Saturday, September 1, 2007

Macrae & Macpherson in Assynt

My G/G/Grandmother was a Janet Macrae, born 1823 at Assynt, daughter of John Macrae and Isabella Macrae or Macrae. Janet was married to a Hugh MacPherson from Ardmore and she died on 6th September 1899 at Ardmore. In the 1851 census, Janet is shown living with an Alexander and Chirsty Sinclair (both born in Assynt) at Ardmore. She was their niece. A Duncan Macrae 19 years, a nephew of the Sinclairs was also living at Ardmore in the same house. I know that there were another family of Macrae in Ardmore at the same time but I am not sure what the relationship was between Janet and them.

Thanks for any information

Hector Macrae

Bonar Bridge, Sutherland

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Campbell, Mackay, Ross in Eddrachillis

My Campbell line goes back to the mid 1700's through John Campbell who married Catherine McLeod. John was a Tenant, though I do not know where, and I do not have any Birth Marriage Death dates for him. However his son James Campbell was born in Grubmore, Farr 1772, died 19.4.1860, Achriesgill, Eddrachillis and was a Sheriff Officer. James married Catherine McIntosh (1786 - 10.5.1868, Achriesgill) and they had seven children that I know of, Ann, Johana, Janet, John, Heny/Henrietta, William and Eric.

William, my G-G-Grandfather, was born 1822 in Strathmore, Durness and died 14.9.1879 in Achriesgill, William was a Shoemaker. William married Hughina McKay (1827, Durness - 18.10.1883, Achriesgill) and they had five children that I know of, John, Hugh, Alexandrina/Lexy, Angus and James. Hugh was my Great Grandfather, born 15.9.1855 in Achriesgill, died 20.8.1934, Achriesgill, and he was a Fisherman. Hugh married Williamina Ross (2.8.1856, Achriesgill - 11.3.1928) and they had 4 children, Hughina, Jamima/Jemima, John and Norman. John was my Grandfather, born 10.5.1890 in Achriesgill, died 12.3.1946, and he was a Crofter, John married Bessie McKay (4.7.1891, Polin - 8.3.1966, Achlyness) and they had 6 children - photograph above shows John and Bessie on their wedding day - Williamina/Winnie, Lena, William Angus, Nora, Una and Cathel. John and Bessie settled in Blairmore, Bessie died at her daughter's home in Achlyness.

The McKay line to my Nan, Bessie, goes back to Roderick McKay, who married Barbara McKay. Their son John McKay was born in 1812, and died 27.10.1895, Polin. My G-G-Grandfather John married Henrietta McKay (1816 - 4.4.1892, Polin, parents William McKay and Catherine McKay) and they had 6 children that I know about, William, Barbara, Catherine, Barbara, Christina and Williamina. William was my G-Grandfather, born 1851, died 30.30.1900 in a tragic fishing accident when he, along with two of his sons and a nephew, all drowned in Shegra Bay. William married Mary McLeod and had 9 children, Hugh, Catherine, Barbara, Mary Ann/Marion, Hugh, Christina, Bessie, William Hugh and John. The latter two sons drowned with their father.

The Ross line comes in with a brother and sister marrying a brother and sister. Alexandrina/Lexy Campbell married Lachlan Ross, and Williamina Ross married Hugh Campbell, my G-Grandparents. This line starts Robert Ross, born 1771 and Janet McLeod, born 1775. They had 7 children, Hector, Angus, George, Angus, John, Lucy and Jane. My G-G-Grandfather was John Ross, born 1809, Eddrachillis and died 18.11.1891, Achriesgill, he was a Crofter. John married Mary Ross (1811, Assynt - 28.7.1881, Achriesgill), and they had 6 children that I know of, Lachlan, Janet, Hugh, Margaret, Williamina and Samuel.
Marie Hembrow

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

William Sutherland & Robertina Macleod

My main Sutherland interest is to trace the parents and history of William Gunn Sutherland born 11th September 1822 in Achintoul Kildonan.
He was married in the Lybster Free Church in 1855, his wife Robertina Gair Mcleod was born 1825 in Roster Caithness.
We know that after their marriage William and Robertina lived in the Latheron area and that William had moved to Glasgow by 1891 after Robertina's death.

Our knowledge of William’s parents is limited. We think they are the James Sutherland and Christian Gunn who were married on the 6th December 1809 in Kildonan.
It says James was from Auchintoul and Christian from Balnavaliach

They had two other children
Margaret Sutherland born 1/4/1811 Achintoul, Kildonan
Donald Sutherland born 11/7/1815 Kildonan

I would be interested in any information about their Sutherland and Gunn families in the Kildonan area.
Les Pearce

Monday, August 27, 2007

GRAY in Golspie

This photo, believed taken in Golpie about 1895, shows Elizabeth Gray (seated) 1833-1917.
I believe the girl to her right is her grand-daughter Lizzie, whom she spoke of in her letters to the States. Can anyone identify the others in the picture?

Elizabeth was the daughter of Hugh Gray (1781-1872) and Elizabeth Bannerman (1801-1880). Elizabeth married Alexander Sutherland (1840-1893) and had a daughter Jane (1864 - 1951). Jane married Alexander MacDonald (1864-1899) in 1886 and they came to the states shortly after to join the Gray's and MacKay's that settled in Minnesota, USA.

Thank you,
Beth Hunter


Adam Gordon

I am interested in finding out:

1. the paternal origins of my earliest known ancestor Adam Gordon of Griamachary (c.1750-1831), who is believed to be descended from the Gordons of Carroll - but how? Adam's father seems likely to have been the John Gordon who was in Dallagan at least 1750-66 but the latter's father is unknown. There is understood to have been some degree of cousinship with the Gordons of Breacachy and Achnamoine who are descended from the Gordons of Carroll.

2. the maternal origins of Adam Gordon, who is said to have been a nephew of Charles Gordon of Pulrossie (c1719-90) - the link, I would argue, being through a hypothetical sister Marjory of the latter who would thus have been Adam's mother. Adam's 2nd daughter was called Marjory, who one would expect to have been called after her father's mother.The names Charles and Marjory could have come from Charles Mackay of Sandwood (Charles of Pulrossie's hypothetical maternal grandfather) and Charles Mackay's mother Marjory Sinclair.

3. the paternal origins of Besey Sutherland (c.1755-1837 - Adam's wife), whose father (Adam of Kintraid) and grandfather (Donald of Torbreck) are sufficiently certain but I know nothing beyond that or how she connects with the Sutherlands of Clyne or other leading Sutherland branches.

4. My Adam Gordon's connection with the McBeaths of Tomich/Dallagan. John McBeath from there married a Jean Gordon (with children from at least 1792) and my Adam Gordon stood caution for a John McBeath when the latter was had up for dangerously beating Morison Gunn, son of George Gunn in Dallagan. A much younger John McBeath was also living with Adam Gordon's brother-in-law Gustavus Sutherland for some years up to 1820. This fact and the caution make a relationship between Adam and McBeaths very likely.

With best wishes
Alastair Gordon
London, England

Sunday, August 26, 2007

John Matheson & Isabella Mackenzie

I am researching the family of John MATHESON (crofter) and Isabella McKENZIE of Evelix, Dornoch.
Isabella (Isobel) MATHESON born 1787. Baptism 1 March 1787 - born Skelbo, Dornoch. Looking for more information.
John MATHESON born 1789. Baptism 13 July 1789 in Skelbo, Dornoch. Possibly married Ann McKENZIE 12.1.1811, in Dornoch.
Children :
Ann born 4.11.1821 Dornoch
Alexander born 3.4.1818 Dornoch
Other children born to John and Isabella MATHESON:
Margaret c 1782 married Alexander McKAY and had 6 children (Anne, John, Angus, Lilias, Margaret, George)
Anne MATHESON born 6.11.1784 married Lachlin SUTHERLAND s/o Alexander Sutherland and Lillie McIntosh. They had 10 known children (Isabella, Lilly(12.7.1809) , Alex, John, Ann, George, Lachlin( 24.9.1823), Margaret, Muina (20.5.1830), Willina, (20. 5.1830) all born Dornoch.
This family left Scotland for Zorra Township, Ontario, Canada before 1835. (This information from Lynn Munro, Ontario, Scotland)
Alexander MATHESON c 1796 married Marian/Merran MURRAY of Embo, Dornoch (daughter of John MURRAY and Jane MACKAY (19.5.1827). They had 7 children (John (15.8.1828) Thomas(17.2. 1830) Isabel (15.10.1832) Donald (25.11.1835) Alexander (17.11.1836) Betty (14.4.1839), Jean/Jane (10.12.1841);THOMAS married Catherine MURRAY, daughter of Angus MURRAY and Elizabeth (Bessy) MUNRO 15.10.1857 in Dornoch. They emigrated to Dunedin, New Zealand on 28.10.1857 departing from London on the "Palmyra".
Any information would be much appreciated. In particular there is a big gap in the children - ie from Margaret c1782, Ann 1784, Isobel 1787, John 1789 and then 7 years until Alexander in 1796 - wondered if there could be a possibility of there being more children in that 7 year period. Any information most welcome.
ThanksZelda Matheson,
New Zealand

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

FRASER in Eddrachillis

I am trying to find out what happened to two of my great grandfather' s brothers. William was born in 1838/9 in Kinlochbervie, Eddrachillis. In the 1841 census his family are living at Portlevorchy, he is then aged 2. He is still there in the 1851 census. In the 1861 census he is then at Oldshorebeg, Eddrachillis. And from then on he vanishes. I think he has emigrated to either Canada or New Zealand as he had a nephew who emigrate to Dunedin, New Zealand in 1924 (Sandy Fraser 1893-1951) and a niece Catherine, born 1885, who married a Roderick MacKay in Glasgow. They emigrated to Fort William (Thunder Bay) Canada. When, I don't know.

Hugh follows the same path except for age and the fact he appears in the 1871 census aged 29 and still at Oldshorebeg. In 1841 he is 6 months old making his birth date 1840/1.

Their parents were Murdo Fraser 1803-1876 born and died Kinlochbervie and ALexandrina (Lexy) MacKay 1814-1900 born in Lairg and died at Kinlochbervie. Her family were first cleared from Shinness area of Lairg to Altnaharra and further cleared to Kinlochbervie.

Hugh and William had two sisters; Mary 1843-1934 and Johan 1846-1900 and one brother Robert 1848-1920. There is no trace of these two brothers in scotlandspeople. or any IGI search I have done.

If anyone has information on these guys I'd be very grateful.

Andy Ross

Sunday, August 19, 2007


My main Sutherland interests are the families of two brothers, John and William MACKAY of Kildonan, sons of John MACKAY and Catherine SUTHERLAND. I would like to identify other siblings if there were any.

John MACKAY and JANET MURRAY: My line descends from John MACKAY who married Janet MURRAY in Tuarie (or Tuaraidh) , Kildonan in 1805. Janet's parentage comes from the following excerpt taken from 'Memorabilia Domestica' p. 99. I have little info on this MURRAY/CORBET family. Can anyone help?

A family named Murray, lived at the place of Tuaraidh, Kildonan. The head of the family was Alexander (Alister) Murray, one of Captain Baigrie’s sub-tenants, as indeed he had been of his predecessor, Major Sutherland of Midgarty, who held Tuaraidh as a Highland pendicle to Midgarty. Murray’s wife was a sister of Barbara Corbet, my nurse...”.

John and Janet seem to have been uprooted repeatedly as their first seven children were born in Preschon (John 1806, Janet 1807), Achrintle (Alexander 1809, William 1811, Barbara 1812), Learable (James 1813) and Achentoul (Donald 1816) before the 1819 Clearances. At that time they settled in the township of Roster in Latheron Parish, Caithness and had two more sons, Robert in 1820 and Andrew in 1822.

There is more info on these families on my Tribal Pages website:
Allison MacKay
Mississauga, Ontario, Canada


My main interests are descendants of

1.William SUTHERLAND and Ann McLEOD of Ballenladen, Strath Brora, Clyne. (They were evicted from there to Badnellan and West Clynelish -possibly via Ladies Loch.) no dates but earliest recorded child George born 1766

2.William ANDERSON and ANN SUTHERLAND of Badnellan. Oldest child Ann born 1794 (several in group related to this family)

3. ALEXANDER McLEOD and Janet GORDON of Badnellan a son Alexander born c 1781

4. Any families from the eviction townships in Strathbrora.

Most of this interest is confined to Clyne as my lot stayed very local or went to all the way to Canada/USA

Grant Forsyth

Fife, Scotland

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

MACPHERSON in Ballon, Golspie

I am looking for are the MacPherson family. George MacPherson married Katherine Sutherland in 1751. He was from Ballon, Golspie. She was was from Sallach, Golspie. She was obviously local, but where did he come from. Could he be one of the MacPhersons who came from the far north of the county. I am also interested in what his occupation was. Their son Donald born 1762 was my 3xg/grandfather who after he left the Sutherland Fencibles became a farmer in Marykirk near Montrose.
Welcome any information.
Jim Gibb

Monday, August 13, 2007


Donald MACBETH (parents Murdoch MACBETH and Caroline MACDONALD) was born 1818 in Farr, Sutherland, Scotland. He died 6th May 1865 in Alsager, Cheshire, England aged 47 years. Murdoch MACBETH, his father, was born c.1791 and lived in Garve. Murdoch is on the Farr Militia List in 1807 and 1809 as a labourer, under 30. He was later a shoemaker and crofter. His brother James married Margaret Mackay in Langdale. Murdoch MACBETH married Caroline MACDONALD in 1812 in Farr. A census says that Caroline was born 1793 in Strathnaver, Farr (parents Alexander MACDONALD and Jane GRAY). She died in Cattlefield, Farr in 1881. She lived there after the family were cleared more than once. Murdoch died before 1841, Caroline is a widow on the census.
I can find nothing about the parents of Murdoch other than there are two Murdoch Macbeths on the 1811 Farr Census. I think the other one was his father, as Murdoch named his first born son Murdoch also. I do not think that the Macbeths were always in Farr, it is not a common name there. Many of the Macbeth children married Mackays, though Alexanderina married James Grant. I am at a brick wall with Caroline’s parents and Murdoch’s.
Donald MACBETH married Janet GRAY in 1848 in Trentham, they both worked on the estate. They may have been at Dunrobin previously. James Macbeth, Donald’s uncle, also worked on the estate, he was a piper. His son-in- law, John Macbeth, also a piper on the estate at a later date, married James’s daughter Flora. They were both born in Farr. I think that they must be related.
Janet GRAY was the daughter of Hugh GRAY and Elizabeth BANNERMAN, Hugh’s second wife. Janet was born in Golspie Tower in 1820 and died in Cheshire, England in 1889. She is buried with Donald in Alsager. They had six children together but Janet had a illegitimate child in 1846 by John Ross, a gardener in Golspie, named Catherine. They did not marry. I think that this illegitimate birth is why Janet may have come to England. Catherine Ross married William Macdonald in Golspie in 1870 and they emigrated to Minnesota, U.S.A. in 1872. Others brothers and sisters in the Gray family had moved there previously - Maryann Gray who married James Duff, Donald Gray, Christopher Gray and Jane Gray who was married to George Mackay.
Hugh GRAY (parents John GRAY and Margaret MACKAY) was born in Dornoch in 1781. He married Janet COSGRAVE in 1799 in Kirkcudbright when serving in the Sutherland Fencibles. She died in 1818. Hugh and Janet had six children. Grace married John Dempster in Edinburgh in 1826 and they emigrated to Canada between 1832 and 1836. James Gray married Mein Mackay in 1830 and emigrated the same year.
Hugh married Elizabeth BANNERMAN (parents Donald BANNERMAN and Catherine MUNRO) c.1819. I cannot find this marriage, but Elizabeth was born in Clyne 1801 and died in Golspie Tower in 1880. Hugh and Elizabeth had nine children. Duncan Gray emigrated to Sydney, Australia in 1854 on the ship “St. Helena”. The list states that he is from Golspie and a carpenter, like James Gray. I know nothing about Hugh’s parents nor Elizabeth’s parents.

Sunday, August 12, 2007


I continue searching for Alexander Matheson (b 1806) and married Jean Munro (b about 1811) of Creich. Their children were:

John (b 1831); my ggrandfather who married Ellen Caldow in Ayrshire in 1869.
Margaret (b about 1834)
Angus (b about 1837)
Christy (b about 1841)

I think Alexander's parents may have been John Matheson and Marion McKay of Torboll but I have no prove to substantiate this.

If anyone has information about this family please contact me.

Jan Tighe



I am researching children of James Campbell and Catherine McIntosh.
Anne Campbell born 19 May 1811 born in Grummore Farr
Janet Campbell born 7 January 1813 in Grummore Farr married Norman Morrison ( I believe they lived in Laird Durness) she died in 1893 - I am looking for any children they had
Johann Campbell born 6 June 1814 in Grummore Farr
John Campbell born 14 December 1816 Grummore Farr
Henry Campbell (daughter) born 1822 Durness Died 1887
William Campbell born 1823 was my Great Grandfather unable to find a birth certificate

Also I am trying to research children of John McKay or McHuesean born in 1791 married Flora Flory Forbes Sutherland born 1792 at Balamhulich married 22 June 1815

Angus Campbell Born 1863 in Eddrachills married Jemima McDonald on 2 June 1887 at Yorkhill Street Glasgow a police constable - they had
William Campbell born in 1888
James Campbell born in 1889
Jeffrey Campbell born in 1891

My Great Aunt Alexandrina Campbell married Lachlan Ross and had 15 children. I would love to know what happened to them all or some of them and their children: Hughina Ross born 1879, Mary Ross born 1880, Wilimina Ross born 1882, John Ross born 1883, Johan Ross born 1885, Hugh Ross born 1886, Jemima Ross born 1887, Christy Ross born 1889, Catherine Ross born 1890, Lucy Ross born 1891, Catherine McKay Ross, Norman Ross born 1894, Donald Ross born 1896, William Ross born 1898, Lexy Ross born 1900 and Margaret Ross.

Christine Lewis



I was born and grew up in Tongue, Sutherland. My mother was born in Talmine, Melness, I had other relatives who lived in the Durness area. I am at present researching my family tree and hope to find others that are looking for members of the same families - Campbell’s, Mackay’s, Dunlope & Murray’s. My Father was born in South Shields but his mother’s side all came from Latheron, Caithness , some of this family ended up in Dalcharn, Tongue.

Penuel Gordon Grant Campbell b: 1880 Durness m Eric Campbell, Talmine, Melness, Tongue on the 18th July, 1913 at the Established Church of Scotland, Durness. (My Grandparents) Penuel's parents, George Mackay b:1837 Durness (Labourer) & Margaret Burke b:1843? Colinton, Edinburgh. Eric's parents..William Campbell b:1834 Durness & Johan Mackay b:1823 Durness. William's parents..James Campbell b:1806 Ireland & Jane Sutherland b:1811 Tongue, Sutherland.

I would appreciate if anyone has any other information to add.
I now live in Canberra, Australia and I think this is a great site to connect me back with my roots at home in Tongue.

Isabel GriggsCanberra, Australia.

MACDONALD in Helmsdale, Kildonan

I am quite new to genealogy and have quite a bit of patchy information about family. Anyway I have discovered my MacDonalds have may have originated from Helmsdale, Kildonan. My gggrandfather was James Charles MacDonald (McDonald) who was born in Helmsdale in 1843, married Elizabeth Tait. His daughter Mary Ann, who is my great grandmother, was born about 1867 in Aster Shetland Islands. I also have a list of a list 6 generations of names that are father to son only including the males in my side of the family no siblings. I am interested in finding more info on my MacDonalds.They emigrated to Southland New Zealand in 1865.

Wellington, New Zealand
(ref EM0013)


The two main family names that I am researching are MACKAY/MCKAY and NICHOLSON.

William MACKAY married Marian SUTHERLAND c1790 and three of their children were Donald James born 7-7-1801 (see below), Elspet born 6-2-1795, both at Golspie and Alexandrina born 7-2-1813 at Rogart. There would probably have been other children that I have not yet found.

Donald NICHOLSON married Mary MACDOUGALL and at some stage were at Culag, Assynt, Scotland. Their daughter Margaret NICHOLSON married Donald James MACKAY in 1823. Margaret died at Rogart, Sutherland in 1869.

Donald James MACKAY/MCKAY was a blacksmith and married Margaret NICHOLSON in Assynt, Scotland in 1823.
Their children were:

Christy MACKAY born 1824 marr. Gavan FOULIE in 1856 at Kildonan,Scotland
Jean MACKAY born 1827
Donald MACKAY born 1829 marr.Janet CAMPBEL(Jessie) in 1856, Rogart

Mary MACKAY born 1831 marr.Alexander PORTER in 1856, Rogart,Suth.
Merran MACKAY born 1833 marr. Donald GRANT in 1857 at Clyne,Scotland.
George Levison Gower MACKAY born C1835 marr.Elizabeth HARDIE in 1858, Old Meldrum.
Elizabeth MACKAY born 1837 and died in 1839.
Williamina MACKAY born 1839 marr. Alexander INGRAM in 1859, Rogart

John MACKAY born 1841 marr. Mary MURRAY IN 1877 at Rogart, Suth.
James Norman Nicholson MACKAY born 1843 in Dornoch, Sutherland ( see below )
Hector Gunn MACKAY born 1845
Malcolm MACKAY born 1847

James Norman Nicholson MACKAY/MCKAY, a blacksmith, born 1843 came to Australia and married Margaret MCKEON in Ipswich, Queensland in 1872.

James and Margaret's children as follows:

Norman Vincent MACKAY married Annie Maria THOMPSON
Catherine MACKAY married sylvester LEWIS
Francis MACKAY
Hector John MACKAY born in Calvert, Queensland married in 1902 at Tallegalla, Queensland to Ellen COLLINGWOOD.
Their son
Hector John MACKAY born 1916 in Calvert, Queensland married to Josephine LAWLOR.

Looking forward to hearing from you re any links you may find to our ancestors and any descendants of their siblings.

Christine Mackay

Saturday, August 11, 2007


I have been researching my father's maternal side for the last year. My ggg grandfather William Weir was a shepherd from Roxburgh who walked north with a flock of sheep to Durness around 1800. His family married into the Grange Campbells and also the MacKay Chief's of Sutherland. I was fortunate enough to find a cousin in Australia who had researched this line right back to Robert the Bruce. I went to Inverness Library to have this verified by their genealogist and he was thrilled to bits to be able to work on this research, as he had studied the famous MacKays in great depth, saying that I should be honoured to be connected with such "gallant and formidable men".
I am still trying to trace 2 granduncles both born in Assynt. I know that their brother John Spence Weir emigrated to the Falkland Islands in 1875 and then onto Australia in 1879. I got this also from a cousin. I cannot trace Hugh Weir born 1845 and William Weir born 1847. I think they might have emigrated with brother John. I can find them on IGI as born in Assynt and they are mentioned in IGI under South West Pacific in Wellington. Does any one on list know of some of the boats that sailed to New Zealand around 1875-1885.
I am now turning my attention to my father's paternal side. My grandfather John Morrison was born in Badcall Inchard, Eddrachillis, in 1868 and had a brother John Sutherland Morrison born 1870. They were the sons of Murdoch Morrison (who I believe was blind) and Jane Sutherland. Any help gratefully received.
Many thanks to Christine for her wonderful cemetery list. I believe most of Balnakeil Cemetery in Durness is full of my relies.
Alness, Ross-shire


I have two main families in Sutherland County: MacKay and McDonald.
My first known ancestor in the MacKay family was William MacKay born ca 1789/90 and married Barbara Macpherson b ca 1792 d/o Robert Macpherson tenant in Islandrier who married Janet Calder d/o John Calder. William and Barbara lived at Alt na Calliche in Durness.
William and Barbara were evicted ca 1820 and made their way south to Rogart parish. Their children were: Neil, Robert, Alexander, John, William Barbara and Jesse.
Neil married Marion /Merrion Macdonald of Blarich and they lived at 24 Ardachue, Rogart parish. These are my ancestors. Alexander 1824-1902, married May/Mary Robb 1833-1911, their daughter Barbara who also married a MacKay, George, who was a porter at the Rogart railway station and their family emigrated to Edmonton, Alberta. Their daughter Barbara found me on the internet and now I have additional 'Mackay family' to add to the already rather large lot of people of Sutherland County.
For the McDonald Family, Peter Dillon of New Zealand is active in searching for (and finding) and correcting our past findings. He has a great website devoted to this family...... We still do not know who Ann(e) Ross was that married Angus McDonald sometime in or around 1771 nor Elisabeth Anderson who married their eldest son, Finlay/Phillip b 1774 and begat a rather large family.... The most recent mystery revolves around the baptism of some of the children: of Ann and Angus -- their first is listed as Margaret McDonald McCoirl christened 17 Nov 1771 in Auldebreck, Lairg parish. She died 12 Nov 1856 at Rhianbreck, Lairg and another daughter Catherina (Kett) McDonald or McCoirl was christened on 26 Sept 1787 in Brecklead, Lairg. Then Hugh McDonald or McCoril christened 19 April 1791 in Brecklead and died 23 June 1867 in Nova Scotia, Canada. The rest are plain McDonald. The McCoirl is a big mystery to everyone.....
Any ideas?
For now, best wishes
Stratford, Ontario, Canada

Friday, August 10, 2007

SUTHERLAND, MURRAY in Clyne & Kildonan

Greetings from New Zealand. I very much value this group as it has facilitated a connection with a descendant of my Helmsdale family who lives in Australia. I have also had a number of important links completed with advice and information from other members. Thank you so much everyone, it gives me a wonderful sense of belonging to this distant place – home of many of my ancestors. I have a deep sense of yearning to visit the places that “my people” walked and am looking forward to visiting Scotland in the near future.

My interests are

William SUTHERLAND born abt. 1768 – Clyne and his wife Anne MURRAY (nothing known)

Their son – Hector SUTHERLAND born 17 Apr 1808, Ardochie, Clyne – died 15 Aug 1887, Helmsdale
Hector’s wife – Jane McGREGOR born abt 1816, Wick – died 29 Mar 1899, Helmsdale

Hector and Jane had 10 children.
My family line is descended from Alexander Sutherland born April 1841 in Helmsdale – died in NZ – has zillions of descendants
He maintained contact with his brother William McGregor Sutherland who died rich and famous in Australia but whose line has died out.

I am very keen to follow the rest of the family and particularly would like to know whether some of this Sutherland line remain in Helmsdale.
Charlotte Sutherland born 11 Jun 1836 in Helmsdale – looking for more details
John Sutherland born 6 Sep 1842 in Helmsdale – looking for more details
Anne Sutherland born 1845 in Helmsdale – unmarried in 1891 so probably died without descendants
Margaret Sutherland born 1851 in Helmsdale – looking for more details
Donald Sutherland born 1853 in Helmsdale – looking for more details
Three of the other siblings died without descendants

Thank you again to all of the members and the wonderful contribution made by Christine Stokes. You’re fantastic!

New Zealand
(ref EM0015)


I am researching the family of Kenneth and Isabella Fraser of Embo, Dornoch.
Kenneth Fraser (son of Thomas Fraser and Marion MacKay) was born May 05,1800, in Tain, Ross and Cromarty: died January 19, 1883, in Embo, Dornoch. His wife; Isabella MacKay, (daughter of William MacKay and Anne Grant) was christened September 01, 1804 in Embo, Dornoch and died December 08, 1881, in Embo, Dornoch.
I am also interested in the MacIntosh and Murrays of Torboll, Dornoch.

McDONALD & BAILLIE in Dornoch & Golspie

My current brick wall is Halket McDonald and Jane Baillie. The couple are recorded in both the Dornoch and Golspie Parish Records as being married 11 Dec 1830. Halket is listed as being from Skelbo Moor, Dornoch Parish and Jane is listed as being from Iron Hill/Kirkton, Golspie Parish. In 1831 they emigrated to Zorra Township, Oxford County, Upper Canada, as their first born, Angus, was born there. According to his headstone, Halket (called Hacket in Canada) died 10 Jul 1837 aged 36 years. My primary interest is in determining the parents and siblings of both Halket and Jane.
Larry McDonald
Ontario, Canada

(ref EM0016)


The photograph on the left was taken outside No.168, Scullomie. Centre: Lexy Macintosh (1873-1963) wife of Murdo Sutherland. Left, daughter-in-law Hughina Mackay (1905-1982) wife of Hugh Sutherland. Right: daughter Johan Sutherland, wife of (1) Alexander Young; (2) Andrew Colin Munro Mackay.
My research centres on my husband Murdo's gr-gr-grandparents in SCULLOMIE, Tongue parish: John SUTHERLAND (b1794 Scullomie) & Mary MACKAY (b1809 Island Roan). Especially looking for information on their son, Robert SUTHERLAND b.1836, who migrated to New Zealand around 1863.
Murdo's gr-grandmother, Johan MACKENZIE from Gartymore (Loth), married (1) Duncan MACKAY from Melness (Tongue) and (2) Alexander MACINTOSH. She had two boys from her first marriage, and two girls from the second. Sadly she was widowed twice and died young in 1883. Her children Donald and Adam MACKAY, and Alexandrina MACINTOSH, were brought up in Melness by Duncan Mackay's siblings.

Alexandrina (Lexy) MACINTOSH married Murdo SUTHERLAND from Scullomie. Lexy's elder sister, Jane MACINTOSH (bc1869) was at home in 1881 with her widowed mother and sister, but I can find no trace thereafter.

I have many transcripts of Tongue Parish post-1855 BMDs, also information on the Tongue folk elsewhere in Scotland at 1881 census. So if you are researching roots in Tongue, please contact me

For snippets of Tongue research and some Tongue burial ground photographs, visit my website
Mary Young

Thursday, August 9, 2007


My Sutherland researching is on my husband’s side. My ancestors hailed from Ayr ( Kirkland ) and Ardnamurchan (Cameron).

Murdoch 1674 Donald 1699 Angus 1724 Issue: Donald m Margaret Campbell
Donald b 24/11.1793
John of Iverhole 1768 m Elisabeth Nin Nish, issue:

James born 29/1/1774
Angus born 1779
James Munro of Freisgill born 29/1/1774 m Mary Munro *1 in Freisgill 1785/86 – 1857
And their issue:
James c or b 2/8/1825, d28/1/1909, m Williamina Corbett 1/1/1857
Mary b 1814, d 24/5/1892 m George McCasgill d 1855
Catherine b1819, d 15/7/1867 – unmarried
John b 1819 McKay b 1825
Donald (Dany) b1827

James Munro and Williamina Corbett – their issue:
Donald b18/10/1857
James b 19/9/1860 d 24/9/1877
John b 5/12/1863
Hugh*3 b 16/1/1866 d24/11/1934, m Liza McIntosh 18/11/1904
Hugh b 4/4/1870
George b 6/2/1875 d 13/2/1936 NZ, m Angusina Fraser 10/6/1903, issue:
Mina Munro*4 b 20/4/1904
Janet McKay Munro b7/7/1905
Thomas Fraser Munro b 13/12/1906
Jemima Agnes Munro b 5/6/1909
Georgina Fraser Munro b 17/3/1912
Iain Fraser Munro b 20/11/1917
Donald 1699 Murdoch issue:
James b1789 m Janet McKay - had children
Donald 11/10/1790 and Marion 25/8/1792

Donald*2 m Christina McIntosh – issue:
Mary*1 1785/86 – 1857
Murdoch 1787
John 1789

*2 = Donald Munro alias Macmhorachia – Erribol, tenant miller and late soldier Sutherland Fencibles, died at Oldshoremore

*3 Hugh Munro – Nancy Gunn’s line

*4 Zelda’s in-law

We cannot find Donald born 18/10/1857; James born 19/9/1960, d 24/9/1860; John b 5/12/1863 or Hugh b 4/4/1870. It was thought that Donald and John went to Canada from Laxford. James Munro, b 1825, was a fisherman and crofter.

Angusina Fraser is descended from Robert Fraser b about 1781 or before,a crofter who died before 1841. He married Mary Mckenzie who was born 1781.
Thanks to Carol Fraser in Canda and others have much information which I am happy to share.

Thomas Fraser, Angusina's father married Janet McKay b 1846, a daughter of Angus McKay and Jane Ross who married on 30/02/1834 at Achriesgall. She died 05/12/1924 at Achlyness. I believe that Janet Mckay had at least two other siblings.

Photograph above shows George Munro & Angusina Fraser with their children just before leaving Scotland for New Zealand .
Ann Munro
New Zealand

GRAY & MACKENZIE in Creich & INNES in Dornoch

Parents and grandparents of Rev. Thomas GRAY 1818-1867, all from Creich:
Thomas's Father: Alexander GRAY (no dates, but his brother, Peter GRAY, d. 1857 aged 86*). Alexander & Peter's father was named Robert GRAY (no dates), wife unknown.
Thomas's Mother: Elizabeth/Lizy/Lucy MACKENZIE (d. 1859 aged 77*) Elizabeth's parents were named Robert MACKENZIE and Margaret ROSS (no dates).

* The informant for both these deaths was Thomas's brother, Peter jnr., who, according to family tradition, was 'a bit simple'. Certainly the ages at death of Peter snr. and Elizabeth do not match the 1841/51 census information.

William INNES, Pitgrudie, Dornoch
Any information about the family of the above gratefully received. He was born in 1689 and died in Pitgrudie in 1761. His son, Alexander INNES, was the Parish Schoolmaster in Logie Easter, Ross-shire.
Any further information most welcome.
Sara Thomas,
Cardiff, Wales

MUNRO, MACKAY & MACINTYRE in Dornoch & Clyne

Alexander MUNRO, born 1817 in Dornoch, son of Donald Munro (Achintresalich, Embo, Dornoch) and Catharine Mackay (Evelix) married in 1791. Moved to Brora, Clyne (Gower Street) as Cartwright, Fishcurer, General Merchant. Married Harriet Macintyre (Drum****, Golspie) 1861. Younger daughter Henrietta was my grandmother.
Alexander’s siblings in Dornoch included 1794 Donald, 1796 John, 1801 William, 1805 James, 1806 Joseph, 1810 George, 1814 Marion and 1820 Joseph. Information to share but need help with gaps pre 1791 ancestors and also Donald, Joseph and George.

MACKAY in Farr

Still working on my Mackay families in Farr. Have them right through to Sydney, Australia and would be happy to share.

At the moment I am hunting for William Mackay with a wife Sophie or Sophia. They had one known son, Donald. His birth certificate states he was born in Bettyhill, Farr. Donald emigrated to Vancouver, Canada. He married and they had three daughters. I do not know if his first marriage took place in Sutherland or in Vancouver. I do not know the names of his daughters.

Donald later married for the second time to Jane (Jean) Mackay, born 1897. Jean emigrated to Vancouver to marry Donald, a widower with three children. This was in the 1930s, pre World War Two.

Can anyone help with any of the above?

Many thanks
Sydney, Australia


My gr. gr. gr. grandparents were George Corbett (b. abt. 1764) and Barbara McKenzie.
My gr. gr. grandparents were Murdoch Corbett (b. abt. 1786) and Georgina McKenzie.
My gr. grandparents were John Corbett (1824-1896) and Lexy Ross (1830-1906).
I am trying to trace their date of marriage and date of emigration to Canada. (I know that they immigrated to Canada around 1847 with parents, George and Johana Ross, and five siblings of Lexy Ross.)
I have been thrilled to have made contact with several Corbett and Ross descendants - would enjoy hearing from other very-distant cousins!
Ontario, Canada


My McBEATH line start in Kildonan and ends up mainly in Dornoch, from the early 1800's. Other names include MATHESON from Clashnagrave, Dornoch. This line has Alexander who was married to Marion Murray.
The MACKAY's also came from Dornoch, George Mackay and Elizabeth Sutherland are as far back as I have so far for this family.
Other family names include the PAUL's from Golspie and the FORBES family from Dornoch. You can check out all the names on my web-site
Carole McBeath
Glasgow, Scotland

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

DOUGLAS & MACKAY, Rogart & Lairg

Here are my ancestors:
Great Grandmother, Hannah DOUGLAS born c.1826 Rogart married John Ross, Aberdeen 1852, died Aberdeen 15 03 1858
Hannah and John had 2 sons born Aberdeenshire, John Murray Ross 1852 and James Douglas Ross 1855.

Hannah parents;
James DOUGLAS born c 1769. IGI records show a JAMES DOWGLASS born Rogart, father William Dowglass - this could be the James above but I have no records to prove that.
Mother BARBARA MACKAY born 15 06 1779, died Aberdeen 02 09 1863.

James and Barbara married 02 01 1802 at Lairg. James was living in ACHNALUACHRACH Rogart at the time of the marriage.

Barbara's parents were:
Adam Mackay born c 1746 Pitaiksie, Lairg, father Hugh Mackay and Mary Murray born c 1750 - as yet no more information. Adam was stated as being from Gruids Lairg, they married 1769 I believe.
Their children all born Lairg were:
Ann born 1770 - married William Ross - died 1862 at Birichen, Dornoch
Isabel born 1772
Christian born 1775
Janet born 1777
Barbara born 1779
Hugh born 1782 - married Janet Ross - died 1862 Gruids

Barbara and James Douglas had the following children all born Rogart:
Marrion born 1803 - died Aberdeen a spinster
Mary born 1806 - married George Sutherland from Golspie 1830 in Aberdeen - died Aberdeen 1901. I have a fair bit of their history if anyone is interested, from an ancestor, Alex Wood. It was stated on their marriage certificate that Mary's father James was deceased. I have not found his death certificate as yet.
Alexander born 1810 married Agnes Clark Aberdeen 1839. I have many census records of Alex. They did not appear to have children. I don't have his death date as yet. He died between the 1891/1901 census. Alex was witness on his mother Barbara's death certificate.
Ann born 1812
Isobel born 1814
Christian born 1816
Dorothy born 1818
John born 1821
Hannah circa 1826

I have numerous census of Barbara and some of her daughters. All living in Aberdeen. It appears this family either together, or after one another moved, to Aberdeen from 1827 onwards. I found most of them in the 1841 census there.

This seems to be a lot of information to plod through but hopefully someone sees something that is familiar and I too, can move on. Thanks for taking the time to read this.

Christina Ross, Victoria, Canada


My Sutherlandshire connections include:

George McIntosh and Margaret Sutherland of Inchverry
William Sutherland, originally of Creich, and lived Tongue. Two wives Catherine MacKay (Margaret Sutherland McIntosh's mother) and Christina McLeod. He had a brother Robert Sutherland.
John McIntosh and his wife Cattherine MacKay with sons Donald married to Janet MacKay, Robert, and George married to Margaret Sutherland at Inchverry, Tongue
Angus McDonald married Betty Urquhart, and then Isobel McKay. Three sons and one daughter - Hugh, Hector, Elizabeth married Donald Gunn,and William.
Robert Gordon married Barbara MacKay. At least 2 daughters, Barbara Gordon married George Gunn and lived Camster, Caithness. Daughter Barbara Gordon immigrated with her niece (Barbara Gunn married to Alexander McIntosh, son of George McIntosh and Maragaret Sutherland of Tongue - see above)
John Gunn married Janet Murray in Glasgow. Later moved to Melvick (maybe back to Melvick) Daughter Flora married John McKay of Sandside, Reay, Sutherlandshire
John McKay married Catherine Elder, Son John married Flora Gunn of Melvick

I haven't begun to sort the McKays in these families. I don't know if it is possible. I do have information on all the above families but always looking to make more connections.

Tuesday, August 7, 2007


George Alexander Henderson, born 20 Oct 1813 in Helmsdale, Kildonan, died 06 Apr 1888 in Kingsley, Manitoba, Canada. He was a blacksmith by trade. He married Christina MacKay 1836.
Christina MacKay, born 26 Mar 1808 in Kincardine, Ross, died 24 Jan 1887 in Kingsley, Manitoba. She was the daughter of William MacKay and Isabella (Sibblia) Murray.
William MacKay, born 1783 in Kincardine, Ross & Cromarty, died 1861 in Central Earltown Nova Scotia . He married Isabella (Sibblia) Murray 10 Dec 1807 in Kincardine, Ross, Isabella (Sibblia) Murray, born 1780 in Parish of Rogart, died 1862 in Central Earltown , Colchester, Nova Scotia. She was the daughter of George Murray.

Children of William MacKay and Isabella Murray are:
Christina MacKay, born 26 Mar 1808 in Kincardine, Ross & Cromarty, died 24 Jan 1887 in Kingsley, Manitoba, married George Alexander Henderson 1836.
Kenneth MacKay, born 02 Jan 1811 in Parish of Kincardine, Ross, died 12 Jan 1846 in Earltown, Colchester Co. NS; married Margaret ?.
George MacKay, born 07 Jul 1813 in Parish of Kincardine, Ross, died 1899 in The Falls, Colchester Co. NS; married Johanna MacKay; born 1821 in Earltown, Colchester Co. NS; died 1907 in The Falls, Colchester Co. NS.
John MacKay, born 28 Jul 1817 in Parish of Kincardine, Ross, died 1895 in Central Earltown, Colchester Co. NS; married Marion Matheson; born 1827; died in Central Earltown, Colchester Co. NS.
William MacKay, born 1819 in Parish of Kincardine, Ross, died 1905 in Balforn, Colchester Co. NS; married Catherine MacKay; born 13 May 1833 in West Earltown, Colchester Co. NS; died 1920 in Balfron, Colchester Co. NS.

George Murray, born 1748 in Clashnashinag, Creich; died 1843.
Children of George Murray are:
Isabella (Sibblia) Murray, born 1780 in Parish of Rogart, Sutherland; died 1862 in Central Earltown, Colchester, NS; married William MacKay 10 Dec 1807 in Kincardine, Ross & Cromarty, Scotland.
Alexander Murray, born Abt. 1784 in Rogart; died Abt. 1855; married Margaret Murray.
Christina Murray, died Bef. 1862; married Alexander Bisset.
Robert Murray, died in Nova Scotia .
George Murray, born Abt. 1785 in Creich; died 1867 in Nova Scotia .
Elspet Murray, born 1783 in Rogart; died 15 Apr 1871.


Many thanks Chris for allowing me the opportunity to include my Sutherland interests on the website and acknowledge the wonderful assistance given to me by other members of this list over the years in piecing together the my Sutherland connections.

My gg grandfather Kenneth Scobie MACKENZIE arrived in Australia with his elder brother Alexander in about 1853 as Victoria's Gold Rush excited the world. Kenneth had been born in probably May 1836 in Georgetown British Guiana [now Guyana] but raised by his childless aunt Elizabeth GAIR [nee SCOBIE] in Tain R & C and his mother's cousin Captain Boyce MACKENZIE in nearby Creich House, Creich. Kenneth's parents Mary Ann SCOBIE and Roderick MACKENZIE were married in Inverkirkaig, Assynt in 1829 but left immediately to return to Roderick's sugar plantation in Demerara.The loss of several children to tropical diseases prompted Mary Ann to send her two boys back to Scotland to be raised by other members of her family.

Mary Ann's parents were Capt Kenneth SCOBIE RM and his wife Elizabeth Henrietta NOBLE whom he met and married in Lisbon. Captain Kenneth initially served in the Reay Fensibles in Northern Ireland alongside other family members and with his father Major John SCOBIE a tacksman of Melness. Major John's wife Barbara MACKAY was a daughter of John MACKAY of Strathy, whilst Major John's parents were Rev William SCOBIE of Assynt and his wife Jane MACKAY, a daughter John MACKAY of Kirtomy. I have found in my research that most if not all of the Scobie's are descendants of Rev William SCOBIE who came to Assynt as a recently ordained minister in 1728 and served there until his death in 1763.

My interest in the family prompted me to develop a website to publish some of my research findings and hopefully establish more connections with what became a very far flung family. It is definitely a "work in progress" :)

My biggest stumbling block has been trying to find Roderick MACKENZIE's family. His parents were supposed to be Alexander MACKENZIE and Isabella [?] and I know that his father died in 1843 and that there is a Scotsburn, R & C connection there somewhere.Unfortunately Roderick died in 1850 in Guyana. I have no death record for him.

Hampton, Queensland, Australia

Sunday, August 5, 2007


I'm researching my g-g-grandparents John "Ballem" and Jane (MacKAY) SUTHERLAND. John was born in Rogart in 1789 and died in Earltown, Cumberland, Nova Scotia on April 6, 1852. Jane was born in Clyne in 1778 and also died in Earltown on Feb 8, 1875. They are both buried in MacKenzie Cemetery, Earltown Nova Scotia. They arrived in Earltown in abt. 1819.

John's parents were John "Ballem" SUTHERLAND, b. Rogart, and Catherine (Kate) REID.

Jane's parents were Donald MacKAY, b. Clyne, d. Rogart, and Catherine M .
Beverly, MA, U.S.A.


Half my father's family originate from Lairg/Creich - McKay/McDonald and half my mother's from Achriesgill/ Durness/Lairg - Calder/McKay.

The Lairg/Creich family I know of go back to Hector McKay (1815 Dola, Lairg-1899) shoemaker in Lairg m Julia Grant (1819 Torroble, Lairg- 1880) and her parents Donald Grant, crofter (b1787) and Elspet Gunn (1788-1876).

Hector McKay's daughter Christina (1857-1906) married Dugald McDonald (1848-1914), a butler. He was born in Newton , Creich. They came to Glasgow via Portobello, Midlothian . They were my great grandparents.

Dugald McDonald's parents were Kenneth McDonald (b 1804 in Skibo, Sutherland), a forester on the Skibo Estate, and Margaret Mackay (b 1809 in Ospisdale, Sutherland). They had at least 12 children and Dugald was probably the third youngest. Kenneth McDonald died in 1856 and the last I have found of the family is in the 1861 census in Auchlach, Dornoch - Margaret aged 52, a pauper, with 5 of her children. I know that one of her daughters Hellen/Ellen McDonald (c1842 Creich - 1913) moved to Glasgow and then to Newcastle (m Charles Fraser), but I have no idea what happened to the rest of the family and particularly Margaret herself (my gggrandmother), but this is what I would really like to know. I know that Margaret seems to have been still living in 1868, when her daughter Ellen McDonald married Charles Fraser. I have recently found that most of Charles Fraser's siblings went to Australia, and I wonder if the McDonalds emigrated too, or if they just went south to the cities.

Kenneth McDonald and Margaret MacKay's family were: Christy b1832, George b1833, ?Ellen b1835, Isobell b1837, Johanna c1840, Hellen/Ellen b1842, Janet b1842, Catharine b1844, William b1846, Dugald b1848, Jane c1852 and Andrew b1854 (Kenneth McDonald had a brother William McDonald (c1821 Creich -1907) a farmer in Swordale, Bonar, married to Isabella Grant(1829-1902). Kenneth and William's parents were John McDonald (c1780 Creich -1862) and Christy Ross).

The Achriesgill/ Durness/Lairg family are descended from Angus Calder (c1776, Durness) and Catherine McIntosh (c1776, Durness) and from Hugh McKay and Kate McKay who came from Lairg. (ggggrandparents) I presume they all ended up in Achriesgill due to the Clearances from Lairg and from Durness.

Hugh and Kate McKay had at least 8 children:
Margaret McKay (b1804 Dalvichie, Lairg),
Hugh McKay (b1806, Lubghorn, Lairg -1899),
Barbara McKay (b1807 Midpenny, Lairg),
Katy McKay (c1812, Lubvrec, Lairg - 1889) m John Calder (b1810, Dalinduin, Strathmore, Durness - 1877),
Alexanderina McKay (c1813, Lairg - 1900) m Murdo Fraser (c1802 Kinlochbervie -1876),
Angus McKay (c1816, Lubvrec, Lairg - 1907) m 1. Barbara MacCallum (c1825 Durness) m 2. Christina Ross (c 1831 Assynt),
David McKay (b1818 Lubvrec, Lairg),
Johanna McKay (c1821, Moudale, Farr - 1910) m William McIntosh (c1822 Rhuvoult - 1905).
I also know that in Achriesgill there was a Barbara Calder (d bef 1881) (parents James Calder and Barbara ?) m (in Durness 1799) George Morrison with a lot of Morrison descendants in Kinlochbervie; and an Elizabeth Calder (d bef 1877) m George McKay with a son Angus McKay (c1804 Durness -1877)m Jane Ross (c1813 Eddrachillis - 1900) and McKay descendants in Kinlochbervie.

I wonder if and how these last two Calders were related to Angus Calder and where in Durness they all originally came from.

Susan McKean
Paisley, Scotland

KERR in Assynt & MACKAY in Farr

My main interests in Sutherland are Kerrs in Assynt - one of the sons of Cathel Kerr and Anne McLeod married one of my 3rd 2X removed cousin Margaret Begg. They had their own family in Olrig in Caithness. 2 of three sons died in WWI. They were both married but I have no idea if they had children.
Cathel's parents were John and Annabella Kerr. Anne's parents were William McLeod and Isabella Mckenzie.I am also interested in Mackays in Portskerry. George Mackay c 1816-1887 and his wife Elizabeth Mackay 1820-1892 had 8 children that I am aware of Hetty, Angusina, William, Barbara, Hughina, Colin, Georgina and Hugh. Barbara and Hughina (married a great granduncle William Matheson) emigrated to the USA in the 1880's. Would love to know what happened to Hetty, William and Georgina (found on 1891 census)?
George's parents were Angus and Catherine Mackay, Elizabeth's parents were William Mackay and Janet McDonald. Most of my ancestors in Scotland were from Caithness rather than Sutherland and I do have Swedish and Norwegian relatives to research as well which is mostly what I have been working on this summer as I have a subscription to Genline which expires at the end of August lol.
Alberta, Canada


My ancestors Alexander McGREGOR (b.1818) and Isabella McGREGOR (b. 1816) emigrated to New Zealand from Dornoch in 1850. Alexander was son of Alexander McGREGOR, who from 1821 was innkeeper at Inchnadamph, Assynt. Isabella was a distant cousin, from Laggan in Inverness-shire.

Alexander senior (b c1760) was married to Ann ROSS (b. c1785) of Rosehall, Creich. Their children were as follows:

Bess b. 1809 Plaids, Lairg, d. 1850 Dornoch, married Alexander GRAHAM (b. Creich c1793), builder, Dornoch - 6 children

Isabell b. 1810 Plaids, Lairg, d 29/121888 Wick, Caithness, married Duncan McDIARMID (b. Kincardine 1811) shepherd, Assynt, 8 children

David b.1812 Plaids, Lairg, died young, some time after 1822

Malcolm b. 1814 Plaids, Lairg, death unknown but after 1871 married Annabella McLEOD (b c1824), of Inchnadamph - 4 children

Alexander b 1818 Broa?, Kincardine, Ross, married Isabella McGregor and emigrated to NZ 1850 - 9 children

John b. 1820, Broa?, Kincardine, Ross; d 1875 in Rosskeen, was veterinary surgeon in Invergordon, Rosskeen, married Ann CAMPBELL of Dingwall - 10 children

Ann b. 1822, Inchnadamph, Assynt, nothing known of Ann

Margaret/Peggy b.1826, Inchnadamph, Assynt, married late in 1869 to Donald CAMERON of Kilmonivaig, Inverness-shire, no known children

According to family history, there was also a William, who emigrated to Canada and had something to do with getting the railway through Winnipeg, and Alpin, who went to Constantinople as a blacksmith. I haven't found birth records for these two, but later census records show an Alpin McGregor, blacksmith, born Creich c. 1803, with common family names among his children. This Alpin's daughter went to Alexandria, Egypt sometime after 1861 and as ships that called in there sometimes went to Constantinople I feel strongly this is my Alpin.

Alexander senior died in 1848, aged 88. I would very much like to know where he came from, as McGregor is not a common name in Sutherland. I believe he was related in some way to a Gregor McGREGOR, who was married to Janet McGREGOR. This couple lived in Plaids at the same time, then Kincardine at the same time, but remained in Ross & Cromarty when Alexander went to Inchnadamph. The two families appear side-by-side in the baptismal registers at births of three children.

Neither Gregor nor Alexander were born in Sutherland, but I don't have dates or places for either of their births. Another McGREGOR man by the name of James also lived in the Lairg area, married to Bel Ferguson. Their only child Janet may have been Gregor's wife. James lived long enough to leave proof he was born in Comrie, Perthshire in 1767. I'm still trying to find links between James, Gregor & Alexander, but it is made harder by the fact they were all born in the era of proscription against McGREGOR, when the name could not legally be used.

Alexander, James and Bel all appear on the list of Lairg People Christine has posted on her website. A William and Donald McGREGOR also appear.

So, apologies for the long-winded account - it's so hard to be succinct!
Anna Hunter
New Zealand

GRANT, FORSYTH, MACKAY in Dornoch & Creich

I am researching the family of Roderick GRANT b abt 1889 at Dornoch, Sutherland. (perhaps the son of Robert GRANT & Isobel FORSYTH - perhaps the daur of Roderick FORSYTH).

He married Elizabeth MacKay July 27, 1820 (Dornoch). Elizabeth MacKAY was born abt 1800 (1851 Canadian Census).

Their sons:
Alexander GRANT b 1824 - CREICH
Robert GRANT b1828 - DORNOCH
Roderick GRANT b 1837 - Ontario, CANADA

In 1830, this family immigrated to Canada. They settled in Eldon TWP. Victoria County, Ontario. Many GRANT family graves are in Kirkfield cemetery (Eldon Twp) also the Old Stone Church - Beaverton. Roderick was listed as a Yeoman on the 1851 Canadian census. I am interested in history about Roderick's ancestry and anyone who may be related to the Eldon GRANTs who immigrated.

I have been in touch with a person who is a descendant of Mary GRANT, sister of Roderick GRANT - children of Robert GRANT & Isobel FORSYTH. Mary GRANT remained in Scotland while Roderick emigrated to Canada.
Michele Crawford
Kirkfield, Ontario


Kenneth McKenzie married Elspet MacKay sometime around 1800 (can find no record), they went on to have seven children. From Malcolm's list from the Sutherland Estate papers for 1830 it lists under MacKenzie, Widow, Brachu of Morness, (Rogart) left in party of seven 1830, so Kenneth died between 1819 and 1830.
On the 1901 census a daughter Margaret is listed as emigrating in 1830, she was born 1819 in Morness, as were all the children. On the 1851 census for her son Alexander and his family, she is listed as widow age 80. There is a burial for the Old Log Church cemetery (Ontario), In Memory of Elizabeth wife of Kenneth McKENZIE who died July 14, 1856 aged 69 years. Now that age sure isn't correct, but wonder how long it was after her death that a stone was put up. There is an Alexander McKenzie buried beside her which I believe to be her son. I have no information on these two prior to 1800 in Rogart.
NOW - the Sutherland side - know even less. Alexander Sutherland married Elspet MacKay (yes they each married an Elspet MacKay) can find no marriage. I have a Catherine born 1795 in Torised, nothing more on her. Weymess born 1800 in Torriside. I don't know if this one belongs or not as Janet was baptised Nov 8 1804 in Rovy but on the same page of the OPR their is a son not named (believed to be Hugh) Dec 26th at Torsaid. Were there two Alexander Sutherlands that each married an Elspet MacKay? Quite possible.
We know that Weymess and Hugh came on to Canada, Weymess now being called William W. Hugh Sutherland (unnamed Sutherland) married Christina McKenzie somewhere around 1830 and had at least one son born in Melness in 1831, wonder if they took over the croft after Elspet and family headed to Canada in 1830.
This may/may not be the same Hugh -
taken from the Sutherland Estate Papers for Rogart - List of Emigrants - thanks to Dr. Malcolm Bangor-Jones, SUTHERLAND Hugh, Craggybeg, left in party of ten 1831. If this is the same Hugh then why does it say Craggybeg? A daughter Margaret was born to the above Hugh and Christy abt. 1832 in Canada. Taken from correspondence from John MacDonald to Jean Hammond. Craggybeg, Morness, West Langwell are all districts of our upper parish, still lived in. West Langwell was not touched by the evictions, not being under the Sutherland estates. Craggy became very heavy populated when people were cleared of strath Brora. Morness was something like Langwell, left alone.There were a lot of Sutherlands in these places.
Now for a stretch of the imagination on Alexander Sutherland. I have found an Alexander Sutherland married to an Isabel Grant from Golspie, again cannot find any marriage. They turn up in the 1841 and 1851 census with a family living around Achnaluachrach on one and West Langwell on another, but both areas are on the same page. By 1861 Alexander is not there, and can find no death for him from 1855. Bell died in 1881 age 86 at West Langwell widow of Alexander, with parents of Robert Grant, dec and Catherine Grant, MS Grant, dec. Now my question. Could this be the same Alexander that was married to Elspet MacKay, and he fudged his age a bit? Am wondering if the first wife died and he found this Isabel Grant (Golspie according to census) to help with the children. We know that Hugh and Christy's fifth daughter was called Grant - maybe after her.
On the death certificate of one of Grant's sons her name is listed as Mary (Grant) Sutherland, and the informant was my grandmother and the doc was her nephew, but that is the only reference to that name and everything else just lists her name as Grant. I know this is a stretch of the imagination, but welcome any thoughts.


In the 5 years I have been associated with this list I have been thrilled to find many distant relations among our members. Through their help I am researching the following families;
John SUTHERLAND (Colin) & Eppy BRUCE( b.1767 Strathbrora) of Kildonan, Gartymore, Loth & some descendants (namely Donald my ggg-grandfather) eventually settled in Doll,Clyne;

Oliver FRASER b.c.1755 & Barbara MACAULEY of Helmsdale, Loth;

William SUTHERLAND, Miller of Clyne & Margaret SUTHERLAND of Doll, parents of Margaret b.1790, Clyne (my ggg-grandmother);

William SUTHERLAND (Deuchary) & Betty MACKAY of Clyne, parents of Helen b.c.1826-1829 who married...John MURRAY (Bonesetter) of Doll,Clyne, born between 1828 -1831 illegitimate son Jane MURRAY d/o Alex MURRAY and a George MURRAY (cannot find him);

John SUTHERLAND married in 1846 Janet MURRAY, d/o Hugh MURRAY and Louisa MCLEOD;

George MURRAY & (not married) Ann ROSS, b.1825 d/o John ROSS, of Creich-parents of David MURRAY b.1853;

Alexander MACKAY b.c.1766 & Esther MURRAY of Dalchalm, Clyne;

Donald MACKAY & Helen MCANGUS b.1783, and his sibling Janet and William MACKAY of Fearn, Ross moved to Portgower Loth circa 1830.

Thanks to all for your help and companionship over the years.

Eileen Jefferies


I am researching the ROSS family from Lairg, mainly, however, once a family starts being researched it enlarges and many other names come along too.

Jenelle's POLSON family is one that has come along into my family albeit on my Dad's side rather than my Mum's that has the ROSS family.

Some of the families on my Mum's side:
ROSS, Donald - Lairg, Sutherland
MacKAY, Janet - Lairg, Sutherland
CLARKE, John and Nicholas maiden surname Carruthers - Rosehall, Sutherland
ARMSTRONG, Joseph Gordon - Creich, Sutherland
DINGWALL, Kennethina, parents Niel and Merran maiden surname MacLeod - Durness, Sutherland
MacKAY, Alexander -
FRASER, Margaret, parents Charles and Jessie maiden surname ROSS - Scotland
MacDONALD, Annie, parents Murdoch and Henrietta maiden surname MATHERSON - Lairg, Sutherland

then on my Dad's side:
POLSON, Angus Sutherland - Marrel, Sutherland
MURRAY, Elspeth - Rogart, Sutherland

Jeni Simpson Christchurch, Aotearoa/New Zealand

Saturday, August 4, 2007


SUTHERLAND - William & Isabella SUTHERLAND. According to the Selkirk Settler Book he was born in 1761 in Kildonan, married Isabella (SUTHERLAND?) and died 3 Feb 1838 in Manitoba, Canada. William, Isabella and some of their children emigrated to Canada from Balnavaliach (Cleared). On the passenger list to Red River in 1815 he is listed as a Weaver. I know nothing before this time.

Ann SUTHERLAND, daughter of above, married John "Cheney" GUNN, born in 1791 in
Kildonan, Scotland. He was sometimes called "Freezie" as well as "Cheney". They married 29 May 1814 in Kildonan. They came to Red River in 1823. He died 5 Feb 1866 in Kildonan, Red River Settlement. Ann died 7 Feb 1879 in Kildonan, Red River as well. I need to know John's parents. I have heard that they possibly may be Alexander GUNN & Christian GORDON but I have never seen anything to prove this. Theird daughter Isabella married Morrison McBeth ( below)

McBETH, McBEATH - Alexander McBETH and spouse Christian GUNN and family were cleared from Kildonan to Red River Settlement, Manitoba, Canada, in 1815. Alexander was born in Sutherland about 1766 (or 1746) - two different trains of thought here. Christian was born in 1765 in Dallagen, Sutherlandshire. Alexander was classified as an old soldier on the passenger list. He was part of the 73rd Scottish Regiment. He died in 1849 and Christian died in 1855. I would like to know who Alexander & Christian's parents were.

Children of Alexander McBETH & Christian GUNN:
John, born 1792 Kildonan, died 1878 Manitoba, married Helen Matheson
Grizzel, born 1793 Kildonan
Margaret born 1796 Scotland, died 1859 USA, married John Sutherland
Mary born 1707 Scotland, married Donald Ross
George, born 1799 Scotland, married Catherine Sutherland
Christina born 1801 Scotland, married Robert McVicar
Roderick born 1803 Kildonan, died 1855, married Mary Livingstone
Robert, born 1805 Kildonan , died 1886 Winnipeg, married Mary McLean
Adam, born 1809 kildonan, married Mary Mackenzie
Morrison, born 1811 Kildonan, died 1892 Saskatchewan, married Isabella Gunn – my line

Marla Manson
Revelstoke, BC, Canada


My list is primarily but not exclusively Eddrachillis:

My grandmother Mary Morrison 1870-1951 was born in Oldshoremore of parents Donald Morrison and Johan Fraser (Rhiconich) and then moved to Upper Badcall.

My grandfather James Fleming b1875-1945 was of the Fanagmore Flemings but born in Wick to Kenneth Fleming and Elizabeth Bremner of Sarclet.

Great grandparents are Alexander Fleming 1786-1885 and his wife Margaret Sutherland from Berriedale, Caithness whose parents were John Sutherland and Margaret Bruce. I would like to hear from anyone who knows of siblings for Margaret apart from Merran.

Alexander Bremner 1804-1882, Sarclet, Caithness and Ann Wilson 1798-1868 from Orphir, Orkney. I know a lot about these two if anyone wants information.

Robert Morrison 1806- 884, Balchrick,/Oldshore beg son of John and Mary Morrison and his wife Mary/Dolly Gunn 1811-1875 from Strathy of Farr, daughter of Elizabeth McLeod and Donald Gunn

Murdo Fraser 1802-1876 Achlyness son of Robert Fraser and Mary Mackenzie and his wife Alexandrina (Lexy) Mackay 1813-1900 daughter of Hugh Mackay and Catherine Mackay

Marion Johan Quillan, née Fleming,

Renfrewshire, Scotland


My interests lie with the Davidson family (my father's side) who lived in Inchcape, Rogart until 1916. I have got as far back as James and Isobella (who was a Sutherland) in the late 1770s. Family memories are that James Davidson came from Cantray, although this has not been proven as yet.

James and Isobella had five children – Ann (b. 1800), John (b. 1801) Hugh (b. 1804) Alexander (b. circa 1805) and Elspet (b. 1807). John married Mary Mackay (born 1813 Rhiandoggie) and Alexander married Jane Macdonald (b 1822 to Roderick Macdonald and Janet Sutherland of Ardachu). These two brothers lived in the two houses at Inchcape. Hugh left Inchcape to train as a marine engineer, marrying Ann Mackay from Acheilidh in Glasgow in 1835. They had 6 children; the youngest Hugh William Davidson, married Isabella Liddell Ramsay in Gourock – they had 8 children, one of whom (James Ramsay Davidson) was my grandfather.

I am also interested in Ann Mackay from Acheilidh in Rogart who married my g-g-grandfather Hugh Davidson. Ann’s parents were George Mackay and Elspet Matheson from Acheilidh (later Rossal).

I would also like to know more about Mary Mackay from Rhiandoggie, who married John. Mary’s parents were Alexander Mackay and Marian (Mary) Mackenzie.

The picture above shows Inchcape with the Davidson home in the forefront.
Fiona Perry