HIstory of the Munro Clan
Guest Post from John Lehman
The link on the left will take you to John's website
The surname Munro was first used by descendants of a Clan of people that came from a group of people called ‘Pictish’ of ancient Scotland. The ‘Picts’ were a people found in Northern Scotland and was a group of tribal units that allied together against common enemies. They were not a single tribe but instead a group of tribes that are thought to have originated in Scandinavia. There is no written record of their history and what we know of them is from writers that were Roman and Scottish later in history, and the pictures they left behind. They were first mentioned in written history in the year 297 by the Roman writer Eumenius and he referred to them as ‘Picti’ (the painted ones).
No matter what the original origins may be of the Munro surname the descendants of these ancients have left a very colorful history for us today. A few of the families mottoes are ‘Dread God’, ‘With speed and courage’, ‘India subdued by the king’s Command’. They are a proud and long standing clan with deep roots in the English, Scottish, Irish and American histories and their stories will reign on for many generations. The following are short captions from just a couple reference materials that tell a minute part of the stories of the Munro’s.
Burkes' Peerage and Knights
Lineage ~ The Munro family were in early times vassals of the Earls of Ross, and their lands lie along the north shore of the Cromarty Firth. Their possession of Foulis has been ascribed to a period beyond written record. According to Nisbet, William, Earl of Sutherland, in the reign of Alexander II, granted a charter "Carissimo et fidelissimo consanguineo, Georgio Munro de Foulis." A list of barons of Foulis commences with and succession as follows:
Donald from 1025--1039 and founder of the House of Munro
(The above chiefs cannot be authenticated allowing some doubt as to their validity, however their names appear as handed down by tradition).
William killed 1505
Hector Munro, of Foulis 1541
Hector married his first wife Katherine daughter of Sir Kenneth Mackenzie of Kintail, and secondly Katherine daughter of Roderick Macleod of Lewis and widow of Donald MacDonald, of Slate. He died in 1541 leaving issue by his first wife.
Burke's Landed Gentry
Lineage ~ The family of Munro of Fowlis, of which the Munros of Teaninich are a branch, is among the most ancient and distinguished in the north of England. Their bravery is evidenced by two chiefs of the clan having been killed at Bannockburn, one at Holmedown Hill, and another on Pinkie Field.
The direct ancestor of the present representative of the Teaninich branch, Hugh Munro, Esq., married Elizabeth daughter of Alexander Fraser, Esq., Baillie of Inverness, and had three sons, Hugh, his heir; Alexander who and Andrew.
The Munro’s made a very early contribution to the Scottish traditional arts around the 15th century with one of the earliest if not the first piece of bagpipe music written for the Pibroch. It is entitled ‘Bealach na Broige’. One of the most prestigious position held in America by a Munro family descendant is when James Monroe (1758-1831) first was a Founding Father and served as delegate of the Continental Congress and then became the 5th President of the United States of America and served in that position from 1817 to 1825.