History of the Mackenzies, With Genealogies of the Principal Families of the Name

Author: Alexander Mackenzie

The Mackenzies of Hilton.

THE MACKENZIES OF HILTON are descended from Alexander Mackenzie, VI. of Kintail, known among the Highlanders as "Alastair Ionraic," by his first wife, Anna, daughter of John Macdougall of Dunolly.

The first of the family was

I. DUNCAN MACKENZIE, designated of Hilton, a barony situated in Strathbraan, bounded on the north by Loch Fannich, on the south by the ridge of the hills on the north side of Strathconan, on the east by Achnault, and on the west by Ledgowan. Duncan married a daughter of Ewen Cameron, XIII. of Lochiel, with issue—an only son, his heir and successor—

II. ALLAN MACKENZIE, second of Hilton, Loggie or Brea, from whom the family is known in Gaelic as "Clann Alain." He married a daughter of Alexander Dunbar of Conzie and Kilbuyack, third son of the Sheriff of Moray, with issue—

1. Murdoch, his heir and successor.

2. John, progenitor of the Mackenzies of Loggie.

3. Roderick, who married, with issue, an only daughter, Agnes, who married Alexander Mackenzie, II. of Killichrist, with issue.

4. Alastair, who married, with issue—a daughter, who married Roderick, son of Murdoch Mackenzie, III. of Achilty, with issue—the Rev. Murdo Mackenzie, Bishop of Ranfoe, in Ireland.

Allan’s wife survived him, and married, as her second husband, Kenneth Mackenzie of Meikle Allan, now Allangrange, second son of Hector Roy Mackenzie, I. of Gairloch.

He was succeeded by his eldest son,

III. MURDOCH MACKENZIE, third of Hilton, who married a daughter of Innes of Innerbreakie, now Invergordon, with issue—an only son,

IV. JOHN MACKENZIE, fourth of Hilton, who married Margaret, daughter of Dunbar of Inchbrook, with issue—

1. Murdoch, his heir.

2. Alexander, who, in 1640, married Margaret, natural daughter of John Roy Mackenzie, IV. of Gairloch, apparently without issue. The marriage contract is in the Gairloch charter chest.

3. Colin, M.A. of Aberdeen University, and minister of Kilearnan, where he died. He married Miss Dundas, with issue—Kenneth, well known in his day as Deacon of the Edinburgh Goldsmiths, who left no issue.

4. A daughter who married John Sinclair, Caithness.

5. A daughter, who married John Matheson, "Ian Og," in Lochalsh, whose eldest son, Alexander, became the progenitor of the Mathesons of Lochalsh, Attadale, and Ardross, represented in this country by Sir Kenneth James Matheson, Baronet, and others.

John was succeeded by his eldest son,

V. MURDOC MACKENZIE, fifth of Hilton, who married Mary, eldest daughter of the Rev. Murdoch Murchison, Auchtertyre, minister of Kintail, with issue—

1. Alexander, his heir.

2. Roderick, who married the eldest daughter of Alexander, third son of Murdoch Mackenzie, II. of Redcastle, with issue—a son, Colin, who died without issue, in 1682.

3. Colin, who married Isobel, daughter of Donald Simpson, Chamberlain of Ferintosh, with issue—(1) Alexander, locally called "Sanders," who succeeded his grandfather, Donald Simpson, as Chamberlain of Ferintosh. He married Helen, daughter of William Munro, Ardullie, with issue—two sons and two daughters—(a) Colin, who died unmarried, but left a natural son, of whom are descended several respectable families in Ferintosh; (b) Donald, who married Jean, legitimate male succession of his paternal grandfather, Alexander, eldest son of Colin, third son of Murdoch Mackenzie, V. of Hilton. Donald had several daughters; first Mary, who was along with her father and brother when they were drowned, but she was saved, and married, as his second wife, the Rev. Colin Mackenzie, minister of Fodderty, first of the family of Glack, of whom presently second, Jean, who married Colin Murchison third, Isabel, who married David Ross; fourth, a daughter, who married Mackenzie of Ussie, with issue—two sons, Donald and Frank; fifth, Anne, who married Lewis Grant; and sixth, Helen, who married Alexander Mackenzie of Ardnagrask, afterwards at Loggie-side, from whom was descended Bailie John Mackenzie, of Inverness. Alexander’s ("Sanders") eldest daughter, Mary, in 1723, married Donald, son of John Murchison, Achtertyre; the second, Elizabeth, married William Martin of Inchfure, with issue—a daughter, Ann, celebrated for her beauty, who, as his second wife, married Norman Macleod, XIX. of Macleod, with issue—three daughters, Elizabeth, Anne, and Rich Mary, for whose marriage and descendants see Mackenzie’s History of the Macleods, pp. 154-155. (2) Roderick, Colin’s second son, whose male heir carried on the representation of the family on the death, without legitimate male issue, of Alexander Mackenzie, X. of Hilton, when he was succeeded by Roderick’s grandson, Alexander, as XI. of Hilton, whose descent will be shown presently. John, a third son of Colin, is on record in 1730, but nothing more is known of him.

4. Murdoch, fourth son of Murdoch, V. of Hilton, married Agnes Helen, daughter of Donald Taylor, a Bailie of Inverness (1665), with issue—an only son, Alexander, who in early life entered the service of Kenneth, Earl of Seaforth, and who, in 1709, became Chamberlain of the Lewis for Earl William. In the same year Alexander married Katherine, daughter of Andrew Duncan, factor for Viscount Stormont, with issue, whose descendants are unknown. Murdoch had also a daughter, Jean, who daughter of Thomas Forbes of Raddery and of the lands of Fortrose as far as Ethie, with issue—an only son, Alexander, who was drowned along with his father, while fording the Conon, Opposite Dingwall, in 1759, when, the son being unmarried, perished the married Hector Mackenzie, by whom she had a son, Kenneth, a Jesuit Priest in Spain, and several daughters.

5. Isobel, who married the Rev. Donald Macrae, minister of Kintail, with issue.

Murdoch was succeeded by his eldest son,

VI. ALEXANDER MACKENZIE, sixth of Hilton, who, in 1630, married, first, Annabella, second daughter of John Mackenzie, I. of Ord, without issue, and secondly, Sibella, eldest daughter of Roderick Mackenzie, I. of Applecross, widow in succession of Alexander Macleod, V. of Raasay, and Thomas Graham of Drynie, with issue—an only son,

VII. EWEN MACKENZIE, who succeeded as seventh of Hilton. He married, in 1685, Elizabeth, third daughter of Colin Mackenzie, IV. of Redcastle, with issue—

1. John, his heir and successor.

2. Colin, who succeeded his brother John as IX. of Hilton.

3. Florence, who married her cousin, Alexander Macrae, son of the Rev. Donald Macrae, minister of Kintail.

He was succeeded by his eldest son,

VIII. JOHN MACKENZIE, eighth of Hilton, who married Margaret, daughter of Kenneth Mackenzie of Alduinny (marriage contract 1710), without issue. He joined the Earl of Mar, and was one of "The four Johns of Scotland,"—Ceithear Ianan na h-Alba—killed at the battle of Sheriff-Muir in November, 1715, where he commanded a Company of the Mackenzies. He was succeeded by his brother,

IX. COLIN MACKENZIE, ninth of Hilton, who married Catherine, daughter of Christopher Mackenzie, Arinhugair, with issue—

1. John, who married Helen, daughter of Roderick Mackenzie, VII. of Fairburn, and died without issue, before his father, in 1751.

2. Alexander, who succeeded to the estate.

3. A daughter, who, as his first wife, married John Macdonell, XII. of Glengarry, with issue—Alastair, who carried on the representation of that family, and another son.

He died in 1756, aged 65, and was succeeded by his only surviving son,

X. ALEXANDER MACKENZIE, tenth of Hilton, who married Mary, daughter of George Mackenzie, II. of Gruinard, without issue, when the direct male line of Murdoch, V. of Hilton, came to an end. He, however, had a natural son—Alexander, well known in his day and yet affectionately spoken of by very old people as "Alastair Mor mac Fhir Bhaile Chnuic," Seaforth’s principal and most successful recruiting serjeant when originally raising the 78th Highland Regiment. And many a curious story is still told of Alastair’s successful efforts to procure willing and sometimes hesitating recruits for the Regiment of his Chief. He married Annabella Mackenzie, of the Gruinard family, by whom he had a numerous offspring; and many of his descendants, one of whom is Major Alexander Colin Mackenzie, of the 1st V.B. Seaforth Highlanders, Maryburgh, occupy responsible positions in several parts of the country.

We must now revert, in order to pick up the legitimate male line of succession, to

RODERICK MACKENZIE, I. of Brea, Chamberlain of Ferintosh, second son of Colin, by his wife Mary Simpson, third son of Murdoch, V. of Hilton, all the intermediate male heirs having, as has been shown, become extinct. He acquired Brea in Ferintosh, in wadset and it remained in his family for two generations. By marriage he became possessed of the ruined Castle of Dingwall, and the lands adjoining, the ancient residence of the Earls of Ross; also the lands of Longcroft. Roderick married Una, or Winifred, daughter of John Cameron, Town Clerk of Dingwall, with issue—

1. John of Brea, commonly known as "John the Laird." He resided at Tarradale and married, in 1759, Beatrice, second daughter of Alexander Mackenzie, VIII. of Davochmaluag, by Magdalen, daughter of Hugh Rose, XIII. of Kilravock, with issue—(1) Roderick, who died unmarried; (2) Alexander, who succeeded as XI. of Hilton, and of whom presently; (3) Kenneth of Inverinate, who married Anne, daughter of Thomas Mackenzie, IV. of Highfield and VI. of Applecross, with issue—(a) Thomas, who succeeded as X. of Applecross, in right of bis mother, and whose male heirs have died out (see Applecross genealogy); (b) Alexander, who married Harriet, daughter of Newton of Curriehill, with issue-Kenneth, who died unmarried; Alexander, a Lieutenant in the Royal. Engineers, who died unmarried; Marion, who married Charles Holmes, barrister, without issue; and Harriet, unmarried; (c) Jean, who died unmarried; (d) Elizabeth, who married her cousin, Major John Mackenzie, XII. of Hilton, with issue, whose descendants, in Australia, now represent the male line of the family; (e) Flora, who married the Rev. Charles Downie, minister of Contin who died in 1852, leaving issue—Kenneth Mackenzie Downie, a surgeon in Australia, and five daughters, all dead; (f) Catherine, (g) Mary, and (h) Johanna, all three of whom died unmarried. The other sons and daughters of John Mackenzie of Brea, "the Laird," were (4) Colin, called "the Baron," born at Tarradale, on the 3rd of December, 1759, and died unmarried; (5) Peter, who also died unmarried; (6) Duncan, who married Jessie, daughter of Mackenzie of Strathgarve, without issue; (7) Arthur, who died unmarried; (8) Magdalen, who died unmarried; (9) Marcella or Medley, who married the Rev. Dr Downie, in the Lewis; (10) Mary, who in 1790, married her cousin, the Rev. Donald Mackenzie minister of Fodderty, with issue—Major Colin, Royal Engineers, who married Anne, daughter of John Pendrill, of Bath, without issue; and (11) Elizabeth, who died unmarried.

2. Colin Mackenzie, minister of Fodderty, who purchased an estate in Aberdeenshire, and was the first of the Mackenzies of Glack, in that county, of whom later on.

3. Sir Peter, M.D., a knight of Nova Scotia, Surgeon-General in the army, who died unmarried.

Roderick Mackenzie was succeeded in Brea by his eldest son,

JOHN MACKENZIE, II. of Brea, with surviving issue, among several others already mentioned, Alexander, who as nearest male heir collateral, succeeded to the lands and barony of the family as

XI. ALEXANDER MACKENZIE, eleventh of Hilton and Brea, who was, as has just been shown, the great-grandson of Colin, third son of Murdoch, V. of Hilton, and his heir of line. Alexander was born at Tigh-a-phris of Ferintosh, on the 3rd of July, 1756. He was educated at the University of Aberdeen, but was afterwards bred a millwright to qualify him for the supervision of family estates and business connections in Jamaica, where he subsequently became a Colonel of Militia. On the death of his maternal uncle, Alexander Mackenzie, VIII. of Davochmaluag, in 1776, and of that gentleman’s grandson, Lieutenant Kenneth Mackenzie, who was killed at Saratoga in 1777, Alexander of Hilton succeeded also to the Davochmaluag estate. The adjoining properties of Davochpollo and Davochcairn having been previously acquired by his father, John Mackenzie, second of Brea, Alexander combined the three properties into one, and gave it the name of Brea, after the former possession of the family in Ferintosh. He greatly improved this estate and laid it out in its present beautiful form. His land improvements, however, turned out unremunerative. His Hilton property was heavily encumbered in consequence of the part taken by members of the family in the Risings of 1696, 1715, and 1745, and great losses having been incurred in connection with his West Indian estates, Alexander got into pecuniary difficulties, and all his possessions, at home and abroad, had to be sold either by himself or by his trustees to meet the demands of his creditors. He was a distinguished agriculturist for his time, and was the first, along with Sir George Mackenzie, VII. of Coul, and his own cousin, Major Forbes Mackenzie, to introduce Cheviot sheep to the Highlands for hill grazings.

He married Mary James, in Jamaica, with issue—

1. John, his heir.

2. Alexander, who married his cousin Charlotte, daughter of the Rev. Dr Downie, with issue—(1) Alexander, who died unmarried; (2) Downie, who died unmarried; (3) John; (4) Kenneth, who married Flora, daughter of the Rev. John Macdonald, a native of Inverness, who emi-grated to and was a minister in Australia, by his wife Mary (who died in 1878), third daughter of Neil Macleod, XI. of Gesto, Isle of Skye; (5) Charles, who died unmarried; (6) William, who died unmarried; (7) Mary James, who married her cousin, Kenneth Mackenzie, XIV. of Hilton, in Australia; and (8) Jessie, who died unmarried. Alexander emigrated to Australia, where he died.

3. Kenneth, W.S., who married Anne Urquhart, Aberdeen, with issue—an only daughter, who died unmarried. He married, secondly, Elizabeth Jones, with issue, and died in Canada, where his widow and children continued to reside, in the city of Toronto.

4. Mary, who died unmarried in Australia a few years ago.

Alexander died at Lasswade in 1840, and was succeeded as representative of the family by his eldest son,

XII. JOHN MACKENZIE, Colonel of the 7th Regiment of Bengal Cavalry, and for many years Superintendent of the Government breeding stud at Buxar, India. He married, in 1813, his cousin, Elizabeth, daughter of Kenneth Mackenzie of Inverinate, W.S., with issue—

1. Alexander, who succeeded him as representative of the family.

2. Kenneth, who succeeded his brother Alexander.

3. Mary, who married Dr James of the 30th Regiment, without issue.

4. Anne, who married General Arthur Hall of the 5th Bengal Cavalry, with issue.

5. Elizabeth Jane, who died unmarried.

Colonel John died at Simla in 1856, when he was succeeded as representative of the family by his eldest son,

XIII. ALEXANDER MACKENZIE, who emigrated to Australia, and died unmarried in New South Wales in 1862, when he was succeeded as representative of the family by his younger brother,

XIV. KENNETH MACKENZIE, who recently resided at Tyrl-Tyrl, Taralga, near Sydney, New South Wales. He married his cousin, Mary James, daughter of Captain Alexander Mackenzie of Brea, second son of Alexander, XI. of Hilton, with issue—

1. John, his heir; (2) Kenneth; (3) Downie; (4) Flora; (5) Jessie, all in Australia.


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Chicago: Alexander Mackenzie, "The Mackenzies of Hilton.," History of the Mackenzies, With Genealogies of the Principal Families of the Name, ed. Iles, George, 1852-1942 and trans. Baines, William Peter in History of the Mackenzies, With Genealogies of the Principal Families of the Name (New York: Doubleday, Page, 1909), Original Sources, accessed November 29, 2022, http://www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=L8AHSM8ZI5Z4N9V.

MLA: Mackenzie, Alexander. "The Mackenzies of Hilton." History of the Mackenzies, With Genealogies of the Principal Families of the Name, edited by Iles, George, 1852-1942, and translated by Baines, William Peter, in History of the Mackenzies, With Genealogies of the Principal Families of the Name, Vol. 36, New York, Doubleday, Page, 1909, Original Sources. 29 Nov. 2022. http://www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=L8AHSM8ZI5Z4N9V.

Harvard: Mackenzie, A, 'The Mackenzies of Hilton.' in History of the Mackenzies, With Genealogies of the Principal Families of the Name, ed. and trans. . cited in 1909, History of the Mackenzies, With Genealogies of the Principal Families of the Name, Doubleday, Page, New York. Original Sources, retrieved 29 November 2022, from http://www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=L8AHSM8ZI5Z4N9V.