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Harray School
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Harray School

Ann Merrilees provided the photo, with these names all left to right by Mary Bichan:
Back Row: Archibald Merrilees jnr, Schoolhouse; _ Gray, _; _ Corrigall, Midhouse; James Firth, Quoykersty; Peter Johnston, Stoneyhill; Mac Isbister, Buckquoy; James Flett, Furso; Archibald Merrilees Snr, Schoolhouse; Thomas Craigie, Runas; R. Gray, Horroquoy; W. Scott, Nearhouse; J. Coghill, Garth?; David Clouston, Windywalls; _ Gray _; Jock Coghill, _.
Row 2: Jean Gray; Mary Ann Hourie, Breckquoy; _____?; Jean Sinclair, Midhouse; Maggie _, Tufta; _____?; Annie Tulloch, Nessquoy; Mary Flett, Newhill; Alice Sinclair, Midhouse; Maggie Jean Anderson, Feolquoy; Bella Scott, Nearhouse; Mary Anderson, Feolquoy; Maggie Gray, Fursebreck; Georgina Isbister, Buckquoy; Bella Flett, Newhill; Jean Flett, Hunscarth; _ Scott, Nearhouse; Lily Flett, Furso.
Row 3 (seated): Annabella Clouston, Windywalls; _ Isbister, Mogar; Jessie Ann Walls, Refuge; Wm. Isbister, Buckquoy; Jessie Gray, Rickla; _ Spence, Corston; Maggie Ann Isbister, New Breckan; J. Sinclair, Midhouse; Maggie Jean _, Queenafineth; _ Isbister, Mogar; _ Corrigall, Midhouse; I. Firth, Ness; Jean Flett, Newhill; Jim Merrilees, Schoolhouse; Rose Anderson, Siggings.
Row 4 (seated): Jemima Isbister, New Breckan; Mary Jean Walls, Refuge; Jean Isbister, Mogar; Bella Coghill, _; Rose Annie Flett, Furso; Ellen Flett, Furso; Lily Ann Garson, Pow; Georgina Isbister, Northouse; ____; Nell Spence, Corston; Jesetta Scott, Nearhouse.
Front Row: John Borwick, Linneth; John Wm. Isbister, New Breckan; James Borwick, Linneth; Dog - Rolf (born Rousay).
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Picture added on 30 June 2009
Have just found this photograph and can say he is my great grandfathers brother. His name was John Merrilees, and they (Archibald and John) were the children of Archibald Merrilees, master plumber of Stirling, & Jean McArthur
Added by Anne Hepburn Nee Merrilees on 18 July 2009
I came across this website by accident and was so excited to see the photograph of Headmaster Archibald Merrilees. His father, also named Archibald Merrilees, master plumber of Stirling,and my great-great-grandmother Mary Merrilees were brother and sister! So Anne and myself are great-great-great-grand-daughters of John Merrilees (1797-1891)who married Margaret Rue/Rue, the parents of my Mary Merrilees and Archibald Merrilees of Stirling who founded the Merrilees plumbing business which I think still existed into the 1960s. I would love to hear from Anne.... Now I'm going to explore this website and see if I can discover anything further about Archibald the Headmaster and his family, having done quite a bit of Merrilees family research. If not, then to get a sense of where he lived and where his children were born before much later moving back to the mainland, and Aberdeenshire. Then later still to Glasgow where his wife Letitia died young. I know that he and four of his five sons served in WW1 and that he lost two sons, Robert the third son and Ian, the fourth who was only eighteen years of age.
Added by Liz Allan on 22 September 2009
Liz Allan please get in touch re the family connection annehepburn@onetel.com
Added by Anne Hepburn Nee Merrilees on 27 September 2009
If .... I had not made my first visit to Orkney in 2002, the photo of my grandfather Archibald Merrilees would not have come into my possession ... I subsequently spent a year based in Kirkwall from 2006/07 .... and if ... I had not made a return visit to Orkney this year and met Brian Budge..... then I doubt if the school photograph would have found its way to the Orkney Image Library... My late father (Quintin, deceased 1986)) was the youngest of Archibald and Laetitia's seven children - 5 sons and two daughters. Greetings from Ann Merrilees.
Added by Ann Merrilees on 31 October 2009
What a wonderful photo. My great great grandfather Thomas Isbister came to Australia in 1857. He was born at Hybreck Harray in 1839. I will need to check my family history files. I am sure I will find family members in the photograph. Thank you to Cheryl Stevens for passing on the web site to me.
Added by Rhonda Isbester on 07 November 2009
My great great grandfather Thomas Isbister came to Australia in 1857. He was born at Hybreck, Harray in 1839. The surnames of several people in your photo are in my family tree. Maybe they are related to me.
Added by Rhonda Isbester on 09 November 2009
Mary Jean Walls, was my grand aunt. She was the sister of my granny, Betsy Wood Walls. Would anyone have information about her as I have very little, for example is the girl(Jessie Ann Walls) sitting behind her, her big sister? I was amazed to find a photo of her, what a fantastic website this is. Just need to find a photo of my granny(Betsy) next.
Added by Keith Adamson on 30 October 2010
Does anyone have any photos of or information about the Harray family who lived at Upperbigging during the 1800's. My great grandfather was William Flett harry. He was born at Upperbigging, and emigrated to NZ in late 1878 (arrived Dunedin,NZ on Jan 10 1879, on the ship "Oamaru"). He married Jane Spence (of Runas, Harray, who followed him out to NZ in the early 1880s) in 1884 in Auckland,NZ.
Added by Robyn Morris on 04 December 2011
William Flett HARRAY sorry !!

Added by Robyn Morris on 04 December 2011
Not sure if any of the Merrilees family are still looking at this site. I live in Stirling where the family originated and I'm currently researching all the names on my church WW1 war memorial. Robert Merrilees 3rd son of Head Teacher Archibald is on the memorial although he was not killed in action like his younger brother Ian. It is interesting to see Fletts from Furso in the photo as in 1911 Robert aged 19 was a farm servant on their farm. The rest of his family seem to have left Orkney around 1900 after Quintin was born. Thanks for posting the photograph - got it with my first hit on Google!
Added by Sandra Muir on 07 January 2014
Hello Sandra, it is always interesting when the Harray School photo promotes a response from someone. My father (deceased 1986) is Quintin.
I am interested to hear of your research church-wise and that my Uncle Robert's name has come to your attention from your church connection. Only a few years ago, a relative gave me The United Free Church Missionary Record of August 1916 where Uncle Robert's name is mentioned together with many others as currently serving in the war. His address at that time was given as 23 Wellgreen. My Great Aunt Agnes's son Archibald Merrilees Symon is also listed. He was in 3rd Dragoon Guards and survived the war. I am thinking that Aunt Agnes may have been a member of the UF Church which is listed as North Congregtional, Stirling in Union with Craigs Congregation. You have given a piece of new information by telling me that Robert was a farm servant on the Fletts from Furso farm. If you are willing to email me I would be interested to know which church you are connected to in Stirling. Best wishes, Ann Merrilees
Added by Ann Merrilees on 09 January 2014
Hello again Sandra - still remembering my Uncle Robert. If his name is on a War Memorial I am glad about that as he is buried in an unmarked grave in Morningside Cemetery in Edinburgh beside his Aunt Harriet who was the younget of the 14 Merrilees children all born in Stirling. Harriet died in Edinburgh in 1915. Her son Jim Dickson moved from Rosyth to Australia when he was 18. His midle name is ... Archibald Merrilees!! Jim traced his family tree in the late 1980s and made contact with my brother Robert who lives in Rosyth. Jim died in 2004. From Jim we received lots of family information including an autograph entry by my Grandfather to a niece about his experience in the War in March 1915 (He was a Gordon Highlander). Amazingly,that year he had met his son Ian coming out of the trenches when the regiments were changing over but sadly as you know Ian was killed on 27 Sept 1915. My brother Robert and I visited his grave in Halluin in 1991. All five sons and their father were in the 1914-18 war, including my Dad who entered the Navy at 15 and a half. In Dad's latter years, in his 80s, I used to drive him to Stirling and we parked on the Esplanade and then went down to the Cemetery to look at the Merrilees' headstones. Robert and I were there last year with Jim Dickson's son Mike from Australia, together with his cousin Betty from Canada whose Dad was the last of the three Dickson brothers. He died last year, also in his 90s, like Jim.
End of some more Merrilees info to you ... hope I have not overwhelmed you with my info ... best wishes, Ann Merrilees.

Added by Ann Merrilees on 09 January 2014
Dear Ann, after a very long time I have only now returned here to read the above with delight. Sorry I never did contact you as I missed your message which I have just now read. 2009 was the start of difficult years, and a long break from family history but if you do read this I would love to hear from you. More info from you too, thanks, I did not know your Dad QUINTIN was in WW1 as thought him too young. His older brother Robert was invalided out of WW1 and later died. I think so... Did you know about Cecil Merrilees, son of your grandfather's brother Alexander also died in WW1? ( I need to find my family History records but moved house earlier this year and still not unpacked.) Mike in Australia and I were in touch some years ago and it is very interesting to read your update on the three Dickson brothers. I am so excited returning here by chance and reading your post! But must go now...Just to add I am presently involved in having a headstone belatedly erected on my paternal grandmother's grave. She was a Fraser. Her grandfather Donald Fraser was married to Mary Merrilees. Best wishes from Liz Allan
Added by 11 on 06 March 2018
Hi Ann,
I was at the service at St Columba's Church in Stirling for the year 11/11/18 service. They used information about Robert Merrilees from WWI1. I have in my collection of things the original order of service from the dedication of the war memorial . Anne I am Agnes Stewart's daughter I have met you many years ago in Glasgow with my mum and late sister Jeannie. I your Great Aunt Agnes was my Great Grandmother. So we share Great Great Grandparents as you know. I see that Liz mentions a Cecil who is mentioned on the Merrilees memorial stone in the Stirling graveyard. I have a picture of him and it says he was just 16 when he went to war and died aged 18. would love to get in touch with you Ann. Best wishes Alison
Added by Alison Stewart on 12 November 2018
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