Norman MacCaig (14 November 1910 – 23 January 1996)

Norman MacCaig, poet, was the son of Robert MacCaig and ‘Joan’ MacLeod who were wed in Edinburgh in 1906, his mother having been born and raised in the island of Scalpaigh na Hearadh, a few hundred metres off the coast of Harris.
‘Joan’, (whose name was given as Johanna when her birth on 28 December 1877 in Scalpay was registered) was the daughter of William MacLeod and Effie Martin, themselves married in Tarbert on 15 March 1864.
William, 29, was a fisherman, his parents being a crofter John MacLeod and his wife Christina MacLeod.
Effie, 20, was a domestic servant and the daughter of another crofter, Roderick Martin, and his wife Flora MacLeod.
Johanna MacLeod had a sister, Julia, who was 74 when she died on 25 September 1939 at Boat Point, Scalpay. She is better known to us as ‘Aunt Julia’ in Norman MacCaig’s poem of that name:

Incidentally, Norman MacCaig’s great grandfather, Roderick Martin was born in Drinishader, Harris but whether there is any connection with my own Martin ancestry from nearby Direcleit remains unknown, but it is a possibility!

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