Modern-day Outer Hebrides




Stornoway Christmas decorations 2014 by Guido



Outer Hebrides to Canada {Morrison, Matheson}


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A link came my way yesterday which proved useful.  It concerns Alexander Morrison, who emigrated to Nova Scotia at age 4 from the Island of Harris, and Sarah Matheson, who emigrated to Nova Scotia from the Isle of Lewis, Scotland.  They were my gggrandparents.  They were married in Nova Scotia in 1855.

List of vessels which left the Outer Hebrides for Canada with passengers, 1772-1852. Includes sailings from Stornoway, Lochboisdale, Lochmaddy and Loch Roag.


This is the page I used.  Here’s what I figure.  These are not passenger lists, so I am making educated guesses.

Alexander Morrison, with his parents, came between 1830 and 1855, from Harris, Scotland to Nova Scotia.  Three vessels came in August of 1841, taking 1300 emigrants from Lochmaddy, N. Uist (just south of Harris) to Cape Breton “of the poorest class”.

In June and July of 1842 two vessels brought a few emigrants to Cape Breton, continuing on to Quebec.  And in August of 1845 one vessel came to Sydney, Nova Scotia.

Likely they were on one of the first three vessels in August of 1841, which were carrying those tenants who were kicked out to make room for the sheep.

Banffshire of Dundee, carrying 450 emigrants, George of Dundee, carrying 400 emigrants, and Tay of Glasgow, carrying 450 emigrants.

Sarah Matheson emigrated between 1828 and 1855, from Lewis, Scotland.  There are numerous vessels which carried emigrants from Stornoway, Scotland (Isle of Lewis) to Cape Breton, Nova Scotia between 1832 and 1852.

Seven of those vessels sailed from Stornoway in 1851, carrying “Sir James Matheson’s Lewis tenants”.  I wonder if or why Sarah had the same surname?  Another mystery to unravel.  (She was born before James Matheson purchased Lewis, and came there to live.)

Here is a good brief history of the Outer Hebrides at Bill Lawson’s website  Emigration has been steady from the Hebrides from the 1770s on, due to a poor economy.

Here is a lengthy but wonderfully descriptive post on the Clearance of Borve, Harris 1839.

Note: After publishing this post I read the previous post. Go ahead and laugh — it was two and a half years ago — links to the same sites! In spite of poor memory, I seem to have a better handle on the big picture.

Julie Fowlis Interview {Gaelic as a first language}



Julie Fowlis is a Scottish singer of renown, whose love for her native Gaelic is talked about in the first minutes of this July 6, 2014 interview. I had no idea that any people continue to use Gaelic, much less as the first language in the home. I’m fascinated listening to her accent when speaking English. The interviewer is also British, if not Scottish.

According to Wikipedia, Julie is a Scottish folk singer and mulit-instrumentalist, including the pipes, or bagpipes, who sings primarily in Scottish Gaelic. She grew up in North Uist, an island in the Outer Hebrides, as are the Isles of Harris and Lewis, and currently lives in Dingwall, Scotland.

Halfway through the interview she says that the people whom she admires most are those from the Islands and the Highlands, her fellow Scots. She has young children whom she cares for herself, and aspires to keep them at home as much as possible, raising them in their native culture.

The entire interview is fascinating in terms of Scottish Highland culture, which she passionately would like to see preserved in the home. Julie used to sing with different bands, some or all of which were pipe bands.

When the audience is allowed to ask questions, the best is one German man who speaks to Julie in Irish Gaelic. Such a beautiful language!

Marriage of John Angus and Margaret Annie Morrison

These are my paternal grandmother’s parents, my great-grandparents, whom I never met because they died before I was born.

The marriage of John Angus Morrison and Margaret (Maggie) Annie Morrison, as documented in the Nova Scotia Vital Statistics, Year: 1898 Book: 1805 Page: 28 Number: 62.

October 31, 1898  John A. Morrison, 33, and Maggie Annie Morrison, 22.  Both were born and currently living in Wreck Cove, St. Ann’s.

John Angus Morrison b. 8Jan1864 (or1865)  d. 8Feb1953  (undocumented)

Parents:  Alexander Morrison and Sarah Matheson

Margaret (Maggie) Annie Morrison b. 20Nov1875  d. 24Jun1946   (undocumented)

Parents: John Morrison and Annie MacLeod

{Here’s a birth record for an Annie Morrison in 1876, parents are John Morrison and Annie MacLeod.  Not sure if it’s the same Annie.}

Clan Morrison of Pabbay



Originally posted on Blogger (deleted) 7/17/2011:

Summary from the Clan Morrison Society of North America:

The seat of the Morrisons of harris was at Pabbay (Gaelic: Pabaigh), a small island off the coast.

The MacLeods was the dominant clan of Harris.

Various accounts of the origins of the Morrisons of the Outer Hebrides, or Clan Ma Ghille Mhoire, but no proof.

The following is from Wikipedia, take it for what it’s worth, certainly not gospel, albeit interesting:

Ó Muircheasáin clan of Harris

A group of the bardic Ó Muirgheasáin clan settled on Harris sometime around 1600 under the service of the MacLeods of Harris and Dunvegan. At around this time, the file Ó Muirgheasáin replaced the bard Mac Gille Riabhaich, to the MacLeods of Harris and Dunvegan.[8] The Ó Muirgheasáins ultimately had roots in the north of Ireland, within “O’Neill’s country”.[9] The clan is thought to have established itself in the Inner Hebrides, on the isle of Mull, by 1512; likely patronised by the MacLeans of Duart. Despite their long service to the MacLeans and MacLeods, not one Ó Muirgheasáin poem, written for the MacLeans of Duart exists to this day; and the earliest piece of poetry written for the MacLeods of Harris and Dunvegan only dates to 1626.[8] In time the Harris Ó Muirgheasáins Anglicised their surname to Morrison.[9] The Irish Gaelic Ó Muirgheasa means “descendant of Muirgheas”. The personal name Muirgheas may be derived from the Gaelic elements muir, meaning “sea”; and geas, meaning “taboo”, “prohibition”.[1]

Isle of Harris to Cape Breton Island


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Originally posted on Blogger (deleted) 7/16/2011:

Looking for a ship coming from the Isle of Harris to Cape Breton around 1834. This is a new to me site, which is now in the link list as Internet Search Scottish Research.

This site looks close to what we’re looking for. The Isle of Harris is in the Highlands, also in the Outer Hebrides. Stornoway may have been the port of departure.

List of vessels which left the Outer Hebrides for Canada with passengers, 1772-1852. Includes sailings from Stornoway, Lochboisdale, Lochmaddy and Loch Roag.

The list below gives details of early ship crossings from ports in the Outer Hebrides to ports in Canada. Because of its good harbour and central location Stornoway was a major collecting point for emigrant ship sailings. As a result, many emigrants who travelled on Stornoway ships did not necessarily originate from Stornoway. They may have come from nearby Harris or from places along the mainland coast in Wester Ross or Sutherland.

06E Mary Ann Roberts, D. Stornoway Sydney, Cape 121

06E Six Sisters McIver, D. Stornoway Sydney, Cape 102

07E Earl of Fife McRitchie Stornoway Sydney, Cape 20

04E Henry and n/k Stornoway Sydney, Cape 43
William Breton
So, perhaps it is one of the above vessels. Thought the year was 1833 or 1834. This is the closest to that. So the next step will be to look for passenger lists. Time to call it quits tonight.

The author of the above site has authored a number of books, listed here at the publisher’s site. She (and her husband who co-authored the website) is also available by email. She has huge information!

Cape Breton, Nova Scotia


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Originally posted on Blogger (deleted blog) 2.17.2011:

The Morrisons came from Scotland, the Isles of Lewis and Harris, to Cape Breton, Nova Scotia, settling in Wreck Cove. Alexander Morrison came with his parents John and ?Rachel in 1834. The last Morrison to live in Wreck Cove in the family home was Donald who died 8May1995. I don’t believe there are any Morrisons as all the grandchildren were girls or children of daughters. Donald had a daughter, John had no children, and Alex had no grandchildren.

Both of my grandmother’s parents were Morrisons.

Moore/Morrison Family Tree

Moved two Blogger blogs over here, combined. My father’s line, both sides. Moors/Moore is from England, Morrison/Morrison from Scotland. The Morrison posts are out of order because they were copied rather than imported. The original date is in each post.

To see a list of ‘Moore’ posts, click on ‘Moore’ under Categories in the sidebar. Same for ‘Morrison’ posts.