Saturday, 2 April 2011

Napier witnesses: Angus Campbell

Angus Campbell, a crofter at Plocropol, can be found in the 1881 census with his wife Margaret, four years his junior. Their son Alex[ande]r (26) is a general merchant. His other children include Chirsty (24), Murdo (22, fisherman), John (19, fisherman), Angus (17), and two daughters named Cathrine (aged 10 and 7).

Ten years before, the family is picked up in the census of 1871, but their ages appear to be 3 or 4 years younger than you would have anticipated. Angus is at that time a crofter and fisherman, still in the Bays area of Harris.  I have not been able to locate Angus Campbell with any certainty in the censuses for 1851 or 1841.
EDIT: Direcleit has kindly added the census entry for 1861 in the comments section. 

Going forward, the family is still in Plocropol (no 7) in 1891, although Angus (65) is marked as being born in Lewis, Ross-shire. That is an obvious mistake; he remarked in his evidence that he was a young man around Obbe, South Harris. Of the family, we see Alexander (37) at home, but his brothers Murdo, John and Angus are no longer there. Daughters Christy (33), Catherine (23), Christina (20) and Katie (16) do remain at home. A grandson Angus Campbell (3) has appeared on the scene.

Angus Campbell does not appear to feature in the 1901 census. He passed away on 1 August 1909 at Plocropol at the age of 85, having suffered senile decay. He was the widower of Margaret Mcdonald; she predeceased him in 1901. His parents are named as Alexander Campbell and Chirsty Campbell. The death was reported by Angus's grandson, his namesake Angus Campbell.


  1. I think I've found them in Plocropol in 1861?:
    Angus, 37, Crofter,
    Margaret, 32, Crofter's Wife
    Alex, 8, Crofter's Son
    Christina, 6, Crofter's Daughter
    Murdo 4, Crofter's Son
    John, 1, Crofter's Son

    In 1851, there are an Angus Campbell, Farmer of 4 Acres and his wife, Margaret, living in Plocropol. Her age is shown as 24 but his, in what is presumably a transcription error, is shown as 78 rather than 28 as might be expected!
    He gives his birthplace as Lewis, Ross, so it is possible that his repeating this in 1891 was in fact correct?

    Come 1901, and the family were still living at 7 Plocropol, with Angus & Margaret, accompanied by their daughters Christina, Christa (Wool Spinner), Catherine (Wool Spinner) & Catherine (Sewing Mistress)and their Grandson Angus.

    Marion Campbell, who was internationally renowned for her Harris Tweed, was Angus & Margaret's grand-daughter.

    All the best,

  2. Peter,
    Many thanks for the 1861 info.
    It is quite conceivable that Angus was born at Stornoway, although he was in Obbe as a young man.