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Murdo MacKay (abt. 1805 - 1875)

Murdo MacKay
Born about in North Galson, Isle of Lewis, Ross-shire, Scotland, United Kingdommap
[sibling(s) unknown]
Husband of — married 10 Nov 1828 in Barvas, Ross-shire, Scotland, United Kingdommap
Descendants descendants
Died at about age 70 in South Bragar, Barvas, Ross-shire, Scotland, United Kingdommap
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Profile last modified | Created 4 Feb 2012
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Date: ABT 1805
Place: North Galson, Isle of Lewis, Scotland


Marriage between Murdo MacKay and Margaret Matheson[1]
Date: 10th November, 1828
Place: Barvas, Ross and Cromarty, Scotland

Census Data

1841 Scottish Census - South Bragar, Barvas, Ross & Cromarty Parish 86A[2]
Murdo McKay - 35 (1806) b. Ross and Cromarty
Margaret McKay - 30 (1811) b. "Foreign Parts" (could be Egypt)
Ann McKay - 9 (1832) b. Ross and Cromarty
John McKay - 7 (1834) b. Ross and Cromarty
N K McKay - 6 mo (1840) b. Ross and Cromarty (NK stands for "Not Known")
  • There were two famillies living near by with remarkably similar names. We are connected with the South Bragar MacKays, the Swainbost line may or may not have direct links to the Bragar MacKays.

1851 Scottish Census - South Bragar, Barvas, Ross & Cromarty[3]
Murdock McKay - 52 (1799) b. Barvas, Rossshire
Margaret Mckay - 45 (1806) b. Barvas, Rossshire
Donald Mckay - 10 (1841) b. Barvas, Rossshire; son
Alexr Mckay Twins - 7 (1844) b. Barvas, Rossshire; son
Margaret Mckay Twins - 7 (1844) b. Barvas, Rossshire; daughter
Normand Mckay - 3 (1848) b. Barvas, Rossshire; son
Anne Mckay (1) 1850 b. Barvas, Rossshire; daughter

1861 Scottish Census - South Bragar, Barvas, Ross & Cromarty[4]
Murdoch Mcray - 63 (1798)
Margaret Mcray - 53 (1808) b. Egypt
Angus Mcray - 9 (1852)
  • Transcriber recorded the wrong spelling of McKay
  • Alexander McKay - 13 (1848) is a servant at the Morrison home, household #29, in South Bragar, Roll CSSCT1861_11

1871 Scottish Census - South Bragar, Barvas, Ross & Cromarty[5]
Murdo McKay - 70 (1801)
Peggy Mackay - 65 (1806)
Peggy Mackay - 24 (1847)
Household #22, line 17, South 'Brager' (Murdo and Peggy's son)
Donald Mckay - 30 (1841)
Effey Mckay - 23 (1848) (Henrietta McDonald)
Malcolm Mckay - 1 (1870)


Death of Murdo McKay[6]
Date: 20 January 1875
Place: South Bragar, Barvas, Ross and Cromarty
Age: 70 years (1805)
Cause: Asthma (sometime ill)
Father: Norman McKay, Crofter, Deceased
Mother: Catherine McKay, Maiden Surname: McLean, Deceased
Informant: Donald Mackay, Son (His x mark)
Registered at Barvas, January 23


A report from September 1836 written by the Rev. William MacRae, the parish minister in Barvas described his community down to very fine details. From topography to climate and other geographic features, as well as the economic and social structure of the village, including the church, education, agriculture, and personal habits are all documented from the time period. All of the info can be applied to the lifestyle our ancestors lead since they were residing in a neighbouring settlement called South Bragar. We can accurately imagine
"...the men are all well-proportioned, hardy, robust, and healthy, and the women are modest, comely and many of them good-looking. The inhabitants are middle size, of a sallow complexion, probably occasioned by the peat smoke in which they are constantly enveloped. Gaelic is the only language, and has been from time immemorial; and it is spoken, in the opinion of competent judges, with grammatical correctness and classical purity. In their habits, much cleanliness can scarcely be expected, considering their poverty and the wretchedness of their habitations, especially while the present system, which has prevailed for ages, continues, of having the cattle under the same roof with themselves, entering at the some door, and allowing their manure to accumulate without being removed except once a year. Their mode of living most closely approaches the pastoral - without arts, trade, or manufacture, navigation or literature, their whole round of duty consists in securing fuel, in sowing and reaping their scanty crops and in rearing their flocks, and tending them at pasture. Yet in these limited circumstances, while supplied with food and clothing of the plainest description, and able to pay their rents, their simple cottages are abodes of happiness and contentment. Blue kelt is almost the only dress worn by the men and stuffs variously striped, by the women, with under dresses of plaiding, all home made. In many instances, however, cotton shirts and print gowns are beginning to supersede the use of some of these articles. The formation of the female habits, with their whole appearance, closely resembles that of the "Wandering Bavarians" or Swiss “buy a broom” singers, who itinerate through this country. Their ordinary food consists of oat and barley meal, potatoes and milk, variously prepared. Their domestic economy is frugal and moderate beyond conception. The produce of a foreign soil, as tea, coffee, and sugar, and the common conveniences of art, as knives, forks, &c. are to them altogether alien. They are remarkable for sobriety and hospitality in their own sphere; posses vivacity of intellect, acuteness and sagacity, and are tainted with few vices except such as poverty in similar circumstances begets. They are in general, tolerably well-versed in the Scriptures, and afford several examples of uprightness and piety.


  • WikiTree profile MacKay-287 created through the import of Danford MacKay Family(2).ged on Feb 3, 2012 by Graeme MacKay :Ahnentafel GM-16. See the Changes page for the details of edits by Graeme and others.
  1. Pre 1855 Banns & Marriages for Scotland, MACKAY, MURDO (O.P.R. Marriages 086/ 0020 0066 BARVAS), National Records of Scotland and the Court of the Lord Lyon;
  2. 1841 England, Wales and Scotland Census, South Bragar, Barvas, Ross & Cromarty Parish 86A; digital image, The Natonal Archives of the UK, Kew, Surrey
  3. 1851 England, Wales and Scotland Census, South Bragar, Barvas, Ross & Cromarty Parish 86A, (Roll CSSCT1851_18); digital image, The Natonal Archives of the UK, Kew, Surrey
  4. 1861 England, Wales and Scotland Census, South Bragar, Barvas, Ross & Cromarty Parish 86A, 086/0A 001/00 008: page 8, Murdoch McKay; digital image, ScotlandsPeople ( 14, February 2012); digital image, The Natonal Archives of the UK, Kew, Surrey
  5. 1871 England, Wales and Scotland Census, South Bragar, Barvas, Ross & Cromarty Parish 86A, (Roll CSSCT1871_15) digital image, The Natonal Archives of the UK, Kew, Surrey
  6. Scotland Statutory Registers, Parish of Barvas, County of Ross, Scotland; Page 6, Number 18; Digital Image: MCKAY, MURDO;"Deaths 1855-2006," ScotlandsPeople(Statutory Deaths 086/A0 0018)

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DNA Connections
It may be possible to confirm family relationships with Murdo by comparing test results with other carriers of his Y-chromosome or his mother's mitochondrial DNA. However, there are no known yDNA or mtDNA test-takers in his direct paternal or maternal line. It is likely that these autosomal DNA test-takers will share some percentage of DNA with Murdo:

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Categories: Clan MacKay | South Bragar, Ross and Cromarty