5900: Angus Smith

Angus Smith (1856-1934), son of Alexander Smith and Margaret Maclennan. He moved with his family to the large holding of Cleascro in 1865, which his father Alexander got rent free for looking after Sir James Matheson’s tree plantation (Buaile Beinn nan Gobhar) near Cleascro. He served his time as a joiner in Stornoway, finishing his apprenticeship in Glasgow as a shipwright in the dockyards. It was said he was very skilled and could sharpen a pencil with an adze. Angus was living at 8 Corn Street, Glasgow when he married Alexanderina Macdonald, 1 Keose. The family returned to Lewis in 1883 and settled in Keose.

In the days before stability of tenure for crofters, Angus built his house below the high water mark, which meant that he did not pay rent and could not be evicted. He became the local carpenter and built the first “white house” in Lochs. He was also the undertaker and built many of the coffins he used; his workshop was on Leac na Ceardaich.. He opened a shop which was used by the village and also by the villagers across the water, who would sail across the loch to buy their provisions. He became the first sub-postmaster in Keose Post Office which opened in 1901 and was also an elder and presenter in the Church of Scotland, Keose.

Angus and his wife Alexanderina raised 13 children, born between 1880 and 1904. Apparently the family were only ever together for one night in 1909 when they all gathered at Keose for the taking of a family picture.

Record Type:
Also Known As:
Aonghais Alasdair
Date Of Birth:
26 May 1856
Date of Death:
2 Nov 1934
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