Sunday, 22 August 2010

Migration from the Great Glen

The son of John and Christian was Angus Kenneday, born at Pitmean on 11 January 1760.Variations in the spelling of the name were very common.

Angus married Katharine Brand on 4 July 1784, by which time he was living in Clackmannan and working as a master cabinet-maker.
This suggests that the family had moved from Kingussie sometime between 1760 and 1784, probably nearer to the earlier date. It seems that the evictions in this area did not start until 1762, after the death of Alexander MacDonell on 23 December 1761, when his estate was found to be insolvent. John Kennedy and his wife may have been forcibly evicted, or possibly just moved away to get a quieter life.
It is interesting that the Lowlands were considered to include much of the Eastern side of Scotland. Edmund Burt was an Englishman who worked as a collector of rents on the Glenmoriston and Seaforth estates, which had been forfeited after 1715. He lived in Inverness from 1730 and in 1754 wrote that the town was considered to be the capital of the Highlands, “but the natives do not call themselves Highlanders, not so much on account of their low situation, as because they speak English.”
While there were very few schools in most of the Highlands this was an area where schools were operated by the parishes, by the Scottish Society for the Propagation of Christian Knowledge, and there also were private “adventure” schools run usually by educated craftsmen and women as a sideline. Instruction was in English and about six out of ten of the population could write English. It is very likely that John and Christian spoke English, which would of course have made it logical to relocate towards the Forth. The historian Lachlan Shaw, published in 1775, wrote of the SSPCK in Moray that “Christian Knowledge is increased, heathenish customs are abandoned, the number of Papists is diminished, disaffection to the Government is lessened, and the English language is so diffused that in the remotest glens it is spoken by the young people.” This would also explain the religious views adopted within the family.
Forcible emigration to Canada started about 1802 and a great number of those displaced had retained Gaelic as their main language. Without fluency in English it would have been almost impossible to escape the Clearances by relocating South.

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