Saturday, 5 December 2015

Swordle: An Australian Connection

One of the pleasures of writing this blog is that it occasionally attracts contact from people living in far-flung places in the world. Recently I heard from Robert Curran who lives in New South Wales, Australia, and who is researching his wife Janet's family history. Robert keeps a blog on which he has started to recount what he has discovered, and his investigations on his wife's side led back, amongst other places, to Swordle.

A recent post concerns his wife's 4th great-grandmother, Anne Henderson, born Anne McColl, who was amongst those cleared from Swordle Chorach in about 1853 and who was resettled in Portuairk.  Robert discovered the work that the Ardnamurchan Transitions Project have been doing at Swordle and, in particular, the excavations which they did at Swordle Chorach. The picture above shows the archaeologist's excavations of some of the houses there during 2011, and there's a link here to the Diary entry.

The dig unearthed some very personal family items, like this grate at one end of one of the houses, held between two slabs of red sandstone. It's special because the sandstone isn't local.

Anne's daughter, also Anne, later emigrated to New South Wales along with her eight children, and Robert's researches have, as such things do, produced some interesting questions - like whether a conspicuous 7-year gap in Anne's child-bearing between numbers 4 and 5 correlates with the 8-year enlistment of a man from Ardnamurchan, with the same name as her husband, in the Glengarry, or 1st British Fencible Regiment, which served in in Jersey, Guernsey, and Ireland.

Robert's blog can be found at

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