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Mini Biographies of Scots and Scots Descendants (Mc)

Many thanks to Helen Widener for sending in the following information...

I don't know if you have ever seen this letter, I just assume it is widely circulated. It was written in 1821 by James Mackay of Archiliney, Parish of Kidonan County of Sutherland shortly before his death March 16, 1822. James was born May 1, 1761 and removed to Canada about 1775 with his brother John Mackay.

Mexico, Missouri
March 26, 1891

The following is a copy of an unfinished letter written sometime before the year 1821, by Captain James Mackay of St. Louis, Missouri, to this oldest son, John Zeno Mackay: (recopied February 3, 1956)

"My dear Son:"

"As it is the natural desire of all persons to know their pedigree, and such knowledge being always pleasing and sometimes useful, I will endeavor to give you (for your satisfaction and that of all my family) as much information on that subject as my recollection can furnish, that you may know from what race you are descended and not remain in that ignorance which is the lot of the generality of those living on this side of the Atlantic, who not only know nothing of their European Ancestors, but have even lost their own real name. You, my dear son, are a descendant of the ancient race of O'Connor, one of the Kings of Ireland, which appears by the genealogy existing in our family these six hundred years. Prince Alexander, son of O'Connor, about the year 1200 came from Ireland with his followers and landed in the north part of Scotland, where he conquered a considerable tract of country, the most of which is still inhabited by his descendants (the Mackays). Alexander's son's name was Ay or I. about this time the great families began to use surnames to distinguish their families, consequently the sons of I were surnamed Mac I or Mackay, which name was ever after retained by their offspring. The word "Mac", or "Mack", in the old language of Scotland signified "son". I was born in Arrichiliney, Parish of Kildonan, County of Sutherland, North part of Scotland. My father, George Mackay, who was a Judge, and my mother, Elizabeth McDonald, both of exemplary virtue and goodness, now deceased, resided at said Arrichiliney, which was also the residence of my grandfather, James Mackay, whose father's name was John, and John's father's name was William, who was the son of Murdoch Mackay, who was called the Great Murdoch, being not only a man of power, in the dark age h lived, but also possessed prodigious personal strength. My memory is not sufficient to trace out the line of our ancestors beyond this great man last mentioned, being the seventh generation back from you. I believe that sometime before this day our family became the youngest branch and consequently was excluded from the paternal inheritance which according to the laws of that country became the right of the oldest son and is now the property of his lineal descendant, George Mackay…Lord Rae. From every information I ever could collect it appears that our ancestors were eminent for personal courage and for their integrity in every situation, public or private, which was their lot to occupy and that their conduct on all occasions was worthy of the noble race from whom they descended. I do not give you this relation respecting your ancestors that you may think yourself superior to other good men, but for the purpose that you may emulate their example and thereby render yourself worthy of the esteem and confidence of all good men, and honour and a blessing to your people, your country and yourself. And this maybe the last advice that I may ever be able to give you, I charge you, my dear son, not to neglect it. Remember it is the advice of a tender father who loves thee as his own life and whose advice is founded on a long experience, acquired in a life checkered with various scenes of good and evil inseparable from the rugged path of human life, through which you must also pass and perhaps commence its troubles without a father to guide thee. I am grieved at the thought of leaving you, your worthy mother and the rest of the family, in a corner of the earth removed from society and good examples, almost ruined by the injustice of government and now chiefly inhabited by a new population, the most of whom (considering property their chief good) stick at nothing to acquire it, and with few exceptions, those of them who amassed property since their arrival here, got it by fraud and injustice; therefore watch them as you would a wolf in the desert, for they will try to prey on you also. I do not mean to say that all the American race are of this description, for the Atlantic States (where people are civilized) morality reigns as in other civilized countries. But in all countries there are a certain description of persons, whose conduct is incompatible with the rules of a well regulated society, and of such are the generality of our new population. Men without honour or religion, disregarding even that natural duty which all mankind owes to t heir parents and other relations; the child prosecutes his parents and reduces them to poverty if he can; brothers and sisters are not ashamed to have their names called in court, against each other. Such is the present depraved state of society in this country, though I hope you will live to see an alternation for the better…and I have noticed it here merely to end that you may arm yourself against the danger of being tainted by the present infamous state of things. In whatever situation you happen to be, public or private, let the rules of rectitude and your conscience be your guide, let not even pity make you deviate from this rule…leave the events to God who can bring good out of seeming evil. Use civility to all persons and of every description; make as few enemies as possible for the meanest being may find means to injure. Have but few friends, for you will find few in this world worthy of that name. Therefore be circumspect in your choice of them and careful to preserve their confidence after you prove them to be deserving of yours. Honour thy mother, she is worthy of all good and of more than you can do for her; protect her and the sisters and all the family as long as you live. Never place your confidence in a man void of religion, for what the fine and empty men of the world call honour (if not supported by religion) is as frail and false as a shadow and will deceive, soon or late, all who will depend on it. I do not mean the external forms of religion, though that is also necessary. True religion consists of loving merely, acting justly and never forgetting that the Almighty Lord of the Universe is a witness, to all our actions. Preserve to the outmost the confidence and friendship of my excellent and constant friend, Colonel Anthony Soulard, and his family; above all others follow his advise and you will do right. I need not mention your grandfather, Captain John Long, for it is natural for him to be your friend and he will always be so. I have two brothers alive, Robert, who is a Captain in the British Army, where he served twenty years and is lately retired on full pay to a small estate which he owns near the City of Inverness, in Scotland. He has but one child, Magarete, who is lately married to a Major Mackay of the same army. His name is William. My other brother, George, the youngest of our family, is in Nova Scotia, has been overseer of the public works, and is, I believe, removed to the Island of Cape Breton. He has a large family My oldest brother, John, and his excellent consort are both buried on Long Island, near New York. Their three children, Eliza, Mary and Matilda, live with their grandmother, widow of Judge Paul Micheaux, on Staten Island. I recommend them to your friendship for they are deserving. My brother William, younger than me, died many years ago at Petersburg, in Virginia, where he had been to establish a commercial house. My oldest sister, Jean, and her husband are dead and left a large family, some of them in the army and some in Scotland. My other and youngest sister, Catherine, married to George Mackay and lives in Doverary, in the County of Caithness, Scotland. They have a numerous family. Two of her sons, George and John, are merchants in Inverness. I have some relatives in Boston, New England, possessing much property. My Uncle, William Mackay, came to North Carolina with his wife, Isabella and Eleven children, in the year 1774. Before I left Europe, I was told by my father that they lived in Rowan County, before the Revolution, but I never heard anything from them since. I remember that they had several sons, the name of the oldest was James."

Transcribed by Helen Widener

This is a copy of the 1956 Copy, typed August, 2002
Note: Captain James Mackay's wife was Isabella Long, daughter of Captain John Long, a Revolutionary officer from Virginia. He was a captain under General LaFayette and engaged in the Battle of Brandywine.

I found this document among some papers given to me by my husband's family, they were really fragile but I have been able to transcribe then mostly complete.

I am writing a biography at the moment on the Life of James Mackay who up until I found these papers was thought to have been born in 1759 but as you can see he was born May 1, 1761. The significant part of this man's life was his exploration of Canada and the Missouri River from the Mandan Village to the Rockies by way of the Missouri and Yellow Stone Rivers. He left maps and journals. All though a number of articles have been written on his maps and journals nothing has been written on his entire life. The book will cover his life as well as a number of years after because of the large amount of land grants he held in Spanish Louisiana. He explored the Missouri to the Mandan Village from St. Charles almost ten years before Lewis and Cark and a number of the pages of his journals have turned up in their papers. There will be a lot written about him, I think next year.

I have all the births of Mackay's nine children and I will send that also, Maybe some descendants of the families will contact me. James' brother George Mackay moved to Cape Breton, Nova Scotia and settled there. He left a large family behind.

Thanks for your interest, I have just returned from Scotland to see the ruins where James Mackay lived.

Helen Widener

Copied from Original Manuscript written by John Milton Barker 19th day of June 1896. Papers are very brittle and torn apart but very readable, and very regrettably taped together.

Transcribed by:
Helen Widener November 30, 2002


I John M Barker am an American and would not exchange its form of Government for all the glories of Kingly rule of all the ages past or future and I do not recommend the fostering of family pride further than to

(line torn through)

with the hope that if any of them become distinguished in any way for goodness or greatness, it may serve succeeding generations to follow in their honorable footsteps.

I do not know much of my father's ancestry. His name was Simeon L.[Lumpkin] Barker born in Harrisburg, Ky. on the 13th July 1815, 4 miles East of Middleton, Mo. at Barker's Ford, where his body now sleeps. He was one of the sons of Stephen Barker born of English American parents at Poughkeepsie, Dutchess Co. N.Y. August 25 in the year 1769 (looks like he originally wrote 1759), and he ran away from College at 16 and joined Washington's Army participating in long battles commanded by that Great Soldier., he was in the Indian Wars afterward and in the battle where Tecumseh* was killed , he died in 1844 in Grant Co. Ky. and was buried with marked military honors. His wife, my grandmother (paternal) was Elizabeth

(back side of page I)

Lloyd daughter of Col. Thomas Lloyd of Virginia. My good wife Maggie (Pace) Barker was the oldest of daughter of Wm. H. Pace Esq. and Mary Elizabeth (Davis) Pace his wife, The Paces formerly were distinguished among the (line torn through…….) related to the Irvines, Wycliffs and Davises of Ky and other good families in that state and Missouri. Her father Wm H. Pace Esq. was born in Madison Co. Ky. and died on the 12th March 1891 at his home in Woodson Co. Kansas and now sleeps in the Wellsville, Mo. Cemetery, her mother is yet living in Kansas.

My father Simeon L. Barker and my mother Louise Isabella Mackay were married to each other on the 21st day of August 1839 in the town of Crittenden Ky. and from there returned to St. Charles Co., Mo and made their home on the Mackay Survey my mothers land.

My darling little mother was born in a brick residence of grandfathers afterward converted into the academy of the Sacred Heart by the Catholics on Hickory and 5th streets of St. Louis (before the streets were laid off she was born on the 8th of Jany. 1820 and died of cholera at Flint Hill, St. Charles Co. Mo on the

(front of page II)

8th of June 1851 at six o'clock in the morning on Sunday without an enemy on earth aged 30 years and 5 months.

The last words she spoke was to myself, my little bother Mackay, Zeno, LeGrand and little sister Gertrude. It was "Be Good Children"


John M Barker is the 2nd son of Simeon L. Barker & Louise (Mackay) ( this Mackay is crossed out) Isabella (Mackay) Barker born Dec 20th 1841.

Louisa Isabella (Mackay) Barker was the youngest child of Captain James Mackay born in Archliney, Scotland on May 1st 1761 and died in St. Louis, Mo on the 16 March 1822. He was the 2nd son of Judge George Mackay of Archliney, Scotland. He was the son of James Mackay who was the son of John Mackay who was the son of William Mackay who was the son of Murdock Mackay who was called in Scotland the Great Murdock, being a man of giant strength and great influence in the dark ages in which he lived.

The first known of this Mackay

(back of page II) family is follows

The ancient race of O'Conner, Kings of Ireland, are the Parent Stock:

In the year about 1200 Prince Alexander son of King O'Connor went over to Scotland from Ireland with his followers and captured a large tract of Country. Alexander's sons name was Ay or I and he was named Mac (meaning the son) or Mack in the old language of Scotland - so it was they took the name MacKay - The country they took embraces the Parish of Kildonan County of Sutherland North Scotland as it appears from history and a large part of the Ancestral Estate was held in 1822 by George Mac Kay Lord Rae he being in line of succession.

We sometimes get interesting letters from our kinsmen across the sea, and many of them accompany places of importance and honor.

This statement is written by me on Sunday the 19th day of July 1896. At this writing my wife and daughter Leona as at the house of our dear son Justin, who has been near death for weeks at Atkins, Ark but thank God is better.

John M. Barker

III (front)


Children of George Mackay of Arichliney Scotland who died Jan (?) 19, 1809
Jean was born Feb 1, 1756 died Oct 4, 1784
John was born 10th Nov 1758
James was born May 1, 1761. Died March 16, 1822
William was born March 15, 1763
Kitty was born Dec 31, 1767
Robt was born March 15, 1770
George was born August 15, 1774
John Long was born March 1752 died March 8(?), 182[3] age of 74 years and his wife Elizabeth Long died in St. Louis Co. aged 77 years on Apr. 5 1832.
And their daughter Elizabeth Long (Elizabeth Mackay) was the wife of said Captain James Mackay who were the parents of Louise Isabella (Mackay) Barker
Elizabeth Mackay died in 1860 and sleeps on the hill side about 1/4 mile of a mile South of the old Mackay house in the Gravois 4 miles West of South St. Louis. Capt James Mackay's last resting place was lost in the field, although long searched for and is built over by the city of St. Louis. She was born Sept. 2nd 1788 in Philadelphia. Pa.

Back of Page III

Children of Simeon L and Louise Mackay Barker

Stephen Mackay Barker was born near Flint Hill, St. Charles Co., Mo on the 28th July 1843 Monday 10 AM and died on the ___ 18th at Wellsville, Mo. (no year of death is given)
John Milton Barker was born near Flint Hill at 8 AM on Monday the 20th Decr. 1841 (written in by different hand writing - died Jan 1913).
Zeno Trudeau Barker was born on Monday 10 O'clock P.M. Oct 2nd 1843 at the same place died.
James LeGrand Barker was born on Monday 27 (torn) 1845
Twin boys - born on June 5, 1849 not named one died June 11, 1849 the other died on June the 25th 1849.
Gertrude (Darling) Barker was born on June 7, 1850.

Continue with children of 2nd wife

Back of page III continued

Children of Simeon L. Barker and his 2nd wife Camelia Alice (Herndon) Barker.

Edward Herndon born April 21, 1853 died May 12 (unreadable)
Louise Alice born June 12, 1855
Wm. Wirt born Dec 28, 1856
Maud Mary Jicqueline born March 2, 1859 and died Feb 21, 1861
Henry Haluck born Nov 5, 1860 and died Sept 2, 1862

(written in by other hand) Laura Antoinette born about 1864 died at Foristell, Mo in 1906

Written on side of Page I in margin:

Bartlesville Oklahoma

Feb 1 - 1913 I have taken nothing from the box containing this paper except to have a type written copy brief for my own reference

(signed) Norman Barker

Note from Helen Widener

* Tecumseh was born in 1768 in Old Piqua, Ohio and died Oct. 5 1813, near Thomas River, Ont. He was a Shawnee Indian Chief, Orator, Military Leader advocate of Indian Confederation directed resistance to White rule in the Ohio Valley.

Copied from Original Manuscript hand written by John Milton Barker on the 19th of June 1896 and passed down through his family a grandson of James Mackay born May 1, 1761.The original document is in the hands of Barker's great grandson James F. Widener of Irving, Texas

Children of George Mackay of Archliney Scotland who died Jan. 19, 1809 in Wick, Scotland and Elizabeth MacDonald who died in Wick in 1829

1. Jean was born Feb 1, 1756 died Oct 4, 1784
2. John was born 10th Nov 1758 [died in New York, Staten Island]
3. James was born May 1, 1761. Died March 16, 1822, St. Louis, Mo.
4. William was born March 15, 1763. [died in Virginia]
5. Kitty was born Dec 31, 1767 (Catherine) [ stayed in Scotland]
6. Robt was born March 15, 1770 [stayed in Scotland]
7. George was born August 15, 1774 [moved to Cape Breton, Nova Scotia]

These Records are as they are written in the Old French Records of Basilica of St. Louis Old Cathedral, St. Louis, Missouri Baptism Records

Mackay-Long Children - Birth date - Baptismal date

1. Zenon Jean - 18 August 1801 - 14 August 1810
2. Eliza Lucie - 26 May 1803 - 14 August 1810
3. Catherine Maria - 27 May 1805 - 14 August 1810
4. Julie Jeanne - 13 February 1808 - 14 August 1810
5. George Antoine - 18 July 1811 - 8 July 1812
6. Guillaume Robert - 24 June 1813 - 8 August 1813
7. James B - 24 August 1815 - 23 May 1816
8. Emillienne - 13 March 1818 - 30 April 1818
9. Isabella Louisa - 8 January 1821 - 21 April 1821

1. Is better known as Zeno Mackay in English
2. Eliza Lucie Mackay stays the same in English
3. Catherine is better known in English as Catherine Mary Mackay
4. Julia Jeanne Mackay stays the same in English
5. George Antoine Mackay in English George Anthony Mackay
6. Guillaume is known as William Robert Mackay
7. James B. Mackay is James Bennett Mackay in English Records
8. Emillenne Mackay is Emily or Amilie Anne in the English Records
9. Isabella Louise is better known to her descendants as Louise or Louisa

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