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Genealogy of The Clan Gregor - 26 - Descendants of James Mor

Back to 31, Descendants of Rob Roy

James Mor
b~1695, d~1754
m.Annabel MacNicol [4]
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James Mor claimed, himself in a letter, to have had 14 children. Six from Mary in 1732 to Janet in 1750 are documented, then James born in parish of Glenorchy & Inishaill [1]
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Mary
b.8/3/732
early??

Is this Malie?
fictional Catriona?
Robert
b.14/9/1737
died before 1753
Donald [3]
b.23/11/1739
m.Sarah Cameron ~1775
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----------------------Inchree [8] , Kilmallie----------------------------
Angus [6]
b.~1779
m.Catherine (Dow) Cameron
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----------------Blarmacfoldach, Kilmallie------------
Donald
b.~1828
Sarah
b.~1831
James [7]
b.1/10/1839
m Elizabeth Campbell
22/11/1867
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-----Glasgow [9] --------
Elizabeth
b.4/12/1868

Catherine
b.9/3/1871
d.10/10/1957
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64 - Foss Descent
Donald
b.20/1/1785
Willelma
Clifton
b.1/12/1741
Gregor
b.24/1/1744
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71 - Descendants of Gregor
Janet
possibly = Jean
b.25/8/1750
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Descendants in NC
Roderick [2]
b. ~1752
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questionable, not in OPR
I don't believe it


John [5]
b. ~1749 d.~1832
possible but not in OPR
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descendants in Canada and Maine
James
b. 10/7/1753
in Glenorchy parish
d.1850

[1] James Mor was married to Annabel MacNicol, but their marriage is not documented in the OPR,
Familysearch does have a slight possibilities for the marriage, although James Mor usually used the alias Drummond, not Graham:
James Graham married Isabell Nicoll on 15/6/1732 at St Cyrus Kincardine. OK, Graham is a likely alias, but what where they doing in Kincardine? Very unlikely.
.
Their first recorded child was Mary born in 1732, then there is a gap to the first son, Robert in 1737. Mary (Mallie) is claimed to be the model for RLS's fictional "Catriona" and would be old enough to assist in his escape from Edinburgh Castle in November 1752.
The documented children in the Killin parish register are
Mary (8/3/1732),
Robert (14/9/1737),
Donald (23/11/1739),
Willielma Clifton (1/12/1741),
Gregor (24/1/1744)
Janet (25/8/1750), It is likely that Janet and Jean are the same - Jean in Gaelic is Sine (pron.Sheena), while Janet is Sinead (pron. Sheenat).
See below for a discussion of James in 1753. I cannot find any of the other supposed offspring, although John is listed as a son of James Mor, discharged soldier of the 42nd, went to Nova Scotia and married twice,
What was the source for Roderick???

Note that Killin parish was one of the largest in Scotland, covering 90,000 acres and 23 miles from east to west. It stretched from Killin along Glen Dochart as far as Crianlarich and Tyndrum. It was bounded on the South by Balquhidder parish. Thus, although James Mor's children are recorded in the Killin OPR, he would not have resided near the Church at the foot of Loch Tay. He probably had the farm at Coire Chaorach on the south side of Glen Dochart, once farmed by his father, with easy access over the hill to Monachyle Tuarach and his brothers in Balquhidder.

A last child, James was registered in Glenorchy & Innishaill parish on 10/7/1752 to James Drummond with no wife given. James Mor was arrested near Fort William and imprisoned in December 1751, escaped in November 1752 and was writing from Paris in September 1753, he died in Dunkirk in October 1754. In a letter from France dated 12th June 1753, James Mor wrote - "I beg the favour of you how soon this comes to your hands yt. you'll be so kind as to write to my Brother-in-law to take proper care of my poor wife and children, for I left her nothing but at the mercy of her friends and at the same time left her big with child, which no doubt was a very chocking affair to me or any Christian."

The question would be at what date did he leave her? Before his arrest in December 1751, or his escape on 16th November 1752? Clearly James and Annabell knew she was expecting a child when "he left her", that suggests to me that the child would have to be born no later than six months after the date of his arrest in December 1751 - say June 1752. This does not completely rule out "Roderick", if he existed, being born in the first part of 1752. With regard to a child in 1753, James and Annabell clearly had marital relations following his escape in November 1752 before he went into exile, thus James was born 8 months later in July 1753. It has to be assumed that Annabell went to her brother, Nicol McNicoll (James's brother-in-law) at their farm near Dalmally, Glenorchy, to have her child James, which was registered at the church of Dalmally. As James, her baby, was born 10/7/1753, it may have been a few weeks premature. It is not clear whether the baby survived.

So that is the six known children baptised in Killin, plus James in 1753. Elspet in 1731 and William may be illegitimate offspring prior to his marriage to Annabella McNicoll. The gap between Mary in 1732 and Robert in 1737, could allow for a further three. There is the possibility of two more between Gregor in 1744 and Janet in 1750 - always allowing for James to have been in hiding after the '45 Rising.
Or perhaps he was just exagerating.
The children of James Mor published in the Quaich Click image for the children of James Mor as published in the Quaich newsletter

[2] The Foss tree in NL43 included a male line descent to a family in South Africa in the present day from an undocumented 'Roderick'. There is no obvious link to the Roderick MacGregor and Margaret Cockburn who married in Nairn on 19th Jan 1788.
The crucial link to this claimed descent from Rob Roy is Roderick - It might be feasible for Roderick to be born no later than summer 1752, but I'm suspicious of the estimate.
The only mentions of the name Roderick in Amelia are to a MacKenzie of Fairburn and a Chisholm in Strathglass - both Ross-shire
Also, unlike any other of James Mor's children, why is this Roderick first recorded in Inverness instead of Argyll or Perth?
There are no other Rodericks in Clan Gregor genealogies until the 19th century.
I also noted in the genealogy in CGS NewsLetter43 that the source reference for Roderick, son of James Mor, born circa 1752 is Hamilton Howlett's Highland Constable, page 34 - which is odd because my copy on page 35 discusses Rob Roy's marriage on 1st January 1693 and the death of Gregor the Chief on 9th February 1693. There are very few references in Howlett, even at the end of the book, to the sons of Rob Roy and definitely none to their marriages or children.
John Ward does not mention a Roderick at all among the sons of James Mor.
There is always the possibility that Roderick came from a 'bit on the side' while James Mor was in the North in 1746. So the mother wasn't Annabel MacNicol.
There is nothing remotely like a Roderick born to a James MacGregor or likely alias on familysearch, but it was probably undocumented. So where is Joseph Foss's proof of his ancestor Roderick being the son of James Mor.
Also in the note about Roderick "he called himself a shoemaker after the custom of his father". I don't believe James Mor could have been a shoemaker, there are no references to that. Such a trade would not be becoming for one who considered himself an officer and gentleman - whatever anyone else thought of MacGregors at the time..

I have spent too long vainly looking for a connection between "my" duncan and Duncan the grandson of Glun dubh to be impressed by someone else's uncorroborated wishful thinking!

[3] A genealogy printed in Clan Gregor Society Newsletter, no 43 in 1997 from Joseph Foss, claimed his descent from Donald, the third child, through a James in Kilmallie.
From the 1851 census, we can estimate that Angus MacGregor in Muirshearlich, par. Kilmallie was born in approximately 1779. He was claimed to be a son of Donald but that is not in the OPR. It was claimed he was married to Catherine Cameron but she was deceased by 1851. At Muirshearlich, 6km north-east of Fort William, their three children were recorded in the census as having been born between 1828 and 1838.
Donald aged 23 (1828), Sarah aged 20 (1831) and James aged 13 (1838). None of these children are recorded in the OPR. However, there are six children in the OPR born to a different Angus MacGregor and Catherine Robertson at Blarmacfoldach, 4km south south of Fort William,. plus unrecorded Annabell who was 8 in 1841 census (18 in 1851) and thus born around 1833 (this was an unusual name giving a possible connection to the wife of James Mor) and the census.

The family were at Muirshearlich in 1851, but in the 1841 census, they appear to be next door to Angus and Catherine at Blarmacfoldach, with Donald aged 14 and Sarah aged 8, but no James. Nor are these three births in the OPR, despite the Foss genealogy giving a precise date of 1/1/1839 for James's birth.
I noted as well, the Foss genealogy has a reference to Ewen born 8/11/1818 - apparently, from note 18, born in fornication. However, the Ewen in the 1841 and 1851 census was born legitimately on 16/4/1829, and is recorded aged 16 (too old, as a 12-year old he must have been on a growth spurt), in the 1851 census he was correctly recorded as aged 21. I wondered about a relationship between the two families of Angus MacGregor at Blarmacfaldich in 1841, neither are in the OPR. Angus married to Catherine Dow Cameron, supposed father of James was born about 1779, while Angus married to Catherine Robertson may have been born in 1791 - if his father was born around 1765, perhaps a brother of John, baptised 8/6/1773 in Kilmallie to Angus & Mary Cameron - does that suggest Angus as an undocumented son of James Mor making the two Anguses 1st cousins once removed? This is pure speculation, but the names and locations (living in adjoining houses in Blanracfoldach in 1841) does suggest a connection.

John Ward has Donald's marriage and descendants completely different from the Foss tree, but all his lines end in daughters.
John Ward suggested the marriage of Donald to Janet McLinen (MacLennan?) in Kilmadock on 1st March 1766
Their children, which are in the OPR, but it seems unlikely that it is the same Donald:
Patrick (26/4/1767), he married an Elizabeth MacGregor in Kilmadock and had children from 1790 their descendants went to Manchester.
John (26/6/1769), he married Margaret MacKay in Kilmadock and had descendants, some went to New Zealand in the 1840s
Duncan, (n.d) children also went to New Zealand.

[4] The birth of Annabell McNicol is not recorded, however, Ronald Black quotes a letter from Nicol MacNicol, brother-in-law of James Mor, which was found in Inverness after Culloden by Campbell of Airds, addressed to Major James McGrigor of the Duke of Perth's regiment.
Nicol MacNicol is recorded as the son of Nicol MacNicol and Jean Morison, baptised on 27/7/1707 in Inveraray parish. His parents married on 19/11/1702 at Inveraray. They also had three daughters, Elizabeth, 12/9/1703; Mary 27/5/1705 and Christian 9/10/1709. It is possible that one of the daughters became subsequently known as Annabel, or there was a fourth unrecorded daughter.

[5] The Clan MacFarlane genealogy lists 14 children for James Mor, but apart from the six legitimate children shown above registered in the Killin OPR, they do not offer source references for any of them.
For reference, here are the extra ones.
Elspet 29/3/1731 - said to be illegitimate. I can't find it on Scotland's People. No further reference.
James Roy, supposedly born in 1742, but no place or source provided.
Helen, no place, date or source provided.
Ann, no place, date or source provided.
John, supposedly born in 1749, died 16/2/1832 in Canada (listed above) - it was suggested John was born in France, not a child of Annabella, but no source provided.
Peter, no place, date or source provided.
Donald, 1753, but no place or source provided. Unlikely as legitimate Donald born Killin in 1739, but could be illegitimate
William Landless, mentioned by John Ward, no date or source provided. According to the Ward tree, Ralph, a claimed son of William Landless was born in 1758, and William "left scotland" in 1763. That suggests William, if he was a son of James Mor, must have been born around 1730 and was probably illegitimate.
This list does not include Roderick (?1752) or James - who may be a legitimate last child of Annabella McNicoll in 1753 born in Glenorchy.

[6] In this 1841 census page for Blarmacfoldich (4km SW of Ft William, there are two MacGregor families next to each other. The first family has children Donald & Sarah. James (aged 13 in 1851) should also be here but is not included.
I assume the second family headed by Mrs Catherine MacGregor is related in some way. Especially as it includes a daughter named Annabell. (She was a house servant in Fort William in 1851)
Blarmacfoldich, Kilmallie 1841 Click image census 1841 of Angus at Blarmacfoldich, Kilmallie

[7] In this 1851 census page for Muirshearlich (6km NE of Ft William, is the same family with children Donald & Sarah and James (aged 13). I don't know where the date of birth for James came from. It's in the Foss tree but not recorded in the OPR
Muirshearlich, Kilmallie 1851 Click image census 1851 of Angus at Muirshearlich, Kilmallie

[8] Inchree is close to Corran Ferry on Loch Linnhe, 12Km SW of Fort William and 6Km from Blarmacfoldach

[9] The Foss tree published in the Quaich Click image for the Foss tree as published in the Quaich newsletter