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

Tuesday, 11 May 2010

Carloway Bridge

This bridge is said to be one of the oldest flyovers in Scotland. It was built in the 19thC but precisely when does not appear to have been recorded. Family sources inform me that the builders were two brothers from Stornoway:

Allan John Montgomery was born on the 4th May 1856 and Alexander Montgomery on 3rd May 1858 to a Tailor, Donald Montgomery and his wife Ann (Murray) of Guershader Road, Stornoway.
They were the 3rd and 4th offspring in a family that grew to a total of 9 children, all boys apart from the youngest who was born in 1872.

Donald's father and grandfather were Tailors in Luerbost, Lochs and that was were he was born. Ann was a Weaver's daughter from Barvas Road, and latterly Laxdale, in Stornoway.

Allan John, by 1881, was a Stone Mason (Journeyman) but at the time of the census was serving as a Private in the Highland Reserve Militia at Fort Ardersier, 'On The Moray Firth'. Alexander, also a Mason, was visiting a family in Maryhill, Lanarkshire.

By 1891, Allan John the Mason is living on the Barvas Road with his wife Margaret (Beaton) and their six children, aged from 1 to 11. Alex remains a Mason but has also built a family of four in Laxdale with his wife, Isabella.

Our final glimpses of the Masons finds Allan and 7 of a family at 48 Barvas Road and Alex with his family of 6 at 14 Guershader in 1901. In between producing children they also produced the bridge.

These two Masons were my grandfather's uncles and my informants are my two cousins who are fellow descendants of their older brother, Norman Montgomery.

Ref: RCAHMS Carloway Bridge

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