Tag Archives: historical documents

An Appeal For Help

A private archive of Tiree papers, which have sat in the cellars of Invereray Castle for 350 years, could see the light of day for the first time – if An Iodhlann can raise £5,000 to complete funding for a fascinating new research project. The Argyll family documents, censuses, letters, rent rolls, maps and reports about the island have been gathering dust for centuries in the family’s home. As part of a deal with the government, the estate has now undertaken to allow public access. The first task is to find out exactly what’s there, repair any records that are crumbling to dust, and then copy them so that islanders, historians and all those around the world with Tiree connections can begin the huge task of sifting through the treasure trove. Eminent scholars like Ronald Black and Donald William Stewart from Edinburgh University have already been attracted to one of Scotland’s hidden jewels.

Sadly, a bigger application for the whole archive has been turned down by the Heritage Lottery Fund for the time being, but the Tiree part of the project can still go ahead, thanks to an amazing £10,000 grant from the Windfall Fund added to £5,000 from An Iodhlann’s own pockets. Now we badly need £5,000 from supporters to complete the package so that we can start work at the beginning of next year. Ishbel MacKinnon, the Inveraray archivist, is leading the programme. Family history enthusiasts will be able to see estate rent rolls for the first time, the island will see a number of exhibitions about the collection, long lost Gaelic stories about Tiree have been unearthed, and Ishbel is coming to talk at A’ Bhuain – Tiree Homecoming 2016.

Dr John Holliday, chair of An Iodhlann told An Tirisdeach, “Professor Allan Macinnes has called the Inveraray collection the most significant private archive in Scotland. We are now on the verge of opening up this treasure chest and starting the long job of trying to understand our ‘Secret Island’. If you put all the estate papers on one shelf it would stretch to 100 metres – and a tenth of these papers are about Tiree. There are rental records for each croft going back two hundred years, 18th century reports on the harbours and fishing on the island and letters from ministers and factors. We have already had some large donations from Canada to help us towards our target, but if you can help in any way, please write to An Iodhlann, Scarinish, Tiree, PA77 6UH or visit our website.”

Historical School Photographs

Cornaigmore school 1915

Cornaigmore School ca 1915, Headmaster Mr Ewan on right. The school mistress may be Betty Ann MacDonald of Cornaigbeg.

We have a number of school and form photographs –135 to be exact – but we are very keen to copy more,from long ago to last year.

If you have some, please let us know. We can copy it and get it back to you in a few days, and telling us who is in them is just as important.

Ruiag school

Ruaig School 1925-6. L-R: (back row) Robert MacLeod, teacher; Neil MacDonald, Brock; ?; ? ; Archie Falls; Charlie Lamont; Archie MacFadyen, Ardeas; Lachie MacLean, Vaul;
(2nd back row) Donald MacDonald, Brock; Mary Donnelly *; Morag Lamont; Peggy Nicholson *; Kate MacGill *; Annie MacLean (now in Africa); Chrissie MacInnes, Salum; Flora MacKinnon, Dunmore; Mary MacKinnon, Seaside, Vaul; Ina Anderson *; Donald MacArthur, Milton; Donald Archie Cameron; Miss MacKinnon, teacher from Mull;
(middle row) Hughina MacDonald; Flora MacLean, Caoles;
(2nd front row) Jessie MacGill *; Elsie MacKinnon, Lodge Farm, Kirkapol *; Lizzie MacGill *; Lizzie Barr *; Ina Falls *; Annie Lamont, Ruaig; Maggie MacKinnon; Lizzie Hobbins (cousin of Lachaidh Sheumais); Effie MacArthur, Roisgeal;
(front row) Neil MacLean, Carnan; Angus Lamont; Lamont twin; Lamont twin; John Falls *; Mark Hare *; David MacLean; John MacFadyen, Ardeas; Effie Berry (Donald Berry’s mother); Lachie MacFadyen; Ruby MacDougall *; 44 Willie MacIntosh.
(* boarded out)

If you can recognise anyone in this photo check to see if we’ve got it right!