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Highland Scots - Inverness & area:
Mackay (McCay) Macdonald

Donald Mackay, from Achmonie near Inverness, was transported to Barbados as a Jacobite rebel in 1747. He escaped to Jamaica, adopted the surname 'Macdonald' and prospered as a planter, returning to Glenurquhart, where he was the tenant of Drumbuie farm and built Drumbuie House. He was known as Domhnull-an-Or (Donald of the Gold) and died in 1791.

His son John Mackay [also written McCay] Macdonald was sent to take charge of the Jamaica plantation and also acquired an interest in a plantation Bloomfield on the Corentyne Coast of Berbice, which, with its 113 slaves, was owned by 'Jno McC M'Donald' in 1817 [Slave registers]. His brother William went to Demerara where he died young.

According to Mr Donald Mackay, Inverness [personal communication] letters survive from Donald Mackay to his son(s) in Berbice warning them against the Belladrum Frasers, with whom Donald had quarrelled in Scotland.

John McCay Macdonald married Catherine Maria [surname unknown] and their first child, a son William, was born in Berbice in May 1806 and baptised in Glasgow in May 1807 [OPR 622/00 0040 0479]. The couple had three other sons. Catherine Maria died at sea returning to Scotland from Berbice in 1816. John married again and bought the estate of Carrigeenaveagh, near Cork, where he died.

John McCay Macdonald also had a daughter in Berbice named Catherine Jane. She was still a minor, with her father in Ireland in 1817, when she owned one slave.

For a list of slaves held by John McCay Macdonald in 1817 (transcribed, with notes, by Teresa Stokes) see the library on this site.

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