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Clan Chisholm Project

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Surnames/tags: Chisholm scotland
Profile manager: Connie Graham private message [send private message]
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Clan Chisholm tartan.
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... ... ... is a member of Clan Chisholm.

The goal of this project is to ...

Right now this project just has one member, me. I am Connie Graham.

Here are some of the tasks that I think need to be done.

  • Documenting the Chisholm Diaspora to Canada

While Elizabeth and her daughter, Mary, did everything they could to stop the evictions of their tenants the chief William Chisholm the 24th Chisholm, began the clearances in Strathglass in 1801. “By and bye, I will tell you how the tenantry were treated by the young Chief and his advisers. But I feel bound to tell you first, that repeated efforts were made by some of those who were acting for the Chief to get hold of the land still in possession of the widow. However, the great good sense of this noble- minded Edinburgh lady, and the sincere attachment of her daughter, Mrs Gooden, to her father’s tenantry stood firm against all the advances made to deprive her of the faithful Highland tenantry entrusted to her care.

For the long space of thirty-three years she kept her tenantry intact, never turned one of them out of a farm, nor did she ever deprive any man of an acre of land. As The Chisholm, her husband, left them at the time of his death in 1793, so they were left by his beloved widow at the time of her death in 1826. This excellent lady was well known and distinguished in the Highlands by the endearing term of “A Bhantigheama-Bhan”—the English equivalent of which is “the fair lady.”(From ‘From the Transactions of the Gaelic Society of Inverness’)

Many who rented on the Chief’s land were forcibly removed to make way for the sheep farming. Many of the evicted families fled across the Atlantic and settled principally in Nova Scotia and Cape Breton Island. “They gave the names of some Strathglass farms to their freehold lands in their adopted country. In the Island there is even the county ot Inverness.” (From ‘From the Transactions of the Gaelic Society of Inverness’).[1]

The Clearances. Although the Chisholms did continue as a landed family in their heartland until the end of the 19th century, it was the beginning of the end of the clan as a social force in Scotland. Waves of emigration followed, starting with this defeat and continuing with the Highland clearances in which the clan chiefs participated. Mary (Chisholm) Gooden, a daughter of the Chisholm, campaigned against the clearances, but to no avail. In 1801, William Chisholm, the twenty-fourth chief of the clan, burned his family’s supporters out of their homes in order to clear the way for Cheviot sheep. Nearly 50 percent of the clan tenants were evicted. The emigrant ship Sarah, which sailed from Fort William to Pictou in Nova Scotia, was crammed with 700 of them in its hold (of whom some fifty died of smallpox on the voyage). The Dove and Nova, which sailed to Nova Scotia in the same year, contained more tenant emigrants.[2][3]

G2G using the project tag, or send me a private message.


  1. https://www.scotclans.com/the-fair-lady-of-strathglass-heroine-of-the-clearances/
  2. http://www.chisholmname.com/scotland.html
  3. https://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Space:The_Chisholms_and_the_Clearances


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