The Mackenzies of Langwell

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Mackenzies of Langwell
Descendancy Chart


The two main 19th century attempts to trace all lines of descent of the Clan Mackenzie do not cover the Mackenzie of Langwell family very thouroughly; "History of the Mackenzies" notes them five times in passing mention of other families, with no attempt to trace the descent. The "Findon Tables", Sheet No.6, sketchily charts the descent, with a number of overwrites and additional notes by the author that have required further research to interpret. Descendants of the family, especially Kathy Hunter in Oregon, have traced the descent down to the present day, note especially her database "langwell" on Worldconnect at

The little descent chart that follows is a new attempt to untangle the early generations.

The Findon Tables were typeset, then the compiler, Maj. James D. MacKenzie of Findon, added several handwritten corrections and additions, the copy I have includes;

Clearly Findon was contemplating edits to the chart in this area. He also had a page with various edits charted out, but not yet edited into the main chart. it includes;

The person at the top of these excerpts, "John Buy of Ardcharnich", is noted as third son of Kenneth, himself a gt-grandson in direct male descent of Sir Kenneth "A'Bhlair," VIII Baron of Kintail. Confusion begins two generations after John Buy, with his grandson or grandsons. There are several handwritten notes by Findon there;

Note the fellow on lower left of the two edits is noted in one as "younger of Langwell", in the other as "younger of Scatwell". Though his grandmother was a Mackenzie of Scatwell I think Findon here meant "younger of Langwell" as correct.

An article in the 2004 Clan Mackenzie UK Society newsletter by the Scottish Historian, Malcolm Bangor-Jones examining rental and other records concerning the Mackenzie of Langwell family has Kenneth, I of Langwell, succeeded in the farm by son Thomas. In light of that I would read the edits above to suggest Kenneth I was succeeded by Thomas II, who was married first to Catherine (daughter of Simon who was son of Simon of Lochslin), and son of Thomas and Catherine was another Kenneth.

My interpretation of the situation was Findon had data Kenneth Mackenzie of the Langwell family was married in 1706 to a daughter of Donald Rioch, a Burgess of Inverness, and determined him to be a brother of Thomas, whom he reidentified as "Thomas Mackenzie, II of Langwell". And further, Thomas II married first to Catherine (daughter of Simon who was son of Simon of Lochslin).

The son of Thomas II, "Kenneth, younger of Langwell", was head of the family by time of the 1745 Rebellion, he could be considered "Kenneth, III of Langwell". This Kenneth was married twice, first to a daughter of Ross of Aldie, second to a daughter of Mackenzie of Keppoch. By that first wife he had son Simon, whose own son became the first "Mackenzie Ross of Aldie" in 1819. The second wife, a daughter of James Mackenzie of Keppoch; their children included Thomas who succeeded to the farms at Langwell (Thomas IV of Langwell).

A new charting of
the early generations of the
Mackenzie of Langwell family

  1. John Buy Mackenzie, of Ardcharnach, noted in a bond in 1662, 1685 granted Ardcharnach to his eldest son (Kenneth), 1686 noted at Langwell and Inverlael, married a daughter of Rorie Mackenzie of Corrie.
    Their six noted children;

    1. Kenneth Mackenzie, I of Langwell, died a few years previous to the 1715 Rebellion, and noted as buried at "the burial-place of his Family at Ullaboll in Coygach. He married 1671 to Catherine (daughter of Kenneth Mackenzie, I of Scatwell). In 1689 as well as Langwell noted as renting part of Ullapool and living there.

      I wonder if "the Burial-place of his Family at Ullaboll in Coygach might have been the old structure in the cemetery there, there had been rumours Prince Charles was hiding there 1746, if Kenneth III was a Jacobite, and his wife a sister of one of the most prominant Jacobites involved in trying to get Charlie out of Scotland genesis of that legend might have come from Ardloch and Keppoch hiding in the structure waiting for French ships to arrive.

      Their two known sons;

      1. Thomas Mackenzie, II of Langwell, died 1738. Married first to Catherine Mackenzie, daughter of Simon, son of Simon Mackenzie of Lochslin.
        They had at least one child,

        1. Kenneth Mackenzie, III of Langwell, born pre 1706, still alive 1771, married firstly Sibella Ross of the Aldie family (an estate in Easter Ross), in 1748 he noted that he had placed his wadset of Langwell in the hands of his brother in law, Simon Ross of Aldie . Aldie was later to come into hands of the Langwall Mackenzie family in 1819 on extinction of descent of Simon Ross and his brothers, entail and genealogy of the family making clear Simon's sister "Sibilla" was wife of Kenneth. Kenneth and sibella were parents of at least the first known son;

          1. Captain Simon Mackenzie, noted by Malcolm Bangor-Jones as eldest son, served from 1755 to 1763 in the 4th Regiment of Foot. He married before 1768 to Isobel Mackenzie of the Allangrange family. Though noted by many genealogists as first of the Mackenzie Ross of Aldie family, Malcolm Bangor-Jones study of property dealings show he remained at Langwell, his son George though was tenant of Aldie in 1819 at death of the then Ross of Aldie head, and from that date looks to have had the double surname "Mackenzie Ross", documents in the 1850s note he had been "heir of entail" of Aldie, presumably based on a 1723 entail by William Ross, III of Aldie.

            Simon retired as a half pay officer and took up farming at Langwell, he seems to have become the major Mackenzie farmer at Langwell during his father's lifetime, and it is not yet clear if he predeceased his father, regardless, position as head of the Langwell Mackenzie family looks to have passed to his brother Thomas. Simon died 1775-6 while his two children were young, they did not follow at Langwell, likely their widowed mother settled elsewhere. The Findon tables note two children and thirteen grandchildren.

            A son and daughter of Captain Simon are noted, the son, George, in 1819 became the first of the Mackenzie-Ross of Aldie family, whose descent is traced to the present day.

          The second Statistical Account and the 19th centry genealogys suggest by 1746 Kenneth had remarried to Isobel, a daughter of James Mackenzie of Keppoch and Kildonan. He had eleven children, several alive when the Marines sacked Langwell, including at least the eldest son;

          1. Thomas Mackenzie, IV of Langwell (charted by the Victorian genealogys as "III of Langwell"), born about 1743, died 17 February, 1825, his descent has been well researched by his descendants. He married Catherine Robertson, thought to be daughter of Alexander Robertson of Polchorrie and Kenachulish in Lochbroom (himself a nephew of the famous "Strong Minister" of Lochbroom, James Robertson), her mother Margaret MacAulay thought to be a daughter of the Tacksman Aulay MacAulay and Marjory MacKintosh (sister of two Chiefs of her Clan, ancestry traced back at least sixteen generations).

            His obituary published 11 March, 1825 in the Inverness Advertiser reads;

                  At Langwell, in the parish of Lochbroom, on the 13th ultimo, Thomas Mackenzie, Esq. aged 82. He was the last in that part of the country of the well-educated, well-bred, and intelligent class of gentlemen farmers, called "The Old School." He was the 6th in succession of the same family, on the same farm. In every relation of life, he was respectable and respected. His body was conveyed over a distance of eleven miles, to the place of internment on the shoulders of above five hundred Highlanders, who spontaneously assembled to render to his memory that last melancholy tribute ; and was laid in the grave, amidst a multitude of weeping relatives and friends, by six sons, all grown up and able men.

            Presumably the "6th in succession" in that article refers to the following;

            1. John Buy Mackenzie, of Ardcharnach [ sometime resident at Langwell, but normally styled as "of Ardcharnach" ]
            2. Kenneth Mackenzie, I of Langwell
            3. Thomas Mackenzie, II of Langwell
            4. Kenneth Mackenzie, III of Langwell
            5. Captain Simon Mackenzie [ son of Kenneth III, brother of Thomas IV ]
            6. Thomas Mackenzie, IV of Langwell

            Though Thomas was second son, his father lived to a great age, and as his elder brother died about 1775 Thomas can be considered as "4th of Langwell".

          Which of the following children of Kenneth III were from his first or second wife is now not known;

          1. Kenneth Mackenzie, a baker at Tain, married, issue if any not charted.
          2. Murdoch Mackenzie, married a granddaughter of Mackenzie of Fisherfield.
          3. (daughter) Mackenzie, married (?) Munro at Ullapool.
          4. (daughter) Mackenzie, married (?) MacLeod
          5. (child) Mackenzie
          6. (child) Mackenzie
          7. (child) Mackenzie
          8. (child) Mackenzie
          9. (child) Mackenzie

      2. Kenneth Mackenzie, married 1706 to a daughter of Donald Rioch, a Burgess of Inverness, with issue not charted.

    2. Thomas Mackenzie, a tenant at Langwell 1689-1691.
    3. John Mackenzie.
    4. Murdoch Mackenzie.
    5. Alexander Mackenzie.
    6. Janet Mackenzie, noted in History of the Mackenzies and Findon Table #6 as married Colin Mackenzie, second son of Alexander, I of Suddie.
      Their six children;

      1. Alexander Mackenzie, an officer in the Horse Guards, married Phyllis Sutherland with five children charted.
      2. Kenneth Mackenzie, died unmarried.
      3. Thomas Mackenzie, killed without issue, in the Scots Guards in Spain.
      4. John Mackenzie, a Lieutenant-Colonel in Collier's Regiment in Flanders, married Catherine Mackenzie, daughter of Hector placename unclear, with two sons charted.
      5. Colin Mackenzie, in Lauder's Regiment, killed in Flanders, without issue.
      6. Marie Mackenzie, nothing further noted of her.

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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