OT: 6 May 1916 – Eilean a Cheo “The MacRaes of Kintail”

The Oban Times, 6 May, 1916

The Macraes of Kintail

1 May, 1916

Sir,–A letter appeared in your issue of the 25th March, 1916, signed “Gaidheal Og” asking for information as to

“Which one of the Macraes of Kintail was married to Flora MacKinnon, daughter of the Laird of Strathardale, in Skye? Was it the celebrated warrior, John Macrae of Conchra, or the Macrae of Conchra who was killed at the Battle of Sheriffmuir? He was one of the four John’s of Scotland”

It seems to me that your correspondent has rather confused the inter-marriage question, also the history of the Macraes of Kintail. The position is as follows, namely, the Reverend Farquhar MacRa, Vicar of Kintail, and Constable of Eilean Donan Castle, 1618, married Christina MacCulloch of Park, 1st December, 1611, and had a son Thomas who died without issue; also a son John, born at Ardlair, 13th March, 1614, who became minister of Dingwall, 1640, and Mary Agnes Mackenzie, daughter of the Laird of Kineraig, by whom he had a son Alexander, who married Florence MacKinnon of Corriechatachan, in Skye. Alexander’s sister, Isabel MacRa, married Lachlan MacKinnon of Corriechatachan. The Corriechatachan family (or “Corrie”) family claim, I understand, to represent the extinct Lairds of Strathardle, as chiefs of the Clan MacKinnon.

Alexander Macra of Conchra left a son, John, who married Isabel, daughter of the Reverend Donald MacRa, Vicar of Kintail, 1681, by his wife Catherine Grant of Glen Moriston. This John was one of Seaforth’s principal officers and commanded the Lochalsh Company at Sheriffmuir in one of the two regiments raised by the Earl of Seaforth. He was known as one of the “The Four John’s of Scotland,” namely, John MacRa of Conchra, John Mackenzie of Hilton, John Murchison of Auchtertryre, John Mackenzie (son of Applecross), were all killed at Sheriffmuir.

John Mhor MacRa of Conchra left a son, John MacRa of Conchra, who married Isabel Mackenzie, daughter of the Laird of Ballone, and died in 1761. He left several sons and daughters. His youngest son, Colin, Major 75th (Abercromby’s) Highlanders, alone left surviving male issue. He married Isabella, daughter of Archibald McRa of Ardindoul and his wife, Janet, daughter of John MacLeod, 10th Baron of Raasay. Major Colin Macrae died 10th March, 1821, leaving a number of sons; but the only one who left male issue was the youngest, Duncan, who married Grace Stewart (Over Blairish family, Cadet of Garth), leaving three sons and three daughters. Mr. Duncan Macrae, J. P., D. L., died at Kames Castle, Isle of youth, 14th December, 1898.

(1) His eldest son, Stuart Macrae of Conchra, is now the representative of the Macraes of Conchra, and 20th in succession from Finlay Dhu Macgilichroisd. Mr. Stuart Macrae married Ethel Evelyn Martin Smith. His eldest son, Kenneth, younger of Conchra, is a Lieutenant in the Black Watch, 1st Royal Highlanders, and was very severely wounded in France. His second son, John Nigel, 11th Royal Highlanders, is with the Royal Flying Corps in France.

(2) The second son is Lieutenant-Colonel John Macrae-Gilstrap of Eilean Donan, Ross-shire, and Ballimore, Argyll, Constable of Eilean Donan Castle, commanding 11th Royal Highlanders. He married in 1889 Isabella Mary Gilstrap, and with issue a son, John Duncan George, second Lieutenant, Seaforth, attached to the Royal Flying Corps.

(3) The third son is Capt. Colin Macrae (late the Black watch), Recruiting Officer for Argyll and Bute, married Lady Margaret Crichton Stuart with issue.–I am, etc.,

Eilean a Cheo