Clan Donald Magazine No13 (1995) Online
Restored and Re-dedicated by Alastair
MacDonald, Pictou County Branch Commissioner
Pictou County Branch of the Clan Donald Society recently celebrated
the unveiling of the cairn at Glencoe.
cairn commemorates some of the early Highland settlers in that area.
It was originally erected by descendants of one of those pioneers in
1947. Throughout the course of time, the monument fell into
disrepair. Since it memorialized a family of MacDonalds, the Clan
Donald Society undertook a financial and research campaign to
Located in a rural setting near Sunny Brae, the cairn, which is
quite large, has plaques on three of its four faces. On the front,
the plaque reads: "Dedicated to the memory of John A. MacDonald and
sons, Duncan, James, Alexander and Ewen - all of the 84th
Royal Highland Regiment, who served with the Loyalists in the
Revolutionary War of 1776. Descendants of John MacDonald of Glen
Urquhart, Scotland - a survivor of Glencoe 1692."
plaque on the left side commemorates the parents and grandparents of
the descendants who had the original cairn erected, James MacDonald
unveiling of the restored monument was performed by Edward MacDonald
and Catherine Mulholland, son and daughter of James MacDonald, both
of whom live in Winnipeg.
third plaque has the Clan Donald crest and the notation: "Restored
by Clan Donald Pictou County and interested friends, 1994."
chairman of this undertaking is W.D.J. MacDonald of New Glasgow who
initiated a campaign for funds for this purpose.
financial target was soon reached and the stonework was completed in
the spring. The plot of lawn on which the cairn stands was rebuilt
by members of the Clan Donald Society and the unveiling took place
in the presence of a large crowd of clan members and interested
friends on July 17.
the ceremony, of which W.D.J. (Bill) MacDonald was emcee, an address
was given by Betty MacDonald of Bridgeville, on the history of the
early Scottish settlers of the area, and particularly the family of
the first James MacDonald. A veteran of the battle of Culloden under
the banner of Bonnie Prince Charlie, he emigrated with his wife,
four sons and four daughters to New York, which was then a British
colony, in 1775. Caught up in the turmoil of the American
Revolution, he and his four
sons joined the
Royal Highland Emigrant Regiment (the 84th) and their family members
were taken to Halifax for the duration of the war.
the war, the Highland soldiers were offered grants of farm land in
Nova Scotia. John MacDonald and three of his sons took up farms in
the area around Bridgeville in Pictou County.
son James," said Betty MacDonald, "later known as Deacon James,
(settled) on the farm now owned by Grant Thompson. On this farm
stood the historic elm tree under whose branches Dr. James MacGregor
preached his first sermon on the East River in 1786.
"Deacon James was the son from whom the family on this farm
descended. He was known as the strongest man in the regiment. He was
married to Mary Forbes and was one of the first elders under Dr.
MacGregor. He had many notable descendants, among them Hon. James
MacDonald, Chief Justice of Nova Scotia."
then related that James moved to Ontario in 1828, where he died at
the age of 102, and his wife Mary, at the age of 100, after 81 years
of marriage. Their daughter, Margaret, married a son of another John
MacDonald who came from Scotland in 1801. They had a son, Edward,
who married Jane Grant, and these were the parents of James
MacDonald of Winnipeg who had the cairn built in 1947 on a visit to
his ancestral home, to honour his ancestors.
closing, Betty MacDonald quoted Judge George Patterson who, in his
book, More Studies of Nova Scotian History, "The Men of the 84th who
chose to make their homes in Pictou County were of the same temper
and breed as those who came in the Hector. A new country could not
hope to be blessed with finer or better settlers.
Footnote to the Online Edition.
Ben MacDonald of Glendale, Arizona
submitted corrections and observations on 27 May 2005 which can be
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