Wednesday, 20 April 2011

Napier witnesses: John Maciver

John Maciver gave evidence at Breasclete on 5 June 1883. Tracing him through the censuses leaves some uncertainty, as the 1881 census entry gives no address. However, going through the timeline from 1861 onwards reveals a picture that matches our witness fairly closely.

In 1861, we find John (35) with his parents, Donald (76) and Cathrine (56) in Breasclete. His siblings Norman (29) and Mary (26) are also present. Ten years later, John Mciver has assumed the tenancy in Breasclete, with his mother Catherine (63) still in the house. Although John's wife is not present, her relations are. We find a Donald Mcray, and his sister Mary, as well as John's child Charty Mcray (6).

In 1881, John (52) and his wife Mary (44) are now alone in the house, except for a cousin. Ten years later, two of their children appear on the scene, Alexander (19) and Donald (10).

I am unable to find John Maciver with any certainty in the 1891 census, but it would appear he passed away on 3 March 1892, aged 70, at Breasclete. He left behind his widow Mary, nee Macdonald; his parents' names are given as Donald and Catherine. The cause of his death is not certified, but it appears John had been suffering ill health for 15 months previous. His brother Norman reported the death to the registrar in Carloway. Mary Maciver passed away 18 years after her husband, at the age of 75.

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