Farm Grieves of Harris

These are the Farm Grieves, or overseers (plus Farm Managers and Estate Officers/Factors) from the censuses and arranged from South to North:

1841
John Lindsay, 40, Estate Officer, Rodil, b. Scotland
(Marrion Kerr, 20, b. Harris)
Marion is the daughter of Angus, a Shoemaker of Strond at this time.


Duncan Shaw, 60, Factor, Iponish, North Uist, b. Scotland

(Donald Stewart, 65, Farmer, Luskentire, b. Scotland)
(John R Macdonald, 30, Farmer, Rodil, b. Inverness)

1851
John R Macdonald, 44, Factor, Rodel, b. Snizort, Inverness
Kenneth Macdonald, 30, Factor’s Clerk, Rodel, b. Applecross, Ross-shire
(Angus Kerr, 20, Farm Servant, Rodel, b. Harris)
It is wholly appropriate that the first record features the long-serving John Robson Macdonald who was the Dunmore’s Factor residing in their island home, Rodel House. Kenneth Macdonald would, 30 years hence, be the Factor based at Borve. Angus is the son of Angus, a Tenant in 1841.

1861
John Robson Macdonald, 54, Factor of Harris Estate, Rodel House, b. Snizort, Inverness
(Alexander Macleod, 30, Retired Factor’s Clerk, Strond, b. Harris)

Alexander Macdonald, 43, Scaristavore, b. NW Inverness

Our first Farm Grieve, on the West coast, perhaps indicative of the displacement and replacement of people by sheep on the machair land?

1871
John R Macdonald, 64, Factor, Rodel, b. Snizort, Inverness
(John Cunningham, 32, Estate Factor’s Clerk, Head, Rodel, b. Harris)
Angus Kerr, 40, Rodel, b. Harris

Angus had previously been a Farm Servant then Ploughman at Rodel so his presence as the promoted Farm Grieve follows a clear ‘career progression’!

1881
Angus Kerr, 48, Farm Manager, Rodel Farm, b. Harris

Donald Macleod, 27, Farm Manager, S Harris, b. Harris
Malcolm Macaskill, 47, S Harris, b. Harris

Kenneth Macdonald, 64, Farmer & Factor, Big Borve, b. Applecross, Ross
John Mackenzie, 35, Big Borve, b. Harris

Angus Macvicar, 50, Farm House, N Harris, b. N Uist

Kenneth Macdonald, who has farmed Borve since it was cleared for the second-time in 1853, is now listed as the Factor. We have a couple of Farm Managers in the South as well as Farm Grieves at Borve and somewhere in the North. Discovering the date that Borve Lodge came into existence appears to be today’s uncompleted task.

1891
Malcolm Macaskill, 50, Grieve’s House, S Harris, b. Harris
Donald Maclennan, 44, Grieve’s House, S Harris, b.

Thomas Brydon, 35, Factor, Farmhouse Luskentyre, (Leaclee), b. Dunblane, Perthshire

Robert F Matheson, 34, No 14 West Tarbert, b. Leith

Thomas Brydon was Factor of the South Harris Estate.
Where were the Grieve’s Houses, An-t-Ob, Strond, Rodel?

1901
John Mackinnon, 33, Farm-Grieve, Farm Grieve’s House of Luskintyre, Stockinish, N Harris, b. Harris

(Margaret Macleod, 60, Wool Spinner, Cottar’s house Leac a Li, Stockinish, Grieve’s House Luskintyre Crofting Township of Leac a Li, b.Harris – 12 Macleod’s give same details)

Malcolm Macaskill, 60, (Retired), Obbe, b. Harris

Robert Sinclair, 56, Factor, N Harris, b. Buchaven, Stirlingshire

I have included Malcolm Macaskill because he was a Farm Grieve in South Harris at the time of the previous two censuses and the Macleod entry for the clues contained.


I suppose what has surprised me the most is the fact that, in a period of 50 years, we only have 13 different people recorded as Farm Grieves, Farm Managers or Factors on Harris.


The presence in 1841 of Marion Kerr in Rodel interests me. Her father was Angus the Shoemaker not Angus the Tenant who’s son Angus spent the remainder of his working life at Rodel. Therefore there were two contemporaneous Kerr families linked to the Estate over the perio 1841-1901. She married John Macaulay, the Miller of Uig, and we find the couple visiting her widowed mother in 1851. 


Oh, and Angus Kerr remained at Rodel, styling himself a ‘Retired Groom’ then ‘Retired Coachman’ before his death in 1910 at the age of 84…

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