Posted by Bob Frewen on 24 February , 2003 at 09:14:52:
In Reply to: MacGregor connection posted by Coleen Fruin on 20 February , 2003 at 04:03:42:
It is a romantic story but a number of issues make it suspect. It is most unlikely that in 1603 anyone would have fled to South Africa as a result of a minor skirmish at Glenfruin. It would have been like going to the moon in today's terms. Many of the Fruins in S. Africa have stated that they are from Ireland or England – I’ve never had contact from one who claimed Scottish ancestry. On the English part, why would a fleeing Fruin stop in Oxfordshire? Surely having gone that far he/they would have continued to the capital, London, where they would be far less likely to stand out rather than remain in a rural community? There were Fruins/Frewens/Frewins around Oxfordshire / Bucks. for centuries by the 1600s. Finally, loss of a family name, particularly as you state under duress, would be a major issue and would be very well documented in the history of the McGregor Clan. Indeed, why would they then adopt as a surname the name of the locality that caused the loss of the family name in the first place? Salt in the wound....
Secondly, Gaelic families like the McGregors descended from a clan founder, and showed their ancestry by use of O’ or Mc/Mac before that name. (Mac is Gaelic for son.) In the unlikely event that a Scotsman be forced to change his name from his clan name, it would be probable that he would take his father’s name as was done in the Gaelic past e.g. Donal McGregor, son of Andrew McGregor would become Donal McAndrew. Then his children might even be known as the “Andrews.” It would be very unusual for a Scottish person to exchange a surname for a placename. These naming patterns still exist where there are large numbers of same-named people.
Like many of the stories handed down over the years it probably got embellished. Bob
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