Dh’fhag sluagh mor anns an linn a h-ochd deug air son iomadh aite air feadh an t-saoghal. Cha do thill iad  riamh ach chaidh cuir an ceil iomadh duan cianalach. Ged a chaidh uine mhor a dhol seachad, tha siol nan daoine sin a’ cumail cuimhne fhathast.


“Whether Highlanders abroad sustained especially cohesive identities, or whether, in their new destinations, they punched above or below their weight, are ultimately difficult questions. More accessible, but no less contentious, are questions relating to the causes of their emigrations and the consequences for the Highlands” (Eric Richards).


Poll Start Date: 28th August 2010

It would be helpful to the website and to gauge interests if  visitors without a query in the form of a post could complete the survey: 

 A fascinating Case History of emigration in the 1800s from the Western Isles is that of the ship ‘Lulan’ which left South Uist in 1848 with emigrants for Prince Edward Island and Nova Scotia. About a quarter of the passengers died of smallpox on board or shortly after arrival. Deaths on so-called ‘coffin ships’ were not unusual during that period but mostly from cholera or typhus. Some questions which remain unanswered about the ‘Lulan’ voyage and that may be informative about mass emigration from the Isles around that period are:

1. Was the Lulan the only voyage from the Uists to PEI?Nova Scotia? (answer: no, there is one more that we know of which was in 1851).

2. Had there been many such voyages from other parts of the Hebrides? (answer:yes,but more so from Wester Ross for one hundred years before).

3. Were the departures in most cases brought about by Clearances? (answer: variable, for example definitely from South Uist but probably not from Benbecula)

4. Was the ‘Lulan’ voyage chartered by a human trafficker? (answer: perhaps and with the knowledge of the shipowner although Captain George MacKenzie of Pictou was generally held in high regard).

5. Was the ‘Lulan’ incubating the smallpox virus as the Uists were free of smallpox? (answer: perhaps, or it was brought on board by passengers embarking in Glasgow. Uist was known until up to recently as perhaps the healthiest and disease-free place in Scotland. It escaped the worst ravages of epidemics of the time such as smallpox, TB, cholera and typhus).

6. Were hopes and expectations raised in Uist people about a better life in Canada than they could get in Glasgow? (yes, which was the reason they did not disembark in Glasgow and take their chances. They were led to believe they were going to a different part of Canada to join relatives).

7. Did Uist people have relatives in Canada who sent word home? (answer: Many Uist people had connections with Wester Ross on the Highland mainland but letters home were a rarity. The exception  was the occasion when a party of disbanded Fraser Highlanders entreated their Uist relatives to join them in Canada. 100 of them duly arrived with their leader, the Laird of the Glen,  at Prince Edward Island on the ‘Alexander’ in 1772 and formed a settlement at Glenaladale).

8. Did the passengers pay their own way? (answer: probably not as a quarrel arose in Nova Scotia on their arrival about the payment of their fares).

9. Did the passengers with non-Uist names such as Lowther and Samson embark in Glasgow and were they from Lowland Scotland? (answer:probably).

10. Did most of the Uist people have poor or no English? (answer:yes, they could not communicate in English well,a smattering of words at best).

11. Was any attempt made to inhabit evicted people in less populated neighbouring islands such as St. Kilda, Heisker or Taransay to spare them emigration? (answer:probably not. In any event, these islands had their own problems such as plagues of rats that would have put people off).

12. Did Hebridean people make good in North America? (If they did it was on occasion against antipathy. They were described by some influential Canadians as a ‘canting, oat-eating, money-gripping tribe of second-hand Scots’ who were accused of ‘speaking Gaelic and you can’t raise wheat from that’).

These questions are all conjectures at this stage which should be capable of more disproof. Correspondence from PEI, Cape Breton and Nova Scotia would be especially welcome to illuminate these issues.


88 responses to “Emigration

  1. patsydakota

    January 29, 2014 at 5:48 am

    Hello to Charis White:

    Is your relation, Mary MacMillan, the one who married Donald Ramsay b. 1748 in Scotland and who had son, John Ramsay, who married Margaret Taylor and who had a son, Donald Ramsay who married Mary “Marie” Cannon?

    They lived on Prince Edward Island – Donald and Mary Cannon Ramsay settled on Low Point Lot 13 probably about 1775 as shown in land rental records in the Seymore Rangley paper. This Donald came over to PEI on the famed ‘Annabella’. This Donald and Mary had sons, Archibald and Angus. Angus settled in Chatham New Brunswick after marrying Jane Taylor Young (it looks like Angus was a pioneer who settled the area).

    I have been trying forever to research where the son Archibald (son of Donald Ramsay and Mary “Marie” Cannon) was born, lived and died and I only find information on brother Angus in New Brunswick; nothing on Archibald on Prince Edward Island. Any thoughts? I have exhausted mine.

    I did see this family on Cannon Descendants but there was no help there. There was lots of info on Angus lots of info and his wife but no trace there on New Brunswick. The family says he married Sarah Ramsay of Tyne Valley PEI but no trace of where they settled. Many years later I found a newspaper article in Boston on Sarah’s 97 birthday and she stated clearly she was married to an Archibald Ramsay. I even see his name listed as father of three living children before 1920 but where are her other six children? Sarah lists these on a census record when she lived in Cambridge, Massachusetts in 1910, together with son-in-law Hugh Murray and daughter Jane N. Ramsay Murray. There is no trace of her with her children on PEI.

    Another mystery to add to my long list of brick walls. Well at least I know the line starts with Donald Ramsay and Mary McMillan. Any one out there from PEi who knows that family or any Cannons who have researched the Cannon line and know of Donald Ramsay and Mary “Marie” Cannon line, thanks for looking?


  2. Hale Barrett

    January 13, 2014 at 3:09 pm

    Trying to get information on the Ramsay family who migrated to Jamaica between 1700 to 1800 from Argyll, Scotland.

  3. bluenoser100

    March 31, 2013 at 4:02 am

    I’m searching a Scottish family, Andrew and Agnes Pollock Wylie. His father was Alexander and his mom was Janet Clark. Andrew had a son Alexander and 2nd Agnes and I can’t find maybe three more kids who immigrated to Nova Scotia Canada. He was a miner in Albion Mines and Acadia Mines. He had one more son William in Stellarton who married a Margaret McKenzie and I have his family. Alexander married Margaret McKay and I have more info if any one can help. Andrew’s family are also found in the Springhill area of Nova Scotia.

    Thanks, Barb

  4. bluenoser100

    March 31, 2013 at 3:53 am

    Hi, is any one else doing any research on Lot 61 McGuigan and McKarney families? I’m trying to find Edward/Edmund McGuigan, a descendant of Jock and Margaret “Peggy” Hughes, who emmigrated from Monagan Castle Blarney, Ireland about 1839-1843. They were known as the Monagan Settlers. There were three waves of immigrants to PEI from Ireland.

    I have that the Edward and Mary McKarney McGuigan family had four kids – Florence and James who both married but died young without kids; Patrick Vince who married Agnes C. McLean and had I think six kids of which I have the names and I knew them; and Ann Mae McGuigan who married Frank Leonard Marshall and who had four boys and four girls, my mom being one.

    I have Florence’s wedding to Clive Sommers and she is buried in an unmarked grave and so is Jim who married Bertha Davidson and had no kids. They were all in Nova Scotia but I know Bertha went back to PEI. Mary was walking in Trenton, Nova Scotia, when she was struck by a car and died in 1923. Edward took her back to bury her in PEI. I hoped to find about his new wife and his marriage but he drowned and I don’t even know when or where. If any one has info to share maybe we can fill in pieces that are missing.

    Thanks, Barbara

    • Waxwing

      March 31, 2013 at 12:24 pm

      Hi Barbara

      This Irish query is better directed to a sister website of mine:

      where there are many links, and I will copy it into there, but I will post some initial thoughts here:

      McGuigan was not a name to be found in the South of Ireland. It came from all over Ulster, with the biggest concentration being in Tyrone and Antrim. There was a little bit of seepage over the border but only as far as the border counties in the Republic, including Monaghan, Barry McGuigan the boxer being a case in point.

      I find the linking of Monagan (?) and Blarney confusing. There is no Monagan or even Monaghan Castle in Blarney or Monaghan. There is a castle in Monaghan but it is called Castle Leslie, where Paul McCartney of the Beatles got married to Heather Mills. Hughes was a very common name in Monaghan but neither Hughes nor McGuigan were to be found in Blarney or any other part in County Cork. Likewise, there was no such name as McKarney in Ireland but the name McCarney was to be found in County Monaghan.

      What all that boils down to in my book is that the reference you have for Blarney is misleading and all thse people came in fact from the South East corner of County Monaghan which is why they were called Monaghan Settlers. The McCarneys came from Currin or Clontibret Parishes; the Hughes came from Muckno or Clontibret Parishes; and if McGuigan came from Monaghan there was only one such name (head of household called Owen) and they came from Donaghmoyne Parish. Three of these parishes; Clontibret, Muckno and Donaghmoyne adjoin each other; so Currin in the far west of the county is less likely as a place of origin.

      To check all of the above, refer to

      Griffiths Valuation

      Monaghan Civil Parishes

  5. Edna Neighbor

    March 19, 2013 at 11:29 pm

    Don, Thank you for that moving uTube!! It takes the heart home to Scotland!
    How heart wrenching it must have been… the emigrating… families separated for often a life time!
    Now… centuries!
    Trudy Thurgood

  6. Edna Neighbor

    March 19, 2013 at 11:21 pm

    Thank you!

  7. Trudy

    March 19, 2013 at 2:40 am

    Yes. Thank you… I do appreciate the information about the Bartholomew MacLellan family! I wonder if you could give me the source references for the information?

    Trudy for Edna Neighbor … granddaughter of Bartholomew. You wanted a little more information on the family:

    Edna is 84. She never knew her grandfather. She said her father (Thomas J. MacLellan born 1875, who it now appears may have been born as “John T. MacLellan”) told her his parents were both drowned shortly after his little sister Eliza Jane was born in 1877. He told Edna that his mother’s name was Elizabeth Noonan and his father was William MacLellan. They were from Scotland and were Presbyterians. We found an Elizabeth Noonan who died in 1877 who was married to Bartholomew MacLellan.

    Edna has been upset that the first names don’t match up…. but she received a letter from her sister’s granddaughter the other day. She wrote Edna’s sisters name… then Edna told me…”… but that wasn’t my sisters birth name… it was totally different… but we didn’t call her by either of those names. We called her Grace.”

    I laughed and said,”Edna, look at your family!! They’re big on changing their names!” I found a William MacLellan in the 1881 census and he was a widower, of Scottish ancestry, and a Presbyterian and living with Murdock MacLellan (maybe John MacLellan?) and Murdock’s wife Sarah. His birth date doesn’t match.

    Edna’s father always wrote his name: Thomas J MacLellan
    He served in the US army and when he re-enlisted he wrote on his enlistment papers St. Georges, Maine. But his family was all from Prince Edward Island.

    I hope this helps.

    • Waxwing

      March 19, 2013 at 9:07 pm

      I can really relate to this story. I never knew my grandfather after whom I am named, Donald John MacFarlane, who was drowned at the age of 41 in Loch Uskevagh in Benbecula. His young widow and my grandmother, Kate Cameron, is said to have seen the drowning from her kitchen window and, no doubt in straitened times, went on to raise single-handedly a young family of seven.

      • Ian (Donald John) Macfarlane

        January 18, 2014 at 12:15 pm

        Hi Waxwing

        I’ve just read your entry above and am currently researching my own family tree. I am also called Donald John Macfarlane and my father was Donald, the brother of your grandfather. I have quite a comprehensive tree and if you need any info I can share what I have with you

        • Don MacFarlane

          January 20, 2014 at 9:38 am

          Hi Ian

          Great to hear from you. My sister, Catherine, has put together quite an extensive family tree also and has a big album we pore over any time I am in Inverness. The biggest query I have on our line is ‘where did they come from originally’? The version I have is that the first MacFarlane to arrive in the Uists came from Perthshire and he was a farm manager to a Clanranald? Then there is the connection with others of that name located around Edinbane in Skye.

          I am glad you have got Scotlands People to work for you. I gave up on it as it kept gobbling up my coupons and gave me zilch back in return. Anyway, and as I have had this out with Prof Tom Devine, I believe there was a lot of internal migration going on – meaning that there was much reverse migration from other parts of the Highlands into the Uists, as evidenced by non-Uist names in our (some of them yours) family tree such as MacKenzie, MacSween, Cameron, Beaton, Monk, Munro and MacNiven.

        • Don MacFarlane

          January 21, 2014 at 1:11 pm

          Hi Ian again

          I have got this back from my sister, Catherine, and you can see if it fits:

          ” Our line appears to be the following, which I received from cousin (Joey Lynn) when she lived in Canada and when she got a lot of information from the Mormons. I wasn’t aware that our grandfather, Donald John, had a brother named Donald (??). I knew he had siblings, Peggy and John (who both went to Australia).Peggy had an adopted son Donald, and John was Hector MacFarlane’s father, I havn’t got a note of any others but maybe there were other siblings (??).

          Our Grt-grandfather had a brother, Donald, the Free Presbyterian minister (and founder). The family consisted of six sons and three daughters, a couple of whom were born at Snizort in Skye where their parents came from. So, it runs:

          Grt-Grt-grandfather DONALD born in Diurinish in 1785
          Grt-grandfather RODERICK born in North Uist in 1837 (second-youngest)
          Grandfather DONALD JOHN born in 1879
          Dad RODERICK born in 1909″.

          • Ian (Donald John) Macfarlane

            January 23, 2014 at 8:00 pm

            Hi Don

            My earliest record is of your grt-grt-grt grandfather, Roderick MacFarlane who married a Christy MacDonald but I have no exact dates. I have printed out all the birth, marriage and death certificates, and perhaps if I lay it out neatly and send you a copy, you can let me know if you want copies of any of the certificates. It may be that you have all the information, but if not it may help.

            A cousin of your grandfather – Mary Ann (my aunt) married a Duncan Campbell, and they had a daughter Lillian who was born in 1924 and who still lives in Edinburgh. She was married to a William Carmichael, a minister, who died in 2000. Lillian has a wealth of info on the family history and if you haven’t met her, it may be worth a visit. Let me know if you want me to detail all the certificates I have and I’ll be in touch

            • Don MacFarlane

              January 27, 2014 at 11:25 pm

              More from my sister:

              “First option:
              Our Grt-grand-father Roderick MacFarlane had a brother Donald who was born in 1834 but we do not have knowledge of his line or marriage, or if he even was married.

              Second option:
              Grandad, Donald John, had a cousin James who was a missionary. His wife, Lilly, died young leaving a young family who were fostered by relatives in Skye and in Dunoon. A grand-daughter, Mary Carmichael, contacted Donald in Hacklet and Joan Lynn several years ago. According to Joan, Mary’s mother was a lawyer? Mary at the age of six went to live with relatives, Peter and Flora MacDonald in Glenhinnisdale in Skye”.

              • Don MacFarlane

                January 29, 2014 at 5:07 am

                From Ian MacFarlane

                I was one level out with my first message and my father was your grandfather’s cousin.James Macfarlane was the brother of your grt grandfather Roderick. James was born in 1840 approx and married an Ann Boyd on 13/10/1868 but she died on 5/10/ 1875 without children. He remarried to Lilly Nicolson on 1/6 /1876 and she died on 2/5/1897 having had 5 children, who were then farmed out to friends, my father being one of them. He was sent to Skye.

                The brother of your great grandfather Roderick was Donald born in 1834 and he was one of the cofounders of the Wee Free Church. He married a Mary Morrison on 14/4/1880 and died( without children I believe on 4/11/1926 aged 92. Mary Morrison’s father was an Alexander Morrison from Solas? N. Uist and I think he married a Euphemia Campbell on 8/3/1842.

                With Regards to Mary Carmichael, she and a brother Donald were the children of William Carmichael who married Lily Campbell. Lilly was the daughter of the Mary Macfarlane (my aunt) who married a Duncan Campbell. This is the Mary who went to live with Peter and Flora. I live in Falkirk and if you would like to meet up I am sure we could share a lot more information.

                • Donald Carmichael

                  March 21, 2014 at 4:05 pm

                  Hello Ian and Don, It would be interesting to compare notes. I am Donald Carmichael, son of Lilian Campbell, daughter of Mary Macfarlane, daughter of James Macfarlane and Lily Nicholson. I have tried to piece together the faimily tree too but some of the information above is new to me. It would be good to put our different bits of the jigsaw together! Regards, Donald

  8. Edna Neighbor

    March 2, 2013 at 3:34 am

    I’m looking for my Grandfather and Grandmother who drowned while they were living on PEI around 1877. Leaving my father Thomas J MacLellan and his sister Eliza Jane MacLellan as orphans. Grandmother’s name was Elizabeth Noonan. I don’t know what my grandfather’s name is. I’ve been searching for them for ever so long. Can anyone help me? I’m 84 years old.

    • Jan Fisher

      March 16, 2013 at 3:22 am

      Hi Edna, it is very troubling when one can’t find people isn’t it?

      I’m not seeing those children in the PEI baptismal records however I have come across the following records. Might these be your people?

      Elizabeth,Eliza, Jane Noonan
      Birth 28 DEC 1851 in Albany, PEI Lot 27
      Death 6 MAR 1877 in Kinkora, PEI Lot 26 (burial St. Malachy’s Cemetary, Kinkora PEI)

      m 11 Jul 1873, Seven Mile Bay PEI

      Batholomew McLellan
      Birth 24 AUG 1846 in St. George’s Parish, Georgetown, PEI
      Death 12 OCT 1913 in Kinkora, PEI Lot 26 (burial Kinkora PEI)

      This would mean that they didn’t die at the same time as one another leaving the children orphaned, however children are listed as:

      John Thomas McLellan m Flora Elizabeth Sewell
      Birth 16 Feb 1875
      Death 16 Jan 1951 – Sedro Woolley, Skagit, Washington, United States

      Eliza,Jane McLellan m Allan Joseph McInnes
      Birth 1877 in Albany, PEI
      Death 18 Sep 1915 in Charlottetown PEI

      • Jan Fisher

        March 16, 2013 at 3:28 am

        Could it be that when the mother died in 1887 that the father couldn’t raise them himself so placed them in the home of another family – so the same as orphaned even though the father didn’t die?

        Just a thought, Jan

  9. patsydakota

    November 11, 2012 at 4:42 am

    My 26 yr old brick wall.

    Lorenzo Ramsay b. between 1848 and 1850, presumed on Prince Edward Island to be of Scotch origin and Presbytarian. I have not been able to connect him to a Prince Edward Island family as yet, because no birth records existed during that date, but his grandfather was born in Scotland. I know the Ramsays are of high lineage on Prince Edward Island, mostly because John Ramsay off the Annabella ship landed in 1770. But the name is even odd, Lorenzo Ramsay. Has anyone ever heard that name before?

    Patricia (researching Ramsay from Scotland to early PEI)

    • Don MacFarlane

      November 12, 2012 at 9:26 am

      Clan Ramsay

      Clan Ramsay were from just outside Edinburgh, otherwise known as East Lothian or just further south in Berwickshire, as shown on clan maps.

      A better website for you to post he query on would be

      as there would be no Ramsays to be found above the Highland Line unless droving. The name Lorenzo is definitely interesting and suggests perhaps a Spanish lineage on the maternal side of the family tree as Lorenzo is Spanish for Laurence.

    • Jan Fisher

      March 16, 2013 at 3:40 am

      Hi Patsy

      Might this be your Lorenzo? It looks like he had a son Lorenzo Artimas Ramsay who was baptized on the 18 May 1890. The birthplace is recored as O’Leary. The church: United. You may be able to get more information on the family connections by contacting the church.

      Cheers, Jan

      • Jan Fisher

        March 16, 2013 at 3:46 am

        You may be able to get more info on your Lorenzo by following up with a library (or PEI Archives) that has this book (1889-1890):

        Name: Lorenzo Ramsay
        Event: Living
        Province: Prince Edward Island
        Place: O’Leary Station, Lot 6
        Comments: Farmer.
        Source: Frederick’s Prince Edward Island Directory and Book of Useful Information for 1889-90, Prince County, The Frederick’s Publishing Company, Charlottetown, 1889.
        Volume/Page: 465

        • Jan Fisher

          March 16, 2013 at 3:58 am

          Patsy, I see that Lorenzo’s will mentions a Samuel Ramsay of Tyne Valley. Does that help make any connections for you?

          Cheers, Jan

          • Trudy Thurgood

            March 18, 2013 at 4:50 am

            I THINK YOU SENT THIS TO ME BY MISTAKE… I WAS ASKING ABOUT BARTHOLOMEW MACLELLAN FOR EDNA NEIGHBOR Hope you find the person needing this information! Trudy

            • Waxwing

              March 18, 2013 at 12:53 pm

              Hi Trudy

              Is it just me or are there crossed wires here? I take it you are enquiring about the MacLellans on behalf of your elderly friend, Edna Neighbor. Jan seems to have come across information that seems to fit the bill, does she not? If she has found a starting point, Jan has not said what the source was – not BDM records – so it would be helpful if she could share that as well.

              I asked George Sanborn, my PEI expert, to see if he could help but so far I have not heard anything back yet. It would also be good if you could get Edna to elaborate a bit more on any more details tnat she might have, so as to paint a picture that could maybe strike a chord with someone, not just names.

  10. Eve Cook

    November 23, 2011 at 8:19 pm

    Hi Angus,
    I am busy trying to collate our family tree and I wonder if we are vaguely related. My great-great-grandmother was Mary MacMillan who lived in Uachdar (born 1845) and married Roderick MacDonald from Claddach Baleshare in 1868. Mary’s father was Malcolm MacMillan and her mother was Marion MacLellan. I am trying to find a link between Malcolm and Angus MacMillan ( 1771-1867) but struggling. Any ideas for a way forward?

    Many thanks


    • Angus Macmillan

      November 24, 2011 at 9:29 pm

      Hello Eve: Good to hear from you.

      The answer to your main question is that I doubt that Malcolm MacMillan was related to the Angus you mention, at least not closely. Malcolm’s parents were Alexander MacMillan and a MacKinnon mother. They were almost certainly from the North Uist family that ran the ferry between Carinish and Gramsdale at states of the tide that did not allow folks to walk. This is the family still represented in Gramsdale by Ranald MacMillan, whose croft is by the lake adjoining the point where the Balivanich turn takes off from the main Gramsdale-Creagorry road.

      Certainly the two families are not genetically connected at any time since records began. The MacLellans were also incomers from North Uist though the tradition is that they descend much earlier from an Iain Mor, who arrived in South Uist as a lad from Eilean Finnan with his MacAulay uncles, grooms to the Clanranald horses. Angus MacMillan was firmly entrenched in Benbecula and seems to have married two MacPhersons from the island MacMhuirich bardic family.

      As for me, I am again not on the record as sharing an ancestor with Angus but various things point to that being a possibility. I am pretty sure there is no shared line with Malcolm and the Gramsdale MacMillans. We are, incidentally, gradually testing the different MacMillan lines via DNA in order to find the truth or otherwise of these suppositions.

      Hope this helps. Angus

      • eve cook

        November 24, 2011 at 11:47 pm

        I followed this lead up and it was brilliant as it stopped me barking up the wrong (family) tree. The death certificate for Malcolm has Alexander MacMillan and Mary MacKinnon down as his parents. Your info is really helpful, thank you very much. I am just starting to look into Marion MacLellan – I have so far found her parents Archibald MacLellan and Ann MacLean. Roderick and Mary had 3 children, one of whom Sarah, moved to Inverness and she was my great grandmother. I have spent so much time with these ancestors I begin to feel I know them personally!

        • Angus Macmillan

          November 25, 2011 at 10:35 am

          Glad to be of help. It may help further to know that Archibald had three significant brothers, John, Norman and Roderick. They were sons of John MacLellan and Marion or Sarah ( the two names are interchangeable) MacPhail. The family had moved into Uachdar, probably from Ardnasruban on the Isle of Grimsay between North Uist and Benbecula, by 1811. John died by 1835 and it seems that initially Archibald may have taken over as the tenant but it was John and Norman who then had the main holdings. Both with their families emigrated to Ontario by 1851, John to East Williams Township, Middlesex County and Norman to Glenelg Township, Bruce County.

          Archibald and Roderick both had small crofts abutting Gramsdale. Roderick’s was tiny and his widow and family in due course removed a mile or two to Flodda. Archibald was succeeded in his quite small holding by his eldest son, another John who, in due course, removed to 4 Gramsdale. Archibald’s wife Ann MacLean (sometimes in error shown in the records as nee MacLellan) was buried in Carinish, probably demonstrating her North Uist origins and the death was registered by Malcolm MacMillan calling himself her uncle when he was actually her great nephew.


          • Angus Macmillan

            November 25, 2011 at 10:49 am

            Roderick married Ann MacDonald, daughter of Duncan from Knockintorran, North Uist and they had seven children rather than three. Having lost the croft at 5 Eilean Floddaigh, the residual Roderick family were cottars at Caolas Floddaigh, the last of the family there dying in 1923.


  11. Don MacFarlane

    February 24, 2011 at 4:38 pm

    Tighinn Air a Mhuir am Fear a Phosas Mi
    (Emigrant Song)

  12. Rhea Kessler

    February 18, 2011 at 8:19 pm

    Looking for information on James McCachren (and his siblings & parents) & Mary Ralston
    James McCachren(AKA McEachren)
    Birth 1736? in Cantyre,Campbelstown,Scotland (Campbeltown Kintyre Argyll Scotland)
    Death 22 Sept. 1822 in Brandywine, Chester, Pennsylvania, USA
    married Mary Ralston
    Birth in Cantyre,Campbelstown ,Scotland
    Death in Brandywine, Chester, Pennsylvania, USA

    According to the
    “Presbyterian Church in the U.S.A. Presbyteries. Ca”
    •Rev. Robert McCachren. 189

    The Rev. Robert McCachren was descended from a Scotch ancestry. His great grandfather emigrated from Cantyre, near Campbelstown, Scotland, about 1725. He came with his wife four sons and one daughter to this country and settled in the Forks of the Brandywine, Chester county. Pa. The McCachrens have a historical record among the clans of the Highlands of Scotland. In the British Encyclopedia, in the article on Cantyre, it is stated that at the beginning of the sixteenth century, the former inhabitants of the peninsula, prior to its division, were the McDonalds, McCachrens, McHays, McMaths and others.

    James, the grandfather of Robert, was placed soon after their settlement here, in the family of Rev. Wm. Dean, a New Side Presbyterian minister, at the Forks of the Brandywine to earn a livelihood. In this position, while his fare was scanty and the discipline rigid, the general influence upon his character and future life is believed to have been most salutary.

    He was subsequently married to Mary Ralston, who came, some years later, from the same place in Scotland. To them were born three sons, James, John and Robert.

    By reason of their industrious and frugal habits, in 1790, James, the grandfather, was able to purchase from the original proprietors, the Penn’s, over two hundred acres of land, on the eastern branch of Brandywine creek, about five miles north of Downingtown, Pa. Here he lived, following the occupation of a farmer and reared his family. At the death of his wife,he divided this land between his two older sons, James and John, and made other provision for his youngest son, Robert, the father making his home with his children until his death, which occurred September 22. 1822, in the eighty-seventh year of his age. “

    • Don MacFarlane

      February 19, 2011 at 12:45 am

      Andrew MacEachern should be a useful contact point as there is not much he doesn’t know about the MacEachern clan and his roots are also in Campbelltown.

    • Angus Macmillan

      March 12, 2011 at 2:26 am

      I am afraid I can’t add anything about this specific family but the history of the line may be of wider interest.

      There was apparently no charter given to any officer in Kintyre until after the forfeiture of the Lord of the Isles in the 1490s. However, in 1499 the office of mair (marus de feodo) of the lordship of South Kintyre, with Killellan and other lands, was stated to have been held by Colin MacEachern hereditarily from John the forfeited Lord of the Isles and was in the hands of the King by reason of the forfeiture.

      A little later, in 1507 Colin, desgnated as ‘of Killellan’ was made crown chamberlain of South Kintyre and held his lands for his services as mair. In 1510 he had six sons legitimated. What I have never quite managed to work out is whether the temptation to see this landholding family as the one that comprised extensive lands in Killean and Kilchanzie after the Campbell takeover of the superiority and leased them out to others such as the MacGilchrists, should be resisted in favour of the claim that it was a quite separate MacEachen clann that had that pleasure.

      The ancestors of my McKechnie grandmother’s family went back through a MacEachne dancing master in Campbeltown via McEachen and McEachrane to the name with the Argyll comfort vowel as McEacherane, which seems nicely to confuse the issue.

    • Angus Macmillan

      March 21, 2011 at 4:03 pm

      I expect you have all you need on the Ralstons from the family website. However, I am just reading Andrew McKerrall’s book ‘Kintyre in the 17th Century’ and I came across the arrival of the Ralston family in Kintyre in 1650. They were brought in by the Marquess of Argyle in that year from Beith, in the person of William Ralston of that Ilk who had been associated with the Marquess on the Covenanter side during the Montrose wars. The idea was to buttress the Argyle lands against another depredatory invasion by the MacDonalds from Ulster and the islands. The deal included a promise by Ralston to restore Saddell Abbey to its former state. Ralston was then the lead figure in the Plantation in the same area of a number of other Lowland families of consequence.

  13. Kelsie

    December 6, 2010 at 1:47 pm

    My Mum is trying to do a family tree of the Beatons from Lochcarron. Can anyone help? My great-grandfather was Murdo Beaton, GGGrandfather was Neil Beaton. Also, my great-grandmother was Morag Beaton (nee MacSween). Her father was John MacSween.

    • Don MacFarlane

      December 6, 2010 at 5:09 pm

      As you may have guessed, this website is not primarily a genealogy site, although it touches upon individual families from time to time. The site is more to do with the social history of the times in the Highlands of the early 1800s, so as to enrich the search experiences of researchers of family trees like yourself.

      By and large, researchers fall into two categories – those who have spent many hours (sometimes up to twenty five years) tracking down by themselves; and those who would like quicker results (which do have to be paid for – typical cost for an initial search is £35). For DIY search, the general format as to what you have to do is as set out at the beginning of the Genealogy Page on this website. For professional help, Dr. Robert Whan PhD will gladly provide that service.

      According to the official history of the MacDonald Clan, the chieftaincy of Clanranald and Glengarry was split on the death of Ranald MacDonald in 1386 into two parts, one to each son, so that it became two branches of Clan Donald; one under Alan MacDonald of Clanranald and the other under Donald MacDonald (MacDonnell) of Glengarry. The seat of the Glengarry branch became Strome Castle in Lochcarron, less than twenty miles as the crow flies from their MacDonald cousins in the Isle of Skye. The Beatons (otherwise known as MacBeths) always had these MacDonalds as their patrons – another branch showed allegiance to MacLeans – and those Beatons, as physicians to the MacDonalds, as such enjoyed status and their protection.

      The MacSweens are also thought to have had a close association with Clan Donald over the centuries. They later switched, some of them at least, their allegiance to Clan Mackintosh after the chief of Clan Mackintosh married into the family of MacDonald of Clanranald (no hard feelings there then). The MacSweens are thought to have been mainly based in Knapdale, just down the coast from Moidart and a contingent travelled as Gallowglasses to Donegal where they were, and still are, known as Sweeneys. Many MacSweens are also thought to go incorrectly by the name of MacQueen.

      All told then, the connections between Beatons and MacSweens probably go a long way back, through kinship as well as by intermarriage.

  14. Angus Macmillan

    November 1, 2010 at 11:55 pm

    I am not sure what you would like me to add. Neil MacSween [son of Norman MacSween = Rachel ???] was married to Catherine MacRaild or Ranaldson. Three sons, all later to have crofts in Benbecula, were born in Skye. two further children were born in North Uist and then some more from 1830 in Howmore, South Uist before the widowed Neil moved to 1 Dunganichy in Benbecula. According to the censuses, he seems to have been born in the 1790s. There is no direct evidence of Catherine’s dates as she had died by 1841. However, her name figures consistently in the death records of her children. One of the sons, having crofted at Snaoshibeal in South Uist was later the maor or ground officer of Benbecula and families were in Lionacleit, Balivanich, Aird and Gramsdale as well as Dunganichy. A number of descendants were shoemakers. I hope that helps. Do you know of this family?

  15. Reid Nicholson

    November 1, 2010 at 7:06 pm

    I live at “False Bay Cape Breton” and am interested in your information.

    • Don MacFarlane

      November 1, 2010 at 9:25 pm

      Hi Reid

      I think it is maybe you that has the information! I see your new book, ‘Voices in the Wind’, has already attracted a lot of interest. If you like, and as it is something I have done before, if you send me a sample four pages or so of a chapter, I can post it on this site as a PDF download to whet people’s appetites.

  16. Angus Macmillan

    September 14, 2010 at 11:07 pm

    Just one snippet that may or may not turn out to be useful over time. The wife of the first MacSween to move to Benbecula, progenitor of the maor in Lionacleit and of families in Aird, Balivanich, Dunganichy and Gramsdale was Catherine McRaild or Ranaldson certainly from Skye and, I think, from Kilmuir.

  17. Don MacFarlane

    September 13, 2010 at 10:41 pm

    Visitor Queries 11th September 2010

    A highspot of queries, for a daily total of 110, was reached today. Any commentary on these queries from other visitors would be most welcome. Some topics covered were:

    Trumisgarry Clearances.
    Barra Bloodgroups.
    MacRaild Family of Kilmuir.
    r1a1 Highland Clansmen.
    Corca Achlann.
    Manners Stone, Galtrigil.
    False Bay, Cape Breton.
    Cairis na h’Oidhche.
    Jane b.1820 Indian Keahey.
    Alan MacDonald Killearnan.

  18. Don MacFarlane

    August 20, 2010 at 7:00 am

    From Andrew Beachum

    I wanted to run a scenario past you to see if you had any explanation. I have been researching my ancestors, William and Margaret MacKeachey, who settled with the Highlanders and Islanders in colonial North Carolina (1760′s). The surname appears to be local to Wigtownshire, and is usually spelled McKeachie (or various other butcheries). It appears they lived in Antrim for a while (20 years) prior to coming to North Carolina. They were documented Gaelic-speakers, and the family spoke Gaelic until the mid-19th century, after 100 years in America. They were very tight with the Highlanders and Islanders in the North Carolina settlement, always living next to, marrying and migrating with families like the McLeods, McNeills, MacDonalds, Buidhes, McFarlands and McPhersons. Some of these folks were from Skye, and some were from Kintyre. As far as I can tell, the MacKeachies (later changed name to Keahey) were the only non-Highlanders that were included in the group and spoke Gaelic everyday. Is this abnormal? I thought most people from Ulster during that period spoke Ullans or English, but not Gaelic. Do you have any insight into a specific group of people who historically might fit into this scenario? Please excuse my ignorance, but I am a victim of the U.S. public school system! Thanks for providing this forum and for your input!

  19. Laurie

    August 2, 2010 at 1:57 pm

    Making the most use out of my 14 day free trial! I found my Scottish ancestors and the ship they sailed on:
    The ship Camillus sailed out of Greenock to Port of New York, arrival July 27, 1825.

    John McQuien age 40, farmer
    An McQuien age 40
    Murdock McQuien age 12
    Malcolm McQuien (no age listed)
    John McQuien age 7
    Agnes McQuien age 5
    Lachlan McQuien age 25, farmer
    Ann McQuien age 25
    (Lachlan and Ann had a baby, Margaret, who at about 5 months, didn’t make the passenger list).

    Quite the lucky find! It also confirms my suspicion that they went straight to the US, not your typical immigration.

  20. O'Brien

    July 21, 2009 at 8:41 pm

    I have been doing extensive research into my family tree as of late, and have been rather successful. However, I have ran into a bit of a road block of sorts right now.

    Firstly I am looking for further information on a ship (possibly 2 ships) that left Glenelg around the year 1793 for Canada. One vessel went by the name “Unity”, another was captained by Captain Alexander MacLeod of Maoile or Myle, Glenelg. These ships carried, amongst others, McIntoshes and McPhees, of which I descend. What I would like to find is the names of those passengers (more specific than just surnames). Perhaps there would be a list of when they arrived at Montreal, or Lancaster (the ship made numerous stops). I have had little luck in turning up anything other than great tales and stories of this voyage, all of which are quite interesting.

    Also, I am looking for information on McCormicks that left Mull for Canada (I believe N.S, but my relatives later settled in Glengarry Co.). There were two (possibly three) brothers who came with their families from Mull to Canada. One stayed in N.S, the other(s) moving to Glengarry Co. The problem is my relative, Donald McCormick (had a son, Roderick, also born in Scotland) was at his land as early as possibly 1804. If it helps, Roderick was married to a Christina Margaret MacKinnon (I believe also of Mull). Any names, dates of arrival, ship name, place of birth etc… would be grrrreeeatly appreciated as I am stuck!


    • Don MacFarlane

      July 29, 2009 at 8:50 am

      You best contact to research ships that left for Canada during that period is Dr. Lucille Campey at the ‘Scots to Canada’ website at

      If Lucille can’t answer a specific query she should certainly be able to point you in the right direction.

    • Katie

      February 16, 2012 at 8:37 pm

      Well this is very late, only just came upon this article now. I live in Glenelg, and I also live in a place in Glenelg called Moyle (which is probably the place you think is called Maoile or Myle). Don’t really have any other information apart from that, but I hope it helps?

    • Willie Orr

      August 13, 2012 at 3:38 pm

      ORR. Have just some across your request re McCormicks from Mull, Try getting in touch with the Ross of Mull Historical Society in Bunessan – it has an extensive archive including lists of emigrants and rentals. I know that there McCormicks in Sheaba and in Saorphin in 1841 but that may be too late for you. Good luck

  21. Angus Macmillan

    June 19, 2009 at 1:52 pm

    Now to your family Mary. Lachlan is a help as it was not a common name among the Clanranald in the 18th Century. What follows is speculation but there is a logic to it, namely that it was very much the tacksman class that joined the army.

    There is one known possibility for the origin of the name in South Uist. He was a second cousin of Donald the younger brother of Ranald XVII of Clanranald mentioned above as serving with Wolfe. He was also a first cousin of the famous Flora MacDonald. Flora’s father was Ranald MacDonald II of Balivanich and Milton, son of Angus MacDonald I of Balivanich. Ranald’s younger brother was Maighstir Alasdair MacDonald who became Minister of Eilean Finnan in Arisaig. Maighstir [indicating he was a graduate] Alasdair had a number of sons, two of whom were Alasdair mac Mhaighstir Alasdair, the most famous of all Gaelic poets and Bonnie Pronce Charlie’s Gaelic tutor during the ’45 Jacobite rising; and Lachlan MacDonald of Drimsdale. Drimsdale was a rather good tack in South Uist. Lachlan was born in 1692. When Prince Charles was hiding out in South Uist, his guardians kept him well clear of Lachlan, who was suspected of having Hanoverian sympathies or perhaps an eye on the £30,000 reward for the capture of the Prince.

    I only know for sure of Lachlan having one son, Eoghann but some of the books also have him, I suspect wrongly, as being father of John and Rory Beag, two of the oarsmen who took the Prince to safety from Benbecula ‘over the sea to Skye’ dressed as Flora’s spinning maid. I don’t doubt that there were other children, who would have followed the custom of naming a son Lachlan.

    I am not suggesting that it was that Lachlan who shows up in the first tranche of land grants after the 1767 lottery in PEI. He would have been in his mid-seventies at the time. It could well though be a grandson or someone from the household or tack named for the tacksman. Unlike the other related families such as that of Flora’s brother, the Lachlan family does seem to have disappeared pretty soon from South Uist, perhaps as a result of the suspicion mentioned above.

    My thought is that some research in that direction might be a good place to start.

  22. Angus Macmillan

    June 19, 2009 at 12:48 pm

    The MacIsaacs in Iochdar, South Uist were a bit special. Alexander Carmichael has this to say about one of them, Hector MacIsaac, who claimed to know more and more accurately the tales of Ossian than any man alive. Carmichael says “I had visited these people before, and in September 1871, Iain F. Campbell of Islay and I went to see them. Hector Macisaac, the unlettered cottar who knew no language but his own, who came into contact with no one but those of his own class, his neighbours of the peat-bog, and who had never been out of his native island, was as polite and well-mannered and courteous as Iain Campbell, the learned barrister, the world-wide traveller, and the honoured guest of every court in Europe. Both were at ease and at home with one another, there being neither servility on the one side nor condescension on the other.
    The stories and poems which Hector Macisaac went over during our visits to him would have filled several volumes. Mr. Campbell now and then put a leading question which brought out the story-teller’s marvellous memory and extensive knowledge of folklore.”
    It is a familiar thought that Carmichael [and perhaps JF Campbell also] was keen to redress the bad light in which the Gaelic ‘savages’ had historically been held, not least by presenting those they met as existing in an ideal natural state. It looks from the various notes in Carmina Gadelica and Popular Tales of the West Highlands that Hector is a classic case. As I read it, by his own account, he had travelled all over Scotland and learned English. However, he is presented in a state of nature, a monoglot Gael, never having left his native place but imbued with great physical and mental capacities and a natural grace of manner.

    Clann mhic ‘ille Riabhaich, MacIsaac, is one of the many sometimes identified as part of the ‘tocher of O’Cainn’, the tail of supporters of Anna that constituted her dowry when she married Angus Og MacDonald of Islay in the time of the Bruce. This seems unlikely in the case of the MacIsaacs but they certainly were factors for various mainland MacDonald families. Their particular distinction in South Uist was that for some reason they were seen as immune to the attacks of the evil spirits that inhabited Glen Liathdail in South Uist, the location referred to in the John Ban MacLellan, Hacklet, offering to Carmichael. Though long established on the mainland and quite well dispersed in South Ust, their roots were evidently quite shallow in the island as most South Uist families of the name were cleared or simply disappeared soon after 1839, when Colonel Gordon took over the estate.

  23. Angus Macmillan

    June 18, 2009 at 8:30 pm

    Hello Mary

    There is no roll of those who attended school or anything of the kind, nor censuses that indicate who was literate or who not. Where there is just a possibility is if we can link to a particular family as literacy was rare but ran in families. You have not mentioned your ancestor’s name so that might help, plus any other such information, not least the location within the islands if you have any such indication. The main resource that exists pre-1767 concerns the tacks or leases and it would generally be a fact that anyone who could write would be from a tacksman family. The exception, I suppose, would be where a child was born to a soldier and was therefore raised on the mainland or abroad. Last thought, please don’t tell me the name was MacDonald.

    • mary deane

      June 19, 2009 at 5:26 am


      I am guilty as charged, I am a MacDonald. To complicate matters more, the other side of the family (my father’s mother’s side) is also MacDonald. Researching this name is a real challenge. When the church burnt down and all the records with it, we lost our connection with those first settlers. The ancestor that fought at the Plains of Abraham was Laughlin MacDonald or L. Donald MacDonald. We have found his name on the land grants on PEI but we suspect that there were 2 Laughlins or a Donald and a Laughlin, possibly a father and son or 2 brothers. The reason why we think there were 2 is that there is a consistent discrepency in the dates in what documents we have found. It seems to have been a common practice to give the same name to several children in the family. So maybe it was 2 brothers.

      When you mentioned about the ships departing from Scotland to PEI and the people having an emigration agent this would fit my grandmother’s families emigration but probably not the soldier’s family. The early settlers consisted of a small group of people that came to the northeast section of PEI. I think the first parish was only a few families. I read some research material gathered by a man from PEI that mentioned an article in the “Scots Magazine” in the 1760’s (Was there such a thing?). The article was written about a small vessel, name unknown of course, that was preparing to leave for PEI, then called St. John’s Island. The people preparing to leave on this ship or boat were from Uist and were soldiers taking their families to live on PEI. Have you ever run across this publication “Scots Magazine” in your research? I would be interested to read the full article if it does exist.
      I spoke to my brother and told him about this website and what I had written. He says this soldier also spoke some Italian. Sounds crazy to me but who knows? Any thoughts on my soldier would be greatly appreciated.

      • Marilyn Arscott

        August 22, 2010 at 11:10 pm

        Hi, seems we share the same relative, Donald MacDonald. I have some information from my grandmother that you might find interesting.

        Captain Donald MacDonald was related to Jessie MacDonald from Dornoch, Sutherlandshire. Jessie’s husband was also a relative to herself. He was known as Duncan the Civil and he was born in Inverness shire. Their son was Alexander and he was born at Fort Augusta. He married Mary Macpherson.

        Alexander came to Canada in 1832. He took part in the uprising under Lyon Mackenzie King in 1837. He later settled in Dundas and his son was my GG-grandfather.

      • Nancy Graham

        October 11, 2013 at 1:34 am

        Do you know some dates or who they married? I know a Hugh Laughlin MacDonald married to a Mary Ann MacDonald in 1911.

  24. mary deane

    June 18, 2009 at 6:34 am

    Hello Angus,
    I thank you for taking the time to respond to my question. I looked at the date of arrival for the Hector and that date is too late. The other ship on the site of the pictou list is the Hope or the Betty 1767 . It could be a possiblity.

    Also, I am interested in a response that you wrote (March 2008) regarding the schoolmasters in the area of Uist. Since you know about the schoolmasters of the time do you also know who was educated? This ancestor that I am researching was educated and could speak English and French and read and write Latin.

    When I wrote last I mentioned about the restoration of the pioneer cemetary of the church of St. Margarets of Scotland in St. Margarets, PEI. One of the people involved in the restoration found an obituary in the archives of one of the newspapers and it listed the wife of my ancestor. It was a great find. Not only did we find out the wifes name but the article also mentioned how they had been some of the original pioneer settlers of PEI. The church of St. Margarets was burnt to the ground and all of the records of the pioneer settlers were lost in the fire. It has been very difficult tracing the ancestry because of that fire. Any piece of the puzzle that we find is helpful to us.

  25. Angus Macmillan

    June 7, 2009 at 9:55 am

    I should say straightaway that there is no collated knowledge this side of the Atlantic that would answer the central question. That is a story that so far seems to start with the Hector. However, this would be very early for there to be emigration agents working to export groups from a particular area. The probability is that, even where a collection of family, friends or old army colleagues decided to settle in PEI, their mode of travel will have been via the Clyde or, at a stretch, Tobermory, rather than through being picked up in the Uists by a dedicated ship.

    It is certain that there will have been folks from ‘South Uist’ and specifically Benbecula who fought under Wolfe and so will have been in a position to choose to settle in lands provided for old soldiers. The principal home of the Captain of Clanranald of the day, whether Clan the older or young Clan, who succeeded in the late 1760s, was at Nunton. Donald, second son of the one and brother of the other, served with distinction at the Plains of Abraham and was killed in the conflict. He will certainly have been accompanied by a tail of followers from home.

  26. Mary Deane

    June 6, 2009 at 5:50 am

    I am interested in the question about the ships that originated from South Uist to PEI prior to 1770. My ancestor who was from South Uist was a soldier who fought at the Plains of Abraham. He returned to South Uist with some of the other soldiers (Fraser’s Highlanders) and brought his family and relatives back to PEI. This happened, we think, in 1768 or 69. I do not know the name of the ship or its passenger list. Any information about this ship and its people would be greatly appreciated. Currently, St. Margarets of Scotland Pioneer Cemetery in St. Margarets, PEI, is under restoration. A search is on for any knowledge of the first pioneers that made their home on PEI and settled on its eastern shores. Many of the pioneer headstones were made of sandstone and have fallen to dust so the restoration is difficult. These first pioneers were the soldiers who fought in the battle at the Plains of Abraham and their families from South Uist. Any information would be greatly appreciated.

  27. Don MacFarlane

    January 16, 2009 at 5:34 pm

    Special Rules and Regulations as to the Removing of Crofters’, 1860, Ross of Mull

    Courtesy of Anon

    The following may expect to be subject to enforced eviction or emigration:

    1. Indolent crofters who cultivate their lands in a careless, slovenly manner and do not adhere to the given rules as to cultivation.
    2. Widows and Families of deceased crofters with a few exceptions when there is a young family with grown up sons of industrious habit.
    3. Crofters who are quarrelsome and troublesome to their neighbours and of reputed bad character.
    4. Crofters taking married sons and daughters into possession when the rent is under 20 pounds.
    5. Crofters who keep idle grown up families about them and of no benefit to the property.
    6. Crofters keeping dogs or infringing any of the regulations laid down for the management of the estates.
    7. All crofters who do not pay up their rents at the stated periods of collection and not having sufficient stock on their land.

    It was as late as 1876 that the Duke of Argyll’s factor , James Wyllie, installed in 1872 after the death of ‘Factor Mor’, published the first Tenancy Agreement for the few remaining crofters of the Ross of Mull, now almost all on the north side. It is printed, signed by the 8th Duke, and witnessed:

    1. No sub-tenants or assignees allowed. Cottars living on land prior to this agreement not to be removed without the factor’s permission. Cottars are not allowed dogs.
    2. All woods, mines, minerals, seaweed, limestone and moss belong to the proprietor.
    3. Peats can be dug only in places where the Factor allows.
    4. The Duke’s agents have right of access to all land for any works.
    5. All rights for hunting and fishing are the Duke’s.
    6. The Factor can order the cutting of drains and the tenant must provide stone or tiles. If he cannot, he must pay the Duke to have it done, with interest on any sums owed.
    7. Rent is half yearly, Martinmas and Whitsunday.
    8. Tenant must pay thirlage services to the local mill or any other designated mill. He must give 6 days work to drainage per year.
    9. Tenants must live on the property.
    10. Arable lands must be tilled with a fourfold division – 1/4 green crop or fallow, 1/4 barley or oats, 1/4 grass, 1/4 oats . Potatoes may not be grown two years in succession. The factor has discretion to change this.
    11. All roads must have a ‘headridge’ between them and ploughed land.
    12. Straw & manure must be used for dunging.
    13. Incoming tenants must buy or take the crops of the outgoing, if the latter wish it.
    14. Stock must be kept up, according to the souming, but with no excess.
    15. Woods must not be harmed and no goats to be kept.
    16. Houses & Fences must be kept in good order.
    17. If there is no agreement, all improvements are at the cost of the tenant.
    18. There is no claim for ‘unexhausted manures’ on leaving a tenancy.
    19. The landlord can take out such insurance as he wishes and the tenant must pay the premiums.

  28. donfad

    April 12, 2008 at 9:18 am

    From Neila MacIntyre to Angus MacMillan

    The Lulan story has been in my family since the early 1950s. The problem is I do not know exactly who was involved. I had thought it was Neil and his father Donald among others whom I do no know. I can not claim for sure that Neil, age 13, listed on the passsenger list is the one I am searching. No doubt I may have families confused. According to 1900 Hancock, Maine USA Census, Neil was born April 1833 but doesn’t say where. You mention the late Donald MacIntyre married to MacDonald had children on the voyage. Is the John you mention one of their children (as well as the sisters you listed)? I note all three family groups did go to Prince Edward Island but I have found that a McIntyre girl died in Pictou, Nova Scotia. I know there was family waiting in PEI for the immigrants but I am not sure if Donald and Neil were already on the island or if they were the immigrants. McIntyres were on Prince Edward Island from earlier groups of immigants.

  29. donfad

    March 29, 2008 at 10:26 am

    Migratory patterns from Scotland to Prince Edward Island (PEI), Cape Breton and Nova Scotia.

    1. The earliest to come to P. E. I. in large numbers were from the Clanranald territories and the Lordship of the Isles (essentially Catholic). This comprised the west central Highlands (Moidart), the Small Isles and the southern Outer Hebrides.

    2. The next important group (and the largest overall) came from the Isle of Skye, the Isle of Raasay and the adjacent mainland of Wester Ross. The MacDonalds, the MacLeods and the MacKenzie’s were the dominant political families and most of the area had been recently converted to Presbyterianism.

    3. The third largest group (the Lord Selkirk scheme) hailed from the northern Isles of Argyll; Mull, Coll and Colonsay, with much smaller representation from the mainland of Ardnamurchan and the other Isles. Most of this district had also been recently converted to Presbyterianism.

    4. The fourth largest group came from Perthshire in the eastern Highlands. This area tended to be divided between the Stewart controlled territories in the west and regions controlled by the Duke of Athol and by the Gordons of Huntly in the east. This area had a strong representation of Episcopalians and a smaller but significant Baptist following.

    5. The final group came from Sutherland from MacKay Country. It was one of the earliest areas to have been converted to the Presbyterian faith and the only one to have fully supported the Hanoverian dynasty during the Jacobite Rising.

    • Judi Montgomery

      February 1, 2013 at 5:29 am

      Now this is interesting. Can you tell me the time-frame for those early Catholic arrivals?? The earliest ancestor I can find on PEI is James Montgomery who settled on Lot 43 on the eastern end, North Shore, Kings County. He was born about 1810, married on PEI and had children from 1842-1855, so we know he was on the Island at least by 1841. He and his wife, Margaret MacDonald from Black Bush, PEI, were very involved in St. Margaret’s RC and had their children baptised there. Since you mention that this first group were Catholic settlers, and I have never discovered whether James was the first of the family to arrive, I am wondering if I should be checking the ships coming from the Clanranald territories and Lordship of the Isles.

      • Waxwing

        February 2, 2013 at 10:19 am

        John Dye places the emigration from Clanranald territories as late as the 1790s but the Dictionary of Canadian Biography places it at 1770. This was the Glenaladale scheme and in the context of the whole contentious ‘bata buidhe’ episode, or myth as the case may be.

        One example of an extensive family history and tree from PEI that seems to bear this out is

        Angus MacMillan and George Sanborn are much more knowledgeable in these matters so this comment is subject to correction.

        • Angus Macmillan

          February 2, 2013 at 11:26 am

          The Glenaladale emigration on the Alexander was in 1772 but Captain John had certainly been in PEI (then St John’s) the year before. I have also been in touch with slightly earlier arrivals from the Western Isles and, if you search, there were other ships such as the Hope involved.

          Rather than being spread out evenly, emigration seems to have come in bursts, hence the mention of 1790, as that is when the next concentration seems to have occurred. One thing to keep an eye out for is that, after an initial settling in PEI, quite a number of migrants then left for Cape Breton. This was seemingly on the grounds that in PEI land was controlled by major purchasers like Glenaladale, but life was freer and land was available directly from the Government, rather than via a tacksman.

          There were later bursts of migration about 1803, immediately before the Act that specified enhanced conditions on the ships. As was intended, this also deterred many as a result of higher prices, but then in the 1820s kelping prices collapsed and this made payment of rents impossible.

        • Waxwing

          February 3, 2013 at 8:20 am

          The Barque Annabella

          In October, 1770, the barque Annabella was wrecked off Princetown with some sixty families [amongst them were Montgomerys] and about two hundred people. A cairn to the Annabella stands in Cabot Park at Malpeque (formerly Princetown) which has the inscription: “On this shore the barque Annabella from Campbellton, Scotland, was wrecked in October 1770. Her passengers found welcome shelters in French homes”

          Other Montgomerys
          The Barque Edinburgh left from Campbeltown in 1771 with Hugh Montgomery and son, Neil, at a total cost of over £21.
          Neither the Alexander nor the Hope are listed as having Montgomerys on board>

          A comprehensive list of ships that left from the Western Isles to Canada during that period is to be found on the website from Dr Lucille Campey who is the ultimate authority on the subject. A direct approach to her, a Canadian who did her PhD on the subject in Aberdeen, could be worthwhile.

          BTW The name Montgomery does not strike me as indigenous to the Uists but it can be found on other Western Isles, including Skye, Harris and Lewis.

          • Angus Macmillan

            February 3, 2013 at 10:40 am

            The Campey website and for that matter her books are indeed worth accessing. There were, of course, emigrants well before the dates around 1770. Some, unlike the the Argyllshire emigrants on the Annabella, actually meeting the Clanranald specification of the original question. For example, Donald,the younger son of the chief at the time of the 1745 Jacobite rising, was an officer in Wolfe’s forces in the Siege of Louisberg and then at Quebec. He certainly had men from Uist with him and it was military men like that who first settled PEI, CB and UpperCanada. Unfortunately, we have very few names for them.

            On the matter of names, Montgomery never to my knowledge appeared in South Uist or Benbecula but I don’t know that Montgomery was strictly or with any longevity a Skye name either. Was its occurrence any more than the fact that Sir Alexander MacDonald of Sleat, chief at the time of the ’45, had in 1739 married Lady Margaret Montgomery? Did she, as was not unusual, take some Montgomery servants with her?


    • John Loughney

      February 7, 2013 at 1:57 pm

      I am a descendant of one of the migrants from Clanranald. This was essentially part of the Clearances, as the chief of Clanranald had tried to forcibly convert Catholics to Protestantism.

      “Travels in the Western Hebrides” 1793

      “[The Clanranald chief John, 19th Chieftain]… was a sensible and sprightly man, and of tolerable disposition, but a set of interested men had prevailed on his easy disposition, and he turned out or evicted several hundred souls and had given the farms to a few favourites. Those evicted were substantial farmers, not ousted by poverty, and having means to go abroad, who preferred to do so rather than truckle down and have their children reduced to ‘scallags’.

      I am descended from a John McGilvray, who emigrated on the Jane in 1790, where entire villages left at the same time. Emigration from Clanranald’s estate was aboard the Ship Jane from Druimindarroch, Scotland, Captain Fisher, and departed on July 12, 1790 to America. Full passage (adult) was for 12 years of age and older.

      McGilvray families on the Jane were
      1.John M’Gilvray from Glen Mama, Arisay, Scotland – 6 Adults
      2.Angus McGilvray from Arinapoul, Arisay, Scotland (near Glen Mama) – 2 adults, 1 child 6 to 8, 1 child 2 to 4, 1 child under 2
      3.William McGilvray – Tenant from Glen Mama, Arisay, Scotland – 3 adults, 1 child 8 to 12, 1 child 6 to 8, 2 children 2 to 4, 1 child under two.
      4.John MacGilvray Jr. from Glen Mama, Arisay, Scotland – 2 adults, 1 child 2 to 4, 1 child under 2
      5.Hugh M’Gilvray – Tenant from Arieniskill, Scotland (near Prince Charlie’s Cave) – 2 adults, 1 child 2 to 4, 1 child under 2
      6.John MacGilvray – Tenant from Alisary, Loch Ailort, Moidart, Scotland – 6 adults
      7.Katherine McGilvray from Easan, Scotland (Essan near Mallaig) – 1 adult, 1 child 4 to 6
      8.Hugh McGilvray from Kylesmorar, Scotland (near Loch Nevis) – 1 Adult

      That area, especially around Glen Mam, is empty of people now.

  30. donfad

    March 28, 2008 at 5:16 pm

    A list of emigrant ships that left the Outer Hebrides for PEI.

    The Polly 1803
    The Dykes 1803
    The Oughton 1804
    The Lochiel 1804
    The Northern Friend 1805
    The Active 1810
    The Economy 1819
    The Mary 1829
    The Mary Kennedy 1829
    The Perkin 1839
    The Ruther 1840
    The Ninth(Nith) 1840
    The Heroine 1840
    The Washington 1841
    The Tuscar 1849
    The James Gibbs 1858

    Any more details on these ships or their passengers forthcoming from visitors will be posted.

  31. donfad

    March 25, 2008 at 9:10 am

    Most Scottish emigrants to British North America in the mid-nineteenth century travelled on the Canadian Allan and Anchor Lines. The unfortunate clipper, ‘Pomona’, a flagship for that journey and definitely not the ‘Pomona’ of Captain Rory McQuien which was lost on a different date, foundered in heavy seas on April 30th, 1859, off the coast of Wexford in Southern Ireland with the loss of 380 lives. Of those saved, 3 were passengers and 18 were crew.

    Wrecks were nothing unusual in these times and 25,000 shipwrecks are reported to have occurred around the coast of Nova Scotia which seems to have been particularly hazardous waters. The proximity of the ‘Pomona’ to its point of departure in the UK was unusual, although Tuscar Rock off Wexford was also a notorious blackspot for shipwrecks, and it was a widely reported major disaster at the time. The Wexford Constitution reported:

    The Pomona met high winds a little after midnight when nearing Tuskar, the captain lost his bearings in the dark (?) and the clipper was driven into a sandbank seven miles off Ballyconigar. The sea breached over her sweeping decks and, as morning approached, attempts were made by crew to launch a life boat. The lifeboat stove in when hitting the side of the vessel and those crew perished. All on board remained in fearful suspense till evening when the stern slipped off the sandbank into deep water, filling the clipper rapidly.

    Captain Merrihew, 1st and 2nd mates stayed on the ship and perished. 3rd mate Stephen Kelly made it to shore with 18 crew and 3 passengers. Mr Deveraux, owner of the steam tug Erin, towed two lifeboats to the scene but when the steamer arrived only the mizen mast was above water. From this the colours had been taken down. On the beach at Ballyconigar were found the lifeless remains of several of the unfortunate passengers – a woman of about 40yrs, well-dressed and handsome, a young man of about 25, an American captain’s wife and their 17 yr old daughter, a 20yr old woman of beauty and poorly clothed, and a 6month old baby.

    What is clear from this report is that half the crew managed to make it to safety, but only three of the 380 passengers, also leaving the senior officers on board. These survivors did not swim 7 miles to shore and escaped on a whaler as the lifeboat had been stoved in. At a coroner’s inquest, the 3rd Mate and the only survivor from the officers, offered no explanation for the disaster. Philip Mulcahey, the passengers’ cook, deposed that the ship’s crew gave no thought to saving the lives of the passengers. The inquest reported there was no proof of the Captain’s drunkenness but the members heartily condemned that portion of the crew which deserted their passengers, occupying the boats to the exclusion of women and children. The coroner called for a further inquiry by the Lords of Admiralty and he recommended that future seamen surviving the loss of a ship should be detained until due inquiry was made.

    The Roll of Dishonour of those crew members who survived at the expense of their passengers was:

    Stephen Kelly 3rd Mate
    Richard Long Boatswain
    Michael Moriarty
    Richard Emment
    Thomas Barnes
    Thomas Jordan
    John Sullivan
    Harry Millar
    Rodolph Tomm
    Jeremiah Williams
    George Merville
    George Nott
    John Rodgers
    Charles Jackson
    Charles Thompson
    James West
    John McCormack

    It appears there was an attempt at a posthumous slur against the name of Captain Merrihew who died at his post. He would have been horrified at the actions of his crew and his only fault was missing, in poor visibility and in hurricane conditions, the infamous Tuscar Rock, that graveyard of many a ship in these waters, only to strike a sandback 7 miles out from shore.

  32. Angus Macmillan

    March 21, 2008 at 11:06 am

    The first schoolmaster I know of in North Uist was John Laing, who was a tutor to the MacGregors of Breadalbane and who eloped there with a daughter of the house. He was on record there in 1718. His successor was Charles Tawse, who appears in 1749, and who had a steelbow tack of Paiblesgarry in 1767, by which time he was a farmer rather than teacher. Donald Roy MacDonald, famous in the ’45, also established his school at that time when he had the tack of Kyles Bernera. The next, and distinctly an English teacher and classicist, was Robert Pirrie, a graduate of Aberdeen University. Pupils came to him from as far away as Barra. His most famous was probably Alistair MacLeod, An Dotair Ban, but the most significant in this contest was MacLeod’s nephew, Murdock Arbuckle b 1808. After Andrew Greig, another good classical scholar built the school at Saundary about 1828, Murdock, who was son of the Minister of North Uist, took over as schoolmaster in the 1830s, a position he held until after 1870. To start with his talents shone through but as time went on he was ‘more often in the Inn at Tighghearry than in the school’ and his pupils ‘hardly knew A from B.’ He was the last of the ‘parochial dominies’ and by the 1870s there were Church of Scotland- related schools at Bayhead, Claddach Kirkibost, Baleshare, Carinish, Lochmaddy,Trumisgarry, Borera and Sollas, plus three Free Church schools. There were only three intermittent Gaelic schools at the time, which rather answers the question about fluency and literacy in English.

    As to emigration, I seem to recall that the major movement around 1850 was associated with the ships ‘Admiral’ and ‘Tuskar’ . This involved them picking up passengers in Lochmaddy but a lot of the migrants left via Tobermory and on to Glasgow.

    I hope this answers a few questions. Angus

    • Jessie B R

      October 25, 2012 at 10:46 pm

      Rev. John Laing was my 7th Great Grandfather. His Great Grandson came to Nova Scotia in the 1800’s. I am curious if you have anymore information on John Laing or his wife Ann MacGregor’s lineages. My knowledge of Scottish records and availability in Nova Scotia are very limited. My Grandmother was Jeannette Lynk (variation used for the Laings in Nova Scotia) and I would love to be able to trace any of her lines back further. Her Mother was a descendant of the MacNeils from Barra. Thank you for any help you may be able to offer. I would love to share my line if you would like it.


      • Don MacFarlane

        October 26, 2012 at 7:43 pm

        In the Annals of Clan Donald, the Reverend John Laing gets a mention when it is put quite quaintly about him, ‘Rev. John Laing, Parochial Schoolmaster of N. Uist, married Miss Macgregor, who belonged to a family of that Ilk in the Breadalbane district of Perthshire. It is said that the young divine was tutor in this lady’s family, and added some romance to the short and simple annals of a teacher’s life by inducing her to elope with him’. One of the MacDonalds of Vallay, Gilleasbuig Mac Ille Chaluim Mac Iain Oig, married a daughter of the Reverend Laing and that branch of the MacDonald line was carried on through him.

        The MacGregor lineage might be difficult to disentangle as they became a proscribed clan after falling out with the Campbells of Breadalbane and were still proscribed during the lifetime of your Sir James MacGregor, whoever he was. An Act of Parliament, until its repeal in 1771 stated:

        “It is ordained that the name of MacGregor shall be abolished and that all persons of that name shall renounce their name and take some other name and that they nor none of their name or of their posterity should call themselves Gregor or MacGregor under pain of death. If any posterity shall at any time hereafter assume or take to themselves the name of Gregor or MacGregor, every such person or persons shall incurr the pain of death which pain shall be executed upon them without favour”.

        Angus MacMillan may also come to the rescue! Meanwhile, and to throw some light, your offer to post the family tree on this site will be most welcome.

        • Jessie B R

          March 18, 2013 at 5:58 pm

          Sorry I haven’t seen this sooner! Here in Nova Scotia I have the following book: “To The Hill of Boisdale” by A.J. MacMillan. About the family named Lynk they have listed the following information:

          “This name, sometimes appearing as Ling, seems to be a form of the name Laing. In fact on the old land grants it appears as Laing. According to William Matheson, this family in North Uist is descended from the Rev. John Laing, who married Ann MacGregor, of Perthshire towards the close of the seventeenth century. They are known as the Clan Anndra, due to the fact that they are descended from Rev. John’s son, Andrew.

          Unfortunately, I have very little on the Lynk family that settled around Barrachois. The pioneer of that family was Andrew Lynk, who came from Scotland with his brother, John, and his sister, Jessie. Andrew was married to a MacDonald woman and had nine or ten children: …”

          “Another Lynk family, in the Leitche’s Creek area, was that of Angus Lynk. Whether he was a brother of Andrew Lynk or not, I do not know. He was married to Margaret Ferguson, and they had eight children, “…

          The family that settled in Leitche’s Creek is my family. I believe that he was a brother of Andrew who settled in Barrachois. The names Andrew, Angus, John, Jessie, Mary, Flora, etc are very popular in our family. My Father was John, my Grandmother’s Father was Andrew and my name is Jessie. My lineage back to Angus is the following:

          Angus Laing/Lynk (b. 1807/1808) m. Mary Ferguson (b. 1829)
          Daniel/Duncan Lynk (c. 1852) m. Jessie Isabelle MacKenzie (1864) (it appears two brothers married the same woman one year apart – still researching this)
          Andrew Lynk 1894) m. Annie Mae MacNeil (1897) (have a picture of these two)
          Jeanette Lawley Lynk (1925-2009)) m. Henry A. W. Boutilier (1924-2009)
          Gilbert John “Johnny” Boutilier (1954-2008) m. Betsy Lynn Bechard (1958)
          Jessie Lynn Boutilier (1982) m. Brett Tyler Ross (myself and my husband)

          The lineage I have found online (but not sourced) for Andrew Laing/Lynk of Barrachois is the following:

          Rev. John Laing m. Ann MacGregor (daughter of Sir. James MacGregor?)
          Andrew Laing
          John Laing
          Donald Laing m. Christian MacPhail
          Andrew Laing/Lynk of Barrachois (baptized in Scotland on 4 Apr 1824 in North Uist, Inverness, Scotland)

          There are numerous descendants today from a handful of families that settled here. Less than 1000 I would say. I could do more research into the family and try to place all the descendants. I could also take a trip to the archives in Halifax, NS to see what I can find on the earliest records they may have. I know I can access their land records online easily.

          Another possibility I thought possible is that my Angus is Andrew of Barrachois’s Uncle? Cousin? Unfortunately Angus died between 1891 and 1901 when they didn’t take any death records in the entire province. I will take a look at church records and see if I can find a burial record. It may give his parents or a relation. At least I know that more than likely Rev. John Laing and Ann MacGregor at some point are my ancestors? lol Thanks for all the information and stuff. I’ll post again in about a week of any information I found. I’ll take a trip this Saturday to the archives and see what I can dig up.

          Another question I have is the Annals of Clan Donald a book? I would love to see a copy of it or purchase one if I could for my personal library. Neat story. 🙂

          • Angus Macmillan

            March 19, 2013 at 10:23 am

            Most of the information we can piece together is already sitting here in the various posts. However just to pull things together a little in terms of your post. The earliest mention I have seen of Rev John Laing dates from 1718. That was firmly in the period when the MacGregors were proscribed. Mere use of the surname opened a person up to how squirrels were treated later, as vermin and with a bounty for killing one. Accordingly, there will not have been a marriage to a MacGregor as the assumed surname will have been Murray, Drummond or even Campbell or something like.

            It also seems to me passing unlikely that the father, whoever he was, was knighted as Sir James. If it is true that the most likely family in Breadalbane was that of Glencarnock, their status is more likely reflected in the fact that Evan MacGregor Murray, albeit a major in the Jacobite army in the ’45 rising, the father of the later Sir John who was elected chief, was the innkeeper at Lochearnhead after Culloden. Evan heard James Stewart of the Glen, in his cups, utter threats against the life of Colin Campbell of Glenure, the victim of the Appin murder. Sir John climbed the greasy pole because Evan called in the favour he had done by giving the crucial evidence on behalf of Glenure’s Barcaldine family. That saw Stewart convicted and executed, and secured the young John a position in the East India Company where he became auditor general and a rich man.

            Incidentally, Laing still pronounced Ling, remains a name represented in the Uists and there is an intellectual bent attached.

            • Christine

              December 19, 2013 at 1:09 am

              My name is Christine Lynk and I too am a descendant of the same Rev. John Laing (Lynk/Ling). Just wondering if you can clarify a few things, what church/religion was John a Reverend for, was it Presbyterian? Also, what exactly is meant by “an intellectual bent attached.” I am actually hoping to visit North Uist at the end of July 2014, can’t wait to see the motherland.

              • Angus Macmillan

                January 1, 2014 at 4:25 pm

                I am not sure about the answer to the question about Presbyterian or not as The Rev John did not function as a clergyman in North Uist but as a dominie. If anything, given that he fitted into North Uist life, Presbyterian seems more likely than Episcopalian but is a guess. As an example of a Laing with an academic interest, a recent book An t-Urramach Iain MacRuairidh about our mutual cousin John MacRury by Calum Laing published by Clar in 2013 serves to make the point. My impression is that, as a clann, they have tended more than the norm to follow literate rather than simply crofting pursuits.

                • Jessica Ross

                  February 7, 2014 at 12:44 am

                  Explains the academic trait that has run down through the family and the importance of education….hmmmmm. Any other useful information on the Reverend?

            • Jessica Ross

              February 19, 2014 at 2:57 pm

              Hi Angus,

              This may sound crazy but could Sir James MacGregor be Sir James Mor MacGregor who married an Annabella MacNicol. Out of their thirteen listed children is an Anna and no one knows what happened to her. The times fit so it could be possible. What do you think?

              • Don MacFarlane

                February 21, 2014 at 12:51 am

                MacGregors in Burke’s Peerage


                Confirming Angus’s version of events:

                Sir John Murray MacGregor of Mac Gregor, 1st Bt. was born on 10 April 1745.1 He was the son of Evan MacGregor and Janet Macdonald. He married Anne Macleod, daughter of Roderick Macleod of Bernera, in 1774.1 He died on 28 June 1822 at age 77.

                He resumed the original surname of the family after the Act repealing the statutes against the Mac Gregors and was officially recognised as 18th Chief of Clan Gregor. He was Lieutenant-Colonel HEICS, Auditor-Gen Bengal. He was created 1st Baronet MacGregor [Great Britain] on 3 July 1795.

                Child of Sir John Murray MacGregor of Mac Gregor, 1st Bt. and Anne Macleod:
                Sir Evan John Murray MacGregor of Mac Gregor, 2nd Bt.+2 b. Jan 1785, d. 14 Jun 1841

                • Don MacFarlane

                  February 21, 2014 at 12:54 am

                  Sir Evan John Murray MacGregor of Mac Gregor, 2nd Bt. was born in January 1785. He was the son of Sir John Murray MacGregor of MacGregor, 1st Bt. and Anne Macleod. He married Lady Elizabeth Murray on 28 May 1808 and died on 14 June 1841 at age 56. He was Knight Grand Cross, Hanoverian Order (G.C.H.) and 19th Chief of Clan Gregor. He was Major-General, Governor of the Windward Islands. He was Knight Commander, Order of the Bath (K.C.B.) and gained the title of 2nd Baronet MacGregor on 22 December 1822 by Royal License.

                  Children of Sir Evan John Murray MacGregor of Mac Gregor, 2nd Bt. and Lady Elizabeth Murray.

                  Jane Anna Maria MacGregor+2 d. 19 Jul 1880
                  Sir John Athol Bannatyne MacGregor of Mac Gregor, 3rd Bt.+2 b. 20 Jan 1810, d. 11 May 1851
                  Evan William John MacGregor b. 1819, d. 28 Jun 1850
                  James Strathallan MacGregor b. 1821, d. 12 Jan 1843
                  Francis Alexander Robert MacGregor b. 1823
                  Ernest Augustus MacGregor b. 1825, d. 17 Jan 1869

              • Don MacFarlane

                February 21, 2014 at 7:15 pm

                According to Burke’s Peerage, there is no mention of Sir James ‘Mor’ MacGregor having married nor of having children:

                James ‘Mor’ MacGregor M, #477089, b. 1695, d. 1754

                James ‘Mor’ MacGregor was born in 1695. He was the son of Robert ‘Ruadh’ MacGregor (the infamous Rob Roy MacGregor) and Mary Helen MacGregor and he died in 1754.

                Neither is there any mention in Burke’s of a MacGregor who married an Annabella MacNicol.

          • Waxwing

            March 19, 2013 at 8:42 pm

            Hi Jessie

            Thanks for all of that and we look forward to more from you.

            You can download the history of Clan Donald for free in whichever format you prefer, maybe PDF?


      • Angus Macmillan

        October 27, 2012 at 10:37 am

        Like Donald, I would be interested to see your line if you choose to share it. I am afraid it will not be possible to answer your question about the origins of Ann MacGregor directly or fully as the records of the time are scanty, except perhaps for sons and the elopement means no marriage contract will have existed. However, I do think you might be able to formulate a theory based on narrowing the probabilities. A number of MacGregor chiefly lines capable of employing a tutor still existed as 1700 approached. However, as a result of their own actions and of long term suppression, most were in signal decline. If you investigate the formerly powerful Glenstrae, Roro (successor to Glenlyon) etc. branches, they were dying off and being displaced.

        If the family where Laing was tutor were really closely associated with Breadalbane [not ‘of Breadalbane as that implies charter holding of the lands and that was the prerogative of the Campbells of Breadalbane) then very much the strongest possibility is MacGregor of Glencarnaig (later known as Glencarnock), well established in the Balquhidder area close to the heart of Breadalbane power on Loch Tay. That family was not the most powerful of the chiefly MacGregor lines by 1700 but a descendant, Evan MacGregor, was a major figure in the 1745 Jacobite rising and later gave the crucial evidence on behalf of the Campbells in the Appin murder trial, calling in the favour to get his eldest son a position in the army in the East India Company. That son became auditor general in India, made his fortune and, as Sir John MacGregor of Lanrick, was elected overall chief of Clan Gregor in 1774. His line remain chiefs to this day.

        If this speculation is right (and it is only speculation), Ann might well have been a sister of Iain Og, of the ‘Aberach’ line i.e. from Lochaber, the first to use the Glencarnaig label. It is not unhelpful to this speculation that Iain Og’s mother was also a MacGregor, Ann MacGregor of Roro, which introduces the given name Ann to the family.

    • Jessie B R

      August 17, 2016 at 1:33 pm

      Could either Angus MacMillan or Don MacFarlane email me at There are several of us that are descended from Rev. John Laing and have a question about information you have provided Angus. Thank you.

  33. londonderry

    October 20, 2007 at 2:26 pm

    This response is courtesy of Angus MacMillan (ex-Benbecula) from correspondence with Don MacFarlane alias ‘Londonderry’.

    1. The Lulan was not the only charter from the Uists for two reasons. There were others e.g. the ships that took the much larger emigrations of 1850-51 called in North Uist though their eventual destination turned out to be Ontario rather than the Atlantic provinces. It is not clear that this was intentional and indeed it is doubtful if some of the voluntary leavers of the time would have gone at all had they known they were not to be delivered to their predecessors neighbours and relations who had already settled in PEI and Cape Breton. The explanation is that the shipping service was a two-way affair. Timber was taken from Canada to the UK and then an extra floor was inserted to accommodate migrants for the return trip. Timber in commercial quantities in Cape Breton ran out quite suddenly in about 1844 and the PEI trade had already died. As a result, the next batches of migrants found themselves in Quebec, Upper Canada now supplying the timber. They could not in general afford the fare to return and so were ferried on subsidised trips up the St Lawrence by the entrepreneurs who were opening up large parcels of land in Ontario. In fact, two successive loads of the 1850/51 settlers found themselves separated by some hundreds of miles as some were ferried only as far as modern Toronto and then found their way north to Glenelg, Grey County, while others were transported to Hamilton and then marched through thick woodlands to East and West Williams close to present day London, Ontario.

    The second reason mentioned in the first sentence is that the Lulan did not leave from the Uists. As I described in my earlier note, it was plan B for a group of unfortunates who aborted a passage to New York and existed on the quay in Glasgow until alternative berths could be found. This was the cause of their destitution. As far as the Uists were concerned, there were other voyages that left from the islands before the 1840s but, once other embarkation points were involved, they were not so far as I know involved with Wester Ross but focused on Tobermory and then Glasgow.

    2. The Wester Ross voyages had presumably started with the Hector trip to Pictou in 1772?

    3. Under the Colonel Gordon regime, in the early 1840s, six major sheep farms such as Kilbride were carved out of South Uist and the eastern pendicles around Loch Eynort, Calvay etc. were totally cleared, the folks being dumped pro tem on the infertile moss of Stoneybridge. The better quality kelp in Benbecula, which commanded a higher price and the fact that the areas like Craigstrome suitable for more extensive sheep farming had not been lotted off, saved Benbecula from that sort of general clearance activity. The only real exception was that Aird was so wet in its central parts that residents and cottars had settled permanently out on the Muir, which was intended as summer pasture. The Colonel’s family wanted to extend the Nunton parkland and the old Belfinlay and parts of the Muir were taken into the home farm, the walls being built from the stones of the houses. Apart from those folks, mainly cottars, those who left the island were distinctly the better heeled, notably the artisans who were a bit more cash rich than the crofting norm. The Allan Black, boat builder is an example. His brother Donald was a blacksmith as were the Balivanich MacMillans who left. There is just the one case of a forcible eviction such as those so prominent in the books, that we know of. A blind crofter in Torlum was evicted and his son was one of those tied and thrown into the boats.

    4&5. The Lulan was rated A1 at Lloyds; even if no-one cared too much about the migrants, the timber was valuable. It is very unlikely to have been the cause of the disease aboard. The six week sojourn in the open and, having paid what monies they had to the first ship bound for New York, their destitution and starvation on the Glasgow quayside, together with being exposed to unfamiliar germs, much more satisfactorily explains the health problems on the voyage. From memory, it was the factor [who will have been William Birnie at the time] who intervened to arrange the Lulan passage and that is where the confusion arose at the other end about payment. I have a feeling, again from memory, that it was the matter of provision for the first winter that was at particular issue, the locals in CB/PEI objecting to having to bail out destitute arrivals from Britain.

    In 1848, the Uists and their population were in a bad state post potato famine. Typhus was a more familiar visitor than smallpox but both appeared from time to time. However, I don’t think there was an outbreak of either around 1848.

    6. Only a proportion of those who disappeared from the islands show up in Canada so it has to be assumed that many did indeed find themselves in Glasgow and meeting under the ‘Hielanman’s Umbrella’ at the west end of Sauchiehall Street in the city for their social life. The attractions of Canada, right through to the Clandonald migration of the 1920s was at least as much the expectation of being able to settle cheek by jowl with Gaelic speaking relations as simply hope of a better life.

    7. It is easy to overestimate the extent to which news could ‘get back’ from those who went before. Tradition is full of stories of later migrants searching for years before they tracked down their own siblings. In the early 19th Century, there was only one man in Benbecula who could write so the chance of letters from leavers prior to, say, the Cathcart migrations of 1883/4, were effectively non-existent. As I mentioned, the Blacks are a perfect example as, till I put the groups back in touch, there had been no contact from 1851 to about 1997. There are six MacMillan brothers in Glenelg who thought their family, 1851 migrants, was from the Orkneys until I pointed them to Balivanich. There was just one avenue open for such CB contacts with Benbecula that I know of; one of the MacDonald Gruder family from Lionacleit that went to Cape Breton about 1844 was a sailor and it is thought that on at least one occasion, when his ship called at Liverpool, he managed to make the pilgrimage north.

    8. see above

    9. As the Lulan sailed from Glasgow, it had a full complement of mainland migrants.

    10. Not just bad English, effectively none. The first from the islands to go to do summer work on the mainland is recorded as having taken that step in 1853. That was the main source for a smattering of English, and it was just such a smattering, no more, that led to folks to be on a New York bound ship out in the Firth of Clyde in the first place and just lucky that someone had just enough English to realise the destination before it was too late. If in doubt about all this, have a look at the notes to Carmina Gadelica and look for the Mary MacMillan, Lionacuidhe story dating from as late as 1870-80. The exception to this may well have been the incomers from Lewis and Skye such as your folks, who will have been exposed to some English – and a couple of MacAulay merchants could actually write at the time.

    11. Heiskeir was inhabited and unable to support its own population at the time and was, in any case MacDonald of Sleat country so not available to indigent Catholics from South Uist. The evidence to the Napier Commission at Torlum in 1883 is revealing about the thought that somehow there was sufficient land to meet the needs of all if only it were made available. Donald MacDonald from 1 Torlum, who gave that township’s evidence got into a terrible bind trying to substantiate that claim.

    • charis white

      November 4, 2009 at 11:21 pm

      I was just researching a relative of mine who emigrated to Montreal in Canada and found your name and details. The relative concerned was also called Angus Macmillan (had a son called Angus Macmillan and a grandson called Ian Charles Macmillan b.1951). Angus was brother to my grandmother Mary Macmillan who was born in North Uist in the late 19th century. Their father was Archibald Macmillan. I just wondered if there was any connection to you?! My son is called Angus Macmillan White.

      Charis White (nee Adam)

      • Angus Macmillan

        November 6, 2009 at 2:04 am

        Hello Charis

        My folks were and are strictly rooted in Benbecula. Both ownership and religion formerly made a northwards move rather rare, at least for the male of the species. I rather doubt I am closely related to your MacMillans. However, there was a family of the name that tradition says ran the ferry service between the two islands [Carinish to Gramsdale] when the Atlantic tides were too high for the North Ford to be an option. Some of that family, led by an Archibald, did settle in Benbecula, specifically in Uachdar, and I wonder if that group might relate to the line you are interested in?

        The one other thing that might be of interest and that you might share is that DNA testing suggests MacMillans in the islands may not be a part of the main mainland clan but an indigenous tribe who were loaned the name when patronymics were Anglicised back in the 18th Century.

        Anyhow, always nice to make contact. Good hunting. Angus


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