The Davidson Connection?
Alexander MacKay was known as Alexander MacKay 'Bratten' and some records
indicate that he once lived in Bratan in Rogart. Bratan or Brattan is
known in the Parish Records for Rogart; also referred to in these records
as 'Bratan Grudy', which could be the area known as Brae Grudy or Grudy
today. In St. Callan's Church of Scotland cemetery are three footstones
bearing the following inscriptions:
a) A. MK M. MK 1822
b) A. MK M. MK 1822
c) A. MK M. MK 1822
The meaning or identity of these grave markers or graves has not been
Most of the children were born at Grudy, but Annabella was baptized at
Braddasu and Margaret was born at at Inceroy in Rogart; however, Margaret
was baptized at Grudy. The obituary in the Halifax Morning Herald for
Dolina states that she was born in Golspie in 1803, whereas the Parish
Records indicate that she was baptized at Grudy in 1803. This obituary
was thought to have been written by her son, Dr. William ('Bill') MacKay.
I am told that Grudy - Brae Grudy, Bratan or Bratan Grudy - is situated near
Sciberscross in Rogart. As I was not aware of any connection with Grudy when in
Rogart, I did not take the opportunity to explore it. I am told that one takes
the road leading away from the Rogart Station and to the east of Smithy House at
Pittentrail, and past St. Callan's Church.
The Parish Records of Rogart show Margaret with maiden name of Margaret
MacKay, as mothers were recorded with their maiden name in birth or
baptismal entries. Perhaps there is no reason to assume that Margaret
was not a MacKay before marriage. However, family tradition indicates
that she was Margaret Davidson, daughter of Davidson the Sherriff of
A record of the sheriffs and sheriff-substitutes dating back to the
Abolition of Heritable Jurisdiction in 1748 found on the wall of a second
story room of the Court House in Dornoch (May, 1983) does not mention a
Davidson. Her father may have worked under the earlier system.
found by Mrs. Ida MacKay in a 1983 issue of the magazine, "Scottish Home
and Country", appear relevant. One wonders if there might be some
In 1972, Dr. W. MacKay of Newcastle (?Chatham), New Brunswick showed me a
paper containing the account of a brooch
which had been passed from the eldest daughter to the eldest daughter -
the first recorded daughter being 'Margaret Davidson'.
Alexander MacKay was known as Alexander MacKay 'Bratten' among his peers.
The obituary of his daughter, Johannah, refers to him as 'Alexander MacKay
Bratian". Mrs. Howard Murray of Earltown remembers the family as "The
Bratten MacKays". Notes of my father from his visit to Rogart in 1932
contain the notation "A. MacKay, Bratan, 1822". The above account of the
brooch indicates that Marion was born in Bratten, Scotland. The obituary
of Johannah states that her father was Alexander MacKay 'Bratian', Parish
of Rogart, Sutherland.
"died on 25 February, at Scotsburn, Johannah, wife of John
Campbell, age 75. She was the daughter of Alexander MacKay of
Dalhousie, elder, well-known as 'Alexander MacKay Bratian', Parish
of Rogart, Sutherlandshire." (Presbyterian Witness of March 21,
Notes of my father state that Alexander was a free mason in Rogart. The
death record of another of Alexander's daughters states that he was a
wheelwright, confirmed by Mrs. Howard Murray. In the one of the regiments
on the Sutherland Muster Roll of 1813, there is a Lieutenant Alexander
MacKay of Grudy, Rogart. Any connection to this family has not been
[Copyright (C) 1996]