More on Patrick MacDonald, Father of the Church of Scotland

Lorraine Tebbutt from Australia has been in touch with more information about our joint ancestor Patrick MacDonald from Fasti ecclesiae scoticanae; the succession of ministers in the Church of Scotland from the reformation, Volume 4 (1923) by Hew Scott.

As mentioned in my Patrick MacDonald, “Father of the Church of Scotland”? post, his wife Barbara MacDonell of Keppoch was daughter of Alexander of Culloden. Their daughter Anne married my other ancestor Donald Macdonell who was the son of Angus ‘ban’ Macdonell of Inch, the natural son of Alexander of Culloden – making Anne and Donald both grandchildren of Alexander of Culloden. Their son Angus married Christina McNab, who was also a descendant of Alexander of Culluden as her maternal grandmother Charlotte was his youngest daughter (see my earlier Christina McNab descendant of Alexander of Culloden post).

There are two entries for Patrick in Fasti ecclesiae scoticanae. One for Kilmore and Kilbride, and one for Stronian. The entry for Kilmore and Kilbride below also mentions that his wife Barbara was “a Roman Catholic and attended neither public nor family worship with her husband”, which would have been unusual at the time.

PATRICK MACDONALD, born 22nd April 1729, son of Murdoch M., min. of Durness; educated at Univ. of Aberdeen; became tutor to the two sons of Captain Gunn from Holland; licen. by Presb. of Edinburgh 31st March, ord. by them 30th June as missionary at Strontian, and pres. by Archibald, Duke of Argyll, 12th Oct. 1756 ; trans, and adm. 12th May 1757 ; died Father of the Church, 25th Sept. 1824. It is said that during the whole period of his life he was never a day confined by sickness. A Manuscript Diary of his father gives some curious particulars as to M.’s settlement here. The living is spoken of as one of the ” best in the county,” though the stipend was barely above £70. “This was competed for by several ministers of figure, standing,  and with strong connections in that county, but the application in favour of my poor lad prevailed, and much of his success under God was owing to the regard for his sister Flora.” He was a well-informed writer on Scottish Music and a player on various instruments.

He marr. 28th Dec. 1757, Barbara (died 13th June 1804), daugh. of Alexander Macdonald of Keppoch: she was a Roman Catholic and attended neither
public nor family worship with her husband. They had issue—

Alexander, born 11th Dec. 1758
Murdoch, born 29th June 1760, died 10th Feb. 1763
Janet (twin), born 29th June 1760 ; Ronald, born 2nd April 1762
Ann, born 20th March 1764
Dugald, born 26th Dec. 1766, died 12th Feb. 1768
Joseph (twin), born 26th Dec. 1766, died 20th July 1767
James, born 12th June 1768
John, born 1st Nov., and died 28th Dec. 1769
Donald, min. of Killean, born 21st Aug. 1771
Flora, born 7th March 1773 (marr. Kenneth M’Leay, surgeon)
Elizabeth, born 13th Sept., and died 7th Nov. 1775
Archibald, born 10th Aug. 1779.

Publications — A Collection of Highland Vocal Airs never hitherto published [edited
with the assistance of his brother Joseph Macdonald and the Rev. Walter Young, who composed the basses and wrote the preliminary Dissertation] (Edinburgh, 1784) Account of the Parish (Sinclair’s Stat. Ace).—[Johnson’s Scots Musical Museum (1853); Glen’s Collection of Scot. Dance Music (Edinburgh, 1891); MS. Diary; Campbell Fraser’s Biographia Philosophica, 32; Diet. Nat. Biog.]


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