Tuesday, 17 July 2007

The McKerrow family tree

The McKerrow Family tree

The McKerrow’s can trace our family tree back to 1500 when the first McKerrow was born.. The great Grandfather of the man who fathered the first was well known, possibly famous or infamous, and was born around 1404 -1425. Although they have strong connections with Kyle, the first McKerrow’s may not have lived there. .

The Sasine (land deed of 1608) in which James McCerow and his wife Margaret Grier ( a hertiable Proprietrix) involved their married daughter, puts John’s birth not later than 1560.

Well known Scottish historian on the McKerrow family, Alexander Kennedy McKerrow of Endinburgh makes an interesting assertion in his book ‘Your Folk and Mine’ Story of the McKerrows. (1990)
“ From this point on, our search for the McKerrow progentitor has to be a supposition. The rigidly trained historian may perfer to ignore matters based on ascertainable data, but we are not fortunate enough to have all the data, nor are we bound by convention. The possibility of being wrong is the price to be paid for pushing on, and, so doing, we shan’t “miss the fun”, indeed we may very well get close to the truth.”.

He goes on talk about James V who was keen in getting about his Kingdom informally and other stories are told of happening during these trips. He was nearly as active as the early Plantagenes Kings of England and Normandy who were said to live on horse back and from whose entourage Jame’s ancestor Walter Fitzalan had come.. A mobile life suited his womanising custom, and if the truth were known, his natural descendents may comprise the largest clan in Scotland. A good deal of name-changing went on, and apart from a few Stewarts, McKerrows are possibly the only branch in which descent shows the name.
This theory leaves unanswered the question, which of the large number of unrecorded amours of James V led to the birth of the first McKerrow. ? This question is likely to remain unanswered; even though the theory postulates an educated young woman, such persons were few near “our” part of Scotland at that time.

To meet the requirement that the first McKerrow was the son of a man who was at least fairly well known, and whose great grandfather was well known, there are few, if any, better candidates than King James the V and I of Scotland respectively. Their positions were similar: James V (born 1512, the year of Flodden), after his escape from close Douglas guardianship set about reducing the power of the nobles in the interests of national stability, just as James I had to restore order in an unruly Kingdom where turbulence and lawlessness held sway.

Indeed James V himself was well aware of his familiy’s history. Referring to the crown coming to the House of Stewart via Marjory Bruce, amd in dispair at having only a newly born daughetr of uncertain life-expectancy as his direct successor, he exclaimed on his deathbed;

“Adieu, farewell, it came with a lass,
It will go with a lass”.

An incorrect forecast, for his daughter Mary who became Queen of Scots, married her relation Henry Stewart, Lord Darnley and their child became James VI. Like James I, James V had some claim to be a poet, though of less merit. James V must have been keenly aware that he was MacIEROE to James I, the reforming King, just as James I was MacIeroe to Robert the Bruce who completed the fight for Scotland’s independence begun by Wallace.

It would not be surprising if a natural son of James V, the king who had been bought up with great indelicacy by his Douglas keepers, should be named MacIeroe by a knowledgeable Mother, not herself sufficiently highly placed for her son to be acknowledged by a gift of rank, as were six of Jame’s other sons. And James certainly visited Kyle

There is a now obselete Scots word “ieroe”, also spelt airoe, jeroy etc., meaning great-grandson. This word comes from Daelic: iar (after)
Ogha (grandchild) In Gaelic the letter h practically silences the letter before it, in this case g. This word was used by both Sir Walter Scott (in The Lady of the Lake) and by Robert Burns (“ A Deidication to Gavin Hamilton”).. From the latter:

“.....till his wee, ourlie John’s ieroe
When ebbing life nae mair shall flow
The last sad mournful rites bestow."

A name McIeroe in which the hard c of Mc would naturally be dominent, has, become McCeroe, McCerrow and eventually McKerrow, the said hard c becoming anglicised to k, as in MacKenzie, there being no letter in the Gaelic alphabet. Properly pronounced, McKerrow sounds like McAiroe, the Air syllable being somewhat emphasis by its being very slightly drawn out..

Based on research by Sandy (Alexander) McKerrow

7 comments:

dragonqueen1 said...

typed a bunch but lost it when isigned in.(needed my "geeks" help) In fact this is the first time I have enterd anything. I am the adopted dauhter of Geoprge Clemant McKerrow. It is really nice to find out that my pronounciation of the name is the proper pronounciation.
George Clement McKerrow
born nov 30,1910 died Mar 10, 1997
married to Florence Margaret Hoagland Sept 23
Always pronounced the name mckairroe as apposed to mckehrow
Our last historian was Lois Mayer. Her daughter has taken over but don't know thw name(my mother has dementia) and cannot tell me anything. And no one cared enough to research anything. Guess now that the internet is around things are easier.

Have been told that McKerrow, Ontario is named after a great uncle. Or is it great-great?
Remember being at a derelict train stop when I was a chail and now it is a town on the map.
My father did not instil anything in me. I always wanted to search on my own.
IU always knew I was adopted but did npot know I was of Scottish decent. Hearxd the pipes and then was told my ancestry was scottish.
Always cry when I hear the pipes.
So... info on G.C.,McKerrow would appreciated.
Now why, in this address, is McKerrow
chosen to be spell checked.

David said...

Hi. My name is David John McKerrow and I am thrilled to find an explanation and history of the surname. I'm the son of Clarence Arthur George McKerrow (b. 1919 in North Bay, Ontario Canada) who is the son of James McKerrow (b. ?, in Black Donald, Ontario which is just west of Ottawa).

A brother of my grandfather (James) was the general manager of the Abitibi Paper mill near North Espanola and South Espanola in Northern Ontario, Canada. My father has related that there was so much confusion for freight deliveries, etc., that McKerrow changed the name of North Espanola to his own surname. McKerrows are a modest bunch! I've visited New Zealand a couple times and was most interested to learn that "McKerrow" is much better known there than in Canada. Thanks again for the research on the McKerrow name.

barb wilson said...

my name is bara wilson ,my father was howard mckerow and my grandfather wa jack a mckerrow for who the twon was named for, he had a great deal with the train system ther asn started the first chamber of commerce in that area,the town was changed to baldwin township my grandfather also worked for many years at abitibi papers,he lived in north bay a brother there had a drug store,my grandfather and with edith mat prous later moved to toronto where he continued to work for abitibi until his retirement i believe he died in 1953

barb wilson said...

david i would love to hear from you as i think your grandfather and mine were brothers have lots of info on the town of mckerrow if you would like to share barb

barb wilson said...

my grandfather was Jack Orren Mckerrow,worked with railroad and Abitibi papers he was married to Edith Mae Prou,lived for sometime in North Bay one son my dad Howard,village of McKerrow was named for my grandfather,have lots of info let me know and I will try to help

Bernadette MacInnes said...

My great grandmother on my paternal side was Eda Paton McKerrow who married Robert D McInnes, daughter of Andrew McKerrow, from Douglas Lanarkshire and Mary Stewart who immigrated from Glasgow Lanarkshire Scotland to Cape Breton in 1903 where my grandfather was born then down to Brooklyn. Andrews father was Adam McKerrow 1814-1887, his father was Robert McKerrow 1766-1841, John McKerrow 1738-1781, Robert McKerrow 1720-1784,John Mcquery McKerrow 1683-1755,Robert McKerrow 1650-1710, Robert McKerrow 1620-1700 Ayrshire,Robert McKerrow 1590-1666 Rowingshaw,John McKerrow 1530-1608, James V Stewart 1495-1542 I have photos thru Adam McKerrow

Bernadette MacInnes
bdh60@hotmail.com

Mike More said...

I am working on fleshing out the EMMETT side of my family and Ellen Sarah EMMETT married John MCKERROW. One of their children was Jack Orren and a grandchild was George Clement, both mentioned in the other comments. I can be reached at mikemore54@gmail.com if anybody would like to share information on this line.