Saturday, 9 April 2011

Napier witnesses: Murdo Mclean

Murdo Mclean gave evidence during the Commission's visit to Meavaig, in the Parish of Uig in Lewis. He is mentioned in the Report as a fish-curer.

His entry in the 1881 census confirms his activities as a merchant and fisherman of Valtos. He is married to Maggie (8 years his junior at 47), and has a family of 6 children - John (18, scholar), Bell Ann (16, dress maker), Alexr (14, assistant teacher (English)), Maggee (12, scholar), Jane (9, scholar) and Annie (6).

In 1871, Murdo is a general merchant in Valtos, with his wife Margaret and children Alexander, Bella Ann and Margaret. Bess Macaulay is a 50-year old visitor, a pauper.

The 1861 census shows Murdo as the single person in his household, a 35-year old merchant, in Valtos.

I have been unable to trace him through the 1851 census, but a decade earlier we find Murdo as a 15-year old, living with his parents John (55) and Isabella (50) at Mangurstadh, which is confirmed through his entry in Hebridean Connections. His siblings are Katherine (25), Betsy (20), Malcolm (20), John (13) and Angus (7).

In 1901, we see Murdo (74) with his wife Margaret (65) still a general merchant at 20 Valtos. He passed away on 2 April 1911 at the age of 84, suffering from old age and paralysis of 21 days. No doctor attended his death; a cousin-in-law reported the death to the registrar at Miavaig.

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