of Inverness County, Nova Scotia
Chapter XXXIX - Marble Mountain
Marble Mountain and
Malagawatch are two sections of special importance in this Municipal
District. We regret that we have been unable to procure the necessary
facts concerning the early settlement and old pioneer families of those
two interesting localities. Although we have not the desired basic facts,
we do possess some personal knowledge of the general value to West Bay
District and Inverness County of Marble Mountain and Malagawatch.
For more than half a
century Marble Mountain has been a centre of useful public industry. About
forty years ago the late Dougald MacLachlan, Esquire, a progressive
resident of that Mountain, and as the agent and representative of a
chartered Corporation of strength and spirit, initiated the development of
the Marble and Lime deposits there. The limestone was not only quarried,
but was, also, crushed, put up in barrels and shipped to all available
markets. The marble was also prepared and provided for useful industrial
and commercial purposes. A new business came into being, scores of strong
and honest men found desired employment in new channels, a smart village
arose on the Mountain, and a new and welcome industry was auspiciously
established. In recent years this industry was taken over and extended by
the Dominion Coal Company: but at present, the weight of world conditions
has caused the cessation of its work. Let us hope the cessation will be
gentleman of Marble Mountain whom we know well in his lifetime, demands a
word at our hands. For a long time, he occupied with dignity and
acceptance the several positions of Councillor and Warden of the Municipal
Council of Inverness County; and no man could better fill those
respectable offices. He was a noble Gael of magnificent size and
character. We refer to the late Donald MacDonald (Big), of happy, happy,
memory. He was large, kind, honest and intelligent, a grand specimen of
his race, and a credit to Inverness County.
The road from Marble Mountain runs along the
water on the down grade to Malagawatch, which is a staid farming
community. The soil here seems rich and loamy. The farms are well used and
their owners very comfortable. One sign of that pastoral comfort is their
neat and modern dwellings.
One of the first fine homes a person comes to
at Malgawatch is that of John MacAulay, Merchant. Mr. MacAulay was born
here, but his father came here from Scotland and was one of the early
settles of Malagawatch. This son John has been in business as a retail
general merchant since his young manhood. He has prospered because he
deserves to prosper. Any man sharing the hospitality of his comfortable
home, as dispensed by himself and his amiable wife, can easily see why he
should be well patronized. A younger brother than John is a medical doctor
now practising his profession in Sydney. A sister is married to Daniel
Martin, Merchant, of Orangedale.
Another beautiful home near Mr. MacAulay's is
a MacKenzie home, a farmer and a good one. His farm is kept in excellent
condition and his house, a new one, would be good enough for a merchant
prince in a city.
Charles MacKenzie came from the Isle of Coll in 1840; landed in Pictou
proceeded Eastwardly to Judique, and thence to Ashville m the neighborhood
of Orangedale where he settled down. He was married to Catherine Kennedy
and had a family. The names of the children were: Archie, John, Neil,
Katie, Flora and Mary. The son, John, is still living on the old homestead
at Ashville. The son, Archie, married a daughter of Alexander Doherty of
North Lake Ainslie, became the owner of the Doherty farm, raised a fine
family, worked hard, lived well, and died a few years ago.
Donald MacCuish, late of Victoria line near
Orangedale, came from Uist, Scotland, in 1828, and was married to Mary
MacDonald. They had two sons, Donald and Sandy. Philip, son of Donald, who
lives on the old homestead, is now the lone survivor there.
Neil MacLean came from the Isle of Skye in
1820 and settled first at Rear Port Hastings. Subsequently he moved to
Orangedale where he acquired a large farm. He was married to Mary
MacGillivary by whom he had the following children, namely: John, Archie,
Roderick, Margaret, Annie and Mary. The son Roderick took up a farm of 200
acres for himself, married Margaret MacLennan daughter of Red John, and
had ten children, to wit: Archie, John, Neil, Allan, Duncan, Maggie, Mary
Ann, Margaret, Flora and Sarah. The Allan of this family is the well known
Councillor from Orangedale in recent years. Allan is also a farmer, and a
good one, as evidenced by the grade of horse he drives.
John Cameron, a native of Tyree, Scotland, was
married to Jessie MacCallum, an aunt of Senator MacCallum of Toronto, and
came to America in 1830, settling down at South Whycocomagh. He took up a
large farm there and had the following family, namely: John, Malcolm,
Jessie, Katie, Mary and Margaret. This was a family of noted individuality
and rugged honesty. John bought a farm near the village of Whycocomagh
towards Stewartdale. He was a solid husbandman, and his home was long a
favorite place of call for the travelling public. Malcolm, son of John
Sr., was for several terms a faithful and intelligent councillor for South
Whycocomagh. We remember Malcolm well for his independent personal
qualities, and his stern devotion to public duty. He was ever ready to
vindicate the rights of the people, and he who would oppose him was liable
to fall into awkward inconvenience. He had the following family: John,
James, Archie, Malcolm, Duncan, Cassie, Mary, Annabel and Laura.
Donald MacKinnon emigrated from Mull,
Scotland, in 1830, was married to Effie Gray, settled at Blue's Mills and
had a family. Several of his descendants still reside at and around Blue's
MacDonald (Og) came from Uist, Scotland, in 1828; was married to Mary
MacAulay and settled first at Whycocomagh Mountain. From there he removed
to Victoria Road near Blue's Mills. His family were Sandy, John, Peter,
Angus, Katie, Rachael and Mary Ann. There was talent in this family. Peter
was a Presbyterian minister of distinction, and Angus a medical doctor of
bright promise. Both are dead, Katie was married to John MacLean, Rachel
to Donald MacPhail, and Mary Ann to Neil MacAulay. This Neil MacAulay, who
died a few years ago, was another creditable councillor for Whycocomagh.
He served as Councillor and Warden for many years with general
satisfaction, was a thrifty farmer, and gave considerable public service
as a Justice of the Peace.
The rear of this fine and interesting region
was, once upon a time condemned to carry the grotesque misnomer of
"Turkey", or Turk Subsequently, it received the less grigging, but equally
fantastic name of "New Canada". Finally, it emerged with the present
nomenclature of "Glencoe".
We do not know, and cannot well understand,
why this fair interior stretch of country should ever have received any or
either of those three names. The first two are obviously inapplicable. The
third recalls a most mournful chapter of Scottish history." The Glen-of
lamentation"! That is the literal meaning of Glencoe. One would scarcely
expect that such a name would be either appropriate or acceptable in a
community one-half of which was made up of MacDon-alds, the other half of
Campbells. But the black treachery of Argyle and "The Master of Stairs",
in connection with the massacre of Glencoe, did not reach out unto all the
Campbells. The most fervent and appealing "Lament for Glen Coe" we ever
read was written by a noble minded Scottish lady named "Mary Maxwell
Campbell". Hear it?
"Ye loyal MacDonalds,
"Why sleep ye so soundly in face of the foe?
"The clouds pass away, and the morning is breaking;
"But when will awaken the sons of Glen Coe?
"They lay down to rest with their thoughts
on the morrow,
"Nor dreamt that life's visions were -melting like snow;
"But daylight has dawned in the silence of sorrow,
"And ne'er shall awaken the Sons of Glencoe.
"O dark was the moment that brought to our
"The black-hearted foe with his treacherous smile,
"We gave him our food with a brother's own feeling;
"For then we believed there was truth in Argyle.
"The winds howl a warning, the red
"We heap up our faggots our welcome to show;
"But traitors are brooding on death near the ashes;
"Now cold on the hearths of the Sons of Glencoe.
"My clansmen, strike boldly, let none of
ye count on
"The mercy of cowards who wrought us such woe;
"The wail of their spirits, when heard on the mountain;
"Must surely awaken the Sons of Glencoe.
"Ah! cruel as adders; ye stung them while
"But vengeance shall track ye wherever ye go.
"Our loved ones lie murdered; no sorrow nor weeping
"Shall ever awaken the Sons of Glencoe."
"MARY MAXWELL CAMPBELL."
The Campbells of Glencoe
district are clean hearted men who cherish the virtues of peace and amity.
They come, not with the wrath of the sword, but with the love of brothers
who cannot be "fair and false." Not theirs the mind for massacre. They are
as much ashamed as the MacDonalds are righteously indignant, over the
brutal old outrage of Glencoe. Consequently, both can, with the wonted
honour and fire of their race, join with Mary Maxwell Campbell in singing
the spirited lines above quoted.
The district of Glencoe is extensive and rich.
It is an interior or inland section which, in the pioneer days, must have
looked forbidding and wild. But the scene has changed. Not many rural
communities can surpass it today in its cultivation and prosperity. All
honour to the stout hearts and strong hands who have wrought the happy
bounded towards the North by the district of Hillsboro and the South West
river of Mabou; towards the West by the municipal district of Port Hood;
towards the South by the district of River Dennis, and towards the East by
the Whycocomagh district. The exclusive pursuits of the people here are,
and always were, farming and lumbering. There are three capital saw mills
within the district, all modern in type, powerful in capacity, and
signally well conducted. The one further West is owned by a Campbell
family, the one further East by a MacDonald family, and the one in the
centre by a single MacDonald wonder. Further on we shall have something,
more to say of the owners of those very useful institutions. It is only in
this rivalry of peaceful progress that our thrifty Campbells and
MacDonalds vie with each other.
The farmers of this district are hard working
and prosperous. The land is naturally fertile and, in the main, quite
level, but the development of the agricultural calling here is due to the
continuous industry of the people. Few things ever surprised us more than
to see, on our first visit to this place, the high qualities and advanced
condition of the farms through all the wide and varied spaces of this
immense domain. Whatever else the people of Glencoe may or may not know it
is perfectly clear that they know how to mind their own business. "Actions
speak louder then words." So far as we know, there is not a merchant
within the four corners of this district. The people must do their
shopping in Mabou, Port Hood, Brook Village or Whycocomagh. This may be
thought a grevious inconvenience; but men are so constituted that they do
not miss much a convenience which they never had. There is not a doctor or
a lawyer here, and we are not aware that there is even a Justice of the
Peace. There is a doctor, and a good one, within the borders of this
district at Mabou Bridge, but he is as remote from the people here as if
he resided in an outside district. Nevertheless, the good people of
Glencoe manage to worry along without these resident professional
gentlemen. The Glencoe men never go to law if they can keep out of it, and
they only get sick as rarely as possible.
The common schools here are quite as well kept
and efficient as those of the country in general, but that is not
extravagant praise. Parents and guardians in this section are quite as
solicitous about the education of their children as are people elsewhere.
A person from outside will be surprised to meet so many smart young
people, and so many intelligent old ones, in this isolated back country.
The only explanation is that these people are made of good stuff.
The inhabitants of, this territory are made up
of Catholics and Protestants, the former we believe, being stronger in
numbers. There is neither a Protestant Church nor a resident Minister
within the district, which is a serious disadvantage to the good people of
that denomination. There is no stationed Catholic clergyman either; but
there is a respectable Catholic Church which is served by the priest of
Brook Village every third or fourth Sunday. It is a known fact that all
the people here, whatever be their creed, are strong, simple and sincere,
in their own faith. This goes far to explain the peace, order and progress
of humble and retired Glencoe.
HECTOR MACNEIL (BIG)
We take the MacNeils of this section first,
because we apprehend there are not many of them. In 1818 Hector MacNeil
(Big) came from Barra, Scotland, and settled at South East Mabou. He was
married in Scotland to Ann MacMillan and it is said that they were an
uncommonly fine looking couple. They had a family of three sons and four
daughters, namely: John, Hugh, William, Ann, Mary, Catherine and Sarah.
The son John took a farm at Mabou Ridge, was married to Ann Campbell
daughter of Alexander Campbell (Allisdair MacCallum) of Black River, with
issue: five sons and five daughters, namely: Angus, whose family is at
Port Hastings; William, who resides at South East Mabou with an
interesting family; Neil who went to Michigan and had a family of fifteen
children; Malcolm, who died unmarried; Alexander, who also went to
Michigan and had a family of four, one of whom is a priest, Rev. John
MacNeil; Flora, who married Captain John McFar-lane of Margaree; Mary, who
married Donald J. Gillis of St. Rose; Elizabeth, who married John
MacDonald (Miramichi), and Isabel, who married Angus MacDonald (Miller)
of Hector, was married to Catherine Gillis had one daughter, a Mrs.
McKinnon, who resides now in Truro.
William, son of Big Hector, was lost at sea in
his young manhood.
Anne, daughter of Big Hector was married to John Gillis of Judique North
where her family resides.
Mary was married to Archibald MacDonald
(Allan) Glencoe: Catherine was married to Alexander MacLean of Mabou
Harbour, and Sarah died unmarried.
ALEXANDER MACNEIL (SERGEANT).
This Alexander MacNeil came from Barra,
Scotland, in 1808 and settled in Mabou not far from the harbour on the
Ridge road. He had three sons and three daughters, namely: Donald, James,
John, Catherine, Mrs. Angus McLellan of Lake Ainslie, and Mrs. Donald
Donald married Sarah MacLeod, daughter of Donald MacLeod of Mabou Ridge,
and had a large respectable family.
James married Catherine MacDonald, daughter of
Allan MacDonald (Allein Beg) of Broad Cove Banks, with issue, two sons and
married a daughter of Mathew Hawley, and had a large family.
Catherine died unmarried. Mrs. Angus MacLellan
and Mrs. Donald MacDonald (Ronald) both had families of sons and
Rankin was not among the earliest Scottish immigrants to Inverness County,
but for more than half a century an outstanding figure among the honest,
upright and industrious men of Mabou.
He was born at the Braes of Lochaber, Scotland
in 1812. In 1843 he emigrated to America, accompanied by his two sisters,
Ann and Janet. They crossed the Atlantic with Captain Croker Hayman in the
schooner "Mariner" of Yarmouth, Nova Scotia, landing at Halifax. Thence
they proceeded in another schooner to Port Hood, and finally settled at
South East Mabou. The very year he came to Mabou Mr. Rankin married
Isabel, daughter of the late Finlay MacDonald of South West Mabou, who
died in 1885. Their union was blessed with a family of ten good children,
namely: Donald, Finlay, John, Angus, Alexander, Allan, Ann, Catherine,
Margaret and Mary.
Mr. Duncan Rankin (Red) did yeomen service in the County of Inverness. At
the uncommon age of ninety-two years he died on May 10th, 1904, very
sincerely lamented by all who knew him.
Mr. Rankin's sister Ann was married in
Scotland to Angus MacDonald (Tailor) with issue: John, Allan, Ann,
Margaret and Mary. They lived at South West Mabou.
Janet the other sister who came with Mr.
Rankin, was married to Hugh Cameron of South West Mabou, with issue;
Angus, John, Donald, Alexander, Ann, Mary, Margaret and Isabel.
JOHN CAMERON (SON OF ANGUS DHU).
This Mr. John Cameron came from Lochaber,
Scotland, in 1805, taking up a large sized block of land at South West
Mabou, where he made his permanent home. He was married in Scotland to
Mary Beaton, daughter of Finlay (See Poplar Grove). The issue of that
marriage consisted of six sons and three daughters, namely: Angus, Donald,
Archibald, Duncan, John, Alexander, Mary, Catherine and Margaret.
The son Angus was married to Margaret MacDonald of Upper South West: no
issue. Donald was married to Mary MacDonald (Finlay) with issue: Angus,
John, Finlay, Donald, Catherine, Ann Isabel and Sarah.
The son Archibald was married to Isable Beaton
of Judique, and had Donald, John, Angus, Alexander, Sarah, Mary,
Catherine, Christy, Ann and Margaret.
The son Duncan, who was over one hundred years
when he died, was married to Mary MacPherson of South West River with
issue: John and Murdoch.
The son John was married to Ann MacDonald (Finlay)
with issue: John D.
Alexander (son of John Angus Dhu) was married to Mary Morrison of Mabou
Harbour, with issue: Allan, John, John Alex, Dan, Lizzie and Mary Bell.
Mary, daughter of John, was married to Hugh
Rankin of Broad Cove Banks, and had one son and two daughters. Catherine
was married to Malcolm Campbell, and had Angus and Katie, Margaret was
married to Finlay Beaton of Little Judique with issue: Donald and John.
JOHN MACDONALD (BADENOCH).
John MacDonald (Badenoch) and his wife
Elizabeth MacDonald came from Badenoch, Scotland, in the year 1820,
landing at Sydney, C. B., and settling down at Glencoe. Their family were:
John, who married Jessie, daughter of John Livingstone, Blacksmith, whose
son Donald now resides on the homestead. This Donald, brother, James,
married Mary MacPhail of River Dennis. Donald had two other brothers,
Colin and John, and a sister Eliza, who married John Wright of Mull River.
Donald, son of John the immigrant moved to Rear Judique where his grandson
(Duncan James Badenoch) now resides. Christy, a sister of John the
immigrant, was married to John MacPherson, Army Tailor, Mabou Ridge;
Elizabeth married Donald MacDonald (Badenoch) of South West Mabou, with
issue: Archibald, Alexander, Allan, Angus, Donald, Lexie and Ann.
JOHN MACPHERSON (ARMY TAILOR).
This John MacPherson and his wife Christie
MacDonald emigrated from Kingussie, Badenoch, Scotland, in 1831 and
settled at Mabou Ridge. Their family were: William, who was married to
Fanny Cameron, daughter of Donald Cameron, Esq., River Dennis, with issue
John and Daniel both deceased. This William was for many years doing
business in Whycocomagh where he made money. He subsequently removed to
Port Hood and bought the property formerly owned by John Lewis Tremain.
John, the son of John Sr., and a daughter Charlotte always remained on the
old homestead unmarried. Murdoch was married to Annie Cameron, daughter of
Red Allan Cameron of South East Mabou, with issue: John, Allan, Christina,
Arabella, Maud and May. Murdoch was doing business in Mabou for many
years, and he also made money. Christie was married to Archibald MacDonald
of Hillsboro with issue: Donald and John, both dead. She was married a
second time to Allan Cameron without issue. Jessie was married to Donald
MacDonald, J. P., of Stewartdale, Margaret to Alexander Cameron of Upper
River Dennis, and Elizabeth to Benjamin Hawley of Smithville.
Those two families, the McPhersons and the
Badenoch MacDonalds were people of strong convictions, firm resolve, and a
rugged wit that will be long remembered by their old acquaintances.
This man settled at Mull River in 1820. He was
married to Ann Campbell (a sister to "Allan the Minister"). Their family
were (1) Peter, who married Janet McPhail and moved to Kempt Road, West
Bay. Peter's family were Hugh, Duncan, Kate, Mary Ann, Grace, Sarah and
Julia. (2) Hugh married to Mary MacDonald of Stewart-dale, with issue:
James E., the late efficient station master at Orange-dale, Peter, John,
Donald, Hugh, Ann, Sarah, Susan, Jane and Mollie. (3) Grace married to
Ronald MacDonald of Whycocomagh. (4) Mary, married to John McKillop of
West Bay, a son, Daniel, survives.
Of this MacFarlane family was the genial James
E. MacFarlane, late Station Master at Orangedale.
ALLAN CAMPBELL (MINISTER).
Mr. Campbell came from Mull, Scotland, early
in the 19th century and engaged in mercantile business. He was married in
Scotland to Mary MacCallum, and had three sons, Norman, Hugh and Neil.
Norman was married to Ann Cameron of River Dennis, daughter of Donald
Cameron Esq., and had one daughter, Catherine, who was married to Angus
McPhail of Upper River Dennis. Hugh was married to Mary McPhail of River
Dennis, with issue: Donald, Norman and Ann. Neil was married to Jane
MacMillan of Harbour au Bouche.
Mr. Livingstone settled at Mull River in 1824.
He was married to a sister of Allan Campbell, Minister. Their family were:
(1) John who married Kate Livingstone of P. E. I. with issue: John,
Duncan, Hugh, Kate, Jane, Mary, Flora and Ann. Jane married to James Adams
with issue: Alex, Mack, John, Cassie and Grace; Flora, who married Dougald
Adams with issue: Mack, James, John, Cassie and Minnie; (2) Neil, married
to Ann Cameron, sister of the late J.D.Cameron of Mabou, with issue: Neil
and Catherine; Allan,(3)Flora,Grace and Ann. Ann married Richard Worth,
son of Benjamin Worth Sr., one of the first grantees of land at Port Hood,
with issue: Benjamin Jr., John, James, Lewis, Rachel and Hannah. Benjamin
Jr. was one of the most progressive men of his time. He had a first class,
water power saw mill, and did a large lumber business, besides carrying on
farming operations and orcharding in advance of his day. He was married to
a Miss Smith of Smithville, with issue: Smith, Alexander, Eli, Fulton,
John Geddie, Christina, Janet and Bertha. He moved to British Columbia in
1886 where he died a few years ago.
Mr. MacMillan came to Mull River from Lochaber,
Scotland. He had two sons, John and Duncan. John moved to California where
his descendants now are. Duncan married Ellen, daughter of Thomas Doherty
with issue: John, Duncan, Hugh, Levi, John Alex, Mary, Annie, Sarah and
Katie Belle. John Alex was killed in the war.
John Keith was one of the first settlers of
South East Mabou. His wife was Margaret Neiss. She was married to John
Boyd by whom she had one daughter, the late Mrs. Simon Fraser of Port
Hood. John Keith's family were: (1) James, who went to Australia. (2)
Sarah married to Matthew Hawley, with issue: Margaret, Eliza, Helen,
Harriet, Mary Isabel, John and Matthew. (3) Isabel married John Buck, Port
Hastings, with issue: William and John. (4) Eliza married Nathaniel Smith
of Port Hood Island, with issue: Margaret, Matilda and Nathan. (5) Matilda
Keith married John Gammon, with issue one son John. (6) George, the only
surviving member of this family resides at Country Harbour, Guysboro Co.
(7) David, a reputed multi-millionaire, died a few years ago at Salt Lake
City, Utah. He is survived by four children.
Mr. Beaton, who was an uncle of the late Judge
Angus MacGil-livray of the Judicial district No. 6 was a mill owner at
Mull River in the early days. He was a strikingly good looking man. We
were but a youngster, toddling by the fireside, when we first heard older
people describing and admiring the splendid personality of this John
Beaton. He had a large family of sons and daughters, including Alexander,
who died in the United States; James, who died at Mull River, William, who
resided on the homestead; and Alexander Jr., who lives at Brook Village.
One of the daughters was married to Big Ronald MacDonald (Mirimachi) one
to John Gaspar, and another to Isaac Hawley.
Mr. Basker was an ex-British Navy man who took
up a tract of land at Mull River. He had a son Joseph, who married a
daughter of James MacNeil (Barra) with issue: Daniel, William, James,
Joseph, Angus, John, Ann and Christie.
Mr. Wright was a good, intelligent man from
the North of Ireland. He became the owner of a large farm at Mull River.
He was a magistrate, and did considerable work in that line in his day and
generation. He married Eliza, daughter of John MacDonald (Jock) of
Glencoe, with issue: John, Samuel, Daniel, David, Margaret and Hanna.
John Campbell was married to Isabel MacDonald
(Isabel Mhor) of the Cranachan MacDonalds They had three sons, Donald,
Angus and John. Of all the many stalwart and handsome sons of Inverness
County, these three brothers ranked easily among the first, and they were
as handsome in their lives as in their appearance. All three died abroad.
Angus became a very wealthy ranchman in New Mexico. Ann, a daughter was
married to John Boyle of Glenora. Another daughter, Mary was married to
Donald Beaton (Morair) of North East Mabou.
This Hugh Macdonald was among the first
settlers of Glencoe. He was a nephew of "Allan the Ridge", and was married
to Grace, daughter of Donald Macdonald, Carpenter, of Mabou Coal Mines.
Their family were: Angus, Donald, Alexander, Archibald, Margaret and Flora
Ann. They are a talented and musical family.
This John MacDonald was another early settler
here. He came from Canna, Scotland, and was married twice. His first wife
was a daughter of Angus Archibald MacDonald; his second wife was Sarah,
daughter of Neil Stewart. His family were the following: John, Angus,
Alexander, Archibald, Neil, Alexander Jr., Mary, Christy, Mary J. and
ANGUS MACDONALD (SON OF
was of the MacDonalds of Borrodale, and was married to Elizabeth Campbell,
with issue: Donald, one of whose sons is a priest in the Diocese of
Victoria, B. C.; Alexander, Angus, John, Michael, Mary, Catherine, Janet
and Jane. Angus MacDonald carried cleverly his full share of the white
This Archibald Macdonald was a son of Allan MacDonald and his wife Mary
MacDonald of Badenoch, Scotland. Archibald was married to Mary MacNeil of
Barra, and settled in Glencoe about the year 1820. Three of his brothers,
John, Donell and Duncan of whom elsewhere settled in Inverness County.
Archibald's family were: William (one of whose sons was killed in the
recent war); Allan, Alexander, Mary, Margaret, Ann, Janet, Sarah,
Catherine, Elizabeth, Eunice and Christie.
John Mor MacDonald and his brother Alexander
Mor MacDonald, sons of Roderick of the Family of Borrodale MacDonalds were
pioneer settlers on the farm now called Dungarry, Port Hood. John Mor
married Catherine MacNeil of Little Judique and had issue: Alexander, Hugh
and John who were drowned at sea and William, Christina, Mary, Margaret,
and Anne who died abroad. Alexander, son of John Mor, married Mary,
daughter of John Gillis, Peadar, of Moidart, Scotland, and had three
daughters, Jessie, Mary, Catherine: Alexander's widow afterwards married
John Power, S. W. Port Hood.
Alexander Mor MacDonald married a Miss
MacGillivray of In-vernessshire, Scotland. Their son Angus moved to
Glencoe. Their daughter, Margaret married Peter Gillis, son of above John
Gillis, and had issue: Donald, Port Hood; Angus, Upper S. W. Mabou, and
John, Alexander, John, Junior, Anne and Mary, who moved to United States.
First mentioned John Gillis had also a son Donald, S.W. Mabou, a son
Angus, Glencoe, and a daughter Margaret, who married Donald MacPhee, Mabou
Stewart of the Isle of Eigg, Scotland, settled near Glencoe Mills. He
married Margaret MacMillan of Ainslie Glen and had issue. (1) John and
Alexander who moved respectively to Harbour au Bou-che and Westville. (2)
Donald, who married Mary MacIsaac and had a family of five sons and three
daughters. (3) Margaret, who married Angus MacInnis. (4) Sarah, who
married John MacDonald "Canna". She was his second wife. (5) Flora, who
married Donald J. MacKay of Inverness. (6) Anne, who married John MacIsaac,
son of John MacIsaac "Sheehan" and his wife Flora daughter of Hugh MacLean
(Mor) of the Isle of Rum. Anne's family were six sons and three daughters,
Daniel A. MacIsaac, Councillor, Port Hood, is a son. Daniel A's wife is
Minnie, daughter of the late Angus MacIsaac, Port Hood, and his wife
Sarah, daughter of Donald Dhu MacDonald of the Clann Sheumais, Judique.
(7) Mary, daughter of Neil Stewart married John MacKenzie, a native of
Lochaber. They had one daughter, Mary, who married Angus MacQuarrie,
Postmaster, Dunakym, formerly of Port Hastings. She was his second wife.
Neil Stewart spent his latter days at West Lake Ainslie.
JOHN MACDONALD (BARON).
He settled at South East Mabou in 1831 and was
married to Mary MacDonald, a daughter of Allisdair Dhu with issue:
Alexander, John, Allan (artist), Angus, Ann, Catherine and Lexie. Allan
married Mary MacDougall of S. W. Margaree and had a family. Catherine was
the second wife of Samuel Campbell of Margaree Forks.
John the Baron did business for many years at
South East Mabou and was highly thought of. Afterwards his sons; John and
Alexander conducted a fish business at the Coal Mines of Mabou and at
Mabou Harbour. The whole family was well worthy of its excellent
Cameron came from Scotland in the early days of South East Mabou, and
built a grist mill. He was married to Christina, a daughter of James
Hawley. His oldest son, Donald, while yet a youth went to Australia to
join his paternal uncle, a wealthy sheepraiser, and never returned. His
second son, James, became a prosperous shipbuilder and contractor in Bath,
Maine, where he still lives. The third son, George, removed from South
East Mabou and bought a farm near the town of Pictou. The eldest daughter
married Murdoch McPherson of Mabou, and after her husband's death resided
at Regina with her daughter Arabella, the wife of A. J. G. MacEachen, a
Stipendiary Magistrate of that Western Province, and erstwhile Professor
of History and English in St. Francis Xavier University, Antigonish. The
youngest daughter of Allan Cameron was married to Hezekiah Murray of Mabou.
Allan Cameron went in his old age to Australia to see about an Estate of a
bachelor brother, who had died there. He took sick on the ship going, and
died in Melbourn within ten days of his arrival in Australia.
JOHN CAMERON (DHU).
This John Cameron was a brother of Allan just
described. He owned and occupied a pretty farm on the heights above
Glendyer, and was married to a daughter of John McLean (Ban) of
Strathlorne. The oldest son, Murdoch always remained on the farm until his
death a few years ago. Murdoch's oldest son Stuart is now in possession.
Angus, the second son of John Cameron went in early life to stay with his
wealthy uncle in Australia. He never came back Dan, the youngest son of
John, (Dhu) went likewise to another wealthy uncle in Scotland. He came
back to see his friends several times but his home is in Scotland, where
he is comfortably situated.
In the olden times John Cameron (Dhu) taught
school for several terms in the County of Antigonish. He was the first
teacher of the late Bishop Cameron. In after life the latter, when passing
through Mabou, called several times to see his first eye-opener in the
world of letters.
rear concession of lots, or what is called Upper Glencoe, is more
outlandish than the rest of this fine agricultural district. This was
notably so in the days of the pioneer settlers. The nearest blink of
civilization to those rear lands in the olden times was at River Dennis,
and that was five miles distant: five miles without roads in the unbroken
In 1842 a
family of MacAskills came to River Dennis. With that family was a widow
Catherine MacAskill who had children of her own. She and the children
stayed with the River Dennis family for a time, after which they removed
to Upper Glencoe where they made a home for themselves. They had their
difficulties, but they stood up to them bravely and well. That family
consisted of the following members, namely: Angus, Philip, John, Christy,
Maggie and Ann. None of this family ever got married except John, who was
married to Euphemia Morrison, with issue: John Sr., Roderick, Philip,
Angus, John Jr., Christy, Katie Ann, Maggie, Effie and Sarah. After years
of honest toil all of these MacAskills have left Upper Glencoe, some going
to the United States and some to different parts of Inverness and Cape
next settler near the MacAskills was Donald Campbell, who came from
Lochaber, Scotland in 1843. He had six sons and two daughters, namely:
James, Donald, Thomas, Sam, Dougald, Angus, Jane and Mary.
James was married to Sarah MacDonald, daughter
of Donald MacDonald of South West Port Hood, and moved to Westville with
his family in 1873.
Donald (son of pioneer Donald) was married to Sarah MacDonald of South
West Mabou, without issue.
Thomas was married to Mary O'Hanley of Judique,
with issue: Angus, Dan J., John, Alex and Tom. One of Thomas' boys was
killed in the coal mine explosion at Port Hood in 1907. Sam (son of
Donald) remained on the homestead, and was married to Isabel Campbell,
daughter of Angus Campbell, the Bleeder, and had two sons and one
daughter. Dougald stayed at Upper Glencoe till his death on the 29th of
February, 1916. He was married to Christy O'Henley with issue: five sons
and four daughters. John resided at S. W. Mabou and was married to Mary
Campbell of the same place, with issue: Katie, Mary, Maggie and Annie.
Angus Campbell, the Bleeder, was one of the
early settlers of Glencoe. He came from Lochaber and was married to Kate
Nicholson, with issue: Duncan, Lizzie, Bella, Annie, Jessie, Catherine and
Margaret. Duncan was married to Annie MacDonald of Creignish, Lizzie to
Angus MacDonald (Big) of Glencoe; Bella to Sam Campbell of Glencoe; Annie
to Alex. Beaton, Ban, of Mabou Coal Mines; Jessie to Sam Campbell of South
West; Catherine to Allan McEachern of Glendale, and Annie to Alexander
Beaton of N. E. Mabou.
Angus Campbell the Piper, came from Lochaber
and located at the place in this district, now called Dunakym. He was
married to Catherine Campbell, daughter of John Campbell (Iain Mac Dhomnul
Mhor) of Glenora Falls, with issue: John Sr., Peter, Donald, John Jr.,
Charles Dougald and Sarah.
In 1843 a widow Mary MacEachen, with a large
family, came from Eigg, Scotland, and settled at Upper Glencoe. The family
were the following: Dougald, James, Rory, Ronald, John, Angus, Hugh, Mary,
Catherine and Maggie. From these are descended all the Mac-Eachens of
Mr. MacIsaac was an immigrant who came in 1843
from the Isle of Eigg, Scotland. He selected a home at Upper South West
Mabou. The family consisted of six sons and two daughters, namely: Donald,
John Sr., Angus, Hector, John Jr., Annie and Sarah. Donald was married to
Bessie MacDonald of James River, Antigonish, and resided at Glencoe; John
Sr., was married to Jessie MacDonald of Glencoe, and resided at Upper S.
W. Mabou; John Jr. was married to Katie McLean of Long Point and lived at
Glencoe. Hugh was married to Lexie MacDonald of Glencoe, and resided at
Upper South West; Hector was married to Catherine McInnis of Rear Judique
Intervale, and stayed at the Upper South West; Angus was married to
Christy McPhee; Annie was married to Duncan MacLeod, and Sarah to Duncan
MacMaster of Hillsdale. Thus the MacIsaacs, who grew and multiplied, and
spread out into the far spaces of the earth.
THE MACDONALDS OF ALPINE RIDGE.
In 1916 Alexander MacDonald (Alasdair Ruadh an
Ridge) came from Scotland and settled with his family at S. W. Mabou
Ridge, in the district of Glencoe. He was of Slioch an Taighe of the
Keppoch MacDonalds, being eighth in direct line from John Dhu, son of
Ronald Mor, first of Bohuntin or Slioch an Taigh. The Keppoch Mac-Donalds
were staunch Jacobites. While to the Clan Ranald Mac-Donalds is due the
honour of first taking up arms in support of Prince Charlie, it is to the
Keppoch MacDonalds that belongs the honour of striking the first blow of
the Campaign of Forty-Five. Alexander MacDonald, Chief of Keppoch, with
three hundred clansmen joined the Princes' standard at Glenfinnan. Keppoch
"Mirror of Martial Men" was educated in France and was an experienced
officer, having entered the Frency Army at an early age He fell gallantly
and heroically at Culloden. Alasdair Ruadh had a family of three sons and
five daughters, namely: Angus, Allan, Donald, Catherine, Mary, Flora,
Jennie and Ann. The oldest son Angus went to live on a farm bought for him
by his father at lower South West Mabou, and thus escaped the sobriquet by
which his two brothers were always identified. The brothers Allan and
Donald were kept by their father at Mabou Ridge, and were always known and
referred to as "Allan the Ridge" and "Donald the Ridge".
Angus, the oldest son of Alasdair Ruadh, was
married to Mary McPherson of lower South West Mabou (now Glengarry) with
issue: Angus, Alick, Allan, Hugh, Archy, Sandy, (Mor), Mary, Peggy and
married to Catherine McPherson, sister of his brother Angus' wife, by whom
he had the following family, namely: Alexander, Ronald, Murdoch, Donald,
John, Alick, Ann and Janet. In 1847 Allan, with his family, moved from
Mabou Ridge to Upper South River in the County of Antigonish, where he
afterwards lived and died. His two daughters died young, but his other
descendants are very numerous and scattered into many places and pursuits.
We understand that one of them is now the popular and enterprising
proprietor of "The Royal George Hotel" in the University town of
Antigonish. The most of our early settlers were men of large stature and
great bodily strength. Whatever else they had or lacked, they had all
plenty of brawn and they had sore need of it. But "Allan the Ridge" had
brain and brawn. We have heard several of the Gaelic songs, composed by
this man. Of course, we must disclaim any title to pass upon their merits.
At the same time, we feel firmly convinced that these Gaelic songs are
evidence that Allan the Ridge was, not only an entertaining songster, but,
also, a natural poet of singular genius.
"Donald the Ridge" was married to Sarah
MacDonald, daughter of Domhnul Ban Mac Sheumais, with issue: Alexander,
Donald, Archy, Allan, John, Ronald, (another boy died in infancy), Mary,
Catherine, Ann, Sarah and Janet. The three sons, Alexander, John and
Ronald, were painters long known in Eastern Nova Scotia. The sons Angus
and Allan were farmers: James and Donald, carpenters; and Archibald was a
of Alasdair Ruadh an Ridge, were married as follows: Catherine to
Donald.Beaton (Ban), she was the maternal grandmother of Rt. Reverend
Alexander MacDonald, D. D., Bishop of Victoria, B. C; Mary to Malcolm
Campbell; Flora to Donald Campbell; Malcolm's brother; Jessie to Donald
Rankin; and Ann to Finlay Beaton who took up his residence at Monkshead in
the County of Antigonish. And each and all of them had large families.
There was no race suicide in those days.
It must have cost honest Donald the Ridge many
a toilsome day to maintain himself, his wife and fourteen children, in the
virgin forest, on a dry hill in Mabou. His difficulties were enormous; and
not the least of them was the large number of wild animals which abounded
in that region. Bears were particularly plentiful. One certain evening a
big bear was seen around the barn making off with one of the sheep which
Donald kept in a pen. Donald put after him with the axe and a brand of
fire. The bear was burdened, Donald was swift, the thief was overtaken.
Donald drove the axe to the handle into its rump, and threw the brand of
fire at its head. The bear, wounded and terrified, dropped the sheep and
walked away with the axe. Donald regained and carried back home his
panting and purloined property. Many months afterwards that axe was found
in the woods beside a pile of bones, evidently the bones appertaining to
a certain Mr. Bruin that had been "axed" for sheep-stealing.
ALEXANDER DHU MacDONALD FAMILY.
In 1831 there emigrated from Lochaber,
Scotland, to South East Mabou the family of Alexander Dhu MacDonald (Ninth
in direct male descent from Angus, First Killiechonate of the Keppoch
MacDonalds) and his wife Ann MacDonald, an aunt of the late Right Reverend
Alexander MacDonald, Vicar General of Mabou, and niece of Angus Mor
MacDonald of the Cranachan Sliochd-an-Taighe Keppochs, who was born in
1761. (It was of Bishop Ranald MacDonald of the Fersit Cranachan family
that Doctor Gordon states "he did more by his work and conversation to
soften down religious prejudices and to root out religious antipathies
than perhaps any man of his time).
The Alasdair Dhu family were (1) Angus, who in
Lochaber married Catherine daughter of Donald Cameron, who served with the
British forces at Louisburg and elsewhere, and of his wife Ciorsdan
daughter of Donald Mor Og Cameron of Innes Righ, who was eulogized in song
for his accomplishments by the Bards Aileen Dall and Alexander MacKinnon.
A son, Alexander, of Donald Mor Og, was an officer in the British army at
Waterloo. Their descendants are the families (a) of their son the late
Alexander MacDonald "Last of the Lochaber Pioneers" (of whom were the late
Reverend Angus MacDonald, who died at Mabou in 1897 and the late Sister
Saint Augustine Novello, C. N. D., who died at Montreal in 1901); (b) of
their late son Donald one daughter at Salem, Mass; (c) of their late
daughter Mary, who married John MacDonald, Mabou Ridge, son of Donald
MacDonald (Ban) of whom Angus MacDonald killed in action in the Great War
referred to on page 212 "Catholics of the Diocese of Antigonish and the
Great War", was a grandson; (d) of their late daughter Jane married to
Ronald MacMaster "Raonull Gobha" Brook Village; (e) that of Duncan
MacDonald, Mull River; (f) a son Archibald immigrated to Australia where
he became a wealthy rancher and hotelkeeper; (g) a daughter Isabella
married Angus Mor MacDonald "Miramichi". She was his second wife. The late
generous and noble minded James MacDonald, "Belle Farm", Strathlorne, who
died in 1893, was the last member of their family; (h) Christiana and Ann
remained unmarried. (2) John who married Janet Beaton of Little Judique of
whom the family of the late Alexander MacDonald (Downie), Brook Village.
(3) Alexander died unmarried. (4) Archibald married Flora Campbell of
Black River. Their family is one of the best known in Mabou. His sons are
possessed of exceptional musical gifts and are ranked a-mong the best
interpreters of Scottish music in Mabou. This is no small praise when it
is considered that there is perhaps more native musical talent in Mabou
than in any other Scottish District in Canada. No finer model Highland
home is to be found in all Cape Breton than that of Archibald MacAlasdair
Dhubh's. The hearty but unobstrusive hospitality which is so
characteristic of the Gaelic race is to be seen here at its best and the
virtues of a chivalrous and generous people are so apparent, to one of
discernment, in this distant corner of New Scotland as they were in the
palmiest days of Gaelic ascendancy in the Scotland beyond the seas. One of
the sons, Angus, known throughout Inverness as Aonghas Dubh, deserves more
than passing mention. He is the best known piper in the County of
Inverness and at an age when most people give only too sad evidence of the
failure of their powers, his mind is as bright and keen, his head as
erect, his step as light and his fingers on the chanter as cunning as they
were half a century ago. His presence has enlivened many a festive
gathering in Mabou, and the wail of his pipes, rendering the laments of
the old land with that sure touch which belongs to him alone, has found an
echo in many a heart as the body of some stalwart emigrant was carried to
the cemetery where the Lochaber exiles take their last long rest. Long may
he live to delight the younger generation with the music of his pipes and
to show forth to them in his own person the virtues of the noble race from
which they are sprung.
(5) Catherine who married Hugh MacDonald "Eoghan
Iain Mhoir" from whom are descended the families of the late Alexander
MacDonald, Tulloch Brook Village, of the late Allan MacDonald, Tulloch,
Lake Ainslie, and the late Hugh MacDonald Og, Brook Village. See
Mary who in Lochaber married John MacDonald (Baron) whose descendants
reside on the "Baron Farm", South East Mabou.
(7) Kate who married Angus Campbell (Gobhann
Ban) Hillsborough, of whom the family of the late Finlay Campbell, Black
who married Alexander Beaton of Little Judique, whose descendants reside
at Glencoe and in the United States.
"John Dubh MacDonald, First of Bohuntin, was
the younger son of Ronald Mor of Keppoch He was a renowned warrior and
took an active part in the feud of 1592 instigated by Huntley between the
Mac-Donalds and Clan Chattan He is said to have been conspicuous by his
stature, strength and personal beauty and in skill in the use of arms, and
in daring courage to have had few equals and no superior."
(MacKenzie's History of the MacDonalds and
Lord of the Isle").
D. C. MacDonald, Esquire, the efficient Inspector of Customs for Eastern
Nova Scotia, is of this family of MacDonalds. We know Mr. D. C. MacDonald
very well. In his public and private character he would be a credit to any
ancestry; and if history can be trusted his ancestry is a credit to him.
THE GILLIS FAMILIES OF S. W. MABOU.
Hugh Gillis (Hugh Duncan Ban) came from Morar,
Scotland, to Pictou, N. S in 1801. He spent his first four years in
America largely in the County of Antigonish. In 1805 he came into the
County of Inverness, landing at Port Hood. Finding that the shore land
around Port Hood had been already appropriated, he walked out through the
woods, along a blazed trail, till he struck the South West River where the
modern Iron Bridge now stands. There he selected for himself a 200 acre
lot of land known as "Lot 13" and an adjacent tract of the same size known
as "Lot 14" for his son Angus.
This Mr. Hugh Gillis was married in Scotland
to Mary Gillis, daughter of Martin of Maling, with issue: Angus, Donald,
Duncan, John, Mary and Catherine.
Angus was married to Jane McLean of Rear Long
Point, (See S. W. Margaree).
He left his place at the S. W. of Mabou and
acquired a farm at East Bay, C. B., which he occupied for a few years, and
then went to S. W. Margaree where he remained for the rest of his life,
and where a number of his descendants now live.
Donald, who remained on Lot 14 was married
first to Mary Howie of Sydney Forks, with issue: John and Mary. He was
married the second time to Ann Gillis, daughter of Peadhal Mor, with
issue: Archibald, Hugh, Peter, Margaret and Mary.
John (son of Donald) was married to Catherine
MacInnis of Creignish, with issue: Alexander, Martin, Donald, Flora and
Archie (son of
Donald) was not married.
Hugh (son of Donald) was married to Mary
Chisholm of Judique, and died shortly after, leaving a widow and one
child, Margaret, who is now the highly intelligent and conspicuously
clever and hospitable wife of Daniel J. MacDonald, Merchant, of Judique.
Peter, son of Donald, lived for many years on
his father's farm, but now resides at Port Hood. He has intelligence of a
high order, and talents that are peculiar to the Gillis family. For a long
time he has been an Overseer of Fisheries in this County, and is now
Government Inspector of coal at the Port Hood and Inverness Collieries.
His first wife was Margaret McGillivray of South River, Antigonish, with
issue: Flora, Minnie, Catherine, Bridget, Annie, Agnes, Margaret and Hugh.
Flora was married to Michael MacGrath of
Kingston, Massachusetts, with issue: two sons and two daughters.
Minnie was married to Alexander R. McLellan of
Broad Cove Chapel, as good a man as ever did honour to Inverness County,
with issue: Peter Archy, Hugh, Augustine, Annie Josephine and Marcella.
Catherine was married to John McPhee of Mabou Harbour, with issud: Donald,
Peter and Elizabeth.
Bridget was married to Archibald J. MacIsaac, Big River, Broad Cove, with
issue: Margaret and Annie.
Margaret was married to Charles MacKillop of
Mabou Ridge, with issue: Catherine and Hughie.
Annie, Agnes and Hugh died young and
left alone in the afternoon of life Mr. Peter Gillis got married a second
time to Catherine MacDonald, daughter of Angus MacDonald, Bard, of River
Centre, S. W. Mabou. There was no issue by the second marriage.
DUNCAN GILLIS (SON OF HUGH).
This Duncan always remained on Lot 13 chosen
by his father at South West Mabou. He was small of stature and was
commonly referred to as "Little Duncan Gillis". Not many of these Gillis
families were small in physical size and Duncan was thus easily
identified. But he was large of mind, and memory. He was singularly well
informed for an old-time farmer. When he began to get old his sons did all
his reading for him. The boys read and he remembered.
Some of the old settlers were long in
possession of their holdings before a grant was secured. It was this
Duncan, who, in 1832, walked to Sydney from South West Mabou, to get a
grant of Lots 13 and 14, which had long been occupied. On the way he spent
a night at the comfortable home of Lawrence Kavanagh, the first Catholic
member to sit in the Legislature of Nova Scotia; and was never tired of
praising the kindness and hospitality of the Kavanagh home.
Duncan Gillis was married to Mary Gillis of
Arisaig, Scotland, who came to this country with her brothers who settled
at Rear Judique. The issue of that marriage consisted of six sons, namely:
Hugh, Angus, Donald, Alexander, John and James.
Hugh went away to the United States when quite
a young man and never returned. He is presumed to be dead.
Angus died unmarried at the age of thirty
years. Alexander was a tailor and died of fever at a comparatively early
married to Flora MacDougall of Seaside, with issue:
Mary, married to Alexander Gillis on the old
homestead, and Katie married to Hugh MacMillan of Seaside, Port Hood.
John was married to Mary, daughter of Hugh
MacDonald, Councillor, Port Hood, with issue: Angus, Hugh, Donald, Mary
and Jessie. John bought a farm and lived at Lower South West.
James lives on the old homestead which has
often been a haven for the tired travelling public. He was married to
Annie Beaton, daughter of Alexander Beaton, blacksmith, of Mabou, with
issue: Duncan, Alexander, Angus and Annie Mary.
Duncan, son of James, is married to Mary C.
daughter of Michael Kennedy, (Murdoch) of Loch Ban, and the daughter Annie
Mary to Colin MacDonnell of South West Port Hood.
THE MacKILLOP FAMILY.
Alexander MacKillop came from Lochaber,
Scotland, about the year 1805, and settled at Mabou Ridge. He was married
twice. His first wife was a daughter of Murdoch MacPherson of South West
Mabou by whom he had two sons, Duncan and Hugh, and two daughters, one of
whom was married to Donald MacInnis, and the other, Big Nell, to John
MacIsaac. Mr. MacKillop was married the second time to a daughter of
Alexander MacDonald, Sr., S. W. Mabou, with issue, Angus, Alexander, John,
Archibald, and one daughter who was married to John McPherson, Jr., of
son of Alexander, was also married twice. His first wife was a daughter of
John Beaton, Finlay's son of Mabou Coal Mines, by whom he had Finlay,
Alexander, John B., Margaret and another daughter who was married to
Duncan MacPherson of Black River. His second wife was a MacEachen women of
Rear Judique, by whom he had John Dan, Murdoch and John.
Hugh was married to a Miss Fraser of
Antigonish by whom he had one daughter who is married in that county. His
second wife was a daughter of Archibald Campbell (Brewer) by whom he had
Donald, Murdoch and a daughter who was married to a Mr. Campbell of
married in Boston to an Irish lady, and had a family, one of whom was a
Alexander lived at Brook Village, was married and had a family. One of his
daughters was married to the late Alexander MacDonald (Ronald's son) who
was for some years a respected Municipal Councillor for the Glencoe
Gillis, Donald Gillis and Angus Gillis, referred to in the sketch of
"Glencoe" as three of the early settlers at South West Mabou were sons of
Hugh, son of Duncan Gillis (Ban).
The wife of this Duncan Gillis (Ban) was a
Miss MacEachen, an aunt of Reverend Evan MacEachen, who won distinction in
the Highlands of Scotland.
"Father Evan MacEachen was one of the first
Gaelic scholars of his day. His translation of the Imitation of Christ,
and of the New Testament, are more esteemed than the versions at present
in use." (Blundell's Highlands of Scotland, Vol 1, page 120)
Duncan Ban Gillis had a large family, one of
whom was Reverend Angus Gillis, who labored for forty years as a zealous
missionary Priest at the Braes of Lochaber, Duncan Ban's other sons were;
Hugh, who came to America and settled with his three sons above named at
South West Mabou; Donald, who went to Australia; and Alexander (Allistair
Ban), who remained in Scotland. Two of Allistair Ban's sons became
priests, namely: Reverend Father Angus, who died at Creignish in this
County, and Father Alexander, who died in Eigg, North Britain. A brother
of those two clergymen by the name of Hugh came to this county and died
some years ago, and several of his descendants can be found at or around
married to a daughter of old John McPherson of Black River, with issue:
Dan, Angus, John, Duncan and one daughter, married to a MacDonald of River
Archibald never married.
ALEXANDER MCINNIS, TAILOR.
Somewhere around the year 1822 the above named
Alexander McInnis came out from Scotland, and settled at Mabou Ridge. The
land on which he built his future home consisted of two hundred acres of
wilderness and good soil. He was married in Scotland to Mary MacDonald a
niece of Anne MacDonald, wife of Alexander Dhu MacDonald, S. E. Mabou,
above referred to and had the following family: Angus, Archibald, John,
Donald, and Catherine.
Angus was married to a daughter of the first
Alexander Beaton of Mabou Coal Mines, with issue; Alexander, John, Rev. A.
T., Ronald, Mary Sr., Sarah, Mary Jr., and Annie. This family were well
known in the County of Inverness, and deservedly well liked. They were
warm hearted and gentle, and full of sympathy and charity for their
was married to a daughter of Christopher MacDonell of Judique. She died
young, leaving with her bereaved husband seven small and helpless children
three sons and four daughters. One of these sons is Dan Tom McInnis, the
proficient chief Blacksmith at the Inverness Colliery, and one of the
daughters is Sister St. Alberta of the Congregation de Notre Dame.
Alexander felt obliged, after the death of his wife, to place the children
in the care of certain friends, and go out into the Western country with a
view to earn some money. He found employment with some railway concern,
and while engaged in his legitimate work, and honestly trying to support
the little ones at home, he met with an unforseen accident by which he
lost his life.
A. T. of this family was among the early priests produced by the County of
Inverness. He made his studies in Antigonish and Montreal and was ordained
in the United States. Owing to an accident of life, he did not serve long
in the ministry, but he lived in this County long enough not to be
forgotten. He was an educated man endowed with certain special talents.
The trend of his mind was towards literature. He read and wrote a great
deal. As a writer of English that was usually tasty and telling, he stood
out from his contemporaries apart; and we think he stood alone. His
overflowing humour may, at times, have reached the borderline of danger;
but it always enforced attention. He made the gravest and heaviest
quotations from the Masters light and cheering, by the happy uses to which
he put them.
son of Angus, was a blacksmith by trade and worked the most of his life in
Port Hood. On several occasions he had important Government contracts in
the county. Some years before he died he gave up his trade at Port Hood,
and bought the so called D'Arcy farm a couple of miles out of town. On
this farm he built a beautiful house in which his family and himself lived
in comfort and happiness till his death. He was married to a daughter of
James Campbell of Rear Port Hood, and had a good, useful and interesting
never married. Mary Sr. was married to Angus Campbell of Glenora. She had
a thrifty family, and splendid qualities of head and heart. Sarah was
married to a Mr. MacMaster of Judique, Mary Jr., to an Alexander
MacDonald, (Badenoch). Annie never married, and if we mistake not; she is
now the lone survivor of Angus the Tailor's family. Since writing the
foregoing Miss Annie has also passed away.
Archibald, son of Alexander, went abroad
unmarried, and his people were never advised as to where he went, or what
(son of Alex Tailor) was married to a daughter of Alexander MacKillop,
with issue: Alexander, John, Archibald, Margaret and Mary.
Alexander was married to Margaret Cameron John
was not married. Archibald was married in Boston to a River Inhabitants
woman. Margaret never married. Mary was married to a Mr. Curry from East
Bay, now residing in Sydney.
THE CAMPBELLS OF MABOU RIDGE.
Dougald Campbell, son of Angus, son of Sam,
was a native of Invernessshire, Scotland. He was married to Mary Beaton,
John's daughter, and had Angus, Donald, Catherine and Mary.
The son Angus was married to Ann MacDonald,
with issue: Angus, John, Hugh, Dougald, Mary, Catherine, Ann and Janet.
In 1838 he emigrated to America and settled,
with his family, at South West Ridge, Mabou.
Angus, son of Angus, was married to Mary
Beaton, Alexander's daughter, and had one daughter who died in youth.
John, son of Angus, was married to Catherine Beaton, daughter of
Alexander, with issue: Alexander, Angus, Donald, John, Catherine and Ann.
Hugh, son of Angus, was married to Mary Beaton,
daughter of John of N. E. Mabou, and had the following family: Angus, who
died in Winnipeg; John in British Columbia; Alexander and Dougald,
blacksmiths in New Waterford, C. B., Annie in Boston; Mary and Isabel at
daughter of Angus, was married to Alexander MacDonald, Big, of Glencoe,
and had four sons and eight daughters. Catherine, married Alex. MacDonald,
S. W. Ridge, with issue five sons and two daughters: Ann married Alex.
Beaton, blacksmith, Mabou, with issue: one son and three daughters; Janet
was married to Donald Beaton (Og) of Mabou Harbour, with issue, six sons
and four daughters.
Donald Campbell, son of Dougald, first above named, was married to
Catherine Hutchinson, and had six sons and two daughters.
In 1838 this Donald, with his family, also
came to America and settled at Glencoe. (See Campbells of Glencoe proper).
THE DAVIS FAMILY.
Among the first settlers on the South West
branch of the Mabou River were Patrick Davis and his wife Catherine Moran,
both of Wenford County, Ireland, who settled there about 1840. They were
an industrious, good and gentle couple. Their family were: Richard, who
died unmarried. Walter, who with his family resides on the old homestead,
Mary, wife of Angus Gillis, Upper South West Mabou; Elizabeth, to a man of
Arlington Heights, Mass; Mrs. Griffin of Lanesville, Mass.; Catherine
Mr. MacDonald was not one of the pioneer
settlers of Glencoe; nor is he one of the oldest residents there now. He
came here forty years ago, and into those forty years he has packed the
solid service of a long lifetime. He is emphatically "a man who does
He was born
at the Coal Mines of Mabou on the 1st of October 1859, and is the son of
Archibald MacDonald, miller, of that place. His father owned and operated
a grist mill and a saw mill at the Coal Mines, and in 1867, built similar
mills in Glencoe. These last mentioned mills were necessarily in the hands
of hired millers until Alexander went to reside in Glencoe in June 1877.
Presto, a new and added life was given to the mills of Glencoe.
Mr. MacDonald was married on February 8th 1892
to Jessie MacLeod, daughter of Duncan MacLeod and Mary MacGillivray his
wife of South West Mabou with issue: Duncan, Archibald, Charles John,
Angus, Jessie, Mary, Maggie and Hughena. Mrs. MacDonald the mother of this
interesting family, was a near relative of the late Judge MacGillivray and
was born on August 18th 1872.
Mr. MacDonald has acquired about 700 acres of
land in Glenco, 50 acres of which he has brought into a high state of
cultivation. The balance is largely timberland of special value. He has
erected fine substantial buildings dwelling, barn and outhouses
discarded the up-and-down saws for rotaries, changed and modernized the
old mills, and added a busy carding mill and threshing mill to the plant,
all of which are now in good condition and constant operation. Mr.
MacDonald owns the first rotary mill, the first turbine wheel, the first
thrashing mill, and the first automobile used in the district. He is still
good for a good days work. He has faith in life, and is willing to work
and to risk.
but a mere hint of that unique force better known locally as "the white
The MacKinnons held various possessions in the
Hebridean Isles. The seat of the Chief was in the Isle of Skye. The first
authentic notice of this ancient Clan is to be found in an Indenture
between the Lord of the Isles and the Lord of Lorn, A. D. 1354 The
MacKinnons fought valiantly under Montrose. They were also in the Rising
of 1745 and fought at Culloden where their old Chief was taken prisoner.
A family of MacKinnons settled at Glencoe
about the Year 1833. They were Neil, John, Anne and Janet. A sister,
Catherine, remained in Edinburgh. She was married to an English Army
Sergeant named Cranck. These were children of Duncan MacKinnon of the Isle
of Canna, Scotland. (1) Neil known as "Handsome Neil" married Mary
daughter of Mrs. Euphemia Kennedy. Mrs. Kennedy was a sister of the late
Arch-Bishop MacKinnon. Neil's family were: (a) John, who married Anne,
daughter of Alexander MacDonald (Mor) Glencoe with issue two sons and four
daughters. John resides at South West Port Hood; (b) Duncan who married
Anne, daughter of Ronald Beaton, Little Judique, with issue ten sons and
one daughter; (c) Colin, who moved to Douglastown, N. B. One of Colin's
sons, Rev. Andrew MacKinnon, is a Catholic priest. (d) Mary who married
Hugh Mac-Innis, Little Judique, (e) Euphemia, who married Angus MacDonald
(Angus Og) Glencoe. (2) John, son of Duncan married Mary MacLellan of
Glenville with issue. (a) Hector Duncan and John who moved to the West,
(b) Donald, who died unmarried. (c) Anne, who married Allan MacDonald
(John Allan), Mabou. One of Anne's sons Daniel, 56 Bn, made the Supreme
Sacrifice in the last War. (d) Margaret daughter of John married Edward
MacIsaac, Mull River. (3) Anne, daughter of Duncan MacKinnon married James
MacIsaac. Angus MacIsaac, Port Hood Mines, is a son. (4) Janet remained
MacKinnon (Roy) paternal uncle of "Handsome Neil" was the first settler in
the glen now called Rosedale. He had five sons (1) Donald "sgoilear" who
married a sister of the late Hon. Alexander Campbell, Strathlorne, (2)
Neil, who married Annabel Fraser of Cape Mabou, (3) Donald Junior and John
who married and left families. (4) Malcolm died unmarried. Donald "Sgoilear"
and Malcolm were school teachers.
NEIL MacNEIL (Shoemaker).
Big Neil MacNeil (Barra) was a good citizen of
this District. He was a farmer and shoemaker. For nearly fifty years every
Fall and Winter he went from house to house in Glencoe and Hillsborough
Districts making reliable boots and shoes for old and young. He married
Isabel MacKenzie a sister of Donald MacKenzie of Lochaber, Scotland,
latterly of Rear Brook Village. A son Ronald lives on the old homestead, a
son John lives on the Peter Dwyer Farm, Brook Village and a son James
resides on the "Irish Farm" Brook Village. One of James's sons Charles won
the Victoria Cross in the Great War. He gave his life for his country.
THE CHISHOLMS OF BROOK VILLAGE.
Hugh Chisholm moved from Strathglas to Skye,
and was at service there with a landlord. He married a MacDonald young
woman and became a Protestant. His son, Donald, was afterwards married in
Skye to Mary McPherson by whom he had Angus, Alexander, James, Alexander
(Junior), Malcolm, Archibald and Colin. The youngest son, Colin, was only
five years old when he came to America.
Donald, the father of this family, was drowned
on the coast of Skye, and his widow, with the above named seven boys came
to Margaree Forks from Scotland in the year 1832. They remained at the
Forks five years, after which they moved to Brook Village and bought a
farm there from George Whitehead. This farm contained 800 acres of land.
The Chisholm dwelling house was on that part of it now occupied by Hugh
Murray. This part remained with Alexander (Junior) left six sons and four
daughters all of whom moved, many years ago to the United States, except
Donald, who now resides at Glendyer and is married to Jessie Ann
MacDonald, daughter of "Donald the Dyer."
Angus got 200 acres of the old farm which is
now occupied by his son, Dan.
James lived on a rear farm, was married and
had a family of three daughters and four sons, all of whom have died
Alexander settled at Kewstoke (Whycocomagh), was married to Christy
MacAskill of Cape North, and had three sons and four daughters. A son,
Norman, was killed in a saw mill at Kewstoke. The other sons, Hugh and
Donald, lived and died on their father's farm, each leaving a large
Archibald, who was a tailor, settled in the Western States and died in
Chicago, leaving two sons and a daughter there.
Malcolm was a teacher in his early life, and
died young and unmarried.
Colin settled down on a part of the old farm,
was married to Nancy MacKinnon of Roseburn, and had five sons and two
daughters. The eldest of these sons, Malcolm, lives on his father's farm,
and is one of the leading farmers of this district. A daughter, Flora, is
married to Archibald MacKinnon of Hay River. All the, other members of
Colin's family are in the United States.
These Chisholm men were large, able,
intelligent and fine looking people.
DONALD MacDONALD AND FAMILY.
Donald MacDonald was born on the Braes of
Lochaber and descended from "Killiehonate. He was a powerful man
physically, and had the good fortune to receive a fair measure of
education in the Highlands. He read everything that came his way, and
retained it with that wonderful strength of memory peculiar to our early
In 1824 he came to America with a host of other emigrants in the ship
"Dunlap", landing at the port of Sydney, C. B. The most of the passengers
on the "Dunlap" proceeded from the port of Sydney to Upper Canada, but
Donald MacDonald came to Black River, Mabou, to see some Campbell
relatives who had come there from Lochaber some years previously. Blood
will tell, even in the wilderness.
The following fall he went off to work in the
lumber woods of New Brunswick where he labored for eight years. Returning
then to Inverness County he bought a six hundred acre farm at Mull River
from James MacKeen, a brother to the Honorable William,for four hundred
pounds sterling. By reason of his large size, and his sojourn in the
lumber fields of the neighboring Province, he was always known here as Big
very year he bought this farm his father (Alisdair Mor Mac-Dhomnal Ruadh),
with his wife and the rest of his family, left Lochaber for Cape Breton.
When off the coast of Newfoundland on the way coming the wife took sick
and died. When she was taken ill a-board ship, Alasdair Mor offered the
Captain two hundred pounds-all he had if he would land her at St.
John's. The reply of the amiable mariner was that "he would not change his
course an inch for all the money on board." The good woman died and was
buried at sea. Alasdair Mor and his other sons, Angus, Allan, Alexander
(Ban), Ronald and John came to Mull River and located on the farm which
had just been bought by Donald. The son, John, died unmarried within two
years after his arrival in Cape Breton.
Big Donald was married to Catherine MacDonald,
daughter of Big John of Black River, with issue: Alexander, Angus, John,
Daniel, Isabel, Mary, Margaret (died at 18), Flora, Catherine, Annie and
and Mary Jr. became members of the order of the Congregation de Notre
Dame, and are named in religion as St. Antonia and St. Helen. The daughter
Flora was a lay sister in the same Order and died in Montreal. Annie was
married to Red John Campbell of Glenora; Isabel was married twice,
firstly, to a Mr. Meagher of Brook Village, and secondly, to Alexander
Beaton also of Brook Village. Mary, Senior, is dead.
Alexander, oldest son of Donald, lives on a
part of the old homestead, and is married to Catherine MacEachen of Broad
Cove Chapel, with issue: Daniel, James D., Joseph, John A., Alick, Ronald,
Catherine, Flora, Annie May, and Margaret Two little girls died in early
childhood who are not named above.
In April 1900,on the night of Good Friday, the
home of this Alexander MacDonald, son of Donald, was utterly destroyed by
fire, resulting in the death of two of his children, John A. and Margaret,
and in severe injuries to Mr. MacDonald himself. This Alexander MacDonald,
with his two sons, Daniel and Ronald, now own and operate, not only a
large and valuable farm but, also, a first class saw mill yielding a gross
income of about $2000 a year.
Angus, son of Big Donald, lives on a moiety of
the ancestral homestead and devotes himself entirely to farming. He was
married to Sarah, daughter of John MacDonald, Esquire of River Dennis
Road, with issue: Catherine, Sarah, Mary Margaret and Christy.
John, son of Big Donald, in his younger life,
spent some years as an apprentice to a Blacksmith. Afterwards he went to
Montana where he made a good deal of money. He came back, bought a farm at
Mabou Ridge and got married to Elizabeth MacNeil, daughter of John Hector,
and had two children, Donald and Mary. After the death of his first wife
he was married again to a Miss MacFarlane of Margaree and had one
daughter. He then went out a second time to Montana where he died on 5th
son of Big Donald, was a school teacher in his early manhood. Afterwards
he studied medicine and practised very successfully at Baddeck in the
County of Victoria. He was married to Mary, daughter of the late Hon John
MacNeil with issue, three sons and one daughter. At the beginning of the
recent great War he enlisted in a Medical Corps at North Sydney in which
he held the position of Major. Since the termination of the war he has
been practising his profession at North Sydney, C. B.
Ronald, brother of Big Donald, and son of
Alasdair Mor Mac Dhomnal Ruadh, remained on a portion of the original
homestead, and was married to Mary Beaton, daughter of Donald (Morar)
without issue. He was married a second time to Elizabeth Beaton, daughter
of John Beaton of Mull River, with issue: Alexander, John, James, Daniel,
Malcolm, Angus, Angus Jr., and Isabel.
The daughter Isabel remains on the old
homestead unmarried. The son Alexander was married to Maggie MacKillop,
daughter of Alexander MacKillop, with issue, six children two of whom are
dead. The living children are Ronald, Mary, Elizabeth and Catherine. The
young man Ronald of this family, enlisted in the American Army and spent
fifteen months in France and Belgium during the recent war. He was a
Sergeant, and came back safely. He' is now in Buffalo, New York, and
married to a daughter of Daniel Basker late of Mull River.
John, James and Angus Jr, sons of Ronald, died
unmarried; Daniel and Angus are on the farm with their sister Isabel, all
three unmarried. Malcolm works in one of the coal mines of Sydney.
Angus, brother of Big Donald, did not remain
on the old farm. He followed mercantile pursuits, commencing business
first at Mabou Bridge. He subsequently removed to Strathlorne where he
bought and occupied a farm. He was married first to Mary Campbell daughter
of Alexander of Black River, and secondly to Isabel MacDonald of Mull
River. By the first marriage he had Angus and Lexie, and by the second,
Alexander, James, and a little boy and girl that died young. The place
owned by Big Angus at Strathlorne is now owned and occupied by his
grandson, Alex. MacDonald, section foreman on the Inverness Railway.
Allan, brother of Big Donald, never got
married though he lived to a good round age. He was injured in the head
when a youth by a kick from a horse. He never got quite clear of the
effect of that injury. He was a good deal of a poet, and produced betimes
a lot of fun and fury among the more sensitive neighbors.
John, brother of Big Donald, died young and is
buried in the old Cemetry of Mabou. Alexander (Ban) was drowned at the
mouth of Little Harbor, Merigomish, on his way to Mirimachi in a French
schooner from Arichat. All on board were lost, but the bodies were
recovered of all but Sandy Ban.
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