Saturday, December 6, 2014

52 Ancestors: #47, John and Alexander McLellan, Father and Son from the Hebrides

It wasn't just her father's McIntyre line that my great-grandmother Rose Ann McIntyre could trace back to the Isle of South Uist in the Outer Hebrides of Scotland; her mother's McLellan line came from the same remote island.

My 4x great-grandfather John McLellan was born Iain Mac Gill’Fhaolain, ca 1745, on South Uist, the son of Dòmhnall Mac Gill’Fhaolain (Donald McLellan). He married Catriona Nic A’Phi (Catherine McPhee), also born on South Uist. They had seven children on South Uist; the eighth, James, was born at Indian River, Lot 18, P.E.I.:
  1. Donald McLellan (ca 1770-2 Apr 1866), married 1) Mary Gillis, 2) Christina McDonald
  2. Catherine McLellan (ca 1774-1866), married Peter Hickey
  3. Angus McLellan (ca 1775-8 Oct 1859), married Sarah Gillis
  4. Archibald McLellan (ca 1784-4 Apr 1867), married Ann "Nancy" Morrison
  5. Alexander McLellan (ca 1786-22 Mar 1867), married Sarah "Sally" McCormick
  6. Roderick McLellan (ca 1788-29 Dec 1860), married Mary McDonald
  7. Philip McLellan (ca 1790-21 Mar 1867), married Flora Morrison
  8. James McLellan (ca 1792-24 Dec 1867), married Flora MacKenzie
In 1790, John and his brother Angus, with their families and three of their four sisters, emigrated to North America with a group of other settlers from South Uist. While their intended destination was Glengarry, in Upper Canada (now Ontario), the ship's captain claimed that a smallpox epidemic prevented him from taking them there, and landed them instead at Charlottetown, St. John's Island (later Prince Edward Island). The Scots were persuaded to remain on the Island by the proprietor Lot 18.

Prince Edward Island, 1834. Red outline is area shown below.

John and Angus settled at Indian River, Lot 18, where their children all remained, except for John's two oldest sons, Donald and Angus, who moved across the bay to Grand River, Lot 14.

Richmond Bay area. Lot 14 is on the west side of the bay on the Ellis (Grand) River.
Lot 18 is on the east side of the bay just southeast of Princetown.

John McLellan died in 1822 at Indian River. His wife Catherine is presumed also to have died at Indian River, but the date is not known.

John's son Alexander, who emigrated to P.E.I. with the rest of the family, was my 3x great-grandfather. Born about 1786, he married, around 1804-1808, Sarah McCormick of St. Andrews, Lot 37/38, P.E.I. They lived at Indian River and had nine children. Alexander died 22 March 1867 at his home in Indian River.

My descent from John McLellan:
  • John McLellan + Catherine McPhee
  • Alexander McLellan + Sarah "Sally" McCormick
  • Mary Ann McLellan + Neil McIntyre
  • Rose Ann McIntyre + Dominic Murphy
  • William George Murphy + Glenna Rabideau (my maternal grandparents)

(Note: This post is in response to Amy Johnson Crow's "52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks" challenge at No Story Too Small.)


Most of my information about the McLellans comes from two derivative sources:
  1. “The MacLellans of Indian River and Lot 8”, typescript, hand-dated 29 Dec 1999, Marshall K. Kirk Research Files, privately held by Kathy McCracken, Virginia Beach, Virginia. I believe this document was written by George Sanborn, a specialist in Prince Edward Island genealogy and a colleague of Marshall Kirk.
  2. Peg Gillis Feirtag and Edna Cudmore, “The Descendants of Donald (Angus-Don-John-Phillip) MacLellan”, web page, Dave Hunter, The Island Register ( : accessed 17 Nov 2014).

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