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Mini Biographies of Scots and Scots Descendants (Mc)
MacRae to Cape Breton

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.

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 Seaforth.

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

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