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Macfie Family History & Ancestry

Family Crest Motto: PRO REGE (for the king)

Let me share with you the intriguing saga of your family, the Macfarlanes. This surname, draped in the Gaelic charm of MacDhubhsith, resonates as ‘son of the dark man of peace’, as eloquently noted by George Black, a scholar of the early twentieth century. The English version of this Gaelic tale takes the form of MacDuffie. However, historical clarifications by clan historian Earle Douglas MacPhee have illuminated that the moniker ‘Clan Duffie’ was never part of your family’s legacy. Instead, it’s the mantle of ‘MacFie’ that your ancestors bore. The labyrinthine nature of language gifted your heritage an array of variations.

Though embellished with a fable involving a shape-shifting seal entrapped by the land, the beginnings of your lineage are likely rooted in Dubside, a Celtic priest whose descendants found solace on the enchanting isle of Colonsay. The Macphees of Colonsay, entrusted as the perpetual custodians of the records of the Lords of the Isles, offer a glimpse into the historical tapestry of your family. Legends weave tales of one of Colonsay’s chiefs, a stalwart in the service of the Lord of the Isles, who triumphed over Sir Gile de Argentine at the legendary Battle of Bannockburn in 1314.

The fifteenth century ushered in a formidable challenge as the Stewart monarchs sought to quell the influence of the Macdonalds and their compatriots. The rebellion of Sir James Macdonald in 1615, joined by Malcolm Macphee of Colonsay, kindled a blaze against the authority of the Earl of Argyll, representing the crown. The unfolding narrative finds Macphee and his confederates betrayed to the Campbells, coerced to bend before royal power. The chief of Colonsay’s tragic end in 1623 under layers of seaweed marked a somber chapter. Though dispossessed, the Macphees endured, finding their place under the wing of the Campbells and subsequently, the MacNeills of Crear, who assumed lordship over Colonsay.

The family’s odyssey carried them from Colonsay to Ayrshire in the early eighteenth century. Emerging as the affluent MacFies of Dreghorn, their prosperity blossomed from the sugar industry. Amid this wealth, some members adorned themselves with arms, while Robert Andrew McPhee took a seat as a Member of Parliament for Leith. Like seeds on the wind, numerous kin joined the diaspora, embarking on journeys to Ulster and then further to Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa. Among the constellation of personalities, George Washington McPhee’s presence stands out – a distinguished Canadian lawyer and statesman who graced the annals of history.

Among the tapestry of talents, Kathy Anne McPhee shines as a Scottish Gaelic singer and actor hailing from the island of Barra. Her path intertwined with the radical 7:84 theatre company, a testament to the enduring influence of your family’s lineage. As time has flowed, your kin united to form the vibrant Macfie Society, guided by the light of leadership. While a chief may remain elusive, your clan stands strong, united by a shared legacy and the echoes of an adventurous history.

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The Family Crest

Wherever in the world you live, embrace your family heritage and adorn your home with a timeless symbol of your family legacy with our crafted Family Crests.

Family Crest Motto: PRO REGE (for the king)

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