Mcgildonie, Mcildonie, Donie to Downie Surname

The surname spelt Mcgildonie or Mcildonie is almost unique to the Parish of Inverchaolain in Cowal. For a brief period of time, being forty years when baptism records were kept, albeit ‘imperfectly’ this surname can be seen as Mcgildonie, Mcildonie and Donie. This study contends that the surname was a derivation from Mac Gille Domhnaich, Mac Gille Donich, and Mcildonich and like other areas the surname developed into the present Downie. A Google map has been created that plots names and locations of various Downie families. The map can be viewed here, please note that it may take a minute to load due to the amount of data (Map).

The present research has identified that in the mid 1700’s there were a number of families with the surname of Mcildonie/Mcgildonie/Donie, they are mainly located along the shore of Loch Striven with a couple of families in other areas, but still in the Parish of Inverchaolain (Map). At the time that the various surnames were recorded there was a large percentage of the population who were illiterate. When recording birth surnames they were often spelt in a way that the Registrar heard it pronounced. For example in this review there are numerous occasions where the children’s surnames are all registered different from their parents, such as the child is a Downie, Dounie while the parents are recorded as Mcildownie and vice versa.

Due to the almost non-existent Baptism records keeping in the Parish of Inverchaolain the Mcgildonie, Mcildonie and Donie appear 1736 and disappeared 1761 from all births, marriage, deaths and census records. It should be noted that the population of Inverchaolain in 1755 was 944, in 1811 it was 588, and in 1841 it was 699. The Inverchaolain register began in 1737 but was kept imperfectly until 1771. Presbyterian and a Friendly Society are the churches in this parish (Reference) . This small window of time provides a snapshot of the Mcgildonie families in the Parish of Inverchaolain.

The surname all but disappears in total from Scottish records after the 1760's, with a couple of individuals with the Donie surname found in Glasgow as part of the 1851 census. The surname Donie can be found in the search of the 1911 Irish Census in which we see two Donie families in Antrim. It is my opinion that the family surnames changed as others of the period to that of Downie (See variations in surname spelling in the tab Downie Surname Derivations) and/or were cleared like so many others from the land.

The Clan Lamont has traditionally held the lands of the Cowal Peninsula, these cover what was the Parish of Inverchaolain. Clan Lamont recognises the surname Aldownie/y as one of its septs. It is my opinion that this sept name may be a derivative of the original spelling of McAldonich/Mcgilledonich or similar (pronounced McAldoE-ne), or from the odd corruption of the surname spelt McAldownie in Argyll (to date only two have been identified), but most likely from the unique spelling in Inverchaolain Parish of Mcildonie or Mcgildonie surname.

The Mcildonie surname can rarely be found outside of the Parish of Inverchaolain, but there are a number of Downie surname derivations that are unique to the various parishes owing mainly to the individual Registrars. Examination of the records held by Scotland’s people reveals one family that lived in Campsie changed from the surname Mcildonie to Downie. James Mcildonie married a Janet Henderson in 1698 at Campsie. Subsequently they had three children with which their surname changed from Mcildonie to Dounie and Downie:

05/03/1698 MCILDONIE JAMES JONET HENDERSON/FR145 MR Campsie
15/01/1710 DOUNIE JEAN JAMES DOUNIE/JONET DOUNIE FR213 U Campsie
14/10/1711 DOWNIE WILLIAM JAMES DOWNIE/JONET DOWNIE FR221 U Campsie
02/02/1718 DOUNIE KIRSTINE JAMES DOUNIE/JANET DOUNIE FR216 U Campsie

One of the key pieces of this proposition is the contention that the Mcildonie families changed their names to Downie is the work done by Martin (1999). Martin described that virtually all Gaelic names suffered mutilation to a greater or lesser degree, with surnames of Kintyre that are demonstrably Gaelic origin have ceased to be recognized as so, for example Downie. On the examination of the Downie surname in Kintyre Martin states that having considered all of the evidence that the likeliest form (of Downie) is, therefore, Mac Mhaol Domhnaich, which may – or may not- represent “son of the servant of the Lord”. Examples of the Downie surname in their Gaelic form includes Malcolme Mcildonie in Moy c.1635, Gilpatrick McOldonych in Gartgrellane and Gilnave McOldonych in Egill (Uigle) or Ochterane c.1630 (SLK); (SLK = Survey of the Lands of the Lordship of Kintyre c.1630/1653).

Further support for this naming convention comes from the official Clan Donald website describes Macildonie in Kintyre of Clan Donald, those not in Kintyre may be of Clans Cameron, Lamont, MacGregor or MacLean, with Macildonie derived from the Gaelic: Mac Mhaoil Domnhaigh - "son of the Lord's Dayservant" (Reference).

 

There is evidence of two different spellings of the same surname being:

  • MACOLDONIE JOHN 19/10/1695 IN MOLAY, IN CLACHANDYSART, D. MAR. 1694; MARY NICVERRIST, RELICT; JOHN, SON INVENTORY ARGYLL COMMISSARY COURT CC2/5/2 (Reference) and

 

  • M'Oldounie, John, in Molay, in Clachandysart, d. Mar. 1694;Mary N'Verrist, relict ; John, son 19 Oct. 1695 (Reference).

This is supported by Martin (1999) who states that Mcildonie in Argyll has been reduced to Downie (Dounie).  

 

 

There are a number of examples of one of the Downie surname derivation associated with the lands controlled by Clan Lamont:

The first comes from AN INVENTORY OF LAMONT PAPERS (1231-1897) Collected, Edited, and Presented TO THE SCOTTISH RECORD SOCIETY, BY Sir NORMAN LAMONT of Knockdow, Baronet, F.S.A.Scot. EDINBURGH: PRINTED BY J. SKINNER & COMPANY, LTD. 1914. p. 52.

On the 17th September 1472 in witness whereof the granter's seal was appended, the witnesses being Sir Alexander of Mernys, Sir Donald Campbell, James Stewart, brother of Sir Walter Steward of Scotland, John son of Gilbert, then Bailie of Both, Allan of Grimeslaw, clerk, etc." [circa 1325]. On which the said Cristin asked instruments. Done at Arde Lavmonde, after noon of the day aforesaid, before witnesses, John Donaldson M'Pherson, John M'Gilledonich, John M'Gillaspic, Duncan Donaldson Ewenson, Gillanes M'Gillelan, John M'Cauer, Duncan M 'Vicar, and Neil M'Artour M’Cavis, etc. The notary is Donald M'Gilleroi, presbyter of the diocese of Argyll (Reference).

Another example is one found in the Argyll Register of Inventories 1693-1702 and THE COMMISSARIOT OF ARGYLL Register of Inventories. In these documents it details Mclldonich, Meldonich, in Stronyerraig, par. of Dunoon, d. Mar. 1698; Mary Ochlerech, relict; Dougald, Archibald, John, Alexander and Katherine, children 27 Feb. 1699. (Reference). In that exact area and neighbouring towns all of those firstnames are identified with Mcgildoine, Mcildonie and Donie families. In the majority of cases these surnames are the only ones identified with these towns. It is my opinion that the Alexander Mcildonich is the predecessor of these families.

One an a half kilometers south of Stronyaraig Farm it is recorded that there is an Alexander Mcildonich in Brackle Beg Inverchellan on the 30/04/1675 as detailed in the Commissariat of Argyll (1674-1800). (Reference) At this location in the mid 1700's there are two Mcildonie families, one headed by Alexander and the other by John. There are no other families identified as living in the area. It is my opinion that the Alexander Mcildonich is the predecessor of these families.

I believe that McKecnie in his book "The Clan Lamont 1235-1925" may have anglacised these surnames, possible form the Mcgildonie format. It is only with more research that the matter will be resolved. Further to this, it is interesting that in Ardelamont, Stronyerraig and Brackle Beg there is a surname transition over time from Mac Gille Donich to Mcildonich to Mgildonie, Mcildonie and Donie.

In support of the 'sounding' of Donie is from the official Clan Cameron site, DONIE, DAWNIE, DORNIE, DOMHANAIDH, DOMHANAIDH NAN CAT, a “Hollow Place.” A settlement formerly located in Gleann Domhanaidh, south of the River Lundy and just east of the present-day Nevis Range facility. Possibly known in the past as Domhanaidh nan Cat – Donie of the Cats and also Dawnie (a corrupted version of Donie). (Reference) In Scottish Gaelic the gh = like ch, (before/after e, i) [is a] y, occasionally silent (Reference).

McAldonich and McAldounie as Same Surname in 1701

Similar changes from the 'Donich' format of the surname to 'Dounie' can be found elsewhere in Argyll at the same time. 10 October 1701 from the Papers of the Campbell Family, Earls of Breadalbane (Breadalbane Muniments) held at the National Archives of Scotland relating to the Vouchers of charge and discharge of Hew Campbell with victual of Glenorchy and Barbreck account of hewn stone won by John McAldounie for the use of the castle in 1701. Receipt by John McAldonich, workman at Kilchurn Castle. (Reference) 

 

Early maps of Loch Striven showing placenames

The Parish of Inverchaolain covered the area highlighted in red.

 

 

Due to some of the older settlements now not appearing on modern maps I have identified these from the Scottish National Library Collection and can be viewed here: Maps of Argyll

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

11/01/1759 MCGILMICHAL ARCHIBALD ALEXANDER MCGILMICHAL/MARY NCARTHUR FR47 M Kilmarnock
12/07/1761 BROWN MARY ALEXANDER BROWN/MARY NCARTHUR FR59 F Kilmarnock
01/01/1736 DONIE GEORGE MCILDONIE ALEXANDER DONIE/MARGARET M. FR10 M Feorlean
03/12/1738 DONIE ISABEL ALEXANDER DONIE/MARGARET M. FR13 F Feorlean
17/07/1741 MCGILDONIE KATHARINE ALEXANDER MCGILDONIE/MARGARET NCGILDONIE FR15 F Invergan
17/02/1741 MCGILMICHAL KATHARINE ALEXANDER MCGILMICHAL/MARGARET DHAON FR15 F Stillag
10/01/1744 MCILDONIE ANN ALEXANDER MCILDONIE/MARGRAT F Invergan
20/08/1750 BROWN FINLAY ALEX BROWN/MARGARET BROWN M Milton
26/08/1750 BROWN FINLAY ALEXANDER BROWN/MARGARET BROWN FR27 M Miltoune
22/04/1753 NCGILMICHAL ISABEL ALEXANDER MCGILMICHAL/MARGARET DOAN F Milton
22/04/1753 MCGILMICHAL ISABEL ALEXANDER MCGILMICHAL/MARGARET DAVIS FR32 F Miltoune
30/05/1756 MCGILMICHAL MARY ALEXANDER MCGILMICHAL/MARGARET DHAON FR40 F Balimore
25/11/1743 MCMICHAEL MARY ALEXANDER MCMICHAEL/MARGARET NCL. FR19 F Finnard
16/03/1746 MCMICHAL MARGARET ALEXANDER MCMICHAL/MARGARET NCLEAN FR20 F Finnard
13/03/1748 MCGILMICHAIL KATHARINE ALEXANDER MCGILMICHAIL/MARY NCLEAN FR22 F Finnard
18/11/1750 MCGILMICHAL EUPHEN ALEXANDER MCGILMICHAL/MARGARET NCLEAN FR27 F Finnard
14/09/1740 BROWN JOHN ALEXANDER BROWN/MARY BLACK FR14 M Knockdow
06/12/1747 MCGILDONIE JOHN ALEXANDER MCGILDONIE/MARY BLACK FR22 M Knockdow
17/10/1749 BROWN DONALD ALEXANDER BROWN/MARY BLACK FR24 M Knockdow 
14/02/1777 BROWN DONALD JANET WHITE MR Knockdow 
05/11/1752 MCGILDONIE JOHN ALEXANDER MCGILDONIE/MARY BLACK FR31 M Knockdow
05/11/1754 MCGILDONIE COLIN ALEXANDER MCGILDONIE/MARY BLACK FR36 M Knockdow
17/03/1757 MCGILDONIE WILLIAM ALEXANDER MCGILDONIE/MARY BLACK FR43 M Knockdow
25/02/1759 MCGILDONIE JAMES ALEXANDER MCGILDONIE/MARY BLACK FR48 M Knockdow
05/06/1783 BROWN JAMES MARK BLACK (Parents Alex' Brown and Mary Black) MR
28/05/1761 BROWN ALEXANDER ALEXANDER BROWN/MARY BLACK FR55 M Knockdow
29/05/1764 BROWN MARY ALEX BROWN/MARY BLACK FR67 F Knockdow
06/02/1766 BROWN ELSPA ALEXANDER BROWN/MARY BLACK FR71 F Knockdow
02/05/1767 BROWN MARGARET ALEXANDER BROWN/MARY BLACK FR75 F Knockdow
27/07/1737 DONIE ARCHIBALD ARCHIBALD DONIE/MARY M. FR11 M Stillag
28/06/1735 BROWN CHRISTIAN ARCHIBALD BROWN/CHRISTIAN DONIE FR9 F Ardtaraig
01/01/1739 BROWN MARY ARCHIBALD BROWN/KATHARINE CHRISTIAN BROWN OR DONIE FR13 F Ardtaraig
01/01/1742 BROWN KATHARINE ARCHIBALD BROWN/CHRISTIAN DONIE FR16 F Ardtaraig
01/10/1761 MCGILDONIE JAMES DONALD MCGILDONIE/ISABELL NCPHERSON FR58 M Kerstick
26/05/1763 BROWN ARCHIBALD DONALD BROWN/ISABELL MCPHERSON FR63 M Inverchellan
01/04/1755 DAON JOHN DUNCAN DAON/ISABEL NCPHERSON FR38 M Strone Dherraig
24/09/1757 BROWN ELSPAY DUNCAN BROWN/ISBEL NCPHERSONE FR44 F Strone Dherraig
17/02/1757 MCGILMICHAL KATHARINE DUNCAN MCGILMICHAL/MARGARET HUSTONE FR42 F Goistanionsaige
30/03/1760 MCGILMICHAL KATHARINE DUNCAN MCGILMICHAL/MARGARET HUSTONE FR51 F Goistan Sa**aige
20/06/1762 MCGILMICHEAL NANY DUNCAN MCGILMICHEAL/MARGRET HOUSTONE FR61 F Ardine More
01/01/1771 BROWN DUNCAN DUNCAN BROWN/MARGARET HOUSTOUN FR90 M Ardyne Ferry
20/01/1774 MICHAL JAMES DUNCAN MICHAL/MARGARET HOUSTONE FR96 M Ardyne Ferry
21/07/1757 BROWN DUNCAN FINLAY BROWN/KATHARINE CURRIE FR44 M Miltoune
20/03/1760 MCGILDONIE KATHARINE FINLAY MCGILDONIE/KATHARINE NCCURRIE FR51 F Taighnailt
03/03/1782 BROWN CATHERIN DUNCAN SINCLAIR MR 
05/12/1762 BROWN ALEXANDER FINDLAY BROWN/KATHRIN MCCURRIE FR62 M Innerniel more
18/08/1767 BROWN DONALD FINLAY BROWN/KATHARIN MCCURRY FR77 M South Hall
08/02/1770 BROWN ELIZABETH JAMES BROWN MR
04/01/1774 BROWN MARY FINLAY BROWN/KATHRINE CURRY FR96 F South Hall
10/07/1735 BROWN MARY FINLAY BROWN/JANET NCK. FR9 F Ardbeg Ferry
01/01/1737 BROWN MARGARET FINLAY BROWN/JANET NCK. FR11 F Brakley Beg
13/05/1744 MCGILMICHAL DUNCAN FINLAY MCGILMICHAL/JANET NCKELLAR FR19 M Bailemore
28/01/1750 MCGILDONIE ARCHIBALD FINLAY MCGILDONIE/JANET NCKILLAR FR25 M Bailemore
20/03/1757 MCGILMICHAL ISABEL FINLAY MCGILMICHAL/JANET NCKELLAR FR43 F Finnart
01/01/1739 BROWN MARGARET JOHN BROWN/EUPHEN NCLUGASH FR13 F Stuck(chapuil) 
23/05/1741 MACGILMICHAL DONALD JOHN MACGILMICHAL/EUPHAN NCLUGAS FR15 M Brackley Beg
10/01/1748 MCGILDONIE ARCHIBALD JOHN MCGILDONIE/EUPHEN NCLUGAISH FR22 M Brackley Beg
24/02/1763 BROWN ARCHIBALD MARY MCLEAN MR
01/05/1748 MCGILMICHAL MARGARET JOHN MCGILMICHAL/MARY NCARTHUR FR22 F
19/12/1756 MCGILMICHAL ANN JOHN MCGILMICHAL/MARY NCARTHUR FR41 F
31/01/1760 MICHAL KATHARINE JOHN MICHAL/MARY NCARTHUR FR50 F
13/03/1784 MICHELL CATHERIN WALTER MCDUGALL MR
24/04/1779 MICHEL DUNCAN JOHN MICHAL/MARY NCARTHUR FR51 M
05/12/1760 MCGILMICHAL ANN JOHN MCGILMICHAL/MARY NCPHERSON FR53 F
07/04/1764 MICHAL MARY JOHN MICHAL/MARY MCPHERSON FR66 F
15/03/1736 MICHAL ARCHIBALD JOHN MICHAL/KATHERINE NCNIEL FR10 M
03/05/1744 MICHAL DUNCAN JOHN MICHAL/KATHRINE NCNIEL FR19 M
24/03/1749 MCGILMICHAL NIEL JOHN MCGILMICHAL/KATHARINE NCNIEL FR24 M
25/12/1759 MCGILMICHAL DOUGLAS JOHN MCGILMICHAL/MARY MCVIKAR M Kilmichal
MICHAL ALEXANDER JOHN MCGILMICHAL/MARY MCVIKAR M Kilmichal
02/12/1761 DOAN MARY PETER DOAN/MARY CLARK FR58 F
06/03/1753 BROWN PATRICK LACHLANE BROWN/ANN STEWART FR31 M Strone
08/01/1755 DOANN JOHN LACHLANE DOANN (ALIAS BROWN) ANN STEWART FR37 M Strone
06/03/1757 DOAN DONALD LACHLANE DOAN/ANN STEWART FR42 M Baill na Sroine?
01/07/1759 BROWN MORE LACHLAN BROWN/ANN STEWART FR49 F Strone
07/06/1761 BROWN ISOBEL LACHLANE BROWN/ANN STEWART FR55 F Strone
07/06/1761 BROWN MARY LACHLANE BROWN/ANN STEWART FR55 F Strone
15/08/1755 MITCHELL SAMUEL ELIZABETH LEECH/FR479 MR
19/02/1769 MITCHELL SAMUEL SAMUEL MITCHELL/ELIZABETH LEITCH FR595 M
04/11/1772 MICHILL ARCHIBALD SAMUEL MICHILL/ELISABETH LEACH FR623 M
30/04/1775 MICHEL JOHN BUTLER SAMUEL MICHEL/ELISABETH LEITCH FR639 M
22/04/1762 MCGILMICHEAL PATRICK CATHERINE MCLAURIN MR Finnart
16/11/1764 BROWN KATHARINE PATRICK BROWN/KATHARINE NCLAURINE FR68 F
31/05/1767 MICHEL MARY PATRICK MICHEL/KATHARIN NCCLAWRIN FR77 F Finnart
05/11/1769 BROWN MARGARET PATRICK BROWN/KATHARINE NCLAURINE FR84 F
14/06/1772 BROWN JOHN PATRICK BROWN/KATHRINE NCLAWRINE FR92 M
20/09/1777 BROWN DUNCAN PATRICK BROWN/CATHARINE MCLAWRIN FR104 M
04/04/1773 MCGILMICHAL ARCHIBALD MARK MCKELLAR MR GORTAN-LOIST
14/11/1782 BROWN PETER ARCHIBALD BROWN/MARY MACKELLAR FR119 M
23/02/1786 BROWN MARY ARCHIBALD BROWN/MARY MCKILLAR FR126 F
10/04/1788 BROWN JAMES ARCHIBALD BROWN/MARY MCKILLAR FR132 M
23/10/1791 BROWN DUNCAN ARCHIBALD BROWN/MARY MCKILLAR FR138 M
11/12/1792 BROWN JOHN ARCHIBALD BROWN/MARY MCKILLAR FR140 M
09/03/1794 BROWN DUNCAN ARCHIBALD BROWN/MARY MCKILLAR FR144 M
12/03/1801 BROWN MARGARET ARCHIBALD BROWN/MARY MCKILLAR FR160 F
27/04/1803 BROWN ELIZABETH ARCHIBALD BROWN/MARY MCKILLAR FR162 F
09/01/1807 BROWN JOHN ARCHIBALD BROWN/MARY MACKELLAR FR170 M
10/01/1809 BROWN MARGARET ARCHIBALD BROWN/MARY MCKELLAR FR174 F
 

 

Mcildonie Families in Cowal

 

Arde Lamont

 

1472 – McGilledonich

On which the said Cristin asked instruments. Done at Arde Lavmonde, after noon of the day aforesaid, before witnesses, John Donaldson M'Pherson, John M'Gilledonich, John M'Gillaspic, Duncan Donaldson Ewenson, Gillanes M'Gillelan, John M'Cauer, Duncan M 'Vicar, and Neil M'Artour M’Cavis, etc. The notary is Donald M'Gilleroi, presbyter of the diocese of Argyll.

 

On Loch Striven

 

Brackley Mor & Beg:

1675 - Mcildonich

Alexander Mcildonich Brakle Beg Inverchellan see Ncilvichell, Mary 30/04/1675. Commissariot of Argyll (1674-1800) (Reference)

 

01/01/1739 BROWN MARGARET JOHN BROWN/EUPHEN NCLUGASH FR13 F Stuck(chapuil)
23/05/1741 MACGILMICHAL DONALD JOHN MACGILMICHAL/EUPHAN NCLUGAS FR15 M Brackley Beg
10/01/1748 MCGILDONIE ARCHIBALD JOHN MCGILDONIE/EUPHEN NCLUGAISH FR22 M Brackley Beg
24/02/1763 BROWN ARCHIBALD MARY MCLEAN MR

 

300 metres north of Brackley is Knockdhu.

 

Knockdhu (not Knockdow but the original near the burn):

 

14/09/1740 BROWN JOHN ALEXANDER BROWN/MARY BLACK FR14 M Knockdow
06/12/1747 MCGILDONIE JOHN ALEXANDER MCGILDONIE/MARY BLACK FR22 M Knockdow
17/10/1749 BROWN DONALD ALEXANDER BROWN/MARY BLACK FR24 M Knockdow
14/02/1777 BROWN DONALD JANET WHITE MR Knockdow
05/11/1752 MCGILDONIE JOHN ALEXANDER MCGILDONIE/MARY BLACK FR31 M Knockdow
05/11/1754 MCGILDONIE COLIN ALEXANDER MCGILDONIE/MARY BLACK FR36 M Knockdow
17/03/1757 MCGILDONIE WILLIAM ALEXANDER MCGILDONIE/MARY BLACK FR43 M Knockdow
25/02/1759 MCGILDONIE JAMES ALEXANDER MCGILDONIE/MARY BLACK FR48 M Knockdow
05/06/1783 BROWN JAMES MARK BLACK (Parents Alex' Brown and Mary Black) MR
28/05/1761 BROWN ALEXANDER ALEXANDER BROWN/MARY BLACK FR55 M Knockdow
29/05/1764 BROWN MARY ALEX BROWN/MARY BLACK FR67 F Knockdow
06/02/1766 BROWN ELSPA ALEXANDER BROWN/MARY BLACK FR71 F Knockdow
02/05/1767 BROWN MARGARET ALEXANDER BROWN/MARY BLACK FR75 F Knockdow

 

1 km north of Knockdhu is Tighnailt.

 

Tighnailt:

This area was identified from the map published in Hector McKecnie's (1938) "The Lamont Clan 1235 - 1935".

1740 – Mcgildonie

24/10/1740 MCGILDONIE KATHARINE DONALD MCGILDONIE/J.

In the same area as Tighnailt is just south of Stronyaraig.

Stronyaraig:

The pre-Reformation parish church and burial ground was situated on an eminence about 200 yds. NE of the present church (see NS07NE 2). The Ordnance Survey Name Book [ONB] (1870) describes its site as being covered by stones and other field clearance. Argyll County Council (1914) and Paterson (1970) refer to foundations at this spot, Paterson stating that, from their proportions, the chapel was Medieval in date. A coping stone from this church is at Inverchaolain church. NSA 1845; Name Book 1870; Argyll County Council 1914; M Paterson 1970.

Inverchaolain parish church was dedicated to St. Bridget and was a prebend of Lismore. It belonged to the ministry of the Red Friars at Fail. H Scott et al 1915-61.

At the published site is a rectangular pile of stones, (oriented approximately E-W) and measuring 8.5m x 3.5m. There are no remains of walling or any ground evidence to support the existence of this chapel. Surveyed at 1/2500. Visited by OS (IA) 27 February 1973.

1695 - Mcildonich


From the Commons of Argyll "list of Rebells in Argyll Shyr" in Strongerag there are two rebels, Donald Mcildonich and Mildonich Mcildonich.

1698 – Mcildonich

Mclldonich, Meldonich, in Stronyerraig, par. of Dunoon, d. Mar. 1698; Mary Ochlerech, relict; Dougald, Archibald, John, Alexander and Katherine, children 27 Feb. 1699. Argyll Register of Inventories 1693-1702 and THE COMMISSARIOT OF ARGYLL. Register of Inventories (Reference)

1740 - Mcgildonie

22/07/1740 MCGILDONIE ARCHIBALD JOHN MCGILDONIE/MORE NCP.

1747 – Mcgildonie

20/08/1747 MCGILDONIE FINLAY JOHN MCGILDONIE/MORE NCPHATRICK

1748 – Mcgildonie

27/11/1748 MCGILDONIE DUNCAN JOHN MCGILDONIE/MORE NCFATRICK

200 metres north of Stronyaraig is Strone Dearg

Strone Dearg:

Located near the mountain Strone Dearg.

1740 – Mcgildonie

22/07/1740 MCGILDONIE ARCHIBALD JOHN MCGILDONIE/MORE Strone Disag

1747 - Mcgildonie

20/08/1747 MCGILDONIE FINLAY JOHN MCGILDONIE/MORE NCPHATRICK Strone Dhraig

 

01/04/1755 DAON JOHN DUNCAN DAON/ISABEL NCPHERSON FR38 M Strone Dherraig
24/09/1757 BROWN ELSPAY DUNCAN BROWN/ISBEL NCPHERSONE FR44 F Strone Dherraig

06/03/1753 BROWN PATRICK LACHLANE BROWN/ANN STEWART FR31 M Strone
08/01/1755 DOANN JOHN LACHLANE DOANN (ALIAS BROWN) ANN STEWART FR37 M Strone
06/03/1757 DOAN DONALD LACHLANE DOAN/ANN STEWART FR42 M Baill na Sroine?
01/07/1759 BROWN MORE LACHLAN BROWN/ANN STEWART FR49 F Strone
07/06/1761 BROWN ISOBEL LACHLANE BROWN/ANN STEWART FR55 F Strone
07/06/1761 BROWN MARY LACHLANE BROWN/ANN STEWART FR55 F Strone

1 km north of Strone Dearg is Finnart Point

Finnart Point:

On a terrace above the shore road are the remains of three rectangular stone-built houses. On a higher terrace above the houses is a substantial turf and stone dyke enclosing a flat area. The front of the upper terrace is stone-revetted. The two most southerly houses are built up against this revetment, in which some slippage is evident. A section of the N front end of the lower terrace is also stone-revetted. A fuller description has been lodged with the NMRS. Sponsor: Cowal Archaeological & Historical Society. D Dorren and N Henry 2003.

1737 – Donie

28/08/1737 DONIE JOHN JOHN DONIE/MORE LAMONT Finnart

1748 – Mcgildonie

27/11/1748 MCGILDONIE DUNCAN JOHN MCGILDONIE/MORE NCFATRICK Finnart

 

 

 

22/04/1762 MCGILMICHEAL PATRICK CATHERINE MCLAURIN MR Finnart
16/11/1764 BROWN KATHARINE PATRICK BROWN/KATHARINE NCLAURINE FR68 F
31/05/1767 MICHEL MARY PATRICK MICHEL/KATHARIN NCCLAWRIN FR77 F Finnart
05/11/1769 BROWN MARGARET PATRICK BROWN/KATHARINE NCLAURINE FR84 F
14/06/1772 BROWN JOHN PATRICK BROWN/KATHRINE NCLAWRINE FR92 M
20/09/1777 BROWN DUNCAN PATRICK BROWN/CATHARINE MCLAWRIN FR104 M

Note that Family moved from Strone Point to Finnart between 1747 and 1748

2 km north of Finnart Point is Invervegan Farm

Invervegan Farm:

1741 - Mcgildonie

1741 MCGILDONIE KATHARINE ALEXANDER MCGILDONIE/MARGARET NCGILDONIE

1744 - Mcildonie

1744 MCILDONIE ANN ALEXANDER MCILDONIE MARGRAT

NOTE both spellings of Mcgildonie and Mcildonie.

1 km northwest of Invervegan Farm is Curaich

Curaich:

1761 – Mcgildonie

01/10/1761 MCGILDONIE JAMES DONALD MCGILDONIE/ISABELL NCPHERSON

1 km north of Curaich is Bot nan Creagan

Bot nan Creagan:

1743 - Mcilechonnie

01/02/1743 MCILECHONNIE SUSANNA JOHN MCILECHONNIE/SUSAN GILESPIE FR17 F INVERCHAOLAIN /ARGYLL

Is the only surname spelling of its type in Scotland. Other instances of Ch and Gh being s substitute for D, such as is found around the Killin, Perthshire area.

3 kilometres north northwest is

Ardtaraig:

1695 - Mcildonich
From the Commons of Argyll "List of Rebells in Argyll Shyr" the following was a rebel in Ardtarich - Archibald Mcildonich.

1740 - Mcgildonie

24/10/1740 1740 MCGILDONIE KATHARINE DONALD MCGILDONIE/J. Clerk

2km north of Ardtaraig is Balliemore

Balliemore:

1750 – Mcgildonie

28/01/1750 MCGILDONIE ARCHIBALD FINLAY MCGILDONIE/JANET NCKILLAR

1760 – Mcgildonie

20/03/1760 MCGILDONIE KATHARINE FINLAY MCGILDONIE/KATHARINE NCCURRIE

1850 - Marriage

12/01/1850 DOUNIE HUGH MARGARET GILLIES/FR338 M INVERCHAOLAIN /ARGYLL 514/00 0020 0084

Southwest of Balliemore on the north eastern shore of Loch Striven is Stillaig Mor and Beg.

Stillaig Mor & Beg:

1686 – Mcildonie

Mcildonie Stelig (Stillaig Mor and Beg at the northern end on east shore of Loch Striven) 10/05/1686. Commissariot of Argyll (1674-1800) (Reference)

1737 – Donie

27/07/1737 DONIE ARCHIBALD ARCHIBALD DONIE/MARY Stillaig Mor

1743 – Mcildonie

13/03/1743 MCILDONIE CHRISTIAN ARCHIBALD MCILDONIE/M. F Stilliag Mor

On Loch Ridden 5km west of Loch Striven is Foerlean.

Foerlean(Feorline):

1736 – Donie

01/01/1736 DONIE GEORGE ALEXANDER DONIE/MARGARET MICHEL

1736 – Mcildonie

01/01/1736 MCILDONIE GEORGE ALEXANDER DONIE/MARGARET M.

1738 – Donie

03/12/1738 DONIE ISABEL ALEXANDER DONIE/MARGARET M

Note the name of George as both Mcildonie and Donie

 

 

Rothesay (Isle of Bute):

 

At Rothesay there are two Downie families first recorded in 1801 and disappear after 1815.

06/02/1803 DOWNIE ANN JOHN DOWNIE/MARY MCALISTER

26/04/1807 DOWNIE JOHN JOHN DOWNIE/MARY MCALISTER

16/02/1812 DOWNIE JAMES JOHN DOWNIE/MARY MCALISTER

08/01/1815 DOWNIE JOHN JOHN DOWNIE/MARY MCALISTER

12/07/1801 DOWNIE JANET WALTER DOWNIE/MARY MCDONALD

29/01/1804 DOWNIE JOHN WALTER DOWNIE/MARY MCDONALD

06/09/1806 DOWNIE GEORGE WALTER DOWNIE/MARY MCDONALD

It is the contention of this study that the Mcgildonie/Mcildonie and Donie surnames are variations of surnames that are found in other parishes such as Mcgildownie and Mcildownie and are in fact derivations from the Mcildonich surnames found at earlier time at the same geographical locations. Official birth records show that in other parishes that the Mcildonie and Mcildownie surnames have logically transitioned to Downie.  

 

 

Leaving Inverchaolain

 

MacKechnie (1938), provides a very good insight in relation to the removal of people from the Parish of Inverchaolain during this timeframe. MacKechnie (1938) notes the following observations:

"This startling rise in rents (in the 1750's) was due to two main causes, the development of a new system of agriculture, and the growth of the cattle trade, p.304."

"It was in 1762 that the first contingent from the country (Cowal) migrated to North Carolina, and settled there in large numbers. The exact statistics of the depopulation are as follows:- Inverchaolain 1755 - 944 people to 1795 - 504 people or 45% decrease, p.307."

"In 1769 they (lands) were mostly leased out for 19 years ending in 1789 and the public burdens were thrown to the tenants.... In almost every case the rents were raised and the number of tenants reduced, thereby increasing the depopulation remarked above. About 1770 the first black-faced sheep set hoof in the country... In Dunoon too, southern shepherds it was noted altered almost entirely the stock of the mountains from black cattle to sheep, by which they raised the rents over all this country considerably as well as enriching themselves, p.316."

With the changing times there was a combining of farms by the tacksman, MacKechnie (1938) notes that:

"The Minister to remark in 1795 that by this union of farms, there are possessions in the parish whereon resided formerly from twelve to sixteen families, now inhabited only by one or two, p.317."

"If there were no evictions in the sense of violent and wholesale depopulation in the Lamont country it looks very much as if the old clansmen had been gradually squeezed out by economic measures, p.318."

In a sad note, in 1799 large areas under the control of the Clan Lamont Chief James XIV were put up for sale, MacKechnie (1938) notes that:

"The sale was effected in 1809 to a syndicate, who evicted the old tenants to a man, p.336."

In the 1851 census of Scotland the Mcgildonie, Mcildonie and Donie surname all but ceased to exist, with only two individuals in Glasgow using the Donie surname. I believe that the reason that these surnames disappeared from the Inverchaolain Parish is the one or a combination of Clan conflicts, being forced off the land for sheep farming, forced sales by bankrupt Clan Chiefs, significant increase in rents, trackmen management of parcels of land and finally and what is repeated in the west of Scotland, anglicising or changing their surnames due to the social pressures at the time.

 

 

 

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