My interest in the Chiefship of MacGillivray of Dunmaglass was kindled several years ago upon an approach for assistance in identifying the current heir male. Not having undertaken any research, I was not in a position to comment at that time but since then, I have taken notes when ever I have come across what may be regarded as useful evidence.
It is generally accepted that the first emergence of a Chief into extant historical record is on 19 September 1549, when Farquar McConoquhy McAnkeir of Dunmaglass granted letters of reversion for the lands of Dalmigavie to Robert Dunbar of Durris (NRS GD176/66). Although it is said that Farquhar is the first recorded Chief, in the event that he succeeded his father and grandfather in that position as well as in the accompanying lands of Dunmaglass, his patronymics alone as sufficient evidence to confirm two previous generations being that of his father, Duncan, and grandfather, Iain (John) Keir.
Alaster MacFarquhar MacConoquhy of Dunmaglass had succeeded by 15 October 1581 (NRS GD176/125) and those patronymics considered, it is apparent that he was the son and heir to the former Farquhar.
Duncan MacGillivray of Dunmaglass had succeeded by 1609. He was followed by;
Farquhar MacGillivray of Dunmaglass who was father of at least two sons;
- Alexander MacGillivray of Dunmaglass
- Donald MacGillivray, who was tutor to the young Chief during his minority. He had issue, for whom see below.
Alexander MacGillivray of Dunmaglass, succeeded but his tenure was short-lived. He was dead by 1677 and was father of;
- Farquhar MacGillivray of Dunmaglass
- Margaret MacGillivray, married William Fraser, son of James Fraser of Meikle Garth (RS38/4/21)
Farquhar MacGillivray of Dunmaglass had succeeded by 1677 and died before 31 January 1728, when his Testament was confirmed (CC11/1/4/295). He was father of,
- Farquhar MacGillivray of Dunmaglass
- William MacGillivray, was a drover of some note. He married Janet MackIntosh and died in April 1734 (CC11/1/5/369-372). He had at least one son, Lachlan, who is styled the eldest son in his father’s Testament. That considered, it is likely there were other younger sons whose names I have not yet discovered.
Farquhar MacGillivray of Dunmaglass, succeeded his father and is styled his eldest lawful son and heir when executor to his father in 1728. He married Emelia, daughter and one of the coheiresses of David Stewart of Newton) and died in June 1740 (CC11/1/5/62-65). He was father of,
- Alexander MacGillivray of Dunmaglass, succeeded his father and had service as heir general to him on 13 October 1740. He famously commanded the Clan in the ’45 and was killed sp at Culloden on 16 April 1746.
- William MacGillivray of Dunmaglass
- John MacGillivray, was a Lieutenant-Colonel in the army and had died sp before 4 March 1790 when his nephew, John Lachlan MacGillivray of Dunmaglass, was served heir of provision to him.
- Janet MacGillivray, married Donald MacGillivray of Dalcrombie and had issue.
William MacGillivray of Dunmaglass, succeeded his elder brother Alexander and was served heir general to him on 2 June 1747. He was father of,
- John Lachlan MacGillivray of Dunmaglass, succeeded his father and had service as heir to him on 24 March 1790. He married in August 1805, to Jane, daughter of Captain Walcott, of the 12th regiment of Foot (she died at Edinburgh, 10 October 1843) and died sp at Inverness on 6 February 1852.
- Barbara Ann MacGillivray, died married on 29 June 1800.
Neil John MacGillivray of Dunmaglass, was next to succeeded and had special service as heir to his remote cousin, John Lachlan MacGillivray, in the lands of Dunmaglass on 12 January 1858. His ancestry was as follows;
Donald MacGillivray, tutor of Dunmaglass, (see above) married Mary Mackintosh (NRS RS38/4/64) and was father of,
- Farquhar MacGillivray of Dalcrombie and Aberchalder
- Alexander MacGillivray, is listed as a creditor to the widow of Alexander MacGillivray in Dunmaglas in 1677.
- John MacGillivray (NRS RS38/4/64)
Farquhar MacGillivray of Dalcrombie and Aberchalder, died before July 1736 and was father of,
Donald MacGillivray of Dalcrombie, succeeded and was served heir to his father on 26 August 1742. He married Janet, daughter of Farquhar MacGillivery of Dunmaglass, and was killed during the battle of Culloden on 16 April 1746. He was father of,
Farquhar MacGillivray of Dalcrombie, was served heir to his father on 31 March 1774 and died in 1799 having had issue;
- William MacGillivray, who died young.
- John MacGillivray,
- Lachlan MacGillivray, who died sp.
- Donald MacGillivray, who also died sp
John MacGillivray, was born about 1777 and emigrated to Canada. He settled at Charlottenburg, in Glengarry County, and was served heir special to his father in the lands of easter Aberchalder on 21 October 1852. He died on 13 October 1855, having married firstly, an Indigenous woman whose identity has not yet been established. He married secondly, 23 February 1819, Isabella, daughter of Colonel Neil Maclean (she survived him and died on 5 April 1876) and had issue;
- Neil John MacGillivray of Dunmaglass,
- Farquhar MacGillivray, was born in 1832 and died at Ottowa, 26 February 1907. He had issue;
2a} John Farquhar MacGillivray of Dunmaglass, was born on 20 August 1870 and succeeded as Chief in 1914. He married, at Winnipeg, 26 September 1911, Sarah Mary McLoughlin, and died sp at Toronto, 20 August 1942.
3. William MacGillivray, born in 1835 and died at San Beinto, California, on 18 July 1915 having had issue;
4. George Hopper MacGillivray, born in 1837 and was clerk of the court of Charlottenburg for a number of years. He married, 23 February 1870, Caroline Metcalf, daughter of James Holmes, and died on 30 October 1912 laving issue;
4a} Carrie MacGillivray, born in 1872 and died in 1949.
Neil John MacGillivray of Dunmaglass, was born in 1827 and succeeding his remote cousin, John Lachlan MacGillivray of Dunmaglass, he was served heir to him on 12 January 1858. He married, 26 August 1858, Catherine Lucy Macdonnell and died at Dunmaglass on 18 November 1886 having had issue;
- John William MacGillivray of Dunmaglass, born at Glengarry, Canada, on 4 February 1864, and succeeded his father in 1886. He sold Dunmaglass and died sp at London, in 1914.
- Angus MacGillivray, born on 24 November 1867 and died sp before 1914.
- Isabella Johanna MacGillivray.
The Chiefship having devolved upon the descendants of Donald, the tutor, in 1852, it is reasonable to conclude that any descendants in the male line from William MacGillivray, the drover, who died in 1734 or any other younger son of Chief from Alexander MacGillivray of Dunmaglass (died pre-1677) downwards were extinguished by that date. The senior line of the Tutor becoming extinct in 1942, the next heir male would be in descent from the tutor’s two younger sons, Alexander or John, however, I have not yet viewed evidence to prove either of them married and left lawful issue.
I would like to note that the matter of the identification of the heir-male is simply a genealogical conundrum which intrigues me – the Clan is more than amply represented by its current Commander, Iain MacGillivray, whose hard work, determination and enthusiasm I greatly admire.