Saturday, 16 April 2011

Napier witnesses: John Matheson

John Matheson gave evidence to Lord Napier's Commission on behalf of the people of Aird Uig. We find him in the 1881 census, living with his father Malcolm (74), mother Catherine (60), and wife Isabella (36). His siblings Isabella (26) and Dorothy (37) are also present, together with niece Dorothy Mackay (15) and  Catherine Patterson (18), a servant. The 1871 census confirms his location as Aird Uig. This also shows another of John's sisters, Peggy, at that time a laundry-maid aged 20. Dorothy Mackay is present in the household as well in 1871. A decade before, we see all of John's siblings: Alex, Ann, Dorathia, Margaret (Peggy in 1871) and Isabella. John Matheson's record on Hebridean Connections shows he lived at 4 Aird Uig.

Going forward in time, John and Isabella had children by 1891: Bella (8) and Kate (6). In 1901, the family had located to Carloway, and John was a missionary at the Church of Scotland Missionary's Manse.

The death record shows, I believe, incorrect information, in that it shows John's wife as Elizabeth. He died  at 33 Callanish on 9 March 1921, aged 82. He is listed as an Established Church Missionary, and his father Malcolm was a United Free Church Missionary. John died of natural causes, and no doctor attended his death. I have been unable to trace Isabella Matheson's death record.

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