Kerr Occupations 1841-61 – A Regional Comparison

The figures in brackets are the number of Kerr folk found at each location:

1841 Harris (65) Other Inverness (29) Ross (28) Argyll (192) Sutherland (242)
Carpenter or Joiner 2 1 0 1 1
Mason 1 0 0 0 0
Shoemaker 2 1 0 5 0
Tailor 1 0 2 0 0
Weaver 0 0 0 1 1
(The one Tailor on Harris appears as a ‘Tenant’ on the census but I know my great, great, great grandfather
John was in fact a Tailor at this time – it demonstrates that this data is subject to all manner of ‘noise’ – and the same is true of the one Mason who was Peter, the Dry Mason who moved to
Argyll between 1851 and 1861)
1851 Harris Other Inverness (46) Ross (23) Argyll (255) Sutherland (171)
Carpenter or Joiner 2 0 0 4 1
Mason 1 0 0 2 0
Shoemaker 2 0 0 4 0
Tailor 1 0 1 0 0
Weaver 1 0 0 2 0
(Also a ‘Teacher of English’ on Barra and a Farmer’s Widow in Borve)
1861 (52)

Harris Other Inverness (69) Ross (43) Argyll (251) Sutherland (225)
Carpenter 1 0 0 1 0
Mason 0 0 0 1 (b. Harris) 0
Shoemaker 2 0 0 1 1
Tailor 1 0 0 1 1
Weaver 2 0 0 1 0
I think it is clear that the concentration of these particular occupations in the small population on Harris demonstrates a cluster compared to the wider region.
The table also suggests that, if these records in any way can be used to reveal a trail left as crafts were passed from father to son (although I have included one Weaveress from 1861!) then Argyll is the most likely source for that trail.
I know this contradicts my recent focus upon Sutherland but I hope it also demonstrates why I am looking
outside Inverness and Ross as likely origins for the Harris folk?
My quest continues…
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