Macdonald/Macdonell of Keppoch Chiefs – Historical Revisionism?

I’d recently found that my great great great grandfather Angus MacDonald/McDonnell was either 20th or 22nd Chief of Keppoch depending on where I looked. So, for example, Stirnet has him listed as Angus Macdonald, 20th of Keppoch (b 1800-1, d 28.02.1855). My cousin Hamish MacLaren has him listed as Angus (20th of Keppoch) MacDonell and cites Debrett’s Peerage and Baronetage (1968), and Burke’s Peerage under “Maitland”, and Burke’s Landed Gentry (1937) under “Macdonell of Keppock”. I was a little confused as The Jacobite Peerage: Baronetage, Knightage & Grants of Honour (1904) mentions that Angus succeeded his cousin Sir Chichester MacDonell as 22nd Chief of Keppoch in 1838 (see here). Well, the Clan Donald site makes no mention of my ancestor Angus being either 20th or 22nd of Keppoch on the The Chiefs of Clan Donald page. So I decided to dig a little deeper. Continue reading

Castle Gogar Revisted

I’ve had an update from the new owner of Castle Gogar, once owned by one of my ancestors (see more here). She explained that Brenda Steel Maitland died in 2003, she left the castle and estate to Gordon Stewart who looked after her in later life. The castle was in much need of restoration, so it was put up for sale and bought by Scott and Lesley Seath. They set about restoring the castle, and split up the estate to form 5 modern houses and 3 stable conversions in oder to pay for the restoration. Apparently, the local council turned down the original plans for old fashioned type houses and wanted properties with a complete contrast to the old castle. Check out the Castle Gogar Estate site to see the development, which could easily have had been featured on Grand Designs with Kevin McCloud enthusing about the juxtaposition of the old and new. Mr Seath seems to have done pretty well with the cottages selling for £300,000 each, the new houses for around £1.5 million each and the castle + 3 acres sold separately. Continue reading