Further details of the sons of Isabella MacDonald - Alexander Cameron and Donald Sutherland

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Further details of the sons of Isabella MacDonald, the daughter of John MacDonald and Katherine MacDonald.

Isabella MacDonald had two known sons...........

It would seem that not only Alexander but also Donald were "natural" sons as there is no record of Isabella ever marrying, no record of any husband or husbands, her later death certificate records her as "single" and her surname is consistently given as Macdonald . On wonders what brother Robert with his strict "Free Church" views made of this!!


Alexander Cameron born 27th May 1827, Golspie, Sutherland.

Alexander Cameron's birth was  recorded in the Golspie parish record thus - "Cameron : Alexander, natural son of Alexander Cameron, saddler, Golspie, and Isabella MacDonald was born 27th May 1827." For further details of this Alexander Cameron, Alexander's father - Click here

Alexander was recorded in the household of his grandfather and mother in Lower Achrimsdale (latterly known as Greenhill) for the 1841census.

1841 Census (7th June)  Clyne (45)  Book 3. Page 12.

Lower Achrimsdale, Clyne

Name Age Occupation Where Born
John MacDonald 75 Tenant Yes
Isobella MacDonald 40   Yes
Alexander Cameron 14   Yes
Donald Sutherland 7   Yes

The croft, latterly known as Greenhill, was the last croft to the south of the road north out of Brora just before it crossed the Clyne Milton Burn.  The croft consisting of a dwelling house built of stone and lime and a byre and barn of stone and clay, all thatched with straw built around 1820 built when John MacDonald first took over the "lot". I would suspect he had been moved from better inland grounds as part of the Sutherland estates improvements. There recently were some major clearances around the 1820's  In 1849 eight years after this census an estate "audit" stated that the buildings were - "at present in good condition" but that Isabella now the tenant "does not possess all the land that her father had - she has only a small bit of it". When, where and how much land had been lost and where and how much was left is unknown.

For the census of 1851 Alexander was again recorded living at Lower Achrimsdale, though now this collection of crofts was named as Greenhill. Isabella, his mother was now the head following the death of his garndfather circa 1847, hence her description as a "lotter" - the person who rents a portion or lot of land.  Alexander at least seems to have been give a trade by his father - "saddler".

1851 Census (31st March)  Clyne (45)  Book 2. Page 16.

Greenhill, Clyne.

Name Relationship Age Occupation Where Born
Isabella MacDonald Head 53 Lotter Loth, Sutherland
Alexander Cameron Son 25 Saddle/harness maker Golspie, Sutherland
Donald Sutherland Son 16 Scholar Clyne, Sutherland

On 5 October 1856 in North Brora, Alexander Cameron had "natural" son George Alexander McDonald Cameron by a Jessie McDonald, a Domestic Servant. George was recorded as the son of Alexander Cameron, a saddler, illegitimate, and Jessie McDonald.with the informants being both Alexander cameron and Jessie McDonald.

For the census of 1861 Alexander was recorded unmarried and along with his son George living with his mother and half brother, Donald, at Greenhill, Clyne. What happened to Jessie is unknown.

1861 Census (8th April)  Clyne (45)  Book 2. Page 10.

Greenhill, Clyne.

Name Relationship Age Occupation Where Born
Isabella MacDonald Head 72 Lotter Loth, Sutherland
Alexander Cameron Son 32 Saddler Golspie, Sutherland
Donald Sutherland Son 26 Scholar Clyne, Sutherland
Geo. A. M. Cameron Grandson 4   Clyne, Sutherland

In April 1876 Margaret MacDonald wrote a letter to her brother Roderick in Australia in which she states "Another of your cousin's son from Sutherland was here in an office - a clerk- a fine looking fellow. The poor fellow is of home to Sutherland having burst a blood vessel - a splendid scholar." As the only real cousins Margaret and Roderick had in Sutherland were the sons of their Aunt Isabella, Alexander Cameron and Donald Sutherland, and the only son of these two who was old enough to be " in an office - a clerk" circa 1875\6 was George Cameron, Alexander's son, it would seem likely that it is he who is being refered to.

For the census of 1881 Alexander is on his own at Greenhill in Clyne. I have not been able to find his son George in the 1881 census.

1881 Census (4th April)  Clyne (45)  Book 2? Page 14.

Greenhill, Clyne.

Name Relationship Age Occupation Where Born
Alexander Cameron Head (Unmarried) 49 Saddler (Master) Golspie, Sutherland

For the census of 1891 what seems to be Alexander was in the Inverness District Asylum. This Alexander is recorded as aged 72, a Saddler, born in Clyne, Sutherland, and although "our" Alexander would have only been aged about 63, the rest of the detail fits.

1891 Census (6th April)  Inverness (98)  Inverness District Asylum Page ??.

 Inverness District Asylum, Kinmylies, (Leachkin), Inverness

Name Relationship Age Occupation Where Born
Alexander Cameron Patient 72 Saddler Clyne, Sutherland

One month after this census on 7 May 1891 there is a record of the death of this self same individual. Again he was recorded as aged 72, a Saddler. No parents names are given but this omission plus the discrepacy in the expected age may well be explained by the cause of death which was given as "Demented 1 year at least, Paralysis 26 days", coupled with the fact that the death was recorded by the institute's superintendent.

Even more sadly what I believe to be his son George was recorded in the Sutherland Combination Poorhouse for the same census. This George Cameron was recorded as aged 34, a pauper, and born in Brora, Sutherlandshire. Intriguingly it also records him as married but ...................??

1891 Census (6th April)  Creich (46-1)  Book 1 Page ??.

Sutherland Combination Poorhouse., Bonar, Sutherland

Name Relationship Age Occupation Where Born
George Cameron Inmate - married 34 Pauper Brora, Sutherland

What would seem to be the self same individual appears in the 1901 census for the Sutherland Combination Poor House BUT in this record he was recorded as born in Wick, Caithness!

1901 Census (1st April)  Creich (46-1)  Book 7 Page ??.

Sutherland Combination Poorhouse., Bonar, Sutherland

Name Relationship Age Occupation Where Born
George Cameron Inmate 44 Pauper Wick, Caithness

However that this is "our" George is born out to a degree by the record of his later death which was recorded at Sutherland Combintion Poorhouse nearly 4 years later on 24 January 1905. In this he is recorded as "Pauper, formerly a Clerk", aged 48, the son of George Cameron, Saddler, with the cause of death as "General Paralysis - Chronic". The majority of the details - age, place of birth (from the 1891 census), previous employment and father's occupation - all match "our" George. So despite his father's forename given on the death cerificate being George where it should have been Alexander, and the place of birth as Wick,  Caithness, where it should have been Brora, Sutherland, I am still inclined to the belief that this was "our" George. The fact the cauase of death "General Paralysis " was described as described as "Chronic", might suggest that his condition may have been as a result of the burst a blood vessel" in the aforementioned letter of April 1876 from Margaret MacDonald, and it is possible that the paralysis dates back to that incident.

NOTE - Alexander Cameron - father of "our" Alexander Cameron

There is an Alexander Cameron a saddler who died in Golspie on 26 April 1870 aged 70 who would seem very likely to be our Alexander's father.

This Alexander Cameron seems to have gone on to marry Jessie MacKay circa 1847 (should be on post 1855 birth certs)

There are records of nine children to Alexander and Jessie in the I.G.I.

 For the census of 1851 Alexander was recorded with his wife and two infant children in Golspie. As Thomas Barclay born on 24 February 1851 just before this census is not recorded it would seem possible he died in infancy.

1851 Census (31st March)  Golspie (51)  Book 1. Page 13 & 14.

Main Street, Village Of Golspie

Name Relationship Age Occupation Where Born
Alexander Cameron Head 51 Master Saddler Clyne, Sutherland
Jessie Cameron Wife 24   Clyne, Sutherland
Susanna Cameron Daughter 3   Golspie, Sutherland
Jane Cameron Daughter 2   Golspie, Sutherland
Johanna Campbell Servant 17 General Servant Rogart, Sutherland

For the census of 1881 his widow, Jessie was living with her son John in Golspie.

1881 Census (4th April)  Golspie (51)  Book 1. Page 11.

Village Of Golspie

Name Relationship Age Occupation Where Born
Jessie Cameron Head (widow) 52 Householder Clyne, Sutherland
John W. Cameron Son (unmarried) 20 Flesher Golspie, Sutherland

Alexander Cameron was the son of John Cameron, a mason, and Susanna Clark.  He was born 02 Nov 1800; baptised: 08 November 1800 Dallas, Moray,

There are records of four other children to John and Susana in the I.G.I.


Donald Sutherland born 4th April 1834 Clyne parish.

Donald Sutherland's birth was recorded in the Clyne parish record thus : - "4th April 1834,  William Sutherland and Isabella MacDonald at Achrimsdale - a son Donald."

Donald was recorded in the household of his grandfather and mother in Lower Achrimsdale (latterly known as Greenhill) for the 1841census.

1841 Census (7th June)  Clyne (45)  Book 3. Page 12.

Lower Achrimsdale, Clyne

Name Age Occupation Where Born
John MacDonald 75 Tenant Yes
Isobella MacDonald 40   Yes
Alexander Cameron 14   Yes
Donald Sutherland 7   Yes

The croft, latterly known as Greenhill, was the last croft to the south of the road north out of Brora just before it crossed the Clyne Milton Burn.  The croft consisting of a dwelling house built of stone and lime and a byre and barn of stone and clay, all thatched with straw built around 1820 built when John MacDonald first took over the "lot". I would suspect he had been moved from better inland grounds as part of the Sutherland estates improvements. There recently were some major clearances around the 1820's  In 1849 eight years after this census an estate "audit" stated that the buildings were - "at present in good condition" but that Isabella now the tenant "does not possess all the land that her father had - she has only a small bit of it". When, where and how much land had been lost and where and how much was left is unknown.

For the census of 1851 Donald was again recorded living at Lower Achrimsdale, though now this collection of crofts was named as Greenhill. Isabella, his mother was now the head following the death of his garndfather circa 1847, hence her description as a "lotter" - the person who rents a portion or lot of land.  Donald was recorded as a "scholar".

1851 Census (31st March)  Clyne (45)  Book 2. Page 16.

Greenhill, Clyne.

Name Relationship Age Occupation Where Born
Isabella MacDonald Head 53 Lotter Loth, Sutherland
Alexander Cameron Son 25 Saddle/harness maker Golspie, Sutherland
Donald Sutherland Son 16 Scholar Clyne, Sutherland

For the census of 1861 Donald was recorded unmarried and as a saddler along with his mother and half brother, Alexander, at Greenhill, Clyne.

1861 Census (8th April)  Clyne (45)  Book 2. Page 10.

Greenhill, Clyne.

Name Relationship Age Occupation Where Born
Isabella MacDonald Head 72 Lotter Loth, Sutherland
Alexander Cameron Son 32 Saddler Golspie, Sutherland
Donald Sutherland Son 26 Saddler Clyne, Sutherland
Geo. A. M. Cameron Grandson 4   Clyne, Sutherland

Donald married Margaret McKay on 13th March 1863.  Margaret was the daughter of Donald MacKay and Anne Gunn who were married on 18 November 1831 in Clyne. There are two children recorded to Donald MacKay and Anne Gunn in the IGI - George born 1 April 1834 in Clyne and "our" Margaret born on 3 February 1837 also in Clyne. Donald and Margaret had seven known children:

For the census of 1871 Donald was living in the household of his father in law Donald MacKay, along with his wife Margaret and their four children. (For additional details of the MacKay croft at Dalchalm - Click here.)

1871 Census (3rd April)  Clyne (45)  Book 2. Page 15.

Dalchalm, Clyne.

Name Relationship Age Occupation Where Born
Donald Mckay Head 78 Tenant Clyne, Sutherland
Donald Sutherland Son in law 35 Saddler Clyne, Sutherland
Margaret Sutherland Daughter 32 Wife Clyne, Sutherland
Anne Sutherland Granddaughter 7 Scholar Clyne, Sutherland
John Sutherland Grandson 5 Scholar Clyne, Sutherland
Donald Sutherland Grandson 3   Clyne, Sutherland
Alexander Sutherland Grandson 1   Clyne, Sutherland

A fifth child George, was added on 30th June 1872, born in Dalchalm, Clyne, but sadly in the spring of 1874 there seems to have been an out break of Scarlet Fever and at least two of Isabella's grandchildren died John MacDonald on 4th April 1874 aged 8 1/2 and Alexander the next day on 5th April 1874 aged 4 .  Robert her brother refers to this in a letter to his son Roderick in Australia, on 1st June 1874 commiserating on the death of Roderick's 3 month old baby daughter Anna.  Robert states - "My sister had three grandsons taken away by the  scarlet fever almost in a week lately, & if you had to stand to such as several cases took place here lately, - what would you think of it & how would you take it? or bear it?."  I am not sure where the third grandson comes from, but it may well be that George was not expected to survive as he is identidied in later records as "Deaf and Dumb"?

For the census of 1881 Donald is living at Dalchalm, presumably having taken over the tenancy after the death of his father-in-law). He and Margaret have added another two boys to their family: - John Alexander born 1875/76 and William born 1878/79.  As already mentioned George, aged 8, is recorded as being deaf.  I suspect this deafness may have been the result of an attack of the same Scarlet Fever as took his two brothers.

1881 Census (4th April)  Clyne (45)  Book 2? Page 18.

Dalchalm, Clyne.

Name Relationship Age Occupation Where Born
Donald Sutherland Head 46 Saddler (Master) Clyne, Sutherland
Margaret Sutherland Wife 40   Clyne, Sutherland
Ann Sutherland Daughter 17 General servant - domestic Clyne, Sutherland
Donald Sutherland Son 13 Scholar Clyne, Sutherland
George Sutherland Son 8 Handicap - Deaf & Dumb Clyne, Sutherland
John A. Sutherland Son 5   Clyne, Sutherland
William Sutherland Son 2   Clyne, Sutherland

Donald Sutherland died aged 56 on 2 March 1888 at Dalchalm. The death certificate records him as a Saddler, married to Margaret McKay, the son of William Sutherland, a teacher, and Isabella McDonald, both marked as deceased. The informant was Donald Sutherland, his son, who was present..

For the census of 1891 his widow Margaret was crofting as Dalchalm. In her household were her daughter Anne, and sons John and William. Also recorded is a granddaughter Georgina Sutherland, the natural daughter of daughter Anne. Georgina's birth was registered by Anne at Dalchalm on 17 February 1891, but no father's name was registered.

1891 Census (6th April)  Clyne (45)  Book 2 Page 19.

Dalchalm, Clyne.

Name Relationship Age Occupation Where Born
Margaret Sutherland Head - Widow 52 Crofter Clyne, Sutherland (G & E)
Ann Sutherland Daughter 27 General servant - domestic Clyne, Sutherland (G & E)
John Sutherland Son 15 Scholar Clyne, Sutherland (G & E)
William Sutherland Son 12 Scholar Clyne, Sutherland (G & E)
Georgina Sutherland Granddaughter 1 month   Clyne, Sutherland (G & E)

For the census of 1901 Margaret was still crofting as Dalchalm. John her son is still with her helping on the croft, and her granddaughter Georgina, now aged 10, is also still with her, Georgina's mother Anne having died the year after the previous census on 3 Mar 1892 in Dalchalm, Brora, Clyne

1901 Census (1st April)  Clyne (45)  Book 2 Page 16.

Dalchalm, Clyne.

Name Relationship Age Occupation Where Born
Margaret Sutherland Head - Widow 52 Crofter Clyne, Sutherland (G & E)
John Sutherland Son 25 Crofter's assistant Clyne, Sutherland (G & E)
Georgina Sutherland Granddaughter 10 Scholar Clyne, Sutherland (G & E)

Margaret died 21 December 1909, at Dalchalm, the death registered by her son John. For the census of 1911 John was working the croft assisted by his neice Georgina, daughter of his sister Anne.

1911 Census (2 April) Clyne - 45 Book 2 Page 13

Dalchalm, Clyne.(3 rooms with one or more windows)

Name

Relationship

Age      

Duration of

Marriage

No of

Children Born

No of Children

Surviving

Occupation

Where Born

John Sutherland Head 35       Crofter Clyne, Sutherland (G & E)
Georgina Sutherland Neice 20       Working on Croft Clyne, Sutherland (G & E)

It would seem that John continued on at the family croft until his death in 1955. The informant on the certificate was his niece Georgina.

NOTE - Notes on the McKay croft at Dalchalm

Extract from a hand-written book from 1849 containing all the folks who lived in Clyne in November 1849 from the Factor’s Office, Sutherland Estates, in Golspie

TOWNSHIP OF DALCHALM - December 1849 

101           DONALD MACKAY – succeeded his father ALEXANDER MACKAY 3 years ago – his father was the first tenant in the lot and built the houses at his own cost about 27 years ago – of stone and clay and thatched with straw – they have got no repairs since and are now in bad condition – his land is in two separate lots.

For the 1841 census eight years prior to the Sutherland Estates document, Alexander, Donald's father was stilll alive and the tenant. As only Margaret of Donald and Anne's two known children is recorded it may be that George recoded as born 1 April 1834 died in infancy. It would also seem that Alexander the father had died circa 1846.

1841 Census (7th June)  Clyne (45)  Book 3. Page 8.

Lower Achrimsdale, Clyne

Name Age Occupation Where Born
Alexander MacKay 80 Tenant Yes
Donald MacKay 40 Agricultural Labourer Yes
Anne MacKay 30   Yes
Margaret MacKay 3   Yes