Rev. Hugh MacKenzie – Biography

Hugh Ross MacKenzie (1798-1860) was the brother of my 3x great-grandmother Barbara Ross MacKenzie.  I knew that he was a minister in Inverness, Scotland and that he had also worked as a missionary in Nova Scotia.  He returned to Scotland where he died on 31 Jan 1860 of a heart ailment [defective mitral valve].

Today I found a wonderful biography with many details of his life in the Fasti Ecclesiae Scoticanae, a reference which gives the succession of ministers in Scotland parishes.  Hugh is found on page 466 of Volume 6.  This was his entry (lightly edited):

HUGH ROSS MACKENZIE, appointed to St. Mary’s of Inverness, Scotland in 1848, was born in in Ross-shire, Scotland on the 20th May 1798.  He was the son of John MacKenzie (catechist in parish of Nigg, Ross-shire), and Isabella Ross.  He was educated at the University of Edinburgh, and licensed by the Presbytery of Hamilton.  He was an assistant at Harthill, and ordained by that Presbytery in August 1831 for service in Nova Scotia.  He was appointed by the Glasgow Colonial Society to Wallace, Cumberland County, Nova Scotia, where he laboured from 1832 to 1840.

He married on the 8th April 1833 [in Nova Scotia], Hectorina MacLean Skinner (born 27th Sept. 1809, died 7th May 1883), daughter of James Skinner, M.D. of Pictou, Nova Scotia, and Elizabeth McCormick.

He was minister at Lochaber, Antigonish County, Nova Scotia from 1840 to 1844.  Admitted [as minister] to Tongue, [Highland,] Scotland on the 11th Sept. 1844.  Presented [as Minister of St. Mary’s, Inverness, Scotland] by Queen Victoria 8th April 1848, and admitted [to same] on 8th June 1848.  Rev. MacKenzie died on the 31st of Jan 1860.

St.Mary's, Inverness, Scotland

St.Mary’s, Inverness, Scotland

He and his wife had the following children:

James Skinner, minister of Little Dunkeld, born in Nova Scotia, 14th Jan. 1834.

Isabella, born 19th June 1835, died 12th July 1836.

John, coal merchant, Inverness, born 16th March 1837, died July 1873.

Isabella, born 29th Jan. 1839 (married Dr C. Deane), died Hawthorn, Australia, 12th Sept. 1923.

Eliza-beth, born 21st Feb. 1841 (married Dr Gill), died at Canterbury, Australia, 16th July 1919.

Margaret Ross, born 18th March 1843 (married Rev. Van der Straaton, London), died Aug. 1878.

Hugh Butler Gallie, coffee planter in Ceylon, born 1st May 1846.

Sally Mitchell, born 21st May 1848 (married Marcus Van der Straaton, Government Railways, Ceylon), died 28th
July 1917.

Hector, born 28th Dec. 1851, died in Australia in January 1901.

[Per Gregg’s History of the Presbyterian Church in Canada, 330.]

Hugh McKenzie - Bio

Hugh MacKenzie – Bio

The afore-mentioned “History of the Presbyterian Church in Canada” by William Gregg has a short entry on Hugh with some additional details:

In the year 1831 the Rev. Hugh MacKenzie was appointed by the Glasgow society to proceed as missionary to a settlement in Wallace, in the county of Cumberland, Nova Scotia.  He was a native of Ross-shire and a licentiate of the Presbytery of Hamilton [Scotland], by which presbytery he was ordained in August 1831.  In the following month he sailed for Nova Scotia, but the ship in which he sailed was driven back by a severe storm, and he remained during the winter months with his friends in Scotland.  He left the next spring, and arrived in Nova Scotia in May, 1832.  In his field of labour he had two stations, distant from each other nine miles, at which he preached in English and Gaelic with great acceptance.  Among his hearers were some old men and women who, til his coming, had heard only one sermon in twenty years in a language they could understand.  From 1832 to 1840 he continued to labour in Wallace and neighbourhood, and then removed to Lochaber, in the county of Antigonish.  He afterwards returned to Scotland, and became minister, first of Tongue, and then of the Gaelic Church, Inverness. [pages 329-330].

About cthomas1967

Seeking to bring my ancestors out of the shadows of history and into the light. I have always been interested in history, and at a few different times I tried to do a family tree, but wasn't able to do it with the technology that was available then. On a business trip I visited the World War I Museum in Kansas City, MO and it was a very impressive establishment. While I was there I remember thinking, "Didn't my great-grandfather father fight in World War I? And wasn't his brother killed alongside him in some famous battle? I wonder if I can find out where he died." That's what started it all. View all posts by cthomas1967

4 responses to “Rev. Hugh MacKenzie – Biography

  • Gregory van Slyke

    Thanks Charles

  • Isis

    He went to Nova Scotia on the brig ‘Charlotte Kerr’ in April 1832. It is possible that his sister was with him. Did she marry (Fustos?) Forrest?

  • Darlene Montrose (Moore-Mackenzie)

    My Great great Grandparents were married in Scotland by a Rev Hugh Mackenzie which I believed was my grandfather’s uncle (maybe) Grandfather was a George Mackenzie from Golspie who married a Ellen Macleod from Clyne. They were married in 1829.

  • AK

    This was so interesting. I think my daughter may be the Great-great-great-great grand daughter of Hugh Ross Mackenzie as we can link James Skinner Mackenzie through information I found Google searching the name on a family bible belonging to her great grand mother. You have certainly filled in some fascinating blanks for my father in law!

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