Maclntyres of Glendale Parish arrived in Cape
Breton in about 1820 from the island of South Uist, part ofthe
Hebridean chain of islands off the west coast of Scotland. Nobody is
certain yet where they were before South Uist but the name is common
through out Scotland and Ireland. Somerled MacMillan, in his book "Sporan
Dhomhnuill", on the poetry of the great Gaelic bard, Donald ‘Ruadh’
Maclntyre of South Uist, suggested "three distinct branches of Maclntyres
are known to be in South Uist which are in no way related to each other".
Tradition has it that one of them
came from Skye via North Uist while the other two came direct from the
winged isle "Skye".
Their leaving South Uist was
probably related to a religious upheaval which occurred there in 1770
after Alexander MacDonald of Boisdale, the Clanranald cadet who owned and
administered South Uist, was excommunicated from the Roman Catholic
Embittered by the discipline of the
church, Boisdale carried out reprisals against those of his tenants who
refused to leave the church with him and subsequently, in 1772, many of
them left the island with a party of emigrants from the Scottish mainland,
under the leadership of Captain John MacDonald, laird of Glendaladale and
Glenfinnan, and they settled with him in Prince Edward Island.
The Maclntyres’ seem to have become
associated with the House. of Boisdale at about that time. Roderick
Maclntyre became the Gardener to the MacDonalds of Boisdale and visitors
to South Uist can still see the high wall that encircled the gardens in
which he worked.
There are no recorded birth dates
for any of those sons but informants in Scotland suggested that one named
Archie was born in 1788, and another named Norman, in about 1793. In about
1808 or 1809, Archie married Mary Steele who, it is believed, was from
Ireland. There are a number of people named Steele living in South Uist
today and some informants suggest that it is possible that they originated
in Ireland. In those days there was a great deal of traffic back and forth
between the north of Ireland and the Outer Hebrides because they are
relatively close. Today a small cove near Lochboisdale, South Uist, is
still called Bagh nan Eireanach (Irishmens Bay). Neither the Steels nor
the Maclntyres approved of the marriage because Mary was Catholic and
Archie was Presbyterian but they preserved and settled on a croft in South
Their first child was a boy, born
around 1810, named Donald, their next boy named John, and a girl named
Jessie. In 1818, they had another son and they called him Archie.
While it is unclear how they
resolved there religion problem for the first four children, there is a
record in the Catholic church in Bomish, South Uist, showing the young
Archie was baptized there in 1818.
There is nothing on record to
indicate what happened after that but the oral tradition is consistent.
The landlord, the story says, protested to Mary that the baby should be
raised in his father’s religion and Mary, as the dispute grew increasingly
bitter, eventually consulted a priest. The priest advised her that the
family should emigrant and that she could be confident that her children
and their descendants would never suffer from the move.
One of their children, John, who was
four or five years old, remained in Scotland and, it is believed,
eventually settled in Glasgow. A seaman named Maclntyre came to Cape
Breton a number of years ago seeking relatives, and the people he
contacted at the time, in Port Hawkesbury, concluded that he was a
descendant of John’s.
It is not clear why John remained
behind. One story suggests he was, ‘kidnaped’ by either MacDonald or by
his grandparents in an attempt to deter Archie from leaving. A more
plausible story suggests he was very attached to his grandparents and
raised such a protest at the moment of departure that they left him behind
with the understanding he would follow them. Norman did follow Archie but
did not bring the little boy with him and, as far as can be established,
the parents saw their son for the last time on a little wharf in the
shadows of the granite hills which brood over Lochboisdale.
The departure of the Maclntyres
would have been a reminder of the departure, nearly 50 years
before, of the sad Uist people who joined the Glenaladale settlers on
their way to Prince Edward Island. And it would have been a grim
forerunner of the clearances that would occur there just 30 years later
when, after the MacDonald estate on South Uist were sold to the
Cathcart-Gordon family, Colonel Gordon banished more than 1,000 of his
The memory of those two sons of the
gardener, Archie and Norman, faded gradually in Uist and, until recently,
when direct links were re-established, lapsed entirely. The gardener and
his remaining family apparently kept their sadness to themselves because
their descendants knew nothing of Archie and Norman except that the names,
which continued strongly there, had a special place in the hearts of the
Archie arrived in Cape Breton in
1820 but it can not be determined whether he came directly or through
Pictou, as so many others did at that time. Shortly after his arrival he
acquired land in that part of the River Inhabitants district now known as
Queensville and the original home was located just behind the present home
of Mrs. John (Cassie) Maclntyre. After their arrived here, Archie and Mary
had six more children, Anne, Roderick and Catherine, who died in infancy,
and Mary, Sarah and Donald (Og) who survived and married.
Very little is known of Norman’s
family, other than information in J.L. MacDougall’s History of
Inverness County which suggests that his children were eventually
located in the vicinity of Maclntyre Lake and that the line died out.
Some time during the winter of
1834-35,Archie’s two sons, Donald and Alexander, followed a stream
up a nearby mountain and decided that it would make a suitable place for a
settlement. Alex, that winter made the first clearing near the top of what
came to be known as Maclntyre’s Mountain. His brother, Donald cleared land
below him, with his first home on a property which was continuously
occupied by himself, his son, and finally, his grandson, Dan L. Maclntyre,
Donald Maclntye died while he was
still in his prime, probably some time between 1845 and 1850, leaving his
wife Christy with six young boys. Because of Donald’s early death, the
sons were identified by their mother’s name (i.e. Sandy Christy, Norman
Christy, etc.). Christy Maclntyre was a remarkable strong woman who, when
she was older, was faced with the task of raising the six children of her
son, Alexander, whose wife, the former Margaret MacDougall of Rear Long
Point, died while her children were still infants.
For almost a century, the community
on the mountain grew and at various times had lumber mills, a school, a
post office and a store. At the same time, in Queensville, the line was
continued strongly by two of Archie’s other sons, Archie and young Donald.
From those two lines, Maclntyre’s
Mountain and Queensville, most of South Inverness County descended, as
well as a large number of the Maclntyres’ now living in the Sydney area
and in the New England States. Others descended from these lines are
scattered throughout Canada and the United States.
The following genealogical detail
does not attempt to provide information on the lives of the descendants of
Archie Maclntyre, just names their names. It takes each of Archie’s
children individually and follows that person’s line, through male
descent. Lines from Alexander and Archie have been developed through to
the fourth generation while the line for Donald, the youngest, has been
traced for three generations.
Information was obtained from
records in the provincial and national archives, the registry of crown
lands in Halifax, municipal records in Port Hood, MacDougall’s history
which, apparently had an excellent source of information on the Maclntyre
Archie Maclntyre and Mary Steele
were progenitors for all the Maclntyres of Glendale Parish in addition to
most of the Maclntyres in the neighbouring parishes of West Bay Road,
Creignish, and Judique. Their children were: Donald, Alexander, John,
Jessie, Archibald, Mary, Sarah, Donald, Anna, Rodenck, and Catherine.
Since the printing of the
Genealogical History: St. Mary's Parish, Glendale, NS., many more
generations have been added to Pioneer Archie‘s families. The information
printed, researched and recorded mainly by Linden Maclntyre, a free lance
journalist and descendant of Donald Maclntyre, Pioneer Archie ‘s son,
spurred others to pick up the research. The record has made it possible to
continue the collection of the lines followed in the original printing but
where information was lacking then, time has erased it more so today. A
reunion of Maclntyres, held in 1996, brought many of the Maclntyre
descendants together, thus recording of names have added generations to
the individual children of Archie and Mary Steele. And like the original,
we will follow each of Archie‘s children through generations to the
Recently, Linden passed on a piece
of information that was to late coming to be include in the first
printing. It indicates that Roderick (the Gardener) also had a daughter,
Anna. We have pieced together a short outline on Anna as well.
The above information was taken from
the book "Cuir is Buain" A Genealogical History of Glendale and
Neighbouring Communities, by The Glendale Gaelic & Historical Society.
There are around 100 pages of genealogy information in the MacIntyre's
within this book.
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