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McGrew Genealogy and McGrew Family History Information

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About the McGrew surname


From one or more unidentified sources:

The McGrew info is interesting. The MacGregor clan originally had landsnear the head of Loch Awe, near Glen Strae and Glen Orchy. This is in Argyll and Bute, near the area called Lorn, in west central Scotland. They later moved to the northern Loch Lomond area mainly due to clan feuds, especially with the large Campbell clan in Argyll. Most of their lands were in and around what was once called the Flanders Moss (since drained), Loch Lomond, the Trossachs, Glen Gyle, and Glen Douchart. They used this for their "protection" service - they tended to have a fair share of cattle rievers it seems. The name was proscribed after a tiff in 1603 called the Slaughter of Lennox, where many Buchannons were killed and then 200 Colquhouns were killed at the Battle of Glen Fruin. Archibald Campbell, 7th Earl of Campbell used his connections with King James to get this done.
Around this time, King James opened up lands in Ulster (Northern Ireland) and many Scots, especially Catholics, moved there - over 250,000 families is what is have read at the Ulster-American Folk Center in Armagh, N. Ireland. Most of these Scots came to America - these are the TRUE Scots-Irish.
There does not seem to be any Clan MacGregor offshoots in Anstruther, Fife. It would be very surprising if McGrew descendents came from there. Some possibly moved there, but in the early 1600's, people tended to not move much in Scotland. Robert Roy MacGregor - "Rob Roy" - actually went by Robert Roy Campbell (his mother was a Campbell). No one using the name MacGregor could legally transact any business and could be killed without penalty! Rob Roy's grave is in Balquhidder, Scotland, just north of Callendar in the Trossachs, where most MacGregor's remained.
The McGrew family was an off-shoot of the Clan MacGregor which was a distinct clan in the Scottish Highlands as early as 1296. The family McGrew moved from Scotland to Ireland when they refused to fight and they were ordered to take another name. Most settled in County Tyrone. The listings of the families in the clan include the name McGrewer which was shortened to McGrew when the families moved to Ireland. "The MacGregors were a hardy lot and resented having their lands taken by the King, and when they rose in rebellion he ordered the clan disbanded and banished and the name not to be spoken in Scotland again. This went on for some time, and eventually some lands were restored, but in the meantime many had been driven out and the clan scattered.
The clan is of royal descent. The genealogy in the DEAN'S BOOK by Duncan is stated to have been written in 1512, and to have been taken "from the books of the genealogies of the kings." It traces the descent through Hugh of Urchy, from Alpin, who ruled about 787, the father of Kenneth, 'High King of Scotland. The suppression of the name was annulled by Parliament in 1774, but that of course, was after the McGREWs were settled in America. At the time of the suppression of the clan many young children were taken to Ireland and also at about that time England sent many of the hardy Scots to Ireland to control the Irish. The Scots were not happy in Ireland and after a generation or two emigrated to America, where, under Penn's rules, they could have freedom of religion. In the family records, we know that Robert McGrew and wife Isabella came from County Tyrone, Ireland 1726/7 and that when Robert arrived he was wearing a blue Scotch bonnet or Glengary cap."
The family was originally from Scots Highlands near Anstruther, County Fife on the Firth of Forth, 15 miles Southeast of Cupar, according to Thomas Dixon Graham. Legend says that King Edward banished MacGregors because he believed they were "too patriotic for the safety of his throne."