Building A is the McCallum family house with its connected byre

Brief Description

images of ACHDN.A
this is an image from an ebay sale of an old postcard. I think the lady sitting posing is Sona Campbell?
I wonder who the portraits are ?
Byre House
Eddie's House

Byre House, 20.7m by 6.3m over walls 0.7m. Aligned east-west. 3 external entrances, 5 compartments. Walls local stone rubble bound with lime mortar and whitewashed. 4 windows (wall), 2 windows (roof), 4 crucks. Corrugated iron roof. Two chimneys.

from the info on the door 2007
MacCallum's House
This house originally had a thatched roof, which was replaced with corrugated iron around the turn of the 20th century.
The remains of the cruck-frame, that supported the thatched roof are still visible in the walls of the house.
The house gets its name from its last tenants, the MacCallum family. Three generations of MacCallum's farmed Auchindrain from 1827 to 1962. As well as being farmers the family also held the post of District Registrar.
MacCallum's house is an excellent example of the traditional longhouse or byre-dwelling, with its basic division of byre for the cattle, kitchen, dairy and parlour. The sink and the coal burning range in the kitchen are later additions to the house being installed sometimes between 1876-1900.
It is the only house in Auchindrain ever to have had piped water and a sink

info on byre 2007
The byre in MacCallums house is unusual in having two doors. The extra door in the end wall, would have been used for mucking out the cows and taking the dung to the manure heap. There are remains of a barrel, sunk outside the house in which the cows urine used to be collected, later to be used to act as a mordant or fixing agent in dyeing wool.
The cows were tethered in the byre using a moving post system where one of the posts, hinged at the bottom, was moved aside to let the cow's head in, then moved to the closed position and secured with a peg. This allowed the cows to move up and down but not side to side. Tethering the cows in this way meant that they did not get infections from being tethered around their neck with a rope. The moving post system is through to be unique to Auchindrain. however it can only be used to tether cattle that have horns such as Highland cattle
The separate pen in the corner of the byre is where the calves were kept. They had to be kept apart from their mothers otherwise they would have consumed all of their milk leaving none for the farmer. The calves were kept close to their mothers, for ease of feeding and reassurance for the mother, and her offspring and to act as a stimulus for the mother to let down her milk at milking time.

Building A, MacCallum's House is a tenant farmers’ longhouse or byre dwelling, which provided shelter for the farmer, his family and his cattle. The typical byre-dwelling of the pre-Improvement era as seen at Auchindrain comprises a “room”, dairy/closet,

In the maps and photos it is clear that the track from the road comes off at the north of the house, and passes through the township.

On the 1789 Langland map there is clearly a building on the same site as the house but not the barn.

In 1828 Edward McCallum married Christian McCallum at Kilmorich kirk, Cairndow.
By the time their first child Euphemia was born they were living in Auchindrain.
From the evidence of the following census the family and successive generations remained in the same house, Building A, throughout the 1800's into the early 1900's.

Was this the time that the building was done up, and when the barn was built?
It is slightly apart from the other two main clusters - the top set being Munro's and the bottom led by Sinclairs, by then.
Was the positioning for the new family carefully selected?
Does this reflect an equality of standing in the area of the McCallums and the Munro's in that they are both in the top area, with dedicated house/byres plus barns, but the distance showing that the McCallums are the incomers to an established heirarchy?

How did they get an invitation to the tenancy?
Was this organised by the community, or did a new tenant apply to the Duke?

People of Building A
Edward McCallum 1806-1890
wife 1 Christian McCallum 1809-1842

  • Euphemia McCallum 1829-1906 marries [[[Alexander Munro 1820-
  • [[[Jannet McCallum 1831-
  • [[[Archibald McCallum 1835-
  • Duncan McCallum 1839-1909 marries Susan Cumming in Blythswood, and they run a variety of drapers, tailors and general stores in Inveraray
  • [[[James McCallum 1833-bef1841
  • [[[James McCallum 1842

wife 2 Isabella McLarty 1810-1886

It is a little curious that there is not a child called Edward in the first family.. have searched in vain so far.

In 1841 it is occupied by two households

  • Edward (Iver) with wife Christian and 4 young family, all who were born in Achindrain
  • Euphemia, his mother, living with a female servant and an agricultural labourer from outside Argyll

Need to work out how they shared the living space.
Looking at PICT0399.JPG images of byre is it possible that the separate family were sleeping in the upper story of the byre?

In 1842 Christy dies, shortly after her last child.
In 1845 Edward marries

In 1851 the first house in Auchindrain to be enumerated is that of a labourer, Livingstone, and it is suggested that this is building G as it is possible that the enumerator chose it to be literally at the top end of the township, hence the first to be recorded.

With all the other households remaining in a recognisable pattern for this and subsequent census, it is a reasonable assumption that the McCallums are still in Building A - this fits with all local and descendant knowledge.
There is just one household, Edward's mother has probably also died.
Edward's occupation is now described as Farmer.
Of the 8 children born here, there are just 4 living at home.
We need to identify where the others have gone.
There is also a Christy Sinclair working with the family as a house servant.
She is born in Kilbrandon, Argyll, and has no immediately obvious connection to the Sinclairs in the township. YET !

As the new Statutory records were put in place throughout the nation in 1855 there was a need for registrars for each parish.
From the records seen so far, it seems likely that Edward McCallum is appointed the registrar for the quoad sacra parish of Cumlodden, which had been in existance for some time before. from limited certificates viewed to date, Inveraray has a different person.
Need to identify on a map exactly how wide an area was covered by Edward.
It would be interesting to find out any more information as to how these people were chosen but the appointment suggests a level of education and responsibility.
The location is certainly sensible, it is on a commonly trodden route, at a guess, roughly in the middle of the population of the parish, and the house is beside the road.
It is interesting that each successive generation of Edwards take over from the one before, we have to find out when this stops in 1900's.

In 1861 we learn that the house has 2 rooms with one or more window.
Just the 3 younger children are at home and are all in education (14 and under).
There is no mention of Edward's role of Registrar, but there is now a description of his land holding : 18 acres

In 1871 there is just one child left in education, who is a nephew - Alexander Graham
(records show that this could be Isabella's sisters child -
Mary McLarty and Alexander Graham marry on 15th March 1845, and have a child Alexander in 1854 in Craignish.
This makes the boy some 5 years older than reported on the census by his aunt, not unusual in itself but a bit strange that he is still in education).
24 year old Edward junior, and 18 year old Mary are both living at home still, with both parents, without declared occupations, suggesting that they were not getting any wages from anyone.
It is a bit unusual for children of this age in communities like this not to be described as Ag Labs, Servant, or something to indicate their role in the household.
We have to see how the enumerator describes other communities.
There are now 3 rooms with windows suggesting an enhancement to the building, is that to that which we now see?

In 1881 the household of the now elderly Edward who is 76 years old, his wife and 34 year old Edward junior, is joined by his son in law Malcolm Munro, who had married Mary in 1876, and their growing family.
This household is somewhat bulging at the seems with adults
Edward : 76
Mary : 71
Edward : 34
Malcolm : 34
Mary : 28
Bella : 2
Donald : 7 weeks
and 15 year old domestic servant, Isabella McArthur from Auchnatibert.
It will be interesting to work out where they each slept !

There has clearly been a rearrangement of the land as now Edward has 20 acres.
Once again Edward junior has no occupation ascribed, is this a legacy of being a joint tenancy?
That, that while other occupations are identified - mason, weaver, powder-maker, coachman, only those who have actually signed the tenancy will call themselves FARMER ?

Malcolm is a mason, which would bring in useful extra money, as well as skill around the township.
His brother, Duncan, in the next house down, is also a mason

In 1883 young Mary dies,
in 1886 Isabella dies,
and in 1890 Edward passes on too.

in 1898 Edward writes a letter to the estate "to call attention to the present condition of the dwelling house occupied by me and my family. It is greatly and urgently in need of repair so much that it will be positively dangerous to allow it to remain longer in its present state - need to see the scan again to see the full reference
actually it seems likely that he was the only one living there by then !

In 1891 only Edward McCallum (aged 42) is still living in the house from the original family, with a general servant, Mary McCallum age 21 from Kilmartin.
Malcolm has moved into the next house down, building D, to live with his brother and mother, with his young family.

Edward and Mary are married with a growing young family in 1901
They marry in 1891 and have 4 children by 1901
Mary Ann died aged 14yrs of whooping cough on 12.8.1904
Edward - who becomes the last inhabitant
Neil - who moved to Gallanach, Lochawe

1900- 1901 tenancy = £20 and he owns ACHDN AA sub let to Neil McGougan, labourer and cottar

** notes from gravestones in Old Kilmalieu) Mary Ann McCallum /Also refers to Mary McCallum died aged 50yrs 20.1.1920 (ref A71)**

The 1911 census - to be filled in.

in 1917 tenancy Edward and his son John were identified as tenants for the sum of 22 pounds 6 shillings and 8 pence
— is Edward junior away in the war?
It seems that this is the time when John joins in as a named tenant.
It is noted that Edward did improvements in May 1899 to the tin roof, and was due compensation !
only 18 years late…..

Edward continues to live at Auchindrain until his death in 1930

His sons John and Edward become the sole remaining tenants.
Where were each living in the next decades?

John (Jock) was poisoned with Hemlock (what age) and was cured by gypsies / travelling folk who were passing through at the time.
These used to be around at harvest time.
From that day there was always a bed left ready in ACHDN ?? for them, and a ready welcome.
As a result Jocks health was never great, and there is a story that Edward volunteered for the army to save his brother going (need to check the veracity of this being possible)
It is likely that is was Jock who scored his initials in the beam of the byre beside the house - LOCATE IMAGE .

Eddie married Peggy Cuthbertson in 1944

Son Edward was born, remains in the area.

John McCallum died in 1950, of myocarditis and carcinoma of the rectum.
Death registered by brother Neil McCallum.
His death is not signed by a McCallum, so does the last Eddie not take over from his father?
When does the District Registrar post leave Auchindrain?

Alistair McKellar - oral history
1930=1950 : At the end of harvest days, he recalls them going down to Building A for tea in the kitchen - home made scones with butter, cheese and jam. Jam was damson, from damson trees then located by the road north of Building A.
He is very certain that the sink and tap in A arrived sometime in the late 1930s or 1940s, and was NOT there when he first started visiting the house.
They had around 12 cows, "Ayrshire cross", says AMcK, which were largely kept to provide milk, some of which Peggy made into butter.
They also had a bull, which was kept in the pen in the Building A byre. The building A byre only contains standings for five or six cattle, and AMcK cannot remember where else cattle were kept in the winter - cannot confirm or deny this was the apparent standings in the west end of building B.

Eddie died in 1979 : 1979 MACCALLUM EDWARD M 84 INVERARAY /ARGYLL AND BUTE 528/00 0003

when did they move out of the house, and into the Colt house
/did Edward move in around 1954 refA57 photocopy of original letter from county assessor re rent increase on house and farm Auchindrain tenant Edward McCallum to Chamberlain Argyll Estates and reply from Chamberlain confirming increase due to erection of Colt Bungalow.??//