Family at John O'Groats, Duncansby, Freswick and Stroma
John O'Groats, today a popular tourist attraction stands the
Last House in Scotland Museum. Inside it records it was
once a Laird Family home. There are pictures of the last
family to live there. Campbell Shearer, who married William
Laird, and her daughter Elizabeth. There is an old photograph
which shows the croft and the old hotel.
family details are recorded in a chart and a table.
on the thumbnails for a full image.
Lest we Forget: The
Parish of Canisbay
ISBN 0 9529167 0 3 edited by Anne Houston and
published by the Congregational Board of Canisbay Church and
printed Highland News Group, Henderson Road, Inverness, Scotland
in 1996, has further information about the Lairds in Caithness.
It is available cost £20 with postage and packing £4 UK and £7.50
overseas, from :
Anne L Houston
John O Groats
has a story involving William Laird of Stroma:
has maps showing the grazings of John and Gilbert Laird at
Duncansby and Freswick.
Shipbuilders: John O'Groats to Clydeside
historian George Watson, who has lived in Caithness since 1960
confirmed to us on a visit in August 2000 that it was Lairds
from Stroma or Duncansby who founded Laird Shipbuilders in
Birkenhead and it is also thought, Burns Laird, the
shipping company in Glasgow for which my Grandfather, James
Laird was Company Secretary. However when we contacted
subsequently Mrs Anne McGrail , named in the Canisbay Book as a
source, and who is a descendant of the Laird Shipbuilders, she
did not know of any Caithness connection, and believed that her
branch of the family had originated in Ayrshire, and knew of no
connection with Burns Laird.
In "Lest we Forget", it
is recorded that two clever, well handed Laird brothers went
from John O'Groats to Clydeside and got a start in a sail and
rope making business. One of the brothers became a partner
in the business and helped many young men from Caithness to find
employment. This was the start of the Laird Shipbuilders
Cammell Laird. Ian Aitchison, of the
Caithness Family History Society
documented the earliest
record for the Shipbuilders to Alexander Laird, born about 1695, ropemaker, Port of Glasgow, Renfrewshire, married Elizabeth
Crawford in 1720, son Henry Laird, rope and sailcloth maker born
Kilmacolm, Renfrew, born about 1720, married Susan Stevenson,
William Laird of Glen Huntly, Renfrew.
In 2013 a new researcher has been unable to relate this to
original documents so it looks like Mrs McGrail was correct.
Our earliest traced
who died in 1840.