Author Topic: Ancestors of Kenneth Macleod born abt 1759 Parish of Durness  (Read 24250 times)

Offline meanno

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Re: Ancestors of Kenneth Macleod born abt 1759 Parish of Durness
« Reply #63 on: Wednesday 27 July 22 10:07 BST (UK) »
The book https://www.amazon.co.uk/Reay-Country-Sutherland-Farming-Birlinn/dp/1912476274
has a few pages on the history of Eilean Choraidh, how the tenants were cleared for sheep and the island became part of the Eriboll estate sheep farm.

The tenants were relocated to the village of Laid and the book recounts the "shameful affair of the Eilean Choraidh" that took place in 1917/18 when an attempt was made by some of the Laid crofters to bring a part of the island back into cultivation but was disgracefully thwarted by the actions of the Eriboll estate owners in not fencing their sheep who ate the crops. The field they had sown was the best field on the island and "had once yielded eighty bolls of oatmeal, milled by the miller at Bodi-havish" (who was my grx4 grandfather, hence my interest in this account).

Offline Rw2

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Re: Ancestors of Kenneth Macleod born abt 1759 Parish of Durness
« Reply #64 on: Wednesday 27 July 22 14:21 BST (UK) »
Thank you again, very interesting.   I plan to obtain that book.
My ancestors who had lived on the island left @ 1808 I think.  But when Ann Morrison married Kenneth MacLeod, it seems she had moved to live with him in Saingobeg.  I've learned about Andrew Macpherson's parents from the Durness records, and I don't know when he emigrated or immigrated to PEI.  He's buried in the same pioneer cemetery in PEI that his in-laws are buried in.

What I'd most like to learn about the island is it's more interesting earlier, medieval history, how it became known as 'Islandhall', was there a hall on the island at some point, or is that a corruption of the gaelic.  Does it feature in any legends or histories or the Vikings or of anyone else.  It might have had some prominence as the Loch itself would have had some prominence in ancient times for people in the area. 

Thank you again.   

Offline meanno

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Re: Ancestors of Kenneth Macleod born abt 1759 Parish of Durness
« Reply #65 on: Wednesday 27 July 22 14:45 BST (UK) »
The book doesn't have much on the earlier history of the island I don't think but it is an interesting read anyway for anyone interested in Durness.
King Haakon of Norway visited Eriboll twice in 1263 and there are a number of accounts of those visits online. They weren't friendly visits :(.

Offline meanno

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Re: Ancestors of Kenneth Macleod born abt 1759 Parish of Durness
« Reply #66 on: Wednesday 27 July 22 16:06 BST (UK) »
Rw2 you might like to have this distant view of your island. I'm sharing it off Google Drive so you get the full res version. The photo is courtesy of https://uklighthousetour.com/ and was taken in January 2021.
https://drive.google.com/file/d/1ib7tU3V4sh8uTQs5ZNR7rIn512FRB5pY/view?usp=drivesdk


Offline djct59

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Re: Ancestors of Kenneth Macleod born abt 1759 Parish of Durness
« Reply #67 on: Wednesday 27 July 22 21:44 BST (UK) »
No, the island was always sparsely populated and too small to have a hall.

Reverend Thomson, who started keeping the parish records in 1764, was not a native Gaelic speaker  and pronounced it phonetically. The word "Choarie" is one of many that confuses non Gaelic speakers. The opening "ch" is not as in "Chicken", but is a soft "h" sound, so it's very roughly "AY-lan Hoo-rie". In local Assynt dialect that's become transposed to a "hall" sound.

The whole story of Laid (Leathad) is a deeply depressing one. The land was so poor that it was unihabited until the 19th century Clearances, but the Eriboll estate then placed several tenants on crofts on which tenants could only eke out a very meagre living. The croft houses were of very rudimentary construction, with some limited power obtainable via windmills. Even as recently as 1978 it was not attached to the National Grid, although it is now a lively little community.

To give an idea of how tough life was: In 1945, when it was still not verified that Adolf Hitler was dead there was much talk about what should happen if he were to be captured. At a meeting of Sutherland County Council it was suggested "Give the bugger a croft on Laid".

Offline Rw2

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Re: Ancestors of Kenneth Macleod born abt 1759 Parish of Durness
« Reply #68 on: Thursday 28 July 22 03:15 BST (UK) »
Again I'm fascinated and grateful for the responses.  I guess the medieval history of the Durness area might be what I'm interested in, but that's too tall an order for responses in rootschat.  That book re the Reay fencibles that you kindly linked to djct59 (thanks again) had much to say re the 18th cent. that was fascinating.  It's quite a deep, wide rabbit-hole, but a fun one, this Strathnaver research.

And that's quite a photo you linked to there Meanno, thank you for that too.

 

Offline meanno

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Re: Ancestors of Kenneth Macleod born abt 1759 Parish of Durness
« Reply #69 on: Thursday 28 July 22 09:08 BST (UK) »
The Book of Mackay might interest you although it's not just about Durness. There is a mention of Island Choary on page 474 in the 1678 rent roll:
https://archive.org/details/bookofmackay00mack/page/474/mode/2up?view=theater

Later: On reflection and considering the original subject of this thread, could it be significant that the tenant of Island Choary in 1678 was a Hector Mcleod?

Offline meanno

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Re: Ancestors of Kenneth Macleod born abt 1759 Parish of Durness
« Reply #70 on: Thursday 28 July 22 09:56 BST (UK) »
Here's a conundrum on the identity of Island Hall:

Offline Rw2

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Re: Ancestors of Kenneth Macleod born abt 1759 Parish of Durness
« Reply #71 on: Thursday 28 July 22 13:05 BST (UK) »
A typo?  (the reference to Islandhoan).  At least the preponderance of evidence is that it's Choarie, and with this welcome info. now from djct59: ""AY-lan Hoo-rie". In local Assynt dialect that's become transposed to a "hall" sound." 

I'm just about the check that reference in the Book of MacKay. 

Thank you!  again!