Author Topic: Macleods of Achunahanait and various spellings there after  (Read 18701 times)

Offline debbiebozkurt

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Macleods of Achunahanait and various spellings there after
« on: Sunday 04 August 13 20:40 BST (UK) »
Hi

Can anyone tell me where the village, township of Achunahanait is, I know it was in Durness and I think it is near Hope but I can not find it on any map, looked at some of the old maps. I have a family of Macleods in the mid to late 18th century that were living there when married and some of their children were born there.

They all have the alias Macnishbhain which I know the Bhain means fair and the Mac means son of but I have searched and asked friends what nish bit translates - does anyone know Gaelic - even tried my dictionary.

Donald Macleod jnr alias Macnishbhain came from Achunahanait but married Ann Mackay from Hope and then settled there. I am trying a to trace his father and his brothers which can be identified through the fathers alias.

Any help appreciated

Regards

Debs

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Offline djct59

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Re: Macleods of Achunahanait and various spellings there after
« Reply #1 on: Monday 05 August 13 22:07 BST (UK) »
"Nish" is Anglicisation of "Anaís", the genitive of Angus.

Achunahanait was to the south of the main village, between Sarsgrum and Keodale. Some early maps have it to the west of the road, but as far as I know it was slightly east of there, where the land rises towards the peat moss. As far as I know it was cleared when the Keodale estate was turned over to sheep farming. I can see if i have a more detailed archaeological map amongst my papers

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Offline djct59

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Re: Macleods of Achunahanait and various spellings there after
« Reply #2 on: Monday 05 August 13 22:26 BST (UK) »
For a decent old map, go onto Scotlandsplaces, go to Sutherland, click on Durness parish, and look for  "Plan Of Intended Road From The Kirk Of Durness To The Head Of Loch Naver, Sutherland". That dates from 1790 so fits with your chosen time frame.

"Auch-na-Hanet" is on that, due west of Loch Meddie, but please remember two points. 1. The shape of the loch has been changed since it was dammed in the 19th century and 2. The modern road is far closer to the coast of the Kyle than the planned road; at this point the A836 road is next to the shore, so the former township is to the east of the present day road.

Offline djct59

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Re: Macleods of Achunahanait and various spellings there after
« Reply #3 on: Monday 05 August 13 23:06 BST (UK) »
I see his brother John McLeod married Ann McKenzie nin Hustianmacenichmacenich (daughter of Hugh, the son of Kenneth, the son of Kenneth) at Dalnaheru in Strathmore on 19th October 1779, in a joint wedding with her sister Janet, who married Donald MacKay. John and Ann had a daughter Barbara (chr. 6th June 1783), who must have died in infancy. The crops failed in 1782 and 1783 so infant mortality was high, and their next child was another daughter Barbara (chr. 7th November 1785). Their next child was Hugh (chr. 6th June 1788), followed by Angus (chr. 11th May 1793) and Wilhelmina (chr 4th April 1796), then another Angus (chr 17th June 1798).

Hope this gives you something to work with.

Offline IanB

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Re: Macleods of Achunahanait and various spellings there after
« Reply #4 on: Tuesday 13 August 13 03:18 BST (UK) »
Hi Debs,
I am not a Gaelic speaker but I have picked up a few things during my almost 20 years of researching my Durness ancestors. Gaelic is known as a " reflective" language, meaning that the spelling of nouns, proper nouns, and pronouns often changes when the grammatical case changes. Most important for us is a change from the nominative case to the genitive case when a patronymic is involved.

The simplest version is a single patronymic, e.g. "A"  son of  "B" substitung your names we would have (in English) Donald   son of  Angus. In gaelic we would have Domhnall son of Aonghas, except that the name in the genitive case is lenited (a softening of the first consonant - often indicated by adding an "h" after the first consonant but not when the name starts with a vowel; and by inserting an "i" after the last vowel)  Thus Aonghas becomes Aonghais. "ais" is pronounced "ish" and Aonghais is pronounced something like "anish". The minister was not a native Gaelic speaker and recorded Aonghais as "nish".

Hope this helps,
IanB
Morrison, MacKay, MacCulloch, Sutherland, Dingwall, MacLeod, Donn, Calder,Blyth/Blythe; Baxter; Woodburn;Fleming;Hobkirk

Offline djct59

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Re: Macleods of Achunahanait and various spellings there after
« Reply #5 on: Sunday 18 August 13 11:08 BST (UK) »
IanB: It's also worth remembering that in the dialect of Strathnaver and north-west Sutherland, the "n" and "l" in Domhnall are transposed - it's always been pronounced "Dolan", hence the references to MacDholi in the parish records.

When I was a small boy, the local postman was an oldish man, probably about sixty, known as "Dolan Ruadh" - red-haired Donald, and my uncle and cousin Donald both use/d variants of the "Dolan" sound.

Offline Skoosh

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Re: Macleods of Achunahanait and various spellings there after
« Reply #6 on: Sunday 18 August 13 13:17 BST (UK) »
I've heard Dolie used for Donald in the Seaboard villages of Easter Ross. The fishing community was partly of Sutherland origin.

Skoosh.

Offline IanB

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Re: Macleods of Achunahanait and various spellings there after
« Reply #7 on: Sunday 18 August 13 16:30 BST (UK) »
Thanks, DJCD59.  I wasn't aware of that. My family was not Gaelic-speaking, having left Lerin for Edinburgh approx. 1880, when my grandfather was 9.   Donald was a favourite name in our family (my great great grandfather; grandfather; father; brother; cousin; & nephew)

IanB (Morrison)
Morrison, MacKay, MacCulloch, Sutherland, Dingwall, MacLeod, Donn, Calder,Blyth/Blythe; Baxter; Woodburn;Fleming;Hobkirk

Offline djct59

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Re: Macleods of Achunahanait and various spellings there after
« Reply #8 on: Sunday 18 August 13 17:39 BST (UK) »
...in which case I suspect our lines intermingle six generations back!