Wednesday, November 21, 2007
Also, note that I have figured out how to put links to other websites onto this blog! I have done the same at Knapdale People, too.
Wednesday, October 31, 2007
Sunday, October 28, 2007
The forenamed Tenants Engage to give ?Juste & presence to the Baron Bailie Courts held upon the Estate by the Proprietor or his aforesaid or other authorised by them as often as Cited thereto And to observe and fulfill all the lawful Enactment thereof for the Improvement of the Estate maintaining Civilization and good order in the Parish
Saturday, October 27, 2007
Monday, October 15, 2007
Tarbet, Monday, 17th September, 1838:
(from Circuit Journeys; and "Jeffrey" was a friend of Cockburn's)
Monday, September 24, 2007
Tuesday, September 18, 2007
That was the start of a brisk sail back home, as the wind had gone round to the north west, and we beat all the way up the Sound of Jura assisted by a strong tide, which gave us five 'free' miles on the journey. We used the engine to get into the Sound, as the swell was coming straight into the mouth of Loch Sween.
Glad we came home on Friday though, as the weather otherwise over the weekend was stormy, rainy and thoroughly dreich!"
Sunday, September 9, 2007
Saturday, September 8, 2007
Tuesday, September 4, 2007
So, just maybe, this Hearth Tax List is a reasonably faithful picture of Knapdale in 1694!"
Monday, September 3, 2007
ALSO, a pdf of the relevant pages, with typed transcriptions of each; and a map showing the layout of the various landowners (Campbell of Auchinbreck was the biggest landowner in 1694; it seems he backed Bonnie Prince Charlie in 1745 and was down and out and very poor when he died...his story is a tragedy, I think, and I will add what little I can find out about him, in the near future.)
Given that almost everyone on the list has only 1 hearth (there is a McAlister with 5, of course), I would say that there were lots of poor people in Knapdale in 1694.
Monday, August 27, 2007
Sunday, August 26, 2007
HOWEVER. The Hearth Tax lists have proven to be a great source of names and places, ie for genealogists and historians. For my website, at Knapdale People, I am working on the hearth tax records that exist. The Argyll and Bute archive has provided a typed list of said pages; the local LDS has provided a microfilm of said (tattered) records; and Ian MacDonald, one of the great western highland historians, has provided me with modern versions of the 1694 surnames.
So, I have been adding said names etc to my data base, and thought to add this to the Website. But. There is this matter of Campbell of Auchinbreck. Large numbers of farms belonged to this gentleman. But. He joined the losing side in 1745, and he lost his properties after Culloden.
So. Where is Auchinbreck? (I found it, via 'mapquest.') And what is there to say about Knapdale when one of its major landowners fell into bankruptcy in the mid 1700s? The best story of this time is by Alexander Fraser, "North Knapdale in the XVII and XVIIIth centuries", published in Oban, 1964. I found a copy of this in the Guelph University Library and photocopied the relevant pages...
And . I realize I must re-do the front page of the Site, to make things ever more clear to my readers. This will take a couple of days.
Friday, August 24, 2007
No, I do not think that it is possible to morally justify owning slaves. On the other hand, such people as that McMillan did not think of themselves as hypocritical: he was, in his own eyes, a good, God fearing Christian. It is more interesting (to me) to figure out how he thought. And what he thought, as all his work disappeared during the ensuing Civil War (or did it disappear? did he continue to prosper? He had sons. Did they survive to 1865? )
FROM A MCGUGAN CORRESPONDENT:
Very interesting to see your musings on Archibald McMillan. The family history says that "There is little doubt that Archibald S. McMillan took a severe economic loss as a result of the emancipation of slaves following the War Between the States." (McMillan Family History by John Q. Edwards, III) Archibald died in 1867, but has many descendants in North Carolina (some of which I have met.)
AND, From a descendent of the Blue Brothers, who emigrated from North Knapdale in 1803, about slavery.
Now, about that slavery thing...something of interest for you. Malcolm, John, and Daniel Blue emigrated from North Knapdale to the USA with their families en masse in 1803. Malcolm and John settled in New York State which was a free state and they did not own slaves. Daniel Blue settled in North Carolina and did own slaves. I do not know why they chose to settle in different states, but perhaps discomfort or comfort with slavery played a part. These three men had a younger brother named Dugald Blue who originally settled in the southern US in 1804, but was so troubled by the institution of slavery that after a short time he moved to be near his brothers in Upstate New York. I think we can judge the people of that time about their views on slavery because they judged each other on it, struggled with its morality, and some concluded it was immoral. Thought you would find that interesting.
The papers presented will be:
The Sugar Plantocracy of Scotland. Dr. Eric Graham
The Anti Slave Trade Tour of William Dickson in 1792. Dr. Iain Whyte.
Glasgow University, Slavery and Abolition: An Untold Story. Lesley Richmond, U of Glasgow Library.
Scotland and the Slave Trade: South West Connections. Dr. Lizanne Henderson, U of Glasgow Crichton Campus.
Servitude or Slavery? Scottish servants in the early colonies. Sheila Millar, Local Studies Librarian, East Lothian.
'And some have slaves thrust upon them': early 19th Century letters between Paxton, Berwickshire, and Grenada. Sonia Baker, Editor, 4th Statistical Account of East Lothian.
The conference fee is 18 pounds for members of the SLHF and 20 pounds for non members. This includes a buffet lunch. Closing date for applications: 21 September, 2007.
Mrs. Doris Williamson, SLHF, c/o Scottish History, School of History and Classics, U of Edinburgh, 17 Buccleuch Place, Edinburgh. EH8 9LN
tel: 0131 669 8252 firstname.lastname@example.org
Monday, August 20, 2007
Donald Blue/McGuirman lived in a "dwelling house, good, 4 couples; a Barn, 1 couple; and 1 Bothie, 2 couples" *
His wife was Flory Lamont (McIlchombie), and they had 6 children. His brother John was also at the farm. John's wife was Mary McLean, and they had 3 children at the time.
The man taking the inventory noted that, on Arichonan Farm, "the Houses in this farm and mostly on this Estate was built by the Tenants themselves and by the way, they were not built right at first."
*"couple": these are the main supports for the roof, consisting of two lengths of timber, and attached at the apex of the roof. The number of couples is an indicator of the length of a dwelling. A "bothie" was a one room hut. The sketch is from I. F. Grant's "Highland Folk Ways", page 145 (Birlinn, 1997).
The complete inventory, at Argyll and Bute Archives, is entitled "Report of the Houses of Dunad, 1798; and 1802: the Rest of the Houses on the Estates of Neill Malcolm Esq is added."
also, another email, from a man in Britain, which fits in well with I.F.Grant's sketch of a 'town', below, and MacInnes' contention that Arichonan was 'anachronistic', ie, not the usual crofter community:
"Although I have done a master research degree (urban housing in Liverpool) and quite a lot of local history and vernacular architecture work, in this instance I was just totally affronted how such a beautifully wrought working village could have been cleared. This was clearly something of a different order to the clearing of single story croft houses that took place all over the highlands. The detail of the houses, barn and sheep folds show such a complete master of 'intermediate technology', exactly what was needed for getting a living in this environment." He has put up his photos here. They are very lovely.
Sunday, August 19, 2007
Check out the 2 posts and sketches below. They help to clarify what exactly MacInnes means by "town" versus "croft".... and the additional insight that Arichonan was - in 1848 - a very 'old fashioned' sort of place.
MacInnes is also very interested in the Poltalloch landowner's experience with his Jamaican plantations, and how this translated into management of his Highland estates.
According to A.G.M. Duncan's "Green's Glossary of Scottish Legal Terms" (3rd edition, 1992), a "croft" is "An agricultural holding of limited size located within the counties in Scotland designated as crofting counties, the tenant or crofter or his predecessors having provided the buildings and fixed equipment." The topic of "crofts" and "crofting commissions", and etc., was a huge issue in the Highlands. My impression is that it was a late 19th century attempt to establish some security of tenure for remaining Highland crofters, on land that continued to be owned by others.
Saturday, July 21, 2007
Another hearth, this one with a chimney! and, to repeat:
"Auchindrain Museum outside Inveraray (http://www.auchindrain-museum.org.uk) is a wonderful example of a traditional farm township of the kind our forefathers inhabited and worked. Hundreds of similar townships throughout Argyll were abandoned or cleared but this little gem has survived.
Please will you help to preserve this unique township by writing or emailing to the Achindrain Manager to support a bid to get Auchindrain recognised as being a Museum Collection of national significance through the Scottish Museums Council’s Significance Scheme. Letters or emails must refer to the completeness of the township and that it survived the Highland Clearances. It should also be mentioned that it was the first open air museum to open in Scotland (greatly supported by the late Miss Marion Campbell of Kilberry, an outstanding local historian) and that the original buildings are located within their original context etc etc
Please write or email to support this bid. Note that names and addresses must accompany emails to verify their provenance."
Monday, July 2, 2007
I have been interested in the fate of this family: the Glasgow slums, Australia, Canada or the USA, Knapdalians left their homes for all of these places.
Well. I have heard from one of Allan's descendents! It seems that he and his family went to Canada in 1849. "They owned land and farmed in Ekfrid township, Middlesex County, Ontario. Once in Canada, they had two more children.* Allan died September 10, 1868, and his wife, Catherine, June 30, 1870. They are buried in a small rural cemetary called Murray Cemetary in Ekfrid township, Middlesex County, Ontario."
* (Janet, born 1851; and Daniel, born 1857.)
Saturday, June 9, 2007
Friday, June 8, 2007
"Based on my limited knowledge of uniforms, including my statement upfront that what we have here is the earliest known portrait of Sir Archie, done sometime between the Seven Years War and the American Revolution. Why? The gold embroidery lace on the uniform is very similar to that found on other British officers serving with the East India Company at this time. We know that Archie served in India after the Seven Years War (did James?).
The uniform has the shoulder epauletter instead of a hanging aigulette, placing this uniform post 1768. Archie was in India in post 1768. If you look carefully at the sword knot of this officer's sword, you'll note the gold knot tied up around the hilt denoting him as the rank of captain or below. Majors and above wore their knots loose and hanging. Archie was a captain at this state in his career.
The fortress on the hill looks like it might be in India."
Wednesday, March 28, 2007
There is a lot to be said about these letters: the strong religious faith of the writers just glows in every letter. It should be remembered that this group of friends were members of the breakaway "Free Church" of Scotland, and were therefore more religiously intense than their neighbouts.... but then again, who knows?? We live in a secular age and place, and sometimes, for some people, this intensity is embarrassing, which is a pity.
There are a couple of letters from Archibald McMillan, one of Donald McGilp's many nephews. In the 1850s, he was living in Robison County, North Carolina, and he was the owner - the proud owner - of some 40 slaves. As he notes, he was now living as well as the Factor back in Knapdale. Yet, he was also a religious man. After reading these letters, there is plenty to think about and... discuss!
Note that the American Civil war was just over the horizon from these letters.
Tuesday, March 20, 2007
Two items have jostled their way to my attention, and it would be marvellous if someone out there has anything to say about either:
1. in determining the volume of grain, etc., owed by the tenant, the papers use "pecks" according to "Auchinbreck Measure."
2. the leases were (in 1819 at least) based on "... Reservations and Conditions and Regulations and Rotation of Tillage expressed and contained in .... the first BOOK OF SETS OF THE ESTATES OF TAYNISH, ULVA AND DANNA...."
Which brings me to an important realization: there is a new kind of comic book out there, folks! No more line drawing, pale colors, or cheap paper. Today, there are "Graphic Novels". And they can be BEAUTIFUL. Check these sites for renditions of Neil Gaiman's works, and go to the mother ship of "graphic novels" at Marvel Comics.
You may have heard of the very spectacular movie about the Battle of Thermopylae, "300." It is based on Frank Miller's graphic novel, "300", published originally by Dark Horse Comics.
And how does all this relate to Knapdale? Well. Think about all the great Celtic stories and adventures, and creatures; and the wonderful art work evidenced in the "Book of Kells" (written on Iona) and the stone monuments scattered over the landscape! THIS IS THE WAY TO TEACH HISTORY, FOLKS! Somerled; the Arichonan uprising; the McLean attack on Gigha; the adventures of Major General Sir Archibald Campbell of Inverneill... and all the stories buried in 19th century books.. are just waiting for artists and publishers to start mining them.
Thursday, March 1, 2007
'.... From the well-known Niall Glun-Dubh (Black-Knee), High King of Ireland, who was slain by the Danes in 917 AD, the descent ran -- (...to... ) Aedh Alain (Hugh Splendid) who died in 1047. Aedh Alain had a son called Dunslebhe (progenitor of the MacLays or LIVINGSTONES), and from the latter's sonSuibhne or Sween, sprang the MacSweens.
Sween's lands' were well fortified. Castle Sween dominating the western sea-board and abptly called 'the Key of Knapdale', also Skipness Castle, built by him, which dominated eastern approaches to his lands in the Barbert and Cowel areas. One of Sween's daughters married Sir Colin CAMPBELL of Loch Awe, by whom she had IVER, progenitor of the MacIvers of Asknish in Glassary, and TAVISH, progenitor of the MacTavishes of Dunardary in North Knapdale. In order to make a more powerful alliance, Campbell repudiated Sween's daughter. This naturally led to a feud between the Campbells and the MacSweens. The lady, deserted by her husband, was remarried to MacLachlan and received as a dowry from her father all his lands in Glassary, namesly DUNAAD, DUNAMUICK, AUCHENSCHOLLOCH, SHERVAIN AND BRENCHYLIES, which subsequently became the property of the MacLachlans....
(And more on this MacSween bunch tomorrow)
(Somerled MacMillan, 1960, "Families of Knapdale.")
Wednesday, February 28, 2007
One thing has occurred to me, morality-wise: the comments reflect a continuing concern with the locals' over-indulgence with whiskey. The role of whiskey in the life of the Gael is well known, of course.
However, there is one human weakness NEVER mentioned by these pastors: gambling. Fighting, yes. Drunken brawls, yes. Petty crime and even major crime, yes. Immorality, yes.
But gambling, never.
I wonder why??
Sunday, February 18, 2007
So, I recommend that book on the Campbells of Argyll: you will be surprised how much easier it is when - or if - you move on to more serious works.
There is a copy of the Black Douglas family history book somewhere in Australia (I think).
Monday, February 12, 2007
The first is called "Mid Argyll: an Archaeological Guide", and was written by one of Scotland's foremost historians and storytellers: Marion Campbell of Kilberry. The book follows various routes around the area, and describes archaeological sites along the way, with nifty stories to go with it. Thus at Keills Chapel, she tells us that a stone in the floor, decorated only with a raised strap and a perforation, reputedly marked the grave of Lame Eoghan, a noted robber, who had the hole made so that he could look out at his beloved hills, or - perhaps - so that he could take snuff with his descendants.
The Natural History and Antiquarian Society of Mid Argyll published this wonderful source in 1984, and (to my knowledge) has not been re-published.
The second is also by a local historian, Somerled MacMillan, described as "Bard and Historian of the Clan MacMillan". Entitled "Families of Knapdale: their history and their placenames", its subtitle says it all: "Being a Compendium of Information on the MacMillans, the MacSweens, the Campbells, the MacNeills, the MacAllisters, the MacTavishes, the MacIlvernocks (or Grahams), and others of Knapdale." Mr McMillan used primary materials as sources, and it is a mine of specific information for Knapdale families and history. It was specially written for a Clan McMillan Rally held in 1960 in Asheville, North Carolina.The book is little more than a typescript, privately printed by Edward B McMillan of Ipswich, Massachusetts.
Friday, February 9, 2007
I have been working on a data base of people who lived in Knapdale during that century between 1750 and 1850. The reason I started was to try to differentiate among the Campbells, so as to pick out the progenitor of MY ancestor, Donaldborn about 1800. This data base now includes 38,000 entries, and I am still not sure which Donald is MY Donald.
For example, in the Inverneill Papers, we have the following: a 1814 lease agreement involving the deceased John Campbell, his wife Sarah Lamont, and his sons Duncan, Donald and Archibald. The Proprietor of this Kilmory Ross farm was Duncan Campbell. John Campbell, before his death, had signed up for the 9 year lease (in 1809) along with James Campbell (relationship unknown), so we are talking about half the farm. Duncan Campbell (John's son, NOT the Proprietor) was the "Master of the Charlotte Katharine Sloop" and the eldest son of said John Campbell.
I don't know about you, but half way through this, I was reduced to making notes and diagrams.
Also, John's other son, Archibald, had signed on the lease upon his father's death. However, by 1814, Archibald was set aside (pushed?? He left the country?? He hated Kilmory Ross?? There was a better farm down the road??) in favor of Duncan, who was after all John's eldest son. Then, in 1814, Duncan signed over this lease to his mother, Sarah Lamont, and his OTHER brother, Donald, which is what this paperwork is about.
The rent was L42 for the half of Kilmory Ross... which is in today's terms, L1,426 Sterling, PLUS a list of services and chickens and eggs and grains to be delivered to the Proprietor at Taynish... You can read the whole agreement (upon which Sarah made her "mark", and her son Donald wrote his signature) at Knapdale People website, in the "Inverneill Estate" section.
Wednesday, February 7, 2007
Another connection with Knapdale: the McNeills of Taynish, and much of the Loch Sween area, were the lairds, before the Great Bankruptcies of the 1700s.
Czerkawska's book notes that there are no more people with the surname of Galbraith on that island. And truly, there is - in our day - a dearth of McNeills in Knapdale.
Tuesday, February 6, 2007
Gigha is a small island (7 miles long) beside Kintyre. It is blessed with a fine climate, fertile land, an ancient and rich history, and flowers that produce "a glittering of yellow (that) dazzles your eyes to the point of pain."
Catherine Czerkawska (she has a blog, too) has written a very fine book, the kind that makes you want to stop reading, and go right on over there and visit that lovely place!
Knapdale People now has a review of this book, as well as a listing of people who lived there in 1791. The latter was made when Major General Sir Archibald Campbell was offering to purchase Gigha. This sale did not go through: McNeill of Colonsay stepped in and bought Gigha instead. I wonder if this had anything to do with a traditional antipathy towards the Campbell clan?? All I have are financial accounts left over from the Inverneill Estate recording that long ago inventory.
Sunday, January 28, 2007
Thursday, January 25, 2007
Thus, Major General Sir Archibald purchased the Knap Estate in 1776 for L4852.2.8, or in today's terms, L304,956. He was, at the time, a prisoner of the Americans, by the way. The rental income for that Knap Estate was - in 1791, L15,502. *
The Inverneil Estate project will not be on Knapdale People website until the end of this weekend.
* I am using "L" to signify the British Pound symbol.
As to adding to the knapdalepeople website: I am working on adding material from the Inverneil Estate records, which is moving in on Major General Archibald Campbell of Inverneil. This is a Big Thing, and so will require a few days.
Another issue: the Free Church. We in the early 21st century are looking across a great chasm of more than time when we try to understand our Highland ancestors. First, we tend to be secular. Even if we are not secular, it is unlikely that we have ever heard of the "Great Disruption" that rocked Scotland in 1843... however, if you have ever noted that suddenly your ancestors stopped baptizing their children in the local Parish Church... then, you have stumbled upon the "Great Disruption" and the Free Church. More of that too..
Sunday, January 21, 2007
In the process of doing this, I realized that (a) it is very easy to transfer my data base program (Paradox) into html format... and my data base at this point has some 37,000 entries.
(b) If you go to Google Books, you can download all sorts of old (the copyright has died) books, that previously would only be accessible in faraway libraries, or in second hand bookstores somewhere. Thus, I have the Book of the Dean of Lismore, as it was translated and published back in the 19th Century, and therefore, my website now has TWO ancient Gaelic poems in which Castle Sween plays a central role!
Friday, January 19, 2007
I like to think my ancestors were a noble and kindly bunch, so this article makes depressing reading. According to Mr. Gray, Barra's people were extremely poor and dirty living in windowless chimneyless huts. Upon the wreck of the "Annie Jane", the farmer charged the ship's owner 365 pounds for cattle too scared to eat, 360 pounds for cows that aborted, and 420 pounds for calves lost. To quote Gray:
"It would appear that all the cattle in the Island went to see the wreck and that all these cows were in the family way and all in such a precarious state at one and the same time, that the wreck had such an effect on them as to bring on premature delivery and cause the offspring to die. This would not be believed in a novel."
Barra's landlords had been absentee since 1838, and a factor squeezed every penny it was possible to squeeze from the tenantry. Among other joyous things, it seems the landlord decided who could be an innkeeper. Comfort was not required. Clark says,
"At one wretched local inn, Gray slept on a table in a tap-room, with a brick floor that was swilled down twice a day with water, and chickens and ducks for companions.... (in another)... "The ceiling was not watertight but the bedstead was - it had a good strong wooden roof and could be moved to the dry parts of the room when it rained..."
One interesting aspect: Barra people did not eat eels, because they believed that eels spring from human hair, so eating them would be a form of cannibalism. According to Clark, this idea was commonly held in the Orkneys, as well as parts of Essex (where the tail of a horse was put under a stone in a pond to breed eels.)
Thursday, January 18, 2007
The painting itself can be found in the Scottish National Portrait Gallery.
Tuesday, January 16, 2007
I would be pleased to help you find/describe an ancestor. Email me at email@example.com . I can't do your work for you, but I can get you a listing of a particular person who is on the data base. Remember that there were not a lot of names to go around back then... and the settlements are mostly gone, although most of them can still be found on maps.
My data base is in PARADOX format. It can provide a list in Wordperfect, and also in Microsoft Word.
It has at this point, 2 batches of names: monument inscriptions found in 11 Knapdale burial grounds, including an alphabetical list; and an alphabetical listing of all people who were involved in the 1848 Arichonan Clearance.
So... take a look!