List of Officers        2
   Message from Cluny        4
   From the Top of Creag Dhubh        5
   Clan Macpherson Rally 1981        6
   Clan Macpherson Rally -- In Absentia     8
   Let's Learn Gaelic (16th Year)   10
   Clan Chattan Journal 1982  11
   Clan House Museum 1981   13
   Clan Macpherson Trust   15
   Clan Armorial   16
   Report from the Branches   17
   Murdock Family   32
   The Macphersons of Charles County, Maryland   35
   Some Notes on Laggan in the 19th Century by Hugh Barron Part I      40
   Births, Marriages , Deaths      44
   Obituaries      45
   Letters to the Editor      47



No. 34


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        THE ANNUAL OF





The Chief

Hon. Vice-Presidents

Officers of the Association

1295Cumnock Cresent, Oakville, Ontrio, Canada

Fleenasmore, Ardclach, Nairn

Hon. Secretary
39 Swanston Avenue, Edinburgh, 10

Hon. Treasurer
MRS. EDITH McPHERSON, 62 Strathearn Road, Edinburgh EH9 2AD

Mrs E. C. G. MACPHERSON, 'Kilmuir', Dundas Street, Comrie, Perthshire

EOIN MACPHERSON, FSASCOT, Clan House, Newtonmore, (Telephone 332)

Piper                                                                                                     ROBERT PEARSON
Hon. Auditor                                                                                                     R. W. G. MACPHERSON

Editorial Committee
A.C. MACPHERSON, M.A., LL.B (Editor),
46 Ambrose Rise, Dedridge, Livingston West Lothian
JOHN M. BARTON, W.S. (Secretary) and T.A.S. MACPHERSON, A.R.I.C.S. (Advertising)



TOM MACPHERSON (Lord Macpherson of Drumochter. Died 1965)                                   1947-1952
NIALL MACPHERSON (Lord Drumalbyn) 1952-1954
LT. COL. ALLAN I. MACPHERSON (Died 1958) 1954-1957
HON. J. GORDON MACPHERSON(Lord Macpherson of Drumochter) 1960-1963
A.I.S. MACPHERSON 1969-1973

Branch Representatives




The Council appeals to members to support the Annual by contributing articles of historical, genealogical, or topographical interest, and by forwarding news of themselves and other clanmen, honours, appointments, etc. Photographs, prints, etc., of places or people and 'Letters to the Editor' on matters of Clan interst are also welcome.

All communications should be addressed to the Editor of Creag Dhubh, Archy Macpherson, M.A., LL.B., 119 Huron Avenue, Howden, Livingston EH54 6LQ, West Lothian, Scotland.

PLEASE NOTE -- In order to meet publications dates for the current year, it is essential that all matters for publication in Creag Dhubh be received not later than 31st December in each year.



      Each year brings more new faces to our Gatherings at Newtonmore and Kingussie. 1981 was no exception, with a "full house" of representatives from our Branches. Allan Macpherson came as the first of Stuart's large band of "recruits" in South Africa. New Zealand, Australia, U.S.A. and Canada were all represented too; and it was a great pleasure to record the high numbers present at every event.

      In November, Sheila and I had the privilege of attending both the U.S.A. and Canada Branch Gatherings. Williamstown Campus in Massachussets was a great place for a weekend of events, and the hotel where we stayed resounded late at night to inaccurate but enthusiastic singing! Herb and Colette Armitt had done great work in arranging such an occasion.

      After Williamstown we drove from New York through New York State to Toronto, where we were able to join the Canadian Branch Dinner at Croft Restaurant. Donald and Audrey's arrangements again made a most successful evening of good food, good music and the best of company.

      In May we held a small gathering at Newton Castle, for the few who came to the "Year of the Scot", and for a good and most welcome attendance of regular members. The Blairgowrie Pipe Band played, wearing the red Macpherson Tartan; and we hope that one day they will pipe at Newtonmore.

      This occasion was marred by the entry that night of burglars into Newton Castle who removed much of the family silver. Any sightings of silver bearing the Clan crest will be welcome!

      We look forward again to August and to welcoming and greeting all who come to Badenoch. The familiar form of the weekend seems to become more popular each year, and we hope that none of its events will fade with the years.

      Lastly, may I draw the attention of our Clansmen and Clanswomen to the 50th Jubilee year (in 1983) of the Clan Chattan Association. Robert and Pauline McGillivray produce and edit an excellent magazine each year for their Association and membership (available from them) opens new windows upon the affairs of our own Clan and its associated clans in the Clan Chattan, We hope many will join, and join us and others at the Jubilee weekend which is planned for August 1983, during the weekend after our own Gathering.

      With all possible good wishes from Sheila and myself and all the family for 1982.




      Virtually everyone who attended the ceilidh at the 1981 Clan Rally in the Duke of Gordon Hotel in Kingusssie, Scotland was astounded at what a great and exhilerating experience it turned out to be.

      Why? After years of importing singers and performers we had, as if by magic, contributed our own bit as clansfolk at this great annual family gathering. In Hugh we have the very best, most experienced, most able, most genial, and most enthusiastic fear-an-tigh imaginable. The only variant from many past ceilidhs was the performers in all their most entertaining diversity. Our own people had done their own thing in the most Scottish and Scottish Gaelic manner they could.

      Historians commenting on one of the most pathetic features of the late eighteenth and throughout the nineteenth century was the condition of the old time aristocrat left without his servants when he fell on evil days.

      Today we are all aristocrats. The armies of servants are today the machinery, computers and technology which churn out consumer goods for us. There are all manner of convenience foods available and even (or especially) in a recession the shops are stocked with consumables of every imaginable sort.       Optimists reckoned once that when man was freed from the drudgery of doing everything by hand his creativity would be infinite . Others suggest that lethargy and a wild rush after "kicks", excitements and diversions have so often filled the gap.

      It is so easy to read a book already written for one, rather than produce a dramatic tour de force like the retelling of the famous tale of Macrae of Kintail and three witches, at the 1981 ceilidh. Yet there are literally thousands of Scottish tales.

      How many of us turn a switch or flick a cassette or a disc/gramophone record to produce, like a slave, song or/and music for ourselves? How many of us have really taken the trouble to get lessons in singing or mastered singing ourselves.

      There is a staggeringly great repertoire of music which has come out of Scotland over the centuries, as anyone who takes up the mastering of any traditional musical instrument like the pipes, the fiddle, the accordion, the clarsach (the Scottish non-pedal harp), the piano etc. can find out.

      Song from Scotland, either accompanied by a musical instrument or unaccompanied, either in the Gaelic language of our forefathers or in English, is equally astounding in the quality it can achieve as well as its sheer quantity. There are the well-tried favourites in both languages and then there are those songs which are so traditional that they seem to have become overlooked

      The great treasure house of the traditional song and music of our forebears is the School of Scottish Studies, University of Edinburgh, 27 George Square, Edinburgh EH8 9LD, Scotland. The School publishes an occasional booklet called TOCHER of which the complete run can be bought. The spelling at times departs from the standard form to accomodate dialect variations. . . . but that's not much of a price to pay. All contributions in Gaelic in TOCHER are accompanied by a literal translation in English. The School publishes choice songs and music under the Tangent label.

An Comunn Gaidhealach, Abertarff House, Inverness, Scotland can supply and advise on Gaelic song and Gaelic learning was well as a booklet on what's in print in Gaelic.

      Not only can one experience great personal joy in making music on one's own instrument, reciting poetry, singing, story-telling, but one can delight one's own immediate circle as well as wider gatherings. It could be worth trying.



      The Clan Council viewed the onset of the 1981 Rally with a certain amount of foreboding. The weather during the summer had been bad; the Royal Wedding had kept the tourists in London; the Dollar rate was all wrong for the Americans and the price of petrol continued to go up. Surely things could not be expected to go well this summer.

      The usual opening to the Rally with the reception and Highland Ball in the Duke of Gordon Hotel, Kingussie, provided the first surprise. The influx of guests changed from the expected trickle to a flood and soon the harassed Secretary, Treasurer and Hotel Manager were conferring to plan the accommodation and feeding of this unexpected, but nevertheless welcome host of visitors.

      Members and guests were welcomed at the door by the Chief and the Chairman, together with their respective wives. An excellent evening followed, the dancing being interrupted only in an interval to consume a delicious buffet supper.

      The Annual General Meeting, held the next morning, was well attended and members listened with interest to reports from representatives of Branches in U.S.A., Canada, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa. The Chairman announced, with justifiable pride, that it was the first occasion when all these Branches had been represented.

      During the afternoon, Cluny accompanied by his son Allan, led the largest Macpherson March to the Newtonmore Highland Games for many years. Cluny's banner was carried by his personal Standard Bearer, Eoin Macpherson, supporters being two John Macphersons, one from the East, the other from the West of Scotland Branch. Allan D. Macpherson from South Africa carried the Association Banner, a fine tribute to the youngest Branch. His supporters were Robert Macpherson from the United States Branch and Donald J. Macpherson from the Canadian Branch. The South Australian Association Banner was carried at a Rally for the first time by Kenneth Macpherson with supporters Ian Macpherson and Dr. Paul Macpherson Sykes of the South Australian Branch.

      The Clan tent was well patronised during an afternoon of wonderful weather. Those visitors to a Scottish Highland Games for the first time must have retained many happy memories of the occasion.

      At the Ceilidh in the evening, held in the Duke of Gordon Hotel, the artistes came from far and near. Hugh Macpherson in his now familiar role as fear an tigh, welcomed the following performers:

      Pipe Major Ian Fraser and Piper Robert Wallace from Carrbridge. Soloists Ruth Macpherson McDougall from Killicrankie, Phyllis Henderson from Newtonmore, Evan Cattanach from Ballindalloch, Martha Alston from Darvel, Archy Macpherson from Edinburgh. Piano Accordion selections, Annie Macpherson of Cluny accompanied by Emma Barry on the Violin, Frank Reid from Kent; Piano Selections Duncan Sinclair from Rannoch; Recitations Dugald Campbell from Newtonmore; Reading Ronnie Macpherson from Comrie; Highland Dancing Andrew Gillies from London, Tommy Kaspick from Pennsylvania, U.S.A. The mime, "Willie the carpenter's encounter with the three witches of Kintail" was performed by Ron Noble of the Clan Chattan Association, London. An unforgetable item was the performance of the Australian Choir (specially formed for the occasion) who delighted the audience with a spirited rendition of "Waltzing Matilda".

      During the interval of the ceilidh, Eoin Macpherson organised a successful raffle and the sum of �.30 was realised for the Association funds. Members expressed their appreciation to the generous donors for the various gifts. The Service in St. Columba's Parish Church, Kingussie was conducted by the Rev. James Currie of Dunlop, who on his first visit to a Rally


preached a memorable sermon much appreciated by the large congregation. The lessons were read by the Chief and the Chairman.

      Sunday afternoon saw our now customary visit to the home of Mr & Mrs Euan Macpherson of Glentruim, to whom we give our grateful thanks for their unfailing hospitality.

      This outing concluded an enjoyable and well attended Rally and with sincere good wishes to all who came, we look forward to August 1982.



      The 34th Annual Clan Macpherson Rally at Kingussie and Newtonmore was being planned for by MacPherson 'frae a' the airts' and with my wife, Margaret, we were hoping to be present, as we had been in the previous year. Therefore it was not intended that this article should appear in the pages of this issue of Creag Dhubh, bearing the above caption for publication.

      Didn't our National Bard so aptly phrase it, "The best laid schemes o' mice and men gang aft agley" and so it became my fate, when illness intervened terminating in a critical and serious spell of surgery in the Royal Infirmary, where, but for the amazing skill of the surgeons and devoted nursing care of the Staff, my Editor cousin may have been placing my name in the obituary column.

      Alive!! Oh yes! With the following words from the Professor as he said, "Goodbye" on December 30th 1980, allowing me home for the family New Year. "Mr MacPherson, you were in a sorry state when we got you, but you are a living miracle! " No pharmacist ever pounded a finer cure for a patient or measured out a better tonic bottle to 'pep' up his system! The name MacPherson was often mentioned to me in 'The Royal' in connection with AIS and his professional associations there; also spoken of the family home at Newtonmore, where Lady (Helen) his dear mother of revered memory to all the Clan world-wide, lived for so long.

      Now to happier events, where my wife was attending the Rally for her first visit to mingle with her Kinsfolk -- she a Cameron by birth, but qualifying by a MacPherson by marriage! As we waited the arrival of Clan March from Old Ralia, led by the Pipe Band, and headed by Cluny, our Chief, who was stepping out to the martial music leading to the Eilean (Games Field) where, in brilliant sunshine, Banners, Flags and Bunting floated gaily in colourful display and as we entered, we were greeted to the field by Lady Sheila herself, who enquired 'who we were' and .where from'? and she was delighted to learn we were out on a lazy afternoon holiday, but told we would be present at the Ceilidh at the 'Duke' in the evening, when I would don my 'Battle Dress' for that occasion. We were then taken to the Clan Tent where we met several of our prominent Clansfolk and officials from overseas and also our Chief, Cluny himself. Let it be said that he and Lady Sheila captured completely our affectionate regards, simply because of their heart-warming welcome, also being impressed by his upright and manly bearing!

There stands our Chief!
Among his Tartan Kilted Chiels!
Wha come frae Mansion -- But and Ben,
Yet Kinsfolk a', they're Cluny's men
This day! they stand anew;
Beneath the shadow of 'Craigdhu'.
He holds in welcome, forth, his open hand,
Now now an unsheathed sword within its grasp
But strength Instead
To forge the links in friendship's chain
And tell his Clansmen, yet again
That freedom's call
Shall spread o'er a' the lands
Where Cluny! their Chief! Holds his Command.


      The cloudless skies greeted the competitors and spectators alike and the sports events were followed with enjoyable interest, varied in character from the muscular efforts of the bearded giants, to the groups of pretty maids contesting the intricate steps of the dance routines, Scotch and Irish.

      Mid-afternoon, I was amused to witness a reveller being laid down comfortably, beside the boundary fence, after having imbibed excessively, but not too wisely at the "mobile field distillery", and when a kindly policeman moved forward and enquired, "Is he a'al right?" which highly amused the onlookers, yet from his condition we judged it would be a long time ere he knew the result of the'Craigdhu Hill Race'-- We may have been concerned, but 'He' was happy!

      The Ceilidh in the evening was held in the opulent splendour of the 'Duke', where Hugh once again was Fear an Tigh, a duty which he had carried through for the past 34 years, and where Lady Sheila greeted us, but this time as promised, I was dressed in the Tartan of my Clan. There was no shortage of artistes and Hugh soon won the shy ones over to the stage and there was never a dull moment, as long as he was in command. He raised the roof with an uproarious outburst of laughter, when he asked a French teenager visitor present if she was enjoying her holiday visit to Scotland. Shyly, she replied, "Vee'ry much, thank you!" "What do you think of the Scotch boys!" "Oh!! They are dee'ferent." Hugh daren't ask any more questions; to do so may have been dangerous.

      The holding of such nights of revelry is a feature of Highland life and living, but a large attendance at Church on Sunday morning clearly indicated that not many Clansfolk preferred sleep to morning Worship. As ever, the congregation was in good voice and during the Service the Bible readings were taken by members of the Clan.

      The afternoon was spent touring through parts of Macpherson and Laggan country and the many stops of interest to the party were given 'the full treatment" by our very excellent and competent Guide in the person of Captain Harvey Macpherson, and finally ending up at the 'House of Glentruim' where he and his charming lady had prepared a dainty spread for their hungry visitors. The marquee held a packed assembly and some of the children, as children do, were having fun, grouped in a corner.

      They were holding a mock Bar and we heard one of them address his young patron thus, "What will you have, Sir?" "Oh! A Gin and it!" Shrieks of laughter followed among the group and to me that breakthrough of boyish fun and humour was far from being in breach of the code of good behaviour.

      A similar contribution at Balavil House, where that busy day concluded, when Alan G Macpherson delivered a lecture on Clan History -- concerning origin, its dispersal and causes, with final settlements and mergers into the present day, as far as I can remember. Here again to cap the fun of the day, and until the appearance of the Lecturer before his audience, these lively bairns had positioned themselves (seated in kilted garb and stockinged feet) on top of and at the head of the largest, most majestic mahogany Victorian table I had ever seen, and upon it was their ploy! Pushing each other off at the top, sitting knees up, on their seats to shoot off at the far end. Laughter and more laughter! It's a picture of fun-making we'll never want to forget, approved or not. To us it was 'OPPORTUNITY KNOCKS'! God bless them and may He preserve within us, a childlike sense of humour, for when we have passed on they will be the: Banner Carriers; Office Bearers; and the Caretakers of our Inheritance. I close with a phrase with which Tom Weir recently ended his dialogue on his T.V. series entitled 'Weir's Way" -- "AND THE MACPHERSONS LIVE ON".

Robert MacPherson
Davidson's Mains


(16th year) by Archy Macpherson M.A. LL.B.
      Probably it comes as no surprise for us to consider that the language of our forefathers (and, if there were such a word, our foremother too) was not the English language at all, but the Scottish Gaelic.

      It fits into the logic of things. Who, one may ask, could ever dream of English people running around in kilts and having their homeland in the heart of Scotland.

      Top marks, by such logic one can be on the way to collecting a Master's degree or even a Doctorate. Now comes the crunch, or as they say, the sixty-four dollar question. Does the reader realize that our ancestral language is still alive and well?

      One step more, if the reader has been able to read so far it means that he or she can learn another and can with doggedness after some years learn how to read, write, speak, converse and sing in another language.

      No matter where one is on the face of the earth one can learn this other language and sip at its wells of culture. No one expects to learn a musical instrument or stitch a tapestry or turn a wilderness into a marvellous garden without unremitting toil over several years; but such persistence has the very real rewards, joys and satisfactions that all hard won gains and triumphs bestow on the determined.

      There is a good correspondence course called GAIDHLIG BHEO (live Gaelic), obtainable through the National Extension College, 18 Brooklands Avenue, Cambridge CB2 2HN, England.

      Though this course is administered south of the Border, all its tutors are Scots Gaelic speakers of proven ability in Scotland. The wonder of the post office is such that a course and its cassettes allow one to be tutored anywhere in the language.

      The three best dictionaries for the beginner are Thomson's "New English-Gaelic" (Gairm), Maceachen's "Gaelic-English" (Highland Printers) and Jake MacDonald's Abair Faclair (Mingulay). These form a very nice compact working trio. But if a pronouncing dictionary is required there is Maclennan's Gaelic Dictionary (Acair + Aberdeen University Press). Though it is worth remembering in using Maclennan's dictionary that the letter D, T, L, N, R, with any broad vowel as A, O, U, are pronounced with the tongue on the upper teeth and the R is rolled. For a vast, life-time source of study and delight Dwelly's Illustrated Gaelic-English Dictionary (Gairm) is unsurpassable.

      The well known and easily available series of "Teach Yourself Books" published by Hodder & Stoughton (Mackay [now McGraw-Hill] in U.S.) has a good grammar by Roderick Mackinnon under the title of "Gaelic" but if it is wished to progress beyond this book there is McLaren's Gaelic Self Taught and Calder's Gaelic Grammar both published by Gairm. [Around 1998, H&S published another Gaelic text using the same title of Teach Yourself Gaelic which has caused all sorts of confusion because they stopped printing the Mackinnon version. However, in 2004, the Mackinnon version was republished prolonging the confusion.]

      Either the Gairm Publications Book Shop, 29 Waterloo Street, Glasgow G2 6BZ, Scotland or An Comunn Gaidhealach, Abertarff House, Inverness, Scotland could sell you simple readers and other learning aids, but the School of Scottish Studies, 27 George Square, Edinburgh EH8 9LD, Scotland could sell you the entire run of TOCHER; their little thrice yearly magazine with Old Scots stories, songs and traditions. On an average in each issue half is in Gaelic (with good literal translation into English) and half in English. Spelling is adapted to show dialect variations.

      Either of these addresses will supply you with the booklet of all Gaelic books in print for sixty pence and also the particulars of the two bibliographies available that list all the Gaelic books that have ever been published in the last four hundred years! A skilful use of your library should produce those books which you do not buy.


      Finally, song is one of the most important features of our ancestors' language and culture. An Comunn at the above address will help in every way with advice on song and the provision of music and there is a steady stream of gramophone records and cassettes available through shops which stock Scottish Gaelic products.

Gabh misneach . . . . . . . . . Gilleasbuig



      The welcome receipt of the latest edition of the Clan Chattan Journal has proved that the current number is well up to the high standards of professional approach and production to which we have become accustomed.

      The first article is one for Macphersons, a profile of Cluny, with details of his descent and a most interesting statement of his views on Highland Chiefs and Clanship in general in this modern age.

      Robert McGillivray offers us the conclusion of his paper on the Clan officers at Culloden with some very pertinent observations on the subsequent changes in the way of life in the Highlands. We look forward to his next series with interest and anticipation.

      Other subject matter, both written and pictorial, should be of the greatest interest to all Scottish readers.

      Well done, Clan Chattan! Your annual package of interest and information is an inspiration to us all.


The College of Piping
The College operates an information centre for pipers,
and for anyone interested in the music, history or traditions

of the great Highland bagpipe.

16-24 Otago Street, Glasgow G12 8JH, Scotland





      At the Annual General Meeting in August we reported an attendance of 2,364 for the first half of the season. August and September were reasonably good months and a further 2,499 visited us, giving a total of 4,863 for the year, an increase of 303 for the full season from 1st May to 30th September.

      The recorded addresses show that they came from the following countries:

Scotland & England 3950 Ireland    18
Channel Islands     2 Isle of Man     2
USA  202 Canada    69
Australia   72 New Zealand    35
South Africa     9 Holland  153
France    73 Belgium    59
Germany  128 Norway     2
Sweden   20 Denmark     9
Switzerland      7 Israel     8
Italy   13 Spain     8
Jamaica     4 Hungary     5
Malta      4 Kenya      2
Finland     2 Poland     2
Venezuela      2 Czechoslovakia     2
Malawi     2

      We are pleased to report continued increase in collection boxes and sales of publications etc. The sums received from these were �6, an increase of � and �6, an increase of �. In addition a very successful Raffle held at the Ceilidh realised a further � for the Association funds. In this connection we record our grateful thanks to the donors of the many prizes. Among other donations received during the year were two amounting to � for landscaping purposes.

      We continue to extend publicity for the museum and in this connection the Scots Magazine is publishing an article about James Macpherson, Freebooter. We have provided the publishers with photographs and information.

      We wish to express our grateful thanks to Monroe Macpherson, Chairman of the USA Branch for his co-operation in furthering our publicity. A poster designed by him and embodying a coloured photograph of the Clan House has been distributed over a very wide area. This card is one of a set of three which are available at the Museum. The entire cost of the posters and the post cards has been borne by Monroe.

Additions to the Museum
Plaid Brooch from Blairgowrie and Rattray District Pipe Band

The Portraits of Bonnie Prince Charlie, by Donald Nicholas M.A. (Oxon). F.S.A. Scot.
From J. Wakefield, 3 Plumtrees, Maidstone, Kent

Hand Made Toasting Fork used by Colonel Allan Macpherson and family photographs (Cluny of Blairgowrie family) from Isla Macpherson, Old Mill House, Fortrose, Ross & Cromarty.

Old Cluny Print from Executors of Miss Anne Macpherson (former Secretary of the North of Scotland Branch)


Notes on James Macpherson who was executed at Banff, 16th November, 1700. Supplied by Henry R. Watson, having been found by him in an old ledger at 24 Boyne Street, Whitehills, Banff-shire.

Photograph of the joint Candian/USA Rally from Donald J. Macpherson.

Photograph Clan March 1981 from Eoin Macpherson, Clan House.

Photograph of the Clan Macpherson Pipe Band, Queensland, Australia from Gordon J. Macpherson, Chairman, Australian Branch.

Very old Bellows Pipes which belonged to Cluny and were presented to Malcolm Macpherson (Calum Piobair) by Lady Cluny in 1864 on loan from the family of the late John Macpherson, eldest son of Malcolm Macpherson.

Albumen Print, one of 33 items by Robert Macpherson (1811 -- 1872) exhibited at the Scottish Photography Group Gallery, Edinburgh from Mr. Robert W. Storm, Virginia, the great grandson of Dr. Macpherson.


      The Association has been fortunate in having Eoin as Curator of the Museum in Newtonmore since 1966 and he has been most ably supported by Phosa. In order that continuity may be ensured in this most important position, the Council have decided to appoint a Curator Designate. Nominations, applications or enquiries regarding the terms of this appointment should be made to the Secretary. Mr. T. A. S. Macpherson, "Caerketton", 39 Swanston Avenue, Edinburgh, EH10 7BX.


Not included


By R. G. M. Macpherson, F.R.S.A., F.S.A.Scot.

No. 30 J. Donald Macpherson       A recent Lyon Court Matriculation, of interest to all members of the Clan Association, are the Arms granted to our Chairman, J. Donald Macpherson of Oakville, Ontario.

      These Arms, as are all Macpherson Arms, are based on those of the Chief of the Clan, Macpherson of Cluny, but they must be "differenced" in some way so that they will not be confused with any existing Macpherson coat-of-arms. Heraldry is a system of identification, identifying one individual at a time, and Donald is the 38th Macpherson clansman to receive a Grant of Arms from the Lord Lyon King of Arms in Edinburgh since the Public Register of all Arms and Bearing in Scotland was established in 1672.

      The Chairman's Arms are "differenced" by being "counterchanged" gold and blue, which afford a very original and pleasing artistic effect. In addition, a band, (called a "fess"), is placed across the centre of the shield and this contains "a Stag's head erased" and "a Stag's head cabossed" to denote descent from the McCallums and the McKillops respectively. The two crossed Cromags commemorate "two chairmanships", viz., the Canadian Branch and the parent Clan Association.

      The Cat is seated upon a grassy mound and charged on the with "an Acorn slipped and leaved proper" in allusion to "Oakville". The motto, "Touch Not Ungloved", is an answering motto to the Chiefs "Touch not the cat but a glove".

      Donald Macpherson has been active in the Clan Association for many years having served as Chairman of the Canadian Branch and presently as Chairman of the parent Clan Association.


Friday, Sth Aug. -- Reception & Highland Ball within the Duke of Gordon Hotel, Kingussie, 8 P.M. to 1 a.m.

Saturday, 7th Aug. -- Annual General Meeting, Village Hall, Newtonmore, at 10 a.m. Afternoon: Newtonmore Highland Games; Clan March from Old Ralia to The Eileen. Evening; Ceilidh within the Duke of Gordon Hotel at 8 p.m.

Sunday, 8th Aug. -- Morning: Family Service at St. Columba's Church, Kingussie, 11 a.m. Afternoon: Visit to Glentruim House. The grounds of Cluny Castle will be Wen to visitors.

Monday, 9th Aug. -- Bus Tour leaving the Museum at 10 a.m.

----------------------------------------------------------------16 -------------------------------------------------------------















      The Ninth Annual Rally of our Branch will be held in Texas in 1982, the convener will be James F. Macphearson of Dallas, Texas. All Clan members of whatever branch are cordially invited to join with us on that occasion.

      Once again we send our warmest greetings to all Clansmen around the world.


      It isn't often that a bureaucrat returns money to the treasury but when he's a Macpherson to boot that's really news. Shown in the photograph are M. Peter McPherson, Administrator of the U.S. Agency for International Development, and other notables of the U.S. Government. Peter is presenting his boss [do we need to point out that he is the late Ronald W. Reagan, President of the USA; I apologize because I wrote the original text back in 1981 -- RM] with a cheque for $28 million which his Agency was unable to spend last year. Secretary of State Alexander Haig seems to be relishing the rarity of the event at least as much as the others.

      Before President Reagan appointed him to his present position Peter served as the head of the Washington office and partner in a prominent Ohio-based law firm. Earlier, he served as Special Assistant to President Ford and assisted in the selection of presidential appointees such as ambassadors, judges and other high-level officials. Before that he was with the Inland Revenue Service, working in the international corporate tax area.

      Before becoming a lawyer, Peter was a Peace Corps Volunteer, serving in Peru. There he worked as first co-ordinator of the other Peace Corps Volunteers in the School-Feeding Program, and later in AID's Private Enterprise Office in Lima. He also worked with individual credit unions and the Peruvian Credit Union Federation.

      Peter, 40, is a native of Grand Rapids, Michigan. He is now a resident of Chevy Chase, Maryland, where he lives with his wife, the former Natalie Glaser, and his two sons, Michael David, 16, and Donald Bruce, 10.

      It is fervently hoped that the boys will follow in their dad's footsteps, particularly with respect to his handling of public funds.


      With the erection of a new memorial on the grave of his great-great grandfather, William Monroe MacPherson Chairman of the U.S. Branch of the Clan Macpherson Association, has had some of the hard facts of his genealogical research recorded in stone.

      Monroe's honored ancestor, William MacPherson, the son of John MacPherson and Katherine Grant, was born August 14, 1809 in what is now known as Middleton, between Laggan and Catlodge not far from Cluny Castle. The Location is now a pottery.

      When he started his research in 1971, Monroe knew very little about his Scottish ancestors, however after more than a dozen trips to Scotland and much delving into the "Old Parochial Registers" at New Register House in Edinburgh, viewing microfilms from the Mormans in Salt Lake City, civil records in the U.S. and assistance from Professor Alan G. Macpherson, he now has many of the answers that so many of us are seeking.

      So that future generations of his branch of the Macphersons won't have to search quite as hard, Monroe has replaced the broken and very worn marble monument on his great-great grandfather's grave in Oak Hill Cemetery in Ionia, with a deeply cut, longer lasting monument of granite. The new stone should endure for several centuries.

      The inscription on the new memorial reads, "William MacPherson, born August 4, 1809, died December 8, 1869; his wife Ellen McPherson, 1818-1845. It also records that he was the son of John MacPherson and Katherine Grant and that he was born Laggan Parish, Inverness-shire, Scotland and that he was one of his community's pioneers.

      Besides the pertinent information, the monument also displays the coat-of-arms of William MacPherson, granted posthumously in 1977 through the efforts of Monroe.

      In the process of researching, Monroe came upon many interesting facts. When William arrived in America in 1835, he spent a period of time in lower Canada, then travelled to Genesee County New York. He was a mason by trade and worked for the New York Central Railroad in 1836 and later on, cutting stone for the Genesee Valley Canal.



------------------------------------------------------------------30 --------------------------------------------------------------




All interested may contact: Raymond Murdock 101 S. Bumby, L-21, Orlando, FL 32803. U.S.A.


      Members of the Murdock family do not make their appearance on our colonial records until late in the seventeenth century. The family is unquestionably of Scottish origin, but the name is not uncommon in the northern part of England, and appears frequently in Ireland, especially in Ulster. There was but little emigration to America from these sections in the early years of the seventeenth century, New England and Virginia being settled from the south and east of England.

      The first Scots settlement of any importance was probably that of the prisoners captured at the battle of Dunbar by Cromwell in 1650. Many of these unquestionably left descendants, but they are not mentioned as such in the records. Later on in the century an emigration took place from south western Scotland to Ulster and to America, to escape from the persistent persecution of the inhabitants of that area by the Church of England, and later by the Roman Catholic administration of James the Second. Many Scots came to America between 1680 and 1688, one of whom was undoubtedly John Murdo of Plymouth, and another, in all probability Robert Murdock of Roxbury. No record of the arrival of either is known, but they were the progenitors of nearly all the Murdocks in Massachusetts up to the time of the Revolution. Another immigrant, Peter Murdock, born in Ireland, the son of John of Limerick, settled in Saybrook, Connecticut, perhaps about 1720. Although the principal work of the compiler has been in tracing the descendants of Robert, some information about the other lines has, of course, been obtained and is also presented, imperfect although it may be.

      Every American genealogy should, of course, endeavour to connect with its Old World ancestry. Many families of English descent have succeeded in this quest, the English parish registers of the sixteenth century being quite well kept, and most of them having been preserved to our own times. In Scotland, however, the unsettled condition of the country and the almost perpetual conflict between three hostile forms of church government made the parish registers much less complete, and Scottish genealogy becomes a difficult study. It is therefore very doubtful if the ancestry of any early Scots immigrant can be definitely ascertained except by accident, and this accident has not yet occurred in relation to the Murdock family.

      Prior to 1745 there was little or no emigration from the Highlands of Scotland, in which the historic "clans" lived. After the battle of Culloden, the retaliatory measures of the British government included the breaking up of the clan system, and the deportation of the clansmen, most of whom were sent to the American colonies. Voluntary expatriation also took place among those not depored, and the names of the Highland clans have become common throughout the United States, but there is no record of any Murdoch clan, although the name is common among all the clans as a given name. In all recent immigration to America it is noticeable that nearly all Murdochs came from Ayrshire or other counties of south western Scotland, and this fact invites attention to that region.

      A tradition of interest to all branches of the family connects it with the struggle of Robert Bruce to gain the crown of Scotland. In the spring of 1307 his fortunes were at a very low ebb, when, having landed in Carrick, his own earldom, he was chased by his foes into the highlands of Galloway. His adventures here, as narrated by the ancient chroniclers, are almost the romantic in European history, and many have been questioned. One, however, seems to be well substantiated. In order to escape pursuit he had divided his forces and directed Sir James of Douglass and Edward Bruce, his own brother, to meet him at Craigencallie, a hill on the west shore of Loch Dee, in what is now Kirkeudbrightshire. Sir Walter Scott, in his Tales of a Grandfather, follows the King to the rendezvous:       It was now near night, and the place of meeting being a farm house, he went boldly into it, where he found the mistress, an old true-hearted Scots woman, sitting alone. Upon seeing a stranger enter, she asked him who and what he was. The King answered that he was a traveller, who was journeying through the country.


      "All travellers," answered the good woman, "are welcome here for the sake of one."

      "And who is that one," said the King, "for whom you make all travellers welcome?"

      "It is our lawful King, Robert the Bruce," answered the mistress, "who is the lawful lord of this country, and although he is now pursued and hunted after with hounds and horns, I hope to see him King over all Scotland."

      "Since you love him so well, dame," said the King, "know that you see him before you. I am Robert the Bruce."

      "You!" said the good woman in great surprise, "and wherefore are you thus alone? Where are all your men?"

      "I have none with me at this moment," answered Bruce, "and therefore I must travel alone."

      "But that shall not be," said the brave old dame," I have two stout sons, gallant and trusty men, who shall be your servants for life and death."

      So she brought her two sons, and though she well knew the dangers to which she exposed them, she made them swear fidelity to the King and they afterwards became high officers in his service.

      Bruce was soon joined at Craigencallie by Douglass and his brother with a body of one hundred and fifty men. The former having reported that he had passed a village occupied by the English, who had no sentinels posted, it was determined to make a night attack on them. This met with great success, and shortly afterwards Bruce defeated a large force on the shores of Loch Trool, having enticed them into a position in which they were compelled to advance in single file on foot, and could make no adequate defence against a flank attack.*

      The local traditions of Galloway give further details of the meeting at Craigencallie. They state that the widow Annabel had three sons instead of two, each by a different husband, by the names of Mackie, Murdoch and McClurg. They were called upon by the King to show their skill with their weapons, and Mackie pierced the heads of two crows, seated on a rock, with a single arrow, while Murdoch placed his arrow in the heart of a raven flying overhead, dropping it at his feet. **

      After the battle of Bannockburn had seated Bruce firmly on the throne of Scotland, he wished to reward the three brothers, who had served him in all his campaigns, and they obtained permission to refer the question to their mother, who said she "would like the wee bit hassock atween Palnure and Penkill," a triangle with a base of three miles along the River Cree, and extending five miles back into the interior. The "hassock" was given her and divided between the three sons, -- Mackie of Larg, Murdoch of Cumloden and McClurg of Kirrouchtree. The King also granted them arms, those of Murdoch, as recorded in the Lyon Register, being "two ravens hanging paleways, sable, with an arrow through both their heads proper." His crest was "a raven rising, sable, having an arrow thrust through his heart, gules, headed and feathered, argent. Motto: Omnia pro bono."***

      This old tradition has sometimes been questioned, but the grant of the arms to Murdoch and the fact that the arms of Mackie also have two ravens with an arrow through their necks, but with some distinctive additions, are strong evidences of its truth and cannot be explained in any other way.

      The history of the Cumloden family is traced by P. H. McKerlie in his History of the Lands and their Owners in Galloway, the best authority on the subject. He says:
      There is a long blank of nearly three centuries between the understood first occupation by the Murdochs and the first we trace. He is called Patrick Murdoch and was of Cumloden in 1605.

      He then traces the direct line, although with some uncertainties, up to 1738, when another Patrick was then head of the family, and a flaw having been discovered in the entail, the lands were seized and sold to pay the debts of his father and grandfather. They were bought by the Earl of Galloway.

* Robert the Bruce and the Struggle for Scottish Independence, chapter VII by Sir Herbert Maxwell. G. P. Putnam's Sons, 1897. ** Maxwell, p. 158. *** History of the Lands and their Owners in Galloway, subhead "Larg," by P. H. McKerlie.


      The book referred to continues to trace the direct line down to Sir Thomas W. Clinton Murdoch, K. C. M. G., who was born in 1809 and married Isabella Anne Lukin in 1836. He was in the Colonial Office of Great Britain, being Chief Secretary in Canada from 1839 to 1842. He was knighted in 1870.

His children were:
Charles Stewart Murdoch, Clerk in Home Office.
William Walope Murdoch, Major, Royal Artillery.
Henry E. Way Murdoch, Newcastle, New South Wales.
Katherine Frederica Murdoch, married Lord Graves in 1870.
Millicent-Horatia Murdoch. Alice Maria Murdoch, married Andrew, son of Sir Andrew Armstrong, Bart. of Gallen Privy, Kings County.

      Continuing reference to Mr McKerlie:
      "The main family is now out of Galloway, as the foregoing will show, but the name is still to be found in the district, and doubtless from offshoots of the Cumloden family. The old residence was about two miles from the church of Minnigaff, close to the water of Penkill, and in the seventeenth century, is mentioned as a good house situated in a wood with orchards, etc. It is known as Risk Castle, and is on the farm of that name, but little more than the site now remains. The ruins are nearly on a level with the ground, and mostly covered with turf, the materials having been carted away to build the dykes and new farmhouses. A small shed has recently been erected on the site with some of the materials. The castle does not appear to have been large from the appearances of the site, and from what Symson states was only a strong house. The situation is very beautiful, being in a small wood surrounded with parks near the head of the glen, with Penkill Burn close by murmuring on its course. It is surrounded with hills, being near to the base of the Garlick on the north side, and Stronnbac on the east."

      Murdoch was apparently a given name before it became a family name, and appears in its Irish and Gaelic forms, as well as in Scots. The most celebrated instance is that of Murdoch, Duke of Albany, who was a member of the royal family of Stuart. While it is almost impossible to trace facts in early Scottish history, it is interesting to note that the name of Murdoch seems to appear first as a surname near the English border. In this region, the population was of complex origin, containing Celtic and Anglo-Saxon elements, and, later, as elsewhere in southern Scotland, a Norman infusion. The name of Johann Murthoc of the "county of Dumfries" appears on the "Ragman's Roll of 1296, in company with that of Robert Bruce both of whom swore fealty to Edward the First of England.

      On the list of knights who accompanied William the Conquerer in his invasion of England appears the name of Murdac. Henry Murdac, a member of a Yorkshire family, was Archbishop of York in 1151.

      While speculation is interesting, it is well to bear in mind that orthography is the weakest of all genealogical evidence. Even so late as the American Revolution the master rolls of the Massachusetts troops have the name Murdock, not only in that form, but also as Mardock, Mordock, Moredock, Murdoc, Murddoch, Murduch, Muredock, and Murlock. One ingenious town clerk in Connecticut also contributed Merodach.

      It has been found impossible to differentiate in this book between the spellings of Murdock and Murdoch, and the former is used throughout, with the exception of names in Scotland, and in one branch in which the latter form has been used since the time of the first settler. The spelling in the United States has become largely a matter of taste, and sons frequently change that used by their father, while brothers differ among themselves.


Alan G. Macpherson, St John's, Newfoundland.

[This the first of three articles on the subject. The second article appeared in CD35 (1983); the third did not appear until CD47 (1995). -- RM]

      In 1952 the Clan Macpherson Museum opened for the first time in Newtonmore, Invernessshire, Scotland. One of the first items donated to it was a large typescript volume with the title "Kincheloe, McPherson, and related Families: genealogies and biographies", compiled by Mr Lewin Dwinell McPherson of Washington D.C. It was forwarded by Mrs Alberta Macpherson Costello, the energetic and enthusiastic secretary of the U.S.A. Branch of the newly formed Clan Macpherson Association, with her comment that "upon studying his genealogy and information carried down through the family, I discovered he was of the "Dalriada" Macphersons cadets of the Invereshie branch". (Creag Dhubh No. 5, 1953:38). Norman Macpherson, the first curator of the Museum, in reporting the accession of the gift, noted that "it was difficult to see the connection between the 17th century and the Kingdom of Dalriada, which is frequently mentioned as the place of origin of several Macphersons . . . . probably the misunderstanding arises from the placename Dalraddy, at one time in the possession of Macphersons in Badenoch" (Creag Dhubh No 5, 1953:20). Both emphasised the value of the work as a source of information on the migration of certain Macpherson families across the United States from a landfall in Maryland in 1717 (sic). But neither explored the volume to provide details about the compilation and the story which it had to tell, and no one has investigated the contents of the volume since --- perhaps because of its repellent appearance : 500 pages of American letter-size, densely typed in single-space in two columns with virtually no margins between them or at the sides; a dauntingly complex, though efficient, method of numbering individuals by generation and family through some ten generations; and heavy cross-referencing of sources, many of which prove to be private communications.

      Lewin McPherson's book contains 100 pages of text on the origin, genealogies and personal biographies of some 900 Macphersons, men and women, descended from three men -- Daniel, William and Alexander McPherson -- who arrived in Maryland in 1716 and are on record in Charles County in the early 18th century. Succeeding generations, born in Maryland, mostly in the Port Tobacco area, crossed the Potomac into Virginia and then migrated down the Piedmont as far as Georgia or crossed the mountains into Tennessee. Today, as in 1952, their descendants are to be found all across the South and in many parts of the Northern States, and in every walk of life. Lewin McPherson's work, therefore, constitutes one of the great documentations of the clan in diaspora, and is comparable in numbers of generations and


individual persons with Sir Aeneas Macpherson of Invereshie's Posterity of the Three Brethren, completed in 1705. Although it is better documented, it is questionable, nevertheless, whether it is as accurate as the earlier compilation.

      Lewin Dwinell McPherson (1876- ? ), the compiler, was a fifth generation descendant of Daniel McPherson, through a grandson and namesake of the latter, Daniel McPherson (b. 1755 in Charles Co., Maryland; d. 1844 in Meigs Co., Tennessee) and his wife Susannah Kincheloe. The most thorough and exhaustive part of his compilation deals with the descendants of this couple, and he expresses the wish that others will eventually deal as comprehensively with the other descendants of Daniel the Immigrant and the descents from William and Alexander.

      William McPherson was the only one of three for whom a documented origin in Scotland was known to the compiler, however, and as there was a consensus with his collaborators that the three immigrant McPhersons were brothers, Lewin McPherson's compilation includes accounts of the families descended from William and Alexander, compiled by others.

      Descent from William McPherson was documented by Miss Maud Burr Morris of Washington, D.C., and her cousin Alan Corson of Philadelphia (d. 1943), grandchildren of Henry Hendly McPherson (1784-1863), originally a general storekeeper at Port Tobacco, Charles Co., Maryland, later of Alexandria, Virginia, and eventually a grocer in Georgetown, part of Washington D.C. An anti-slavery veteran of the War of 1812-14, Henry Hendley McPherson had inherited land in Charles County from his father, Capt. William McPherson (1740-1792) of the 9th Maryland Regiment in the Revolution, and from his grandfather William the Immigrant.

      Who, then, was this William McPherson, upon whom so much has been made to hang genealogically? The evidence amassed by his descendants is that he was a rebel prisoner of the 'Fifteen Jacobite Rising, captured at Preston in Lancashire, who petitioned for transportation to the American colonies, that he sailed in the Good Speed from England and landed on the 18th October 1716 in the New World, aged 23, and that he was thereupon bound by indenture to one Michael Martin, a planter. By 1724 he was free again, and the new owner of a 44-acre property in Charles County, Maryland, called "Brierwood" which he purchased from one Thomas Mudd, planter, and upon which he built a house. In the registered deed of sale he is referred to as "William McPherson, tailor". By September 1729 he had made further purchases of land adding up to an estate of 218 acres (including the original "Brierwood") which he named "Dalraddie". At about the same time he regained his freedom and purchased "Brierwood" he married Barbara Acton (1705/6 - 1796/7), daughter of Henry Acton, formerly of Prince George's County, Maryland, and then owner of "Aberdeen Plantation" in Charles County; upon Acton's death in 1742 his daughter inherited a slave from "Aberdeen". They had eight children (1) Thomas M., b. 20 July, 1726, (2) Daniel, b. 4 May 1729, (3) Ethrelda, b. 23 August, 1731, (4) Henry, b. 7 February, 1734 or 35, (5) Alexander, b. 30th August, 1737, (6) William, b. 26 September, 1740, (7) John, b. 17 March, 1743 or 44, and (8) Catherine, b. 6 March, 1745, 46 or 47. The tradition of the family is that it was always Episcopalian, (a distinct possibility among Jacobite Highlanders although it might also be the heritage of the English Actons). William McPherson signed a will, 14 November, 1751, which was proved 11 March, 1752 by his wife and executor, he having died at 11 o' clock at night on the 9th December, 1751, aged 58.

      The interpretation placed upon this accumulation of facts by Maud Burr Morris and Corson was that Dalraddie was a version of Dalriada (consistently mis-spelled Dalraida), the original 6th century Kingdom of the Scots in the South West Highlands, corresponding roughly to the later Argyllshire. They were also persuaded by the proximity and mutual dealings of William, Daniel and Alexander, and by the appearance of all three names among William's sons, that they were three brothers, a conclusion which is demonstrably in error, at least so far as Daniel the Immigrant is concerned, and which shall be documented in a future article.

      In accepting this construction, however, Lewin McPherson (Daniel's descendant) drew the further and more sweeping conclusion from his own protracted researches "that the christian names of the Clan Chattan groups of Cluny Castle or Inverness regions are, and have long been,


more prevalent among the McPhersons (Macphersons) who entered America through the North Atlantic, New England or Canadian ports and more of these have preferred "MacPherson" as a form of spelling their surnames. The reverse seems to hold true for the Argyllshire-Charles Co., Md., and more southerly eastern seaboard port entrants, including the Quaker McPhersons and others of southern Pennsylvania, Virginia and Carolinas, where the influence of the Clan Chattan MacPherson Christian names is slight, and tend more toward English names . . . Daniel and Alexander and other male Christian names found in the McPherson migration to Charles Co., Md., within the first, second or third American-born generations have been repeated in the Southern sections of U.S.A. more often than the name used more northerly from the original Clan Chattan groups of MacPhersons".

      This statement has been quoted at length because it contains so many extraordinary propositions and assumptions, and because it gives us the opportunity to lay to rest a number of common misconceptions. First, nothing can ever be made of variations in the spelling of the surname: it appears in Scottish documents as McPherson, M'Pherson, Macpherson, MacPherson, McFerson, McFarson, McPhearson, etc., two variants often appearing on the same document and sometimes referring to the same individual. None is older than the others, unless it be the original Gaelic Mac a Phearsain, and there were no regional preferences. The spelling adopted is, and always was, purely a matter of personal taste or fancy. Second, it is seldom wise to hypothesise in matters genealogical on the basis of supposed naming traditions, either within the larger clan or the individual family, and never when dealing with common names like Alexander or William. If the American compilers had been familiar with Gaelic cultural traits they would have known that Daniel was the usual biblical equivalent, both in the Scottish Highlands and in Gaelic Ireland, for the "outlandish" Donald and would have added to it the list of commonly used names. Alexander, too, was a classical equivalent for Alistair, as Aeneas was for Angus, James for Seumas, John for Iain, or Eoin, Archibald for Gilleasbuig, and Benjamin for Bean (Behan). In Badenoch during the period 1775-1850 three-quarters of all men, no matter the surname , were called either John, Alexander or Donald. Lewin McPherson and his supposed cousins and collaborators never seem to consider the influence of wives and their families in the naming of children; William of Dalraddie Plantation named his third son after the child's maternal grandfather Henry Acton; was his eldest son named after Thomas Mudd, former owner of Dalraddie? Motives in naming children are too diverse to form a safe basis for genealogical speculation and reconstruction.

      As for the notion that migration of Macphersons into the territory that became the U.S.A. was selective as to source and destination, excluding "Clan Chattan" Macphersons from the "plantation colonies" in the southern parts of the seaboard, this must be dismissed with the notion that Christian names can be used diagnostically. The fact is that the earliest men of the name to reach the New World -- John, Robert and Origlais (?) Mackfarsons, prisoners from the Scots army defeated at Worcester in England in 1651 and transportees to Boston in New England the following year -- were almost certainly royalist "malignants" recruited from the Badenoch men in eastern Inverness-shire. At the other extremity of the colonial territory along the eastern seaboard Sergeant William McPherson, a veteran of the Yamassee Wars in South Carolina (1715-28), and his younger brother Capt. James McPherson of Saltcatcher's Fort (b. 1688 in S. Carolina), commander of the Southern Rangers in Charleston's support of Oglethorpe's new colony (1733) at Savannah, Georgia, were probably some of the survivors of the short-lived Scottish settlement at Stuart's Town on Port Royal Island, S. Carolina, destroyed by the Spaniards in 1686, and almost certainly of Badenoch ancestry. In the Middle Colonies, on the other hand, and excepting the eccentric Capt. John Macpherson of Philadelphia who was an Edinburgh man by birth and a full cousin of the chief, Ewan of Clunie, all the early settlers of the name prove to have been Ulstermen, part of the "Scotch -Irish" migration which occurred between 1718 and 1775; as it happens, these men were ultimately of Argyllshire origin, as were the Scots Highlanders who went to settle the Cape Fear Districts of North Carolina in the 1770s. From the documentation and the circumstances of their


transportation to America, the three transportees who arrived in Charles County in 1716 were undoubtedly men from the Clann Mhuirich from the eastern Inverness-shire and part of the William Macintosh of Borlum's contingent in the Jacobite force which fought and surrendered at Preston on November 12 and 13, 1715.

      What more can be added to the account of William McPherson of Dalraddie Plantation? The Calendar of State Papers, Colonial (Vol. XXIX: America and West Indies) records the departure of the Godspeed (or Good Speed), master: Capt. Arthur Smith, from Liverpool (not far from Preston) bound for Virginia with fifty-four rebel prisoners, one of whom was William McPherson, the only man of his name on the list. The instructions to the governor of the province in which they landed were that "as soon as any of them land in any place or port of that Government, he was to appoint a sufficient guard for securing them til they are dispos'd of according to the terms of the indentures they have entered into, and to take notice that such of the prisoners as have not entered into indentures, of whom there are some, are not to be set at liberty until they have engaged themselves by indentures in the same way as the other; ... vizt. to serve for the space of seven years ... only the Governor is to give proper certificates to those who purchase them, that it is H.M. pleasure tht they shall continue servants to them and their assigns for the term of seven years, which the Governor is to cause to be recorded for the satisfaction of those who purchase them, least they should at any time attempt to make their escape, not being bound".

      The Goodspeed, however, did not go to Virginia, for the Minutes of the Council of Maryland records her arrival in that province on the 18th October 1716 with fifty-five prisoners -- an augmentation of one rather than the usual reduction by death below decks on the Atlantic crossing -- and William McPherson's immediate purchase by Michael Martin. His term of "white servitude" cannot have been arduous, permitting him as it did to accumulate some wealth as well as court Barbara Acton, a planter's daughter. The naming of his newly acquired estate Dalraddie was clearly a commemoration of his native place in Badenoch, one of the sixty four-plough davochlands of the old Lordship and associated with cadet branches of both the senior Sliochd Choinneach Macphersons and the Sliochd Ghilliosa Macphersons. Indeed, his designation "tailor" in the deed of purchase may not have been a reference to his occupation, but an indication that he was one of the ancient cadet line of the Sliochd Chionneach known in Badenoch as the McIntaylors (Clann mhic Eoghain taillear), most of whom lived in the Parish of Alvie in lower Badenoch in the immediate vicinity of Dalraddie. Men and women of this lineage often anglicised their patronymic to Taylor which was then used as an alias surname.

      Maud Burr Morris and Alan Corson's documentation of the family descended from William of Dalraddie Plantation extends to the fifth generation (their own) and to the 1930s, by which time all the patrilineal lines seem to have become extinct. Descent is traced from all of William's children except the youngest, and is distinguished by a number of marriages between cousins -- a strong Badenoch tradition. It indicates that most of his descendants remained in Charles County or places not far beyond its borders. It includes an Inspector of tobacco at Pamunkey, two medical doctors trained at the University of Pennsylvania, a printer, an engraver, military officers, artists and scholars. Dalraddie Plantation passed through William's fifth son Capt. William (1740-1809) of La Plata, Charles Co., to Capt. William's third son, Dr "Billy" McPherson (1788-1848), and from his son Henry Middleton Brawner McPherson (18361867) and his wife and cousin "Lady" Edith McPherson (1834-1914), daughter of Henry Hendley McPherson and later mother of Alan Corson. It would be interesting to know whether the placename still exists in Charles County, Maryland.






      The traveller from Newtonmore to Laggan becomes aware at Achmore of the monument of the prominent hill, Creag Ruadh, to the South of Laggan Bridge. This monument was erected, as the inscription tells us, "by Clansmen and friends in loving memory of Ewen Macpherson of Cluny, C.B., of Cluny Macpherson, Chief of Clan Chattan. Born 24th April, 1804, died 11th January, 1885". Known to all as "Old Cluny", Ewen Macpherson was one who was greatly liked by all in the parish and it can be said of him that he was really the last of the chiefs of the old style. He completely identified himself with his people in all their activities and spoke Gaelic as naturally and as well as any in the parish. How much happier the history of the Highlands last century would have been had more of the chiefs and landlords been of this mould. It is said that no evictions took place on the Cluny Estates during his long life. "Cridhe na féile -- Fear Chluanaidh" (The generous hearted laird of Cluny).

Camanachd Gu Leòir
      From time immemorial at New Year shinty was played on the flat ground below the castle. Old Cluny of course kept up this custom and annually gave a cluich bhall (ball play) after which he provided refreshments on a generous scale. The play was generally between two teams from the upper and lower parts of the parish. For many years up to the middle of the century the men of the Crathie district were led by Tearlach Mór, a Macpherson and a noted player, and after that by Iain Garbh, a Macdonald, known as Righ a' chluich bhall (The king of the ball play). It is said that around about the 1830s, the minister of the parish, Rev. Donald Cameron, fell out with Cluny over the matter of drink on these occasions. Altogether Mr Cameron seems to have regarded the Balgown people as rather a wild lot! On Christmas Day (Old style) 5th January, 1885, the ball play took place as usual. Although it was stormy, with showers of snow, the old Chief deemed it his duty to be present. He was driven to the field in his carriage and received an enthusiastic welcome to which he replied in Gaelic as was his custom. Whether due to the effect of the day or not he died on 11 January (Old Hogmanay) and was buried some days later at the little burying ground Cladh Tharnan below the castle on a very wintry day. The father of the writer of these notes and the late Angus Macpherson, M.B.E., who both lived near the castle and who were both born in 1877 used to speak of the impression made on them by the great crowd which assembled on that occasion. Cluny's old friend, Dómhnul a' Chnuic (a Macpherson) who can be said to have been the last of the clan bards, predeceased him by several months and is buried at Biallid Beag. He was usually present at the cluich bliall and often composed a song on the occasion.

      Play often used to be held on the Eilean Dubh at Blargie, at Shirramore and on the flat ground Dalshirra (Dail Shiorrath) at Shirrabeg. The contest was usually between two teams from north and south of the Spey. In the 1880s the north team was usually captained by Donald MacKillop, Blargie, and the south team by James Gilbert, Gallovie, factor on the Gallovie estate.

      A cluich bliall was often held at Drumgask on Old New Year, on some occasions given by a Duncan Macpherson living in Edinburgh but formerly of Drumgask. Aonghas Og and Tearlach Og, Macphersons from Crathie, were along with Peter Kennedy, Cluny (Peter Dh鵪haill) noted players about the period 1880-90. The first game at which the leather ball (ball-leathair) was used at Dalchully about 1886 between Lochaber and a team of Kingussie and Newtonmore players. The first half of the game was played with the hair ball (ball ghaosaid) which was bigger and heavier, No goal posts were used at that time and there were no recognized team positions but there was a system of substitutes. The year of the founding of the Laggan Club is not known but it was certainly established by 1893 and in May of 1895 about a hundred members and friends called on Cluny at the castle and presented him with a silver mounted caman. Alec a' Phost, who died about 1899 was a noted player and athlete generally.

Laggan Folks
      The first of the name Leslie in the parish were two brothers, Peter and James, from the Rothes district of Morayshire, who were settled by Cluny as merchants some years before 1745. They both took part in the rising of 1745 with the Macphersons and along with Samuel Macpherson of Breakachy and Cluny's piper, John Macpherson, formed a group of four men who knew of the various hiding places of Cluny at the caves at Ben Alder and Meall a' Chuaich as well as the constructed hiding places at Ralia, Biallid Mór, Nessintully and Strathmashie. There was also a hiding place used by Cluny at the Binnean Mór, on the east side of Strath an Eilich, opposite Allt Ruigh an Toisich. Stories used to be told of two brothers, probably sons of either Peter or James Leslie, who were fox hunters living at Gaskmore. One of them, James, was known as Cas bheag (Little foot) and was said to have been unrivalled as a walker on the hills. The postmistress at Gergask about the middle of the century was one of the name and the late Angus Macpherson, M.B.E., remembered the Leslies, two old ladies, "much above the common folk", living near Laggan Bridge. The flat ground on the south side of the Spey opposite Gergask is still known as Dail Leslie and there are still some who can recall a ploughing match held there with 33 pairs of horses, all from the parish, competing.


Aonghas Dudh MacThàmhais (MacTavish) was one about whom many tales were told. He was said to have come to Balgown from Stratherrick as a young man about the beginning of the century. He was probably the last in the district who had the droch shùil (evil eye) and he was generally dreaded if he came about herds of cattle. Some believed he had the power of restoring cows to milk if they had ceased to yield and he was from time to time called to other districts for this purpose. On the first Monday of every month he was in the habit of levying "màil" (tax) so that he would agree not to come among the herds. His fondness of whisky was remarked upon by many. It is said that after he died, in the year 1849, some youths in the vicinity propped his body up in the bed with a glass in the hand and a bottle close by and that those present at the tigh faire (wake) were disturbed by some pigs rushing about in a room in which they had been locked. It may be at this point mentioned that Balgown was known to other parts of the parish as Bail na muic (pig town) but the reason for this has been forgotten. Angus' snuff horn was long preserved at Cluny Castle, and the flat ground beside the Spey (Uisge Spé;) opposite Balgown was known as Eilean 'ic Thàmhais. At Beulath Tartaidh, a ford opposite Cluny Castle, the sound of the Spey was considered to be at its most musical.

Some Laggan Visitors
       A welcome visitor was Neil Fox, an Irishman, who used to travel the district with a pony and cart selling various goods such as fish and fruit which he collected at Newtonmore station, the railway from Perth having been extended as far as Badenoch about 1865. A visit from Neil was looked forward to as he was an entertaining personality who could talk on many subjects including theology. He was on good terms with Old Cluny and of course knew of the mutual dislike of Cluny and MacNab of Dalchully. One hot day, knowing that Cluny was due to go westwards in his coach, Neil stopped his pony in the middle of the road near Gaskbeg and pretended to be asleep. Soon afterwards Cluny's coach came along and the coachman got down and tried to get Neil to move but he was slow to respond. Finally Neil wakened and called out "My Lord Cluny, I beg your pardon, I thought it was Dalchully". "Well done, Neil, well done", called Cluny and turning to the coachman (a Macpherson) said "Iain, thoir sin dh' an Eirearnnach" (give that to the Irishman) handing him five shillings. Neil was then told to go to the castle, saying that Cluny sent him, and to tell the cook to take all the fish he had. Neil died in 1894 at Achmore where he was sheltering for the night.

      Other visitors were Raoll Esan [Ronald Himself], a Lochaberman, and Alasdair nan colman [Alexander of the doves]. Raoll was so called because he used the form esan (emphatic form of e, he) instead of the Badenoch usage es. Alasdair seems to have got his name from always carrying pigeons about with him. The old people used to speak of a character who was well known in Strathspey as well as in Badenoch called Balbhan Liath (the grey dumb man) but this was in the early part of the century. Also about that time there was a strange character in the parish, Ailean Loisgt', (burnt Alan) a Macdonald who was something of a bard. He may have lived at Crathie or in the Breakachy district.

      An old retainer and friend of Cluny was John Macpherson (Iain Ruadh) who died in 1885 aged 81. In the earlier part of the century he had been Cluny's batman in the Black Watch and was greatly respected as was his wife, Bean Iain Ruadh who was a native of Kintail and a most interesting conversationalist. The house in which they stayed was near that of Iain Cnoc on the hillock Tom an t'seargaint (the sergeant's hillock) at the east end of Balgown close to the Cluny wood. There was another Macpherson known as Iain Ruadh living up to the 1880s. He was a gamekeeper at Strathmashie.

      Another who had served in the army was a Macdonald known as An t-saighdear Ruadh (The redheaded soldier). He livd at a' Choille Dhubh (The Black Wood) at Faegour and along with his family was very uasal (elegant) in his bearing. He had come from the west and worked at various things on the estate such as tarring posts, calling himself "The Tarring Contractor".

      Domhnul Og Macpherson was an old Laggan family and was a trusted retainer of Cluny. He was employed on various things about the estate and in his day had performed many deeds of daring. A number of songs were composed by him, the best known being one on the Coire Buidhe. He was there one day with Cluny and on his return composed the verses. All that is known is:

                                        "Maighdeanan a' Choire Bhuidh',
                                        Is truagh nach robh sibh còmhla ruinn

                     (Maidens of the Yellow Corry, it is a pity you were not with us).

      On one occasion Cluny summoned him to the dining room about seven or eight o'clock in the evening and said that he had an urgent message to be delivered to his cousin, Lochiel, at Achnacarry. Donald at once set off on foot and was back with the reply at breakfast time next morning. At a later date he was laid up in bed with a heavy cold and, his wife having gone to church, (it was the Fast Day) John, son of Calum Piobair, called with his pipes and gave him some first class play. Bean Dhòmhnul, who had stricter views on these matters, returned home sooner than was expected and was not at all pleased. At Donald's funeral, on a very wet day, one of the Balgown crofters, having had some drink, fell into the grave! Donald was probably a son or a nephew of Rob Og who in his early days had seen the sedan chairs in Edinburgh. The family had spent some years in that city early in the century where Rob had, as a small boy, accompanied bearers of the


sedan chairs carrying a lantern. Rob was about eight years of age when Badenoch called the family back and they returned on foot, the journey taking eight days . Rob was probably the best story-teller of his time in the district, especially on Macpherson history. The father of the writer of these notes heard stories from Rob which he, as a little boy, had heard from old men who had been in the '45.

      Aonghas Mór, also a Macpherson and an employee on the estate, was one who had a reputation for overcoming any difficulty when all others failed. He was a true worthy of the old school.

      The gardener at Cluny (An Gairneal) from about 1840 to 1890 was James Hossack, a greatly respected man and one with a good knowledge of bards and their songs. He was from about Kingussie and his daughter married Ritchie who succeeded him. He was in turn succeeded by "Archie the gardener" (Macdonald). The grieve on the home farm about this time was also a Macdonald (Aonghas Dhòmhnul) a native of Alvie, who was married to a daughter of Malcolm MacGregor (Calum Griogarach) in Crathie. Calum Griogarach was one day at a funeral and the day was so windy that the minister's words could scarcely be heard. He was pushing forward to hear better when some one slightly behind enquired "Am beil thu cluinnitinn briathran a' mhinistir?" (Do you hear the minister's words?) His reply was "Diabhal facal tha mi cluinnitinn, gu dearbh", (Devil the word I hear indeed) not realizing it was the priest who enquired. Angus was a precentor in the church and was the father of Calum who had the croft at Fuaran ban (White Well) until his death in 1976.

Curch Affairs and Other Activities
      Old Cluny's wife was Sarah Justina, daughter of Duncan Davidson of Tulloch, near Dingwall and she is commemorated by a prominent monument on Creag Bheag, the hill to the west of Creag Dhubh. For many years she conducted a Sunday School in the castle, attended by the female servants and a number of girls from Balgown and the vicinity. The older people used to speak of a Màri Granndach (Grant) who had for many years previous to about 1860 been a nurse to the Cluny Castle children. At the disruption in 1843 most of the Laggan people went over to the Free Church, the school of which was gifted by Lady Cluny. The Cluny family attended the Free Church during the ministry of Rev. Dugald Shaw. The beadle in the Free Church for many years was known as Ruaraidh Choirneal or An Coirneal (The Colonel) and lived near the church at Drumgask. He had a son John, Seonaidh Choirneal who was a keeper at Dalwhinnie. One Monday morning, in very frosty weather, Calum Piobair was sent by Lady Cluny to the Coirneal with a message that the church had been very cold at the morning service the previous day and that she hoped it would be better heated the following Sunday. "Ma. 's e blàths a tha dhith oiree", said Ruaraidh, "gheibh is' teine gu leòir". (If she wants warmth she will get plenty of fire). When the time came he had the stoves so well stoked that the building caught fire and was completely destroyed. This was about 1876. It is said that it was on a communion Sunday when visiting ministers were present. When the fire was noticed, they were in the manse having dinner and were interupted by Calum MacCoinnich, Catlodge, who banged on the door shouting "Mach a so' sibh-s' le 'r cuid féisd' -- tha 'n eaglais agaibh na teine dearg". (Out of here, you and your feasting -- your church is in a red blaze).

      Mr Shaw, an Argyllshire man, was one of the leading ministers in the Highlands and many stories were told about him. He was very fond of snuff and used to take it during his sermon. If a sleeper was noticed during the sermon he often called out "Faic duine truagh so 'na chadel shuain". (look at this poor man fast asleep). Many a radailaidh (a blast) he gave! When urging the congregation to contribute to a good cause he used to say "Bi fialaidh, a chairdean, bi fialaidh; chuir mi fbin ann nòta". (Be generous, friends, be generous; I put in a pound myself). His daughter married Rev. Murdo Mackenzie of the Free North Church in Inverness. She was a lady of some literary ability and produced at least one book and was prominent in the work of An Comunn Gaidhealach in its early years in Inverness. Some stories about Mr Shaw are preserved in the manuscripts of the late Rev. Charles Robertson in the National Library in Edinburgh. While on many occasions he showed kindness to Roman Catholics he was known to have referred to "Mo chaoraich again fhin is gobhair Chraichidh" (My own sheep and the goats of Crathie). Many of the Crathie people, and in these days there were about forty families there, were of Lochaber descent and were Catholics as were a number of the larger tenant families in the western part of the parish. The Crathie people were the last in Badenoch to go to the shielings -- the terms for this were a dol air àirigh or air ruigh or air ghlearmas. Their shielings were at Glenshiaro near Lochan Spé. There was a story that in a year of drought their cattle, instead of coming home, broke into a stampede known as dol air theas (going on heat) and plunged over the steep side of Coire nan Gall and were killed.

Shoemakers and Teachers
      The shoemaker at Balgown was a Mackenzie who was a native of the Beauly district. It was said that no shoemaker in Badenoch could make a shinty ball as fine as he when the ball leathair came into use about 1886. One of his sons was a medical student and during a vacation accompanied the famous Andrew Carnegie as a "ghillie" while fishing from a boat in Loch Laggan. Carnegie found his conversation of interest and it is as a result of hearing of the sacrifices involved in enabling young men to study at university that he got the idea of establishing bursaries. One old worthy never got the great man's name right and always said "Carnegims". There was another shoemaker, a Macpherson, known as "Boggan", who lived at Gaskmore.


      John Macpherson, a son of Dòmhnul a' Chnuic, was a great favourite with Old Cluny. He was usually referred to as a' Chnoc or " the Cnoc" as the family earlier lived at Knock of Clune, near Newtonmore. He worked in the gardens and on dyke building about the castle for about thirty years and eventually returned to Knock where he died in 1923, aged about seventy. The house which he occupied still stands and is occupied (for part of the year at any rate). It is on Tom an t-seargaint, towards the east end of Balgown. Iain was a bard but his works were not up to the standard of his father's. One short piece was composed immediately after witnessing a quarrel between two women in the neighbourhood, Eilidh Breac (Mackintosh) and Eilidh Hànah (Mackillop):                               "Bha 'ludas' an Tigh nam bochd
                              Is 'Pilate" an Tigh an tàillear;
                              Thachair iad aig an fbuaran
                              Is thòisich an té ruadh ri càineadh,
                              A labhairt mu 'n mhuinntir Ileach
                              'S tric bhiodh i mìnich air càch.
                              Bha seachd ruisg air a' Bhoicean
                              'S e cumail taic ri Eilidh Hànah."

('Judas' was in the house of the poor and 'Pilate' in the tailor's house; they met at the well and the red headed one began scolding, speaking about the folk from Islay and often particularizing about other. The heavily clad 'Boicean' was giving support to Helen, daughter of Hannah.)

      A' Bhoicean was Anndra a' Bhoicean (Andrew of the hides) who was noted for the amount of clothing he wore. He did work at stonebreaking from time to time and had a local history of some repute. The well at which the dispute took place is one behind the ruin of the house which was occupied by Tom Stark and is known as Fuaran Lili[the green spot about a spring]. Tom Stark came from the Lowlands and set up as a tailor in Balgown. He soon became quite proficient in speaking Gaelic although naturally the local people said he never got the real slòisean (the proper sound) and was elected to the parish council. One of the Tolmies used to remind him of this in the words "Cuimhnich gur e mis' a chuir's a'chouncil thu". (Remember that it is I who got you on to the council). Like all tailors Tom had spells when he had much on hand and was pressed to have work completed by a certain time. On one occasion, at Balgown School, Rev. Dugald Shaw was examining the pupils in Bible knowledge. On asking a boy "Who is the father of lies?" he got the answer "Who but Tom Stark?" The well a little behind the house of Iain Chnoc and not very far from Fuaran Lili was known Am Fuaran Ruadh (The red well) and its water was of very good quality.

      For a good many years in the first half of the century Lachlan Kennedy was a schoolmaster in the parish and it was said that a man from Ross-shire, MacLennan, taught singing in the district. In 1848 Roderick Macdonald was appointed to the Free Church School in Balgown and soon had a reputation as an excellent teacher who was held in the highest esteem. Known as Maighstir Ruaraidh (Mister Roderick), he was a native of Lochcarron and was a first cousin of the father of Dr. D. J. Macdonald who was Rector of the Inverness Royal Academy. Roderick was an elder in The Free Church and was a most acceptable lay preacher. Many learned to read Gaelic while attending this school -- half an hour a day was devoted to Bible reading, catechism and the memorizing of the psalms in both languages. About seventy pupils attended and Latin and Greek were taught to some. Prizes for reading in Gaelic were presented annually by Old Cluny. It was said that some years after coming to Balgown Roderick was away for a year or two attending college. He died in 1897 aged 72. Angus Mackintosh, "An Schooly Ruadh", came to Gergask about the middle of the century. He was from the parish of Moy. Mr Douglas followed in the 1880s and although handicapped by lameness led a very full life and ran a most efficient school. He died in 1921.

      There was a school at Shirramore at one time. A pupil there about 1830, when John Finlayson was the teacher, was Rev. Dr. Duncan Black Blair who became a leading minister in Nova Scotia. His sister Mary was the wife of Dòmhnul a' Chnuic. Dr. Blair was the author of a Gaelic dictionary and a grammar and a composer of Gaelic verses.

The information given has come from family tradition and from Miss Mary Macdonald (Màiri Ruaraidh) Balgown, Angus Macpherson, M.B.E., Thomas J. Macpherson, Inverness (Catlodge), Calum Macdonald, Balgown all of whom have passed on. Also from Mrs Hugh (Bella Anderson) Gergask.




Sarah Jane McPherson on 15th May, 1981 -- a daughter to Brett and Suzanne of 44 Morely Street, Maddinton 6109. Western Australia.

Peter Callum Shaw MacPherson on 12 July, 1981 -- a son to Peter and Johanne, Oakville, Ontario, Canada. A grandson for Chairman J. Donald, his wife Betty, and Mr Victor Shaw.


Daniel Wallace Gillies and Mrs. Thomas Herman Vann on 31st January 1981 at Kew Beach United Church of Canada, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

      It is with regret that we announce the deaths of the following Clan members:

Rev. Duncan G. McPherson, 22 Queen Mary Terrace, Inverkeithing, Fife.
Brig. G. P. S. Macpherson, The Old Rectory, Aston Sandford, Aylesbury, Bucks.
Mrs Joan Macpherson, 16 Midway Avenue, Nether Poppleton, York.
John K. Macpherson, 10 Hollin View, Leeds.
Mrs Isabel Barton , 32 Lockharton Avenue, Edinburgh.
Albert Macpherson Plane, 5 Seabank Gardens, Nairn.
Mr D. D. McPherson, 53b Northumberland Street, Tapanui, West Otago.
Raymond McPherson, Fairlight Station, Lumsden, Southland, New Zealand.
Mrs Edith Ovenstone, Southwards, Southern Cross Drive - rive, Constantia, Cape.
Mrs Anne H. Macpherson, 14 Kilarney Court, Protea Road, Newlands, Cape.
Robert D. Macpherson, Windmill Hill, Inman, South Carolina.
Albert G. Rivett, 3307 Rockammeau Avenue, Bronx 10467, U.S.A.
Dr Douglas W. Macpherson, 26 Troy Terrace, Daglish, Western Australia.
Mrs Lily Smith, 7 Seaview Terrace, Kalamunda, Western Australia.
Captain J. Harvey Macpherson, Dunmore, Newtonmore.
David W. K. Macpherson, Namitete, Malawi, East Africa
Miss Helen Macpherson, West High Street, Kingussie
Mrs Annie (Nan) Macpherson Symons, West Horsley, Surrey



G. P. S. Macpherson
      George Philip Stewart Macpherson, one of Scotland's most outstanding sportsmen, prominent businessman and longstanding member of the Clan Macpherson Association died on 2nd March 1981. The second son of Sir Stewart and Lady Macpherson, he was born in Newtonmore, Inverness-shire in 1903. After spending the very early years of his life in India he received his education at Edinburgh Academy, Fettes College and Oxford University, where he took a double first in classics, before spending a year at Yale.

      G. P. S. as he was known in the sporting world, Phil to his friends, was an outstanding athlete, excelling at cricket and representing Scotland in athletics. But it was on the rugby field that he made his reputation as one of Scotland's finest rugby threequarters, playing for his country 26 times between 1922 and 1932.

      On his return from Yale he qualified in Edinburgh as a Chartered Accountant. Later, in 1936, he became a director in a firm of London merchant bankers.

      An officer in the 7th/9th Battalion The Royal Scots (T.A.), he transferred to the London Scottish on the outbreak of war and served in Cairo, directing operations in the Eastern Mediterranean. He moved to Vienna in 1945 as director of the finance division of the Allied Control Commission and was responsible for formulating the launch of Austria's post-war currency. He was awarded the O.B.E. in 1943; in 1945 he became a brigadier.

      After the war he resumed his business career, being particularly active in the investment management field. He became chairman of Robert Benson Lonsdale in 1958 and continued in 1966 as deputy chairman of the enlarged company formed by a merger with the bankers, Kleinwort Sons. He was active in charity work and was awarded the C.B.E. for his work on behalf of the Royal Greenwich Hospital. He was a Governor of Fettes College and chairman of the finance committee of the English Speaking Union as well as the Royal Caledonian Schools. In 1971 he had the honorary degree of D.Lit. conferred upon him by Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh.

      His family background was steeped in Macpherson Association tradition, his father being one of the founders and his mother and two of his younger brothers being Honorary Vice Presidents. Phil himself is still remembered as the bearer of the Association Standard at the memorable first Rally in the summer of 1947. He later became a most generous benefactor to the Clan Museum.

He married Bettie, a daughter of the late Dr. J. Cameron Smail, in 1939. He is survived by his wife and three sons, to whom we extend our most sincere sympathy.


Died 8th March 1982, at Namitete, Malawi, aged 82.

      David Macpherson was the younger brother of the late Alan Macpherson of Cluny and of the late Sheila, and of Isla and Jean. He was brought up at Blairgowrie, and went to Clifton College. He lived and worked for many years in Nyasaland/Malawi, where he farmed and grew tobacco extensively. He served in the Highland Light Infantry and the King's African Rifles. He is survived by his wife Frances and their children Prinia, Ewen and Isobel: He was a keen fisherman, an ornithologist and an expert in the wild life and flora of Scotland and Africa.


Captain the Chevalier J. Harvey Macpherson
      The late Captain the Chevalier J. Harvey Macpherson, M.C., K.L.J., F.S.A.(Scot.) of Dunmore, Newtonmore.

      It is with the deepest sorrow that we have learned of the death of John Campbell Harvey Webb Macpherson at the age of 68 in Inverness on 25th February, 1982 and our condolences go out to his widow Sheila and to his children Noel, James and Elizabeth.

      He will be remembered especially for editing Creag Dhubh for the five years between 1963 and 1967. The traditions of Creag Dhubh had already been established by a distinguished line of previous editors and for the first two years Harvey continued the practice of having a special feature in each issue with the "House and Museum" and "Cluny Charter Chest" numbers. Harvey recognised that the annual publication of Creag Dhubh was a vital fink for the whole membership of the Association and he set out to achieve a balance of subjects of historical interest with topical matters affecting the membership throughout the world. He personally contributed many articles covering a wide variety of topics. In particular must be mentioned the series "Let's Speak Gaelic" which was continued by the present editor.

      Harvey was not a native Gaelic speaker but he recognised that the Gaelic language is an essential part of Highland tradition and the series created enormous interest particularly from members overseas. He also wrote a fascinating book A Scots Scrapbook which Club Leabhar Limited, Inverness published in 1973.

      Harvey was born John Campbell Harvey Webb, and it was comparatively late in life that he adopted his mother's name of Macpherson. His mother was a younger sister of the late Dr. Cluny Macpherson of Newfoundland. Harvey was justly proud of his uncle and there is no doubt that Dr. Cluny gave Harvey the inspiration to take such an active interest in the Association in later years.

      But even before Harvey came to Newtonmore and became an office-bearer in the Association he had already had an exciting career. In addition to Dr. Cluny Macpherson, his family had a strong medical tradition. His father, Captain George Harvey Webb, R.A.M.C. was killed in action in 1918 and his step-father was Professor James Young, D.S.O., M.D.,