'Mackay01'Index links to: Lead / Letter
Families covered: Mackay of Farr, Mackay of Strathnaver

(1) TSP (Mackay) refers to a common ancestry with the family of Forbes. According to TSP (Forbes), this may have been through O'Connor of Ochonochor (a temp Malcolm Canmore who r. 1058-1093) whose 3 sons were progenitors of the Forbeses, the Urquharts and the Mackays. We hope to show the connection in due course, purely 'for fun' of course as, in practice, reliable pedigrees for all 3 families can be traced no further back than the 13th century. [As reported on Macgregor1, Douglas's 'Baronage of Scotland' refers to a claim that the Mackays were an early branch of the Macgregors. Such was probably a conceit of an early Macgregor historian.]
(2) According to TSP, the first of the family to settle in Strathnaver was ...
Iye MacEth (a c1260, chamberlain to Walter de Batrodie, Bishop of Caithness)
m. _ (dau of Walter de Batrodie, Bishop of Caithness)
1. Iye Mor Mackay
  A. Donald Mackay
  m. _ MacNeil (dau of Iye MacNeil of Gigha)
i. Iye Mackay (d 1370)
  a. Donald Mackay (d 1370)
  (1) Angus Mackay
  m. _ Macleod (dau of Torquil Macleod of the Lews)
  (A) Angus Du Mackay of Strathnaver (d 1433)
  m1. (before 08.10.1415) Elizabeth Macdonald (sister of Donald, Lord of the Isles)
  (i) Neil 'Vass' Mackay of Strathnaver (a 1437)
  m. (Elizabeth?) Munro (dau of George Munro of Fowlis by Isobel Ross)
(a) Angus Roy Mackay of Strathnaver (d c1486)
  m. ?? Mackenzie (dau of Mackenzie of Kintail)
  ((1)) Ive Roy Mackay (d 1517)
  m/p. _ O'Beolan (dau of Norman O'Beolan, son of Patrick of Carloway)
((A)) John Mackay of Strathnaver (d c1529)
  m. Margaret Fraser (dau of Thomas, Lord Lovat)
probably wife of John and mother of ...
  ((i)) daugher
  m. Hugh Moray of Aberscross
  ((ii)) Margaret Mackay
  m. Walter Murray of Polrossie
((B)) Donald Mackay of Strathnaver (d 1550)
  m. Helen Sinclair (dau of Alexander Sinclair of Stemster)
  ((i)) Iye Du Mackay of Farr (d 1572)
  m1/p. Helen Macleod (dau of Hugh Macleod of Assynt) @@ below
  Dispensation for this marriage (to his cousin) was not obtained so the issue were deemed illegitimate.
  ((a)) John Beg Mackay (d 1579)
  ((b)) Donald Balloch Mackay of Scoury or Scourie
m. Euphemia Munro (dau of Hugh Munro of Assint)
  m(2). Christina Sinclair (dau of Sinclair of Dun)
  ((c)) Huistean Du Mackay of Farr (b c1562, d 11.09.1614)
  m1. (div) Elizabeth Sinclair (dau of George Sinclair, 4th Earl of Caithness)
  m2. (12.1589) Jane Gordon (dau of Alexander Gordon, Earl of Sutherland)
  ((d)) William Mackay, 1st of Bighouse (d 1612)
  m. Isabella Mackenzie (dau of Rorie Mackenzie of Ardfalie)
  ((e)) Eleanor Mackay
  m. Donald Bane Macleod of Assynt
  ((f)) Jane Mackay
  m. Alexander Sutherland of Beridale
  ((g)) Barbara Mackay
  m. Alexander Macdavid (of Clan Gunn)
((ii)) daughter
  m. John Mackay of Aberach
  ((iii)) Florence Mackay
  m. Neil Macleod of Assynt
  ((C)) Angus Mackay (d before 1511)
  ((D)) daughter
  m. Hugh Macleod of Assynt
  ((i)) Neil Macleod
  ((ii)) Helen Macleod
  m. Iye Du Mackay of Farr (d 1572) @@ above
  ((E)) daughter
  m. Alexander Sutherland (b 1491, d 1519/20, son of John, 8th Earl of Sutherland)
  ((2)) John Riavach Mackay (d Flodden 1513)
((3)) Neil Naverach Mackay
  m. _ Sutherland (dau of Hutcheon Sutherland of Croystoun)
  ((A)) John Mackay of Croystoun
  ((4)) daughter
  m. Hector Mackenzie of Auchterneed
  ((5)) daughter
  m. _ Sutherland of Dirlot
  (b) John Roy Mackay
  ((1)) William Reed Mackay
  (c) Elizabeth Mackay
  m. John (Ian) Mac-gill-eoin of Lochbuy (a chieftain of Maclean)
  m2. ?? Macdonald (dau of Alexander Macdonald of Keppoch, brother of Donald of the Isles)
  (ii) Ian Aberach Mackay ancestor of the Aberach Mackays
  m. _ Macintosh (dau of _ Macintosh of Mcintosh)
  Not known by which wife were ...
  (iii)+ other issue - Roderick, William, Angus
  (B) Rorie Gald Mackay (d Dingwall 1411)
(2) Neil Mackay (4th son)
  TSP reports that Neil had a son Neil who had a son Paul. 'Clan Bain History' in the 'ScotClans' site (see here) reports that "Around 1427 an internal feud broke out within clan MacKay which split the the clan into two factions. On one side was the ageing chef (chief) of the clan Angus Du Mackay and his second son while on the other were his cousins Morgan Neilson and Niel Neilson MacKay. ... The two sides finally clashed at a battle known as Drumnacoub near the Kyle of Tongue. ... After the battle Niel Deilson (sic) McKay’s son John Bain MacKay dropped his surname to become John Bain and began the line of Bain. He, his family and supporters all moved from Sutherland over to Caithness where John’s mother had been taken for her own safety." We presume that Niel was the Neil mentioned by TSP and that Morgan was his brother.
(A) Neil or Niel ('Neilson') Mackay
  (i) Paul Mackay identified by TSP as ancestor of the Polson Mackays
  (iii) John 'Bain' Mackay, later Bain (b c1408, d c1452)
  (B) Morgan (Neilson) Mackay
  (3)+ other issue - Huistean Du, Martin in Galloway
  b. Farquhar Mackay of Melness (a 1380, physician to King Robert II)
  c. Mariota Mackay --
  p. Alexander Stewart, Lord of Badenoch --

Main source(s): TSP (Mackay, Lord Reay) with support from BP1934 (Reay), BLG1952 (Mackay of Bighouse and Sandwood)
Back to top of page