The Twenty Two Baillies (continued)

A previous post on this family didn’t do justice to the size of the core family of North Colchester and West Pictou.

Alexander “Buidhe” Baillie was first married to Annie Matheson.  She was born in Clyne on May 2nd, 1782.  She was related to the Mathesons who came to Roger’s Hill, (Bein Na Mhathainach), on the Hector in 1773.  She died in Clyne around 1817.

The issue of this union:

  1. Kenneth Baillie (1807-1883), a carpenter, lived on a steep farm above the Matheson Brook, Balmoral. He married Maria MacKay “Canada”, a native of Doula, Lairg who came to Earltown with her parents, Hugh and Annabella. They had five children including John MacKay Baillie, New Glasgow, one time MLA and leader of the Conservative Party of Nova Scotia.
  2. William Baillie (1809-1897) lived for a time at Balmoral before settling in Seafoam, Pictou County. His wife was Janet MacKay whose family lived at Brook Settlement near River John.
  3. Elizabeth Baillie (1811-1907) “Granny Ross” married Alexander Ross of Creich, Sutherlandshire, and Loganville.  She was his second wife.  They lived on a remote homestead near MacIntosh Lake.  They had six children.  Some descendants lived in Black River.  One branch went to Iowa.

4 & 5.  Marion and Katherine Baillie (1814) appeared to have died young.

  1. John Baillie (1816-1859) was a saddler in Pictou Town.  He married Catherine Walker.  They were the parents of Pipe Major Kenneth John MacKenzie Baillie who migrated to Scotland, enlisted in the military and became an accomplished piper and married into a family of hereditary pipers.  The Major retired to Loganville before re-enlisting during World War One.  He was the father of Major’s Sandy Baillie, Louisville.

Alexander “Buidhe”  second wife was Elizabeth Baillie,  (1801-1889), a near neighbour in Scottary.  Her parents, William Baillie and Christianna Sutherland, also emigrated to Earltown.

The family to this couple:

  1. George Baillie (1819-1905)  lived in the Berrichan.  His first wife was Christy MacLeod of Foxbrook. His second wife was Christena Matheson of North Earltown.  He had a family of nine.   Sandy Baillie, Earltown merchant, was one of them.
  2. Angus Baillie (1821-1919) Angus used to riddle his grandchildren that his father had 21 children twice and he was somewhere near the middle.  The implication being that one child died when the count was at 21 and another child was born shortly after.   Angus settled between College Grant and Welsford on a farm still inhabited by a grandson, Fletcher Baillie.  Angus was married to Christena MacKenzie of West Branch.  They had eight children.
  3. Christy Baillie (1822-1906) was married to Peter Murray “Sheep”, West Branch.
  4. Catherine (1825-     ) unmarried
  5. Annie (1825-      )  Annie married Thomas Durant of England.  It is believed he took her back to England where she died.  She had a child, John Baillie, who descendants lived in the Scotsburn area.
  6. Marion Baillie (1830-1886) married John Sutherland “Buidhe”, East Earltown.  They had no natural family but brought up Robert Fowler of West Branch.
  7. Infant
  8. Margaret Baillie (1828-1921) married Robert “Robbie” Sutherland of College Grant.  This family included the “Air’s” of Loganville, another piping family.
  9. Janet Baillie (1835-1917)  married John Douglas of Heathbell, Pictou County.  The Douglas family was also from Clyne.  Of their six children, Elizabeth married John W. Murray, East Earltown.
  10. Isabella Baillie (1836-1873) married John Ross, West Branch.  Danny Ross of West Branch was a son. Alex, another son, settled in Nebraska.
  11. Hugh Baillie (1837-1840)
  12. Infant
  13. William Baillie died young
  14. Alexander Baillie (1841-1896) married Margaret Chisholm of River John. They had a farm on Cape John. Descendants are still in the area.
  15. Donald Baillie (1842-1907) was the heir to the home farm.  He married Euphemia (Effie) Baillie of Lovat, Pictou County.  She was a daughter of William Baillie and Janet MacLeod and a granddaughter of Robert Baillie, first Baillie to settle in West Pictou.   They had a family of six:
    1. Elizabeth  married David Ferguson of Gairloch
    2. Alex W., the original genealogist of the family, married Elizabeth Sutherland of Earltown and settled in Dedham, Ma.
    3. Hugh Robert married Mary Jane MacLean of College Grant.  Hugh owned a large cranberry operation on Cape Cod and invented machinery to mechanize the harvest and processing of cranberries.
    4. William Baillie,  Chief of Police of Wallace, Idaho, married Lydia Salisbury of River John.
    5. Jennie Belle married William MacLean, Gairloch
    6. Christy died young
    7.   Annie  married Walter Clough, Kennebunkport, Maine
    8. Kennie Isaac Baillie, 1884-1971, a bachelor, lived on the William Baillie “Quilly” place, deep in the Berrichan.  He died in Gairloch.

West Earltown Baillies (Part VII)

The earliest known couple of this line were Alexander and Janet Baillie, Dalfolly, Strathbrora.   They never left Scotland and, if they survived the clearances, we have no record of where they went.  However five of their children left Dalfolly in 1821.

By 1821 the Estate managers were losing patience with the inhabitants of Strathbrora and the inhabitants were running out of stalling options.  When it became known that clearances were eminent, a group led by Mad Donald MacKay, a retired fur trader of some repute, and Adam MacDonald negotiated through their minister,  Rev. Walter Ross, an extension to their lease at terms equivalent to those being offered to the southern sheep farmers.  This was accepted by the Estate but later rescinded. Their minister sided with the Estate’s claim that the arrangement was temporary.  Things escalated into threats and violence.  In the end, the military was brought in to clear out the remaining inhabitants.

Those with the means to pay passage and had already resigned themselves to a new life in Nova Scotia, were gone by this point.  Those left were the poor, the aged, the infirm as well as those with a stubborn determination to assert what they felt were their rights.  Meanwhile, the former landlord of Carroll,  Joseph Gordon, was doing everything in his power to thwart the plans of the Estate – the continued serfdom of the people along the coast in the fishing and mining industries.  Gordon, through his brother in India, raised a considerable sum of money to subsidize the passage of these remaining farmers to Pictou.

With the assistance of Joseph Gordon and the wealthy Scottish merchants of Bengal, three ships departed for Pictou in 1821 followed by more in 1822.  A significant number of these passengers ended up in Earltown in the west and Barney’s River in the east.   On board were the Baillies of West Earltown.

Family tradition is that the four brothers and one sister went immediately to West River, likely Lovat, to seek out relatives.  With no land available in that area, they were given tickets of location at West Earltown and The Falls.   Donald, the eldest, acquired a grant on the summit of Spiddle Hill.  The remainder of the family settled at West Earltown on Cnoc Na Gaothe.

The family of Alexander and Janet who came to Earltown:

  1. Donald   1794-1869   married Elizabeth Sutherland
  2. Marion     married Donald MacKay “Magomish” of Dalvait before leaving Scotland
  3. William  1798- 1844   married Margaret Anderson of Badnellan, Clyne before leaving Scotland
  4. Alexander 1800-1852 married Annie
  5. Robert 1799-1871  married 1. Margaret Murray “Ardachu” of Rogart and Earltown 2. Isabel MacKay “Uhr” of Strath Halladale and Tatamagouche Mountain.


Donald and Elizabeth had the following issue:

  1. Alexander Baillie 1827-1919  married Jane Ferguson of North Earltown.  They lived on his father’s farm on Spiddle Hill.
  2. Angus Baillie 1828-      married Christy Murray “Ardachu” of Earltown.  They lived on the Spiddle Hill South Road on the farm more commonly known today as McGill’s.
  3. Janet Baillie 1836-1907 married John MacKay,  Welsford
  4. Margaret 1839-

Details of the remainder of this family can be found in the post “Cnoc Na Gaothe”


The area near Dalfolly – Although likely not forested in 1821, the roll of the hills are very similar to West Earltown.      (C) Richard Webb


Crosuchan Baillies (Part VI)

William Baillie “Croshucan”

Also in the party of emigrants in May of 1820 was William Baillie styled Crosuchan, and his family.  William and his wife, Christiana Sutherland, lived on Scottarie overlooking Kilbraur.  He was a small tenant of the Sutherland Estate and appears to have had some comparative wealth for the era.  He could read the scriptures indicating that there was some exposure to education.

William and Christiana obtained a 200 acre grant at the top of Church Road.  One can still find the site of the buildings.   He donated a corner of his land for a church and burial ground.  The church never materialized as a more suitable site was later chosen. However the burial ground did come into use around 1824 and is known today as the MacKenzie Cemetery.  Here one can find the graves of William and Christiana as well as many of the Clyne evictees.

Descendants tells the story that William was very devote – so devote that he carried his Bible to the fields each day so he could read passages while resting.

The known issue of this family are:

  1. Marion 1786-1870    unmarried at Earltown
  2. Isabella 1790-1878   married James Sutherland “Buidhe” at East Earltown
  3. Catherine married Peter Gordon, Parish of Dornoch.  This couple had married prior to the emigration era.  Peter was a career soldier.  They remained in Sutherlandshire where descendants can be found to this day.
  4. Christy 1800-1891   married Alexander Douglas of Millbrook, Pictou County.   Alex Douglas was born in Strathbrora in 1800 and had come to Pictou with his parents as a young boy.
  5. Elizabeth 1801-1889  married Alexander Baillie “Buidhe” and was mother to 16 of his 22 children.
  6. George 1805-1830   died unmarried at Earltown
  7. John 1808-after 1871    John never married and inherited the family homestead on the condition that he start treating his sister Marion with more respect.   After John’s death, the farm passed to his niece, Ellen Sutherland MacKay.

William died March 20, 1847 age 87.  Prior to his death, he granted a deed to the MacKenzie Cemetery trustees for 45 shillings.    Christiana died in 1849.

The 22 Baillies (Part V)

Buidhe Baillies

This is the most prolific of the Baillie lines as will become evident in due course.

The earliest named ancestor was Kenneth who lived in Strathbrora, (likely Kilbraur), in the mid 1700’s.  There is no record of his spouse and the only known offspring was a son William, known as William Buidhe or Yellow William.  Buidhe was a descriptor in many families and usually referred to blonde hair.  However these Baillies lived near a small burn named Buidhe on the slopes above Kilbraur.

William would have been born in the 1750’s and was married to Elizabeth MacKay.  He died before the family emigrated in 1820.  They had nine children born in Kilbraur:

  1. Alexander   1782-1866   married 1. Annie Matheson and 2. Elizabeth Baillie.  He was the tireless father of the 22 Baillies.
  2. John Baillie 1784    died in infancy
  3. Christiana 1787-1843  emigrated as a single woman in 1820.  Shortly thereafter she married Alexander MacDonald, a native of Aschoil, who was among the first settlers of The Falls.
  4. John 1788-1866  remained in Scotland in 1820 and married Isabel Sutherland.  They were part of a substantial migration from Sutherlandshire to Earltown in 1832.  This couple settled on Ferguson Road, Balmoral.
  5. Elizabeth 1792-1883 married Alexander Sutherland “Sawyer” in Kilbraur around 1819. Alexander was a veteran of the Peninsular War.  They were the first settlers of The Falls.
  6. Hugh    1795
  7. Janet 1795   These twins did not survive infancy.
  8. Janet 1801-1884  emigrated with her widowed mother and single siblings in 1820.   She married Donald Sutherland “Cairn” of Cnoctorn, Clyne.  They settled on the east facing slope of Spiddle Hill.
  9. Donald 1802  As a lad of 18, he accompanied his mother and sisters to the Earltown district.  After the death of his mother, he left the area and eventually ended up in New Zealand.  It is not known whether he had family.

Widow Elizabeth MacKay, son Donald Baillie and daughters Christiana and Janet are listed as a family among those requesting that the Sutherland Estate extend their lease until the arrival of a ship taking them to America.  Also in this group were her son Alexander and family as well as daughter Elizabeth Sutherland and her husband.  The group sailed from Cromarty in June of 1820 arriving in Pictou a few weeks later.

According to a manuscript penned by Alex Baillie of the Berrichan and Dedham, Ma., Alex “Buidhe” and his family were given a ticket of location in the Blue Mountain area of Pictou County.  Although there were a few families in that area from Sutherland, he decided to forgo that location and settle in the Berrichan next to an Alexander Sutherland.   Sutherland, a native of Dornoch, was on the same ship and the two had become great friends.  Alex Buidhe obtained a grant on the eastern end of the Berrichan near the junction of the Gunshot Road.

Family tradition contains no narrative on where the Widow and her unwed children settled.   The assumption has always been that they would have settled with Alex Buidhe in the Berrichan.  However this appears doubtful as Alex already had a sizable family to maintain with many more on the way.  The most plausible location of settlement would have been The Falls.   Daughter Elizabeth and her husband Alexander had two farms at The Falls.  This was not the norm although war veterans did, on occasion, warrant additional land.  The upper farm, just inside West Earltown, appears to have been the home base of the Sutherlands.  The lower farm later became the home of their second son Gilbert in 1860.  It would seem  the lower farm was inhabited by someone in the family prior to the 1860’s.   The prevailing theory suggests that it was the home of Widow Elizabeth and son Donald.   Although widows with small children sometimes were granted land, this did not appear to be the case for widows with mature children.  On the other hand, Donald was only 18 when they arrived in the area and therefore was too young to qualify.  Alex Sutherland, with his preferred veteran status, may have acquired land for them to occupy.  Other circumstantial evidence is that Christiana married a single man who settled two farms away and Janet married another single settler about a kilometer over the hill. People did not go any further than necessary to locate a mate in those days.

The Baillie’s Part IV

Gilbert’s Hill

Gilbert’s Hill (1) is a landmark on the south shore of Loch Brora and well within the Carroll Estate.  It was also a hamlet containing a number of families who were cleared off the Carroll Estate sometime between 1815 and 1820.  This group appears to have “squatted” temporarily among previous Clyne emigrants in the Caribou area before obtaining land in the Gairloch – Upper Settlement West River area. Among them was the family of George and Catherine Baillie.   They had at least eight children.  Of those, three remained unmarried on the home farm which was located on the edge of the wilderness behind West River Station.  A daughter Annie married Alexander Baillie “Spain” and daughter Isabel married William MacKenzie of Gairloch.

caroll rock 2

Carroll Rock by Loch Brora.  Gilbert’s Hill is to the back.


(1) Lindsay, N.  Gilbert’s Hill, Carrol, Clyne, Sutherland: A Report on an Archaeological Walk-Over Survey

The Spain Baillies (Part III)

Alexander Baillie “Spain”

The young men of Sutherland were always a valuable asset in time of warfare.  Starting with the tribal warring of local landlords or clans in distant times, there were few generations that didn’t see battle.  For many years the House of Sutherland and its loyal allies, the Murrays, Baillies and others in the south, were at a constant war with the MacKays of the far north and the Sinclairs of Caithness.   When peace came on that front, men were offered up by their landlords to fight for King and country – domestically in the rebellions of 1715 and 1745 as well as in Northern Ireland.  In the period leading up to emigration, many from Sutherland served in the Peninsular War – including Alexander Baillie.

After hostilities ended, Alexander returned to his family in Strathbrora who were living in the township of Torrisilaire.  He and his wife Janet, believed to be a Baillie as well, were wed around 1804.   Between 1808 and 1814 there were no recorded children indicating Alexander was likely absent for most of this time.  Upon return to Strathbrora, prospects were likely bleak.  Peacetime could be just as challenging as war time when men returned to their home parishes with few prospects of obtaining a full lease or employment.  With news of generous land grants in Nova Scotia, it would not have taken much to convince the couple to migrate.  Having sailed back and forth to Portugal, another ocean voyage was not as daunting as to some.


Near Torrisilaire (c) Peter Moore

Land petitions indicated that they arrived in Pictou sometime in 1814 and went first to West River.  Shortly thereafter they were awarded a 350 acre holding on what would later be the Colchester Pictou county line.  His next door neighbour, Donald MacIntosh, settled across the line in Earltown the previous year.  Fellow veteran, Donald Cameron, took a grant on the hill to the south.  Their exploits and adventures in far off Spain earned the community the derisive name “Spain” and its inhabitants the title “Na Spainach Crosgach” or Bare Footed Spanish.  (1)

As there were many Alexander Baillies in the area throughout the 19th century, bynames or descriptors were a necessity.  This branch didn’t seem to have an all encompassing descriptor at the time but “Spain” had come into use in the 20th century as a means of keeping the genealogies in check.

We have no record of Alexander’s death but Janet passed away on October 30, 1844 age 59.  They are believed to be buried in unmarked graves in Gunn Cemetery near the graves of their two sons.

This group of Baillies were related to those who settled a few years later at West Earltown.  Three generations of both families referred to the other as cousins.  Also, the Baillie family of Gilbert’s Hill and West River Station were also closely connected.  Family tradition claimed that Annie, daughter of Alexander “Spain”, married her first cousin, Alex Baillie, of the West River Station tribe.

Alexander and Janet had nine children known to us:

  1. John   1805-1892,  known as Johnny Poga or Johnny with the sack.  He was a day labourer and carried away leftovers from his host’s meal in a sack over his shoulder.  He was married to a Sally MacIntosh of Roger’s Hill and had four children.
  2. Grace 1808- married Robert Ferguson, a native of Strathbrora, who lived on the Berrichan Road where descendants still live.
  3. William 1814-1896 was known as Quilly as he fashioned weaving needles out of porcupine quills. He and his wife, Helen Sutherland, lived on a road between the Berrichan and Clydesdale Roads. They had nine children.
  4. Donald 1717-1878 married Margaret Murray “Lassie” and settled on the meadows between West Branch and College Grant. They had seven children all of whom left the area and settled around Truro and Tatamagouche.
  5. Annie 1820- married Alexander Baillie of West River Station.  They lived on the home farm and are ancestors to a sizable family in the West Branch area.
  6. Isabel
  7. Janet
  8. George 1820-1882 married Annie MacKay of Dalhousie Mountain.  She was brought up in Earltown.  George and Annie lived on Spiddle Hill.
  9. Hugh 1823-1899 married Catherine Sutherland “Macin” of West Earltown. They lived near the Drysdale Falls.  He was known as “Back Mountain Hugh”.   Descendants lived at Tatamagouche Mountain and Nuttby.