Failte gu Fuadach nan Gaidhealt na h-Alba

Failte gu Fuadach nan Gaidhealt na h-Alba.
The Highland Clearances were a devestating part of the history of Scotland. For many it changed not only their way of life but also shaped the rural future of Scotland. Many villagers suffered at the hands of their landlords and tackmen and fought a desperate struggle to find a new life. Others managed to propser in a new life that never saw them return to Scotland again. Here is a resource that supports the documentation and historical value of this important area of Scottish history. You can follow in the footsteps of these villagers and find detailed descriptions and locations of the remains of some of the villages and townships through site descriptions, photographs and suggestions for further reading and links to follow.




Wednesday, 20 July 2011

Emigration to New Lands.

A significant part of the clearances was the movement of people from their crofts and the estates of the the landowners to new sites along the coast, south to developing conurbations and even overseas to start a new life in a new land (often enforced).

One such place was Canada, which became the new home, enforced or otherwise of many crofters. In his book, 'On the Crofters Trail' Craig David, explores the lives of many, and their descendants in Canada. An excellent website to support this area of the clearances, and one that contains a lot of information on passenger lists, dates and  supporting information, can be accessed here 

This site is particularly useful to those tracing a particular family as the site does not concentrate on the clearances, indeed it is a very small part of it.

The 'Exiles' Statue, Helmsdale, Scotland
One estimate for Cape breton, Nova Scotia has 25,000 Gaelic-speaking Scots arriving as immigrants between 1775 and 1850. At the beginning of the twentieth century, there were an estimated 100,000 Gaelic speakers in Cape Breton, but because of economic migration to English-speaking areas and the lack of Gaelic education in the Nova Scotian school system, the numbers of Gaelic speakers fell dramatically. By the beginning of the 21st century, the number of
 native Gaelic speakers had fallen to well below 1,000


The Emigrants Statue 'Exiles', pictured here, commemorates the flight of Highlanders during the clearances, but is also a testament to their accomplishments in the places they settled. It is located at the foot of the Highland Mountains in Helmsdale, Scotland. An identical 10 ft-high bronze "Exiles" statue has also been set up on the banks of the Red river, the modern city of Winnipeg was founded by those who left Scotland for Canada

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