The McPherson Genealogy

This document is a continuation of the genealogy of the McPherson family, originally compiled by Elisabeth Weir (Mrs. Lewin Dwinell McPherson). She and her husband, Lewin Dwinell McPherson were experts in family research and co-authored several books, including, The Holcombes. Nation Builders copyrighted in 1947 and Kincheloe, McPherson and Related Families, published in 1951. The latter publication is the result of 40 years of team research, both in the United States and Scotland. There is much more than is presented in this document. A copy of this book can be found at the St. Louis City Library, St. Louis, MO. and is available through interlibrary loan. The genealogy presented in this document is compiled from these publications, as well as a variety of other resources, including:,, and JohnsonCo. TxGenWeb. I, Stephanie Steel Ackerman, have added to the dates and notes as research presents them. The following is the genealogy and historic notes of 26 generations of McPherson’s, dating back to approximately 1057 A.D.

1) Gillcatten Mhor-Head of Clan Chatten during reign of King Malcolm Canmore 1057 A.D.; he was known for his military genius and was succeeded by his son

2) Diarmed, during the reign of King David I, of Scotland; 1090 A.D.

3)Muriach, who was bred to the Church, was Rector of Kingassie and became head of the Clan upon the death of his brother, Diarmed. He obtained a dispensation from the Pope in 1173 A.D. to marry and lived during the reign of King William the Lion. He had 5 sons. The second son was

4) Ewan Baen, who became chief of the clan during the reign of Alexander II of Scotland. He was called McParson or “son of the parson”, by which the posterity was called and was well known for his metal working skills, as well as his mechanical skills and inventions. The clan was called McPherson, Macmries and Clan Chatten.

5) Kenneth McPherson became chief upon the death of his cousin Dougal Phaol and was called Clunie. He lived during the reigns of King Alexander III and King Robert the Bruce (“Braveheart” era)

6) Donald Phaol McPherson of Clunie became chief and was called Donald of Mhor. He was a fighter. In his time, the feud between Clan Chatten and Clan Kay reached such proportion that the court interfered and decided to end the feud with a fight between the Clans, to be held in North Inch of Perth. With broadswords only, 30 on each side were chosen from among the best of the fighters. 29 of the Clan Kay were killed, the remaining one finished off by his own clan for running away. 19 McPherson’s were killed and 11 so badly wounded that they would not pursue the last Kay. This occurred on the Monday before the Feast of Saint Michael in 1396. Victory was decided in favor of Clan Chatten. Donald Mhor married the daughter of Clan McIntosh. Their son was

7) Donald Olig McPherson of Clunie. He lived in the time of James I. He was known as a man of mercy and married the daughter of Gordon of Buckie. His son was

8) Eugene(or Ewan) McPherson. He died during the reign of James III. His son was

9) Dormund, Captain of the Clan Chatten, received his charter under the seal of James IV on February 6, 1509 and died during the reign of King James V. His son was

10) Ewan McPherson

11) John McPherson, born in 1600 A.D.

12) John McPherson, born in 1613 A.D.

13) Ewan McPherson

14) John McPherson

15 )Donald McPherson, lived during the reign of King Charles II. His son was

16) William McPherson

17) William McPherson, born 1673 A.D. He was a Jacobite from Argyleshire, Scotland, imprisoned in Scotland and forced out of Scotland on the ship ”God Speed” to the Americas in 1716. His 2 brothers, Daniel and Alexander, also came to the Americas with William. They landed at Port Tobacco, Maryland and settled in Charles County, Maryland. There they established a plantation known as “D’Alreddi”, named after the town of Daraida, Scotland. William died in 1751. His son was

18) Daniel McPherson, born in 1729, in Charles County Maryland. His son was

19) Captain Alexander McPherson, who lived from 1737-1815 in Charles County Maryland. (according to, #’s 18 &19 are brothers). He owned and operated several trading ships that serviced the eastern seaboard. His son was

20) Jacob McPherson, born in Montgomery County VA, in 1781. He established the Gravel Hill Christian Church circa 1847, that functioned out of his home. His son was

21) Adam McPherson, married in 1838. His son was

22) William Ballard McPherson, who lived from 1849-1919. He was born in Simmondsville, Craig County VA. and moved to Godley, Johnson County, TX in 1876. He and his wife, Mary Elizabeth (Helsey) McPherson (1851-1931) were married on Dec. 7, 1875; he bought and sold numerous tracts of land in Johnson County, including 405 W. Graham St in Godley, Tx., home of Arra Belle McPherson and her husband, C. Chester Thomas. Based on the dates of ownership, this is the likely birthplace of all 5 daughters born to Arra Belle and Chester. William Ballard McPherson was also an elder of the First Baptist Missionary Church in Cleburne and, with the other elders, purchased and donated land in 1912 that is the site for the Field Street Baptist Church (still active) in Cleburne. William Ballard and Mary Elizabeth were both buried in the Cleburne Memorial Cemetery (Block 10/Lot 13) in Cleburne TX. They had 7 children:
Arra Belle 1876-1967
Henry Oscar 1879-1961
China May 1882-1908
Amanda Earle 1885-1968
Hattie Lee 1888-1969
Eula (who married a Wilhite) 1890-1977
Freddy Forrest (name change to William Fred) 1890-1977
His daughter was

23) Arra Belle McPherson, my great –grandmother on my mother’s side, was born in Godley, TX. She was called “Graity” by all of her grandchildren and great-grandchildren. She lived the latter part of her life in New Braunfels TX. Her husband, Chester Crittenden Thomas (1870-1926), was buried in the Cleburne Memorial Cemetery (Block10/Lot13) in Cleburne TX. They had 5 daughters:
Ballard Lorynn
Irene Elizabeth (Erin)
Lois Sneed
Mary Dawn
Alta Guyrene 1912-1996
The Thomas home in Godley, TX

24) Guyrene Thomas, born in Godley, TX was my maternal grandmother. Guyrene's grandmother, Arrabelle McPherson crocheted her a baptismal cap. She married Buddy Joseph Cater in Temple TX in 1935. They spent their lives in several towns in the Texas Hill Country, including: Austin, Kerrville, New Braunfels, Seguin, San Antonio and for a brief time, Galveston. B.J. Cater was an immigrant from Lebanon, along with his parents and siblings, during WW1. He only had formal education through the third grade, but was successful in business; notably, founder and owner of Cater Frocks (women and children’s clothing manufacturing) in New Braunfels. Crater Frocks operated in the 1950’s in the building that is currently the historic Landa Park Recreational Center and employed approximately 150 people at its’ peak operation. B.J. supervised the business operations; Guyrene designed the fashions and supervised the seamstresses. Despite his limited formal education, B.J. was able to provide well for his family and was also gifted in languages and painting landscapes. Guyrene left a legacy of creative fabric artwork at the churches she attended in the hill country, as well as teaching her 15 grand daughters the art of sewing and clothing design. They had 5 children and 22 grandchildren.

Contributed by Stephanie Ackerman