Offprint from Scottish Studies Volume 11 1967

An Old Highland Parish Register
Survivals of Clanship and Social Change
in Laggan, Inverness-shire, 1775-1854



In an earlier article the evolution of a Scottish clan was traced from its origins in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries to the year 1705 (Macpherson 1966 : I). The study showed that biological growth in numbers was accompanied by relatively compact territorial expansion, and that by the time that these progressive and related changes had begun to reach their geographical limits a high degree of endogamy prevailed within the clan. The clan was that which first appears in official records of the sixteenth century as the Clanpherson or Clan Macpherson; the district in which most of the territorial expansion occurred was the old Lordship of Badenoch, situated in the southeast part of the Shire of Inverness. In the present study attention is focused on the Parish of Laggan which forms the southwestern part of Badenoch, and an attempt is made to show how social patterns associated with the clan system, well established in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, survived in and adjusted to the vastly different circumstances of the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. The document from which the new data are drawn is the Register of Marriages and Baptisms in the Parish of Laggan for the period between 1775 and 1854.

      In the earlier study the data derived mainly from genealogical material and referred only to the numerically and territorially dominant clan in the district. Information, in fact, was generally lacking for all but the tacksmen families among the Macphersons. Humbler clansmen were mentioned by name and their family relationships to fellow clansmen were given, but there was virtually no information respecting their wives, daughters and place of abode. In the Register of Laggan, on the other hand, virtually the whole population presents itself for review. The document allows us to determine the relative importance of non-Macpherson elements, including other clans, with whom the Macphersons lived in a single community. It allows us to ascertain whether social patterns found among the Macphersons in earlier centuries still persisted after the traditional date for the collapse of the clan system, and whether these patterns also existed among the smaller clans of the district.

      The Register of Laggan reveals the whole social spectrum in the parish, from country lairds such as Macpherson of Cluny and Macpherson of Glentruim, through lesser


tacksman families, to the host of humbler small tenants and farm servants who formed the majority in the community. Besides farmers, grieves and farm servants the economic structure of the population is found to include the parish minister, the parish schoolmaster, traditional tradesmen such as millers, blacksmiths, carpenters, tailors and shoemakers, country merchants, and after 1800 -- the shepherds and gamekeepers of the new economy. In the absence of exact data on immigration, emigration and death (there is no record of burials), the Register is somewhat reticent at the purely demographic level. But careful scrutiny and analysis reveal something of the tide of emigration that had already set in when the record opens. They also indicate, rather surprisingly, that emigration was partly offset after 1820 by an immigration from other Highland parishes, from the Scottish Lowlands, and even from England. It has proved possible to map in detail the association of particular clans with particular farms, to discover the prevailing customs governing the selection of the place of residence after marriage, and to delineate the practice of local migration within the parish, all of which were closely related to the heritable tenure rights inherent in the clan system. Parish records, including registers, have often been used in the past as sources for local social history, but the writer believes that this is the first time that one has been used for a detailed analysis of a Highland population. He believes that its use in this manner has led to a further breakthrough in our understanding of the traditional Highland way of life. The fact that the period covered by the study happened to be a critical one in the history of the Highlanders simply adds a further dimension to its general interest.

The Register: Extraction and Preparation of the Data
The Register of Laggan is part of a collection of Church of Scotland parish registers deposited with the Registrar-General of Scotland at New Register House, Edinburgh. Several of these have been published in print, particularly by the Scottish Record Society. There are very few registers, however, which have survived from the upland and island parishes, and none of these has found its way into print to the knowledge of the writer. The Badenoch parishes, in fact, are rather conspicuously fortunate in the fact that their registers extend back into the eighteenth century.

      Prior to 1855, when compulsory registration of births, deaths and marriages began in Scotland, the only continuous record related to the life of the people at large consisted of church registers of marriages, baptisms and burials. The motives underlying the maintenance of such registers differed from those inherent in the legislation for compulsory registration, and only the forcefulness and assiduity of parish ministers, session clerks and elders of the kirk could ensure that such registers gave a more or less complete record of marriages and live births. Fortunately, we are dealing with a period when religious attachment and observance were widespread, when clergy were revered as spiritual leaders in the community, and elders were feared by their less elevated neighbours. The Laggan Register, which consists of four ledger-sized volumes of long


hand, was begun during the incumbency of the Reverend James Grant: the baptismal record just after he took the charge in September 1775, the marriage record just after he married Anne McVicar, better known as 'Mrs Grant of Laggan', in May 1779. We shall have occasion to refer to her Letters from the Mountains more than once in this study, giving as they do some splendid pen-sketches of the life of the Laggan folk among whom she lived. The Register, besides containing baptismal entries for the Grant children, also includes entries for the families of the Reverend John Matheson, Mr Grant's successor, who held the charge from 1801 to 1808 , George Shepherd (1818-25), Donald Cameron (1832-46), William Sutherland (1846-50), and John McLeod (1851-69) in whose time it terminated.

      Protracted work on the Register makes it apparent that it represents a virtually complete record of baptisms, and therefore of live births, in the parish. The only omissions of any significance can be accounted for by the presence of several families of Roman Catholic MacDonalds on Lochlaggan-side and at Garvamore near the headwaters of the Spey. These families formed about 9 per cent of the population in 1755, and about 16.5 per cent in 1790.[1 ] The completeness of the baptismal record also means that the Register provides a full roster of the resident families (710) into which children were born between 1775 and 1854. In these respects, then, it can be approached with a high degree of confidence.

When the marriage record is scrutinised, however, complications arise. Of the 710 resident families (they were not all resident at the same time, of course) producing infants for baptism, only about 40 per cent (289) have their marriages recorded. If the recorded marriages which did not result in any baptisms in the parish (183) are included, the percentage rises to about 53 per cent of the total number of couples who were associated with the parish in one way or another. Throughout the Register families appear suddenly for baptism as resident in a particular farm, and we are left to guess whether the parents of such a family had been married in another parish or whether they had formed a common-law marriage beginning with a 'penny wedding'. Certainly, the percentages just quoted seem far too low to be accounted for entirely by church marriage elsewhere, and lead to the conclusion that common-law marriage was of some considerable significance. That this type of marital union occurred, was frequent, was undertaken seriously, and constituted a popularly recognised part of the Highland way of life in Badenoch is strongly indicated by condemnations of the custom in the records of the Kirk-session of the Parish of Kingussie for 1725 and 1728. These dates are a trifle early for the period under consideration, but the practice is alleged to have been prevalent in Badenoch within the memory of people still alive in 1893 (Macpherson 1893: 30, 34).

      When families appear in the baptismal record for whom no marriage entry exists one cannot be certain that the first recorded baptism is for the firstborn; the couple may have immigrated into the parish with several older children. One can be fairly certain, on the other band, that many of the children baptised in the first few years of


the Register had siblings born before 1775. Uncertainty returns when one considers the impossibility of deciding whether a family which has ceased to baptise in Laggan has left the parish, has lost a parent by death, disease, or recruitment into the army, or has simply ceased to reproduce. Similarly, couples for whom there is a marriage entry but no recorded baptisms may be interpreted as having emigrated from the parish or as still resident but barren.

      Second marriages, which are known to have been frequent among the Macphersons in the seventeenth century (Macpherson 1966:18), can seldom be recognised in the register in the absence of a burial record, and only if the individual concerned bears a very distinctive name. This largely eliminates the possibility of identifying second marriages with any certainty among the larger clans, where a few first names were in very frequent use, and where several men of the same name often lived on one farm. This is unfortunate, for it is for these clans in particular that one would like to have full information.

      What all these restrictions amount to, then, is that the Register cannot be used as a purely demographic document: fertility can be calculated where a marriage record exists, but live birth rates can only be calculated with caution, and any assessment of family size from generation to generation is very hazardous.

      The copying of the Register was begun by Mr Lloyd C. Macpherson, Aurora, Ontario, and the writer in the summer of 1962, and was completed by Mr A. F. Macpherson, W.S., Edinburgh, in 1964. It was then the task of the writer, assisted by Lloyd Macpherson, to reduce the copied material to family data sheets, on each of which was compiled all the information available on one family as derived from the marriage entry (if such existed), and from all the baptismal entries pertaining to that family.

      The formula for a marriage entry varied a little with changes in the office of session clerk of the parish. Invariably it gave the respective surnames of the couple and the first name of the husband, while the first name of his spouse was omitted in only a very few instances. Unlike the registers of lowland parishes in towns like Edinburgh and Dundee, no information is generally given about the parentage of the bride, except in some halfdozen instances scattered throughout the Register and in the last three years of record where her father's name and residence, and sometimes his occupation, are given. On the other hand, in all but a very few cases the farm on which each party was resident at the time of marriage was recorded, and, where one was outwith Laggan the parish in which it was situated was named.

      The formula for a baptismal entry also varied a little during the period. The full name of the father was almost always mentioned and he was further identified by residence. The mother's full maiden name was usually given, this being the name by which, following old Scottish legal and popular practice, she continued to be known in the parish after marriage. Omission of the mother's name occurs in isolated instances scattered throughout the Register, and is more frequent than not from November 1797 to December 1806. In almost all such cases, however, earlier and later baptisms


fill the omission. In many of such cases, also, the formula alters to include the terms '. . . and his wife', '. . . and his spouse', or '. . . in wedlock', so that no doubt exists as to legitimacy. In baptismal entries for illegitimate infants both parents are named, and the farm of residence for each is given; the formula usually includes the term '. . . born in fornication', although there are one or two instances where the child is more delicately described as 'natural'. There are forty-five entries where illegitimacy is stated explicitly, and another eleven where no mention is made of the marital status of parents described as living on different farms. Obviously, in these latter cases some doubt exists as to the legitimacy of the children, and this was recorded on the data sheets. For statistical purposes, however, these children were included with those stated explicitly to have been illegitimate.

      While the data sheets were being prepared two problems recurred persistently. These concerned questions of individual identification and family connection, the solution of which resulted in a certain amount of processing of the raw data and which greatly added to the final value of the data sheets.

      A problem of individual identification occurred whenever a name was omitted from an entry, when a rather long interval interposed between baptisms, or when the baptismal record seemed to show a change in location of residence within the parish. The problem was compounded by the fact that of the 710 resident and baptising families exactly 50 per cent were either Macphersons or MacDonalds; if the Kennedies, Maclntoshs and MacIntyres are included the figure rises to 65 per cent. When one considers the awesome fact that 40 per cent of the heads of families among the Macphersons and 52 per cent among the MacDonalds bore the name Alexander, Donald, or John, the problem would appear to become insuperable. Names were equally repetitious among the mothers of families. It is probably this characteristic of Highland records which has daunted earlier students of Highland history and has been responsible for their continued neglect in modern studies.

      The problem, however, is only apparent. The record for each couple consists, in fact, of a number of variables: two surnames, two first names, two places of original residence (if there is a marriage entry), a place of residence at each baptism, and the scale and position of the dates involved. When all known facts were assembled and each problematic entry was faced with several possible and alternative identifications these variables were found to be quite sufficient for a decision carrying some degree of certainty. When compilation and processing of the data were completed only a very insignificant fraction of the total record proved itself to be quite intractable.

      The problem of family connection concerned the relationships between different generations. The Register contains eighty years of record, spanning two or three generations of men and three full generations of women. Assuming a fairly high degree of conservatism and immobility in the population at large, based primarily on attachment to clanship and land, it should be possible to identify parents in the later generations with baptised infants in earlier ones. The common assumption, however, that the


Highlanders observed fairly rigid rules in naming children, e.g. that the first-born son was named after its paternal grandfather, the second son after its father, is not confirmed by the inspection of a large number of cases. Application of such rules was equally indiscernible among the Macphersons of Badenoch during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. If such rules did in fact exist they were undoubtedly complicated in principle and flexible in practice, and were probably related to the system of tenure rights and the exigencies of the family. Many instances present themselves on the data sheets where a first name was used twice in baptising within one family, implying the demise of the first child bearing the name before the birth of the second. The name, in such a case, almost certainly belonged to a member, probably a deceased member, of an earlier generation. In general, however, inspection indicates that maternal relatives were as much involved as paternal ones in the passing on of names. In any case, in the absence of complete genealogical information connection by name alone was considered too hazardous and was not attempted in this study.

      The more reliable method of identifying connections between families of different generations involved a careful scrutiny of all families, no matter the surname, associated with each particular farm. The efficacy of this method is illustrated later in this study with reference to the conjoint farm of Drumgask, demonstrating the relationships found to exist there among certain families of Macphersons, MacDonalds, Tolmies and MacIntoshes. The association of a particular family with more than one farm during the period from marriage to last baptism is often found to be related to heritable tenure rights on both sides of the family, and is therefore closely related to the selection of residence at marriage and subsequent migration within the parish. Plotting data for particular farms, in fact, revealed a great many connections between families: between families on different farms and between families with different surnames and of different clans. The net result was a large-scale cross-referencing system of notes which has greatly added to the value of the data sheets.

I The Community in Laggan: Clans and Families
The population of Laggan between 1775 and 1800 was composed of families belonging to all of the clans of the central Highlands and of a number of small families with distant or unknown affinities. Despite differing clan attachments and religious affiliations most of these families had shared a common historical experience for several centuries and now formed a single community. Genetically it functioned to a very large extent as a single gene pool which reflected the amount of inbreeding characteristic of sedentary mountain peoples practising a traditional way of life in relative isolation. Kinship extended across clan lines in a complex web that gave cultural cohesiveness and social, if not political, solidarity to the community.

      Laggan, on the other hand, was not a closed biological community. The gene pool


received from and contributed to the population of a much larger area that embraced not only the parishes of lower Badenoch, but also the districts of Strathspey to the northeast, Lochaber to the west, Rannoch to the southwest, and Atholl to the south. It is significant that the districts from which marriage partners were drawn between 1775 and 1854 were the very districts already represented in the community before 1800:Lochaber by MacDonalds, Kennedies, and Camerons, Atholl and Rannoch by Stewarts, Robertsons, Camerons and MacGregors. The Frasers of Stratherrick to the north, on the other hand, are barely represented by fellow clansmen, the Farquharsons of Braemar to the east not at all, and neither of these districts, separated from Laggan by high mountain ridges and broad plateaux, contributed anything to the gene pool.

      Figure I shows the relative strength of several of the more important families and clans in the community for the periods 1775-1800, 1801-25, and 1826-54. The statistical


'population' used here consists solely of those families for whom actual residence in the parish is proved by baptismal records. It was thought that this would give a more accurate picture of the composition of the population than would result if marriages were included which were contracted but not necessarily or apparently consummated in the parish. In order to make the second and third periods conform to the same definition as the first all families producing children in two periods were counted in both periods. The percentages have been plotted for the mid-point of each period, i.e. for the years 1787, 1812, and 1839/40, and trends have been suggested by projecting backward and forward from 1812 through the other two years. This admittedly simple method probably gives a good representation of what was actually happening after 1787, but may rather exaggerate the amount of change before that date.

      Only one general characteristic of the original community in Laggan will be noted here. It is evident from Fig. I that, while the MacDonalds and Kennedys more or less held their own and some of the smaller clans and families such as the MacGregors slightly increased their relative importance, the Macphersons, Maclntoshes, Cattanachs, Clerks and MacIntyres -- that is, the clans traditionally associated with Badenoch declined markedly in importance. This relative decline coincided with a general decline in the population of the parish, and must therefore be related to social factors acting selectively in the community. The slight acceleration in the relative decline of the indigenous clans after 1812 can probably be explained as the delayed result of the operation of these factors during the first major phase of depopulation, which struck the parish between 1790 and 1811.

      Table I gives a fuller statistical account of the clans and families resident in Laggan before 1800 They have been divided into three groups: those traditionally thought to have had some connection with the original Clanchattan; those who had taken refuge among or had accepted the protection of the traditional Badenoch clans; and those who bore surnames used by clans associated with districts other than Badenoch. Each of these will be described in turn.

Clan Macpherson. This clan is believed to have originated in a protracted and complex migration of the Clann Mhuirich, part of the Old Clanchattan, from Lochaber to Badenoch, Rothiemurchus and the Castlelands of Inverness during the late fourteenth and early fifteenth centuries (Macpherson 1966: 9, 10). Its leaders claimed to represent the senior line of the Old Clanchattan. One of its early leaders, Duncan McChynnich (the) Parson, is reputed to have held a secular office prior to 1430 in which he was responsible for the 'collection of the parsonage teinds & viccarage of the Parish of Laggan'. Whatever truth there may be in this, it is certain that two branches of this clan, the Sliochd Choinnich and the Sliochd Iain, invaded Laggan during the first half of the fifteenth century and acquired the farms of Garvamore, Clunie and Breakachie by marriage and conquest. By 1700 they had extended their dùthchas rights to include Garvabeg,


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Kyllarchill, Crathie Croy, Pitgown, and Ovie (Uvie) on the north side of the Spey, Shirramore, Shirrabeg, Blargiebeg, Strathmashie, Gaskinloan, Catlaig (Catlodge), and Nessintullich on the south side of the river, and Crubinmore, Crubinbeg and Presmuckrach on the west side of the Truim; they had been joined by one tacksman family of the Sliochd Ghill-ìosa at Coraldie. By 1775 they had extended their interests to include holdings in most of the remaining farms along the Spey. Thus most of the Spey drainage within the parish had come to fall within their preserves, and in this part of the parish their interests were paramount and unchallenged when the Register opened. Prestige also undoubtedly accrued from the fact that theirs was the only chief resident in the parish.

      Macpherson clansmen are also known to have been probing into the western part of the parish in the Loch Laggan drainage area since a date prior to 1647, mainly by the acquisition of wadset rights in the farms of Gallovie, Invervidden, Kinloch(laggan) and Muckcoul. This encroachment into territory generally acknowledged to be MacDonald preserve culminated in the acquisition of the whole estate of Lochlaggan as a feu-right by Macpherson of Clunie in 1726, although full possession was not obtained until 1785. (Paton 1903: Nos. 394, 414, 415, 525 (1) and (4), 726, 731, 736, 758, 843 and 855.) It terminated between 1766 and 1772 when a very determined effort was made, eventually successful, to install the Rev. Robert Macpherson of the Banchor family,


former chaplain of the Fraser Highlanders, in the farms of Aberarder and Tullochrom on the north side of Loch Laggan, formerly occupied by MacDonalds. (Forfeited Estates' Papers Collection, Register House, Edinburgh.)

      Social and economic dominance, however, did not prevent -- and might well have been indirectly responsible for -- the abandonment of some farms immediately prior to 1775. The flight of the tacksmen, in fact, began before 1766, when the Macphersons of Garvamore were already established as manufacturers in Berwickshire in the Scottish Border country, and continued with the removal of the Macphersons of Ovie to Culachy near Fort Augustus by 1774 (Macpherson 1893: 494 (after Glenbervie); Grant 1807:I1176; and Macphail 1896: 278).       The Macphersons never formed a majority in the Laggan community, and probably never much exceeded one-third of the population. In virtue of their dominant position as a clan, however, they undoubtedly had a proportionately larger stake in the system of heritable rights on which wealth and prestige rested than had any of the smaller clans. Their relative decline in the community -- itself a shrinking entity -- from 35.4 per cent to about 18 per cent between 1787 and 1840, is therefore a direct measure of the failure of the system of heritable rights. More particularly, it was a symptom of the breakdown in their confidence in the system and in the viability of the society and way of life of which it was an integral part. The numerical decrease which accompanied their relative decline was, in fact, catastrophic. The number of resident families fell


from 107 in the period 1775-1800 to forty in the period 1826-54, a reduction to 37 per cent of their former strength. By 1854, as the Register closes, their numerical superiority over other clans had vanished, and they found themselves in a position of mere parity with the MacDonalds. At the date of writing (1967) the proprietory family of the Macphersons of Glentruim is the only survivor of the process, the last working family of Macphersons having died out in the 1950s.

Clan MacIntosh. The first reference suggesting the presence of this clan in the Parish of Laggan is given in a somewhat cryptic statement in The Kinrara MS (168o), to the effect that Adam McWilliam MacIntosh, a bastard son of William, Laird of MacIntosh between 1346 and 1368, 'dwelt first in Atholl and afterwards passed over to Garva mor in Badenoch'. This might indicate a date prior to 1400. His posterity, however, are said to have lived in Glenshee, Strathardell and Glenisla (Clark 1900: 176). Sir Aeneas Macpherson, in fact, throws considerable doubt on the accuracy of this statement, both as to time and descent, for he states in The Loyall Dissuasive (1701) that he was told by John MacIntosh of Forter in Glenisla that 'his predicessor was a son of the house of Garvamore in Badenoch, where [as Sir Aeneas comments] never a McIntosh traded till this our age, otherways than as a guest or passenger, so was rather McPherson, as all the other McIntoshes in the south are' (Murdoch 1902: 43, 44) .

      We reach much firmer ground with Kinrara's statement that 'From John, brother of Ferquhard [the Laird of MacIntosh who died in 1417], but illegitimate [sic?], there sprang the house of Crathy mor in Badenoch, whose posterity are called Slighk Ian Lea vic Lauchlan' (Clark 1900: 182). Kinara shows considerable animus against the family of Ferquhard, who was deposed as chief in 1409, apparently because of his close family relations with Duncan and Donald MacChynnich, the leading men of the Sliochd Choinnich Macphersons, and it is perhaps significant in this respect that the Sliochd Iain Léith Maclntoshes settled among the Macphersons in Laggan. On the other hand, the earliest marriage recorded in The Genealogies of the McPhersons was that of Duncan McIntosh of Crathiemore to the youngest daughter of Dougall Macpherson of Essich, the latter very active in the affairs of successive MacIntosh chiefs and murdered in their service in 1572. Duncan of Crathiemore may also have fallen in the same cause, for the MS adds that he 'was killed in Drummine be the Clanchameron' a fact also alluded to in the Kinrara MS (Clark 1900: 249) and dated 1591. His grandson "William McConnachie vic William in Crachymoir" married Catherine Fraser between 1632 and 1636 (Inverness Register of Sasines, 1606-1660 : 53). The family figures little in the affairs of later MacIntosh chiefs, although John Keir MacIntosh was a tenant on MacIntosh's farm of Muckcoul in the Loch Laggan area in 1635 (Paton 1903: No. 348), and John MacIntosh of Crathie was one of the men who accompanied the Laird of MacIntosh on his expedition into Lochaber in 1679 (Clark 1900: 403). On the other hand, three alliances with the Sliochd Iain Macphersons are recorded in The Genealogies of the McPhersons, the first a marriage between a daughter of MacIntosh of Crathiemore and Malcolm Macpherson of Tirfodown, the second the marriage of Angus MacIntosh, tutor of Crathiemore, to Mary, a daughter of Soerle Macpherson in Nessintullich, and the third between Angus


McIan Cheir in Crathiemore and Ann, a daughter of John Macpherson of Invernahavon, all of them in the mid-seventeenth century. Alexander MacIntosh in Crathiemore married Elspet, a daughter of John Macpherson of Crathie Croy (Sliochd Choinnich) at about the same time.

      The Sliochd Iain Léith in Crathiemore, however, were not the only Maclntoshes connected with Laggan. Lauchlan MacIntosh, a younger son of the usurping chief, Malcolm Beg, and a brother of Duncan who was Laird of MacIntosh between 1457 and 1496, was connected with the parish on two counts: his first wife was a daughter of 'the chief of the Clan Gilliniv [Latin text] who possessed Gask mor in Badenoch, by whom he had no offspring'; and he himself 'lived for the most part at Gelloway [Gallovie] in Badenoch, as he was chosen chief of the Badenoch people; on this account he was afterwards called Lauchlan (of) Badenoch' (Clark 1900: 194, 200, 201). He actually acquired Gallovie from the Earl of Huntly in 1481, and the farm was confirmed to his eldest son, Malcolm, by the same Earl in 1492 (Paton 1903: Nos. 12, 16 and 17). Malcolm's illegitimate descendants, the notorious Sliochd Iain mhic Gille-chaluim or, Clann Eachainn, however, had no further connection with either Gallovie or Gaskmore and the heritable rights in these farms would appear to have reverted to the legitimate line in the person of his younger brother William of Dunachton, later Laird of MacIntosh.

      William MacIntosh acquired Dunachton in lower Badenoch as a result of his marriage in 1497 to Isobella MacNivcn, 'heiress of the barony of Dunachton', and it may be surmised that this alliance was a consequence of his prior possession of the old MacNiven farm of Gaskmore in Laggan. As in the case of his father's first marriage, they had no issue, and Dunachton then passed into the general inheritance of his younger brother Lauchlan and later Lairds of MacIntosh. Gaskmore, which had been acquired before this family became Lairds of MacIntosh, did not follow the same path. Kinrara states that 'after the death of Isobella, William had two sons . . . by a daughter of Paul Macvurrich [Latin text: Makwirrich]', one of whom was Donald Glas(s), a man of great vigour and activity, from whom sprang the family of Strone' (Clark1900: 205). Donald Glass MacIntosh of Strone in Kingussie was responsible for the apprehension in 1531 of his illegitimate cousin John Malcolmson MacIntosh, who was later executed for the assassination of their uncle, Lauchlan, Laird of MacIntosh, in 1524 (Clark 1900: 218). His maternal grandfather, Paul Macvurrich., was almost certainly the Sliochd Iain Macpherson from whom the Macphersons of Strathmashie were descended. [2] The latter was a family which subsequently had close relations with the family of the MacIntosh chiefs and which provided several chamberlains and attorneys to administer MacIntosh's affairs in Lochaber during the sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries (Macpherson 1966:28). Moreover it and its cadet branch in Shirrabeg were the Macphersons primarily responsible for the extension of the interests of that clan into the heritable rights attaching to the farms at the head of Loch Laggan, already noticed (p. 158), and it is therefore interesting to speculate as to the exact set of relations which


may have brought this about. Our initial interest in Donald Glass, however, resides in the fact that his eldest son, James McConill Glass, was generally known as 'of Gask (in Badenoch)'. James, who was even more deeply involved in the affairs of successive Lairds of MacIntosh than were his cousins, the Macphersons of Strathmashie, appears frequently under this designation between 1563 and 1603 (Clark 1900: 259; Paton: 1903: Nos. 80, 88, 92, 93, 139, 142, 145, 148, 152, 153, 163, 168, 172, 182, 187, and 206), strongly suggesting that the heritable rights to the MacNiven farm had come into his possession, presumably from his father and grandfather. Only once is there a reference to him as 'James McConill Glass in Strone in Badenoch', and this was in connection with a wadset of the farm of Clune which was adjacent to Strone (Paton 1903: No 138). His eldest son, Lauchlan, is referred to variously between 1597 and 1656 as 'of Strone' and 'of Gask' (Paton 1903 : Nos. 182, 292, 339, 340 and 449; Clark 1900: 259, 272), while his younger brother, William McConill Glass, was a tenant 'in Gallowye' (Gallovie), another of Lauchlan Badenoch's acquisitions, in 1563 (Paton 1903: No. 80).

      Gaskmore and Gallovie, however, were not the only farms associated with the Sliochd Dhomhnaill Ghlais. The Genealogies of the McPhersons indicates that Angus MacIntosh, a younger son of Lauchlan of Gask, was in possession of the farm of Gergask at the time of his marriage to Katherine, a daughter of Andrew Macpherson of Clunie, in the early seventeenth century, and he retained the designation till 1648 (Macpherson 1893: 3 80). William Roy MacIntosh of Gask, who was the subject of genetic speculation on the part of Sir Aeneas Macpherson in The Loyall Dissuasive (Murdoch 1902: 89) was probably a son of this marriage; if so, it would suggest that separate branches of the Sliochd Dhomhnaill Ghlais now inherited Gaskmore and Strone respectively. Alexander MacIntosh in Blargiemore, who married a daughter of John Macpherson of Crathie Croy (Sliochd Choinnich) late in the sixteenth century, was probably another member of this family. William MacIntosh of Blargiemore was a witness with his son John in 1678 to an instrument of sasine confirming a wadset of the farm of Gallovie recently granted by the Laird of MacIntosh to a family of MacDonalds. Again, in 1714 William, son of John MacIntosh of Blargiemore, was a witness to the disposition (or transfer) of a wadset of Muckcoul from the Macphersons of Shirrabeg to John Macpherson of Benchar (Paton 1903: Nos. 574 and 699). In the latter case Duncan Macpherson of Invertromie, probably the most active leader of the Sliochd Iain at that time, was also present at the transaction, probably to represent the interests of the whole kin of the Sliochd Iain, to which the outgoing wadsetters belonged, and it seems likely that the Blargiemore family was present in both 1678 and 1714 for much the same reason. It was almost certainly a leading family of the Sliochd Dhomhnaill Ghlais, representing a residual interest in the heritable tenure rights of the two farms. The Genealogies of the McPhersons mentions a MacIntosh of Blargiemore who married Henret, a sister of John Macpherson of Invernahavon (Sliochd Iain) who was active in the midseventeenth century, and the Kinrara MS refers to William MacIntosh of Baroggy (sic, Blargie?) as accompanying the Laird of MacIntosh on his expedition into Lochaber


in 1679 (Clark 1900: 403). The last occasion when a member of the Strone family was involved in transactions of land involving the lands of Kinlochlaggan occurred as late as 1756 (Paton:1903: No. 817).

      The foregoing excursion into the history of the Clan MacIntosh in the Parish of Laggan has revealed the presence there of two principal families, the Sliochd Iain Léith and the Sliochd Dhomhnaill Ghlais. The farms traditionally associated with them by the late eighteenth century might be expected to include Crathiemore, Gaskmore, Gallovie, Kinloch(laggan), Muckcoul, Gergask and Blargiemore. The three Maclntoshes who surrendered with the Laggan men of Clunie's regiment in 1746 had their places of residence listed as Crathiemore, Blargiemore and Gergask (S.P.D. Geo. II 36: Pf 92, ff 251). The Register of Laggan, in fact, confirms their presence in Crathiemore, Gaskmore and Blargiemore, and, as we shall see, presents indirect evidence of their continued connection with Gergask. But the association with the three farms at the head of Loch Laggan would appear to have been finally broken before 1775.

      The Register records twenty-eight MacIntosh families as residing in the parish prior to 1812: ten of these lived at Crathiemore, three at Gaskmore, and two at Croftcroy of Blargiemore. Others lived on the farms of Balmishaig, Craigcarnet, Crathie Croy and Balspardan, lying between Crathiemore and Gaskmore in a tract not more than three miles long. The fact that all seven farms were involved in the local migrations to and fro of four of these families seems to confirm that they constituted a tract where the Clan MacIntosh continued to possess most of the hereditary tenure rights until about 1812.

      Table I shows that this clan suffered a relative decline in the community between 1787 and 1840 -- from 7.54 to 3.37 per cent -- which actually exceeded that of the Macphersons. Most of it, moreover, occurred before 1812, suggesting that the factors producing social disintegration and selective emigration were swifter in their effect on the smaller clan. The resident MacIntosh families were reduced numerically to 26 per cent of their former strength by 1840. Furthermore, when the record of their presence in the parish is examined for the period 182,6-54, there is practically no evidence of a continued association with the seven farms formerly in their possession. Apart from the families of two shepherds of the name, one in Crathiemore in 1829, the other in Blargiemore as late as 1843, the last baptism at Gaskmore occurred in 1786, at Blarglemore in 1794, at Crathiemore in 1815, and at Coul of Crathie in 1821. All others of the name appearing in the later period covered by the Register are found scattered throughout the parish and often residing on farms associated with their wives' families.

The Cattanachs. By its form -- in Gaelic, Catanach -- this is a name of some apparent antiquity. It was used by Sir Aeneas Macpherson as a personal appelative in a reference to 'Muriach Cattanach' (Muireach Catanach), the name-father of the Clann Mhuirich or Macphersons. [3] It is generally understood to indicate derivation from the Old Clanchattan and its eponymous founder, Gillicattan More, of whom Muriach Cattanach


was reputed to be a son. The actual existence of these personages, however, is not a matter of contemporary record.

      It is curious, in view of its legendary antecedents, that the name does not appear in the Mackintosh Muniments at Moy nor in the Macpherson of Cluny Collection in the Scottish Record Office, Register House, Edinburgh. Furthermore, it is barely mentioned in Glimpses of Church and Social Life in the Highlands in Olden Times (1893), and then only with reference to Strone in the Parish of Kingussie (Macpherson 1893: 3 26). This reference, however, may be significant, for in his compiled genealogy of the Macphersons Sir Aeneas Macpherson mentions a family of 'Macphersons' who were tenants in Strone and millers in Benchar at the end of the seventeenth century. He refers to them collectively as the Clan vic Gillicattan, and indicates that although they were related by marriage to the Macphersons of Biallid they did not belong to any of the sliochdan composing the Clan Macpherson (Macpherson 1966: 35). The connection with Strone, despite its late date, might equally point to the Sliochd Dhomhnaill Ghlais.       The earliest recorded use of the surname known to the writer occurs in the surrender lists for Ewan Macpherson of Clunie's regiment of Badenoch men in 1746, in which men of the name are given as resident in the farms of Kyllarchill, Crathiemore, Gaskmore and Clunie in Laggan, and in Clune in the Parish of Kingussie. (S.P.D. Geo. II 36: Pf 83, ff 295; and Pf 92, ff 251, 256, and 257). Clune, as it happens, was a Macpherson farm situated between Strone and Benchar which were originally MacIntosh possessions. It is interesting to note in this connection that one of the very few casualties suffered by Clunie's regiment in the 'Forty-Five was the capture of 'Alexander Catenach, miller, aged 17' at Clifton (Seton-Gordon and Arnot 1928: No. 453; and, S.P.D. Geo. II 36: Pf 92, ff 10, 11). As several of his fellow prisoners gave their origin as 'Canousie' (Kingussie), this lad most probably belonged to the Cattanachs at the Mill of Benchar. During the forfeiture which followed the 'Forty-Five (1747-84) one man of the name is recorded in the rental survey of 1748 as a small tenant in Kyllarchill, and his signature to a petition in 1757 indicates that he was still in possession in that year. Thereafter none of the name appears as tenant on the Forfeited Estate of Clunie, although they may of course, have remained as sub-tenants.

      The Laggan Register records Cattanach families in Crathiemore (1), Gergask (3), Gaskmore (2) and Pitgown (1) before1800, indicating that their heritable tenure rights were concentrated in a small area which overlapped to a considerable degree with that of the Clan MacIntosh. There is a hint, moreover, that the same pattern of migration within the tract may have existed as prevailed among the Maclntoshes: the move of one family from Gaskmore to Gergask between 1789 and 1793. The concentration of families in Gergask is particularly interesting, for this farm was associated, as we have seen, with the Sliochd Dhomhnaill Ghlais Maclntoshes. Even more significantly, the head of the family in Crathiemore appears in his marriage entry in 1780 as 'John Cattanach, merchant', but in the first baptismal entry as 'John McIntosh, merchant', a name which he retains in two further entries in 1785 and 1787. Whatever truth there


may be in Sir Aeneas Macpherson's calling the Strone-Benchar Cattanachs 'McPhersons' in 1705, the fact is inescapable that by 1780 at least some of the Laggan Cattanachs were identifying themselves with the local Maclntoshes. The near coincidence of their geographical distributions suggests that common interests in the preservations of tenure rights had been developing for some time. The evidence of their marriages, as we shall see, points in the same direction.

      The decline of the Cattanachs -- both relative and numerical --between 1787 and 1812 exactly paralleled that of the Maclntoshes, and their association with the farms of Crathiemore, Gergask and Pitgown was similarly broken during that period. One of the Gergask families moved to Cromra in the Loch Laggan area between 1799 and 1807. Another, of unknown antecedence, is recorded in Gaskinloan and at Tullocherrachd between 1796 and 1809. The last family in Gaskmore moved to Clunie in 1818 or 1819. In the period 1826-54 only one new family appears in the Register, resident in Clunie from 1842 until the Register closed.

The Clerks. The name -- Gaelic, Cléirich -- is also one with legendary associations with the founder of the Old Clanchattan. Mackintosh of Kinrara refers to him as 'Gillicattan MacGellespick chlerich" while Sir Aeneas Macpherson makes great play with the term, applying it to Gillicattan himself and interpreting the name as 'Gillicattan the Clerk'. He states in his Supplement to the Loyall Dissuasive (1704) that 'Gillicattan, albeit called Clerach, was himself no Clerk or Churchman, tho his father Muriach was; but in that (as all Muriach's posterity have done to this day) took the additional sirname of Clerach or McPherson in commemoration of his father's being a churchman' (Clark 1900 163; Murdoch 1902:48, 119). Once more we encounter Sir Aeneas's propensity to identify another Badenoch family with his own clan.

      A more serious origin is given for this family in a statement by Kinrara, to the effect that 'William Mac-chlerich, from whom the Clan Chlerich are designated, was a domestic of Malcolm [Laird of MacIntosh from 1409 to 1457], and for himself and his posterity swore obedience and fidelity to him' (Clark 1900: 192). It was evidently upon the authority of this statement that Sir Aeneas Mackintosh listed the 'Clerichs' in his Notes Descriptive and Historical (1774-83) as one of 'The Familys of Clanchatton designed [designated] by the heads of their respective Tribes, and not of the name of McIntosh' (Mackintosh 1892: 18). He gives 1400 as the year when they took protection under MacIntosh. He is wrong, however, when he asserts that this clan was represented among the leading signatories of the Termit Band of Union amongst the Clan Chattan of 1609, and we are left to guess their real relationship with the Maclntoshes and Macphersons during the four centuries when these clans were rivals in Badenoch. In view of what we know, however, of the connection between Strone and the Sliochd Dhomhnaill Ghlais, and the added fact that James McConill Glass MacIntosh of Strone, his son Lauchlan and his brother William McConill Glass were successive wadsetters of Wester Cullodin in the Castlelands of Inverness between 1603 and 1612 (Paton 1903: Nos. 206


and 232), it is curious to find a Clerk in Balnaglack of Culloden in 1690, and another in Strone of Badenoch prior to 1697 (Paton 1903: Nos. 630, 631, 634, 635, 652, 662 and 663). The Maclntoshes of Strone and both Clerk families had interests in the Davoch of Moy, and it therefore seems probable that a close relationship existed between them. Malcolm Beag MacIntosh, the usurping chief of 1409, was, of course, the great-grandfather of Donald Glas of Strone, and as things went in the Highlands the relationship may well have begun with him. A late source asserts that 'Killiehuntly was the most ancient possession of the Clarks in Badenoch', but there is no evidence to substantiate this (Macpherson 1893:316).

      Sir Aeneas Macpherson's Genealogies of the McPhersons includes three references to the name, two of which refer to men who are simply named as 'Clerkmore', one in Dalrady at the lower end of Badenoch, the other in Ralea of Nuide in the Parish of Kingussie. Both had daughters who married leading men of the Sliochd Iain Macphersons in the latter half of the sixteenth century (Macpherson 1966: 11). The third reference is to John Clerk in Gaskinloan, whose daughter Ann married Thomas Ban Macpherson, a nephew of Muriach of Clune (and therefore also of the Sliochd Iain), just prior to 1705. The farm of Gaskinloan was part of the Estate of Clunie in the Parish of Laggan.

      The Macpherson of Cluny Collection documents a John McChlerich alias Clerk in Ralia who obtained possession of Auchvalloch, the westernmost plough of Nuidmore, and received in wadset two auchtenparts of Balnahaird of Clunie in 1679. He surrendered the latter in 1699, and in 1700 was 'now in Gaskinloin' where he acquired a wadset right to three half-auchtens of the mid-quarter (Middletown or Balmeanach of Gaskinloan) in 1706. This wadset was assigned to his son James and his son-in-law, Thomas Macpherson in Pitgown, in 1715, and was disposed by them to Lachlan Macpherson of Nuide, later of Clunie, in 1718 (Macpherson of Cluny Collection, Nos. 132-134, 316, 333, 334, 415, 416, 524 and 535). One "Malcolm Clerk in Nud" died in 1688 (Cluny Collection No.204). It would appear, therefore, that the Clerks in Laggan originated from Nuide in Kingussie where they had rights of ancient possession, and that they found their toehold in the upper parish by the acquisition of a wadset right.

      The Clerks contributed ten men, one of them a quarter-master, to Ewan Macpherson of Clunie's Jacobite regiment in 1745, most of whom came from the Parish of Kingussie. Laggan only produced two men of the name, but both were resident in Gaskinloan (S.P.D. Geo. II 36; Pf 92, ff 256, 257). The same family appears in the records of the Forfeited Estate of Clunie as sharing the joint tenancy of Middletown of Gaskinloan in 1748, 1757 and 1770. The 'restoration' rental of 1784, however, indicates that this tenancy became part of a 41-year lease granted to the innkeeper at Dalwhinnie in 1782. It can be assumed, therefore, that this was the year when the Clerks lost their heritable tenure in Gaskinloan.

      The Register of Laggan records only two marriages involving men of this name, both prior to 1800 and neither of which produced any children for baptism. Of the


unrecorded marriages none was associated with Middletown, and the geographical pattern was one of dispersion. The family with the longest record of baptisms was also migratory: it appears first in Muckcoul in 1777, was resident in Uvie from 1781 to 1793, and completed its reproductive career in Catlodge between 1796 and 1802. There is some evidence to suggest that all of its homes were matrilocal in origin. It was accompanied in Uvie by another, probably related, family of the name between 1782 and 1785. The only remaining families pre-dating 1800 were living at Presmuckrach in 1781 and Nessintullich in 1797 and 1803, the latter the only one that seems to have produced a succession into the next generation on the same farm, recorded briefly in 1821. The last family of Clerks in the parish lived at Balgown (Pitgown) between 1814 and 1833, and was the only one on record in the period 1826-54.

The Davidsons, MacCays and MacKays, or Clann Dà'idh. The documented origins of the Davidsons are quite as conflicting as are those of the Cattanachs and Clerks. In an article which appeared in the second edition (1701) of Jeremy Collier's Great Historical, Geographical, Genealogical and Poetical Dictionary Sir Aeneas Macpherson gives an exceptionally fanciful version of the origin of the Clan Chattan and Clan Macpherson. He associates the Davidsons with the farm of Invernahavon at the confluence of the Spey and the Truim, and alleges that they were descended from David Dow, a younger son of 'Muirach McGillychattan, Prior of Kinguishy', and brother to 'Dugal Ovir (the Swarthy)' and 'Evan Bane, from whom come Clunie McPherson' (Collier 1701: 'McPherson'). He refers to them once only in The Loyall Dissuasive, as participants in the legendary Battle of Invernahavon (Murdoch 1902:52), indicating perhaps that the place possessed by their chief or founder became confused with the site of the battle.

      Captain Lachlan Macpherson of Biallid (1769-1858) follows the Great Dictionary in ascribing their origin to David dubh, a brother of the ancestor of the Macphersons of Clunie, and states that they were one of several clans that emerged from the dismemberment of the Old Clanchattan. He associates them with the migration of the Clann Mhuirich from Lochaber to Badenoch, and names Invernahaun (Invernahavon) as the possession of their chief. His graphic account of the Battle of Invernahavon, in which the Clann Mhuirich did not participate except as spectators, includes the death of Davidson and his legendary seven sons. He goes on to place the Davidsons in the role of one of the contestant clans at the North Inch of Perth in 13 96, and alleges that all but one of them perished (Macpherson 1893: 411-13).

      Kinrara, on the other hand, states that 'Slane [a daughter of Angus MacIntosh and Eva, the legendary heiress of the Clanchattan lands in Lochaber (1291)] was mother of David du of Nude, from whom are descended the Clan Dai, [4] formerly the most flourishing family among the Chattans' (Clark 1900: 166). If this is accurate as to time it would place David du(bh) securely in the mid-fourteenth century, and it is noteworthy in this connection that Sir Aeneas Mackintosh lists 'the Clan Day' [4] as first taking protection from MacIntosh in 1350. He is incorrect, however, in stating that they were


represented among the signatories to the Termit Band of 1609 (Mackintosh 1892: 18). It is also clear from the Kinrara and Biallid accounts that the seanchaidhean of the Central Highland clans were concerned to explain the insignificance of the Davidsons in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. This was recognised by the Sobieski Stuarts in a very detailed account of the Battle of Invernahavon in which they state that the consequence was that 'ever since that period (the Davidsons or Clan-Dàidh [4])) have ceased to exist as a clan' (Sobieski Stuart 1848: 481). The legendary antecedents of the Clann Dàidh, therefore, associate it with the farms of Nuide and Invernahavon, both on the south side of the Spey in the Parish of Kingussie. It is interesting to note that these farms were both associated in the eighteenth century with high hill grazings in the headwaters of the Truim in what is now the Forest of Drumochter.

      The MacIntosh archives are silent on the later history of the Davidsons in Badenoch: the Mackintosh Munitnents only mention one family in the farm of Dunachtonmore in 1728 (Paton 1903: No. 746 (8)). The Muniments, however, also include a bond of manrent by a number of men, many of them millers in communities between the towns of Inverness and Elgin in 1703, 'all named Deans otherwise called Davidsons, who and their ancestors have been followers, dependants and kinsmen under and to the Lairds of Mackintoshe': two of these men added the alias MacCay to their surnames (Paton 1903:No. 678). This acquires significance when we turn to the Invereshie MS, The Genealogies of the McPhersons, which mentions John McKay in Noodmore at the beginning of the fifteenth century (Macpherson 1966: 11), and Farquhar McKay in Nood in the mid-seventeenth century. The Cluny Collection documents Finlay Mckay in Nuidmore and John Mckay in Uvie in 1729, and John Mckay, innkeeper at Milehouse of Nuidbeg in 1740 (Macpherson of Cluny Collection, Nos. 588, 624, 626). The surrender lists of 1746 include two men of this name from different parts of the farm of Nuide and another from the nearby village of Ruthven (S.P.D. Geo. II 36: Pf 83, ff 295 and Pf 93, ff 256, 257). The Laggan Register adds to the record the marriage of a woman called McCay from Noid in 1788, probably related to Duncan Davidson who died at Nuide in 1775 or 1777 (Macpherson 1893:175). It also records a William McKay in the Laggan farm of Uvie between 1782 and 1785 and a William McCay in Uvie (the same man with a second wife?) in 1792; he was undoubtedly related to Alexander McKay in Uvie who married in 1830 and died at Milton, Nuide, in 1864. [5] In fact, to the writer's knowledge there was a family of old tenants of this name at Milton of Nuidbeg as late as 1950!

      In view of the continuous association with the farm of Nuide for fully five hundred years, the conclusion seem inescapable that 'McKay' and 'McCay' were attempts to render Mac Dàidh, that is, Davidson, phonetically.[6] It therefore seems probable that most, if not all, the McKays recorded in the Laggan Register were members of the same clan as the parishioners who used the anglicised version of the name. The earliest representative of the clan recorded in the upper parish was John McKay, a small tenant and waulkmiller in Clunie, who is known to have settled there about 1741. In view of


the fact that the Macphersons of Nuide inherited the estate of Clunie in 1721, and in view of the fact that Ewan Macpherson of Clunie is known to have been an enlightened and 'Improving' laird, it is very probable that this man, too, originated from Nuide. (Fraser-Mackintosh 1865:40; and F.E.P. (Particular Management), Clunie: Petition, John McKay, walker in Cluny, orders dated 11 Dec. 1756 and 24 June 1757.)

      Unfortunately, the Register gives no indication that the scotticised and anglicised surnames were used as alternatives by individuals or members of the same family. Indeed, so far as lower Badenoch was concerned, it would appear that the Spey formed a geographical boundary with 'McKay' or McCay' in common use in the original territory of the clan on the south side, and 'Davidson' prevailing on the north side where MacIntosh influence was stronger. The surrender lists for Clunie's regiment and a list of tenants in the lower parish of Alvie who did not join in the Rising Of 1745-6 show that there were about a dozen families in the district using the name 'Davidson' at that time. Most of them lived in the farms of Clune, Glengoynack, Ardbrylach, Raitts (2), Dunachtonmore (2), Dunachtonbeg and Kincraig, all on the north side of the Spey in lower Badenoch. There was also a family at Phoness near Invernahavon in Glen Truim. The only man listed by residence from the Parish of Laggan was James Davidson in Blargiebeg, although Alexander Davidson, a 17-year old herdsman who was captured at Stirling, sentenced to transportation to the West Indies, and reprieved on condition of enlistment in the British army, gave his origin as 'Logan, Badenoch', and was evidently from the upper parish. (S.P.D. Geo. II 36: Pf 92, ff 10, 11, 242, 243, 256, 257; and Pf 83, ff 295 and 389; Seton-Gordon and Arnot (1928).)       Families bearing the names Davidson, MacKay and McCay conformed to the picture presented by the seanchaidhean, constituting less than 2 per cent of the population throughout the period covered by the Register. As Table I shows, however, they maintained their numbers better than the Macphersons, Maclntoshes, Cattanachs and Clerks, and unlike those clans actually succeeded in increasing their relative strength in the community. In the period prior to 1800 families using the surname McKay were resident in the farms of Uvie and Crubinbeg, while one calling itself Davidson lived in Nessintullich. This concentration round the confluence of the Truim with the Spey, and very close to Invernahavon, would seem to suggest the survival of ancient tenure rights in that part of the parish of Laggan. After 1800, however, a marked dispersal would seem to have occurred, and the names appear in farms further west. There was a shepherd's family of Davidsons on Locherrichtside between 1806 and 1814 which was later resident in Strathcrunachdan near Shirramore in 1821 and 1822. The head of another family of Davidsons living at Gaskmore in 1850 and 1851 may have been a son of the shepherd. The McKay connection with Uvie was continued by a second ,generation which moved from that farm to Balgown in 1832, or 1833, and then to Crubinmore where it was resident between 1837 and 1845. Another McKay family, of unknown antecedents, was headed by the grieve at Strathmashie in 1821 and was living at Balmishaig in the following year. Whatever traditional tenure rights may have

survived to the end of the eighteenth century would appear to have been lost by the turn of the century.

The Gows or Sliochd a' Ghobha Chruim. The traditional origin for this Badenoch family is the Old Clanchattan, but as in the case of the Davidsons, Clerks and Cattanachs, the seanchaidhean are at some odds with one another. Lachlan Mackintosh of Kinrara refers to Henry Wynd, who is reputed to have participated as a substitute champion in the bloody contest on the North Inch of Perth in 1396, and from whom 'that family of the Clanchattans commonly called Slighk ghow Chruim [7] took rise' (Clark 1900: 178). Sir Aeneas Mackintosh asserts that the Slighk gow chruim [7] took the protection of the MacIntosh chief in 1399 (Mackintosh 1892: 18). Sir Aeneas Macpherson, on the other hand, mentions 'Niel Cromb', [8] a brother of the ancestors of the Maclntoshes, Macphersons, MacGillivrays and Davidsons, as the progenitor of the Breakoe-Smiths (Collier 1701: 'McPherson'), while The Baronage of Scotland accredits 'Neill Cromb' with being the 'progenitor of all the Smiths in Scotland! (Douglas of Glenbervie 179 : 354, 355). Captain Lachlan Macpherson of Biallid, however, follows the Mackintosh writers in referring to 'the Gobhainn-crom or stooping blacksmith' at the North Inch (Macpherson 1893:413).

      The episode at the North Inch, which was exploited by Sir Walter Scott in The Fair Maid of Perth, was an historical event which was arranged as a spectacle for Robert III and his court (Exchequer Rolls of Scotland, vol. 3, 1397)! Androw of Wyntoun, Prior of Lochleven, who was a contemporary writer, described the contest, but maked no mention of the Stooping Blacksmith (Laing 1879: XVII). It was the anonymous author of The Book of Pluscarden, whom Skene believed to have been a Highlander or someone familiar with the Highlanders and the Gaelic language, who introduced the story of the substitute champion in 1461. As in the accounts of all the later chroniclers the man remains unnamed, but it is noteworthy in view of Sir Aeneas Macpherson's assertion of kinship to the other Clanchattan families, that the chronicler of 1461 describes him as 'one who was of their kin and had no love for the adverse party' (Skene 18 1880: xx, XI). George Buchanan, the last of the chroniclers to describe the incident (1582), describes the man as 'a common saddler' (Watkins 1721:2.28).

      It is perhaps appropriate at this point to note that Murdoch MacKenzie of Ardross's manuscript, The Origin of the haill tribes of the Clan Chattan (1687) lends no support whatever to the derivation of the Gows, MacGillivrays and Davidsons from the Old Clanchattan. Instead, it mentions that Evan MacVuirrich, the father of the three brothers from whom the Macpherson sliochdan descended, had two brothers called Paul and Gillies, and goes on to derive the Macphersons in Atholl from Paul. [9] It should be noted, further, that although MacKenzie drew on the same manuscript sources as Kinrara he is quite free from the seventeenth century's antiquarianism which contaminates the writings of Kinrara and Sir Aeneas Macpherson. The one thing that is clear from the writings of the seanchaidhean of the late seventeenth, eighteenth and nineteenth centuries


is that the Badenoch people among whom they lived recognised the Sliochd a' Ghobha Chruim as a distinct and separate clann within the community.

      Families of the Sliochd a' Ghobha Chruim are recorded as tenants on MacIntosh's farms of Dunachton and Kincraig in lower Badenoch in 1620 and 1672 respectively (Paton 1900: Nos. 294, 548). The surrender lists of 1746 provide no evidence for their presence in the upper parish, but locate two men in Invertromie and Strone in the Parish of Kingussie (S.P.D. Geo II 36: Pf 83, ff 259). The list of Alvie men who stayed out of the Rising shows a scattering of Smiths in Easter Lynwilg, Dunachtonmore (2), Raitts (2) and Kinrara, under Macpherson, MacIntosh and Shaw tacksmen (S.P.D. Geo. II 36: Pf 92, ff 242, 243).

      The Register of Laggan includes only three families of Gows and one Smith. The first on record is found in Tulloch Erricht, Locherricht-side, in 1797 and 1798; the second in Crubinbeg, Glentruim, in 1802, and apparently still there in 1833 when the child of 1802 was married; and the third in Crubinbeg in 1839. No specific connections between these families emerge from the Register, but their geographical proximity seems to indicate that heritable tenure rights had been obtained by the Sliochd a' Ghobha Chruim between 1746 and 1797. Donald Smith from the Parish of Kingussie was resident in Cromra, Lochlaggan, in 1852, but there is no indication that his presence was related to tenure rights.

      The Clann Dà'idh and the Sliochd a' Ghobha Chruim were both insignificant in numbers in the Laggan community before 1800 and afterwards. The very small relative advance which they made by merely surviving while the population of the parish shrank was unable to offset the rapid decline of the Macphersons, Maclntoshes, Cattanachs and Clerks in relative strength. As Table I shows, the clans associated traditionally with the Clanchattan formed almost half of the community about 1787, but less than a third by about 1840. Numerically they declined to about 35 per cent of their former collective strength by the latter date.

The MacAlchynichs or MacKenzies. The Clann Mhic 'aol Choinnich [13] were 'a strong people in Badenoch' prior to the mid-fifteenth century when Donald Mor Macpherson, the leading man of the Sliochd Choinnich Macphersons and chief of the Clann Mhuirich, married the daughter of the last MacGillchynich of Clunie and thus acquired the heritable rights to that farm and, perhaps, to others in the vicinity (Macpherson 1966: 11, 39). If one is looking for a really ancient and indigenous surname in the parish of Laggan, this must be it, for it implies veneration for the patron saint, Lagan Choinnich, The Hollow of St Kenneth, being the ancient name of the parish. The Invereshie MS also names the wife of Angus Macpherson of Knappach, married about 1700, as 'Jean McGilchynich alias McAlaster vic Conchy vic Coill vic Ean riach in Glenbenchar'. The association with Glenbanchor may be as ancient as that with Clunie, for Kinrara states that it was here in the farm of Tullichiero that Donald Mor Macpherson's grandfather, Kenneth Mak ewn, first settled when he came to Badenoch from Lochaber


(Clark 1900:179; Fraser-Mackintosh 1877:419). At least one man of this name took his place in the Clunie's Regiment in the 'Forty-Five, for a 'Malcolm MacDonald alias MacGilichonich [13] in Garonbeg' (sic, Garvabeg) surrendered at Fort Augustus in May 1746 (S.P.D. Geo. II 36:Pf 92, ff 251). The name 'MacDonald' in this case is undoubtedly a patronymic referring to his father. A Donald MacGillichennich [13] in Drumgaskinloan appears in the records of the Forfeited Estate of Clunie in 1757, and 1758, and reappears in 1770 and 1775 as Donald MacIlchynich. [13]

      The Laggan Register records the presence of a Donald MacAlchynich [13] in Muckoul in 1782, and another of the same name (and perhaps the same individual with a second wife) at Gergask in 1794 when he married, and subsequently at the Glebe in Gaskbeg from 1798 to 1807 and at Tombui(dhe) of Pitgown in 1809. The last place of residence was matrilocal. Of the four baptisms pertaining to this latter family, the second (1800) renders the surname 'McIlchoinich' [14] the others as 'McKenzie'. The same use of alternative surnames is shown for three families in which the wives appear first as MacAlchynichs in their marriage entries, but variously as MacAlchynich and MacKenzie in baptismal entries between 1785 and the end of the century. A fourth family (MacIntosh) appears between 1777 and 1796, the first baptism recording the mother as 'Katherine McKinzie', the second as 'Katherine MacKenzie, alias Nickilcheynich', and the remaining six entries giving her variously as 'MacAlchynich' and 'Macllchenich'. Two of the wives whose marriages are recorded were resident in Gergask at the time of marriage in 1785 and 1788, and were probably sisters of Donald MacAlchynich who was married from Gergask in 1794.

      Families exclusively using the surname MacKenzie appear in the Gorstan, Uvie, Gaskbeg and Tullocherrachd (Dalanlongart) before 1800, in Balgown, Strathmashie and Crathie between 1812 and 1825, and in Middleton, Gaskmore, Nessintullich and Cluny (a butler) between 1825 and 1850, but only the Gaskbeg and Balgown families can be connected with any certainty with each other and with one of the earlier MacAlchynich families. Of six men and two women of the name on record as marriage partners after 1826 (the men the husbands of unproductive unions), only two can be connected with earlier MacKenzie families, but associations with Balnacnoc, Strathmashie, Shirrabeg, Blargy and Gaskmore, all within a tract of four miles in the centre of the parish, seem to indicate that most of them belonged to the ancient Clann Mhic 'aol Choinnich. Table I shows that it was fairly successful in maintaining its relatively humble position in the parish till 1850.

Clan MacIntyre or Clann an t-Saoir. The Kinrara MS dates the appearance of this clan in Badenoch precisely to the year 1496. The occasion was a punitive raid into Rannoch, led by William MacIntosh of Dunachton, at that time tutor for his cousin Ferquhard MacIntosh of Keppoch whom James IV kept as prisoner in Edinburgh Castle from 1495 till 1513. The raid was in retaliation for a destructive invasion of MacIntosh's lands in Badenoch and Strathnairn by the confederate Camerons, Stewarts and Mac-


Donalds of Lochaber, Rannoch, Appin and Glencoe. Kinrara relates that William of Dunachton, 'in the aforesaid expedition into Rannoch, brought away Bard MacIntyre, from whom the MacIntyres of Badenoch, now called Clanchattans, are descended' (Clark:1900: I 206, 212). Sir Aeneas Mackintosh lists 'the Clan Inteir' among the families of the Clanchattan, and gives 1496 as the year when they first took protection of MacIntosh (Mackintosh 1892: 18).

      It has been asserted that they settled first on the shores of Loch Laggan, but there seems to be no evidence to confirm this (Adam 1934: 83). The Mackintosh Muniments, in fact, yield no information whatever as to where they might have settled or how they proliferated. The Macpherson of Cluny Collection is equally silent for the seventeenth century. Yet there can be little doubt that they formed a significant part of the population of Badenoch by 1680. It is significant in terms of later evidence, however, that the Genealogies of the McPhersons records a 'Donald McIntier' in Etterish (Etteridge) in Glen Truim at the end of the sixteenth century.

      This silence on the part of the rival clan chiefs in upper and lower Badenoch must be significant, especially when it is considered with the evidence from the surrender lists of 1746 and the rent-rolls of the Forfeited Estates of Clunie and Lochlaggan. These sources indicate that there were no MacIntyres on any farm belonging to the feudal estates of the two chiefs in Badenoch. Of the eleven men of the name who served in Clunie's Regiment during the 'Forty-Five at least six came from farms in the Parish of Kingussie scattered along the south side of the Spey and Truim from Ruthven to Dallanach including Etteridge but excluding Ewan Macpherson of Clunie's farm of Nuide. This tract, with the exception of Nuide, belonged to Macpherson tacksmen of the Sliochd Ghill-ìosa. Three men in the surrender lists can be ascribed to the Parish of Laggan with certainty: they came from the farm of Presmuckrach in Glentruim and from Coraldie and Crathy Croy in the Spey valley.

      The Laggan Register confirms the association of the MacIntyres with Presmuckrach. This farm, the highest in Glentruim, would appear to have been their principal holding in Laggan, for no fewer than seven of the sixteen families living in the parish prior to 1800 resided there. Moreover, Maclntyres were associated to a lesser degree with all the farms below Presmuckrach on the west side of Glentruim between 1775 and 1800: two in Crubenmore, three in Crubenbeg, and two in Nessintullich. As in the case of the MacIntosbes and Cattanachs in the community, these MacIntyre associations involved some migration by individual families within the tract. Thus one man who was in Shenvall when he married in 1785 was living in Crubenbeg in 1794 and had moved to Presmuckrach by 1803. Another family moved from Prcsmuckrach to Nessintullich between 1788 and 1792, and a third which was in Crubenbeg in 1777 and 1780 was at Crubenmore in 1784, but had returned to the first farm by 1798. All these farms were in


the possession of tacksmen families of the Sliochd Ghill-ìosa and Sliochd Choinnich Macphersons, with whom the MacIntyre small tenants would appear to have had close relations. The general implication would seem to be that these connections are related to the manner in which the smaller clan came to settle in Badenoch. Nothing is known, however, about the involvement of the Clan Macpherson in the Rannoch expedition of 1496.

      While Glen Truim would appear to have been the part of Badenoch where the Clan MacIntyre had acquired its strongest claims to heritable tenure rights by 1775, individual families were associated with farms in another part of Laggan. A MacIntyre in Balmishaig in 1777 and Craigcarnet in 1783, another in Pitgown in 1782 and Gaskmore in 1786, and a third in Dalwhilly (Dalchully) in 1788 and the Gorstan between 1789 and 1805 were married respectively to a Cattanach, a Macpherson and a MacDonald, and probably owed their presence in those farms to matrilocal possession. This probably also accounts for the presence of MacIntyres in Coraldie (Sliochd Ghill-ìosa) and Crathy Croy (Sliochd Choinnich) in 1746.

      The period 1801-25 shows a decline in number of MacIntyre families to twelve, three of which were continuing a reproductive career begun before 1800. Presmuckrach is represented only by two of these continuing families, and no baptisms occurred there after 1807; Crubenmore's last (and only) baptism took place in 1817; Nessintullich does not reappear in the record at all. Only Crubenbeg had baptisms, in 1806 and 1807, that were not the last of the MacIntyres there. This evident abandonment of the Glentruim farms can be seen obversely in the sudden appearance of families headed by MacIntyres in a number of farms scattered about the Spey drainage: thus there were baptisms in Uvie in 1802, Achduchill of Strathmashie in 1808, Breakachy in 1812, Balmishaig in 1815, Catlodge in 1817 and Balgown in 1818, besides the last baptism of the earlier Dalchully-Gorstan family in 1805 Apart from the fact that most of these families were probably in matrilocal possession, the wives without exception being Macphersons (Sliochd Choinnich?), the most significant feature of this apparent diaspora of the MacIntyres from Glentruim was the fact that each and every one of the six families produced but one child for baptism in the parish. There is therefore a strong suggestion that the dispersal within the parish was followed closely by a rapid outmigration, both probably associated with the oversea emigration of the Macpherson tacksmen which is known to have begun prior to 1800 and which gained strength immediately after that date.

      The evidence produced by the Laggan Register for the period 1826-54 tends to confirm the conclusion, in respect to both the families on the traditional Glentruim farms and the matrilocal families dispersed in the valleys of the upper Spey. Only three MacIntyre families appear in the record during this period. one in Balnacnoc(ht) of Gaskbeg in 1837, another in Crubenbeg in 1843, and a third in Catlodge between 1850 and 1854. Table I shows that their relative position in the community was halved and their numerical strength reduced to a quarter between 1787 and 1840.


The MacGregors or Clann Ghriogair. The story of this, the most famous, most notorious, and most tragic of the 'broken' clans of Highland history, is too well known to require reiteration here. Originally an ancient clan from the borders of Argyle and Breadalbane which had spread into Rannoch by the sixteenth century, the Griogaraich had already been at odds for some time with the feudal authorities responsible for maintaining the King's peace in the Highlands when they were 'broken' and rendered 'nameless' by the savage legislation of 1603, 1606 and 1633 (Adam 1934: 78). Kinrara records that Lauchlan, Laird of MacIntosh, 'acted vigorously in the expedition against the Clan Gregor, that unruly and turbulent clan', by sending 120 select men to join the King's Lieutenant, the Earl of Argyll, in a punitive raid into Rannoch in 1601 (Clark 1900: 260-3). On the other hand it has been the received tradition of the Macphersons in Badenoch, according to Captain Lachlan Macpherson of Biallid, that a fighting party of the Clann Mhuirich was on its way to join the MacGregors in February 1603 when the latter fought the unfortunate Battle of Glenfruin which resulted in the repressive legislation that occasioned their doom (Macpherson 1893: 414, 415; and Fraser 1869).

      The record of the Privy Council of Scotland for 27 September 1611 indicates that the Clanchattan of Badenoch, and particularly the Macphersons ('Clan Fersane'), were resetting or sheltering the hunted clansmen in defiance of the law that year (Gregory 1881: 341 n.). The dangerous sympathy which this shows for 'that unhappie and detestable race' was shared by many of the leading men among the Camerons and Clanranald of Rannoch and Lochaber, and it can be argued that it was derived, not only from the common humanity which much of the Highlands extended to the 'bairns' of the luckless clan (Cunningham 1932: 161, 162), but from the common lack of feu charters among their leading men which rendered these clans similarly vulnerable to disturbance in their patriarchal possessions. It suggests that the Camerons of Lochiel, the MacDonalds of Keppoch, and several of the leaders of the Macpherson sliochdan may have received feu charters to their lands during the course of the seventeenth century partly as a result of the concurrent misfortunes of the Clann Ghriogair and the consequent unrest. The MacGregors, however, were unable to benefit from this more enlightened policy, for although their loyal participation in the attempt to restore Charles II in 1651 resulted in the repeal of the proscription acts in 1661, the barbaric enactments were reinstated by William of Orange in 1693 (Kermack 1953:28).

      The Genealogies of the McPhersons MS shows that at least six leading MacGregors from farms on the Slios Mìn of Rannoch and in Bunrannoch were married during the course of the seventeenth century to daughters of wadsetters and feu-holders among the Sliochd Choinnich and Sliochd Iain Macphersons, while the third wife of Donald Macpherson of Phoness (Sliochd Ghill-ìosa) was also a MacGregor. Malcolm MacGregor in Clune (Kingussie), a son-in-law of Donald Macpherson of Nuide, may have been the 'Malcolm MacGregor in Clunie' (sic?) whose arrest was ordered by the Laird of MacIntosh in 1688 (Paton 1903: No. 628). If he was actually resident in Clunie, however, he would be the first of his name recorded as resident in the Parish of Laggan.


      In view of this close relationship with the Macphersons it is somewhat surprising to find little evidence of their presence in Badenoch in 1746. The lists of that year show only four men [11] of the name as having served -- or declined to serve -- in Clunie's regiment, and none from the Parish of Laggan (S.P.D. Geo. II 36: Pf 83, ff 295, 389). Their relative absence, however, is only apparent, as is made clear by post-'Forty-Five documents. For instance, one of the subtenants in Catlaig of Gaskinloan in 1758 signed a petition as 'Grigor MacGrigor alias McPherson' (F.E.P. Particular Management: Cluny: Petition of the Tenants of Gaskinloan, 23 Feb. 1758), while John McGregor alias McPherson was a farm servant at Breakachie in 1764. The latter was a son of Alexander MacGregor, the miller at the Mill of Clunie, while two of the Macpherson tenants on the farm of Gaskinloan were married to MacGregors (Fraser-Mackintosh 1899-1901). It is evident, therefore, that MacGregors were present in the community of the upper parish, and presumably had been for some time, and that at least the men used the surname of their protectors. Their association with the farms of Clunie, Breakachie and Gaskinloan after 1745 is of further significance, for these were precisely the farms associated with the Sliochd Choinnich families with whom most of the seventeenth-century marriages had been contracted. It is reasonable to assume, therefore, that the famidies of MacGregors in the Laggan community at the end of the eighteenth century were descended from refugee clansmen closely related to those particular families of Macphersons.

      The opening of the Laggan Register in 1775 coincided, as it happens, with the signing into law of a private bill, passed at Westminster in November 1774, proposing the repeal of the old 'Proscription Acts' and the restoration of full civil rights to the scattered remnants of the Griogaraich. In particular, all legal impediment to the use of the name was removed, and we may surmise that the MacGregors in the Laggan community participated in the general resumption of the clan identity.

      As Table I shows, there were five families of MacGregors in the Laggan community in the period prior to 1800 , resident in the adjacent farms of Clunie, Uvie (3), and Balgown. The single family in the Milntown of Clunie (1780-4) was headed by John MacGregor, miller at the Mill of Clunie, evidently the same individual as the farm servant at Breakachie whose father was miller at Clunie in 1764: it was still at Clunie in 1805 when a daughter married. The senior family of MacGregors in Uvie was resident there in 1777 and 1779, and again in 1789 and 1796, but was in the farm of Nessintullich in 1781, 1783, and 1785. The association with Uvie and Nessintullich, like those with Breakachie and Catlaig, indicate a close relationship with the tacksman family of the Macphersons of Crubinmore which possessed the ancient dùthchas rights to all of these farms. Only the family which was resident in Balgown between 1797 and 1824 cannot be accounted for in this way.

      Of the families in the parish before 1800 only the senior family in Uvie and the family in Balgown produced a succession in their possessions into the next generation. A family in Balgown between 1832 and 1842 was headed by an individual who was


probably a son of the pre-1800 tenant, although his baptism is not recorded for some reason; there is evidence from later marriages which were unproductive that the MacGregors were still in Balgown when the Register closed in 1854. The senior Uvie family is of particular interest in that an elder son was resident in Uvie between 1816 and 1826 according to the baptismal record and his family was still there in 1849 according to the record of later marriages, while a younger son is listed in the baptismal records as 'Tacksman of Achmore of Uvie' between 1821 and 1836, his family retaining possession until at least 1852 according to the record of marriages. The fact that the MacGregors in Uvie eventually rose to tacksman status, filling the place vacated by a cadet family of the Macphersons of Crubinmore, may be attributed in part to their having inherited substantial rights from their predecessors.

      In the period 1801 to 1825 a family of MacGregors appeared in Blargiemore (1817-20), and moved to Balmeanach (Middletown of Gaskinloan) in or before 1824. In the period 1826 to 1854 there were single families in Crathie (1835-51) and Strathcrunachdan (1848), but only the Crathie family can be connected, tentatively, to the old-established families in Uvie or Balgown.

      As Table I indicates, the MacGregors enhanced their relative position in the community by maintaining the number of their families throughout the period of the Register. Their acquisition of the status of tacksman at the farm of Achmore of Uvie, and the retention of that status until the mid-nineteenth century probably secured their position in an even more important sense for the future.

The Tolmies. Although this little clann increased its numerical and relative positions in the community during the period of the Register, its antecedents prior to the 'FortyFive are unknown. It was probably not indigenous to Badenoch.[12] One man of the name who surrendered at Blair Castle with others of Clunie's Regiment in 1746 was resident at Gaskmore. No others appear elsewhere in Badenoch, and none is listed as tenant on the Forfeited Estate of Clunie. In view of the paucity of historical information, therefore, we must rely on the Register itself in assessing the importance of this family in Laggan.       Although Gaskmore does not appear in the Register as a farm in which Tolmies had a share of the possession, several families are associated with farms immediately to the east and west. A family in Balgown between 1785 and 1807 was joined in 1805 by another which moved to Gaskbeg where it resided from 1808 till 1821. The original family in Balgown was succeeded in the possession by the families of two sons, on record from 1831 to 1847 and from 1842 to 1845 respectively. This would seem to indicate that heritable rights had been acquired at some time prior to 1785 and were maintained throughout most of the period covered by the Register.

      The farm of Gergask included two families of Tolmies among its possessors prior to 1800. The earlier of these produced daughters only in 1777 and 1779, but the other raised a family between 1785 and 1794 from which stemmed families with more complex


geographical associations. One of them was headed by a son who was the smith at Crathie when he married in 1820, but resident on the patrilocal farm of Gergask from 1821 to 1825, at Blargiemore in 1827, and again at Crathie from 1829 till 1836; Crathie was evidently a matrilocal possession. Another family, headed by a younger son of the Gergask family who was shepherding at Shirrabeg when he married in 1817, joined the family at Crathie from 1819 to 1821. Three families residing on the Croft of Blargie in the period 1826-54, may have also derived from the original Gergask family, although there is little definite evidence in the Register.

      The farms associated with the Tolmies between 1746 and 1854 correspond almost exactly in extent with those forming the tract in which the Cattanachs in Laggan seem to have been congregated, suggesting that, like the Cattanachs, the Tolmies may have been followers of the Sliochd Dhomhnaill Ghlais Maclntoshes. The name became extinct in the parish with the death of a tenant in Uvie in 1955.

The Leslies. The Leslies were very recent arrivals in the parish of Laggan. The Jacobite colonel, Ewan Macpherson of Clunie, had been keenly active in the improvement of his people before the 'Forty-Five, and was evidently responsible for bringing in and settling two brothers, Peter and James Leslie (or Lessly) as country merchants on the farm of Clunie in 1739. This was partly an act of kindness, for he was thanked on the occasion by their noble kinsman, and presumably the head of their family, the Earl of Rothes, who described them as 'good clever men' (Macpherson 1896-7: No. XVII). Both men served under their benefactor in the Rising, and surrendered to the Earl of Loudoun in 1746 (S.P.D. Geo. II 36: Pf 92, ff 251, 256, 257), while a third man of the name, Alexander Lessly in Crathiemore, probably another brother, surrendered to Sir Andrew Agnew at Castle Blair. The two merchants on Clunie were tenants on the Forfeited Estate: Peter until 1770, James until 1757 after which he apparently moved to Strathmashie (probably as a result of his marriage) where he is on record in 1764 (Fraser-Mackintosh 1899-1901:105).

      Incomers who attempt to integrate into a community governed in its way of life by ancient traditions must do so by conforming to its rules. The Leslies, in the nature of the case, could have no heritable rights of possession anywhere in Laggan. These could only be acquired with time, and particularly by marriage, a slow and precarious method subject to the often over-riding claims of patrilineal descent. Thus it is hardly surprising to find that only one family of Leslies appears momentarily in the Register as resident at Clunie in 1788, while a member of this family was married from Clunie in 1796. There was evidently no succession to the possessions in land given to the original settlers of 1739. A second family was migratory in habit, perhaps as a result of precarious matrilocal possessions held in succession: it appears first in the farm of Gaskbeg (1792-4), and then moved successively to Croft Croy (1796), Croftcarnel (1798), and back to Croft Croy (1802-8). The third family in the Register resided continuously at Gergask, probably matrilocally, from 1810 till at least 1833. The fourth family was headed by a

blacksmith who resided at Croft and Bridgend in 1836 and 1838, and who may well have been an unrecorded son of the migratory family just mentioned. The name became extinct in the parish, to the writer's knowledge, with the death of a spinster lady in the mid-twentieth century.

The Andersons. If the Leslies were relatively recent incomers to the community of Laggan, this was even more true of the Andersons. No Andersons served in the Laggan contingent of Ewan Macpherson of Clunie's Regiment in 1745-6, and none appear in the 1748 rental of the Forfeited Estate of Clunie. John Anderson, a tenant of Dallifour, served among the men from the Parish of Alvie, while Donald Anderson stayed at home on the same farm. Another Donald Anderson, tenant on the adjacent farm of Dalraddie which belonged to George Macpherson of Invereshie, also stayed at home (S.P.D. Geo. II 36: Pf 83, ff 389 and Pf 92, ff 242, 243). The family association with the Alvie farms can be traced back into the mid-seventeenth century, for The Genealogies of the McPhersons MS indicates that Donald Macpherson of Dalraddie (Sliochd Choinnich) married Ann, daughter of John Anderson of Westertown; the place was probably a clachan of Dalraddie or Dallifour. The records of the Forfeited Estate of Clunie show that two brothers, John and James Anderson, were introduced into the Old Milntown of Nuidbeg in 1761 as subtenants of Lieut. Duncan Macpherson, presumably from elsewhere in Lower Badenoch and probably from Dalraddie or Dallifour. In 1768 they were among a group of subtenants petitioning the Commissioners of the Annexed Estates unsuccessfully against oppression and eviction by the tacksman (F.E.P. of Particular Management, Estate of Clunie: Petition of Lt. Duncan Macpherson, Noidbeg, 21 February 1764, read 24 February 1764; and Petition and Information, Finlay McPherson etc., Old Mihitown of Noidbeg, 1768).

      Nothing further is recorded of the Andersons at the Old Milntown, but, in view of the Commissioners' interest in taking young men for training in various country crafts deemed essential to the general improvement of the communities within which the Forfeited and Annexed Estates lay, it seems probable that the sudden appearance of a young blacksmith, John Anderson, at Tynrich, a clachan of the farm of Gaskinloan, may be related to the fate of the Old Milntown subtenants. If so, it suggests that the family had migrated from one end of Badenoch to the other within two generations. The Commissioners had installed Samuel Macpherson as smith at Tynrich in 1775 (F.E.P., Clunie: Rental Report, Henry Butter, factor, 24 August 1774), and it seems likely that John Anderson came to the upper parish as his assistant just prior to 1786. That three of his sons and one of his sons-in-law (Fraser) continued in possession of holdings at Tynrich till 1854 when the Register closed would seem to be related to his marriage to Katharine MacDonald in that year. The principal holdings at Tynrich were in the possession of two MacDonald families in 1770, and were granted as a joint 21-year lease to them in 1777 (F.E.P., Clunie: List of Leases, 10 Jan. 1784; and

Rental, Henry Butter, factor, 1784). The acquisition of heritable rights in Tynrich by the Andersons would therefore appear to have originated in matrilocal possession.

      To the writer's knowledge, the last Anderson in the parish is Mrs Isabella Millin, Gergask, who is one of the principal informants to the School of Scottish Studies for the parish of Laggan. She is a great-granddaughter of John Anderson.

      Table I makes it clear that the little clans of Laggan whether they were the descendants of ancient indigenous peoples, like the MacAlchynichs, or whether they were newcomers arriving long after the settlement of the dominant Clanchattan clans, like the MacGregors, Leslies and Andersons, were more secure in maintaining their position in the shrinking community than were the dominant clans themselves. Much of their success depended upon the humble position from which they started, that is, the absence of tacksmen families among them initially, and the acquisition of heritable rights as a result of matrilocal possession. In former times this would have been a precarious way of acquiring rights to land; but the strength of patrilineal (clan) connections, drawing clansmen oversea with emigrant tacksmen of their own families or into the army with erstwhile half-pay officers of the same class, effectively cleared the way for sons-in-law of other and humbler clans.

Clan MacDonald. After the Macphersons, the MacDonalds constituted the most numerous clan residing in the parish of Laggan between 1775 and 1854. Like the Clanchattan clans their connection with the parish can be traced back for several centuries, but it differed in one important respect: the MacDonalds owed allegiance to chiefs who lived beyond the bounds of Badenoch.

      The MacDonalds in Badenoch were probably derived from several quite distinct branches of the great Hebridean Clan Donald. There is, for instance, some evidence that the last representative of the Clann Iain Sprangaich of Ardnamurchan died at Ruthven in Kingussie in 1719 (Macpherson 1893: 185, 186).[15] There is no evidence, but some possibility, that a few of the family may have found their way into the upper parish, particularly if their presence in Badenoch was the result of their participation in Montrose's Rising in 1644-5, in which the Badenoch men were led by Lt. Col. Ewan Macpherson of Clunie. There is also the possibility that individuals of the Clann Iain Abraich of Glencoe, of the Knoydart and Glengarry sliochdan of the Clann Raghnaill of the Garmoran, and of the Sliochd Alasdair mhic Aonghais of Keppoch or Clann Raghnaill of Lochaber may have come to settle in Laggan in virtue of matrimonial connections with tacksmen families of the Clann Mhuirich similar to those of which the MacGregors took advantage. The Genealogies of the McPhersons MS indicates that most of the marriages contracted between MacDonalds and Macphersons prior to 1705 involved Laggan families of the Sliochd Choinnich and Sliochd Iain, predominantly the latter. It is remarkable, however, that Glencoe MacDonalds formed four marriages with the Garvamore-Inverroy family of the Sliochd Iain Macphersons while the Keppoch


MacDonalds -- nearest western neighbours of the Macphersons -- formed only four marriages with the whole of the Clann Mhuirich. Nevertheless, it was the Clann Raghnaill of Lochaber that obtained heritable rights in the parish and it was undoubtedly from this clan that most of the later Laggan MacDonalds were descended.

      The MacDonalds of Aberarder, the principal farm of the davoch of Lagganchynich on the north shore of Loch Laggan, are first recorded in the first decade of the eighteenth century, but the designation seems to imply that the dùthchas to the farm was already theirs. Coll MacDonald of Keppoch, chief of the Clann Raghnaill, surrendered possession of the whole davoch (including the farms of Tullochcrom and Strathcrunachen) to the Laird of Mackintosh in 1700, but the exact relationship of the Keppoch family to the dùchas right is unclear. (Paton 1903: Nos. 668, 674, 697 and 758). The Aberarder family is referred to at a much later date as 'the famous Sliochd Iain Duibh Macdonalds of Lochaber' (Macpherson 1893:146).

      The MacDonalds of Gallovie, the old MacIntosh farm at the head of Loch Laggan, appear in the Mackintosh Muniments a full century earlier than the Aberarder family. Four successive generations are on record as descending from Allan Mclan duy (Ailean mac Iain Duibh) vic Ranald in Gallovie (or Gallochie) (Paton 1903: Nos. 2111 (1606), 255 (1615), 296 (162o), 348, 574, 627, 692, 747). Iain Dubh was almost certainly the same individual as the founder of the Aberarder family, and it is likely that the Gallovie family was in fact the senior of the two (Macdonald 1800-20: 95 et seq.). It also seems likely that he was a younger son of Ranald mór McConnell Glas of Keppoch, the chief who gave his name to the Clann Raghnaill of Lochaber, and who was one of the victors at Blar-na-Leine at Kinlochlochy in 1544, was deeply involved in the treasonable activities of the Earl of Lennox at the time of the Earl of Hertford's invasion of Scotland in 1545, and was finally arrested by Mackintosh and tried and executed by the Earl of Huntly in 1546 (Gregory 1881 : 64, 159-62, 179; see also, Macpherson 1893 :128, 129). It is evident that the Sliochd Iain Duibh had acquired rights of possession to most of the principal farms of MacIntosh's estate of Lochlaggan by the beginning of the eighteenth century, and it may be argued that this was the result of a century-old policy on the part of MacIntosh which drew the Sliochd Iain Duibh to a mid-way position between himself and the much more recalcitrant Keppoch family and its dependents in Glen Spean and Glen Roy.

      The Lochlaggan estate was transferred from MacIntosh to Macpherson of Clunie as the result of a long series of events which began in 1723 and terminated in 1744. One of the results of this transaction was the redemption of a wadset held by John MacDonald of Aberarder to his farm and the granting of a simple tack by Macintosh and Clunie jointly in 1730-1 (Paton 1903: No. 758). Donald MacDonald of Gallovie's renunciation of a wadset to his farm in 1728 was also probably part of the transaction (Paton 1903: No. 747). The transaction first came to the notice of the Barons of the Scottish Exchequer in 1756, and a rental survey was ordered. This revealed that MacDonalds -- probably all of the Sliochd Iain Duibh -- were in possession of four of the six farms


comprising the estate, including the principal farms of Gallovie and Aberarder (F.E.P., Clunie: Rentals portfolio). After ten years of litigation the estate was declared escheat in 1766 and was attached to the Forfeited Estate of Clunie, whereupon Allan MacDonald of Gallovie applied for and obtained a short lease of his hereditary farm. In 1772, when the Commissioners of the Annexed Estates became fully responsible for the management of Clunie and Lochlaggan, he obtained a typical 21-year lease from 1773 which appears in the list of leases forming part of the 'restoration' rental of 1784 (F.E.P., Clunie: (I) Petition of Allan MacDonald, read 7 April, order for lease 24 June 1766; (2) Rentals portfolio, 1784.).

      The MacDonalds of Aberarder and Tullochcrom were not so fortunate in their dealings with the Barons of Exchequer and the Commissioners of the Annexed Estates. In 1766 they were ordered to remove from their farms at Whitsun 1767 to make way for the Reverend Robert Macpherson, the famous chaplain of the Fraser Highlanders who was a member of the Benchar family and a close relative of Macpherson of Clunie. The ensuing litigation, which ended in 1773 when the MacDonalds were declared outlaw and put to the horn, is of considerable interest for the light which it throws upon hereditary possession of land. The MacDonalds referred to themselves as 'ancient possessors' and claimed to have possessed their farms 'for upwards of a century'; 'they are not like a parcel of small cottars who may be turned out at pleasure without altering their station in life'. James Small, the government factor on the estates, noted in response to the last statement that they 'considered themselves as somewhat above the rank of common tenants'. A community of more than eighty persons, however, was involved in the fate of the tacksmen families, and when the latter finally scattered to the farms of Garvamore in Glenspey and Moy at the western end of Loch Laggan, where they presumably had some rights, an undetermined number of cottar families must have been equally disturbed. (F.E.P., Clunie: numerous petitions and reports, 1766-73). These unsettling events immediately preceded the opening of the Laggan Register, and it would be surprising if their consequences were not reflected there.

      The Sliochd Iain Duibh was not the only branch of the Clann Raghnaill of Lochaber to form a component of the Laggan community at the end of the eighteenth century. In referring to events of 1513, Gregory mentions the Sliochd Gille Mhanntaich, 'the race of the stutterer', as one of the 'long established tribes in Lochaber, who had hitherto followed the descendants of Allaster Carrach', the youngest son of John, first Lord of the Isles, and founder of the Clann Raghnaill of Lochaber (Gregory 1881:29, 32, 39). This seems to imply that the Sliochd Gille Mhanntaich was perhaps an aboriginal tribe of Lochaber, predating the arrival of the MacDonald clann in the fourteenth century. However the case may be, it was influential in the internal politics of the Clann Raghnaill at the beginning of the sixteenth century, for when John Aluinn MacDonald of Keppoch surrendered one of its number to the justice of the Laird of MacIntosh, hereditary Steward of Lochaber, it was able to depose him from the leadership of the Clann


Raghnaill. (Gregory 1881: 108, 109 and note; and Macpherson 1879: 369). MacGilvantichs were prominent in the ranks of Alexander MacDonald of Keppoch's regiment in 1745-6, [16] and at least three men of this name appear in the surrender lists of Macpherson of Clunie's regiment [16] two of them resident in the farms of Garvabeg and Strathmashie respectively (S.P.D. Geo. II 36: Pf 92, ff 256, 257). [17] The Laggan Register contains an entry of baptism under this name for a family in Strathmashie in 1785 and as the Strathmashie clachans were inhabited by several families of MacDonalds it seems likely that these surnames were used interchangeably by men of the sliochd. The surrender lists for Clunie's regiment also include an individual who gave himself as 'David Man in Clunie', and as the Laggan Register prior to 1800 refers to two families interchangeably as 'Man(n)' and 'McDonald', it would appear that Mann was used increasingly as an angliciscd form of McGilvantich (S.P.D. Geo 11 36: Pf 92, ff 251, 256, 257). [18]

      The surnames 'MacGilvantich' and 'Mann' were strangely absent from the records of the Forfeiture of Clunie, although the name MacDonald appears commonly among the small tenants on the conjoint farms of Clunie and Gaskinloan. It is probably significant, therefore, that the only MacDonald recorded in The Genealogies of the McPhersons MS as being resident in the Spey drainage of the parish was Alexander MacDonald, smith in Gaskinloan, who married a daughter of John Macpherson of Crathie Croy (Sliochd Choinnich) towards the end of the seventeenth century. It is equally significant, in this respect, that one of the three families using the name in the Laggan Register before 1812 resided at Gaskinloan (1787-94). The other two were in Pitgown (1782-6) and in Garvamore (1785), the latter moving successively to Shirramore (1786-90), Garvabeg (1792-9), and Balmishaig (1806-11), and reappearing in the next generation with at least one son and his family in the last firm in 1833. The association with Gaskinloan would appear to date back for more than a century, while Pitgown was probably a matrilocal residence (Kennedy) of recent acquisition. The family which first appeared in Garvamore in 1785 on the other hand, may well represent a continued migration of the Sliochd Gille Mhanntaich from Glenroy or Lochlaggan into Glenspey, and if its presence at Garvamore was in any way connected with the eviction of the MacDonalds from Aberarder and Tullochrom it may well have originated from the Lochlaggan-side farms. It would be incorrect, of course, to assume that the solitary MacGilvantich family in Strathmashie and the Mann families in Gaskinloan, Pitgown and Garvamore represented the entire Sliochd Gille Mhanntaich in Glenspey prior to 1812; the appearance of half-a-dozen families using the name Mann after 1812, resident in farms other than those already mentioned, and related to the earlier families in ways which are undetectable in the Register after long scrutiny, suggests that there were others. It would be equally wrong to assume that all the MacDonalds in the Glenspey farms, or even in the four farms just mentioned, were members of this particular sliochd. The only legitimate assumption that can be entertained as a basis for studying tenure associations is that no real distinction can be drawn between the various sliochdan of the Clann


Raghnaill living in Laggan, and that the MacDonalds must, therefore, be looked upon as a single group.

      Throughout the period of the Register MacDonald families were recorded in most of the farms in the parish, with the exception of those in Glen Truim where they had apparently failed, to penetrate the traditional holdings of the Macphersons and MacIntyres. The Register reveals that the MacDonalds were heavily concentrated in certain areas of the parish, in a shifting distribution that reveals very clearly the pattern of eastward movement from the 'core' farms of Gallovie and Garvamore and the nature of the process by which they steadily acquired tenure rights.

      During the 1780s four families of MacDonalds occupied Gallovie, including the leading family of the Sliochd Iain Duibh headed by Allan MacDonald of Gallovie. Only one of these families baptised children through the 1790s and into the first decade of the nineteenth century. No MacDonalds are recorded as living in Gallovie after 1803, except for a single individual who married in 1835 and for whom no family connection can be given.

      The clachans of Achduchil, Baltuin, Balchladich, Drumnuird, and Stronvattie in Strath Mashie were occupied almost exclusively by MacDonalds between 1780 and 1800. Eleven families are recorded, but only four continued baptising into the nineteenth century, the last child being born in 1816. This would seem to indicate that these settlements were abandoned around that date. Strathmashie itself, formerly the dùthchas of a leading family of the Sliochd Iain Macphersons, was occupied by Ranald MacDonald, only son of Allan of Gallovie, in 1818 and 1819. In 1822 and 1823 he was joined by a son of another of the Gallovie families, but this man soon moved on to Strathcrunachdan of Aberarder (1826-39). The last MacDonald in Strathmashie was a shepherd resident there in 1848.

      The third area where MacDonalds were concentrated was Catlaig (Catlodge) of Gaskinloan, where no fewer than ten families enter the baptismal record between 1812 and 1840. They were preceded by one family, present between 1792 and 1802, but no succession can be determined. Relationships between families are quite obscure, and only one family can be said with any certainty to have produced succession in the farm after 1840. There are very slight indications that some of these Catlaig MacDonalds originated from Gallovie and the Strath Mashie clachans. One family may have come from Shanvill, a small farm above the confluence with the Truim, where three families are on record between 1798 and 1815. Shanvill represents the most easterly point on the south side of the Spey to which the MacDonalds had penetrated by the end of the eighteenth century.

      The MacDonalds in Gallovie, Strath Mashie, Catlaig and Shanvill undoubtedly represent a late eighteenth, early nineteenth century movement of the Sliochd Iain Duibh from their hereditary centre round Loch Laggan. A diagnostic feature of this movement lies in the common use of the names 'Allan' and 'Ranald' among these families. These names were virtually absent from the baptisms on the north side of the


Spey, and where they do occur there among the MacDonalds and Macphersons they can invariably be attributed to a wife and mother from the Sliochd Iain Duibh.

      The remaining area where MacDonalds were particularly numerous was the MacIntosh tract between Crathiemore and Gaskmore where almost every clachan had one or two families of the name before 1800 . The focus of this settlement would appear to have been the big village of the Sliochd Iain Léith Maclntoshes at Crathiemore. No MacDonalds were listed as resident there in 1746, but six families appear in the record between 1780 and 1800, four between 1801 and 1825, and four between 1826 and 1854. Again, no precise relationships between families or generations can be discerned. But it is significant that four of the pre-1800 families consisted of a MacDonald husband and a Macintosh wife, while several of the surviving MacIntosh families in the tract included a MacDonald wife. The conclusion seems inescapable that the settlement of MacDonalds in the tract after 1780 was initiated and secured by matrimonial alliances, predominantly though not exclusively, between the Sliochd Gille Mhanntaich and the Sliochd Iain Léith.

Clan Kennedy or MacUalraig. This clan is generally associated with. Lochaber, where it is supposed to have originated with Ualraig Kennedy, a member of the Ayrshire family of Dunure, who is alleged to have fled to Lochaber to escape punishment for some misdemeanour in the sixteenth century; his descendents are said to have attached themselves to the Camerons and the MacDonalds of Keppoch (Buchanan 1775:78). Whatever truth there may be in this, the only representative of the family appearing in the Mackintosh Muniments is Neill Kennedie of Leanachin (O.S.: Lianachan) who is associated in 1685 with the leading men of the Clann Raghnaill of Lochaber as part of 'a race of the greatest criminals in all Europe' (Paton 1903: No. 6 15).

      The first Kennedy on record in the Parish of Laggan, and the only man of the name appearing in the Genealogies of the McPhersons MS, was 'Duncan MacSoerle [Somhairle, Somerled] alias Kennedy in Gaskinloan', who married Christian, a granddaughter of Finlay Macpherson of Biallid (Sliochd Iain), about 1700. But by 1745 the clan had infiltrated Laggan and the lower parishes of Badenoch to an impressive extent: individuals from Garvabeg, Crathy Croy (2), Tirfadown, Dalchully, Gallovie, Gergask, and Gaskinloan (2) served in Macpherson of Clunie's Regiment, with eight others from Macpherson farms in the parish of Kingussie; tenants in Dalraddie (2) and Raitts in the parish of Alvie refrained from joining the Rising (S.P.D. Geo. II 36 : Pf 83, ff 295 and Pf 92, ff 251, 256, 257). Clunie's drummer, Angus Kennedy, who was captured at Carlisle where he was left owing to sickness or wounds received at Clifton, was probably a Laggan-man and in all likelihood from the farm of Gaskinloan (Seton-Gordon and Arnot: 1928). If all men of the name were members of the Lochaber family the conclusion is inescapable that a considerable migration into Badenoch had occurred during the first half of the eighteenth century, probably under the aegis of the Macpherson tacksmen and prompted, perhaps, by the Duke of Gordon.


      Table I shows that the Kennedies in Laggan held fifth place in the community prior to 1800. after the Macphersons, MacDonalds, MacIntoshes and MacIntyres. Unlike the latter two, however, they maintained their numbers and relative importance after that date and occupied third place after the Macphersons and MacDonalds. As in the case of these clans, very few personal connections can be established between families of different generations, and it may be suggested that continued migration into the parish was partly responsible for this. Tenure rights, however, had been acquired in Drumgaskinloan, Gergask and Tirfadown, and it was probably from these farms that the continued dispersal throughout the parish proceeded prior to and during the period of the Register. The post-1812 appearance of the Kennedies in the farms at the extreme eastern end of the parish, including Glentruim, is particularly striking, although it must be remembered that some of the implied migration may have originated in lower Badenoch rather than Laggan. In any case, it is clear that much of the migration was due to the assumption of matrilocal residence, and by implication, to a relative lack of hereditary rights of possession. None of the thirty-two resident families included wives from Lochaber, and the parents of most of them were both from the Parish of Laggan.

The Camerons, Campbells, Frasers, Grants, Robertsons and Stewarts. These are the surnames of clans which were strongly represented in the neighbouring districts of Strathspey, Stratherrick, Lochaber, Rannoch and Atholl. It would be surprising, therefore, if they were missing from the Laggan community prior to 1800. Table I indicates that they were present in relatively small numbers. None of them at any time exceeded the Kennedies in number, and collectively they fell far short of the MacDonalds. They were also different from those two Lochaber clans in that there is no record of their possessing land in Laggan prior to 1745. The surrender lists of 1746 indicate, in fact, that there were no Camerons, Frasers or Grants from the parish, and only one Campbell (from Dalwhinnie), three Robertsons (from Crathie Croy, Gaskmore and Clunie), and two Stewarts (from Crathie Croy and Crubinbeg) in the ranks of Clunie's Regiment. Their absence or relative unimportance is all the more surprising when it is recalled that these were the clans with whom the Macphersons had been forming exogamous marriages in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. A critical examination of The Genealogies of the McPhersons MS, however, provides a partial explanation: Laggan Macphersons were involved in neither of two marriages with Camerons, in only one of four with Campbells, one of six with Frasers, two of nine with Robertsons, two of eight with Stewarts, and -- most surprising of all -- only one of twenty-four marriages contracted with Grants. Of the seven marriages involving Macphersons from the upper parish three concerned women who probably left the district to join their husbands. Despite geographical proximity, therefore, there was little scope for matrilocal residence to play its part in introducing men of neighbouring clans into the community. The Laggan Macphersons, apparently, were least involved in the web of exogamous marriages


woven by the Clann Mhuirich during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, and indications are that this remained true throughout most of the eighteenth century.

      Camerons appeared as heads of five families in the community in the first decade covered by the Register, one of them the miller at Strathmashie. Three of their wives were Stewarts, tending to discount matrilocal possession as the explanation for their presence. Table I shows that their numbers declined after 1800 and increased again after 1825, but no family connections can be established between the earlier and later families. Moreover, their earlier and later geographical distributions were quite different. These facts, taken together, seem to suggest that the parish saw a continuous trickle of in-migrating families of this name from Lochaber, none of whom succeeded in putting down roots in the community by means of the hereditary tenure system.,

      The Campbells, unlike the Camerons, maintained their numbers and increased their relative position in the community. As in the case of the Camerons, however, neither family connections nor continuity of tenure in the same farms are evident from the information in the Register. Only one family, resident in Pitgown before 1800, produced a succession in the same farm in the second generation (18 15-30).       Frasers appeared as heads of families in Gaskbeg and Crubinbeg (2) between 1780 and 1782, but no connection between them is apparent from the information in the Register. The Fraser in Gaskbeg fathered two families in succession, his wives' maiden names being MacDonald and Leslie, while the two men in Crubinbeg were both married to Macphersons; matrilocal residence would appear to have been fully operative in these cases. Like the Camerons, the Frasers were little in evidence among the baptising families of the parish between 18oo and 1825, but their numbers recovered and their relative position increased after 1830. Only one of the later families can be connected with any certainty, however, with an earlier family, and there was no continuity of geographical association to suggest roots in the tenure system.

      Grant families appeared in Crubinbeg in 1785 and in Clunie between 1789 and 1803. A shepherd in the Braes of Clunie in 1834 may have been a son of the latter. The name remained insignificant in Laggan despite its relative importance in lower Badenoch and its predominance in the Strathspey parishes below Badenoch.

      Unlike the other clans from neighbouring districts the Robertsons declined both in numbers and relative importance in Laggan during the period covered by the Register. Despite the absence of established family connections between families of different generations, their geographical distributions show some continuity of association with certain farms, including the three farms from which men of the name joined Clunie in 1745. The rental surveys conducted on the Forfeited Estate of Clunie in 1748 and 1770 indicate that Robertsons had a place in the tenure rights of the Aird of Clunie, and this is where one family is on record between 1781 and 1786; it subsequently moved to Crubminore where it was resident in 1788 and 1790. Migration within the parish, in fact, was common among the Robertsons before and after 1800. Matrilocal residence was responsible for much of this, but their heavy concentration between Clunie and

Crathie and the focal position of Gaskmore would suggest that they had been successful in obtaining a toehold in the system of tenure rights enjoyed by older clans in the parish. Their decline after 1825 puts them in the same category as the Clanchattan clans with respect to the selective effects of emigration.

      Only one Stewart family is recorded prior to 1800, residing at Shirramore (1780-98) and producing a succession in the next generation (1804-6). Later families are known to have immigrated into the parish, in at least one instance as a result of acquiring matrilocal possession.

      The community of Laggan between 1775 and 1800 included individuals with the surnames Chisholm, Cumming, Dallas, Eason, Elder, Guthrie, Hay, Meldrum, Ross, Shaw, MacArthur, MacCulloch, MacFarlane, MacGillivray, MacHardy, MacLean, and MacNaughton. None of them, with the possible exception of Ross in Gaskbeg, had any succession in the parish, and most of them appear but momentarily in the record. Almost all of them, however, were married to women belonging to families and clans well entrenched in the hereditary tenure rights of the parish, and it may be argued that their temporary residence in the parish was purely matrilocal in origin.

      The foregoing account has suggested that the community in the Parish of Laggan, as it existed between 1775 and 1800, consisted of a number of clann and sliochdan belonging to various major clans of the central Highland districts and rooted in the farms of Laggan by hereditary rights. Acquired by individuals, either by conquest, intrusion (which is much the same thing), or exogamous marriage, these rights accrued in a general sense to the clan to which each belonged and in a more particular sense to the sliochd or lineage descended from him. We might say that the clan had general political interests in maintaining the rights of individual clansmen, while the sliochd was more concerned with the economic aspect of possession: the maintenance of the usufruct in perpetuity. The more general political interest was demonstrated in 1664 when Andrew Macpherson of Clunie requested of the Laird of MacIntosh 'that all lands which were ever formerly possessed by the Clan Vurrich ... should be restored to the Clan Vurrich' (Clark 1900: 338, 353); the more particular economic interest was involved in 1714 when Duncan Macpherson of Invertromie concerned himself with the transfer of the wadset of Muckcoul from his kinsmen, the Macphersons of Shirrabeg (Sliochd Iain), to Macpherson of Benchar (Sliochd Choinnich) (Paton 1902: No. 699). An even more interesting example of the interest of the sliochd in the hereditary rights possessed by one of its kinsmen is shown by the appearance of Duncan Macpherson of Invertromie as the sole representative of the Sliochd Iain in a series of transactions between the Laird of MacIntosh and some Macphersons of the Sliochd Ghill-ìosa which primarily concerned wadset lands in the Parish of Alvie. His presence as a witness might be explained simply as a result of geographical proximity; but it is significant that the warrandice for the wadset involved the distant farms of Inverroy-more, Inverroy-beg and Bohaskie in the Braes of Lochaber, precisely the farms among the


Keppoch MacDonalds in which a branch of the Macphersons of Garvamore (Sliochd Iain) held hereditary rights. (Paton 1903: No. 655; Macpherson 1966: 14).

      It may be argued, however, that the identification of distinct clann and lineages in the community is not a valid way of describing the social structure as late as 1775. In this view continuity of association with particular farms or tracts of land was merely a historical legacy from a system that had passed away: unrelated to the economic and social realities of the last quarter of the eighteenth century, it should be explained simply in terms of geographical inertia and the innate conservatism of a peasant people. This would be the corollary of the commonly accepted belief that the clan system of the Scottish Highlands was broken and destroyed by the military defeat at Culloden and by the repressive legislation which followed. To accept this, however, is to believe that a traditional way of life, rooted in at least a thousand years of folk history, depended for its survival on the right to carry arms and wear a particular style of dress; it is to identify the ancient ways of a people with their uneasy subjection to feudal forms of jurisdiction and with their relatively recent adherence to a particular political party in the state. The denial of access to arms undoubtedly brought the capability of the Highland clans to act as a paramilitary force in the political arena to an end; and the prohibition of the Highland Dress as civilian wear between 1746 and 1782 must have had a considerably demoralising effect in terms of personal prestige and the sense of cultural distinctiveness which the Highlanders entertained. But to argue that these relatively superficial infringements could destroy the fundamental basis of the clan system is to deny that the general findings of the social anthropologists have any validity in a reconstruction or interpretation of the traditional Highland way of life.

      The error in popular thinking is probably the result of an uncritical definition of the major clans of Highland history as political entities like tribes, each associated with a particular territory and capable of unified military action. Political solidarity and territoriality, however, were secondary characteristics of the clan system. The primary characteristic of the Scottish clan was its adherence to the agnatic principle: affiliation by male descent. The major clans and the local district clann and sliochdan were essentially agnatic kinship groups in which both men and women were born into the clan of their father as symbollsed by the use of a common surname. Neither the defeat at Culloden, the Disarming and Dress Act of 1746, nor the Heritable jurisdictions Act of 1747 could have had any effect on the traditional adherence to the agnatic principle as expressed in the little clann and sliochdan of Highland districts like Laggan. Proof for its continuance as the basis for the social structure of Highland communities, therefore, must be sought in something more fundamental than territorial association. The evidence, which will be presented in a subsequent paper, comes from a consideration of marriage in the Laggan community.



[1] These percentages were derived from statistics in 'Webster's Enumeration, 1755' (Kyd 1952) and in 'The Statistical Account of Scotland: Parish of Laggan' (Grant 1795).

[ 2] There was evidently a later connection by marriage between the Macphersons of Strathmashie and the MacIntoshes of Strone. The Genealogies of the McPhersons records the marriage of John McIain Duibh of Strathmashie to a daughter of 'McIntosh of Strone', probably James of Gask.

[ 3] Creag Dhubh No. 11, 1959: 14, 15; see also the Ardross MS, Macpherson of Cluny Collection, Scottish Record Office, No. 965.

[4] These attempts to express the Gaelic name of the clan phonetically show that the Gaelic pronunciation was Clann Dàidh, with d unlenited after the nasal, and bh represented by hiatus as it is among Gaelic speakers today.

[ 5] His place of death is recorded on a grave stone in Cladh Chluanaidh, at Cluny in Laggan.

[ 6] Davidson, as a surname, would be Mac Dhàidh in Gaelic, which is practically identical phonetically with 'MacKay', as the lenited d is silent.

[ 7] These spellings show that the Gaelic was Sliochd a' Ghobha Chruim (gen.), and that, despite the later sources, the oblique case Gobhainn was not used.

[ 8] Crom (nom.), 'crooked' or 'stooping'.

[ 9] Macpherson of Cluny Collection, No. 965, Scottish Record office, Edinburgh.

[10] The 'smooth side'. The other side is An Slios Garbh, the rough side'.

[11] One of these men was listed with the surname 'Gregorach'.

[12] The surname in Gaelic is Tolm and its bearers are known collectively as Na Tolmaich. The name is found from about the beginning of the seventeenth century in Fortrose in the Black Isle and also in the town of Inverness. In Fortrose they were prominent as burgesses and merchants, and seem to have been MacLeods, descended from Iain Tolmach, one of the Gairloch branch of the MacLeods of Lewis, who lived in the sixteenth century. There are still MacLeods in Lewis who are known in Gaelic as Clann Iain Tholmaich, but there is no evidence that the Tolmies in Laggan used the name MacLeod. The name probably has more than one origin.

[13] Scotticiscd forms like 'MacGilichonich' and 'MacGillichennich' could stand for Gaelic Mac Gille Choinnich. On the other hand, 'MacIlchynich' and especially 'MacAlchynich' indicate that the Gaelic was Mac 'aol Choinnich, that is, Mac Mhaol Choinnich. Gille as a prefix in personal names came into use at a later date than Maol, and tended to replace it. It is curious, in this respect, that the Laggan Register uses the older form while earlier sources use the later one.

[14] This was the last occasion on which an entry was made, using the old name in preference to 'MacKenzie'.

[15] Alexander Macpherson records the discovery of a gravestone in St Columba's Graveyard, Kingussie, which reads: 'Heir lyes Alx. McDon., son to Jo. McDon, in Rvthan, who dyed 23 Ap. 1719; also Alx. and Alx. McDonalds, his father and uncle, sometime representing the antient familiy of Ardnamourach.'

[16] The surrender lists for 'Keepach McDonald's Men' (S.P.D. Geo. II 36: Pf 83, ff 381) includes six men with the surname 'McIlvauntich': John, Angus, Samuel, Ewan, William and John. The three men who surrendered with the McPhersons to the Earl of Loudoun were John McGilliwantich in Garvabegg, Donald McGillvantich in Stramasey, and Angus McGilvantich in . . .. (S.P.D. Geo. II 36 : Pf 92, ff 256, 257.)

[17] It was probably to prevent the recruitment of men of the Sliochd Gille Mhanntaich, and perhaps some of the Sliochd Iain Duibh, who were living in the central and northern parts of the Parish of Laggan, that Ewan Macpherson of Clunie acted against MacDonald of Keppoch in the early months of the 'Forty-Five Rising (Warrand 1930: 21).


[18] The earliest recorded use of the surname Mann which may be connected with the parish of Laggan occurs in the marriage contract between Muriach, a son of Bean Macpherson of Strathmashie, and Elisabeth MacIntosh in Kinrara which was signed at Inverness in 1675. A burgess of the town, one Thomas Man, appears among the signatories, most of whom were Sliochd Iain and Sliochd Choinnich Macphersons from the parishes of Laggan and Kingussie (Paton 1903: No. 561).



      1934          The Clans, Septs and Regiments of the Scottish Highlands. 3rd edition.

      1775          An Inquiry into the Origin and Descent of the Highland Clans (1723). 2nd edition.

CLARK, J. T. (ed.)
      1900         'De Origine et Incremento Makintoshiorum Epitome.' In: Genealogical Collections Concerning Families in Scotland, made by Walter Macfarlane 1730-1751, vol. I. Scottish History Society 33: 144-404. Edinburgh.

      1701         The Great Historical, Geographical, Genealogical and Poetical Dictionary. 2nd edition. London.

      1932          The Loyal Clans. Edinburgh.

      1798          The Baronage of Scotland. 2nd edition.

F. E. P.
    1747-86       Forfeited Estates' Papers. The Scottish Record Office, Old Register House, Edinburgh.

     1869         The Chiefs of Colquhoun and their country. Edinburgh.

      1865         Antiquarian Notes: A series of papers regarding families and places in the Highlands.Inverness.
      1877         'The Depopulation of Aberarder in Badenoch, 1770.' Celtic Magazine 2 : 419.
    1899-1901  'The Boycott of Macpherson of Killyhuntly.' Trans. Gael. Soc. of Inverness 24: 100-20.

      1807         Letters from the Mountains, being the real correspondence of a lady between the years 1773 and 1807, vol. I. 3rd edition. London.

      1795          'The Parish of Laggan.' In: The Old Statistical Account. Edinburgh.

      1880         The History of the Western Highlands and Isles of Scotland, from A.D. 1493 to A.D. 1625. 2nd edition. London.

      1953         The Clan MacGregor, the nameless clan. Edinburgh.

      1952         Scottish Population Statistics. Scottish History Society 44 (3rd Series). Edinburgh.

     1879         The Oryginale Cronykil of Scotland, by Androw Wyntoun, Prior of Lochleven, 1395-1413, Vol. 3. Edinburgh.


      1800-1820         Memoir of Macdonald of Keppoch, a Family Memoir. Privately printed.

      1892         Notes Descriptive and Historical. Privately printed.

MACPHAIL, J. R. N. (ed.)
      1896         'Letters written by Mrs Grant of Laggan concerning Highland affairs and persons connected with the Stuart cause in the eighteenth century.' Scottish History Society 26: 249-330. Edinburgh.

      1896-7         'Gleanings from the Cluny Charter Chest.' Transactions of the Gaelic Society of Inverness, 21: 391-452.
      1893         Glimpses of Church and Social Life in the Highlands in Olden Times, and other papers. Edinburgh.

      1966         'An Old Highland Genealogy, and the evolution of a Scottish clan.' Scottish Studies 10: 1-43. Edinburgh.

      1879         'The Clandonald of Keppoch.' Celtic Magazine 4:368-75.

      1902         The Loyall Dissuasive and other papers concerning the affairs of Clan Chattan : by Sir Aeneas Macpherson, Knight of Invereshie, 1691-1705. Scottish History Society 41. Edinburgh.

      1903          The Mackintosh Munitnents, 1442-1820. Printed privately.

      1928         Prisoners of the '45. Scottish History Society 15 (3rd series). Edinburgh.

SKENE, F. J. H. (ed.)
      1880          The Book of Pluscarden. Edinburgh.

      1848         Lays of the Deer Forest and Traditions of the Clans. Edinburgh.

S. P. D.
                      State Papers Domestic. The Public Record Office, Chancery Lane, London.

    1923-30       More Culloden Papers, vol. 5. Inverness.

WATKINS, JOHN (trans.)
      1721         The History of Scotland, by George Buchanan. London.


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