Monday, May 23, 2011

Clan Ian Ruadh -- MacDonalds of Loup ca 1500

The Clan Ian Ruadh  [Clan John Roy] Ca 1500    MacDonalds of Loup 

Received the following 2 e mail in December 2010, which I have been mulling them over ever since. And came up with the following observations

see below messages for my response, observations from my perspective

On 2010-12-04, at 7:01 AM, evelyngoulet @ wrote:
Hi Alex, I included an excerpt from a Gravestone of Glengarry book on the webpage as part of my Story of the Week, and mentioned your upcoming updated Vol. 3.

Also, one of my fellow Finlaggan Councillors, an expert in the Macdonnells of Leinster, etc., has provided many historic references that contradict the Clan Donald, 1904 assertion that the Macdonalds of Loupe (and the MacAllisters) descend from Angus Mor's son, Alasdair Og, not Alasdair Mor Angus Mor's brother. I have quite a bit of research to do now to ascertain the correct line (hopefully without generation gaps). Do you have any information either way apart from Clan Donald, 1904?

Best regards,

Evelyn Goulet, Castle Tioram
Finlaggan Council
Clan Donald International
Host, Glengarry County Genweb

 December 22, 2010 6:46:33 AM PST
Hello Alex,

I see that you have written a few articles on the History of the MacDonalds of Loup and Clan Ian Ruadh.  I was wondering if if you had ever thought about combining these articles into one complete package?  If all of your writings on the subject were combined would it give the reader a clear idea of what exactly it means to be a MacDonald of Loup as well as a member of Clan Ian Ruadh, not just in regard to the family line but also the geographical, political,and historical context?  As well, do you have any sort of bibliographical on Ian Ruadh or any other persons from the Line?

Hope you have a great Christmas.

Peter MacDonald

My response to the above questions/statements

This is my starting point. I do not know if I am right or wrong. I simply offer these observations from my perspective of what I am presently aware off. Yes, there are glitches & questions all along the way.

One thing I have defenitely noticed over the years is that even when the dates, the names are correct, it doesn't always mean that the people are the right people. Making sure that the people are the right people for that particular aspect can take a lot of time in the elimination process.

I seem to be one of the people who designed these MACDONALDS AS THE MACDONALDS OF LOUP. This came about after being given a copy of a diary which I designated as Fr John MacDonald's diary of Deaths which I got from Sister Claire MacDonell of St Raphaels in the late 1970's. This diary I copied over as  from the copy that Sister Claire lent me.   A lot on my own ancestors are listed in this Diary.  As I studied it, it dawned on me that my MacDonald  were from the MacDonalds that went back to Alastair Mor of Loup, thus the name THE MACDONALD OF LOUP

I am also going on the assumption and perspective that Fr John MacDonald 1792 - 1879 was a competent & knowledgeable person and was well acquainted with the people of his parish at St Raphael's and their families both alive and past. The live people because he lived with them. The past, dead one because of various family relationships that grew from the verbal family history that no doubt many of the this live people had of their ancestry.  That Fr John would not knowingly record any misleading family genealogy

Back in this time period prior to the 1850's I would say, there were traditions that some family members were the keepers of family history, most of which was verbal. Yes,  there was no doubt that there was written stuff around, but not to many of the ordinary folk, many of whom did not read or write would have such stuff.  Fr John comes across a being a somewhat  very particular person for detail in this regard.   As a priest he married  many MacDonalds and others who were related either as 1st, 2nd or 3rd cousins, but mostly in the 3rd & 4th degree of consanguinity, relationship wise. Since a special dispensation was required for these marriages of be accomplished, I am assuming that, that in part lead to his delving into the genealogy of the people more deeply.

Fr John's Diary goes from 1819 - 1866 before there were very many official government BMD in existence in that part of Ontario where St Raphael's was located.

If the reader choses not to give any credence or validity to these observation, assumptions, perspectives then the following will make little sense. This is above all the glitches and questions that come up.

Thus, taking Fr John MacDonald as a reliable & trustworthy as well as a knowledgeable person in his responsibility as a parish priest  & in his recordings of family lines, I have to assume that in no way was he trying to be fraudulent or misleading in what ended up as being designated  " Fr John's Diary"

The copy of Fr John's Diary that Duncan Darby MacDonald produced was based on my initial work.  Duncan Darby got this info from a Joan whose last name I think was Griffin of California. Joan had helped me sort out Fr John's entries and when that was finished I allows her to keep a copy for her own use.  Somehow Duncan Darby end with that result which he published.

I got a copy of this Fr John's Diary in the mid late 1970's which was about 100 years after his death. One of the serious glitches as the recording were transcribed by who ever over the years was how the original gaelic names were written & turned into rubbish, making some entries impossible to properly decipher.

On the whole I have found the enteries in the diary to be very accurate.

On the whole I have deliberately stayed away from other sources other the Fr John Diary, area church & obituaries. As with  a fair amount of the surfing Rhoda does online, there simply has been too many misrepresentations of the information of the various families shown in what ever form. This does not mean I have not looked at some of it. Duncan Darby MacDonald fell into this trap based on the number of request I got questioning his work. I, myself might have also fallen into this trap whether or not I am aware of it.

I know how easy it is to get mixed up on the common names and like the John MacDonald "King" & his wife Catherine MacDonell the parents of Henrietta MacDonell 1772-1848 wife of Peter MacDonell son of Angus of Allan [the Lundie line] & John & Catherine MacDonald the parents of Nancy ca 1788 - 1820 the mother of the 4 Sandfield brothers,  is just one of the many sample of this.  Both of these sets of John's & Catherines lived in the same time period Ca 1800, apparently lived not to far from each other, probably knew each other. Here you have to prove, sort out what you desire to eliminate so you can confirm the accuracy of what puzzle you are actually desiring to solve in a particular family.

Any of the Loup MacDonald charts, similar to the one I have which my father found at Neilly Austin R MacDonald sale in mid 1972 from the 5th concession of Lancaster and which we/I have had ever since. I have no idea who is responsible for the making of the Loup chart or the time period it was made.  My guess was prior to 1950. Also from what Peter has indicated it was in existence in the early 1940's. I suspect that possible Mgrs Ewen J MacDonald of Alexandria, parish priest had a hand in its construction, but this is only an assumption.

The "Clan Ian Ruadh"I am assuming that is the Ian Ruadh the son of Neal on the Loup chart. Neal who lived ca 1500 - Ca 1576. If this assumption is accurate, then as such, this is a common aspect in families, that as part of a family line a name designated was developed as is now know  for the ardnabi sept, Scotus, Ian Ruadh Aberchalder and so on.

From all that I am presently aware off, this  "Clan Ian Ruadh" is part of the MacDONALDS OF LOUP.  Here you, Peter, I, Alex W Fraser,  the both Fr John MacDonalds and 1000's of other people [MacDonalds] belong in one way or another to this line. If there is a different "Clan Ian Ruadh" then the questions wasn't specific enough to provide a different answer.  Fr John MacDonald 1792-1879 of Fr John's  diary came from a family of 14 children born over a period from 1778 to 1806.

Whether the MACDONALDS OF LOUP IS a correct designation for this group of MacDonald is another question. It is simply a designation, yes it can be a mistake. Nevertheless the people in the group of MacDonalds doesn't Change.

This group of MacDonalds has also be designated as the Clan Ranald, but again, from what i am aware of, the Clan Ranald Macdonald started 3 or more generations after the LOUP MACDONALDS. Since every Male of the Loup MacDonald line that got married, whose wife was a Macdonald, it can not be much of a surprise that some of these people would & can claim to be descendent of the Clan Ranald, the Lundie, Ardnabi, etc.

Peter mentioned that I did some articles on the Loup MacDonald, which I have forgotten all about, so I better go revisit them. This was probably done almost 30 years ago.

Over the past 40 years in doing my own research and at least 95% of it has been based on Fr John's Diary and the St Raphael's BMD with the intention of only dealing with the previous 200 years, from the early-mid 1700's to the present.  Like everything else, there is always questions that grab you for solving the puzzle that exist before this late 1700's time period.  Most of the marriages of cousins will always take you back into that time period.

Here are some entries from My original copy of Fr John's Diary before I made any additions and are from 3 difference lines 2 of which overlap from the MacDonald of Loup Chart. Here I have just gleaned the longer lines from Fr John's Diary, rather than linking various lines together to link into these 3 lines from the Loup Chart to Neal [11].

Any place I have a CA  is simply a reference year point which is not meant to be accurate in any sense of the word. It is simply a reference point that can be adjusted when additional information becomes available. This CA is always subject to change.

1]  1847 August 19  (1)Isabel MD age 16 d of (2)John son of (3)Angus of (4)Duncan of (5)John son of (6)John of (7)Duncan of (8)Duncan of (9)John of (10)Rod of (11)John Roy son of (12)Neal, St Andrew's

In the above entry [1] the year is 1847 which has a list of 12 generations starting with Isabel at age 16. Thus I estimate the time of Neal generation 12 ca 1500 give or take 25. The the time period between Neal & Isabel is about 347 years. Thus a generation comes out at 28.91 years.

2] 1855 April 2  In Lancaster 8C N17 (1)Kenneth MD age 33 son of (2)Neal son of (3)Angus son of (4)Norman son of (5)Angus of (6)Neal of (7)Angus of (8)Dougald of (9)Rod of (10)John Roy of (11)Neal, says Captain Neal ban MacDonald

In this entry [2] the year is 1855 which has a list of 11 generations starting with Kenneth at age 33.  I estimate the time of Neal generation 11 ca 1500 give or take 25. The the time period between Neal & Kenneth is about 355 years. Thus a generation comes out at 29.58 years.

3] 1856 Nov 23    In Charlottenburg 8C N15 (1)Marjory MD age 35 1/2 dau of (2)Donald ban son of (3)Angus  son of  (4)Donald son of (5)Angus son of (6)Neal son of (7)Angus son of (8)Dougal son of (9)Rod son of (10)John Roy [Ian Ruadh] son of (11)Neal son of (12)Alex son of (13)Donald a Isla 1204-1249

In this entry [3] the year is 1856 which lists 13 generations starting with Marjory MD at age 35.5. The tentative time period of Donald a Isla is 1204 -1249. Say from 1230 to 1856 is 626 years.  If the estimate of the time when Neal lived is ca 1500 and Donald a Isla was living ca 1230, then there is a 270 year gap between generation [11] Neal and generation [12] Alex son of [13]Donald a Isla. That would indicate that there is missing about up to 8 generations. This would also tentatively indicate that the estimated time period I have for Neal is out anywhere from 50 to 100 years.

The Loup chart has 5 generations between [11]Neal the father of Ian Ruadh and Alistair Mor Laird of Loup son of Donald a Isla. Eight generations in total. The period  between Neal & Alex son of Donald a Isla has to have 5 or more generations in it regardless of the correct names or the positions of those names.

Going down from Donald a Isla for 8 generations Donald to Neal at an average of 30 years per generations would cover 240 years  putting Neal as the 8th generation in the time period of between 1470 & 1525 rather time period which is roughly my estimate.

Since it is tentatively believed that all the MACDONALDS come from Donald  a Isla 1204-1249 who had 2 sons Angus Mor Lord of The Isles and Alastair Mor Laird of Loup, then the MacDonald of loup had to come from one of these sons, regardless of which one the lines back to Neal ca 1500 would still be the same. The line back from Neal [11] to Angus mor or Alastair mor would be whatever it is regardless of what is listed on the Loup Chart or in the Clan Donald volume 3 1904 genealogy.  Since this is way out of my jurisdiction I will leave it to others to further confuse the issue, or straighten it out as the case may be.  If that ever happens, getting this line before Neal[11] straighten out, it would be nice to be informed of the discrepancies etc of the result as compared to what is in place now.

This Neal[11] from the above is 15 generations back from, me, Alex W Fraser and based on on my research, I have no reason at all to believe any of the names in this line to be inaccurate or out of place.

4] 1864 July 24 In Charlottenburg 9C N10 (1)Mary MacDonald age 28 d of (2)Duncan of (3)John of (4)Donald of (5)Angus of (6)Neal of (7)Angus of (8)Dougal of (9)Rod of (10)John Roy of (11)Neal
From St Raphael's RC BMD
S42 Mary M'Donald
On the 26th day of July 1864 the body of Mary McDonald daughter of Donald and Catherine McDonald Charlottenburg 9C N10 was buried in the cemetery of St Raphael's. She died on the 24th instant aged 27 years.
John Masterson

In this entry [4] the year is 1864 and lists 11 generations starting with Mary MacDonald at age 28.  I estimate the time of Neal generation[11] ca 1500 give or take 25. The the time period between Neal & Mary is 364 years. Here a generation comes out at 33.09 years per generation.

Many families had anywhere from 5 to 15 plus kids over 15 to 30 year period.  My mother Grace MacDonald who was born in 1910 was the youngest of 11 children. She was 18 years younger than her older sister Jessie who was born in 1892. My mother was born in 1910 & died in 1982 & her grandfather Black William was born in 1804-1879. This is 3 generations, thus an average of 35.33 years per generation. Black William, a magistrate/JP at St Eugene, Ontario area was the son of Alex [Alex has so far proved on the elusive side to me. He  married a Mary McDougal at  St Raphaels prior to 1805] son of Duncan UEL 1743-1836 [Duncan came from a family of 10 children ] of John [this John's wife name was Catherine MacDonald] of Hugh of Ian Mor. From what I am aware of Duncan came to the USA prior to the American Revolution from the Knoydart area of Scotland on its west coast.  My mother remembers and or was told of walnut shell velvet line for holding jewelry that were suppose to have belong to Duncan 1743-1836 that the family had at one time and legal books that belonged to her grandfather Black William

5] here is an entry from St Raphael's RC  BMD in 1848 show 11 generations
D14 Roderick McDonald
The 19th day of March 1848 the undersigned Priest buried in the burial ground of St. Raphael's the body of Roderick McDonald the son of Angus McDonald son of Donald son of John son of John son of Duncan son of Duncan son of John son of Roderick son of John Roy son of Neal and of Catherine McDonald and husband of Flory McDonald. He departed in Charlottenburg 7th concession lot no. 13 the day before yesterday. He would be 73 years on the 22nd of next April.
John Macdonald M Ap

6] Here is another entry from St Raphael's for Duncan MacDonald the brother of Fr John
        On November 23rd 1865, the undersigned priest buried in the burial ground of St. Raphaels the body of Duncan MacDonald, husband of Jannet MacDonell of St. Raphaels and son of John MacDonald and of Nancy MacGillis. He departed at Williamstown the 21st of November at the age of 68 years 5 months and 20 days, being born the 1st of June 1797. He was a brother of the Reverend  Aeneas born September 29th 1779 - departed September 13th 1859, and of mine John born in June 1782, of Mary born May 12th 1784, of Donald  born November 19th 1786, of Catherine born April 19th 1790 died January 13th 1863, of Lachlin born May 12th 1792, of Margaret born March 24th 1795, himself said Duncan  born June 1st 1797 died 21st November 1865, the brother of Nancy born July 28th 1799, of Roderick born July 6th 1802, of Ewan [Eugene] born April 23rd 1805 died June 21st 1834; son of John Roy born February 1751 - died______ 1825, son of Donald born 1718 died  April 24th 1795, of Catherine MacGillis  born about 1724 - died February 1st 1803, about. The said Duncan was also a son of Nancy MacGillis born July 1st 1759 died January 15th 1847 at St. Andrews Ontario, daughter od Donald MacGillis born in 1731 died Friday 19th or 20th March 1801 and of Mary MacDonald born   _______ departed September 25th 1770.
    So as asserted as probably correct by the Reverend John MacDonald, the brother of deceased.

I will have to study Fr John's diary some more to see if I can find the names in any generation before Neal [11] In these observations I have limited myself to the MacDonald of Loup line.  Fr. John had other family lines of similar length, McGillis, McRae, Kennedy, McDougal.

Out of curiosity I did a family descendant chart of these Macdonalds I have on my reunion database from Neal the father of Ian Ruadh and it ended up 5 pages deep by 2320 pages long. Each page is 8.5 x 11 in landscape format. This if printed out would cover 11,600 pages. The total data base has 10853 entries April 2011

I also did a family history  report from Neal the father of Ian Ruadh   and it is over 500 pages
I also did a family history report from Somerled and it is just under 750 pages

So far from what I have gleaned from Fr John's Diary & the St Raphael's RC BMD is that the listing of the generations go back 10 to 12 generations to Ian Ruahd son of Neil ca 1500 or earlier.   The spread of names from Neil to Donald of the Isles, [ namely Angus Buidhe of Ewan of Chanes of Hector Og [An Ardarrn Loim] of Hector Ard of Alastair Mor Laird of Loup ] son of Donald of the Isles. These 6 generations that you state that are in contention came from charts & other sources that I am not aware of.

As far as I can tell the Clan Ian Ruadh is part of what I call the MacDonalds of Loup.

The above may or may not answer your question but I believe it is very fair to say that Fr John knew the people of his parish of St Raphaels and with them knew their family genealogy back10 to 12 generations and maybe more, even if there seems to be little evidence of it from these above 2 sources, Namely St Raphael's RC BMD & Fr John's Diary of deaths which definitely existed prior to the publication of the Clan Donald 3 volume history between 1896 & 1904.

Version 3 of my MacDonalds of Loup, Lundie & Fraser line & their connections is now basically finished with more than 11,111 entries
You can check out the name index here

Your Comments are also welcomed on these observations

Take care and God Bless
Alex W Fraser
Courtenay, BC
May 22/2011

Sep 1971 - Sep 2011 Alex W Fraser & Rhoda Ross preserving Glengarry County area History
Glengarry County area books


gazza mac said...

My name is garry macdonell, from australia.. my g-g-great grandfather John MacDonell and his wife Catherine Kennedy are buried in Auchterawe cemetery near Fort Austus Scotland, On their head stone it is stated that he belonged to the Clan Ian Ruadh.. one of his sons was named neil.
this is the first i have found anything on this clan

Alex W Fraser, Rhoda Ross said...

Garry, Thanks for your comment, nevertheless, if your read this reply I will require some additional details in order to assist you and even then I may not be able to do that. years or ca [approx] years of death of John & Catherine, names of all their children & spouses with years of birth deaths as well, did any of them come to Canada, eastern Ontario, and send this info to me info @ This index list for my MacDonalds of Loup, Lundie & Fraser line at may offer some slight guidance for name & date wise or may not. Looking forward to hearing back from you. Take care and God Bless Alex W Fraser, Courtenay, BC Canada 8/30/11