Tuesday, January 21, 2020
The skye times mobile

A visit to an ancestor's island home will precede the release of a book about that ancestor.

Liz MacRae Shaw told The Skye Times: "Alan and Barbara Squires from Australia are travelling to Rona on Sunday 20 August with some of their distant MacRae relatives from Portree.

"All of them are descended from Janet MacKenzie.

"She lived on a house on the shore at Big Harbour.  Her husband was drowned in a shipwreck off Rona in 1822.  For many years afterwards she kept a lamp in her window to help vessels in the Sound of Raasay.

"Captain Otter, the commander of a naval survey vessel, met her and wrote to Alan Stevenson, engineer to the Commissioners of the Northern Lighthouses.  Captain Otter recommended that the 'philanthropic widow' be paid for her efforts.

"In 1857 the Stevensons built a lighthouse on Rona and her light was no longer needed.  She emigrated to Australia with her son and there is now a large MacKenzie clan there."

The visit will precede the Skye Book Festival where Liz will be talking about her latest historical novel, No Safe Anchorage.  Liz, another of Janet's descendents, has written about janet and a young Robert Louis Stevenson. 


Site created by Intermedia Services (Stornoway) Ltd © 2017