Clan Macpherson Genealogy Files

The Clan Macpherson Web Site Genealogy Database Update

By Roger C. Dennis

Scotlands People - Official Scottish Public Records

Public Record Office - English Vital Records

Society of Genealogists

Institute of Heraldic and Genealogical Studies

UK Archival Repositories on the Internet

The Scottish Genealogy Society

Royal Commission on Manuscripts

File Group File Size # of Names # of Text Records States/Provinces
Robert McPherson 1689 1.428mb 1216 6945 PA, AL, TN, MA, ME, MD, NH, MN, IA TX, AZ. IL, MO, OR, CA, VA, NE,
William McPherson 1698 3.234mb 4436 21596 PA, NY, OH, IA, CT, IL, MI
Wm.McPherson 1698-Shaw 718kb 352 3083 PA, NY, OH, MI, IA, IN, CA, IL, ONT
John McPherson 1695 634kb 336 2968 PA, OH, IN
Fred McPherson 1745 612kb 283 3242 PA, OH, NY, MO, CA, IA, NE

In the Robert McPherson 1689 file one will find a lot of what was contained in Don McPherson's (book 2) of the "L" group. In the William McPherson 1698 file, one will find a lot more information that compares with Don's "R" group. Lowell Thomas did comment to me that he had a lot more work to do on his data base for the group that went to Canada from Pennsylvania around the time of the American Revolution as he also noted in his article in the Spring 2004 Urlar. This group (Wm. McPherson 1698-Shaw) is found in Don's "M" group.

I recommend that people using these various files to track their ancestors keep in mind that Lowell's files seem to me to be a better "untangling" of some of the various versions.

In arriving at this decision to include Lowell Thomas's work, I talked with George McPherson (our Treasurer) at the Campbell Highland mgames last June. He has worked with Don's information (he borrowed our volume 2 a number of years ago) and he has worked closely with Lowell. He is very convinced that Lowell's work is worth looking further into, especially when looking at the links L/M/R. In addition, Lowell is just starting to work on the M group that went to Canada around the time of our American Revolution.

In conclusion, I only want to add that Don McPherson himself has said numerous times and in his books that he only compiled and produced the information that was provided to him by Clan members. He made no attempt to authenticate the information back in the 1980s--he did not even have a computer to work with on his project.

Last year Carl McPherson contacted me and told me that they now had over 74,000 names covering the USA and parts of Canada. Lowell Thomas sent me this new file last spring and gave me permission to place it on the website. Given the size of this information, over 54,500 KB in a GED format, it will be too large to provide a PDF type file to the user.

The files are available here.

Background Information:

In 1983 Donald F. McPherson, member of the Clan Macpherson Association, U.S. Branch, compiled genealogy information in his area of New York. He published his first book, entitled: MCPHERSONS OF GENESEE COUNTRY, by Donald F. McPherson, "Scot - Oaks," Hilton, New York, U.S.A., October 1983. In the Acknowledgements on page three he wrote the following:

"This book will never be complete. Genealogy being history, the last word can never be written. The "lost cousins" will provide interesting search projects, as in a puzzle that awaits completion. As the younger generation comes along, I hope this collection from so many sources will prove interesting and provoke additional information on the many missing people.

"I have tried to offer statistical information as correctly as possible and also family stories which should make for more human and interesting reading.

"As additional facts surface, an addendum may well be in order for the future. My hope is that the McPhersons of Genesee Country will continue to be a close and honorable family in our expanding future."

Signed: Donald Francis McPherson

In the Preface section (page 5) Donald wrote:

"It was natural that sometime an interest in the family name and ancestry would present questions to be answered. The logical place to start this story is to go as far back as possible with direct connections. The genealogy will be reviewed first with all the available information to consolidate the facts for future generations to carry on. The story unfolds leading to the "McPhersons of Genesee Country".

"This entire book evolves around "Black Alex" who settled in LeRoy, New York in 1802. All the facts go forward and back from his time.

"All McPhersons, MacPhersons, Macphersons, or any phonetic spelling, i.e., McFerson or McFearson, could be the same person and are coded by letters with the number of letters indication (sic) (indicating) the generation. The letter A would be the first child, B, the second child, etc.

i.e. ABBEDonald H.4th generation, 5th child
ABBAlexander J.Father3rd generation, 2nd child
ABJohnGrandfather2nd generation, 2nd child
AAlexanderGreat grandfather1st generation

"When the surname if replaced by marriage, any available information regarding the new name is recorded by using additional numbers."

"i.e. AID34Eleanor Ward5th generation, 4th child
AID3Harold WardFather4th generation, 3rd child
AIDJane McPherson WardGrandmother3rd generation, 4th child
AIAlexander J. McPhersonGreat grandfather2nd generation, 9th child
AAlexander McPhersonGreat great grandfather1st generation

In the mid-1980s, Donald and his wife Lois made an extensive trip around the United States visiting with other members of the Clan and looking for more genealogy information for his second volume. In 1988 Donald published a second volume, entitled: MCPHERSONS OF GENESEE COUNTRY, Volume - 2, by Donald F. McPherson, "Scotch-Oaks" 98 West Beach Drive, Hilton, New York, 14468 - U.S.A., 1988. In the Acknowledgments section (page 3), Don wrote:

"Most of the first "McPhersons of Genesee Country" information has not been duplicated in the Volume 2. However where there were corrections, these have been updated. Also many pictures have been repeated to provide a better picture because of the half-tone process. All of the original notes and reference materials have not been repeated. The majority of this volume is the presentation of the families "B" thru "X". Most all of this information has developed since the publication of the first volume. Some of these families are interrelated while the remainder will require additional research to establish the ties if any exist. All of the people with letters or letters and numbers before their names are blood related.

"It is hoped that this volume will pull us all closer together as a large family."

In 2003, following a conversation at the US Branch AGM, Roger Dennis undertook to enter this information into a computer database using "Family Tree Maker" software. This mammoth project took until April 2004. There are 13 files in GED format that have been ZIPped with WIN ZIP. These files, in total, contain 7.32 megabytes of data, over 5200 names and comprise 33,275 text records. The largest file includes the original, integrated clan links from the first volume as well as additional links found in volume 2. These file linkages include the alpha groups A-B-C-D-E-G-H-Q. Two files contain the integrated I-K and the N-O groups.

The remaining 10 files are separate alpha groups that have not been integrated, namely alpha groups of F, J, L, M, P, R, S, T, U and V. The first volume had a few entries for the B, C, D, E, F and G groups, but the vast majority of their information was found in volume two. None of the other groups were mentioned in the first volume.

The following information regards the various groups and their respective files. There is a brief summary of where most of these people originally settled or moved to within the first few generations in North America. As you can imagine, they are now scattered far and wide. There is also some information regarding the file size (unzipped), the number of names in the file and the number of text records contained therein.

ABCDEGHQ 1.266mb 2418 7698 NY, MI, IL, CA, ME, ONT, NB
IK 452kb 52 1714 ONT, NY, NJ, UT
NO 538kb 355 2288 NY, ONT
F 612kb 553 2817 NB, ME, MI, MN, ND, OR
J 456kb 69 1719 MA, MI, CA, WA
L 510kb 243 2165 PA, NY, OH, IL
M 554 420 2419 ONT
P 521kb 272 2262 NY, IN, CO, MI
R 493kb 195 1990 PA, NY
S 477kb 141 1890 NY, PA
T 542kb 141 1890 OH, IA
U 452kb 54 1739 PA
V 447kb 39 1686 KS, PA, WA

Note: Although indicated in the Acknowledgments for Volume 2, no data was provided for W or X groups.

In the above summary of the files, there is indicated the number of text records that have been input. A text record includes: name, date of birth, place of birth, date of death, place of death, date of burial, place of burial, date of marriage and place of marriage. When this information was available, this has been entered it into the file.

Regarding the linkage codes used for each name that was to be linked, the code linkage has been placed in the place of birth data field as well as the actual place of birth, if provided. In addition, the linkage code has been included following the person's name when that person was the head of the link(s) to a particular link group. For instance, "Alexander "Ban" McPherson, link to D" is how this head of the group has the linkage code both in his name field as well as in the place of birth field.

When one goes to a name in their list of names using their own genealogy software, they can highlight that person and go to the family page. One can then move downward through the children for descendants following the linkage codes or they can move upward for ascendants by going to that person's parents.

Please note that some of these people married more than once and had many children. If one is moving up the ascendants, the parents need to be checked for other spouses if a linkage seems to be incomplete or confusing.

Also, some of these families had many children. As long as the children had the McPherson surname, the alpha codes posed no problem. However, if the wife was the linkage and married to a non-McPherson, the linkage codes are numeric. This causes some problems when they have more than nine children. For instance, if the tenth, eleventh, twelfth etc., child is encountered, then two digits had to be used for that generation's code. This happened only a few times in this whole process.

Where there appeared to be inconsistencies in the original text's dates, as far as possible corrections were made from other sources such as the Mormon's database.

In Don's two books, he used a family tree chart at the beginning of each group. For the largest group (ABCDEGHQ) he shows a family tree going back into the 1100s starting with "Gillespick chlerich." The fourth generation is "Ewan ban McMhuirich" know as the "Parson" and is the start of the MacPherson Clan name, meaning "son of the parson", as the name was applied to his three sons: Kenneth, John and Gillies. An attempt has been made to show linkages upward from the original group head person so that one can follow this to "Gillespick chlerich."

To facilitate the users of this genealogy information, an Outline Descendant Tree has been included which is in a PDF format that has been ZIPped. Those wishing to download this file will need Adobe Acrobat Reader software. In addition to names and dates, place of birth and place of death has been included. This will enable the user to follow the linkage codes included in the place of birth data field. Be aware, however, the PDF file for the ABCDEGHQ group is 188 pages. Of course, the other groups do not have nearly so many pages.

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