Sunday, 3 April 2011

Napier witnesses: Angus Ferguson

Angus Ferguson was one of two witnesses from the island of Taransay, heard at Tarbert. The entry in the 1881 census for him would be the last from anyone from that island, as its population was zero from 1891 onwards.

Angus was a fisherman, aged 48, married to Rachel (born Macleod). He had four children, Mary (20), John (16, also a fisherman), Donald (14) and Ronald (12). The 1871 census specifies his residence as Paible in Taransay.

Twenty years previous, Angus is shown as a farm labourer's son, mother's name being Margaret. He lives at Nigh House with his siblings Rachel (23), Christina (12) and Ranald (14).

The earliest census, 1841, shows Angus as a 12-year old boy with his parents Niel (40) and Margret (36). Angus's siblings are listed as Etty (14), Ranald (6) and Chersty (2). 

After leaving Taransay, Angus (60) and his wife Rachel (52) can be located in 1891 in a private house in South Harris, with their children Mary (28) and Donald (23). Donald has two of his children with him, Peggy Thomson (5) shown as having been born in Edinburgh; and Rachel Brindle (2¼).

The 1901 census shows a strange discrepancy in ages, augmenting Angus's age to 78 in a space of ten years since 1891. He is now a former lobster fisherman, in the company of his wife Rachel (68) and sons Donald (33) and Ronald (29). Granddaughter Maggie Thomson (15, whom we saw as Peggy in 1891) is in the house as a wool spinner, born at St Cuthbert, Edinburghshire; Rachel Brindle (12, granddaughter) and Norman Shaw (14, visitor) are also listed.

Angus Ferguson passed away on 22 July 1905 at the age of 78, cause of death not specified; no doctor attended. He died on Taransay.
Angus's wife Rachel survived him by 13 years, passing away in South Harris in 1918 at the age of 90.

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