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MacKintosh Book Review

MACKINTOSH FAMILIES IN GLENSHEE AND GLENISLA. By A. M. Mackintosh. Pp. iv, 86. Demy 8vo. Printed for the Author by George Bain, Nairn. 1916. 6s. 6d. net.

THIS is of the nature of a supplement to The Mackintoshes and Clan Chattan, and is the work of a painstaking and accurate family historian. He deals with the Mackintoshes of Dalmunzie, who called themselves MacRichie up to the beginning of the seventeenth century and even later; the Mackintoshes of Ballachraggan, an offshoot of the above; the Mackintoshes of Craigton in the Stormont, who may also have been cadets of Dalmunzie ; the Mackintoshes of Fenegend in Glenshee and Forter in Glenisla, who were originally MacThomies or MacComies; and the Mackintoshes of Laws, whose original patronymic was Maclnlie.

It is not easy to account for these families having assumed the name of Mackintosh, as there is no direct proof that they were actually connected with the Clan Chattan, but the author is of opinion that there are some grounds for referring them originally to that parent stock. On the other hand, as the name Mackintosh merely means sons of the 'Toiseach,' thane, chamberlain, or seneschal, it is possible that the name in their case only indicates descent from some local officers of the kind above mentioned. However they may have subsequently attained the name of Mackintosh we find Robert MacRichie of Dalmunzie mentioned in the Privy Council Records so early as 1584. His son Duncan is noticed at the same time with the 'tee' name 'Cattanach.' Duncan's grandson is in 1641 styled Robert Mackintosh alias M'Ritchie, and from his time onwards the family seems to have been known by the name of Mackintosh only. Two of their members attained to somewhat eminent positions : Lachlan, minister successively of Dunning and Errol, was Moderator of the General Assembly in 1736, and refused re-appointment for a second term of office. In connection with his wife, Margaret Murray, daughter of the minister of Trinity-Gask, the author states that she was a granddaughter of Bishop Freebairn of Edinburgh, but this is impossible. The minister of Trinity-Gask married Jean Jarden, and their daughter Margaret must have married the Rev. Lachlan Mackintosh before 1717, the date of the birth of their eldest recorded child. But Bishop Freebairn only married in 1699, and would not therefore have a granddaughter who was beginning to bear children in 1717. Lachlan's son Robert was called to the Scottish Bar in 1751, and attained distinction as the junior counsel for the defence in the famous trial of James Stewart of Aucharn, for being accessory to the supposed murder of Colin Campbell of Glenure. Robert was in the fair way of attaining a name and position both in politics and law, but had constitutional faults of temperament which nullified his undoubtedly great abilities. He ultimately got into financial difficulties, his lands were sold, and he died, an old and disappointed man, in 1805.

John Mackintosh of Forter is another outstanding man whose history is detailed in this volume. He had a busy and eventful career so far as he himself was concerned, though the incidents thereof are not of much public interest. He also died a disappointed and impoverished man. This is a book which will be indispensable to the investigator into Mackintosh family history : it belongs to a class of works which deserves every encouragement, for to the serious student it is more important to have the history of even small families given in detail than to have a more generalised and ''popular' account of a wide-spread race. Much patient and laborious work has been put into this little volume, and it will sustain the reputation of the author as a very competent genealogist.