Clan Mhannain named after the Celtic hero Manannan mac Lir, later absorbed into Christianity as St Mannan. The MacVannin name became Anglicised as Buchanan in the Uig area of Lewis.

  34. Angus Macmillan

    June 17, 2008 at 11:36 pm

    I have three additions to make to the Hector story. Two of them are comments and the last a question.

    The Buchanans, like a number of others including the MacPhersons and MacAulays, consisted of at least two entirely separate clans. The one that Hector ‘joined’ had nothing to do with the Skye family. He married an heiress of the Drimikill and Ross Priory, Dumbartonshire line.

    The diary of Napoleon’s Marshal MacDonald, Duke of Tarentum, when he visited his father, Neil MacEachen’s home at Howbeg in South Uist in 1825, records his having stopped off for dinner with the MacDonald Buchanans at ross Priory and it seems that Hector was one of the men who smoothed the Marshal’s path on the visit. The wife and daughters also met up with him as he made his way back to the mainland.

    The question is whether anyone knows whether the MacDonald Buchanan whisky family that regularly figures in the Sunday Times Rich List and has estates in Scotland and Northamptonshire, is descended from Hector?

  35. Angus Macmillan

    May 1, 2008 at 4:22 pm

    Hector MacDonald Buchanan was a son of MacDonald of Boisdale, [Alexander MacDonald of Boisale in South Uist, Alasdair nam Mart, was brother of the ‘Old Clan’ of the ’45 and himself the ‘able bouleman’ who outdrank Prince Charles and his companions when the latter was lurking in South Uist in 1746] and was thus not a Skye MacDonald but of Clanranald as he was neither from Skye nor a member of the Sleat family.

    The references to him as an over-Factor relate to his role in respect over many years when his prime factorship overlapped with a succession of sub-factors in Benbecula, South Uist and Eriskay. The details of his appointment are in the Clanranald chests. It is not surprising that, as an Edinburgh WS who happened also to be an island MacDonald [and no doubt given his birthplace, Gaelic speaking] he should pick up other land agent roles along the way, including, it would appear, acting against an estate in Skye. Robert Brown who held the Clanranald factorship in 1798-1811 had at least a half dozen such factorships for major estates and similarly will have needed day to day help on the ground.

  36. donfad

    May 1, 2008 at 8:32 am

    From Alastair Gunn

    I am currently researching Hector Macdonald Buchanan and any new info would be greatly appreciated. I think it worth noting that ‘Edinburgh lawyer’ is somewhat misleading as he is a Skye Macdonald and, more than a lawyer, a very important lawyer. His connections with the islands remained important to him, not least as his sister was married to the previous Factor of Vallay who was sacked in 1802/1.

    I have some trouble with him as some sort of ‘Over-factor’, he was law-agent for the Macleod Dunvegan estate in 1799 and so may have dealt with some Factorial issues. Given his other duties I do not see him having any meaningful Factor role, not least appearing against the Estate in a major law case.

    • francis norrie

      June 26, 2010 at 6:17 pm

      hi I have access to 70 letters written to hector between 1800 and 1828-some of the info may be of interest to you

  37. donfad

    March 29, 2008 at 5:16 pm

    The Shaws in Skye, Harris, Jura and Mull, are descendants or otherwise related to MacIntosh exiles in the 1700s from the Scottish mainland. Shaws have also gone by other aliases like Farquharson in Skye or MacIver in Lewis and Harris. Mainland and lowland clans or septs (Gaelic equivalents appended) that found their way into the Hebrides include:

    Anderson (Islay) – MacIlleAindrais R1b1b2
    Bannerman (Uist)
    Beaton (Skye, Uist) – Mac Beatha, Patanach
    Black (Uist) – Mac Ille Dhuibh
    Boyd (Jura, Islay)- Mac Ille Bhuidhe
    Buchanan(Skye, Uist) – Buthchanain, Bochanan
    Carmichael (Skye) – Mac Ille Mhicheil
    Darroch (Jura, Islay) – Mac Ille Riabhaich
    (Skye, Lewis, North Uist)
    Fraser (Skye, Lewis) – Friseal
    Grant (Skye) – Granndach
    Gunn (Lewis)
    Jamieson (Islay, Lewis) – MacSheamuis
    Johnstone (Skye, Barra, Benbecula) – MacIain
    Kennedy (Lewis) – Cinneadach
    Laing (Uist)
    Lamont (Skye, Uist) – Mac Laomain, Lamonach
    Livingstone (Skye, Mull) – Mac DhunnShleibhe
    MacFarlane (Skye, Uist, Lewis) – Mac Pharlain
    MacPherson (Skye, Uist) – Mac a Phearsain
    Montgomery (Skye) – Mac Iomaire R1b1b2/J2
    Munro (Skye, Uist) – Rothach
    Murray (Lewis) – Moireach
    Robertson (Skye, Mull) – Robasdan
    Salmean (Uist) – actually of Finnish origin
    Shaw (Skye, Colonsay) – Sitheach, Mac Ille Channaich
    Smith (Lewis) – Gobha, really MacIntosh or MacPherson
    Steele (Uist)
    Walker (Islay, Mull, Uist) – MacNucator

    Posts from visitors with any of these connections are particularly welcome.

    • Jill C.

      May 17, 2010 at 10:29 pm

      I am descended from Lamont/Lamond, Ferguson, MacRae, MacDonald (MacQuien), Dingwall, MacDiarmid, MacAskill, Campbell, and more, all found in the parishes of Duirinish and Bracadale in the 1800s. However, I’d like to take them further back, specifically the Lamont family.

      There is a fairly decent lineage of Lamonts who were primarily in the east of Skye who migrated to Canada (Prince Edward Island), however my Skye Lamonts stayed in the Dunvegan area until one John Lamont who married a Catherine Ferguson in 1864 came south to Lanarkshire with his young family and then ended up in East Lothian. One of their sons, Alexander Lamond, came to the USA in 1902. He was my great grandfather.

      Anyone else have Lamont ancestors on Skye?

    • Elizabeth Michos

      November 15, 2010 at 10:25 pm

      I am interested in your reference to the “MacIntosh exiles in the 1700s from the Scottish mainland”. Can you tell me why they were exiled and if many of those exiled went to the Isle of Skye.I am researching my MacIntosh ancestry on the Isle of Skye going back to 1800 and beyond and would like to find out more about their origins. I also wonder if there were ever many MacIntosh families on the island and if many of those families migrated to other countries. I have never found many MacIntoshes on the island when carrying out my research. My MacIntosh ancestors were crofters in Mugeary, Portree.
      Thank you in advance.

      • Don MacFarlane

        November 18, 2010 at 1:03 pm

        The most extensive account I have come across is a website post about the History of the Mackintoshes. It is almost a book chapter in itself and the main thrust is that, despite their many battles, with their fair share of wins and defeats, the clan has managed to retain its base in Rothiemurchus outside Inverness.

        The dispersals have more to do with septs of the clan, Shaw in particular, which has become scattered across the Western Isles. It is not at all clear why they held on to the ancient name of Shaw which had became Mackintosh centuries before, nor why they left in droves from their ancestral homeland on the east coast. One version is that in 1645, a Mackintosh chief who had resurrected the name Shaw as a family name, Alan Shaw, was outlawed for the slaughter of his stepfather, Dallas of Cantray. Having been seized and imprisoned in Castle Grant, Alan died there soon afterwards and his brother and associates were “exiled into the Western Isles and Ireland”. To the present day there are many Shaws in Skye and Jura, who may be descendants of these “exiles.” That is a piece of research which is still to be done? In short, the Mackintoshes did not become dispersed but their offshoot, the Shaws, did.

        Another, and more widely accepted version, is that the Shaw/MacIver/Farquharson offshoot of the Clan Chattan Federation (of which Mackintoshes were the senior partner) was not in exile at all, but arose from the Wars of Independence as one branch of a bundle of the clans which had by now split into two confederations. One based in Lochaber and Lorn was effectively absorbed into the Lordship of the Isles.

        Yet another, and credible explanation, is that the dispersals arose from the Band of 1609. The Crown had been backing the Earls of Huntly and Moray as the keepers of rule and order in the area around the Moray Firth and nearly all the members of the Clan Chattan were vassals to one or other of them. Acts of Parliament had made clan chiefs personally responsible for their clansfolk and required chiefs to produce legal evidence of their right to their lands. The Mackintoshes forfeited some of their lands for which they could not find title and some of them, such as Shaws and Farquharsons who had split off from the Mackintoshes, were displaced. A colourful website, well worth a visit, has pictures of castles and ancestral sites, including that of Clan Chattan.

        • Elizabeth Michos

          November 22, 2010 at 12:22 pm

          Thank you for your reply and for giving me a better understanding of the Macintoshes and Clan Chattan. I appreciate the time you have taken and the efforts you have made in answering my queries. I found the websites you referred to in your reply to be very interesting. I’m sure I shall return to them again and again in my MacIntosh research. I still don’t know how the MacIntoshes I am researching came to be on Sky but perhaps all shall be revealed in the fullness of time.

          • Don MacFarlane

            November 22, 2010 at 10:22 pm

            Hi Elizabeth

            One more snippet:
            Moira Macdonald, the daughter of Allan Macdonald, 2nd of Clanranald and Moidart, married Malcolm Mackintosh, 10th of Mackintosh, son of William Mackintosh, 7th of Mackintosh and Margaret Macleod.

            Her married name became Mackintosh and her children were Muriel Mackintosh, who married John Grant, son of Sir Duncan Grant, 1st of Freuchie; Duncan Mackintosh, 11th of Mackintosh, d. 1496, who married Florence Macdonald, daughter of Alexander Macdonald, 10th Earl of Ross. He disposed of the lands of Rothiemurchus to his cousin, Alastair Mackintosh of Shaw, and held the position of 12th Chief of Clan Chattan. In 1466 he had a charter of Moymore and other lands from the Lord of the Isles; Lachlan Mackintosh, d. Sep 1493, who married Catherine Grant of Freuchie; Alan Mackintosh, d. 20 Feb 1476; Malcolm Mackintosh d. 1441; Moira Mackintosh, who married Hugh Rose, 7th of Kilravock.

            The relevance of all of this is that there were strong family connections through marriage between the Mackintoshes, the Grants and the Clanranalds. In other words, they lived at opposite ends of a route which goes via the Great Glen to run from Glenmoriston to Kyleakin, just across the Sound of Sleat from Skye.

            • Elizabeth Michos

              November 24, 2010 at 2:41 pm

              Hi Don,
              Thank you again. I will file away for future reference. I note in particular the significance of your last paragraph.
              If you have any more snippets, I certainly would be interested in reading them.
              Kind regards.


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