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, 21 July 2010


In 1871 one of my relatives was living in 'Struth' on Harris. Enumeration District 6 was described as:

'Obe, Struth, Cregstore and the island of Scareleam, - bounded on the north by a line drawn from the South end of Athdu to the top of Roneval hill: on the east by a line drawn from the top of Roneval hill to the march between Obe and Strond where it touches the sea: and on the west by Struth and the Burn by the Parish School.

Deciphering this description proves quite taxing. The boundary on the East is fairly straightforward for a line can easily be imagined from the summit of Roneval to where the Obe-Strond road meets the sea. Except that it does so in two places, either side of the Carminish peninsular, so it is odd that no reference is made to that obvious landmark. Athdu is presumably Atha Dubh, the river joining Loch na Moracha to Loch Steisebhat. Of Cregstore and, especially, the island of Scareleam I have to confess to being totally flummoxed!

As far as I can tell Struth refers to Aird an t-Struith (Headland of the Stream?) but the only houses seen on the old OS maps lie along shore of The Obe rather than along the headland. There were a group of buildings near Huisinish House (Kyles Lodge/House) but that lies to the North of our boundary.

I am therefore left unable to accurately identify Roderick Kerr's location in 1871. Struth!


  1. I've located a Sgeir an Leum off Plocrapol, but that's a good distance north of Strond. Cregston - I've heard of a Craigston in Barra, but (again) that's way off the mark.

  2. Thanks for that - District 6 appears to have been a VERY small area (possibly reflecting the relatively high density of the population in South-East Harris at that time)so I think that the names he used were locally recognisable but not necessarily those to be found on the later maps. The (presumably inhabited) island is particularly intriguing!