Sunday, 22 January 2017

Dunderave Part Two

Who lived at Dunderave after the departure of the MacNaughtons? We know the castle and at least part of the attached lands was given to Campbell of Arkinglas, but I've seen no suggestion that he lived there. Surely someone was installed to run the place and collect rents? This link Records of Argyll discusses the published work of a later Campbell where it's told that a John Campbell, a relative of the Duke of Argyll, came to live there. We also know from this link Campbell of Inverneill about further Campbells who lived there in the mid 1700s.

From the book "Records of Argyll": This is how the MacNaughton lands were distributed among the Campbells:
 “MacNaughton had feued off Glenshera before he left; and it was said that Argyll and the Hon. John Campbell of Mamore had lent MacNaughton money, on the security of the estate. However, Ardkinglas got the estate from and including Dunderave to the head of Glen Fyne (Gleann-fine). Argyll got Ben Buie (Beinn-bhuidhe, which means Yellow Hill) and Ben-an-tean (Beann-an-t-sìthein), and the feu-rent or superiority of all Glenshera and part of Glenaray (Gleann-aora); and Mamore got Achnatrabh (Acha-na-tràghad), Stron, and Blar-uisdein (Hugh’s Ground)—pronounced Blar-ain—a farm with two tenants on the hillside above the upper end of the Dùloch, east side, where some of the foundations of the buildings are still to be seen. Who resided in Dunderave after MacNaughton left, or if anyone, is perhaps not now known. But long after, Mamore came to reside there, and found Achnatrabh himself, and resided there until he became Duke.”
NOTES: "feu" refers to a perpetual lease on a fixed rent. Verb: to grant land on a feu lease.
"Found" means established. Today we would say "founded".
"Acha-na-traghad" is today saID TO to be Achnitraid - then as now, it was remote crofting country. However it's not in Argyll.
"Resided there until he became Duke" may refer to Achnatrabh, though there's no present day stately home in Achnitraid, so it's not clear where this would be.
"Stron" could be present-day Strone, which is in Argyllshire.
 So here we have Arkinglas acquiring Dunderave which perhaps was uninhabited for a while. Then a relative, Campbell of Mamore ((c.1660 – 9 April 1729), came to live there. It's not clear whether this was the first-mentioned John Campbell of Mamore, or a later Campbell of Mamore. Presumably this was before 1855, the date of publication of the book. Anyway, the same became Duke - of what? Arkinglas? Argyll? 

 Aha!  Hon.John Campbell of Mamore had a son also called John Campbell (1693 – 9 November 1770) who did become 4th Duke of Argyll after the death of his cousin in 1761. However, he had a military career and it's hard to imagine how he managed to rise to the rank of General while languishing at Dundarave in the Scottish Highlands.
John Campbell, 4th Duke of Argyll, looking very posh.
His son led the "Duke of Argyll's Men" at the Battle of Culloden Moor.

Must remember the story of who lived there is drawn from memories and oral history - people can be confused with each other. 

Let's assume for the time being there were Campbells of Mamore living at Dundervae from when it changed hands in 1695 until 1760. Well that's a large part of Patrick Campbell of Dunderave's life! (1695 - 1774)

Here's another Campbell who lived at Dunderave: James Campbell, his wife Elizabeth (nee Fisher) and their sons James, Archibald and Donald. They lived at Dunderave during Archibald's childhood and he was born 1739, so let's say up until 1750. Archibald and his big brother James (the heir) were both soldiers who served overseas. Did their parents continue to live at Dunderave? We don't know.

It looks like they were living there around the same time as the Campbells of Mamore !? I guess that's possible. It seems they were all there at the time of the 1745 Jacobite uprising.

Interesting snippet from "Records of Argyll" (*2)
It was stated by old people in general that Glenshera turned out in 
I 7 I 5 eighty soldiers for John Roy Campbell, second Duke of Argyll's army, 
at Sheriffmuir (Sliabh-an-t-siorraim) ; and turned out forty soldiers, who 
followed the Hon. John Campbell of Mamore and his son, Colonel John 
Campbell, at Culloden (Cuil-fhodair] in the "Forty-five" (afterwards fourth 
and fifth Dukes of Argyll respectively). 

Note: Col. John Campbell may also be referred to as Jack Campbell.

So the Jacobite rising of 1745 occurred when:
Colonel John Campbell of Mamore (later 4th Duke of Argyll) was 52 yrs.
His son, John "Jack" Campbell (later 5th Duke of Argyll) was 22 years.
Patrick Campbell of Dunderave was 50 yrs.
Archibald Campbell of Inverneill was 6 yrs.

Patrick's children were probably old enough to go with the Campbells of Mamore to Culloden. Did they?

1. Book: "Records of Argyll, Legends, Traditions and Recollections of Argyllshire" by Archibald Campbell 1885
2. Full text of (1.) online at : Full Text of "Records of Argyll"
3. Knapdale People - Campbell of Inverneill 
4. Wikipedia - John Campbell, 4th Duke of Argyle 

Monday, 16 January 2017


Wow! If you're going to have an ancestral home, make sure it's idyllically positioned on a beautiful loch and, preferably, still standing. I can't claim that Dunderave Castle is my ancestral home, however, though one of my ancestors lived there or thereabouts. 

Built by the MacNachten/MacNaughton Chiefs in the 16th Century, the Castle was acquired by the Campbells of Arkinglas.

The castle is now privately owned.
Dunderave fell into disrepair and was restored during the early 20th century.
Dunderave is still associated with the MacNaughtons and it's hard to find any reference to it during the period after it was acquired by the Campbells in about 1690 - 1720. The macNaughtons had supported the Jacobites and one version of the history is that their property was confiscated and handed to the Campbells. However the MacNaughtons like to tell a story about how their chief was persuaded to marry a Campbell. He fancied the younger of two sisters but somehow there was a mix-up and the MacNaughtons say he was "tricked" into marrying the elder. He subsequently ran away to Ireland with the younger sister and set up a new clan seat, called Dundarave, in Ireland. 

My ancestor Patrick Campbell and possibly his wife Ann and daughter Beatrix came to Dunderave after it was acquired by Campbell of Arkinglas. Arkinglas was a newly created Duchy, a lesser branch of the family of the Duke of Argyll (chief honcho of Clan Campbell). The Duchy of Arkinglas became extinct after only two generations. Sir James Campbell, second Duke of Arkinglas, was the owner of Dunderave and our Patrick must have had some connection to him to get a mention in Burke's landed Gentry ("of Dunderave"). The Duke was a parliamentarian for Argyllshire 1708 - 1704. He died in 1752, aged 86. So far I've had no luck finding out who lived in his castle at Dunderave.

Saturday, 31 December 2016

The Campbell Connection

Well now we know why every descendant of Beatrice Campbell Murdoch had the name "Campbell" inserted somewhere. Those Campbells were damn proud of who they were; the most powerful, numerous and aquisitive of the Scottish Clans, they say. 
Here's a nice Clan Campbell cap badge on a background of clan tartan. You can order one from Scottish Clans

According to Burke's Landed gentry Beatrice was the daughter of Patrick Campbell, "of Dunderave in Argyllshire". Finding out more is proving a challenge. Campbells liked to marry other Campbells and the same popular christian names - Archibald, Colin, Patrick, Dugald or Douglas - were passed down through the generations.

A site called Scotland's People  has proven helpful and I have nailed down a Patrick Campbell "sometime in Inverchaggernay, thereafter at Dundrave, parish of Kilmorich". His death was noted in the Argyll Commissary Court records as 2nd October 1774. He had a wife called Ann or Anne and a daughter, Beatrix who married a James Murdoch.

Now here arise a couple of those semantic puzzles that I love:  Dundrave and Inverchaggernay. Old Scots names had their origins in Gaelic, and various English spellings have been used. I have come across Dunderawe; Dunderamh; Dundarawe; Dundaramh for Dunderave Castle but I never thought of searching for Dundrave. However it's clearly the same place. But where on earth is Inverchaggernay? The best I can do is the parish of Inverchaolain. Searching Inverchaolain (pron "inver-hool-ain" turns up an old Ordinance book that mentions "Mr Campbell" of "South Hall". Could this be our Patrick's family? But why did he go to live at Dunderave?

Dundaramh; Dundarave; Dundarawe; Dunderamh; Dunderawe - See more at:
Dundaramh; Dundarave; Dundarawe; Dunderamh; Dunderawe - See more at:

Gartincaber Part Two

Gartincaber Part Two

Just to throw me off track again, Burke's Landed Gentry has this account of whose marriage turned Murdoch to Burn-Murdoch (unless Sarah and Anne Maule Murdoch are the same person. I'm ready for anything.)

 JoH.N BiRN-McRDOCH, Esq. of Gartincaber, co. Perth, Hig-
trins Neuck, and Easter Greenyards, co. Stirling, J. P. and
C.L., 6. 28 Aug. 1793; vi. 18 April, 1820, Anne Maule, only
child and heir of William Murdoch, Esq. of Gartincaber, and
on his marriage assumed the additional surname of Murdoch,
and d. 2i Aug. 1862, having had issue by her (who d. 21 Dec.

My transcription (and I've been wrong before).
John Burn-Murdoch of Gartincaber, county Perth, Higtrins Neuck, and East(er) Greenlands, county Stirling, Justice of the Peace and C.L., born 28 Aug 1793, married 18th April 1820, Anne Maule, only child and heir of William Murdoch Esq. of Gartincaber, and on his marriage assumed the additional surname of Murdoch, and died 21st August 1862, having had issue by her.

Hmmm. So who is Capt James' sister "Sarah of Gartincaber" if she's not the one who was forced to marry Mr Burns?

Puzzle solved. After examining Burke's Landed Gentry again, and working on my spreadsheet of 37 Murdochs, I discovered it was Anne, ,daughter of Sarah, who had to marry John Burn because she was an only child. 

"Sarah of Gartincaber" was only "of Gartincaber" because she married William of Gartincaber. Though her birth name was Murdoch, she was from a different line of Murdochs altogether, as was her brother, Captain James C. 

So many Jameses, and Murdochs marrying each other, no wonder one gets confused.

So Capt James and his sister Sarah had a father, James Murdoch Esq from who knows where?? We only know (from Mr Burke) that he married Beatrice Campbell, daughter of Patrick Campbell of Dunderave, County Argyllshire. Now we're in Campbell Country.

Thursday, 29 December 2016


That death notice for "Alexander" Murdoch has proven a puzzle, but here's a bit that's fallen into place: "Garton/Gorton/Yarton, Cabra/Cuba, County Dune" = Gartincaber, County Doune. The memorial to Capt James C. Murdoch in Kilmadock churchyard was erected by James' "sister Sarah of Gartincaber". In fact, she was of Gartincaber House, apparently the Murdoch family seat! This page is a mine of anecdotes:

Comments on Gartincaber House, Kilmadock

Gartincaber was purchased in 1735 from a family called Doig, by an Archibald Murdoch? who became known as "the Laird". The family is listed in Burke's peerage under "Landed Gentry". (I wonder where the money to buy the property came from?) It was handed down through two generations; then there was an interesting development, as noted by Noel Burn-Murdoch, a direct descendant:
 The house passed to the Burn-Murdoch family when Sarah Murdoch married John Burn who owned the next door estate of Coldoch. Joining the names was a requirement of the inheritance.
 So the father of Sarah and Captain James C., one William Murdoch, entailed the property in such a way that a child of his could only inherit it if they married someone from the local Burn family. How extraordinary. And why? Was Sarah his only living offspring at the time? While it was not uncommon for women to be required to marry as a condition of inheritance, it's pretty unusual for them to be told who they must marry. Perhaps William felt the Burn family would take good care of the property: perhaps he owed them a debt of gratitude or they may have even been family. I doubt this will was made while James was still alive. Surely William would have been glad to pass the estate to James the military hero? James died fairly young, though. Still, couldn't the property have passed to James' son? William, for whatever reason, thought not. One can imagine Colin departing to the colonies, hoping to get the last laugh by doing well in Australia.
 So Sarah married Mr Burn, who agreed to take the name Murdoch and the Burn-Murdochs occupied Gartincaber until the mid 20th Century. It's still standing, beautifully restored as a guest house.  (Update: Noel Burn-Murdoch was confused. It was Anne Murdoch, daughter of Sarah, who married John Burns. See next post)


Gartincaber House Today. It is a B Listed building.

Captain James C. Murdoch of the 91st Highlanders

My instincts did not err. The father of Colin Campbell Murdoch was indeed the Capt James C. mentioned in my previous post! Seems Alexander was a myth! No wonder he was so hard to find. My niece Kirrily arrived at Capt. James C from a completely different starting point. Here's what she found:

" . . . born in Kilmadock, Perth, Scotland.

His military career began as an ensign in June 1806. He became a Lieutenant in 1807 and a Captain in 1810. He also served with the 56th Regiment of Foot.

With the 91st, Captain Murdoch was present at the Peninsular Wars, the Pyrenees and Waterloo . . . his presence at Waterloo is noted in several books. He was notably part of the Walcheren Campaign in 1809, where he contracted, and luckily prevailed [over] Walcheren Fever.

Whilst in France, he married a French woman, with whom he returned to Scotland following his service abroad. Their eldest son Colin . . . was born in France.

In 1833 Captain James Campbell Murdoch died and was buried in Scotland." (Source: Rebecca S. Whomever she may be.)

 Transcription of above: MURDOCH,
James Campbell
Captain, 91st Regiment of Foot [aka 91st Highlanders; 91st Argyll/Argyllshire Highlanders]
Obelisk:Kilmadock churchyard, Kilmaddock, Perthshire, Scotland (Photograph)


Ensign 18th June 1806, Lt 20th May 1807, Capt 29th November 1810. Served in the Peninsula Jan - Oct 1813. Present in the Pyrenees, Present in the Waterloo Campaign where he was present at Hal, the Seige of Cambrai and with the Army of Occupation. Also served at Walcheren 1809.
I had a suspicion that if James was our man, that C. would stand for Campbell, and it does! I wonder who else Kirrily has tucked away in her family tree? Was James' father an Alexander perhaps? And what more do we know of the persistent affinity to the Campbells? 

i) James C would have served under a Colonel Duncan Campbell.
ii) Walcheren Fever wiped out a huge number of those stationed there. It had a lasting effect with relapses of fever and debilitation. Wellington refused to have any men who had suffered the fever serving under him. (Wikipedia)


The 91st wore a distinctive, tasseled sporran.

Don't know the regiment but just love the photo.

Wednesday, 28 December 2016

91st Argyll Highlanders

What if 92nd Highlanders was wrong? Here's my train of thought:

Alexander's son Colin Campbell Murdoch was born in Ile de France (the province that includes Paris) during the Allied occupation of France following Napoleon's defeat at Waterloo. This places Alexander probably in France at that time. A number of British regiments were posted there but according to my research, the 92nd Gordon Highlanders was not among them. However, the 91st Argyll Highlanders was. (See this Blog: Colin Campbell.)  Note the connection to the Campbells: the Duke of Argyll was always a Campbell. Alexander had some connection of loyalty to the Campbells: he named his son Colin Campbell Murdoch and the name has passed down through the generations. Considering the above death notice was made by Alexander's great grandchildren, could it be that they made a mistake about his regiment and said 92nd when they should have said 91st? Or could there have been an error in the transcription?  Also, Alexander may have served in more than one regiment. (Update: See next Post)

A further thought: could the family pride in Alexander be because he died in battle or was decorated? If so, lists of those soldiers are a bit easier to find.

In the meantime, here's a Murdock who served in the 91st Argyll Highlanders. If his name had been Alexander he would have done very nicely. Source: Full text of "Historical records of the 91st Argyllshire Highlanders, now the 1st Battalion Princess Louisa's Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders, containing an account of the Regiment in 1794, and of its subsequent services to 1881" (Google) (
MURDOCH: James C. - Ensign, 18th June 1806; Lieutenant 28th May 1807; Captain, 29th November 1810. Was present at Waterloo [The 91st were on standby but were not called on to fight]. To half-pay 1819.
 From Forces War Records:
MURDOCH Alexander (Private) 1857 Unit unknown
MURDOCH Alex (Serjeant) 1803 East Fife Volunteers (militia)
Alexr Murdoch (Private)  1800 9th (Royal Perthshire) North . . .  (militia)

 Next - search Forces War records for Murdoch - periods after Napoleonic.