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- History Of The Mackenzies - 94/115 -

from 1649 to 1710. Sir James Dixon Mackenzie of Findon says distinctly that Roderick was "ancestor of Kernsary," ["Genealogical Tables of the Mackenzies," Sheet 5.] and there appears to be no doubt about it. But it is not at all clear whether he or his brother Kenneth bought the estate from the Mackenzies of Coul, who then owned it. Mr John H. Dixon, in his interesting book on Gairloch, says that Roderick had a son Kenneth, born about 1703, by a sister of the Laird of Knockbain, but if there was such a son, which is highly improbable, he could not have been the purchaser of any property during his father's lifetime, who died seven years after Kenneth's alleged birth, when the father must have been very advanced in years - close upon eighty. The probability therefore is that Roderick's brother Kenneth - who, like himself, during a portion of his ministry was an Episcopalian clergyman - was the purchaser and that he died, without issue, before his brother, and left the estate to Roderick, who died in 1710, or perhaps to his eldest son Murdoch, who, in his marriage contract, dated 1708, two years before his father's death, is designated "of Kernsary." Mr Dixon has several references to these men, but being traditional they are more or less unreliable; and as yet no papers have been discovered which throw any light on the original purchase by this family.

Writing about their immediate progenitor Mr Dixon says - "In 1649 the Rev. Roderick Mackenzie, third son of Roderick Mackenzie of Knockbackster, was admitted minister of Gairloch and continued so until his death in March 1710, after an incumbency of sixty-one years. He seems to have been a man of quiet easy-going temperament. When he came to Gairloch, Presbyterianism ruled; when Episcopacy was established in 1660, he conformed; and when the Revolution put an end to Episcopacy, he became a Presbyterian again." But that he never was a very enthusiastic one is clear from the Presbytery records during his incumbency, for they show that he seldom attended its meetings, though often specially cited by his brethren to do so. His brother Kenneth, who appears to have continued an Episcopalian all his life, was of a very different stamp. He seems to have spent a considerable portion of his early life in the Island of Bute, to which apparently he became very much attached, for when he left it and went to reside with his brother at Kernsary, probably as purchaser and proprietor of the estate, he took a smack load of Bute soil along with him in order that he might be buried in it when he died. A portion of this imported earth "was put into the Inverewe Church, so that when Kenneth was buried there he might lie beneath Bute soil the overplus was deposited in the garden of Kirkton house, where the heap is still preserved." [Dixon's "Gairloch."] The same writer states distinctly that Kenneth came from Bute, that he was the actual purchaser of the estate, that he resided in the proprietor's house at Kirkton, that he officiated in the old church there, some remains of which are still to be seen, and, he adds - "a loose stone may be seen in the part of the ruined church which was used as the burial place of the Kernsary family; it is inscribed 'K M K 1678' and is believed to have recorded the date when the Rev. Kenneth built or restored the little church." But is it not much more likely to record the date of Kenneth's own death? Mr Dixon may be correct in the assumption that Kenneth, who was a sincere Episcopalian, had to leave Bute during the troubles of the Covenanting period, and seek a safe refuge in his brother's parish, who very probably had no objection to preaching in his church according to the Episcopal form to which he had himself openly conformed not many years before. Indeed, after the Revolution, in 1680, the Rev. Roderick, who had for twenty years been the Episcopalian minister of the parish, was allowed to remain in his charge until his death thirty years after without submitting himself to the Presbytery, and most amusing accounts are given of the manner in which his Presbyterian successor was opposed on his induction and afterwards persecuted by the Gairloch Episcopalians.

There appears to be no doubt that the Rev. Kenneth died before his brother Roderick, minister of Gairloch, and left the estate of Kernsary either to him or his eldest son, Murdoch, who, as already stated, is described in 1708, two years before his father's death, as then of Kernsary." It has been shown that the estate was purchased by this family from the Mackenzies of Coul, and there is a sasine, dated the 27th of July, 1762, on a precept of "clare constat," granted by Sir Alexander Mackenzie of Coul in favour of Roderick Mackenzie, IV. of Kernsary, as nearest heir male to his grandfather.

The Rev. Roderick Mackenzie, minister of Gairloch married a daughter of Bayne of Knockbain, his father's neighbour, with issue, among several other sons, -

II. MURDOCH MACKENZIE, second of Kernsary, who married, first, his cousin, a daughter of Alexander Mackenzie, II. of Fairburn, without male issue.

He married, secondly, Anna, eldest daughter of Charles Mackenzie, I. of Letterewe (marriage contract 1708), with issue -

III. RODERICK MACKENZIE, third of Kernsary, who as her second husband married Margaret, youngest daughter of Alexander Mackenzie, III. of Ballone (sasine to her in 1742), by his wife Barbara, daughter of Kenneth Mor Mackenzie, I. of Dundonnel, and niece of Sir George Mackenzie of Rosehaugh, with issue -

1. Roderick, his heir and successor.

2. Hector, who died without issue.

3. Ann, who married George Mackenzie of Kildonan, third son of James, brother of George Mackenzie, II. of Ardloch, with issue - a son James.

4. Mary, who married John Ross, Inverness.

Roderick was succeeded by his eldest son,

IV. RODERICK MACKENZIE, fourth of Kernsary, who married his cousin Mary, eldest daughter of Alexander Mackenzie, IV. of Ballone, by his wife, Catherine, daughter of George Mackenzie, II. of Gruinard. She was celebrated for her great beauty, and was immortalised as "Mali chruinn donn" in one of the best songs in the Gaelic language, composed by William Mackenzie, a native of Gairloch, better known as "An Ceistear Crubach," or the Lame Catechist. By her Roderick had issue -

V. ALEXANDER MACKENZIE, fifth of Kernsary, who sold the property, and leased the farm of Arcan, near Brahan. He married Mary, eldest daughter of the Rev. Roderick Morrison, minister of Kintail, by his wife Jean, daughter of Fraser of Culduthel, with issue -

1. Roderick, planter in Demerara, who died unmarried.

2. Alexander, now residing at Lincoln. He was twice married, and has issue - a son and daughter.

3. The Rev. Hector, late minister of Moy, Inverness-shire. He married Margaret, daughter of William Macleod, I. of Orbost, with issue - an only son William, who married, with issue, and emigrated to Canada.

4. Davidson, a squatter in Australia, married, with issue.

5. Wilhelmina, who married Alexander MacTavish, Town Clerk of Inverness, with issue - (1) Alastair, who went to New Zealand and there married Jeanie Halse, of Wellington, with issue - Alastair Henry; Hector; and Elsie; (2) William Tavish MacTavish, Procurator-Fiscal for the Tam District of Ross and Cromarty; (3) Mary who married Ranald Macdonald of Morar, with issue; and (4) Catharine, who died unmarried.

6. Maria, residing at Inverness, unmarried.

7. Jean Fraser, who in 1844 married William Murray, tacksman of Kilcoy, son of Francis Murray of Ardconnon Old Meldrum, with issue - (1) Francis, an indigo planter in Kurnoul, Tirhoot, who married, in 1875 Eliza Annabella, daughter of John Mackenzie, Teetwarpore, Tirhoot, with issue - Francis Mackenzie, Walter William Macdonald, Jean Fraser, Gertrude Mary, Florence Wilhelmina, and Lisette Julia; (2) William, tacksman of Bellfield, North Kessock; (3) Alexander, a fruit-grower in Australia, and editor of the Mildewa Irrigationist. He marred Catherine, daughter of William Mackenzie, C,E., New South Wales; (4) Robert Davidson, Surgeon-Major Bengal Army. He married Mary, daughter of Surgeon-General Mackay, Madras Army, of the family of Bighouse, with issue. (5) James, M.D., practising in Inverness. He married Cecil, daughter of John Scott, S.S.C., Toronto, with issue - two daughters, Violet Cecil, and Janetta. (6) Edward Mackenzie, an indigo planter at Mungulghur Tirhoot, who in 1893 married Annie Isabel Kingsburgh, second daughter of General John Macdonald, Cheltenham, great-great-grandson of the famous Flora Macdonald. (7) Alfred Aberdein, an indigo planter in Tirhoot. He married Kathleen, daughter of John Fraser Mackenzie of Belsund, Tirhoot, with issue - a son Colin. (8) Mary Jane Elsie, who on the 5th of December, 1883, married John Hamilton Fasson, Bengal Civil Service, with issue - Herbert, born in 1885; Elsie Isabel and Hilda. (9) Isabella Leslie.


KENNETH, VII. of Kintail, had a fourth son by his second marriage with Agnes of Lovat, from whom descended the families of Suddie, Inverlael, Little Findon, Ord, Langwell, Highfield, and several minor branches. The three first named being long extinct in the male line, it is needless to enter further into detail than is necessary to show their intermarriages with other Mackenzie families. The progenitor of these branches was known as

I. KENNETH MACKENZIE, first of Killichrist. He was Priest of Avoch, Chaunter of Ross, and perpetual Curate and Vicar of Coirbents, or Conventh. He resigned this vicarage into the hands of Pope Paulus in favour of the Priory of Beauly. There is a presentation by James, Bishop of Moray, to Mr Kenneth Mackenzie, of the vicarage of Conventh, dated June 27, 1518. ["Antiquarian Notes," p. 100] He has a charter of the lands of Suddie from James V. in 1526. He would not refrain from marriage, notwithstanding the orders of the Roman Church promulgated some time previously, and the Bishop attempted to depose him with the result described at pp. 107-108. He married Helen, daughter of Robert Loval of Balumbie, Forfarshire; his brother, John of Killin, IX. of Kintail, and his wife's father being parties to the contract of marriage, dated 1539, by which it was agreed that in case of his decease before her she is to have an annuity of 600 merks Scots and other perquisites. By her Kenneth had issue -

1. Alexander, his heir and successor.

2. Thomas, of Kinlochluichart, afterwards I. of Ord.

History Of The Mackenzies - 94/115

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