History of Inverness County, Nova Scotia
compiled by John Dye

History of Inverness County, Nova Scotia, by J.L. MacDougall - 1922?

Ships -
Saint Lawrence, 1826, all pass. Rum p. 126
Highland Lad, 1826 (Rum?) p. 160
Hector, 1773 (Kilmorack, Kiltarlity) p. 312, p. 464
Victory, 1819 (Canna) Pictou p. 316
The Three Brothers of Hull, 1816 (Morar)
Dove of Aberdeen, 1801 (Glenfinnan) Pictou p. 403
Commerce of Greenock, 1822 (Fort William) Pictou & Montreal p. 485
Dunlop, 1830 (Coll) p. 492
Northumberland, 1826 (Greenock, Uist) p.503
Commerce, 1822 (Tobermory) p. 511
Speculation, 1819 (Greenock, Lochaber) p. 600 (Name of ship uncertain, renamed French capture)
Tamarlin, 1821 (Lochaber?) p. 612
William Fell, 1817 (Barra) p. 613

Notes taken from the text - not all of the immigrants have identified areas of origin, I have tried to identify those which seem to be from Moidart and Ardnamurchan. There are a great many from Arisaig, Morar and the Small Isles which I have not mentioned since they are outside the area of the Moidart Local History Group.

p. 328 The MacDougalls of B. C. Banks
Now we come to a large block of land containing seven hundred and fifty acres, selected and located by Lachlan MacDougall, a native of Moidart, Scotland, who emigrated with a grown up family in the last stages of the eighteenth century and came here from Antigonish, to mark out and secure a permanent home, in the summer of 1808.

This Lachlan MacDougall was an exiled scion of the House of Lorn. His people fought like Trojans for William Wallace; but, yielding to the sinister entreaties of "the red Comyn" , they fought with equal valour against "The Bruce", and for Balliol, and thereby lost their estate.

p. 359 Semuas MacRuaridh
John MacDonald, 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 nineteenth 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.

And lastly there was the well remembered family of Alasdair Mhor, particlulars of whom we have long been waiting. These McDonalds are of the Kinlochmoidart family in Scotland, and are descended from John, son of Alln, eighth Chief of Clanranald. 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 Charlie.

The first of the Kinlochmoidart MacDonalds to come to Cape Breton was Alasdair Mor Aonghais 'ic Alasdair, who was born in Scotland about 1770, and came to America about 1800.

p. 386 MacDonalds
A family of MacDonalds came to this Country from Moidart, Scotland, about the year 1815. They were Allan, formerly known as 'Ailean Mac Ruari' or 'Capt. Allan', Donald, James, John and Catherine. Allan took up land at S. W. Margaree having, on account of his being a captain in the militia in the old country, obtained a free grant. He married Catherine Smith (daughter of Angus ban Gow) of Broad Cove, also a native of Moidart, with issue: Rory, Alexander, Angus, John, Ann, Mary, Flora, Catherine, Jessie, Mary and Mary Junior.

p. 387
About the year 1828 Norman MacDonald arrived from Moidart. He married a sister of Donald MacDougall (Piper) with issue: Hugh, Angus, Rory, Donald, Martha, Ann, Jane and Mary.

p. 403 The MacFarlanes
Dougald MacFarlane, the progenitor of the McFarlanes of Antigonish and Inverness Counties, was born in Glanorchy, a district in Argyleshire, Scotland, somewhere about the year 1720. He was known as Dughal Mac Phadruig 'ic Phadruig 'ic Iain ic Illeschriosd 'ic Iain. His parents and all his people were Presbyterians, but Dougald early in life joined the Catholic church. He married a Knoydart woman, Margaret McDonnell daughter of Ronald McDonnell, a grand-daughter of the Laird of Scots, a sept of the Glengarry family. One of her brothers, the famous 'Spanish John,' on whom was founded an interesting novel of the same title, was instructed by Cardinal Yorke, Rome, with a mission to Scotland and a large sum of money for Prince Charles, died at Cornwall, Ontario, somewhere between the years 1810 and 1820. He had three sons, Miles, John and William.

After his marriage, Dougald lived for a number of years in Glanfinnan, Moidart, where most, if not all of his family were born.

Douglad MacFarlane and family emigrated from Scotland in the year 1801 in the 'Dove of Aberdeen'. They landed at Pictou, Nova Scotia, and soon afterwards rented a farm for a short time at Antigonish Harbour.

p. 417 McIsaacs
In the year 1822, Hugh McIsaac, a native of Moidart, Scotland, came from South River, Antigonish, and settled at S.W.Margaree.

p. 419 Stewarts
Hugh Stewart arrived from Moidart, Scotland, in 1843, and settled at Piper's Glen. He was married to Mary McVarish (Weaver's daughter) with issue: John, Donald, Flora, Kate, Ann, Margaret and Mary.

p. 419 Mcvarish
About the year 1815 or 16 there arrived in Margaree a Moidart man named Donald McVarish (big). He had one son, Rory, and two daughters, Mary and Nancy.

p. 461
Donald MacDonald's ancestors were from Moidart, His paternal grand father Angus MacDonald served in the army of Prince Charlie in the rising of 1745-46.

p. 484
In 1822 Samuel Cameron of Lochaber came to Pictou and two years later settled on a lot immediately tot he south of the rory Morrison lot, Samuel was followed shortly by his brothers, Donald and Duncan. (Samuel, Donald and Duncan are common Cameron names around Acharacle, but this Samuel is noted elsewhere as being a cousin of Donald Cameron of Fort William - JD)

p. 521
Angus MacDougall (Ban) came to West Lake about the year 1812. He was a native of Moidart, Scotland, and had spent weveral years in Antigonish before coming to Cape Breton.

Maclachlans - The first settler in this case is a woman, Mrs Donald MacLachlan,before her marriage her name was Mary Cameron. They belonged to Ardnamurchan on the borders of Inverness and Argyle shires, Scotland.

p. 545
John Cameron (Captain) came into this district and settled here in 1817. He was a native of Moidart, Inverssshire, Scotland. He did not come direct from Scotland but from Prince Edward Island where he spent the best part of a decade. …. His wife was Mary MacIsaac.

p. 586
The MacEacherns
In 1791 Duncan MacEachern (Donnachadh Mac Iain ic Allein) came from Moidart, Scotland to Pictou, Nova Scotian. ….. there was not Catholic church at that time in Pictou county. The immigrant felt the inconvenience of the situation and was advised by Fr MacEachern of P.E.I. (afterwards Bishop) to move further east down the Gulf shore. Accordingly he left Pictou and went to Malignant Brook, in the county of Antigonish, where he took up a plot of land and remained a few years. In 1798 he crossed over to Cape Breton and settled permanently in Creignish.

Mr MacEachern was married in Scotland to Jessie MacDonald, daughter of Allan of Moidart, with issue: John, Allan, Donald, Alexander, Angus, Ronald, Archibald, Flora and Mary. All of these children except Ronald and Archibald were born in the Old Country.

p. 590
The MacInnis Family
The family of John MacInnis of Moidart, Scotland, consisted of several sons and daughters who helped to swell the early settlers of Creignish. Some of the daughters were married in Scotland.

The MacMasters
John MacMaster (Iain Mac Ewwen ic Iain) commonly known as 'Iain Ruadh', came, with his first cousin, Donald MacMaster, 'Weaver', from Moidart, Scotland to Antigonish in the year 1801. After a brief sojourn in Antigonish both came to Cape Breton, and settleddown, side by side, in the district of Creignish. As a matter of course, their first dwellings were two of the rude, little, log cabins of the period. Eventually, Iain Ruadh built for himself a substantial stone house, which is still doing duty for his grandson Dan MacMaster.

Donald MacMaster (Weaver)
In 1801 the above named Donald MacMaster came to Creignish from Moidart, Scotland, and settled next to John MacMaster just described. He was married in Moidart to Catherine MacEachern (Nighean Aonghneas ic Tearlach) with issue: Angus, John, Duncan, Charles, Jane, Annie and Mary.

Angus MacDonald (Cross)
In 1835 the above named Angus MacDonald came, with his wife and family, from Scotland to Mabou Rdge in this Country. He was called 'Angus Cross' from the name of a farm, near a crossing or ferry, which he occupied in Scotland. (Possibly Cross Farm in Arisaig? - JD)

Died at River Dennis Station, Cape Breton, on February 9th 1911, a remarkable old lady, in the person of Mrs Alexander MacVarish, nee Stewart, daughter of George Stewart of Mingarie Ard, Scotland. In 1843 she emigrated with her husband to Cape Breton, landing at Ship Harbour, as Hawkesbury was then called. As she was even then the mother of six children, she must certainly have attained the age of 100 years. For the last eight years or so, this dear old soul lived with her daughter, Maggie, the first child to be born to her in the new country, who was married to Hugh MacLean. Sam one of the pioneers Catholics of River Dennis. …… Mrs Macvarish had 14 children, 65 grandchildren, 68 great grandchildren, and 2 great grandchildren, in all a progeny of 149. …….

The above named Mrs Alexander MacVarish came with her husband and four children from Mingarie Ard, Scotland, to Cape Breton in 1843, landing at Ship Harbour, and ultimately settling down at River Inhabitants, where eight more children were born to them. The names of the children were as follows: John, Mary, Angus, Donald (and two infant children who died), born in the old country; Margaret, Marcella, Annie, Hugh, George, Christie, Mary and Jane (born at River Inhabitants). ……….

Alexander MacVarish, the father of the above family; had three brothers, namely: Black Donald who went to Australia, Hugh, who died in Scotland, and Angus, who came to America, settled in the western part of Antigonish county, and changed his name to 'MacDonald.' The brother Alexander at River Inhabitants went to Antigonish to see this 'Angus' and had great difficulty tracing him out owing to his change of name. We know a prominent MacDonald family in Antigonish who are direct descendants of this Angus Macvarish; and we know a large body of MacDonalds In Inverness County who have come down in unbroken line from the great family of MacEachen.

It may be of interest to note that the name of River Inhabitants comes from the French who, in their own language, would spell it 'Riviere des Habitants'. Years before the Scottish immigrants began to settle at River Inhabitants there was a colony of Acadian French located on the lower part of this river, near and around the basin.

JD 11/9/03