MacIvor’s and McGillivray’s of Sleat on the Isle of Skye

Whilst re-checking some research to share with someone I delved more into my McGillivray / MacIvor line. My 4 x great grandmother Ann MacIvor married Archibald McGillivray.  He was the son of Charles McGillivray and Marion McLean. Archibald died in the late 1830s but Ann living until 1857 at Teangue, Sleat on the Isle of Skye.  Her son Angus (my 3 x great grandfather) was the informant on her death certificate.  He gave her age as 94 and her parents as Kenneth MacIvor and Marion MacInnes.

Croft Teangue.jpg

Her ages in the 1841 and 1851 census were respectively 70 and 93. How old was she really? It is difficult to work out exactly. The baptism and marriage register for Sleat only survives from 1813. Ann and Archibald had eleven children all before the register began. By some of their marriage dates, when they started having children and the age given at their death I can work out rough birth dates for them.  Probably her first child was born around 1783.

This was Catherine who was born about 1783 according to her tombstone in Kenyon Presbyterian church, Dunvegan, Ontario in Canada.  She died on April 1, 1879 aged 96.  There was also a son born to Ann and Archibald, Alex, who was a soldier and is said to have ‘died young’. In all there are three out of the eleven children unaccounted for in death (or any other) records so their ages cannot be ascertained in any way.  Were they the eldest, youngest or in the middle?

Sleat, Isle of Skye

If I work on 1783 as being the birth of their eldest child I could surmise that Ann was born some time in the mid 1860s which fits in more with her age in the 1851 census and the age given at her death. What I am trying to do is work out how her father Kenneth fits in to the MacIvor family tree from Skye as most of this family migrated to America with McGillivrays from Sleat on the Isle of Skye to North Carolina. They will be the subject of another post.

Pocket Presbyterian church.jpg
Pocket Presbyterian Church, west of Sanford, North Carolina

Whilst looking through the copies of the land rentals I have for the McDonald estate on Sleat, I noticed another MacIvor family at Teangue, that of Duncan MacIvor.  Teangue is a small farm on the Sleat peninsular. In the census and parish records this family was listed as Campbell.  Many MacIvors changed their surname to Campbell around 1840.  What complicates this is that I also have a ‘true’ Campbell family whom married in to the same McGillivray famly living at Sleat.  Luckily each family has different naming traditions for their children. The Campbell’s are listed as Campbells in the land rentals.

Duncan MacIvor was born about 1766 according to his age in the 1841 census which was 75. As those aged over 15 in the 1841 census were rounded down to the nearest five years he could have been born from 1761 to 1766 (if his age was correctly given).  Unfortunately he had died by the 1851 census so I don’t have his approximate birth date or place from that and death certificates only began in 1855. He is likely to be a brother to Ann and a son of Kenneth due to the lack of MacIvors there and the proximity of the family (the same farm).  I have been able to identify four children for Duncan and his wife Barbara McKinnon.  They were Donald (married Catherine McKinnon), Roderick (married Ann McKinnon), John and Margaret. In all likely hood there were more children.

Isle of Skye view.jpg
Looking from Teangue to the mainland

Duncan took over the land at Teangue, Sleat previously tenanted by Rory Chisholm (husband of Catherine McGillivray, mentioned above), in between  them for eight years was Neil Buchanan whom I have not investigated yet, but I will. Between 1854 and 1864 this land was tenanted by Donald and Roderick MacIver (sons of Duncan).  In 1866 Donald MacIver shared the land with Malcolm MacInnes. This continued to 1877 when Donald’s name was corrected to Campbell and they shared the tenancy until 1887.  Then it went to Kenneth and Charles Campbell (sons of Donald) and Malcolm and Neil MacInnes.  Neil was the son of Malcolm. In 1906 it changed to Kenneth and Charles Campbell and Neil MacInnes. This changed in 1913 after the death of Kenneth to Charles Campbell and Neil MacInnes. In 1926 it changed to the heirs of Charles Campbell and Neil Campbell.

By 1933 the land was in the name of Christy MacInnes (the widow of Neil) and Catherine Nicolson, then in 1940 it was Norman Nicolson and Christy MacInnes.  The will of Charles was to Norman Nicolson, his nephew.  This (according to the land rentals) was an irregular will and this family is another one for me to investigate.

Isle of Skye - Sleat.jpg
Sleat, Isle of Skye

I have researched the family of Malcolm MacInnes to see if he had any ties to any of these families.  He was born in Strath about 1819 to Lachlan MacInnes and Grace McLennan.  Lachlan was a miller and his son Lachlan carried on this tradition.  Malcolm was a house carpenter as was his brother John.  Thus far no connection has been found between any of the families but there may be. The fact that the two families shared the tenancy makes me think there is a connection.

This is an example of researching collateral lines for the information they may or may not show up. There is more research to do on the family of Catherine McGillivray who married Roderick Ban Chisholm and migrated to Ontario, Canada.  (Another future post) There is still much to do on the MacIver (MacIvor) family. As I mentioned earlier there is the MacIvor / Campbell connection.  Archibald McGillvray’s (who married Ann Maciver) sister Ann married Samuel Campbell.  He was a Campbell, not a MacIver.  Ann Campbell (nee McGillivray) and Ann McGillivray (nee MacIver) shared the land at Teangue, Sleat in the 1840s. Her brother Donald McGillivray married Mary MacInnes which may be where the MacInnes family came in later. However their mother (Archibald, Ann and Donald McGillivray) was a MacInnes.  Then three sons of Archibald McGillivray and Ann MacIvor married MacInnes girls.

The early research into these families is based on two family trees that I have copies of.  One is a MacInnes family tree which happens to contain our McGillivray line and the other was written by a granddaughter of Archibald McGillivray and Ann MacIver.  The other sources are baptisms, marriages, censuses, land records etc.  Specific sources are available on request. You will notice that MacIver has been spelt a variety of ways as it is in the records.

As always I’d love to hear from any descendants of any of these families.  Do you have photos, documents, stories etc?  Please get in touch.


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