John Matheson was 68 when he gave evidence to Lord Napier during his session at Barvas on 6 June 1883. In the census of 1881, we see him with his wife Margret (aged 64, like John himself at the time), with their children Donald (26) and Catherine (24). Also present is his granddaughter Mary; it is not made clear whose child she was. A decade before, John and Peggy [= Margaret], with their children William (20), Flora (18), Catherine (14) and John (12) at Upper Barvas. In 1861, another two of their children turn up on the census form, namely Ann (16) and Mary (14). These are also evidence on the 1851 census. John is aged 34, Margaret 32 at that time.
Moving forward in time, John and Margaret (both aged 74) feature on the 1891 census as living at 16 Upper Barvas with their son Donald (34), daughter Mary (40) and her husband Donald (42), as well as their children Murdoch (8), John (6), Mary A (4) and Chirstina (2).
John Matheson passed away on 9 December 1898 at the age of 85, son of John and Ann, due to supposed senile decay. No doctor attended his death, which was reported by his son-in-law Donald Morrison. His wife Margaret had died in 1891, after the census had been taken in early April. She was 74.