Sunday, August 5, 2007


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