Davaar Island :

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Davaar Island :

Postby Iain » Sun Aug 11, 2013 2:22 pm

Hi All !

Can anyone tell me if Davaar Island has/had any inhabitants other than the lighthouse ? Thanks..., Iain.
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Re: Davaar Island :

Postby MPR » Sun Aug 11, 2013 3:12 pm

in my distant memory I seem to recall either shepherds or fishermen that lived there, maybe someone else on the forum can clarify
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Re: Davaar Island :

Postby EMDEE » Sun Aug 11, 2013 4:45 pm

Goats?
Merda taurorum animas conturbit. Quidquid latine dictum sit, altum videtur
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Re: Davaar Island :

Postby Iain » Sun Aug 11, 2013 4:59 pm

EMDEE wrote:Goats?


Lol !

I'm reading a page from the book "Kintyre, The Hidden Past," where a certain A. McKellar said in 1909 that he was born there. I suppose that event could only be in the vicinity of the lighthouse ! Unless it was his father who painted the cave ! Lol !

Thanks MPR !
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Re: Davaar Island :

Postby LANDROVER ROGER » Mon Aug 12, 2013 8:16 am

Lately just Caretaker and holiday guests.www.kintyrecottages.com
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Re: Davaar Island :

Postby Shona » Mon Aug 12, 2013 8:29 am

During World War Two, the navy housed sailors on the island. They were responsible for the anti-submarine defences.
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Re: Davaar Island :

Postby LANDROVER ROGER » Mon Aug 12, 2013 8:40 am

Were there American Navy Seals based there?
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Re: Davaar Island :

Postby LANDROVER ROGER » Mon Aug 12, 2013 8:57 am

Just found an earlier post of mine.Another senior moment! :oops:
viewtopic.php?f=22&t=7620&start=0
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Re: Davaar Island :

Postby Iain » Mon Aug 12, 2013 11:44 am

Hi all..., and thanks.

I’ve just had a look using Google Earth and there’s a few houses near the lighthouse and one half way down the road to the pier. There also looks as if there’s another one on the south shore..., probably not far from the cave. Can’t quite remember where it is ! I can imagine that house probably being an old shepherd’s house.

Anyway, this is what’s interesting me ! (sorry for moving onto genealogy) but my Campbeltown family are made up of Blacks and McArthurs and I had a Great Aunt called Annie McCuaig MacArthur 1893-1969 and she married a butcher called William McKellar MacKay. 1896-1986. They both ran a butcher’s shop in Longrow where I worked for them as a lad and I even have a photo of their van marked “McArthur & McKay... Fleshers, Campbeltown.” The McArthur here is Annie’s father Robert MacFarlane McArthur. 1860-1935 (my 1xGr)

I’ve not yet had the time to research the family BELOW, I was firstly asking around to see if there was/is any habitable houses on the island other than the lighthouse.

Here’s what’s written on the page:

In 1909, A. McKellar – Kilkerran farm, Rokewood, Victoria, Australia – wrote to the head teacher of Brumbrae School. That school no longer existed, and the letter was passed on to Mr Donald Fisher, headmaster of Danintober School. It read: “I am a stranger to you... I was a little boy going to your school in the year 1852. My father’s name was John McKellar. He kept a small butcher’s shop... I am told I saw the light of day first on Island Davaar. My mother’s name was McArthur. Her father was a miller and worked the Calliburn Mill a hundred years ago... Please, sir, to enquire if any of my old neighbors mind anything of me.”
The appeal – published in the CC, 20 March 1909 – elicited a few responses, including a letter from one John Robertson, manager of the slaughterhouse in Campbeltown, who had “a distinct recollection of the family, having slept a night in their house on the Island Davaar.”
Last edited by Iain on Wed Aug 14, 2013 5:01 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Davaar Island :

Postby Shona » Mon Aug 12, 2013 12:33 pm

Just for fun, from the census, here are the people who are recorded as living on Davaar.

1861
John Grierson, head, 60, lighthouse keeper, born Athelington, Haddingtonshire
Jane Grierson, wife, 59, born Gifford, Haddingtonshire
Jane Arthur, 19, domestic servant, born Coylton, Ayrshire

James Jack, head, 26, lighthouse keeper, born Sanday, Orkney

1871
Harry Ayton Mercer, head, 37, assistant light keeper, born Kinghorn, Fife
Margaret Mercer, wife, 45, born Sandhead, Wigtonshire
Margaret McCalloch, step-daughter, 19, born Sandhead, Wigtonshire

1881
Can't find.

1891
Peter Carrie, head, 54, light keeper, born Arbroath, Forfarshire
Helen Carrie, wife, 56, born Skene Aberdeenshire
Maggie Florance, servant, 22, general servant (domestic), born Skene, Aberdennshire

George Gallie, head, 58, light keeper, born Nigg, Ross-shire
Williamina Gallie, daughter, 20, born Islay, Argyllshire
Ann McD Gallie, daughter, 14, born Gremsay, Orkney

1901
James Williamson, head, 35, light keeper, born Whalsay Skerries, Shetland
Margaret E Williamson, wife, 29, born Whalsay Skerries, Shetland
John A Williamson, son, 5, born Campbeltown
Margaret Williamson, daughter, 3, born Campbeltown
David J Williamson, son, 3 months, born Campbeltown
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Re: Davaar Island :

Postby Shona » Mon Aug 12, 2013 12:54 pm

This is from Angus Martin's book, Kintyre Country Life, published in 1987.

When, in 1856, the grazing of Davaar Island was leased on an annual basis at an annual rent of £40 to Angus MacDonald, flesher is Campbeltown, Lady Charlotte Campbell of Kildalloig, had this condition inserted: 'The tenant to have no right to wreck the seaware along the shore except for spreading on the pasture, and the proprietor, or others having proper authority, to be at liberty to gather and burn seaware for kelp.'

There is a kelp kiln still plainly visible on the grassy foreshore at the ruined cottage on Davaar Island.
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Re: Davaar Island :

Postby Iain » Mon Aug 12, 2013 2:10 pm

Lol ! I’d never thought about a census for the Island. I tried the 51 census but no luck. (51 being closer to the date when he went to school)
As for his father’s age for the research, I took the son to be about 12 and the father about 22 when he got married..., so born about 1814-1818.
I did find a John McKellar on Ancestry with a wife called Lillias Morrison..., not McArthur. And the Australian address on the letter is only a hundred or so miles from the address on the Ancestry tree. But that’s probably the region near Melbourne where I suppose everyone ended up.
Another John McKellar b1814 (with a father called Alexander) and a wife called Janet McArthur..., but no children.

Of course, if there were habitable houses in the 1850’s, there would be more than the lighthouse occupants to provide a link. Having a slaughter house boss on the Island shows that there were probably sheep grazing there, so more than one family.

Back to the drawing board ! Lol !

PS Note: The lighthouse was built in 1854..., a few years after the McKellars were there. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Davaar_Island

PPS Something which amazes me is the fact that the British Newspaper Archive has only 9 articles relative to "Island Davaar." Of course, they've still not yet uploaded the Courrier..., nonetheless !! Aparently, for the rest of Britain..., Davaar is on the moon !
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Re: Davaar Island :

Postby Shona » Mon Aug 12, 2013 6:26 pm

Hi Iain,

Do you want me to take this up with some genealogist pals? A number live in Australia, so may be able to uncover some clues Down Under.
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Re: Davaar Island :

Postby Iain » Tue Aug 13, 2013 5:11 am

That would be very kind of you Shona !

But how about waiting for a week; as this is all new, it will give me some more time to research the affair and you’d then have much more info for those down-under.
I have a 1st cousin 1x removed (grandson of the butcher William McKellar MacKay) and also a genealogist..., he could be encouraged to help out as this could be a straight line for him. Who knows ?

It’s becoming obvious and even logical that before the lighthouse, there must have been a small village community of fishermen and shepherds, (there's even mink on the Island apparently) and the lighthouse was probably built over their houses. An interesting aspect for the historians ! But they probably know all about it !
I’d even go as far as to say that there are probably archaeological discoveries to be made as the prehistoric Campbeltonian knew just as well as we do today that walking over and foraging for shellfish could be a lucrative affair.

Will get back to you in about a week with info. Thanks Shona ! :wink:
Last edited by Iain on Tue Aug 13, 2013 9:54 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Davaar Island :

Postby LANDROVER ROGER » Tue Aug 13, 2013 7:18 am

There are Mink on the island.I have watched them hunting by the shore.
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