First name

Text source

Lord William MacDougall of Mackerston, was the second son of William MacDougall [SSNE 8347], a man most likely born in Sweden, and himself the son of Robert MacDougall [SSNE 8346]. He had a brother, Gustavus [SSNE 8349]. In 1656, William was in Scotland where he secured a genealogy countersigned by members of his family on both his paternal and maternal sides. The rank he held is unclear.



Riksarkivets ämnessamlingar. Personhistoria

This record was made possible by the following translation by Mr Timothy Owens.


To each and every person to whose notice this present letter will have come, and especially to kings, princes, dukes, marquesses, counts, barons, admirals, and to all governors, provosts and custodians of provinces, cities, armies, fleets, fortresses, bridges and ports and to all Christian magistrates holding command on land and at sea by whatever name they are called and to their deputies. We, the bailies of the provost and corporation of Edinburgh – first among the cities of Scotland – send you a perpetual felicitation and greeting in Him who is our most certain salvation.

We give notice and bear witness that today, while we were sitting in common council, William MacDougall, second-born son of Lord William Macdougall of Mackerstoun, a soldier, a well-born and trustworthy man acting in the name of and on behalf of his brother Gustavus MacDougall, handed over to us an honorary letter regarding the lineage of their deceased paternal grandfather Robert Macdougall. [The letter has] the signatures of many noblemen in the viscounty of Roxburgh and Lothian from the southern part of Scotland that is to say William lord of Cranston, Master William Scot of Harden guardian of the countess of Buccleuch, Henry and William Macdougall sons of the said Lord William Macdougal of Makerstoun, Adam Bell of Mow, James Edgar of Wedderslie, Thomas Macdougall of Stodrig, Adam Nisbet son of Lord Alexander Nisbet of the same place, William Paisley in Makerstoun and David Rodger merchant of the city of Edinburgh.

Of these, James Edgar, Thomas Macdougall and William Paisley are old men each of whom is in the 80th year of his age or thereabouts, who have memories of the said deceased Robert and his parents from the time when they were still alive.

By this letter we are reliably informed that following completion of an inquiry made by the thoroughly deserving men to whom the task had been entrusted, it was ascertained that the deceased, Robert Macdougall, grandfather of the said Gustavus Macdougall, crossed over into foreign parts sixty years ago or thereabouts and settled in the same place and set up home and that the aforesaid deceased, Robert Macdougall, nobly-born grandfather of the said Gustavus Macdougall, was for a certainty begotten into respectable social status and from a legitimate bed to his father, that is to say Patrick Macdougall, full brother of the late James Macdougall of Makerstoun, and that he was brought into being by the union between the father himself and Margaret Nisbet his most beloved wife.

His paternal grandfather was Thomas Macdougall of Makerstoun and his paternal grandmother was Elisabeth Ker, daughter of Walter Ker, lord of Cessford, a nobly born man (viro generoso as a mistake for viri generosi?), who was for a long time a very powerful baron of Teviotdale and whose descendants for their merits were considered worthy to be distinguished by King James VI with the title of earls of Roxburgh.

His maternal grandfather was George Nisbet from that same place [i.e Nisbet] and his maternal grandmother was Agnes Cranston daughter of Cuthbert Cranston of Thirlestane Mains. His paternal great-grandfather was Andrew Macdougall of Makerstoun and his paternal great-grandmother was Margaret Scot, legitimate daughter of the Lord of Buccleuch, warden of the march of Southern Scotland through whom a root [from the deceased] is traced back to the line of the earl of Buccleuch. For maternal great-grandparents he had Patrick Nisbet from that place [i.e. Nisbet] and Margaret Douglas, daughter of the lord of Longniddry. It is perfectly clear that her family had its origin in the Earls of Angus, the most illustrious family of Douglas in Scotland.

So it is very clearly established that the aforesaid deceased, Robert MacDougall, and his line of ancestors must originate in those arising in a straight, legitimate and direct line on his father’s side as well as his mother’s from the extremely noble and equally ancient families of the barons of Makerstoun, Cessford, Nisbet, Thirleston, Buccleuch and Douglas as well as from the very illustrious and famous earls of Angus and Douglas, Scots families of very long noble standing.

All of the details from the aforesaid letter which have been asserted to be factually accurate, as described above, ought to have made their way, as is customary, into overseas parts with a national public diploma attesting to their veracity, but because of the violence of the time they were deprived of this courtesy.

Therefore, since our testimony has always been held in the highest regard because of its trustworthiness and merit we the provost and corporation of Edinburgh mentioned above, in order to supply this defect as best we can, have instructed that the foresaid original testimony be brought to the public freemen of the City Council, and have taken care that this present letter be written as an authentic copy and furnished with the public seal of the office and under the signature of William Thomas our joint clerk in our name to demonstrate the truth of the matter.

Given at Edinburgh the twenty sixth day of March in the year of the Christian era given above, one thousand six hundred and fifty-six.

W. Thomson.

Service record

Departed 1656-01-12
Capacity OFFICER, purpose MILITARY