INFORMATION SHEET No. 20


Lands and People

Beyond the bounds of Ferindonald, the Lairds of Foulis had by the 14th century acquired lands on the West coast in Lochbroom parish, and northwards on the border between Ross and Sutherland; and as the 16th century opened a Munro family gained a foothold east of the River Alness.

Thus more lands became available as a proliferation of cadet branches sprang from the main stem, although all did not hold them from the chief. Between 1500 and 1800, some 60 homes or locations are named by the clan genealogists as the property of Munro families.

Each place-name of course represents not only a house but also lands and a community of tenants, where a whole group of families would be settled.

As it happened, most of these Munro branches were descended from younger sons of two 15th-century chiefs - John, founder of the Monros of Milntown, who in several generations carried the name to other lands in Easter Ross and the Black Isle (their descendants included the Monros/Munros of Allan, Auchinbowie and Novar); and Hugh of Coul, whose sons also founded several great families (they had estates nearby like Kiltearn and Ardullie and others as distant as Eriboll on the north coast of Sutherland).

More followed, and from sons of the chief killed at Pinkie in 1547 came the Fyrish, Achany and Katewell lines, to which his son Robert mor added Obsdale and Lemlair. The latest cadet branch was founded by George, first of the Munros of Culcairn, (1720-82) the last of the three brothers killed in 1746.

In Sir Harry's day, when the clan as a military and economic unit had passed away, many portions of the Foulis estate which had gone to younger sons were redeemed or repossessed. Thus Ardullie, Kiltearn, Lemlair and Teanaird, and Culnaskeath (held for two centuries by a Beaton/Bethune family as hereditary physicians to the 'lairds and ladies of Foulis and their bairns'), became once again part of the chief's own property, to be settled in 1776 on a named succession of heirs.

2010 The Clan Munro Association of Canada