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CLAN GUNN of KINLOCHLAGGAN

the Hugh and Margaret (Marion) Gunn

Family

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The following information is from "the GUNNs of Kinlochlaggan...A Scottish Diaspora" compiled and printed in 1979 by Kathleen Gunn Turpin (now Sullivan).

 

At the time Kathleen compiled our family's history and family tree information, it was determined that Hugh and Margaret were the ancestors of over 750 people, including 41 grandchildren and 91 great-grandchildren.  That was twenty years ago.  Since then there has been a whole new generation (possibly two) added to the trees.  Gary Rhyason, a cousin in Canada, is diligently working on up-dating the whole tree with the help of "Family Tree Maker".

As is mentioned elsewhere in the Homepage, if you have any information that can be added to the family tree or history, please let us know by email so that we can add it to these pages.

HUGH GUNN (1793-1851) m. MARGARET (MARION) MURRAY (?-1857)......

Hugh Gunn (1793-1851) and Margaret (Marion) Murray Gunn resided in a croft at Kinlochlaggan where their nine children were born. We know that our family lived at this croft as early as February 14, 1814, since that was the date of birth of Hugh and Margaret's oldest son, George Hugh.

The birth entries of the nine children born to the Gunns at Kinlochlaggan are listed below exactly as they appeared in the Old Parish Register, with original spelling and phrasing:


Few people continued living in this area after the Highland Clearances--when in the course of a few years (around 1810) a large portion of the residents of Creich, Dornoch and other Highland parishes were removed from their lands and replaced by Cheviot sheep.  The sheep were considered by the Duke of Sutherland and other landowners to be a better economic speculation for the highland terrain than crofters who could pay little rent for the land.

Those few who remained--as did our ancestors-- were forced to live on such miserable land allotments, or scraps of moor and bogland, that it was next to impossible for them to exist and they did so in great poverty, according to "The Highland Clearances" by John Prebble.

Both Hugh Gunn and Margaret or Marion Murray Gunn died at Kinlochlaggan; Hugh on October 14, 1851 and Margaret on January 19,1857, and are buried in Creich Cemetery.  Creich Cemetery is situated just off of Road A9 on a little peninsula of the high north shore of the Dornoch Firth--in the midst of a succession of beautiful views.

The cast iron grave marker was made by Hugh and Margaret's son, Finlay, who was a master craftsman.  It is more readable and has withstood the years of weathering better than stone markers of the same period of time.

At the head of the chiseled out inscription on the iron marker is the indentation of two doves with the Gaelic phrase "Neo chronail mar na columnain" i.e. "Harmless as the doves."  The inscription reads as follows:
 

HERE LIE THE RE
MAINS OF HUGH GU
NN WHO DEPARTED
THIS LIFE AT LOCH
LAGGAN ON THE 14
OCTR 1851 AGED 59
YEARS ALSO
HIS SPOUSE
MARGARET MURRAY
WHO DIED ON THE
29TH JAN 1857 AGED 69
YEARS -- ERECTED
BY THEIR AFFEC
TIONATE SON
FINLAY GUNN
BALCHRAGGAN
1863
MOMENTO MORI
 

Since death certificates with detailed information have been issued in Scotland since 1855, we have been able to learn something of her (Margaret's) parents.  Her father was Alexander Murray and her mother Christy (maiden name Leith) Murray.  Her parents were tenants at the croft Venall which apparently no longer appears on any map.  The death certificate indicated that Margaret Murray Gunn died of "disease of the stomach" which she had for two months.  Her son, Finlay Gunn, was the informant present at the time of death.

Determination of the parents of Hugh Gunn has been more difficult since death certificates were not regularly issued at the time of death.

His parents lived at Achormlary--about two miles downstream on the River Evelix from Kinlochlaggan.  His mother was Christian McIntosh Gunn.  His father's name was listed as Alexander on charts handed down in the Joseph Gunn family.

However, in the Old Parish Register birth entries--which is our only source of information for events prior to 1855--the husband of Christian McIntosh of Achormlary is sometimes listed as Alexander Gunn; sometimes as Philip Gunn; and sometimes as Finlay Gunn.

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