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, 16 August 2010

Cart Drivers of Lewis and Harris

These young men, aged from 15 to 20, are those recorded as being Cart Drivers in the 1841-1901 censuses:

1841 - None found

Murdo Morison, 19, Keith Street, Stornoway, b. Lochs
Malcolm Maclean, 16, Bayhead Street, Stornoway, b. Guershader

Donald Mckay, 17, 4 Garynahine, Carloway, Uig, b. Uig
Mal Mcarthur, 16, 23 Calanish, Carloway, Uig, b. Uig
Murdo Mckenzie, 16, 28 Calanish, Carloway, Uig, b. Uig

Donald Mciver, 15, 33 Cromwell Street, Stornoway, b. Stornoway

Malcolm Mciver, 20, Gress Farm, Stornoway, b. Stornoway
Angus Graham, 16, 96 Tolsta, Stornoway, b. Stornoway

John Smith, 16, Stornoway, b. Stornoway
John McDonald Macaskill, 18, Grieve's House, South Harris, b. Harris

1901 - None found

Quite why there was a blossoming of carts in Uig in the 1860s (and a corresponding lack of them in Stornoway at that time!) is a mystery, as is the non-appearance of Barvas where the records tell us there were several Cartwrights. I suspect that cart driving was undertaken rather more widely by members of the farming community and that these records reflect more upon adolescent male attitudes to having a set of 'wheels' rather than being a true indicator of cart usage at the time. In fairness, being allowed to be in charge of such an expensive piece of machinery would also have been an honour and one that the young men would have probably been keen to see recorded.

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