From the Scottish nation: or The Surnames, Families, Literature, Honours and Biographical History, Volume 2, by William Anderson 1862.

The Family of MacJore or Macgeorge

Macgeorge, originally Mac Jore, the surname of an old family which, from an early period, was settled in Galloway. Towards the middle of the 17th century they had become divided into several branches  - all landed proprietors and all in the same district, chiefly in the parish of Urr.

One of these branches was Macgeorge of Cocklick, another Macgeorge of Culloch, and a third became proprietors afterwards of the lands of Auchenreoch and others. The name, at an early period spelt and pronounced Macjore, appears in that form on the tombstone of one of the families in the churchyard of Urr so late us the end of the 17th century. The inscription on this tombstone is interesting as showing the change in the writing of the name in the same family. It is as follows - "John Macjore in Cartine died 28 Feb. 1691, aged 80: also John M'George of Cocklick his son. He died 17th June 1726 aged 69." There were two other branches, believed to be of the same family, in the county of Ayr - which was originally a part of Galloway. These branches originally spelt the name Macjarrow, and it so appears in the statute of 1 William and Mary, restoring the "memory, fame, and worldly honours" of above 400 of the victims of oppression during the twenty-three preceding years. In this roll the names are entered as Macjarrow of Perjarrow and Macjarrow of Altaberry.

By the beginning of the 18th century the names of all these families had come to be spelt and pronounced Macgeorge. They appear to have been of Irish extraction. There were branches of several distinguished Irish families settled in Galloway, such as the clan Carthy (called in that district Macartney), and others; and the late Mr. Brydson, the author of an excellent work on Heraldry, is of opinion that the family of Macgeorge is descended from the ancient Irish clan Mae Yoris, which had settled, he says, at an early period, in Galloway, and which, in the time of Henry II., was reckoned among the great families of Ireland. This is confirmed by the manner in which the name at an early period was pronounced and spelt in Galloway.

One of the family was the Rev. William Macgeorge, minister of Heriot, whose sufferings in the cause of the Reformation are recorded by Wodrow in his Church History. Under date 1684 Wodrow, referring to the circuit at Dumfries, says: "The Rev. William Macgeorge, minister at Heriot, was before this circuit, and I have a hint of his sufferings from his worthy son, present minister of Pennycuik. Mr. Macgeorge, with many other honest and peaceable persons, was sorely persecuted by Mr. James Alexander, sheriff-depute of Dumfries this year. Along with Mr. Muirhead, one of the bailies of Dumfries, and several others, he was carried prisoner to Leith, and subjected to many hazards and severities. Mr. Macgeorge continued in prison till the middle of April 1680, when he was liberated upon bond to appear when called." The son of this gentleman, Mr. William Macgeorge, a person of much learning and piety, was for upwards of fifty years minister of the parish of Pennycuik. He was the author of several works, and, among others, there remains a volume of his sermons which was printed at Edinburgh in 1729. He died in 1746.

Another of the same family, John Macgeorge, afterwards of Auchenreoch and Larg, was also, like his kinsman, the minister of Heriot, a sufferer in the cause of the Reformation. He was born in 1660. At the age of eighteen he fought on the side of the patriots at the battle of Bothwell Bridge, where he was made prisoner, and was, with others, carred to Edinburgh and confined in the deep aisle of Greyfriars church. As no male was allowed to communicate with the prisoners, several ladies occasionally brought them food and other necessaries, and one of these, by changing clothes with John Macgeorge, and remaining in his place, was the means of his effecting his escape. He fled to Ireland, where he remained for seven years, when he returned to Scotland and settled in his native district. The venerable Mr. Maxwell of Munches, formerly of Tyraughty, the head of an old Catholic family, related to Mr. Brydson, towards the end of the 18th century, that when his (Mr. Maxwell's) widowed mother and her young family, of which he was one, were turned out of the castle of Buittle by the oppression of an unjust relative, and left without a place to shelter them, John Macgeorge of Auchenreoch invited and received them to his house without any application, built a house for them, and finally prosecuted their unnatural relative, and obtained for them the restitution of their just rights. "He," says the same authority, "who spontaneously performed so available a service for a Catholic lady and her unprotected family, had, for his firm adherence to the Presbyterian religion and the liberties of his country, been persecuted, proscribed, and exiled, and. when made prisoner in battle for the same cause, narrowly escaped an ignominious death."

This John Macgeorge married, 1st, the daughter of Grierson of Lochinkit, by whom he had one son, William, whose daughter became the wife of Alexander Gordon of Crogo, whose descent will be found in the Peerage under the title of Kenmure. The only surviving child of that marriage, a daughter, married William Glendonwyn of Glendonwyn or Parton, the chief of an eminent Catholic family, whose eldest daughter, Mary, (the representative of Gordon of Crogo and of Macgeorge of Auchenreoch) married Sir James Gordon of Gordonston and Letterfourie, premier baronet of Scotland, and lineally descended from Adam, 2d son of 2d earl of Huntly and the Princess Jane, daughter of James I. Sir James died in (1683?), and was succeeded by the 8th baronet.

John Macgeorge married, 2dly, the daughter of John Hamilton of Auchenreoch, who is understood to have been of the family of the Hamiltons of Grange. From him John Macgeorge acquired the lands of Auchenreoch in 1715. The Hamiltons of Grange, originally of Cambuskeith, were lineally descended from Gilbert de Hamilton, the founder of the family, and the ancestor also of the ducal house of Hamilton. John Hamilton of Auchenreoch, with many of his family and relations, are buried in the churchyard of Kirkpatrick-Durham. The son of John Macgeorge by this marriage got from his father the lands of Larg, and married the daughter of Mr. Hill, minister of Kirkpatrick-Durham. The eldest son of that marriage, John Macgeorge, younger of Larg, had a son, Andrew Macgeorge who was for nearly fifty years in practice as a writer in Glasgow. He married Elizabeth, daughter of Robert Jackson, Esq., for many years provost of Dumfries, and grand-daughter of James Cochrane, Esq., of the family of the Cochranes of Dundonald. Mr. Macgeorge died in 1857, leaving issue.

Another of the family, in the 18th century, and related to Macgeorge of Auchenreoch, was John Macgeorge of Cocklick. He married the daughter of Mr. Hepburn, minister of the parish of Urr, who was the son of Sir Patrick Hepburn by Amelia daughter of Nisbet of Dirleton. Another daughter of this Mr. Hepburn married Carmichael of Mauldslie, by whom she had two sons, successively earls of Hyndford. The eldest son of John Macgeorge of Cocklick married Agnes, daughter of Dugald Maxwell of Cowhill, whose grandson and representative was (in 1813) Maxwell Campbell of Skerrington.

The arms of the family of Macgeorge are, Azure, three boars passant, or. The crest is a demi griffin, rampant, argent. The motto, Pro veritate.