John Macdonald Smith, 3 Keith Street, Stornoway, fell in action on the Western Front on 12 May 1916. The news of his death was conveyed to his father, Kenneth, at Kilmeny in Islay. Rev Kenneth Smith was active in Argyll in the early years of the 20th century, and "Fasti ecclesiæ scoticanæ" led me on the path of his career in the Free Church of Scotland.
In 1906, he was appointed to the Presbytery of Sandbank, Strachur and Strathlachlan. Kenneth was demitted in 1911, to become a Free Church Minister in Greenock; afterwards he became minister of Oa (Islay). Initially, I thought I was on the wrong track, and was prepared to abandon this bit of research. But Fasti Ecclesiæ scoticanæ helped me out once more.
KENNETH SMITH, born Lochs, Lewis, 24th Aug. 1862, son of Alexander S. and Christina Montgomery. Educated at Free Church Academy, Stornoway;
Appointed lay missionary at Kenmore, May 1900, and at Dalavich in 1903;
Licensed as lay evangelist in 1905 ; admitted to Gaelic Chapel, Rothesay ;
Ordained by Free Church Presbytery of Glasgow to Free Church, Greenock, 30th Jan. 1912;
Transferred to Oa 9th May 1917;
Transferred and admitted to Kilmeny 12th March 1918.
Married on 15th December 1885 to Sophia Christina, daughter of John Macdonald, and has issue:
Margaret Adam, born 18th Jan. 1887 (married on 10th December 1920, John Thomas Lloyd, B.A., Kalimpong);
Isabella, born 25th August 1888 ;
John Macdonald, divinity student, lieut. 10th Scottish Rifles, born 20th May 1890, fell in action in France, 12th May 1916 ;
Christina Annabella, born 26th July 1893 ;
Roderick John, bank clerk, born 23rd June 1895 ;
Alastair Malcolm, cadet B.I.S.A. Company, born 27th Dec. 1901.
Armed with this information, we can now trace his progression across Scotland, using the censuses.
In 1901, we find him at Carwhin Manse, Killin, with 2nd, 3rd and 4th of his six children;
In 1891, he is a tailor at 3 Keith Street, Stornoway, where he is living with his wife and the eldest three of his children.
In 1881, we find a tenuous reference to him at 5 Imersligach, Lochs, Lewis, where he is a boarder, apprentice tailor, in a household of the Montgomery family. Imersligach is nowadays known as Shell Street, Stornoway.
In 1871, Kenneth is displayed an an 8-year old crofter's son with his parents Alexander and Cersty (a corruption of Christina), aged 47 and 40 as well as his siblings Mary (16), John (13), Catherine (11), Isabella (5) and Kenneth (1).
Kenneth Smith died on 5 April 1929, aged 66, at 75 Clepington Road, Dundee. His usual residence is quoted as the Manse, Duror, Argyll. The cause of death is given as malignancy, which had necessitated an operation to the face; and pulmonary congestion for two days. The death was reported by his son, Roderick John, who is reported as working for the National Bank. He is quoted in the listing above as a bank clerk.