Torran, Raasay, 22 May 1883 - John Gillies (Umachan)

JOHN GILLIES, Crofter and Fisherman, Umachan (63)—examined.

7756. The Chairman.
—Have you been freely elected a delegate?

7757. Will you make a statement on the part of the people of Umachan?
—I have not much to say but what others have complained about, the land. We have but bad land, and there are many of us upon it We are two families on each lot.

7758. Sir Kenneth Mackenzie.
—How many are there?
—There are six families, and two of them upon each lot; and there are two families who have no lot at all.

7759. Then there are only three lots?

7760. What stock do you keep?
—Three cows and a stirk; but when the six are upon the lots, they have not got that.

7761. What has each one got now?
—One cow and a young beast, and seven or eight sheep each.

7762. How many have you got yourself?
—I have seven or eight ewes with lambs.

7763. How many cows have you?
—Two cows and two stirks.

7764. But the others have not got so much as you have?

7765. We have you marked down in the return sent to us and as having five cows?
—I have not five cows. I have two cows and two stirks.

7766. And no more?
—Two cows and two stirks.

7767. Have you a right to keep any more if you had them?

7768. Would you have to pay for extra grass if you had another cow?

7769. How many barrels of oats and of potatoes are you sowing?
—A little more than four barrels of oats and between five and six barrels of potatoes.

7770. And what is your return from this sowing?
—I cannot very well know that.

7771. Do you ever take any corn to the mill?
—Some years. In good years I might be able to make a boll or two of meal.

7772. Do you know how many barrels of potatoes you have in a good year?
—I believe I have near twenty barrels of potatoes in a good year. I had that amount in some years.

7773. What rent do you pay?
—£5. Our lot is £5, but it was £12, 6s. before, for the whole township, until Mr Mackay's time.

7774. How long have you been at Umachan?
—Nearly forty years.

7775. How many people were living there forty years ago?
—Three families.

7776. Where have these families come from that are there now?
—Some of them were evicted from other townships.

7777. Can you mention where they came from? There are eight families now?
—Two families from Hallaig. They came to the one croft.

7778. Who had that croft before?
—It was in possession of some who had it, and went to another place.

7779. Where did the others come from?
—They were in the township itself. These two families who came from Hallaig would not go to Australia, and they were placed among us.

7780. In place of another man who went to Australia?

7781. That makes four people, but there are six crofters and two cottars. Where did the others come from?
—There was another family came from Hallaig. The man came from Hallaig as a boy, and married in our township.

7782. There are still some to account for'?
—The natural increase of the township itself.

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