|About The Macnabs of the Rhinns, Islay
In the late 16th century the traditional Clan Macnab homelands were in Glen Dochart in central Perthshire.
The surname Macnab first appears on record in the Lochfyneside part of Mid-Argyll in the 1750’s.
This was a period when many of the family names native to Perthshire and inland districts of Argyll
drifted to the seaboard, or even further afield, to the cities or the colonies.
There is no evidence to suggest that the Macnab families who settled in the vicinity of Furnace
and Minard came to the area as a result of agricultural change or population clearance. Close
kinship between the leading families of Argyll and Breadalbane allowed for natural and free
movement of clans-people over the hill passes beyond the head of Loch Fyne.
Once the Macnabs were established on Lochfyneside it was of course just a short sea crossing to get to Islay and by the middle of the 18th century they had done so. We find the first known recorded birth of a member of the family on Islay in 1770 with one Andrew Macnab.
For the next three generations the family remained firmly rooted in the crofting and farming way of life on the island of Islay.
In the fifth known generation of the family, one Gilbert Macnab, married and started a family on Islay, later moving to the other side of the country at Aberdeen. His three children then scattered across the globe to Glasgow, England and France.
Several members of the Islay Macnab clan emigrated to Ontario in eastern Canada where there is a large community of Islay ex-pats as can be seen on any genealogy website. Other Macnabs emigrated to the United States, Sweden, Australia and New Zealand.
On the distaff side in the Aird family, Sir William Calder was Lord Provost of Edinburgh in the year 1810.
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