This book tells the story of one Tiree crofting family over 250 years. In the 1770s, Donald’s ancestor, John MacDonald, lived in the joint-tenant farm of Caolas. When crofts were created in 1804, the MacDonalds moved to their own croft in Àird Deas, Caolas, but economic difficulties in the 1840s compelled the senior members of the family to emigrate to Orillia, Canada, leaving behind two of their children, Hector and Christina. Through the kindness of his MacLean relatives, Hector MacDonald, the writer’s great-grandfather, obtained the holding on which ‘Coll View’ stands to the present. Hector and his wife Effie produced a family of ten, seven of whom had to seek employment on the Scottish mainland and across the Atlantic. In 1913 Hector MacDonald Meek, their grandson and the writer’s father, was ‘orphaned’ by the emigration of his parents to Vancouver, and he too was brought up in ‘Coll View’ by Hector and Effie MacDonald. This alone ensured the continuation of the croft within the family.
Donald Meek reflects on the immense changes and challenges which he has witnessed in his family and community, and describes his own struggle to restore the family holding, now in the capable hands of his elder daughter, Rhoda Meek.
The book is lavishly illustrated with photographs from the family archives and documentary sources.