THIS clan is Celtic. Macrae in Gaelic is MacRath, and means “Son of Grace.” The home of the “Wild Macraes” was Kintail, where they did great service for the Earls of Seaforth. They were Constables of Ellandonan Castle. The Rev. Farquhar Macrae (1580-1662), Vicar of Kintail, was a man of mark. Colonel Sir John Macrae (1786-1847) of Ardintoul was an eminent soldier. The Rev. John Macrae (1794-1876) of Knockbain, Ross-shire, was a famous divine. As Jacobites, the Macraes fought gallantly at Sheriffmuir in 1715, and loyally afterwards for the House of Hanover. In 1778 the Macraes were the ringleaders in the mutiny of the Seaforth Highlanders in Edinburgh. They entrenched on Arthur’s Seat, and refused to yield until peacefully approached, and their terms of enlistment fulfilled. Brigadier-General William Macrae (183482) was a distinguished leader in the American Confederate army. Major Robert M’Crea, of Guernsey (1754-1835), fought as a loyalist in the American War of Independence. The late Constable of Eilean Donan Castle, Lieut.-Col. John Macrae-Gilstrap of Ballimore, restored the picturesque fortress at Lochalsh.
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.