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Genealogy of The Clan Gregor - 78, Descendants of Iain oag beag

Back to 48 - Descendants of Duncan Abrach

John - Forester of Coircheich or Mamlorn Braes of Glenlochay
b~1645 d.~1720
m. Ann MacGregor b.~1648 (dtr Gregor IX of Roro )

John (Iain oag beg) [1]
~1668 d.18/9/1744
m. Mairi nighean Eoain, Coirchaorach, Glen Lochay
to Glencarnaig 1719
Robert (alias Murray) [2]
b.28/11/1696? d.-/10/1758
m. Christian Campbell/ (Cameron ?)
m. Graham of Bogton


d. 1758

Duncan [3]
m.Janet McLaren
Duncan [6]
b.17/9/1726 d. -/2/1787
writer in Edinburgh
m. Elizabeth McNiven
b.4/4/1725 Comrie

Drummond Mary


John [7]
m. Elizabeth Calder
Kennady Murray
m. Jane Carter
James Murray


John [4]
12/6/1703 d.1759
at Ticonderoga
Ewen / Evan [5]
b.~1718? ? d.29/10/1778
m. Janet McGrigor / ( McDonald?) 8/12/1734
chief from 1787
76 - Descendants of Evan
m. (1) 1766? Janet McGrigor

m. (2) 1774 Anne McLeod

Patrick [8]


Alexander [9]
b.~ /1/1741
not in OPR - but inserted here to fit with reported third son.


[1] John Campbell married Mary in Killin parish 16/11/1693 - this is consistent with Garth stating that "Iain Oag Beg made a runaway marriage with a Daughter o Coirchaorach she was called Mairi nighean Eoain". Cairchaorach is in Glen Lochay which is part of Killin parish and the wife's name matches Mairi = Mary.
The following is from notes by General Stewart of Garth, concerning Iain oag beg:
I shall speak something of Glencarnaig Breas of Balquhidder since I mentioned it so often - It was purchased by the Earl of Murray's Grandfather at a judicial sale from the Court of Session sixty years ago for the sum of £3450. It consists of the following Farms - Inverchearnaig where there is a Mill & Inverlochlarigbeg in one farm in the hands of Messrs Stewart of Auchnahaurd & Duard Glenfinglas rent £360 now in the hands of Mr McDonald of Craigsuidh Breas of Balquhidder - Inverlochlarigmore & Drumlich Tuarach Inisheart & Drumlichdesarach rent £550 and if times were good it would be worth double – the whole is in lease to Messrs Dond & John McDonald - there was in this place once twenty six Tenants it is one of the finest grazing farms in the Highlands of Perthshire.
The whole of the Braes of Balquhidder was burned & spoiled the year after forty five no man can describe the cruelty of the savage soldiers
- the first of the family of Iain Oag Beg who got a feu of Inverchearnaig & Inverlochlarigbeg from the Marquis of Athol. Iain oag Beg was son to John Macgregor Forrester of Coircheich or Mamlorn Breas of Glenlochay called Sliochd Dhonaich Bhreich - Grigar Aullin & Donald Ladasach - but I have no time to tell particulars of them at presant altho I know as much of them as any man in life.
Iain Oag Beg made a runaway marriage with a Daughter o Coirchaorach she was called Mairi nighean Eoain by her he had three sons 1st Robert Macgregor of Inverchearnaig a Decent gentleman married first a Daughter of Campbell of Ruoro Glenlyon by whom he had a son & Daughter. The son died in the West Indies and the Daughter married a son of Graham of Bogtown port parish and by a fortunate accident she was mother to the present General Graham of Bogton the richest and the worst of that family or ever was of them.
2 Ewan mac Iain Oaig Sir John Macgregors father made a runaway marriage with a Daughter of the family of MacDonald isle of Sky he was a Drover and made her believe he was proprietor of Balquhidder and a very well built house she saw when coming home she thought to be her own - But all that awaited her was a miserable cottage in the braes of Balquhidder and a Farm of one fourth of a Plough sometime thereafter they went to Inverchagerney in Strathfillan where they had a like possession of one fourth of a plough. Inverchagerney in Strathfillan Once belonging to Campbell of Lochdochard now to MacNab of Macnab from that place to Crianlarach Ewan Murray went to keep the Change house in Lochdochard estate where he resided for a long time from thence to the Inn at Lochearnhead where they lost all their property by fire from Lochearnhead to Down & Sir James Cohan of Luss procured him an Ensigncy in the Scotch Hollanders Sir James was reckoned a protector of the MacGregors at that time then the Grants & MacGregors were thought Brothers by this marriage with Mary MacDonald Ewan had four sons
1 Sir John Murray MacGregor of Lendrick
2 Colonel Peter who died coming home from India who made more money than all the rest
3d Alexander who was a Colonel also
4d Robert who was said to be a Major
Iain Oag beg had another son who was a Writer in Edinburgh had one son who died in the east India and a daughter married to Donach Maol Chronains son a Clerk Commercial Bank Edinr.
This estate of Inverchearnaig they had not altogether only Inverchearnaig Inverlochlarigbeg & Drumlick Tuarach Inverlochlarigmore belonged to one MhacDhuail Cheir and Drumlichbeg to a gentleman of the name of Mclaren It is said that Sir John paid for Lendrick when he came from India £13000 he got the estate of Gartnafuaran from. For 15 or 2000 £ and ? Dummadich for a mere triffle of £9000 from the family of Perth and £500 for Old Tacks £9000 to Mr Murdoch of Gartnacabber for two farms near Lendrick £2600 for the farm of Kirkton of the estate of Annat near Down Lodge a real Bargain £6000 for Gart near Callander bought from Perth family some farms at Ruskie in Monteith south from Callander never a MacGregor had Charters upon so much land before.
The estate of Lendrick once belonged to the worthy family of Haldane they got it in time of King David or James the first by a Daughter of Sir John Monteith of Ruskie who married a son of Haldane of Gleneaguis another a Son of Napier of Marchiston near Edinburgh and the estate of Ruskie was divided between them farm about the estate of Naipier was sold long ago in lots to different purchasers and Haldanes share was sold to Sir John which amounts to about £2200 a year with parks & every other thing his estate in Balquhidder is about £1200 a year but it is one third too dear and not very regularly paid all his estates may be about £3500 pounds per annum his Motto is Rioghail mo dhream Ardchoil but he needs not brag much of Ardchoil and if I live to see you I will tell you of Donach Ladasachd & Peter Glas his brother in Auchrioch Strathfillans they were the most iniquitous characters the earth ever produced striving who would be the most wicked.
Iain Oag Beg Sir Johns grandfather came to take possession of the Breas of Balquhidder and Rob Roy Macgregor employed four of the MacGregors some of his own low gang to assassinate him but he being a cautious man and possessed of more country eloquence diverted them from their wicked attempt till they came to Rob Roys house at Waster Inverlochlarig where they intended to recomitt the same deed but were prevented by Rob Roy himself who wished not for any strangers to intrude upon his own tribe Sliochd Dhuil Cheir the Glengyle MacGregors there was an attack made upon him again at the farm of Inverchearnaig of which he wished to take possession by a tribe of MacIntyres who had been there time unknown - notwithstanding Sir John was the most useful to his own clan that ever was called MacGregor and since his advancement in the world he did more for his own clan than all the Stewarts put together for the most of them is rather ashamed to do a good turn to one another since the revolution of the years 15 and 45 when it became real fashionable by all ranks to run down the name of Stewart which must be a real Slur upon a civilised nation
Upon cool recollection some of the Stewarts themselves to their great shame were as guilty as others But this was not the case with the MacGregors for they would stand each other at the risk of their Lives & Fortunes.

[2] Garth states that 1st child of Iain oag beag was Robert Macgregor of Inverchearnaig a Decent gentleman married first a Daughter of Campbell of Ruoro Glenlyon by whom he had a son & Daughter. The son died in the West Indies and the Daughter married a son of Graham of Bogtown port parish.
Births in Balquhidder began in 1696, a birth of an undecipherable name was recorded to John Murray on 28/11/1696 - assumed to be Robert.
There is a marriage of Robert Murray to Cristin Campbell in Balquhidder on 15/3/1730. The 1731 birth names Christian Campbell, but in 1733 and 1735 the mother's name is given as Cameron. Garth states that his first wife was a daughter of Campbell of Roro. Traditionally Robert's wife was a Cameron. While it is possible that he remarried (Garth mentions a first wife) supposedly to the daughter of Lochiel, that is not recorded anywhere.
The birth of a daughter, Christian, was recorded on 29/4/1731 to Robert Murray and Christian Campbell (sic)
Christian attended with her mother and husband at the roup in 1758 after Robert's death
The birth of Anne was recorded on 10/7/1733 to Robert Murray and ? Cameron - she presumably died in infancy as Garth does not mention her.
The birth of John was recorded on 22/4/1735 to Robert Murray and ? Cameron
A letter from John was received in 1757 before his death at the battle of Louisbourg in July 1758

[3] Garth states that 2nd child of Iain oag beag was Ewan (Evan or Hugh).
A child recorded only as "E" to Donald Mcinry is in the Balquhidder baptismal register at 10/4/1698. Another indecipherable name is recorded on 18/1/1705. It would be tempting to assume that "E" was Evan and this would be consistent with Garth's birth order, but this father was Donald not John. Also, John Murray only campaigned to become chief on the death of his brother Duncan and Duncan's son who died in February 1787. That seems to suggest that Duncan was the older. "Dun" was recorded to "Mcinry" on 1/3/1702. The register is barely legible but "Mcinry" could well be Murray, so, for the purposes of this genealogy I have ignored "E" and hence "Dun" or Duncan was older.
Garth states that Iain Oag beg had "another son who was a Writer in Edinburgh" - this is known to be Duncan, however as he was recorded as dying in 1787 at the age of 62 (or thereabouts - see below), it could not be a Duncan born in 1702, instead, the son Duncan (1726) must be meant. A Duncan Murray in Glencarnaig is known to have suffered an injury to his foot at the battle of Prestonpans in 1745 - was that the 43 year old brother of Robert and Evan who were known to be also at Prestonpans, or his 18 year old son? I'm inclined to think it was the older Duncan
The birth of Duncan to Duncan McGriegor and Janet "Car" was on 17/9/1726
The birth of Robert to Duncan McGrigor and Janet McLaren was on 6/4/1733
The birth of John to Dunc McGrigor and McLaren was on 15/3/1740

[4] Garth states that Iain Oag beg had one son who died in the east India. However, Amelia records that John MacGregor, uncle of the officer killed at Louisberg, and youngest brother of Glencarnock, died at the battle of Ticonderoga in 1759 - which was a major defeat of the French leading to the subsequent capture of Quebec in Canada - not the East Indies!
Amelia describes him as the 5th son of John Oig. There is a Donald, born 6/10/1699 to "Mcinry", but nothing more is known of him. Taking a 1698 date for Evan would make John the 5th, but see my argument about later precedence.

[5] As mentioned above Garth states that 2nd child of Iain oag beag was Ewan (Evan of Hugh), as does Amelia. I considered the indecipherable named child of 1705, perhaps wrongly. However, Amelia in volume ii p395 does state that "Evan, fourth son of John Oig of Glencarnaig, was born in 1710". There is no record of the birth anywhere in Perthshire

Ewen may have married twice, there is a marriage firstly of Heugh McGrigor in November 1727 to an indecipherable name, assumed from two subsequent births to be Margaret Fergusson. John to Ewen McGrigor & Mart. Ferg on 19/11/1728 and Alexander to Ewen McGrigor and Ferguson on 29/8/1732 - however, I suspect this is a different family.
A marriage of Janet McGrigor to Hewgh Drummond is recorded on 8/12/1734.
There is no trace of a marriage to Janet MacDonald, daughter of Sleat, as claimed in Amelia, page 395. However, Garth stated that Ewen and his wife Janet McDonald made a runaway marriage
The children of this marriage were John 29/5/1736; Duncan 27/1/1738; Margaret 9/11/1739; and Robert 8/2/1742. It is possible that the missing Alexander may have been born january 1741
The later genealogy in Amelia, and also includes Peter - which would be Patrick - but he cannot be found in the OPR and Duncan in 1738 is not subsequently mentioned so may have died. The actual record of Duncan's baptism on 27/1/1738 is very indistinct, and the name could be Patrick.

From Campbells of the Ark, by Ronald Black, vol i, page 387
In an account of the trial of Seumus a' Ghlinne, James of the Glens, in 1752 for the murder of Campbell of Glenure, an account is given of Seumus travelling to Edinburgh to protest the Appin evictions. He travelled from Luib in Glen Dochart with Colin MacLaren, stopping at Lochearnhead at midday, at the house of Ewan Murray, aged 34, a vintner.
As Garth stated that Ewan Murray had the inn at Lochearnhead, we can speculate whether this is the same Ewan Murray. The evidence to the court stated that he was aged 34 in 1752 which would suggest he was born in 1717 or 1718 which would obviously rule out a marriage in 1727, while 1734 is just credible for his "runaway marriage". estimates his birth in 1715, but this is unreliable. There is a barely decipherable entry in the Balquhidder OPR on 18/1/1705 which may not be Ewan. If the 1727 marriage was Ewan's then the latest year of birth might be 1710 or 1711 which would make him 41 in 1752 not 34.

[6] According to Amelia, it was Duncan Murray (probably born 1702) younger brother to Robert who "succeeded him in the representation of the family of MacGregor". However, from the family discussed in the next sentence and the death of a Duncan Murray in Edinburgh in 1787, aged 62 (or slightly less), it is clear that it was the son Duncam (born 1726) who was the writer in Edinburgh, not the elder Duncan, injured at Prestonpans. Duncan married Beatrix McNiven - she was born 4/4/1725 to Patrick McNiven & Janet McLaren in Comrie parish - probably in Glenartney where a number of MacGregor families were using the alias McNiven.
Balquhidder and Comrie marriages are missing for the probable time of their marriages. They had two children, firstly John in Callendar 22/4/1750 and Drummond Mary in Edinburgh 3/9/1756.
Duncan was a writer (or solicitor's clerk) in Edinburgh. Duncan died in a charity house in Edinburgh 14/2/1787 and Elizabeth on 16/9/1787.
According to Amelia, vol ii, page 394, John, who was an officer in the Royal Navy, proceeding to the East Indies he attained the rank of Commodore in the Bombay Marine, and received the thanks of Sir Eyre Coote for his services on the coast of Coromandel. Returning from Bencoolen, whither he had conveyed his cousin Alexander, he landed at Batavia to wait upon the Governor and died there after 24 hours' illness." This took place 23rd March 1784. John left everything of which he died possessed, to his Sister's son John Paul, with the condition that he should take the Surname of MacGregor.
2. Drummond Mary. She married first Mr Paul whose family name had been Mcphail, by whom she had a son Lt. Colonel John Paul MacGregor, who assumed the latter name in pursuance of his Uncle's Will. He was afterwards Deputy Auditor-General of the Bengal Army.
Drummond Mary married secondly John MacGregor of the Commercial Bank, and had a Son Major Duncan MacGregor, 78th Reg. They had two other sons, Alexander and James, and two daughters Mary and Felicite.

[7] Duncan's third son, John went to Ayrshire and married Elizabeth Calder (Servants to Countess of Eglington). Their child Kennedy Murray (born 24/8/1771) was transported to Van Deimens Land for theft.
He married Anne Parker, their child, James Murray, (born in 1771 and died in 1853) married to a Jane Carter in Tasmania.
An Australian descendant of Kennedy Murray is a DNA familyfinder match to Sir Malcolm and their STR data is only different by a small number of SNPs. Thus corroborating this descent.
Kennady Murray who was born 24 August 1771 in Dundonald, Ayr, Scotland (FHL film 1041339) to parents John Murray and Elizabeth Calder. The transcription on the file states:
“Murray Kennady begat in antenuptual fornication between John Murray and Elizabeth Calder servants to the Countess of Eglintoune was baptized at Dundonald the 24th August 1771 years by Mr Walker (Rev Thomas Walker)”.
The marriage of John Murray to Elizabeth Calder occurred on 15 February 1771 in Dundonald, Ayr, Scotland (FHL file 1041339, ref 0007-6025626) which is only 6 months prior to the birth of Kennady as is consistent with the baptism transcription. The transcription on the marriage document states: “servants to the right honourable the countess of Eglintoune. Married by Charles Ballatyne”.
Elizabeth Caulder was born 30 Jan 1737 in Irvine, Ayr, Scotland to James Caulder and Elizabeth Caulder (FHL film 1041383, 0102834) showing that she was 34 at the age of the birth of John.
Why this is important is that Family finder and STR matches also attach both Sir Malcolm and these Kennedy descendants.

[8] In comparing the names of Evan's sons as stated by John Murray, in the 'Baronage' and Amelia there are discrepancies. Patrick cannot be found on the Scotlandspeople online baptisms for Balquhidder (or anywhere in Perthshire, but a son Duncan was recorded in January 1738. Professor Neil MacGregor examined the photo-image of the original entry for Duncan in the OPR. Much of the name is obscured and it is unclear whether it begins with 'D' as interpreted by the NRS or 'P', however, there does appear to be an upstroke in the name which could mean it was actually Patrick, not Duncan.

[9] In comparing the names of Evan's sons as stated by John Murray, in the 'Baronage' and Amelia there are several discrepancies. Patrick is discussed in note 8 above, nor can Alexander be found, unless it was a surviving son Alexander born 1732 to Hewgh McGrigor married to Margaret Ferguson in 1727 - but that would contradict Garth who stated he was third and Amelia that has him second behind John. If we assume the 1727 marriage is incorrect, and take only the December 1734 marriage of Hewgh Drummond to Janet McGrigor this would give Janet's womb a busy time, but it might be just possible to fit Alex in:
John May/1736 (perhaps born earlier in the year), then assume Alex as the second son in Feb/Mar/37, Patrick or Duncan jan/38 (see note 8 ), Margaret 11/39 and Robert Feb/42 Any one of them could have been twins, and perhaps John may have been born a few months before baptism as the parents married in dec 34, so he could have been born in jan 36, and Alex in Jan 37.
Alternatively, John was born in May/1736, then Patrick in Jan/38, Margaret Nov/39. Then positioning Alexander as the third son in Jan/41, it would be possible for Robert, the 4th son to be born and baptised in February 1742.