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The Lost Families of Stratherrick, Strathnairn, and Dunmaglass, Inverness-shire, Scotland


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Margaret Fraser

Isabella McDonell


I have recently been contacted by Rebecca, who lives in Northumberland, just south of the Scottish borders.  Her 2nd Great Grandmother, Isabella McDonell came from an area near Fort Augustus in Bunoich.  Isabella's mother was Margaret Fraser, who marriage record says she was born in Stratherrick. 

In Rebecca's own word, here is the story.  she would appreciate anyone with connections contacting here here!


Ok, here's the story.  I've used the name McDonell here, but it may have been McDonald.  Both have been used in the records, but the one that came down through the family was McDonell.  The living descendants of the male line use this version and it was my great-aunt's middle name.
Archibald McDonell was mason and carpenter at Balfrishal, or Bunoich.  In 1805, he married Isabella Baillie.  Family tradition has it that she was connected to the Baillies of Dochfour and that the couple eloped, but I have found nothing to prove or disprove this.  She seems to have been the daughter of James Baillie and Katherine Ross and, if this is correct, was baptized 27th Sep 1771.  She and Archibald had four sons, all born in the parish of Boleskine between 1805 and 1813.  John, the eldest, had at least two children, Archibald and Jane.  Donald, the second child, presumably died young, as the fourth son was also called Donald.  The third son, William, married Margaret Fraser of Stratherrick on 13 Oct 1841.  William was, like his father, mason at Bunoich.  They had five children, also born in the parish of Boleskine: Ann, b 1842; Isabella, b 1845; Jean, b. c. 1848; Margaret, b. c. 1854 and Archibald, b. c. 1855.  Margaret (the mother, not the daughter), died some time between the birth of Archibald and the 1861 census.
Her daughter, Isabella, left the highlands some time during the 1860s and found work as a maid in Edinburgh.  In 1870, she married John Fraser, a fellow highlander from Kiltarlity, Invernessshire, whom she had met through the Gaelic speaking church.  John and Isabella were my great-great-grandparents.  Isabella's brother, Archibald, remained in the area and his descendants still have a house there.