Re: Caullorsay, Islay

Dan Niven

On a related note, in his memoirs (written in the 1850s), my GGG grandfather, Daniel (Mac)Niven indicated that when his father (Duncan MacNiven) married his mother (Flora Campbell) he quit working at sea and moved to his father's (Malcolm MacNiven) farm in a place called "Cargostan", Islay. My GGG grandfather said he was born there in 1766.

I have been unable to identify any location/homestead with this name on Islay.  My GGG grandfather was in his 80s when he wrote this, and although he was a native Gaelic speaker, he had not set foot on Islay since he emigrated to the U.S. in 1791, so clearly time could have clouded his memory of the spelling of the place. 

When I visited Islay with my family we enquired about this location and the best anyone could offer was that it was possibly Conisby, where some MacNiven's still lived at the time.  This may be, but in his memoirs my GGG grandfather described how his mother apparently suffered from severe post partum depression, and shortly after he was born she nearly threw him off a cliff near the farmstead.  There does not appear ot be a cliff near Conisby, so I suspect that is not the "Cargostan" that my GGG grandfather was referring to.

I'd appreciate any insights you may have about this.  Thanks very much.

Daniel Niven

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