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, 17 May 2010

Long Island Links

This is an attempt to collate online sources of information relating to the history and heritage of the Isle of Lewis and Isle of Harris (the 'Long Island' of the title) in the Western Isles of Scotland.
It is an ongoing project and suggestions for additions are welcomed. I have compiled it because, although there is a lot of information 'out there', it can prove a challenging task searching for it.

Language Note – I endeavour to give priority to Gaelic spellings (with their English counterparts in brackets) for I am committed to supporting the language as much as possible and believe that any true understanding of a people and their culture can only be attained if the language that the former use to produce the latter is fully embraced.

A Vision of Britain Through Time - http://www.visionofbritain.org.uk/index.jsp
Confusingly, the Isles of Haris and Lewis are actually a single landmass (with satellite islands) but they sat in the old Counties of Inverness-shire and Ross-shire respectively. This site shows you how the two 'isles' relate to each other and to the two counties on the mainland of Scotland.
Update: An excellent scholarly review of the site is to be found here: http://www.history.ac.uk/reviews/review/934 (and I'm not just saying that because it uses Tarbert in Harris as an example!)

Google Maps Streetview is a fantastic way of making a 'virtual visit' - http://maps.google.co.uk/
Multimap offers views of Ordnance Survey OS 1:50 000 maps http://www.multimap.com/?db=GB
National Library of Scotland - http://www.nls.uk/collections/maps/index.html
(High Resolution images of old maps to view online)

Lewis & Harris Guide - http://www.undiscoveredscotland.co.uk/areawestnorth/index.html
(Certainly a good place to start, but many of the sites listed below either do not feature, or take a fair bit of searching to locate, within this guide)

Lewis comprises the parishes of Stornoway, Barvas, Lochs and Uig whilst the parish of Harris included many more islands in addition to Harris itself. Further subdivisions of these parishes into local communities can be a little confusing for the newcomer so I have organised all these links by alphabetically by parish, with Harris following Lewis.


CE Bharabhais agus Bhru (Barvas and Brue Historical society) - http://barvasandbrue.com/
CE Nis (Ness historical Society) - http://www.c-e-n.org/
Lochs Community Web Site - http://www.lochslewis.org/
CE na Pairc (Pairc Historical Society) - http://www.cepairc.com/
Rubha an Fhithich (Ravenspoint Centre) http://ravenspoint.net/default.aspx
Angus Macleod Archive - http://www.angusmacleodarchive.org.uk/
Stornoway Historical Society - http://www.stornowayhistoricalsociety.org.uk/
CE Uig (Uig Historical Society) http://www.ceuig.co.uk

Calanais Visitor Center (Callanish) - http://www.callanishvisitorcentre.co.uk/
CE Na Hearadh (Harris Historical Society) is currently 'in hibernation'.
Seallam Visitor Centre - http://www.seallam.com/
In Northton, South Harris and home to 'Co Leis Thu' genealogy research and Bill Lawson's books
Berneray Historical Society: http://www.bernerayhistorical.com/

Ancestry - http://www.ancestry.co.uk/
(Transcribed records of the censuses plus global records of many varieties)
Scotland's People - http://www.scotlandspeople.gov.uk/
Guide to Scottish records - http://www.gla.ac.uk/departments/scottishwayofbirthanddeath/
(Full explanation of the system from 1855-1939 with example images, some from the isles)
Occupations - http://www.scotlandspeople.gov.uk/content/help/index.aspx?r=551&430
(A comprehensive list of Scottish occupations with definitions)
Hebridean Connections - http://www.hebrideanconnections.com/
(Currently covering four areas in the south of Lewis, this is a fantastic site whether you have 'Hebridean Connections' or not!)

Royal Commission on the Ancient & Historical Monuments of Scotland http://www.rcahms.gov.uk/
Canmore - http://canmore.rcahms.gov.uk/
Story of Human Settlement in the Isles - http://www.archaeologyhebrides.com/
Culture Hebrides - Archaeology - http://www.culturehebrides.com/archaeology/

National Library of Scotland - http://www.nls.uk/
Scottish Archive Network - http://www.scan.org.uk/index.html
The Statistical Accounts of Scotland 1879-1845 - http://stat-acc-scot.edina.ac.uk/sas/sas.asp?action=public
Am Baile - Highland History & Culture - http://www.ambaile.org.uk/
Napier Commission in the Outer Hebrides- http://napier-outerhebrides.blogspot.com/

Dwelly's Dictionary - http://www.cairnwater.co.uk/gaelicdictionary/index.aspx?Language=en
(Particularly attractive as you can view the original pages as well as the transcripts)
Gaelic Placenames - http://www.scottish.parliament.uk/vli/language/gaelic/vl-trans.htm#places
(5 pdf files at bottom of page)
Extent of Gaelic-speaking in one part of Harris (pdf)
Bord na Gaidhlig - http://www.gaidhlig.org.uk/welcome.html

Birlinn - Hebridean Galleys and West Coast Traditional Boats - http://galgael.org/birlinn/
Maritime History Archive - http://www.mun.ca/mha/
(Newfoundland-based but home to many original 19thC British documents)

Comhairle Nan Eilean Siar (CNES) (Western Isles Council) - http://www.w-isles.gov.uk/
(Links to museum, libraries, etc plus data on the islands, past and present)

A lot of interesting information and personal accounts are to be found in blogs from people in, from, or with an interest in, the isles, and here are a diverse selection to whet the appetite:

Alpacas of Lewis - http://scalpaylinen.blogspot.com/
Calana Crafts - http://calanacrafts.blogspot.com/
Faces from the Lewis War Memorial - http://facesmemorial.blogspot.com/
Photo Hebrides - http://hebphoto.blogspot.com/
Scalpay Linen - http://scalpaylinen.blogspot.com/
Scottish Genealogy News and Events - http://scottishancestry.blogspot.com/
Tweed thoughts... - http://idreamoftweed.blogspot.com/

This is very much a first attempt and in no way meant to be exhaustive or definitive.
I am working, with friends, on a possible expansion of the idea so as to provide a comprehensive online resource but meanwhile we need folks input and ideas so please provide feedback, either in the form of a comment or via email!

Update: The Diigo group 'Outer Hebrides' is now available - more information can be seen here: http://www.ceuig.com/links/more-links

Tapadh leat! (Thank you!) - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scottish_Gaelic

1 comment:

  1. Very useful indeed, will await further developments on the resource network.