As mentioned on my Fantasy ancestry road trip to the highlands – part 1 post, I’d been having trouble finding Inch in Locaber that was home to my Macdonell ancestors after Culloden. Amazingly, Doug who had previously kindly helped me locate the Cranachan farm nearby, has also managed to find Inch. I’m incredibly grateful for his help. As he explained, the spellings Inch and Insh (and possibly Insse) are interchangeable, such as the following example on the Clan Cameron Reference Guide:
“CNOC NAN CEANN BEAGA: “Hill of the Little Head.” Located southwest of Beinn Chlianaig and due south of Insh/Inch.”
From this he was able to find the settlement of Insh, very near Roybridge and Keppoch House on StreetMap, which I’ve now plotted on GoogleMaps here. He also showed that an Insh Farm at the following coordinates. 56.883669, -4.873811 (see C A MacColl & Sons, Insh Farm, Spean Bridge, Inverness-Shire PH34 4EY), although he’s not sure whether this is the original farm house of the MacDonnells/MacDonalds of Insh.
Doug found the following reference from A Tradition of Lochaber by Mary Cameron Mackellar in Celtic Magazine December 1883:
On the banks of the River Spean, and nearly opposite Keppoch, stands the farm house of “Inch” – “Tigh na h-Innse.” At the time of which I write, the tacksman of this place was Ronald MacDonald, a cadet of the house of Keppoch.
Apparently, Insh even had it’s own ‘Holy Woman’, but I was interested to see that Ronald was referred to as tacksman, and a cadet of the house of Keppoch. I’d seen the same term used by Patricia Rye in an email to my cousin Hamish where she refers to my ancestor Aonghus Ban Innse of Inch (Fair-haired Angus of Inch) as Angus, Tacksman of Inch. Angus married Christina Macdonald, of Achnacoichine, who was the daughter of Archibald Macdonald, 3rd of Achnacoichine. This is interesting because the Clan Macdonald of Keppoch entry on the Wikipedia shows Achnancoichean as being a one of the ‘Principal Cadet Families. I think Achnancoichean is in Argyll, whereas Achnacoichine is much closer to Keppoch in Brae. Anyway, I’ll write about this in another post.
Principal Cadet Families