The Carmichael Tartan
Wednesday, June 19, 2013
The Carmichaels, from Banffshire to Nova Scotia
Carmichael clan has
been around for a long time, although for one hundred and sixty three years it
was dormant. There was no chief to take over the Clan, therefore, there could
be no clan. Today, Carmichael is a Clan all on
its own, having been registered in the Lyon Court Record book in 1984, when Sir
Richard Carmichael assumed the role of Chief. However, it is also considered a
Sept of the Clan Douglas. There is also a Clan Carmichael USA, established in 1991 to promote
the Clans’ heritage in the States.
As mentioned earlier, the
origins have been obscured by the mists of time. They could have been
indigenous Britons, or they could have been transplanted Norman nobles, many of
whom became the leading families of Scotland, such as Frasers, Gordons,
Hamiltons, Stewarts and Bruces. Whatever the origin might be, the residents
have been located in Lanark for approximately 800 years. They took their name
from the place where they lived Caer Mychel. In 1068, Queen Margaret
established seven churches, one near Tinto Hill and dedicated it to the
Archangel Michael. Caer Mychel, meaning church hill, soon became the surname of
the people who lived near it.
There were splits among the Clan members over the years. But probably the biggest split was when they followed the Stewarts of Appin. This Clan is considered the Clan of the Royal Stewarts, where the Stewarts of Galloway are considered to be distant relatives. The reasons for following another Clan are not known. It could have been for politics, power, wealth, marriages or, perhaps, disagreements within the Carmichael Clan. Whatever the reason was, my ancestors ended up in Banffshire.
The earliest known ancestor that has been found is James Carmichael (1700-1751) who married Elspeth Harper (1696-1751). James’ parents are unknown and how this branch of the Carmichael Clan was associated with the main branch in Lanark is also unknown. James and Elspeth had 5 children, the oldest being William (1717-1780). The others were: Patrick, Peter, Margaret and John. William m. (1749) in Mortlach, Banffshire, Isobel Thompson (1730-1771). William’s sibling, Patrick (1719-?), m. (1752) Mary Stronach (?-?), but the spouses of the others remain unknown.
William and Isobel had 8 children and possibly a 9th, which is unverified. One of his older sons, James (1755-1836), was b. in Aberlour but had moved to Fisher’s Grant, Pictou Landing,
Nova Scotia by 1788 when his son was born.
James’ brother, Francis, about 9 years younger, married and had two children in
Scotland, but moved to
by 1799 when his third child was born. Francis (1764-1838) m. (1794) Elizabeth
Keillor (bef. 1778-1838) in Aberlour, Banffshire. There is a land grant for
Francis, dated 1792, so it seems likely that he may have made several trips to
and from NS. Pictou Landing, NS
James (1755-1836) m. Anne Unknown. They had:
James B. (1788-1860) m. 1812 Christian McKenzie. They had:
James W. (1819-1903) m.1851 Maria Ann McColl (?-1874)
John Robert (?-?)
The James Carmichael family became prominent in New Glasgow, Nova Scotia. The original James was considered one of the founders of the town. They became a well-known and successful ship building family.
James Carmichael 1819-1903
Francis (James’ younger brother) and Elizabeth Keillor had 9 children:
*Thompson (1796-1861), b. in
d. in Bridgewater, NS,
m. 1826 (in ) Barbara Hubley (1806-1881) – 15 children Lunenburg NS
Mary (1791-1874) m. Unknown McCabe
Isobel (1801-1864) m. c 18243 Robert Murray (1792-1884) – 8 children
Isaac (1808-1887) m. 1831 Jane Hamilton (1818-?) – 9 children
L. Anders Sandberg , “CARMICHAEL, JAMES WILLIAM,” in Dictionary of Canadian Biography, vol. 13, University of Toronto/Université Laval, 2003–, accessed June 17, 2013, http://www.biographi.ca/en/bio/carmichael_james_william_13E.html