Sutherland Map (Davachs)

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Posted in General Sutherland
2 comments on “Sutherland Map (Davachs)
  1. Malcolm Bangor-Jones says:

    The four davochs of Eddrachillis were between Kylestrome and the Laxford. The district of Oldshores belonged to Durness. The Eddrachillis shown is the parish created in the 1720s rather than the ancient district of the four davochs. If you stick to parish boundaries the number of davochs in Eddrachillis should be increased and that in Durness decreased. Hope this is clear Best wishes

    • drixson says:

      Malcolm Bangor-Jones, Thank you. Given your studies in Highland history your contribution is very much welcomed.
      My problem is that the ‘ancient district’ is shrouded in much mist. In the text file I have tried to run through the varying definitions over space and time.
      We may have a coastal definition for the district but there is also the issue of how much hinterland is to be included.
      NLS MS 19308 f 4, Genealogy of the Family of Assint 1739, is the only documentary source I know which pins ‘Ederachillish’ down to 4 davachs.
      The difficulty for me is that this document gives assessments for 7 different areas of the Highlands and Islands. The first 3 of these (Lewis, Waternish in Skye, Raasay) are challenged by other evidence and may be incorrect. I agree the figure for ‘Cogiach’ but the merkland assessment is problematic. The figure for ‘Garloch’ depends on how you define it.
      The only figure which I accept unequivocally is that for Assynt where we have good early evidence supported by centuries of later evidence which is consistent.
      In sum I am reluctant to accept the 1739 document at face value. It is a summary, ‘top-down’ assessment which is late.
      I would be happier if I had other earlier ‘top-down’ assessments. Failing that we can build a picture from the bottom up if we can scrape together land-assessment data from documents such as rentals.
      One of the reasons for this blog is to see if such information can be elicited from the wider community.
      If you know of other local sources which I have missed then I should be delighted to learn of them.
      Thanks again, Denis

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