Achdn M

working draft

This is the house that tradition has it was built by the community to house the cottar, to be supported by the community, as a means to avoid pay money into the poor relief.
So far the population research has done little to substantiate the story as the records show that the occupants were mostly living on their own means or by occupation throughout the 1800's.
As the poor relief records have not been checked we have yet to establish the position of ACHDN or the surrounding community in regard to their obligation towards the poor relief. In other parishes it was NOT tenants but the Heritors who were liable.

In the 1789 map of proposed development the building does not seem to be marked.

In 1841 it is most likely to be occupied by young Donald Munro, the 25 year old son of Malcolm Munro of somewhere else in Inverary.
He is described as a tenant - this must surely be a fairly new introduction to the community.
There is no obvious blood relationship yet found between Donald and the existing Munros, back 2 further generations so far.
He goes on to marry Mary Munro of Furnace and move into Building D with the decade as Duncan Munro Junior moves out to become a grocer in Inveraray.

With Donald is Isabella McCallum working as a domestic servant and John Campbell also working as a servant. It might be suggested that young Donald has come into the community with some assets, to be able to afford servants in a community where bigger families did not.
And this at a time when the norm in the locality was starvation, potato blight and extreme poverty.

In 1851 it would seem that the building may be in uninhabited, but not in a state to be called a dwelling. There are no obvious candidates for occupants, and the enumerator would have included it as an uninhabited house. Maybe it was full of agricultural wares, or the roof had come off it?

Around 1861 Isabella McCallum moves back into it, after the death of her mother. And continues to live there until her death in 1915.

In 1861 it s described as having one room with a window, but by 1881 it has two rooms with windows.
By 1901 it is back to having one room with a window again.

Isabella occupation of this house is a very useful marker for working out where other people must have lived as it creates a strict division between the top and the bottom of the township.

As to the suggestion that this was the "poor hoose" there is only one instance throughout her life when Isabella is described as a cottar, and that is in 1871.
It is unclear whether she is actually living there in 1871 as there is a cross in the inhabited, not in the uninhabited but it is not included in the total of inhabited buildlings on that page. However her name and full details are included. Odd.

Before 1861 she is working as a domestic servant, and afterwards she is living off her own means.
Being described as an annuitant is a significant census term meaning that she was recieving money from an annuity, and that is NOT applied to the Poor relief.
According to her death certificate her father was a Sheriff officer - this may well be unlikely.
However, since we have found out about her illegitimate son who was working by then, it may be that he is helping to support Mum.

She was born in Cairndow somewhere, when did she come to ACHDN when her father and mother came after he retired?
Auchindrain seems to have the capacity to support a number of people as domestic servants.