Magruders/McGruthers in Scotland & America

Bowie, Effie Gwynn. Across the Years in Prince George’s County: A Genealogical and Biographical History of Some Prince George’s County, Maryland and Allied Families. Richmond: Garrett and Massie, nd. A good starting place to figure out who married whom, who were neighbors to whom, etc. One caveat: this is a genteel book by a genteel woman, so scandalous family members are often simply edited out. In one case I’ve looked into, a son who made a scandalous marriage (in Maryland), then died young, is said to have “gone west”!

Emerson, Sue. Wha’s Like Us: Magruders in America. Self-published, 2007. CD. 12-13, 263, 269, 464-65, 473. An attempt to assemble the genealogy of all known descendants of Alexander Magruder. For availability see note below.

Ewell, Alice Maude. A Virginia Scene, or Life in Old Prince William. Lynchburg: J.P. Bell Co, 1931. Repr. Prince William County Historical Commission, n.d. An excerpt about her grandmother was published as “Ellen MacGregor Ewell,” Yearbook of the American Clan Gregor Society IV(1915): 39-44. [gathering of 1914] (See link at right.) Ellen MacGregor Ewell was born in Prince George’s County, Maryland, the only daughter of John Smith “Captain Jack” Magruder (who in 1820 changed all his children’s names to MacGregor). Roderick and Nathaniel McGregor, mentioned elsewhere on this site, were two of her brothers.

Kurz, Charles G. “McGruder Lineage in Scotland to Magruder Family in America.” Yearbook of the American Clan Gregor Society LXIII (1979) 53-72. [gathering of 1978] Kurz2 Kurz is generally very useful, though he repeats the ACGS line on Magruder descent from Clan Gregor. The “Gillespie the Cruiter” theory has never been backed up by a shred of evidence. Get past that and this is a very useful source.

Kurz, Charles G. “Margaret Campbell of Keithick.” Yearbook of the American Clan Gregor Society LXII (1978) 55-65. [gathering of 1977] Kurz1

Kurz, Charles G. Research notebooks. American Clan Gregor Society Collection, Series IX, Box 10. University of Baltimore, Langsdale Library Special Collections.

MacGregor, Gordan A.C. The Red Book of Perthshire. Rev. edition. Privately printed, 2008. Electronic book. 491-492. A genealogy of every family that held land in Perthshire up to the 19th c., along with cadet branches including thousands of individuals–well researched and documented. Available for purchase from the author.

MacGregor, John. “The McGrouthers of Meigor in Glenartney.” The Genealogist XXXV (Jan 1919): 65-81. Also available as a pamphlet reprint, McGrouthers of Meigor. A very good source, though recent researchers find fault with a few details.

Magruder, C.C. Colonel Ninian Beall. Washington: Historical Papers of the Society of Colonial Wars in the District of Columbia, No. 6 (1911). [pamphlet] Reprinted by Bibliolife, 2011. Bealls and Magruders intermarried for at least ten generations in Maryland.

Magruder, Caleb Clarke Jr., “Nathaniel Magruder of Dunblane,” Yearbook of the American Clan Gregor Society, 1917 VI (1917): 20-46. [gathering of 1916] Based on a survey of wills through several generations, this is a highly useful article, though it should not be relied on in every detail. You should check the original sources for the accuracy of any detail that’s important to you, and keep in mind that only Maryland wills were referenced. Includes Nathaniel’s children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and some great-great grandchildren–a list that encompasses the Magruder/McGregors, the Hamiltons and Watterstons, and the Bowies who descended from Nathaniel’s granddaughter, Ursula Burgess.

Magruder, Henry Latham. Correspondence. ACGS Series IX, Box 10. University of Baltimore Special Collections. Henry Latham Magruder corr 1  Henry Latham Magruder corr 1 Henry Latham Magruder originated the “Gillespie the Cruiter” theory, but offers no evidence in his letters. In fact, he argued for an American Magruder association, rather than a MacGregor association.

McGruther, Don. Wha’s Like Us: MacGrouthers in Scotland before 1855. Self-published, 2007. 14-17, 46-53, 73-86. For availability see note below. Don searched public records for all early references to MacGrouthers (in many spellings!). This book compiles his findings and is the best source of information on our family’s origins.

Sarson, Steven. “Yoeman Farmers in a Planters’ Republic: Socioeconomic Conditions and Relations in Early National Prince George’s County, Maryland.” Journal of the Early Republic 29:1 (Spring 2009): 63-99. George and Sarah Magruder of Anchovie Hills (described as “an economically average small yeoman family”), are detailed on pp. 79-81. Now available as a pdf from Knowing Our History: African American Slavery and the University of Maryland(Thanks to Jill Gatwood for finding that link.)

* * * *

The Emerson and McGruther titles were released together, under the joint title Wha’s Like Us?  For purchase of one or both, contact the authors via the Magruder/McGruder genealogy forum.

See also: American Clan Gregor Society Yearbooks, linked at right. Years on the index page indicate which gathering of the society is included; publication date is the following year. The first few decades include many historical sketches and family reminiscences. See my posts on the subject of Clan Gregor and the ACGS.

2 comments on “Magruders/McGruthers in Scotland & America

  1. Jason Christlieb says:

    I’m the 11th great grandson of Alexander magruder I’ve been doing a family tree and see that they are from Scotland. I was just wondering is Alexander magruder part African American??? I am dark but tan and I’m German swiss and Scottish so far is what I’ve found. I seen an article that said researching African American descent could some one tell me please. I’m Jason Christlieb son of Jay Edward Christlieb grandson. Of Chrales Edward Christlieb

    • susantichy says:

      Hi Edward. Thanks for writing. Alexander McGruther/Magruder was a Scot, born about 1610, transported as a prisoner of war in 1651 or 1652. By the time of his death he owned one enslaved African man, called Sambo in the inventory of Magruder’s estate, and from that time until Emancipation the majority of his descendants held people in slavery. So there was a lot of mixing of the races, though rarely acknowledged. Alexander has many Af-Am descendants who are just beginning to trace their genealogy. I am white, and when I tested my DNA I discovered Af-Am relations. It can be hard to find the precise parentage, however, since the births were not recorded. It’s especially difficult in Maryland b/c by the time of Emancipation very few enslaved people shared their surname with the last slave owner. Sue Emerson’s massive Magruder genealogy shows only recorded descendants, of course, and the name Christlieb appears only once, when a woman named Lou E Christlieb (1881-1967) married James Garrard Bedford im Mansfield IL. Emerson’s work is not always accurate (she tried to find every recorded descendant of Alexander and the PDF is a couple thousand pages long!) but can still provide a place to start looking. Do those names ring any bells?

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