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Scotland (Counties as in 1851-1901) => Scotland => Ross & Cromarty => Topic started by: whatkaileysaid on Monday 09 October 17 06:41 BST (UK)

Title: Norman Morrison b1790 Applecross/Gairloch - looking for parents/birth location
Post by: whatkaileysaid on Monday 09 October 17 06:41 BST (UK)
Hi all. I've inherited a family tree from my grandmother, that goes back to Norman MORRISON born 1790 in Scotland. He married Isabella MCLENNAN in 1813. I am descended from their 5th child, William Morrison.

Most of Norman's children were born in APPLECROSS, but he and his wife died in GAIRLOCH. All of their children were born and died in Applecross. However, their marriages seemed to have all taken place in Gairloch. And, Norman and Isabella both died in Gairloch too. It seems like a lot of movement between the two. Given the historical context, I'm trying to figure out why. Any ideas?

Most of all, I'd love to get a generation further back from Norman Morrison. I already know Isabella's parents' names - Mary McKenzie and Norman McLennan.

I'm going to be using the resources here to see if I can find it myself (as the general searches online haven't produced anything) but if you have any tips/info about any of this or these people, please let me know.

Kailey

P.S. I know this forum says ~1850 so if I should be posting this elsewhere, please advise :)
Title: Re: Norman Morrison b1790 Applecross/Gairloch - looking for parents/birth location
Post by: CaroleW on Monday 09 October 17 10:41 BST (UK)
Welcome to Rootschat

What year did Norman die?  If he died from 1855 onwards his parents should be named on his death cert which can be downloaded from Scotland’s People


Title: Re: Norman Morrison b1790 Applecross/Gairloch - looking for parents/birth location
Post by: Skoosh on Monday 09 October 17 10:43 BST (UK)
Kailey,  possibly Lewis going by the name?

Skoosh.
Title: Re: Norman Morrison b1790 Applecross/Gairloch - looking for parents/birth location
Post by: whatkaileysaid on Tuesday 10 October 17 01:28 BST (UK)
The death date has two different optional years listed (not sure why) - one is listed as 1841 and the other 1851. Either way, seems like before 1855. I will still check Scotland's People - thank you for the suggestion, Carole!

And yes Skoosh, I have seen it written as Norman Morrison "of Lewis" but I wasn't sure if that definitely meant he was born on the Isle of Lewis or if it was just an ancestral thing.

I've wondered if it's possible they were part of the expulsion of Morrisons from the Isle in 1790s. I've only been skeptical of this because from what I read almost all Morrisons from Lewis settled in the Duirness and Edderachyllius area, but it looks like he spent most of his life between Gairloch and Applecross...but of course that doesn't discount it.

Do you know if there are specific resources for tracing families on Lewis? Thanks Skoosh!
Title: Re: Norman Morrison b1790 Applecross/Gairloch - looking for parents/birth location
Post by: whatkaileysaid on Tuesday 10 October 17 03:31 BST (UK)
An update: thank you for the suggestion to check out Scotlands People. I found Norman Morrison's wife Isabella's death record. It included information we didn't know, which includes Norman's occupation (general merchant) and also her father's occupation (crofter).

It also contradicts the birth date we have for her, if her age recorded on the death was correct.

Her death record is the closest I've gotten to a record of Norman himself, so his parents and birth are still a mystery. Any tips/suggestions welcome. Will keep searching and will pass Isabella's death record onto my grandmother. Thank you!

P.S. Also found William's marriage record to Mary Campbell. His generation seems much easier to find records of.

 
Title: Re: Norman Morrison b1790 Applecross/Gairloch - looking for parents/birth location
Post by: Annette7 on Tuesday 10 October 17 09:58 BST (UK)
If they followed the Scottish naming tradition (1st son named after paternal grandfather), as his first son was named Murdoch this would indicate Norman's father was named Murdoch.

A Murdoch Morrison married Christian MacLeod 14/5/1775 Durness but I can't see any sources available online for any children to this couple.

Annette
Title: Re: Norman Morrison b1790 Applecross/Gairloch - looking for parents/birth location
Post by: Skoosh on Tuesday 10 October 17 10:30 BST (UK)
Kailey,  for Harris & Lewis genealogy try,   http://billlawson.com/

Skoosh.
Title: Re: Norman Morrison b1790 Applecross/Gairloch - looking for parents/birth location
Post by: whatkaileysaid on Tuesday 10 October 17 16:40 BST (UK)
Thank you Annette! That is a really helpful piece of information. Can I ask where you found that information about their marriage? I can't seem to find it on Scotland's People.

And thank you Skoosh, I'll take a look!
Title: Re: Norman Morrison b1790 Applecross/Gairloch - looking for parents/birth location
Post by: djct59 on Tuesday 10 October 17 17:45 BST (UK)
The Murdoch Morrison who married Christian MacLeod in Durness in 1775 was from Scourie, so any children are as likely to be registered in Eddrachilles as in Durness.
Title: Re: Norman Morrison b1790 Applecross/Gairloch - looking for parents/birth location
Post by: Annette7 on Tuesday 10 October 17 18:42 BST (UK)
I found the marriage on familysearch.org at Durness, Sutherland but it is on Scotlands People with surname as Morison.

In fact, just seen another marriage for a Murdoch Morison at Durness in 1/3/1781 to a Christian MacKay - whether same person or another Murdoch have no idea.   This 2nd.  marriage is not on familysearch but is on SP too.

Annette

Title: Re: Norman Morrison b1790 Applecross/Gairloch - looking for parents/birth location
Post by: djct59 on Tuesday 10 October 17 21:40 BST (UK)
Could be the same man; That Murdoch is listed as from "Sandwood", which is close to Oldshoremore, and thus almost as close to Scourie as it is to Durness.

However, by November 1785 he and Christian MacKay are in Eilean Choraidh, on Loch Eriboll, when their son Donald is baptised. They're still there on 25th May 1788 when their daughter Christian MacKay Morison was baptised. That would make it unlikely that the family would be 100 miles to the south-west a few years later. in fact, they're in the township of Aultan Durness when further children are baptised in 1793.
Title: Re: Norman Morrison b1790 Applecross/Gairloch - looking for parents/birth location
Post by: whatkaileysaid on Wednesday 11 October 17 04:33 BST (UK)
You guys are so good at this!! It is taking me forever to even replicate what you've found online - let alone research further. I did find the record of a Murdoch Morrison's marriage to a Christian MacKay in Sandwood in 1781. I did not, however, find any of their children's records. How did you do that? (I'm sorry, I'm trying to learn!!)

So *if* Murdoch Morrison is "my" Murdoch Morrison, and he has all/most of his children in Eilean Choraidh (one of which would have to be Norman, born in 1790) it would mean that by the time that Norman was 23 he had made it to the Gairloch/Applecross area and married Isabella. It doesn't seem impossible. He was a 'merchant' so maybe economically it made more sense as a young man?

Ultimately, I'd need to find record of Murdoch and Christian having a son named Norman born in the range of 1790. Any advice on how to do this would be much appreciated. Another way in, would be to find the marriage record of Isabella and Norman because most seem to list the bride and groom's parents' names. Haven't had any luck in this myself.

Side note: I find this "naming" interesting because William (grandson to potential "Murdoch") names HIS eldest son "Murdo" rather than his father's name, Norman. Murdo was my Nana's grandfather whom she has early memories of - born in Gairloch but he became a very popular kilt maker in Edinburgh, after service for the army, and did most of the officer's uniforms stationed there. Never thought anything of the name but now wonder if it's connected.
Title: Re: Norman Morrison b1790 Applecross/Gairloch - looking for parents/birth location
Post by: whatkaileysaid on Wednesday 11 October 17 06:12 BST (UK)
Please disregard and look below! This was an evolving process ;)
Title: Re: Norman Morrison b1790 Applecross/Gairloch - looking for parents/birth location
Post by: whatkaileysaid on Wednesday 11 October 17 06:16 BST (UK)
WOAH. After a few hours of research with your recommendations, I just realized that there are two variations of Norman's name. In early records it is NORMAND Morison. I found a record of his marriage to Isabella on Family Search. They were married in Applecross on July 1st, 1813. Family Search records also have Isabela's name spelt "Isabel."

I took that information to Scotland's People and BAM - found record of their wedding. VERY EXCITED. Unfortunately, no parents are listed. It simply lists the marriage.

I believe it also lists both of their origins but the person who wrote their record had very difficult handwriting. After staring at it for quite some time I am 99.9999% sure Norman's reads: "of Torridon."

I had never heard of it, but apparently Torridon is but a mere 27 miles to Applecross where he gets married. So I think I found a birthplace.

This leads me to believe that the Murdoch of Durness is not related. But...since I did the research, I'll record below in case it is helpful to anyone else.

I took this new information BACK to Scotland's People and found him listed in the 1841 census, along with Isabella and with his kids in Applecross.

Phew! I still don't have his parents but now that I know the hometown and variable spelling maybe I'll have better luck.

---
I found most of Murdoch's children's records that have been mentioned. The child born in 1790 is listed with the name "Fairly." There was another child born in 1788 and the record does not have the gender or the name. There is a physical spot missing - it looks like the author never recorded it. Family Search however, claims that same child born in 1788 was a boy. Feel confident this is not my man.
Title: Re: Norman Morrison b1790 Applecross/Gairloch - looking for parents/birth location
Post by: Skoosh on Wednesday 11 October 17 10:03 BST (UK)
The term "Merchant!" as used in the NW Highlands can be at bit misleading, it certainly doesn't mean somebody sitting in their counting-house fingering the guineas & waiting on the world coming to their door or indeed a pedlar but somewhere in between! Your man could have been involved in supplying the fishery or shipping fish? Hence the mobility. ;D

Skoosh.
Title: Re: Norman Morrison b1790 Applecross/Gairloch - looking for parents/birth location
Post by: djct59 on Wednesday 11 October 17 21:18 BST (UK)
Fairly was a common girl's name in Durness in the late 1700s. there was a sailing boat called the "Fairly of Rispond".

Fairly was the name of the wife of a prominent local figure, Fairly Gordon (1765-90), daughter of Captain Charles Gordon of Pulrossie, Factor of Reay, and wife from 1783 till her death of James Anderson, tacksman of Keodale and later tacksman of Rispond. Fairly was the second of his wives to die young.
Title: Re: Norman Morrison b1790 Applecross/Gairloch - looking for parents/birth location
Post by: djct59 on Wednesday 11 October 17 21:38 BST (UK)
The only Normand Morison birth on "SP" for Ross & Cromarty is in Urray in 1767; your Norman is approximately 50 in 1841, so I think we can rule out them being the same man.
Title: Re: Norman Morrison b1790 Applecross/Gairloch - looking for parents/birth location
Post by: whatkaileysaid on Sunday 15 October 17 05:17 BST (UK)
Skoosh - I believe you are right. In one of the records I've found on his son William, his occupation was listed as fisherman. I would assume, then, it is very likely his father Norman was involved in the industry too.

I am still struggling to use the information I've found on Norman and Isabella's marriage record to find his parents. Right now, I have record and know that Norman was married at age 23 in Applecross. He marriage record, I believe, reads "Of Torridon." Would this mean a birth place, or just where his home at the time was?

While I suspect the family line is ultimately from Lewis, I am also not sure when they crossed over - or if he was born on the mainland or not. I cannot find anything on his birth in either places and have used the resources listed here.

I've also had no luck so far in identifying a potential "Murdoch Morison" as his father. Any recommendations on where to go next?
 
Title: Re: Norman Morrison b1790 Applecross/Gairloch - looking for parents/birth location
Post by: Skoosh on Sunday 15 October 17 14:29 BST (UK)
Kailey,  could be some connection to the British Fisheries Society,

http://www.angusmacleodarchive.org.uk

Skoosh.
Title: Re: Norman Morrison b1790 Applecross/Gairloch - looking for parents/birth location
Post by: whatkaileysaid on Tuesday 17 October 17 04:21 BST (UK)
Thanks Skoosh, I've checked it out but no luck. What I did find, however, by finding their first daughter's birth record, is that Norman and Isabella lived in Kinlochewe, of Torridon. In 1789 apparently that area was expanded to attract fishing families to the area.

Here's a question for the group. I have seen this town (I think) listed on a few of their documents, but not a single google search comes back for it. It might be slightly misspelled but this is as close as I can get it: Arinacrinnord. Any ideas? It should be nearby Torridon/Gairloch/Applecross.
Title: Re: Norman Morrison b1790 Applecross/Gairloch - looking for parents/birth location
Post by: Agneshill on Tuesday 17 October 17 08:30 BST (UK)

Arinacrinachd.

It's a crofting area on the south shore of Loch Torridon between Fearnbeg and Kenmore.
Title: Re: Norman Morrison b1790 Applecross/Gairloch - looking for parents/birth location
Post by: whatkaileysaid on Wednesday 25 October 17 01:42 BST (UK)
Thanks Agnes!

Small update: I've realized by finding the 1841 census where Norman is listed with his family, that in the section that asks if he was born in the same county, he has it ticked "Y" for Yes. So that helps narrow down where I should be looking for a birth record...though it doesn't seem to exist.

I also compared the traditional naming practices for Highlander families at the time and his children don't follow the pattern at all - even with consideration of possible children who died. So I feel less confident that his father might have been named Murdoch.

I guess my next step is to try and find more information or records from Kinlochewe, since I now suspect he was born there. Still unable to find a birth record to prove it or to identify his parents. If anyone has any tips for this specific area in Ross & Cromarty, please let me know. Feeling like I might need to take a trip to Scotland again soon.
Title: Re: Norman Morrison b1790 Applecross/Gairloch - looking for parents/birth location
Post by: roderickpaulin on Wednesday 25 October 17 02:02 BST (UK)
warning- the 1841 census for Scotland lists where you were living as where you were from
Title: Re: Norman Morrison b1790 Applecross/Gairloch - looking for parents/birth location
Post by: whatkaileysaid on Wednesday 25 October 17 02:06 BST (UK)
Really?! The instruction in the column I'm getting this from reads: "If born in Scotland, state whether from county or otherwise." And his says,  "Y" along with most others on his census page.

Did they do it incorrectly?

Also, it's dawning on me, that the Isle of Lewis is still part of the same country? Is that right? If so, saying 'yes' to that wouldn't discount the Lewis connection (to which my family mythology claims).
Title: Re: Norman Morrison b1790 Applecross/Gairloch - looking for parents/birth location
Post by: Skoosh on Wednesday 25 October 17 10:34 BST (UK)
Lewis was part of R & C, Harris was Inverness-shire. Cromarty was in several pieces which were amalgamated with Ross.

Skoosh.
Title: Re: Norman Morrison b1790 Applecross/Gairloch - looking for parents/birth location
Post by: Forfarian on Saturday 11 November 17 11:10 GMT (UK)
I am still struggling to use the information I've found on Norman and Isabella's marriage record to find his parents. Right now, I have record and know that Norman was married at age 23 in Applecross. He marriage record, I believe, reads "Of Torridon." Would this mean a birth place, or just where his home at the time was?
Warning bells! If the so-called 'record' you have found includes the word 'Of' you must not trust it. Did you find it on Family Search? What FS does is index records that come into their hands. If they have a marriage listing, they regularly assume that the people involved are 'Of' wherever they were living at the time of marriage. They also assume that the couple were of certain ages - I thought it was 25 for a man and 21 for a woman but it could be 23 and 21 - at the time of marriage.

BTW don't read anything into variations of spelling, like Norman/Normand, Morison/Morrison, Murdoch,Murdo or Mac/Mc.

Quote
warning- the 1841 census for Scotland lists where you were living as where you were from
No, it does not. The question asked in Scotland in 1841 was whether or not the person was born in the county where they were living, or in England, Ireland, Wales or foreign parts. You get 'Y' if they were born in the same county, 'N' if they were born in the same country but a different county, 'E' for England, 'W' for Wales, 'I' for Ireland, ('S' for Scotland in the E and W census) and 'F' for anywhere else.

Title: Re: Norman Morrison b1790 Applecross/Gairloch - looking for parents/birth location
Post by: whatkaileysaid on Saturday 11 November 17 15:10 GMT (UK)
Hi Forfarian,

The record I found was on Scotland's People and it is the actual document itself. I've also found him listed as 'of' Torridon/Kinlochewe, in a handwritten note about his marriage. He is listed 'of' a different place than his wife, so it is definitely not simply the place of marriage.

I understand that it's asking if you were born in the same county. What I'd like to know, is if in 1790, the Isle of Lewis was PART of the county of Ross and Cromarty. Does anyone know?

If it wasn't, this would tell me that Norman was born on the mainland. If it was, the mystery continues.

Thank you!

Kailey
Title: Re: Norman Morrison b1790 Applecross/Gairloch - looking for parents/birth location
Post by: Forfarian on Saturday 11 November 17 18:08 GMT (UK)
The record I found was on Scotland's People and it is the actual document itself. I've also found him listed as 'of' Torridon/Kinlochewe, in a handwritten note about his marriage. He is listed 'of' a different place than his wife, so it is definitely not simply the place of marriage.
What is the other document?

Quote
I understand that it's asking if you were born in the same county. What I'd like to know, is if in 1790, the Isle of Lewis was PART of the county of Ross and Cromarty. Does anyone know?
Yes, it was.
Title: Re: Norman Morrison b1790 Applecross/Gairloch - looking for parents/birth location
Post by: Skoosh on Sunday 12 November 17 15:47 GMT (UK)
The R & C history is quite complex, in 1790 it never existed. The various Cromarty components were part of the earldom of Cromarty, these Mackenzies were forfeit post the '45 & the county of Cromarty was later amalgamated with Ross which included Lewis.

Skoosh.
Title: Re: Norman Morrison b1790 Applecross/Gairloch - looking for parents/birth location
Post by: whatkaileysaid on Sunday 12 November 17 16:10 GMT (UK)
Forfarian - the other document was the copy of the actual 1841 census document. It's not simply the index from Family Search. It also corroborates with the marriage record and first daughter's birth record that indicates him being "of" the same place. 

Interesting, Skoosh. From what I've read it says the counties were brought together in 1889. Based on this, if he selected "Y" that was born in the same county (Ross?) during the 1841 census, would it have excluded the Isle of Lewis as a potential birthplace?

Any idea what county the Isle of Lewis was part of in 1841?


Title: Re: Norman Morrison b1790 Applecross/Gairloch - looking for parents/birth location
Post by: Skoosh on Sunday 12 November 17 16:34 GMT (UK)
Ross & Cromarty only dates officially from 1889, although before that time there was a Parliamentary Constituency of that name. Lewis was in Ross in 1841.

Skoosh.
Title: Re: Norman Morrison b1790 Applecross/Gairloch - looking for parents/birth location
Post by: Forfarian on Sunday 12 November 17 18:39 GMT (UK)
I have a copy of Fullarton's Gazetteer of Scotland, published in 1842. It says, quite explicitly, "Lewis belongs to Ross-shire". It also says that Applecross is 'in the County of Ross'.

See also http://www.genuki.org.uk/big/sct/ROC/Gaz1868

In the Statistical Account of Scotland, the accounts of the parishes of Applecross, Barvas, Lochs and Stornoway all say that the parish is in, or belongs to, the County of Ross. As these accounts were written in the 1790s, it is reasonable to suppose that someone born in Lewis and living in Applecross on the mainland of Ross in 1841, when asked if he was born in the same county, would reply in the affirmative.
Title: Re: Norman Morrison b1790 Applecross/Gairloch - looking for parents/birth location
Post by: Forfarian on Monday 13 November 17 09:05 GMT (UK)
Forfarian - the other document was the copy of the actual 1841 census document. It's not simply the index from Family Search. It also corroborates with the marriage record and first daughter's birth record that indicates him being "of" the same place.
Does either of your original documents actually contain the word 'Of'? If it does, it might be significant, because quite often, if an official document (as opposed to an index) describes someone as 'of', it implies that they owned land, and if they owned land there are records which may reveal the person's parentage.

However I see from the transcription on FreeCEN of the 1841 that Norman was an agricultural labourer, which is not how you would expect someone owning land to earn their living. 

I am sorry if I seem to be banging on about a very small word, but it is a small word that can be very significant.
Title: Re: Norman Morrison b1790 Applecross/Gairloch - looking for parents/birth location
Post by: Agneshill on Monday 13 November 17 11:34 GMT (UK)

In an effort to get a definitive consensus of opinion on the interpretation of the various documents from which you are quoting, would you please scan and post them?
Title: Re: Norman Morrison b1790 Applecross/Gairloch - looking for parents/birth location
Post by: whatkaileysaid on Tuesday 19 June 18 05:55 BST (UK)
Hi all - realized I left this off without a response. Will check back in more detail on the records regarding "of" or "at".

In the meantime, I've booked a trip back to Scotland to visit family in Edinburgh and then to go up to Ross & Cromarty. I've still been chipping away trying to pin down Norman(d)'s location(s). In order of listing, it has him as from "Torridon" on his wedding certificate, from "Kinlochewe" in his first child's birth record, and from "Port Lair" in a following birth record. Was it common to move this much?

I haven't been able to locate Port Lair in any online sources, but a relative indicated it was located in the Torridon mountains. Could anyone with a better knowledge of the area point me to where this is (or used to be)? Would love any maps or anything to help. The same family member indicated the family may have been pushed out of Port Lair to Applecross/Gairloch area because of the Clearances but am not clear on where that information came from or if there is any proof of this. As always, any information/ideas would be appreciated :)

Kailey
Title: Re: Norman Morrison b1790 Applecross/Gairloch - looking for parents/birth location
Post by: Forfarian on Tuesday 19 June 18 09:29 BST (UK)
In order of listing, it has him as from "Torridon" on his wedding certificate, from "Kinlochewe" in his first child's birth record, and from "Port Lair" in a following birth record. Was it common to move this much?
Assuming that the marriage and baptism records are from the parish registers, they don't tell you where he was born, only where he was living at the time of the event being recorded.

As he was married before 1855, then the record is not a 'wedding certificate', it is an extract from the church registers of proclamation of banns. So I think you can reasonably infer that at the time of his marriage he was living in Torridon, especially if the same record gives a different place of residence for his wife. However Torridon is an area rather than a single place, and some people might regard Kinlochewe as being in the Torridon area.

If the baptism says Kinlochewe, this normally implies that at the time of the baptism he was living in Kinlochewe. It's not all that far from the head of Loch Torridon to Kinlochewe - about 10 miles or so.

Similarly if the next baptism says 'Port Lair', this normally implies that at the time of the baptism he was living at Port Lair, wherever it is.
Title: Re: Norman Morrison b1790 Applecross/Gairloch - looking for parents/birth location
Post by: Skoosh on Tuesday 19 June 18 10:15 BST (UK)
Kailey, Port Lair on Loch Torridon, a house west of Inveralligin & south of Lower Diabeg. Two Gaelic speaking households in 1891.

Skoosh.

Marvelous website,  ;D     www.stevecarter.com/ansh/ansh2.htm

Title: Re: Norman Morrison b1790 Applecross/Gairloch - looking for parents/birth location
Post by: Forfarian on Tuesday 19 June 18 10:29 BST (UK)
In order to get my own thoughts sorted out, I am summarising what definite information is available about Norman Morrison.

From the index at www.scotlandspeople.gov.uk
The marriage of Normand Morison to Isabel MacLenan was recorded in the Applecross parish register on 1 July 1813.
They had seven children whose baptisms were recorded in the Applecross parish register.
Ann, 13 July 1814
Janet, 20 July 1826
Abigail, 26 August 1820
Murdoch, 9 June 1823
Catherine, 26 March 1826
William, 26 March 1826
John, 22 June 1830

From the transcription at www.freecen.org.uk, the family were living in Portlair, parish of Applecross, on 7 June 1841
Norman Morison, 50, agricultural labourer
Janet Morison, 25
William Morison, 10
John Morison, 7
Ishabella Maclennen, 55
all listed as born in the same county (whether it was the county of Ross and Cromarty, or merely the county of Ross, in 1841, is immaterial; the point is that it was in the same county)

Adults' ages were supposed to be rounded down to the nearest 5 years in the 1841 census, so if their ages in the census had been accurate, this would imply that Norman was born between 8 June 1786 and 7 June 1791, and Isabella between 8 June 1781 and 7 June 1786. However the ages listed for Janet, William and John are clearly wrong if compared to their dates of baptism. If they were baptised within say three months of their births, then on the day of the 1841 census Janet would have been 23 and should have been recorded as 20, William would have been 15 and John would have been 10. Therefore you cannot rely on either Norman's or Isabella's age being accurate.

Now, Portlair. This is listed in Enumeration District 15 of the parish of Applecross. The other places in ED15 are A(i)rard and Diabaig. Diabaig is on the west end of the north side of Loch Torridon.
See http://maps.nls.uk/geo/explore/#zoom=14&lat=57.5706&lon=-5.6867&layers=5&b=1 which shows all three places (you will have to zoom in and pan around).

http://www.geograph.org.uk/gridref/NG7960
http://www.geograph.org.uk/gridref/NG7959 and
http://www.geograph.org.uk/gridref/NG7958 which shows Araid/Araird/Airaird
Port Laire is marked on the present maps
http://www.geograph.org.uk/gridref/NG7957 and there is still a house there
http://www.geograph.org.uk/gridref/NG8057

If you look carefully at the old map, you will see a double dotted line following the burn between the word 'Lower' and the word 'Diabaig'. This is the boundary between the parish of Applecross and the parish of Gairloch. Checking FreeCEN, several households in Diabag are indeed enumerated in ED1 of the parish of Gairloch.

So it is perfectly possible that Norman lived his entire life in the Diabaig area, being born in Applecross and dying in Gairloch, without ever moving more than a few miles from there, and the marriages in the parish of Gairloch could have taken place in Lower Diabaig, north of the burn/parish boundary.

Therefore I think that the family of Murdoch Morrison and Christian Mackay, all born in the county of Sutherland, are a complete red herring.





Title: Re: Norman Morrison b1790 Applecross/Gairloch - looking for parents/birth location
Post by: whatkaileysaid on Thursday 21 June 18 03:36 BST (UK)
Phew Forfarian, you are spectacular. I had no idea about the census age rounding (and therefore did not realize the discrepancies in all of their ages). While it certainly throws up the reliability of the little information we do have on Norman, it also widens the search a bit. It gives me a little bit of extra hope I may be able to figure out who he was.

Thanks to you and Skoosh also for identifying Portlair. WOW. Before I get ahead of myself, given that there were only 2 Gaelic speaking families (which they certainly were - Skoosh, where did you find that info?) listed from being there in 1880s, there's a chance that the croft house in that picture was my families? It's VERY interesting to me because there is a photo that my 87-year-old grandmother has of an old white croft on the coast (looks to me taken from a different angle, and obviously this is a common scene) that she has never known who took it or what it was (other than in the north west highlands). We suspected it was perhaps the family home. I'm going to ask her to send me a copy so I can post it here. This would solve about a 50 year family mystery.

I have booked an appt with the curator at the Gairloch Museum, do you think there would be any relevant records I could confirm this with? Rent records or something?

Your explanation regarding the changing of areas - that in fact, he likely stayed more or less put, makes entirely more sense to me. This is very clarifying and can't express how appreciative I am that you've taken the time to sort through this. Will also take the broadening of ages in mind and search for him again. I never would have gotten to this point by myself. THANK YOU!!

Title: Re: Norman Morrison b1790 Applecross/Gairloch - looking for parents/birth location
Post by: whatkaileysaid on Thursday 21 June 18 04:34 BST (UK)
I think I found it on Google Earth: https://goo.gl/maps/CUj53GUj3iB2

Title: Re: Norman Morrison b1790 Applecross/Gairloch - looking for parents/birth location
Post by: Forfarian on Thursday 21 June 18 09:26 BST (UK)
It has since occurred to me to wonder about those baptism dates.

Diabaig is about as far as it is possible to be from the kirk, and therefore the manse, of Applecross and still be in the parish. The most practical way to get a baby and a minister together would be for one or the other to travel by boat.

I speculate that the minister seldom made it to the furthest reaches of his parish, and that if and when he did make it there, he probably had to baptise all the babies born since his previous visit. So it could be that some were no longer babies by the time he got there.

It is also possible that when the minister of Gairloch made an almost equally rare visit to his part of Diabaig, he might have baptised some of the babies from the Applecross side. They would still need to be recorded in Applecross, because that was their parish of residence.

To test this hypothesis, one would need to go through the Applecross parish register and note all the dates when a Diabaig baby was baptised, and see if there was a pattern.

Things changed in 1827 when a Parliamentary kirk was set up at Shieldaig**, but this was still a long way on foot and the most practical means of travel from Diabaig to Shieldaig would still have been by boat, so the change was probably only marginal for the residents of Diabaig.

** See http://www.geograph.org.uk/article/Thomas-Telfords-Parliamentary-Kirks and don't confuse Shieldaig in the parish of Applecross http://www.geograph.org.uk/gridref/NG8153 with the other Shieldaig in the parish of Gairloch http://www.geograph.org.uk/gridref/NG8072 

Is there any other information in any of the other baptism records on the same pages as the ones you have for your Mor(r)isons?

I recommend reading the New Statistical Accounts of both Applecross
http://stataccscot.edina.ac.uk/static/statacc/dist/viewer/nsa-vol14-Parish_record_for_Applecross_in_the_county_of_Ross_and_Cromarty_in_volume_14_of_account_2/
and Gairloch
http://stataccscot.edina.ac.uk/static/statacc/dist/viewer/nsa-vol14-Parish_record_for_Gairloch_in_the_county_of_Ross_and_Cromarty_in_volume_14_of_account_2/
for background.

Title: Re: Norman Morrison b1790 Applecross/Gairloch - looking for parents/birth location
Post by: Skoosh on Thursday 21 June 18 09:41 BST (UK)
Kailey, the note of two Gaelic-speaking households there will be from the census of 1891, found that searching about!  It might be that there were two thatched "Black Houses" there then, the stones of which which have been used to build the present house?


Skoosh.
Title: Re: Norman Morrison b1790 Applecross/Gairloch - looking for parents/birth location
Post by: Forfarian on Thursday 21 June 18 10:36 BST (UK)
The chances are that there were only two households at Port Làir, so it's not a case of two households being the only ones in the village who spoke Gaelic - more likely that everyone spoke Gaelic. You'd need to have a look at the rest of the enumeration district and see if the households at A(i)rdard and Diabaig also spoke Gaelic.
Title: Re: Norman Morrison b1790 Applecross/Gairloch - looking for parents/birth location
Post by: Skoosh on Thursday 21 June 18 12:40 BST (UK)
The Torridon estate laird was the very progressive Duncan Darroch of Gourock who bought the property in 1873. Darroch restored lands to the crofters which had been cleared for sheep & shepherds. Sheep prices collapsed shortly after that date due to imports of frozen lamb from Oz & NZ. The first refrigerated ship being built on the Clyde. All over the Highlands sheep were taken off the hill & replaced by deer. Robert Darroch carried out many improvements on the estate & possibly had the Port Lair house built, the tenants thought very highly of him, he died in 1910.

Skoosh.
Title: Re: Norman Morrison b1790 Applecross/Gairloch - looking for parents/birth location
Post by: Forfarian on Thursday 21 June 18 13:04 BST (UK)
Skoosh, do you know who owned the estate before Duncan Darroch, at the time when the Morrison family was living at Port Làir? The New Statistical Account implies that it must have been Thomas Mackenzie of Applecross.

(It also repeats an entertaining story from the Statistical Account of the origin of the name Applecross, which is inconsistent with the conventional version that it is an anglicisation of 'Apor Crossan'.)
Title: Re: Norman Morrison b1790 Applecross/Gairloch - looking for parents/birth location
Post by: Skoosh on Thursday 21 June 18 13:29 BST (UK)
@ Forfarian, The Mackenzie's of Torridon had the place, one set up the Torridon Fishery Company in 1786, his manager, interestingly was a Donald Morrison of Stornoway who had warehouses, storehouses & accommodation for the workers built,  you can imagine Lewis folk there for the season. Might that be the origin of the Morrison's?


John Mackenzie the 6th laird of Torridon, died 1852, sold the estate to Mackenzie of Seaforth. A Col' MacBarnet, who made his money from slaves in the W.Indies, had the estate for a time, it was he who cleared the tennants for sheep in 1831, moving them to Annat. Seaforth also cleared Torridon tenants who were poaching deer on Applecross in 1831.


Skoosh.
Title: Re: Norman Morrison b1790 Applecross/Gairloch - looking for parents/birth location
Post by: whatkaileysaid on Thursday 21 June 18 15:13 BST (UK)
Super interesting Forfarian, I will check the baptism records this weekend.

And Skoosh - WOW. I have seen Donald's records and wondered if there was a connection. My primary theory of how the Morrison's came to the area was from Lewis during the fishing trade. I keep going back to it because there is a lot of evidence of the region formalizing the fishing trade, and bringing people from Lewis, right around the time of Norman's birth. I tried to find British Fisheries Records for the area but there aren't any, and I was told that the Torridon estate was not great at keeping records. There is also oral history in my family that insisted they were from Lewis - which ultimately with their names I think is true, but we have no evidence beyond that.

It sounds to me like Donald would have been a wealthy man, whereas it seems like Norman was not, so I am assuming the likelihood of him being his son is unlikely - unless he had many? Perhaps a nephew or relation?

I'm attaching the photo of the croft. The landscape and distance to the coast sure seems very similar. It's a bit hard to grasp it with different angles, and it appears to me (but I am very bad with spacial things) that the entry is on the opposite side of the house. But, the style of the house with the chimneys and windows are exact. Perhaps they were all made exactly like this?

I feel like the family photo is likely from Port Lair, but perhaps a house that no longer exists? If either of you are good at cross-examining photos, let me know your take on this!


Title: Re: Norman Morrison b1790 Applecross/Gairloch - looking for parents/birth location
Post by: Forfarian on Thursday 21 June 18 16:44 BST (UK)
The  house on the left in your photo is exactly typical of the older houses in Wester Ross and indeed much of Scotland, with the front door in the middle of the long elevation, a window at either side and a chimney stack at each end.

I can't tell with certainty whether or not it's the same house as in the modern photographs.
Title: Re: Norman Morrison b1790 Applecross/Gairloch - looking for parents/birth location
Post by: Skoosh on Thursday 21 June 18 18:07 BST (UK)
Aye, a standard Butt & Ben facing south for the light, the Butt or kitchen was generally to the left & had a stone floor, the Ben or bedroom usually had a wooden floor. The kitchen fire was seldom out & being to the west the heat went through the house. Sometimes two bedrooms in the loft, as looks the case here with the skylights & a wee room between the kitchen & bedroom with a rear window, or an outshot at the rear. The landing at the top of the stair, also lit by a skylight, had a wide shelf where the families kist (trunk) was kept. The other building is a byre/stable or barn.

Skoosh.
Title: Re: Norman Morrison b1790 Applecross/Gairloch - looking for parents/birth location
Post by: whatkaileysaid on Friday 22 June 18 01:12 BST (UK)
Skoosh - again, so very interesting. My Nana was told that the family had been pushed out by the clearances from that home. Wasn't sure when, or if it was true, but based on what you've listed below about 1831 that makes complete sense. Perhaps that is when they moved closer to Gairloch.

Regarding the house, I would imagine that the Morrison homestead is no longer standing. I am likely going to hike it out there when I'm there this fall, perhaps find a footprint of it or a similar rock scene from our family photo.

Can you please also refer me to where you found the information regarding Donald Morrison? A whole new chapter to explore now!  If you have any direction for me on where I might find rental records for Port Lair for Mackenzie, please let me know.

Thank you both again for this. You should charge for this - you're both pros!
Title: Re: Norman Morrison b1790 Applecross/Gairloch - looking for parents/birth location
Post by: Skoosh on Friday 22 June 18 07:06 BST (UK)
As for the Rental, the local museum is the best bet, I would send an email to Steve Carter also for his thoughts.  I found the Morrison thing by Googling Torridon etc' but Norman (Tormod) Morrison is straight out of Central Casting for a Lewisman. Bill Lawson on Harris (hebridespeople.com) is the expert on Lewis families & might expand on the Morrison/Torridon connection & where they came from. He has several publications.


The weather here is looking up so I'm off north in an hour!  ;D

Bests,
Skoosh.

Title: Re: Norman Morrison b1790 Applecross/Gairloch - looking for parents/birth location
Post by: Gadget on Friday 22 June 18 08:00 BST (UK)
Aye, a standard Butt & Ben facing south for the light, the Butt or kitchen was generally to the left & had a stone floor, the Ben or bedroom usually had a wooden floor. The kitchen fire was seldom out & being to the west the heat went through the house. Sometimes two bedrooms in the loft, as looks the case here with the skylights & a wee room between the kitchen & bedroom with a rear window, or an outshot at the rear. The landing at the top of the stair, also lit by a skylight, had a wide shelf where the families kist (trunk) was kept. The other building is a byre/stable or barn.

Skoosh.

This description is exactly the layout of the little house we first had in Coigach, with a tiny kitchen and bathroom added on to the west of the kitchen/living room. You see ruins of such older houses all over the West Highlands.

Have a lovely time up there, Skoosh. it's the best time to be there - no darkness and fewer midges. Watch out for clegs though.

Gadget
Title: Re: Norman Morrison b1790 Applecross/Gairloch - looking for parents/birth location
Post by: Forfarian on Friday 22 June 18 09:10 BST (UK)
@ Forfarian, The Mackenzie's of Torridon had the place .... John Mackenzie the 6th laird of Torridon, died 1852, sold the estate to Mackenzie of Seaforth.
Ah. That would make some sort of sense.

Must dig out my copy of Dixon's 'Gairloch' and see if it contains anything useful.
Title: Re: Norman Morrison b1790 Applecross/Gairloch - looking for parents/birth location
Post by: Forfarian on Friday 22 June 18 09:13 BST (UK)
The Mackenzie's of Torridon had the place, one set up the Torridon Fishery Company in 1786, his manager, interestingly was a Donald Morrison of Stornoway who had warehouses, storehouses & accommodation for the workers built
See http://www.nosas.co.uk/lochtorridon.asp which suggests that this fishing enterprise was on the south side of Loch Torridon, while Norman and family were crofters on the north side.


Title: Re: Norman Morrison b1790 Applecross/Gairloch - looking for parents/birth location
Post by: whatkaileysaid on Saturday 23 June 18 01:08 BST (UK)
Thanks for the suggestions Skoosh, I will do all of what you've listed. I do have an appt with the Gairloch museum for when I'm there, so hopefully I can find something. Are there any others I should be looking into, or is Gairloch the only one?

And thanks Forfarian, so neat. I stayed up late two nights ago going through a HTML version of Dixon's book. I did find several references to a Donald Morrison who lived in Drumchork. It says this about him:

"Donald Morrison, of Drumchork, was a grandson of Murdo's son and Lord Breadalbane's daughter. He went to see the Lord Breadalbane of his day, a descendant of the lord whose daughter was married to Murdo's son. Lord Breadalbane gave Donald Morrison three hundred pounds when he went to the castle. Rorie Morrison also went to see Lord Breadalbane, but he did not get anything. Donald was a very fine, tall, handsome man, and looked grand in his kilt and plaid; there was no one like him in the country, so good-looking and so well shaped for the kilt!""

It never mentions any kind of fishing business management, and I don't know much about Lord Breadalbane, but a brief google search makes me think it's not the same Donald..as the family lineage is not from Lewis from what I can tell.

In the part where it describes in great detail all of the little towns and lakes, they stop JUST short of where Norman and family were living, so nothing there either. It was more of a key word search than a full read, so if you do find anything interesting at some point please let me know! I will do the full read at some point.

Will update you if I find anything interesting via Skoosh's suggestions!
Title: Re: Norman Morrison b1790 Applecross/Gairloch - looking for parents/birth location
Post by: Forfarian on Saturday 23 June 18 08:31 BST (UK)
Donald Morrison, of Drumchork
Drumchork is at Aultbea, about as far from Diabaig as you can get and still be in the parish of Gairloch.
Title: Re: Norman Morrison b1790 Applecross/Gairloch - looking for parents/birth location
Post by: whatkaileysaid on Tuesday 26 June 18 18:25 BST (UK)
Hi all,

So I got in touch with Steve, who got me in touch with someone named Alice, who got me in touch with Murdoch MacDonald, the author of "Old Torridon".

This was his response to a summary email I sent inquiring about Portlair and Normand/Donald Morison:

I'm only aware of a couple of families living at Portlair; it is pretty remote and both would have been Gaelic-speaking. They were Maclennans and Camerons and Campbells. The land there is part of the parish of Diabaig and therefore the Gairloch estate. Donald Morison was from Lewis (a relation of the Morison brieves there, I believe) and set up the curing station at Ardmore, on behalf of Kenneth Mackenzie. I'm not aware that he had any land, and as far as I know he was only in Torridon for a few years. He may well have taken over one or more of his relatives to help with building the curing station. I suspect Mackenzie didn't pay him what he was due, and he went back to Lewis as far as I know.
Morison is not a common name around the loch, and I'm not aware of any others.
Sorry I can't be of more help.

regards
Murdoch MacDonald


A few things I've learned from this:

1. The fact that there were no other Morisons near the loch reinforces the idea that Normand likely came from Lewis (and likely with Donald)
2. The fact that there were Maclennans in Portlair...and Normand married a Isabella (Bell) Maclennan in 1813 may be the connection to Portlair
3. He says that Portlair is actually part of the Gairloch estate, which means I may be able to go record searching at the museum in the fall
4. If Normand is related to Donald, there could be a connection to the brieves

I've done an initial search on Donald Morison to see if I can confirm him as a relation, but haven't been able to find very much. I will continue with it - if anyone can find anything more on him, please let me know :)

Kailey

Title: Re: Norman Morrison b1790 Applecross/Gairloch - looking for parents/birth location
Post by: Skoosh on Thursday 28 June 18 14:32 BST (UK)
Interesting thread, Bill Lawson, or one of his clients, might already have researched this family Kailey & will save U a lot of trouble!

Very hot Gadget, never lit the fire but had a wee one outside at night for the benefit of the midgies. The clegs were fearsome, including the fancy Episcopalian variety with the green eyes! killed hunners!  ;D

Skoosh. 
Title: Re: Norman Morrison b1790 Applecross/Gairloch - looking for parents/birth location
Post by: whatkaileysaid on Friday 06 July 18 04:09 BST (UK)
Thanks Skoosh! Will try to get in touch with Bill. Would be lovely if that were the case!!

Received Murdoch MacDonald's book today. I need to do a full read on it, but I did read that most of Donald Morison's work in the area for fishing was in the late 1780s...and that he was likely unpaid and went back to Lewis a few short years later. Normand's birth is listed as approx 1790, although as indicated in earlier threads, his birth year is debatable. Still, it seems unlikely that he would have been of age to help. Perhaps the link was Normand's father? Or, none at all.. I just can't imagine why else he'd be in Portlair during that decade...with quite literally no other Morisons around. Hoping the curator at Gairloch museum can help clarify this element of it.

I'm going to be in Wester Ross in about eight weeks time so trying to get enough information to guide me while I'm there. I will be hiking into Portlair. If anyone has any recommendations for other things to do in the area (genealogical, hiking, or general suggestions) please let me know :)
Title: Re: Norman Morrison b1790 Applecross/Gairloch - looking for parents/birth location
Post by: Skoosh on Friday 06 July 18 08:49 BST (UK)
Kailey, very hot here & no sign of a let-up. Hope you have a great trip. See Stevie Carter's website for the attractions, just being there will doubtless be the main one!

Skoosh.
Title: Re: Norman Morrison b1790 Applecross/Gairloch - looking for parents/birth location
Post by: whatkaileysaid on Tuesday 17 July 18 04:32 BST (UK)
Hi again,

Haven't heard back from Bill Lawson.

But, I've had another interesting development. I've found a mention of a "Port Blair" on Loch Shieldaig that is listed in Miller's Royal Tourist Guides to the Highlands and the Islands in 1877.

Here's a pull quote:
"hills of Torridon beyond Opposite Flowerdale is Eilean Horrisdale protecting the small bay or harbour of Badacro at one time a busy resort of the herring fishing fleet but since the failure of this fishery fallen into decay Badacro has a small public house and shops. From it a moorland track runs southward to Port Blair on Loch Shieldag from which a boat ferries to the southern shore of Loch Torridon and Shieldag village. From thence a good road leads to Jeantown or Strome on Loch Carron"

and: "At Diobaig is a fishing clachan and at Port Blair is the ferry house nicely built without mortar from the slaty Cambrian sandstone of Alligin While days may be spent loitering in sight of the solemn and savage scenery of Torridon the tourist will have to trust to his feet for travel Reaching the eastern end of Upper Torridon by a path a good road will then carry the tourist to Kinlochewe on Loch Maree."


I've done a search and can't find a Port Blair on Loch Shieldaig. Of course, there is a Port Lair. He repeats similar directions three times with 'Port Blair' and nearby Diabaig involved and I've tried to follow what he's talking about on a map... and while I can...taking "a wild moorland path" (he calls it later) from Port Lair to Gairloch sounds like an incredible trek. Am I missing something?

If you search Port Blair in the doc below you'll see 3 references.

https://books.google.ca/books?id=_LsHAAAAQAAJ&pg=RA4-PA77&lpg=RA4-PA77&dq=port+lair+fishing+torridon&source=bl&ots=TcqbgHPG8-&sig=4veUacTgopVnbLE_5dtoGI8tiAY&hl=en&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwjN84aXj6XcAhUl_4MKHYKBCL0Q6AEwAHoECAEQAQ#v=onepage&q=Port%20Blair&f=false


Title: Re: Norman Morrison b1790 Applecross/Gairloch - looking for parents/birth location
Post by: Forfarian on Tuesday 17 July 18 08:48 BST (UK)
That seems a bit bizarre.

This description only makes some sort of sense if the author wrote 'Port Blair on Loch Shieldaig' when he actually meant 'Port Lair on Loch Torridon'. But even then it's confusing.

There are two Loch Shieldaigs - one just a mile or two from Badachro in the parish of Gairloch, and one at the west end of Loch Torridon opposite Diabaig. He obviously can't have meant the one in Applecross, because you could only walk from Gairloch to there by going round the head of Loch Torridon.

The first edition of the Ordnance Survey map, surveyed in 1875, does not show a path south across the moorland from Badachro. See https://maps.nls.uk/view/74428380. The obvious land route from Badachro to Diabaig is by the path that roughly follows the coast.

The Gairloch Loch Shieldaig is east-south-east, not south, of Badachro, and therefore in the opposite direction from the path to Diabaig if you are starting from Badachro.

There is a path south from the Gairloch Loch Shieldaig, but it peters out in the moorland south of Loch Gaineamhach.

Do any of the censuses describe anyone residing at Port Lair as a ferryman?

BTW I have found my copy of Dixon's 'Gairloch', published in 1886. The map shows the coastal path to Diabaig, but no path over the moor. It does not show Port Lair, or mention or indicate any ferry across Loch Torridon (though that isn't conclusive because that would be outside the parish of Gairloch, and the book concentrates on the parish).

It's quite likely that the author of the guide had never been to most of the places he was describing and therefore didn't really know what he was talking about.



Title: Re: Norman Morrison b1790 Applecross/Gairloch - looking for parents/birth location
Post by: Skoosh on Tuesday 17 July 18 09:37 BST (UK)
Kailey,  been in Badachro on a yacht, trying to row ashore the dinghy made no headway at all, turned out the burn by the inn was in spate, tasting the water confirmed this. Lunch at the inn excellent. It was an elderly couple had the place then!

Bests,
Skoosh.
Title: Re: Norman Morrison b1790 Applecross/Gairloch - looking for parents/birth location
Post by: whatkaileysaid on Tuesday 17 July 18 19:19 BST (UK)
hahaha. I think you are right that the author really didn't know what he was talking about. And no - I was just reviewing the Portlair census and there are no mentions of a ferryman. Just Normand as an ag worker, an 80-year-old relation of his wife also ag worker, and a brother-in-law fisherman. I also just cannot imagine that a ferry at Portlair and a trek over the moor would be a desired route given alternative options. Very odd!!

And Skoosh, sounds like quite an adventure! Will remember about a possible lunch in Badachro...might skip on the yacht.



Title: Re: Norman Morrison b1790 Applecross/Gairloch - looking for parents/birth location
Post by: whatkaileysaid on Monday 01 October 18 03:28 BST (UK)
Hi all - been meaning to update you on my trip to the north west and especially to Portlair earlier this month. I was able to find Norman Morrison's rental records at the Gairloch museum. Unfortunately, his record disappears, in earlier 1800s, because he was likely paying a "tax man" and wasn't listed.

I haven't been able to get past with him because of that - but I did learn of an additional child that we had no record of (must have been born/died in between censuses) and the year of Norman's death (1841) which we never knew before. It means he died while living in Portlair.

We also learned that their eldest son Murdoch died as a young man the same year while poaching. The curator believes it was likely a shooting accident. Interestingly, William, my direct descendent named his first born son Murdo - assumedly after his big brother. That son is my grandmother's grandfather...so it gives his name a bit more meaning. Another interesting point was that on the rental records Norman Morrison is listed as the "primary" renter (of two), and has a subcrofter living with him Murdo Maclennan (assumedly his wife's brother?). After they were removed, I believe Murdo was the only farmer who stayed. So I do wonder if Norman hadn't died...if the family would have been allowed to stay.

I also was able to see the original estate map that had "Widow Morrison" written on the croft they were eventually moved to in South Erradale in 1845, and went and visited there. We also saw the neighbouring croft where William met his wife, and where Murdo (my grandmother's grandfather) was born.

The highlight of the trip was hiking from Diabaig into Portlair. It took two hours one-way and there were several challenging scrambles. We passed by two lochs on the top of the mountain, and then made it down into Portlair. There is a full ruined croft there that is very overgrown with ferns, but you could make out a cairn fence, a larger building with windows, and an adjoining shed. The one thing that struck me was how small the available arable land was. There was maybe a 3/4 acre field. They obviously fished and poached to feed themselves. And based on the hike in, they also obviously only travelled by boat. Going by foot would have been very difficult (as evidenced by a very nice bruise I got on the ascent.) Does anyone know if in the mid-1800s if average people would have been buried in a kirk yard or on their land? Curious if Norman/Murdoch could have been buried there. I may or may not have taken a few stones from the ruined croft...just in case it was in fact somehow related to ours.

It was pretty incredible to be able to walk in their footprints, and for a non-superstitious person I can't deny I had a visceral response that it "felt like home" while staying on loch Torridon, and in a completely different way than I've ever felt in Scotland. I've attached a photo - I'm looking down into the Portlair cove. You can see the newer white family cottage on the left.
Title: Re: Norman Morrison b1790 Applecross/Gairloch - looking for parents/birth location
Post by: Forfarian on Monday 01 October 18 09:29 BST (UK)
Does anyone know if in the mid-1800s if average people would have been buried in a kirk yard or on their land? Curious if Norman/Murdoch could have been buried there.
The vast majority - almost everyone - would have been buried in the parish kirkyard, or in a religious cemetery or graveyard of some sort.
Title: Re: Norman Morrison b1790 Applecross/Gairloch - looking for parents/birth location
Post by: Skoosh on Monday 01 October 18 12:17 BST (UK)
Great stuff Kailey, we're looking for new blood if you're tempted?  ;D


Skoosh.