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 1871

Here are Harris's teachers of 1871:

Susan Mcleod, 37, Teacher, Wife, House at Kyles Scalpay, b. Harris

BAYS (1)
John Gillanders, 54, Gaelic School Teacher, Geocrab

Murdo Mckenzie, 23, Schoolmaster Free Church,ED3, b. Lochs

John McDonald, 23, Schoolmaster,ED17,  b. Harris

Farquhar Mckay, 23, Schoolmaster, Schoolhouse,ED12,  b. Harris

Mary Mcaulay, 21, School Mistress, Industrial School, ED6, b. Stornoway

Margaret McDonald, 26, Teacher, Established Church School,ED15,  b. Harris

John Mclean, 26, Teacher, Visitor, House at Oban, b. North Uist
(Norman Mcleod, 30, Fisherman, b. Harris)

Murdo Morrison, 23, Schoolmaster, Visitor, Ardourlie Castle, b. Carloway
(Donald Morrison, 40, Shepherd, b. Harris)

William Dingwall, 33, Schoolmaster, Visitor, Shipowner's House, b. Gairloch
(Malcolm Campbell, 32, Shipowner, Mealmonger & C, b. Harris and
the 'uncle of the husband of my 2nd cousin 3 times removed', apparently!)

William Sutherland, Lately Teacher, Visitor, b. Kildonan, Sutherland

(Donald Morrison, 81, Retired Teacher, West Tarbert, b. Harris)

The number of 'Scholars' had risen to 499 by this time and yet we can only be sure of there having been 7 teachers regularly providing them with their education in 1871.
It is impossible to locate all but two of these educators, those being in Kyles Scalpay and, interestingly, Geocrab. I find this interesting because there was a school started at some point in time at nearby Kyles Stockinish but this is a long walk from Geocrab. However, it is a short boat trip across Loch Stockinish so, whilst I have no evidence, I am wondering if John Gillanders commuted to work by boat each day? Something to investigate further...

At this point it is probably worth reminding readers of a track taken by children to the school at Kyles Stockinish that I have referred to previously and the details of which can be seen here .


  1. Lachlan Campbell, brother of Malcolm Campbell ('uncle of the husband of your 2nd cousin 3 times removed') gave evidence to the Napier Commission at Tarbert in 1883.

  2. Thank you for that - I thought that his name was familiar! - This piece on 'Fish Curers of Harris' is relevant, too:


    Thanks again,

  3. Hello.
    I have a Stornaway Free Church Dux's silver medal awarded to George Stephen in March 1871.