Saturday, 19 March 2011


I am continuing my little series about vessels in port around the Isle of Lewis at the time of the 1901 census. I was quite surprised to find 68 names in the census return for men on board vessels at Carloway. This village on the west coast of Lewis, has a pier and is a fishing port. Nowadays, there is not much going on around the pier there. 110 years ago, it was a veritable hive of activity.

Or appeared to be. The census enumerators, who wrote up the returns, made a breathtaking mess of the east coast fishermen at Carloway. The total number of names is actually 35, meaning that with one exception, they are all written up twice. I shall endeavour to disentangle the web of confusion.

On that night of March 31st / April 1st, 1901, there are four fishing vessels at Carloway. These are:

White Queen,
Johanna Petrie

The confusion starts when the men are counted more than once in any of the following locations
1. On board their vessel
2. At the quay in Carloway
3. On board their vessel in Loch Carloway

Worse than that, several of the men from the Glenalva are counted with another vessel when ashore at the quay. Some of the names are suffixed with BF 348, which could refer to the vessel's registration. This tallies with the fishing vessel Onward, which carried the BF 348 registration from 1879. However, that name does not appear on the census forms.

All this means that they are counted under different "Household schedules".

Schedule 80: Consolation
Schedule 81: Glenalva
Schedule 82: Johanna Petrie; White Queen, at Carloway Pier or in Loch Carloway
Schedule 83: White Queen; Johanna Petrie in Loch Carloway
Schedule 84: Consolation at Carloway Quay

Well, that is enough to turn anyone's head. Let's clear this up and bring each crew member to his boat.

White Queen
Peter Buchan, 28, St Combs
Joseph Buchan, 48, Buchanhaven, Master
John Buchan, 30, St Combs
Robert Buchan, 23, St Combs
William Cormack, 39, Banff - also quoted with Glenalva
Alexander Glass, 25, Aberdeen, ship's engineer
William Mason, 40, Kincardineshire, fireman
Peter Reed, 45, Burnhaven, Mate
Andrew Strachan, 37, Inverlochy, Cook
William Strachan, 25, Inverlochy

George Bruce, 49, Portnockie
William George (or Wiliam J. ) Bruce, 22, Banff
William Innes (or William James), 36, Portnockie
John Mair Johns, 36, Portnockie
James Mair, 34, 6 Fountain Street, Banff - also quoted with Glenalva and BF 348
Alexander Mair, 21, Portnockie - also quoted with BF 348
James Wood Reid, 31, Peterhead, Master
Francis Slater, 48, Portknockie, Mate
George Slater, 19, Portknockie
Francis Slater, 16, Portknockie, Cook
Alexander Watt, 40, Fraserburgh, also quoted with Glenalva
John Watt, 19, Banff - also quoted with BF 348
Alexander Wood, 39, Portessie
William Wood, 39, Portknockie - also quoted with Glenalva and BF 348John Wood, 20, Banff, - also quoted with Glenalva and BF 348

Johanna Petrie
John Buchan, 44, St Combs, Master
Charles Buchan, 38, St Combs, Mate
Andrew Buchan, 24, St Combs
William Davidson, 37, Aberdeen, engineer
Andrew Duthie, 37, Inverlochy
Gilbert Duthie, 27, Inverlochy
Charles Fait (or Fax), 27, Inverlochy
Alexr Milne, 35, Peterhead

Alexander Mair, 27, Portknockie
Alexander Watt, 40, Banff also quoted with Consolation
William Wood, 39, Portknockie, Master also quoted with Consolation and BF 348
John Wood, 22, Banff also quoted with BF 348

No comments:

Post a Comment