Wednesday, October 31, 2007

After Arichonan: the fate of the Allan McLean Family

One of Allan McLean's descendents informed me that he and his family - after being 'cleared' from Arichonan, North Knapdale - had emigrated to Ekfrid Township, Middlesex County, in Upper Canada. Furthermore, Allan and his wife, Catherine Campbell, were buried in Murray Cemetery, also in Ekfrid.

So, with the help of 2 Ontario researchers, I have been able to add a page to the "Leaving Knapdale" section! Lee Dickson (lee dot dickson at sympatico dot ca) found the McLean family in the 1851 and 1861 census', plus the Agricultural Census that went along with that information. Art Currie (concur at sympatico dot ca) sent me the transcription of the McLean gravestone, PLUS photos of the cemetery, etc. I have included all of this at Knapdale People, "Leaving Knapdale".

Sunday, October 28, 2007

updating the website, making corrections

When I updated Knapdale People yesterday, I didn't notice the really egregious error I made on the 1st page of the Colin McGugan presentation/pdf. You see, I missed the part of the sentence which explained that "Nellie's Hill" in Ontario, commemorates a Nellie Campbell who carried a barrel of salt up that hill. "Preview" is definitely your friend!
This has necessitated my re-doing the pdf document, which takes a looooong time. But it is done. If you come across other errors, etc., let me know, OK?

about signatures (a followup) and leases and setts

if you want to know if one of your ancestors left a signature on an Inverneill Estates paper, one that I can photo for you, go to KnapdalePeople in the Inverneill People listing. The "tenants" therein listed will have signed a "set agreement" with the Proprietor.
In the early 19th century and before, most Knapdale people lived on agricultural "estates". SOME of them were "tenants", that is, they had leases or "setts", agreements with the landowner to farm portions of the estate. "Cottars" did not have this status. Lots of cotters were retired tenants; or relatives that were not 'tenants', but farmed some of the land and paid rent to the tenants for that privilege. The tenants, on the other hand, were people 'of standing', and played a role beyond that of simple renter. The Agreement made in 1802 for the farm at Cosandrochaid states:
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
Most of the tenants I have noticed were either the widows, the sons or the sons-in-law of previous tenants. In fact, if you check the "Kilmory Ross" agreement at KnapdalePeople, you will see that Duncan Campbell, son of John Campbell, expected to 'inherit' the right to be a tenant, because he was the ELDEST son (unlike Archibald). As I have mentioned, the Knapdale Estates were a very awkward combination of modern farming management with ancient tradition. It is no wonder that it did not flourish, financially or socially.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

those "Sett" agreements in Knapdale

I have a microfilm reader, and have discovered that one can make a reasonably good photo of the signatures of the signatures to be seen on the Inverneill Estate papers. These were made on the occasion of the signing of the "Minute of Set of the Land of Coshindrochet," 24 December 1802. The latter has been transcribed at Knapdale People as well as within the McGugan Presentation.

The signatures are by: Duncan Campbell, the proprietor of Inverneill Estates; Mathew McBride (schoolmaster) and Donald McVicar (Estate's Baron Officer), both witnesses; and the tenants:

Neil McGugan, Ronald Johnston, John McGalloglich and Angus McGugan.

a new section added to Knapdale People Site

I have added a new section, and called it "Leaving Knapdale." The first item is a contribution by Colin McGugan. He is the descended from Donald McGugan, who left Knapdale in 1819 for Upper Canada. Colin made a presentation to the Ontario Genealogy Society in 1998, and has very kindly allowed me to put it in 'pdf format' on KnapdalePeople. Also part of this is a copy of a picture done back in 1929, by a relative of mine, Jack Ferguson, in commemoration of the "Landing of Argyllshire Highlanders, Caroc Nellie, New Glasgow, 1816."

As usual, I have added some 'people lists' for the section (including one of Ontario's New Glasgow Cemetery).
The photo used for the design portrays my great grand parents, John Campbell and Effie McIntyre. My own grandfather, Archibald John Campbell, is not in the photo. But the HOUSE is! And a great big house it was, too - which I think is one of the points the photographer wanted to make.

Monday, October 15, 2007

a very healthy Highland lady!

Tarbet, Monday, 17th September, 1838:

... Nothing particular in Court except the account which a worthy sempstress of Campbeltown, a witness, gave of her habits. For above twenty-five years she has scarcely ever been in bed after five. The first thing she does after dressing is, to go to a rock about a mile off, and take a large draught of sea water. She then proceeds about another mile, in a different direction, where she washes the taste of this out by a large daught of fresh water, after which she proceeds home, and about half-past six puts on the tea-kettle and breakfasts.

This is a healthy and romantic seeming morning. And therefore I regret to add that it was proved that three of four times a week, the rest of the day is given to whiskey, a result of early rising which will delight Jeffrey*, to whom morning, except before going to bed, is horrid.

(from Circuit Journeys; and "Jeffrey" was a friend of Cockburn's)

bagpipes at Arichonan!

I received this kindly note from Mid Argyll...

Hi Heather - I just wanted to thank you for all the work you have done on the Knapdale area. I have just recently found out that part of my family originated in Knapdale - which is a bit ironic as I live just 6 miles from Arichonan and it takes a web page hundreds of miles away to give me information on the settlement and those who lived there.
Having just visited the site this morning - where my son played a tune on his bagpipes in memory of our ancestors and all those who were evicted, also to all those firey women who put up such a good fight - it has intensified my sense of belonging. I was born and brought up in Mid Argyll and my ancestors, both my maternal grandmothers side - from Bridgend & Kilmichael Glassary and now I have found out that my maternal grandfathers side are from Knapdale - the Grahams and Blues.

introducing Lord Cockburn

Lord Cockburn (1779 - 1854), besides being a very substantial leader of mid 19th century Scottish society, was also the judge during the Arichonan Affray trial. Thus, in the hope that he said something off the record about that trial, I borrowed his book, "Circuit Journeys" published after his death in 1889.

Well, he doesn't say a thing about Arichonan. But it turns out that he has a LOT to say about Scotland, and the people therein. I am therefore going to put quotes from this book in this blog, whenever I find a gem I think you will enjoy.

The portrait of Lord Cockburn that I am using is from the cover of "Lord Cockburn: selected letters" edited by Alan Bell (John Donald, 2005.) The original, by Sir John Watson Gordon, can be found in the Scottish National Portrait Gallery in Edinburgh.