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, 31 March 2010

Seamen of Harris

This is a 'companion' list to that of the Sailors. The terms 'Seaman' and 'Sailor' are interchangeable, but distinct from those of 'Fisherman' and 'Fisher'.

I have given the number at each location, arranged roughly North to South plus an indication of the number of Seaman's Wives listed in each census:

1851 -6 Seamen, 2 Wives
NORTH
Tarbert – 5
SOUTH
Kentulavig – 1

1861 – 6 Seamen, 2 Wives
BAYS
Finsbay – 3
SOUTH
Strond – 3

1871 – 4 Seamen, 1 Wife
NORTH
House at Tarbert
In Postoffice Tarbert
House at Little Urgha
Harris – 1

1881 – 4 Seamen, 0 Wives
NORTH
East Tarbert No 5 - 2
North Harris – 1
Ardhasaigh No 77 - 1

1891 – 7 Seamen, 4 Wives
NORTH
Scalpay No 2 – 1
Kyles Scalpay - 2
No 26 East Tarbert – 1
BAYS
Scadabay – 2
SOUTH
Kentulvig – 1

1901 – 16 Seamen, 0 Wives
NORTH
Scalpay - 1
Kyles Scalpay – 1
Carragreich - 1
No 53 North Harris – 1
No 54 North Harris – 1
No 67 North Harris – 1
BAYS
Direcleit – 2
6 Drinishader - 1
18 Drinishader – 1
Stockinish - 1
Finsbay – 3
Cuidinish – 1
SOUTH
Obb - 1

Of these 43 Seamen, only 6 are found on the South Coast and none on the West Coast of South Harris. The North (East and West Loch Tarbert ) plus the island of Scalpay and the Bays predominate.

The small numbers of Seamen, taken with the similarly small number of Sailors seen earlier, appears to suggest that Harris was able to provide a living for, and therefore to hold-onto, onto very few of her seafarers.

Table of Sailors, Seaman and the Total

Year    Sailors   Seamen   Total
1841      8             0             8
1851    10             6           16
1861      1             6             7
1871      2             4             6
1881    17             4            21
1891      4             7            11
1901      6            16           22

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