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John Murdoch + Islay emigrants


tsinclair@...
 

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.
Toni


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-----
From: tsinclair@nexicom.net
Sent: Sunday, February 14, 2021 1:39 PM
To: Islay@scotland-genealogy.groups.io
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.
Toni


John Kemplen
 

Hi Toni

Would it be possible for you to share with us images of the handwritten place and person names, which would allow us to make our own guesses about the letters making up the words?  Some of us are quite used to the letter combinations that you tend to get in Gaelic.  My initial guess about the lady's name would be Ceit Ruadh (Red-headed Kate).

Regards

John


On 14/02/2021 18:39, tsinclair@... wrote:
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.
Toni



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candy@...
 

I got quite excited when this popped on on my emails mentioning John Murdoch of Islay.  Then realised it was not my Rev John Murdoch first pastor of the Round Church in Bowmore.  He had 11 children and only know of 2 marriages, the one of which I descended (Thomas) and Charlotte who married who married Neil Currie. They had a John b 1771 and two other males Archibald 1758 and Patrick 1768. The last two children would have been born on Islay (John 1771 and Jean 1772) as he only arrived on Islay around 1769.  

Wondering if maybe this John Murdoch you mention would some connection.  I have heard of this John a few times, but as I have been unable to conclusively find any indication of marriages or deaths of Rev John's children so far it would be hard to tell.  

Will need to get back to this side of the family and see what I can find.


tsinclair@...
 

Hello Candy,
If it helps, in the book "For the People's Cause", it says that John Murdoch was born in Lynemore in the Nairnshire parish of Ardclach on Jan. 15, 1818.  He was the second child and eldest son in the family of 9 children born to John Murdoch and Mary MacPherson.

Thank you to those who responded regarding "Torrantungary", I'm trying to get a photo of it onto my computer so I can send it.  It used to be so easy with my old camera and old computer.  Like them, I'm feeling like a Neanderthal.  Please bear with me while I try following the instructions backwards or upside down.  
Toni


candy@...
 

Thanks for that Toni.  I have checked and cannot get the book in Australia.  Will keep checking for it