Ian and Blanche


1.1.3 Restless feet

Ian’s ancestry may be traced back fourteen generations by the male line, and also by a line with one female link, to the founder of the Clan in Kintail:4 

I Black Finlay son of Christopher, active ca. 1410.    
II Christopher    
III Finlay    
IV Christopher, appointed Constable of Eilean Donan castle, 1511.    
V Farquar, progenitor of the "Black MacRaes."    
VI Donald    
VII Donald    
VIII Christopher — brother of — VIII Duncan
IX Alexander, active ca. 16885     IX Farquar
X Duncan, d.1715, Battle of Sheriffmuir6     X Christopher
XI Donald of Inverenate7   — married — XI Christina
XII Alexander, Quartermaster Sergeant 78th Highlanders (1771—1855)    
XIII Alexander (1819—1899)    
XIV Alexander (1858—1940)    
XV Ian (1903—1975)    

The lives of Ian’s forebears reflect historical events in Scotland in the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries.

In the wake of the 1715 uprising against the English, Seaforth and his followers were stripped of their lands and so the MacRas became tenants of English masters.  The Seaforth line of Chiefs of Kintail died out in 1815, and the passing of the Seaforths left the MacRas without even titular land.  This was the end of the Clan as it had existed for centuries.  Then came the clearances—the consolidation of the small holdings of the MacRas and other highland tenant farmers into larger estates—and the mass emigration of the now leaderless and landless farm folk to America and to Australia.

The career of XII Alexander McRae the Quartermaster Sergeant marks the historical transition.  Alexander’s ancestors lived and died in the Scottish highlands.   Alexander himself, lacking employment in Scotland yet loath to emigrate, opted to join the British army.  After serving twenty-five years abroad, he returned to live out his life in the Highlands.  His son, XIII Alexander McKenzie McRae, emigrated to Australia, and neither he nor any of his descendants returned to live in Scotland.

Continue reading: 1.1.4 Quartermaster Sergeant Alexander McRae (1771-1855)

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1. Ian McRae (1904-1975) Background and Youth (-1929)

1.1 Scottish Origins

1.1.2 Eilean Donan

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1.1.3 Restless feet

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1.1.4 Quartermaster Sergeant Alexander McRae (1771-1855)

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4. The numbering of generations by Roman numerals is the same as in "The History of the Clan MacRae."

5. Information supplied by John G. McRae, 9 Great Western Drive, Vermont South, Victoria 3133 Australia.

6. John G. McRae.

7. Inverinate (pronounced in-ver-EEN-uh) is located one mile north-west of Kintail.