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Skye Pioneers and "The Island"
Belfast Families - The Munros of Orwell, Alberry Plains, and Lorne Valley


It is believed' that the ancestors of this family emigrated from Caithness or adjoining county, to Skye at an early period. George Munro, the "fair miller," or "miller of Strath," in Skye, is believed to have married Jessie Nicholson, with issue, among others:

I. ANDREW, an officer in the naval service, taken prisoner by the Barbary pirates, escaped and subsequently went to South America;

II. JOHN, married Fanny, daughter of Capt. Kenneth Macdonald of Cuidrach, living in 1842 at Grantown, Inverness-shire, with issue, among others:

ANDREW, at that date serving with his regiment at Cape of Good Hope, and on August 13, 1862, living with his mother and his aunt, Mary Macdonald, in Forres, Scot.

GEORGE, married to Miss Donaldson, with issue: four sons and three daughters, living on August 13, 1862, and for thirty years prior thereto, in Dundee, Scotland;

KENNETH, married, with issue, living in Grantown, Strathspey, Scotland, in August, 1862;

III. JAMES, born in Skye in or about 1768. In 1785 and 1786 he entered as a medical student at the University of Edinburgh, and took classes in Chemistry, Anatomy, Surgery and Practical Medicine. The complete course of medical instruction at Universities and Colleges in Scotland at that time was two years. There was no Medical Licensing Board regulating who should practice medicine, and anyone could practice that profession, male or female, trained or untrained. Not until 1858 was there state supervision of Medicine. After that no unqualified person could pose as a "Doctor." in 1786 he began the practice of his profession in his native Isle in "Sleat, Strath and the Braes of Troderniss." He later moved to Uig, in the Parish of Kilmuir, where he resided until July 14, 1840, when, with his wife Annabella Macleod, and family, and nephew, Thomas Boston Munro, he sailed on the Brig "Ruther," 273 tons, of Sunderland, for P.E.I. He contracted pneumonia, and was put ashore at Tobermory, where he died. His wife and two daughters, Jacobina and Margaret Alice, who stayed with him, rejoined the rest of the family in Orwell, in 1841. They took up land and settled in Alberry Plains.

Their issue were:

1. MARION, b. 1812, d. June. 1897. In 1842 married Peter Nicholson, miller, Orwell, with issue;

2. GEORGE, b. 1815, emigrated to Australia about 1855.

3. DONALD, b. 1819, d. Alberry Plains, Oct. 8, 1884. Began an incompleted medical course in Scotland. For years there was no physician in his district on P.E.I. During this period he devoted himself to healing and helping his neighbors. To them he was known as "Doctor" Munro. He represented the Belfast district in Queen's County in the P.E.I. legislature, and was Lieutenant-Colonel of the Third (or Highland) Regiment of Queen's County Militia. He is buried in Belfast churchyard.

As a family the Munros for generations were noted for their fair complexion, fine physique, and handsome presence. In these particulars Donald Munro was no exception. He had a high reputation among the early settlers for skill in treating nervous disorders. By nature sympathetic, he always lent an attentive ear to his patient's troubles, even if obviously imaginary. On one occasion, one of his Point Prim patients in his distress conceived the idea that he harbored a live rat in his stomach. Such beliefs were not uncommon in those days. Doctor Munro agreed with this diagnosis. He made arrangements suitable to the needs of the case, and after the afflicted one had undergone a paroxysm of nausea, produced a rat before the eyes of the astonished sufferer. So beneficial was the treatment that the patient soon arose from his sick bed completely restored to good health.

Mr. Munro married Jessie, sister of Senator Dr. Robertson, b. 1833, in New Perth, d. May 1, 1910, with issue:

a. JAMES, b. 18$7, d. May 28, 1899, unmarried;
b. ANNA, b. 1865, d. 1926, unmarried;
c. MARGARET, d. Oct. 22, 1911, wife of Capt. John Nicholson, of Orwell Cove, d. Oct., 1927, with issue: Angus (B.A., U. of Sask.) b. Feb. 13, 1895, Lieut. 16th Canadian Scottish-killed in action, Flanders, March 5, 1918; Jessie, Alice, and John;
d. NELLIE, b. 1867, wife of Hiram Campbell, Wrangel, Alaska, with issue: Leonard and Ernest, the latter married with issue: Leonard;
e. ALICE, wife of Clarence Stewart, Little Harbor, N.S. ;
f. GEORGE, b. 1872, d. April 24, 1900, married, without issue;
g. JESSIE, b. 1875, wife of Murdoch A. Macleod, Dundee, P.E.I., with issue; 2nd, Rev. Dr. Genge;

4. MALCOLM JAMES, b. about 1822, d. 1849 or 1850, in New Orleans, unmarried;

5. JESSIE ELIZABETH, b. Uig, Kilmuir, Skye, 1824, d. Jan., 1904, wife of Malcolm MacLeod, Murray Harbor Road, without issue, buried in Orwell Head churchyard;

6. JACOBINA ANNABELLA, b. Uig, Skye, 1831, d. 1911, wife of her distant relative, Charles Crawford, Cardigan, with issue surviving:

a. REV. JAMES CRAWFORD (B.A. Dal., Pine Hill, Edin.)
b. b. 1864, Fintray, Aberdeenshire, married, Blanche, daughter of Rev. J. R. Munro, Pictou Co., N.S., with issue: Mary Munro, b. 1912; Annabella Margaret, b. 1914;

b. AMRAM GEORGE, b. 1871, married Eva Bulpitt, b. 1872, with issue: Marion Eliza, b. 1907; Deborah Mildred, b. 1908; James, b. 1910; Blanche Munro, b. 1912; and Charles, b. 1914;

c. SARAH ANNE, b. 1854, d. 1882, wife of John Williams, with issue: Almira, married, with issue, living in Vermont;

7. MARGARET ALICE, b. 1836, Uig, Skye, d. South Edmonton, Dec. 24, 1912, wife of Donald Macdonald, b. Skye, 1825, d. Dec. 24, 1911, with issue surviving:
a. JOHN, b. June ,1858, Witten, South Dakota, married Helen Bruce, Aberdeen, Scotland, with issue;
b. ALEXANDER, b. Sept., 1863, Fort Saskatchewan, Alberta, married Lucy Kephart, 1913, with issue;
c. PETER NICHOLSON, b. May, 1866, Bloomfield,
Nebraska, married, Maria Mitchell, with issue;
d. KATHERINE, b. April, 1868, Seattle, Washington;
e. ISABELLA MARION, b. May, 1870, d. Sept., 1915, wife of Robert Carpenter, Creighton, Nebraska, with issue;
GEORGE ROBERT GREY, b. Aug., 1872, Billings, Montana.

IV. ALEXANDER MUNRO (Alasdair Mor na h'urnuigh, ["The Men of Skye," by Robert McCowan.] Big Alexander of the Prayers), was born in Kilmuir, Skye, in 1774; Gaelic schoolmaster from May 1. 1821, to November 1, 1832, at Fernlea, Minginish, Parish of Bracadale, Skye, and thereafter to May 1, 1838, at Shawbost, Parish of Lochs, Lewis. He was employed in this work by the Honorable Society in Scotland for Propagating Christian Knowledge. During the same period he was catechist, and like his famous cousin, Blind Donald Munroe, catechist, was noted for religious zeal. He emigrated to P.E.I. with his family in 1842, and settled in Brown's Creek (Valleyfield), where he taught school and preached. A few years later he moved to Head of Cardigan (Lorne Valley), and there he passed away on November 11, 1856. His wife was Euphemia Campbell, cousin of Sir Colin Campbell. She died at Lorne Valley about 1882, aged 93 years. Both are buried in the Valleyfield churchyard. Their issue were:

1. JANET, wife of Angus McFarlane, Skye;
2. THOMAS BOSTON MUNRO, b. Triaslan, Skye, Oct.17,1817, d. Nebraska, June 31, 1888; schoolmaster, Shawbost, Skye; arrived in Charlottetown on Brig "Ruther," Sept. 8, 1840; taught school on P.E.I. 1841 to 1870; married, Sarah Shaw, Flat River, b. Oct. 16, 1827, d. Nebraska, Dec. 20, 1897; preached in Dundas and Brown's Creek; both buried in Irvington, Douglas Co., Nebraska; their issue were:

a. JANET, b. Dec 16, 1852, d. Seattle, June 4, 1913, wife of James Burns, with issue;
b. ALEXANDER, A., b. June 18, 1854 (M.A.U. of Neb., Columbia, Ph.D. U. of Wis.) Supt. of Schools, Omaha, 1887 to 1898, Principal in Schools N.Y. City, married, Mary Spaulding, b. Jan. 14, 1869, with issue: Thomas Munro, b. Feb. 15, 1897 (Ph.D. Columbia), Prof. of Philosophy, Rutgers Univ., Lecturer in Fine Arts, N.Y. Univ., married Lucile Nadler, with issue: Eleanor Carroll, b. Mar. 28, 1928;
c. EUPHEMIA, b. Sept. 2, 1857, wife of John S. Craig, with issue, among others: John Craig, b. Sept. 13, 1880, Attorney at Law, Council Bluffs, Iowa, Lieut. A. E. F., married, Hattie Hains;
d. ALLAN, b. April 29, 1859, Kent, Washington;
e. GEORGE A., b. Aug. 15, 1862, d. Oct., 1914 (U. of Neb.), minister, Congregational Church, Nebraska and Colorado, married, with issue, among others: Charles D., financial agent, Los Angeles; Bessie, wife of Rev. Herman Lindeman, Yankton, S. Dakota; Everett H., physician. Grand Junction, Colorada; Robert Blair, Grand Junction, civil engineer; George A., attorney at law, Kearney, Neb., married, with issue, among others: Nancy Jean;
f. DONALD, b. May 27, 1864, d. Alberta, Feb. 17, 1899;
g. CATHERINE ELIZABETH, b. April 19, 1867, d. Seattle, 1923, married, with issue;

3. GEORGE, b. 1821, married, first Louise Swan, Little York, with issue, among others: Katherine Euphemia, Moose Jaw married John Macdonald, without issue: second, Hattie Wadman, Crapaud, with issue;
4. FLORA, wife of Neil Shaw, Lorne Valley, with issue, among others: Allan Shaw, Cardigan;
5. CATHERINE, d. July 26, 1854, wife of John Shaw, Lorne Valley, with issue: Euphemia, wife of Mr. Scribner, Mich., U.S.A. ; Katherine, wife of Murdoch Nicholson, Lorne Valley; and Alexander, married, with issue, the latter, while Master of the Barque, "Veronica," in 1902, was murdered on the the High Seas, under atrocious circumstances, by members of a mutinous crew. ["In the Wake of the Wind Ships," by F. W. Wallace.]
6. JOHN, b. Skye, May 1831, d. Lorne Valley, Jan. 10. 1917, schoolmaster, catechist, and farmer, married, Jane MacSwain, b. Skye, emigrated to P.E.I. 1840, d. Mar. 13, 1925, with issue:
a. CATHERINE, b. Feb. 23, 1861 wife of Eben Finlayson, Riverton, without issue;
b. EUPHEMIA CATHERINE, b. April 19, 1864, Lorne Valley ;
c. GEORGE ANDREW, Brookville, Pa., U.S.A., b. Mar. 4, 1866, married, with issue;
d. JAMES ALLAN, Barrister, Moose Jaw, b. Sept. 7, 1868, d. May 3, 1920, unmarried;
e. ANNABELLA, b. June 18, 1870, d. Aug. 21, 1898, wife of Charles McGrath, with issue, among others, Kimpton and Munro;
f. DONALD, b. July 2, 1872, Sacramento, Cal., married, with issue ;
g. MARY, b. May 18, 1876, d. Jan. 20, 1927, wife of Daniel MacSwain, Lorne Valley, with issue;
h. JACOBINA, b. May 12, 1878, wife of George Howard Lydiard, Moose Jaw, Sask., with issues John Munro; Jean Munro, George Edward, and Mary Euphemia;
i. ALEXANDER, b. July 5, 1882, Queen Charlotte Island;

7. ANNE, b. 1834, d. 1926, wife of John McSwain, Lorne Valley, with issue: eight children;

8. MARY, b. 1834, wife of Capt. Allan MacSwain; lives in Lorne Valley, without issue. Anne and Mary were twins.

9. DONALD, married, Catherine Cameron, Whim Road Cross, with issue;

10. CHRISTY, wife of Neil MacLeod, without issue.

The Munros of Lyndale are connections of the above family. Donald Munro emigrated to that district in 1840 from Kilmuir, Skye. He died on May 24, 1873, aged 80, and is buried in the Baptist churchyard at Uigg. He was succeeded on the Lyndale homestead by his son Roderick, b. 1837.d. 1912. He left a large family. A son lives on the old farms. Daughters are married to, Daniel Alexander Macpherson, merchant, Uigg; Neil George Macpherson, Newtown; and William Bec MacLeod, Orwell Cove. Others left the district.

Another branch of the same family are the Munros of Kilmuir, P. E. Island.


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