Surname Meaning
McPherson - Name - Meaning
During the reign of David I of Scotland, A young brother of the powerful Clan of Chattan entered the ministry and became abbot of Kingussie. His older brother died childless, and the Chieftainship devolved upon the abbot. He married the daughter of the King's companion of Calder. They had A large family of boys. The people of Iverness-shire called them "Sons of The Parson" which means "McPherson" in the original Scottish dialect.
McPherson is the name of one of the 2 principal branches of the Clan Chattan, the badge of which was the box evergreen.
In the Celtic, the McPhersons are called the Clan of Vulrich, or Muirich, from the ancestor of that name, who in the Gaelic MSS of 1450 is said to have been the son of Swem, son of Heth, son of Nachtin, son of Gillicattan, from whom came the clan Chattan.
The word Gillicattin means A votary or servant of Saint Kattan, A Scottish Saint.
The McPhersons derive from Cluny McPherson anciently, but were welded into A clan by Lachlan MacPherson, who wed A daughter of Lord Lochiel. His son Ewen (Ewin), wed Lord Lovat's daughter. Ewin fought for Bonnie Prince Charlie and lost the lands, but they were restored to his son, Duncan, who in turn led the Black Watch at Tel-el-Kebir.
The badge is boxwood. The slogan is: "Creag dhubh chloinn chatin" meaning "The Black Rock of Clan Chattan". The motto on the arms is: "Touch Not The Cat But A Glove". Their Crest, A wildcat or catamount.
The McPhersons of Clunie or (Cluny) were the most prominent subdivision of the Clan Chattan. A MacPherson of Clunie was always chief of this Clan, so long noted for their ferocity and possessing the desparate courage of the wildcat, the crest from which they derive their Clan name. The fighting qualities of this historic Clan have long indeed been traditional in the Scottish Highlands and few who have read Sir Walter Scott's "Fair Maid of Perth" will forget the stubborn resistance by the champions of Clan Chattan at the North Inch of Perth. Source: KINCHELOE, McPHERSON and Related Families. Genealogies and Biographies.

Three brothers (Daniel, William, and Alexander) emmigrated from Scotland in the early 17th century; all three had fought in the first Jacobite Rebellion in Scotland. They were captured in the Battle of Preston. The battle was fought on November 14, 1715. Their father was also captured and beheaded by the British. The father's name might have been one Sandy McPherson, as historical records of the Battle of Preston state: "Two and twenty (including Sandy McPherson) were executed at Preston and Manchester, England. About 1000 prisoners submitted to the king's mercy and petitioned for transportation" (deportation).

The three brothers apparently were given the choice of beheading or deportation to the English colonies in America; they chose the latter. Of the McPherson brothers, our direct ancestor was Daniel. They were from the small village of Dalraddie that is just outside the city of Newtonmore in the Central Highlands of Scotland. The three brothers came to the colonies as indentured servants. The length of their indenture was seven years. They departed England on three seperate ships sailing for the Maryland colonies in 1716. All three brothers came to the Port Tobacco area of Maryland. . . . We don't know a lot about Daniel McPherson. Only that he came on the ship, Scipio, which left Liverpool, England, in 1776.

Daniel McPherson, died in MD in 1741. His sons Richard, Basil, and Alexander all left MD.

Alexander, Daniel's son, moved to VA when a young man and lived in Montgomery and Giles counties. His son Joseph eventually moved to Roane County, TN

As far as our family account goes, Sande (Sandy) or Alexander Mcpherson, who was executed for the rebellion in Scotland is believed to be the father of the three immigrant brothers.

Alexander McPherson, Jacobite Prisoner was transported to S. Carolina on the Wakefield from Liverpool 21 Apr 1716. Capt.Thomas Beck with 81 prisoners.

Daniel McPherson, Jacobite Prisoner was transported to Virginia on Sicpio, from Liverpool, 30 Mar 1716. Commander's name and destination not given with 95 Prisoners.

Donald McPherson, Jacobite Prisoner was transported to S. Carolina on Susannah from Liverpool 7 May 1716. Capt thomas Bromhall with 101 prisoners listed on the manifest, although receipted for 104.

Duncan McPherson, Jacobite Prisoner was transported to S. Carolina on Susannah from Liverpool 7 may 1716. Capt. Thomas Bromhall with 101 prisoners listed on the manifest, although receipted for 104.

John McPherson, Jacobite Prisoner was transported to S Carolina on Susannah from Liverpool, 7 June 1716.

Owen McPherson, Jacobite Prisoner was transported to Virginia on Elizabeth & anne from Liverpool 29 June 1716. Elizabeth and Anne Commander Edward Trafford, bound for VA and Jamaica from Liverpool 28 July 1716 with 126 prisoners (128 prisoners listed in manifest).

William McPherson, Jacobite Prisoner was transported to Maryland on Goodspeed from Liverpool 28 July 1716. Capt. Arthur Smith, bound for VA but leaving prisoners in MD from liverpool 28 July 1716 with 54 Prisoners on one manifest and 2 additional on another manifest.

A Dictionary of Scottish Emigrants to the USA by Donald Whyte, Magna Carta Books, Baltimore, MD 1972. copy filed as A056.

William, Alexander and Daniel assume they are the young men arrive in S.C., Va and Md make their way and rejoin each other. Source: Mary Sturdevant-Rootsweb

Recent evidence suggests that William, Daniel and Alexander may not have been brothers after all. The myth that they had a father named Alexander or "Sande" McPherson has no foundation in fact. William did come from Dalraddy, Badenoch in the Central Highlands of Scotland. William did come in 1716 to Annapolis, MD on "The Goodspeed" as a prisoner and indentured servant after the 1715 Jacobite Rising. Daniel McPherson was from Culloden, down in the Lowland of Moray near Inverness. Alexander's origins in Scotland have not been documented but he may have been in the colonies earlier than the 1715 Rising. Source: Dr. Alan McPherson, International Clan Macpherson Historian and Genealogist, Newfoundland, Canada.

I think the jury is still out on whether they were brothers or not. But the Clan MacPherson doesn't seem to think they were brothers. Muirich, who was the genealogist,clan historian and webmaster, for the United State Clan Chapter did much research on this also and didn't think they were brothers. Unfortunately, he just recently passed away. He did research in Europe on all the brothers. He researched the "Daniel letter to his father" which he found no evidence for in the libraries in Europe.

Dr. Macpherson is also a clan genealogist and historian and does not think the story of the three brothers is true as there is no evidence or proof. He especially does not think that the father story of beheading is true because only lords or royalty were beheaded and the Highlanders from the Rising of 1714 would not have been considered in this class. They would be imprisoned or deported. Source: Letty Wambaugh

My question is: Who was the real father of the so-called three McPherson brothers, Was it Alexander or James?

Alexander remains my favorite choice, but other research points to James. I cannot prove or disprove either one.

My records trace my McPherson line back to Alexander (Sande) McPherson or James Seumas McPherson in Charles Co. MD. I have no proof that Daniel, William and Alexander McPherson of Charles County were brothers or in any close relationship.

My line:

Alexander or James, Daniel, Richard, Daniel, Elijah Daniel, John Howell, Benjamin Franklin.


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