Is this a concerted effort to stop me from shutting up!! Only kidding. It
would be strange to see the word crofter used in relation to someone who was
not a Highlander. A croft can basically be described as a form of protected
hereditary tenancy of a small landholding (from a couple of acres up to over
100) situated within the 6 Crofting Highland counties as defined in the
Crofters (Scotland) Acts, beginning with the Crofters' Holdings (Scotland)
Act 1886 which established the right of the crofter to protected status.
this was Parliaments response to half a century of outcry over the Highland
Clearances during which tens of thousands of people were evicted from the
usually barely subsistence level land, their ancestors had occupied for
centuries. This lsit is not the place to elaborate on the history of this
particular subject which is still, over 150 years later, the subject of deep
division and heated argument. I myself was battered at my all boys' public
school because very distant cousins whose name I share had been a major
party to some of the Clearances, by the great grandsons of those whom my
relatives and other Clan Chiefs had cleared. The administration and transfer
of Crofts is regulated by the Crofters Commission, a quango, based in
Inverness and it does a reasonably good job.
Hope that this helps a little.
Genealogist: Clan Sutherland
Co-genealogist: Clan Mackenzie
see my web-site: http://www.highland-family-heritage.co.uk
----- Original Message -----
From: Stan Bailey <stan(a)bail59.freeserve.co.uk>
Sent: 30 October 1999 17:52
Subject: [LAN] Crofters
Can anyone out there give an informed definition of the word CROFTER when
used on a certificate to describe "rank or profession".
In my limited experience, a crofter refers to a Scot who is a tenant on a
croft (or as we Sassenachs would say, a smallholding).
However, in the early 19th century, was the same interpretation used in
Manchester area? In recent times, some Lancastrians would (and
do) refer to a piece of waste land as a croft, hardly a place for a
make a living from; it thus suggests to me that an entry of "crofter" as a
profession on a Manchester marriage certificate suggests that the man is
from north of the Border.
Is my assumption reasonable, or am I showing my ignorance of the
used 200 years ago?
Please respond if you can shed any light on this matter.
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