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

Saturday, 3 April 2010

A Tale Of Two Townships

When the township was recrofted in 1885, No. 3 Direcleit became home to Alexander Macleod (1835-1911) and his wife Catherine Mackay (1847-1904), both from Geocrab, and in 1911 the croft passed to his son Donald Macleod (1870-1950).

Alexander Macleod, 48, Crofter, 14 Direcleit
Catherine, 43, Crofter's Wife
Donald, 20, Crofter's Son
Roderick, 16, Son
Evander, 14, Son
Kate, 8, Scholar, Daughter
Catherine, 2, Daughter
Donald Macleod, 18, Tailor's Apprentice, Visitor

Donald Macleod married Margaret Macdonald (1866-1957) from No 7 Direcleit and his wife and their first-born are found here:

Margaret, 33, Tweed-making, 6 Direcleit
Mary E, 4 months, Daughter
Johanna Maclennan, 19, General Servant – Domestic

Donald Macleod, by the way,  has so far eluded all attempts to locate him in 1901 but his parents and several siblings are here:

Alexander Macleod, 61, Crofter, 5 Direcleit
Catherine, 52, Tweed-making, Wife
Mary, 27, Weaveress Tweeds, Daughter
Roderick, 25, Able Seaman, Son
Kate, 18, General Servant – Domestic, Daughter
Cathie, 12, Scholar, Daughter

Donald and Margaret Macleod's second child was another daughter, Katie Ann Macleod (1904-1979), who married John Macdonald (1894-1974) , a son of Finlay Macdonald and Peggy Mackay of No. 1 Kendibig as seen here:

Finlay Macdonald, 38, Weaver Tweeds, 21 Kendibeg
Maggie, 34, Weaveress Tweeds, Wife
Alick, 9, Scholar, Son
John, 8, Scholar, Son
Mary, 5, Scholar, Daughter

The Marriage Certificate supplies the following:

26th August 1924 – Direcleit, Harris

John Macdonald, 30, Grocer, Leverburgh
(Parents: Finlay Macdonald, Crofter, Maggie Mackay) ( Mackay genealogy )

Catherine Ann Macleod, 20, Webmaker, Direcleit
(Parents: Donald Macleod, Crofter, Margaret Macdonald)

Malcolm Macaskill, Minch View, Tarbert, Witness
Mary E Macleod, Direcleit, Witness

John Macdonald and Katie Ann moved to Scarista and one of their son's is known to us as Finlay J Macdonald (1925-1987), the broadcaster and author, who described his visits to his grandparents at Direcleit in 'Crowdie and Cream', 'Crotal and White' and 'Corncrake and the Lysander'.

Finlay J Macdonald himself, however, was in one sense a product of the combination 'Direcleit and Ceann Dibig'!

Ref: 'Crowdie and Cream and other Stories, Finlay J Macdonald

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