THE ancestor of the race was a Breton noble, Alan, a cadet of the ancient Counts of Dol and Dinan. Walter Fitz-Alan received from David I the office of High Steward of Scotland, and was progenitor of the House of Stewart. Alexander, the fourth Steward, left two sons James, his successor, and Sir John of Bonkyl. From James descended the Royal Stewarts, from Sir John the Bonkyl branch. Walter, the sixth Steward, married Princess Marjory Bruce. Their son reigned as Robert II. From his accession until the death in 1808 of Prince Charlie’s brother, the Cardinal of York, the Chiefs of Clan Stewart were heads of the Royal House of Stewart (Stuart). On the Cardinal’s death the nearest lawful heir bearing the name was concluded to be George, 8th Earl of Galloway, whose successors in the peerage have been received as the subsequent Chiefs of the clan. The Stewarts of Garlies, created Earls of Galloway 1623, descend from Sir John Stewart of Bonkyl. From Sir James, fourth son of Sir John of Bonkyl, sprang the Stewart Lords of Lorne, and the Stewart Earls of Atholl, Buchan and Traquair. The Highland Stewarts of Appin derive from Dougal, a son of Sir John of Lorne, murdered 1463. Duncan Stewart, 2nd of Appin, was Chamberlain of the Isles to James IV. Subsequent Chiefs of the house of Appin and Ardshiel fought for Charles I under Montrose, and for the Chevalier in the Risings of 1715 and 1745. Though the lands are lost, they still bear the title, Stewart of Appin and Ardshiel.
THIS clan claim descent from Gregor, a son of King Alpin, who ruled about 787. They had great possessions in Perthshire and Argyllshire. They held their lands by the sword, fighting bravely for their homes, and gave their enemies such good excuse to urge their dispossession that their name was suppressed by Parliament. In the thirteenth century they held the lands of Glenorchy. Later they appear as tenants of the Campbells. Patrick, who succeeded in 1390, had two younger sons John Dhu MacGregor of Glenstrae; and Gregor MacGregor of Roro, in Glenlyon. Ultimately the chieftainship went to the Glenstrae branch. In 1502 the line of Roro was dispossessed by the Campbells. In 1603 the MacGregors overthrew their oppressors, the Colquhouns of Luss, at Glenfruin, For this they were outlawed, and their Chief, Alexander MacGregor, with many of his followers, was executed in Edinburgh in 1604 ; but as late as 1744 MacGregor of Glengyle drew blackmail on the Highland Borders. The suppression of the name was annulled by Parliament in 1774. Rob Roy was of the House of Glengyle. Scott proved that the MacGregors were the real “Children of the Mist.” MacGregor of MacGregor and Balquhidder, whose line holds a Baronetcy, has been officially recognised as Chief of the clan.