The most notable family
that ever lived here was that of the late Reverend John Gunn, the first
resident minister for the district of Strathlorne. In a previous article
we gave a short account of the late Reverend Mr. Gunn, himself, but said
nothing of his family who were all born and raised here.
Mr. Gunn was born in Strath
Navar, Scotland, and graduated from the College of Aberdeen. Through the
instrumentality of the Edinburgh Ladies Society he was sent, with four
others, by the Church in Scotland to minister to the Highland immigrants
of Cape Breton. He came here in 1840 and remained till his death in 1870.
On the eve of his departure from the old land he was married to Catherine
Gordon, in Edinburgh, daughter of Captain Charles Gordon of the Sutherland
fencibles. Mrs. Gunn was a well raised young woman, and received her
education in one of the Ladies Seminaries in Scotland.
Mr. and Mrs. Gunn had a
family of nine children, three of whom died in infancy. The names of those
-who lived long enough to become known were, Neil K., John Y., Hugh and
Robert G., Catherine and Maggie.
The father, being himself
an educated man, was a life long patron of letters. His first care was to
instruct his own family, which he continued to do all his life. His sons
Neil and John were well up in the classics before they ever left home for
their academic courses. Besides teaching his own children, Mr. Gunn, also,
taught Latin privately to neighbouring Catholic boys who expected to study
for the priesthood—and he would not consent to be paid.
The son, Neil, studied
medicine in Harvard from which he graduated in 1862. Three weeks after his
graduation he enlisted in the American Civil War, which was then in
progress, as a surgeon and physician. Within a year, while actively
employed in the military service of Uncle Sam, he contracted an
illness—some kind of fever—of which he died on June 3rd, 1863. He was a
young man of splendid promise. Long after his death we read some letters,
addressed to his parents, by the American authorities, highly praising his
work and bravery in that great conflict of the Sixties.
The son John Y., after
completing his school studies, devoted himself to the teaching profession,
principally in the County of Inverness, and nearly always in the
Strathlorne section. As a teacher he was full of life, taste and ambition,
and his heart was in his work. When his services could be secured,
Strathlorne would not look at any other teacher. For a few years he
carried on a fish business at Port Ban in association with Alexander
Campbell, Ex. M. P. P. In 1868 he was appointed School Inspector for the
County of Inverness. Some years later the Counties of Inverness and
Victoria were made one Inspectoral district, and John Y. Gunn was
designated as Inspector for the enlarged territory. He held this position
until failing health obliged him to retire. No man born in this district
did more to advance the cause of education, in a period of bitter need,
than did John Y. Gunn. When he was Inspector he was the Gamaliel of the
young teachers of the day,—and he was nice and kind.
The daughter Catherine was
the older of the daughters, and was. married twice, first to John McPhail,
Merchant, of Whycocomagh,. by-whom she had one handsome son, John G.
McPhail, now a rising medical doctor in the City of Boston. After the
death of her first husband she got married again to Edward Campbell of
South Side Whycocomagh, by whom she had several intelligent daughters, one
of whom has travelled extensively in Europe and America. At her father's
home, in her young days, this daughter Catherine was a dashing, young
damsel, gay, gifted and comely. She is still living, but is getting up in
years like us all.
Maggie, the younger
daughter, also, taught school for several years in various parts of
Inverness County, and was liked everywhere. In the prime of her young
womanhood she died of measles, at her home in Kinloch, on the first of
April, 1873. She was very sincerely mourned by all who knew her. Too good
for earth, she was called early unto a higher life.
The son, Robert G., was
himself, a teacher for several years, in various parts of this County. He
then studied medicine and has been practising at Strathlorne and vicinity
for more than forty years. Within the last twenty years he took at
different times, two years of a post graduate course in New York,
specializing in surgery, a circumstance which shows his Highland pluck no
less than his laudable professional ambition. He is a wide reader, a deep
thinker, and a good, careful and successful doctor. He was married twice,
first to Margaret Campbell, daughter of Alexander Campbell, Esquire,
deceased, by whom he had three sons and three daughters. Two of these sons
went through the great war. One of them, an exceptionally fine boy, was
killed in action, the other got back unhurt. The doctor's second wife was
a Miss McLennan, formerly of Middle River in the County of Victoria, by
whom he has three sprightly little girls. Inverness would welcome many
more citizens like this quiet, learned, unassuming gentleman.
Since writing the foregoing
Doctor Gunn has, we regret to state, departed this life. His unexpected
death threw a pall of sorrow over the district of Strathlorne. He had an
attack of Influenza in the spring of 1920 from which, although he
afterwards returned to his medical practice, he never fully recovered. He
had a second seizure early in January 1921 to which he succumbed within a
month. In the communities that knew him he shall be missed as a good
doctor, a good citizen, and a good man. Not all of his numerous
acquaintances realized, in his lifetime, the sterling worth of this
enlightened neighbor who is now no more.
BROAD COVE MARSH
This district is situated
about the centre of the Inverness coastline, and extends along the shore
from the eastern boundary of Strathlorne at Deepdale to the Western
boundary of West Margaree at or near St. Rose; and cuts deeply into the
rearlands, comprising quite an area on the western side of the South West
River of Margaree. It is an important district possessing as it does,
excellent advantages for the dominant pursuits of farming and fishing. The
farmers here are coming fast into their own. They have risen to higher
planes and methods; they bring to the discharge of their modern pastoral
duties not only the strong power of their hands, but also, the intelligent
power of their heads. And it may be noted that this place has always been
famous for its strong and powerfully built men. This was so in a special
degree, in the days of the pioneer settlers.
Some of the farmers on
these shores worship the call of the blue sea. We know some who are owners
of fat bank accounts derived from their fishing operations between
seed-time and harvest, and later on in the autumn. The waters washing this
coast abound in food-fish, such as salmon, herring, cod, lobsters and
mackerel. At Marsh Point, Broad Cove Chapel and the St. Rose shores,
respectable catches are made every summer. The results are obvious among
the industrial people.
We think all the permanent
residents of this district are of Scottish descent and the Catholic faith.
It was always so. Every one of the regular pioneer settlers was a Scotsman
and a Catholic. Broad Cove was the first parish but one in the County to
get a resident Scottish Priest. The Broad Cove parish formerly included
what are now the parishes of Broad Cove, South West Margaree, Inverness
and West Lake Ainslie. At first this large territory could only be served
by an occasional visit from a missionary priest. Father Alexander
MacDonnall of Judique who was this County's first resident Scottish priest
served Broad Cove, Mabou and Port Hood as often as he was able to do, for
The following are the names
of the parish priests of Broad Cove since, Father John Chisholm's time,
given in the order of time:—Rev. Wm. McLeod, Rev. Alexander McLeod (Ban),
Rev. John Grant, Rev. Ronald McGillivray, Rev. Donald Chisholm, Rev. A. L.
MacDonald of Inverness, Dr. Joseph Chisholm and the present able
incumbent, Rev. Alexander McPherson. Father John Grant and Fr.. Ronald
McGillivray are buried in Broad Cove.
The men from this district
who have been raised to the priesthood are the following, we think, in the
order of seniority:—Rev. Joseph McLeod who died while parish priest of the
South West of Margaree; Reverend Ronald H. McDougall, P.P. of Heatherton,
Antigonish; Rev. John N. McLeod who died while P.P. of D'Ecousse; Rev.
Francis McRae, now deceased; Rev. John D. McLeod, P. P., of New Glasgow,
Rev. Angus R. MacDonald, P. P., of Grand Narrows; and Rev. Dougald
McEachern who is through with his studies and just about to be ordained at
Quebec. The Rev. Stanley McDonald is also a brilliant native of this
district. Quite a number of young ladies from this district also entered
religious orders, and are all a: credit thereto.
One of the notable pioneer
settlers in this district was Donald McLeod, the progenitor of all the
McLeods in this place. In the year 1791 he came from the Isle of Eigg,
Scotland, to Parrsboro, Nova Scotia, where he prepared a home for himself
and family. After staying and working there for seventeen years he could
not see any near prospect of getting a priest stationed there, and fearing
his children would lose their religion, he decided to move, and did move,
from that place, leaving all the improvements of seventeen years behind
him. In 1808 he came with his family to Broad Cove and took up a large
tract of land at Broad Cove Marsh. He drove six head of young cattle from
his former home at Parrsboro to his new home at B. C. Marsh. He had a
family of two sons and seven daughters, and prospered here from the start.
The names of the sons were John and Duncan.
The older son, John, being
then a full grown man took up a farm for himself a few miles further North
at a place then called "The Ponds," now St. Rose. The younger son, Duncan,
then sixteen years old, remained with his father at B. C. Marsh.
This older son John married
Ann McKinnon by whom he had a family of three sons and five daughters. The
names of the sons were, Neil, John Ban and Alexander. Neil was married to
Euphemia McLeod of Antigonish Harbour a sister to Reverends Alexander
McLeod and Wm. McLeod, and to Hon. James McLeod, Barrister, M. P. P., who
represented the County of Cape Breton and died in Halifax. They had a
family of four sons and two daughters, namely: John N. Donald, Alexander,
James, Mary and Ann. This John N. was the highly esteemed priest who died
of typhoid fever at D'Escousse in 1892. Donald joined the Christian
Brothers in Baltimore and died there while yet a young man. His name in
religion was Brother Adrian. Alexander died in Boston, James is on the old
homestead, Mary was married to John McIsaac of Inverness and had a family,
and Ann died unmarried.
John Ban was married to
Catherine, daughter of Alexander McLellan (Ban) of S. W. Margaree, with
issue five sons and three daughters. They are all dead now, except
Alexander J. in Boston and John on the old homestead.
Alexander was married to
Margaret McQuarrie of Little Mabou with issue: four sons and two
daughters. The oldest son John is a merchant and Collector of Customs at
Margaree Harbour, another son Joseph has a farm of his own at St. Rose, a
third son Colin is on the old homestead; and the fourth son, Lauchlin,
died in the prime of life. The daughters are living and well married.
Jessie the oldest daughter
of old John McLeod was married to Hugh Jamieson of Strathlorne with issue
five sons and two daughters, Catherine was married to John McRae, Mary to
John McNeil, and Betsey to Angus McDonnell formerly of S. W. Margaree, but
now in Judique.
Duncan, the youngest son of
Donald, took up a farm of his own adjoining his father's property at B. C.
Marsh, and was married in 1822 to Christina McLennan, daughter of Roderick
McLennan of Kintail, Scotland. She came to this country in 1821 in the
sixteenth year of her age, and was married to Duncan McLeod the following
year. They had fourteen children, seven sons and seven daughters. The
first two of these children, a boy and girl died in infancy.
The Reverend Joseph McLeod
who died at S. W. Margaree in 1877 at the early age of thirty-two years
was a gifted son of that marriage. He was ordained in 1870. The other sons
were Donald, Rory, John, Alexander and Archy.
Donald was a farmer and
merchant and a distinctive leader in his district. He was married to
Catherine McEachen of Judique, and had a family of three sons and five
daughters. The sons were Alex-Rory, John Duncan and Donald Joseph. The
first named son is doing an extensive business in Seattle, Wash., the
second is the respected Rev. John D. McLeod, P. P. of New Glasgow, and the
third is Donald Joseph on the homstead. The daughters, three of whom
joined the Cong. de Notre Dame order, were named Sr. St. Joseph, Sr. St.
Catherine and Sr. St. Mary. Christina was married to D. D. McLellan of
Glenville. Rev. Alex. J. McLellan is her son. Catherine is married to John
D. McEachen of Inverness, and is one of the most worthy ladies of that
Roderick, the second son of
Duncan, who was a particularly powerful specimen of a man, died in
California in the year 1864 at the age of thirty two years.
John, son of Duncan, is
married to Kate, daughter of John C. MacDonald of Antigonish Harbour, and
has a family of six sons and five daughters. The sons were Duncan D.,
Joseph Roderick, John Chrysostom, John James, Archie.
Duncan D., is in the
hardward business in Minnesotta, Joseph Roderick died out West, John James
died at the age of sixteen years, Archie is employed in one of the
Dominion Coal Company's Stores, and John C. remains on the homestead at
Broad Cove Marsh.
The daughters of John (son
of Duncan) were Maria Christina, Mary Ann, Margaret Alice and Teresa
Isabel. Maria Christina is married to John R. McDonald of Inverness, and
has a family of seven sons and four daughters, Mary Ann and Margaret Alice
joined the Con. de Notre Dame order, and Teresa Isabel died in St.
Joseph's Hospital, Glace Bay, the result of an operation for appendicitis.
She had been teaching in the Convent School at New Waterford.
Alexander (son of Duncan)
was married to Katie, daughter of Samuel Campbell of the Forks. Their
family consisted of three sons and six daughters. Lt. Col. McLeod who died
at Bramshot was a son. The other sons are John of Inverness, and Joseph of
Seattle, Wash. The daughters are Annie, Christina, Mary Bell, Louisa Jane,
Mary Ann and Katie Agnes. The first four are well married. Mary Ann is in
California, and Katie Anges is at home.
The six daughters of old
Donald McLeod, and the married daughters of his son Duncan were married in
this and adjacent districts, and had large families. It will be more
convenient to describe these families by themselves further on.
A very respectable family
of Kennedys came from Canna, Scotland, to Cape D'Or or Parrsboro in 1791
in the same vessel which brought the Donald McLeod whom we have been
describing. Only two of these Kennedys came into this district, and with
these alone we propose to deal here. The other Kennedys in this County
will receive attention when we are writing the sketch of their district.
Donald Kennedy and his
brother John Kennedy (Red) came to Broad Cove from Parrsboro in 1808, and
took up two farms adjoining one another a little North of Smith's Cove
near Broad Cove Chapel. Thereafter both lived and died on those farms.
Both brothers got married and had large families. Donald Kennedy was
married to Mary McLeod daughter of Donald McLeod above noted. He had a
family of eleven children, two of whom died in infancy. The names of the
surviving nine were Mary, Donald, Ann, Sarah, Catherine„ Bridget, Angus,
John and Elizabeth.
Mary the oldest daughter of
Donald Kennedy married Ronald McLellan (Angus Archie) Rear Broad Cove in
February 1845. Ann was married to Angus McDougall (Hugh's son) of Broad
Cove Marsh, Sarah was married to Ronald McLellan (Farquhar) Rear Broad
Cove Chapel. Catherine married Angus McEachen of Mount Young, Mabou,
Bridget died unmarried, and Elizabeth married Archibald Cameron of S. W.
Donald (son of Donald
Kennedy) lived and died in single blessedness, Angus went to sea and died
abroad, John married Catherine Smith, daughter of Hugh Smith, and had sons
John Kennedy (Red) lived
and worked on a farm adjacent to his brother Donald. He bought this farm
with a grist mill on, the first in Northern Inverness from James Ban
McDonnell. He got married to Elizabeth Fraser of Antigonish and had a
family of five sons and two daughters. The sons were Angus, Archie, John,
Alexander and Donald The daughters were Mary and Jessie.
Angus took up a farm at
North Lake Ainslie and married Elizabeth McNeil daughter of Alexander
McNeil of St. Rose. Archie took up a farm near Broad Cove Chapel and
married Margaret Beaton, daughter of Angus Beaton (Finlay) of Mabou Coal
Mines. John died unmarried. Alexander was twice married, first to a
daughter of Donald McIsaac (Allan) of the Shean, and secondly to Catherine
Beaton daughter of Angus Beaton of Strathlorne, and Donald was married to
a Miss McDonald of Antigonish. Both Donald and Alexander left the County
of Inverness and went to Antigonish. Mary was married to Ronald McDonald
of Broad Cove Chapel and Jessie to Donald Beaton of Port Ban.
THE McLELLAN FAMILY FROM
In 1817 Angus McLellan
(Archibald), married in Scotland to Isabella McLellan, came from Swordland,
Morar, Invernessshire, and located on a 200 acre lot of land at the rear
of Broad Cove Marsh. He had four children in Scotland, before he left for
America, two of whom died in infancy. Two more, Donald and Ronald came
with him here. The farm on which he located was granted to him in 1832.
They left Scotland in 1816 and landed at Malignant Cove, Antigonish, where
they spent the ensuing winter with relatives. In 1817 they came by vessel
to Broad Cove. Two other brothers, Donald and Sandy Ban, came here with
Angus and his family. Donald settled at Black Glen (now Glenville) and
Sandy Ban settled at the Ponds (now St. Rose), but afterwards removed to
S. W. Margaree. Another brother Neil McLellan (Ban) who had been on a farm
at Rear B. C. Marsh since 1811, coaxed these three brothers to come out.
Donald (son of Angus) was
married to Marcella McEachen of Mount Young by whom he had a large family
to wit: Angus now deceased, was married to a Miss McIntosh of Glace Bay;
John (unmarried) drowned in January 1875 going to the Grand Banks; James,
unmarried, died in Chelsea Marine Hospital, Mass., on 28th June, 1871;
Michael a blacksmith married to a Miss McLellan of Brook Village (father
of Robert S. McLellan, Barrister, of Sydney); Fred married to Mary
Chisholm of Port Hood, is a blacksmith in Boston; Charles (tanner) at home
and married twice; Hugh married to Ann McPherson of Broad Cove, on the
homestead; Ronald and Archie died unmarried; Isabel died unmarried; Mary
and Ann both died in infancy.
Ronald McLellan (son of
Angus) was married to Mary Kennedy (Donald's daughter) and had three sons
and four daughters, as follows: Archibald, married to Euphemia B. Chisholm
of River Dennis, John R., unmarried; Donald married to Mary McIsaac of
Broad Cove Banks; Mary and Ann and Catherine died unmarried. Isabel
married John Chisholm of River Dennis.
Neil Ban McLellan, already
referred to, was married in Scotland, to Catherine Gillis of Morar. He
received considerable education in the old Country, came here in 1811, and
was among the first of three sons and four daughters. The sons were, John,
a young man of some schooling who used to be clerking with Andrew
McDonnell of Judique, went away in a vessel from the Strait of Canso, and
never more was heard of, Donald, married Marcella McLellan (Neil's
daughter S. W. Road) remained and died on the homestead: Archibald, a
mason, left for New Zealand in 1862 in the Brig "Helen Lewis" built by
William Ross, came back to California about 25 years ago, and died there.
The daughters were Catherine, wife of Martin Cameron, S. W. Margaree; Ann
and Sarah who died unmarried; and Mrs. Archibald Gillis of Mount Pleasant.
The farm held by Neil Ban consisted of 200 acres, and is now owned and
occupied by his grandson Neil, a worthy son of a worthy sire.
Another of the old families
of this district was that of Angus Smith (Anonais Ban Gobha). He lived
near Broad Cove Chapel and had five sons, namely: James, Hugh, Peter,
Donald and Angus (Og.)
James married to Miss
McDonald of the Allan Ban people of Judique, with issue as follows:
Ann, married to John
McDonald who went to Australia; Christy who died unmarried at the age of
90 years, Mary married to Angus Gillis (Alex's son) B. C. Marsh; Flora,
unmarried; Catherine, unmarried. The sons were Angus, who left the country
young and never returned; Capt. John who died unmarried; Hugh, married to
Miss McDonnell daughter of Andrew Ban; Peter married to Rebecca McDonald
of Rear Judique, went to Bay St. George in 1869, his son Hugh is living on
the homestead; Donald married Ann McIsaac of Strathlorne and after his
death, the widow and family went to Minnesota.
Hugh Smith (son of Angus
Ban) was married to Mary McNeil, who lived to be about 100 years old. They
had issue as follows: John, Alexander, Angus and Donald, Mary, Flora, Ann,
Catherine, Jessie, Elizabeth and Jane.
John, son of Hugh, married
Mary Gillis of Judique, issue: Eliza and John, Alexander was unmarried,
Angus married a Miss McMaster of Creignish. They had a large family.
Donald was married twice, the first time to Margaret McDonald of B. C.
Chapel by whom he, had quite a family, the second time to Margaret Gillis
The daughters of Hugh Smith
married as follows: Mary to Angus McIsaac of Strathlorne, they had a large
family. Flora to Rory McDonald (James). Issue, a large family among whom
were John R. McDonald of Inverness and Rev. A. R. McDonald, P. P. of
Christmas Island; Ann died unmarried and was the first to be buried in the
new cemetery at Broad Cove, Catherine was married to John Kennedy.
(Donald's son. They had quite a family. Jessie was married to John
McArthur of Glendale, Elizabeth to Angus McDonald (Wm's son) of Rear B. C.
Chapel, and Jane to Donald McMaster of Creighnish.
Peter Smith, Angus Ban's
son was married to Christie McNeil of Broad Cove Ponds, issue one son,
Alexander and four daughters, namely; Catherine who married James Gillis
of Rear Dunvegan; Elizabeth who married Hugh MacVarish, Ann who married
Captain Angus McFarlane of Port Hawkesbury, and Eliza who was married in
Massachusetts and died there in the spring of 1920.
The daughters of Angus
Smith, Ban, were married as follows: Sarah to Thomas Dougherty, Mary to
Alex McLellan, S. W. Margaree, Elizabeth to Captain Allan McDonald, S. W.
Margaree, and Catherine to a Mr. McMaster to Creignish.
John McDonald, a native of
Moidart, Scotland, blazed out a farm of 200 acres of Crown land on the
coast of Broad Cove Marsh in the beginning of the 19th century. Not many
years afterwards he died without issue. His brother James (Semuas Mac
Ruaridh), with his wife, two sons, Alexander and Rory, and three
daughters, Flora, Catherine and Ann left Moidart for Cape Breton to occupy
and develop the farm made vacant by the death of John.
Seumas MacRuaridh left the
farm to his son Roderick who married Flora daughter of Hugh Smith (Ewen
Mac Aonghais Ban). Roderick reared a large family, one of whom is Angus R.
McDonald, P.P. of Christmas Island, another son, John Angus, is now in
charge of the farm.
Lot No. 18 at Broad Cove
Marsh, containing 440 acres, was taken up by this Alexander Gillis
(Alasdair Mac Illoios). He was a native of Kenloch Morar, Scotland, and
was but three years old when his father died. The mother married again,
and at the age of fourteen, Alexander, with a young sister by the first
marriage, left Morar for-Cape Breton. He came in 1900 and found employment
with the Jersey firm at Cheticamp "Point" for several years, after which
he took up this large tract of land, built a log cabin, and married Mary
McIsaac (Marini ni'n Alein ic Neil), an aunt of those saintly servants of
God, the late Most Reverend Canaon McIsaac and Reverend Donald McIsaac.
Mr. Gillis reared a large
family of sons and daughters. The sons were John, Allen, Hugh, Donald,
Angus and Archibald; the daughters were Mary, Margaret, Nancy and
John, was married to Sarah,
daughter of John McDonald (lain MacLoddy) of Antigonish. After a few years
at Broad Cove Marsh, they went to Newfoundland and had a family of two
sons and six daughters.
Allen was married to Margaret McLellan daughter of John McLellan of Black
Glen, now Glenville (lain MacDhomhnull ic lain ic lain) a native of Morar.
Allen had a family of eight children, whose names were these: John,
Donald, Angus, Michael, and Alexander, Mary, Flora and Catherine. Allen,
the father and John, the oldest son, aged 16 years died in 1856 of
malignant type of typhoid fever, leaving the widowed mother and the
remaining seven children to mourn their bitter loss. Donald, Allen's son
died unmarried in January 1873.
Angus (Allen) married
Catherine daughter of Angus Kennedy, Senior, of Loch Ban, by whom he had a
family of four sons and four daughters. The names of these children were
as follows: Donald Allen, John Alexander, Angus and Alexander, Lizzie,
Flora, Mary Flora, and Lizzie Maggie. The son Donald Allen died unmarried.
John Alexander who is a merchant in Deepdale, is married to Mary, daughter
of Charles McNeil. Angus is married to Mary Ann, daughter of the late
David Kennedy of Loch Ban. Alexander is married to Annie, daughter of
Donald McDonald (Domhnull a Ghoba) of Judique, and is a blacksmith in
Boston. Euphemia is married to Ronald Dan McDonald of B. C. Chapel, Lizzie
Flora to Alexander McDonald (Sandy h-Seumas h-Sandy) of Port Hood, and
Lizzie Maggie to Neil P. McLellan, Mine Manager, Inverness. Mary Flora is
in Boston, not yet married.
Michael Gillis (Micheil
Aillein) is married to Jessie daughter of Angus Kennedy, John's son, of
Loch Ban. He was for many years one of the tall teachers in the public
schools of Cape Breton Island. Subsequently he carried on a quiet business
on a small scale at Don-vegan. Since a few years he took up his residence
at Port Hood. He is well known, and as well respected where known. If
everybody was as peaceable and well minded as Big Michael, we should never
have wars, nor rumours of wars.
Alexander Gillis (Sandy
Allein) died in the City of Duluth, Minnesota, where he had been a member
of the Police Force. His remains were brought home and buried in St.
Margaret's cemetery at Broad Cove. A beautiful gold medal was found in one
of his trunks, on which the following words, facts and figures were
inscribed:—"Awarded to Alexander Gillis, Police Officer, by the citizens
of Duluth for bravery during riot, July 6th, 1889." Requiescat in pace!
Mary, Mairi Allein, was
married to John McPherson, blacksmith (Iain un Taillear) of Dunvegan. She
left two daughters, Mary and Annie. Mary is married to John J. McEachern
of Dun-vegan, and Annie to Hugh D. McEachern of Broad Cove Chapel.
Flora (Allen) was married
to Angus Gillis (Aonghas Alasdair ic lain) of South West Margaree. She
left a family of five sons and two daughters. Simon A. the oldest son is
on the homestead (both parents being dead). Donald died in Alaska, Joseph
and James are in British Columbia, Mary Ann is married to John McDonald,
blacksmith, Inverness, and Jessie was married to Ronald Gillis, Duncan's
son, S. W. Margaree.
Catherine (Katie Aillein)
was married to Alexander Gillis (Alasdair Ewin ic Aonghas ic Ewin) of
South West Margaree. She and her husband are dead, but left a family of
five sons and three daughters. Two of the seven boys predeceased their
parents. The sons, Hugh, Angus, Allen and Martin, are home, Jim Alick and
John Dan are in the "States". Mary Jane is married to Angus McFarlane (Aonghas
Chalum) of S. W. Margaree, Maggie Bell is married to Lewis McIsaac of
Inverness, and Maggie is in Boston.
Hugh Gillis (Ewin Mac
Alasdair ic Illios) went to Boston in the days of his young manhood. In
that big city he married a young Irish girl, but died a few years later.
Donald (Domhnull Alasdair
ic Illios) married Catherine Smith, daughter of Hugh Smith, Senior, of B.
C. Chapel. They had a family of three sons and seven daughters, to wit:
Sandy, Archibald, and Donald, Mary, Margaret, Annie, Catherine, Christy,
Elizabeth and Jessie.
Alexander died unmarried.
Archibald D. is married to Catherine, daughter of John McPherson late of
Rear Port Hood. They have a family of one son and two daughters, and live
in comfort at B. C. Marsh. Donald died unmarried. Mary lives with her
brother Archibald D., Margaret married Angus McIsaac, they are both dead
and their family is at Inverness. Annie is married to Donald F. McLellan
of Inverness. They have a family of five sons and three daughters.
Reverend Lewis McLellan, the promising young priest, now Curate at Little
Bras D'Or, is one of those five sons, while Sr. St. Pancratius of Whitney
Pier Convent is one of the three daughters. Christy is married to a
resident of Minto Park, California. Catherine and her family reside in
Inverness. She was married to John McDougall, Dougald's son, late of North
Highlands. Elizabeth is married to Archibald McLellan of S. W. Road. They
have a family of two sons and three daughters. Jessie was married to
Ronald McDonald of S. W. Margaree. She died soon after her marriage.
Angus Gillis (Aonghas
Alasdair ic Illios) was married to Mary daughter of James Smith (Seumas
Mac Aonghas Bhain). They had a family of five sons and three daughters.
Four of the sons are in different parts of the United States and one,
Archibald A. holds a Part of the lot which his grandfather granted.
Archibald A. is married to Annie, daughter of the late John McLellan
(Clerk) of St. Rose. Mary, a daughter of said Angus Gillis, is dead. She
was married to James McIsaac (Donald the miller's son). They had a family
of two sons and four daughters, one of whom, Mary, is married to Charles
J. McLellan of Dunvegan. Margaret, Angus Gillis' second daughter is
married to Joseph Kennedy of Sight Point, and has quite a family.
Catherine, the third daughter, is married to Donald McNeil, Allan's son,
Port Hood. They have a family of one son and three daughters, but the son
died in infancy.
Archibald Gillis (Gillesbrag
Mac Alasdair ic Illios) died at Grand Mira where he was teaching school,
in the year 1858. He was a single man.
Of Alexander Gillis' four
daughters, three, Mary, Nancy and Catherine died unmarried. The fourth,
Margaret, was married to Donald McLellan (Domhnull Mac an Taillear) late
of Dunvegan. They had a family of three sons and one daughter, namely:
John, Angus, Archibald D. and Mary. John married Catherine, daughter of
Alexander McDougall of Rear Ponds. Angus moved to Newfoundland some years
back, Archibald D. who is a land surveyor resides at Belle Cote. He was
married to Margaret, daughter of Ronald McLellan of S. W. Road. They had a
family of three son and five daughters, John, Donald, Ronald, Mary, Flora,
Catherine, Christina and Annie, John, like his father, is a land surveyor.
Ronald, who was teaching school in the West when the war broke out in
1914, immediately enlisted in the Canadian Army. He was killed in battle a
few days before the armistice was signed. Donald, also, was a volunteer,
and though in the war from start to finish, came through unscathed. Mary
is married to Mr. Tompkins, a farmer of Margaree. Three of the daughters
are teaching, two of whom are in the West. The fifth is at home with her
The first settler on a lot
of 200 acres lying South of Alasdair Mac Illios' estate was Hugh
MacDougall (Ewin MacLachinn). He was married to Catherine, Alasdair Mac
Illios' sister, who came to America as a young girl with her brother
Alexander. They had a family of five sons and three daughters, none of
whom are now living. Hugh McDougall left the farm to his two sons, Ronald
and Duncan. The latter afterwards sold out his part of the farm, and went
to Codroy, Newfoundland, where he was drowned. There was an old tradition
that several people in Broad Cove saw the ghost of Duncan McDougall after
his death. "One man gifted with second sight alleged that the ghost spoke
to him and told him that he was making a line fence one day, and took,
without leave, an axe of one of the neighbours which he forgot to return.
The ghost, it is said, told this man to follow that line fence from a
certain point towards the shore to a large stone, and that alongside of
that big stone, he would find the axe, and forthwith to return it to the
owner. The man did as requested, found the axe and returned it, and the
ghost was seen no more."
Ronald (son of Hugh) lived
to an old age on his part of the farm, He was married to Flora daughter of
Alexander McNeil of St. Rose. who lived to the borderland of one hundred
years, in good health. They had a large family, seven of whom are still
living, namely: Alexander on the homestead, Angus hotel keeper and
blacksmith at Margaree Harbour; Hugh in British Columbia, Mary, wife of
Hugh McEachern at Dunvegan; Christy married to Donald McLellan of St.
Rose; Annie to Ronald McIntyre of Broad Cove Banks; Catherine to Duncan
McLellan (Malcolm's son) South West Margaree. Alexander, who is on the old
homestead, was married to Mary McEachen, daughter of the late Donald
McEachen, miller. Sixteen children were born to them, some of whom died in
infancy. Two of the daughters are nuns in the Convent of St. Martha,
Antigonish. Another daughter Agnes, is superintendent in an Hospital in
Ewin MacLachinn was one of
the MacDougall pioneer settlers at Broad Cove Banks. Lachinn, himself, the
father of them all, came to Broad Cove Banks with three other sons,
Alexander, Duncan, and Archibald. He took up 600 acres of land on which he
settled, side by side, the three sons above named. There was no land
available at the Banks for Hugh, which was his reason for going further
This old Lauchlin McDougall
was the first man buried in the old original shore cemetery at Broad Cove.
The last man buried there was Neil Ban McLellan already referred to.
IAIN MAC RAOGHNULL.
A family of particular
prominence in this district was the John McDonald of Broad Cove Chapel
(lain Mac Raoghnull). We are not certain whether he came from Moidart or
Eigg, but are inclined to believe he came from the latter place. We have a
distant recollection of seeing this old gentleman in church on several
occasions. At that time we were very young, and he was very old. We should
not be able to remember him but for the fact that he seemed to be the only
person in church who continued to pray aloud during divine service. This
circumstance impressed us, and we never forgot John McDonald's face and
general appearance. We never got rid of the thought that he was a
singularly gentle, pious and earnest old gentleman. He was a handsome man,
straight as a rush, neatly dressed with clean shaven face and long curly
hair. His father (Raoghnul Ban) came to Broad Cove. They were of the
MacDonald's of Red Banks. John selected his home at Broad Cove Chapel, on
a large and beautiful tract of land adjoining the Smith property to the
West. Here, by the blue Laurentian waters of the Gulf, he lived in peace,
honor and industry, for the rest of his life, a life which nearly filled
the whole measure of the century. He was married to Catherine McLeod,
daughter of Donald McLeod alluded to elsewhere, and reared a large
respectable family. It is said that this Catherine McLeod was an
uncommonly attractive woman, and had many suitors. A good natured
neighbour, who attempted betimes to talk in numbers, composed a little
ditty entitled "Co gheibh Cathriona bhan."
The following is a random
"Tha i loahach, moaghal
"S ioma lenan aice s'n tir;
"lain MacRaoghnill air a ti.
"S' Seumas grinn Mac Aonghnais bahain."
We were not surprised to
learn that our old friend, lain MacRaoghnull, won out triumphantly.
"Not his the form, nor his
"That youthful maids are wont to fly."
John McDonald's marriage
was blessed with a family of seven sons and four daughters, and it is
perfectly safe to say that a better family would be hard to find in any
country. The four daughters were especially marked for their eminent
usefulness, and consistent religious devotedness. The following are the
names of this interesting family: Ronald, Donald, Angus, John, Charles,
Hector and James, Catherine, Mary, Ann and Jessie. All of these are now
dead, except the two daughters last named, and they are far up in the
Ronald was married to Mary
Kennedy Red John's daughter, and had a large family. The genial Angus R.,
the only living son, now holds forth on his father's estate, and he is not
unworthy of his noble parentage. Mary, the eldest daughter of Ronald, was
married to Finlay Beaton of Mabou and is the mother of the able and
educated priest, Rev. Ronald Beaton, who had been for years a learned
professor in St. F. X. College in Antigonish, but is now labouring in the
wider fields of British Columbia. The other daughters of Ronald were
married in different parts of the land.
Donald, the second son of
John, was married to Catherine McKinnon of St. Rose, and had a family of
three sons and five daughters, namely: Ronald D., James, Neil John;
Catherine, Margaret, Christy, Jane and Alexina.
Ronald D. owns and occupies
one half of his father's land, is married and has a young family.
James is unmarried, and has
been for years a steward on large American trading ships. He has done, and
is doing well.
Neil John, who lived with
his mother on the old homestead enlisted in the Canadian army in the
recent war and was killed in action. The venerable widow and her grandson
are now alone in the old home.
Catherine, the oldest
daughter of Donald, is married to Roderick McNeil of Deepdale, and has a
large and bright family. Margaret was married to Donald Smith of Smith's
Cove. She and her husband are dead, but have left a nice family of sons
and daughters; Christy is married to a Mr. Reid of Antigonish; Jane is
married to Hugh L. MacDougall of Broad Cove Banks, and had a family of
four boys and five girls, two of whom, Duncan and James are not now
living. The living family are: Lauchlin Angus, Daniel, Mary Ann,
Catherine, Maggie, Clara and Mary. Since writing the foregoing the son
Laculin Angus died in Valporaiso, South America. He was a good wise and
exceptionally smart boy, and his untimely death is a public loss.
Alexina was married to
Dougald Arch'd McDonald of Black River. She died a few years since, but is
survived by a nice young family.
Angus (son of John) was
married to a daughter of James Donald Ban of Judique. He and his wife are
dead, but have left a clever family of sons and daughters. The sons James
and Ronald Dan both of whom are married and have families, are now the
prosperous owners of their father's estate. Charles died unmarried.
John was married to a lady
from South West Margaree, and had one son and two daughters. The son,
James, lives at Inverness, and is always foremost in all religious
Hector was an old school
teacher in this county, and did much to teach the younger folk some church
music. He afterwards removed to Bay St. George, Nfld., where he got
married and died.
James was lost at sea on
the way to Bay St. George on or about the 19th of December, 18...
Catherine, the oldest
daughter of lain Mac Raoghnuill, was married to Big Donald McLellan (Dhomhnull
mor Mac Illeasbuig 'ic Dhomhnuill) of St. Rose, and had a strapping family
of sons and daughters. One of the sons, Daniel, who was a fine intelligent
young man, entered upon the study of law, but died ere his course was
finished. Archibald and John, each having a fine family, now own and enjoy
the old home property.
Mary, the second daughter
of John McDonald, was married to Dougald McEachen of Mount Young, Mabou,
and had a very large family. She was a remarkably fine woman and her
husband was an equally fine man. Both were genial, good and friendly, and
were as happy at Mount Young as ever king and queen were on a safe and
satisfying throne. Unfortunately, however, a son who had spent some years
in the "States" came home one winter and wanted the old couple to sell out
the farm and property and go off with him to New York. In an evil moment
they consented. This contented aged couple who never saw a city, set out
in mid-winter to dwell in the vast city of New York. The husband died
within three months, and on his death the wife became ill and had to come
to Pictou with another son. In Pictou she died shortly afterwards. Oh, the
dangerous and delusive lure of the city.
Ann was married to Donald
McEachen, miller, and had a family of six sons and three daughters,
namely:-John D., at Inverness, Donald and Hugh on the home property,
Duncan in Sydney, John A., an ecclesiastical student who was drowned while
bathing at the shore at B. C. Chapel, James, who died of the flu a few
years since; Catherine, married to Alexander McDonald of Mull River, Mary
who was married to Alex McDougall (Sandy Ronald) of B. C. Marsh, and Mary
Bell, married to John McPhee of Mabou Harbour. Jessie was married to Neil
McKinnon, a carpenter from Antigonish, who bought a fine farm at
Strathlorne and died at an early age. The issue of this marriage was a
family of one son and two daughters, namely: Alexander,. Flora and
Catherine. The last named died some years since. Flora was married but her
husband died and she returned to her mother. The son never got married.
Mother, son and daughter are now living together in all the comforts of
peace and plenty,—a fitting tribute to the memory of good old lain Mac
JOHN MacLENNAN (KINTAIL)
There is one particular
family in this district to whom the County of Inverness owes much. This is
the family of John McLennan noted above.
John McLennan came out from
Kintail in the early days of the nineteenth century. He was then a fine,
fresh looking young man. After a few years he married Ann McLeod, daughter
of Donald McLeod Senior, and settled down upon a large lot of land near
the cross roads at Dunvegan. His family consisted of seven sons and three
daughters, namely: Roderick, Donald, Archibald, Neil, John, Alexander and
Angus; Jessie, Catherine and Mary Ann. Jessie was married to Ronald
McLellan (Red John's son) of Black Glen, and had a large family, Flora was
married to Alexander McRae of St. Rose, and had a family, Mary Ann was
married to Dougald McEachen (John's son), Sight Point, and had several
sons and daughters, one of whom is Dr., Angus McEachen of Boston,
Roderick the oldest son was
a rarely able-bodied man of splendid physique, strong as a lion, but ever
kind and peaceable. When he attained his majority, he started a moderate
business at the crossroads. He was a prudent, careful man and managed to
save enough money in a few years to buy him a farm at Chimney Corner on
which he spent his remaining years. He was married to Catherine McFarlane,
daughter of Malcolm McFarlane of .S. W. Margaree, by whom he had several
sons and daughters, one of whom is John R. McLennan, Merchant of
Inverness. A younger son, Simon, remains on the farm at Chimney Corner.
Donald, the second son, was
married to Flora McDonald a daughter of Captain Allan McDonald of South
West Margaree. He, also, bought a farm at Chimney Corner on which he lived
and died. He left quite a number of children one of whom is Donald
MacLennan, M. P. P. of Port Hood.
Archibald was married to a
Miss Chisholm of River Dennis, and had a respectable family of sons and
daughters. His son Roderick now occupies the paternal estate.
Neil was married to a
sister of Archibald's wife, and was blessed with a family as good as it
was large. Both brothers, with their wives agreed to work, use and enjoy
the big farm as tenants in common. Not only that, but those two brothers,
with their wives and families always dwelt under the one roof on the old
homestead. It was an edifying example of a truly Christian home. No
contentions or strife, no bickerings or quarrelling, no envy or jealousy,
no nagging fault findings, no words of anger or reproach were ever known
or heard in that-well ordered double home. We doubt that this case ever
had a literal precedent in Inverness County, and we doubt still more that
it will have a parallel or duplicate in future. "Blessed are the clean of
heart, for they shall see God." Reverend John N. McLennan, P. P., of
Glendale is a son of Neil's. Another son, Dan, now presides over the
homestead, and is, at present, the Municipal Councillor for the District
of Broad Cove Marsh.
John, Alexander and Angus
were school teachers in different parts of this County for many years.
This was in the dawn of our Public School System. Teachers of much value
were exceedingly scarce. These three active young men, hopeful, cheerful
and nicely educated, had open doors in our schools. All three had a genius
for teaching and dearly loved the work. For years and years they laboured,
when the labourers were few. The good they wrought in the County of
Inverness in that way, at a time of distressing need, will never be fully
John was the first of the
three to retire from the teaching profession. He then commenced a
mercantile business at Upper Margaree and had a large measure of success,
because he won and deserved the unqualified good will of his customers. In
later life he bought a farm at Judique Intervale, where he also, carried
on a small business. A few years before his death he was appointed Light
Keeper on Port Hood Island—a position still held by his family.
Alexander taught longer
than either of the other two. For long periods he taught at Broad Cove
Chapel and Mabou Coal Mines, and for shorter periods at Strathlorne and
Dunvegan. He was a genial man, a highly rated athlete, an earnest and
devoted teacher, and a popular character everywhere. When he gave up
teaching he resided for a short time at Dunvegan, until he was designated
and appointed by the Dominion Government as Light Keeper at Cape St.
Lawrence, where he died. He served for a term or two in the Municipal
Council of Inverness as the elected representative of Broad Cove Marsh.
Angus was one of the very
best teachers Inverness County ever had. After he had taught for some
years he took courses in High Schools and Colleges, and again resumed the
work of teaching. He evinced a high order of talent and industry. When he
was studying medicine his college would close early in the Spring not to
open again till the following winter. In the interim he taught every
summer, during his medical course, at Dunvegan. All at once the Dunvegan
School leaped into the front rank of our best schools. But we have
sketched the history of this man supra. We shall not enlarge on his
history here, except to say that Broad Cove Marsh never raised a worthier
son, nor the County a worthier servant.
There are several other
families in this district whom we cannot describe here for three reasons:
1. We have not been able to secure sufficient data as to their history. 2.
We have already exceeded the space that should be given to any one
district. 3. In rural communities where the people pursue the same
avocations, the history of one family is largely the history of all. But
the families we have not described are just as deserving as those with
whom we have dealt.
There is that branch of the
McLellan family locally identified as (Cloinn Fhearchair) branching out
from five brothers, namely: Archibald, Donald, Alexander, John and Ronald.
They and their descendents have been among the best assets of B. C. Marsh.
The same can be said with propriety of that important Gillis family (Gillean
Anghais bhain Shaoir).
There was another branch of
the McLellans at Dunvegan, represented by three brother, Archibald, Donald
and Neil. They were wont to be described as "the tailor's sons." Each of
these brothers had a large family, and each family was worth its weight in
gold to B. C. Marsh.
We had, also, the McLellans
of the South West and South West Road. They were usually spoken of as (Gillean
Dhomhnuill 'ic Aonghais). There were Donald, Andrew, Archibald and Ronald.
We knew Donald well. He
lived long at Foot Cape, Strathlorne, and had a large family of sons and
daughters. He was a blacksmith by trade, a kind and quiet neighbour, an
extensive reader, and a wit. He removed with his family to Grand Mira
where he died.
We did not know Andrew; but
we happen to know that one of his daughters was married to Big Angus
McLellan (Sandy Ban) and is now a widow with a family living in the town
of Inverness. In our youthful days we knew a son of Andrew's by the name
of Peter, who was a splendidly educated young man of magnificant
character. After his college graduation in Arts, he took up the study of
law with the late Samuel MacDonnell of Port Hood, but his health broke
down and he died ere his studies were completed. Had he lived he would
doubtlessly have been one of the most learned members of the Nova Scotia
Ronald and Archibald were
two of the finest men in their Parish. All of them had a peculiar sense of
humor. Father Ronald McGillivray was standing at the Chapel gate on a
Sunday morning at S. W.. Margaree talking to some old gentlemen, one of
whom was Archibald McLellan. The priest was looking at the people
streaming in from all directions with their teams to attend mass. Then he
remarked, "that would be a pretty sight, if all these were coming for the
sake of mass and religion, but many of these are coming only from sheer
force of habit." Archibald McLellan, looking at Fr. Ronald with a kind.
smile answered: "If it please your Reverence, what a beautiful habit
methinks it is?"
There were, also, the fine
families of Martin McPherson, Angus McLellan (Donald Og), Farquhar
McLellan (Red John) and his brother Donald, all of whom did their honest
share in the advancement of Inverness County.
And lastly there was the
well remembered family of Alas dair Mhor, particulars of whom we have been
long waiting. These McDonalds are of the Kinlochmoidart family in
Scotland, and are descended from John, son of Allan, eighth Chief of Clan
Ranald. In 1584 John obtained from his father a charter of Kinlochmoidart,
Askernish and lands in Uist, and became the first chief of Kinlochmoidart.
This MacDonald family played a gallant and conspicuous part in the life of
Scotland. They fought with distinction under Montrose, Dundee and Prince
The first of the
Kinlochmoidart MacDonalds to come to Cape Breton was Alasdair Mor Mac
Aonghais 'ic Alasdair, who was born in Scotland about 1770, and came to
America about 1800. He first settled in Prince Edward Island where he
married a Miss McIsaac who died without issue shortly afterwards. Alasdair
Mor then came to Broad Cove Marsh where he obtained a Grant of 400 acres
from the' Crown. He married as his second wife, Margaret, daughter of
Lewis MacDonald (Lody) of Anisaig, Antigonish County, by whom he had five
sons and five daughters:-
1. Catherine, born 1809,
married Farquhar McLellan, Rear Broad Cove Marsh, with issue:—Lewis,
Donald, Alexander, John, Lewis Jr., Donald Jr., Angus, Alexander Jr.,
Flora, Sarah, Catherine, Mary and Margaret.
2. James, born 1811, married Margaret Gillis, daughter of Captain
Alexander Gillis, Fraser Regiment of Highlanders, with issue: Alexander,
Barrister, died at Port Hood 1909; Donald of Inverness, Lewis of Port
Hood; Mary died at Port Hood 1915; Margaret died at Port Hood in 1914;
Isabel, Flora (married John H. McDonald) died at Spring Hill 1898; Annie,
Margaret died in infancy; Angus died from exposure on the Grand Banks
3. Donald, who married Jane McDonald by whom he had one daughter, Mary,
who died with issue. This Donald was drowned in 1848 off Cape Mabou.
4. Angus, married to Annie McDonnell of S. W. Margaree with
issue:—Alexander, New Zealand; Donald, died at B. C. Marsh; Catherine,
Margaret, Annie, Mary, Jessie, Christina.
5. Sarah, married Angus McArthur, Broad Cove with issue: Allan, Lewis,
John, Mary, Catherine, Elizabeth, Margaret.
6. Mary, married Martin McPherson with issue: John, Alexander, Lewis,
James, Donald Jr., Mary Catherine, Margaret Catherine.
7. Ann, married Donald McDonald, Seaside, Port Hood, with issue: Ronald,
Duncan, John, Alexander, Lewis, Margaret, Mary, Catherine.
8. Lewis, died in 1844, unmarried.
9. Alexander drowned in 1848 off Cape Mabou.
10. Margaret, married Archibald McIsaac, Broad Cove Marsh, with
issue:—Ronald, Alexander, Angus, Donald, Alexander Jr.
We knew Alexander
MacDonald, Barrister, noted above, from his early teaching days till his
death. He was a marvel of intellect, and a lawyer apart. His ways were not
the ways of other Knights of the sable gown. We seldom caught him reading
law, but when it was necessary to cite it he had it at his finger tips. He
literally basked at the shrine of Contemplation. He was, also, a well
disposed man. It were difficult to find among men a mind more free from
sheer malice. A prophet is not without fame except in his own country. Mr.
MacDonald was never fully appreciated in Inverness. Only a few intimates
can guess the priceless treasures that were buried in his grave.
THE MacLELLANS OF BUIRBLACH.
Angus MacLellan, a native
of Morar, Scotland, came with his family to America, in a vessel called
"The Three Brother of Hull", in the year 1816. After a short stay in
Antigonish he settled permanently at Broad Cove Marsh, where many of his
descendants now are. These MacLellans were called the MacLellans of
Buirblack, because, for generations they had lived on the Buir black Farm,
on the Morar River, looking out upon the inner Hebrides.
Leaving Scotland Angus
MacLellan had three sons, Archibald, Donald, and Neil, aged respectively
11, 9 and 8 years.
This son, being the oldest,
was his father's first help in the wilderness, and he did help from a very
early age. Even in his youth he was both intelligent and obedient. He was
born in Morar in 1805 and died at Dunvegan in 1900. In his mere boyhood he
took to fishing as well as farming, and was specially successful in the
latter pursuit. It used to be said that he had peculiar luck as a
fisherman; but in our experience the man is usually the Captain of his own
luck. Wolfes Island, now Margaree Island, was always a capital fishing
station. It is said that Archibald MacLellan was the first white man who
slept there. He not only fished himself, but also bought the fish from
other fishermen, and had it conveyed to market in French schooners. He
also built a wharf on the Island. When the fishing season ended he
returned to the farm where he stayed and worked till the sea called him
again the following spring. In this way Archibald became very comfortable.
In 1828, he married Mary
MacFarlane, daughter of Archibald MacFarlane of S. W. Margaree, with
issue:—Angus, James, John, Donald, Joseph, Nancy, Jessie, Margaret,
Marjory, Flora, Catherine Mary and Isabel. The daughters were all married
in the neighborhood of the old home. We are not aware that any one of this
fine family ever left the County of Inverness.
This Archibald MacLellan
was a gifted man with some education. In his old age he took to writing in
verse. He composed some Gaelic songs and hymns which, according to some
competent judges, invoke the graces of the Muses. Had he been trained in
that poetic pursuit he might have ranked among the celebrities of song.
But, better than all this: Gillesburg Mac an Tailoir was a good man, and
we sincerely hope he now shares the eternal glory of the real Immortals.
The brothers Donald and
Neil, also had large farms and fine families at Dunvegan. Both were men of
character who developed a high order of industry. They confined themselves
more to the land than did their older brother Archibald. Otherwise their
history and reputation were much the same. Neil was married in 1830 to
Catherine Gillis. of Upper Margaree with issue: John who died abroad;
Archibald in New Zealand; Donald on the old homestead; Angus and Alexander
who died at home not many years since; James who died young; Mary who
married Arch'd Gillis of Broad Cove; Catherine married to Hugh MacPherson
of Broad Cove; Marjory who was married to Donald MacLellan (Neil Ban) of
Broad Cove and Margaret who died unmarried at home.
We regret that we have not
obtained the names of Donald's family, Archibald D. MacLellan, who is the
honest and efficient land Surveyor of Belle Cote. He gave a great deal of
clean and capable service to the County of Inverness.