Capt. Mackay is somewhat of a mysterious figure. His history suggests that he was the brother of John Mackay, 5th. of Strathy, Sutherland, Scotland, and a kinsman of the line of Lord Reay, Chief of Mackay. James is known to have arrived in Georgia with Hugh Mackay Sr. of , a son of Charles Mackay of Sandwood, son of Sir Donald Mackay, 1st. Lord Reay, Chief of Mackay.
James first became an Ensign in Capt. Massey's Independent Co. of Foot in Georgia and South Carolina, which later was put into Gen. Oglethropes 42nd. Regiment. He later became Lieutenant (1740), Captain Lt. (1742), and then Captian in July, 1745. He was with General George Washington at Fort Necessity, and was a dear friend of the general. James later retired to his South Carolina (?) plantation after Fort Necessity. According to Gen. Washington, James died in or near Alexandria, VA.
Mackay's first wife is thought to have been Ann/Sally Stephens, widow to a corporal, and may have had a daughter, Catherine, possibly by this first marriage. History is uncertain as to his relationship with Barbara McLeod. It is thought that he married her, or at least helped her in some way raise her children.
The Donald of St. Simons Island were mentioned earlier(9) is thought to have become Donald Mackay "of Strathy Hall" of St. Simons Island, GA .Donald's mother was Barbara McLeod, widow of James Mackay, killed at Moosa. This could be another James, for Capt. James, as told by Gen. Washington, died at Alexandria, VA.
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