Christian would later join her sister Mary in widowhood for, on the 25th of July 1890 her own husband, William Morrison, was lost with two colleagues from the unregistered vessel ‘Jessie & Margaret’. Fishing was then, and remains now, a perilous occupation: http://direcleit.blogspot.com/2010/06/drowned-at-sea-by-upsetting-of-boat.html
>I missed one more household in the earlier list:
Christina Morrison, 80, Widow, Gaelic, Crofter, b. Harris
Chirsty Morrison, 50, Daughter, Single, Gaelic, Assisting on croft, b. Harris
Marion Morrison, 48, Daughter, Widow, Gaelic, Harris Tweed Spinner, b. Harris
Roderick Morrison, 9, Grandson, G&E, School, b. Harris
Donald Morrison, 8, Grandson, G&E, School, b. Harris
Catherine Morrison, 6, Granddaughter, G&E, School, b. Harris
Effie Kerr, 82, Sister, Single, Gaelic, Formerly: Harris Tweed Spinner (unreadable), Own Account, At Home, b. Harris
Peter Macleod, 21, Boarder, G&E, Commission Agent, b. Harris
Effie Kerr and her sister Christina were both daughters of Angus Kerr (1792-1867), my ancestor John the Tailor of Direcleit’s brother. Christina had lost her fisherman husband, William Morrison, on the 26th of June 1890 when he and two others were lost from the ‘Jessie & Margaret’.
Effie died the following year on the 14th of January, her death being registered by ‘Peter Macleod. Occupier’.
So, now I have 19 Kerr folk on Harris yet my original search only produced 15 results.
Looking at that list, I notice that the 4 missing persons are Christina Kerr of Direcleit and her three children.
The fact that the three other direcleit Kerr folk in their two households were listed makes this even more mysterious!
Therefore, as far as I can tell, there were in fact 19 people called Kerr left on Harris with 15 of them being relatives of mine and all but two of these being of John the Tailor’s branch of the family.
Any trace of all but one of the other families that I had first found listed in 1841 has been lost some seventy years later…
In … the Outer Hebrides before about the year 1800 surnames did not exist!
A fact that simply cannot be over-emphasised…
For example, the tailor Angus MacPherson might be known as “Angus Tailor”. More frequently the “sloinneadh” was the person’s patronymic (e.g. “Aonaghus Iain Domhnullach” (Angus John son of Donald) which was the patronymic of Angus John MacDonald of Knockline, the well-known North Uist genealogist born in 1900).
Another example would be “”Domhnull mac Alasdair ‘ic Raonuill” (Donald son of Alexander the son of Ronald) (in Gaelic “mac” means “son” and mhic, or abbreviated “’ic”, means “son of the son”.
This partly explains why some 70% of the population of North Uist today has the surname “MacDonald”.
“The term clan, comes of course from the Gaelic clann, meaning “children”. It implied a kinship group of four or five generations, all claiming descent from a common ancestor. And clan chieftains encouraged their followers to believe that they were indeed bound together like family.
The attack upon Gaelic culture included every aspect of it, especially the language.
This is extremely important to understand for those attempting to research their own family history, and it didn’t stop with the peoples names. Placenames suffered this same mangling in their Anglicisation too.
Over time certain Gaelic names came to have an “accepted” English equivalent, often with no obvious connection to the Gaelic name. For example a person locally known in Gaelic as “Gilleasbuig Mac Dhomnull” would probably appear in the Census or in a register of marriages etc. as “Archibald MacDonald”. Thus an official record may contain reference to a person under a name that was completely different to the name that he was known by to his contemporaries.
Were I to travel back in time & present my (painstakingly recreated) family tree to my ancestors, they would probably wonder who on Earth I was referring to!
With many thanks to Blair MacAulay for permission to quote these extracts.
>A contact kindly asked her grandfather if he would look at my piece on 1 Fleoideabhagh (Flodabay) and clear-up the confusions I had mentioned in that piece. In addition to clarifying the history of the house and then explaining that I still have close relatives living in Strond & Ceann Debig (this being previously unknown to any of my family!) , he ended with this:
“I also remember an event in January, 1944 when one of your relatives (Iain or John) took to a cave in Lingerbay and (at least) was affected by frostbite.
I can’t remember whether he survived the episode.”
This is, I am sure you will agree, an intriguing tale to be told! Which Iain/John Kerr was this and what drove him to take to a cave in the Winter of ’44? I don’t think he perished there for, if so, it is not recorded in the Register but I shall have to wait a while before I can contact my source to seek further details.
Meanwhile, we shall have to leave the mysterious John Kerr shivering in his cave somewhere near Lingerbay…
(Many thanks to HT for the info & CM for her help!)