My MacRae Family: COLIN
MACRAE born 1775 Kintail, Scotland is father of Christopher MacRae.
Christopher is my great-great-great grandfather.
Christopher MacRae and his
wife Katherine Murchison. Board a ship in Kintail, Scotland. Christopher
and Katherine sailed on to Canada, and settled on Big Harbour Island, Nova
Scotia. For further information on my particular MacRae Family Line,
please visit my website. Here is a little history on the name MACRAE.
The name MacRae is a
personal one, and not a patronymic like MacDonald. It originated quite
independently in various places in Ireland and Scotland from an early date
and was given to individuals who were in no way connected with each other.
The name appears in Scotland as early as the reign of Malcolm IV
(1141-1165). It first appears as a surname in the North of Scotland in an
agreement made at Inverness in 1386 between the Bishop of Moray and the
Wolf of Badenoch, for a parcel of land.
Three sons of the MacRaes of Clunes, left the district. One settled in at
Brahan, near Dingwall, where there was a piece of land named The Hill of
MacRae and a well called MacRaes Well. Another son went to Argyllshire,
while a third son was said to have gone to Kintail, in the first half of
the forteenth century. There in Kintail MacRae married a MacBeolan or
Gillanders, a kinswoman of the earls of Ross. The Earl of Ross held , at
that time land rights to the Castle and surrounding KinTail. The
MacKenzies did become Barons of KinTail, and they got loyal support from
The MacRaes formed a bodyguard of the Chief of Kintail and they were
instrumental in raising the Barony of KinTail to such an important
position in history of the highlands. It was an honour to have the MacRaes
to bear the dead bodies of the Baron of Kintail and later the Lords of
The founder of the MacRaes of Kintail was Black Finlay, son of Christopher
--a grandson of the MacRae who came from Clunes. Black Finlay lived at the
same time as Murdo MacKenzie, 5th Chief of Kintail who died in 1416.
In the year 1772 no less than sixteen vessels full of emigrants sailed
from western part of Inverness and Ross, supposedly containing 6,400 souls
and carrying with them at least 38,ooo sterling. Robert Chambers
1802-1871-writing about the MacRaes' stated--The clan is said to be the
most unmixed in the Highlands, the MacRaes' being the Handsomest and most
athletic men beyond Grampians'.
In the last two hundred years, the country has been denudded of its'
inhabitants and the MacRaes' of Kintail are spread all over the world. Of
the 450 members of the clan who lost their lives in the 1914-1918 war, not
more than a dozen came from the Kintail district.
Mass migration betwen 1770-1780 and remaining 50 years,the clan scattered
to USA, Canada,Australia and New Zealand. They went to Georgia, Arkansas
in the USA--to a district in Yukon, Canada to the mountains in western
Australia and to MacRaes Flat, North Otago, New Zealand.
Reverend Christopher MacRae is known to have gone before the year 1765 to
Virginia. It was not until after 1770 that their was the mass emigration
from Kintail to North Carolina. One person who was attracted to the area
was John MacRae, the kintail bard. John was there when the war of
independance broke out, being loyal to King George 111, he joined the
british forces., this particular John MacRae died a prisoner of war around
1780. There was also another John MacRae, who survived the war and became
North Carolinas' first poet. He is buried somewhere in the eastern part of
the Tar Heel State in an unknown, forgotten grave. It had been suggested
to erect in his memory a cairn, on MacRae Meadows, Linville or at the
village of Invershiel on North Carolina.
One of several Duncan MacRaes' who left Kintail in 1774, He settled in
North Carolina and married Ann Cameron. Their son John, became editor of a
newspaper. Johns' son Duncan Kirkland MacRae 1820-1888
born Fayetteville, then
Campbelltown, N. C.
became lawyer-elected to NC lesgislature 1842.
became Anmerican Consul in Paris 1853-1857
Civil War Colonel of the 5th NC Regiment-went
overseas, on return editor of newspaper 1864-1865.
Another man Hugh MacRae
1865-1950 of the western region in North Carolina, is a descendant of
Roderick MacRae who left Kintail in 1774. Hughs' grandfather, General
Alexander MacRae, organized an artillery battalion for the civil war, and
his father Donald MacRae, ran the iron mills.
This is the beginning of my story, but it most certainly is not the end.
Dale (MacRae) Barry
Learn more of the MacRae's at