MacGregor Clan Crest: A crowned lions head.
MacGregor Clan Motto: 'S Rioghal Mo Dhream (Royal is my race).
History of Clan MacGregor:
Clan Gregor is the senior member of Clan Alpin and in the reign of Alexander II, held the lands of Glenstrae, Glenlochy, Glen Lyon and Glen Orchy. Tradition has it that they are the descendants of Grigor, third son of Kenneth MacAlpin, King of Scots in the 9th century, hence the Clan Motto: “Royal is my Race.”
When Robert the Bruce gifted the Barony of Loch Awe, which included the MacGregor lands, to the Campbells, an uneasy confrontation commenced. It lasted for almost two centuries, with the MacGregors retreating into remote Glenstrae and operating as cattle raiders in order to survive.
In 1519, Black Iain of Glenstrae died without an heir, and the Campbells supported the succession of Eian, who had married the daughter of Sir Colin Campbell of Glenorchy. The MacGregors fought against the Earl of Hertford's invasion at the Battle of Pinkie in 1547. In 1647, Colin Campbell of Glenorchy, who had acquired the superiority of Glenorchy from his kinsman, the Earl of Argyll, refused to recognise the MacGregor claim to the estate.
The MacGregors were faced with their greatest persecution in the reign of James VI when the name and race of MacGregor were proscribed. In 1603, the MacGregors won a battle against the Colquhouns of Luss at Glenfruin, but the Colquhouns had a Royal Commission, and vengeance was swift. The Chief, along with eleven of his chieftains, were captured and hanged at Edinburgh's Mercat Cross in 1604.
Those who escaped were forced to change their name and for their illusiveness, became known as “The Children of the Mist.” The persecution continued into the reign of Charles I. When the Marquis of Montrose raised the King's Standard in 1644, the Laird of MacGregor came forward and joined him. At the restoration, the Clan was therefore pardoned, but it was not until 1775 that it was restored to its rightful name.
Over those 170 years many clansfolk had sought sanctuary with other clans and had changed their names. In 1775, a petition was signed by eight hundred and twenty six MacGregors nominating General John Murray of Lanrick, a descendant of Duncan MacGregor of Ardchoille, as Chief. His son, Sir Evan, son-in-law of the 4th Duke of Atholl, played a prominent role during the historic visit of George IV to Scotland in 1822.
One of the most notorious of the name was Rob Roy MacGregor (1671-1734), a younger son of MacGregor of Glengyle, who farmed at Balquhidder. First immortalised by Sir Walter Scott, in 1995 he was the subject of a Hollywood film Rob Roy.
Sir James McGrigor ( 1771-1858) was Chief of the Duke of Wellington's Medical Staff during the Peninsular War. John MacGregor (1825-92) pioneered the sport of canoeing in Britain. Sir William MacGregor (1847-1919) was Governor of New Guinea, Lagos, Newfoundland and Queensland. Ewan McGregor, born in Crieff in 1971, has appeared in a series of enormously successful Hollywood films.
Surname distribution in Scotland: The MacGregor name is most common in Highland (including the historic counties of Caithness, Inverness-shire, Sutherland, Nairnshire and Ross and Cromarty), Perth and Kinross (Perthshire and Kinross-shire), Angus (Forfarshire) and Dundee City.
Places of Interest:
Inversnaid, Loch Lomond, Dunbartonshire. A path leads to Rob Roy's Cave. Robert the Bruce is also said to have hidden here in 1306.
Balquhidder, Argyll. The outlaw Rob Roy MacGregor farmed here, and he is buried in the churchyard of Balquhidder Church.
Glenorchy, Argyll. These lands were bestowed upon the MacGregors by Alexander II.
Glen Fruin, Dunbartonshire. In 1601, during the feud between the MacGregors and the Colquhouns of Luss, 200 Colquhouns were killed at the battle which took place here. The MacGregors were subsequently outlawed for the deed by James VI.
Inchcailloch, off Balmaha, Dunbartonshire. This is the ancestral burial place of Clan MacGregor.
Associated family names (Septs): Argyl, Arrowsmith, Barrowman, Begland, Black, Bower, Bowmaker, Caird, Callendar, Callum, Clark, Comrie, Craigdallie, Crerar, Crowther, Dennison, Dochart, Docherty, Dowie, Fisher, Fletcher, Gair, Goodsir, Greer, Gregg, Gregor, Gregorson, Gregory, Gregson, Greig, Grewar, Greyson, Grier, Grierson, Grigg, Grigor, Gruer, Gudger, Guinness, Johnston, King, Kirkwood, Laikie, Leckie, Lecky, MacAdam, MacAinsh, MacAldowie, MacAlester, MacAngus, MacAnish, MacCance, MacCanish, MacConachie, MacCondochie, MacCrouther, MacCruiter, MacDougal, MacEwen, MacGreach, MacGrewar, MacGrigor, MacGrouther, MacGruder, MacGruer, MacGrumen, MacGruther, MacIan, MacIldowie, MacIlduff, MacIlduy, MacInnes, MacInstalker, MacIntyre, MacLeicester, MacLiver, MacNay, MacNea, MacNee, MacNeice, MacNeish, MacNess, MacNey, MacNie, MacNiesh, MacNish, MacNocaird, MacNucator, MacOnachie, MacPeter, MacPetrie, MacWilliam, MacGrew, Malloch, Neish, Nelson, Nice, Nish, Nucator, Orr, Paterson, Pattullo, Peat, Peter, Peters, Peterson, Petrie, Robins, Roy, Skinner, Stalker, Stirling, Stringer, Tainsh, Tossack, Walker, Weliver, White, Whyte, Wilcox, Willcox.