Author Topic: MacGregor/MacKenzie puzzle - Gairloch /Lewis c1780  (Read 1392 times)

Offline MJHS1

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MacGregor/MacKenzie puzzle - Gairloch /Lewis c1780
« on: Monday 20 March 17 17:05 GMT (UK) »
Hi, I have been trying to corroborate the claims made in the transcript of a letter from my great x 3 aunt, Mary Frederica Elizabeth Stewart MacKenzie MacGregor, that her father, William MacGregor was the grand-son of James MacGregor, Rob Roy's eldest son, and that William’s father was (Roderick) Rory/ Budg/ Yellow haired MacGregor (ca 1727 - 1788?). Mary Frederica states that Rory escaped to Gairloch, after the battle of Culloden, where he married a MacKenzie widow, who owned a small property. Her late husband was a ‘Kinhousel (?)’ gentlemen of the house of Seaforth.  The letter says that the widow already had three sons, who all obtained commissions in the army through raising companies of their clansmen.
 
1. The eldest, Lewis was reported to be a Colonel and Governor at the Cape. He married a Dutch girl and died there.
2.The second was a Captain who was killed in “a Forlorn Hope".
3.The third saved his colours but was wounded and died.
A pretty Gaelic ballad was reportedly written about them.
Mary Frederica also refers to a Kenneth MacKenzie being a relation of her father.

According to an 1851 census, William was born in Gairloch in 1786. Having lived in Barvas, on the East coast of Lewis, by 1819, he was Tacksman of Galson (further up the coast) and living in South Galson Farm – a property that he apparently inherited from the cousin of one of his half- brothers. William married Helen Gillanders, daughter of Alexander Gillanders (Younger of Highfield), Tacksman of Shieldhag, and Commisioner of Lewis to the Seaforth MacKenzies in 1820. William was also well connected with the Seaforth MacKenzies, as several of his letters to Lady Seaforth, outlining conditions on Lewis and thanking her for a bed, survive. He also returned the population figures for the parishes of Barvas, Ness & Lochs in 1817. William subsequently moved to Melbost Farm (now the site of Stornoway Airport), which was the farm associated with Seaforth Castle (and where Sir Kenneth MacKenzie, the Canadian explorer, grew up). When the MacKenzies sold the island of Lewis to Sir James Mattheson, William moved to a farm at Achonachie (near the Muir of Ord) on the mainland (now at the bottom of Loch Achonachie, since the dam was built). Two of his sons, Lewis and George, went out to the Seaforth Tea Plantation in Ceylon, where George died, while Lewis continued to Australia, where he reportedly made his fortune in the Australian gold rush. William finally moved to Wrightfield Farm/Conon Cottage, which is located on the banks of the Conon River, near Maryburgh and not far from Brahan Castle (seat of the MacKenzies of Seaforth). William & Helen are buried in the old Conon graveyard, which is located between Conan House and the River. 
 
My research has established:
1.   Records of tacks issued to MacGregors in Gairloch https://goo.gl/NazCcB   p12  Roderick MacGregor obtained 8 year tenancy from Sir Alexander MacKenzies of Gairloch in 1766  and a further 4 year tenancy from Sir Hector MacKenzie in 1775.
2.   Mention of a Roderick MacGregor and his son Murdo, residing at the house of Inverewe on Gairloch, in the eviction papers issued by Sir G.S. MacKenzie of Coul in 1838.
3.   A couple of stories about Ruaridh Donn or Rorie Macgregor of Londubh (next to Iverewe), of the Macgregors of Kinlochewe, and his son John at: https://goo.gl/N1eMpV

I have also established, from the London Gazette, that there were three Lewis MacKenzies who served at the Cape:

a) Was initially commissioned in the 73rd Foot Regiment (McCleod’s Highlanders) in 1780 and rose to be Lt Colonel in the 81st Regiment (Loyal Lincoln Volunteers), who were stationed at the Cape from 1797-1802.
b) Joined the 71st Regiment of Foot in 1800 and went to the Cape in 1806. He subsequently joined the ‘Hottentot Corps’ and died out there as a Captain on 28th Nov 1811 (b 1767). It appears that he had a wife Mary and a daughter.
c) Joined the 72nd Regiment in 1793 and was at the Cape in 1806. He died out there as a Senior Captain in May 1807. He was definitely Lewis Mackenzie (b 1778), the eldest son of Col George Mackenzie of Scatwell.

There were no Lewis McKenzies in the 1815 Army List, so they either retired or died.

Study of the ‘History of the MacKenzies’ indicates that there were only three MacKenzie families, around that time, with a son named Lewis and two other sons in the army - the Dundonnel, Scatwell and Lochend MacKenzies (please see attached). However, there are few recorded dates and, in the case of the Lochend MacKenzies, there are conflicting reports as to whether Anne or Annabella was Alexander’s first wife.

1. KENNETH  MACKENZIE  Third of Dundonnel. (Brother of William MacKenzie 5th Earl of Seaforth)
This family profile appears to closely fit Mary Frederica’s description. However, it is recorded that Kenneth died in 1789 and that his wife predeceased him in 1769. So, unless these dates are wrong or Kenneth remarried, sadly, the dates don’t fit.
2. SIR LEWIS MACKENZIE, third Baronet and sixth of Scatwell.
3. ALEXANDER MACKENZIE, Second of Lochend, who married, first, Anne, second daughter of Colin Mackenzie, I. of Mountgerald, with issue.

I should be delighted to hear if anyone can identify to which group of brothers Mary Frederica’s letter refers and who William’s mother might be. Otherwise, any information that might help extend or close lines of enquiry would be appreciated.

Regards Mike

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Offline Skoosh

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Re: MacGregor/MacKenzie puzzle - Gairloch /Lewis c1780
« Reply #1 on: Monday 20 March 17 21:22 GMT (UK) »
Kinhousel = Ceann Uasal = head gentleman!

Skoosh.

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Offline MJHS1

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Re: MacGregor/MacKenzie puzzle - Gairloch /Lewis c1780
« Reply #2 on: Monday 20 March 17 21:54 GMT (UK) »
Thank you Skoosh. A very interesting piece of information.

Offline Skoosh

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Re: MacGregor/MacKenzie puzzle - Gairloch /Lewis c1780
« Reply #3 on: Tuesday 21 March 17 07:57 GMT (UK) »
Slainte'

Skoosh.

Offline Im a MacGregor

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Re: MacGregor/MacKenzie puzzle - Gairloch /Lewis c1780
« Reply #4 on: Friday 21 April 17 01:27 BST (UK) »
Hi there,

I'm also a descendent of Helen and William MacGregor (I'm sure there's many). I was googling William Roy as my mother told me what her grandmother told her often: "You're a MacGregor and don't you forget it". I was curious myself of the MacGregor history.

Helen Gillanders/William Roy MacGregor-
Alexander McGregor/Margeret Lonergan-
Sylvia MacGregor/Richard Brennan-
Eileen Brennan/Bernard Russell-
Donna Russell/Greg Reid

If this is accurate my great grandmothers grandfather was William Roy MacGregor: close enough for her to know her lineage well ("Never forget you're a MacGregor").

Offline Im a MacGregor

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Re: MacGregor/MacKenzie puzzle - Gairloch /Lewis c1780
« Reply #5 on: Friday 21 April 17 02:37 BST (UK) »
The chart my uncle completed has Helen Gillanders as daughter of Christian Stewart and George Gillanders, son of Alexander Gillanders of Highfield and Elizabeth MacKenzie.

Offline Rosinish

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Re: MacGregor/MacKenzie puzzle - Gairloch /Lewis c1780
« Reply #6 on: Friday 21 April 17 02:44 BST (UK) »
("Never forget you're a MacGregor")

But I see you're a 'Magregor'...did you not listen to your ancestor  :D

Annie
South Uist, Inverness-shire, Scotland:- Bowie, Campbell, Cumming, Currie, MacDonald, MacInnes, MacIntyre, MacKinnon, Steele, Walker

Ireland:- Cullen, Flannigan (Derry), Donahoe/Donaghue (variants) (Cork), McCrate (Tipperary), Mellon, Tol(l)and (Donegal & Tyrone)

Newcastle-on-Tyne/Durham (Northumberland):- Harrison, Jude, Kemp, Lunn, Mellon, Robson, Stirling

Kettering, Northampton:- MacKinnon

Canada:- Callaghan, MacKinnon, MacPhee

"OLD GENEALOGISTS NEVER DIE - THEY JUST LOSE THEIR CENSUS"

Offline Im a MacGregor

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Re: MacGregor/MacKenzie puzzle - Gairloch /Lewis c1780
« Reply #7 on: Friday 21 April 17 03:02 BST (UK) »
Yep I struggled on my small iPhone and the non smart phone friendly interface with verification and autocorrect issues... I wondered if anyone would notice as I can't edit now 😳😳😳😳

*MacGregors don't care about adversity...or typos

Offline Rosinish

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Re: MacGregor/MacKenzie puzzle - Gairloch /Lewis c1780
« Reply #8 on: Friday 21 April 17 03:48 BST (UK) »
You can edit your username  :P

Annie
South Uist, Inverness-shire, Scotland:- Bowie, Campbell, Cumming, Currie, MacDonald, MacInnes, MacIntyre, MacKinnon, Steele, Walker

Ireland:- Cullen, Flannigan (Derry), Donahoe/Donaghue (variants) (Cork), McCrate (Tipperary), Mellon, Tol(l)and (Donegal & Tyrone)

Newcastle-on-Tyne/Durham (Northumberland):- Harrison, Jude, Kemp, Lunn, Mellon, Robson, Stirling

Kettering, Northampton:- MacKinnon

Canada:- Callaghan, MacKinnon, MacPhee

"OLD GENEALOGISTS NEVER DIE - THEY JUST LOSE THEIR CENSUS"