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Click on letter, Harold A Ralston.
Fairmont Park was established by the City of
Philadelphia in 1812 as a public park. It lies
astride the Schuylkill River on the outskirts of
the city and contains among other attractions some
eight Georgian Mansions.
Among these is Mount Pleasant described by John
Adams, the Second President of the United States
who dined there in 1775, as "the most elegant
seat in Pennsylvania".
It was built in 1761 by John Macpherson out of a
fortune he had made as a privateer captain.
President Adams said he had a clever Scotch wife
and that he had been nine times wounded in battle
and had an arm twice shot off(!) He is believed to
have been a native of Edinburgh and he claimed to
be a nephew of Macpherson of Cluny.
Captain Macpherson married in 1772 in
Campbeltown, his second wife Mary Ann McNeill, a
great granddaughter of Lachlan McNeill
Buidhe (1611-1695) of Tirfergus in Kintyre.
His first wife, Margaret Rodgers, died in 1770,
leaving him with four children John, William,
Margaret and Mary. John was born in 1754 and
studied law in London before returning to
Philadelphia. He was killed on 30th December 1775
while taking part in the disastrous attack on
Quebec. William, after this event, obtained his
release from the British Army and eventually became
an Agrarian General. Margaret settled in Georgia
with her husband John Berrien, where their son
John Macpherson Berrien was born. He became a
Senator and Attorney General for the U.S.A. in
President Andrew Jackson's cabinet.
The house Mount Pleasant, which contains
portraits of Captain Macpherson and the winsome
Mary Ann, was sold to Benedict
Arnold, who was, however, convicted of treason
before he could occupy it with his bride, Peggy
The genealogy runs as follows:-
- i. Lachlan McNeill Buidhe of
Tirfergus m(1) Mary McNeill of Carskey, by whom
he had four sons and two daughters. By his second
marriage to Margaret McAllister of Tour (or
Cour?) he had four sons and four daughters.
- ii. Neil Oig McNeill of Machrihanish,
the eighth and youngest son, married Elizabeth,
d. of Baillie John Montgomery of
- (1) *Lachlan (4th son) Tenant of Aros died c.
1799 married Peggy, daughter of Malcolm McNeill
of Tarbert, Gigha and had
- (a) *Isabella - Miss Bel McNeill of Arcs
(Pigotts Directory 1838)
- (b) *Neil, Merchant in S. Carolina.
- (2) Margaret, Neil Oig's older daughter,
who followed five brothers, married Hector
McNeil, Saltpans, Machrihanish, and had six
children, among whom were
- (a) Lachlan McNeill, West Indian Merchant,
who died in Jamaica in 1798 and appointed as his
trustees in Scotland William McNeill, Merchant in
Glasgow, and Captain Hector MacNeal R. M. of
- (b) *Mary Ann married John Macpherson,
- (c) *Margaret m. Manners.
- (i) *William Manners in W. Indies.
- (ii) * Isabella.
- (d) *Elizabeth d.s.p. and others.
- iii. Mary Ann McNeill (1748-1827) m.
1772 John Macpherson (d. 1792)
- (l) *Charles (1774-1832). He worked in
Jamaica with uncle Lachlan in terms of whose Will
he changed his name to McNeill and inherited the
business interests. He is commemorated in
"The Memoirs of Charles Macpherson",
published by his kinsman, the poet Hector
McNeill (1746-1818) (See D.N.B) which is in
fact a self portrait of the author.
- (2) *Amelia Sophia (1776-1831) m. Edward
Hamlin Adams, M. P.
- (3) *Mary Ann (1778-1829) m. - Allison.
- (4) *John Montgomery 1780-1850 d.s.p.
- (5) *Robert Hector 1784-1817 d.s.p.
- (6) Elizabeth 1782-1787 d.s.p.
- iv. Charles Macpherson or McNeill m.
- 1) Lachlan d.s.p. 1799.
- (2) William Gray d.s.p. (1800-1818).
- (3) Mary Ann (1802-1826) m. Barnett. (a) Mary
Ann d. s. p.
- (4) John Macpherson McNeill 1804-1868.
- (5) Charles McLarty b. 1806 d.s.p.
- (6.) Dorothy d.s.p. 1809.
- v. John Macpherson McNeill
- ( 1) He had a daughter who married - Merriam
who left his legal studies to command a company
he raised in the Civil War. He made the Army his
career and retired as a Major General. His
- (a) Cyrus L. Merriam. Far Enough Farm,
Brattleboro, Vermont, died in 1966 aged 80+,
having spent a lifetime unsuccessfully trying to
establish the ancestry of his McNeill great great
grandmother, and these notes are dedicated to his
memory and in the hope that some of his relatives
may see them and find them of interest.
Note: . The names marked * are amongst those
mentioned in Lachlan Jamaica's Will.
[ Added note from page 2 of Issue 26: "The
book in the Mitchell Library" which contained
the McKay genealogy quoted in the last number was
obviously Collection Rebus Albanicis of which there is a copy in the Campbeltown Library. It contains a number of Highland Genealogies said to date from the 15th century.]
Copyright belongs to the authors unless
The Kintyre Antiquarian & Natural History
Society was founded in 1921 and exists to promote
the history, archaeology and natural history of the
It organises monthly lectures in Campbeltown -
from October to April, annually - and has published
its journal, 'The Kintyre Magazine', twice
a year since 1977, in addition to a range of books
on diverse subjects relating to Kintyre.
for Correspondence and Subscription Information.
ISSN 0140 0762