Alexander MacRa (‘Fear Huisinis’) of Harris

Looking at the census records to find the Farmer of ‘Huisinish House’ (Caola Stiadair/Kyles Lodge) we see the following:

1841 – Island of Ensay
Alexander MacRa, 50, Farmer
Alexander MacRa, 20, Ag Lab
William Macaskill, 25, Ag Lab
Margaret MacRa, 25, Housekeeper
Mary MacRa, 15, Female Servent
Christian MacRa, 20, Female Servant
Isabella Fraser, 20,
Mary Mackenzie, 15,
Tilla Maarteld(?), 15, Ag Lab
Martin Maarteld, 12, Ag Lab
Alexander MacRa, 55, Sailor(?Tailor?)

1851Nishishee
Alexander MacRa, 63, Farmer Employing 21 Men, b. Glenshiel, Ross-shire
Margaret MacRa, 37, Wife, b. Lochalsh, Ross-shire
Jessie MacRa, 7, Daughter, b. Harris
Isabella MacRa, 5, Daughter, b. Harris
Archibald MacRa, 3, Son, b. Harris
John MacRa, 1, Son, b. Harris
Cathi Maclennon, 27, Dairy Maid, b. Lochalsh, Ross-shire
Jean Mackenzie, 25, Nurse, b. Kilmorack, Ross-shire
Effie Morrison, 20, House Servant, b. Harris
Stanley MacRa, 18, Scholar, b. Portree
Ewan Maclennon, 31, Farm Servant, b. Glenshiel, Ross-shire
Margaret Maclennon, 11, House Servant, b. Harris
Mary Macdonald, 55, Spinning Wife, Visitor, b. Harris
Finlay Macdonald, 38, Visitor, b. Kintail, Ross-shire

1861 Not found


1871 – ED 4 Kintulavig
Alexander MacRa, 83, Farmer, b. Glenshiel, Ross-shire
Margaret MacRa, 47, Wife, b. Lochalsh, Ross-shire
Archibald MacRa, 23, Son, b. Harris
Jessie MacRa, 25, Daughter, b. Harris
Lachlin Macdonald, 22, Farm Servant, b. Harris
Christina Campbell, 33, Seamstress, b. Harris
Anne Morrison, 28, Dairymaid, Visitor, b. Harris
Catherine McRae, 70, Calety(?) Cook, b. Lochalsh, Ross-shire
Anne Macdonald, 18, Cook, b. Harris
Bella Macrae, 14, Table Maid, b. Harris
William Sutherland, 27, Cately Teacher, Visitor, b. Kildonan, Sutherlandshire

MacRa farmed extensively in the Western Isles but made Kyles Lodge his home from 1820 until his death in 1874. What I hadn’t appreciated was that his wife was apparently some 26-36 years his junior!

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