Many thanks to James Louis Bacon for directing me to Civil War Washington, which includes a number of Emancipation Petitions from the war years. In a quick search I found several African American Magruders/McGruders, and others who were owned by, freed by, or had been sold by Magruders / McGruders or McGregors.
Choose “Texts,” where all are searchable by key words. Be sure to search under all possible spellings. The number of documents is not tremendous, but all have been transcribed, and include personal descriptions, detail about how the petitioner acquired the services of each person, and, in some cases, family relationships. Some had been brought from to D.C. from Maryland or Virginia. Good luck in your quest!
Please see comments by Jim Magruder on the page (under Alexander) called “Alexander’s Family Tree.” Continuing that conversation, I have updated the page (under Scotland) called “McGruder / McGregor / Campbell / Drummond: Are you confused yet?” I haven’t changed the argument I make there, but I have added more details, some sources, and some clarifications.
To all who still believe, or want to believe, in the Magruder-MacGregor connection: your comments are welcome. More welcome still would be evidence to back up the legend.
Jim Magruder says in his comments that belief in the connection goes back to the 17th c. I know of no evidence before the 19th; and the 19th c. Magruders whose writing I’ve seen, or whose stories have been published, make no claim pointing farther back than the late 18th.
When I first started researching Alexander and all these related histories, a long, long McGruder-MacGregor tradition was exactly what I expected to find…but I didn’t. I read about Alexander’s life, and I read about Clan Gregor, and I couldn’t find any intersections between them. Likewise, when Don McGruther began researching in Scottish historical records, he expected to prove the McGruther-MacGregor connection: instead, he wound up proving that there is no evidence.
So, really, if you have older evidence from Maryland, I can’t wait to see it. And if you have evidence from Scotland, bring it on! We can start the hunt all over again.