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A MacRae Family from the Isle of Lewis, Scotland
Part of our story concerns a MacRae family whose earliest known ancestors came from a few small villages on the Isle of Lewis in Scotland.
The Isle of Lewis is not an island in and of itself. It is actually the northern part of the largest of The Western Isles, or Outer Hebrides, of Scotland. The southern part is called Harris. Lewis is generally the lower lying part of the island. Harris is more mountainous.
Many well-known historical and present-day figures have ties to Lewis. Alexander MacKenzie, the famous explorer, after whom the Mackenzie River in Canada is named, was born in the town of Stornoway. Mary MacLeod, the mother of American president Donald Trump came from the village of Tong.
MacRae is not a particularly common name on Lewis. It probably came to the island with the MacKenzies of Kintail when they took over from the old MacLeod chiefs in the late 1590s. At that time MacRaes were employed by the MacKenzies as 'bodyguards' and 'keepers of the peace'.
The earliest known ancestors of our family are Donald MacRae and his wife Kirsty. Kirsty's family name is unknown. They were born in the mid-1700s. They came from the villages of Gress and Vatisker. The couple had at least one child. His name was John MacRae.
Born in 1778, John was the first to acquire the croft (farming homestead) at 33 Back and the associated croft at 34 Back. These two crofts are still owned by MacRae family members today. Locally, this John MacRae is referred to as 'Old John'. He married Margaret MacIver. Margaret was born in 1779. The couple had eight children together. John died in 1858. Margaret died in 1865.
Although several members of our MacRae family still reside on Lewis, the great majority are spread around the world, from New Zealand to New Brunswick, from Texas to Toronto.
A Stover Family From Markham, Ontario, Canada
Our Stover family of Markham, Ontario, Canada actually came to this country from Pennsylvania, USA in 1801. Before that the family had lived in Switzerland, mainly in the Bern area.
Our Stover family was not always called Stover. All of our ancestors who lived in Switzerland were called Stauffer. Stauffer was changed to Stover by Hans Jacob Stauffer. Hans was born on August 6, 1717. He changed his surname after he came to Pennsylvania, which was sometime before 1730.
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There are several ways to browse the family tree. The Tree View graphically shows the relationship of selected person to their kin. The Family View shows the person you have selected in the center, with his/her photo on the left and notes on the right. Above are the father and mother and below are the children. The Ancestor Chart shows the person you have selected in the left, with the photograph above and children below. On the right are the parents, grandparents and great-grandparents. The Descendant Chart shows the person you have selected in the left, with the photograph and parents below. On the right are the children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
Do you know who your second cousins are? Try the Kinship Relationships Tool. Your site can generate various Reports for each name in your family tree. You can select a name from the list on the top-right menu bar.
In addition to the charts and reports you have Photo Albums, the Events list and the Relationships tool. Family photographs are organized in the Photo Index. Each Album's photographs are accompanied by a caption. To enlarge a photograph just click on it. Keep up with the family birthdays and anniversaries in the Events list. Birthdays and Anniversaries of living persons are listed by month. Want to know how you are related to anybody ? Check out the Relationships tool.
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