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A wee bit of info to help you in your journey to discover your Scottish Ancestors and maybe even crack a brick wall or two!

Friday, 3 February 2012

Island of Wings - The Early St Kildans

I recently read a brilliant book, Island of Wings. It is the story of Neil McKenzie and his wife, Lizzie, who left mainland Scotland for St Kilda where Neil was to be one of the last ministers on the island.

The book provides a rare insight into early life on the island of St Kilda in the generations prior to their evacuation and repatriation to the mainland. It is hard to comprehend that the islanders lived for hundreds of years a life unchanged from their ancestors before them. Seabirds were the main staple. The winters were ferocious and added to further isolation. It was common for children to die within the first 8 days of their lives. The islanders lived in hovels with dirt floors, no windows and the inside entrance-way was used as the family toilet for the winter months. Yet through it all there is a wonderful sense of community, resilience of spirit and reverence for those that lived before them. The book is a truly insightful look at the social history of this remote island.

Island of Wings is available from Chapters or Amazon for about $17.

Happy searching reading!

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