McLeods of Condah


“To forget one’s ancestors is to be a river without a source,
a tree without a root.”
Chinese proverb

In an attempt to make this family history readable, I have centered it around Family Group Sheets and garnished it with bits of history and geography, a few anecdotes and lots of photographs. As well as being incomplete (I have not been able to identify and include all of the relevant ancestors and descendants) the book is certain, despite my best endeavours, to contain misinterpretations and plain old errors of fact. Additional information and constructive criticisms will be gratefully received.

Many people have contributed to this project (brothers/sisters/nephews/nieces/cousins and others) and I’m extremely grateful to all of them. In particular, I wish to acknowledge the help given by Cousin Donnie Annett (for the photo of our McLeod grandparents), Noel Bergman (re the descendants of Kenneth Murchison), Wendy Kuipers (re those of Donald Murchison), Leon McLeod (re those of Ruairidh’s brother Norman McLeod), Neil McLeod (for more than is mentioned within) and Bill Russell (for his gift of the software used to compile the book).

I’m also grateful for help from: Raasay Heritage Trust, Isle of Raasay; Clan Donald Centre, Isle of Skye; Family History Centres of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints; Portland History House; Hamilton History Centre; Tasmanian Family History Society; State Library of Tasmania; Victorian Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages; National Archives of Australia; Rebecca Mackay of Raasay; Professor Richard Sharpe of the University of Oxford; Simon Bell of the Print Centre in Hobart; and the Internet.

Many special thanks are due to cousin Kevin MacLeod, nephews-in-law Bill Grosvenor and Monty Wilkinson and honorary cousin Christine Dunstan. (Chris is a descendant of James McCallum, who was the husband of my grandfather Ruairidh McLeod’s youngest sister Kate.) They have all been extremely generous in their supply of stories, records, memorabilia, newspaper cuttings and transcriptions, photographs, names and dates.

Thanks also to all of my children for their long-term encouragement for me to put down on paper some of the family anecdotes I’ve been repeating for so many years.

The final and biggest thanks of all goes to my late wife Charlie, whose penchant for family history started me on this genealogical jag. Without her enthusiasm, patience, perseverance and research skills this book would never have existed.

An apology is required to the generations following the great-grandchildren of Ruairidh McLeod. Though their names may appear in the reports towards the end of the book, there are (with one exception) no mentions or photographs of them in the first sections. Reasons of size prevented their inclusion in those parts of the book.


This book is dedicated to
my mother
Sarah May McLeod
nee Malseed
and to the many memories
not only mine
of her courage and her wisdom and her love
and her straight back.