I found this information on the following websitehttp://220.127.116.11/macbob/Couples2/C6312.html
I have determined that Alexander MacPherson inhabited a croft at Dounie from as early as 1800 (there being mention of him on some old maps of that area). He was a bad crofter according to the Estate Ledgers. Your cousin (i.e. Helen Buchanan) is quite right about Meikle Daan. Alexander MacPherson, having been removed from Dounie, acquired a croft at Meikle Daan in 1824, having paid off some of his arrears at Dounie. Alexander MacPherson remained at Meikle Daan until 1830, anyway. After which time we have no record due to the loss of one of our ledgers. I suspect that the croft again changed hands on the death of Alex MacPherson between 1830 and 1847.
There is also a Hugh MacPherson at Balinleigh, in Dounie area, in 1820, who appears in even worse arrears than Alex MacPherson, and who is suggested to be a rather dastardly fellow. It appears that the more MacPhersons we find, the more we do not want to know. I hope it is helpful in some ways, although it must be giving you nightmares finding that your ancient ancestors or whatever were not altogether upstanding citizens. Blame it on the Environment!
Yours faithfully, W.G. Hunter.
Alan Eric! Et Ali! I have laid before you now ALL the evidence I have collected about these MacPhersons, without reserve. Know, Alan, you are an authority on Detective Stories and Tales of Mystery. Do you accept this man, Alex MacPherson to be one of your legal 32 great-great-great-great-Grandfathers?
Comment! Â£82 : 7 : 7 1/4 seems a very large sum indeed for Alexander to be owing. Was it a very large crofting? Or was the rent too high for the croft to be an economic proposition? What is the equivalent sum at today's prices? Eggs then would be a penny a dozen! There is a distillery only a mile from Dounie. Nearby also were the Morangie and Ardjackie Farms, only 4 miles to the East. According to the Wine and Spirit Trade Journal for July 1962 "whisky distilling was carried out in the neighbourhood as a side-line to farming". Was Alexander MacPherson interested in this? The famous Morangie Distillery Co. was formed by a William Matheson and his brother after Peel's 1842 Budget. Were these our Mathesons? Did they teach MacPherson anything? We will never know!
Snippets from Margaret Carruthers:
Hugh MacPherson, The Smuggler.
Margaret is now 69. She spent some summer holidays at Lonachuan in her childhood with her grandmother, Margaret Black, (later Mrs. Walsh). The grandmother had all the tales of the neighbourhood.
There was a lawyer named MacPherson who lived at or near Edderton, and who was possibly a relation. This lawyer went bankrupt, and thereafter took to keeping an inn or hotel at Edderton.
He had a son, a law student named Hugh (Articled or University?) who failed in his law examinations, but who resolved, somehow, to pay off his father's debts. He took to producing whisky in an illicit still, which was located in the croft, up the hill, behind Aisdale, the next one to Aidsale, where RLM's father was born. He was well known in the district, and what with his knowledge of some of the law, his natural awareness, his mobility and the ease with which he managed to keep his still from being discovered, he kept going quite a time. He was nearly caught once, but he got his wife, who was seated at the fireside, to put the still under her skirt while the excise men searched the house, unsuccessfully. Hugh was an old man when he died about 1922, so he may have been born around 1840.