Not long ago in this space I talked about that tragic and neglected period in British history known as The Clearances. Over a period of more than 100 years, beginning in the middle of the 18th Century and lasting well into the latter half of the 19th, many thousands of poor Scottish Highland farmers, known as crofters, were evicted, or “cleared” from the Highlands and the islands off the western coast of Scotland by wealthy landowners. Many immigrated to Canada. Some found their way to this area. Gaelic-speaking Highland refugees were among the first non-aboriginal people to settle in Grey and Bruce counties. Continue reading
Last week’s column about the Grey-Bruce area’s Gaelic heritage appears to have struck a chord. I’ve been getting phone calls from readers who expressed a heartfelt interest in the subject because of their Scottish Highland ancestry, and a strong desire to share their family history. That included whatever they knew about that tragic episode in Scottish history known as The Scottish Clearances and the crucial but now little-known role it played in bringing their ancestors to this area. Continue reading
I was passing some time in the quiet room of a local medical facility recently when a small book on a little-used bookshelf caught my eye. It was a copy of the Bruce County Historical Society’s Centennial Book, published in1967.