4. Dugal McQueen, Scottish Rebel and Gateway Ancestor to Royalty

The Scottish ancestry of Dugal McQueen is fully extended in the The Omnibus Ancestry. It is available through Lulu.

Dugal McQueen arrived in Maryland in 1716 aboard the ironically named “Friendship”, probably in chains and certainly under edict never to return to his native Scotland. He had been captured the previous autumn at the battle of Preston, part of the doomed first Jacobite rebellion aimed at restoring the Stuarts to the throne [1]. Given a choice between exile and the barbaric ritual of hanging, drawing, and quartering, he and his fellow transportees had sensibly chosen exile.

From this ill-starred beginning descended a numerous and prosperous American family. It included the actor Steve McQueen, star of The Blob, The Great Escape, The Cincinnati Kid, The Sand Pebbles, Bullitt, The Getaway, Papillon, and many other films of the 1950s through 1980 [5]. He was my distant cousin, for I descend from Dugal McQueen through my grandfather Loren Ellsworth Bowers [1].

My genealogical interest in Dugal has been intense, because he is my only confirmed Highland immigrant ancestor. He was recorded at his prison in Lancaster Castle as a resident of the parish of Moy, co. Inverness, Scotland [1]. There the Macqueen clan was seated at Corrybrough, Little Corrybrough, Pollochaig, and Raigbeg, among other locations.

The Mackintosh Muniments

A major advance in tracing the exile’s genealogical origins came from a message thread hosted by Ancestry.com, implying that Dugal was mentioned in the published muniments (i.e., archived documents) of the Mackintosh clan [1,2]. I was subsequently able to access this at an out-of-town library during a personal trip. The_ruins_of_Shenachie

What I found was extraordinary. Dugal was mentioned as being of “Pollockack” [Pollochaig] in 1714 when he leased land from the Mackintoshes at the west end of Ruthven, a tiny settlement on the northwest bank of the Findhorn River near Tomatin. He had married in Scotland a woman of social prominence, namely Elizabeth, the sister of Lachlan Mackintosh, the 20th chief (or laird) of clan Mackintosh. By her he had a daughter Anne [1,2]. Neither Elizabeth nor Anne joined Dugal in exile. From other sources I learned he remarried years later in Maryland, ca 1726?, to a wife named Grace who bore his American children, one of whom was my ancestor [1]. Presumably this followed Elizabeth’s death.

Antiquarian Contributions

Even more extraordinary discoveries were to follow, courtesy of a great genealogical revolution. (I mentioned another such revolution, the creation of the International Genealogical Index and its successors, in a previous post.) Just within the last few years a great many out-of-copyright books have become available as high-quality PDFs through such free services as Google Books, the HathiTrust Digital Library, and the Allen County [Indiana] Public Library Internet Archive. Because the late 1800s and early 1900s were a golden age of genealogical publication, this has placed a great deal of research within easy access of any computer browser.

Among the recently accessible books was an antiquarian publication dating from the 1890s [1]. Its author aimed to tell the history of the parish of Moy. Noting that the parish was dominated by the Mackintosh clan, with the laird holding nearly 70,000 acres including land along the river Findhorn, he nevertheless launched into a brief history of Pollochaig, which had long been in possession of the Macqueens. In his account there was an interesting piece of information: A John Macqueen of Pollochaig, son of Dougal and living in the early 1700s, had married Anne, sister of chief Lachlan Mackintosh [1].

If John lived in the early 18th century, his father was of too early a generation to be the exile. Thus while the appearance of the name Dougal seemed meaningful, what relationship if any existed to the later Dugal the author could not or did not say.

That information, fortunately, was provided by another out-of-copyright work, this time a Highland historical magazine also dating from the 1890s [1]. It indicated that John Macqueen, certainly the same man referred to above, had a son Donald [sic], who married Elizabeth, also stated to have been the sister of chief Lachlan Mackintosh. Furthermore, the son was stated to have been an officer of the 1715 rising and as a consequence was banished to America. This was a clear reference to Dugal (not Donald) McQueen, known from the Mackintosh muniments as the husband of Elizabeth Mackintosh and certainly a man banished to America [1].

Dugal, the immigrant, was therefore the son of John Macqueen and Anne Mackintosh. But how could both father and son have married sisters of chief Lachlan Mackintosh?

That answer was provided by published Mackintosh genealogies, for Lachlan, the 20th chief, was the son of Lachlan, the 19th chief [1]. Manifestly, John had married Anne, sister of the 19th chief, and his son Dugal had married his first cousin Elizabeth, sister of the 20th chief. Such marriages were not uncommon following their legalization in 1567 [3], accounting for perhaps 3.5% of marriages among the landed gentry (although that figure is for the British Isles more generally) [4].

In any case Dugal, it was clear, was the son of John Macqueen by Anne, daughter of William Mackintosh, the 18th chief, and his wife Margaret Graham [1].

An Explosion of Prominent Scottish Landed, Noble, and Royal Lines

Anne Mackintosh was what one might call “connected”, and massively so. Through her parents she descended from dozens of the most prominent Scottish families of the 1600s on back. They included among others the families of Beaton, Campbell, Drummond, Gordon, Graham, Grant, Halyburton, Hamilton, Keith, Kennedy, Learmonth, Lindsay, Mackenzie, Maule, Murray, Ogilvy, Rollo (Rollock), Rose, Ruthven, Scrymgeour, Sinclair, and Stewart [1].

A number of noble ancestors were among them, the latest-living of which was Sir John Murray, Earl of Tullibardine (1550-1613). There were also royal descents from King James II of Scotland (1430-1460), King Jean II of France (1319-1364), and King Edward III of England (1312-1377), among many others. In other words, Dugal McQueen was a gateway ancestor. A gateway ancestor is a genealogical predecessor, generally an immigrant, whose own genealogy can be traced to kings and queens, thereby providing all descendants with such ancestry [1].

In this case intense genealogical interest paid off . . . royally.

The Scottish ancestry of Dugal McQueen is fully extended in the The Omnibus Ancestry. It is available through Lulu.


[1] Boles, D.B. (2016). The  Omnibus Ancestry.  Tuscaloosa, AL: private print.  Available through Lulu.

[2] Information retrieved from http://boards.ancestry.com/localities.britisles.scotland.inv.general/650.3/mb.ashx (2015).

[3] Parker, H. (2012). “In All Gudly Haste”: The Formation of Marriage in Scotland, c. 1350 – 1600. Thesis presented to the University of Guelph.

[4] Information retrieved from http://ije.oxfordjournals.org/content/38/6/1453.full (2015).

[5] Information retrieved from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Steve_McQueen (2015).

Picture attribution: Frances Watts, The ruins of Shenachie – geograph.org.uk – 667349.jpg, retrieved from http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:The_ruins_of_Shenachie_-_geograph.org.uk_-_667349.jpg#file. Used under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic license. (NB: Pollochaig has been mapped as “Shenachie” since 1908-9.)


26 thoughts on “4. Dugal McQueen, Scottish Rebel and Gateway Ancestor to Royalty

    • Thank you David Boles for this fascinating article. I too have researched the Dugal McQueen line for my personal genealogy. I do believe my ancestor was a McQueen who married into the Logsdon and Brown families. I’m still not certain as there are some disputes about this in genealogical circles. I would like to purchase your Boles-Barth Omnibus e-Book on Lulu. Does your Boles-Barth Omnibus book go into detail about the Dugal McQueen line? I would be most interested. Thank you again for posting this article.


      James Stratman


      • James, the Omnibus covers Dugal’s daughter Ruth, who married into the Brown family (also covered); Dugal McQueen; and Dugal’s very extensive ancestry. Sources are cited to allow connections to be made.

        I’m glad you liked the article!


  1. Thanks to you, David Boles, and James! I have been researching this McQueen/Brown connection for several years. I am a descendent of John Brown married to “Ruth McQueen”. (There have so much debate over whether John’s wife really was Ruth.) When I found my way to this blog last night I ordered and downloaded “The Omnibus Ancestry” immediately. Thank you very much for being as informative as you could with your sources.



  2. Hi Victoria, It sounds like we both are descended from John Brown and Ruth McQueen line. For me it is through my Mary Polly Brown and Edward Logsdon line. I’ve always been fascinated about the Dugal McQueen connection. The work and research by David Boles has been extremely helpful.


  3. My William McQueen, born in 1761, died in 1845, and married Esther Robinson, is presumed to be the son of William McQueen, born in 1728, the son of Dugal McQueen. Do you have any information on my William?


    • I’m sorry, I don’t. My efforts have centered around the family’s ancestry rather than its descendants. But perhaps a reader will happen across your comment and come forward.


    • William was born in 1734 in Maryland and died in 1796 maryland. He was married to Henrietta Uln born in 1734 England . They also had a son Named William born in 1770 Married 1788 in Pennsylvania to Ester Robinson who died in 1827 in Ohio. they had a daughter who was Mary Polly Mckinney Who married Samuel McManaway who had a daughter Ruth Ann Mcmanaway who married James H head. who had a daughter name Rosa a Head which was my 2 great grandmother


  4. My grandmother was Martha McQueen…a direct descendent of Dugal McQueen…during the last “Big” McQueen reunion in Kentucky….near Boonsboro…she was the oldest living descendant to attend…I missed it due to a car issue although were did arrive eventually….I would have loved to gave seen the pipers coming down out of the woods…playing Amazing Grace….in full regalia…maybe next time……


  5. Hello David…I just came across this blog and I immediately became excited when I seen that Dugal McQueen’s story was part of this blog. Dugal is my 6 or (7th) great-grand father…I am a bit confused, on my part, though. I have a Duncan McQueen being Dugals father, and was wondering if anyone else, even yourself came up with him as being Duncan’s…we match on everything else except that and Dugals 1st wife…any help is appreciative…BTW your blog is extraordinary!
    Dawn McQueen-Shaw


    • Thanks for the compliment! I believe that for a time Dugal was shown on a Wiki page as the son of Duncan McQueen and Christian Norman, but I know of no evidence for that assertion. For my part I’ve cited evidence that Dugal was instead the son of John McQueen, part of which was a historical article indicating that John had a son who married Elizabeth Mackintosh, was an officer in the 1715 rising, and was banished to America. All this is known to be true of Dugal, his (first) Mackintosh marriage being well supported by muniments of that clan. There is much more available in my book, Omnibus Ancestry, a link to which appears in the blog entry.


  6. Interesting family isn’t it. I have spent time researching Dougal too. The Mackintosh Muniments is a great resource. My possible connection is through his daughter Ann, who married Robert Mackintosh, son of Lachlan Mackintosh of Stroan. I’ve never been able to prove one way or another (which is absolutely frustrating), but am always looking and searching. Anyhow, I really enjoyed reading this, it’s great stuff. I’ll have to go back and look at my stuff and see if I have anything different that I can pass along.


  7. I have enjoyed reading this article as I am descended from McQueen. I gain my line directly through John Brown and his wife Ruth McQueen. I would really enjoy more information on both the Brown line and McQueen.


  8. I just saw your message – glad to hear that you’re interested in the book! Unfortunately I have had to give up new issues of bound books, as costs have become prohibitive. However, the PDF format should be readable on any computer and can be printed.


    • Thanks for the suggestion but I did recognize that offered the book a PDF format but unfortunately I dont have a computer nor access to one other than at my local library. This is why I asked about the hardcopy. So there’s absolutely no way I can purchase a hardcopy? Do you know anyone willing to sell his/copy? Or do you know some who might have an extra copy?


      • I’m afraid I don’t know of any hard copies in existence. I have had a thought, though. Most libraries will allow a patron to read a CD or USB drive. If your local library would allow that, I would be willing to put the PDF on one of those media types and mail it to you.

        There is added expense both for the media and the mailing, so I’d have to ask $32 for a CD and $37 for a USB drive. If you want to go this route, please mail a check or money order made out to David Boles, and send it to 5541 Woodberry Lane, Tuscaloosa, AL 35405.


      • Thanks for the suggestions…give me an address and I will send a check. I want both the USB drive and the CD.


  9. My grandmother was a direct decedent Dugal MCQueen (GGF 6) ( B. May 1660 Moy Invenshire Scotland ) Married Anne MacKintosh sister of The Tweneth Earl of The MacKintosh. When Dugal was transported to America in 1715 for fighting for King Jamie, Dugals’s wife and daughter didn’t accompanied him. Dugal later married Grace Brown.McLean. in Baltimore, He served seven years as an indentured slave.His son Thomas McQueen ). (B. 1743 Baltimore, MD. D 13 Nov 1763 Great Cove Bedford, VA) he married Elizabeth Perry (B, 1724 D. 1780). My (4th GGF) his son Jonh McQueen ( B. 1759 Baltimore MD, D 1834 Jefferson, Rep. of Texas marrieds Nancy Crews (B 1768 Bedford, VA D. Franklin, TN) .He was held by Indians and tortured, he served as a scout in the Rev, War, and is a Son of The American Revolutionary War. My 4h GGM was his daughter Spicy Matilda McQueen (B 1793 Madison KY, D. 7 Feb 1855) married Owen Taylor (1785 Wilkes Co. GA D. Aug 1855 Orange Co. Texas).. Their son John Mc Queen Taylor (Mack)(24 April 1812 Franklin, TN D14 Mar 1887 Georgetown, TX) John Mach Taylor Served as a spy for Texas Revolution 1835-1836) A Son of Texas Revolution.He was Married to Nancy Ann P ( 16 Apr. 1820 AL D Georgetown, TX) John MCQueen Taylor was my 2nd GGF. (b 1 Jan 1848 Tyler, TX D. 2 July 1905) He was married to Synthia Jane Dunlap (B 6Nov 1854 Louisiana) D. Georgetown Texas ) My 2nd GGF was William Legrand Taylor (B 20 Nov 1880 D.3 June 1902) He was married to Ella Curl (B 11 Feb 1882 Louisiana DOrange, TX) Grand father Ernest Bee Smith (18 Jan 1897 Croyell Co. Texas D8 Mar. 1989 Texas City, Texas) Married daughter of William Legrand Taylor Irener Gladys Taylor (B. 2 Feb 1908 Orange, TX D14 Dec1992 Texas City, TX.)

    I would appreciate information on purchasing the information you have on the McQueen Family. Sincerely DAH


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