What exactly is a Feuar?

Samuel Ford was known as a feuar, but what exactly is a feuar?

If you look for a definition of a ‘feuar’ in the 1800s in Scotland you will find a reference along the lines; someone, a male, who had control over the land on which he lived and on paying a ‘feu duty’ to a ‘superior’  could pass on that property to his eldest male heir.  Peculiarly to Scotland, these ‘feuars’ arose as a class of people who, unlike tenants, who could only ‘rent’ land and dwellings, effectively had some security over the property on which they lived.

I have added a page giving an account of feuars which may be found here.

Change of name

I have, after much thought, decided to change the name of the website. While the name James Ford Ancestors reflected my initial research my study has now expanded well past James Ford and his family. Cumbrae was a small island situated in the middle of the Firth of Clyde in Scotland which witnessed the increasing volume of sea traffic that sailed forth beyond the estuary and over the horizon taking people and goods to parts of the world which had only been discovered a few decades earlier.

As a result my own investigations have undergone something similar. Not that I have discovered any new continent, rather, I found that the lives of my ancestors hold more than simply names that can be attached to family tree. Their lives are far more interesting and in this respect, far more challenging for the researcher. What propelled them to buy a ticket for a four month voyage to a far away land on a sailing ship that had every chance of not reaching its destination? One such list identified 775 shipwrecks on the Australian run. What possessed my ancestors to undertake such a perilous undertaking? And, once arriving in Australia, what then? There was no social security system in place, little in the way of medical care, and the land was roamed by gangs of ex-convicts preying on the weak and vulnerable.

My research has therefore expanded as my interest rose. It has therefore seem good to reconsider the name of the website in relation to my renewed interest.

As I only recently changed the name to The Wright Inheritance why change again to A Community of Feuars.

When Samuel Ford married Margaret Wright on the island of Cumbrea it seems that the marriage not only bought some security and prestige to the family, the union also linked the family with a community of like minded people, the feuars. And it was this community of feuars that forms a narrative thread that runs through the generations down to the present day.

I have also found that in the process of writing and publishing my own book on the ancestry of Samuel Ford I needed to register an International Standard Book Number (ISBN). In order to obtain an ISBN I then had to register the name thinking that the title A Community of Feuars: Heritage of Samuel Ford best reflected my research at that time. In the interim it appears that Google Books has found my registration and published the information on their Books website again proving how quick the internet can retrieve information.

However, in order to circumvent enthusiastic search engines and their algorithms the title of the forthcoming book will remain In Company of Feuars: Heritage of Samuel Ford.  A preview of the cover appears below.

Australia Day, Captain Cook and Australian ‘Invasion’

With Australia Day (January 26) fast approaching there is the distinct probability that any number of anti-European activities will take place.  It seems that the day celebrating the First Fleet landing in New South Wales and the beginnings of what was to become Australia has become the battleground over the ideological meaning of the event.

These events now bring into question meanings about the discovery of Australia and the immigrants that made Australia the place it is today.

The unfortunate aspect is that most Australians do not know the history of their own country and apparently gleefully grab at anything that appears in the media as truth and fact.  In writing about my own family, who arrived in Australia during 1850 to 1860 as did some seven million other immigrants, problematic.  Were my ancestors ‘settlers’, ‘explorers’, or, as popular opinion suggests, ‘invaders’?

For some reason Captain James Cook gets caught up in this battle concerning facts and fiction.  For this reason I am following up on something I had written previously which seems timely. which can be found here.

Richard Cornish – update

I have been prowling the web and the genealogical sites related to Cornwall seeking more information about Richard Cornish. Richard Cornish immigrated from Cornwall arriving in Melbourne on the SS Norfolk in 1862.

Negotiating the local parish records and the English General Register Office is challenging to say the least.  However, I have gleaned some valuable information concerning Richard Cornish’s parents, Samuel Cornish and Elizabeth Rogers Carter and their parents.

I would like to thank the Penwith Genealogy and their forum site for providing valuable information. Their help is appreciated.

The quick link to the update may be found here.

 

Regular and Irregular Marriage, Scotland 1800s

In the 1800s marriage in Scotland was more than a ‘wedding,’ an institution that has now lost much of its historical or religious significance.

Accessing the ‘hard’ documentary data concerning births, deaths, and marriage records is one thing, but appreciating the economic and social circumstance under which those lives were lived is another.  As a result there were marriages which were both ‘regular’ and irregular’.

In my latest contribution I look at the marriage process that existed in Scotland in the early 1800s which you can jump to here.