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

Monday, 10 May 2010

Attending Wake In House

I believe this household to be unique in census records as four of those present were attending a wake in the house on the night of 31st March/1st April 1901:

Christy Shaw, 80, Formerly Tweed Weaveress, Head, No 3 North Harris, b. Harris

Catherine Macdonald, 52, Tweed Weaveress, Daughter, b. Harris
Duncan Macdonald, 60, Crofter, Son-in-Law, b. Harris

Joan Maclennan, 15, General Servant Domestic, b. Harris

John Macdermid, 29, Fisherman, Attending Wake In House, b. Harris
John Martin, 31, General Labourer, Attending Wake In House, b. Harris
John Macleod, 24, Teacher (labourer), Attending Wake In Hose, b. Harris
Donald Shaw, 21, Navvy, Attending Wake In House, b. Harris

'No 3 North Harris' indicates to me an address in Tarbert and it appears that Mrs Shaw's daughter and her son-in-law, together with their General Servant, are the four usual residents.

However, on this particular Sunday evening, they were accompanied by four young men, aged from 21 to 31, whose occupations are as varied as their family names. The youngest, Donald Shaw, is the only one who might have been related but, were this the case, surely Mrs Shaw would have made it clear at this time of family bereavement?

What I am wondering, and it is admittedly merely a conjecture, is whether these four had carried, or were to bear, the coffin on the deceased person's final journey?

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