Robert McFie

Old Robert
Robert McFie
1746-1827

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Notes on the family by Wm Macfie - and from the book on his brother John Macfie of Edinburgh

Robert McFie my father was born at the Waulk Mill, Innerkip Parish ( see map ) on the 11 Feb baptized 15th 1746, he was educated at Innerkip. in his youth he sometimes accompanied his father , who commanded the sloop " Janet" on his voyages too Ireland and the Isle of Man. He wrought as a joiner with his brother William, who had built a house at Bridgend, Ardgowan. for some time and came to Greenock about the year 1765, he wrought for some time with the late Robt Baine, (father of the first Provost of Greenock) . About this time he complained, of a pain in the chest, I think in consequence of a severe fever, he then turned his attention, to a grocers shop , began in 1769, with a partner James Orr his cousin. Apparently there is an original letter or note dated 1770 at Innerkip (in the family papers at the Univ. of Glasgow) that attests ' That Robert Macfie, a singles young man, lived in this parish , most part from his infancy till Whitsunday 1769, behaving himself soberly,honestly & inoffensively ,and at his removal from us was free from all publick scandal or found of Church censure known to us ( and communicated with us)' The note was signed by Alexanser Scott, Minister and Ninian Wasden, Sessions Clerk.
James Orr seems to have been thoughtless, for in less than a year, my father assumed the business to himself, paid all the debts, and removed from the Bell Entry which was a house of one story, he has often told me , he began with 26 (GPS) nearly all of which had been saved by himself, by his own labour, his father could give him little assistance.

Grocer: dealt in dried comestible goods, such as tea, sugar, spices, pepper.



Bell Entry Drawing
Bell Entry Engraving
The Story of Bell Entry
Map of Bell Entry



It has been assumed that Robert may have taken up residence in William Alexander's - Great Tenement - on new street when he first arrived in Greenock. The shop he was parterned in with his cousin was located at the Bell entry, which you can see from the above map is only a short walk away. William has mentioned it was one story building and as such could not have served as a residence.
Robert apparently had opened another shop on New St which at the time may have been located on Alexander's Land. perhaps on the lower level of the Grest Tennemant, unfortuantley written records around this period of time have not been discovered.
The information found in the written history of Greenock indicated Robert's residence was entered from the back of the Great Tenement, it also states that most of his family was born in the new location on the west side of new street which is certainly not true as Robert and Mary had produced 7 offspring before the new residence was built. There were 5 other childern born following the construction and move to #15 and #17 on the newly named William Street. Between William Macfie's writings and those written in the Greenock story book it is not possible to determine the exact facts of the situation<


Survey of
Patrick Scot's Land
Story part 1
Story part 2
Engraving of William Street
showing Robert's tall building
Display of Buildings
on William St.
West side 1805
Postal Directory
Civic numbering
according to 1805
postal directory
Impression of William Street
before the above engraving was made


My father must have been very industrious , as he married in 1772, Mary Andrew , furnished a house and in 1784, brought the ground on which his shop was, for which he paid 200 (Scotch money) it is scarcely 4 falls, but the situation was very good as the business is carried on to this day (in the same place), in 1784 he built the house & shop , which now belongs to my brother John Macfie of Edin. This house cost about 616L 10s 0d, the (unreadable ) wood of which it was built, only cost 1/1p. foot, from about 1775 he did a large business, as in addition to his general business, he became a partner in a whale fishing concern, I recollect of one ship they had the ANN which sailed from Pt Glasgow, at this time , a considerable part of sugars imported, were the property of merchants in Greenock, he brought largely, from them and went to Glasgow, Paisley, Kilmarnock & Ayr when he sold them , and from about 1774, up to 1804, he had a great share of the trade, to Campbelltown, Rothesay, Terbert, Largs & surroundings etc




Becoming a landowner a Feuer as they were then desiginated Robert in 1783 when he purchasd Patrick Scot' lot on New Street ,
in 1794 Robert was elected to Greenock's Town Council, , was Treasurer in 1796 and Councillor in 1820




Notes regarding Greenock of old , in particular to William Street
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In 1788 my father with Jas Hunter, Wm Ritchie, Geo Robertson, John Wilson, Tho Ramsay, Wm McCunn (McEwen) and Nicolas Witte, fixed on building a sugarhouse, for which purpose they bought the property of John Johnstone in Sugarhouse Lane at the corner of Long Vennel.

The second sugar refinery in Greenock was at the south end of Sugarhouse Lane, now converted into a lodginghouse. Messrs John Moody, Hutcheson and Robert Downie, merchant both of Greenock acquired this property in 1777 selling it in 1779 to Messrs Johnston, Armstrong & Co who soon afterwards disposed of it to Mr Wm Coats, merchant.. At that time dwelling houses had been erected on the site or part of it. The next proprietors were prominent townsmen Messrs James Hunter, George Robertson, John Wilson, Walter Ritchie, Thomas Ramsay, William MacCunn jun.( who was commercial manager of the firm), and Robert Macfie. These gentlemen having secured Mr Nicolus Wit as practical manager or " boiler" with presumably an eight share - had bought the property in 1788 and erected a refinery. It was burned in 1793, rebuilt immediately, again burned in 1795 again rebuilt, a third pan being added. The refinery boiled from 900 to 1,200 hogsheads of sugar per annum. In 1800 trade having been bad for several years the company was wound up and the refinery was disposed of to one of the former partners Mr John Macalpine the firm under which the refinery was carried on until then being Messrs Hunter, Macalpine & Co. Mr Duncan MacKellar, a Glasgow merchant next acquired the property and later sold it to Messrs Alexander Angus & Co in 1815. That firm carried on refining till the erection of their new refinery in Princess St and there after Messrs MacLeish, Keyser & Co acquired the property in 1829. Mr J Angus remained in the new copartnery just named. The writer cannot say how long MacLeish, Keyser & co worked this house, probably till about 1843 when he believes Messrs Harm Blanken & Co removed from the foot to the top of Sugarhouse Lane. Messrs Harm Blanken & Co were in turn succeeded by Messrs Hoyle, Martin & Co about 1847. That co-partnery included several well known townsmen. Mr Hoyle was a Greenockian who had returned from Australia with a very considerable fortune; Mr John Martin had been for years the Town Chamberlain and had been Provost of the burgh; Mr Duncan A Campbell was a partner of the Greenock Distillery Co; and Mr Alexander Currie, who was the active manager, was one of the brother of Sir Donald Currie. Under the style of Messrs Hoyle, Martin & Co they worked this house for over twenty years Mr Martin died on 29 July 1855; Mr Campbell had retired early to Appin where he died on Oct 21 1861. Mr Hoyle died about 1870 and Mr Currie after carrying on refining for some years under the style of Messrs Alexander Currie & Co died on June 20 1886. For many years this house has been utilised for other purposes and has recently been converted into a lodging-house.
Sugarhouse Lane
from Vennel
Building at right

The lot on which was a dwelling house, and mahogany rails, to the stair marble Jambs which they converted into a small sugarhouse. Wm McCunn (McEwen) junr was manager and N Witte the boiler. The capital advanced was 4000, each partner advanced 500 but they got a good deal of money on loan Wm Ritchie , my father bought the sugar for many years for the concern, when they began they could not boil more than 300 hhds pr an but they enlarged the house after it was burned in 1793 and again after the fire of 1795, when they added another pan ( formerly they had only 2 pans) and boiled ( unreadable) having a very large stock of refined sugars which they could not sell they agreed that each partner should take his proportion of the goods do what he could with them. I think my father's share of them was 4 tons of lumps 2 tons of loaves a parcel of treacle. When they gave up the advance of 500 was worth 1350. They had been paid 5 % pr/an on the 500, the Sugarhouse was sold to John McAlpine who had become a partner my father bought the property opposite. ( not sure what William was referring to here but may have meant the house situation and not the the sugar house)



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Robert McFie
1746-1827
Married
Mar 9 1772
Port Glasgow ,Scotland
Mary Andrew
1749-1815

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Mary Macfie
1773-1773
Margaret Macfie
1774-1853
William Macfie
1776-1854
Robert Andrew Macfie
1778-1811
Mary Macfie
1780-1853
John Macfie
1781-1782
John Macfie
1783-1852
Janet Macfie
1785-1785
Ann Macfie
1786-1851
Alexander Macfie
1789-1850
Janet/Jessie Macfie
1790-1863
Thomas Macfie
1792-1793



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By the time the second refinery was wound up Robert's financial situation allowed him to purchase in 1798 , a large estate in Innerkip called Langhouse. This large stone mansion, with it's outbuildings and farm cottages had been placed on the market by a Campbell , a family with whom the Macfie family intertwines over the following years. From what has been understood this particular house belonged to Robert's competitor John Wilson, who owned a grocer shop on the opposite side of William St . It has been written that the place was named Orangefield because of the wonderful scent of the empty orange crates that were at times piled around the large gardens. It is believed however that the designation Orangefield originates from the family of Sir Dalrymple of Orangefield itself. The British government offered a substantial bounty for the importation of corn in the early 1800's and Robert being the business man he was took advantage of the situation. He along with his two eldest sons William and Robert Andrew, joined up with Thomas Boag, John Dick, and John Rodger to form a company Boag Macfie & Co. To open up business in New York, USA. They purchased a large ship the Marina, loaded her with goods and set sail for America. Captain Robert Boag was in command and John Rodger and Robert Andrew Macfie sailed with him to conduct business in new York. The enterprise carried on until the bounty of the imported corn was withdrawn then traded for a while in cotton , mahogany and a few other items, winding up the enterprise in 1803 with out much loss. During this period William , having been released from apprenticeship at the sugar house of Hunter, McAlpine & Co., began urging his father to build their own sugar refinery. William planned to operate this business well placing his younger brother Robert Andrew in charge of the grocer business on William St. They managed to purchase land on Bogle St on the eastern side of Greenock allowing them direct access to the East harbour . The building of the refinery was set in motion and the third sugar located in Greenock was able to commence business on the 8th of March 1802, under the banner Robert Macfie & Sons. As the men of age in the family increased, by 1805 another step was taken in this sugar refining business. The firm of Messrs. William Macfie & Co. , was established with external partners of Jacob Battieman and Peter Macfarlane ( apparently of Port Glasgow) and with John Macfie ( the third eldest) a sugar refining operation was set up in a building in Lieth, on the eastern shores of Scotland. In 1807 the husband of his eldest daughter Margaret departed on a voyage to Buenos Aries ,the Garland on which he was sailing was never heard of again. The four son becoming of age, Alexander who had been living at home in Langhouse in a much smaller family circle, being that of his father, his mother and two sisters was in 1808 first apprenticed to the sugar refinery at Leith under the watchful eye of his older brother John. This youngest son proved to be not so much interested in business, he was then brought back to work in the grocer business on William St. where he was entrusted with the daily operations upon the death of his brother Robert Andrew in 1811. By 1814 Robert was convinced by his sons to retire from the business altogether taking his profits of many years of hard work with him in case any of the businesses failed, so he would not loose his fortune. By 1814 Margaret was graced with considerable share of the grocer business on William St having assumed occupation of the apparent rooms at number 17 William St. In the same year Alexander having proved to be very difficult at managing the grocer was asked to cease to being a partner in the business . He had already caused the departure of Andrew Lindsay who had left to open a similar business in Greenock. Once the family had cleaned house so as to speak, they asked Andrew Lindsay if he would return as a full partner , in the beginning of 1815 the firm changed names to Macfie, Lindsay & Co. , where he managed the business with propriety and judgment. Mary Andrew, Robert's beloved wife of 43 years passed away in 1815, at which time Robert deciding to move for the winter months back to town purchased from John Wilson, his oldest competitor his large abode at #5 Orangefield Place. In the book John Macfie of Edinburgh and his family we find the following remark made of Mary Andrew “ On looking over the few letters written by her that we have, and the casual references to her by others we can say that she was kind and considerate to all her large family, there is abundant proof, but of her other qualities nothing appears. In a family at the time obsessed by the concerns of a growing industry almost to the exclusion of other interests, she was perhaps the stable background of commonsense. We must judge her not by what we know of her, but by the character and conduct of those she reared and moulded (my thoughts – she may have colly dollied Alexander as he lived while the last male child died at birth for he did not appear to have the same go getter enthusiasm as his elder brothers). Robert was now dividing his summer and winter between Langhouse at Innerkip, and Orangefield in Greenock, his constant companions being his daughter Ann who never married and Alexander his lackadaisical son who was three years younger. An attempt to place Alexander in a Leith shipping office failed only after two months. In 1817 Robert's brother William who had remained at Bridgend, Ardgowan (Innerkip) no doubt leaving him in an even more melancholy state, however as he once more found a place as councillor for the Town of Greenock he may have kept himself fairly occupied. In 1822 Robert set about arranging his estate stating “ as I have plenty and cannot now long enjoy it” he provided handsome gifts to his sons William and John and to his son in law John Graham with instructions of how to dispose of his property and the shares he held to his daughters and to Alexander his youngest boy. By 1827 Robert was living at Langhouse, he was now 82 years old and in failing health. The family was certainly anxious about him. A portrait had been painted by Harvey, ( now in the archives at the Museums & Galleries , City of Edinburgh – a copy of which painted by the original artist George Harvey now hangs in my living room, which will be handed down to my son Eric, eventually his son Duncan as time passes ; reproduction copies can be purchased from Artwork UK) https://artuk.org/shop/image-library/gallery-product/poster/robert-macfie-17461827-93376/posterid/93376.html Ann his daughter was with Robert alone at Langhouse when he passed Sept 25th at 1 AM, William his eldest son how had to cut short his tour of the Highlands arrived a few hours afterwards. His death was a peaceful one. He had seen all his companions pass before him and was ready to follow. Robert was greatly beloved by all his family, and must have had a remarkable gift co-ordinating and controlling his diverse interests. John ,the son living in Leith apparently had bundled all his father's correspondence over the years , the last letter being docketed “ The last letter I received from the best of fathers-” Robert's funeral was on the 29th of September, 1827 from Langhouse and Orangefield. On that day all the offices and works of the family businesses were closed out of respect for their founder. Robert was buried along side his beloved wife in the north east corner of the Old West Kirkyard in proximity to the Andrew's and Khull burial plots. Unfortunately with the expansion of the Harland & Wolff ship yards much of the cemerty land was taken over. On the 7th of October 1925 the burial stones of the Macfie family were removed and placed in the Loch Tom cemetery in Inverkip beside that of Robert's parent's William and Mary (Ramsay) Macfie.


1783 Greenock residents listed in Glasgow St Guide
1815 Greenock St Guide
1820 Greenock St Guide
1841 Greenock St Guide

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Unfortunately many of the older postal street guides were not safe guarded and are not available for consultation, thus we are left with speculation as to what might have occurre back in those days. We have William's notes stating that in 1769 Robert , his father was in business with his cousin _ James Orr - at the Bell Entry location. then from notes in the volumes of Old Greenock we find Robert had next purchased at building at 15 and 17 William St. , which of course was the new street we see listed in the 1783 guide above. By 1802 Robert had moved to Orangefield on Innerkip St. The shop however remained at 15 William St until some time around until in 1841 we find it's address to be 3 William St, which is much closer to the docks of Greenock.
By 1815 there are other Mcfie families living in Greenock, Bryce, Alex and James the grocer,who do not appear to be of Robert's immediate line, or so far we have no proof they are ( ca 2016).
William his son is now a merchant, Mrs James, his sister is living on Regent St. believed to be a house once own by her brother and provided to her after the loss of her husband in 1807. The two Roberts and the one William a tidesman are believed to be from Robert' brother , William's family ( yet to be confirmed) ..


By 1841 we find even more Mcfies residing in Greenock.
Bryce is still involved with musical instruments, then there are two James neither of whom appear to belong to the line of Robert. John the engineer is William's ( Robert's brother) son, where as John the coal mercahant and John the cork cutter are not. Macfie Lindsay & Co, is now located at 3 William St, and the sugar refining plant is located on Bogle St. ( see ).
Robert the vintner as Bell entry in not part of the family,he is believed to have come from Bute, but Robert who is at 9 East Blackhall is a grandson. William the plumber is a nephew and is living a 1 East Stewart St. William A, who is Margaret's son is on his own as manager of a rice mill and is living at 1 Trafalgar, having left the employ of Macfie , Lindsay Co.
The two Miss McFies who reside on Dalrymple and Dellingburn streets do not appear to belong to our family, where as Miss, and Mrs James of Orangefield are , the Mrs being the daughter of Robert who by this time had passed away (1827) and had no doubt left this house to his daughter. Mrs Robert of Boyd St and Mrs Mcfie of Spingkel St. still have to be investigated a bit more if at all possible


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Margaret Macfie
small>1774-1853
Married
1799
Greenock Scotland
James Macfie
1772-1807

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James Macfie
1801-1856
Robert Macfie
1803-1816
Barbara Macfie
1805-1840
William Andrew Macfie
1807-1899

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No research had been made as far as it is know to establish whether James Macfie was descended from the same line as Mary Macfie. Nothing was done at the time the families were living to establish any liens and now some 200 years later it becomes an almost impossible task. Possibly the marriage records at the times, if indeed they were completed in detail, might contain the names of Jame's parents , but this would only allow us to step back one generation, it is not known if that would be sufficient to help discover the origins of James Macfie's family. ( Note year 2016 - Some one had posted on Ancestry.com that James was born at Galachan , on the Isle of Bute, in 1772 , parents being James McFee and Janet McConachy - however I have not proved that this is exact.

In the year 1807, Captain James Macfie sailed for Buenos Aires on the brig Garland and was never heard of again. For a time it was suspected, that he and his ship had been taken captive by the French, and been carried to a settlement in the West Indies, as he had had a similar experience in 1805. However it was soon assumed that he had indeed been lost at sea. ( note : year 2016, I am still attempting to verify this information I have found several vessels names Garland, but none with a Capt. James Macfie no matter the spelling - at this particular time the English were fighting the Spaniards in Buenos Aires . yet no Captain James Macfie is mentioned as being in the Navy or Army ) Much work needs to be done to sort this information out.

About 1815 a considerable share in the business of Macfie, Lindsay and Co was given to Mrs James Macfie, to assist her in bringing up her family. A few years later her son William Andrew, entered the concern as an apprentice, he subsequently became a partner in it and remained with the firm until 1837. William Andrew married in to the Thorburn family of Sweden and his descendants later moved to British Columbia Canada

In June William Andrew Macfie expressed a desire to retire from Macfie Lindsay & Co, his place was taken by John Graham, who had just given up his mill. We then find William A as manager of a rice mill in Greenock<

No notes have been found regarding the death of Robert in 1816.
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James Macfie
1801-1856
Married
Feb 07, 1837
Greenock, Scotland
Mary Graham
1813-1899

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Dugald Macfie
1837-1894
Mary Graham Macfie
1839-1874
John Graham Macfie
1841-1916
James Macfie
1843-1860
Margaret Ann Macfie
1845-1854
Jessie Barbara Macfie
1847-1930

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Mary Macfie (1780 -1853)  mother of Mary Graham,   is the sister of Margaret Macfie (1774-1853) , who is the mother of James Macfie ,  making James Macfie and his wife Mary Graham  first cousins both having the same grandfather Robert McFie .........

James was in Nassau  about 1820.
James Macfie was business partners with Colin Campbell in  Jamaica







Early in the year 1836 James Macfie decided not to go back to Jamaica, and arranged with his partners to take up a post at Glasgow. In November he became engaged to his cousin May Graham and they were married on the 7th of Februrary 1837..

Glasgow Street guides 1820 -1856






1820






















































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The; Dugald working at Jame's place of business we believe to be an uncle on his father's side( not yet confirmed ca 2016) Dugald as a proper names does not figure into the sugar Macfie side of the family. There is a Duglad Macfie who married a Jane Andrew who had been mentioned in Wlliam Macfie's notes as not of his immediate family, which allows us to assume Dugald derives from one of the many other lines of Macfie none of which have yet been investigated.

As can be seen James Macfie has his office in the same location as his grandfather's business


The 1901 census shows John G Macfie born Scotland, living in Lancashire , Moss Side Parish and holding a commission with the East India Company



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Dugald Macfie
1837-1894
Married
Sept 20 1866
Manchester, England
Agnes Fleming
1844-1928

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Elizabeth Macfie
1867-1940
James Macfie
1869-1946
David Fleming Macfie
1870-1945
Agnes Violet Mary Macfie
1872-1940
Douglas Graeme Macfie
1874-1923
Morna Graham Macfie
1876-1944
Agnes Margaret Gladys Macfie
1879-1943


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Click on photo to enlarge

In 1901 Elizabeth ( 33) Morna (24) and Gladys ( 21)  are living with their mother in Lancashire, Woking Parish, England


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James Macfie
1869-1946
Married
Apr 20 1901
Mina Campbell Drew
1876-1969

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Sylvia Elizabeth Macfie
1902-1988
Dugal Macfie
1908-1982

James Macfie - Major - Deputy Judge Advocate General of Nothern Command headquatters , Murree, Punjab, India (53) eldest son of Duglad Macfoe , late of Manchester.Lanc. Merchant

We find James who was born in Manchester England, listed on the 1901 census records as having the profession of Solicitor

Sylvia Macfie Colonel in the WRAC

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Dugald Macfie
1908-1982
Married
1940
Kensington England
Rosemary V Campbell
1910-xxxx

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Clare Macfie
19xx-xxxx


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Dugald Macfie
1908-1982
Married
1954
Westminister, England
Jane Wilson
19xx-xxxx

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Clare Macfie
19xx-xxxx
Married
1965
England
Michael Hicks
19xx-2012

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Andrew Hicks
19xx-xxxx
Zoe Hicks
19xxxxxx
Thomas Hicks
19xx-xxxx
Nicolas Hicks
19xx-xxxx

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David Fleming Macfie
1870-1945
Married
1913
Chiang Mai, Siam
Nang Kamman
1882-1968

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Violet Macfie
1905-1992
Mollie Macfie
1908-1993
Norah Macfie
1909-1991
Angus Flemming Macfie
1910-1989

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David held a position with the Borneo Company Ltd. in London, a company which had as director Robert Henderson, of R & J Henderson of Glasgow, merchants .  John , the J in R & J Henderson of Glasgow, was  married to Mary Macfie, daughter of John Macfie of Leith. John Macfie was brother to David's great grand mother, making David and John of R & J Henderson 1st cousins 2 times removed by marriage. Back then in most cases family relationships were utilized  very efficiently proving positions for the up and coming  young men oft he following generation so we could assume David  had been fortunate  in obtaining his position.

David attended  along with his brothers

David was sent to Siam in 18    as an assistant  manager for the teak wood harvesting operations :

( Notes written by   R W Woods.)

Macfie, David Flemming ( B C L ( British)

D F Macfie was another of Chiang Mai's eminent men. Though Scottish, his family had established themselves in  Manchester in the cotton business ( has to be verified). Macfie was educated at  Charterhouse, where he represented the school in the public school's racquet championship at Queens and also at  football, which later he played for the Cortinthians. He was not attracted to the family business and in January 1893 arrived in Chiang Mai as a forest assistant under Louis Leonowens, who was then employed by BCL to acquire teak leases from the Chao Luang. Leonowen's ploy was to loose money gambling with the Chao and Macfie was expected to attend these sessions, but as he lived on the opposite side of the river and had no boat he was sometimes compelled to swim across, with dry clothes waiting for him on the other bank. He also had the junior's privilege of gambling with his own money.

Leonowens however was before long found wanting by BCL and resigned. After  a probationary period Macfie was appointed Forest Manager, which he remained until his retirement in 1927. During this time he controlled the BCL forest leases, which in the main comprised the whole of the west bank of the Mae Ping, from Chiang Mai to Tak, with one or two others to the north and in Lampang.  One area he obtained was a gift from King Prajadhipok, Rama VII, who visited Chiang Mai ( the first King ever to do so) ( almost like his great grand uncle John of Leith) in 1927 to open the railway station , which marked the final completion  of the Bangkok-Chiang Mai  line. A calf born shortly before, in the BCL herd was found to be a scared White Elepant, which  was presented to his Majesty ceremoniously. The Mae Yuak forest was subsequently Royaly gifted in appreciation. Macfie himself  was appointed to the Order of the White Elephant.

Macfie was a founding member of the Chiengmai Cymkhana Club in 1898, where he  was active in sports for many years, notably polo and tennis, while his home leaves were occupied with sailing. His hobbies  included cartography in which he skilled, though unfortunately much of this was lost. One work of his which does survive is the " Chiang Mai Record"  in which he lists year by year the names and movements of all European residents and visitors : this extends from 1884 to 1919 when he discontinued it and is a virtual source of information.

In 1927 he retired to a house he had built for himself and his family at the foot of the Chiang Mail hill, and lived there until he was interned  in Bankok from 1941-1945. The internment camp was controlled by the  Thais and the  Japanese and therefore less severe than some , but severe enough for a man of 70 and he died in Chaing Mai four months after his release.

Macfie Mrs Kammao

Born 1882, died 13 November 1968  aged  86

Though born Thai, the acquired British nationally automatically on her marriage to D F Macfie, according to the British marriage laws of that time. As a girl she had been handmaiden to one of the princesses of Chiang Mai  and accompanined her to Bankok when the princess joined the court of King Chulalongkorn, returning to Chiang Mai to marry. \She became a Cristian and was active in church work in her neighbourhood, where she built several churches.


Macfie Angus Flemming    born August 1910, died July 1989 aged 79 of cancer.

He was born in Chiang Mai, the fourth and youngest child of D F Macfie and Nag Kammao and spent his infancy in Chiang Mai. About 1916 he was sent to Hong Kong, along with two of his  three sisters, as boarders at Darsen School on Kowloon, and in 1919 the same group were sent under command of two governesses to Jeanne d'Arc School, in San Remo Italy to prepare for schooling in England. he then spent 1920- 1924 at Hilcrest Preparatory School at Swanage Dorset, passing into the Scottish School Genalmond where he remained until 1930. It is said by his school master there , that his main interest appeared to be sports and he was the school's rugby full back for two years, besides winning a number of athletic prizes.

From 1930-1934 he studied at Camborne School of Mines, in Cornwall where he qualified as a mining surveyor. While at Cambornes he excelled as a ruby footballer, playing regularly for the school, Camborne Club and once for Cornwall County.

From 1934-39 he was employed in Nigeria by the  Yalwah Obosse Gold Mining Co, but on the outbreak of war returned to England and joined up. He spent the next six years in the army, fininishing up in Europe where he had landed tow days after the 1944 invasion as a Sergent in the  9th Survey Regiment Royal Artillery . After demobilization he returned to Chiang Mai where his father had recently died in 1946 to rejoin his mother, who he had not seen for thirty years. Her first reaction was to give me a bath, aged 36 !. He had by this time became in effect an Englishman visitor and never really acquired enough Thai to communicate with her.  He found no suitable employment in Thailand and in 1949 went of to Malaya to join a British firm , Sir Bruce White and Partners as a mine's surveyor. About 1960, he decided to go on his own and settled at Ipoh as a partner of a survey firm called Macfie & Wilson, until his final retirement in 1980 when he returned to Chiang Mai close to his sister Violet.

During the whole of his twenty years in at Ipoh, he lived in one small room at the Ipoh Club and at no time showed any special interest in domestic comfort. On various visits to Chiang Mai , he was usually presented by his relations with eligible girls ( whom he thoroughly enjoyed) but always seemed to escape quite honourably from matrimony. He was curiously indifferent to money, though neither neither spendthrift nor a lender and as generous as the next man. he had inherited  ( from his father) gift of rhymes , which he composed as family bard ( comic) for all special occasion and was also a remarkable good writer of letters.

What impressed people the most was his imperturbability in crises, real or imaginary and his totally unmalicious attitude to the world her lived in, a man empty of guile, but full of friendliness and good sense.

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The Borneo Company ( link)

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More accumulated notes :

David married a hand maiden of the Princes of Siam, his children were all born there, the three daughters are buried along with their parents in the  Chiang Mai Foreign cemetry, Thailand.

Extract from book written by W.S. Bristowe 1976 :  Louis and the King of  Siam :

" Macfie was 43 before he was officially married in 1913 and was very very hurt that his freinds did not call on his Lao wife or when Bristowe mentioned about Mr W W Wood in his sources and notes, Like other men of his time he was class-conscious where Europeans were concerned, but a throughly decent fellow. D F Macfie was a manager of Borneo Co. Ltd in Chian Mai since 1899.

His wife was Kam Mao. The couple had together three children all born before they were officially married. He died in Chiang Mai in 1945"

David was a founding member of the Chiang Mai Gymkhana Club  1898

The Chiang Mai Record was kpet by D F Macfie from 1884  to 1919 noting the names and movements of Foreign residents and visitors in the north of Siam.

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SQUASH

Just over a century ago a group of expatriates, mainly British and living in the North of  Siam  (Thailand) spent many of their leisure hours playing Squash. Most were in the then highly lucrative timber trade and thus it is not surprising that they built their courts from  Teak

On of these happy band of Squash players was D F Macfie  who worked for the Borneo Company and appears in Squash records from the middle 1890's to the middle 1920's. He played all his Squash during this period on Teak courts whilst he was in Northern Thailand ( Siam) He was one of the 14 founder members of the  Chiengmai Gymkhana Club ( Louis Leonowens, whose wife Anna was the famous " The King and I" Anna, was another) which started in 1898. The Club still exists and although Polo is no longer played they still play Squash. They have a thriving Squash section playing on two modern courts which were built in 1979 and 1985. When the second court was completed the Teak court was dismantled and we believe put in storage.

There were a number of such courts but all but one have disappeared or have been converted to other use. Once still remains in Chiengmai, in the compound of the old Bornoe Company, but this is now a home. Traces of the wall sidelines were still visible when last inspected.

Mr Macfie left and out standing legacy. This was the " Chiengmai Cup " for doubles squash, which he presented to the Royal Bankok Sports Club in 1910. The competition for this cup has been played almost continuously sine 1910 to this date. The only times it was not played were the war years and a couple of " administrative slippages". We believe the competition hold the record for the longest still played.

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Squash  a second version

Just over a century ago a group of expatriates, mainly British and living in the North of  Siam  (Thailand) spent many of their leisure hours playing Squash. Most were in the then highly lucrative timber trade and thus it is not surprising that they built their courts from  Teak

On of these happy band of Squash players was D F Macfie  who worked for the Borneo Company and appears in Squash records from the middle 1890's to the middle 1920's. He played all his Squash during this period on Teak courts whilst he was in Northern Thailand ( Siam) He was one of the 14 founder members of the  Chiengmai Gymkhana Club ( Louis Leonowens, whose wife Anna was the famous " The King and I" Anna, was another) which started in 1898. The Club still exists and although Polo is no longer played they still play Squash. They have a thriving Squash section playing on two modern courts.

Mr Macfie was obviously an enthusiastic and durable payer. Records show that he was the winner of a number of competitions, including the Chiengmai Cup in 1913, In 1921 and 1922 he was the winner, with a Mr. Queripel, of the doubles in the North of Thailand, Mr Queripel obviously did not exert all his energy on the squash courts as he is known to be the father of 23 children. Some of his descendants still live in Chiengmai 

Mr macfie retired in Chiengmai in 1927, was interned in bankok by the Japanese during World War 2 and  died in Chiengmai in December 1945, four months after his release from the camp. His son Angus died in 1989 and his daughter Violet in 1992, whilst both were living in Chiengmai

Perpetuating the name of Mr Macfie is the Chiengmai Cup that he presented to the Royal Bankok Sports Club in 1090 and was first played for in 1910.

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 In the early days of the Asylum , the support was entirey local, coming from foreign and Siamese friends in Chiengmai and vicinity. From before the days of the Asylum, when we were giving unorganized aid to the wandering lepers, until the present time   Mr. D F Macfie has solicited funds for the lepers each year during a period of more than a quarter of a century.


Foreign Cemetray

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Violet Macfie
1905-1992
Married

Siam
Mr Posayawat
18xx-xxxx

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Violet is buried in the Foreign Cemetery in Chiang Mai along side her parents

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1st marriage

Mollie Macfie
1908-1993
Married
Jul 27 1933
Penang, Malaya
James Hugh MeKean
1893-1942

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David James McKean
1939-xxxx
Catherine Mary McKean
19xx-xxxx

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Reid : Mollie Macfie McKean Born 18 Feb 1908 - died 18 October 1989 aged 85

Mollie was born in Chiang Mai, the second child of D F Macfie and Nang Kammao, and sister to Violet, Norah and Angus and spent her infancy in Chiang Mai. in 1916 at the age of 7 she was sent by her father, together with Norah and Angus to be educated in Europe. But owing to the Great War, they were forced to sail to Hong Knong and remined as boarders at the Diocesan School in Kowloon. When the war ended the three youngster were sent with two governesses to Jeanne d'Arc School in San Remo Italy to prepare  for school in England. There she attended Roedean in Sussex and later a finishing  school in Switzerland. She then went to the school of Domestic Science in Edinburgh Scotland.

When she was 25 years of age she returned to Chiang Mai and lived with her mother, father and sisters Violet and Norah at " Hillside" ( adjacent to what is no Chiang Mai University) She taught English at Prince Royal College and was a nurses aide at the McCormick Hospital.

On 27 June 1933 she married Hugh Mckean in Penang Malaysia and honeymooned in Indonesia. Hugh was the son of Dr. James and Laura McKean ( founder of the McKean Leper Asylum) Around that time Hugh McKean became superintendent of the Chiang Mai Leper Asylum. They made their home outside Chiang Mai and raised their children David James and Catherine MAay until the Second World War. The family were among those who evacuated to norther Thiland  escaping into Burma and then on to India as the Japanese came north.

Upon arriving in India her husband's health quickly deteriorated and he was too ill to be evacuated, he died shortly after. With her two children she then traveled to Northern India to help in a mission . They were later able to board the last ship out of  India to the United States where they resided with Dr, James and Mrs McKean.

For the remainder of the war, Mollie volunteered to serve as at a hospital in Long Beach California as a nurses aide and also worked with the USO ( service organization for soldier on leave from the war). When the Second World War ended, the US Immigration demanded that Mollie return to Thailand. She left her two children in the care of her sister-in-law Kate McKean Garvin, due to the uncertain condition is Thailand.

For some time she fought with the Us Immigration, though later returned to the United States and won her citizenship. During that time she had kept in contact with Thomas Reid who she had first met during her USO service and they were married in 1952. They raised David and Catherine in Los Angeles California and made numerous trips to   Thailand to visit the Macfie family. Thomas passed away during a family Christmas reunion at " Riverside " Chiang Mai.

Mollie returned home to Los Angeles where she had maintained her home and lived independently until health concerns made it advisable to move in with her daughter. She died peacefully at home. She is survived by her son David McKean and his children Mary Catherine and Morgan James  and her daughter Catherine McKean Royer and her children Kat and Mollie.

She was a woman of great personal strenght and courage, a fine model for her family, always looking to the future with a generosity of heart and good cheer. She was deeply loved and admired by all.

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Mckean :  James Hugh

Born November 18 1893   died May 6 1942

Hugh McKean was born in Chiang Mai, the son of Dr and Mrs James W Mckean, missionaries of the Board of Foreign Missions of the Presbyterian  Church in the United States of America and founder of the McKean Leper Asylum, now the McKean Rehabilitation Center. He and his siter Kate were raised in Ciang Mai but then left Thailand to attend Wooster College and the University  of Michigan from where he graduated in 1916. After a year post-graduate study at  John Hopkins University, Hugh McKean applied to the Board for an appointment to the Thailand Mission, with the desire to assist his father in the leprosy work in Chiang Mai. Before he could be sent to Thailand he was called for military service in the First World War.

After the war he was appointed to the Thailand Mission  on February 1922. He was also business manager of the McCormick Hospital and Chiang Mai Dispensaries, treasurer of the station and manager of the Chiang Mai Mission Press. When his father retired from active missionary work, Hugh became superintendent of the Chiang Mai Leper Asylum. he had an unusual knowledge of leprosy and his missionary associates wrote that  " though he did not have an MD, he knew more about leprosy than the average physician". He was also deeply interested in the spiritual welfare of his patients.

He married Mollie  Macfie and had two children. As the Japanese moved north during the Second World War, Hugh and family left for Burma and then on to India. He had been in poor health for some time prior to the evacuation, however his courage and patience were unfailing.

When he and his family arrived in India, he was too ill to travel on a troop ship so was taken to Miraj Hospital where he passed away.


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David James McKean
1939-xxxx
Married
Los Angeles, Ca
Miss Unknown
xxxx-xxxx

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Mary Catherine McKean
19xx-xxxx
 Morgan James McKean
19xx-xxxx

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Catherine Mary McKean
19xx-xxxx
Married
Los Angeles,Ca
William Royer
19xx-xxxx

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Kate Royer
19xx-xxxx
Mollie Royer
19xx-xxxx

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2nd marriage

Mollie Macfie
1908-1993
Married
1952
Los Angeles , Ca
Thomas Monroe Reid
1902-1987

REID : Thomas Monroe

Born  September 1902 in Athens Georgia ( USA)  died 24 December 1987 aged 85 in Chiang Mai ( heart failure)

His mother was a teacher who inbuded his  with a great love for learning and sent him to California where there were better schools , to live with his grandparents during his high school years. It was something of a handicap in the America of the 1920's that he was part negro and it says volumes for his character and ability that he achieved the rare distinction pf admission to the University of Southern California where he graduated with a Bachelor's Degree in history, working at night to pay for his education. He attended Graduate School at Columbia University of New York and achieved a Master's Degree in Education.

He then obtained a permanent position in the U S  Postal Administration , but continued in his spare time to pursue his bent for self-education. He studied pharmacology and owned his own pharmacy, became a Certified Real Estate Broker and Appraiser and a Licensed Insurance Broker. He is remember for these remarkable achievements , also for his quiet struggles against prejudice, a much respected civic and church leader.

Druning his Second World War army service he met Mollie ( Macfie) McKean, widow of Dr Hugh Mckean of the McKean Leper Asylum and second daughter of D F Macfie. She was  at the time an army nurses aide and had two young children.She returned to  Thailand after the war but they kept in touch and in 1952 she married him and settled in the United States, where they lived in Los Angeles. They were on one of several visits to Chiang Mai to see her relatives when he died.

 He was a quiet and modest man despite his notable struggles and achievements, but a man of self-confidence, forward looking, hopeful and optimistic of the future of his fellow man.

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1st marriage

Norah Macfie
1901-1991
Married
England
Frederick Sanders
xxxx-xxxx

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Jackie Sanders
xxxx-xxxx

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2nd marriage

Norah Macfie
1909-1991
Common Union
1951
Kaula Lampur
Morris Edgar
xxxx-1991

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Edgar , Norah  Macfie (Sanders)|

born 9 March 1909 Chiang Mai, died January 27 1991 aged 81 at Titiwangsa - Kuala Lumpur Malaysia

She was the third daughter of D F Macfie and Nang Kammao. At age 6 she was sent to school in Kowloon, Hong Kong with her brother Angus and sister Mollie, then to San Rerno Italy with governesses , from there she went to the prestigious Roedean School in Sussex and subsequently to a finishing school in Switzerland after which she attended Studley Agricultural College in England in a general an extremely comprehensive education.

  ROEDEAN SCHOOL

This most famous of girls' schools was founded in October 1885, with ten girls and no particular name, at 25 Lewes Crescent by the Misses Dorothy, Millicent and Penelope Lawrence, in an effort to provide more than the rudimentary education that it was then customary for girls to receive. The school also took in 3 Arundel Terrace, 27 Lewes Crescent and 37 Chesham Road before moving to 35-37 Sussex Square as the Wimbledon House School; nos.34 and 29 Sussex Square were then taken in 1892 and 1893 respectively. The school had a playing-field off Roedean Road where East Brighton Park now lies.
The large school buildings at Roedean were designed by Sir John Simpson on an eighteen-acre site purchased from the Marquess of Abergavenny. Construction commenced in March 1897, the foundation stone was laid on 26 July 1897 by Mrs Henry Sidgwick, principal of Newnham College, Oxford, and Roedean School opened in January 1899. The Flemish-style main building has large gables, a clock tower, and a 500-foot frontage; the four projecting bays are the school's houses. Several new developments were added before the Second World War twenty-four more acres were purchased in 1903 and another seventy-seven in 1930; a new chapel was dedicated in May 1906 by the Bishop of Chichester; a swimming-pool first opened in 1907; the junior school and sanatorium were opened in 1908; a new wing and a tunnel to the beach were added in 1910; Roedean House was built in the 1920s; and the Lawrence science building opened in July 1928. In 1938 Roedean School was incorporated by Royal Charter.

STUDLEY AGRICULTURAL COLLEGE

The college was founded by Daisy Greville, Countess of Warwick. In 1898 she had founded Warwick Hostel in Reading to offer training to 'surplus women in the lighter branches of agriculture'. Warwick Hostel expanded and moved to Studley Castle in Warwickshire in 1903, becoming Studley Horticultural & Agricultural College for Women. An early student was Adela Pankhurst, and an early warden in the years before World War I was Dr Lillias Hamilton. Students included Taki Handa, a student and instructor at Doshisha Women's College of Liberal Arts, Japan, who studied at Studley from 1906 to 1907 and designed a garden at Cowden Estate in Muckhart, Scotland. The College students undertook hard practical work in its greenhouses and vegetable gardens.

The College remained an all-women college throughout its existence, closing in 1969. The assets were used to found the Studley College Trust, a charitable trust that awards grants to students of agriculture and horticulture.

Studley Castle has since become a conference centre and wedding venue.

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 She returned to Chiang Mai about 1930 , but only for a short time. From childhood she had suffered from what were once known as " brainstorms" and at this time the diagnosis indicated a brain tumour, requiring a very serious operation. She returned therefore to Britain , where the operation was preformed with complete success and convalesced in Denmark where she spent four years up to 1939. On the out break of the Second World War , she returned to England and lived at Dunkeld, Perthshire with her father's three sisters. During was service se met and married Frederick Sanders , a chemist, with whom she moved to Singapore after the war, where he daughter was born.

In the early 1950's she moved to Kuala Lumpur where she started divorce proceedings. They were handled by  Morris Edgar, a well known Scottish Lawyer, and later on Norah became Mrs Edgar, also  "Datin" when Edgar was raised to the Malaysin Title of " Datuk". They lived in Kula Lumpur until they both died, with in six months of each other. Norah was cremated and her ashes brought to Chiang  Mai for burial, close to her  father and mother as she wished.



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Agnes Violet Mary Macfie
1872-1940
Married
July 26, 1899
Manchester, England
James Edward Graham
1854-1929

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Jessie Barbara Macfie
1847-1930
Married
October 23 1872
William Macfie Campbell
1848-1928

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Mary Graham Campbell
1873-xxxx
Margaret Macfie Campbell
1875-1890
Jessie Graham Campbell
1878-1880
Ethel May Campbell
1880-xxxx
Duncan Alexander Campbell
1886-1914

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The Campbell Family

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Barbara Macfie
1805-1840
Married
June 30 1837
Greenock, Scotland
Charles Murray
xxxx-xxxx

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Margaret Macfie Murray
1838-1858
Jane Mckenzie Murray
1840-1857

|Charles died before 1857

Margaret died while living at Union St   Greenock 

Jane died at Anafasteod , Uddervalla Sweden at her  uncle's home.


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William Andrew Macfie
1807-1899
Married
January 16, 1839
Jessie Thorburn
1818-1883 />

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James Macfie
1840-1846
William Thorburn Macfie
1841-1841
Robert Macfie
1842-1921
Margaret Macfie
1844-1847
William Andrew Macfie
1846-1926
Jessie Macfie
1848-1849
Marion Macfie
1850-1850
Mary Macfie
1851-1866
John Macfie
1854-1866
Janet Throburn Macfie
1856-1893
Edward Macfie
1857-1934
Marion Isabella Macfie
1859-1860
James Washington Macfie
1860-19xx


William Andrew Macfie and his wife moved to Sweden , where they continued in a long line of descendants

For more information on this particualr branch of the family you are invited to click on the following site.


The Thorburn Macfie Family Society

James Washington Macfie, established himself in British Columbia, Canada and produced his own family unit, therefore creating another Canadian link to the Sugar Macfie family of Scotland




Robert Andrew Macfie
1778-1811
Married
1807
Agnes Galt
xxxx-1855

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Robert Andrew Macfie
1808-1824
Jane Thomson Macfie
1809-1831
Mary Macfie
1811-1826

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Agnes Galt of course being the sister of John Galt the Novelist, and Aunt to Sir Alexander Tilloch Galt one of the Fathers of the Confederation of Canada, and Aunt to Sir Thomas Galt of the Supreme Court of the province of Ontario of Canada
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Mary Macfie
1780-1853
Married
January 11,1808
Greenock, Scotland
John Graham
1774-1830

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John Graham
1811-1890
Mary Graham
1813-1899
Robert Graham
1815-1836
Jessie Johnstone Graham
1817-1892
Duncan Graham
1819-1840
Eliza Ann Graham
1820-1899


The Graham Family


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