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Lower Station Stronsay
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Lower Station Stronsay

Part of the Lower Station. All the houses here were built for families who moved from Fair Isle to Stronsay over a hundred years ago . They were mostly Williamsons, Stouts, Eunsons and Leslies but there were a few others
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Picture added on 05 September 2008
I think my Gandparents lived in the Lower Station, my grandfather was George(Dod) Taylor and my grandmother was a Williamson from Fair Isle.
Anyone know which house they lived in?
Added by Stewart Taylor on 05 September 2008
Lol... I'm descended from stronsay folk with one of those surnames, and it was joked about in our family that they didn't so much move there, as were thrown out of the fair isle for stealing sheep!

at least, I hope it was a joke... :^o
Added by Alison on 05 September 2008
Thought it might be of interest:
"As the Stewart family were also substantial land proprietors in Westray and Stronsay, they were therefore in a position to provide a safety valve for the exploding population in Fair Isle. It was a time {1831} when the fishing industry was beginning to expand in Orkney and who better to bring that fishing expertise to Orkney than the Fair Isle men. So began a policy of encouragement or obligatory resettlement of Fair Isle families in Stronsay and Westray.


"Emigration from Fair Isle to Orkney Preface to the Article by George Stout".


Added by Wolfgang on 07 September 2008
Stronsay must have a more complex history than you would think. I have an extract from the log of one of the Amelia line ships showing that in 1916 it was contracted to carry wood from Stronsay to Leith. Any body know why?
Added by John Schollay on 08 September 2008
I had to smile at Alison's "sheep stealing" story. My Dad always told us that his ancestors were thrown out of Scourie for the same offence. Maybe this was some strange sort of status symbol in those days!!
Added by Isobel Irvine on 08 September 2008
My grand mother was Bab Sabiston, from Flotta as a young girl/woman she went to the herring gutting in Stronsay she took home a set of fancy teacups and I think they were sold from the cargo of a ship that had been wrecked on Stronsay or nearby.

Does anyone know of what ship that might have been?
Added by John Budge on 08 September 2008
My grand mother was Bab Sabiston, from Flotta. As a young girl/woman she went to the herring gutting in Sronsay. She took home a set of fancy teacups and I think they were sold from the cargo of a ship that had been wrecked on Stronsay or nearby.

Does anyone know of what ship that might have been?
PS If it is any help the cups were very ornate with Father - Son- Brother- and such like, I'm sure others on Stronsay might have seen similar dishes. Don't know what year that might have been, probably early 1900s ?
Added by John Budge on 08 September 2008
Dont know if its the same family but there was a George Taylor, George and Alec and grandmother Betty Croy at No 28 which I think is the one on the left of the long strip of cottages. Nos 28, 27, and 26 are now a cattle shed
Added by Jim Cooper on 08 September 2008
Ithink the ship would have been the Edenmore. She ran aground on Papa Stronsay at a rough guess this would be around 1900 or soon sfter. She was load with all kinds of household goods and many homes on the island had plates, cutlery etc
Added by Jim Cooper on 08 September 2008
Probably the Edenmore, Jeemy Stout will ken for sure.
Added by In a Storm on 09 September 2008
On the left of the picture are two small houses where Sarah Muir and Lizo Peace lived. The three storey house was called "Davies" and was pulled down to get stone for the new Moncur Memorial Church. I was there (1954 ish) the day that Dod Burghes hauled down the gable end with Ernie Firth's lorry and a long steel rope.The house on the corner was where the Taylor's lived. The next one was No 27 where I was born. Next to us lived Bessie Reid and Johnny Williamson.Then came Eric Wylie and family (Where the abbatoir now stands) Then there was Jack Coleman and Bella Williamson, then Peter Cooper and May Stockan. Next to that was Annie & Robbie Logie, and then Willie Cooper and Cissie (Where the nun now lives) and then just out of the picture, Ebinezer Cottage. Strangely enough, my family, the Millers, were allegedly thrown out of Caithness for sheep stealing. Might account for why I love mutton !! The ship with the interesting cargo would definately have been the Edenmore. Samuel Firth, the contractor who built the Stronsay West Pier, purchased the salvage rights to the Edenmore, and sold of some of the cargo in Stronsay.
Added by Bill Miller on 23 December 2008
Jim, My father would have been George jnr and he had a brother called Sandy, but I don't know where the Betty Croy came in, maybe someone in Stronsay would ken.
Added by Stewart Taylor on 27 December 2008
Jim, Stewart Taylor's comment about Betty Croy can be explained. Stewart Williamson 1868 - 1919 married Betsy Croy. They had a daughter Mary Leslie Williamson 1889 - 1918, who married George Taylor. They in turn had three sons, George, Alexander (Sandy), and Stewart who died in infancy. If Stewart would like to get in touch with me, I can give him more details.
Added by Bill Miller on 31 December 2008
Hi Jim and Bill. I just started tracing my family tree and found out that my maternal grandmother (Robina) parents were Betsy Croy and Stewart Williamson. In the 1901 census the family lived at 24. Robina was 3 in the census. I have found this quite exciting discovering great grandparents that I never new about and also that my great grandfather came from Fair Isle.
Added by John on 21 February 2009
Why did they all move Fair Isle to Stronsay .....was it herring fishing? And who built the hooses for them or did they do it themsels?
Added by Kirkwallian on 23 February 2009
The reason for the move was that the population of Fair Isle had gone up to over four hundred and they did not have enough arable land to feed themselves. The fishing at that time was also very poor. Anything they caught had to be sold to the laird at his price and anything they needed to buy also had to be bought from the laird . The whole island was starving. As the laird was hardly getting any income from the island he decided to sell it. It was bought by Mr Stewart of Brough in Westray. He built the houses in Stronsay and moved about fifty of them to Stronsay. He also moved a similar number to crofts in Westray. He also encouraged many to go to the colonies and to the fishing ports around the north east of Scotland. Think I read somewhere that the Westray ones all prospered but the Stronsay ones didn't do so well as the fishing was only for a short season each year and any money made had to last right through till next season.
Added by Jim Cooper on 23 February 2009
Jim Cooper,
Thank you for your detailed explanation
very interesting
Added by Kirkwallian on 23 February 2009
Jim, thank you for this very helpful explanation. Sounds like my ancestors had a very tough life.
Anonymous comment added on 24 February 2009
Can anyone tell me why the row of houses was called The Station? I'm a descendent of the Millers who lived in Ebenezer Cottage, a cousin of Bill Miller - Hello, Bill! - and I suspect you probably know. I have a vague notion it was called the Station because it was a herring station, a place where herring was unloaded? But I might have made this up from half remembered fragments from childhood. Can anyone throw any light on it? Also, how long did it function as a fishing station - if it did? Was it then superceded by the herring coming into Whitehall and sent for gutting in Papa Stronsay? If so, when was this?
Added by Alison Miller on 08 October 2009
Hi Alison. As far as I know the Station or Lower Station was indeed called after the curing station down there which belonged to Walter Flett. No I don't think it was superceded by Whitehall. In the twenties, more and more stations opened up and in the end there were 18 on Stronsay and five on Papa Stronsay. I am not certain, but I believe they all closed down around 1939 when the herring fishing stopped in Stronsay.
Added by Bill Miller on 08 October 2009
I was born in the second floor in the tall house in the picture. My grandfather was Tom Anderson and my Grandmother maiden name was Williamson. I believe my mother Jessie was one of a family of eight girls
Added by IAN MACKAY on 29 August 2011
Great photo, my grandmother Margaret (Meg) Leslie was born in Ebenezer Cottage in 1896. Can anyone tell me where the name of the cottage came from or what it means.
Added by Charles Watt on 09 February 2013
Two Leslie brothers had a fishing boat called the Ebenezer. They were very successful and built the house which they named after the boat. If you call me on email I can give you loads more information on this family.
Added by Bill Miller on 14 February 2013
My grandmother was Bella Williamson and my grandfather, Jack Coleman. My mother was Norah Coleman. She used to tell of "Mul", her mother's mother, who lived with them and who spoke another language ( Norwegian? ), was crabby and wore long white plaits. Given the story about the Williamsons being displaced from Fair Isle, now I understand
Added by Wendy Feldberg on 28 February 2019
Born 1944 in Stromness to Nora Heald nee Williamson 14 North End Rd Stromness.

Added by Keith Heald on 28 February 2019
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Finstown from WidefordOpposite the Police Station, LonghopeQueen Street, StromnessLizzie Ann Thomson Smith (nee Wilson)Annie Shearer Grayson, StronsayMystery personAnnie Shearer Grayson, StronsayMystery ladiesMystery workersJohn Cooper and Mary Cameron of Tifmaka