Contacts and Sources

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Contacts and Sources


This file is linked from my website, Some Coigach Genealogy.

I am Donald MacDonald-Ross, the webpage owner of these files, and my contact info is here; CONTACT INFO

My main genealogy interests in Coigach are at the village of Reiff, however the village was very much socially, historically, and genealogically involved with the rest of the peninsula, so the following contacts and sources, though weighted toward Reiff, include lots of mention of other communities, and general info.

Any other sources you can think of would be welcome, please send me suggestions at [email protected], and I will add them. Especially of interest would be links to websites and email addresses of others researching roots in Coigach, so that other people researching the same ground and communities could directly reach them directly.

This file is divided into four sections;

Two other files on this website, but not part of this file, are;


The following people had ancestors at Reiff or other Coigach communities. I have put each of their village interests in bold print, and included a link into a small Coigach Gazetteer file I am writing (see place.htm). Probably I should also edit in their surname interests, and will do so in later edits of this file.

Catherine "Cela" Beale

Cela lives in New Zealand, where she is librarian at the New Plymouth Public Library. Cela can be emailed at [email protected]

Cela has MacKenzie ancestors at Achiltibuie, and Polglass. One of her McLeay ancestors from the village of Letters had a half brother who married Rachel McLeod from Reiff. Rachel appears in my notes of the 1841 census at Reiff 41-15 as a 10 year old.

Jeanette Bonnici

Jeanette Bonnici (nee Henderson) lives in Cronulla, Sydney, Australia. She can be emailed at [email protected] Her gt-gt-gt-grandparents were Murdoch MacDonald & Jane MacKenzie from Strathcanaird. Donald M. Halley (CONTACT INFO) also descends from Murdoch and Jane, and so is a fourth cousin of Jeanette!

According to Jeanette Murdoch & Jane had three children she is aware of; Kenneth married Isabella McKenzie in Ullapool in 1849, Janet married Angus McLeod in 1845, and the youngest son, Alexander, married Robertina "Robina" Menzies in June 1856 at Ullapool. (Robina's parents, James Menzies & Isabella Whannell, were innkeepers at Altnacealgach, by Lairg, Sutherland, Scotland).

The family story Jeanette has heard is that her ancestors Alexander and Robina came to Australia for their honeymoon on the proviso that they would return if they didn't like it there. Jeanette guesses they liked it, as Alexander was close to 100 when he died in Australia in 1918! Sadly Robina died at 57 in 1894.

Jeanette and her husband holidayed at Strathcanaird earlier this year, and visited the graves of her ancestors at Ullapool. Jeanette says they were stunned to find they had booked accommodation at a guesthouse owned and run by previously unknown relatives!

Christine "Chris" Brookes

Chris has recently moved from Hamburg back to Sunderland in England, and can be emailed there at [email protected]

She has been doing genealogy of her ancestors and relatives at Sunderland, and has discovered a complex relationship to Murdina McKenzie, who appears in the census files at Reiff 61-9.

Chris explains the relationship as follows;

My paternal grandfather William Hogg Armstrong who was born in Walker, Longbenton, Northumberland married Mary Jane Moon born Sunderland her uncle Robert Moon married Isabella Camsey born Sunderland. James Camsey, half uncle of Isabella Camsey married Mary Baharie in 1878. Mary Baharie is 1st cousin once removed of George William Baharie who married Murdina MacKenzie. So my relationship is far from direct.

Regardless of the indirectness of the relationship, Chris has done lots of research on Murdina, tracing her father as Alexander McKenzie of Reiff, (see the 1841 census at Reiff 41-8), and filling in lots of details on the Sunderland Baharie family Murdina married into. Some of her information, with details from her relatives descended from Alexander and Murdina, is in the file; reward.htm

The MacLennan family history mentions that four uncles of Alexander had "a small shipping concern at Sunderland or Newcastle", and with Chris's help it now looks possible to trace those strays!

Geoff Butler

Geoff has recently moved to Yamanto Queensland, and discovered the main street is "Reif Street"! He welcomes contact by email at [email protected], or by post at PO Box 944 Ipswich Qld 4305 Australia.

Geoff's wife Penny is a sister of Ron Williams (CONTACT INFO), and is descended from Christina Kerr of Reiff who emigrated to Tasmania in 1853 aboard the Sir Allan McNab, see Reiff 41-11 and NcNab 519

Geoff was born in Launceston, Tasmania and moved to Tamworth, New South Wales in 1975. In early 1998 He and Penny moved to Yamanto, Queensland. Geoff has been working (periodically) on family history for some 30 years!

Margaret (Muirhead) Cameron

Margaret lives at Howrah Tasmania with her husband Donald, and can be emailed at [email protected] She is descended from Margaret McKenzie, a daughter of Susan the matron on the Sir Allan McNab, see Mcnab 524.

Margaret visited Ullapool with her daughter in 1987 with a clue she found written in an 1813 English Reader passed down in the family, where several people had addresses listed as Achnahaird.

Notes in that reader include;

Margaret has a copy of a letter was sent to her from the Ullapool Museum, it was written by Roderick Mackenzie from Leckmelm May 30th, 1825. The address on the envelope was Achnahaird;

Please know that it was such a mistake of Mr Maciver the sheep master to have named my son George from Achd. For he made not the smallest concern there. When I left that place I made it over to Murdo and when he went to America he sold his stock to Don who is now and since the tenant. Perhaps when I (?couch) upon Geo. He would pas sometimes at Strathpollie and Achd(Achnahaird) and I will thank you for stating this to the Court ?--- ?--- I reman yours Rodk. Mackenzie

Susan's sons, Kenneth and Roderick, moved to New Zealand, and Margaret would dearly like to make contact with any of their descendants. Susan's other daughter, Catherine, married James Duncan.

Margaret published in 2007 an interesting article she wrote on her interesting ancestor Susan. With her permission it is now also on this website, see "WHO LOVED ME AND GIVETH SHELTER TO ME"

Hugh Campbell

Hugh has died since construction of this file, what follows is now to give context to one of my earliest genealogy correspondants, and to honour memory of a great historian.

Hugh lives just outside Hobart in Tasmania, where he is well known as a historian. He has Campbell ancestors who left Dornie in Coigach in 1853, and emigrated to Tasmania aboard the Sir Allan McNab.

He wrote an article about the emigrants on the McNab in 1987, that I have posted with his permission at corn.htm.

When the McNab emigrants reached Hobart, a hiring list was made up, showing where they went. Hugh has transcribed that list, and I have made a webfile of it at hire.htm. You can see Hugh's ancestors in that list in family mcnab 517.

Gail Crawford

Gail and her husband Gerard live at Toronto, Ontario, Canada. They can be emailed at [email protected]

Gail is descended from William MacDonald and Hannah McKenzie at Dornie. The Captain on their voyage to Cape Breton in 1837 was Hector McKenzie, a cousin of William. I suspect Hector was the same Hector McKenzie on Isle Ristol who married Janet MacDonald from Reiff. If so, Gail is a distant cousin of mine!

Alastair Donald

Alastair Donald lives near Saffron Walden in Essex, England, and can be emailed at [email protected]

His special interest in Coigach is with the Campbell family of Dornie that had a store there though much of the 19th century. That family first appears in the Coigach censuses at Dornie 51-45.

Alastair says his project is tracing the descendants of a MacKenzie family from Stornoway; Murdo MacKenzie and Janet MacKenzie there had 10 children between about 1798 and 1822. Murdo was son of Colin, a joiner, who went to Lewis "with Seaforth" and is believed to have come from Dundonnell. Janet was a great-granddaughter of John Mackenzie of Gruinard. Two of their 10 children married into the Mackenzie of Sand family. Janet Campbell of Dornie was a daughter of the MacKenzie family Alastair is tracing. Alastair describes her descent as;

Jessie Campbell was born in 1826 to Isabella MacKenzie (1799-1875) and her husband, Simon MacKenzie, son of Alexander & Janet MacKenzie of the family of Sand in Gairloch. The various MacKenzie visitors in Dornie were probably her siblings - William born 1830, Isabella in 1831 and Colin in 1835.

Alastair would very much like to contact any descendants of this Campbell family.

Kate Ferris

Kate and her husband David live in an old (1828) Telford built Manse on the Isle of Lewis, across the Minch from Coigach. They are both genealogy enthusiasts, with David's tree traced back to the time of William the Conqueror, and Kate hoping to fill in blanks on her Duff tree that will push her roots back to 950!

Kate's email address is [email protected]

Kate, like almost every other Coigach descendant I have corresponded with, has an ancestor named Murdo MacLeod! Her Murdo appears in Donald MacLeod's transcriptions of the 1851 Altandhu census at Altandhu 51-107. Her family was also married to MacKenzies at Achiltibuie, and had members at Old Dornie, Achnahaird, and Tanera!

Joyce Fidler (CONTACT INFO) also had Matheson ancestors on Tanera, Kate and Joyce are examining the possibility their trees intertwine!

Joyce Fidler

Joyce Fidler and her husband John live at Las Vegas, a place of which she says; "It's hard to think of a location more different than Lochbroom!" Joyce can be reached by email at [email protected]

Joyce is her familys genealogist, and has been researching McLean and Matheson ancestors of her husband who lived on the Isle Tanera, see Tanera 41-8.

Kate Ferris (CONTACT INFO) also had Matheson ancestors on Tanera at that time, Joyce and Kate are examining the possibility their trees intertwine!

Paulette Flint

Paulette Flint lives at Gladstone in Queensland Australia, and can be reached by email at [email protected].

Paulette is her family's genealogist, and has done massive research on the familys at Coigach, and their descendants in Australia. Her husband Ray is descended from some of the most important people in the 19th century Coigach economy; Malcolm MacLeod was born about 1800 on the Isle Ristol, and lived most of his life at the small village of Achlochan, where he and his son Roderick were boat builders. The importance of that trade comes from the fact that most of the families in these files made a large part of their livelyhood from fishing, many in boats made by Malcolm!

Malcolm and his wife Janet can be seen in the 1841 census at Achlochan 41-4. Janet was a MacLeod from Baddendaroch in the neighboring Parish of Assynt, in SutherlandShire. The 3 year old Flora in that Household is Paulette's ancestor.

Maurice Keith French

Maurice Keith French lives at Hamilton New Zealand, and can be emailed at [email protected]

Maurice's ancestors include the MacLeod family who were at Achnahaird from the earliest time, they can be seen in the 1841 census at Achnahaird 41-3. Shortly after the 1871 census his ancestor Norman married at Lochinver in neighbouring Assynt Parish to Barbara Borthwick, a few years later, with their daughter Janet, they emigrate to New Zealand aboard the ship "Agnes Muir", where they settled and had three more children.

Sheila Gallacher

Sheila Gallacher's home is in Maybole, Ayrshire in south-west Scotland. She can be emailed at [email protected]

Sheila is decended from Alexander Hoatson (variously spelled in documents as "Howatson", "Hewetson", "Hotson" or "Hewitson") and his wife, Janet McMoran, through their son, Samuel, born about 1842 in Lochbroom. The Hoatsons were shepherds at Sionascaig in 1841, see Sionascaig 41-1.

The Hoatsons have led Sheila a merry chase, showing up in the 1851 census at Carsphairn Kirkcudbrightshire, in 1861 at Straiton Ayrshire, in 1866/67 in The Parish of Barr in South Ayrshire and from 1871 at Dalmellington in Ayrshire!

Simon Gunn

Simon Gunn lives at "The Old Store", Ferryton Point, Balblair, in RossShire, and can be emailed at [email protected]. A North Sea oil worker, working three weeks on, three weeks off, so he does not always have internet access at hand!

Simon is a great-grandson of John Douglass Gunn, schoolmaster at Altandhu from 18 years of age in 1879, till 1887, see the notes at Altandhu 81-48.

The schoolmaster married a local girl, Mary MacLean, see her as an 8 year old with her family at Altandhu 61-14, and they had two children born at Altandhu including Simon's grandfather. In 1887 the family moved on to Dunan in Skye where they had three more children. So Simon has many distant cousins in Coigach today!

Donald McColl Halley

Donald lives in the Vale of Glamorgan in South Wales, he can be emailed at [email protected]

Donald's ancestors include Murdoch MacDonald and Jane MacKenzie at Strathcanaird, he is a fourth cousin of Jeanette Bonnici (CONTACT INFO) through descent from that couple. He also has McLeod and Stewart ancestors at Achiltibuie.

He has constructed a fabulous webpage with lots of information on the "Kingdom of Fife" where his McDonald ancestor ended up. See Family History Page

Donald writes of himself;

I fall into that category of being one of Scotland's greatest exports; People. I left Scotland to join the Army when conscription was still in force in 1952 and apart for a very short spell in 1956 the rest of my life has been spent outside of Scotland. Which of course does not mean I have ever forgotten where my roots are.

He says he started his research about 12 years ago, and it has brought him into contact with folks all over the world.

Sally Ann Heys

Sally Ann Heys lives at Penshurst, N.S.W., Australia, and can be reached by email at [email protected].

Since recently finding her webpage I have not yet heard back from Sally, but have found her webpage at to be a treasure trove of information on the descendants of her ancestors Alexander McKenzie and Jemina Stewart through their daughter Isabella born 1856 in Coigach (see Jemima at Badenscallie 41-14).

Sally's ancestors seem to include Stewarts at Badenscallie, McDonalds at Strathcainard, and McKenzies who came from Strathcanaird to Badenscallie, I am waiting to hear back from her to confirm and fill in details.

William "Bill" Hurring

Bill Hurring is a family historian (genealogist) of twenty years experience, who has spent the last year tracing the Reiff, Urquhart family for a freind of his, Kirsteen Urquhart of Troon in Scotland. Kirsteen is getting married next spring and plans to present the family history to her father at that time. Bill has traced the Reiff Urquhart family from the late 1700s to today, and the information he has shared is being edited into these webfiles.

Bill can be emailed at [email protected]

W. Geoff Johnston

Geoff is a descendant of several Coigach families, including the Grant family who were millers at Acheninver (see Acheninver 61-5), and McKenzies and Morrisons at Ullapool. He can be emailed at [email protected].

Barbara Kolle

Barbara lived at Melbourne Australia, where she and her husband David were for many years stalwarts of the "Dead Persons Society". She descended from Murdo MacKenzie and Mary McLean of Faochag by Reiff, as do many others in this list of contacts. One of the children of Murdo and Mary was Roderick (1773-1859), a miller like his father. Roderick married Henrietta McLeod at Reiff, and had six children. Roderick and Henrietta's family show up in my files at Reiff 41-22.

One of those children, John, married Christina Campbell, and emigrated to Australia in 1848, he was Barbara's gt-gt-grandfather.

Sadly, Barbara died late 2008, a great loss to the genealogy community.

Barbara Baulch Larrue

Barbara Larrue lives in Weston Ontario Canada (now a part of Metropolitan Toronto), and can be emailed at [email protected]

Like Peggy McKenzie's husband Kirk (see below), Barbara is descended from Murdo McKenzie and Mary McLean at Faochag by Reiff though their son John, who married Barbara McLeod from Achiltibuie (John and Barbara are in the 1841 census at Reiff 41-20). A son of John and Barbara, also named John, married Rachael McLeod from Achiltibuie and had four children at Reiff before emigrating to Canada in 1836.

Barbara says she has been beneficiary of the research done by her parents digging through archives, censi, etc. on their many trips to Scotland. Her mother Katharine Grace (McClymont) Baulch (known as "Grace") is still in excellent health at 82 and leads a very social life, and is a continuous support to Barbara's genealogy, digging up old family photos, and pages from bibles.

Donald MacDonald-Ross

Donald is me, the compiler of these web files! I can be emailed at [email protected] , and if you are reading this, than you have found my web page. I am a renovater at Niagara in Canada, and began this website as a collection of files in the late 1980s as a collection of files looking at my ancestors and their society in Coigach. For some years I was Listowner of the busy McDONALD-L, and ROSS-L genealogy listserves on rootsweb, since I have passed those important but time consuming duties to others, though continue as Listowner of the quieter MOONEY-L.

Apart from genealogy, I have much interest in environmental/social/political issues, and have been active in the Green Party of Ontario, and of Canada for two decades.

My gt-grandmother, Chirsty MacDonald, last appears in the census files on this website in 1861 at Reiff 61-23

Jim McGreal

Jim lives at Hamilton in Ontario Canada, and can be emailed at [email protected]. He has been researching the family of his great grandparents John MacLeod and Abigail MacLeod, see Polglass 81-1. One of the seven children of that couple, Angus, married Lily Urguhart, a daughter of a shepherd family in the 1891 census at Inverpolly 91-2.

Jim says he had the pleasure of visiting Coigach in May 1999, visiting the Badencallie Burial Ground where many of his ancestors are buried. He was pleased to find the MacLeod Croft is still occupied by a MacLeod; Ian, and he hopes to return in the future.

His researches at the moment include looking for family information prior to his great grandparents. Jim says it is his intention to share any information with others of like mind and interest, and would like to hear from distant relatives!

Alan Mckenzie

Alan McKenzie can be emailed at [email protected]. He is the Lieutenant to Canada of the Earl of Cromartie, Chief of the Clan Mackenzie. The Cromartie Earls were owners of Coigach for almost 500 years, inheriting it from the McLeods who had it before then. (see history.htm)

Alan edits the newsletter of Clan MacKenzie Canada, called "Caber Feidh". Among the useful help Alan has provided in the preparation of these webfiles is to send me an article he did for Caber Feidh on the Testimony of Duncan MacKenzie of Reiff on the plight of the crofters and cottars there in 1883. See duncan.htm

There is a fuller biography of Alan, (with pics of him acting in various plays!) on the Clan MacKenzie website at That site is a great resource in itsself, including lots of background on the MacKenzies, and past and current editions of the newsletter.

Alan is a nice guy and helpful person. Though his Mackenzie ancestors did not come from Coigach where my MacDonald ancestors did, he does have roots at Arboll in Easter Ross, where my Ross family lived!

Jan Mckenzie

Jan McKenzie in Australia is starting to research the ancestors of her husband Gary, including Alexander McKenzie and Jamima Stewart who emigrated with their two oldest children, Isabella and Murdoch, aboard the "Therese" arriving at Port Melbourne in October, 1863.

Jan and Gary live 80 km from Sydney at Marshall Mount, a rural community south of Wollongong NSW, where they run a small beef cattle stud and Gary has exhibition poultry, they can be emailed at [email protected]

Gary works full time as a planning engineer at a mining machinery company and Jan does casual office work now, having retired from full time work in 1997. Gary is quite excited about hearing more about his ancestors and particularly being in contact with some of his distant relatives.

Gary is a great great grandson of Alexander McKenzie and Jamima Stewart through their son Murdoch. Alexander, Jamima, with three children are in the 1861 Census at Polbain 61-14. Alexander was with his parents Murdoch McKenzie, Isabella MacLeod, and other family in the 1841 census at Badentarbet 41-9.

Jan has exchanged info with Sally Heys (CONTACT INFO), a descendant of Murdoch's sister Isabella, and with George Maclean from Inverness, who has begun his own researches following up on his late father's work (PAST CONTACT INFO). George's ancestors include Jamima Stewarts mother's sister (Jane McKenzie). George has put Jan in contact with an uncle in Sydney, and on her own Jan has tracked down descendants of a brother of Gary's emigrant ancestor at Broken Hill.

Peggy McKenzie

Peggy is married to Hugh Kirkbride "Kirk" McKenzie, and is her families genealogist. She and Kirk live at Frankenhausen Germany, and have a great webpage with family and genealogy data at , they can be emailed at [email protected]

Like Barbara Baulch Larrue (see above), Kirk is descended from Murdo McKenzie and Mary McLean at Faochag by Reiff though their son John, who married Barbara McLeod from Achiltibuie (John and Barbara are in the 1841 census at Reiff 41-20). A son of John and Barbara, also named John, married Rachael McLeod from Achiltibuie and had four children at Reiff before emigrating to Canada in 1836.

Ronald Hugh MacKenzie

Ron lives at Kamloops B.C. His grandfather, Murdo MacKenzie, was one of the Faochag by Reiff MacKenzies; Murdo last appears in my webfiles in 1871 at Faochag 71-80. Murdo left Reiff, and by time of the 1881 census was working as an attendant of an asylum at Inverness, where he met and married his wife.

Ron is fairly new to genealogy, but has already amassed a lot of data on the descendants of his branch of the MacKenzie family, which as well as the children of Murdo who stayed in Scotland, includes two brothers who went to Canada, and a third who went to New Zealand. He can be emailed at [email protected]

Allana McLean

Allana (MacDonald) McLean of Toronto was a great researcher right up to her death in 2007, lots of work was shared and parts are noted on this website. She descended from Murdo MacLeod of Polbain, who was known in the area as "The Soldier", because he was a pensionned veteran of the Napoleanic wars (see Polbain 41-3). One of that Murdo's daughters, Hughina, married Murdo MacLean from Altandhu 51-104, and emigrated to New Zealand, where Allana discovered distant cousins!

Among Allana's cousins in N.Z. is Margaret Ward (CONTACT INFO), whose grandfather, John McDonald from Reiff, married Isabella MacLean, one of Murdo and Hughina's six children born in N.Z.

George L.F. MacLean

George in Inverness took up genealogy in the last few years of his life, making great strides toward untangling the relationships of his ancestors in Coigach. His MacLeans originated at Badenscallie where his gt-gt-grandparents Kenneth and Jane married 8 March, 1818, and continued in other Coigach communities, including Achduart, where two brothers of his gt-grandfather can be seen in 1881 at Achduart 81-4, and Achduart 81-5.

George passed away in February 2004, and will be greatly missed by the genealogy community. His son, also named George, has recently begun following up on his father's research, and has been able to direct another new researcher, Jan McKenzie in Australia (CONTACT INFO), to his uncle at Sydney, a distant cousin of Jan's husband Gary.

Alistair Macleod

Alistair is not on the internet, but can be reached at the library at Inverness, where he is employed by the archives department of the Highland Council as official genealogist.

I have yet to talk to Alistair directly myself, but he has been in contact with almost everyone in this list of contacts, and has vast knowledge of the Reiff MacLeod and MacKenzie families.

Like others in this contact list, Alistair is descended from Murdo McKenzie and Mary McLean at Faochag by Reiff. Murdo and Mary's son (also a Murdo) married Mary Kerr from Reiff, and is gt-gt-grandfather of Alistair.

Alistair also had ancestors at Tanera, and Ullapool.

Donald Neil MacLeod

Donald is at Auckland New Zealand. He can be emailed at [email protected], and has recently begun a great webpage tracing his various ancestors, including those at Coigach, see Donald MacLeod's Genealogy Pages

He is a second cousin of Roderick MacLeod (CONTACT INFO), a fourth cousin once removed of myself, and a cousin to all the descendants of the Reiff McKenzie family whose contact info is also in this file.

Donald's grandmother, Mary Ann MacLeod, though born at Inverkirkaig in Assynt, SutherlandShire, appears in my files in the 1891 census at Reiff 91-32, where she was visiting her grandparents, Kenneth and Mary McLennan.

He is descended from both the MacKenzie family at Faochag, and the MacLeod family at Reiff.

John MacLeod

Rev. John MacLeod has been Minister of the Tarbat Free Church at Portmahomack in Easter Ross since 1978. He has a great webpage with info on the church at Portmahomack and also with pictures on his roots at Badenscallie in Coigach, see Highlander -- the Scottish Website. He can be emailed at [email protected]

John's ancestors at Coigach include John MacKenzie and Catherine MacLeod at Badenscallie 81-3.

Neil McLeod

Dr.Neil Stewart McLeod D.D.S., is a dentist in California, with McLeod roots at Altandhu in Coigach. He is writing a book called to be called "The Thistle and The Silver Fern", in which he hopes to trace all the descendants of Alexander MacLeod Aultandu and Mary MacLean of Altandhu. Mary with children including son Roderick, Neil's gt-grandfather, appears in the 1841 Altandhu census at Altandhu 41-18.

Neil can be emailed at; [email protected]

Roderick Dykes MacLeod

"Roddy" lives just north of Inverness, and has created a great web page at He can be emailed at [email protected]

Roddy is descended from the same MacLeods at Reiff as me, through Ann, who married Murdo Urquhart (see Reiff 41-10). Technically, he is my fourth cousin once removed. He is also descended from the Faochag by Reiff MacKenzies.

Ann's daughter, Mary, married Kenneth McLennan, who first appears in my files at Reiff 41-19. Roddy has oodles of info on the Reiff MacLennans, and contacts with distant cousins still in the area.

Andrew Muir

Andrew lives at Reiff, and can be emailed at [email protected]. He has a super webpage devoted to Coigach at

Andrew is married to Iseabail Ross, one of the Reiff Ross family, whose ancestry goes back to the earliest records of the area.

Iseabail's gt-grandmother, Margaret MacDonald, was a sister of my gt-grandmother, Chirsty MacDonald at Reiff. The two sisters show up together in the census records only once, in 1851 at Reiff 51-87

Andrew has forwarded me much good information from his mother-in-law, Iba (MacPherson) Ross, who is a great source of local information.

Alyce Polak

Alyce is searching up her husband Rick's roots at Badenscallie, and later Achiltibuie. Those ancestors include MacKenzies, Campbells, and MacDonalds. I suspect the Badenscallie MacDonalds were related to my own at Reiff!

Alyce can be emailed at [email protected]

Julie Pyke

Julie Pyke is an Aussie currently living in Ullapool, which though some records treat as part of Coigach has not yet been covered extensively in these files. She can be reached on email at [email protected]

Julie's interests lie a little further east in Sutherland but she has recently started tracing her husbands ancestors, which include the Grant family at Polglass. She says family history indicates that the Grants were millers who originated in Speyside somewhere and certainly part of the family carried on the milling tradition in Coigach, see Acheninver 41-1, with William Grant listed as a Crofter, but 10 years later in 1851 at Acheninver 51-17 as a Miller. Her research shows most of the Grants (not a common surname in Lochbroom Parish) on census returns and other records for the area were related.

Jennifer "Jenny" Self

Jenny Self, a thirty-something year old computer programmer from Melbourne Australia, has been researching her (and her husband's) family tree for about 16 years. Recently they have moved closer to their roots, and are now living in England.

Jenny's new email address is [email protected].

Her Coigach connection is through Murdoch McKenzie, born about 1832, son of John McKenzie and Isabella (maiden name also McKenzie!) from Polbain. Isabella was of the large MacKenzie of Reiff family so many other of these contacts descend from. Murdo may have had a brother called Hector who married Ann McLeod at Ardmair 4 February, 1864. Another brother is most likely Donald, and one sister was Mary who married yet another McKenzie, Angus at Ullapool 2 February, 1860. Jenny is interested in finding any descendants of those siblings!

Murdoch McKenzie married Isabella Campbell from Acheninver, the marriage registered at Ardmair on 15th January, 1863, before they emigrated to Melbourne Australia.

Isabella is the one year old daughter of Colin Campbell and Wilhelmina McKenzie in the 1841 census at Acheninver 41-3. That Colin was son of a veteran of the 71st Regiment, also a Colin Campbell, who married an Irish girl, Martha, while posted there. Jenny has recently obtained from a researcher a copy of Colin's discharge papers, and with Jenny's help there is now a file with notes and her transcription at colin.htm

Jenny has unearthed a post card written 15 March, 1911 from a J.McLeod who was living at the Kyle of Lochalsh, addressed to her cousin, Mrs Isabella MacKenzie, Moonee Ponds, Victoria, Australia. J McLeod's mother had just spent six weeks with her and reported that all at Coigach were well! Jenny would love to know who "J.McLeod" and her mother were, or to hear from anyone related to the above people!

Gwen Smith

Gwen lives in Tasmania, her daughter Virginia has email and an interest in genealogy, and I can forward messages to Gwen through her.

Gwen's ancestor, John McKenzie, was a brother of Alistair Macleod's ancestor, Murdo, both were sons of Murdo McKenzie and Mary Kerr at Reiff. John married Janet Stuart (Stewart) from Ullapool, and they emigrated to Tasmania in 1853-4 aboard the Sir Allan McNab. Gwen has mailed me a photocopy of a list of the passengers on that voyage, that I have turned into a file; mcnab.htm. Gwen says there are regular gatherings of MacKenzie/Stuart (Stewart) descendants at Tasmania.

Christina Margaret Ward

Marg prefers to go by her second name, Margaret. She and her husband Grant live at Alexandra New Zealand, where they have an automotive sales business. Marg is a granddaughter of John MacDonald of Reiff, a brother of my own gt-grandmother Chirsty, and so is my second cousin once removed! Her grandfather John appears in the 1871 census of Reiff at Reiff 71-73

John McDonald married a daughter of other Coigach emigrants; Isabella Mclean, a daughter born to Murdo MacLean from Altandhu, and Hughina MacLeod of Polbain (see Polbain 41-3). Hughina was a sister of an ancestor of Allana MacLean of Toronto (CONTACT INFO).

There are 43 descendants of John McDonald spread mostly through New Zealand, with some in Australia, and a son of Marg and Grant living in Germany.

Marg can be emailed at [email protected]

Roderick "Hugh" Waterton

Hugh and his family live in Delta, British Columbia, Canada. He can be emailed at [email protected].

Hugh's maternal grandmother Johan Stewart was born at Inverpolly in 1876, though the birth was registered at Achiltibuie. Johan's parents were Alexander, who was a gamekeeper, and Catherine Stewart. The Stewarts lived in the Gamekeeper's House at Inverpolly in the 1881 Census (see 1881 Inverpolly). Alexander and Catherine were married at Ardmair in 1865. Catherine was a McLeod from Elphin, Sutherlandshire.

The Stewart family were in the 1871 census at Achiltibuie 71-15 with Alexander's father Kenneth and his sister Christina.

Johan Stewart married Roderick McKenzie of Achnacarnin, Sutherlandshire at Glasgow in 1895. At the time of their marriage Alexander and Catherine Stewart were both deceased. Roderick and Joanne later emmigrated to Vancouver, British Columbia with their family.

Valerie Wesselius

Valerie lives in Thunder Bay Ontario, and can be emailed there at [email protected]

Though new to genealogy, with help of her mother Jessie Alice (nee MacLeod, born at Achiltibuie in 1919, she is a great source of Coigach family history!) and other relatives Valerie has been filling in details on her descent from MacLeods on Tanera, Dornie, Polbain and Achiltibuie, MacKenzies and Urquharts at Reiff, and an increasing web of relationships across Coigach!

Valerie worries her married surname might throw some folks off as to her roots, so she has sent a photo taken at Ullapool to prove she is a true Hebridean Princess!

Greg Wighton

Greg lives in Launceston Tasmania, and is married to a descendant of John MacKenzie of Reiff (see Reiff 51-75) and Janet Stuart (Stewart) of Ullapool, who emigrated to Tasmania aboard the Sir Allan McNab in 1853. He is his families genealogist, and was put in contact with me by his wifes cousin Gwen Smith.

Greg and his wife have the reward scroll given to Alexander MacKenzie for bravery in 1856. I have transcribed that scroll and made a file of it at reward.htm, and Greg has emailed me a scanned file of a photo of the scroll, that I am struggling to figure out how to post as a file on this webpage (...sigh).

He has also put his new scanner to good use in scanning an article by Hugh Campbell on the 1853 emigrants from Coigach aboard the Sir Allan McNab. I have converted that file to HTML, and with Hugh's permission it is now posted at corn.htm.

Ron Williams

Ron lives in Tasmania, and is descended from Christina Kerr of Reiff, he can be emailed at [email protected]

Christina emigrated to Tasmania in 1853 aboard the Sir Allan McNab, see McNab 519.

Ron and his brother in law Geoff Butler (CONTACT INFO) have sent me lots of usefull info on the Kerrs, which is slowly being woven into the webfiles.

Jillian "Jilly" Wilson

Jilly Wilson has been researching her family tree for a years now. She is descended from the Reiff MacLennan, MacLeod, and Urquhart families, and from the MacKenzie family which was at Reiff, and also at Faochag. She is related to everyone in this contacts file who had ancestors at Reiff!

Jilly has a large file of her data on a MacLennan website at Descendants from John Mclennan - 1745 - Garve, Scotland

Jilly with her husband Andrew, and sister in law Alyson, bought the Tayvallich Inn in January 1999. (See the glowing review on the "Taste of Scotland" webpage at

By email Jilly can be reached at [email protected]


Many genealogy websites include long "shopping lists" of other websites, often with only periphial context to the subject of the page. My hope is to keep the following list somewhat focussed on Coigach. I have not yet sorted these alphabetically, however it is still a short list!

My genealogy intro page

The page that this file is linked from; Some Coigach Genealogy

Ullapool Museum

A tremendous resource for genealogists! This award winning museum has many records and correspndance dealing not just with Ullapool, but also with the entire Parish of Lochbroom, including of course Coigach. They offer a reasonably priced research service. Their webpage is at;

Coigach Community Heritage Group

Formed in 2002, the Group does not yet have a webpage of its own, however for now there is a file on my webpage from them with description and a printout membership form. See CCHG


The Rootsweb genealogy cooperative is the largest on-line genealogy source, hosting thousands of websites and listserves. Their main entry point is at

Among particular interest to Coigach researchers would be their ROSS-GEN-L listserve for Ross and Cromarty researchers, and the CLAN-McKENZIE-L, and McLEOD-L family listserves. There are listserves of course for other surnames that also occur in Coigach, such as KERR-L, and of course the ROSS-L, and McDONALD-L, for both of which I am listowner!

At the Rootsweb site there is info on how to subscribe to the lists, as well as how to search their archives.

Peggy McKenzie's page

Web page of Peggy McKenzie is at If you do not get distracted by her photos of sunny Greece, she has collected on the web page a mass of info on descendants of the Faochag by Reiff MacKenzie family.

Homepage of the Muir family

Andrew Muir and his family live at Reiff. Their webpage at has great photographs of Reiff and Coigach in general. Also on their webpage is info on self-catering holidays in their newly renovated home at Reiff!

MacLeod of Cnoc Ruadh

The webpage of Roderick Dykes MacLeod is Macleod of Cnoc Ruadh. It is currently under reconstruction, but includes some history and photos of Coigach and Assynt.

Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC)

A great new online database, this website includes a search function that returns info on deaths and burials of Commonwealth Service people. Many Coigach people are included of course, and next of kin info can return interesting surprises; Commonwealth War Graves Commission

Associated Clan Macleod Societies Genealogical Resources

MacLeod and MacKenzie are the two predominate surnames in Coigach. Jim Ayers is the genealogist for the Clan MacLeod Societies. Jim has a great webpage, with a massive database of MacLeod genealogy at; MacLeod

Multimap map of Reiff and area

My own internet browser is text based, so I have not been able to view the map posted on this site, but the description sounds interesting! The homepage of multimap is at, and their Reiff map is at; Map of Reiff, Highland

York University Mountaineering Club (YUMC)

The Multimap listing above includes this as the only link to sites that appear on their map. The YUMC have quite an eclectic and far ranging (from the peaks to the valleys, har har) webpage. This file describes the geography of Reiff from a mountaineering viewpoint, and includes links to photos of interesting rocks and climbs. Their "Reiff" file is here; Reiff

Irish Sea Kayaking Association

The Association has a great webpage, , which includes an online version of their Newsletter, Treasna na nTonnta. One of their members, Brian Wilson, wrote a fascinating and descriptive article about his paddles around the Summer Isles in the Spring Issue (# 17), highly reccomended reading, though I am not yet convinced about paddling about Lochbroom "The Loch of Showers", in a tiny kayak!

Highland Family History Society (HFHS)

The HFHS has a great reference collection at the Inverness library, where they hold monthly meetings and discussions. They publish a super little quarterly with lots of interesting Highland background info. Many of their 800 members are scattered worldwide.

The HFHS has a webpage hosted by GENUKI at

Jonathan McColl is the internet contact for the Society, he can be emailed at; [email protected]

Scottish Heritage Land Sales

Angus MacKenzie, formerly of Ullapool, has set up this commercial website. He is selling plots of land overlooking Lochbroom... one square foot at a time!! His webpage with photos is at; Scottish Heritage Land Sales


This is the website of John Macleod, who is the Free Church Minister at Tarbat in Easter Ross, where my own grandfather was born and raised! Though now in Easter Ross, John is originally from Badenscallie in Coigach. Follow the links on his webpage to "MacLeod family", to see photos at Badenscallie. His webpage; Highlander -- the Scottish Website

The Internet Guide to Scotland

The Internet Guide to Scotland is run by Joanne Mackenzie-Winters ([email protected]). Joanne lives in Inverness, but enjoys her holidays on the west coast. She has created a fabulous collection of links to all sorts of websites, including accomadation and local history. Recently she has added a link to my pages in the links section of her pages on Ullapool and Caithness/Sutherland, Thanks Joanne!

The Internet Guide to Scotland is at


The Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland (RCAHMS) carries out a programme of field surveys and recording of the built heritage of Scotland, making this information available to the public through the Collections of the National Monuments Record of Scotland (NMRS).

The NMRS has put onto the internet the RCAHMS reports, which as well as their on-site visitation reports includes data from earlier Ordnance surveys and other sources. Their database includes over 600 sites in Lochbroom Parish! Much of their data refers to the highly detailed 6 inch scale maps, and so includes names of places no other map or source includes.

The URL to register for access to the database is CANMORE - Registration Screen. Once registered the database can be searched at CANMORE.

Highlands and Islands Emigration Society

Bryan F. Keddy, with the aid of many others, has developed a great webpage about the emigration of many thousand Highland families to Australia in the 1850s in a scheme sponsored by the Highland and Island Emigration Society, (HIES). One of those ships, the Sir Allan McNab, had 15 families from Coigach.

Bryan's webpage, which includes background information about the HIES from William "Bill" Clarke and ship and passenger lists collated by Peter J. McDonald is at

Besides the info on Bryan's page, there are three files on this webpage that deal with the Coigach emigrants aboard the Sir Allan McNab in 1853;

Ross & Cromarty Roots

Roddie Macpherson has begun an ambitious and very helpful website, "Ross & Cromarty Roots", the major part of the site is a series of files of photographs of gravestones in the County, with transcription, and invitation to descendants and others to comment on the families memorialized. Roddie himself had gt-gt-grandparents, both Macleods born in Assynt, who lived in Coigach.

The website is at


The following books and printed material are sources I have consulted in the preparation of these web files, or have been reccomended to me by others, and are still on my own "must find" list!

Occasionally throughout the webfiles these books are noted as sources, and at those places I have set links into this file, to more fully credit the authors and publishers.


   Author    : Anne Barnes
   Published : EAGLE-EYE Press, Achiltibuie, 1989
   Notes     :

Cromartie: Highland Life 1650-1914

   Authors   : Eric Richards and Monica Clough
   Published : Aberdeen University Press, 1989
   Notes     :

Go Listen to the Crofters

   Author    : A.D.Cameron
   Published : Acair Ltd, 7 James Street, Stornoway, Isle of Lewis
   Notes     :

The Highland Clearances

   Author    : John Prebble
   Published : Penguin Books in 1973
   ISBN      : 0140028374
   Notes     : An important resource for anyone trying to understand Scottish social history.
               See publisher's review at; REVIEW

Peoples and Settlement in North West Ross

   Editor    : John R. Baldwin
   Published : Edinburgh, 1994, by Scottish Society for Northern Studies
   ISBN/ISSN : 0950599484
   Notes     :

Scotland Farewell, the people of the Hector

   Author    : Donald Macay
   Published : 1) McGraw-Hill Ryerson, Toronto 1980,
               2) Natural Heritage/Natural History, Toronto, 1996
   Notes     : The Hector left Lochbroom in 1773 with 189 passengers bound
               for Nova Scotia; the first large scale emigration to there.

Suilven's World : A Land and its People

   Authors   : Peter & Janet I. Sprent
   Published : Northwest Press, Newport-on-Tay Scot., 1995
   Notes     :

The Wee Mad Road

   Authors   : Jack and Barbara Maloney
   Published : Tasora Books, Minneapolis, 2008
   ISBN      : 978-1-934690-02-4
   Notes     : connected website at;


The Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter Day Saints, commonly referred to by the acronym LDS, or the term "Mormons", has built probably the largest collection of genealogy records in the world. They make the microfilmed coppies of the records available at a nominal cost to everyone, through their Family History Centers attached to regional churches of theirs throughout the world. They have also indexed the 1881 Scottish censuses, and as well as microfilming all the surviving pre 1855 Church of Scotland "Old Parochial Records (OPRs)", they have indexed those as well!

The LDS has a website at , and are currently experimenting with transferring their massive "Family Search" database onto the internet.

Each FHC acts as a branch of the central library at Salt Lake City, and depending on the size of the local center may or may not have in stock the microfilms of interest to Coigach researchers. If any of the following microfilms are not instock at your local FHC, you can order them in. Currently the charge from Canada is five dollars fifty cents a roll of microfilm.

The microfilms are of the original handwritten documents, and should be consulted by anyone who finds possible relatives in the transcriptions and notes on this webpage!

Other microfilmed records include Birth, Marriage, Death Registries post 1854, and indexes of those events.

This file, and others dealing with history and genealogy of Coigach, links from my homepage at:

Any suggestions for additions or edits please feel free to email me,

Donald MacDonald-Ross, at:

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