Archibald MacPhail


Archibald MacPhail was born in 1781 on the Isle of Mull, Arygll, Scotland.

On 28 July 1807 at the age of 26 he married Anne MacPherson, aged 19. Anne was the daughter of Alexander MacPherson (farmer) and Catherine MacPhail.

Their son, John MacPhail, was born in 1809, a daughter, Sarah (or Marion)* was born in 1812 and another son, Andrew born in 1814. (*Sarah and Marion are variants of the same name)

As there were no official requirements to register births in Scotland until 1855 there may have been more children in the family, however there are none known at this time.

Sarah married Donald Fletcher and they had twelve children (ten of whom survived) - Archibald (1838), Mary Ann (1840), Donald (born and died 1842), John (1842), John Andrew (1844), Joseph (born and died 1846), Joseph (1847), Ann (1849), Helen (1851), Catherine (1853), Alexander (1856) and Donald (1859).

Sarah and Donald both died at Lochdon - Sarah on 30 September 1872 aged 60, and Donald on 6 August 1884 aged 83.

As the only information found for Andrew so far has been an OPR entry for his birth at Rohill on 29 March 1814, he may have died during his childhood.

Archibald farmed in the areas of Rohill and Kilberg. These lands were owned by the two Macquarie brothers, Lachlan (later to be Governor of NSW, Australia) and Charles, who had purchased two parcels of the Barony of Moy from their uncle, Murdoch Maclaine, the 19th of Lochbuy in 1804. The land was divided into two estates - Glenforsa Estate (containing Rohill) which was owned by Charles, with Lachlan owning the Jarvisfield Estate (containing Kilberg). It seems likely therefore that Archibald had been a tenant of both brothers during his lifetime.

During these years branches of the MacPhail family were known as being of the best tenantry in Glenforsa, and recognized throughout Mull as a successful family of drovers and cattle dealers.

Archibald died at Kilberg aged 56 on 9 August 1837.

His widow, Anne, then lived with her son, John and his family at Glenbyre House, on the shores of Loch Buie.

When John died in 1842 she continued to live at Glenbyre House with her daughter-in-law, Isabella Stewart and her young grandchildren. After Isabella's death in 1856 she remained living with these grandchildren - firstly with the eldest, Hugh (who continued to farm at Glenbyre until 1872), then for a time with Archibald and Anne at Glenlidle, near Pennyghael. She died at Oakbank, the home of Hugh and his wife, Catherine MacPhail, on 26 March 1875.

A marble plaque commemorating Archibald & Anne's life can be found alongside that of their son and daughter-in-law, John MacPhail and Isabella Stewart, on the south wall of the chapel ruins in the Pennygowan Cemetery.

(Compiled by Moira MacPhail - September 2005)