The Merrilees Family Association (MFA) was founded by Michael Mirrilees of Illinois, USA in 1995 to
"facilitate communication between Merrilees' worldwide, to gather, preserve and distribute
Merrilees' family history and to create a Merrilees' genealogical database with information being freely
available to all Merrilees' descendants".
When Mike was 8 he first met his great uncle, the Reverend James Mirrilees from Aberdeen. They corresponded
regularly when Mike was older and he owes his interest in family history to his Uncle Jimmy who had gone to
great lengths to track down his relatives who had emigrated to America.
The catalyst for forming the MFA was when Mike visited family in Scotland in January1995 and met Count Robin
de La Lanne Mirrlees at his home on Great Bemera Island in the Outer Hebrides. They both shared a love of
Merrilees' history, antiques and politics and the Count impressed upon Mike the importance of creating a family
association. Mike produced the first MFA newsletter in September 1995.
Thanks to the original research of brothers Bill and David Merrilees in the United Kingdom and more recently Jan
Kelly in New Zealand and the late Caroline Merrylees in Australia, the goal of recording a global Merrilees Family
Tree has become a reality. Since the 1st MFA International Gathering in Edinburgh in 1998 the original 30 branches
have been narrowed down to a third of this number and DNA testing has confirmed all but a few are linked to a
MFA Founder & first Clan Chief
Mike Mirrilees with his wife Bunny, and childern Emily & Ian
1st International Gathering at Edinburgh, Scotland 1998