Monday, 30 May 2011

Napier witnesses: Donald Smith

Donald Smith gave evidence to the Napier Commission at Stornoway on 11 June 1883. He was a 49-year old fish-curer from the town. We find him in the 1881 census as a merchant at 28 Francis Street; the 1891 census lists him as a fish-curer and JP (justice of the peace) at 44 Francis Street. He was born at Callernish and married to Annie E. They had a son, John C; the 1881 census also lists two shopmen at the premises. A late addition to the family turns up on the 1891 census, with 3-year old Flora C E. By that time, John C is a student of practical chemistry. In 1901, the family have located to Matheson Road Springfield, a slightly leafier part of Stornoway. Donald and his son John C are both fish curers, and Flora a scholar.

Going back in time, the 1871 census shows Donald at 28 Francis Street, with his wife Annie (nee Maclean), and their young sons John Campbell and Peter Mclean Smith. Peter died in 1874 at the age of 5. There are also two domestic servants and two shopmen in the house. In 1861, the picture is slightly less clear; Donald (who was born at Callanish, which is parish of Uig) is living with his brother Kenneth and his family of 5 children at 4 Cromwell Street. In the census of 1851, Donald lives with his sister Mary, who is married to a Kenneth Maclean.

Donald Smith died on 10 May 1924 at the age of 90, having suffered from acute bronchitis. He was married to Ann Elizabeth nee Maclean, and lived at Springfield, Matheson Road. His parents are named as John and Christina (nee Maclean), and his son John Campbell reported the death. Ann Smith died in 1935 at the age of 79.

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