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

Friday, 20 August 2010

'Jessie' in Stornoway in 1886?

Yesterday I contacted the Ballast Trust regarding a photograph taken by the late Dan McDonald that appears on page 33 of Robert Simper's excellent book, 'Scottish Sail - A Forgotten Era', ISBN 071536703X. They located the image, a glass plate negative, and have added it to their Flickr site as can be seen here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/ballasttrust/4909702307/

The description in the book tells us that the two vessels in the centre are the Advance and Jessie of Stornoway and that the Jessie, of 30 tons, was built at Fraserburgh in 1850 whilst the Advance was built in 1884. Given this information, the date on the image, which appears to read '1866', would have to be 1886?

My previous research, as seen here , places the Jessie in my family's hands from at least 1876 and the fact that her Crew Agreements cease in 1897, the year that they bought the Crest, leads me to believe that she was theirs for the whole of the period 1876-1897. Corroboration is to be found in this obituary from the Stornoway Gazette of 1922.

I am absolutely delighted to be able to share with you an evocative image (albeit somewhat indistinct!) of one of my ancestors' ships taken at the time that they were sailing her in plying the coastal trade of the West coast of Scotland.

Note: The fishing fleet is a mixture typical of the time, including vessels from both the East coast and the Clyde.

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