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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 hebridespeople.com.  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.