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.