Community paper for Mallaig, Morar, Arisaig, Lochailort, Glenfinnan
Glenuig, Knoydart and the Small Isles
List of Issues online
January 2004 Issue
Contents of the online version:
HAPPY NEW YEAR - BLIADHNA MHATH UR!
LOOKING FORWARD - 2004
Good things are in store for us in the coming year. What will we be reporting on in 2004? Here are some definite and some hoped for:
- News about the development of the last stretch of the A830, Arisaig to Loch nan Uamh, and the official opening of the Arisaig to Kinsadel section (March?).
- Work on both the Mallaig and Morar Playing Fields begun and completed.
- Marine Harvest's new harvesting station, due to open in March, with the promise of at least ten new jobs.
- A Spanish fish processing company operating from a base in Mallaig this summer.
- The reintroduction of the Uist - Mallaig ferry.
- Official openings of the new Arisaig Surgery (January) and Mallaig Police Station.
- Marie Curie Fields of Hope for Morar and Mallaig - and Arisaig?
- New digital printing technology for West Word! Maybe even next month!!
Two years ago we looked forward to what might happen in 2002. Of that list, we now have the new surgery and police station, the piers on Eigg, Rum and Muck, and the return of the Games and Agricultural Show after the Foot and Mouth scares. We're still waiting on the refurbishment of Mallaig Sports Field (at least its just started) and the new Morar Playing Field!
EIGG HALL REFURBISHMENT GOES AHEAD
Congratulations to the Isle of Eigg Community Association, which has received funding in the latest round of awards from the National Lottery Community Fund. A grant of £101,378 will enable the refurbishment and upgrading of the island's community hall to go ahead next year, providing a year-round venue for a range of social and educational activities, especially sport.
December and New Year – a period when so much happened that I would probably be sued if I mentioned even a quarter of it. Here’s a quick run down of events I can safely recount without any danger of litigious comebacks.
Early on in the month, Jim Hunter and friends paid us a visit – an enjoyable experience as always, with Jim encouraging locals to join in with their own tuneful / less melodious contributions. Good to have some live music in the pub again – it’s been a while since there was a full-blown session.
“Land Management” is a term not frequently bandied about by the general populace – however, this month it has been a very hot topic, with the local environment, employment situation and scenic value of the peninsula all being discussed by the community. Initial thoughts appear to favour a five-year “zoning plan”, with certain areas of the land being assigned different shooting, tree regeneration and conservation policies. The upshot of all the discussions is that Knoydart looks set to become one of the first estates in the area which is setting in motion a plan incorporating the policies of all interested parties. Deer management, tree regeneration, hillwalking, local residents and general tourism all have their part to play in moving the peninsula forward.
Christmas was a lot busier than last year, and was started off by the children at Inverie Primary and Nursery performing a highly entertaining short play. This was followed by a Christmas Eve carol service in the village hall which was well-attended.
And now – a Christmas story which would be hard to believe, had it not happened in Knoydart. The tale starts on Christmas Eve, in Old Forge. The door burst open, to reveal a man of slight stature, who announced himself to be a hillwalker with plans of setting off to Sourlies Bothy the following day. Instantly recognised by some locals as the man around whom, last summer, rumours flew that he was an ex-Scottish Football player thrown out of the World Cup squad in 1978, we knew it was going to be an entertaining night. He drank…and drank…bought a second-hand map from me….and drank some more. After being asked to leave the post-Christmas Eve Carol Service Party, he disappeared up the road to the hostel. And that was the last we thought we’d see of him.
Next day, driving up the road to Butcher’s Christmas Party (great night, Butcher), a young local who was missing his hound pup stopped us. Only six months old, the pup was exceedingly nervous, and it would have been unlikely to run off with anyone. Investigations had revealed that the dog had disappeared at the same time as…you guessed it, our wee hillwalking friend. The owner was all set to walk over the hill path to Camusrory and Sourlies, but was dissuaded by unpleasant weather. To be honest, nobody could quite believe that the pup had been taken by our non-footballing visitor. Undeterred, a RIB was booked for 0730 the next morning – much to the chagrin of the venerable Dr Woombs, who was quite enjoying Butcher’s party.
Next morning, whilst still dark, the RIB set off to the top of Loch Nevis, where the two brothers rowed ashore to the bothy. Inside, they found the hillwalker – and a hound pup running around in circles on the floor. The excuse? The pup had followed him all the way to the bothy. Somewhat unlikely, perhaps….
Hogmanay continued in an equally eventful manner, with several people stranded in Mallaig on the night itself due to a Landrover stuck on the rail tracks on Rannoch Moor. They still managed to find a party. New Year’s Eve in Knoydart was busy, with no bonfire this year due to the horrendous weather conditions. TSMV Western Isles and her crew put in a sterling effort to get everyone across to the peninsula for the evening’s festivities, with a two-hour long flit-boat service landing on the Long Beach. The night was fun, with a couple of unfortunate incidents that did nothing to dampen people’s high spirits.
New Year’s Day saw the retrieval of those still stranded in Mallaig, although the crossing in the RIB was so rough that many of them wished they had stayed in the village for another night! Not the best day for transporting a dog which had to be taken to a vet on the mainland with a broken leg. The partying continued for the next few nights and days, with some locals even crossing the loch to Tarbet for some first-footing. Well, I’m off to pastures new for a wee while, so Anne Trussell will be taking over the mantle of Knoydart correspondent again. All the best for a happy and prosperous 2004.
Good luck Tommy, from all at West Word, and thanks for the articles. Haste ye back.
FESTIVE FUN FOR KNOYDART KIDS WITH PERCUSSION PRIZE
Children from Inverie Primary School in Knoydart received an early Christmas present on the 11th December from Communities Scotland, the Scottish Executive’s housing and regeneration agency, in return for the Christmas card designs they produced for the agency.
Communities Scotland Highlands and Islands Area Director David Nicol, representing acting Chief Executive Angiolina Foster, presented the school with a new xylophone. Pupils Tom Harris, aged nine and Jasmine Humphrey aged three, from the school’s nursery, each received a £20 book token for their winning card designs.
The Knoydart school was selected to take part in the competition, which was judged by Angiolina Foster, due to the close connections the agency has had with the area over the past year. A total of over £219,000 has been granted towards three housing projects in the area, which will house six families once complete – a considerable percentage in such a small community.
David Nicol said: 'I congratulate all the children of Inverie primary school on their card entries and am very happy to present the school with their well deserved prize. This was a very difficult competition to judge as all the entries were fantastic and the children put in a lot of effort. This is a small but thriving community who have worked very hard since the community land buyout of 1999 to create the opportunities they have and the children certainly have an abundance of creativity.
'We are committed to creating a Scotland where everyone can enjoy a decent quality of life irrespective of where they live or the challenges they face. Affordable housing in rural areas is a key part of that work and the recent announcement of a further £10 million towards rural housing shows the commitment of the Executive towards that. In fragile areas such as Knoydart, housing has a vital role to play in supporting wider community regeneration.”
Headteacher of the school Mrs Eilidh Klemm was delighted with the prize. She said: 'We are winners all round! The children had fun and learned a lot designing the cards. The xylophone promises many exciting music sessions for years to come, but the main prize must still be the bright, welcoming and purposeful building that pupils, nursery children and teachers now enjoy daily. We certainly want to say thanks to Communities Scotland for helping to make this possible.'
In addition to the winners prizes, a £15 book token was presented to Anna Wilson for her highly commended card design. Those commended for their entries - Olivia Walsh, Caitlin Woombs, Kira Holroyd and Ewan Tibbetts - each received a £10 book token.
Jasmine Humphrey and Tom Harris from Inverie Primary School get in tune with the school's new xylophone while displaying their winning Christmas card designs.
Communities Scotland Highlands and Islands Area Director David Nicol gets in tune with pupils from Inverie Primary School in Knoydart with their winning Christmas card designs.
ISLE OF MUCK
On 7th December an historic event occurred. Loch Nevis entered Port Mor and made fast to the alignment structure of the new slipway. She did not manage to lower the ramp onto dry concrete but no pumping took place to reduced the draft at the stern. As I write we hear that she has successfully docked in Rum
Christmas was quiet this year 1/3rd of the island being away. Carol singing was more muted than usual with several key singers missing. The Christmas play ‘The Christmas That Nearly Wasn’t’ missed the star quality of Angus Graves but all the actors and actresses put up a fine performance. So did Mandy Ketchin in her role of Father Christmas bearing gifts for every scholar.
What does 2004 hold ? Better we all hope than the Annus Horibillis of 2003. A new family in April ? The first fruits of Mandy’s work with Camas ?
On the farm – all the cows are now on silage including the spring calvers. The cows which have already calved have been on 2002 bales for 2 months. These have been only slightly affected by the extra year in storage although the few bales of haylage were more seriously damaged as any air entering would affect a bigger area of grass.
Plans for 2004. To complete 2003 including rush control, bracken control and sowing out the ‘organic’ plot. This year I am hoping to enter the Rural Stewardship scheme – I cannot ignore the money any longer and I have been involved in with conservation all my life.
ISLE OF RUM
ISLE OF EIGG
December brought a nice Christmas present for the island: Eigg sheep fetched top prices in the sales only a few weeks after Eigg cattle ( Aberdeen Angus cross ) got no less than five mentions for its quality. This is encouraging for the island farmers and crofters who are now seeing their efforts rewarded after the downturn of the past few years. Let’s hope that the intended CAP reform will not hamper progress as traditional agriculture is and should remain the backbone of the island’s economy.
In the meantime, our resident piper has launched her business as traditional music and dance tutor from new premises at the pier: the 2004 visitors can look forward to piping tunes greeting them ashore and the island youngsters to getting access to regular tuition. Donna is also planning to teach at the Primary school where she helped Sarah Watson with the Christmas production: “Shepherd’s delight” was performed with gusto by Bryony, Lachlan, Kirsty Ann and Kathleen joined by Eigg toddlers, Struan (a very enthusiastic sheep) Erin, Heather and Mia (adorable as angels). Inspired by their trip to the panto in Inverness, their splendid performance was much applauded by a large island audience.
The younger children joined the teenagers for the traditional Christmas party at the tearoom. It was a very pleasant occasion with games expertly organised by Gwen and Christmas fayre – mulled wine and stollen – provided by Stuart and Grace Ferguson who are leasing the tea-room for the winter. With pool table, dartboard and chess now on offer, the tea-room now dubbed the “Crofters’ Rest” for the duration, has become a much appreciated focal point for the community during these end of year festivities. Everyone will now be in training for forthcoming tournaments, but meanwhile, the 2003 Scrabble championship has ended with Brian Greene claiming the title from John Cormack in the last week of December.
A lovely Christmas Eve Carol service at St Donnan’s and double New Year celebrations rounded up the Eigg festive season. Owing to gale force winds which prevented the band from landing on Eigg for New Year’s Eve (the new name for this line-up fronted by fiddler Amy Geddes is now “Rolling Chunder”!!) , the New Year dance was held on Friday 2 January: great tunes and vigorous dancing for the last ceilidh to be held in the old community hall - beautifully decorated by the young Eiggach - before it is rebuilt and extended. Something else to look forward to in 2004!
The new surgery is open at last - isn't it splendid. And suddenly seems as if it's always been there. We like the dog kennel! The official opening is on the 26th January at 2pm, hopefully with some entertainment from the school children.
I have the results from the last Quiz in the Crofters Rest back in December, and they are:
1st - 74 points - Ladies of Lovat - Catherine Zeta Jones, Donatella Versace, Patsy Cline, Penelope Pitstop & Margaret Thatcher
2nd - 70 points - The Elmer Fuds - Isobel Morton, Kate O'Hara, Maria Martin, Jim Morton
3rd - 54 points - The Wasters - Lucia MacKinnon, Joanna MacEachen, Susan Carstairs & Malcolm
4th - 52 points - The Whelkers - Anne Cameron, Maria Cameron, Lorraine Crawley, Katie MacDiarmid
5th - 49 points - Taynuilt Two - Sandy & Eleanor McBain
The next Quiz will be Friday 17th January, so blow off those winter cobwebs, hone those teams, polish those wits and come on down! Will I make it this month - I hope so!
The Children's Christmas party in the Hall went very well, with less people away for Christmas this year - although the dreaded lurgy made up for that. We had in the main the younger children, and they had great fun. This year the playgroup benefited by some £70 because Santa chose most of the gifts from their charity catalogue - good thinking, St Nick!
I believe the Senior Citizens' Party was also very successful and much enjoyed. Thanks go also to Duncan Lee and Hugh Cameron for putting up the Christmas decorations.
One large local family booked the Hall for their Christmas Day dinner and family gathering!
What of this year in the Hall? More crafts I hope, for one thing. The damage to the stage mended, some repainting, hopefully lighting and a projector, and a car park over the road. Watch this space…
If anyone has anything they want to put in this village column, please let me know, especially the results of any events or anything happening that I don't know about. Ideally people could feed things into this section if they don't actually want to write anything themselves.
THE MACKINTOSH CENTRE
The Mackintosh Centre held two very enjoyable parties in December to celebrate St. Andrew’s Day and Christmas. Tam cooked an amazing array of dishes for the buffet for the first party and a wonderful Christmas Dinner for the second. Everyone enjoyed the entertainments that were put on afterwards by Jesse and James Hepburn and Robert MacMillan.
We should like to give a big THANK YOU to all those who give so much to help the Centre provide all those extras that make life there so enjoyable. So many people give generously and continuously of their time and money, skills and expertise that it would be impossible to list them all, but please know that everyone of you is greatly appreciated.
The big achievement of the Friends of the Mackintosh Centre for this year has been the establishment of the garden around the building. Now we shall need to maintain and develop it throughout the year.
Another development is the start of a store of small items that will help all of us to nurse family members at home, e.g. pads to help move immobile patients in their chairs or beds, or to turn them round etc. If you have problems like this do not hesitate to contact the Centre for advice and loan of equipment.
Hogmanay in Morar
Morar Hotel has stormed back with a bang as a vibrant centre for the village and its surrounding communities. As seasonal gales swept the coast, 200-plus revellers "saw out the Old and brought in the New" at Morar's sold-out Hogmanay ceilidh.
And while baby Donal Bremner - recently christened at a champagne reception in the hotel - banged his father James' bodhran, the big boys of Dàimh kept the dancers swinging into the early hours.
Local children Megan MacLellan and Rebecca MacLean also danced in the hall - for many guests the highlight of the night - while Morar's Gaelic-unit teacher Dawn Wells played the pipes for the Highland Fling.
In the public bar, meantime, Nuala Kennedy and five friends - stormbound on the way to Eigg - kept toes tapping throughout the night: and in fact played in the public bar for three memorable nights in a row!
Morar's Hogmanay comeback follows an autumn season of regular music - traditional and not-so-traditional - in the hotel's increasingly popular public bar.
Musicians who have played Morar in the last few months include Wick rockers Eclipse, the tuneful trio of Fine Friday and local favourites Turn Up the Heat. Other musicians who have also featured include Colm O'Rua on the banjo, Gabe McVarish from Loch Morar side on the fiddle, Morar man James Bremner, Angus Kenney on the pipes, and Arisaig's own guitar favourite, Ross Martin.
Yet others include Andrew Stevenson on the pipes, Gary Innes and Billy McPhee on accordions, the Glasgow duo Black Eyed Biddy, Iain Joseph on the box, and the ever-popular Allan Henderson.
Next generation Dàimh - baby Donal Bremner with dad James' bodhran
Coastal Ranger Report
Well, that’s it all over bar the shouting! 2003 is just a memory as we look forward to another bumper year in 2004. Oh! By the way, “Happy New Year” to all my readers, may your year be all that you could wish for! I know I said that last year is only a memory now, but I look fondly back on what, for me, was the perfect twelve months (well nearly, just forget the theft of the van!). Apart from being presented with another couple of grandchildren and odds and ends like that! my working conditions, at least weather wise, just couldn’t have been bettered. Visitors came to the area in ever increasing numbers, with campsites in July and August being unable to cope with the demand. This was very much to my benefit as the bulk of my “customers” come from the sites, both local, and from afar afield as Onich and Fort William. However, it is still a bit disappointing that I seem unable to coax many local walkers to invest in a few hours of investigation of their heritage, but, “hope springs eternal”!
Funny thing, this month I feel a lot of pressure as regards my wee column. I have been quite taken aback recently by the number of people who have been kind enough to say that they actually enjoy my monthly offering. There have been comments about my “style”, which surprised me as I didn’t even realise that I had any particular “style” of writing, especially as it’s usually thrown together at the last moment! (Ed. will back me up on this as she continually has to e-mail me with her cryptic “this is your conscience”) So you see, the commitment to a monthly column is, for me, very hard work, and, as such, a few replies to my begging for input would be of great assistance! In fact, if anyone fancies doing a bit of “ghost writing”………..
While you’ve all been enjoying the festivities, what have I been up to? Well, strangely enough, I’ve been doing exactly the same! I’ve been forcing on the pounds and entertaining grandchildren etc. (and peeling the odd spud!). However, prior to the Christmas break, I was quite busy down at Kinlochmoidart constructing stiles over deer fences, and bridging a couple of ditches to extend the path there into a nice circular stroll. Having said that, I will be in need of a number of volunteers to walk the circuit once or twice to clarify the hitherto untouched route. Knowing how keen you all are, I don’t expect any problems when, in the near future, I call for my “trample squad”???!! In order that I am not oversubscribed, how about giving me a call on my ever alert answering device (01687 462 983) to express your interest? Seriously, I will be needing a hand and will be pleased to receive your calls. At the moment I am awaiting the arrival of all the way markers which were ordered last year (sounds funny doesn’t it!) and once these are in position it’s “tally ho!” Let me know if you fancy a stroll on a day convenient to all, probably once we start to get a bit of growth again, and I’ll get it organised. In the meantime, start taking advantage of all the facilities in the swimming pool and shed some of the weighty turkey!
Look after yourselves and make the most of our wonderful outdoors.
A Little Genealogy by Allan MacDonald (email: email@example.com)
Arisaig - Montevideo - California
In September we had a visit from Allan MacDonald and his wife, Mary. They live in Laffeyette, California and were visiting the old homelands of Allan’s ancestors who had been cleared from Gaothdail around 1843 and who then went to live at the back of Traigh Farm, at a place known as “Am Bas”, or, “The Village”. They were given refuge there by the then, tenant of Traigh Farm, Mrs Anne MacDonell. Mrs MacDonell was a daughter of Archie MacDonald, Rhu, granddaughter of Iain “Frangaich” and great granddaughter of Angus Borrodale. She gave shelter to some 50 families who were evicted from the Rhu Peninsula or thereabouts and in the process, almost bankrupted herself.
Around 1860 the great, grandparents of our Allan MacDonald from California, emigrated to Montivideo, in South America, with their two children, Allan and Flora. Some years later both parents died and the two orphan children were returned to Scotland to live in Toigal with an Aunt MacEachen, sister of their mother. Apparently, the two children spoke fluent Gaelic and Spanish but, had no English.
Young Allan (Montivideo and Arisaig) appears in the 1881 Census for Toigal, aged 22 years. He later married Margaret MacDonald and had 4 children, who were, John, Alexander, Angus and Dugald. The family were, by this time, settled in the Glasgow area. In 1922/24 Allan’s son, Dugald, emigrated to America where he married and had two children, Allan and Morag. It was this Allan who visited us this year.
Allan’s sister Flora, who returned from Montevideo with him, married an Allan MacDonald and had nine children. They were as follows:
(1) Angus who married Annie MacPherson and had ten of a family, one of whom is Flora MacDonald, now aged 92, (Major Rtd. Q.A.R.A.N.C.) and resident in the MacIntosh Cenre in Mallaig. Two of her sisters survive also. They are Eunice(Aonghasina) MacLellan and Renèe. Flora and her siblings are, therefore, second cousins of Allan MacDonald, our visitor from California, as are all the children of the other eight siblings.
(2) Ronald m. Mary MacDonald, Gorsten, Arisaig.and had four children, Sophie, Flora, Donald John and Anne. (Kinnigary or Ceann a’ Charaidh)
(3) Allan was also married and was pre-deceased by his wife, who died during W.W.11. She served with the the W.R.E.N.s. Allan, himself, was killed during the same war. There were no children of the union.
(4) Donald was also married and lived in Coatbridge. It was thence that our visitor was going to visit Donald’s descendants. My information on this branch of the family is too sketchy to include here.
(5) Mary married Finlay MacLennan and they too, lived in Toigal but had no children.
(6) Jimmy was unmarried and lived in Toigal.
(7) Jean, who was unmarried, and died aged 21 years.
(8) Jessie died in infancy.
(9) Iain, best known as “Iagan the Central” for his many years as barman at the Central Bar in Mallaig. He married Helen May and had four daughters, Joan, Helen, Margaret and Flora. (Columba Road, Morar.)
Note: Margaret, who married Allan MacDonald ( Montevideo) sometime after 1881, was a sister of Alexander MacDonald. Alexander was the father of Iain, ‘Handy, Cnoc-na-Faire and grandfather of Jessica (MacKinnon), Peggy (Milligan), Merac, Donald who died in 2001, and Sandy, Gorten Farm, Arisaig.
The Martins of Marishadder
A few issues ago Allan wrote about this family, an article spotted by Margaret Bull trawling the internet in Australia. She sent West Word this e-mail:
'It was with great delight today (3rd January 2004) when searching the net to find your article on the Martins of Marishadder. I descend from Alexander Martin who married Jessie Maclean. I come down through their daughter Marjory who married Rev, Roderick Mackenzie. My grandfather Hugh was born to them while Roderick was ministering at Tarbert on Harris. Hugh migrated to Australia and married in Brisbane in 1908. Three other brothers migrated to USA.
We visited Skye in 1998 but at that time was unaware of the Marishadder connection as had been having difficulty researching Alexander. Hugh and Marjory were married in Portree in 1871.
I live in Melbourne Australia and thank you for the article. I have old photos of Nicol, Angus and Jessie Maclean Martin.
I have an article printed in the Oban Times Saturday 15, 1913 following the death of Rev. Donald Martin, son Dr. Donald Martin. Rev. David was he was born at Roshven House, then moved to Oban after his father died, and lived for some years in Craigvarran . He came in daily to attend the old Free Church school in Combie Street and on leaving school entered the law office of Messers Gregerson and Lawrence. He later went to India to take up Indigo Planting, but he did not like it and didn't stay long and came back to enter theological training. He ministered at Stornoway for 20 years and then moved on to Oban.
This article was sent to my Grandfather as his brother Alexander Mackenzie( who went to America) had called one of his sons Donald after this Donald. The American Donald Mackenzie went on to become Dr Mackenzie, Dean of Lindenwood College in the 1960's.
On New Years Night in Australia every year, the Edinburgh Military Tattoo is screened and we wouldn't miss it for anything. This year's tattoo was wonderful and one of the best we felt. It really stirs my Scottish Heritage
We hope to return to Skye in a year or so and will have new places to see. We just loved Skye when we visited and I have a picture of the Cuillins in my home.
My name is Margaret Bull and my email is firstname.lastname@example.org
We are pleased to feature a further article sent to us by Allan J Gillis of Ottawa. (We featured Allan's piece on the 'Alexander' of 1772 in January 2003.) Allan says his own Gillis roots are from Gaoideal, Arisaig.
The MacLellans of Inverness County (Cape Breton) - 1871 Census
Compiled by Allan J. Gillis © 1997
The MacLellans of Inverness County came from the West Highland and Hebridean areas of Scotland. Those who settled in the county were mainly Roman Catholics, with the exception of one family grouping in the Whycocomagh area and several other isolated individuals elsewhere in the county.
It appears that the few MacLellans who originally settled in the Judique-River Denys Road-Glendale areas were not connected with those in the northern part of the county. I suspect that these MacLellans settled near their friends and relatives from South Uist. (This remains to be proven) Also, some of these MacLellans might have been from Eigg.
The majority of the Inverness County MacLellans came from Morar, with perhaps a few from Knoydart. These MacLellans were, at first, concentrated in the Glenville-Broad Cove-Southwest Margaree areas and tended to intermarry with other Morar families, such as the Gillises and other MacLellans. If one consults MacDougall's History of Inverness County, it is mind-boggling to try to sort out the various family connections. However, it may be that certain persons have traced out and recorded their own families to the point where they can add to the sketchy information given in this census.
The day is pretty well past when one might readily visit individuals who could rhyme out from memory the highly intricate family connections of our people. (There are a few left, but they are disappearing quickly!) One should record any oral traditions from older family members as soon as possible - or even record your own. Every little snippet of family or local lore can add to our knowledge of our ancestors and our neighbours.
The census is merely an enumeration of the population but it can prove valuable when combined with land records, wills, probates and many family records such as Bibles, obituaries, correspondence and partially-completed genealogies. (Genealogies are on-going and are never completed.) Ages given in the various censuses are not etched in stone; they can vary widely from one ten-year period to another and should be approached as being only a rough guide to each person's actual age. (See the 1871 ages and those of 1881 in small brackets to appreciate this.)
Sometimes, the census can give us unexpected little clues such as the inclusion of people of a different surname living with the family. Considering that our people operated their own welfare system, one might presume that these extra people might be relatives or distressed neighbours. It helps to have a look at the complete area census to see who the neighbours were as, often, the Scotch pioneers didn't go too far to find a husband or wife. Knowledge of one's in-laws can be helpful!
I hope that this compilation of the Inverness County MacLellans will be of some use to anyone trying to trace their roots to Inverness County and beyond. Good luck!
P.S. Ages given in small brackets are those in the 1881 census. Unfortunately, I didn't have time to complete them all. Also, you can find at least one family from Eigg. There were a total of 652 MacLellans in Inverness County in 1871.
Watch this space for extracts from next month's issue!
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