I don’t know why I’d not looked at Lexy Kerr’s DeathCertificate before now, but I hadn’t…
She was born in South Uist to Donald Morrison (who would laterbecome the schoolmaster at Kyles Scalpay,) and his wife Christina MacKinnon.
By 1861, Lexy Morrison had joined the household of the Factor, JohnRobertson Macdonald, at Rodil House where she was the House Maid. It was therethat she met the then Ploughman, Angus Kerr, whom she married on the 5thof April 1870 and the census of the following year records the couple living inRodel where Angus was now the Farm Grieve, or manager.
Their daughter Marion, an only child, was born in Rodel in 1873and the family remained there with Marion marrying a farmer called JohnCampbell. John’s father, Roderick Campbell, had been farmingBorve in the island of Berneray prior to it being re-crofted but the pair werealso successful Fish Curers in South Harris.
John then became the farmer on Taransay and Marion was to give birth to two daughter and three sons theeldest of whom, Roderick Campbell, continued to farm on the island after hisfather’s death in 1945, some 11 years after Marion herself had died.
Marion’s mother, Lexy, had been widowed in 1910 and I hadassumed that she remained in Rodel (where she is recorded living alone in 1911)until her own death 11 years later.
However, her death certificate informs usthat, on the 29th of October 1921 at 7:30 in the morning, she passedaway at ‘Tarinsay Island’.
I presume that at some time during the second decade of thetwentieth century, Marion had invited her elderly mother to join the Campbellfamily on Taransay and hence that was where Lexy died.
The informant, incidentally, was Malcolm Campbell, describedas a ‘neighbour’ in Borve, Harris but he is also very likely to have been oneof her son-in-law’s relatives.
Half-a-century after Lexy’s death her grand-daughter LexyCampbell, (who had married but remainedat Taransay) had some visitors and in his book ‘The Isle of Taransay’, Bill Lawsonrefers to how hospitable she and her husband Ewen MacRae were as hosts.
Lexy had been born at Taransay on the 4th ofSeptember 1908 and died on the Harris ‘mainland’ in 1994. She would have been only 17 months old when her grandfather, Angus Kerr, died at Rodel on the 27thof February 1910 but I’d like to think that at least a little of her hospitalityhad been inherited from him and, of course, from her grandmother Lexy after whom she was, presumably, named.
It seems that my two cousins, Lexy Campbell and her son Ewen MacRae, were the last permanent residents of Taransay but what is unclear to me is whether another cousin (one of Lexy’s brothers) had owned the island at some earlier time?