Actually Bill, I don't know, that Neil MacDonald the Innkeeper and the Neil
MacDonald the Pensioner were one and the same person, without some definite
proof that they were. I can see it happening, but when I did the MacDonalds
of Barra, they were not listed as even possibly being one and the same
The only record of NEIL MACDONALD, Ponsoner, I had listed as family # 14 in
Kilbar. There was a baptism record for his daughter Ann MacDonald bapt. Sept
11, 1819. Her mother's name was not listed in the register. Ann's
godfather's name though was listed and it was a Neil McKinnon of Fuiadh.
NEIL MACDONALD, Innkeeper, I had listed as family # 3 in Kilbar. and his
children were born to Evir/Vira MacMillan. There is no mention of this man
being a pensioner, either in the Barra records or Mabou Pioneers. The
godparents of Neil, the Innkeeper children were all residents of Kilbar:
John McInnis, Neil "Mor" McKinnon, Hector McNeil. Priorer to May 28, 1808,
sponsors names were not included in the records.
The Barra Parish records, were written in "English" not Gaelic, so I don't
think there would be confusion with a person's name, though possibly a name
Why did I list them as two separate people, because I had no proof they were
one and the same person. Other than these men lived in Kilbar at one time, I
have nothing to connect them to one another.
As for the Chelsea Pension records, I have heard of them, but have not seen
them. I would suppose, that by writing to them one could find out exactly
who each Neil MacDonald was, where he lived, how long he drew the pension
for, and when he died. ???
So Bill, I can't answer your question, " Where exactly does the information
that Neil MacDonald, innkeeper, was a pensioner come from?" as I honestly
don't know that they were.
----- Original Message -----
From: "bill nicholson" <wsnicholson(a)gmail.com>
To: "cape breton list" <NS-CAPE-BRETON(a)rootsweb.com>
Sent: Friday, August 27, 2010 5:55 PM
Subject: [NS-CB] Barra Mabou MacDonalds conundrum
Revisiting an old one – maybe Juanita or Vince can help. Neil
MacDonald,innkeeper at Kilbar, married to Emily MacMillan, died before 1824.
He has been identified as a pensioner meaning he served in the army...
A search of the Chelsea Pensioners yields information on only three Neil
MacDonalds of interest- one discharged in 1765 after 28 years service, one
discharged 1783 at the age of 39, and one discharged in 1810. BUT the book
'Territorial Soldiering in the North East of Scotland during 1759 - 1814'
describes the muster roll of the 92nd (June 25,1794, Castlehill Barracks)
containing two Neil M'Donalds, one 19 born Barra and one 22 born Culloden.
one from Barra is discharged 1810 and the one from Culloden is dis. 20 May
1800, before the regiment sailed for Egypt.
There is no record of the second among the Chelsea Pensioners records, which
implies no pension.
These records are of men pensioned out of the British Army 1760-1913. The
only connection with ‘Chelsea Pensioners’ is that the pensions were
administered through The Royal Hospital at Chelsea.
So the problem is this. The innkeeper Neil MacDonald had at least three
children born before 1810, so he could not have been the Neil MacDonald
discharged from the 92nd in 1810, as the regiment was in Egypt from 1800 to
1810. It is unlikely that he was the one discharged in 1783 as he would
have been in his 60s when his children were born. Maybe the one reportedly
discharged in 1800, for whom no pension records exist is the one, or maybe
there were two Neil MacDonalds on Barra at the same time (the baptism
records use at least two different gaelic names for the mother) and we are
confusing or interchanging information.
Where exactly does the information that Neil MacDonald, innkeeper, was a
pensioner come from?
Fraser Lake BC
To unsubscribe from the list, please send an email to
NS-CAPE-BRETON-request(a)rootsweb.com with the word 'unsubscribe' without the
quotes in the subject and the body of the message