Early Kelloch/Kellough History


First of all, there are some people that I haven't run across in previous years.  Would anyone for whom this is their first arrival at our little sessions, stick up their hands, please. Aaah, yes, well you haven't heard some of the stuff that has gone before.

Are there a few that haven't been here for awhile?  All right, two, or three.  All right, here we go.

First of all, we're going to have a talk a little bit about the basic background of this particular tribe.  Number one, we're talking about the island of South Uist in the Outer Hebrides.  That's where the original homeland for the entire tribe came from.  Now, if you have ever seen the Nova television series, there is an excellent piece on the islands of the Outer Hebrides.  Beautiful, I strongly recommend it to anyone who wants to pick it up, because it will show what the original family had to contend with.  All it is is rock.  There isn't a bush or a tree on it anywhere, as far as I know.  The only things you can do on the islands of South Uist or elsewhere in the Outer Hebrides is to fish or to tend sheep.  For you gentlemen out there who have ever worn a Harris tweed jacket, you know what I mean, because that's where the Harris tweed comes from.

If you don't want to fish or tend sheep, you have one basic choice - leave the Hebrides.  And that's what our earliest ancestor did - a fellow by the name of John - we usually refer to him as John I.

Now John I, not wishing to fish, and not wishing to tend sheep, somehow or other found himself in a unit of mounted Scots mercenaries in France under the command of one Captain Thomas Phillips.  As far as we know, this John was his number two guy, his executive officer.  How he reached that esteemed position, we'll probably never know.  But we find him functioning in France circa 1580 or 1590 - I'm not quite sure of the dates.

Alright, now, for those of you who heard the presentation on this subject a couple years ago, you will recall that we were trying to find a connection between John One and the Scots Guards.  In the past couple months, I stumbled over the connection.  William Forbes Leaf, The Scots Men at Arms and Lifeguards in France, Volume I, Edinborough, 1882.  In his book it gives the roster lists of all of the Scots Guards companies as well as the mounted mercenary companies as well.  Now not all of the mounted mercenary companies have survived, unfortunately.  And the one he was in hasn't survived either.  Nonetheless, we now know what units he was with and what units he was not.

So here he is, functioning as a merc, a mercenary then in France, looking out for the life of the French king.  In fact the French king would give, in most instances, his life to the care of these people.  They would all die for the monarch.

Now a bunch of things were happening in France and Scotland during the period of time that John I was there.  There's no question about it.  He went there with one religion, he came away with another.  Now let's see how that worked out. Between 1560 and 1574, civil war and anarchy swept France.  As no military system existed as such, each person in France fought for himself.  Anyone, really, that could put together 30 guys would become a captain.  And some of them would fight for the king and some would fight for religion.  It made no particular difference.  Everything was chaos in the France in which our John I served.

By 1574, most of Scotland, on the other hand, had adopted the Protestant views of John Knox.  Is there anybody here who's fully cognizant of the Kirk of Scotland? (I hear a chuckle in the background.)  My wife and I know something about it. We were married in University Presbyterian Church.  Any Presbyterians here?  The Kirk of Scotland.  And the whole idea of Knox, and how you ran a church, swept like a whirlwind over Scotland.  It didn't stop there.  It also swept like a whirlwind through the Scots overseas and that included those in France.  They had adopted the Protestant views of the Kirk of Scotland.

Scots Catholics, on the other hand, crowed into France, many of them to find their way to the colonies if at all possible.  There was no future for them in the Highlands by any stretch of the imagination.  So they came by the hundreds if not the thousands to Europe and mostly to France.

James Hamilton, the Earl of Aaran, who commanded the Scots men at arms had become a Protestant.  Now that should tell you a lot right there.  The Earl of Aaran, who commanded the Scots men at arms, including the company in which John I served, had become a Protestant.  That in itself is important.  Such men at arms could no longer be afforded.  If you were the King of France and putting your life into the hands of men who were now "Protestant heretics," what are you going to do about it?  So Louis could no longer afford that.

Among the Scots guards themselves were the very inner circle of the military forces.  Twenty-five men who had served with the Prince of Conde, became Protestants, and were dismissed because they were no longer dependable.  Government figures wished to disband all companies of Scots cavalry, including that in which John I served.  "Get rid of these people."  They were in essence a cancer at the heart of France.  This is a problem that they faced.  I think we are fairly safe in saying that John I entered the Kirk of Scotland.

Now after the peace of Verviens, Henri IV, King of France, 1589-1610, demobilized all of his forces, with the exception of two Swiss companies, a Corsican regiment, and a Scots company of the Guards, under the command of Montgomery.  In fact, the king was so desperate, for the last company tht he raised, he had to send the bishop of Edinburgh, in order to send along 30 or 40 trustworthy Scottish Catholics, so as to be able to fill out this particular group.  And so, we find the king demobilizing his forces.  All he had were two Swiss merc companies, a Corsican regiment, and a Scots company of the Guards under the command of Montgomery.  Everyone else, "Y'all go home."  That's exactly what they all did.

Now we know, for example, that the command of the company in which John I served, Capt. Tom Phillips, had a noble connection in the British government, a guy who looked after him.  And so, under the circumstances, the guy in the British House of Lords said, "Tom, if you'd like, and since you have no future as a Kirk of Scotland adherent in France, if you want to come to Ulster and command the company that is going to be raised, fellow by the name of Cromwell is ultimately going over there, but you can get in on the ground floor.  You can raise this particular company and command it."

And taking John I with him, he [Phillips] went to Ulster, town of Carrick Fergus in Ulster.  And it would be this particular group of people that would capture the O'Cahan.

Now what was going on at Ulster?  Why should Cromwell go there?  Why should these other people go there as well?  Ulster and all of Ireland was still basically feudal.  England wasn't, Ulster was, and Ireland was.  Because if you were given a castle and a piece of territory, you held it in the feudal system for a social superior.  And as long as you were a good boy, everything worked out just fine.  You screwed up, they took it away from you.

Now in this case, a series of Irish earls, for religious problems, proceeded to carry on a rebellion against the King, who just happened to be their social superior.  So they sent John as well as Captain Phillips out there to beat the bushes for as many of these rebellious earls as they could get their hands on.  And they got their hands on the Earl of O'Cahan.  He later lost his head. In exchange for this particular bit of goods, Phillips would be given the O'Cahan fief, his estate, his castle, everything that went with it.  "You're a good boy, and by the way, you can now be a 'sir' - I'll make you a knight."  Sir Tom Philipps.

So Tom hops it over to his new acquisition, his new piece of turf, bringing John I with him.  He apparently was dependable, and so he brought him right along to this place, and he became a servitor on the estate, armed with sword and pike.  We know this because the records state it: "a servitor with sword and pike."

Now it goes down from this - there were two more Johns, curiously enough, and while all this was happening, the St. Bartholomew Massacre in Europe, whereupon practically all French Protestants, or those who were in France at this point, were slaughtered, made it quite enough for all the Scots in France.  So we find John I they living as a servitor on an estate, later on John II (apparently he was murdered, by the way).

There was a group of people - I use the term loosely - called the Woodkerns, who worked in the woods swooping down on everybody in the middle of the night and slaughtered everybody that they found there.  And we don't know this for a fact, but we strongly suspect - I think John I was killed by the Woodkern. John II, his son, then as a response to all this, joined a regiment of heavy horse in Ulster, to get revenge for Dad.  And he was there at Drogheda.  And the term Drogheda, curiously, has come to mean - they have a term, they call it Drogheda Quarter, which means everybody comes out after the battle, they lost, they come out with their hands in the air, and they're all killed.  That's exactly what happened.  And John II was involved with that, swinging with both hands, presumably, lopping off as many heads as possible.

Revenge, in Ireland, is the way it works.  You do something, somebody revenges against you.  You in turn then, do something against somebody else.  And that's the way it works.

{"Not limited to Ireland" - from the floor.}

For some reason or other, the Celtic people tend to do that sort of thing.  And ultimately, there was John III.  We don't need to get into him.  And he would later produce a son Robert, who took it into his head, along with his comely wife, Margaret Finley, to come to the new world.

And we find him leaving Port Rush, we believe, on the Bann River in Ulster, on board the "William", 1718, and arriving in Boston, where they were promptly shipped off [to] the Freetown, present Asonet, Massachusetts, near Worcester.

Then there was Freetown.  You could be free to be whatever you wanted to be.  Everything else was already established. In Massachusetts, you were Congregationalist or you left town.  In Virginia, you were Episcopalian or you left town.  And since these people were Kirk of Scotland - oh horrors- they would therefore have to leave town also.  And to Freetown they went. And there, still another brother was born - Alan - of whom we know absolutely nothing.

It would be from Freetown that they would go to the Isles of Shoals off Portsmouth.  There they got into the fish and oil business.  They lost their business to fire - we don't know whether they were burned out or whether it was an accident - and from there, needless to say, they would go down to Philadelphia, because they had heard that the central valley of Pennsylvania was being opened for settlement.  Treaties with the Indians were being entered into.  The entire tribe, Robert, his wife, several sons, all went down to Philadelphia, where they waited to see where they would go from here.  And it would be at this point that the family split.

Finley, after whom we are descended, Finley would accompany his in-laws to the Waldo Patent.  And we're standing almost in the middle of the Waldo Patent right now.

David, his brother, and the almost infant Alan, would go with Robert and Margaret to the Conodoquinet River in the middle of Pennsylvania.  Big Springs, Pennsylvania, is still there.  Do you recall when you were in school, those little blue exam books that you had to write in?  They were manufactured in Big Springs, Pennsylvania.  That's the only thing I know of that goes on in Big Springs.

It is from this point that the family split.  Finley and his group came up here - the rest went to Pennsylvania.  Why didn't we know all these years about the famous lost David line?  Real simple - they changed the spelling still again.


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