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An Inventory of the Household Stock of Donald Sinclair - School Master - Ballitarsin - Island of Islay - September 10th 1835

This journal was written by Donald Sinclair (1792-1874).  It has come down my husband’s family line, and now is in the safekeeping of Donald Sinclair.  The journal is a very intermittent account of the teachers life and times.  He mentions his pupils, neighbours, church politics, island troubles including potato blight and anything else that came to mind.  The important thing is to give access to anyone interested, so I tried to give indications of old Donald's descendants and ancestors for other genealogists.

Donald was a son of Peter Sinclair and Ann Kirkland.  Peter was a farmer.  Donald taught whenever he could get pupils.  At other times he did casual labour of any type.  Donald married twice.  First to Margaret Campbell (1800-1838).  Their son Alexander Sinclair went to Liverpool and married Hannah Coats.  They had two surviving children.  Donald and Mary Hannah.  Alexander (son) worked as a steward on steam ships all over the world.  Three other sons died un-wed on Islay.  His second wife was Mary Campbell (1807-1874), widow of Donald Cameron, a piper and sailor.  Her parents were John Campbell and Mary McDougal.  Donald and Mary had four children.  Mary, who married Neil Graham (son of Douglas Whyte and Harry Graham of Islay).  Mary died in Glasgow leaving two sons Angus and Donald.  Marion who went to Liverpool and married Charles Parker, no known children.  Agnes died age 4 and Donald who left Islay and worked as a labourer in the east of Scotland.  He was my husband’s G-Grand father.  When his wife died, this Donald returned to Islay and died there in 1924.

Susan Sinclair -


Having got full authority from Mr Malm McNeal Esq Kinlochalsh, and Mr Duncan Campbell Esq Rockside officiating Factors of the estate of Mr Walter Frederick Campbell, Esq of Islay to posses the 2nd land of the farm of Ballitarsen deserted by John McNiven in July last I entered the possession thereof on Thursday the 10th day of September 1835.


Outstanding Debts due to Donald Sinclair May 1836

Charles MacArther Gartachossin  #@ June 1836 recd  1 ster  + weaving 36 yards

Hugh Keith Nosbridge 10/ paid Nicol Keith 10/ rec from N 1 ¼ barley 1 pk meal.



Jany 1st            John Carmichael Scarabus             Hugh Carmichael 1/2  2 

Jessie Wilson Carnaine only one month James Wilson no charge

Feby 25th            Ann Campbell Dr. John Campbell Skirolsa

Peter McEowin & Ann McEowin Childn McEowin Smith Carnaine

                                                                                                peat spade in price

March 1st             Daniel Bell Grandson to Alexr Bell Carabus  May 22nd in full 1/

Hugh McLugash & Flora McLugash Chn to Rhond McLugash                                                                   Wright Carmanie May 12th in full 2/

April                 Peter MacLiver Son to Donald McLiver Islayhouse

Margaret MacArthur for two months 1/        

Feb 1836 pd 1/2 year rent £3-2-6


Jany 1836

Paid houses comprisement £4-8

Paid Dougald Brown fr order of Dunn MacAlister office clerk                               £1

Paid Dunn McAlister                £2-3

Deficiency of Thatching                 12

Barley Straw Illen between John Campbell Ballitarsin and Neil McMilen Bowmore and John Sinclair Gartachossan

97stooks my share is 1/3 or 32 1/3

 stooks at 4d pr stook                              10-9

a day of myself, wife and son Alexander spreading oats Illen and gathering in hay 1/4 to myself and wife each and 8d to Alexr

attending Gathering and thatching Illen Stack 1/4


Attending Glassery and thatching Illen Stack1/4



March 22n. My cow was drowned in a bog. Supposed to be driven to by Alexr McCore’s wife and dogs

 herd to Alexr McNabb Kilbranan   

March 24th

Yolks of Horses ploughed my sowing land MacGill John GartloistJohn McGill Gartloiste and John Carmichael Neriby assisted me in Harrowing the land

Also John Campbell Ballitarsen and Walter Campbell Mulindra Harrowing part thereof

May 18th 1836 Bought a Mare and young foal at Beallochroy, Portaskaig from the Roup of Mr John Campbell Killanalen at 6 months credit at £5-5s

Stamp charges    £5-7s

over paid 1840 Dec 6th By a Heifer @ £5



Brought one cow and 3/4 year old calf from Gartehossan to here

Sold my Horse at Garthossen to Charles McArthur for a cow and a 1/2 year old calf and £2 Sterling the money to be paid £1 at May next and the other £1 at Martinmas 1836


Got from my sister in law Mrs Bill McLee Glasgow £3 Ster

June 25th Bought on credit Boll Oat Meal from Mr John   Lunson Bowmore @ £1-6

July 27 Bt £1 ster worth of oat meal from Dr Johnston Talanta paid in cash

June 10 I removed from Ballitarson and flitted to my mothers house

Garehass My los in Ballitarsen was heavy. Lost 1 cow 1 heifer & half

my crop of 1834 missed Mr Wilson    Dougald McNiven Contrary     to my    farm in spring 1837 and I had to leave the place          as I was not in arrears



Expences during my wifes illness and for me expenses during illness -19/ funeral           £3 9s

I have a cause to think that I am unwell both yesterday and today it is my duty to submit to the will of my Heavenly Father if it is his pleasure to call me from time to eternity. May my  soul be received by my Glorious Redeemer in the Heavenly Mansions of the paradise above, while my body united to Christ remain at last in the Grave till the Resurrection, I commit my young Sinclairs to his care who feed the Young Ravens-

And you my Chosen friends and neighbours good when I am to be buried, I wish you will bury me in the same Grave where my beloved Spouse is Interred, May the Lord reward those who sympathised with me in my trouble I am not rich in Wordly riches, but my soul is full of love to my God, My Saviour and my sanctifier the Holy Trinity to whom be the praise now and forever Amen.


Saturday evening 5 o’clock the 24th Feby 1838

During the months of March and April myself and Alex was ill of the fever, in May we were in health, in June John hired with John McNabb son of Angus McNabb Roskern @ £1-5. Also hired Alex with Angus McNeil Lenanbuie @ 18/. Myself commenced working in July 4 1/2 days masonry to John McCowen Gartianilvan 9 Days Servile work to Dr McTavish Spring Bank- at Whitsontide Mr Willm Webster Douid granted me grass for my cow in the Big park of Charity hill and ordered me harvest work at Islay House, in Nov. I commenced teaching a little school  in my room No of Schollars in attendance was 40 in summer 1839 I continued teaching no only 18 In Harvest I worked with Dr McTavish and Edward Campbell Rhaw     I Bought a lot of standing oats from Morag Ferguson Spouse of Edward Campbell at £4 Ster  

At Martinmass I opened the school for winter season Taught 44 Schollars              ..... Ann Ferguson one stirk taken from Donald MacLugash at £2-5  1d     sold a little stirk to Angus MacNabb       @£1=9  cash pd        2 pk meal

from Mary MacCalman @ 3/9     pd per      of a piece leather.


Monday February 12th 1838

As the melancholy Disease the Fever visited my family by Margt Campbell my wife being bedfast with it since Thursday last dreading how the family may suffer, with it I in my right mind and sound memory do hereby make a short inventory of my concerns and personal debts as brief as possibly I can

Stock 1 cow of 5 years old in calf and a Heifer at fodder with John Campbell Mulindra, 1/5 of seat no 18 west gallery Bowmore Church paid for it £1’7s in 1828. School wages due at present for winter Quarter £3 on Several persons

Neil McArthur had my Son Alexr herding last Summer & harvest no wages paid was made but I think £1 ster Should be allowed him as he had same wages the preceding year, also my son Peter was herding to Edward Campbell Bow at 10/

I owe Mr John Simson Bowmore for meal                             £1-6

on Bond to Mr John Campbell Kilinala Paid                 £5-7

John McKay Bowmore paid                                                    -10-4

Mrs Bell McFee Glavgisin cash lend                                           3- 0- 0

Paid Donald McLean Bar B   Whiskies                                        3-

paid Duncan Campbell Bridgend nine or ten shillings


My wife continued under hard operation in the fever from Thursday 8th untill Saturday 17th July 1838 at 7 o’clock in the evening when she gave up the ghost to the hand of the glorious Redeemer

I borrowed from Webster William DiallMr Wm Webster Esq Dial £1-10 st for the expenses of the funeral pledged a heifer for it also Neil McArthur purchased 2 gallons of whisky from Peter McTagart Bowmore for Alexr      ages Mr London Minister Islay     Sent for Mrs Webster 3/   a relief for my distress. May My God Reward Him and       his Ministry



Gartachossin School. Donald Sinclair Teacher 1840


May 26th

John Ogilvie Nariby Dr

To teaching 2 Scholars from nov 1839 till March 1840     By a kitchen grate 4/-



Winter 2 1840

Winter 1840 To 2 Scholars 4/ By 1 Barl potatos 3/


May 1st

Neil Sinclair Do To 1 Scholr 1 qr @ 2 

By 1/2 Barrel Potatoes 1/3



Donald Cameron Do 

To 1 Scholar 1/2 year & 1 scholar 1 qr

By making 2 shirts for the boys & washing in full




Ann  Brown Do To 1 scholar 1/2 qr 1/ Due 2nd 1840 paid 1/



Ann Campbell Do To 2m schr 1 qr 4/                            



Mr John Campbell Mulindra

To 3 schollars 1 1/2 qr @ 9/

By grass for a Quay & Ram,        ,

For 1 pk oats & 1/4 Pk flax seed, 1 Barell Potatoes



George Keith Do 1 Scholar 1 1/2 qr

Owing to your kindness when making my wifes coffin I

allow you the time your son was in school




Donald MacLugash Lenanbui

To 4 Scholars from Nov 1839 to May 1840 @ 2/       

April 27th         By leading dung 8/ grass for a calf leading tupps



John McQuay Do

To 1 scholar 1 1/2 qr @ 2-

1st        By 1 Barrel potatoes @ 3/




Nov & May

            X Charles MacArthur Garthossin

To 2 Schollars from Nov 39/ till May 40/

By service for your wife 8/




Feby 14th 1840


Feby 27th 1841

Alexr Jamieson Do

To 2 Schollars winter   & part of spring

By 2 pecks meal @ 3/ Decr 2nd 1840 Paid 3/

To 2 schollars 1 qr. By 1 Barrel potatos 3/ full paid






May 26th


Jany 27th 1841

Neil McInnish Do

To 1 schollar 1/2 year 4/ summer 1/3

By 1 Barrel potatoes 3/

To 2 schollars 4/ By 1 Barrel potatoes 3/




John Currie Gartloist Sliabh

To 1 schollar 1/2 year 4/ paid




John Ramsay Gartloiste

To 3 schollars    1/2 year 6                              

Aug 18th paid 1/ Dec 23rd Paid 4/



August 1840 paid 1/

Dec 23rd Paid 4/


X Mrs McLellan Do

To 1 schollar 1 qr 2/ Paid cash 2/




Angus Campbell Do

To 2 Schollars 1 qr 6/ By 2 Barrell potatoes @ 3




Donald Shaw Gartintra

To 1 Schollar 1 qr 2/ Nov 27th 1840 Pd 1/ & meal 1/  2/



Jany 9th 1840

Duncan Shaw Do

To 2 Schollars 1 qr Aug 30th By 2 large Barrells Potatoes

By meal 1 peck @ 1/4 1/2                   


4            1-8

3            1-4

1-0         3

1840 sept

Alexr Campbell Do

To 1 schollar 2 qrs 4 By 2 Peks Mael @ 2/9   

                        By 2 pks meal     2/ paid in full




LenariachDougald McCasye Lenariach

To 1 Schollar 2 qrs By    pks meal 2





Summer 2 Qr

Heugh McCalman Sliabheka

To 1 Schollar 2/ Feby 28th 1841 Cash 6d Potatoes 1/



Summer qr 1840

Winter 1840

Duncan Stewart Neriby

To 2 Schollars @ 2/   -4

To 1 schollar 2-   By cash 1/1  1/2       



4/ 10 1/2

May 7th 1840

Winter 1840

Neil MacCallum Glendersh

To 1 Scholr 1 qr By 1/2 Barl potatoes 1/6




March 3rd

Alexr MacPherson Tommary

            To 2 Schollars for 3 qr each 12/                        By 2 pecks meal




Stock Dr to

June 1841

Dr McTavish Spring Bank to 1 barrel potatoes

To 1 barrel potatoes

By work @ John McNabbs shop 2 1/2 days


@ 3/6

@ 2


1841 Attended the Measuring of the new Road line from Bridgend to . with Mr Laughlan Surveyor commenced Monday th 12th finished Thursday the 23rd of September 1841 from Bridgend to Portellen Length 109 pegs of 500 feet each and 400 feet- calculated in miles 10 miles and 70 feet peg 101 end of road


I continued teaching the School both 1838/ 1839/ 1840/ 1841 Remained a widower three years and sixteen days

Accompanied Neil McArthur to His Marriage Jany

I saw a widow woman in Truidernish whose name is Mary Campbell to whom I send messages in Feby 16th and on the 27th agreed with her. Married her on Thursday 4th March 1841, at the age of 48 years She is 34. My Expences about that marriage is five pounds sterling, on the 8th came for me. She remained here one week returned home with her Brother Neil and stayed with him till the 31st of March, when she came home accompanied by Jannet McLee carrying a live hen & a dead one with them. On the 8th of April I took home her Chist and Spinning Wheel & Chair two stools, and a water Stoup which her brother Neil left in the house of John Campbell Kiletearnain.

Saturday May the 8th I accompanied her to her Brothers house when I left her on.   She came home the 15th  May carrying her Daughter Margaret Cameron on her back by Portellen & Bowmore thus this Margaret Cameron is the daughter of Donald Cameron piper & sailor by her first husband unconsented brought to my house she is two years and nine months old, is ill with the   incough, Bo  Biscuits, loaf, & sugar provision for her and in Bridgend Bt Castor Oil Candie & Lozenges @ 3d by my wife Consuming of Butter milk and eggs and the time of my wife attending her is considered at 7d per day recovered Augt 1st 1841.


1842/3  ?Emigration Attempt

Winter 1842/3

I kept open my School during the winter & Spring But being idle in Summer, I Engaged with Archd McNiven Emigration Agent from Mull, to whom I gave my only Cow & calf also my Potatoes planted in two lots & household furniture left in my house on Saturday the 1st day of July 1843, Embarked on board the ship Catherine of Belfast Captain William Baird in Lochindale Sailed Early 2nd day being Sabbath day arrived in Aros Bay Mull on  Monday evening on Tuesday Anchored in Tobermory Bay where we lay till Tuesday the 25th. During this time we found the ship a leaky infirm ship, but about 10 o’clock in the morning of the 25th we left Tobermory in the company of the Ship Charles Humbertson of N.B. both ships having Passengers on Board from the Agent. Our Number of Passengers was 275 Individuals. We were Sea Sick the first 4 days, Wind West, Ship Getting leaky the passengers as they recovered of their sickness commenced pumping as the ship had double pumps & wheel, they kept her above water, one child was born and another died. On the morning of Friday the 11th of August we returned, that morning was rough during the day we cast over Board a quantity of salt as there was a great bulk of Salt in the Ship. We were returning till 22nd day when we Anchored in Belfast Bay

As the Owner Mr Harries and myself differed & my Provision consumed getting no government Bread on that improsperous voyage I left the Ship on Friday 20th of August 1843 having only £1-6 sterling for part of my headmoney & some bread due to me in the agreement with McNiven being 8 weeks except one night aboard the Ship. I and My wife & three children came to Glasgow by the Steamer Aurora. Staid a week. Lacking a situation there I came to Islay on Tuesday the 4th day of Sept. The Sacrament was Administered to the Congregation of the Parish of Bowmore the following Sabbath I being one of the number- Shortly thereafter I got a     from John Caine Stabhoha. In winter I got a School in Truidernish where I taught till April 1844. In May I cut peats to Mac  Peter McQuage Gartloist from whom I got two Bags potatoes. also I got a pig from him in Hearvest 1843 for which I Served him five days thrashing thus pig was sold to Peter Carmichael Bowmore in March fir £1-6- . John & Donald is with Dr McTavish, Alexr with Peter McCugie, & Peter with John Campbell Truidernish- Summer & Harvest.


In the latter end of harvest 1843 My Son Donald got work in Clagginererach from Wilm Morries Mason at 8d per day it is a blessed help to us as we have no other means for our support


On the evening of Sabbath the 14th day of July 1844 My wife is delivered of a daughter. On Monday the 5th day of August the child was baptised by the Rev Mr MacDonald of Kilmeny being                dat past our Sacrament day. She is named Mary        .

April 9th 1842 Died the Godly Pastor of this Parish Revd James MacIntosh

Summer I was hard tried for want of work and Meal I sold a calf @ 17/ to Archd McCallum Gartloist Got work on filling drains  in latter end of July with Mr Wilm Webster Dial in Sept I Wrought on harvest work to Dr McTavish And to Alex McInnish 14 days for my cows grass which I got at May for £1 ster

Nov 10th Great Struggle in our Church between Mr Campbell Esq of Islay and An Advocate of Her Majesty Queen A.V. for the Patronage of thus      37 of the comunicant sided the crown patronage and 35 Adhered to Mr Campbell’s Scheme. The Mr Alex Stuart for the Crown was thus caused great variance among the people of the parish I avoided siding with either side as I Judged the controversy agan not the rule of Holy Scriptures to whom I adhere. In July Mr Stuart Gain    to the Parish Church. In Spring 1844 The New Churches of   Portellen & Port Charlote was opened. In July 1845     Minister of Rae was    in Kilchamon

Mr Stuart Minister of this parish spoke to me in Sept 1845 desiring me to teach a poor school in view to be opened in Bowmore from that time till Dec 23rd. I was not engaged with but Doctor McTavish gave me a room in Gartchossin in Nov 6 I flitted to it

Dec 30th I commenced Teaching Said School as Mr Stuart  Mr Webster & Dr McTavish & Mr Taylor Schoolmaster feed me on the 23 at 5£ Sterling of wages till May

Schollars increased to 96 in Spring when I spoke to Mr Stuart for a new engagement he sent me to the Docr who told me if I had either 10 or 12£ sterling for a year he thought 1 might do on the 20th May Mr Stuart Asked me what was said by the Doctor. I told him so and said I would not stay without getting 20£ of wage for a year we parted as I understood it displeased him for he kept silence till I said I thought it as well to give up teaching to which he replied he thought so.

Accordingly I dismissed the school that day telling them my time was out as my wages was not made up by subscription. Some Bowmore people who subscribed disapproved my conduct & withstood paying their subscription money pretending I was hired for a year. Of these is MacPherson late supervisor and some other who paid part of their subscription. On the 29th Dec 1845 I left the list of schollars starting the term they were at school with Mr Robt Murray Bowmore who promised to look in to the matter & return the slate safe to me again.

April the 27th Returned my school list, but no payment except 5/ from Mr Murray.


1845 July 5th Removed from Garthossen to Avinvogie Schoolhouse

I opened Summer Class here only 17 Schollars attended having in harvest. Winter resumed Teaching continued till May 1846.

Wednesday 1846 May the 6th Died My oldest daughter by my second wife, Agnes Sinclair Avinvoga of a swelling of twelve days illness being born Feby the 6th 1842   aged 4 years & 3 months. Funeral Expenses 2 gallons Whiskey from Peter MacTaggart Bowmore 18/ Timber from Dr McTavish Coffin made by Hugh McCalman Sliabhacha,1 stone meal from John Brown, 1       meal from Duncan Brown, Cheese 2/ from Peter Carmichael Bowmore Trimmings from Colin Taylor 6d Buried Thursday May 7th 1846.                    


1846 In Summer I attended Out Door service on the 6th day of May. My oldest daughter with my second wife Mary Campbell Died. Her Name is Agness Sinclair Born Feby 6th 1842-

Harvest wrought on shearing & other work in winter opened a very poor school where I had to give up teaching at Candlemass till March 2nd 1847. I joined work with Mr James Seat at the Shilven Bridge of Portellen & new road where I worked till May 3rd on May 5th. My son Peter was sent home to me from Trudernish in a cart from Alex Campbell with whom he had been hired since Martinmass last. His complaint was head boiled inside then sweating to excess heat & thirst- Rheumasism and swelling. He died Thursday evening at 7 o’clock May the 6th 1847 Born May the 17th 1827 Buried Saturday the 8th His funeral expenses was Coffin Timber & meal 11/ Trimming & other expenses 6/6 wright charges 5/ Liquor & meal 23/6

I wrote to my sons John & Alex in Grunert concerning his death the night he died John came to see us  next Tuesday & staid till Friday the 14th Day of May when he returned with the Modern Arthur Steam Boat to Greenock on Tuesday 25th. He sent a small Bag of flour & Pease meal to me, which came seasonably for my relief as I am idle troubled with rheumatism.

Dr McTavish handed me on Friday the 21st the sum of six shillings sterling as a relief this came to my need through the intercession of Archld McFaden Elder Mulindra. I Bought Provision with it for the support of my family. I wrought, with Mr Jas Scott on the new road till Rheumatism & bodily Ailment hindered my continuance at it .I cut Peats in July to Edward Campbell & John Anderson Rhaw for nine Days.


1846 November 23rd  My wife Delivered of a daughter whom I named Marrion Baptised Nov 1843 and 2nd Donald the same day.


1847 May the 6th Thursday Died my son Peter aged 20 years

August the 13th Friday Died my Son Donald aged 18 years & 3 months.

Sabath Feby 6th 1842 Delivered of a daughter at noon Mary Campbell my spouse, Baptised by the Revd Mr Archd McTavish of Kildalton in the House of Doctor McTavish Spring Bank, Agnes our first Child 7 days old .


1847 Donald my son fell sick on Monday the 2nd day of August and died the 13th at Springbank in Widow John McCachun’s house where I attended him since Saturday the 7th his age was born 3rd April 1829. Eighteen years and three months.


1847 I bought my own house from Alexr McPherson on Friday the 27th of August 1847 for £4 Stirling  Ready Money Being this  Price of my only Cow sold to Heugh Campbell Nariby for that money

On Tuesday the 7th Sept I carried the first cart of my furniture here and my family the next week continued harvest work to Dr MacTavish for 47 days. In Nov I Began building a stone dyke to Alexr Sinclair Nariby.


Mr W F Campbell Esq of Islay Abandoned the place this month. The young Laird Mr John Campbell took away the young family by the Portellen way on Friday the 19th of Nov 1847 to be conveyed  to their   Parents. The Country People is greatly Grieved for Mr Campbell and family Especially Mr John the young Heir of Islay. The Island is in the hands of the Royal Bank of Scotland Managed by a trustee a Mr Brown from Edingborgh and Mr W Webster Dail manages the country in his absence.  A deplorable time for distress and hardship prevail in the place. The potatoes is failing greatly but meal is plenty and cheap.  Shows the goodness of the lord is filling the land Arise O Lord My God let not man prevail against thee Return to us in pity and Mercy for we are Oppressed by cruel Ruler that despise us and thy Holy Law pitying not the poor nor Sheweth Kindness to the needy May 23rd 1849


1849 Glory to thee Oh Lord my God for thy manifold Mercies bestowed on me poor sinner in providentially Adding a son to my family this morning at 1/4 past one o’clock, and Safely preserved the Mother and Child Wednesday the 23rd day of May 1849

What shall I render to the most high me to offer acceptable Sacrifice to the prayer of My heart.

His sister Marrion & this son of mine Donald was baptised the same day  in my own house by the Reverend Alexr Stuart Minister of this parish Nov 1853.


1851 John my oldest son who came home from Gartshorne Old Monkhams where he was for a time employed a carter to Myr Baird, but owing to a stroke from the mare he worked his left thigh joint took pain which bleeded till he Died  22nd 1851. He was born November the 9th 1821. Burried in the same grave       and brother Peter and sister Marrion  (Agnes?) is burried in Killarrow.


1851 Sabbath day June the 22nd at half past five o’clock in the evening my eldest son John Sinclair departed thus life being born the 9th day of November 1821 He came home from Gartshini Iron works on the 8th day of November 1850 continued ill by first Rheumatism, & then unnatural Boil on his left haunch, which was lanced by Dr MacTavish Spring bank from the wound continued running issue till it terminated his life on the above day. He was Burried on the evening of Monday the 23rd in the grave where his Mother & his Brother Peter is interred. Funeral expenses, 4 Gallons Whiskey from John Campbell Bowmore, 4 pecks meal from Peter Carmichael, & a Coffin   on McLugash also Sheancloth 7 yards from John Taylor, leaf & biscuits 2/6 from Landr Currie Cheese 3/ from Mrs Cooksford 1/4     Tea 2lb sugar &  candles from Dr McTavish

I went out to Gartsheuie July 12th & I got £3 sterling from the iron works Society for his funeral as he was a member of the Society wherewith I paid his funeral expenses-


1852 Febry 23rd I began carrying letters from Bridgend Post Office to Robert Langtry Esq Ardimersay Cottage @ 2/6 per day to attend as the Mail arrives, and the Lagavullin post is not attending the arrival. I continued in employ but not continually only betimes till Feby the 10th 1854 when Mr Langtry went to London for his health. He abided out till June then by order from Lagavullin post I went over with the letters June 8th when I was made to understand that my service was not wanted longer. Then Mrs Langtry took badly & continued ill till September the 23rd 1854. She died lamented by all who knew her. She was very good to the poor, kind to inferiors, lovely to all who knew her. Her age was 29 years and 10 months. Left a family of one son and three daughters.

By her death I lost a kind and good friend for in January last she bestowed a suit of cloth on me forby my wages


Through the intercession of Alexr MacFee Carperter of the Mail Ship Canada Liverpool My Son Alexr got a place on board of that Steam Ship 15th day of March 1852. Sailed for New York Saturday the 20th of that month- May 19th 1854 Alexr Sailed in the Ship Lightening Captn Forbes from Liverpool to Melborne Australia with first class passengers. His station on board the ship is 2nd cook.


In January 1852 My only son in existence of my first family Alexr. left Greinock Distillery where he was from 1847 till the beginning of 52 and went to Liverpool where he entered on board the Mail Steam Ship Canada, Captain Stone, sailing between Liverpool and Halifax, and Boston S. he at first was a fireman and again a cook till in April 1854 he left her, and engaged as a cook with the Ship Lightning Captain Forbes on May 19th  the ship sailed with first class passengers for Melborn Australia

(Between November and December 1854) On the arrival of the Lightening about the latter end of November in Liverpool he Married a woman whose name is Hannah- and on the 9th day of December he sailed for Melborn in the Mail Sailship James Baines Capt Charles MacDonnel returned May the 20th- he is a Stewart thus time, in June 16th 1855 Wrote a letter to me having post office order enclosed for £1 Sterling telling me that he is to sail on the 25 for Melborn in the Ship Champion of the Sea and if spared to return.  He stated that he is to come home to see me-

I have two letters from his wife since he sailed in the above ship Augt 27th 1855. He returned to the Cunart line of Steamers where he is Stewart in the Ship Mail Steam Ship Africa Jany 1856 and from thence to the Canada and from the Canada to the North Britton in Summer 1858. When that ship was laid up as she could not sail to Quebec owing to the ice he was transhiped to the S Ship Arabia I have no letter from him since he went as Stewart in the above Ship in December 1858

April 1856 Born Alexr Sinclair son of Alexr my son and Hannah Coats in Liverpool

Born Mary Hannah their daughter in Liverpool

June 20th 1861 Born Donald Sinclair their 2nd son Liverpool this Donald died.

My wife Mary Campbell is loosing the sight of her Eyes for a while past 1854

May 17th Sold my he Stirk @ 49/ to Robt Jamison Kinigary

Bought 1/2 Load of Meal @ 24/ from John Campbell  Catadale Pd 20/ cr 4/ pd


August the 20th 1854 Thus time I feel myself abating in strength, and health, as as my heart is oppressed with   and my age advanced to sixty two years Born Feby 27th 1792. But my Almighty God the Lord of Hosts does not leave nor forsake me when my bodily strength is abating my spiritual Strength increases I know in whom I believe and serve. He will not leave nor forsake me till he Changes me from this world of sorrow and call to that happy Mansions of Bliss and Glory where My Redeemer is and where the inheritance purchased by him for all them who believe in him to See Name be the praise now hereafter and for evermore Amen.


/54 Sept 12th I feel great pain in my forehead I have to cease shearing work  to Mary Livingston Lenanbui to whom I am serving harvest work for the grass I have for my cow since 26th May last till May next year at 22/ paid in advance ready cash 6/.


1854 Catherine Carmicheal wife of Donald MacLugash . Lenanbuie was attacked by Cholera 13th September died by day break next morning 14th Burried 15th in Killarow On the 20th Mary Livingston Died of same trouble.


(1855) Feby 8th Died Walter Frederick Campbell Late Esq of Islay at Normandy France           

March 2nd Died Robert Langtry at Ardmersay Cottage his Remains is interred In Belfast, where his spouse is interred his age is 57 years.


On Thursday the 15th of November 1855 I began Teaching the School of Mr John McCrae of Bridgend and to continue for 20 weeks as he is attending his studies at the College of Glasgow. My wages is £8-10s Sterling Whereof £4-10 is to be paid by himself and the other £4 to be collected from the fees of the Schollars, in case I cannot take it from the Schollars  Mr McRae is to cause it himself and to pay me, also I am to be supplied by Mr Thos Scott Bluehouse in the absence of Mr McRae but that to be deducted from my wages when final settlement shall be made. O My God help me to be grateful and true to you and to serve thee with Sanctity and love.


Nov 15th

            Names of Schollars

Edward Wilson Carmaine    Son of James Wilson May 19th                 

Donald Wilson      Do .     Received from Mr Chisholm Inspector

Wilm Wilson        Do   of   Donecial Board for these 3 Schollars11/

Niel McAffer       Do          Dond McAffer May 17 By cash in full 2/6

Mary Currie         Do    Dr  to Edwd Currie May 17 cash in full 2/6

Mary McAulay Carabus      Grd Dr to toMacAulay Neil Carabus Neil McAulay

Ann Bell               Do                           Dr to Dunn Bell May 22nd in full 2/

Jessie Campbell Skerolsa         ,,    Campbell John SkerolsaJohn Campbell

Cecil Campbell Bridgend    Alex Campbell 1 pk potatoes 1/3




Ann Clerk Bluehouse        Geo Clerk April 26 cash in part 2/6

Clerk Gilbert schollar Bluehouse Gilbert Clerk     Do                    ,,   June 14th in full 4/-

Mary Sinclair Lenanbuie         Dr to myself



John Brown Carabus Jany 8th By 1 barrel potatoes 5/  

Catherine Brown do                 John Brown paid in full 4 May 29th ......



Rodger Brown     do                             ,,

Donald Bell         do                 Widow Bell paid cash in full 2/

Archibald MacDearmid do   Dond McDearmid April 1/6 May 14.. 1/6

John MacLellan Carnaine          Peter McLellan April meal in full 3/9

Hellen MacLellan   do                           ,,

Charlote MacAffer do  only 2 weeks Don McAffer

John MacArthur Gartlinstra                   Dond Mc Arthur

Margaret MacNiven Gartloist   MacNiven Alan GartloistAlan McNiven



Dec 5th

Jessie MacNiven       do   Jany 19 By 2 Barrels Swedish Turnip

25th cash & table 4/6 Bal 1/


Dec 3rd

Neil Orr          Neil Orr      June 12th cash 1/  bal 1/

John Clerk Bluehouse only a few days    G   Clark

Marrion Brown Carabus                       John Brown

Duncan MacDeadmid  do                                 Don McDearmid

Donald MacDearmid    do                                            ,,

11th Neil MacEachern         do                                    Neil McEachern

Malcolm MacEachern   do                                   ,,   March 2/6  Bal  1/

Donald Anderson Lenanbuie     John Anderson cash 1/

Marrion Campbell Rhaw   Jany 9th 1 bottle lamp oil March 8th 1 cask salt

Margaret Campbell   do                        Edward Campbell

Edward Campbell     do                                    ,,

Catherine MacQuage Gartehossin         Heugh McQuage

Heugh MacCuage          do                   April cash 1/6

May 19th cash 6d





Peter MacEachun      Mulindra

Archd Campbell           Do

Widow Brown              Do

Ann Campbell

Colin Campbell            Do

Widow Neil McLee    Eskinch

Donald Currie           Killinan

Donald McNab       Mulindra

John Carmichael Carpenter Nariby

Duncan Carmichael               Do

Donald McLugash Lenonbui

            Shaw      Mulindra

John MacGregor    Dluich


8    August 25th received in full

8    paid

10  barley meal 3 pks

8    paid

8    Aug 9th a lamb at 4/ and barley

2     Tea and sugar ½


4      paid payment in partial

12     paid

8    settled in part payment

5 paid by a loan of a Cart marking at Dail


2 pd


1856 April 16 Palm Sunday Died Doctor Colin MacTavish Springbank


Contra per

1856 Novr                               By 1 peck potatoes 2 pks Meal, 1 peck potatoes1 peck Meal

Dec 12th                      By 2 pks Meal, 1 pk Potatoes

                                    1 peck potatoes

January the 1st 1857 by 1 peck meal

January the 12th            1 Pk Meal & a pot full of potatoes

`                                   1 peck Meal & 1 peck Po paid in full


1856 October 24 The Reverend Alexr Stuart left this parish for the Insane Assylum Glasgow His mind is supposed to be unsettled


(1856) Novr  William Webster is out of the factorage of the Estates of Islay. A Mr Henderson is appointed in his place as a factor for Mr Morrison Esq of Islay The Island is nothing better in regard of goodnes towards the benefit of the poor.


1856 Nov 11th till 22 Angus MacLee Gartloist

To 11 days paving Byre & building

Pighouse & other Sorting at Byre                                     11/

Dec th 15-16-17-20  4 days this week the 27th threshing with your. son Angus                                                                                                                                                   5/

1856 Dec the 23rd     John Campbell Catadale             3 days flagging Byre

24th & 25th            @ 1/ per day                                                             3/

          By 1 stone meal at same time                                          3/


January 10th 12th 1857  Scraping & Shovelling mud about the house            2/

                        4 days at Barn work                                                                4/


June 17th 1857 Dr Kerr of the Board attended me thrice

Administered 1st one          of castor oil  2ndly A pouder of castor oil 3rdly castor oil


(ABT 1857) I accompanied my Daughter in law & her son LiverpoolAlexr Sinclair to . Portellen on the 16th day of June. Came home on the 17th. I fell sick that night.  My head been pained my heart troubled my side full of Stitches dry Cough and Sweating. Confined to bed for four weeks tho after that I slowly move about I am very weak owing to my poor state I had to seek Aliment from the board of Supervise at first I got 4s from Dr McTavish  on the 24th July Recieved fr my daughter Mary fr John Graham Subinspector 4/-


Feby 14th 1858                Duncan Campbell Esqr Newton

To 9 days building pig house @ 1/4 per day 12/

Spring            By 2 fulds Oat meal & 2 pks Indian meal in full 12/

To 16 Days repairing Stone dyke 2 of them broken

By 14 Pks Oat meal in full


September the 2nd 1858

Roup of standing crop on the Farm of Garthossin The property

of Peter MacCuaire


No 1                Duncan MacNiven Cregainnain  ....


            John MacDougald Bowmore

               Duncan Munn Baker               do

               Heugh MacCuage Gartahossin

               Duncan Munn   -  Bowmore

Little part 1            Donald Sinclair Gartahossin /12 Sept 6th I paid Peter                                                                            McCuarge in full 12/

                  Duncan MacNiven Smith                /50

                  do              do                                   5

Barley  1 Campbell John Innkeeper BowmoreJohn Campbell Bowmore

                        2 to 8   do       

                        9 Thomas Scott Bluehouse

                    10 John Campbell Inn Keeper Bowmore


1859.In Feby 1st I began felling trees to Mr Heugh MacColl, Wood Merchant at 8/ per week. To my God I gave thanks for his Manifold Mercies to me for I was ill for want of means to support My family till I got into the above employment

Feby 18th 1859 I got 5/- from Archibald MacFadyen Elder Mulindra from the session of Bowmore as they thought my necessity requires help

My son Donald is visited by the measles this time Feby & March 1859 The Measles is very Deadly in Bowmore in the parish Donald MacDearmid son to James MacDearmid Mulindra died Saturday March 4th and three of the family of Alexander MacKinnen Shoemaker Bowmore Died this week they died within a few hours of one another

1859 Feby 20th My son Donald is badly with the Measles he is dangerous ill

March 5th he was blistered last night by a Mustard Blister that opened the windpipe of his throat provedentially we see the goodness of our Lord in this Case to whose Care we Commit our all-

Chosen by some of our Church Congregation, I was out in the Parish of Bowmore a Catechist & Scripture Reader in the Spring of

But the Subscribers for my salary failed to pay it I was at the necessity to cease my Circuit against my will Our Minister told me he could not Keep me out any longer this was a sore trial to my Spirit as My God helped me and blessed my labour in a visible manner.

Age prevails on my having no employment this is oppressive on my Spirit as in all ages it was sore upon the chosen people of God I receive five Shillings Annually from the session of our church in Bowmore


My Daughter Marrion  left here for Liverpool on Tuesday 29 Decr 1863

to abide with My Son Alexr by my first wife Margaret Campbell. He is the only one of my first family who is alive. He is a Steward on Board the Mail Steamship Scotia Ithen Captain ScotiaCaptain, Comodore Juthin. Alexr is married to Hannah Coats, having a family of one son Alexr and one Daughter Mary Hannah. He dwells in No 65 Hearken Street of Athol Street Northend Liverpool

Marrion abode in her Brothers house from 1st of January 1864 till Feby when she got feed to A Mr Mathers       Bottle at £8 ster of wages for a year. Her work is under the cook, there is six servts  in the house a family Worship is Kept morning & evening in it thus give more comfort to my Spirit than her wages


Feby 27th 1869 Born Angus Graham the 1st son of Neil Graham & my Daughter GlasgowMary in No 9 Herbertson Street Glasgow


1870 Left here Tuesday the 24th May My Son Donald for service with James Lambie Overton near Strathavon.


May the 25th 1871 Delivered of A Son Mary my Daughter in No 9 Herbertson Street South Side Glasgow named Donald Graham,

I had P.O.Order for 30/ from Marrion my daughter in Liverpool June 2nd 1871


Oh My God and My Saviour and Redeemer heard my poor unworthy Creature and grant me thy spirit to strengthen and support me in thus needful time to Believe thee My Heavenly Father and my Saviour Jesus Christ who said that you will not leave nor forsake those that Believe thee and trust in thee.

On the evening of Monday the 13th day of April 1874 at 8 hours and 40 minutes my Beloved wife Mary Campbell was called from time to Eternity. She Being ill Since July 1873 her complaint being a sweeling in her neck that grew to the size of a Goose egg that grew Bigger since new year Time till the time she expired. I had to Telegraph for my daughter Marrion on the Thursday before the death of her mother. She came on Friday and continued administering to the want of her mother, and also paid the Expences of her funeral that amounted to near five pounds stirling

Also I telegraphed Donald to the Farm of Torr Near Helensburgh Cowes. He came home on the morning of Friday the 17th of April and the remains of my beloved spouse was buried that day in Killarow in the grave where I Buried our first born daughter Agnes May 8th 1846, I promised my Wife to Bury her in that Grave which was fulfilled at 12 o’clock on Friday the 17th April 1874.


I was Married to her on the 4th day of March 1841 By the Reverend Mr Archibald MacTavish Minister of Kildalton our family is three Daughters and one son viz

Ann Born Sabbath the 6 of February 1842 Died in Avinvogy May 6 1846

Mary Born Sabbath the 14th of July 1844 Baptised By the Revd Mr McDonald Kilmory April 15th

Marrion Born Avinvogey November the 23rd 1846 Baptised by Mr Steward

Donald Born May the 23rd at 1/4 past one o’clock 1849 Baptised By the Revd Mr Steward

Both Marrion and Donald left here on Tuesday the 21st April 1874 for their situations

The time I was married to Mary Campbell was from March 4th, 1841 till April the 13th 1874 being 33 years 40 days. Her age was 67 years On Monday the 1st June 1874 I received a letter and post office order of 30s from my daughter Marrion Liverpool ordering 5s to be given my neighbour Barbra MacCathern for her good attention towards my wife when in her Death Bed Mrs MacCathern accepted only 2/6


On Tuesday the 1st day of February 1876 I had a letter from my daughter Mary haining me out to Glasgow for to take her home with me as she was very weak. I went away that same day but Oh my Grief when seeing her so pale and reduced that I saw it impossible to take her home. I staid with her till Monday the 14th when I left her not expecting to see her alive after parting with her on Saturday the 4th of March got a Telegram from my daughter Marion who came from Liverpool to see Mary, that Mary Died on Friday. Desiring me to meet them in Portellen on Monday with a cart to carry the remains of Mary to the place of internment in Killarow.  John Campbell  Catadale went and took the Corps to Killarow. Donald My son came with the remains of his sister & when the Burrying was finished he went to Portellen not coming to my house at all. She was Burried at 1 o’clock the afternoon of Tuesday the 7th day of March 1876. She was Born 14th of July 1844. Died the 3rd day of March 1876

Her Husband Neil Graham was coming home from New York. He is one of the Crew of the State Line Steam Ships the Indiana their family is only two boys Angus and Donald their Daughter Mary C Died here Sabbath Morning 30 minutes past day break July 1875. Burried in the same Grave where her Grandmother is Interred and now her Mother is Buried. Her age is 1 year 11 months.


April 1879 Peggie is away down to Gorstial  on for to   @ the left John Jameson today.