LINGUAE CELTICAE


Willkommen :: Übersicht :: Einführung :: Studien :: Geschichte :: Lernen :: Impressum :: Verbindungen :: Portal

Nachrichten-Archiv :::::: Schottisch-Gälisch :: Irisch :: Manx :: Walisisch :: Kornisch :: Bretonisch

 



 

Alba 1891:
Gàidhlig Local Profiles

 

Siorrachdan (Counties)

Gallaibh (Caithness)

Cataibh (Sutherland)

Ros is Cromba
(Ross & Cromarty)


Inbhirnis (Inverness)

Narann (Nairn)

Moireabh neo Eilginn
(Moray or Elgin)


Banbh (Banff)

Obar Dheathain
(Aberdeen)


Peairt (Perth)

Sruighlea (Stirling)

Dùn Breatainn
(Dumbarton)


Earra-Ghaidheal
(Argyll)


Bòd (Bute)

 

 

     

Alba 1891: Gàidhlig (Scottish Gaelic) Local Profiles



  

General introduction

Why 1891? The census in 1891 was the first such enumeration exercise with an unequivocal language question. After more than 100 years the original census forms are publicly available for detailed analysis. During research concerned with the "Gàidhlig (Scottish Gaelic) Local Studies" a vast number of such local statistics have been gathered about the Gàidhlig speaking population of Scotland in that year. Many of these results (because of sheer volume) could not be included in the reports. The concise ALBA 1891 fact-sheets are a welcome alternative to publish some of the "local gems". Of course it will not be possible to cover all the main Gàidhlig speaking areas let alone the whole of Scotland in such a detail. However, each look at the districts covered provides interesting insights into the geographical distribution, age, birth place, occupation, etc. of Gàidhlig speakers at the end of the 19th century. Special emphasis is laid on the communities near or directly on the "language frontier" because these are of great interest for socio-linguistic research. But the heartlands do not get unnoticed as the list below testifies.

Hopefully these fact-sheets will prove useful both for the lay-person and the Gàidhlig aficionado. In case you have a special wish which is not yet indicated on the county list below: Do not hesitate to contact us here! Maybe we can set new priorities!

 



 

In the list below language profiles of Scottish localities are given by county. Within each county the profiles are listed first from west to east and then from north to south (the share of Gàidhlig speakers of the usual resident population in 1891 is given in brackets). The fact-sheets are provided as pdf files with four pages (approximately 80 kb size).

IMPORTANT NOTICE:
So far almost all planned reports are completed. The remaining fact-sheets will become downloadable step by step - already available documents are denoted by an asterisk *.

   

Back to top

 


Gallaibh (Caithness)

No 018: *Meaghrath & Freasgail (Reay & Fresgoe) (32.4%)
No 063: * Innis Allt & Achadh Bhàrasdail (Isauld & Achvarasdal) (44.8%)
No 017: *Caladar & An t-Achadh Shuas (Calder & Westfield) (14.6%)
No 014: *Olgrainn Mòr & Achadh Liabost (Olgrinmore & Achlibster) (47.7%)
No 020: *An t-Srath Mòr & An Dail Shuas (Strathmore & Westerdale) (27.4%)

No 015: *An Spìdeal & Miabost (Spittal & Mybster) (29.1%)
No 019: *Latharan (Latheron) (68.8%)
No 011: *Achadh an Achaidh & Dùn Bràigh (Achnachy & Dunbrae) (64.2%)
No 013: *Baile a'Chladaich & Baile na Bruaich (Balcladich & Balnabruich) (35.9%)
No 010: *Am Bràigh Mòr & Cnoc Ailleadh (Braemore & Knockally) (51.2%)

No 012: *Creagan nan Reitheachan & Borbh (Ramscraigs & Borgue) (56.5%)
No 009: *Bearghdal & Port Ùr (Berriedale & Newport) (36.2%)

   



The county of Gallaibh (Caithness) is not commonly regarded as having a strong Gàidhlig tradition. But even in 1891 many communities in the western part of the county were partly or even predominantly Gàidhlig speaking. In total 4,162 inhabitants (11.1%) spoke the language in Gallaibh in 1891.

 


Cataibh (Sutherland)

No 139: *Diùirnis & Baile na Cille (Durness & Balnakeil) (90.3%)
No 033: *Inbhir Chirceig (Inverkirkaig) (95.2%)
No 062: *Loch an Inbhir & Bad an Daraich (Lochinver & Baddidarach) (71.6%)
No 053: *An Cùl-Cinn (Culkein) (96.7%)
No 021: *An Druim Beag & An Nead (Drumbeg & Nedd) (97.6%)

No 034: *Armadal (Armadale) (95.0%)
No 157: *Srath Healadail (Strath Halladale) (72.0%)
No 022: *Innis nan Lion & Gleann Carsla (Rosehall & Glen Cassley) (52.6%)
No 072: *An Clais Mòr & Sgìobal (Clashmore & Skibo) (65.6%)
No 074: *Inbhirean & Alltais (Inveran & Altass) (62.5%)

No 141: *Eurabol (Embo) (96.2%)
No 054: *Dòrnach (Dornoch) (56.4%)

   



Cataibh (Sutherland) was the most Gàidhlig speaking area of all Scottish counties in 1891. The use of the language was common even in the county town of Dòrnach (Dornoch). 15,901 inhabitants (72.6%) spoke Gàidhlig in the county at the time.

 


Ros is Cromba (Ross & Cromarty)

No 075: *Leòdhas: Dail bho Dheas & Gabhsunn (Lewis: South Dell & Galson) (98.6%)
No 071: *Leòdhas: Barabhas Uarach (Lewis: Upper Barvas) (99.7%)
No 068: *Leòdhas: Bragar bho Dheas (Lewis: South Bragar) (100%)
No 061: *Leòdhas: Calanais (Lewis: Callanish) (99.7%)
No 023: *Leòdhas: Breascleit (Lewis: Breasclete) (100%)

No 066: *Leòdhas: Am Bac (Lewis: Back) (99.6%)
No 076: *Leòdhas: Cùl ri Grèin & Steinnis (Lewis: Coulregrein & Steinish) (98.8%)
No 067: *Steòrnabhagh: Tràigh mu Dheas (Stornoway: South Beach) (80.6%)
No 078: *Leòdhas: Mol Shanndabhaig (Lewis: Lower Sandwick) (98.1%)
No 085: *Leòdhas: Seisiadar (Lewis: Sheshader) (99.6%)

No 077: *Leòdhas: Port nan Giuran (Lewis: Portnaguran) (100%)
No 090: *Leòdhas: Drimsiadair & Ranais (Lewis: Drimshader & Ranish) (92.6%)
No 069: *Aichillidh Bhuidhe & Am Poll Glas (Achiltibuie & Polglass) (98.0%)
No 145: *Bad an Sgàlaidh & Cùl na Creige (Badinscally & Culnacraig) (99.0%)
No 070: *Inbhir Àsdail (Inverasdale) (99.7%)

No 056: *Toghsgaig & Cùil Duibh (Toscaig & Culduie) (99.3%)
No 024: *Diobaig (Diabaig) (100%)
No 103: *Ailiginn Shuas & Inbhir Ailiginn (Alligin Shuas & Inveralligin) (100%)
No 035: *Gleann Toirbheartan (Glen Torridon) (87.6%)
No 104: *Leitir an Fheàrna & An Tobhtaig (Letterfearn & Totaig) (96.3%)

No 036: *Gleann Seile (Glenshiel) (97.2%)
No 049: *Srath Uachaill (Strath Oykel) (87.8%)
No 029: *Srath Chonainn & Gleann Oirrinn (Strathconon & Glen Orrin) (74.7%)
No 055: *Loch Luinncheirt & Achadh na Sìne (Loch Luichart & Achnasheen) (73.1%)
No 133: *A'Ghairbhe & An t-Allt Giuthais (Garve & Aultguish) (83.1%)

No 138: *Baile a'Chnuic (Hilton of Cadboll) (97.5%)
   



Ros is Cromba (Ross & Cromarty) belonged also to the strongholds of Gàidhlig in this period. On the island of Leòdhas (Lewis) and the entire West Coast the language was almost universally spoken. But Gàidhlig had also a strong presence in the eastern districts. 56,014 inhabitants (72.0%) spoke Gàidhlig in the county in 1891.

 


Siorrachd Inbhirnis (Inverness-shire)

No 091: *Na Hearadh: Stocanais (Harris: Stockinish) (96.1%)
No 092: *Uibhist a Tuath: Loch nam Madadh (North Uist: Lochmaddy) (93.8%)
No 065: *Uibhist a Deas: Loch Baghasdail (South Uist: Lochboisdale) (93.5%)
No 040: *Barraigh: Bàgh a'Chaisteil & An Gleann (Barra: Castlebay & Glen) (95.8%)
No 039: *Miughalaigh & Bhatarsaigh (Mingulay & Vatersay) (97.2%)

No 124: *An t-Eilean Sgitheanach: Bhaltos (Isle of Skye: Valtos) (99.7%)
No 084: *An t-Eilean Sgitheanach: Gearraidh (Isle of Skye: Geary) (98.2%)
No 098: *An t-Eilean Sgitheanach: Aoineart (Isle of Skye: Eynort) (98.1%)
No 081: *An t-Eilean Sgitheanach: Sgonnsar (Isle of Skye: Sconser) (94.2%)
No 086: *An t-Eilean Sgitheanach: Tarscabhaig (Isle of Skye: Tarskavaig) (99.6%)

No 083: *Ratharsaigh a Deas (South Raasay) (89.5%)
No 026: *Eilean Eige (Isle of Eigg) (96.8%)
No 073: *Eilean nam Muc, Rùm & Canaidh (Muck, Rum & Canna) (90.6%)
No 045: *Gleann Eilg (Glenelg) (95.7%)
No 105: *An Gleann Mòr & Loch Shubhairne (Glen More & Loch Hourn) (98.0%)

No 030: *Loch Ailleart (Loch Ailort) (97.8%)
No 008: *Gleann Uige & Rois Bheinn (Glenuig & Roishven) (95.1%)
No 007: *Gleann Mhùideirt & Siùna (Glen Moidart & Shuna) (89.4%)
No 002: *Mìogharraidh & Dail Eildhe (Mingarry & Dalilea) (97.5%)
No 016: *Gleann Fhionghain & Loch Iall (Glenfinnan & Loch Eil)* (84.3 %)
* Part of the district belonged to the county of Earra-Ghaidheal (Argyll).

No 146: *Inbhir Garadh & An Tom Donn (Invergarry & Tomdoun) (76.5%)
No 132: *An Gearasdan: Sràid a'Mheadhoin (Fort William: Middle Street) (82.7%)
No 057: *Gleann Nibheis & Achadh an Todhair (Glen Nevis & Achintore) (95.8%)
No 058: *Crothaigh & Dail Chrois (Croy & Dalcross) (48.9%)
No 094: *Sgiath Churr & Drochaid Thulnain (Skye of Curr & Dulnain Bridge) (57.7%)

No 134: Obar Itheachan (Abriachan) (93.5%)
   



Siorrachd Inbhirnis (Inverness-shire) was one of the heartlands of the language at the time. The county included a vast area of the country from the southern Hebridean islands like Barraidh (Barra) to the town of Inbhirnis (Inverness). 61,357 inhabitants (68.7%) spoke the language in Siorrachd Inbhirnis in 1891.

 


Siorrachd Narainn (Nairnshire)

No 114: *Cill Ràthaig (Kilravock) (42.1%)
No 115: Dail Gramaiche & Fèith Buidhe (Dalgramich & Faebuie) (57.1%)*
* Detached part of the county, later transferred to the county of Inbhirnis (Inverness).
No 043: *Caladar (Cawdor) (31.8%)
No 153: *A'Bhraclaich (Brackla) (18.7%)

No 116: Cùil Chàraidh & Torrach (Culcharry & Torrich) (30.8%)
No 117: Cluanais & Droighneachan (Clunas & Drynachan) (39.9%)
No 118: Gleann Feàrnais (Glen Ferness) (14.9%)
No 095: *Flìonais & Cnoc an Eòrna (Fleenas & Knockaneorn) (35.1%)
No 119: Cùil Mònaidh & Leathan Dubhthaich (Coulmony & Lethen) (19.1%)

No 120: Allt Eireann (Auldearn) (19.1%)
No 121: Seipeil Fhionnai (Foynesfield) (14.7%)
No 122: Muighnis (Moyness) (19.0%)

   



The small county of Siorrachd Narainn (Nairnshire) was traditionally said to be lying on the Gàidhlig-Doric language frontier. A respectable number of 2,540 inhabitants (25.4%) spoke Gàidhlig in the county in 1891.

 


Siorrachd Mhoireibh (Morayshire)

No 042: *Bràigh Mhoireibh & An Damhath (Braemoray & Dava) (48.4%)
No 108: *Goirtean & Creagan (Gorten & Creggan) (38.6%)
No 096: *Baranachd Chrombail (Barony of Cromdale) (31.3%)
No 110: *Àbhaidh & Baile an Dalach (Advie & Ballindalloch) (8.0%)*
* Part of the district belonged to the county of Banbh (Banff).

No 111: *An Doire Roid & Dail a'Phuir (Derraid & Delliefure) (52.1%)
No 088: *An Dail Riabhach & Tulachan (Dalriach & Tulchan) (32.7%)
No 113: Taranaich (Darnaway) (11.9%)
No 112: Ruigh Lùgais & Lagaidh (Relugas & Logie) (11.3%)

   



The upper parts of Siorrachd Mhoireibh (Morayshire) around Baile Grannda (Grantown-on-Spey) had been Gàidhlig speaking for many centuries. 2,275 inhabitants (5.2%) spoke Gàidhlig in the county in 1891.

 


Siorrachd Bhanbh (Banffshire)

No 110: *Àbhaidh & Baile an Dalach (Advie & Ballindalloch) (8.0%)*
* Part of the district belonged to the county of Moireabh (Moray).
No 050: *Srath Athfhinn (Strath Avon) (34.9%)
No 089: *Tom an t-Sabhail (Tomintoul) (24.0%)
No 100: *Gleann Athfhinn & Gleann Conghlais (Glen Avon & Glen Conglas) (22.1%)
   



Although being largely a Doric (Scots) speaking county in 1891 Siorrachd Bhanbh (Banffshire) still had a resident Gàidhlig speaking population in its southernmost corner. 642 inhabitants (1.0%) spoke Gàidhlig in the county in that year.

 


Siorrachd Obar Dheathain (Aberdeenshire)

No 001: *Bràighean Mhàrr (Braes of Mar) (59.2%)
No 003: *Bràigh Mhàrr (Braemar) (24.8%)
No 004: *Gleann Ghathain & Corr Garaidh (Glengairn & Corgarff) (10.5%)
No 005: *Craichidh & Gleann Muice (Crathie & Glenmuick) (8.0%)
   



In the westernmost parts of the county a few communities were Gàidhlig speaking still at the eve of the 19th century. Bràigh Mhàrr (Braemar) was the focal point of this still largely ignored heritage. 1,539 inhabitants (0.5%) spoke the language in the county in 1891.

 


Siorrachd Pheairt (Perthshire)

No 027: *Taigh an Droma (Tyndrum) (74.2%)
No 064: *Fartairchill (Fortingall) (83.4%)
No 087: *Allt Chailtnidh (Keltneyburn) (86.8%)
No 140: *An t-Aonach Dubh (Enochdhu) (57.7%)
No 041: *Cill Mhìcheil (Kirkmichael) (43.0%)

No 028: *Gleann Sìdh & Gleann Ìl (Glen Shee & Glen Isla)* (18.1%)
* Part of the district belonged to the county of Farthar (Forfar).
No 125: *Na Tròisichean (The Trossachs) (51.2%)
No 048: *An Gart Mòr (Gartmore)* (10.8%)
* Part of the district belonged to the county of Sruighlea (Stirling).

No 147: Am Fasadh (Foss) (80.0%)
   



The Highlands of Siorrachd Pheairt (Perthshire) were home of a large number of Gàidhlig speakers in this period. Gàidhlig was spoken widely from Na Trosaichean (Trossachs) in the west to Gleann Sìth (Glen Shee) in the east. 14,151 inhabitants (11.4%) spoke Gàidhlig in the county in 1891.

 


Siorrachd Sruighlea (Stirlingshire)

No 006: *Rubha Àird Eònain (Rowardennan) (39.1%)
No 048: *An Gart Mòr (Gartmore)* (10.8%)
* Part of the district belonged to the county of Peairt (Perth).
No 099: *Druiminnn & Baile Mo Thatha (Drymen & Balmaha) (5.9%)
   



The eastern shores of Loch Laomuinn (Loch Lomond) belonged to the otherwise Lowland county of Siorrachd Sruighlea (Stirlingshire). Here Gàidhlig survived into the 20th century. 1,842 inhabitants (1.5%) spoke Gàidhlig in the county in 1891.

 


Siorrachd Dùn Breatainn (Dunbartonshire)

No 101: *Àird Laoigh (Ardlui) (63.6%)
No 046: *An t-Àrar (Arrochar) (29.9%)
No 102: *An Tairbeart & Gleann Dùghlais (Tarbet & Glen Douglas) (31.0%)
No 109: *Fionnaird & Gleann Freòin (Finnart & Glen Fruin) (24.4%)
No 047: *Lus (Luss) (13.0%)

   



The land between Loch Laomuinn (Loch Lomond) and Loch Long was part of the county of Siorrachd Dùn Breatainn (Dunbartonshire). 3,592 inhabitants (3.8%) spoke Gàidhlig in the county in 1891.

 


Earra-Ghaidheal (Argyll)

No 093: *Tiriodh: An Caolas & Ruthaig (Tiree: Caolas & Ruaig) (99.6%)
No 123: *Colla: Airigh nan Gobhar (Coll: Arinagour) (80.2%)
No 127: *Colla: Sòrasdal & Cliad (Coll: Sorisdale & Cliad) (89.3%)
No 059: *Sanna & Port Uairce (Sanna & Portuairk) (95.2%)
No 060: *Ormsaig Bheag & Cill Chomhghain (Ormsaigbeag & Kilchoan) (98.7%)

No 031: *Ocal & Suardal (Ockle & Swordle) (93.5%)
No 037: *Ath Tharracaill (Acharacle) (92.9%)
No 038: *Aird Tobha & Ceann Tràgha (Ardtoe & Kentra) (99.2%)
No 051: *An t-Sàilean & Gleann Borghdail (Salen & Glenborrodale) (55.5%)
No 052: *Sròn an t-Sithein & Labhdal (Strontian & Laudale) (96.7%)

No 016: *Gleann Fhionghain & Loch Iall (Glenfinnan & Loch Eil)* (84.3 %)
* Part of the district belonged to the county of Inbhirnis (Inverness).
No 079: *Àird Ghobhar & Ceann Gheàrr Loch (Ardgour & Kingairloch) (74.7%)
No 126: *Muile: Bun Easain & Tìr a'Ghoill (Mull: Bunessan & Tiraghoil) (96.6%)
No 082: *Colbhasa & Orasa (Colonsay & Oronsay) (93.6%)

No 128: *Diùra: An Tairbeart (Jura: Tarbert) (94.3%)
No 129: *Ile: Gruinneart (Islay: Gruinart) (97.4%)
No 025: *Lios Mòr: Port Ramasa (Lismore: Port Ramsay) (98.0%)
No 032: *Gleann Comhann (Glencoe) (92.3%)
No 080: *Loch an Eala & Àird Chatain (Lochnell & Ardchattan) (93.6%)

No 130: *Gleann Urchaidh & Sròn Mhaolagain (Glen Orchy & Stronmilchan) (95.0%)
No 142: *Dail Abhaich (Dalavich) (93.7%)
No 131: *An t-Oban: Sràid Sheòrais (Oban: George Street) (59.5%)
   



Almost the whole area of Earra-Ghaidheal ("Land of the Gael") was of course overwhelmingly Gàidhlig-speaking in 1891. This was valid for the southern Inner Hebrides as well as most mainland parts. 42,762 inhabitants (57.0 %) spoke Gàidhlig in the county in 1891.




Back to top

 


Siorrachd Bhòid (Buteshire)

No 044: *Arainn: Loch Raonasa (Arran: Lochranza) (78.5%)
No 107: *Arainn: Catagal (Arran: Catacol) (86.1%)
No 097: *Arainn: Am Muileann (Arran: Pirnmill) (72.9%)
No 106: *Arainn: Sannaig & An Coire (Arran: Sannox & Corrie) (26.5%)
   



Siorrachd Bhòid (Buteshire) was the only Scottish county consisting entirely of islands. On its largest island of Arainn (Arran) Gàidhlig survived well into the 20th century. 3,511 inhabitants (19.1%) spoke Gàidhlig in the county in 1891.

 



Acknowledgement: © 2006-2012 Text Copyright Kurt C. Duwe. All rights reserved except private and non-commercial use. Any other use has to be cleared by the author Kurt C. Duwe, Jägerstr. 120a, 21079 Hamburg, Germany (info@linguae-celticae.de) and it may also fall under restrictions of the Crown Copyright of census data. Original census data shown or used were supplied and/or published by the General Register Office for Scotland. The use of this material in this series is permitted under Licence No. C02W0003665. Crown Copyright of census data is acknowledged. 

     
       
   

 

 

 
 
     

 
  © 2006-2014 Kurt C. Duwe •  webmaster@linguae-celticae.org