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Arms: Quarterly: 1st & 4th, Argent a chevron engrailed Vert between in chief two escutcheons Gules, each charged with a galtrap Argent and in base a talbot's head erased Gules and for distinction in the center chief point, a cross crosslet Vert. (for Gilstap). 2nd & 3rd: Argent a fess Azure between two mullets in chief and a lion rampant in base Gules, a crescent in chief Azure for difference (for MacRae ).

SOURCES, NOTES & CREDITS: Illustration for background none, the blazon is from Sir James Balfour Paul's "Ordinary of Scottish Arms", 2nd Ed., 1903; text is adapted from vaious internet articles.

Lt.Col John MacRae-Gilstrap. is/was important to Scotland as the rebuilder/restorer of Eilean Donan Castle between 1920-1932.

John MacRae, born on 31 Dec 1861, was the second son of Duncan MacRae and Grace Stewart. His father was stationed in the Punjab during the Indian Rebellion of 1857. His grandfather, Major Colin MacRae, also served in India with the 75th Highlanders. John's great-great-grandfather was John MacRae of Conchra, one of the "Four Johns of Scotland" who were killed at the Battle of Sheriffmuir, fighting for the Jacobites in 1715.

In 1883 MacRae joined the 1st battalion, The Royal Highland Regiment (The Black Watch). He served in Egypt where he was Mentioned in Dispatches when his unit was attacked at Kirbekan in Feb 1885, for which he received also the Egypt medal and a bronse Khedive's Star, He was then sent with his regiment to Malta finally returning to Perth in 1889. In 1890 he was promoted Captain and in 1901 was appointed to Scotland's Royal Company of Archers. During 1914-1918 he was engaged in the First World War.

He married well, Isabella, Mary Gilstrap, the daughter of George Gilstrap and niece and heiress of Sir William Gilstrap, baronet, and a wealthy maltster and philanthropist. Upon Sir William's death, per the terms of the will, John MacRae added the name "Gilstrap" to his, and took on a role in the family firm of family firm of Gilstrap, Earp & Company - the largest malt-producing business in Britain at that time.

In 1912, he purchased Eilean Donan Castle from Sir Keith Fraser, becoming the first MacRae for many years to hold land in the traditional clan territory. He spent a good portion his wife's dot, something like £219,000, of the £250,000 spent on the restoration completed in 1932...

Lt.Col. MacRae-Gilstrap died on 14 Jan 1937 at age 75. His descendants are involved with the charitable trust which maintains the castle.

Eilean Donan Castle is today one of the symbols of Scotland and lightly the most famous non-royal castle in the land...

The artwork is an interpretation by John Hamilton Gaylor.

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McKennaThomas.jpg MarCountess.jpg Gilstrap_3.jpg Eilean_Donan_2~0.jpg MacPhersonCluny.jpg
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