Author Topic: Migration from Torrisdale/Saddell, Argyllshire to Helensburgh  (Read 1990 times)

Offline robert186

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Migration from Torrisdale/Saddell, Argyllshire to Helensburgh
« on: Sunday 29 May 11 17:08 BST (UK) »
Does anyone have any suggestions why a family of crofters/fishermen would have left Torrisdale/Saddell in Argylshire between 1861-5 and moved to Helensburgh to become gardeners? Is it more likely they were driven off their land in Argyll (not sure whether the clearances were still happening then, or if this is completely the wrong time and place), or enticed by opportunities of some kind in Helensburgh? Any opinions or feedback would be much appreciated.

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Offline Skoosh

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Re: Migration from Torrisdale/Saddell, Argyllshire to Helensburgh
« Reply #1 on: Sunday 29 May 11 22:45 BST (UK) »
Robert, crofters had no security of tenure until the crofting acts of the 1880s, doesn't mean eviction was what happened here. Helensburgh was a developing town with steamer & rail connections, big villas built by wealthy Glasgow folk who obviously needed staff. Sounds an easier life than crofting,  (we who live in the shadow of the wealthy!!!) maybe a son obtained a post and the family followed.
Skoosh.

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Offline GR2

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Re: Migration from Torrisdale/Saddell, Argyllshire to Helensburgh
« Reply #2 on: Sunday 29 May 11 23:05 BST (UK) »
Yes. Be very careful of falling into the trap of thinking all folk who left the Highlands and Islands were evicted by heartless landlords. It did happen, but many went to the towns or the new coastal villages of their own accord. Crofting could be a very precarious way of making a living. Exactly the same was happening in the lowlands. There was as much emigration from the Scottish lowlands as from the Highlands.

Graham.

Offline robert186

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Re: Migration from Torrisdale/Saddell, Argyllshire to Helensburgh
« Reply #3 on: Monday 30 May 11 16:57 BST (UK) »
From what I can make out the father became a gardener and most of the sons became painters and decorators, though the youngest son (14 in 1871) is an apprentice watchmaker. Is it likely the family moved because they had a certain amount of confidence in this son? Watchmaking seems like quite a leap from crofting and fishing, might he have been offered the apprenticeship before they moved?