Re: John Murdoch + Islay emigrants

Sue Visser

Just grasping at straws here ...

The Torra River (north of Glenegedale) - perhaps that's the first part.

Ruadh - red haired?

Perhaps some help from Gaelic speakers can solve a couple of the problems.

Interesting project - good luck,
Sue Visser

-----Original Message-----
Sent: Sunday, February 14, 2021 1:39 PM
Subject: [Islay] John Murdoch + Islay emigrants

Hello everyone, and Happy (?) Valentine's Day

I've been reading "For the People's Cause" by James Hunter, based the
writings of John Murdoch, Highland and Irish Land Reformer. Much of
his boyhood was spent on Islay, and eventually returned there as an
Excise man. Murdoch wrote about Islay frequently, and Chapter 5, "An
Islay Clearance 1859" seems to be completely Murdoch's own
perspective. The book also covers his passion for desperate living
conditions throughout the highlands, the unfair treatment of the
crofters, and his involvement with "The Highlander" a newspaper
echoing his beliefs. In1879/80 he came to North America where he met
up with several Islay emigrants to see for himself how they were
faring and to get their impressions of their homeland from their new
perspective, which he later wrote about in his editorials.

However, the book seems to cover only excerpts of this travel journal.
In Glasgow (probably Mitchell Library) a few years ago, I got my
hands on a handwritten copy of the journal of this trip, and was
allowed to photocopy a few pages, and I photographed some more pages
which were relevant to my own research. In it he refers on two
occasions to a place on Islay - once to John Sinclair, son of Neil
Sinclair of Torranhungari (sp?), and also "Here we had several of the
Torrantungary (sp?) Sinclairs and the sons of Cest Ruadh (sp?) and her
husband Donald Brown, originally from Teana shefoi_g (spelling
actually could be anything). Does anyone in this group know about
this Brown family? I know that the above Neil and family lived at
Neriby farm before emigrating to Ontario in 1842/43. Their oldest
daughter, Catherine married Donald Brown in May of 1829, and their
oldest son, Dugald was born there in 1832. The Browns emigrated first
to Cape Breton in 1833 and the rest of their children were born there.
Later (1850s) they migrated to Fenelon township, Ontario to join the
Sinclair family when old Neil died.

I've looked everywhere for "Torranhungary" on old Islay maps and
tenant lists, but can't find it anywhere. Could this be a Gaelic
version of Neriby or another township in that vicinity? He was
certainly an advocate for saving the Gaelic language!

Finally, I'll try to read any other name I can find on these pages,
and type up a list of them. If any of you recognise them, I'll be
happy to give you any further details which Murdoch mentioned.

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