Nielsen Hayden genealogy

Alexander McGruder

Male Abt 1569 - Bef 1617  (~ 48 years)

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  • Name Alexander McGruder  [1
    Born Abt 1569  Craigneich, Muthill Parish, Perthshire, Scotland Find all individuals with events at this location  [2
    Gender Male 
    Died Bef 1 May 1617  [2, 3
    Person ID I34713  Ancestry of PNH, TNH, and others | Ancestor of JMF
    Last Modified 3 May 2021 

    Family Margaret Campbell,   b. Abt 1571, of Keithick, Couper Angus Parish, Perthshire, Scotland Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Aft 8 Aug 1631  (Age ~ 60 years) 
    Married Bef 26 May 1605  [2
    +1. Alexander Magruder,   b. Abt 1610, Belliclone, Maderty Parish, Perthshire, Scotland Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Between 12 Mar 1677 and 17 Apr 1677, Calvert County, Maryland Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age ~ 67 years)
    Last Modified 2 May 2021 
    Family ID F20407  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

  • Notes 
    • No evidence exists that he was a descendant of a 14th century individual named "Gillespie MacGregor", called "The Cruiter", i.e., harpist; nor is there any evidence that the McGruder / Magruder family was in any way descended from Clan McGregor. A good overview of this, by historian Susan Tichy (herself a McGruder/Magruder descendant) can be found here.

      Charles G. Kurz's 1979 "The McGruder Lineage in Scotland to Magruder Family of America" (citation details below) makes this Alexander the second son of John McGruder in Craigneich (1544-1600), and grandson of James McGruder of Craigneich (1519-1592). Working more recently and from what appear to be a wider range of sources, Susan Tichy believes him to be the son of a James (II) McGruder who was active in the 1540s and after, this James being the son of another James, presumably the same individual identified by Kurz as Alexander's grandfather.

      From "The McGruder Lineage in Scotland to Magruder Family of America" (citation details below):

      He appears to have been trained as a chamberlain, perhaps by his father, at Drummond Castle. Innerpeffray Castle, on the River Earn, was the seat of James Drummond, Lord Commendator of Inchaffray Abbey. Alexander McGruder is styled "in Innerpeffray" for he lived there as chamberlain before he married Lady Margaret Campbell of Balmaclone, widow of Andrew Drummond.

      On 30 April 1600, Alexander McGruder was witness at Innerpeffray to a band of caution where James Drummond, Commendator of Inchaffray, was surety for William Drummond (of Balmaclone), his son Andrew Drummond of Ardewney, William Drummond and David Dow their tenants, not to harm Sir John Murray of Tullibardine and others. (Register of the Privy Council, vol. vi, p. 645.)

      After a land transfer contract of 3 April 1603, involving the lands of Wilyeamstoun granted by Edward Murray and spouse to James, Commendator of Inchaffray, a ceremony of sasine (transfer of possession) followed on 4 April. Alexander McGruder is designated as "chamberlain" and acted as procurator or attorney, receiving the sasine on behalf of James Drummond, which was registered 26 April 1603. (Register of Sasines, Perthshire, RS 48, vol. 2, folios 197a-198a.)

      At Innerpeffray on 11 June 1604, Alexander McGruder acted as agent for his superior and designated "servitor to Lord Inchaffray as principal". That act made Lord Inchaffray surety for Finlay Bryce, another servitor of Lord Inchaffray. (Dunblane Commissariot, Register of Deeds I, fol. 14.)

      The terms servitor and servant reflect the feudal sense that all Scots were in service to a superior, with the king at the apex. Alexander McGruder, as chamberlain in official service, was a servitor. Service was a condition of landholding by heritable charter of lords and lairds. Andrew Drummond and his spouse Margaret Campbell were also servitors as joint heritable charter landholders of Balmaclone (Belliclone) and subject to a reddendum or annual rent. This rent was service due Inchaffray Abbey, whose Lord Commendator was James Drummond, Lord Inchaffray.

      Thus, Alexander McGruder, the chamberlain, was the official agent overseeing the charter terms of those holding lands of Inchaffray. The annual rent for Balmaclone (Belliclone) was payable in farm produce as service due from Andrew Drummond and Margaret Campbell, which possibly was collected by Alexander McGruder. (ACGS 1978 Yearbook, p. 62.) [...]

      On 24 March 1604, Andrew Drummond died leaving the widow Margaret Campbell with their six children. On 8 March of the following year she became executrix of her late husband's estate. In the Scots custom, her husband's male relatives became the tutors (guardians) of her Drummond children. But as charter landholder her rent on Belliclone continued as a service required by the charter's terms. Perhaps she followed the Scottish widow's custom requesting her superior (Lord Inchaffray in this case) to provide a husband or to approve her choice.

      In any event, Alexander McGruder became the spouse of Margaret Campbell on or before 25 May 1605. This record is in a band of caution (cited in full) enjoining "William, Master of Murray of Tullibardin, for Thomas Murray in Kintocher, Johne Smetoun there, Johne Dun there, Johne Beachtie there. Finla Scherair in Abircairny, Alexander Nicoll there, and Johnne Gray in Quarter, 400 merks each, not to harm James, Commendator of Incheffray, Johne Drummond, son of the late Andro Drummond in Balliclone, Patrik Grahame of Inchebreky, David Drummond, tutor of Drummenerinoch, William Drummond, portioner of Belliclone, Johne Broun, burgess of Perth, tutors and curators of the said Johne, Margaret Campbell, relicit of the said Andro, Alexander McGruder, now her spouse, William Drummond, younger of Belliclone, William Mores there, Johne Loutfute or Hew Eilsoun (Neilsoun). there. --Mr. Thomas Wilsoun, advocate, registers the band, written by Adam Oswald, notary public, and subscribed 25th May, before Johnne Vaus of Fornoch. Robert Murray, son and apparent heir of Andro Murray of Lacok, James Oswald in Tullibardin, and said writer hereof." (Register of the Privy Council, vol. vii, pp. 599-600.) (Note: Subscribed 25 May 1605; registered at Edinburgh 28 May 1605.)

      On 4 June 1605, a similar band of caution enjoined Thomas Gray in Kintocher, James Dyn there, and James Patersoun in Over Abercairny, 500 merks each, not to harm the same persons mentioned in the 25 May 1605 band of caution. (Register of the Privy Council, vol. vii, p. 601; Acts of Caution, 1601-1605, folio 307b.)

      Frequent famines and other problems arising from a barely subsistent economy caused a land hunger, and many disputes arose over boundaries. King James VI used the Privy Council bands (bonds) of caution as a means of requiring the lairds to keep the peace and obey royal authority, under stated penalties, and to accept responsibility for their whole family and clan as well as for their tenants.

      There are Privy Council citations of Alexander McGruder and his spouse Margaret Campbell in two bands of caution dated 6 November 1610, involving a boundary dispute between Bellicione and an adjoining mill adjacent to Inchaffray Abbey. (Register of the Privy Council, vol. ix, p. 663, folios 159a, 160a.)

      Alexander McGruder died before 1 May 1617, at about the age of 48. No will or other documentation of his death has yet been found except for the following. On 20 June 1617, the tutors of young John Drummond requested an accounting of properties held by a 18 July 1606 contract between the complainers on the one part and Margaret Campbell, widow of Andrew Drummond, and the deceased Alexander McGruder, then her spouse. The action taken was subscribed on May 1617, against Margaret Campbell and Donald Campbell, now her spouse. (Register of Inhibitons, Perthshire, 1581-1750, vols. 8 and 9, folios 14b-16b; ACGS 1978 Yearbook, p. 63.)

  • Sources 
    1. [S1579] The Royal Descents of 900 Immigrants to the American Colonies, Quebec, or the United States, Who Were Themselves Notable or Left Descendants Notable in American History by Gary Boyd Roberts. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Company, 2018.

    2. [S5590] Charles G. Kurz, "The McGruder Lineage in Scotland to Magruder Family of America." Yearbook of the American Clan Gregor Society 63, p. 53, 1979.

    3. [S5591] Charles G. Kurz, "The Ancestral History of Margaret Campbell of Keithick (1571 - c. 1631)." Yearbook of the American Clan Gregor Society 62, p. 55, 1978.