There is a
tradition, not borne out, however by any tangible evidence
or confirmation, that this very ancient family deduced its
descent from a member of the House of Geraldine, in Ireland
(whence sprang the noble families of Leinster, Desmond,
&c.), who, with a considerable number of his followers,
is stated to have settled in Scotland about the year 1261,
and to have so powerfully aided King Alexander III, a few
years afterwards, in repelling the invasion of Haco, King of
Norway, that he was rewarded by a grant of the lands of
Kintail, in the County of Ross, which were erected into a
free Barony by charter, dated 9th January 1266. Therefore
Colin Fitzgerald was the first feudal Baron of
who in the Gaelic was called Coinneach MacCoinneach (Kenneth
son of Kenneth), 3rd Baron of Kintail, became corrupted in
English into Mackenzie (pronounced: MacKenny) and hence
arose all the families of Mackenzie in Scotland. The name
"Mackenzie" therefore coming from the Gaelic: "MacCoinneach"
meaning: "Son of the Fair One".
records that suggest a descent from the Earls of Ross
indicate that such a descent existed through Margaret, the
wife of Kenneth A'Blair Mackenzie VIII Baron of Kintail, she
was the daughter of John IV Lord of the Isles and Earl of
The fate of
the Clan Mackenzie was famously foretold by the Brahan Seer
(Brahan, near Dingwall, was where the castle stood until it
was demolished in 1951). Having risen in power and influence
to hold lands which stretched right across Scotland, and to
become one of the four most important Highland Chiefs in
1726 (the others were the Dukes of Argyll, Atholl and
Gordon), Lord Seaforth's line ended in the 19th century when
all four of his sons died before him.
In a charter
granted by King David II in 1362 confirming the lands of
Kintail to the Mackenzies, the Clan Mackenzie Chief Murdo is
described as a descendant of Gilleoin of the Aird. From that
same dynasty of the 12th century stemmed Clans Ross and
Matheson. Two centuries later Clan Mackenzie had territories
which stretched from the Outer Hebrides right across
Scotland to the Black Isle.
Mackenzie 7th chief, who d. 1488, was the most prominent
supporter of the Crown against the all powerful Lord of the
Isles and got his reward in forfeited MacDonald lands.
Originally in Kintail around Loch Duich with Eilean Donan
Castle as their base, they spread throughout Ross-shire, and
into Lewis on the Outer Hebrides. They moved their seat to
Kinellan near Strathpeffer, before building Brahan
son, Kenneth d. 1492 and his stone effigy can still be seen at
Beauly Priory where he was buried. Iain, his son, fought at
both Flodden and Pinkie, but survived and lived until the
mid 16th century. The Mackenzies continued their rise to
power by joining the forces of Mary, Queen of Scots, and
James VI against their Gaelic neighbours. In 1609, the chief
was made Lord Mackenzie of Kintail, while in 1623 his eldest
son became the Earl of Seaforth. The 2nd Earl was Charles
II's secretary of state for Scotland. Another branch of the
Mackenzies became the Earls of Cromartie.
Mackenzie Clansman by McIan, probably a portrayal
of a young
Alexander "Ionraic" Mackenzie
It was the
Mackenzies' loyalty to the Stewart Kings which brought about
their downfall. Kenneth 4th Earl one of the first Knights
of the Thistle, the Scottish Order of Chivalry, followed
James VII into exile at the end of the 17th century, the time
when the Brahan
predicted doom for the house. The 5th Earl raised an army of
3000 men in 1715 for the Jacobite Pretender, and had to flee
to France, returning in 1719 to be severely wounded at
Glenshiel. Several Mackenzies took part in 1745
Mackenzie of Scatwell (1746 - 1814)
grandfather of Major James D. Mackenzie of
(author of the Findon
their influence was now waning, Kenneth 6th Earl, was made
Viscount Fortrose and Baron Ardelve, and given Irish Peerage in
1766, and had the title of Earl of Seaforth restored in
1771. In gratitude the chief raised 1000 strong 72nd
Regiment, the old Seaforth Highlanders, but he died without
male heirs in 1784 and his titles became extinct. The
Chiefship and estate passed to his cousin Colonel Thomas
Mackenzie, the great grandson of the 3rd Earl. Shortly
afterwards, he was killed commanding the Bombay army in
India, at the battle of Cheriah. His younger brother,
Francis, succeeded him, only to have all his sons die before
him and to dispose of much of the Mackenzie land before he
himself, the last male descendant of the Mackenzies of
Kintail, died in 1815.
James Wemyss Mackenzie (1775 - 1843)
5th Baronet of Scatwell
daughter, Mary, was given the Mackenzies' Arms as Lady
Hood-Mackenzie, and from her descend the Stewart-Mackenzies
of Seaforth. Her son sold up all the estate except for
Brahan and a small part of the Clan Heartland. Her grandson
was made Lord Seaforth of Brahan in 1921, but he too died
without male heirs, and Brahan Castle was demolished in
1951. The Earl of Cromartie, who renounced his family name
of "Blunt" to inherit the title through the female line,
is now chief of the Clan Mackenzie. He lives at Castle Leod,
George Mackenzie (1775 - 1840)
Mackenzie Clan lands of Kintail, a magnificent 14 000 acres
of Highland scenery which include the towering mountains
known as the Five Sisters of Kintail, are now in good
hands. They were acquired by the National Trust for Scotland
in 1944, and the mountaineers, campers and walkers now enjoy
the land of Mackenzies. The Trust also looks after another
Mackenzie inheritance, the subtropical, exotic gardens
created out of barren peninsula at Inverewe in a latitude
more Northerly than Moscow, begun by Osgood Mackenzie in
1862 it was presented to the Trust in 1952 by his daughter Mrs
Tables were published by Major James D. Mackenzie of Findon
in 1879. Much of the research being carried out by his
brother Lewis Mark Mackenzie nearly thirty years earlier who
died early in life. Major Mackenzie took it upon himself to
complete most of the work and present the mass of
information in the form of "Family Trees," or "Tables,"
showing the origin of different branches, their progression
and relation to each other.
top of Findon Table sheet number 2,
showing the descendants of Alexander Ionraic
twelve main sheets, a supplementary sheet and a booklet.
Sheet 1 gives the "Main Stem" of the Kintail, Seaforth and
Cromartie families, with the details of their immediate
offshoots. The other eleven main sheets look more closely at
the individual families that branched off from the main
stem, with their cadets. The supplementary sheet gives the
descent of some ancient families deriving from the early
rulers of the country where the possessions of Clan Kenneth
afterwards became fixed, and with whom it was connected by
marriage ties. The 24 page booklet gives an introduction by
Major James D. Mackenzie of Findon and extensive notes about
the tables with References, a list of Kintail or Seaforth
Charters and an index of families and names.
sheet begins with "John de Comyn (red), Lord of Badenoch, d.
1273", "King John of England", "Colin or Cailean, the
'Gerald' of tradition, or of early Celtic or Irish
Derivation" (the earliest direct male ancestor of the
Mackenzie line, in the tables), "Sommerled, Thane of
Ergadia, slain 1164", "David I, King of Scotland" and "King
Olaus IV, or Olave, 'The Red,' King of Man." The original
tables follow the lineages of the main branches and cadet
families up to circa 1878.
"General Genealogical Tree of the Clan Mackenzie and
"Descendants of Alexander 'Ionraic,' being the
families of Hilton, Loggie and others."
"Descendants of Alexander 'Ionraic,' VII Baron of
Kintail, being the families of Gairloch, Letterewe,
Mountgerald, Lochend, Portmore, Muirton, Belmaduthy,
"Descendants of Kenneth A'Bhlair's second son,
Alexander of Davochmaluak."
"Descendants of Sir Kenneth A'Bhlair's third son,
'Rorie Mor,' being families of Achiltie, Ardross,
Fairburn and Towie &c."
"Descendants of Kenneth A'Bhlair's fourth son,
Kenneth, being the families of Suddie, Inverlael,
Little Findon, Ord, Langwell and Highfield &c."
"The Families of Redcastle and Kincraig, from
Kenneth 'Na Cuirc,' X Baron of Kintail."
"Descendants of Colin 'Cam,' XI of Kintail, or the
Families of Kilcoy, Inverallochy, Findon, Kinnoch,
Kernsary, Muirton, and Cleanwaters."
"Further Descendants of Colin 'Cam,' being the
families of Applecross, Coul, Auldeny, Torridon, Lentron,
Delvine and Kinnahaird."
"Descendants of Sir Roderick Mackenzie of Coigeach,
other than the Cromartie Family, being the families
of Scatwell, Scotsburn, Tarvie and Ballone."
"Descendants of Simon Mackenzie of Lochslin, son of
Kenneth, Lord Kintail, being the families of
Allangrange, Logie, Newton, Inchcoulter and Dundonnel."
"The Family of Gruinard, descended from George,
2nd Earl of Seaforth, from his lawful grandson, according
to the family tables, or, according to other authorities,
his natural son, John Mackenzie I of Gruinard."
"The Lords of the Isles. The Earls of Ross."
(15 x A4 sheets (of 24 pages and a hand written
"Genealogical Tables of the Clan Mackenzie. By
Major James D. Mackenzie of Findon. Introduction &
notes to accompany the sheets. Edinburgh: Printed by
M'Farlane & Erskine. 1879." - Includes a hand written
information on how to obtain a copy of the Findon Tables
please visit our Findon
been many distinguished members of the Clan Mackenzie. Sir
Alexander Mackenzie (1764-1820), a Canadian explorer, wrote
stirring accounts of his travels across North America;
Alexander Mackenzie (1822-92) was a Canadian statesman, born
in Perthshire; Sir John Mackenzie (1838-1901), born at
Ard-Ross, was an eminent New Zealand statesman; Henry
Mackenzie (1745-1831) and Sir Comptom Mackenzie (1883-1972)
were famous literary members of the clan.
Blazon of Arms of the 5th Earl
Azure, a deer's head cabossed Or
A mountain in flames Proper
LUCEO NON URO
On a compartment embellished with stag's horn club moss two savages wreathed about the head and middle each holding in the exterior hand a baton resting on the shoulder burning at the end and the hair likewise enflamed all Proper.
Blazon of Arms (PDF)
The Brahan Seer