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, 2 June 2010

An Inspector Calls...on Harris and Lewis

A slightly different group as they are all those whose occupation included the word 'Inspector'.
I have highlighted each person's role and location:

1851
John Mitchell, 35, Inspector of the Poor, Head, Timsgarry, Uig, b. Gairloch
Allan Ross, 48, Inspector of the Poor, Head, Maryhill(?), Lochs, b. Lochs

1861
James Macrae, 33, Inspector of Poor and Registrar, Head, Meary(?) Lodge, Uig, b. Harris
Thomas Hope, 44, Inspector of Works, Knockaird, Barvas, b. Leith

1871
James Stewart, 48, Inspector of Poor, Head, Strond, Harris,  b. South Uist

Unsurprisingly, these initial inspectors are predominantly dealing with the Poor but the Works at Barvas are worth investigating further.

1881
John F McFarlane, 36, Inspector of Poor and Registrar of Births, Head, 17 Kenneth St, b. Barvas
Hector W Ross, 45, Inspector of Poor, Head, Cromwell Street, b. Lochs
Hector Sinclair Fraser, 54, Assistant Inspector Candinon(?), Visitor, Imperial Hotel, b. W Indies
Donald Sims, 32, HM Inspector of Schools, Visitor, Nicholson Institn, b. Perthshire

James Macrae, 53, Inspector of Poor and Registrar, Head, Maravaig Cottage, Uig, b. Harris
Angus Graham, 70, Sup Inspector of Poor, Head, Barvas, b. Barvas

Angus Macdonald, 50, Inspector of Poor, Head, East Tarbert 36, b. South Uist
William Ross, 65, Inspector of Works, Boarder, Gardener's House, N Harris, b. Fearn, Ross-shire

Interesting that the HM Inspector of Schools is visiting the 'Nicholson Instn.',which later became the Nicholson Institute , and that something had taken the Inspector of Works to Harris. I am unsure where in Harris but as it is in the North we presumably can rule-out the one between An-t-Ob and Strond?

1891
John F Macfarlane, 46, Inspector of Poor and Collector of National(?), Head, 33a Keith St, b. Barvas
Hector M Ross, 55, Inspector of Poor and Collector of Poor Rates, Head, 24 Newton St, b. Keose, Lochs
George Balfour, 34, Bank Inspector, Boarder, 8,9&10 North Beach Street, b. Abbotshall, Fife
Hugh Welsh, 40, Inspector of Schools, Boarder, 57 Lewis St, b. Dalmellington, Ayrshire

William Hardy, 53, Inspector of Harbour Works, Lodger, Thule House, Barvas, b. Woodside, Aberdeenshire

I presume the Bank Inspector was performing an audit and clearly the harbour at Port Ness was either undergoing some work or being examined to see what needed doing. I believe it was subject to silting-up so perhaps Mr Hardy was looking into that particular problem?

1901
Donald Smith, 45, Inspector of Poor, Head, No 1 (Smiths Buildings), b. Lochs
Hector Smith, 56, Supt. of Poor(?) Sanitary Inspector Burgh Roads, Head, 33 Kenneth St, b. Lochs
Roderick Macleod, 59, Sanitary and Road Inspector, Boarder, 51 Kenneth St, b. Lochs

James Macrae, 73, Inspector of Poor and Farmer, Miavaig House, Uig, b. Harris
Alexander Mackenzie, 36, Ground Officer, Road Inspector Farmer, Doune Cottage, Uig, b. Lochbroom

Roads and Sanitation (when were the conveniences in Perceval Square constructed?) loom large but, as has been the case throughout these decades, it is the Poor, and those charged with administering their 'Relief', who presence had predominated.

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