Here is a chart showing what I believe to be the ancestry of Finlay J Macdonald.
Pieces relating to him can be seen here: http://direcleit.blogspot.com/search/label/Finlay%20J%20Macdonald
I cannot be absolutely certain regarding this chart but it represents the ‘best-fit’ from what little biographical information has been previously published regarding this particular son of Harris.
It will come as no surprise to regular readers of this blog that I am a fan of Finlay J Macdonald’s trilogy ‘Crowdie & Cream’. One of the pivotal, although already deseased, characters is that of the Minister, ‘Ayatollah’ Kerr.
I have already described John Kerr’s family but here present a chart showing him and his relatives all descended from the two sons of his grandparents, John Kerr and Marion Macleod.
It is worth noting that by the time the ‘Ayatollah’ and his ‘French’ wife arrived back on his birth-isle, his uncle’s family had established themselves in England and one doesn’t get any impression from the books that the widowed Adele was aware of any descendants of her sisters-in-law who were living around her and who, in every likelihood, she was teaching in the school at Scarista alongside the schoolboy Finlay…
I should also point out that, although I cannot prove it, my firm belief is that all the Kerr folk of Harris were related, possibly descended from a few ‘incomers’ imported at the time of Captain Macleod’s ‘improvements’, perhaps the last time that such ‘improvements’ were being undertaken with an understanding of, and in co-operation with, the indigenous inhabitants for another two centuries…
It is the 21st January 1925 and we are at Scarista, Harris to witness a wedding ‘after banns according to the forms of the Church of Scotland’.
The groom is a 31 year-old labourer, Angus Kerr of Leverburgh, and his bride is Mary Cameron Macmaster, a 24 year-old Domestic Servant who was born in Old Monkland, Lanarkshire but whose current abode is indecipherable on the feint copy of the original certificate that I have before me.
His father was Roderick Kerr, a Fisherman, and his mother is Peggy Kerr, MS Maclennan. Her father, Duncan Macmaster, is a Gamekeeper, and her mother is Maggie Macmaster, MS Ellis.
Unfortunately, the best that I can discern for the two witnesses is ‘J Morrison(?), Kentulavig’ and ‘Angus Campbell, West(?) Tarbert’, but what makes this particular certificate special, apart from the fact that the groom was my ‘Half 1st Cousin twice removed’, is the name and location of the Minister: John Kerr, The Manse of Harris.
This is our old friend, the ‘Ayatollah’ of Finlay J Macdonald’s ‘Crowdie and Cream’, found officiating for the one and only time at the wedding of one of his island relatives.
Not an event of great historical significance but a relatively unusual and, hopefully, interesting one!
Note: Angus Kerr’s father, Roderick, was the son of my great, great grandfather, Malcolm Kerr, from his first marriage. Roderick (who’s mother may have died giving birth to him, but certainly was dead within 2 or three years of having done so) was brought-up by his grandparents, a service that Malcolm repeated with my own grandfather.