So many of my DNA matches were connected to the one ancestor, and this ancestor still seemed very likely to be my great great grandmother, Annie McLeod. I knew I had to find her.
First, I examined the details I already had. Again. Starting from the wedding.
In 1866, Annie McLeod was aged about 22 and was living in North Adelaide. Somewhere, she met James Dunstall who was two years her senior. James was a farmer and lived at Normanville in the district of Yankalilla, on his parent’s property.
Not many McLeods pop up in Yankalilla. There was Marion McLeod who was married in 1860 to Isaac Eyers. Marion’s father was Angus and it seemed possible that Annie’s Kennis and Marion’s Angus might be the same one. That was one to keep an eye on. There was also Allan McLeod of Jarvis Bay with his children Margaret, Mary, Catherine/Christian, John, Donald, Ann, Kenneth and Kate. His son John was a witness at my Annie’s marriage so some connection is possible.
Margaret married John McKelvie, Mary married Andrew Knox Fraser, John married Martha Ann Dunstall, Ann married Tom Bennett, Ann Kate married Oscar Cook. I’m not sure who the others married. However, with two Anns in the family already they surely had no room for my Anne.
“Family Notices.” South Australian Register (Adelaide, SA : 1839 – 1900) 4 Jun 1866: 2. Web. 13 Oct 2014
There were also the many McLeods near Stanley Flat or Clare, but none of those have led anywhere either.
I’ve followed James and Annie through South Australia so many times, up until their death at Orrie Cowie and their burial in Warooka. It yielded no new clues. Annie’s death certificate told us nothing, her will provided little more. Her grave and burial details had nothing.
The only new detail I had was the DNA test and a probable connection to yet another John McLeod. The obvious next move, as the administrator of the Normanites Group had told me, was to build the tree of that John McLeod to see where it led. I had access to a basic tree showing John’s parents as Kenneth McLeod and Flora nee McIsaac, and John was shown as being born in North Uist in 1847.
My next search was the 1841 UK Census where I found one possibility. I don’t believe the terms of service of my subscription site allows me to post an image, so I’ll transcribe the basics:
In Kilpheder, North Uist, Inverness-shire, Scotland
Kenneth McLeod aged 36 Head Ag. Lab. Born in Inverness-shire
Flora McLeod aged 36 Born in Inverness-shire
Mary aged 11 Born in Inverness-shire
Marion aged 9 Born in Inverness-shire
Ketty aged 7 Born in Inverness-shire
Isabella aged 1 Born in Inverness-shire
Anne aged 1 Born in Inverness-shire
Ketty McInnes F.S. aged 25 Not born in Inverness-shire
This entry looked very promising so I jumped forward ten years to the 1851 census where I found the following:
In Baleloch, North Uist, Inverness-shire, Scotland
Niel McVicar Head 32 1819 Ag Lab North Uist, Inv, Scotland
Mary McVicar Wife 21 1830 Lab Wife North Uist, Inv, Scotland
Marion McLeod Sister-In-Law 18 1833 House Servant North Uist, Inv, Scotland
Catherine McLeod Sister-In-Law 16 1835 Spinstress North Uist, Inv, Scotland
Ann McLeod Sister-In-Law 10 1841 Pauper (Orphant) North Uist, Inv, Scotland
Isabella McLeod Sister-In-Law 10 1841 Pauper (Orphant Scholar) North Uist, Inv, Scotland
John McLeod Brother-In-Law 8 1843 Pauper (Orphant Scholar) North Uist, Inv, Scotland
This was still looking good. Then I found something even more exciting:
From the Highland and Island Emigration Society (HIES) records for the ship Hercules
MacVICAR NEIL 30 born BALELONE
MacVICAR MARY 22 nee McLeod born NORTH UIST
McLEOD MARION 21
McLEOD CATHERINE 18
McLEOD ISABELLA 12
McLEOD ANN 12
McLEOD JOHN 10
McLEOD MARGARET 26
Orphans, their father was drowned last year. Brothers and sisters of Mary. All born Balelone.
Family arrived in South Australia on the Hercules except for Marion who arrived on the Neptune.
This was just looking better and better. I now had a family of McLeods, with a boy of about the right age to be my cousin’s John McLeod and born in the right location to parents Kenneth and Flora McLeod, now emigrated to South Australia and with a sister Ann!
I then searched for them in South Australia and learned that my cousin’s John was an ‘only son’. Yes, that fitted.
Then I found Neil and Mary McVicar ending their days in Clare, South Australia. I was pretty much convinced.
I’m still convinced, but I wish I could find a record to directly connect my Annie, indisputably. I need her to have informed for a sibling’s child’s birth and refer to herself as ‘aunt’. That would be nice. Or a family bible held by one of the others, or a letter. But without this, so much holds together for this family that I am quite sure.
The other thing which I noticed when tracing the siblings was that all had a daughter called Isabella in some form. Isabella, Bella, Belle … something like that. Also, they all had a Flora or Florence. My James and Annie had two daughters, Annie Isabella and Martha Florence. This fitted too. Kenneth Norman … well, Kenneth after the father – I wonder who Norman was?
Hopefully I’ll find out soon. The next step is the death records of Kenneth and Flora in North Uist.