The pioneer settlers here
were chiefly MacDonalds, and belonged to that branch of the MacDonalds
known in history as the Clan Ronald. The MacDonalds of this Clan, like
those of Glengarry, are descended from John, First Lord of the Isles, by
his first wife, Annie MacRuari; whilst the MacDonalds of Sleat and the
Isles, like the MacDonalds of Keppoch, are descended from the same Lord of
the Isles by his second wife, The Princess Margaret Stuart.
The MacDonalds, as a Clan, have been
pre-eminently straightforward, always observing that code of "Fingalian
Justice" which provided that every man in a fight should have a chance of
his life. In times gone by "the race was to the swift, and the battle to
Cameron (Annie Donald Og) born at Suinart, Scotland, in 1764, came to Cape
Breton in 1784 with her husband, Donald MacIntyre and their only child and
daughter, Jane. They settled down at Princeville, River Inhabitants. Not
long afterwards the husband, Donald MacIntyre, died, leaving his young
widow, alone, with an infant child, in a new world of forest. But she was
brave and prudent, and held fast. She granted 2000 acres of land at
Princeville, and walked several times to Sydney to secure her title-deeds.
In the course Of time she prospered exceedingly, having at one time as
many as sixty ;tall fed cattle to send to market which was usually in St.
John's, Newfoundland. After each of such shipments she could be seen, it
is said, carrying home a bag of gold coin, consisting entirely of English
sovereigns. She left with each of her five grandchildren, Donald, Angus,
John, Alexander, and Donald (Og) Four Hundred acres of land, and died at
River Inhabitants in 1854, at the age of Ninety years.
HUGH MacDONALD AND FAMILY.
Hugh MacDonald (Big), son of John and Caroline
MacDonald, was born in South Uist, Scotland, in the year 1778, and died at
Princeville, River Inhabitants, on the 27th day of December 1862.
He emigrated with his parents to Cape Breton
in the year 1790 and settled at River Inhabitants. He was married twice:
firstly, to Jane the only daughter of widow Donald MacIntyre above noted,
and secondly to Catherine MacInnes. By the first marriage he had Donald (Dhomhnuill
Oighre), Alexander, John, Angus, Archibald, Donald (Og); Mary, Catherine,
Annie, Margaret, Jessie and Jane. By the second marriage he had Catherine,
Jane, Margaret and Christy. Of this large family of six sons and ten
daughters only two, Jane and Margaret, are still living.
Dhomhnuill Oighre, eldest son of Hugh, was
married to Mary, daughter of Archibald Cameron, with issue; Archibald,
Donald, Jane, Katie, Mary, Margaret, Florence and Annie.
Archibald of this family married Annie
MacDonald of Creignish and had five sons and one daughter. Donald was
married to Annie MacDonald with issue: one son and two daughters.
Jane was married to John MacKay of Port Hood
with issue: six sons and four daughters. Three of these sons died in
infancy. The surviving children, or rather those who have reached
maturity, were: Daniel J., late Postmaster at Port Hood; Archie of
Edmonton, Alber-ta; Gussie, who died a few years ago at Salem, Mass;
Emily, who married A. V. MacKay of Salem, Mass; Sister St. Catherine of
the Congregation de Notre Dame and Sr. St. Marcella, deceased of the same
order, and Mary Jane married to D. C. MacDonald of Port Hood.
Katie (daughter of Dhomhnuill Oighre) was
married to Rory MacDonald Riverside and had two sons and two daughters.
Mary married John Cameron of Askillton with
issue: one son and two daughters.
Margaret married Ronald MacDonald (Miles) West
Bay Road, and had three sons and six daughters, namely: James, Hugh, John,
Sister Mary Charles of Lawrence Mass., Sister Margaret James of Mt. St.
Vincent, Halifax; Mary, Florence, Jane Frances and Mary Ann.
Flora married James MacArthur of Gloucester,
Mass. with issue: one son and one daughter.
Annie was married to a Mr. Walsh of Beverely,
second son of (Hugh Mor), was married to Flora MacMaster of Judique, with
issue: Donald, John, Allan, Katie, Annie, Jane, Charlotte, Flora and
Margaret. Alexander, the father of this family, died at Princeville,
December 26th, 1876.
John, son of Hugh Mor, was married to Catherine, daughter of Duncan Grant
of Long Point, and had, Donald, Alexander, Hugh, Duncan, Jane, Ellen,
Christy and Mary.
Angus, son of Hugh Mor, was married to Flora, daughter of John. Morrison,
with issue: Donald, John, Roderick, Hugh, Allan, Mary Ann and Cecilia.
Archibald (son of Hugh Mor) was married to
Catherine Mac-Innes and had five sons and four daughters, namely: Hugh,
John, Colin, Donald, Alexander, Mary, Jane, Annie and Katie.
Donald Og, son of Hugh Mor, was married to
Katie Lacey (daughter of William) and had one son and one daughter. After
his first wife's death he was married again to Kate MacEachern by whom he
had one son.
daughter of Hugh Mor, was married to Alexander Chisholm, miller of Long
Point, Catherine to Nicholas Doyle of West Arichat, with issue: four sons
and four daughters; Ann to Angus Morrison of Cleveland, with issue, three
sons and one daughter: Margaret to Donald Morrison of Cleveland and had
one daughter; Jessie to Michael Cummings with two sons and one daughter;
Jane to Joseph Morrison without issue.
Kate, daughter of Hugh Mor by his second
marriage, was married to John Chishoim carpenter and had four sons and six
daughters; Jane to John MacEachern of Glendale, four sons and two
daughters; Margaret to John MacDonald (Roy) of Queensville with three sons
and two daughters. The sons were Hugh, who was married to Martha Fynn,
lived in Mabou and died there, Donald, a conductor on the C.N.R., and
John; the daughters of John Roy were Annie, wife of L. N. MacIntyre, and
Katie wife of James Lacey late of Glenora.
Two brothers and three sisters of Hugh Mor
also emigrated to, America. The brothers Malcolm and Donald both took up
farms at River Inhabitants, where some of their descendants still are. One
of Hugh's sisters was married to Donald Campbell of St. Peters where she
died some years ago at the age of One Hundred and Seven Years.
There is a Catholic Church
and a Glebe House at Princeville, built in 1850. At first it was served by
the Priest of Judique; now it is in the jurisdiction of the Priest of
Creignish. The R. C. Church at the, Basin of River Inhabitants is served
by the priest of Port Hawkesbury.
Just at the opening of the 19th century two
brothers, Roderick Cameron and John Cameron, came from Marven, Scotland,
and settled down at Upper River Inhabitants, side by side. Each of them
took up 200 acres of good land. They were rugged men of fine physique.
Roderick was married coming here and had a
large family, namely: John, Angus, Donald, Lillie, Ann, Jessie and Mary.
The son John was married and had a family of
several daughters,. one of whom was married to a Mr. MacArthur and now
lives on the old homestead.
The son Angus was married to a daughter of Big
Neil MacDonald of East Lake Ainslie, and had two sons and one daughter,
(Og) had the following family: John, Roderick, Dougald, Hugh, Abraham, and
two other sons whose names we failed to discover. A daughter, Lillie,
married Allan Cameron (Red John) of River Inhabitants.
John (son of John Og) was married to Ann
MacArthur, with issue: Willie, who died young; Arthur, who is now
conducting the business formerly owned by "Peter Paint and Sons" at Port
Hawkesbury; and John, who studied law, practised for a time at Port Hood
with Daniel MacLennan K. C. and died at his mothers' home at Port
Hawkesbury in the prime of his manhood. John, the father of this family
was a sea captain who sailed his own vessel to and from many ports of the
New England States. In Gloucester he met his fate and married Ann
MacArthur with whom he took up his abode at Port Hawkesbury, where he died
while his children were all youths. The widow was brave, kind, clever and
businesslike. After the husband's death she conducted for years a
successful and satisfactory hotel at Hawkesbury called "The Cameron
House." Besides the three sons, Willie, Arthur and John, there was one
daughter in this family who died young and unmarried.