From "An Account of the Clan Iver", or, as they are named by Gordon, the Seil-Wick-Iver in Caithness, by Principal Campbell of Aberdeen, - printed for private circulation in 1868, and reprinted in 1873, - it appears that some at least of the Caithness Campbells, viz. the McIvers Buey (Buidhe, Yellow-haired), latterly Campbells of Quoycrook, in Caithness, and Duchernan, in Argyle, are descended from Kenneth Buey McIver, who emigrated from Argyle to Caithness between 1575 and 1585, accompanied by his brother, Farquhar, and a band of the clan. In 1594 Farquhar was slain in a fight near Harpsdale. Kenneth was alive in 1616, and had obtained a charter of Quarrycrook in Halkirk.
Kenneth McIver is said to have had two sons: - William McIver or William Kennetson, who was chief of the clan, and John. The latter and his uncle, Farquhar, are supposed to have been the progenitors of many of the Caithness McIvers and Iverachs, some of whom assumed the name of Campbell.
About 1626 William Buey was dispossessed by Lord Berriedale of such lands as were held from him, and he returned to Argyle. Having interested Lord Lorn in his fortunes, he assumed the name of Campbell, and, coming back into Caithness with a new body of his clansmen, he carried on a feud. with Lord Berriedale for several years. At length he was taken prisoner, along with one of his sons, and both were put to death.
In Principal Campbell's account of the Caithness McIvers, they are said to have occupied most of the lands in the parishes of Halkirk and Reay, and in the southern extremity of the parish of Thurso, of which the Earl Marischal and Lord Oliphant were superiors; and it is stated that they can be traced in possession of Quoycrook, part of Braal, Scots calder, and North Calder, Lieurary, Brubster, Soure or Shurery, Braalbin, Gerston, Comlie-foot, Housell, Drakress, Olganymore, Sibmister (Sibster), and Sordale. But what portion of these lands, with the exception of Quoycrook, they held by a heritable title, is said not to have been ascertained.
William Buey McIver had several sons, but there is uncertainty as to their names. By one of them, Donald, he had three grandsons: -
In 1705, Helen Bayne, then relict of Patrick Buey Campbell, executed a renunciation of part of Quoycrook in favour of her nephew, Donald, the son of Alexander Campbell of Comliefoot; and in the same year she disponed her liferent in certain other lands to her son-inlaw, Murdoch Campbell, in Brubster.
From Donald Buey Campbell of Quoycrook, the son of Patrick, are descended the Campbells of Duchernan, in Argyle. - Vide Principal Campbell's "Account".
The Iverachs of Caithness are sub-cadets of the McIvers Buey, and during last century they, for several generations, occupied lands at Braehour, Clayock, and Lieurary. From William Iverach, in Sordale, the representative of this branch in the earlier part of last century, are descended Messrs. Peter Iverach in Weydale, James Iverach in Harpsdale, and William Iverach of Wideford, in Orkney.
The Campbells, who were for the first half of last century Heritable Commissary and Sheriff Clerks of Caithness, are also supposed to have been sub-cadets of the Buey Campbells, and are believed to be descended from the family of Quoycrook, - their immediate ancestor, Donald Campbell, younger, merchant in Thurso, having been, it is thought, a younger son of William Buey McIver, or of John, his brother. Donald Campbell had three sons: -
On or near the site of the present House of Castlehill stood the Old Castle of Stangergill, the original name of the property, and after the erection of the new House the estate got the name of Castlehill.
William Campbell (No.2) was twice married; first, to Elizabeth, daughter of James Murray of Pennyland, by whom he had a son, Donald,
By his second wife, Helen Mudy or Helen Mowat, he had six sons: -
In 1750 Mr. Campbell purchased a portion of a tenement in Thurso called Bruce's Tenement, and in the disposition he is designed "writer in Thurso". In 1752 the remainder of Bruce's tenement was purchased by Murdoch Campbell, "merchant in Thurso". The identity of the" writer" and the "merchant" is undoubted, for, in the disposition in 1752, reference is made to Mr. Campbell's previous purchase in 1750; and in 1776, in a disposition by him of the whole tenement to Alexander Duncan, merchant in Thurso, which was signed at Burntisland, he is designed "Murdoch Campbell, of Rossend". At what period Mr. Campbell left Thurso has not been ascertained.
In the account of Rossend, Mr. Campbell is stated to have married Margaret, daughter of John Taylor of Pitcairlie, and the heiress of Carbiston; but in the disposition in 1750, his wife, to whom the tenement then purchased was conveyed in liferent, is named Rachel Taylor. He seems to have had an only child, a daughter, who, in 1790, married Robert Beatson of Kilrie, and of the Royal Engineers; and she inherited Rossend. These Taylors and Beatsons did not belong to Caithness. Robert Beatson succeeded to Rossend through his marriage to Mr. Campbell's only daughter.
It has been supposed that Murdoch Campbell, writer, was a grandson of Murdoch in Brubster, the son-in-law, and perhaps the nephew (as supposed), of Patrick Buey Campbell of Quarrycrook, and son of William Campbell, called William Beag, or Dorcry, afterwards in Brubster, who was not improbably a brother, and certainly a near relative of Patrick Buey Campbell of Quarrycrook, Farquhar (McIver) in Rumsdale, and Alexander Campbell of Comliefoot. It is certain that Murdoch Campbell in Brubster had at least one son, for, as appears from a contract of marriage in July 1721, William Campbell, his son, married Janet, daughter of Sir James Sinclair of Dunbeath. She is supposed to have been an illegitimate daughter, as Sir James did not marry earlier than 1705, and there is no mention of this daughter otherwise. William Campbell was at the time of his marriage in Milton of Dunbeath, and in 1753 he was in Wester Latheron. In 1733 he got a wadset from Sir James over Milbuy of Houstry, to himself and his wife, and their eldest son, James, afterwards in Dysart ; and it may be that Murdoch Campbell of Rossend was another of his sons. When a young man, Murdoch appears to have been a clerk in the office of James and Hugo Campbell, the supposed connections of his family.