>A Special Set of Links

>Although I think I deserve some small credit for having seen the potential in the peculiarities of the Scotland Census transcriptions in allowing one to perform larger-scale genealogical analyses, it is to another blogger that I owe my gratitude for realising that a blog might be a suitable vehicle in which to publish my results.

He is a prolific blogger and, although we frequently include links to each-others work, I thought it entirely appropriate to provide this comprehensive list of his various blogs:
First World War
Faces from the Lewis War Memorial – lists the casualties from the Isle of Lewis
Iolaire Disaster 1919 – lists the casualties and survivors of the sinking of HMY Iolaire
Lewismen in Canadian service – lists all those from the Isle of Lewis known to have served in the CEF
Wargraves in Lewis – shows the wargraves, and war-related private graves in Lewis cemeteries
Isle of Lewis War Memorials – shows the war memorials in Lewis and transcriptions
Roll of Honour – lists all those who served (and died) from Lewis
Lewismen from the 2nd Seaforths – lists those who served with the 2nd Seaforth with transcripts from the war diary of that regiment
Lewismen at HMS Timbertown – islanders interned at Groningen, Holland

Other islands
Harris War Memorial (WW1 and WW2)
Berneray to Vatersay Tribute (WW1 and WW2, Berneray, North Uist, Grimsay, Benbecula, South Uist, Eriskay and Barra)
Lyness Royal Naval Cemetery (pictures and information on all the casualties buried in that cemetery in Orkney)

Second World War
World War II casualties from Lewis

Reports from the Napier Commission
Transcriptions of the 1883 Napier Report
Napier Commission in the Outer Hebrides
Napier Commission in the Isle of Skye
Napier Commission in Orkney
Napier Commission in Shetland
Napier Commission in Sutherland
Napier Commission in Ross-shire [work in progress]

Lewis and Harris witnesses to the Napier Commission

Local history blog
Pentland Road

Personal blog
Atlantic Lines

He also contributes to the Western Isles War Graves (forum) and Western Isles War Memorials (forum)

Searching won’t always work!

I have discovered that my early entries, such as this one, http://direcleit.blogspot.com/2010/02/serving-king-country.html , do not appear in searches, whether conducted from within the blog or externally.

Apologies for this, but they can be found from their Labels and, of course, by going to the Archive.

Captain Charles Edward Steuart (1891-1945) RIP



Although the Search box, Labels, etc provide tools for navigating this blog, I thought that I’d draw attention to this particular (small) selection of entries:

The Harris Timeline is intended to give an overview of several aspects of the history of the isle.
(Unfortunately the Harris Historical Society (Comann Eachdraidh Na Hearadh) is currently dormant and, as far as I am aware, this is the only such list currently available online?)

 Long Island Links  is intended to provide an introductory list of sites arranged in several categories and is complementary to (though vastly less comprehensive than) that to be found at the Diigo Outer Hebrides Research Group .

The Sounds of Harris ‘suite’ is an attempt to weave my ancestry’s tale into the story of Harris.

Finally, a piece of prose on the landscape, seallaidh-tire ,written sometime before reading Togail tir but which, perhaps, is also ‘making time’?…

Personal Ancestral File (PAF)

I’ve been using this robust and FREE program for several years and rather than repeating what’s so good about it (and outlining its limitations) I recommend reading this: http://www.gensoftreviews.com/?p=126

It, and the companion program that allows you to produce a huge variety of charts and reports, can be downloaded from : http://www.familysearch.org/Eng/Home/Welcome/welcome.asp .

The add-on can be upgraded (when I got mine it simply meant sending a £5 cheque to Birmingham, England and then swiftly receiving two CDs in the post) and is certainly worth every penny.

There are several other programs on the market (no, I haven’t tried them!) but PAF is definitely worth downloading.

Long Island Links

This is an attempt to collate online sources of information relating to the history and heritage of the Isle of Lewis and Isle of Harris (the ‘Long Island’ of the title) in the Western Isles of Scotland.
It is an ongoing project and suggestions for additions are welcomed. I have compiled it because, although there is a lot of information ‘out there’, it can prove a challenging task searching for it.

Language Note – I endeavour to give priority to Gaelic spellings (with their English counterparts in brackets) for I am committed to supporting the language as much as possible and believe that any true understanding of a people and their culture can only be attained if the language that the former use to produce the latter is fully embraced.

A Vision of Britain Through Time – http://www.visionofbritain.org.uk/index.jsp
Confusingly, the Isles of Haris and Lewis are actually a single landmass (with satellite islands) but they sat in the old Counties of Inverness-shire and Ross-shire respectively. This site shows you how the two ‘isles’ relate to each other and to the two counties on the mainland of Scotland.
Update: An excellent scholarly review of the site is to be found here: http://www.history.ac.uk/reviews/review/934 (and I’m not just saying that because it uses Tarbert in Harris as an example!)

Google Maps Streetview is a fantastic way of making a ‘virtual visit’ – http://maps.google.co.uk/
Multimap offers views of Ordnance Survey OS 1:50 000 maps http://www.multimap.com/?db=GB
National Library of Scotland – http://www.nls.uk/collections/maps/index.html
(High Resolution images of old maps to view online)

Lewis & Harris Guide – http://www.undiscoveredscotland.co.uk/areawestnorth/index.html
(Certainly a good place to start, but many of the sites listed below either do not feature, or take a fair bit of searching to locate, within this guide)

Lewis comprises the parishes of Stornoway, Barvas, Lochs and Uig whilst the parish of Harris included many more islands in addition to Harris itself. Further subdivisions of these parishes into local communities can be a little confusing for the newcomer so I have organised all these links by alphabetically by parish, with Harris following Lewis.


CE Bharabhais agus Bhru (Barvas and Brue Historical society) – http://barvasandbrue.com/
CE Nis (Ness historical Society) – http://www.c-e-n.org/
Lochs Community Web Site – http://www.lochslewis.org/
CE na Pairc (Pairc Historical Society) – http://www.cepairc.com/
Rubha an Fhithich (Ravenspoint Centre) http://ravenspoint.net/default.aspx
Angus Macleod Archive – http://www.angusmacleodarchive.org.uk/
Stornoway Historical Society – http://www.stornowayhistoricalsociety.org.uk/
CE Uig (Uig Historical Society) http://www.ceuig.com/
Calanais Visitor Center (Callanish) – http://www.callanishvisitorcentre.co.uk/
CE Na Hearadh (Harris Historical Society) is currently ‘in hibernation’.
Seallam Visitor Centre – http://www.seallam.com/
In Northton, South Harris and home to ‘Co Leis Thu’ genealogy research and Bill Lawson’s books

Ancestry – http://www.ancestry.co.uk/
(Transcribed records of the censuses plus global records of many varieties)
Scotland’s People – http://www.scotlandspeople.gov.uk/
Guide to Scottish records – http://www.gla.ac.uk/departments/scottishwayofbirthanddeath/
(Full explanation of the system from 1855-1939 with example images, some from the isles)
Occupations – http://www.scotlandspeople.gov.uk/content/help/index.aspx?r=551&430
(A comprehensive list of Scottish occupations with definitions)
Hebridean Connections – http://www.hebrideanconnections.com/
(Currently covering four areas in the south of Lewis, this is a fantastic site whether you have ‘Hebridean Connections’ or not!)

Royal Commission on the Ancient & Historical Monuments of Scotland http://www.rcahms.gov.uk/
Canmore – http://canmore.rcahms.gov.uk/
Story of Human Settlement in the Isles – http://www.archaeologyhebrides.com/
Culture Hebrides – Archaeology – http://www.culturehebrides.com/archaeology/

National Library of Scotland – http://www.nls.uk/
Scottish Archive Network – http://www.scan.org.uk/index.html
The Statistical Accounts of Scotland 1879-1845 – http://stat-acc-scot.edina.ac.uk/sas/sas.asp?action=public
Am Baile – Highland History & Culture – http://www.ambaile.org.uk/
Napier Commission in the Outer Hebrides- http://napier-outerhebrides.blogspot.com/

Dwelly’s Dictionary – http://www.cairnwater.co.uk/gaelicdictionary/index.aspx?Language=en
(Particularly attractive as you can view the original pages as well as the transcripts)
Gaelic Placenames – http://www.scottish.parliament.uk/vli/language/gaelic/vl-trans.htm#places
(5 pdf files at bottom of page)
Extent of Gaelic-speaking in one part of Harris (pdf)
Bord na Gaidhlig – http://www.gaidhlig.org.uk/welcome.html

Birlinn – Hebridean Galleys and West Coast Traditional Boats – http://galgael.org/birlinn/
Maritime History Archive – http://www.mun.ca/mha/
(Newfoundland-based but home to many original 19thC British documents)

Comhairle Nan Eilean Siar (CNES) (Western Isles Council) – http://www.w-isles.gov.uk/
(Links to museum, libraries, etc plus data on the islands, past and present)

A lot of interesting information and personal accounts are to be found in blogs from people in, from, or with an interest in, the isles, and here are a diverse selection to whet the appetite:

Alpacas of Lewis – http://scalpaylinen.blogspot.com/
Atlantic Lines – http://atlantic-lines.blogspot.com/
Calana Crafts – http://calanacrafts.blogspot.com/
Faces from the Lewis War Memorial – http://facesmemorial.blogspot.com/
Photo Hebrides – http://hebphoto.blogspot.com/
Scalpay Linen – http://scalpaylinen.blogspot.com/
Scottish Genealogy News and Events – http://scottishancestry.blogspot.com/
The Croft – http://thecroft.wordpress.com/
Tweed thoughts… – http://idreamoftweed.blogspot.com/

This is very much a first attempt and in no way meant to be exhaustive or definitive.
I am working, with friends, on a possible expansion of the idea so as to provide a comprehensive online resource but meanwhile we need folks input and ideas so please provide feedback, either in the form of a comment or via email!

Update: The Diigo group ‘Outer Hebrides’ is now available – more information can be seen here: http://www.ceuig.com/links/more-links

Tapadh leat! (Thank you!) – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scottish_Gaelic

Old Scottish Weights and Measures

I made reference to this excellent resource when examining the labour and yields relating to feannagan cultivation.

They originate from ‘A Complete System of Practical Arithmetic’ published for the Scottish School-book Association in 1869. I say ‘for’ because I have found another of their titles of the same year that was published by William Collins.

If Lippies, Pecks, Firlots and Bolls leave you high and dry, or Mutchkins and Chopins w(h)et your appetite, then you will find the answers here:


An extract from an account of the ‘Hebudae’ from 1794 is interesting:

The weights and measures used in these isles, are various and uncertain, as on the mainland. I believe the most prevalent weight to be that denominated Dutch weight; but concerning either the weights or the measures,I have not yet obtained satisfactory information. One thing certain is, that by diversity of weights and measures, traffic is rendered more tardy, complex and difficult in its operations; whilst, by simplicity and uniformity of weights and measures, its sales and exchanges are quickened, and its transactions in general, made less operose*.

Heron, 1794 (See next entry in blog for full citation)

*Operose = Laborious

Despite having been kindly given this link to Old Dutch Weights and Measures:
I am unsure exactly what the term ‘Dutch weight’ in this article refers to!

Two Very Useful Archaeology Sites

These two sites, ‘Archaeology Hebrides’ and ‘Western Isles Sites and Monuments Record’, together with the RCAHMS one that I have previously referred to, are an excellent resource:



The latter one has an Advanced Search facility http://www.cne-siar.gov.uk/smr/advancedsearch.aspx which I find particularly useful as you can limit the search to a Parish or particular Island and then select a type of Monument to be looked for. My experiments with using the Map Search have been less successful with the program often ‘locking’ onto the first site one selects, making it somewhat irritating!