Alexander Macrae.

History of the clan Macrae with genealogies online

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2. Donald, who went to America in 1774.

3. Duncan, who also went to America in 1774.
Farquhar married, secondly, a daughter of

Alister Mor Mac Ian Mhic Dhonnachidh, and had

4. Christopher, of whom below.

5. Isabel, who married Christopher Macrae,
Achyark, with issue, —

a. Farquhar, who lived at Ardelve and married
Anne, daughter of John, son of Alister Ruadh
Macrae, already mentioned, 4 and had issue —

1 There is some reason to believe that this, and not the daughter of the
Rev. John Macrae of Dingwall, is the Isabel whose name is mentioned on the
tombstone referred to on page 146.

2 The succession of Finlay is continued here in his sou Farquhar only for
convenience of arrangement. It is not maintained that he was the eldest son.

3 Page 123. * Page 124.



«1. Duncan, now living at Ardelve, by whom
this statement of the descendants of his grand-
parents, Christopher and Isabel Macrae, was given
to the author in 1890. Duncan gave evidence
before Lord Napier's Crofter Commission in 1883.
He married Mary, daughter of Duncan Macrae,
with issue:— Anne; Anne; Duncan, who died at
Dorniein 1883; Kate; Farquhar ; Maggie.

a'2. John.

«3. Farquhar, married Janet Macrae, with issue :
—Anne; Janet; Maggie; Isabel; Mary; Alex-

ai. Christopher, married Kate Macrae, with
i SSU e : — -Anne ; Duncan ; Margaret married Hector
Macdonald ; Farquhar ; Christina ; Catherine ; Mary.

b. Farquhar.

c. Duncan, who was a soldier and served in

d. Alexander.

e. John, who was for many years a school-
master at Sleat, and a well-known Gaelic scholar,
folklorist, and genealogist. He married Catherine
Macrae of the Torlysich family, and had issue-
el. John; e2, Christopher;

e3. The Rev. Godfrey, Minister of Cross, in the
Island of Lews ;

t'4. Isabel ; e5, Annabel ; c6, Christina ; c7, Flora.

/ Finlay, married a Miss Finlayson, with issue :
—Mary ; Christopher ; Roderick ; Kenneth ; Far-
quhar ; Duncan ; Annabel ; Isabel.

6. Christina, married Duncan Macdonald, at
Carr, with issue.


7. Mary, married Farquhar Maclennan, a native
of Kintail, and had issue at least one son.

a. Roderick, called Ruaridh Mor (Big Roderick),
who lived in Glenurquhart, and died in 1884. He
married Mary Grant, and had, with other issue —

«1. Alexander, who lived in Kingussie, where he
died in 1892. He married Helen, daughter of
Duncan Macrae, 1 with issue ; (1) The Rev. Duncan,
M.A. of Edinburgh, Free Church, Laggan, married,
in 1893, Isabella, daughter of Donald Macpherson,
Factor of the Island of Eigg, by his wife, Mary,
daughter of Farquhar Macrae of Camusfunaiy, with
issue, Norman; (2) Mary, died young; (3) Rod-
erick, M.A. of Aberdeen, now Headmaster of the
Public School, Kingussie, married Flora, eldest
daughter of the Rev. Neil Dewar, Free Church,
Kingussie ; (4) John ; (5) Jane ; (6) Helen ; (7)
Kenneth, M.A. of Aberdeen ; (8) Mary Anne ; (9)

XL CHRISTOPHER, son of Farquhar, was a
farmer at Can*. He married Isabel Macrae, with
issue —

1. William, lived at Carr. He married Anna-

ISome time during the last century two brothers of the name Macrae
migrated from Kintail to Badenoch, where their descendents, who were men
of good position, were known as Na Talich (the Kintail Men). From one of
these brothers is descended the Rev. Alexander Macrae, Minister of the
Scottish Church, Crown Court, London. From the other brother were
descended, in. the second or third generation— (1) the above-mentioned Duncan,
who, in addition to his daughter, Helen, had two sons : (a) John, S.S.C.,
Procurator-Fiscal of Kirkwall, who died a comparatively young man, in 1890,
leaving a widow and family, one of whom, Robert, is in the Indian Civil
Service ; aDd (6) Kenneth, now living in London. (2) Kenneth, who had a son.
John, a Doctor of Medicine, for many years Medical Officer of the Parish of
Laggan, and now living with his family in Edinburgh.


bel, daughter of Murdoch Macrae, Achnagart, and
died in July, 1879, leaving issue —

a. Alexander, went to South America ; b, Mary ;

c, Donald ;

d. Isabel, married Murdoch Macrae at Camns-
lunie, with issue — William ; Elizabeth ; Alexander ;
Donald ;

e. Christopher ;

/ Murdoch, now living at Seabank, in Gaitloch.

2. Christopher, a farmer at Carr, died in 1895.
He left a son, Alexander.

3. FlNLAY, a farmer a Carr. He married Mary,
daughter of Donald Macrae, with issue — a, Mary ;
b, Kenneth ; c, Christopher ; d, Isabel ; e, Jessie ;
f, Donald.

4. Christina, married Donald Macrae at Ar-
delve, as already mentioned. 1

5. Catherine, married Farquhar Macrae, Camus-
funary, with issue, of whom hereafter.

6. Janet, married Donald Macrae, Inverness,
without issue.

7. Mary, married Christopher Macrae, Durinish,
with issue — a, Alexander ; b, John ; c, Christopher ;

d, Mary ; e, Isabel ; /, Janet.



V. Farquhar, son of Constable Christopher Macrae of Ellandonan
Castle. — Progenitor of the Black Macraes. — Fearachar Mac Ian
Oig. — The Rev. Donald Macrae of Lochalsh. — Tradition about
Ancestry of Governor James Macrae of Madras. — Domhnull Og.
— High-handed proceedings of Garrison placed in Ellandonan by
the Parliament after the Execution of Charles I. — Fight
between the Garrison and the Kintail men. — Domhnull Og's
Descendants. — Donnacha Mor Mac Alister killed at Sheriff-
muir. — Maurice of Achyuran. — His Marriage and Descendants.
— The Rev. John Macrae of Knockbain. — Eonachan Dubh
and his Descendants. — Domhnull Mac Alister, Progenitor of
the Torlysich Family. — Killed at Sheriftmuir. — His Marriage
and Descendants.

V. FARQUHAR, son of Christopher, 1 who was
fourth in descent from Fionnla Dubh Mac Gille-
chriosd, and was Constable of Ellandonan Castle in
the time of John of Killiu, ninth Baron of Kintail,
was progenitor of the branch of the clan which was
known as Clan 'ic Rath Dhubh (the Black Macraes).
He married and had issue —

1. Donald, of whom below.

2. Maurice, who left issue.

3. Christopher, whose descendants appear to
have been well known in Kintail about the end of
the seventeenth century, and of whom the Rev.

l Page 24,


John Macrae of Dingwall says, in his manuscript
history of the clan, that others in Kintail could give
a more satisfactory account than he could.

VI. DONALD, eldest son of Farquhar, married
a daughter of Alexander Bain of Inchvanie, and by
her had five sons, who are spoken of as " all hold,
pretty, forward men."

1. Alexander, mentioned as "an understanding
active man." For some time he was " principal
officer " or Chamberlain of Kintail, " a desirable
and lucrative post." It is said that Sir Kenneth
Mackenzie, first Baronet of Coul, was fostered and
brought up in his house, and that this led to " a
friendship 'twixt the family of Coul and the
Macras." Alexander left no lawful son, but he had
two illegitimate sons — John, who lived and died at
Leault in Kintail, leaving numerous issue ; and
Murdoch, who lived and died with Sir Kenneth
Mackenzie at Coul.

2. John, called Ian Og, married, and had issue —

a. Alexander, who had issue :

«1. John, who had a son, John, who lived at

«2. Duncan, who had several sons, one of whom,
John, was a gunsmith in Kintail.

aZ. Alexander, who left issue.

b. Duncan, who was killed in the Battle of
Auldearn in 1645, leaving issue, one son, Chris-
topher, who was for some time principal officer of
Kintail, and left issue.

c Farquhar, called Fearachar Mac Ian Oig,
whose name figures prominently in the traditions of


Kintail. It is said that on one occasion, while
Farquhar was out hunting, the ground officer or
bailiff of Kintail entered his house, and seized some
of his chattels in payment of certain dues, which the
bailiff was endeavouring to levy on his own account,
and which Farquhar strenuously opposed. When he
returned home his wife tauntingly informed him of
what had happened, and he, giving way to the
impulse of the moment, immediately set out in pursuit
of the bailiff, whom he soon overtook and killed.
For this deed of blood he was obliged to flee the
country, but he soon returned, and for seven years
concealed himself among the hills of Kintail. At the
end of that time he made peace with the bailiff's
friends, and paid them a ransom. He was now able
once more to appear in public among his friends and
his countrymen, who welcomed him back with great
delight. The chief of Kintail, perhaps Colin, first
Earl of Seaforth, refused, however, to allow Farquhar
to come into his presence, but during a rebellion in
the Lews, of which there were more than one at this
time, Farquhar joined the expedition sent there,
unrecognised, and, being a man of great valour, he
conducted himself in a manner which led to a com-
plete reconciliation between himself and his chief.
Farquhar possessed considerable poetic talent, and is
said to have composed several songs during his exile. 1
Whatever truth there may or may not be in this
tradition of Farquhar's exile, we know that during
the chieftainship of Colin, first Earl of Seaforth, who
lived in far greater state than any of his predecessors,

1 Appendix J,



the people of Kintail suffered greatly from the
excessive rents which were then levied upon them,
and as Farquhar Mac Ian Oig is specially mentioned
as one of those who suffered from the exorbitant
raising of rent, it is quite possible he may have been
a leader of resistance and opposition to the exactions
of the chief and his officials, and may have been
obliged in consequence to spend part of his life as an
outlaw. The Rev. John Macrae of Dingwall, in his
Manuscript History of the. Mackenzies, explains, as
an instance of the "grievous imposition" of Earl
Colin's time, how the yearly rent of the tack of land
called Muchd in Letterfearn, which was held by
Farquhar Mac Ian ( >ig, was in a short time raised
from sixty merks Scots to two hundred and eighty.
It appears that while this process of rent-raising was
gointr on, Farquhar left Muchd and moved to
Achyark. At all events tradition says it was at
Achyark he was living when the bailiff seized his
property. In the poem ascribed to Farquhar, as
mentioned above, he calls his wife Nighean
Dhonnachidh (Duncan's daughter), and by her he
had, with other issue, a son.

cl. The Rev. Donald of Lochalsh, who was
educated at Aberdeen, where he graduated M.A. in
1G53. He was minister of Lochalsh before the 11th
August, 16G3, and was still there on the 12th April,
1G88. He is said to have lived until 1710. He
married Annabel, daughter of William Mackenzie of
Shieldaig, and by her had issue:— Mr John; Donald;
Duncan ; Farquhar ; Maurice ; and Christopher.

d. John, called Ian Duhh Mac Ian Oig, who


went to Greenock, and was, according to a Kintail
tradition, 1 the grandfather of Governor James Mac-
rae of Madras, of whom hereafter.

3. Donald, mentioned below.

4. Duncan, left a daughter but no male issue.
" He was a pretty man and lived to a great age."

5. Finlay, left issue, and his descendants were
numerous in Kintail and Lochalsh.

VII. DONALD, son of Donald VI., had five
sons, " all pretty men, who outlived their father.'" 2

1. John, was " bred a scholar," but does not ap-
pear to have profited much by his learning, as he
became one of Earl Colin's menial servants. He had
a son called John, who married and had issue.

2. Christopher, mentioned below.

3. Duncan, who was eighth in descent from
Fionnla Dubh Mac Gillechriosd, married and had
issue at least three sons — John, who is described as
"a great natural orator," and was accidentally killed
in Strathconon in 1698 ; Ronald ; and

(IX.) Farquhar, 3 who left a son.
(X.) Christopher, who is said to have married
a Maclennan, with issue —

1 Tradition communicated to the author by Mr Alexander Matheson,
shipowner, Dornie, in 1897.

2 It is interesting to note how frequently the Clan historian refers to the
good looks and handsome personal appearance of the different members of this
branch of the Clan, who were his own contemporaries, and with whom he was
perhaps personally acquainted This is a characteristic which some members
of this branch of the Macraes are said to have retained until the present time.

3 The Rev. John Macrae's account of this family terminates with Farquhar
(IX.) The continuation of the genealogy here given was communicated in
outline to the author in August, 1896, by Councillor Alexander Macrae,


(1). Farquhar, of whom below.

(2). Christina, who married Donald Macrae,
a fanner at Inverinate, and had, with other
issue —

(a). Duncan, commonly called Donnacha Seal-
gair (Duncan the Hunter), who married and had

(h). Alexander, who was Quarter-Master Ser-
geant in the Seventy-Eighth Highlanders. He
served with his regiment in India, and took part in
the Battle of Assaye on the 2?,rd of September, 1803,
and several other engagements. He was also present
at the capture of Java in 1811, and retired from
active service in 1815, "after twenty-five years
of faithful, zealous, and gallant good conduct," 1 On
the occasion of his retirement he was presented by
his regiment with a valuable gold watch, in recogni-
tion "of his long and faithful services to his good
King and country." Sergeant Macrae afterwards
lived at Kirkton, Lochalsh, where he died at the age
of eighty-four, on the 16th of June, 1855, and was
buried in Kirkton Churchyard. He married Eliza-
beth, daughter of Alexander Mackenzie, 2 fifth laird
of Cleanwaters, by whom he had issue—

i Letter from Lieuteuant-Colonel D. Forbes, Commanding 1st Battalion
78th Highlanders, dated Java, 1st March, 1815.

2 Cleanwaters was formerly the name of a small estate on the south side
of Dingwall. The above-mentioned Alexander was a sou of Alexander, fourth
of Cleanwaters, son of Charles, son of John, son of Colin, second laird of
Kilcoy, son of Alexander, first laird of Kilcoy, younger son of Colin, eleventh
baron of Kintail, son of Kenneth, tenth baron of Kintail, by his wife the Lady
Elizabeth Stewart of Athole, for whose descent from the Royal families ot
England and Scotland see Appendix F. For some account of the
of Cleanwaters see Mackenzie's History of the Mackenzies, new edit.on, page M.


(hi.) Alexander, who married Jane Macdonald,
and died in Australia, leaving issue.

(b2.) Donald, who died at Inverness in 1891, un-

(63.) Jessie married Robert Forbes, with issue.

(64.) David, in Australia.

(65.) Christina married Alexander Macintosh,
with issue — (l) John died unmarried in Dingwall in
1896 ; (2) Elizabeth married Thomas Nicol, a well-
known citizen and Magistrate of Dingwall, and has
issue ; (3) Margaret married John Macrae, a soli-
citor and Magistrate of Dingwall, with issue ; (4)
Annie ; (5) Alexander ; (6) Mary ; (7) Donald, who
was in the Seaforth Highlanders, and was killed in
India ; (8) Robert ; (9) Charles ; (10) David.

(66.) Charles, a supervisor of Inland Revenue,
died at Rothesay on the 16th of September, 1885,
aged fifty-four years, and was buried in Rothesay
Cemetery. He was twice married. By his first
wife he left a daughter, and by his second wife two
sons and five daughters.

(XL) Farquhar lived at Inchcro. He married
Margaret (?), sister of Alexander Macrae of the
Merchant Service, commonly called the Captain
Dubh (the Black Captain), and by her had
issue —

(XII.) Christopher, who lived at Fadoch,
married Isabella Macrae. He was drowned in one
of the rivers of Kintail, and left issue.

(1). Duncan, who died at Glenose, in Skye, on
the 19th August, 1877, aged seventy-two years.
He married Margaret Maclennan, with issue —


(a). Alexander in Australia.

(6). Christopher, also in Australia.

(c). Jessie Hannah.

(2). Alexander, who married Flora, daughter
of Duncan Macrae (the above-mentioned Donnacha
Sealgair), and had issue —

(a). Alexander, living at Inverinate, and now
the County Councillor for the Parish of Kintail. He
married Anne Maclennan, and has issue : — Mary ;
Alexander ; Donald ; Farquhar ; Duncan ; Flora.

(b). Donald married Mary Anne Macrae, with
issue : — Anne ; Farquhar ; Duncan ; Alexander ;
Duncan ; Alexander ; Flora.

(c). Isabella.

(3). John died in Australia in 1888, married
with issue.

(4). James, who was commonly known as Seumas
Ban (James the Fair). He was the author of several
Gaelic songs 1 which are well known in Lochalsh and
Kintail. He lived for many years at Ardroil, in
Lews, where he was the neighbour and friend of the
Rev. John Macrae, some time of Carloway, Lews,
and formerly of Knockbain. James died at New
Kelso, Lochcarron, on the 16th January, 1888, aged
seventy-five years, and was buried in Lochcarron
Churchyard. He married Flora, daughter of
Duncan Mackenzie, by his wife Christina, daughter
of John Macrae, 2 and by her, who died at Hemel

1 Appendix J.

2 This John Macrae, commonly known as Ian Mac a Gobha— John the Son
of the Smith— was the man who brought Ian Mac Mhurachaidh's poems and
songs from America (page 83). He died at Carndu, Dornic, in 1839, aged
ninety-three years. See also Appendix J.


Hempstead, Hertfordshire, on the 18th of March,
1895, and was buried in Lochcarron, had issue —

(a). John, who is also a Gaelic poet 1 of consider-
able talent, now living at Timsgarry in Lews. He
married Elizabeth Fraser, with issue — John Fraser ;
Duncan ; James ; Isabel Anne ; Alexander.

(b). Isabella manned Kenneth Murchison, Loch-
carron, with issue — Margaret ; Roderick Impey ;
James Alexander ; Flora ; Christina ; Isabella ;
Finlay ; Kenneth ; Barbara.

(c). Flora.

(d). Christina, whose name was included in the
Women's Roll of Honour for the Victorian Era in
the Earl's Court Exhibition of 1897, for having been
the means of saving the crew of a Danish ship — the
Grana — which was wrecked on the coast of Lews on
the 21st of October, 1896. For her conduct on that
occasion the Danish Government presented her,
through the Prime Minister, Lord Salisbury, with a
marble clock, bearing a suitable inscription. 2 Chris-
tina is married to Donald Mackay, Mangersta, Lews,
and has issue — Flora Helen ; Andrina ; John ;
Jemima ; Farquhar Alexander.

(e). Barbara.

(f). Farquhar, a graduate of Aberdeen Univer-
sity, now a Medical Practitioner in London.

(g). Alexander Mackenzie, now a student at the
Presbyterian College, London.

4. Donald, called Dahitar or Dyer, so called

1 Appendix J.

2 An account of the heroic conduct of Mrs Mackay on this occasion, together
with a portrait of herself, appeared in The Strand Magazine, December, 1897.


because he was taught the trade of dyeing, though
he never followed it. He left sons and daughters.

5. Donald, who was eighth in descent from
Fionnla Dubh Mac Gillechriosd, being the second
member of the family who bore this name, was called
Donald Og. He greatly distinguished himself in a
skirmish which took place in 1650 between the men
of Kintail and a garrison which had been placed in
Ellandonan Castle by the Scottish Parliament after
the execution of Charles I., with whose cause George
Earl of Seaforth, after much wavering, finally cast in
his lot. The garrison treated the people with great
insolence, and among other things, as the autumn
drew to a close, they insisted that the people should
furnish them with a sufficient store of fuel for the
winter. Accordingly, a party of soldiers, under a
certain John Campbell and a Sergeant of the name
Blythman, proceeded to the residence of the Cham-
berlain at Inverinate in order to enforce their
commands. The soldiers were met by a small party
of ten men, probably a deputation appointed to
remonstrate against this new imposition. The re-
monstrance soon gave place to high words, and the
officer in command ordered the soldiers to fire. This
the soldiers did, but without doing the men any
injury. The Kintail men, however, had old scores to
settle, especially against John Campbell, who, it
seems, had on a former occasion attacked and
wounded some people at Little Inverinate, so they
immediately drew their swords, fell upon the soldiers,
killed several of them, including John Campbell and
Sergeant Blythman, and put the rest to flight.


Donald Og, who was evidently the leader of the
Kintail men, singled out Campbell for attack, and with
one fierce stroke of his sword, "cut off his head, neck,
right arm, and shoulder from the rest of his body."
The place where this occurred was long known as
Campbell's Croft. Sergeant Blythmanwaskilled while
attempting to cross a stream of water between Little
Inverinate and Meikle Inverinate, at a spot which
was afterwards called Blythman's Ford. Thus the
ten Kintail men, without losing any of their own
number, fought against the thirty soldiers, and put
them to flight. After this the garrison made no
further demand for fuel, nor did they make any
effort to avenge their defeat. On the contrary,
they felt so uneasy and so much afraid of the men of
Kintail that shortly afterwards they left the country,
and no further notice was ever taken of the matter.
Donald Og left issue, 1 Duncan, and

(ix.) Alexander, who had a son.

(x.) Duncan, called Donnacha Breac, who had
a son.

(xi.) John, who had a son.

(xii.) John, who had a son.

(xiii.) Kenneth, who had a son.

(xiv.) Alexander, who lived in Lochcarron,
and married Anne Macrae, with issue.

(l). Alexander, who married, and had issue.

(2). Donald, who married Helen, daughter of

1 The succession of Donald Og, as here given, was communicated to the
author in 1897, in Kintail, by two independent genealogists, whose statements
were in entire agreement, and were further confirmed by some family notes
in the possession of the Rev. Donald Macrae of Lairg.


Joseph Riddoch of Skeith,near Cullen.and afterwards
of Fowlwood, Grange, and died in 1889, leaving issue.
(a). Joseph Riddoch, born on the 4th of July,
1855, and died on the 27th of August, 1874.

(b). Anne, married Hugh Stewart, who died in
1889, leaving issue— Jane ; John ; Nelly, who died in

(c). The Rev. Donald, horn on the 10th of January,
1864, M.A. of St Andrews, B.D. of Aberdeen,
Minister of the Parish of Lairg in Sutherlandshire,
to which he was ordained in 1890. He married on
the 15th of .January, 1891, Anne, daughter of "William
Stephen of Culrain House, and has issue : —

(cl). Donald Alastair, born on the 26th ot
October, 1891.

(c2). Ronald Stephen Bruce, born on the 15th
March, 1893.

(c3). Colin Frederick, born on the 19th of Feb-
ruary, 1895.

(c4). Charles Eric, born on the 16th of February,

(d). Alexander, born on the 18th September,
1866, married Marie Don, and is now living in East
Liverpool, Ohio, in the United States.

(e). Helen.

(3). Kenneth, in Kansas in the United States,
married, with issue.

(4). Flora married John Macdonald, in Skye,
with issue.

VIII. CHRISTOPHER, son of Donald VII., is
said to have been " a prudent and facetious man."
He married and left a son.


IX. ALEXANDER, who lived about the time
of the Revolution of 1688. He married Margaret,
daughter of Alexander Macdouald, of the Glengarry
family, by whom he had six sons, " all pretty men."

1. Donald, who was killed at the Battle of
Sheriffmuir, and of whom hereafter.

2. Duncan, who was called Donnachadh Mor or
Donnachadh Mac Alister. He was noted for his
prowess and strength, and was killed at the Battle
of Sheriffmuir. It is said that as the Kintail men
were passing through Glensheil, under the leader-
ship of Duncan, to join the Jacobite Rising which
ended in that battle, they came upon six men who
were struggling to place a large stone in a wall they
were building. Duncan told the men to stand
aside, and, seizing hold of the stone, lifted it up
and placed it in the desired position, and at the
same time expressed a fervent hope that the Mac-
raes would never be without a man who could lift
that stone as he had done. This stone is still

Online LibraryAlexander MacraeHistory of the clan Macrae with genealogies → online text (page 13 of 35)