Re: Islay McGilvrays Database + a note about the Clearances


Thanks for sharing this with us, Russ.  I'm enjoying the photos of our "old" gatherings, and playing a guessing game with myself - trying to put names to the faces, before I cheat and read them!

I've been re-reading some books lately about Islay emigrants, especially those who settled in Ontario.  John Murdoch certainly was against the barbaric removal of Scottish peasants, and focused on the hardships they endured when they finally got to their promised land. John Ramsay of Kildalton visited many of his ex-tenants in Ontario in 1870, who all appeared to be doing very well in their new situations, and were thankful for the opportunity to bring their families to Ontario.  Of course, he was a landlord.  John McKorkindale from Islay came to Canada in 1855 (later than many emigrants), and visited many old friends and relatives.  From  observations written in his journal, he found both good and bad, but seemed appalled that that there was too much drinking at the barn raisings, and not enough church-going.  "Let's Reminisce about Nottawasaga", and "The Beaverton Story" both tell of early Islay pioneer life, their hardships and their triumphs.  What I find most interesting is that they clung together in these new settlements, helped each other, their children often married into other Islay families, and later even migrated to the U.S. or to Western Canada, still together.   Sadly, Scotland sent away some of its best sons and daughters, often with little regard as to what would happen to them.  Lucky Canada.
My thoughts,
Toni S.

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