The Scottish McColls

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Cousin John Duncan's Introduction

updated 07 Feb 2016


From Wence We Came


Chapter 2, an Extract from

"We Are All Margaret Haldane's Bairns"

"By John Duncan,

"of Melbourne, Australia 2001"

Transcribed & Updated for the web,
by his American Cousin,
Colleen Cahoon, of Texas

You may submit questions or comments to MO at Jezzmo.


Have you ever been to Scotland?
I heard a Scotsman say.
Have you never been to Scotland,
Well, I hope some day you may.

To sit awhile beside the burn while the shades of evening fall,
And see afar the distant hills and hear the curlew call,
To wander midst the heather and feel the wind's caress,
You feel your heart a bursting with the glow of happiness.

What of that great castle? That fortress built of stone.
Where Scotsmen fought their hardest to put Charlie on the throne.
See the Pass of Glencoe where brave men fought and died.
To save old Scotland's honour, and fill our hearts with pride.

There is the Port of Glasgow, where ships from far and wide,
Come sailing up the river. The dear old River Clyde.
From that busy sea-port, many a man with wife and kin,
Left for a far-far country, a new life to begin.

Do go to Glamis Castle; where a Queen to be was born,
Where many coloured flowers border the greenest lawns.
Go to the Games at Braemar and see those feats of skill,
You'll set your feet a-tapping when they dance the eight-some reel.

Northward then to Aberdeen,
That Granite City -wondrous clean,
Down by the shore the fisher-folk,
The harvest of the sea they glean.

And someday, if God spares me, to Scotland I will go,
What we heard in song and story, these things I'll see and know.
I'll walk a-mang the heather, I'll know her banks and brae's,
And like Robbie Burns before me, I too, shall sing her praise.

[author unknown] but provided by John Duncan.

Prior to reading this chapter, it is recommended that you read the compiler, John Duncan's introduction, if you have not already. Too, I confess that I (Colleen Cahoon) do not know anything, other than what is presented here within, regarding our McColls, though I have noticed some discrepancies with respect to dates, therefore I implore our McColl descendants to assist, to set things aright. I also openly admit that I may have inadvertently laid this chapter out incorrectly, but I have tried to be true to my dear Cousin Duncan's compilation of this chapter.  Respectfully, I and my descendants to come, should all be eternally grateful to his efforts, his love, and his sharing, in and of his life-time collection, of family notes and research, where ever possible. John has conceded to share them here for continued collaboration, exploration, advisement and proofs, for corrections.  All are entirely welcomed and even encouraged!

I am happy to report that our "Co-ogha Coinneach" ( Cousin Ken for those who needed translation, such as myself ) McColl has provided us some updates, which I will present on his behalf, in blue italics where appropriate.  And for these updates, I and mine are grateful, so much gratitude is also sent to our "Co-ogha Coinneach".

In Scotland, the land of my birth, folks have a popular saying that "we are all Jock Tamson's bairns!"

I have no idea who Mr. Tamson [Thompson] was, but the saying may be interpreted as stating that Scots are all descended from a common ancestor, and whilst doubt can be cast upon the legitimacy of this idea, it is true that the most of the people mentioned in this family history, are indeed the descendants of this Scottish lady - Margaret Haldane #60, and so I have decided to entitle this story:

We are all Margaret Haldane's Bairns.


Margaret Haldane married James Archibald in Scotland after apparently divorcing Charles Stewart, although there is also the possibility that Charles simply died!

Note from Colleen Cahoon, descendant of Margaret Haldane and Charles Stewart... Unfortunately, proof of either explanation for the disappearance of Charles Stewart has yet to be uncovered. Proof of both marriages does exist, as noted in Chapter 1:

'She was married to Charles Stewart #59 on 15 June 1820, at Cathcart,Glasgow,
{ Batch No. 7013822, Source call No.0538422, Sheet 32 }
...Their marriage certificate identifies her as Margaret Haldane...

The marriage of Charles and Margaret came to an end for an unknown reason and Margaret then married James Archibald #65 on 09 Nov 1832 at Glasgow, with the IGI record again identifying her as “Margaret Haldane”. { Batch No. 7406748, Source call No.0934364, Sheet: 64}, and they had two, possibly three daughters: Most surely Margaret Archibald, born after their marriage and Annie Archibald #66, are their daughters and there is possibility of a third, or a grand-daughter, named Janet, who appears on the 1841 Census, as a one-year-old; unfortunately that census does not provide relationships.

Her (Margaret Haldane Archibald's) daughter, Annie Archibald #66 was born in 1836, and emigrated to Melbourne, Australia, where she married Alexander McColl #69 in 1858.

Again, thanks to my "Co-ogha Coinneach" (If only I could properly pronounce that lovely looking phrase, as easily as I can cut and paste it! :) we are now (24 Feb 2008) enlightened with the following knowledge:

Dear Colleen, As I stated in my previous email, I have found the details of when Annie Archibald arrived in Australia in the Public Records Office Victoria (PROV) Index to Assisted British Migrants 1839-1871 and have attached some scans of the details. I will be sending some other information to John in the next week or so and will include a copy. The following is a transcript that I took straight from the microfiche passenger lists:

Arabian sailed from Birkenhead,
29th September 1856.
Arrived at Geelong,
27th January 1857.
Passenger No: 254.
Name: Archibald, Ann.
Calling: GS (General Servant).
Native Country: Scotland, Lanark.
Religious Denomination: Presbyterian.
Education: Read and Write.
Age: 20.
By Whom Engaged: Mr. Pearce.
Address: 130 LaTrobe Street, Geelong.
Date: January 30.
Wages: 20.
Term: 3.

Wow! Thank you Kenneth. The above suggests that Annie went to Australia with intent to work, so at that point she may not yet, have met her future husband! :)

Following are additional contributions to this Chapter, by descendant, Kenneth McColl. This data has been previously shared with the compiler, John Duncan, so for the sake of clarity, I will remove those portions that are redundant, especially as repeat names run through generations. Had I not seen the documentation, I would not do so, but the documents speak for themselves, as I am sure cousin John Duncan agrees and appreciates."

Before we begin though, I would like to point out that I am not certain, as to the consequence of that which I consider my right, to publically share with my cousins, that which has been shared with me. OPRs are a lucriative venue for revenue for Scotland, one actually beyond my means, ... so, I am approaching this "sharing with you" as one might share a passage from a copyrighted book... the source is cited and I am only sharing a few lines of a particular page, not the whole book, nor even the whole page.... but only a cited extract thereof....

Hopefully that will be okay; perhaps even inspire others to seek OPRs, where they might not have otherwise, if they are interested in other family members. If that proves the case, then I will not charge Scotland for the "free advertising and promotional incentives." I care not to believe that there is anything "wrong" with sharing, that which has been honorably obtained and is germain to our family. :)

If these documentary images "disappear" from this site... it is because we were advised we could not share. Until or if such a time arrives, the main thing for me and I do believe for my cousin Kenneth, is that our descendants have access to what we can leave them, as their rights of heritage, especially as there is no certainty of what may or may not be lost, or made available, in the future, by the record keepers. No offense intended to those wonderful people, who do archive our history, but they may have to do so, under different standards, at some point of the future, who knows!

So, with that said, I am extremely happy to present the contributions of my cousin, as these are our ancestrial treasures! Co-ogha Coinneach provides us with clarity of relativity, complete with supporting documentation, as follows :)

Duiskie, Blaich and Achphuble are all within about 5 miles of each other along the south shore of Loch Eil, opposite Fort William. I have to admit to being particularly puzzled by John McColl and Christian McIntyre having two sons named John. Whilst it isn't uncommon for parents to repeat a name in the case of an earlier child having died to have two Johns alive has me stumped. I am certain that both Johns were brothers. The death certificate for the first John describes him as being 71 years old, the son of John McColl (Crofter) and Christina McColl (Maiden Surname McIntyre). The death certificate for the second John describes him as being 64 years old and, the son of John McColl (Farmer) and Christina McIntyre.

The following is what I believe is a simplified breakdown of the Scottish McColls without the numbers allocated by Johns old software.  The numbers that I have used are just to differentiate, between different individuals/families/generations.  The information is a combination of what John has provided in Bairns and what I have been able to discover.  I have made a number of minor changes to dates/names that John has provided, when I have a copy of source documentation.

     1   Ewen McColl and Mary McLean.

     1.1   John McColl (Bapt. 24 Jul 1784 at Garrie/Gerradh, Kilmallie, Argyll) and Christian McIntyre (Daughter of Angus McIntyre and Sarah Livingston – Bapt. 3 Apr 1791 at Duiskie, Kilmallie, Argyll).

An Extract of John McColl's 1784 OPR Baptism
 Reference, compliments of Kenneth McColl.

An Extract of Christian MacIntyre's 1791 OPR Baptism
 Reference, compliments of Kenneth McColl

          1.1.1   John McColl (Bapt. 31 May 1812 at Achphuble, Kilmallie, Argyll – Died 13 Apr 1884 at Banavie, Kilmallie, Argyll).

An Extract of John McColl's 1812 OPR Baptismal Reference,
 Compliments of Kenneth McColl.

          1.1.2   Donald McColl (Bapt. 12 Jun 1814 at Blaich, Kilmallie, Argyll) Died 4 August 1863 at Banavie, Kilmallie, Argyll) and Euphemia McMillan.

An Extract of Donald McColl's 1814 Baptismal Reference,
 Compliments of Kenneth McColl.

         Christina McColl (Born 1854) and John McInnes – Married at Cairnbaan, Lochgilphead, Argyll.

          1.1.3   Alexander McColl (Bapt. 16 Nov 1818 at Blaich, Kilmallie, Argyll).

An Extract of Alexander McColl's 1818 Baptismal
 Reference, Compliments of Kenneth McColl.

          1.1.4   Lachlan (Born abt 1819 in Kilmallie, Argyll – Died 9 Mar 1891 at Blythswood, Glasgow, Lanark) and Jaime Smith (Daughter of Donald Smith and Ann Gillies).  I can’t be sure about the other dates John advises in Bairns, but I think it is possible that Nov 1820 is the date of the marriage of Jaime’s parents and that 1 Aug 1824 is the date of Jaime’s birth.  It is of course possible that Jaimie was born Nov 1820 and that her parents didn’t get around to “formalising” their marriage until 1 Aug 1824.

         Donald McColl and Agnes Hammond – Married 28 Jul 1873 at Milton, Glasgow, Lanark.

         Mary McColl.

         Jean McColl.

         Ann McColl.

         John McColl.

         Christina McColl.

          1.1.5   Alexander McColl (Bapt. 28 Mar 1821 at Blaich, Kilmallie, Argyll – Died 18 Dec 1890 at Brunswick, Victoria, AUSTRALIA).

An Extract of Alexander McColl's 1821 OPR Baptismal Reference,
 Compliments of Kenneth McColl

          1.1.6   John McColl (Bapt. 5 Dec 1823 at Blaich, Kilmallie, Argyll – Died 13 Apr 1896 at Emmaville, New South Wales, AUSTRALIA).

An Extract of John McColl's 1823 OPR Baptismal
 Reference, Compliments of Kenneth McColl

          1.1.7   Mary McColl (Born 1 Jan 1826 at Achphuble, Kilmallie, Argyll – Bapt. 12 Jan 1826 Achphuble, Kilmallie, Argyll).

An Extract of Mary McColl's 1826 Baptismal Reference,
 Compliments of Kenneth McColl.

          1.1.8   Jean McColl (Born 19 May 1829 at Blaich, Kilmallie, Argyll – Bapt. 22 May 1829 at Blaich, Kilmallie, Argyll) and Robert Hinds – Married 12 Jul 1854 at Dunoon and Kilmun, Argyll.

An Extract of Jean McColl's 1829 Baptismal Reference,
 Compliments of Kenneth McColl.

Thank YOU Kenneth McColl for this precious clarity of heritage!

And now back to the original compiler's information which is based on the above, and avails a little depth to our ancestors.

Alexander McColl was Bapt. on 28 Mar 1821 at Blaich, Kilmallee, near Fort William, which is situated on the Caledonian Canal, with Loch Ness -and it’s monster -nearby, together with Glencoe and Ben Nevis, highest mountain in the British Isles [4,406 feet].

Haldane Stewart McColl #382 wrote:
“ My father [Alexander McColl] made a voyage,
as steward on the ship Petrel 848 tons,
Liverpool to Quebec and return May 1853 to 15 Sep 1853,
seamanship & character very good.
One of my father’s brothers [Donald?]
made an epic journey to get help during an epidemic.”

Alexander’s father was John McColl #67, born 24 Jul 1784 at Garrie and was a weaver farmer at Jarvan, near Corpach, Fort William, also at Achphuble and Blaich, which is the name that was used back in the 1800s and is still used today.   Blaich is actually in Ardgour, which is the name of the district.  He was probably also a soldier and was said to have had a brother, Donald who was in the Cameron Highlanders and killed at Quatre Bras; and a sister who died young; and is said to have been a full cousin to Rev. Alexander McColl Lochalsh.

Quatre Bras & Waterloo Napoleon’s Hundred Days.

June 16, 1815, between the advance guard of the 36,000 strong British army under the Duke of Wellington and the left wing of the French army, 25,000 strong under Marshal Ney, Napoleon’s object was to prevent the junction of the British and the Prussians, and Ney’s orders were to drive back the British while Napoleon with his main body engaged the Prussians.

Ney attacked at 3pm., but the British held their own till evening when Ney, not receiving the reinforcements he expected, began to fall back.

Wellington then attacked vigorously all along the line, retaking all the positions occupied by the French during the day.  Both sides lost over 4,000 men.  Next morning Wellington withdrew to his position at Waterloo.

June 18, 1815, between 24,000 British and 43,500 Dutch, Belgians and Nassauers, in all 67,655 men with 156 guns, under the Duke of Wellington; and the French, 71,947 strong with 246 guns, under Napoleon.

Wellington posted his troops along the line of heights covering the road to Brussels, sheltered from French gunfire behind the slopes, with advanced posts at the farms of Hougoumont and La Haye Sainte.

Napoleon’s Marshal Ney attacked this position at 2 p.m. with the utmost resolution, but the British squares held their ground against the French cavalry and artillery.

In a second attack, led by Ney himself, the French captured La Haye Sainte at 6 p.m. and obtained a footing in Hougoumont, but the arrival of Field Marshal Blucher with the Prussian army, on the French right, enabled Wellington at last to assume the offensive and drive the enemy headlong from the field.

The British lost about 15,000, the Prussians 7,000 in the battle.

The losses of the Dutch and Belgians were very small, as they left the field early in the day.

The French lost 25,000 killed, wounded and prisoners, and the army practically ceased to exist as an organised force.

John McColl #67's parents were Ewan McColl #768 and Mary McLean #769, who apparently lived at Garrie.

Do you, by any chance know, where is Garrie?  I have had a look at a number of 1:50,000 Ordnance Maps and cannot find it.  The closest similar sounding place names that I can find are Loch Garry and Glen Garry to the north of Loch Eil. If you look at the scan of the 1851 census where he is listed, increase the magnification and compare it with other clearer writing above it, the place of his birth may be "Gerradh", which is on the western shore of Loch Linnhe to the south of Sallachan Point.  Blaich, Duiskie and Achphuble are in Kilmallie, Argyll.  The parish of Kilmallie lies in Argyll and Inverness.  The part of Kilmallie to the west of the Caledonian Canal and north of Loch Eil, up to Glen Loy, was in Argyll, and it was subsequently transferred to Inverness.

Haldane McColl writes that:
“my great-grandfather {Ewan McColl]
served under Wellington
during the Peninsular War in Spain [1828-30]
and was regarded as a gallant, gallant soldier.”

                  Haldane McColl wrote:

“My father [Alexander McColl #741] had a brother John,
who had been a school teacher. He went to Australia,
visited his brother and family in Melbourne,
and went back to Vegetable Creek near Emmaville in N.S.W.,
[where he was tin mining] where he later died.”

On 12 Mar 2008, Ken Campbell McColl sent me this update upon his Scottish McColl’s:-

John, I have been doing some research recently on Christina McColl, the daughter of Donald McColl and Euphemia/Effie McMillan and believe I have found information on her mother’s family and her married life with John McInnes.

From going through some Census indexes I have found the following:

1841 - Alexander and Isabella McMillan and six children (not Effie) living at Curnos (I’m sure that it’s a transcription error) in the part of the parish of Kilmallie that lies in Invernesshire.

1841 - An Ephy McMillan aged 15 living with a Ewen McMillan aged 70 and a Mary McMillan aged 55 at Curnos.

1851 - Alexander and Isabella McMillan living with five children and a granddaughter Jane Cameron at Onich (it’s to the south of Fort William).

1861 - Christina and her father Donald McColl living with her grandparents Alexander and Isabella McMillan, an uncle Archibald McMillan and a cousin Jane Cameron at the village of Laroch (its near Glencoe) in Appin.

1871 - Christina living with her grandmother Isabella McMillan and her uncle Archibald McMillan in Appin.

1881 - Christina and her husband John McInnes living at Achandarroch in Appin.

1881 - Archibald McMillan living alone in Laroch.

1891 - Christina and her husband John McInnes living with three children at Dunnamuck in Glassary.

1891 - Archibald McMillan and a brother Duncan McMillan living in Appin.

1901 - Christina and her husband John McInnes living with two children at Cairnbaan in Glassary.

Regards, Ken

"From Colleen Cahoon, 18 April, 2008, in the near closing of this chapter transcription, I would like to again thank the Compiler, Cousin John Duncan, for all his fine work and equally heartily thank our "Co-ogha Coinneach" Cousin Kenneth, for the research he has conducted and contributed, above, for all of us to enjoy and appreciate! I am proud to be one of your Co-oghas!"

Notes on the McColl’s a sept of the Clan MacDonald.

                 1] McColl, sometimes spelt McCall, is one of the septs of the great Clan MacDonald. The race, of which Clan Donald is the principal house, was known in early times as “Clann Cholla,” as they claimed descent from Colla Uathais, or Uais, who flourished A.D. 125.  This Coll, or Colla Uathais, was sixth in descent from Constantine Centimachus.

                2] It is interesting to note at this point that the McColls, Duncans, and Stewarts, were also resident in the area of Pitlochry/Blair Atholl, where a Duncan Clan museum was visited by the compiler in 1970. All these “clans” were united in times of battle as “Atholl Men.”

                3] It is curious to note that, although the McColls were of the race of Clan Donald, they were for centuries devoted followers of the Stewarts of Appin. So intimate was the connection between the McColls and Stewarts that it was the custom when a Chieftain of the House of Auchnacone died that he should be buried in a spot where a McColl lay on either side of him.

There is no real contradiction between the McColls being of the race of Clan Donald and being followers of the Stewarts of Appin. In general terms according to information that I read in Cuairtear Chloinn Cholla the McColls patrimony comes from Coll one of the sons of a Lord of the Isles and the attachment of McColls living in Appin to the Stewarts of Appin came later. A number of families such as the McColls and Carmichaels predate the Stewarts in Appin by a hundred years or more.

During the Rising of the’45 when the Stewarts of Appin were out for the Prince, the casualties of the Appin regiment amounted to 91 killed and 65 wounded.  Out of these the Stewarts accounted for 22 dead and 25 wounded, while the rest were mostly McColls.

There is more information on this subject in the information on the CD about the Stewarts of Appin and the ’45.

In Ireland, Colla, or Calla, was a common personal name amongst the MacDonnels and MacSweeneys, and MacColla became a somewhat scattered surname that eventually corrupted to MacColl and MacCall.

                4] The Clan McColl produced a Gaelic poet of more than ordinary renown, Evan McColl, was born at Kenmore on Loch Fyne in 1808.  He was the author of The Mountain Minstrel, better known under it’s Gaelic title of Clarsaach nam Beann.  He died in 1898, and a monument erected to his memory at Kenmore, on Loch Fyne, was unveiled in 1930, by his Grace, the Duke of Argyll.

                5] MACCOLL

        Origin of name: Son of Coll [High]

        Badge: Heath.

        Pipe Music: Ceann na Drochaide Moire[The head of the high Bridge]

        Clansman’s Crest: Between the horns of a crescent an etoille.

        Motto: Fusti ut sidera fulgent [The righteous shine as stars]

        Gaelic Name: Mac Colla

Tradition tells that the McColls were settled round Loch Fyne at an early date and from their proximity to the land of the Campbells, they followed that clan.

It is related that the McColls joined with other clans in their feud with the McGregors, and from this circumstance found themselves opposed to the MacPhersons who were assisting the McGregors.

At Drum Nachder in 1602, the MacColls returning from a raid into Ross were met by the MacPhersons when a sanguinary fight took place. The MacColls lost most of their men, including their leader.

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