Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Not so Wordless Wednesday - Hebridean Scots in Quebec

The Six MacDermid Sisters of Marsboro, Quebec
photographed in Massachusetts in the 1920s
My grandmother's brother, Uncle Horace Warren Roberts, married Katherine Bella MacDermid on 23 June 1920 in Beverly, Massachusetts. My grandmother's family had only arrived in America from Leeds, Yorkshire in 1915, and this must have been a jolly wedding. Great Aunt Katie was well loved, and just mentioning her name to my family brings lots of comments about what a nice, wonderful person she had been. My earliest memory of her was her wonderful Scots accent, and how much I wanted to name my daughter Katie!

The MacDermid/MacDearmid family had originated in Scotland, and the first to arrive in the New World was Auntie Katie's great grandfather Donald MacDearmid. He made his new home in Marsboro, Frontenac County, Quebec, which was a very Hebridean Scots settlement. Most of the original settlers came from the Isle of Lewis. They were unprepared for the harsh life in Quebec, and within a few generations most of the Hebridean settlers had removed to New England or Montreal for a better life. But for a few generations they kept their culture, language, and music alive in Marsboro.

Generation 1. Donald MacDearmid, born about 1802 in Grimsay (Griomasaigh), North Uist, Scotland; married Marion Smith, Born aoubt 1811 in Tarbert, Isle of Harris, Scotland. Five children. He arrived in Quebec about 1865.

Generation 2. Neil MacDearmid, born about 1838 in North Uist, died 17 January 1903 in Marsboro; married Catherine MacDonald. Five children.

Generation 3. Charles Colt MacDearmid, born 19 November 1863 in Scotland, died 30 August 1939 in Marsboro; married in Marsboro on 30 May 1894 to Mary Ross, born 8 February 1873 at Geocrab, Isle of Harris, Scotland. Eleven children, including the six daughters in the photograph above, all born in Marsboro:

1. John MacDermid, born 17 March 1895; married Mary Morrison
2. Katherine Bella MacDermid, born 23 March 1896, died 30 December 1978 in Beverly, Massachusetts; married Horace Warren Roberts (my great aunt and uncle)
3. Neil MacDermid, born 30 January 1898, died 18 May 1904 in Marsboro
4. Mary MacDermid, born 10 July 1900, died January 1900 in Beverly; married Alexander D. Stewart
5. Marion MacDermid, born 4 August 1902, died 28 December 1980 in Salem, Massachusetts; married Louis V. Maglio.
6. Neil A. MacDermid, born 19 June 1904, died 11 December 1974 in Brookline, Massachusetts; married Jeanette (maiden name unknown)
7. Annabelle MacDermid, born 28 July 1906, died 7 September 1999; married Bertram A. Russell*
8. Dolena MacDermid, born 20 December 1908, married Crosby Gray Grant
9. Annie MacDermid, born 21 January 1911, died 1 January 1997 in Beverly, married Walter Akerson
10. Samuel MacDermid, born 9 June 1913, died 18 March 1999 in Beverly; married Alice M. Pitman
11. Alexander C. MacDermid, born 9 August 1915, died 13 November 1992; married Mary K. Baginski

*Auntie Katie (MacDermid) Roberts is my father's aunt. Bertram A. Russell and Annabelle MacDermid had a son, Bertram A. Russell, Jr. who married Priscilla Allen, my mother's first cousin!

For more information:

Oatmeal and the Catechism: Scottish Gaelic Settlers in Quebec, by Margaret Bennett, Birlinn Ltd, Edinborough, Scotland, 2003 (available to view in its entirety on Google Books) The website for the Hebridean Scots of the Province of Quebec (history and genealogy- including a large database of people from the years 1800-1910) The Echo Vale Cemetery in Marsboro, with a listing of the Scots settlers buried there. Many MacDermid/MacDearmid internments.

Copyright 2010, Heather Wilkinson Rojo

1 comment:

  1. I love it when people can recall the personalities of those who have gone. Those are the hardest things to recapture through archival research.

    Interesting that your Scots went from Scotland to Yorkshire to Quebec.