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Thread: Caithness Monumental Inscriptions pre 1855

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  1. #1
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    Default Caithness Monumental Inscriptions pre 1855

    I have just got 4 volumes of listings for (I think) all cemetaries in Caithness so if anyone needs to check out where and when their ancestors are buried let me know and I'll try to help.

  2. #2

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    Do these volumes show who is buried in which plot in the cemeteries?

  3. #3
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    Sassy, There is a plot map for each listing - I had already checked out the one for Trostan Cemetary and is seeems to be accurate.

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    Hi Davie, we are wondering if there is a plot map for Ballachly. Sassy and I were there last July, and it was so overgrown, we couldnt find the family graves we were looking for.

    Also wondering if there is a tiny cemetery listed, just across the River Thurso from Dale House. It doesnt seem to be on any map, but local folk remember it. Thanks for any help. Regards, Helen

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    I would be interested to see the layout of Ballacly. We have relatives buried there, and could not find the graves in the overgrowth. Also, we were looking for a little cemetery near Dale House, and wonder if you know where it is?

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    OMG we are on the same page once again sis o'mine!

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    Sassers, are you following me LOL
    Well, at least we are on the same path here.
    Here's to Ballachly in 2004, with more info and a machete.
    And a shovel to find gravestones under the moss at the wee cemetery at Dale. -Helen

  8. #8
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    Helen & Sassy - There is no map given for Ballachly - "Inscriptions noted were right & left of the entrance in a rough line to back wall : not possible to examine undergrowth to extreme right & left walls". The names index shows Bain,Campbell,Doull,Dunbar,Forbes,Gray,MacGregor,M acKay,Morrison,Ramage,Renwick,Sutherland,Taylor.Th ey only listed 13 stones and note that more may be buried in the undergrowth (this was in 1980 so you will need to bring the Marines to do the digging 24 years later). If any of the indexed names is who you are looking for let me know - I can give you the inscription.


    There are two cemetaries under Westerdale as follows ( not that they help much) :-

    St Trostan's : Field beside the Thurso River & opposite Dale House - unenclosed overgrown mound close to field gate - no inscribed stones found.

    Dale House Estate : in far corner of field on right of drive is a small square walled enclosure - no inscribed stones found.

    If the correct name isnt under Ballachly let me know who it is you are looking for and approx dates and I can look through all the bits & pieces of info that I have collected.

  9. #9

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    Forbes and MacKay are our relatives in Ballacly, and would you be so kind as to look up the Bain names, too, as a friend of ours may also have kin there. Thank you Davie.

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    Sixth Stone on the left as you go in :-

    John Bain,Clashchiby,Forse Died 17 June1853 aged 72 years,his wife Cath Gray, died 6 January 1865 aged 74 years,son James died 1 March 1879, aged 54, daugter Jane died 10 March 1845 aged 15 years. The stone erected by son Alex,Melbourne.

    Fourth Stone on the left as you go in :

    Don MacKay,Clashcreggan died 13 April 1848 aged 81, his wife Isabella Forbes, died January 1827 aged 50 years.Children Cath,George,Patrick ,died 'youth' and Lizzie died 7 May 1884.
    There is a note in the list referring the above Donald MacKay to the book" Ministers & Men in the Far North " which starts on Page 117 and runs to page 122 - it starts off "Donald MacKay, Claschreggan, was one of whom it might truly be said that his "conversation was in heaven". The last lines in this book refer to his gravestone quoting the epitaph " he was an example of the believers in word,in conversation,in charity,in spirit,in faith, and in purity".
    Quickly scanning through the pages I notice he was a native of Sutherlandshire.

    If this is the correct MacKay/Forbes I can get the pages from " Ministers & Men" scanned by my m8 and sent to you.

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    Davie, thanks so much! Yes, we are direct descendants of Donald Mackay and Isabella Forbes. Their gravestone must be covered with moss, as I surely was standing next to the fourth on the left, after we pried the rusted gate open. Now that I know precisely where to look, we have a better chance of seeing it.
    We do have a copy of the pages from "Ministers and Men of the Far North", which was amazing to read. Sounds like old Donald had quite a conversation going with God to protect him from the Devil.
    Thanks again. Now let's see if Sassy types the same thing at the same time from another city. It's bad enough we show up at parties wearing the same clothes LOL

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    Glad to be of some help Helen. Any thing else I can do on the subject let me - it's a lot of fun. I'm back to Latheron 1765 with my own lot & I think that's as far as I will get. Doing research at the moment on a son of the 1765 Sutherlands who served in the Peninsular Wars with Wellington's army - an interesting 'sidetrack'.

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    I bet its St. Trostan's we are looking for. Our family had a croft on that side of the river, across from Dale House, and both gggrandparents died there. We heard from a local man who is almost 80 yrs old, that his job as a child was to clean the moss from the flat stones of the cemetery, and that there was no fence around it. Now if we can just pinpoint the mound...and bring in the Marines LOL Thanks Davie. -Helen

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    Helen - If it might help I can look thru all the indices in these books - it wont take long. Some of my own lot were at Newlands,Westerdale, but are buried elsewhere. Let me know the names if you think it's worth a try.

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    Donald Stewart died at Dale around 1845, and his wife Janet Mackay Stewart died in January of 1861, also at Dale. They had at least 13 children, most of who disappear from the census within 10 yrs, so we think they may have died young. These include Janet, Peter, Donald, Sinclair, Catherine Ross, Dorothy, Rose, Donaldina & more.

    He was an army pensioner, having served in the 72nd Regiment of Foot during the Napoleonic Wars.
    Thanks for checking the indices, one never knows how the puzzle pieces will fit together. -Helen

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    Helen - Leave it with me for a wee while. My ancestor Robert Sutherland who lived at Newlands, Westerdale was also a pensioner of the same period (42nd Foot - The Black Watch or Highland Regiment). Pensions were paid out in Thurso so its more than likely that they visited town on the same day to get the cash. It sure is a small world !.
    You maybe already know but the 72nd became the 1st Battalion Seaforth Highlanders at a later date.

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    Helen - no trace of your Donald on a quick scan of the indices. Do you know if he was born at Dale or moved there ?. Its beddie time here but I will go thru it again tomorrow and see if I have better luck

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    This is very exciting...thank you, thank you davie

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    Small world indeed! I can picture them on their way to Thurso to get their pay, with their tartan vests on.

    Donald Stewart was baptized at Lybster in 1769, (his father was also Donald Stewart of Lybster, and also an army pensioner) He had at least 5 sisters, all baptized in Lybster Parish, I dont know exactly where they lived.
    After his marriage to Janet Mackay in 1825, they lived in various places near Wick, Pulteneytown, Louisbourgh, Newtown, then finally ended up on a farm of 2 acres at Dale in 1841. So there may be a Stewart lair near Lybster.

    Take yer time dearie, they've been deed all these years, a few more wont hurt them LOL Thanks again, and Dad says thanks too. -Helen

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    Helen - No trace of your Donald Stewart (or Janet MacKay) in the indices. I did notice a line in "The Book of Lybster" which says "Donald Stewart was a pensioner in Lybster in 1767" - I assume thats his father who you already know about.
    I have printed details of Donald Jnr & his wife off the site and will keep looking - I hate to be beat !. I am going out Dale way on my next trip home to check out the place my own ancestors were at - I will try to have a look around this St Trostans place as well.

    Nil Desperandum.

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