Author Topic: Donald of Clashneach & Mary Mackay  (Read 9883 times)

Offline Donald NZ

  • RootsChat Extra
  • **
  • Posts: 57
    • View Profile
Donald of Clashneach & Mary Mackay
« on: Tuesday 28 March 06 04:51 BST (UK) »
This new thread was initially commenced through the post of “Andy_smed, Durness Parish Register”. As the subject has become more ongoing it has now been given its own thread, with a view to discovering a little more information about Donald Mackay of Clashneach, (Claiseneach) and his second wife Mary Mackay, daughter of John of Clashneach, also of Muisel, factor to Lord Reay and by all accounts a wealthy cattle dealer.
Thank you Andy for your assistance and thanks to Ian for his several responses:

The following is the thread background

Reply #121 on: Saturday 11 March 06 17:27 GMT (UK)
Donald NZ,
Are you still looking for Donald Mackay of Clasneach, Clashneach, or Claiseneach?

I came across one yesterday while I was reading Ian Grimble's book, [/i]The World of Rob Donn, , my 7 x g grandfather.

It doesn't help much; "Early in 1757 the minister [Macdonald] happened to be visiting Donald Mackay of Claiseneach in Durness, whose wife Barbara was a daughter of Kenneth Sutherland of Keoldale and their son Captain George a servant of the East India Company."

I think Barbara was actually a sister of Kenneth Sutherland, the manager of Lord Reay's Durness barony.
There is another reference to a Donald Mackay of Clasneach in the genealogy of the Skerray Mackays in the Book of Mackay. He married Mary, a daughter of John of Clasneach.

It is not clear from the narative that John had any activity in Clasneach. He was otherwise known as Iain macEachainn [the second son of Hector Mackay of Skerray, son of John Mackay of Skerray, son of Hugh Mackay of Strathy] and was the factor for the 3rd Lord Reay at Muisel. He was also the mentor for Rob Donn, whom he hired as a cowherd.
Ian

Reply #123 on: Sunday 12 March 06 04:17 GMT (UK)
Donald,
I came across a little more information about Donald Mackay of Clasneach, hiding in the genealogy of the Sandwood Mackays.
The Hon. Charles Mackay, son of Donald 1st Lord Reay by his 3rd wife, had 3 sons and 2 daughters, the younger daughter being Margaret. She married John Sutherland of Keoldale and they had 2 children, (1) Kenneth Sutherland [who, as previously mentioned, became the manager of Lord Reay's Durness barony], and (2) Barbara Sutherland, who married Donald Mackay of Clasneach. They had 3 children: George [already mentioned]; Marion who married John Mackay, Borley; and Mary who married Neil Morrison, Kylestrome.

The patronymic in Mary's baptismal registration is helpful but, unfortunately, the Book of Mackay does not list any "issue" for George., nor does "The History of the House and Clan of Mackay".
Ian

Reply #126 on: Thursday 16 March 06 05:29 GMT (UK)
Hello Ian
Your comment; I think Barbara was actually a sister of Kenneth Sutherland, the manager of Lord Reay's Durness barony.
Re; Barbara Sutherland, m Donald Mackay of Clashneach; who was her father?? John or Kenneth??

“A History of the House & Clan of Mackay”1829,  page 572, has “Isobella …. She married a gentleman of the name of Sutherland, (Kenneth of Keoldale ?)  that the question mark is actually written indicates “Robert Mackay” the writer to be unsure of the individual.
(Isobella referring to John of Clashneach daughter).

In “The Book of Mackay” by Angus Mackay, published 1906, page 315, he states “Isobel married John, son of Kenneth Sutherland of Keoldale”.
Page 330v, states; Margaret married John Sutherland of Keoldale, issue two:- Kenneth, m his cousin Catherine, dau of Robert Mackay, tutor of Farr, and had a son John who m Isobel, dau. of John Mackay of Clashneach” and “Barbara Sutherland m Donald Mackay, Clashneach”

“World of Rob Donn”.published 1999, Ian Grimble quotes Barbara as a daughter of Kenneth, and seems quite emphatic about it as it is fully written out in the index, page 302,
Grimble has; John (Iain Mac Choinnich) son of Kenneth as m Isobel (page 97-98 & 302)
Page 67; Kenneth,… son of the tutors sister Margaret and also married to the Tutors daughter Catherine.

"The Chiefs of Clan Mackay and Their Cadets."  by John Barth page 83, 28.3.Isobel Mackay, m.(her cousin) John Sutherland, son of Kenneth Sutherland, in Keoldale, parish of Durness, co Sutherland, by his wife, Catherine Mackay, dau of Robert Mackay, tutor of Farr.

The latter two writers have the advantage of being able to resource the earlier research books as well as a wider range of documentation. Regardless I would like some confirmed dates on these three generations as a method to confirm or otherwise whether Barbara was son of Kenneth or brother to Kenneth.

Isobel Mackay died 9th. May 1748 at Keoldale, Sutherland, Scotland. Age abt 23yrs = botn abt. 1725.Her husband John Sutherland died 1 o'clock 18th. May 1748, at Keoldale and buried at Balnakil, Sutherland, Scotland

John Sutherland was born abt.1680 and Margaret Mackay abt. 1685, these two about dates I recorded but did not at the time keep a record of how this was calculated, so the dates must be regarded as purely speculative. Hopefully someone can add further information.
Donald NZ
end of part 1
Mackay of Slannes, Clashneach, Hunleam & general Melness area.
Morrison of Kinlochbervie, Achriesgill, Strathmore, and general Melness area
Ross and McKenzie of Achriesgill, & general Kinlochbervie area.

RootsChat is the busiest, largest free family history forum site in the country. It is completely free to use. Register now.
Also register instantly with Facebook or Twitter (and other social networks). Start your genealogy search now.


Offline Donald NZ

  • RootsChat Extra
  • **
  • Posts: 57
    • View Profile
Re: Donald of Clashneach & Mary Mackay
« Reply #1 on: Tuesday 28 March 06 04:58 BST (UK) »
part 2
Reply #127 on: Thursday 16 March 06 08:08 GMT (UK)
Hello Ian
Donald first married Barbara Sutherland, they had five children, Cpt. George b.abt 1727: Margaret b. abt. 1726, d.29/9/1805: Catherine: Margaret b. abt 1725: Marian b. abt 1729. His second marriage was to Mary Mackay

Ian as you appear to have Ian Grimbles, “The World of Rob Donn”. See page 212, there is reference that to me indicates the period when Donald and Barbara were splitting up. There is also reference to Rev. Murdo Macdonald using the term Uncle Kenneth, in reference to Barbara’s brother, when speaking of Barbara’s son Cpt. George. (this particular page I consider, makes Grimble’s deduction of Barbara being daughter of Kenneth to be wrong).
Donald went on to marry Mary daughter of Iain macEachainn of Muiseal in Strathmore, factor to the 3rd Lord Reay also his third cousin and a large dealer of cattle, reputedly wealthy, but best remembered for taking Rob Donn into his family.
Iain has been recorded in numerous “Contract of Wadset, Tacks, Sasines and other registered articles”, usually with the title of John Mackay of Clashneach.

Donald Mackay of Clashneach and John’s daughter Mary are recorded as having children, as yet I have not found a record of a named child or time frame. I have found reference that Donald and Mary retired to Muiseal, also that it would appear their eldest son was John, who at some stage lived in Melness and the second son was James. Also yet to confirm that Donald was the son of William oig. Mary may have been born abt 1730.

There is also a mention in Ian Grimbles, :The World of Rob Donn” of Donald of the Lugs (cut off cows ear markings) The reference is that Mary was married to this Donald of the Lugs, who appears not to be Donald of Clashneach, so it is possible Mary married twice, to two Donald Mackay's

Ian, I would certainly be appreciative if you are able to throw further enlightenment on Donald, Barbara and Mary.

Re: Reply #123 on: Sunday 12 March 06 04:17 GMT (UK)
“wonder where you found  the approx. marriage date of 1749 for John, Borley and Marion Mackay?”
Ian I will tie this in with the Lieut Donald and Donald of Borley listing.
Donald NZ

Reply #129 on: Friday 17 March 06 22:20 GMT (UK)
Donald,
As I said in my previous post, I don't have any firm dates. These are very scarce in all three of the books I have been referring to.

However, there does not seem to be much controversy regarding (1) Kenneth Sutherland. "The Book of Mackay"; "The History of the House -----"; and "The World of Rob Donn" all seem to have him as the son of (2) John Sutherland and Catherine nic Tutor of Farr. Similarly, all three have him as the father of (3) the John Sutherland who married Isabel nic Iain macEachainn (John of Clasneach).

You have estimated the birth of (2) as ca. 1680 and his wife, Margaret, as 1685. Add 25 or 20 years to their dob and you get 1705 for an approx. marriage date.

Assume (1) Kenneth's dob one year later, i.e. 1706. Add 20 years for an est. marriage date for Kenneth of 1726.

Assume (3) John's birth 1 year later, i.e. 1727. Grimble reports his marriage was in 1747. Age 20 seems a bit young for marriage
but within reasonable range.

Barbara is a bit more difficult. I think Grimble is wrong and the Rev. MacDonald  correctly described Kenneth Sutherland as Captain George's uncle, making Captain George's mother, Barbara, Kenneth's sister.

With regard to dates, I'm sorry that I don't have any. However, assume (2)John Sutherland's dob was ca. 1680 and his wife, Margaret, was abt. 1685.  Add 25/20 years for a marriage date of approx. 1705.

Grimble describes Barbara Sutherland as old in 1747. How old is "old"? 50 to 60? This suggests she was born about 1697 to 1707. Probably closer to 1707.

In any event, if (1) Kenneth's dob was close to 1707, he could not have been the father of
Barbara. She was the mother of a Captain in 1757. Assume Capt. George was 25 in 1757, that gives him a dob of 1732. Assume Barbara was 20 to 25 when Capt. George was born, this gives a her a dob of between 1707 to 1712.

I recognize that I have done a lot of assuming but I think they are reasonable assumptions.
Ian
Mackay of Slannes, Clashneach, Hunleam & general Melness area.
Morrison of Kinlochbervie, Achriesgill, Strathmore, and general Melness area
Ross and McKenzie of Achriesgill, & general Kinlochbervie area.

RootsChat is the busiest, largest free family history forum site in the country. It is completely free to use. Register now.
Also register instantly with Facebook or Twitter (and other social networks). Start your genealogy search now.


Offline Donald NZ

  • RootsChat Extra
  • **
  • Posts: 57
    • View Profile
Re: Donald of Clashneach & Mary Mackay
« Reply #2 on: Friday 31 March 06 03:28 BST (UK) »
Re: Reply #129 on: Friday 17 March 06 22:20 GMT

Hello Ian
Your assuming dates seem fairly good to me and tie in closely with mine. The following is my confirmations along with my efforts to try and establish some time frames on Donald of Clashneach and marriage dates. I look forward to some feedback.

Donald of Clashneach, first wife was Barbara Sutherland, they had five children,
Mary b. abt 1725:
Margaret b. abt. 1726, d.29/9/1805, age 79yrs:
Cpt. George b.abt 1727:
Marian b. abt 1729.
Catherine: abt 1731

That Margaret’s headstone states she died 29/9/1805, age 79yrs, gives her birth date as a reasonably accurate 1726 time frame.
Mary was born prior to Margaret by say two years = 1724 so they were probably married abt 1723 / 24
Lets assume Barbara was married in 1724 at age 20yrs = born 1704 or if married at age 17yrs = Barbara born abt 1707.

When I researched these individuals some time ago, I came up with time frames of Barbara born 1705 and Kenneth 1707. I consider the section “Barbara was a daughter of Kenneth Sutherland, of Keoldale” on page 211 of Dr.Ian Grimble’s book, “The World of Rob Donn”.to be wrong. Further confirmation is on page 212,  by Rev. Murdo Macdonald using the term Uncle Kenneth, in reference to Barbara’s brother, when speaking of Barbara’s son Cpt. George. This further confirms Grimble’s deduction of Barbara being daughter of Kenneth to be wrong..

Kenneth’s son John died 1 o'clock 18th. May 1748, at Keoldale and buried at Balnakil, Sutherland, Scotland
John’s wife Isobel had died a few days earlier, on 9th. May 1748 at Keoldale, Sutherland, Scotland. Age abt 23yrs = both born abt. 1725 / 27.
The forgoing is sufficient to demonstrate Barbara was not Kenneth’s son.


Donald of Clashneach’s second marriage was to Mary Mackay, daughter of John of clashneach. To establish whether Barbara died, or whether Donald and Barbara separated and Donald then married Mary. I refer to: Page 11, “The World of Rob Donn”, relating to The Reverend Murdo’s diary; “early in 1757 the minister happened to be visiting Donald Mackay at Claiseneach in Durness, (followed by a reference number 10) whose wife Barbara” ……. “being in the house of the old man”.
The foregoing indicates Donald was living at Clashneach in 1757 with wife Barbara, it also indicates Donald was old, but Ian as you mentioned in your response, how old is old, over 50yrs?.

On page 212, “it was not until 29th. January 1759” ……..”sent this suggestion tactfully through Hugh of Bighouse to his parents at Clashneach” ………”your Mamma now again in Claiseneach” ……… “Neither Mrs Mackay nor your Uncle Kenneth nor your humble servant”

Relating to the foregoing paragraph. What reason would Capt. George have to tactfully send mail through Hugh of Bighouse to his parents?
That Barbara was again in Claiseneach indicates she had been away.
That there is no mention of Donald, only of Barbara and Kenneth, indicates Donald was not at Claisneach.
Is it then possible that Donald and Barbara had separated, perhaps in the latter 1758 period and that this time frame was when Donald and Mary were married?
There are references in the major Mackay reference books on; Donald Mackay of Clashneach and Mary as having children, as yet I have not found a record of a named child or time frame.
I have calculated that Mary would have been born around 1730, considerably younger than Donald.
Amongst my notes there is a reference that Donald and Mary retired to Muiseal. As Mary’s father died in 1757 (according to page 112, " The World of Robb Donn" -..elegies that Iain Mac Eachainn must have heard before he died in 1757). It is possible they moved into his home.

Back to an earlier paragraph that related to (10)  On page 223 References To Chapter 9 .
(10) “The first stanza of his elegy in RD 313-5 reveals that he died in 1764”
This indicates Donald died in 1764, if this is so then Donald and Mary only had about four years to have a family.

There are a lot more questions, such as where did Donald get the title of Clashneach from. It would seemingly not have come from his marriage with Mary through her father as Donald was married to Barbara through the time her father was alive.

Donald NZ
Mackay of Slannes, Clashneach, Hunleam & general Melness area.
Morrison of Kinlochbervie, Achriesgill, Strathmore, and general Melness area
Ross and McKenzie of Achriesgill, & general Kinlochbervie area.

Offline H.Tree

  • RootsChat Pioneer
  • *
  • Posts: 1
  • Census information Crown Copyright, from www.nationalarchives.gov.uk
    • View Profile
Re: Donald of Clashneach & Mary Mackay
« Reply #3 on: Friday 05 December 14 21:14 GMT (UK) »
'Vestiges of Old Madras' quotes 'George Mackay came out as a free merchant in 1738 at the age of 20, and pursued his vocation for 28 years' which indicates a date of birth for him of c. 1718.   This would suppose his mother's birthdate to be around 1700 or late 1690's.

Hilary

Offline AlanWatson

  • RootsChat Extra
  • **
  • Posts: 87
  • Census information Crown Copyright, from www.nationalarchives.gov.uk
    • View Profile
Re: Donald of Clashneach & Mary Mackay
« Reply #4 on: Saturday 27 June 15 07:00 BST (UK) »
Hi,

More than one of the posts above mentions the children of Donald Mackay of Clasneach and Barbara Sutherland:

Donald of Clashneach, first wife was Barbara Sutherland, they had five children,
Mary b. abt 1725:
Margaret b. abt. 1726, d.29/9/1805, age 79yrs:
Cpt. George b.abt 1727:
Marian b. abt 1729.
Catherine: abt 1731

The Margaret Mackay mentioned here, who married James Clarke, was my 4th Great Grandmother. I can see her grave. The records for her descendants are clear, and your posts put together the various references for her parents' ancestors in The Book of Mackay and other sources.

My problem is that none of the sources you quote mentions Margaret herself. For example, you quote The Book of Mackay as saying "Barbara Sutherland, who married Donald Mackay of Clasneach. They had 3 children: George [already mentioned]; Marion who married John Mackay, Borley; and Mary who married Neil Morrison, Kylestrome."

Is there any direct evidence that Margaret (or Catherine) was a member of this family?

I would be very grateful for any help.


Alan Watson

Offline djct59

  • RootsChat Senior
  • ****
  • Posts: 343
  • Census information Crown Copyright, from www.nationalarchives.gov.uk
    • View Profile
Re: Donald of Clashneach & Mary Mackay
« Reply #5 on: Saturday 27 June 15 17:16 BST (UK) »
Like you, I cannot see any demonstrable link between Margaret Mackay/Clarke and the family of Donald MacKay of Clashneach.

Much seems to depend on whether it is assumed or proven that the John Clarke of Cnockbreac who is listed as the father of Hugh, Charles, Mary and John in the parish records between 1765 and 1770 is the same as the James Clarke who died in 1774 and is buried in Balnakeil. the relative proximity (1) of Clashneach, Cnockbreac, Keodale and Borley, all within a few hundred yards apart, and the fact that his and his wife's grave is next to that of John's family in Balnakeil, seem to suggest this is the same family. That he is one one occasion referred to as ""Mr James Clarke" suggests that he was recognised as a gentleman. There were very few Clarkes in the parish in the 18th century, and their links to the Dukes of Sutherland are well known.

Margaret might well have been of the line of Lord Reay, or a minor branch thereof, but unless someone can produce a solid verifiable link I can't see that it's proven.

I do wonder, I must say, if she was really as old as 79 in 1805. That would make her over forty at the dates of birth of her three oldest children, with the last born when she was 44. given that her gravestone was erected by Alexander Clarke decades after her death I'd take her age with a pinch of salt.

Offline AlanWatson

  • RootsChat Extra
  • **
  • Posts: 87
  • Census information Crown Copyright, from www.nationalarchives.gov.uk
    • View Profile
Re: Donald of Clashneach & Mary Mackay
« Reply #6 on: Sunday 28 June 15 03:05 BST (UK) »
Jeannette Grant née Clarke from New Zealand has pointed me to The Book Of Mackay pp 229, 230 on The Sandwood Mackays. This traces Margaret Mackay who married John Sutherland of Keoldale, lists their two children, says that Barbara married Donald of Clashneach, lists four of their children (the three listed elsewhere plus Margaret), says that Margaret married James Clarke and gives her date of death and the number of their children.

She also has various letters supporting this from the then Lord Reay who was godfather to her great uncle.

Alan

Offline djct59

  • RootsChat Senior
  • ****
  • Posts: 343
  • Census information Crown Copyright, from www.nationalarchives.gov.uk
    • View Profile
Re: Donald of Clashneach & Mary Mackay
« Reply #7 on: Sunday 28 June 15 12:58 BST (UK) »
Ah yes - I see that on p.330. That lists her death as 1809; if she was 79 when she died that places her birth around 1730 which makes having her last child in 1770 rather more plausible. I will need to look at the gravestones next time I'm in Balnakeil.

To be frank, the Clarkes are rather peripheral on my tree. One of the younger Clarkes, most likely John (1830-61) was the father of an illegitimate child born to my great great grandmother in 1858. I suspect as the child was born Morrison and died Clarke that she had to raise court action to prove paternity.

Offline IanB

  • RootsChat Senior
  • ****
  • Posts: 280
  • Census information Crown Copyright, from www.nationalarchives.gov.uk
    • View Profile
Re: Donald of Clashneach & Mary Mackay
« Reply #8 on: Wednesday 01 July 15 11:17 BST (UK) »
In about 2004, subscribers to the predecessor of www.countysutherland.co.uk (now administered by Chris Stokes) organized themselves under the acronym POSH (Preserve our Sutherland Heritage) one of their activities being to photograph and catalog tombstones/monumental inscriptions for every cemetery in the County of Sutherland. These records may be accessed for a nominal fee. I have a copy of the Balnakeil records.

Of interest here is the following record: James CLARKE of Clashneach died 30 Mar 1774, age 69; wife Margaret MACKAY died 29 Sep 1805, age 79; son Captain Alexander CLARKE of the Reay Fencibles died at Eriboll 20 Jun 1822 age 62. (note that Margaret MACKAY'S year of death differs by 4 years from the BOOK OF MACKAY)

Nearby there are two other Clarke stones but they are for the family of a John CLARKE who was married to a Johanna FALCONER.

Incidentally, the father of Hugh, Charles, Mary, and John is recorded in the Parish Register as James CLARKE, not John. Presumably the other children were born before the register commenced.
Morrison, MacKay, MacCulloch, Sutherland, Dingwall, MacLeod, Donn, Calder,Blyth/Blythe; Baxter; Woodburn;Fleming;Hobkirk