Fàilte! (Welcome!)

Fàilte! (Welcome!)
This blog is the result of my ongoing research into the people, places and events that have shaped the Western Isles of Scotland and, in particular, the 'Siamese-twins' of Harris and Lewis.
My interest stems from the fact that my Grandfather was a Stornowegian and, until about four years ago, that was the sum total of my knowledge, both of him and of the land of his birth.
I cannot guarantee the accuracy of everything that I have written (not least because parts are, perhaps, pioneering) but I have done my best to check for any errors.
My family mainly lived along the shore of the Sound of Harris, from An-t-Ob and Srannda to Roghadal, but one family 'moved' to Direcleit in the Baighs...

©Copyright 2011 Peter Kerr All rights reserved

Wednesday, 17 March 2010

Irish in Harris

As today is St Patrick's Day, I thought I'd look at people of Harris who were born in Ireland.

Betsy Kern, 36, Rag Merchant, Kentulavick, Visitor
(Household of William Macrae, 60, Shepherd, b. Bracadale, Inverness)

William Ferrier, 29, Rag Merchant, Obb
Betsy Ferrier, 39, Rag Merchant's Wife
Sarah, 8, b. North Uist
(Plus a Messenger & 2 Domestic Servants)

Henry Galbraith, 45, Gardener, Obb
Mary, 37, Teacher of Embroidery
Elizabeth Henry, 66, Wife of an Excise Officer, Mother-in-Law

William Ferrier, 31, Pedlar, East Tarbert
(Household of John Morrison, 21, Hotel Keeper)

Arrabella Murray, 19, Servant, Ardoulie Castle

Betsy Ferrier, 60, Hawker, House at Obb

Henry Galbraith, 55, Gardener, Embroidery School
Mary, 47, Teacher of Embroidery

Henry Galbraith, 65, Post Master, Obb
Mary, 57, Wife
Johanna Morrison, 8, Visitor, b. Stornoway

William Ferrier, 58, Former Hawker, Obb
Ann, 50, Webmaker (Tweed), Wife
Ann Mackay, 28, Domestic Servant, b.Uig, Lewis

Mary Galbraith, 67, Post Mistress, Obb
Johanna Mackinnon, 34, Domestic Servant, b. Harris

Henry Greenwood Mahon, 31, Medical Practitioner, Obb, Visitor
(Household of John MacNab, 55, Medical Practitioner, b. Perthshire)

Mary Galbraith, 77, Post Mistress, Obb
(2 Domestic Servants)

James Hanratty, 20, Hawker, 66 North Harris
Stephen MacShane, 35, Hawker
(Household of Murdo Morrison, 50, Stone Mason, b. Duirnish, Inverness)

Jessie Morrison, 29, Wife, 34 North Harris
(John Morrison, 35, Blacksmith, b. Harris, plus 2 children)

Although small in number, what a fascinating range of occupations these Irish men & women followed. We have itinerant Hawkers, a domiciled Rag Merchant and a Gardener, a Post Master and Post Mistress plus a couple of Doctors. However, the one that stands out is the Teacher of Embroidery at the Embroidery School in, it appears, An t-Ob.

This school was established by Lady Dunmore in 1849 and we now know that in 1861 and 1871 it was Mary Galbraith from Ireland who taught in it. It appears that her husband ran the Post Office in 1881 and that she continued to provide this service in 1891 and 1901.

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