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Cromarty Image Library

On The Braehead
The Cromarty Archive
On The Braehead

Postcard postdated 1909 published by A R Skinner, Stationer Cromarty.
Picture added on 03 April 2005
I have been tracing my family history and on the 1901 census my grandfather was living in Braehead, Braehead Hall household 44. McMillan was their surname. I was wondering if this hall still exsits? I would be very grateful if anyone has any information. His name was Robert Victor McMillan.
Added by Barbara Hughes on 19 June 2009
Hi Barbara, I doubt that this applies to the Braehead in Cromarty - which town was your grandfather from?
Added by Garve Scott-Lodge on 19 June 2009
Hi The 1901 Scotland Census has the address Brachead Brachead Hall Cromarty. I could not find a Brachead but I thought it was just a spelling error. I thought they thought the e was a c.
Added by Barb Hughes on 22 June 2009
Right, it is in Cromarty then, though I've never heard of Braehead Hall. If you look at the map on picture #544, click on the Z icon to bring up a zoomable version. What we call Braehead nowadays is shown on the map as Links Terrace.

I've certainly never heard the name Brachead with a c, so I think you're right about the error.
Added by Garve Scott-Lodge on 22 June 2009
Up to the 1881 Census (first recorded there in the 1851 Census) the family of my great grandfather, George Gordon Smith, a surgeon, was listed as living at Braehead House, Cromarty: and it always seems to appear in the Census listing next to the Lighthouse: not unlike the image here?! House and Hall seem not dissimilar so it might be the same place? It is listed as having 11 rooms with one or more windows. They had left before the 1891 Census.
Added by Marg Mackisack on 29 July 2009
Hi Marg, the house shown in this photo is known as Reay House at the moment. I don't think there is a house named Braehead House or Braehead Hall at present.
Added by Garve Scott-Lodge on 29 July 2009
The name George Gordon Smith - Surgeon struck a chord with me. We live in No.7 Braehead, I have the title deeds back to 1821, which include a disposition dated 15th March 1832 tranferring (disponing) No.7 Braehead from William McRae, formerley a Ferryman resident in Cromarty to one George Gordon Smith - Surgeon and his foresaids. I have a second document a sasine dated 1st December 1841 registered in Edinburgh on 4th January 1842 that appears to be doing much the same thing. Neither document appears to be signed by GGS,although both are witnessed. Both documents describe No.7 Braehead, in the manner of the time by measurement in yards and Scots ells, but none of the surrounding prperties are numbered or named. The documents are very fragile and difficult to read both in terms of the text and the long and imprecise drafting. It is not clear from either document if this was a main residence for GGS or a property bought for his offspring as my Great Grandfather bought the house in 1919 for my Grandfather and his then expanding family. Braehead House is not and would never have been a worthy title for No.7 Braehead. No.1 Braehead may well have been as it was at the time a much larger property, Marg this is at the opposite end of Braehead to the Lighthouse. Do you know how old GGS would have been in 1841? I hope that is helpful in your search. Good luck.
Added by Arthur Bird on 31 July 2009
Hi Arthur, this is really cool. GGS in his will had as assets listed annual rent of house on Braehead, four pounds: and also annual rent of shop on Braehead, one guinea (as well as rents of other property described as "at West End of Cromarty"). This may well have been No.7? I do not understand about real estate ownership or transfer at that place and time? GSS died intestate and I have found his testament in the scans for the Dingwall Sheriff Court for 1876: but there is nothing at all about what happened to property that he might have owned? Did it descend in the male line or something? Who did your Great Grandfather buy it from?? GGS would have been 35 in 1841, so in 1832 he would probably just have finished apprenticeship as surgeon? He married in 1839 and had the first of a long string of children in 1840. In the 1841 Census, taken in June, the family are living in Ross Street (which I found on the 1871 map on this site). By the end of that year they had two children, so they may have moved into No.7 Braehead then - and later to a bigger house, since by 1851 they had six children living at home and two domestic servants. Thank you so much for this information, I am really pleased to be making connections to a real place!
Added by Marg Mackisack on 01 August 2009
Marg, I have looked further at the bundle of documents. It's all a bit complicated and too long to go into here, but GGS lived in and/or shared the property between himself and his in-laws the Maclemans (?) for no apparent financial consideration between 1841 and 1857, when the property was then clearly rented and a Donald Sinclair (Shoemaker) and his wife moved in for a rent of four pounds, that ties in with your probate statement. I then have a final disposition dated 9th May 1876, referencing GGS, filed by William Gordon Cumming-Smith, a medical student resident in Glasgow eldest son and surviving heir of GGS, disponing "the house on the Braehead Cromarty" (Braehead House??), for the sum of sixty pounds with the consent of his mother Mrs Christina Macleman-Smith to John Watson Fisherman in Cromarty. The document is signed by WGC-S and marks the plot in the customary way with reference to owners of surrounding properties and landmarks, measurements are in yards and scots els, it is not described as Braehead House but the term "house on The Braehead" may be a further clue or explain the census references. In other deeds the Lighthouse is used as a reference point, but not specifically in the ones I have referencing GGS so far as I can see. No.7 Braehead is to the east of the Lighthouse at the opposite end of Braehead to Reay House which Garve refers to in his note. My great grandfather bought the house (for £300.00) much later in 1919 from the estate of the late Margaret Watson, for his son, my grandfather James Reid junior, the house has been in my family ever since. In 1919 the house is noted as No.7 Braehead, as it is today. We bought it from my Aunt in 2001. There you have it. Enjoy.
Added by Arthur Bird on 01 August 2009
Arthur, thanks for this, my Mum is greatly enjoying having little bits of her family story filled in. GGS and his in-laws, the MacBeans (and assorted Rosses), were involved in a number of financial arrangments about 1860, so property transactions would fit in. 1876 was the year GGS died: WCGS was my great-grandfather. Christina was described in the 1881 Census as "Annuitant": it would make sense that they sold property and bought her an annuity when her husband died, although I don't plan to try and find evidence!
Added by Marg Mackisack on 02 August 2009
Hi there. Thank you for doing info on this page, my ancestry line has George Mills Lighthouse keeper living with family at Braehead Lighthouse in 1851.
Added by Tracey on 29 March 2010
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