Stornoway Mill & Millers

The earliest reference I have is in Pigot’s 1837 Directory where we are informed that ‘If we except two rope-works, a distillery and a corn-mill, Stornoway derives no prosperity from manufactures…‘ and that the Millwright was William Latta of Stornoway mill.

William Latta, 60, Miller, Mill St, b. Scotland
(Magaret Latta, 40, and a few servants are listed)

John Mclennan, 30, Miller & Millwright, Stornoway Mill, Mid Glen, b. Contin, Ross
Mary Maclennan, 40, Wife, b. Lochwinnoch, Renfrew
Margaret Latta, 50, Aunt, b. Lochwinnoch, Renfrew
Roderick Morrison, 58, Mill Servant, b. Stornoway
Margaret Morrison, 30, House Servant, b. Barvas

1861 I can find neither John Mclennan, nor anyone else, at Stornoway Mill!

John Mclennan, 49, Miller & Small Farmer, Mill House, b. Contin, Ross-shire
Mary Mclennan, 59, Wife, b. Lochwinnich, Renfrewshire
Mary Houston, 30, Housekeeper, Niece, b. Lochwinnoch
Ann Mcdonald, 12, Scholar, Niece, b. Contin, Ross-shire
Roderick Mckenzie, 31, Assistant Miller, b. Gairloch, Ross-shire
Donald Ross, 17, Farm Servant, b. Stornoway
William Mcdonald, 14, Cowherd, b. Stornoway
Barbara Kenzie, 26, General Servant, b. Stornoway

John Mclennan, 59, Meal Miller & Farmer (15 acres arable land), Mill House, b. Contin, Ross-shire
Mary Mclennan, Wife, b. Lochwinnoch, Renfrewshire
Annie Macdonald, 23, Niece, b. Contin
Peggy Finlayson, 20, General Servant (Domestic), b. Stornoway
John Macdonald, 19, Ploughman, b. Stornoway
Murdo MacPhail, 14, Herdboy, b. Lochs

1890 – The Mill is destroyed by fire on the 28th February

John Maclennan, 70, Mill Wright & Farmer, Mill house, b. Contin
Mary Campbell, 78, Wife, b. Lochwinnoch
Mary Maclennan, 78, Wife, b. Lochwinnoch
Angus Maclean, 17, Farm Servant, b. Uig, Ross
Jessie Mackenzie, 30, Domestic Servant, b. Gairloch, Ross

(John Matheson, 39, Farmer, Mill House, b. Dingwall, Rossshire, his Wife and 4 children plus)
(John Maclennan, 80, Retired Miller, Uncle, b. Dingwall)

I think we can be confident that for at least the period 1851-1891 the Miller was John Mclennan from Contin, a Nephew of Margaret Latta, the Wife of our first Miller, William Latta. In retirement, John was still resident at the Mill House, the Head of the Household being his own Nephew, John Matheson from Dingwall.

More information on Stornoway Mill, including a project to restore the Waterwheel, can be seen here:


One thought on “Stornoway Mill & Millers

  1. Perhaps superfluous to mention that the restored Waterwheel was put into operation in October 2005. Its output, electricity, powers the streetlights along the Bayhead River and the western shore of Stornoway Harbour as far as Cuddy Point.

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