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

Thursday, 1 July 2010

Kintulavig, Obbe, Strond, Borrisdale & Rodel

I did write a piece on this earlier but thought that I'd return and  include all the settlements along the Sound of Harris that are East of Northton. There are a couple of reasons for considering these five as a group.
Firstly, the boundaries were clearly somewhat imprecise (the 1851list  providing us with a glimpse that it was not just geographic situation but also tenancy of the land that led to the enumerator's sub-divisions) and by no means consistent over time.
Secondly, these settlements are spread along the coast from the harbour at Rodel to the old ferry landing point at Kyles Lodge giving them a prime position at a time when the sea was the highway.

1841 – Kindiping 83, Obb 148, Strond 332, Rodel 81
Total 644
1851 - Kentulavick 68, Obe 166, Strond 40, Port Esgein 150, Port Esgein Farm of Strond 89, Rodel 38
Total 551
1861 – Kenduling 54, Oab 138, Strond 179, Borrisdale 14, Rodel 32
Total 417
1871 – Keudebig 23, Obe 77, Strond 206, Borrisdale 8, Rodel 48
Total 362
1881 – Kentulivig 17, Obbe 147, Strond 241, Rodel 36
Total 441
1891 – Kendulavig 47, Obbe 181, Strond 213, Rodel 48
Total 489
1901 – Kintulivag 69, Obbe 169, Strond 169, Rodel 48
Total 455

The huge decline from 1841 to 1871 (approaching 44%) is remarkable but to what extent it reflects factors such as famine, disease and emigration I do not know. There was certainly a resurgence in numbers between 1871 and 1891 (followed by another decline during the next decade) but even that failed to return the population to pre-famine levels and is largely explained by the population increase in Harris as a whole.

I think that the growth of the importance of Tarbert, which is amply reflected in the growth and nature of the  mercantile settlement there, and developments in the North Harris Estate during the Scott family's ownership meant that these five places along the Sound wouldn't see any significant resurgence until the days of Lord Leverhulme over 20 years later.

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