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Clan McCurdy

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Clan McCurdy

PostSun Jul 13, 2014 3:42 pm

away back in time





The name Makuredy with others can be seen upon a document at the archives in Edinburgh, Scotland; this document comprise a general charter written in Latin, made by order of King James IV in 1503, when certain portions of the Crown lands in Bute Island was assigned to 78 feuars to become theirs and their heirs forever.

Numbering among these feuars were twelve MacKuredys. Burke, in his Landed Gentry says, "The McKirdys were the principal possessors of the island of Bute at a very early period; they belonged to the tribes who possessed the western islands of Scotland, long under the Crown of Sweden." Subsequently James IV, King of Scotland in 1489, leased the Crown property in Bute, which in 1503 was embodied in one general charter of the 30th Parliament, land assigned to the MacKuredys, Makarartys, McVarathy, Stewarts, etc, the greater portion being assigned to the MacKuredys, consisting of the following properties: 1. "To Gilkrist Makurerdy, half of Brothog and Beausayer, and the 22 shilling and three penny land of Baron." 2. "To Gilkrist Makurerdy, Jr., the eleven shillings and five penny land of Baron." 3. "To Finlay Makurerdy, half of Langilculcreith and half of Kerrymanch and half of Stramanan." 4. " To John Makurerdy, half of Stramanan and half of Danallid." 5. "To Donald Makurerdy, two-thirds of Brigadill and Langilculcathla." 6. "To Alexander Makuredy, half of Cowleing."

The most of the above properties descended to Robert Makurerdy, the Baron of Garratchy; his family line is given elsewhere in this history.

On the map of Scotland, BUTE Island in the Firth of Clyde is a very insignificant spot; but in the Gazetteer of the Eastern Continent we find: "Bute, an island of Scotland in the Firth of Clyde is about twelve miles long and an average five miles in breadth, comprising 29000 acres of rugged surface and is separated from the island of Arran by a narrow channel. The northern part is mountainous but yield good pasture; the rest of the island bear corn and other products. The air is healthy and the people live to great ages. The chief town is Rothsay."

Bute island before the Norwegian invasion in 808 were inhabited by a people called the Albanishe Tribes and who continued there throughout the 400 years of Norwegian occupation.

After the Western Islands became subject to Norway, they were governed by rulers sent from Norway with the title of Kings, having their seat of government in the Isle of Man. The last of these rulers over all the islands was King Olave, who was murdered by his nephews in 1154. His son Godred succeeded him.

Godred was opposed in his rule by his brother-in-law Somerled, Lord of Argyll, who had married Ranyhildes, the daughter of Olave.

Somerled raised a rebellion against Godred and after several indecisive battles, the latter ceded to Somerled in 1156 all the southern isles except the Isle of Man.

Somerled styled himself "Lord of the Isles" and a few years after he laid waste the Isle of Man and obtained the western islands.

In 1164, Somerled declared war against King Malcolm of Scotland and with a numerous fleet from the Isles sailed up the Clyde with 160 galleys, landed his army near Renfrew and threatened to make a conquest of Scotland. In the first battle, Somerled was slain and his army dispersed with many killed and wounded.

Reid says in the history of Bute, "Upon the death of Somerled, the kingdom of the Isles of Man reverted to Godred, whose descendants retained it until it was, long after, finally ceded to Scotland." Those portions however, which had been settled upon the sons of Somerled appears to have been claimed by them. Dugald received Mull, Coll, Tiree, and Jura. Reginald got Islay and Kintire; and Angus obtained Bute, while Arran seems to have been a bone of contention between the latter two and is supposed by Mr. Gregory to have been the occasion of the deadly battle between them in 1192, mentioned in the Chronicles of Man.

In 1210, Angus and his three sons were killed at Skye and Reginald is thought to have claimed both Bute and Arran as he then bestowed Bute, and perhaps Arran also upon Ruari or Roderick whose descendants were called Macruari.

Soon after the death of Angus, Walter Steward, the son and heir of the High Steward of Scotland, married Jane MacSomerled, a daughter of James, the son of Angus, and in her right claimed both the islands of Bute and Arran, but James finally ceded the islands to Scotland.

Throughout all these and former controversies, the Makurerdys retained their hold on the larger part of the island of Bute, and in 1489, James IV of Scotland leased it to them; but in 1503 was feued in one general charter of the 30th parliament as mentioned in the beginning of this history.

There is no certainty as to which family of Makurerdys descended from the families of McKirdys.

There are traditions existing in many families that the McKirdys descended from a chieftain named Gilkrist, who was supposed to have flourished about 1525; whether this was Gilkrist of Brothog, his son Gilkrist, or a son of one of the other Makurerdys mentioned in the general charter is unknown. Be that as it may, Gilkrist the chieftain had four sons: Gilkrist, Donald, Finlay and John.

Donald was the father of Donald Jr. and Alexander; the latter's son Robert was the father of Robert, the Baron of Garratchy, to whom most of the feued lands descended.

Robert married Jeanet Frazer by whom he had two sons and several daughters. William married but had no children. John married Grace McGregor and had several children, among whom was Alexander and John. Alexander died unmarried. John married Mary Elliott in London in 1801 and had five children: John C., Charles C., General David E., Mary and Susan who married Andrew Scott, Esquire.

At what time the name was changed to MacKirdy in this branch of the family is uncertain but probably by the Baron's grandson, John, who owned large estates in British Guiana about the beginning of the 19th century.

Robert, the Baron of Garratchy, and the last baron of the name and title was drowned about the middle of the 18th century in the Firth of Clyde, while returning from Ireland where he had been visiting relatives.

The Crown lands of Bute which the MacKirdys would have succeeded to in time was inherited by his widow but was taken from her by very unfair means: Lord Bute's factor, on some pretense or other, claimed for advances made during the Baron's life and obtained from the widow a right to manage her large estates, getting possession of her husband's books and papers which was never returned; from that time the MacKirdy properties has been held by Lord Bute's family as their own without any satisfactory account ever having been given.

The names of McCurdy, McCready, McCurry, McQuady and other similar names are generally believed to have descended from the MacKirdy stock as research in many cases have proven.

Burke in his Landed Gentry describes Gen. MacKirdy's Coat of Arms as follows: Perfesse arg, and sa, in chief a marlet of the second, and in base a fir tree growing out of a mount, surmounted by a sword bendway dexter, supporting by its point an antique crown or. Crest: a demi-wyvern displayed ppr. Motto: Dieu et mons pay.

Another MacKirdy Coat-of-Arms is recorded in Edinburgh representing a man standing in a field of wheat, shooting crows with bow and arrows; drawn up in the act of shooting, an arrow having just left the bow pierces two birds.

From data obtained from many members of the MacKirdy and McCurdy families in this and other countries, from general records in the historical libraries of Philadelphia, Washington, Boston, London and Edinburgh, a most authentic history of the generations given in this work has been accomplished.

Much of the historical data already given have been taken from Mrs. Evelyn McCurdy Salisbury's history.

As before stated, Donald Makurerdy was the son of Gilkrist and the father of Donald, Jr. and Alexander.

Donald, Jr. was probably born about 1550 and may be properly termed the "Founder of the MacKirdys" as he was the first, so far as known to contract the name from Makurerdy. Of his children we have no authentic account except of his son Fingal, who, with his father was killed in a battle with a Cameron clan in 1600. Fingal's son Donald became his heir.

Donald MacKirdy was born about 1598; he married Peggy Cameron, a great grand daughter of James IV; they had six sons: Irven; Pethric, Fingal, Daniel, Gilkrist and Alexander; of two of these sons, nothing is known.

In Cameron's Family Notes and Reminiscences, William Cameron, in a letter to his cousin in 1660 in regard to the persecuted Presbyterians says, "The inhabitants of the borders, being warriors by choice, husbandmen from necessity, either quitted the country or became shepherds. The elevation of religious sentiments began to decline but the familiarity and kindness which had long subsisted between the gentry and the peasantry cannot be obliterated. While visiting my cousin Peggy, who married Donald MacKirdy, a rural Presbyterian on the banks of the Clyde, they portraided in lively and delicate colours the fears and hopes that agitated the breast of the rural Presbyterians, etc."

In another letter he says, "Many family ties have been broken as to religious sentiments and many of the persecuted has turned persecutors. Of the six sons of Donald MacKirdy's, three has seceded from the Presbyterian Church but Alexander, Pethrick and Daniel remains loyal."

With the above evidence and certain traditions existing in many families, as extracts from the following letters shows, it is quite evident that Donald MacKirdy was the grandfather of the five MacKirdy brothers who settled in Ireland.

In 1907, James McKirdy of London, England writes, "My family descended from Alexander MacKirdy, who was born in 1630, the youngest of six sons; Pethrick died unmarried; Alexander located in Edinburgh and Daniel remained in Buteshire but there is a tradition that his sons fled into Ireland from religious persecution. Another tradition says that Alexander was the sixth in descent from a chief named Gilkrist."

In 1908, Samuel MacKirdy of Glasgow, Scotland writes, "I am descended from Gilkrist MacKirdy who was born in 1628; he married a Miss Balloch. It is claimed we are descended from the Camerons. Gilkrist had five brothers: Irven, Finlay, Daniel, Alexander and the other one's name is unknown."

John McKurdy of Melbourne, Australia writes, "From my grandfather's bible I find mention of six generations of MacKurdy's as follows: Alexander, born in Buteshire, Scotland in 1630, he had five brothers: Gilkrist, Irven, Daniel and Pethrick, the name of one is not given. Daniel, the son of Alexander, born in 1668, located in Argyleshire, Scotland and had several sons, one was Edward born in 1725, lived to be quite old, then married Betty Allbright; by her he had one son, Edward, who was my grandfather, born in 1774. His children was Alexander, my father, born in 1800; John, James, Peter, Fanny and Sally. Alexander married Mary Stewart and had three sons: John, Charles and Elbert. Elbert was killed in the Caffres War in South Africa in March 1878, he was only 40 years old. I was born in 1834 and married Mary Skelton. I have only two daughters: Edna and Rissie."

The above families undoubtedly descended from Alexander, the son of Donald MacKirdy.


Pethrick McCurdy was probably born about 1648. His father's name undoubtedly was Daniel, the son of Donald and Peggy MacKirdy.

At the time of the Scottish restoration when persecutions, hardships and cruelties prevailed against the Presbyterians, the MacKirdys, who were of this faith and branch would likely have become extinct had not Pethrick and his four brothers fled from Scotland. Wodrow tells us that in the spring of 1666 came the severest visitation of cruelties yet known and the Presbyterians arose in arms.

Wodrow says, "In the middle of November, 1666, occurred the rising; but all was against them, they were undisciplined, their horses were not trained, the royal army was powerful and soon scattered the rising forces; some was killed, many of the prisoners were executed and those of note who escaped were forfeited in life and fortune in absence."

In the latter part of November, 1666 the five MacKirdy brothers, Pethrick, David, William, John and Daniel escaped in an open boat and through a blinding snow storm sailed across the turbulent sea and after a dangerous voyage they sought shelter from the storm on one of the rocky islets near the north coast of Ireland, sailing on the third day to the mainland, they landed near the Giant's Causeway. After they located in Ireland they changed the spelling of their names to McCurdy. Pethrick located on a farm near Ballintoy in "The Cairne"; Daniel settled at Ahoghill; David went to Ringsend, County Derry; John went to Derry but later went to America and William died unmarried.

It is stated that David's issue were girls; this is undoubtedly true as all the McCurdys yet located trace their descent from Pethrick, John and Daniel.

Pethrick McCurdy married Margaret Stewart, a descendant of King Robert II of Scotland, also from Somerled mentioned in this history. Her father, Charles Stewart of Ballintoy, Ireland was the son of Ninian Stewart of Kilchattan and his wife Grizel; he was the son of Sir James Stewart, whose father was Sir Ninian of Nether Kilmory in 1532; his father was Sir Ninian who was born in 1469 and succeeded his father as Sheriff of Bute; he was made Castellan of Rothsay by James IV. Sir James was the son of Sir John Stewart who was born in 1360 and died in 1449; he was Sheriff of Bute; he married Janet Semple of Eliotstown. Sir John was the son of King Robert II.

Pethrick McCurdy had five sons: James, John, David, William and Daniel.
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Re: Clan McCurdy

PostSun Jul 13, 2014 5:25 pm

Powerful history there joe wow
My ipad controls my spellings not me so apologies from it in advance :) lol


Re: Clan McCurdy

PostSun Jul 13, 2014 7:14 pm

part one.. more to come :roll: :lol:

Gilbert Mc Curdy .... born 1782..died..................... married .,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,, gr/ gr/ gr/ grandfather
John Mc Curdy .............................. MAYBE A MISSING PERSON STILL TO FIND
Robert Mc Curdy.....born 1835... died ....................married Elizabeth [ fleming ] mcglame great/ gr/grand father
Laughlin Mc Curdy.. born 1871 died 1948................married Mary Mc Donnell ............. great grandfather
42. Erected by Laughlin McCurdy
in memory of his beloved wife
Mary McCurdy Late of Belfast
who died 2nd Nov 1922 aged 56 yrs
The above named Laughlin McCurdy
who died 1948 aged 77 yrs
His daughter Mary (Lily) McCouaig
Mount Grand who died
3rd July 1977 aged 76 years
Robert Mc Curdy ....born 1898 died 1964 ..............Minnie { Mary Elizabeth } Hannan [ Hanna ]. grandfather

Margaret Mc Curdy ,, 1927..................MOTHER


Re: Clan McCurdy

PostSun Jul 13, 2014 10:50 pm

not even starting on the African mc curdys
:!: :arrow: :roll:
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Re: Clan McCurdy

PostSun Jul 13, 2014 10:52 pm

OMG really haha
My ipad controls my spellings not me so apologies from it in advance :) lol


Re: Clan McCurdy

PostSun Jul 13, 2014 10:58 pm

sub sahara branch :lol:
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Re: Clan McCurdy

PostSun Jul 13, 2014 11:06 pm

My ipad controls my spellings not me so apologies from it in advance :) lol


Re: Clan McCurdy

PostFri Sep 05, 2014 11:33 pm

great great great grandfather , born 232 years ago...... WOW :D :lol:,,,,,,,,,, [ scroll back a few posts ]


Re: Clan McCurdy

PostSat Sep 06, 2014 6:21 pm

A very interesting link

a sample from this link

Our origins

I have been able to successfully trace our lineage back to Rathlin Island in Northern Island. While visiting the island in August 2010, with the help of our good friend Errol Walsh of Glenarim, I was put in touch with historian (and relative) Augustine McCurdy . He has written a number of delightful and interesting small books, inluding "Rathlin's Rugged Story" - see more on the right.

Here's a long but interesting history of Rathlin Island. I will post some information specific to The McCurdys - there are a number of them on the island - at a later date

Evidence has recently been found to suggests that man first reached Rathlin in the Mesolithic period as early as 6000 BC. These people were probably brave seafaring folk who used the Island as a stopping off point during longer voyages. By 5000 BC the Island is known to have been inhabited. Archeologists have found various Tools, Axes and Arrowheads dating from 5000 - 2000 BC.

By 2500 BC Rathlin had become an important commercial centre founded upon the considerable wealth gained from production and export of stong axes made from a rare blueish stone, Porcellanite, found only in two places worldwide, both in Ireland. Further evidence indicates that there was frequent trade between Egypt, Crete and Rathlin with movement of people in all directions. ................... click on the link for full article


Re: Clan McCurdy

PostSat Jan 10, 2015 2:49 am

rest in peace gusty mc curdy
Augustine (Gusty) McCurdy passed away on Sunday 26th October 2014 after a short illness.

Gusty was a well known author and local historian. Born on Rathlin, he spent some of his teenage years in Belfast, and later went to England where he married and raised a family. Finally returning to Rathlin with his wife Judy and some of their children, he found more time to follow his life-long interest in Irish history and particularly Rathlin's history.
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