Large black & white studio photograph of an unidentified young woman in around the late 1800s.
The portrait was donated by the aunt (by marriage) of Denis Garnham, who came to Tiree in the late 1950s to work on OS surveys, and then at the bank. The portrait hung in a Nissan hut at Balinoe in which Denis lived while on Tiree, and he took it with him when he left the island. Denis referred to the picture as “the little old lady of Balinoe”, and he took it all over Scotland with him.
We have tried to find out who she is and why she meant so much to Denis, but these remain a mystery. If you have any ideas, we would love to hear from you.
The photograph was originally mounted on canvas in a large ornate wood and gilt frame, which had to be removed due to its poor condition.
Information about the MacFarlanes of Balinoe and Elgin, 1858-1876, including the (1) marriage certificate for Rev James MacFarlane, Balinoe, and Isabella Farquharson, Cornaig, on Tiree in 1858, (2) death certificate for Isabella MacFarlane in Elgin in 1865, (3) 1871 Elgin census record listing James MacFarlane, (4) death certificate for James MacFarlane, 1876. Includes additional family history information emailed by the donor.
After their marriage in 1858, the MacFarlanes moved to Elgin where James took up the position of Baptist Minister. When Isabella died, aged only 34 years, she left three children: Archibald (b. ca 1860), Margaret (b. ca 1861) and Mary. In the 1871 census, Mary is living in Oban with her mother’s sister, Eliza. It is presumed that Mary stayed with the Whytes in Oban and that she is the ‘other Mary’ referred to in Duncan MacGregor Whyte’s letters to his wife Mary Bernard when he was in Australia. The Whytes were artists who built The Studio in Balephuil.
Copied article ‘Brothers in Mission: Alexander Farquharson of Cape Breton and Archibald Farquharson of Tiree’ by Dr Margaret MacKay, 2007, and published in the Records of the Scottish Church History Society. A history of two Gaelic-speaking brothers from Perthshire who became missionaries in islands at opposite sides of the Atlantic in the 1800s.