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, 11 October 2010

Yachtsmen of Harris

I happened upon these men by chance when extending my family tree and finding that John Maclean (a Nephew of the Wife of my 1st Cousin 4 times removed!) had been a 'Yacht's Man' in 1891.

Exploring this unusual occupation produced the following records:

(John Mcleod, 52, Yachtsman (Unemployed), 4 Nelson St, Greenock West, Renfrewshire, b. Harris)

John Gillies, 39, Yachtsman, Strond, b. Harris
John Maclean, 23, Yacht's Man, Strond, b. Harris
William Macleod, 40, Yacht's Man, Strond, b. Harris
Norman Paterson, 20, Yacht's Man, Strond, b. Harris
Alexander Paterson, 18, Yacht's Man, Strond, b. Harris

John Morrison, 30, Yachtsman, Scaplay no 36, b. Harris

John Mackay, Sailor's Yachtsman, Obbe, b. Harris
Kenneth Morrison, 21, Yacht Caretaker, Kentulavig, b. Harris

Malcolm Campbell, 25, Yachtsman, Bernera, b. Bernera, Inverness-shire
Alexander Macdonald, 30, Yachtsman, Bernera, b. Harris
John Mclean, 29, Yachtsman, Bernera, b. Bernera, Inverness-shire
John Paterson, 28, Yachtsman, Bernera, b. Bernera, Inverness-shire

(John Campbell, 54, Yachtsman, Kirkpark Cottage, Row, Dunbartonshire, b. Harris)
(John Mcleod, 72, Yachtsman (Retired), 85 Roxburgh St, Greenock West, Renfrewshire, b. Harris)

In all cases, these men were living with their families at the time of the census so it is not the case that a visiting yacht happened to be present at the time.
The two clusters of Yachtsmen, in Strond in 1891 and on Bernera a decade later, are therefore all the more intriguing and I am tempted to consider that in each case a local resident may have been the employer of these men?
What is known is that in later years Sir T.O.M. Sopwith extensively employed Hearachs on both his steam and sailing yachts (I understand that the Skipper of Endeavour II was from Direcleit?) and in doing so was following a precedent set at least 50 years earlier.

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