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, 17 November 2010

Education in Harris in 1861

Here are the few teachers found in the 1861 Census:

NORTH (1)
Catherine Mcleod, 21, Teacher, East Tarbert, b. Fodderty, Ross

Duncan Morrison, 56, Schoolmaster, Visitor, Ranigadle, b. Barvas, Ross
(Roderick Mckay, 50, Tenant, Head, b. Harris)

(Donald Morrison, 70, Retired Schoolmaster, East Tarbert, b. Harris)

SCALPAY (1)
Christina Campbell, 30, Schoolmistress, Scalpa Island, b. Harris

BAYS (1)
William Dingwall, 26, Schoolmaster, General Assembly, Finsbay, b. Rossshire

SOUTH (1)
James Stewart, 40, Parish Schoolmaster, Oab, b. South Uist

BERNERAY (1)
Donald Mackay, 45, Schoolmaster, Bernera, b. Halkirk, Caithness

There were some 471 'Scholars' in the records yet these are the only teachers that I can find.
If this is a true representation then children would have had to trudge the unmade tracks from their homes in the Bays to either Tarbert in the North or Finsbay in the South, those living along the Sound (and any left in the southern parts of the West coast) to the school in An-t-Ob. In all weathers and throughout the year. I wonder how many of those 'Scholars' by name received a proper education in practice despite the best efforts of the handful of teachers?

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