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Notes for people who "strayed" from Coigach in the 19th Century

The focus of my webpage is the families of Coigach, especially the village of Reiff there where some of my ancestors came from. Along the way either myself, or other genealgy researchers have dug up info on various strays. Some of the places that follow are in parts of Lochbroom other than Coigach, others are from places much further away.

The notes that follow trace those strays through one or two generations after they left Coigach. Any further info you might have on these people, or their relatives at Coigach, would be appreciated!

My main genealogy page includes links to the rest of the transcriptions and notes, with some general introduction; index.htm

Email me, Donald MacDonald-Ross, at don_niagara@yahoo.ca



Altnaherie 41-1


John McDonald                             75      Crofter
Barbara do.                                  65
Malcolm do.                               30
Kenneth  do.                              20
Alexr. McDonald                            9
Notes on this Household:

All marked as as born in County.

Altnaherie is the landing place opposite Ullapool on the south shore of Lochbroom. This and the next Household were the only two families there in the 1841 census.

By time of the 1851 census at Altnaherie 51-1 there is only one Household at Altnaherie, with Malcolm as Head of Household, and his occupation as "Feryman".

I am not certain yet, but I think this family was closely related to my own MacDonald ancestors at Reiff 41-18 (CONTACT INFO for me). Both had Head of Households as John McDonald, both had a son named Malcolm of the same age, and I think the two year old Donald McDonald in the next Household, Altnaherie 41-2, is a grandson of John above, and is the Donald McDonald commemorated in a memorial card my cousin Margaret Ward has in New Zealand (CONTACT INFO), which has him dying in 1870 as Clerk in Charge of the Carlton House Trading Post of the Hudson's Bay Company in Saskatchewan.

Further pointing to a possible relationship between the Altnaherie and Reiff MacDonalds is that the first wife of Donald McDonald of Reiff was Margaret Graham, and Roderick McDonald in the next Household is married to Anne Graham. Also, the Widow of Roderick MacDonald in the next Household is in the 1851 census at her parents home at Achiltibuie 51-84, with them then is Alexander Kerr, a neighbour of the Reiff MacDonalds!

The marriage of young Kenneth above, with his residence listed as "Altnaherry Ferry" was registered 4 August, 1845 to Ann Ross of Ullapool. The I.G.I. records the births of four of their children between 1856 and 1866 at Lochbroom. Ann was christened 16 May, 1825 at Ullapool, her parents there were Paul Ross and Isabel Forbes.

The O.P.R. also includes the marriage 28 February, 1828 of "Alexander McDonald Scorraig to Ann McDonald Aultnaherigh"

The death of Malcolm above is registered as 23 April, 1893 at West Terrace, Ullappol, aged 81 years, married to Janet Maclean. His parents both then deceased, mother Barbara noted as Maiden Surname MacIver. Informant of the death was his grandson, John Macdonald, resident at Morefield.

A contact, Mike Steele, has been trawling through records of MacDonalds in Lochbroom Parish looking for connections and ancestors. Mike notes a book "Dundonell of the Mackenzies" by David Iredale, ISBN 978 1 86077 461 4. He says it contains a comprehensive history of the Mackenzies and the local area, with mention of dispossessed cottars being moved onto the Scoraig peninsula in 1841, including "an aged retainer, John MacDonald" and a "Roderick MacDonald, cattle dealer". My presumption is those dispossed Dundonell tenants were John above, and Roderick in the next household.


Altnaherie 41-2


Roderick McDonald                         35      Cattle Dealer
Anne       do.                               25
Donald     do.                             2
Margaret   do.                               4months
Ann MacLeod                                  30   F.S.
Notes on this Household:

All marked as as born in County.

Altnaherie is the landing place opposite Ullapool on the south shore of Lochbroom. This and the previous Household were the only two families there in the 1841 census.

By time of the 1851 census Roderick has died, and Anne is with her Graham parents at Achiltibuie 51-84. With her then are the children above, and a daughter Roderickina or "Rodina", likely named to honour her father on his death.

My assumption is that Roderick was a son of John McDonald in the previous Household, Altnaherie 41-1.

Anne's Graham parents and other relatives are in this census at Achiltibuie 41-37.

The I.G.I. records a marriage 10 February, 1837 of an Ann Graham to a Roderick McDonald at Killearnan which I think refers to this couple. The O.P.R. includes the christening 20 January, 1839 of Donald to father Roderick MacDonald of "Ferry-Burn" (a clear anglicisation of "Altnaherigh"), "Peggy" as 22 February, 1841, and Roderica ("Rodina" in later censuses) was registered 21 November, 1842 with mother listed as "Widow Rodk. McDonald, Ferry-Burn".

I am not certain yet, but I think this family was closely related to my own MacDonald ancestors at Reiff 41-18 (CONTACT INFO for me), see the notes in the previous Household at Altnaherie 41-1.

I think the two year old Donald above is the Donald McDonald commemorated in a memorial card my cousin Margaret Ward has in New Zealand (CONTACT INFO), which has him dying in 1870 as Clerk in Charge of the Carlton House Trading Post of the Hudson's Bay Company in Saskatchewan.

Further pointing to a possible relationship between the Altnaherie and Reiff MacDonalds is that the first wife of Donald McDonald of Reiff was Margaret Graham, and Roderick's wife above was Anne Graham. In the 1851 census Ann is with her parents at Achiltibuie 51-84, and with them then is a visiting Alexander Kerr, neighbor to the Reiff MacDonalds!

A contact, Mike Steele, has been trawling through records of MacDonalds in Lochbroom Parish looking for connections and ancestors. Mike notes a book "Dundonell of the Mackenzies" by David Iredale, ISBN 978 1 86077 461 4. He says it contains a comprehensive history of the Mackenzies and the local area, with mention of dispossessed cottars being moved onto the Scoraig peninsula in 1841, including "an aged retainer, John MacDonald" and a "Roderick MacDonald, cattle dealer". My presumption is those dispossed Dundonell tenants were John in the previous Household, and Roderick above.


Altnaherie 51-1


Malcom McDonald        Head         Mar   38      Fery Man
Janet McDonald         Wife         Mar      36
Rory      Do.          Son          U.     5
Catherine Do.          Daur.        U.        3
Ann Stewart            Serv         U.       20   General Servant
Notes on this Household:

All marked as as born in Parish of Lochbroom. This is the only Household at Altnaherie in 1851. Altnaherie is the landing place opposite Ullapool on the south shore of Lochbroom. The listing is followed by the notation of "Two Houses Uninhabited".

Malcolm was in the 1841 census with his parents and other relatives in the 1841 census at Altnaherie 41-1. In 1861 Malcolm and Janet with four children are at Scorag 61-71 (Annat).

This Malcolm's age corresponds with another christened at Reiff 16 November, 1813, both had fathers named John McDonald, I think it likely the two familys were closely related. The Reiff McDonalds are in this census at Reiff 51-87.

The death of Malcolm above is registered as 23 April, 1893 at West Terrace, Ullappol, aged 81 years, married to Janet Maclean. His parents both then deceased, mother Barbara noted as Maiden Surname MacIver. Informant of the death was his grandson, John Macdonald, resident at Morefield.


Kildonan 41-8


Hector McKenzie                           45      Farmer
Abby     do.                                 35
Johanna    do.                               18
Murdo      do.                            14
Catharine   do.                              12
Peggy       do.                              10
Lexey       do.                               8
Kenneth     do.                            4
Alex       do.                            1
Notes on this Household:

This Household appears on page 5 of Enumeration District 5. All marked as as born in County. Kildonan is on the peninsula between Big and Little Lochbroom.

Kenneth is in the 1871 census at Ullapool 71-98.

The 4 June 1921 edition of the Argus of Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, includes an announcement;

McKENZIE - McKENZIE. -[Diamond Wedding] --
On the 23rd May, 1861 at Glendonald, by Rev. John Steele, of Creswick, Murdoch, eldest son of Hector and Abigail McKenzie, Ullapool, Scotland, to Margaret, youngest daughter of Colin and Christina McKenzie, Glendonald, late of Dornie Scotland. Present address, Lawrence P O, via Allendale.


Scorag 61-71 (Annat)


Malcolm McDonald       Head         Mar   50      Crofter
Janet     Do           Wife         Mar      46
Rodk      Do           Son                15
Catherine  Do          Daur                  13
Alexr      Do          Son                10
John       Do          Son                 6
Notes on this Household:

All marked as as born in Lochbroom, RossShire. Address as "Annat".

In the 1851 census this family was at Altnaherie 51-1, Malcolm's occupation then as "Fery Man". By 1871 Malcolm is Widowed, and living with his son Roderick ("Rory" above) at Isle Martin 71-36.

This Malcolm's age corresponds with another christened at Reiff 16 November, 1813, both had fathers named John McDonald, I think it likely the two familys were closely related. The Reiff McDonalds are in this census at Reiff 61-23.

The death of Malcolm above is registered as 23 April, 1893 at West Terrace, Ullappol, aged 81 years, married to Janet Maclean. His parents both then deceased, mother Barbara noted as Maiden Surname MacIver. Informant of the death was his grandson, John Macdonald, resident at Morefield.


Gruinard 41-3


Mrs.Janet McKenzie                           45   Ind.
Simon       Do.                           20      M.S.
Alexander   Do.                           20      M.S.
Issabella   Do.                              23   F.S.
Penelope McDonald                            15   F.S.
Farquhar Mathison                         30      NoI Minister
Roderick Morison                          45      Kirk Officer
Alexander McKenzie                        55      Farmer
Christian McLeod                             15   F.S.
Notes on this Household:

This Household is the third in Gruinard, and appears on page 8 of Enumeration District #7. All are marked as as born in County, except Janet and the older Alexander McKenzie. There is a tick mark beneath Issabella's name in the left margin, indicating the end of a family group. The "Ind." note in the occupations column means Janet was "Living on Independant Means".

Janet and the older Alexander McKenzie were sister and brother, their parents were Roderick MacKenzie, Tacksman of Achnahaird in Coigach, and Catherine Scobie of Achmore, whose family were intermarried with most of the Tacksman's families in neighbouring Assynt Parish. I have been constructing a file based on the MacKenzie of Achnahaird family, see; corrie.htm

In the 1851 census Janet is Widowed, living with her Widowed brother Donald at Shore Street Ullapool, see Ullapool 51-51. Alexander is in the 1851 census at Achnahaird 51-61 with his unmarried brother Murdoch.

The Lochbroom Parish Register records the marriage 14 March 1827 of "Simon McKenzie Muckle Greenyard to Jessie McKenzie Achnahaird". The 1826 Militia list shows Simon to have been Tacksman of "Greenyard". Simon died 12 November 1840 aged 55, his stone at Laide Burial Ground refers to him as "late taxman Muckle Greenyard".

I assume the three children following Janet are her children. The ages, 20-24, 20-24, and 23, seem a decade to old given the marriage date of Jessie and Simon, so possibly there was either a mistranscription at some point, or the children were from an earlier marriage of Simon.

The Parish Register records the marriage 1 June 1847 between Roderick McLeod, a crofter resident at Achiltibuie, and Penelope McDonald, resident at Ullapool, daughter of "Murdo McDonald, Weaver, Tanera". Penelope's father and other relatives are in this census at Tanera 41-10. Roderick (as "Rory"), his mother parents, and other relatives are in this census at Achiltibuie 41-19, all Polglass families were counted with Achiltibuie in 1841. In the 1851 census Penelope, Roderick, three children and Roderick's mother are at Polglass 51-62.


John Ross 1881 at Rosskeen


Address for this Household "Back Street"

John Ross             Head         Mar.   44     Mason
Thomasina McK. Ross   Wife         Mar.      49
Eliza Jane McC. do.   Daur          -        18
Williamina      do.   Daur          -        16  Scholar
John            do.   Son           -     14       do.
Thomas McK.     do.   Son           -     12       do.
Notes on this Household:

John listed as born at Alness, Thomasina at Kilmuir Easter, and their children all born at Rosskeen.

I think it likely that John is the son of William Ross of the Parish of Alness, who married Christina "Chirsty" McKenzie from Reiff in Coigach (see Reiff 51-75). That John's birth was registered at Alness 7 January 1838.

The I.G.I. includes the marriage of John Ross to Thomasina McKenzie 2 May 1862 at Rosskeen. Also included are births of five children to the couple, all at Rosskeen, including a daughter Margaret missing in this census;

  1. Eliza Jane McCulloch Ross, b.21 February 1863
  2. Williamina Ross, b.7 October 1864
  3. John Ross, b.12 December 1866
  4. Thomas McKenzie Ross, b.22 October 1868
  5. Margaret Mary Mcculloch Ross, b.20 May 1871

Thomasina's own birth is also in the I.G.I., she was born 19 March 1828 at Kilmuir Easter to parents Thomas McKenzie and Janet McKulloch.


Various strays 1891 at Aultbae


Address for this Household "Aultbae (gamekeepers house)"

Donald Urquhart       Lodger       Mar    58     Labourer
Alex McLeod             Do.        Mar    58        Do.
Murdo Urquhart          Do.        Unm    23        Do.
Donald McLean           Do.        Mar.   55        Do.
John McLean             Do.        Unm    23        Do.
Murdo McLeod            Do.        Mar    40        Do.
Norman Campbell         Do.        Unm    36        Do.
Angus McLeod            Do.        Unm    37        Do.
Notes on this Household:

This transcription was sent to me by Bill Hurring (CONTACT INFO), who has been researching the Reiff Urquhart family. Bill says the census reference is 71/B 001, which is at Kinlochluichart, Parish of Contin. All were marked as born at Coigach. Quite a crowd, as the house only had two rooms with windows!

Donald and Murdo Urquhart were father and son, from Reiff. The rest of their family is at Reiff 91-16. A 17 year old Kenneth Urquhart from Coigach is close by this house working as a labourer, Bill thinks that was another son of Donald.

Donald and John MacLean are another father and son, Donald's wife and another son are at home in this census at Altandhu 91-54.

Norman Campbell's family is in this census at Polglass 91-48.

Probably Angus MacLeod was the 17 year old herd in the 1871 census at Achnahaird 71-98.

Have not yet traced the other two MacLeods to their homes in Coigach.


Rachel McLeod 1851 at Letters


Address for this Household "Letters, Parish of Lochbroom (Page 17)"

John McLean           Head         Mar           Fisherman & Crofter
Mary  Do.             Wife         Mar
Rachel McLeod         Servant      Unm       24          born Riff
Notes on this Household:

Rachel was christened 22 January 1827, her father was Murdo McLeod of Reiff, and her mother was Annabella McLeod of Altandhu, you can see her with her family at Reiff 41-15.

Rachel became the second wife of Donald McLeay at Letters, 25 February, 1852. Donald was a half-brother of Mary McLeay, who married John McKenzie at Letters, and is a gt-gt-gt-grandmother of Cela Beale in New Zealand (CONTACT INFO). Rachel and Donald are still at Letters in the 1861 census at 61rachel.


Rachel McLeod 1861 at Letters


Address for this Household "Letters, Parish of Lochbroom"

Donald McLeay         Head         Mar    45     Fisherman
Rachel McLeay         Wife         Mar       32
John McLeay           Brother      U      40     Fisherman
Kenneth McLeay        Son          U       9     Scholar
Catherine McLeay      Dau          U          6
Hugh McLeay           Son          U       4
Finlay McLeay         Son          U       2
Janet McLeay          Dau          U         4 months
Notes on this Household:

All marked as born at Lochbroom.

The Parish Register includes the marriage 24 Dec 1844 of Donald McLeay of Letters to Catherine McLean of Letters. There is no wife or children with Donald on the 1851 census so Cela Beale who sent me this transcription (CONTACT INFO) concludes that he was widowed by then. The ages of the children above would fit in with a marriage to Rachel registered 25 Feb 1852.

Rachel and Donald McLeay move from Letters to Ullapool (see Ullapool 71-a), where Donald's death registration 17 June 1894 reads; "Cause of death was shock from blow by cow".

In the 1871 census young Janet is at Reiff 71-68, visiting her grandparents, Murdo and Annabella McLeod.


John McLeod 1881 at Inverness


Address for this Household "13 Beaton's Lane, Inverness, Scotland"

John McLeod            Head         Mar   51      General Labourer
Jane   Do              Wife                  41
Jane   Do              Daur         Unm      18   Domestic Serv
Mary   Do              Daur         Unm      16   Domestic Serv
John   Do              Son          Unm   14      Cattle Herd
Catherine Do           Daur                  10   Scholar
Annie     Do           Daur                   8     Do
Colina    Do           Daur                   6     Do
Malcolm   Do           Son                 3
Donald McLean          Visitor      Mar   65      Retired Butcher
Mrs    McLean          Visitor      Mar      58
Notes on this Household:

John McLeod and all the children are marked as born at Lochbroom, his wife Jane born at Clyne in Sutherland, Donald McLean born at Kingussie, Inverness, his wife "Mrs McLean" at Storoway on Lewis.

In the 1871 census this family was at Achlochan in Coigach, see Achlochan 71-64.

John McLeod and Jane McKay were married 22 Jan 1861 at Clyne Sutherland.

A brother of John, Roderick, married Betsy McKay at Clyne in Sutherland. Betsy and Jane were sisters! They were both daughters of William MacKay and Jean (Jane) Thomson who were married 9 April 1825 at Clyne Sutherland Scotland. Jane who married John McLeod was christened on 17 Apr 1840 while Betsy who married Roderick McLeod was christened on 15 May 1842. There were nine children of William McKay and Jean Thomson altogether.

Roderick and Betsy are in the 1881 census at Achlochan 81-2. The parents of John and Roderick were Malcolm and Janet McLeod, they are in the Household following Roderick; Achlochan 81-3.

One of the other children of Malcolm and Janet was Flora, an ancestor of Ray Flint in Australia. Ray's wife Paulette (CONTACT INFO) is her family's genealogist, and has researched most of the information on these people!



This file, and others dealing with history and genealogy of Coigach, links from my homepage at:

http://freepages.rootsweb.com/~coigach

Any suggestions for additions or edits please feel free to email me,

Donald MacDonald-Ross, at:

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