Seventeenth century Kennedy resources
December 12th-19th 2008 (minor updates 22.12.08)
Copyright © Iain Kennedy December 2008
As discussed elsewhere on this site, researchers from the Kennedy stronghold of north west Perthshire have struggled for some time with a bewildering array of parish registers ranging from Kenmore (dating from 1636) to neighbouring Fortingall (with only a handful of entries before 1748).
In order to break through this records brick wall this week I have studied a number of sources at the National Archives in Edinburgh, most notably a set of rental lists and a barony court book both belonging to the Menzies family.
As this article is a lengthy one, a summary of my findings so far is as follows.
1. Rannoch men were mostly using patronymics and not surnames well into the 18th century.
2. The people of the Appin of Dull switched over to modern surnames sometime earlier, by 1660 at the latest.
3. The earliest Kennedy records found overall were Patrick Kennedy at Bolfracks and Alexr. Kennedy at Ballachane in 1667 (but still beaten by both the Logierait and Kenmore OPR!); the 1660 Gillandres man on Rannoch is probably a Kennedy too.
4. The earliest Kennedys using that name on Rannoch found to date were present in 1695 but the main family were still being referred to by their patronymics at the same time.
5. Two possible links between Leanachan and Rannoch have emerged; there is a claimed marriage linking Kennedy of Leanachan to Rannoch circa 1690 and an origin tale dating their entry to c. 1604.
5. The evidence for usage of the Gaelic form 'MacUalraig' is patchy, but it appeared in Leanachan in the 1680s and one definite record was a John Kennedy alias McWarlick at Dunkeld in 1705.
Detailed findings pt 1: Menzies estate tenant lists
The first records I examined were some lists of tenants on the Menzies estate. The Menzies family had been granted the north shore of Rannoch in 1502 by King James IV, although they struggled at times to enforce this on the ground. The grant covered 'the lands of Rannach. viz Downane, Kinclauchtir, duas Cammysirochtis, Ardlarach, Kilquhonane, Larane, Ardlair, Laragane, the island of Lochrannach, the lochs of Rannach and Irochty, and all lochs and islands within the said lands extending in whole to twenty pound lands, along with the keeping of the forests within the same in the county of Perth', and incorporated them into the free barony of Rannach, for a feuduty of £30 annually. In modern language, ownership stretched from Dunan about 2 miles west of the west end of the loch all the way to Leargan at the other end.
This was added to the existing barony of Menzies, the lands embraced in this earlier charter were latterly known as Weem, Glassy, Farlayer, Glengowlandy, Kinnaldy, Comrie, Morinche, Edramuckie, the thannage of Crannich and the two Roros. etc.. , also referred to as Appin of Dull or Apnadull. Much later still, the lands of Murthly and Borlick were added.
There are two seventeenth century lists dating from 1695 and 1698. At this time many inhabitants were using patronymics and it is not possible to identify the clan or surname. Of those that can be made out, McGrigor dominates along with Menzeis. Other names which might be expected based on later records were less in evidence, Camrons there were but McDonalds were almost entirely absent. There were also a small number of Robertsons and Stewarts but these would have been more numerous on the south side which was owned by the Robertsons (or held from them by the Crown at various stages from 1690 onwards).
Many names have aliases or 'leat' to show a previous surname - not surprisingly this mainly effects the McGrigors who had been banned from using their surname earlier. One example is 'Allexr. Menzeis leatlie called Griger McGriger there'.
The records start off just listing men and sons over 14 or 16, the later ones may mention widows or 'relicts'.
The document starts:
11th Oct 1695
A list of whole tennentis men servantis abon sexteine duelling in Aulich...' and goes on to list 30 men.
The Kennedys show up at three locations:
Aulich: Heu Kennetie and Donald Kennetie (these names were not adjacent in the list so it is unclear if they are related or not).
Leragan: John Kennedie tennent
Camserachmoir: Neill McCoil VcEwin tennent Kenedie
Rorie Kenedie his sone
Ewin Kenedie hird (separate)
(total is 6 Kennedys)
The importance of the entries for Camserachmoir cannot be overstated for here we have a gold nugget of historical information: a Kennedy shown with both his surname and his patronymic. It is clear from this and later records that Neill McCoil VcEwin is a Kennedy in patronymic form. Nowhere is this clearer than in the followup list from 1698:
5th Jan 1698 list of tenants
Angus McCuilroy and his sone Duncan
Angus Moir McCuilroy
Neill McCuil VcEwin & Rorie his sone
and there can be no doubt as to the identification.
The 1698 list is much shorter as if done rather slapdash and looks like it was compiled or written up by different person, since there is no mention of any Kennedys at all. It must be stressed though that trying to match people up between the two lists is extremely challenging - who exactly for example is this man at Leragan - 'Duncan Menzeis alias McWilliam leat McGriger'? And as for our John Kennedy previously at Leragan, is he the man now referred to as 'John McKulreuch in Croft' at the same tounn?
Altogether the Jan 1698 list is rather frustrating, especially as the individual compilers are not stated - previously the tacksman at each tounn signed off the submission. It would be fascinating to know if there was a change in compiler that caused people called Kennedy to maybe by listed by patronymic instead.
Luckily they did another list later in the year and this time the Kennedys are back, but not all at the same touns.
5th Aug 1698
Arlarich: Donald roy Menzies Donald Kennedie his cotter
Camserachmore: Neill Kennedie
Donald may be the man who was previously listed at Aulich. Neill is now showing a second younger son Gilandrist.
There then follows a rather lengthy gap before a sequence of returns for the period 1735-1747 - the end date taking us right up to the first Kennedy OPR entries. These later returns are much more sophisicated and show separate lists for tenants, sons over 14, servants and cottars; relicts seem to be shown if head of house. The list of towns is similar although slightly extended. There are references in the annotated version (typed up by John McGregor who rescued these papers at a sale in 1914) where people are also party to a tack - I haven't followed up on the tacks themselves.
Balnae: Angus Kenedy tennant
Note: on 23d May 1729 a tack was granted to John McOugart in Ballinow in Liarin, John McOnoch VcOnell and Angus Kennedy of 40d each of the merkland of Ballinow
Aulich: John Kenedy tennant; Callum More tennant with Dond. Kenedy cottar
Dunan: John Menzies tennant has Don Kenedy servant
Kinachlachar:- Alexr. Bane McIntyre tennant has Pat: Kenedy servant
Camserachmore:- Rorie Kenedy's relict, Ewen Kenedy with son Niell and Gillandrish Kenedy with son Donald all tennants; also Alexr McOuich oige McGrigor has John Kenedy as cottar
Note: Rorie Ewin and Gilandrist Kennedy had a tack of half of the 20/- land of Camserachmuir excluding the croft on 22 May 1729
Ardlarich: Jo: McYlandrish Kenedy and son Duncan tennants
Note: John McIlandrist [sic] had a tack of half a merkland of Ardlarich on 22d May 1729
These notes are by McGregor and show that it is essential to view the original tack (if it can be located): has McGregor dropped the Kennedy surname, or is John mentioned with just his patronymic and McGregor has deduced that it is the same person? [see 'Camerons of Rannoch' below: Gillandhurst is a clan name of Kennedy of Rannoch].
This gives 13 Kennedys on the north shore, 12 men over 16 and one widow (Rory must have died between 1729 and 1735). These figures suggest a total Kennedy population of 30 or more.
From then on I omitted some returns as time didn't permit transcribing all of them. The return labelled 'post 1739' shows the relict of Rory Kenedy with sons John and Donald all at Aulich/Learan. Since my own line may begin with an Angus born to a Donald at Aulich in 1751, this is very significant, unfortunately the town listing was slightly jumbled at this point. It does suggest that Angus b 1751 is the grandson of Rory Kennedy and the great-grandson of Neill McCuil VcEwin.
At the end of 'post 1739' was a list of people 'not settled' which included a Donald Kenedy at Dunan. There was also a John McKay at Aulich, the only man of that name in the returns and so probably the father of Elizabeth McKay who married Angus Kennedy at Ardlarich in 1778.
Jan 1743 return
Ardlarich now has John Kenedy snr, John Kenedy jnr and Duncan Kenedy all tennants but no sons over 14; John McKay is servant to Allan Cameron. It's not clear from this if John snr was the father of John jnr and Duncan, as these look like the sons of Rory from the post 1739 return. [so surely this is the father of Angus-Aulich who then married at Ardlarich?]
Camiserichbeg features Niell McEwan vicNaill Kennedy and John McRory Kennedy his brother
This is classic confusing patronymic material! But there is logic in the names, as John is the son of Rory and his brother is the grandson of Neill.
Aulich now has John Kennedy shoemaker
'post 1743' #2
Inhabs in the Slishmien of Rannoch
at Camserachbeg John Bane Kennedy has brothers Dond Ewen Alister and Rory and their cottar is Rachel Cameron
The final return from 1747 is actually of the Slish Garrow [south shore] covering Fianard [Finnart] and Carie, the Robertson stronghold.
Fianard: Donald Oige McIan vic Erecher Kenedy
Carie: no Kennedys, men include Donald McEwen vic William
This particular listing is almost entirely patronymic, but with only this one return from the south side its impossible to say whether this is due to the recorder or the people themselves.
The final documents in GD50/156 are a handful of bonds of peace dating from around 1695-1698 without modern transcriptions. None appeared to be made out to Kennedys.
There may be a direct link between the Kennedys of Rannoch and Leanachan via Camuseracht if Somerled MacMillan is correct in his book 'Bygone Lochaber'. He describes a branch of the MacMartin-Camerons and says this of them:
'Donald Roy, 2nd of Camuserracht, who when quite a boy succeeded his father about the year 1690. He married a daughter of Alexander Kennedy of Leanachan by whom he had a very large family of sons and daughters.'
It seems that this family stayed at Camuseracht until the early 1800s when the 6th of Camuseracht moved to Gourock. I do not as yet have any documents to support the alledged Kennedy - Cameron marriage referred to. Although it is tempting to connect such a union with the arrival of the Kennedys on Rannoch, in fact the date is probably too late, especially given their distribution as early as 1705 over a much wider area including Glenlyon. MacMillan probably lifted this story verbatim from the MacGregor collection papers now held at NAS although the original doesn't give Kennedy his first name.
Just on an offchance I searched the Register of Deeds around 1690 and found in 1696
Alexander Kennedy of Lenachab-beg Mack LXXIX 1005 then crosschecked under Cameron
Cameron Alex Camesky (Camerserkmore) Mack LXXIX 1005
Cameron Donald Camesky (Camersikhead) do
so there is some registered deed in 1696 between Kennedy of Leanachan and Cameron of Camesky? Although a plausible guess at the name as there were Camerons at Camesky which is very close to Leanachan, it is actually Camuseracht. But the deed although linking Kennedy of Leanachan with Cameron of Camuserachtmore is not about a marriage but some sale of goods.
Neil was a traditional given name of the Kennedys of Lenachan; the earliest surviving tack from 1635 is made out to a Neil Kennedy and it was a Neil Kennedy who in 1684 was summoned to appear before the Privy Council 'because, as landlords, chieftains, and branches of clans, they had not found caution for the behaviour of their tenants and servants, but "have and do dailly infest, trouble and molest the peace of the Highlands and particularlie the lands and duellings of the Laird of Mcintosh by dailly incursions thereon"'.
Detailed findings pt 2: Menzies court books
The second major source I have studied are the court books of the Menzies barony court. In the middle ages owners of baronies had the right to run a local court and hand out punishment, usually fines or in extreme cases banishment. Prison wasn't really an option as that would have incurred the cost of feeding the prisoners. The court sessions were held semi-regularly, typically between one and three times a year, usually at Weem but sometimes more locally eg Aulich.
The estates would have many rules about such things as common duties, restrictions on taking game or cutting down trees, moving to the shiellings in the summer, not aiding banished people etc; plus of course punishments to hand out for stealing or assaulting people. Although more research is need, it would appear that many of the tenants had to appear regularly, or at least were listed as absent in the court books, for minor infringements, so that the court fines system becomes more like a kind of licensing. People needed to chop wood and eat fish from the lake to survive. The good thing is that as a result, the lists of people often amount almost to rental rolls of the population, although the extent to which this is so needs careful study before drawing too strong a conclusion. And since the court covered both Rannoch and Apnadull, we must consider whether the populace in these places behaved the same or had the same opportunities to break rules.
The Menzies and Rannoch barony court books consist of 6 volumes amounting to over 3000 well-written pages and go up to just past 1747 when the hereditary right to hold the court was abolished.
The clerks who administered the courts and wrote up the court books were not local Gaels; they appear to be law clerks from the lowlands eg Edinburgh and generally do not have Highland surnames. They are clearly proficient in both English (the main language of the court books) and Latin (used here and there). Their proficiency in Gaelic spoken and written, and their understanding of patronymic names, and the languages deployed in the courts are still to be evaluated. We know that Gaelic was the main language on Rannoch until well into the nineteenth century, and even when the census enumerators started recording language in the 1891 census, there where still some of the older generation who had no English. I can only assume that these people spoke Gaelic in the court. The question is how much mangling of the names the clerk introduced - for example how would he have written MacUalraig if he heard it, and would he have distinguished it from some of the similar sounding patronymics.
In terms of geographic coverage, the Rannoch coverage is the same as in the rental rolls above and the Apnadull range goes from Boltachan in the east along the Appin and up the Keltneyburn to Glengoulandie. Foss, where many Kennedys lived, is not within the jurisdiction, nor is the Tummel valley between Kynachan and Leargan at the east end of Rannoch.
Clearly there is a huge amount of interesting material here and I believe I have extracted all the Kennedy references, noted possible MacUalraigs and noted some other items of interest. What follows is a selection of highlights.
List of fines due by the tenants of Apinadull 1630, 1631 p29
item Johne Bane McColwig for absenting himself fra aught sindrie courtis xij pundis
item Johne McColrig? in Tullehoull for absence fra the Court
Finley McElrich in Farleyer
- some of the others listed are Menzeis, one Stewartis, some McGibbons; however many people were still being referred to by patronymics.
p49 fines due by persons within Apinadull
Johne Bane McCouiel Oig [possibly the McColwig/McColrig above]
p53 1650 Jun 11
fines for cutting wood
Jhone McIndowy in Belnabruich for not passing in the shealls
Robert McAlaster VcVourich in Glengowlantie etc
p59 1660 July 5th
This entry goes on for many pages and is one of the long lists of tenants appearing at court or absenting themselves. As they predate the earliest rental rolls we have to estimate what the population was to understand what proportion of people were appearing in the courts.
By way of example, the Aulich 1660 court listing has 17 men; in the 1695 rental list there are 30 men. Allowing for some population growth, it looks like at least the majority of all the tenants of Aulich were attending the court. But we cannot assume this ration pertains to, say, the Appin as well.
What is most striking about this list is the abrupt change when the Rannoch list ends and the Apnadull one commences; virtually every person on Rannoch is using a patronymic whereas by 1660 they have mostly disappeared in Dull, to be replaced by surnames like Menzies, Stewart, Deor, McKercher, Fergussone, Maltmane, Gow, Neilsone, Dow, Campbell. It would seem that these two adjacent lists for 1630 and 1660 have caught the area in transition in the way people were named.
There are no Kennedys listed in Apnadull although there are several McVurrichs - these men keep cropping up with different spellings of the name and its origin is hard to discern - whether they are McU[l]richs is not clear, maybe not. It doesn't seem though that they can be McMhuirichs (which is pronounced with a silent 'm') as they came from Argyllshire.
With only patronymics to go on, it cannot be determined whether there are any Kennedys in the Rannoch part of the list. If we look at Camserachmoir which seems to be where the main Kennedy family hung out the list goes:
Donald McConduquhie roy
Johne McEacher ther
Ewin McEan ercher ther
Johne more McIllandres ther
Williame McCallum ryoch ther ab
however some of the elements in these names were also clearly being used by the Kennedys [but see later comments about the Gillandhurst name, which indicate that Johne more McIllandres was a Kennedy].
At Ardlarich some of the names are as follows, which includes a tenant being evicted and his replacement - another McGrigor probably (Fletcher was a common McGrigor alias during proscription)
Johne Dow McGillespik
Archibald McIndowy VcGillespik
Ewin McIndowy VcGillespik
Johne McInnes VcConduqhuie
Donald McNeill McGreigour removit tennant
Duncane Fleicher enterit tennent
1673 Nov 24
The Court of the Barronie of the Landis of Menzeis haldin at Menzeis upone the twenty fourth of 1673 be Thomas Menzeis of Cars balzie in name and behalff of Sir Alexr. Menzeis of that Ilk Knycht Barronit Thomas McNab clerk James Menzeis officer
at Aberfaldie: Alexr. Kennidie
This then is the first occurrence of the Kennedy surname in the court book commencing 1622.
p215 Roll of the tenentis in Apnadull with ther cotars and servantis
[this list indicates weapons held]
1682 Dec 13
Alexander Menzies in miltown in his hous thre guns two swords...
Finlay Kenedie ane durk
p249 1683 Nov 6
Barony court of Menzeis at Menzeis
lists new set of places
Maynes of Roira
Milntoune inc. Patrik Doone McUrich cottar
Balnahanet - Patrik McUrich
Ballimenoch - Patrik McUrich, Patrik McAndrow, Ewne og McNeill, Callum McUrich
p330 list of 1685 Aberfaldie has no Kennedys mentioned
1691 Nov 10
at Farleyer some McVurichs [may match the previous McUrichs and before that the McAvvrich or McArrich - writing is hard to make out]
Farlezier: John McVurich ther, Duncan McVurich there
Vol 2 of the court book covers the period 1694-1708. The following entry was found:
p483 Arlarich 29 Aug 1700
This case related to a man supposedly banished and consists of everyone in the district deponing whether or not they had seen him, or people giving him shelter.
Amongst the witnesses were Donald Bane Beg, John McAlister VcKenlay, Cathrin NcGriger , John Roy McAlister VcEnlay, John Bane McCoil Duj...
at Camserachmoir - Neill Kennedie on oath depones nothing
Rorie Kennedie on oath depones he did see John McAlister VcKenlay and Donald Bane Beg in Alister McCoil Roy his house a moneth agoe
By this stage some of the court references start to mention peoples' ages and marital status, although no such Kennedy records have been found.
Vol. 3 of the court book covers 1709-1722 and is the last volume to feature extensive listings of tenants. In cases where the courts were administering their regular fines, the standard preamble went something like this:
'The generall clame is for cutting and destroying the woodis and killing of black fish in forbidden tymes and killing deer and rae and wyld fouls'
this is then followed by long lists of tenants confessing they did just that.
4th Jan 1715
Camserachmore: John McOlroy on oath confesses birk
Euin Kennedie on oath ut supra confesses killing deer but not within the Laird of Weems ground
Rorie Kennedie on oath alyk with Euin Kennedie on the foot of the preceding page
Around this time (1715), the pattern of naming along Rannoch shore is starting to change with modern looking surnames starting to be the dominant style.
p1135 9-16 Oct 1719
'the generall clame' etc - David Caw writer in Edinburgh is clerk to the court
Balnabruich - Donald McGibon Robert McGibbon John McPherson etc
The total number of witnesses from Appin of Dull in this session is 257 but no Kennedys are among them. The full list of places goes westwards from Boltochan to Glenfoulandie, then back to Aberfeldy ...
Easter Boltochan - Middle Boltochan - Teychagan - Kirktown - Teynadalloch - Broomhall - Tom - Farlayir - Ballehomas - Croftnamuik - Dalrawer - Camserney - Nethermiln Camserney - Tullicro - Drumdivan - Dull - Carse - Carsmukie - Easter Tegernoch - Wester Tegermoch - Dalrawer - Pitririe - Tomintugle - Shenchoir - Tulleveill - Donafuill - Lariglusk - Nethermiln Keltnie - Balnabruich - Kendochet - Teychragan - Ballineuroch - Tomnakynich - Glen - Aird Glassie [now has doubled back working along the hillside this time] - Rawer - Shenrall - Tomtiult - Tomnaca - Ballimore - Lurg - Aberfeldie - Duntalyzer- Duntym [surrounds of Aberfeldy and southern hillside of Appin now] - Tullichoull
The Rannoch section has 129 tenants mentioned of which 7 are Kennedys. Several interpretations of these figures are possible. One suspects that Rannoch had more wood, fish and deer for the taking than the Appin of Dull.
Counts at Rannoch townships are :
Leragan 8, Creitcharmick 2, Anat 4, Craganour 8, Loinbreck 2, Aulich 16, Liarin 12, Kilichonan 9, Arlarich 17, Camserachbeg 16, Camserachmore 14, Kinichlachir 10, Dunan 11
These are not full listings of tenants, as previously noted there were actually 30 tenants at Aulich in 1698.
Aulich: Donald Kennedie absent
Camserachbeg: John McOl VcEan Kennedie absent
Camserachmore: John McOlroy on oath Rorie Kennedie on oath ut supra, Euin Kennedie on oath ut supra, Gilandrist Kennedie on oath confesses wood and frees venison
also Alexander Camron McOlroy, Angus McAlister VcOlroy on oath ut supra
Kinichlachir: Alexander Kennedie on oath ut supra confesses killing a deer in sumer last on the Laird of Weems ground; Euin McEan VcOnell VcOnochie Camron on oath; Neill Kennedie servant to Alexander Kennedie absent
Vol. 4 covers 1722 to 1759 although the final entries related to the Laird's legal redress following the loss of the rights to hold the court itself in 1747.
p1532 Weem 5 Oct 1726
'generall clame is anent examining the tennents for cutting and destroying the woodis black fish' etc
Again, no Kennedys in Dull although several touns are all listed as absent - Ballimore Glassie and Rawer.
Donald Kennedy absent
Donald Kennedy "altr" [?]
John Kennedy absolved
Hugh Kennedy [clearly the man previously called Ewen]
Gilandrist kennedy all absolved
Alexander Kennedy absent
p1558 court preamble for Weem 20 Oct 1726 refers for the first time to 'tennentis of Apinadull and Ranoch Murthlie and Borlick'.
The addition of Murthlie and Borlick seems to bring in some extra Kennedys at this end of the estate.
p1855 17 Oct 1736
Tomban - Duncan Kennedy absolved
Tominellie - Donald Kennedy on oath confesses ? and birk for kil ribs
Broomhall 20 Nov 1736
court holden by Sir Robert Menzies of that Ilk Baronet and Robert Stewart of Kilichassie his baillie substitut ad hunc effectum
the generall clame is for examining the tennentis anent cutting and destroying the woodis and killing of deer etc
Ballinew - John roy McGriger confesses the like; Alexander McOnoch VcOnell confesses only widies from the root; Donald McOnoch VcOnell confesses only alyk with him.
Angus Kennedy confesses birk widies from the root and cutting high above the ground
The said Angus being suorn anent the tuo cowes that he lost in sumer last that he hade receaved from McGriger of Schiernoch in payment of a broun mearn depones that his father in law McIlnandrist [... what? text ends here]
Liarin - John Kennedy confesses birk widies from the root
Arlarich - John Kennedy absent; Duncan his son on oath not guilty of birk af the root and cutting high frees venison
Camserachmor - Gilandrist Kennedy. John Kennedy his cotter.
Dunan - Mr Menzies Ja. McDonald his cotter. Donald Kennedy his servant. Patrick Kennedy his other servant.
Broomhall 31 May 1738 court holden
... Camserney: James Ferguson absent [rare occurrence of the Ferguson surname in the area]
Croftmargness: Duncan Kennedy on oath confesses birk and abron for calber to a house
Tominellie: Donald Kennedy on oath confesses etc
The final two volumes cover cases in more detail, vol. 5 for the period 1720-725. One of the first cases to be mentioned features the ubiquitous Rorie Kennedy...
Compleanes Robert Menzeis factor upon the tennantis in Camserachmore and Dunan for 4 lib sts. as the pryce of a cow that was grasing in sumer 1720 belonging to the Lady Weem and comited to ther caire.
Weem 19 August 1721
Donald roy Camron Patrick McIntyre Ewin and Rorie Kennedies and Alexander Mc all severallie deponed that the self same beasts of my Lady and which they gote in grasing were by them brought back to Weem and by them delivered there and that some tyme before they brought them down from Rannoch one of them strayed towards Dounan and that they sent and brought her and another of my Ladys beats along which ottier they also brought to Weem and that they brought even more from the bounds of Dounan and the other which they delivered as said is and that they nather know of the cow that savanting nor when she was mist but that the cow amissing was non of their share but of the parcell which went to Dounan And this they declared of truth as they shall answer to God.
The Bailie having considered the lybell and above depositions decernes and ordains the possessors of Dunan betwixt and Mertinmas next to deliver my Ladys cow that s wanting or pay fourty pound scots as the pryce therof
signed David Caw, Baillie
p2511 21 Aug 1725
compleanes Anne Camron relict to the deceist Alexander McOlroy in Camserachmore that wher the deceist Duncan Camron son to John Camron McOlroy leat in Camserachmore was resting to her fourtein merkis for ? and having caused areist in the handis of Alexander Kenedy in Dunan a horse pryce resting to the said Duncan till payment was made to her of the 14 merk and therefor craves a furthcoming and payment
Weem 23rd august 1725
compeired Alexander Kenedy and confesses the areistment and answered that he hade bought a horse from John McOlroy father to the above Duncan the pryce of quhich was still in his handis and ex?tended to more then the sum lybelled. But whither the horse belonged to the father or his son he could not be positive.
The bailie decernes a furthcoming and payment to be made to the persewar of the 14 M.
[but Kenedy is not mentioned in the judgement?]
David Caw, Baillie
The final volume 6 covers detailed cases for 1726-1733.
The following case features a Kennedy and centres around Coshieville near Grandtully (not previously within the court's jurisdiction).
Menzies castell September 19 1726
Anent a guinea aleadged lost by Angus McEanich alis McIglassarich a soldier in Sir Duncan Campbell of Lochnell his independent company in John Dewar in Cosheveill his house.
[witness] Mary Kennedy servitrix to the said John Deor unmarried aged twentie yeares in ther by being sworn and purged ut intus depones that about eight dayes afore Lambes last or thereby Angus with some of his comrades came to the deponentis masteris house about mid day ...
...and depones she canot write
p3080 1727 19 Sept
list of tacks delyvered at Weem
Miller, McLean, Menzies, McKerlie, Deor, McArrich, Camron, Stewart, Boyd, Drummond, McGriger, McLaren, McFarlan etc
41 tacks mostly made out to 2 people each, no Kennedys listed.
Sundry records examined
Title Rental of Apinadull
This is not actually a list of tenants, just rents due at each location within the Appin.
The total rental for Apinadull was £7207:03:0
Title Accompt of some losses the tennents in Apinadull sustained the tyme the garison was in Weem
Dates Nov 1715-Feb 1716
This shows accounts of losses under a series of names most of which are hard make out, but gives the appearance of relating to minor lairds of some substance (Menzies, Stewarts etc) and no obvious sign of Kennedys.
The total losses claimed was £507 10s.
Title Bundle of documents (50) relating to diligence (hornings, removings, executions, etc.)
Dates 17th-18th century
no Kennedys apparent in this set.
Chronicle of the Atholl and Tullibardine families
This six volume history of the Atholl family features in its appendices some very useful early resources for the area. Chief of these is the vast list of all 2567 men who enrolled in the Duke of Atholl's fencible regiment in 1705. Out of those no less than 30 were Kennedys (including one named John Kennedy alias McWarlick); the biggest concentration of whom exactly matched the locations of the 5 Kennedys listed in the slightly earlier hearth tax returns for Perthshire of 1691 - essentially the Tay valley between Grandtully and Aberfeldy. No Kennedys are listed at Kynachan/Foss and the listing stops short of Loch Rannoch; none either at the Innerhadden/Tempar cluster of farms just east of Kinloch Rannoch but there are some in Glenlyon at Kerrowmore and Milton Eonan. Although Leneman opines that 'Fencibles joined up very willingly' it is unclear what proportion of the adult male population did so or whether local loyalties may have prevented Kennedys in some districts from signing up.
In terms of patronymics and surnames, the list has been significantly doctored to fit a modern surnaming system as some of the entries are clearly segments from patronymics, however the entries reproduced below are not effected.
Roll of the Duke of Atholl's Fencible Men 1705 and 1706
Lude 1706: 36 merk land under John Robertson of Lude
Alexr. Kennedy armed
John Kennedy armed
t 53 men of which Robertson 15, Stewart 4, Cameron 2, McLachlan 3 etc
Strathtummel 1706 10 pound land [most are Calmanachs 1st Tho C armed]
Donald Kennedy armed
Bunrannoch 1705 0 [Innherhadden, Dalchosnie, Temper, Lassintullich, Tullochcroisk, total 49 men; surprised to not see a Kennedy here]
Kynachan 10th Jun 1706 0 [Kynachan, Drumnacoille, Tom breac, Achmor & Pitkirrell, t 34 men - one Duncan McGillandreas though]
Foss 10th Jun 1706 0 [20 merk land; 37 men under John Stewart of Foss; one John McGillandreas]
Barony of Edradour 1st Feb 1705 [Pitarick under Thomas Menzis of Pitaric, Murray of Balnabruach's wadsett 10 sh. land, Alex Rattrays wadsett and John Cunison's wadsett] t 34 men
at Alex. Rattray of Tullichcurran's wadset 5 merk land, Donald Kennedy tenant armed
Barony of Tulliemet 27th Jan 1705
at Mains of Tulliemet, Bal an-t-Seapail - James Kennedy servant to Lord Murray wants arms
[contains Blairchroisk, Craig Betha, Bal-a-chragan, croft na Cuisag, Mains of Tulliemt, Convallich, Bal'ic'ill dhuie, Blar an raish, Ach na beach, Craganfearn upper, Drummin, Bal na fhuaran, Wester Achnagie, Easter Achnagie, Balachallan, Balnamoine, Craganfearn Nether, Croftuil, Port of Tummel, Bal an tailor, Kerrandruim, Balanluig, Dalnabo, Inch of Tullimet, Haugh of Tullimet t 91 men]
Glenlyon excl. the 12 merk land of Lady Glenlyon 1706 [Wester Moare, Easter More, Ceann Cnoc, Gallin, Maggarnie & Ceann Coille, Milton, Kerro Mor, Kirkton, Roro mhor & crofts, Craigeilig, Innerwick, Balanloan, Bruch na bourd, Aird, Camusvrachkan, Craigeinie, Slattich, Lagan a cha, Rouskich, Wester Innervarr, Easter Innervarr, Dericamus t 130 men]
there is a dramatic change in surnames virtually all Mc-something esp McNaughton and quite a few suppressed patronymics
at Kerro mor [Kerrowmore on OS] Angus Kennedy, [at Milton?] Alexander Kennedy
Barony of Bolfracks 29th Jan 1705 under Alex Menzies of Bolfracks [port, croft curr, dunacree, farrochil, dunsgiach, nether urlar, over urlar 24 men]
at Dunsgiach Finlay Kennedy tenant armed [Dunskiag on OS] [this is a mile outside Aberfeldy where there was a Finlay Kennedy in the late 17th c but maybe too big an age gap?]
Barony of Killiechassie 1706 [cuil, borlich, tom chillie, balanloan, bal an-t-seapail, balnacraig t 24 men]
at Borlich John Kennedy tenant, Donald Kennedy
Clunie 29th Jan 1705 (belongs to Balechin)
at Milton of Balechin & croft Alexander Kennedy servant armed excused;
at Laigh of Clunie Donald Kennedy tenant wants sword
at tom of clunie Donald Kennedy tenant wants gun, Patrick Kennedy wants sword t 15 men
thus making this the biggest total so far
Easter Derculich 29th Jan 1705 belongs to Thomas Fleming of Moness qv [balnsauim, nether derculich, middletown, braes of derculich]
at Nether Derculich William Kennedy tenant armed
Clochfoldich Wester 1706 belongs to Ballechin
Donald Kennedy tenant wants sword Donald Kennedy his servant t 4 men
Clochfoldich Easter 29th jan 1705
Donald Kennedy tenant armed
Findynate 29th Jan 1705 [findynate, middleton of tylliepowrie]
at Findynate, John Kennedy tenant armed Duncan Kennedy has a halbert
t 12 men
Pitcastle 1705 belongs to Killiechassie [mains, brae, croft, bruch -, balantuim]
at croft Robert Kennedy armed, at Balantuim Robert Kennedy armed t 20 men
Tulliepowrie 1706 belonging to Alex Stewart of Clunie t 15 men
at T., Duncan Kennedy gun & sword, John Kennedy a sword
at Carnlia John Kennedy at Tom na Feannag Donald Kennedy at Shinech Beag John Kennedy, at Mains Robert Kennedy
Ballechin 29th Jan 1705
at Mains of B., Donald Kennedy armed
Dunkeld 29th Jan 1705 excls servants of his Grace's family
John Kennedy tailor armed
John Kennedy alias McWarlick wants arms
James Kennedy tailor wants arms
t 100 men
In an appendix in volume one some even earlier listings show all the men summoned to attend a hunt with the Duke of Atholl on 2nd September 1667. Under the heading 'Fewars in Strathtay' each fewar or feuar is listed along with his supporting men and two Kennedys feature:
Patrick Stwart Ballachane ffor the Clunnies 10lib land 5 men inc. Alex. Kennedy
Bolfracks: Alexr McGibbon 11 markland 4 men inc. Pa: Kennedy
Of these Bolfracks is still in existence in the Appin of Dull. It is not entirely clear where the first man was residing, possibly the feuar St[e]wart was in charge of Cluny but resided at Ballechin. Cluny has a long tradition as a Kennedy homeland.
Lists of scholars at Finart and Kinlochrannoch schools etc
A list of scholars at Finart school 1773-1784 was originally provided to me by Duncan Hartley in 2004, I have now discovered from the catalogue that there is a matching list for Kinlochrannoch school at the other end of the loch. But Finarts is the more interesting return of the two; it shows the town each scholar was from and it features local schoolteacher Roderick Kennedy, who wrote up all the returns and is praised in the annual inspections. There are a number of Kennedy children at both schools where pupils studied from about 5 or 6 up to 18 in ABC, catechisms, proverbs, Bible, writing and 'compting'. At one stage there were six Kennedy boys at Kinlochrannoch school when suddenly 3 of them vanish - maybe the family left the area or suddenly got fed up with it and put them to work on the farm. In the report notes it states that generally the children would be at school from Oct/Nov through to June, or earlier if the family left for the sheillings. This traditional summer move to hill grazings was typically a local law set down by the landowner, as it was in the case of Menzies tenants.
Garth and Kynachan rent book 1784-1820
There are two settlements at Kynachan showing a Kennedy tenant during this period. At Balnarn Robert Kennedy is resident from the start in 1784 until the last full returns in 1818. At Drumnakyle John Kennedy is starting tenant from 1784 and replaced by Robert Kennedy in 1800 who in turn was replaced by Donald Kennedy until 1817.
List of "rests" at Rannoch 1736
A short list of rests on Rannoch dated 12th Oct 1736 names just 20 individuals and included Angus Kenedy at Balnoe (between Liarn and Craiganour) who owed £7, along with Alexr and John McGregor.
Perth Guildry book 1452-1601
To see if there is evidence of lowland Kennedys entering Perthshire in medieval times from the lowland branch of Carrick I examined the Perth guildry book. There is little sign of Kennedys in the names of this book: the only mentions are external to Perth, Gilbert Kennady 'in Are and Irwin' and James 'lord of Sanctandros' [ie Lord Kennedy the chief and his brother James, former Bishop of Dunkeld]. Compare these surname counts:
Cameron 38, Drummond 47, Fleming 82, MacGregor 8, Moncrieffe 56, Rattray 34, Robertson 124, Stewart 19
[but 0 MacDonalds and 0 Menzies]
Kirk session records
These broadly mirror the date coverage of the corresponding parish registers so Logierait goes back to the mid 1600s but at the other end of the scale Kilmonivaig trails in in the 1800s. In a sign of the esteem the Leanachan Kennedys were held in locally, the introduction to the Kilmonivaig kirk session minute book is written by Angus Kennedy of Lianachan:
'We the undersubscribing Angus Kennedy tacksman of Lianachan and Alexander Ross late of Tirindovir hereby certify to all whom it may concern that we are the only surviving members of the kirk session of Kilmanivaig in the year 1821; that previous to another period it was not the practise of that session to keep any regular minutes of their transactions and that in June 1821 Mr James Macintyre was elected schoolmaster of the parish of Kilmanivaig and also appointed as clerk to the session'.
Angus Kennedy elder
No sooner does the routine business of the kirk elders begin though, and up comes the name of Kennedy again ...
11 Jul 1830
It has been related to the session that Mary Kennedy residing at Feychiessin is pregnant, the said Mary Kennedy being now near the period of her delivery, cannot personally appear. But her sister Ann Kennedy at Inveroy......names Peter MacDiarmid of Glentiviet as the father of her pregnancy... [so the story goes she was digging potatos at Keppoch ...]... Peter denies carnal knowledge of her...
and so on.
The Logierait minute books date from 1639 but when I opened a later book starting from 1823, out popped the fornicating Kennedies again!
19th Oct 1823
James Douglass and Christian Kennedy 'case of scandal' both called
26th Oct 1823
compeared Christian Kennedy & James Douglass. The woman being exhorted to be ingeneous, persists in her accusations & the man in his denial. Compeared Kathainre Scott unmarried aged twenty years & above residing in Balinluig who being solemnly sworn purged and examined depones.
that she recollects being in the house of Alexander Kennedy father of Christian Kennedy on a night before halloween or martinmass last year and that James Douglass and Christian Kennedy were there and several others. Depones that she saw James Douglas taking hold of and pulling at Christian Kennedy and takeing her into a bed that was there... etc etc
The third kirk I examined was Fortingall (which covers Rannoch) and ...
Sep 14 1755
Compeared Mary Kennedy acknowledges she is with child to Duncan Robertson an unmarried man in Duricambro who compeared also, will neither acknowledge nor deny but said he will lett the matter in proper time ...
I have yet to find such a case in any of these three parishes where a male Kennedy had conducted himself in such a manner.
Book no 2 covering the period 1779-96 has several lists of the poor in the parish being given relief but no Kennedy appears in any of them.
In the rural Highlands it is very unusual to find a Kennedy will but one I came across listed in the Dunkeld commissariot book dated 1 June 1749 was the testament dative and inventory of Duncan Kennedy in Fynnart [Finnart], with the inventory being given up by his son also called Duncan Kennedy. It mostly consisted of a bond with interest which had been granted to the late Duncan Kennedy senior by Alexr. Robertson of Strowan for 1000 Scots merks dated 20th March 1733. A search for an entry in the minute books for such a registered deed didn't show a deed with both these names as parties although there was another for Alexr. Robertson on the same date (if time permits I may look at this in case Kennedy wasn't named as the main party).
Dunkeld Regality court books 1709-1749
A quick scan was made through some of these books which are digitised and can only be viewed in that form now. Some familiar names from previous sources appeared in the courts eg James Kennedie tailor in 1710 and 1711; and in 1709 Findlay Kennidie was punished for some misdemeanor.
Summonses and decreets against the Kennedys of Leanachan, 1683-4
In the National Archives lies a letter addressed to Neil Kennedy of Leanachan and others in 1684, summoning them to appear before the Privy Council. Turning to the Register of the same, not only are the matching entries to be seen but revealed are some other interesting names. In particular the indexer of this volume had a field day with some of these patronymic names - note the common but unfortunate practice of taking a patronymic ending Vc- and re-indexing it under Mc-. But I am confident that the cumbersonely named McInduy (VcInduy), Duncan McEwine, alias McCorig, in Leanachanbeg is in fact a Kennedy.
RPC vol XIII 1683-84 pp577-580
Index entries of interest:
Kennedy, Neil, in Leanachanmor, decree against him for despoilation 580
McCorig - see McEwin VcInduy
McEwin VcInduy alias McCorig of Leonachinbeg, Duncan, decree against him, 578
McEwan, VcOnell Roy, Angus, in Leanachanbeg, dec spol 580
McValrick, Angus in Leonachine decree agnt him for spoliation 578
McDonald, Angus in Leanichinbeg decree 577, 579
McDonald, Angus called the Calf, in Leanochinbeg, dec 578
McDonald, John in Aullich, recovers dec for stolen goods 581
McGregor, Duncan, in Camserich in Rannoch, hanged as a thief 532, 587
McGregor, Gregor, in Cambserichmore, gives bond for peace 543
McIlroy (VcIlroy), John McInnes alias Cameron, in Innerchomrie, hanged as a thief 536, 587
[McInduy (VcInduy), Duncan McEwine, alias McCorig, in Leanachanbeg xref qv]
McQuollarie of Leanachanbeg, Duncan, dec spol 579
McVorich, Malcolm, a thief, to be sent to the plantations 514
List of decreets passed in Courts of Justiciary to 19th July 1684
Decreitt. James McInduy Stewart in Glenfinlas contra Donald Gromach in Bohendy, Pherocher Bayne in Glenroy, Angus McValrick in Leonachine, Alexander McDonald in Bohendy and Angus McDonald in Killichonat. Daitted at Achallader the 17 Aug 1683
Decreitt, Alexander Campbell of Lochnell contra Angus McDonald in Inachan, uncle to Angus McDonald of Killichonatt, and his said nephew for his interest, Angus McDonald, comonlie called the Calfe, in Leanochinbeg and Duncan McKewine VcInduii alias McCorig of Leonachinbeg, his master, for his interest. Daitted at Innerlochie the 23 Aug 1683.
Decreitt. Niccoll Buntine of Ardoch contra Kendoch McQuollarie in Leanachanbeg and Donald Dow, his brother, and Duncan McQuollarie of Leanachanbeg, their master, for his interest. Daitted att Crieff, the 25 October 1683
Finally, the only Kennedy actually called by his surname:
Decreitt. Mr Thomas Creichtoune, chalmerlane to the Erle of Perth, in name of tennents of the Bow in Brae of Leanie, against John McEwine VcFinlay in Keppoch, Duncan McEwine VcFinlay in Cleroch, Donald McNeill in Leanachmore, Angus McEwine VcOnell Roy in Leanachanbeg and Duncan McEwine VcInduy ther, and Neill Kennadie in Leanachmore, and Enoch McEwin Dowi and ther masters, for ther interests. Daitted att Crieff, the 25 October 1683.
The origin legend of the Rannoch Kennedys
Within the MacGregor collection at the National Archives lie several family historys of which I have studied two, one on MacGregor of Ardlarich and one simply entitled 'Camerons of Rannoch'. The latter includes most of the wording transcribed earlier from Somerled MacMillan on what he called the 'MacMartin-Camerons of Camuseracht' and also appeared in similar form in Celtic Magazine in November 1887. The tale it tells is extraordinary and finally gives the Rannoch Kennedys an origin tale to rival the story of the Kennedys of Foss - and likewise unsubstantiated!
Picking up the story after the disastrous battle of Glenfruin in 1603, the story relates how the Laird of Menzies took the MacGregor home of Camuserochd and gave it to the Kennedys of Lochaber instead ...
'During Duncan MacGregor's absence in Ireland, where he remained for seven years,
the Laird of Menzies who had long before obtained a Crown charter over them, gave a grant of Macgregor's possessions in Camuserochd to one of the name of Kennedy from Lochaber, known in the country as Gillandhurst-beg, and from whom the Kennedys or clan Gillandhurst in Rannoch are descended. It appears that Duncan MacIanduy's wife still remained on the estate and was much oppressed by Gillandhurst,who obliged her to perform the most servile work for her livelihood. On her huband's return home accompanied by his comrades in exile, Gillandhurst was summarily ejected, and betaking himself to Castle Menzies, was speedily followed thither by Duncan. Macgregor, on being admitted into the audience chamber, is said to have been accosted thus by the Laird of Menzies:-
"sindh sios a MhicGrigair is leig le Gillandhurs sindhe suas".
To which MacGregor responded:
"Sindh thusa sios a Gillandhurst-bhig is leig le MacGrigair suidhe suas", and suiting his action to the word, took Gillandhurst by the nexk and thrust him to the door.
On this occasion, the Laird of Menzies is said to have offered him an exclusive right to his possessions on very easy terms, which, however, Macgregor rejected with disdain; but, after expelling Gillandhurst, he continued to occupy the lands as before, unmolested. Duncan's daughter Rachel, celebrated for her beauty and the them of Gaelic song, married under romantic circumstances (of which presently) Donald Cameron of Blarachaoin, in Lochaber, son of Duncan Cameron of Letterfinlay, the progenitor of the Camerons of Camuserochd.
Duncan Macgregor of Dunan was succeeded by his son Patrick, whose name occurs in the Levy? Papers in September 1655 and who is referred to in the Privy Council Records as Patrick MacDoucha-vic Ianduy of Dunan in Rannoch. He purchased the wadset of the lands of Dunan and Kinnachlachar on the 22nd April 1675, under reversion of 5000 merks and the sasine. and the same wadset from Sir Alex Menzies is recorded 8th December 1675.'
Now we can make some more sense of some of the names extracted from the Rannoch rentals, which lean heavily on variations of the Gillandhurst name. The exact date of the change of ownership is unclear but it sounds like MacGregor was abroad from 1604 to 1611 or 1612 and it would have been during this time. Whether any paper documentation survives which records it remains to be determined (it wasn't recorded in a Perthshire sasine in that time period) - I suspect the author of the tale would have mentioned it as he did the 1675 transaction.
Update 22.12.08: on rechecking MacMillan, I find that he had already mentioned the founder who he calls "Gill'-Aindreis Beag, a contemporary of An Taillear Dubh, who was slain before 1577". Unfortunately the source for this information is 'folklore' and I am reminded about the remark by the author of 'The Kennedys of Foss' that 'chronology is the weak point of tradition'. Another version of the tale - the version printed in Celtic Magazine - claimed that in the 1880s a man known to the author had as a young boy known the son of Gillandris in his dotage (if my understanding is correct that the tale was current when published). This I very much doubt; it might be though that his friend was referring to the Gillandris Kennedy who shows in the 1698 rental rolls, but he was not the founder himself, simply being named after him. He appears to have come of age since the 1695 returns so his son might well have still been alive in the early 1800s which would fit the timeline.
Is an entry to Rannoch in the first decade of the 17th century sufficient to explain the distribution of the Kennedy surname throughout Rannoch, Glenlyon, Strathtay and Apnadull by the end of the century? It may be. It is hard to find many records certainly in the first half of the century to investigate the migration in enough detail to be sure.
Comparison with more traditional sources - the Perthshire OPRs
The records described in this article and earlier ones (such as the 17th century tacks and sasines for Leanachan) easily improve on the late start dates for the parishes of Kilmonivaig and Fortingall that bedevil this line of enquiry. However as we near the area of maximum density for the Kennedy surname (Logierait) the parish registers also improve. By comparing the start date of each parish register with the first Kennedy records we can get an idea for how well established the name was at that point. By way of example, there are Kennedy births in Logierait in 1650, the year the register starts. There are even earlier entries in Kenmore. As we work our way further to the south-east, the likelihood of them coming from Lochaber decreases since the lowland Kennedys had already spread out from Ayrshire at an early date. The next stage of the migration study will be to take all the births around the country and plot them on a map to see if it can be determined which branches descend from lowland or highland branches.
Perth Guildry Book 1452-1601
NAS GD50/159 Barony Court Book of Robertson of Lude 1621-1806
NAS GD50/136/1 Barony Court Books Menzies and Rannoch, 6v, 1622-1759
NAS CH2/694 Logierait kirk session minute books 1639-
NAS GD1/407/14 Rental of Apinadull, 1672
Register of the Privy Council 25 October 1683 decree against 'Neill Kennadie in Leanachanmore, Angus McValrick in Leonachine, Duncan McKewine VcInduii alias McCorig of Leonachinbeg' etc.
NAS GD80/168 Letter summoning Neil Kennedy of Lenachan to appear before the Privy Council, dated 28th Aug 1684
NAS GD241/380/10 List of fencible men on the estates of Marquis of Atholl. Undated. Alledged to be from 1685 but looks like a copy of the 1705 list.
NAS GD50/156 Lists of Menzies tenants, etc., in Rannoch, 1695, 1698, 1735, 1736, 1739, 1743, 1747
NAS RD4/LXXIX fol. 1005 Register of Deeds 1696, Alexr. Kennedy of Leanachan-beg and Alex. and Don. Cameron of Camerserkmore.
NAS RH11/28 Barony and Regality of Dunkeld Court books 1690-1749 [1709-]
NAS E642/1 Forfeited Estates: Kynachan and Borlick: Rentals 1715
NAS GD1/389/18 Accompt of some losses the tennents in Apinadull sustained the tyme the garison was in Weem, Nov 1715-Feb 1716
NAS GD1/407/40 List of "rests" for Rannoch 1736
NAS CH2/1449/1 Fortingall kirk session minutes 1753-1779
NAS GD50/161/1-2 List of scholars at Finart and Kinlochrannoch schools Rannoch 1773-1784
NAS GD50/1/53/113 Garth and Kynachan rent book 1784-1820
NAS CH2/433/1 Kilmonivaig kirk session minutes 1821-
Camerons of Rannoch, with notes by John MacGregor W.S. (NAS GD50/23, c. 1934)
MacGregors of Tigh Ardlarich, Lt. Alexander MacGregor of West Tempar (NAS GD50/184/78)
Chronicle of the Atholl and Tullibardine families, John, 7th Duke of Atholl (Edinburgh, 1908)
Living in Atholl - A social history of the estates 1685-1785, Leah Leneman (Edinburgh, 1986)
Bygone Lochaber, Somerled MacMillan (Glasgow, 1971)
Inhabitants of the Argyll Estates 1779