Island Roan News!

 Here, for your perusal, are little stories and information about what happened on Island Roan.
Hopefully some people can shed light on them a little more or add others, so we can enjoy thoroughly.


Jan 1822.
Barbara Mackay, Island Roan, an unmarried woman, was brought before the (Kirk) Session and accused of being pregnant.  She confessed and stated James Mackay of Tubeg, Skerray, also unmarried, was the father of her pregnancy.  She stated he had been 'violent' with her on July 23 of 1821 and she had become pregnant.  James didn't wish to marry her; and she had never communicated with anyone his 'violence with her'.  James Mackay, when called, confessed he had been with Barbara; but denied he had been violent.  She had come to him willingly.  The Session decided they could not prove violence had transpired, but felt both were at fault and needed to be fined accordingly. 
Further, the Clerk reported that when he had proclaimed banns of marriage before the congregation the day before between the same James Mackay and Janet Mackay, servant in Skerray; Donald Mackay, brother of Barbara Mackay, had come forward and declared the proclamations be stopped.  Donald (had) 
then came before the Session
 and declared "that the grounds of his opposition were that the said James Mackay seduced his sister and got her with child, a decent and well behaved girl very useful in the family she resided, but now by his means, lost her character and being in such a state as has disabled her from being useful for sometime.  That he therefore was resolved to prosecute him for damage."  
The Session decided the affair should be heard before a civil judge, not the Church.


Mar 1822
(Kirk)Session met Mar 4, 1822 to discuss John McKay late Strathmelness, now in Thurso, serving Church discipline for his criminal conversation with Peggy A?  late servant in Melness.  He confessed, and was ready to comply with any discipline issued by the Elders.  At the same meeting James Mackay of Tubeg, Skerray came before the Elders to say Barbara Mackay of Island nan Roan, with whom he had had a sexual relationship on the 23rd of July the previous year; had given birth to child on March 1st, 1822 and he wished to rescind his earlier confession and now refused to acknowledge himself as father of her child as the child had come 7 weeks earlier than 'consists with the time of his guilt with her.'  The Session refused to enter judgment on the matter and admonished him to accept Church discipline for his guilt per his earlier confession.

February 1910
A golden wedding is always an interesting event and congratulations are due to Mr and Mrs James Mackay, who have just celebrated their golden wedding at Island Roan, Tongue. The worthy couple were married at Tongue by the late Rev. Mr Mackay, F.C. Minister, on February 3, 1860. Their family numbered five sons and two daughters, two sons are dead. There are 13 grandchildren. Mr and Mrs Mackay are still hale and hearty, although their ages are 78 and 74 respectively. Mr Mackay has been a fisherman all his life, and notwithstanding his advanced age, he spends his evenings mending nets, while Mrs Mackay is busily engaged with her spinning-wheel.

February 1933
The inhabitants of Island Roan regret the resignation of Miss Jamesina M Mackintosh, whom they had as teacher for a period of five years. Miss Mackintosh was very well liked by the inhabitants of the Island, and particularly by her pupils in whom she took a very great interest, and brought their education to a standard of modern attainment. On the eve of departure, Miss Mackintosh was made the recipient of a wallet of treasury notes. The presentation was made by one of her pupils, Miss Jessie A Mackay, who said on behalf of the pupils, parents, and friends, "I have the pleasure of presenting you with a wallet of treasury notes as a token of the appreciation in which you have been held during your term of office". Miss Mackintosh suitably replied. Miss Christina G Mackay, another of her pupils, referred to the regret caused by her departure. Miss Mackintosh fittingly replied.

January, 1934
Thirty-two Years Adrift. While on the North beach at Roan Island, two young men, natives of the Island, William John Mackay and Donald Angus Mackay, on January 15 picked up a large bottle with a small note inside, " H Jones, Newfoundland, 3rd January, 1902". So that the bottle must have taken 32 years drifting across the Atlantic. The bottle contained no water, nor were there any scratches on it.

April, 1934
Island Roan, the loneliest outpost of the county, was completely cut off from the mainland, and with no telephone communication between the Island and Skerray the inhabitants could not get in touch with their friends across the half-mile stretch of water which divides them from the mainland. To have attempted a crossing by boat meant certain calamity as no craft could have lived in such a mountainous sea.

December 1862
Coming soon, the heroism of the Islanders that retrieved some of the bodies from the SS Onega that floundered on Coldbackie Beach.
At the moment there is a poem called the SS Onega on the Skerray Literature page. Good reading!!!