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Christian (Cursty) Nicol (1799 - 1886)

Baptized 21 Sep 1799 in Avoch, Ross & Cromarty, Scotland.
Married John Jack 13 November 1827.
Granddaughter of David Nicol & Janet Bremner.

David Nicol and Janet Bremner's son Alexander, a tenant farmer in Auchterflow in the Parish of Avoch, married Margaret Forsyth, daughter of William Forsyth, a tenant in Auchterflow as well. Her sister married another of the Nicol brothers (James) and her brother Donald was the local dyker.

Their daughter was Christian (Cursty) Nicol; she married John Jack, whose family was associated with the Parishes of Rosemarkie and Avoch (Auchterflow, yet again), but who moved a short distance over the Black Isle to become the tenant farmer in Toberchurn in the parish of Resolis.

John Jack (b 1798) died quite young, somewhere between the census returns of 1841 and 1851, but Cursty Nicol is noted in parish records plugging away at Toberchurn, raising her family and running the farm for decades later. Her father came over from Auchterflow to spend the last few years of his life with her before his death in 1855. She herself died at the farm of her son-in-law, John Holm, in 1886 at Wester Ferryton further east in Resolis. The Holm family is still farming at Ferryton in the form of my first cousin (through a completely different route), James Holm.

Cursty's sons all farmed in the area, Willie at Braefindon in the Parish of Urquhart just along from Toberchurn, John who continued with Toberchurn and Alexander (1828-1907), who farmed at Easter Shoreton.


Alexander Jack (1828-1907) and Jane Jack ms Watson (1842-1907) with their son Robert; at Easter Shoreton about 1890

The wedding of Murdo Mackay and Annie Jack
at Drumcudden Hotel, Resolis, 11 June 1909

Alexander Jack (1828-1907)

The son of Curtsy Nicol, Alexander Jack married Jane Watson. Their daughter, Annie Jack, who grew up at Wester Shoreton and married Murdo McKay, was my grandmother.

When Alexander Jack married Jane Watson, he thus introduced the one line of English blood in my entire family tree. It's a great story, which was related to me by my parents and which I found to be largely true when I checked out all the records when living in England.

Jane Watson's father, Thomas Watson left the Black Isle (parish of Avoch, of course) to seek his fortune in London. He got as far as Rutland, where he married an Uppingham grocer's daughter, Jane Thorpe, and returned home to farm in the Black Isle (at Blair Foid, near Auchterflow).

The family Thomas Watson married into were quite well-to-do, and hence easy to trace genealogically, so that I was able to track one line of ancestors back into the sixteenth century when the process actually starts to feel a little peculiar as relations are so far distant. That one jaunt into Rutland from the Parish of Avoch in 1836 certainly brought a novel dimension to the family tree. (I did a couple of articles in the Leicestershire and Rutland Family History Society Journal and the Highland Family History Society Journal on the full details, copies of which I could provide to anyone interested)

The sad side is that Thomas Watson and Jane Thorpe didn't live to a ripe old age on their return to the Black Isle, both succumbing to a typhus epidemic and dying within a few days of each other in 1863. You see their children scattered out in later censuses across the crofts of relatives in the Black Isle.


Annie Jack (1874-1947) & Murdo McKay

Murdoch or Murdo Mackay, (locally known as 'Murdo Cute' — all Black Islers seemed to have a special nickname), was born in Lochcarron in 1848, and moved with his crofting parents to Alness Ferry in the Parish of Resolis in 1864.

Many families moved at the same time from the destitute crofting lands on the West Coast to parishes such as Resolis, as some of the lairds in the Black Isle and Easter Ross were keen to develop the land, and break in moorland.

Murdo Mckay (1848-1920) married quite late: in 1909, when he was 61, while Annie Jack was only 34. They had two children: Duncan (born 1910) and Jane Ann (born 1912)


§This Page Contributed in 2007 by J Mackay of The Black Isle, great great grandson of Cursty Nicol (1799 - 1886).


Annie Jack Mackay, Murdo Mackay and
son Duncan, at Alness Ferry in 1911.



Christina (Cursty) Nicol

Heneretta Nicol (b 1846) & Andrew MacKenzie

Alexander Nicol (b circa 1860) & Jane Urquhart

Margaret Nicol (b 1811) & Alexander Corbet ---> Australia

Alexander Nicoll (b 1802) & Lydia Bain ---> North America

Ann Nicoll (b 1839) & James Dinsdale

William Nicoll & Emma Swindlehurst

Christiana Nicoll (b 1851) & Robert McConnell





©Wendy Margaret Brindle

With contributions from Nicol relatives around the world, this research was compiled/researched
by Wendy McBain Brindle for the July 2007 Clan Reunion in Inverness.
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Research & typographical errors may be found on this site.