Description MacAulay Family of Lewis

History of MacAulays on the Isle of Lewis and compiled genealogy of MacAulays of Lewis who emigrated to Pictou County in 1812.  

The MacAulay Family

Of Lewis


Compiled by Capt. D. M. MacKenzie of Pictou, Nova Scotia.

Enlarged and brought up to date by his niece, Anne Murdoch Beebe, 1965.


On visits to the Isle of Lewis and Harris, Outer Hebrides, in 1959 and 1960, many family stories were told Mrs. Beebe by Murdoch (Murdo) MacAulay, retired Insurance man, and his cousin, Malcolm (Callum) MacAulay, proprietor of a dry goods shop and of a Harris Tweed plant in Stornoway, the capital city.

The former has records of the family back to the only MacAulay left – John Roy – after a massacre by the proprietors of the island, the MacLeods.  John Roy, who was a young lad at the time, was with friends, the MacRitchies and he stayed with them until he was old enough to avenge the murders.  He came back and killed every one of the MacLeods who was implicated.  So we all descend from John Roy, born about 1520, and married to a daughter of MacLean of Lochbuie.  One of the MacLean descendants married the Earl of Strathmore, and ancestor of Queen Elizabeth II (or Elizabeth I of Scotland).

However, the first MacAulay (or Macaulay) on record in Lewis is Donald (Cam), grandson of John Roy, was mentioned in 1610 as being captured along with Torquil Dubh MacLeod in 1597.  He had been taken to the mainland and an iron chain weighing about 11 stone (154) lbs. was bound to his ankle and he was placed in a dungeon.   He and Torquil escaped very soon, hiding throughout the day and traveling by night.  They stole a boat at Applecross and crossed over to Skye.  The blacksmith in Dunvegan removed the chain and the Church of Scotland minister in Dunvegan weighed it.  Donald Cam and Torquil stole another boat and arrived safely in Lewis.  Their original crime was that along with Neil MacLeod, a natural son of the proprietor of Lewis, they fought against the Fife Adventurers who tried to promote and control the fishing industry of Lewis.  Donald Cam was outlawed in 1610 for failing to comply with a summons to appear before the Privy Council as a material witness to a murder.

For nine years Donald Cam took refuge in a lofty crag now called “Stac Dhomuil Chaim” in his honor, on the west coast of Lewis.  This Isle of St. Kilda is about 40 miles southwest.  Clansmen took care of him and he and a good lookout from where he could see anyone approaching the Island.  At the end of nine years a rebellion broke out in Ireland and the authorities lost interest in Donald Cam.

Another story is told of the important man; In Donald Cam’s time a huge dead whale was washed ashore at Dalmore, Lewis.  The estate factor claimed it for the proprietor (MacLeod) and prohibited anyone from going near it.  Donald Cam’s sister was married in the village and she had a young son, who, in defiance, walked the length of the whale.  For this he was sentenced to death by hanging.  His mother appealed to Donald for help but the only consolation she got from him was that if her son had done anything deserving of death, he should pay the penalty.  She returned home broken-hearted.  Meanwhile the inhabitants of the island were notified of the date he was to be hanged.  On that day Donald arrived at MacLeods Castle, Stornoway.  MacLeod invited him to have lunch with him.  After the meal he took Donald into a room and showing him a bed for his nephew’s body so that he would not have a criminal’s burial.  Donald Cam thanked him and said there should be another bed beside that one and when the MacLeod asked why, Donald said “When my nephew’s body is laid on that one, your son’s body will be laid on the other one”.  Faced with this threat the MacLeod cancelled the death sentence and the boy was released.

(Note – The MacLeod Castle, Stornoway, is now a Technical School, a gift to the town from Lord Leverhulme, the last owner)


In “Believe It or Not” by Ripley, there is the account of the MacAulay brothers of Lewis, while out in their fishing boat coming across a dead whale.  If it were allowed to drift ashore it would immediately become the property of the proprietor (MacLeod).  So Donald Cam, grasping the whale by its tongue held on while the other brother put out to sea and possibly landed on an uninhabited island to cut up the carcass.  It was a valuable find.

It is said at Donald Cam’s funeral “seven cows were killed and eaten at the feast” testifying to his high esteem on the island.

On a high hill near the west coast of Lewis is the church and burial ground of the Macaulays (aille n Cille).  Donald Cam was buried in the old chapel – the new church is a short distance away – and no stone marked his grave.  But a slab now marks the spot where the clan thinks he was buried, and all the other MacAulays lie in this cemetery.

Halfway up the hill above Loch Scair (Zachary’s Loch) is a green glade facing east.  One night in the long ago two MacAulays were wending their homeward when they decided to lay down to rest.  They placed their swords upright so the dew wouldn’t rust them.  In the early morning when the sun was coming up two Morrissons appeared over the hill opposite and seeing the sun shining on the blades, they went around the hill and came down on the sleeping MacAulays and killed them.

Probably the most illustrious of the clan was Thomas Babington MacAulay (Lord MacAulay, 1800-1859).  His father was Zachery, who moved to England.  Grandfather, the Rev. John and Great Grandfather, the Rev. Aulay.  Rose Mac*Aulay, current English author is of this stock.

Dr. William Matheson of the Celtic Dept. of the University of Edinburgh and possessor of some of the old factors’ account books, a native of Lewis, informs me that a record of the tenants of the parish of Uig in 1808 listed two Malcolm MacAulays who were not there in 1819.  One was from Balnicol and the other from next door Carnish.  Apparently Balnicol Malcolm, the literate one, emigrated to Pictou, Nova Scotia.  Dr. Matheson writes that “he signs his name in a good hand”.  A long time ago the clan records were being taken to Edinburgh for permanent recording when the vessel went down in the Minch and everything was lost.

On August 2, 1821, Malcolm MacAulay made application to Lt. Gen. Sir James Kemp for a grant of unimproved and unclaimed land on the North Shore of St. Patrick’s channel (near St. Anne’s, Cape Breton) one lot to the eastward of a tract given to Jonathan Jones Esq.  This application states that he is 50 years old, has seven children and his father-in-law to maintain and that he has never received any land from the crown; that he owns 100 acres in Pictou acquired by purchase but that was not enough to support his family since the decline of the trade in timber.  (Note- he later purchased another 100 acres at Toney River).  The document is signed Malcolm MacAulay and in “a good hand”.

It should be pointed out, and of my knowledge, that the older generation pronounced the name “MacAll-ah” showing its derivation from the Scandinavian “Ole”.  The present inhabitants of Lewis are bilingual – Gaelic and English.  On the streets one hears only Gaelic.


 Malcom MacAulay 1769-1832 and Christine MacLean 1759-1853, daughter of John MacLean, his wife, arrived in Pictou, Nova Scotia, in the Brig Anne of Sheilds or Anne of Sheilds in 1812.  Natives of the Parish of Uig, Isle of Lewis, Ross-shire, Scotland.  They bought 100 acres from Ann Lyon at Caribou for 50 pounds and the deed was recorded June 24, 1820.  Another 100 acres was bought for 45 pounds from John MacDonald et ux.

Two brothers of Malcolm, his father-in-law, John MacLean and other in laws came to Canada with them.  One brother settled in Saint John, NB and the other in Pennsylvania.  Some of the MacLeans later settled in St. Anne’s, CB.

Malcolm and Christine’s family, all born in Scotland, numbered seven: Donald, Angus, Mary, Flora, Nancy, John and Murdoch.

  1. Donald 1803-1897 – was the first teacher in Caribou River School and previous to that had held classes in the MacAulay home. He married Flora MacKenzie, 1815-1896 daughter of Kenneth MacKenzie and Isabell MacAskill.  Their family of 8 were: Annie, Malcolm, Angus, Alexander, Christine, Isabella, Kenneth and Flora.

Annie, 1838-1906- married Captain John Duncan MacKenzie, son of William and Nancy MacKinnon MacKenzie and had the following 9 children: Flora Ann, Wilhemina, Alexander, Margaret Catherine, John Duncan, Christina Maud, Isabell Doull, Daniel MacAulay, and Henry Ives.

Flora Ann, 1862-1892 married James William Murdoch, son of David Murdoch and Isabella Logan of Bay View, Pictou County.  Their family (3): Oliver Dunlop 1887-1889; Annie Isabella and Minnie Marguerita.

Annie Isabella, born Sept 5, 1889 married Ralph Waldo Beebe, born 1891-1958, son of Albert Beebe and Eliza Martin of Detroit.  Ralph Waldo Beebe was an editorial writer for the Pontiac Press, Pontiac Michigan when he died.  Annie and Ralph had one daughter, Diana Elizabeth, born March 25, 1922, BA University of Michigan married Elmer Max Steger, born March 15, 1924.

There is more to this line, contact McCulloch House Museum.

Minnie Marguerita, born March 24, 1891, married Archibald Murphy of Highgate, Ontario, now of Wellsburg, Virginia.  Their four children: Mildred Margaret, Flora Louisa, Frances Jane and James Archibald.

There is more to this line, contact McCulloch House Museum.

Wilhemina (Minnie) MacKenzie married Alexander MacKenzie of Rose Centre, PEI.              They lived in Tacoma, Washington.  Died in Pictou, Nova Scotia in 1895.  No children.

Alexander MacKenzie, 1866-1906.  Died at sea, buried lat.59.30, long. 147.00 W., married a daughter of the Chief of Songhees Indians.  They had one son, Percy Ross, who had one son, Roger Ross, dentist of Victoria, British Columbia.  Percy Ross died December 28, 1958 at the age of 60.  He was chief of the Songhees and highly regarded.

Margaret Catherine MacKenzie, 1868-1943, married William Mont.  William died in 1904.  They had six children: Ernest McCunn, William MacKenzie, Earle M, Clarence, Arthur Howard and Vera Maud.

John Duncan MacKenzie 1870-1932, Supt. Of Pilots, Sydney, Nova Scotia married Bessie Dawson Anderson, daughter of Samuel and Patience Porter Anderson, Pictou, Nova Scotia.  They had six children; Bessie Gwendolyn, Mary Florence, Frank Milton, John Duncan, Donald Chalmers and Gertrude Patience.

Christina Maud MacKenzie, 1876-1942 married Ansell Leonard Whitman of Port Dufferin, Halifax County.  They had three daughters; Isabel, Catherine and Winnifred.

There is more to this line, contact McCulloch House Museum.

Isabell Doull MacKenzie, 1879-1965 married George H Ramsey, MD, Toronto, Ontario.  Moved to Victoria, British Columbia.  He died in 1934. They had one daughter, Florence Ethel.

There is more to this line, contact McCulloch House Museum.

Daniel MacAulay MacKenzie, 1873-1960. One of the compliers of these records.  Shipmaster.  Unmarried.

Henry Ives MacKenzie, 1884-1947 married Evelyn Alberta Forsythe of Race Rocks, British Columbia.  No children.  Living in Victoria, British Columbia.


Malcolm MacAulay, son of Donald and Flora, died of Yellow Fever in Havana, Cuba in the early 1850s.

Angus MacAulay, son of Donald and Flora, died in 1883 at the age of 32, unmarried.

Alexander MacAulay, son of Donald and Flora, Presbyterian Minister, University of Toronto, died in Vancouver in 1922.  Refused pulpit in Toronto to do missionary work in North Vancouver and along coast of British Columbia.  He married Dora Stanley of Ontario.  They had two children, Vida and Howard.

Christine MacAulay, daughter of Donald and Flora, married John Garvin, sea captain, died of Yellow Fever about the barque Saga.  He was buried at Fortune Island, Bahamas in 1870.  They had one son, Howard.   Wife and son were aboard ship when John died.

Howard married Anna MacPhail of Pictou, Nova Scotia.  They lived in East Orange, New York.  He was in the Grace Line Steamship office.  Howard died in 1948.  They had three daughters, one died, two married.

Isabella MacAulay, daughter of Donald and Flora, 1843-1901, married Simon Chisholm, 1893-1901, married Simon Chisholm 18-- -1901, of River John, Nova Scotia.  Their family: Janet, Florence, Christine, Viola and Minnie

Janet died in 1944, married Rev. Robert Atkinson of Scotland.  Their children: Isabella, Ann Dodge, Janet and James Hugh.

Florence married Charles MacLennan of River John, Nova Scotia, shipbuilder.  Their family: Amelia, Florence, Christine, Minnie, Charles and Dorothy.

Christine Chisholm, 1871-1901, married Dr. James A Sutherland of Springhill, Nova Scotia.  Died shortly after marriage.  No children.

Viola Chisholm, married Dr. Charles Arthur Corrigan, Toronto.  The adopted one daughter.

Minnie Chisholm, 1872-1957, married Myron Slocum of Worchester, Massachusetts.

There is more to this line, contact McCulloch House Museum.

Kenneth MacAulay, son of Donald and Flora, married first to Margaret Fraser of Hardwood Hill, Pictou County.  Two of their children, Florence and Howard Angus died in infancy.  Another son, Alexander Donald, died in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan at the age of 28, unmarried.  Kenneth married a second time to Christie Ann MacInnes, daughter of Donald MacInnes.  They had two children, Christy and John.

There is more to this line, contact McCulloch House Museum.

Flora MacAulay 1857-1959, daughter of Donald and Flora married Angus MacMillan of PEI.  They had three children.  James Hudson, Aulay, and Grace.

There is more to this line, contact McCulloch House Museum.

  1. Angus MacAulay, son of Malcolm and Christine, died at age 21 in Saint John, New Brunswick.
  2. Mary MacAulay, daughter of Malcolm and Christine, married Alex Dewar of Wallace, Nova Scotia. They had seven children: Nellie Jessie, Jane, Dan, Margaret, Flora, Mary and Christy.

Nellie Dewar married James Cunningham of Malagash, Nova Scotia.  Their children: Jane, James, Jessie and Elizabeth.

Jane married Hugh MacIntosh (not clear if Jane is sister to or daughter of Nellie); James married a Gray of Cape John, Pictou County, Nova Scotia; Jessie married Lee Creelman; Elizabeth married Rod Graham of River John, Pictou County, Nova Scotia

Dan Dewar married Dollie Grant of Central Caribou, Pictou County, Nova Scotia.  Their children: Effie, Annie, Floss, James, Alpin and Harry.  None of the family in Nova Scotia now.

Margaret Dewar married Hugh Ross.  Their children: Annie, Bella, Effie, Nellie and Alex.  Alex married Christy MacLean, no children.

Flora Dewar married John MacKenzie of Waterside, Pictou County, Nova Scotia.  Their children:  Alexander, Murray, Jean, Edgar, George and Anna. (Also Ross and Gordon as stated later in compiled genealogy – transcribers note.)

Alexander married first to Catherine Murray of Murrayfield, died 1895.  Their children: Dr. John MacKenzie, killed accidentally in Chicago, Illinois, 1932; Florence and Murray.

 There is more to this line, contact McCulloch House Museum.

Mary Dewar and Christy Dewar, died young, unmarried.

  1. Flora MacAulay, daughter of Malcolm and Christine married Murdoch MacLeod of Cape John.  Their children: Daniel, Mary and Flora.

Daniel married Jean Fullerton of Cape John and had the following family:  Ada, who married in California and Janet who married Amos Allan of River John.

Mary married Alexander Archibald and their family: Simon and Charles of New Glasgow; Florence in the US; Jean, playwright in New York.  One son.

Flora married Dan MacLeod, their children, Flora and Margaret.

Flora married William Simon Fraser, had two daughters, Anna and Margaret and a son James in Stellarton, Nova Scotia.  Margaret married Donald MacKenzie of Toney Mills.  Their children were Dan, Toney Mills; Alex, in California and Flora who married Duncan Baillie of Cape John.  Their sons: Murdoch, George and James of Cape John.

  1. Nancy MacAulay, daughter of Malcolm and Christine married Murdoch Stewart of Mt. Thom. Their children: Christine, Marion (Miriam).

Christine married Rod MacDonald.  Their family: Bella married a MacKenzie of Westville, Nova Scotia and moved to Los Angeles.  They had two daughters.  Hugh, son of Rod, lived at Bayhead, died 1940s. 

There is more to this line, contact McCulloch House Museum.

Marion or Miriam, daughter of Nancy and Murdoch, married Albert G. Spalding, founder of Spaulding (Spalding) Sporting Goods, Pasadena, California.  They had no children.  When Miriam died, Albert married Sarah Josephine Keith.  One son, Keith married first Eudora Hall and second Lois Fraser, daughter of Tena Murray Fraser of Pictou, Nova Scotia, descendant of Kenneth MacKenzie and Isabell MacAskill of Caribou (see MacKenzie Family).  Keith died in 1961.  No children.

  1. John MacAulay, son of Malcolm and Christine, married Nancy MacDonald and lived at Cape John. Their family:  Alex, Malcolm, Jennie, Johanna, Christie, Ann.

Alex MacAulay married – Graham, children: Elva, Lorinda, Ira, Murdoch, and Christy.

There is more to this line, contact McCulloch House Museum.

Malcolm MacAulay, 1836-1906, married Johanna McPhee.  Their family: Ella Jane, Margaret Ann, Emma Beatrice, John Howard, Joanna Elizabeth.

Ella Jane married Thomas Sergeant of Boston.  Live in Norwich, Connecticut.  Their family: Charles E, Eleanor M, Thomas Sparhawk Junior, Elizabeth, Edith Batchelder.

There is more to this line, contact McCulloch House Museum.

Margaret Ann daughter of Malcolm and Joanna 1888-1845 married Stanley L MacMillan.  One daughter, Dorothea married Professor William S Hanna, Northwestern University.

There is more to this line, contact McCulloch House Museum.

Emma Beatrice, daughter of Malcolm and Joanna married John Thiery Batchelder of Boston, Massachusetts.  They had six children.

John Howard, son of Malcolm and Joanna married Ina Harris Wilson of Oklahoma.  They had two daughters.

Joanne Elizabeth, daughter of Malcolm and Joanna married Llewellyn Mills.  They had one adopted son, Hector Hamilton Mills.

Jennie MacAulay, daughter of John and Nancy, married – Dunn of New York.  No family.

Johanna MacAulay, daughter of John and Nancy, married Llewellyn Powell.  They had one son Albert David who married Emily Toulouse and had two children: Emily and John MacAulay Powell who married Marie Kerry of New Brunswick.

Christie MacAulay, daughter of John and Nancy, USA, unmarried.

Ann MacAulay, daughter of John and Nancy married Neil MacKinnon of Toney River.  They had six children: Levi, Anna, John, Margaret, Johanna and Mary.

There is more to this line, contact McCulloch House Museum.


  1. Murdoch MacAulay, son of Malcolm and Christine married first to Ann MacLean and moved to St. Ann’s, Cape Breton on the crown lands taken up by his father, Malcolm MacAulay, on August 2, 1821. Murdock and Ann’s children: Donald, Alexander, Annie, Christie, Kate, Murdoch, John and Peter.

Donald, “the first”, married Marie Hamilton of Sackville, New Brunswick.  Their family: Charles married Jean MacLean of PEI.  Family: Douglas Hamilton, Donald MacLaren, Margaret, John and Charles.

Alexander married Florence MacKay of Malagash, their family: Donald MacKay, Alexander, John Walker, and Herbert Otis.

There is more to this line, contact McCulloch House Museum.

Annie, daughter of Murdoch, married Rev. M Campbell.  Their family: A J Campbell, Department of Highways, Mrs. J Graham MacIvor, Halifax, Nova Scotia and Mrs J Scovil Murray, Calgary.

Christie, daughter of Murdoch, married Murdoch MacKenzie and emigrated to New Zealand in the 1850s.  Their children: Murdoch, Donald, Roderick and Norman.

Kate, daughter of Murdoch, married Hugh MacLeod and emigrated to New Zealand in the 1850s.  Their children: Johanna, Grace



Murdoch, son of Murdoch, married Ann MacLean, emigrated to New Zealand in 1850.  Their family: Annie married Neil MacLeod and live in Waipu, North Island, New Zealand.

 John, son of Murdoch, Cow Bay, Cape Breton.  Has two sons, John and Alexander and others.

Peter, son of Murdoch, family: Murray, George and others.

Angus, son of Murdoch, had a large family.  Mrs. MacIntosh of Port Hawkesbury was a daughter.  Another daughter was Mrs. MacKay, mother of Dr. Duncan MacRae’s wife.  Have no further particulars.  John Duncan died of wounds in WWI.  Alex was invalid out of army and died shortly after.  Catherine MacKenzie, private secretary to Alexander Graham Bell married Edgar Hale Bierstead, New York.

Donald “the second”, son of Murdoch had the following family:  Mrs. J J MacKenzie, Bras D’Or, Mrs. Philip MacLeod, Baddeck, Mrs. Hector F Lee (Lae), Cardinal, Alta. Charlotte, RN, Galen, Montana, Dr. Alexander, Great Falls, Montana, Murdoch, St. Ann’s, Cape Breton.


  • Note – After the first World War, Norman MacKenzie of New Zealand was in Halifax on his way home en route to New York to buy mining machinery. He took sick in the Halifax Hotel and the doctor sent in was Dr. Murray MacAulay, who attended him.  He then went to Cape Breton to visit his relatives there.  He was 66 years of age when he enlisted.  He gave his age as 43 and got away with it.

Know something about this compiled_genealogy?