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MacGregor Family History & Ancestry

Family Crest Motto: ‘S RIOGHAL MO DHREAM (Royal is my race)

Let me unveil the tapestry of your family’s history, the MacGregors, with the winds of time whispering through each chapter. Your ancestral path unfolds through the breathtaking landscapes of Glenstrae, Glenlochy, and Glenorchy. As modern historians align in agreement, the figure that crystallizes your lineage is Gregor ‘of the golden bridles’, whose legacy stands as the first acknowledged chief. It was Gregor’s son, Iain Camm, also known as ‘One-Eye’, who succeeded as the second chief, a mantle he assumed before the year 1390.

Amid the echoes of history, Robert the Bruce’s pen granted the barony of Loch Awe, encompasing vast swathes of MacGregor lands, to the chief of the Campbells, igniting a tumultuous period for your family. The Campbells pursued and harried, pushing your family to retreat further into their territories, until the refuge of Glenstrae became their dominion. Yet, as the shadows of time danced, Iain of Glenstrae’s departure in 1519 bore no direct heirs, shifting the narrative. The Campbells championed Eian’s claim, who bore the connection of marriage to the daughter of Sir Colin Campbell of Glenorchy. Eian’s lineage continued, with his son Alistair standing strong at the Battle of Pinkie in 1547, only to be eclipsed by his subsequent passing.

A saga of resistance emerges, personified by Gregor Roy MacGregor, who contested Colin Campbell of Glenorchy’s supremacy, igniting a decade-long conflict. But as fate would have it, a life of outlaws and clandestine sheltering became Gregor’s plight, marked by cattle raids and the refuge of remote glens. The pages of time turned to 1570, with the Campbells finally seizing him and ending his journey. Then, in April 1603, a proclamation reverberated through the kingdom, decreeing the name MacGregor “altogether abolished” under penalty of death, a somber verdict etching the history of Clan Gregor into darkness. The gallant Macgregor and his chieftains met the gallows at the Mercat Cross in Edinburgh, their fate sealed in January 1604. The dispersion was profound, as the MacGregors scattered, adopting new identities like Murray or Grant, becoming the ‘Children of the Mist’.

Centuries unfolded, and Rob Boy MacGregor, born in 1671, a scion of Glengyle, walked a tumultuous path, compelled to bear his mother’s name of Campbell. His adventurous life was enshrined in Sir Walter Scott’s work, “Rob Roy”, a romanticized narrative of his struggles. The annals of history attest to Rob Roy’s thorn in the Government’s side. Amidst the resonance of the Stuart standard in 1715, Rob Roy embraced the Jacobite cause, albeit on his own terms, carving his legacy after the Battle of Sheriffmuir. He transcended into legend, leaving behind a trail of tales and a final resting place in Balquhidder’s churchyard after his passing in 1734.

The era of persecution against Clan Gregor found its conclusion in 1774, when the laws against them were finally cast aside, a beacon of hope casting light upon your lineage. The dawn of change arrived with a petition bearing the names of over eight hundred MacGregors, declaring General John Murray of Lanrick the rightful chief. This remarkable leader was, in fact, a MacGregor, descending from Duncan MacGregor of Ardchoille, who passed away in 1552. With each step through history, your family’s legacy shines brightly, a tale of resilience and triumph against adversity.

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Family Crest Motto: ‘S RIOGHAL MO DHREAM (Royal is my race)

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