By Faith and Fortitude”

The Shaws were one of the principal branches of the Clan Mackintosh, a branch in turn of the Earls of Fife, and ultimately of the old royal family of Dalriada. The name Mackintosh derives from Mac-an-toiseach (son of the commander).

The first chief was Shaw Macduff, second son of Duncan Macduff, Earl of Fife. He accompanied Malcolm IV on an expedition in 1160 to suppress a rebellion in Morayshire, and was made constable of Inverness Castle about 1163. He was succeeded by his son Shaw, 2nd of Mackintosh, in 1179. Farquhar, 5th of Mackintosh, led his clan against the army of King Haakon of Norway at the Battle of Largs in 1263. He was killed in a duel in 1265, leaving his infant son Angus as heir.

Angus, 6th of Mackintosh, was brought up at the court of his uncle, Alexander of Islay, the Lord of the Isles. He supported Robert Bruce during the War of Independence, which led to a feud with the Comyns that outlasted the war. In 1291 Angus married Eva, daughter and heiress of Dougal Dall, Chief of Clan Chattan in Lochaber. Thereafter the history of the Mackintoshes was bound up with Clan Chattan.

Clan Chattan takes its name from St. Cattan. The clan descends from Gillichattan Mor, the co-arb (baillie) of the Abbey of Ardchattan. The clan, like many others, rose to prominence after the downfall of the MacDonalds. Under the leadership of the Mackintosh chiefs, Clan Chattan evolved into a confederation — the original Chattan clans Macpherson, Cattanach, Macbean and Macphail, with the Mackintosh clans Shaw, Farquharson, Ritchie, McCombie and MacThomas, and other clans not originally related by blood to the others, MacGillivray, Davidson, Maclean of Dochgarroch, MacQueen of Pollochaig, Macintyre of Badenoch, and Macandrew — each under the leadership of its own chief.

Shaw Mor, a great-grandson of Angus, 6th of Macintosh and Eva of Clan Chattan was, by tradition, the leader of Clan Chattan at the battle on the North Inch, Perth in 1396. He received Rothiemurchus as a reward but the lands were sold in the 16th century. His son, James, was killed at Harlaw in 1411 but his heir Alasdair “Ciar” succeeeded him. Alasdair’s brother, Adam (Ay) of Tordarroch was founder of Clan Ay. Tordarroch acted for Clan Shaw and at Inverness in 1543 and Termit in 1609 signed the Clan Chattan Bands. They supported Montrose and raised the Shaw contingent in the Jacobite rising of 1715. Alasdair’s second son, Alexander, was ancestor of the Shaws of Dell; his third, James, of the Shaws of Dalnavert; his 4th, Farquhar, was progenitor of Clan Farquharson; and the fifth, Iver, was ancestor of the Shaws of Harris and the Isles.

The present chief of Clan Chattan, Duncan Alexander Mackintosh of Torcastle, lives in Zimbabwe. The present chief of Mackintosh is John Mackintosh of Mackintosh, who lives in Scotland. In 1970 Lord Lyon recognized Major Iain Shaw of Tordarroch as chief of Shaw. His son is the present chief.

Battle of Culloden

William Shaw seems to have been taken prisoner at the Battle of Culloden. After the Battle of Culloden, 3,470 people were prisoners of the English. Of these, 936 were transported to the colonies, 222 were banished, 120 were executed, 88 died in prison, 58 escaped from prison, 76 received a conditional pardon, and 1,287 were released or exchanged. The fate of the remaining 684 is unknown. Those who were transported spent nearly two years in miserable conditions in English jails while the government negotiated with merchants. Finally, in the spring of 1747 the prisoners were taken from the jail in Liverpool, handcuffed in pairs, and locked in the holds of ships bound for America.

The voyage took two months. The ships entered Chesapeake Bay on July 18th, and the merchants auctioned the prisoners as indentured servants. The first reference to William Shaw is the Augusta County Fee Book under 1747, where he was mentioned as servant of Cornelius Murley (Chalkey 2:396). On 20 August 1748, the Augusta County Order Book, shows that the local court ordered “Iron collar about neck of William Shaw, servant of Daniel Morley to be taken off.” (Chalkey 1:37) The timing of this order, less than a month after Jacobite prisoners were auctioned, has led historians to believe that William Shaw was one of those prisoners.

Shaw of Tordarroch Tartan

Shaw of Tordarroch Tartan

Lineal Genealogy

1. William Shaw (1720-?), brought to America as a prisoner after the Battle of Culloden. He was a farmer in Augusta County, Virginia. He  married Agnes Carswal (c1727-?).

2. Dorcas Shaw (abt 1754-1814). She married John Hildreth (c1747-1814), a farmer and slave owner in Bourbon County, Kentucky.

3. William Hildreth (abt 1776-1816). He married Mary (Polly) Kenney (1779-aft 1850), daughter of Capt. James and Mary “Polly” (Frame) Kenney.

4. Angeline Hildreth (1806-1860). She married John Mallory (abt 1793-bef 1880), a farmer in Champaign County, Illinois.

Coat of Arms

Shaw of Tordarroch: Quarterly, 1st, Or a lion rampant Gules armed and langued Azure; 2nd, Argent a fir-tree growing out of a mound in base seeded Proper, in the dexter canton a dexter hand couped at the wrist holding a dagger point downwards Gules; 3rd, chequy Argent and Azure, and on a chief of the Second three mullets of the First; 4th, Or a galley sails furled Azure flagged Gules oars in saltire of the Last. Crest: A dexter cubit arm couped and holding a dagger erect all Proper. Motto: Fide et Fortitudine (By Faith and Fortitude).

More Information