David LINKLATER Peter WISHART James WISHART George WISHART Peter WISHART John WISHART William WISHART David WISHART Thomas Arthur WISHART James Stevens LINKLATER Jannet Halcrow LINKLATER Barbara Watt LINKLATER Janet IRVINE Mini tree diagram


16th Apr 1849 - 11th Nov 1911

Life History

16th Apr 1849

Born in Sandwick, Orkney

23rd Dec 1869

Married Peter WISHART in Sandwick, Orkney

Info from Brian Chalmers OFHS


Birth of son James WISHART in Sandwick, Orkney

about 1873

Birth of son George WISHART in Sandwick, Orkney

about 1875

Birth of son Peter WISHART in Sandwick, Orkney

about 1877

Birth of son John WISHART in Sandwick, Orkney

about 1881

Birth of son William WISHART in Sandwick, Orkney

about 1884

Birth of son David WISHART in Sandwick, Orkney

about 1889

Birth of son Thomas Arthur WISHART in Sandwick, Orkney

19th Oct 1898

Death of Peter WISHART in Sandwick, Orkney

11th Nov 1911



  • Helen, the eldest of David and Janet's four children, had Wylie as her middle name. Middle names are in themselves somewhat unusual in Orkney at the time, where a single Christian name was the norm.

    All our male ancestors for three or four, and possibly more, generations before Helen's birth came from Kirbister, Stromness. Indeed, Helen, Jannet [sic] and Barbara as well as their brother James [JSL] were the first generation I know of not to have been born in Stromness.

    It has been suggested to me that Helen's middle name may have derived from the surname of a local Stromness minister, the Rev Andrew Wylie, originally from Auchtergarven, who was the first minister of the Stromness ÙtAnti-BurgherÙu church. The convulsions of the Scottish reformed church are superbly illustrated diagramatically, their intricacies resembling a tube map rather than a neat linear progression. Suffice to say, that ÙtAnti-BurgherÙu and many other weird and wonderful schismatic congregations erupted all over Scotland following The First Secession from The Church of Scotland in 1733, the first major upheaval since the Reformation of 1560. The Burgher Oath required holders of public offices to affirm approval of the religion ÙSpresently professed in this kingdomÙT. Some were prepared to take the oath; others were not. The latter became known as Anti-Burghers. At issue was the supremacy of civil law over ecclesiastical law - the path adhered by the Burghers. Conversely ecclesiastical law trumped civil law for Anti-Burghers. The debate rehearsed what later became the argument for separation of church and state and lead ultimately to The Disruption in 1843 by which time the Assembly of the Church of Scotland, inextricably involved in civil as well as ecclesiastical administration, found itself increasingly at odds with the civil law especially over patronage and church appointments. As a result, The Disruption saw nearly 40% of ministers and 30% of the congregation sever their allegiance to the established church to form the Free Church of Scotland. It divided professions, families and social classes giving rise to the jibe that the Free Kirk was the wee kirk, the kirk without a steeple and the Auld Kirk the cauld kirk, the kirk without its people. The Disruption was as divisive as the reformation, but without the burnings. Think ÙtBrexitÙu times five. The ultimate benefit was that the state assumed responsibility for education and poor relief which had hitherto been the responsibility of the church.

    Revenons a nos moutons... In 1805 our straying sheep in Stromness began building work on an Anti-Burgher church and in 1806, after spending some £600 and with a seating capacity for 643, the church threw open its doors to a new congregation consisting of two elders and thirty communicants. Andrew Wylie was their first minister. He was ordained in 1809 and other than the upheaval of the church's birth, his ministry was tranquil save for wrangling over the leading of the Psalmody. Ruffled feathers were eventually smoothed by the expedient of disallowing any ÙSbandÙT to collect in any particular part of the church and the discontinued use of those tunes deemed ÙTobnoxious.ÙT Andrew Wylie died in 1826. If this was the man whose surname was bestowed on Helen he must have been held in considerable veneration by my forebears as Helen was not born for another 23 years! and indeed, in the year of Andrew Wylie's death Helen's father was eleven and her mother one. No other Wylie immediately suggests itself.

    The 1851 census records a Helen Linklater, aged 2, in David and Janet's household at ÙtEast AithÙu. The clue as to what became of her is contained in the 1901 census which recorded that Aith Post Office [ED 3/16] was occupied by Janet Linklater, head, widow, 75, ÙSPost MistressÙT (W) and David Wishart, Grandson, 17, ÙSPost RunnerÙT (W).

    Helen, aged 12, is recorded as a member of David and Janet's household in the 1861 census but not in the 1871 census. The latter does however contain a Helen aged 22 living at Howaback [ED 2/46] and married to one Peter Wishart, 33, ÙSfarmer of 90 acres of which 50 are arable.ÙT They had not been married long as they are recorded as having one child, James, then aged 3 weeks.

    I imagine David and Janet must have been pleased with the match. While not being the largest farm in Sandwick it was twice as big as the average which was about 45 acres. The Sandwick census for 1871 records some 129 individuals as ÙtfarmersÙu, but some of these ÙtfarmedÙu tiny acreages. The smallest noted is 3 acres; over twenty ÙtfarmsÙu are recorded as being under 10 acres – this in spite of the fact that OrkneyÙus short but explosive agrarian revolution was in full swing, starting around 1848 and being complete by about 1880. [Berry: OrkneyÙus People] In contrast there were eight farms over 100 acres, the largest being 680 acres. Howaback, where Helen and Peter Wishart lived, is just within the Sandwick parish boundary at the far northern end of the Loch of Harray. [O.S. HY 294 196]

    George Wishart of Howaback died 1863 aged 80 (St.Peters 1J83); Peter Wishart in Howaback died 19 Oct 1898 aged 61, son of George Wishart died 1 Dec 1863 aged 80 and Catherine Hourston died 1879 aged 68, and his wife Helen W Linklater died 11 Nov 1911 aged 62.

    Subsequent censuses show the Wisharts apparently prospering. In 1881 Peter 43, and ÙtEllenÙu 32, have 5 children; James, 10; George, 8; Peter, 6; John, 4; and William 0 (8 months). Ten years later Peter and ÙtEllenÙu and their previous brood have all aged ten years with the addition of David aged 7, and Thomas A, aged 1. This David is the lad who disappears from Howaback [ED 2/72] in 1901 to become a Ùtpost runnerÙu living with his minnie at Aith Post Office. Meanwhile, back at the ranch, in 1901 Peter has vanished presumed dead, ÙtEllenÙu has reverted to being Hellen, and is described as ÙShead, widow, 52, Farmer (E)ÙT and living with James, son, married, 30; Jane J, daughter in law, married, 32; John H, son, 24, house carpenter (W); William H, son, 20, mason (W); Thomas H, son, 11, scholar. 1911 records for Howaback [ED 2/65] Ellen as head, widow, 62, Ùtretired farmerÙu living with John H son, single, 34, ÙSreal Estate Agent, Own AccountÙT, and Thomas A, son, single, 21, ÙSIronmongers Assistant, worker.ÙT At another ÙtHowabackÙu property  [ED 2/66] live Helen's son James Wishart, head, married 40, ÙSfarmer, employerÙT with ÙtJeannieÙu, the Jane J of the 1901 census, wife, 42, (Mar: 10y, 4, 3) which signifies she has been married 10 years had 4 children of whom 3 were surviving at the time of the census. They were; Ella, 9; Jane Jemima, 6; and Mary Lily, 3. James and Jane J must have married in 1901.

    [D.o.b. info from Brian Chalmers OFHS]

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