The McPherson Family comes from the Sleat Peninsula on the Isle of Skye, Scotland. In the late 1800’s, Donald Lindsay MacPherson emigrated to Canada.
The “Skye MacPhersons” are understood to have come to Skye in the 1500’s – arriving from Islay, Scotland. It is thought that the MacPhersons arrived in Islay from Ireland (Donegal) many years earlier. On Sleat, our MacPherson ancestors initially lived in Tarskavaig which lies on the west coast of Sleat. Tarskavaig was a traditional crofting village and the name reflects also the Norse heritage in this part of Scotland.
The MacPhersons lived and worked at croft #21 in Tarskavaig. In general, a croft was a small piece of marginally arable land that the family rented from the Lord. As a crofting family, they would make a living through a combination of farming, fishing, cutting kelp etc. (Through the mid-1800’s, the Highland clearances moved many families off their small crofts to permit larger sheep farming operations. Many of those families came to Canada (Cape Breton in particular) while others went to Australia, New Zealand etc.)
This branch of the MacPherson family is traced (so far) to Duncan MacPherson and Mary Maclean who were born in the latter half of the 1700’s and lived in Tarskavaig. Their great grand-son was Donald Lindsay MacPherson who emigrated to Canada in about 1896. With his wife, children as well as his wife’s brothers family, they settled first near Regina, Saskatchewan.
Unpublished works collected by Gordon and Bernice Macnab
Scottish Census records