Scotland (Counties as in 1851-1901) => Scotland => Ross & Cromarty => Topic started by: alastairgm on Friday 22 December 06 20:57 GMT (UK)

Title: Place Names in the Black Isle
Post by: alastairgm on Friday 22 December 06 20:57 GMT (UK)
Having got a copy of my ancestor Ann MacDonald's marriage of 1830 from the OPR for Urquhart & Logie Wester parish I see she is "of Drumore". In the 1861 Census her residence is shown as being in Druim Mhoir, which I think must be the same place.

In the 1841 census, though, she is shown as being at "Brae Tenacarn" (I think this is what it is but the writing is not clear) and in the 1851 one at "Bosmore". I think these could be different names for the same place as not only is she there but the neighbouring households are the same ones in all three years, and also in all three censuses the next place named is "Braes of Dunvornie". This I can find both on Old-Maps and on the present day OS map, but not the other three.

These are not isolated places but the inhabitants cover two or more sheets of the Census. They are nearly all Crofters and Ag. Labs., so may have been cleared at a later date?

Her relatives who left ROC give their place of birth as being Ferintosh, which ties in with the Braes of Dunvornie area.

Is there anyone with a knowledge of the area who could say where Drumore/ Druim Mhoir/Bosmore/ Brae Tenacarn were or are?

Title: Re: Place Names in the Black Isle
Post by: Chortlegirl on Sunday 24 December 06 19:14 GMT (UK)
Hi Alastairgm

I've got a book called "Place names of Ross and Cromarty" by WJ Watson (first published in 1904).

In the entries for Urquhart parish there is a place called Teanagairn (Gaelic for "House of the cairn" after a ruin of a cairn found in the wood about a mile west of Culbokie.)

On a Victorian map of the area, there is a house / farm called "Tighnacarn" between Braes of Dunvournie and Culbokie. It looks like this could this be the same as Teanagairn and perhaps close by your Brae Tenacarn.

I've also looked in Watson's book and the only Drumore listed is in the neighbouring parish of Killearnan. It's a holding that's part of the settlement of Fettes (just north of Redcastle).

Unfortunately I couldn't find any mention of Bosmore in Waston's book or on the Victorian map.

Hope this info is of some help!
Title: Re: Place Names in the Black Isle
Post by: alastairgm on Monday 25 December 06 20:49 GMT (UK)
Hello Lynn,

That's a very useful book you've got there.
 Teanagairn is in the right place , as my Ann MacDonald married a John Fraser from Culbokie. Presumably the Braes would be up the slopes to the East of the farm, just as the Braes of Dunvornie are to the East of the present day Dunvornie Farm.
Both the Drumore and Druim Mhoir I'm looking for are definitely in Urquhart & Logie Wester parish. According to the OS Glossary of Gaelic Place Names they mean "Big Ridge" so there must be plenty of places that would have been called that around.
Bosmore is a bit more difficult.† The OS Glossary doesn't list "Bos-" as either a Gaelic or a Scots word. Could be "Bog", misheard by the enumerator, I suppose.
Anyway, your Teanagairn suggestion sounds the right one to me, so I know where to go when I visit the Black Isle, hopefully next summer.
Many thanks for your help; much appreciated.
Merry Christmas! Regards, Alastair MacDonald
Title: Re: Place Names in the Black Isle
Post by: Chortlegirl on Tuesday 26 December 06 01:37 GMT (UK)
Hi Alastair

Glad the info was of some help to you. I've had another look at Watson's book and the next settlement listed immediately after Teanagairn is Duncanston. Watson says that the Gaelic place name for Duncanston was "Bog a'mhiodar". A possible candidate for Bosmore (considering the liberties sometimes taken with Gaelic spellings?!)? Bog a'mhiodar is listed as meaning Bog of the Pasture Ground or Bog of the Round Wooden Vessel (Watson says the former is more likely).

By the way by ggg grandparents were John MacDonald and Janet Fowler from the Culbokie area. They married in 1835 in Urquhart and Logie Wester (their daughter Jessie born approx 1838 in Culbokie is my gg grandmother) - any connection with your MacDonalds?

Hope you had a lovely Christmas!
Best wishes
Title: Re: Place Names in the Black Isle
Post by: alastairgm on Tuesday 26 December 06 21:33 GMT (UK)
Hello Lynn,

You're right about the Duncanston connection. I've now looked at the† 1871 Census and lo and behold in it Duncanston is now followed by Bogmore (sic) and then by Braes of Dunvornie. Obviously in 1851 the enumerator either mis-heard or couldn't read his own writing.
Your book is proving invaluable. Also in 1871 there is a place near Duncanston called either Knocknaril or Knockinarit which I can't find on any map. Is that in your book, by any chance?
My gggrandfather was a John MacDonald but he was born around 1785 and left the Black Isle for Morayshire in around 1810 and married and settled there, so he's unfortunately not the same one. I'll prepare a summary of my Black Isle MacDonalds and send them to you separately, to see if any coincide.

Many thanks, Regards, Alastair.
Title: Re: Place Names in the Black Isle
Post by: Chortlegirl on Wednesday 27 December 06 14:52 GMT (UK)
Hi Alastair

I think that Prof Watson has come up trumps again! He lists a place called:

"Cnoc an araid - a mile or so west of Culbokie, most likely from "anart" (linen) which in E Ross becomes "arad".

This looks a likely candidate especially when the "d" in Gaelic is often pronounced like a "t". I've checked on my Victorian map of the area, but can't see it marked anywhere.

The other "Knock" place names listed in the parish are:

Knockandultaig (from Gael. for "bat's hillock").
Cnoc na fanaig (from Gael. for "Hill of the lazy-bed" or "hoodie crow")
Cnoc 'chois (from "Hill of the recess")

I think the first "Knock" looks the most likely (and is the right part of the parish for your family too). The only drawback with Watson's book is that it doesn't have any maps unfortunately, just a list of place names.

Were your ancestors involved in distilling by any chance? There was quite an industry in the parish until 1786 (employing over 1000 people) as a result of what was known as the "Ferintosh privilege" (this allowed the local landowner to run distilleries effectively duty free as compensation from the Government for damage caused by Jacobites). The privilege was removed in 1786 and as a result, in the following years, many people from the area had to move away to seek employment elsewhere. It just seemed a bit of a coincidence that your ancestor moved from one area to another where there was a strong whisky industry!

Best wishes
Title: Re: Place Names in the Black Isle
Post by: alastairgm on Friday 29 December 06 20:29 GMT (UK)
Hello Lynn,

I can't see Cnocanaraid or anything like it on the old-maps site either but at least Prof. Watson confirms it's in the area we're looking at, which is most helpful.
As regards a family connection with the whisky industry I'm afraid I haven't come across one as yet. All my ancestors seem to have been crofters or farmers or otherwise connected with the land. That doesn't mean there wasn't a still hidden somewhere, I suppose, but that wouldn't be the sort of thing you find in the records, unless they were caught and prosecuted!
I'll get my MacDonald details to you shortly.
Many thanks. Regards, Alastair
Title: Re: Place Names in the Black Isle
Post by: Fransmoi on Tuesday 26 June 07 01:44 BST (UK)
TEANACAIRN† became TEANAGAIRN over time and from at least 1813 to 1852 my gt gt gt grandparents Alexander Mackenzie & Janet Robertson were begatting and dying at this farm. A son Alexander died there aged 82 in 1874.

Janet said her father was a provost of Dingwall and they were related to no less a personage than the PM William Ewart Gladstone !

I'd be glad to hear from anyone with more information on this† family.A grandson built a low walled enclosure topped with wrought iron railings in Old Urquhart Cemetery with 7 stones commemorating them.

Title: Re: Place Names in the Black Isle
Post by: lspecht on Thursday 03 July 08 20:30 BST (UK)

I'm trying to link my ggg-grandfather, Charles Fowler, to his parents, whom I believe were Colin Fowler (a/k/a Foular), of "Dunvorny and Knock-narid", and his wife, Cathrine Gordon.  From what I can find, Dunvorny and Knock-narid were in the Duncanstown area of Dingwall.

Charles Fowler married Sarah Deadman in London in 1807, lived for many years in Elgin, and died in 1841 in Aberdeen.  My research shows that he worked as a silversmith/dentis/cupper.  I have lots of information regarding Colin's children but still can't make the link.  Any help would be much appreciated.

By the way, among the children listed as having been born to Colin and Cathrine is a Janet Fowler, born 23 Nov 1757.


Title: Re: Fowler
Post by: lspecht on Saturday 05 July 08 13:49 BST (UK)
Hi Lynn,

So sorry to reply this way, but I could not for the life of me figure out how to respond directly to your last message.

Thank you so much for the information you passed along.  There is definitely a connection to between your Janet Fowler and my Colin Fowler.  From what Iíve been able to determine from the IGI, Colin Fowler and Cathrine Gordon had the following children (maybe some of them show up in your listing of MIís):

Janet Fowler - Christening: 23 Nov. 1757 Urquhart And Logie Wester.  She married Colin Simson on 16 Feb. 1779 in Urquhart and Logie Wester, and had a son named John Simson on 1 Sep 1783 in Urquhart And Logie Wester.

James Fowler - Christening: 20 Dec. 1759 Urquhart And Logie Wester.  James his M.A. at King s College, Aberdeen ; M.A. in 1781; licensed by Presb. of Dingwall 12 Sept. 1787; ordained missionary at Fort-Augustus 30th Nov. 1791; minister of Urquhart and Glenmoriston; married Margaret Grant, daughter of Alpin Grant and Agnes Shaw, May 9, 1799; died May 25, 1814; interred at Kilmore Cemetery.  The Grant family managed sugar plantations in British Guiana for some time.

Thomas Fouler - Christening: 7 Dec. 1762 Urquhart And Logie Wester

Christian Foular - Christening: 16 Nov. 1763 Urquhart And Logie Wester

Donald Foular - Christening: 26 Oct. 1765 Urquhart And Logie Wester

Colin Foular - Christening: 10 Nov. 1767 Urquhart And Logie Wester

Margaret Foular - Christening: 4 Jan. 1770 Urquhart And Logie Wester, Ross And Cromarty

William Foular - Christening: 14 Dec. 1771 Urquhart And Logie Wester.

Cathrine Foular - Christening: 29 Jan. 1778 Urquhart And Logie Wester
John Foular - Christening: 4 Oct. 1779 Urquhart And Logie Wester

Your message indicates that Colin Fowler also had a son by the name of Alexander Fowler, who does not show up in the IGI.  I have not been able to make the link between my ggg-grandfather, Charles Fowler, and Colin Fowler, so I have always suspected that some of his childrenís births/christenings were not recorded or have not yet been put into the IGI.

The children of my ggg-grandfather, Charles Fowler, and my ggg-grandmother, Sarah Deadman, were as follows (maybe some of them show up in your listing of MIís):

Catherine Gordon Fowler (born 3 Feb. 1810; christening 17 Feb. 1810; in Elgin)

Samuel Deadman Fowler (born 3 June 1811; christening 22 June 1811; in Elgin).  He moved to Kingston, Ontario where he worked as a customs clerk and died there on 13 Jul 1871.

Colin Fowler (born 25 Jan. 1813; christening 8 Feb. 1813; in Elgin)

Sarah Morgan Fowler (born 7 June 1814; christening 18 June 1814; in Elgin); married William Rae on 8 Feb. 1838 and lived in the Newhills area of Aberdeen.

James Fowler (born 12 Mar. 1816 in Elgin); married Jane Aitken.  His sons owned a sugar refining business in Port Glasgow and later in the Blackwall area of London.

Charles Calder Fowler (born 24 Feb. 1818; christening Mar. 8, 1818; in Elgin)

Alexander Fowler (born Jan. 21, 1820; christening Feb. 9, 1820; in Elgin).  He was my gg-grandfather.  He moved to Ontario around 1850, then to Chicago in 1872, and died 20 March 1889 in Chicago.  He married Sophia Beattie on 24 Jul 1845 in Aberdeen.  She was the daughter of the rector of Tain Academy, Alexander Beattie.

Thomas Hughes Gordon Fowler (born 21 July 1821; christening 9 Aug. 1821; in Elgin).  He married Selina Mary Tillbury.  He managed a sugar plantation in British Guiana and also served as a Justice of the Peace in Essequebo.  He died before 1865.

Fyfe Fowler (born 21 Aug. 1822; christening 27 Sept. 1822; in Elgin).  He moved to Kingston, Ontario about 1854 and was Dean of the Queenís Medical School, Kingston.

William Brown Fowler (christening 7 June 1826 in Aberdeen)

Iím still trying to make the link between our families.  It seems to me that Colin Fowlerís son, William Fowler, may not be the father of your ggg-grandmother, since I found a William Fowler and Isobel Rose married 30 Mar 1775 in Urquhart and Logie Wester (note:  Colinís son, William, was born in 1771, so he is far to young to be the husband of this Isobel Rose).  My best guess is that Colin Fowler may have been an uncle to the William Fowler who married Isobel Rose.  Iíll keep digging and keep you posted.

Kind regards,
Title: Re: Place Names in the Black Isle
Post by: minw on Tuesday 21 June 11 04:01 BST (UK)
Hi Alistair,
found your message when browsing. I think your Ann Macdonald is my great great grandmother.
married 5 March 1830 to John Fraser, mason, by Rev. Kennedy , Redcastle.
I found this family after a long search. Their daughter Ann was my great grandmother.
Min Walker nee Davidson ex Nairn
Title: Re: Place Names in the Black Isle
Post by: alastairgm on Sunday 31 July 11 12:10 BST (UK)
Hi Min,
Sorry about the delay in replying to your post but for some reason I didn't get the usual notification of it. It certainly looks as if there is a connection. The major problem with my Black Isle MacDonald's is that none of them appear on the Birth/Baptisms on the OPR so the only way I can calculate birth dates is from Censuses and SR Death entries. The only reason I found this Ann MacDonald is that my g.g.grandfather's brother Roderick MacDonald, who died a childless widower in 1858 in Rafford, Moray left a Will distributing his possessions among his relatives. One clause in this reads:-
"To my sister Ann Macdonald or Fraser Wife of John Fraser Mason Ferintosh three pairs of Blue Edged Blankets."
This fits the 1830 marriage and the births of children Donald, Alexander, Ann and John Fraser but there are so many Ann Macdonald's born in the area that I cannot be sure. If she was alive in 1858 then there ought to be an SR Death for her so that I can check her parents but so far I haven't found one. Have you?
I have plenty of information on this Ann's siblings which I can PM to you if you are interested.
Regards, Alastair MacDonald
Title: Re: Place Names in the Black Isle
Post by: Mark Fowler on Monday 21 July 14 11:34 BST (UK)
Dear All,

I have signed up to RootsChat after finding your exchange on the internet, several years late!

My ancestor was the minister James Fowler who married Margaret Grant. I only have semi-anecdotal knowledge of his predecessors on the Black Isle, so I would be most interested to learn more.

In particular, I believe that this is the first time I have heard that his father and mother were Colin Fowler and Cathrine Gordon.

James Fowler's son, Alpin Grant Fowler, went out to British Guiana, I had assumed because of the Grant connection, but I now see that a number of other Fowlers also settled out there.

Alpin Grant Fowler became a sugar planter and married in British Guiana / Demerera, before moving to Ootacamund, India, where he was a tea and coffee planter. He eventually retired to Marylebone, London.

His son, another Alpin Grant Fowler, was a Civil Engineer, who married in New Zealand, and his son, Tracy, became the manager of the sugar beet factory in Cantley, Norfolk, where my father Jim was brought up.

Lisa's reference to the sons of another related James Fowler, with their sugar refining business at Blackwall, makes me wonder to what extent family history may have influenced Tracy's choice of career.

Tracy had served his apprenticeship at Tate & Lyle, and Tate & Lyle bought (presumably the same) Fowler Ltd sugar refining company of Glasshouse Wharf, Blackwall.

I believe that this was the same Fowler Ltd which produced 'Fowler's West Indian Treacle', which was once a household name, at least in the UK.

If any of you are still in contact on I would be very interested in learning more about the family, and in particular Colin Fowler's ancestors.
Title: Re: Place Names in the Black Isle
Post by: Rena on Monday 21 July 14 12:46 BST (UK)
Hi Mark

Welcome to rootschat.

To find out if the posters are still active on rootchat, click on each person's name.  This will take you to their Profile page which includes the date when the poster last visited rootschat.  I see that one of the posters has visited this month.

You will be allowed to send a Private Message (PM) to any rootschat member after you have posted three times on rootschat - this is to prevent spam.   The facility to send a PM is also on the member's Profile Page.

Best Wishes.