John MacLellan & Christina MacKenzie of South Uist

by Dr. Jennifer Lambert Tracey BA (ANU), M App.Sc. (UC), Ph.D. (UC) MPHA (Qld.)


John MacLellan was married to Christina MacKenzie.  Christina MacLellan died at Howmore on the island of South Uist in the Southern Hebrides, in 1860. South Uist  [Gaelic:Uibhist-a-deas] the second largest island, has a population of around 2000, divided between the 30 crofting townships from Glendale at the southernmost end, to Iochdar, overlooking the ford to the neighbouring island of Benbecula. Once described as a string of pearls, the townships run one into the other along the entire length of the island. South Uist has also been one of the great cultural treasures of Gaelic Scotland.


There is evidence of human habitation in South Uist from as far back as 2000BC, though there is an argument that the climatic changes which occurred about 600 BC made the Outer Isles generally uninhabitable until the first century AD, when the 'wheelhouse dwellers' appeared. Two fine examples of these early dwelling structures are to be found in South Uist, at Kilpheder and Drimore.


There are many ancient structures in South Uist, many of which have inevitable religious associations. Many of these have been left to ruin, however there are now several local initiatives to preserve and where appropriate, develop some of these unique historical sites. Taigh Tasgaidh Chill Donnain, the newly refurbished and extended home of the South Uist Historical Society, has a wealth of information on this aspect of the islands history.


Of particular interest is the village of Howmore where the ruins of three ancient ecclesiastical buildings, Caibeal Dhiarmaid, Caibeal nan Sagairt and Teampall Mòr  are located,  along with the circular remains of an earth house, Uamh Iosal. Nearby, in the township of Ormacleit can be seen the ruins of Ormacleit Castle, once the home of the ruling dynasty, the MacDonalds of Clanranald. As with Eriskay and Barra, South Uist is almost predominantly a Roman Catholic island, and some very fine churches and sculptures bear witness to the tradition.


John MacLellan and Christina MacKenzie's  son, Donald Alexander was born c. 1816 and married Ann, daughter of Peter and Sarah MacInnes from Inverness, in about 1838.


In 1851 the Sheriff Substitute of Skye, Thomas Fraser formed the ‘Highlands and Islands Emigration Society’ then transformed into by 1852 ‘The Society for Assisting Emigration from the Highland and Islands of Scotland.’ Up to 1859 it had assisted over five thousand people to emigrate.


John MacLellan died in Scotland during or before 1854, at which time his wife was living in Inverness. In 1854, the eviction of families from the Scottish Highlands was increasing and war had broken out in the Crimea.


Donald Alexander MacLellan & Anne McInnes

Donald Alexander MacLellan was born in Scotland c. 1816. He married Anne McInnes daughter of Peter and Sarah MacInnes of Inverness.


Their children, born in Scotland were:


John ~ born 24th Aril 18 40;

Ronald ~ born 21st June 1842;

Lachlan ~ born 27th October 1843, in Glasgow, Lanarkshire;

Ronald ~ born 15th May 1845;

Alexander ~ born 30th January 1849;

Christina ~ born 1st April 1851;

Christina ~ born 11th July 1853.


Towards the end of 1854, Donald and Ann MacLellan and their three sons, John, Lachlan and Alexander, embarked on the William Miles out of Liverpool for Australia. The family included: Donald MacLellan, aged 38, labourer; Ann [MacInnes] MacLellan aged 36; Lachlan aged 10; Alexander aged 4. John MacLellan, aged 14 years, occupation 'labourer' was noted on the board's listing of Single Men.  The family's native place and county is given as  'Inverness'  (List of Immigrants per Barque William Miles as inspected by the Immigration Board on 19th January 1855. [QSA]).


The William Miles arrived at Queens Wharf, Moreton Bay in the Colony of New South Wales on 19 January 1855. On board were many passengers from Scotland, particularly from Inverness. Their journey from Liverpool, via the Cape of Good Hope and the Torres Strait, was uneventful. The William Miles was built in Bristol in 1816 and was 634 tons, constructed of oak and pitched pine. Her port of registration was Liverpool, England (Lloyds Register of Shipping1855-1856 NLA)..


The MacLellan family settled at Clifton on the Darling Downs, Queensland where Donald and Ann had another three children:


Maryanne ~ born 8th January 1856;

Donald ~ born 28th September 1860;

William ~ born 20th September 1865.

[Queensland Death Index lists the death of an unnamed male, son of Donald and Ann MacLellan  ~ 3rd October 1860].


Ann McInnes, purchased Portion No.3064 of Clifton Home Area on 10th October 1879 (Index to Selectors 1864 - 1879 QSA). At that time she was a widow. No death records for Donald Alexander MacLellan have been located.


Old Toowoomba - Drayton cemetery

Several members of the MacLellan family are buried in the same plot in the . Although the plot is in the Church of England section, all members of the family are Catholics. This anomaly has probably occurred because of the burial in 1864 of Donald MacLellan prior to the segregation of the church areas.


A memorial has been erected, possibly after the death of Mary Agnes McLellan in 1939. There appears some discrepancy with the ages inscribed on the headstone. Donald McLellan's death certificate states his age as 54 years. The headstone notes  '44 years', and it is believed that he was born c.1816, which would have made him about 48 years at the time of his death. His wife Annie MacLellan was 90 years at the time of her death although the headstone states she was 84 years. Mary Agnes McLellan was the daughter of John Ryan and Mary Leahy. She married William MacLellan on 22nd October 1885.








May his soul rest in peace


DIED 19TH DEC 1907







9TH AUG 1939



John MacLellan, eldest son of Donald MacLellan and Ann MacInnes married Elizabeth Muir in 1861. Children of this marriage, all born in Queensland were:


John Donald ~ born 30th June 1862;

Christina Ann ~ born 22nd January 1864;

Catherine Flora ~ born 8th September 1865 ;

Alexander Simon ~ born 14th November 1869;

Ronald Grant ~ born  20th August 1874 ;

Thomas Muir ~ born 22nd November 1875 ;

Isabella Adelaide ~ born 25th November 1877;

William Archibald ~ born 9th October 1879;

Douglas ~ born 26th October 1881 ;

Margaret Robertson ~ died 29th October 1891.


By 1885, John MacLellan had obtained freehold properties in Taylor Street, Toowoomba and at Nebo Road, Mackay (Qld Electoral Roll 1885; Index to Selectors 1868 - 1885 QSA.).


John MacLellan died on 1st July 1898. His wife, Elizabeth Muir, died on 3rd November, 1905.


John Donald MacLellan ,[b. 30th June 1862; d. 14th February 1930;] son of John MacLellan and Elizabeth Muir, married Catherine Ann Collins, daughter of Edward Collins and Bridget McGrath, on 10th March 1887 in Queensland.


Their children were:


Elizabeth Ann  ~ died 31st January 1888;

Catherine Ann  ~ died 16th April 1890;

Ida ~ born 15th January 1892;

John Donald ~  born 14th December 1894;

Alexander Simon ~  born 19 December 1896; d. 7th January 1938;

Margaret ~  born 10th June 1899;

Ivy May ~ born 29th March 1904.


Alexander MacLellan, son of Donald MacLellan and Ann MacInnes was born in Scotland on 30th January 1849. He emigrated to Queensland in 1854 with his parents and brothers, Lachlan and John. Qld. Electoral Roll for 1885 [Entry 1153] lists Alexander MacLellan at Macrossan Street, Port Douglas. Notes for the Hodgkinson Goldfield including the earliest extant list of claimholders up to the end of September 1876 [Queenslander, 14th October 1876 p.27] include a listing for Campbell, MacLellan and party's claim at the Twenty-five Mile / McLeod's Reef in July 1876. This claim was viable [Queenslander 29th July 1876, p27 col.2].  Also Campbell, MacLellan and Johnstone had a claim named South of July 2W [Queenslander 14 October, 1876 p.27.col.3].


Lachlan MacLellan & Mary Anne Hanly


Married 28th September 1873, Toowoomba, Queensland,

Lachlan MacLellan (1843-1912)

Mary Anne Hanly (1846 - 1919)


Lachlan MacLellan was born on 27th October1843 in Glasgow, Lanarkshire, Scotland. He emigrated to Queensland in 1854 on board the William Miles, along with his parents, Donald Alexander MacLellan and Ann MacInnes, and brothers, John and Alexander.


In 1873, Lachlan MacLellan was working as an Overseer at Clifton Station.  Clifton had the distinction of being one of three stations taken up and stocked in the first years of the Darling Downs settlement. Clifton was reported to have the grazing capacity for 16,000 sheep on its 85,000 acres (NSW Government Gazette 2 August 1848:947). The run was originally named Kings Creek. It was changed to Clifton by a cousin of the Forbes brothers in honour of his birthplace. Clifton Station remained in the ownership of the Forbes' until 1850, when it was sold to the Gammie Brothers. Following the death of John Gammie in 1853. Clifton was sold, along with 10,000 head of cattle, to William Tooth. The survey for a railway line across the Darling Down in 1866 divided the extensive area held by Tooth, and the Government resumed most of the land east of the proposed track. Further resumptions in the areas of Back Plains, then Mt. Kent and Elphinstone left only a portion of the original holding for the owners.


On 28 September 1873, Lachlan MacLellan and Mary Anne Hanly, daughter of John Hanly and Anne Dufficy of Kilmacuagh, County Roscommon, Ireland, were married in the Catholic Presbytery in Toowoomba The marriage ceremony was performed by Father Robert Dunne. Witnesses to the marriage were Michael Connolly and Delia Hanly. Lachlan MacLellan was a 28 year-old bachelor and Mary Anne, 27 years of age was a spinster. The Hanly family is recognised as one of the most ancient and noted in Kilmacuagh and the Parish of Kilgefin.


Hanly Web Site

In the 1875 Index to Selectors [QSA] the following listings are noted:

259 Lachlan MacLellan - Clifton Res;

260 Alexander MacLellan - Clifton Res;

261 John MacLellan - Leaseholder Clifton Home Area.

In the Electoral Roll for the Aubigny Electorate 1875 - 1879, John, Lachlan, Alexander and William are listed as living at Highfields. John MacLellan married Elizabeth Muir in Queensland in 1861.


In 1875, Lachlan, his wife Mary Anne and brother William MacLellan were residing on Portion 2133, Clifton Home Area, Parish of Aubigny. Their mother, Anne MacLellan, by then a widow, had purchased Portion 2128 of the Clifton Home Area.  She also purchased Portion 3064, Clifton Home Area, which adjoined Portion 2128 (Entry dated 10 October 1879 QSA Records of Land Holdings 1877 - 1879). Separating the two blocks was Portion 3052, which Lachlan MacLellan purchased in 1879. This is the block of land noted in his letter to the Minister for Lands, Brisbane (Land Commissioner's Correspondence 1885 / 320. QSA) concerning his title. April, 29th 1885.


To the Honourable The Minister for Lands Brisbane.

Sir, having applied for my certificate of fulfilment of conditions last February for 80 acres of land in the Parish of Hodgson, Toowoomba District, Reg. No. 3052 for which I was refused on account of residence.  I hereby wish to state the facts of the case to you. My wife and family were living on the land up to the end of June last. The title would be due on 7th October. I had to remove some horses I had there at the time, the country around there being in such a deplorable condition that they would have died if I did not do so. I was removing them to the Mackay District. I sent my family on to Mackay with the horses and for doing this I was refused my title.

Such Sir, is my case and I beg to apply to you hoping you will kindly grant me my title.

Trusting Sir, you will please answer this.

I beg to remain you obedient servant.

L. MacLellan.


Railway Station.


These landholdings, 480 acres on the lower slopes of Mount Kent, now come within the Shire of Cambooya. The property became known as the MacLellans and remained in the family for two successive generations. William MacLellan married Mary Agnes Ryan on 22nd October 1885 and they raised their family on the property: The children were:


Annie ~ born 12th May 1886;

John ~ born 10th July 1887;

Mary ~ born  4th May 1889;

Willie ~ born 19th June 1893;

Lucy ~ born  6th June 1893;

Ronald ~ born 24th November 1895;

Chrissie ~ born 15 th February 1897;

Kathleen ~ born 16th April 1889;

Nina ~ born 10th February 1891;

Eileen ~ born 15th June 1904;

Donald ~ born 5th  June 1906; died 1977.


By 1885, John MacLellan, Lachlan's older brother, had obtained freehold properties in Taylor Street, Toowoomba and at Nebo Road, Mackay (Qld Electoral Roll 1885; Index to Selectors 1868 - 1885 QSA.).


Lachlan MacLellan died of a strangulated hernia died on 26th July 1912 at Mareeba Hospital in North Queensland. His death was certified by: Edward J. Savage, and M. Hebbel, Matron, Hospital Mareeba. Lachlan was buried in the Mareeba Cemetery, Mareeba. Lachlan was aged 70 years and for 60 years had lived in Queensland. His wife Mary Anne Hanly MacLellan is also buried in Mareeba Cemetery. She died on 25th October 1919, aged 66 years.


Children of Lachlan MacLellan and Mary Anne Hanley were:


Richard Alexander ~ born 19th 1874;

Mary Jane ~ born 4th October 1875;

John Robert ~ born 11th April 1877;

Theresa Anne ~ born 4th December 1878;

Cecilia Evelyn ~ born 20th August 1880;

Joseph Stephen ~ born 1886.


Mary Jane, Theresa Anne and Cecilia MacLellan.


John Robert MacLellan.

(1877 - ?)


Mary Jane MacLellan, daughter of Lachlan MacLellan and Mary Anne Hanly was born on 4th October 1875. She was baptised on 30 Jan 1876 by Father Robert Dunne. The baptismal sponsors were the sister and brother of the parents, Alexander MacLellan and Jane Hanly.

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