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.