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This site is dedicated to Peter J. McDonald's memory
as it was a very important project for him to have placed online
for all to search their roots from Scotland to Australia.

Highland and Island Emigration Society, HIES

The HIES Ship List information was generously supplied by
William "Bill" Clarke.

The passengers were  assisted by the Highland and Island Emigration Society, the records of the Society  lists the number of people as being 298.  Of this number, there was a party of 36 from St.Kilda who had left that island on a sailing ship owned by Mrs. Sarah MacDonald and went to Skye via Harris. They spent about a fortnight on Skye before  boarding a steamer for Glasgow, where they spent 24 hours before boarding another steamer for Liverpool. Here they spent nearly four weeks in the immigration depot there.

The Inverness Advertiser on the 2nd of August 1853 had this to say about the people from St. Kilda; "Their appearance and their gentle and uncomplicated manners attracted considerable attention when they arrived in Portree en route to join the Priscilla at Liverpool, a feeling which deepened when it was discovered that their motive to emigrate was less the hope of bettering their own condition than their removal was  necessary the well being of those left behind"

Mr. R. Balfour M.A. M.Litt  LLB in an extensive article on the  Highland & Island Emigration Society, published in the "Transactions of the Gaelic Society of Inverness " Vol LV1 190-1992 has the following comment
"While this assertion may have been correct to a degree, the relative prosperity of their community, which had been afflicated little by either famine or congestion, suggests that the prime cause of their departure was a denominational rift leading to and following upon the establishment of a Free Church congregation on the island in 1846. The cost of their fares and outfits had been met in full by the proprietor, Sir John MacLeod, who subsequently concerned that their departure would endanger the viability of the remaining community, met them in Glasgow from which he travelled with them on the steamer to Liverpool in an unsuccessful endeavour to encourage them to return. As an inducement he offered to pay the cost of a steamer to convey them back, and to give them all they needed for two years. Sadly the islanders susceptibility to infection manifested  in a disease known to them as `cnatan na Gall'  (the strangers cold) was to prove fatal amid the fetid atmosphere aboard the Priscilla with the result that eighteen of their number -half of their party - were to perish during the voyage or in quarantine."

In the records of the HIES against all of the families from St. Kilda it has the following notation, " Mr. MacLeod the proprietor of St. Kilda has paid for the outfits and undertaken to pay the deposit".

A family from Heribusta, named McCuam,  has one of the largest notations in the records of the HIES. against it, It states:-
"Particulars of this family recorded to show that age, is not always a criterion by which the eligibility of a family, can be determined. The two lads aged 19 & 17 respectively are smaller of stature & posses much less physical power than many boys some years younger. One of the most wretched families submitted for inspection. Their appearance was truely appalling and their grief on being rejected most painful to witness. Attention was drawn to the condition of this family to Mr MacLeod of "Kingsburgh" and a small subscription raised for them by Miss McLeod. They were carefully fed for some time and greatly improved in health and appearance and were permitted to proceed on the Priscilla." There were also 4 other younger children
In 1995, the Scottish Genealogy Society Edinburgh, published  "The St. Kilda Heritage" an autobiography of Malcolm McQueen, although the Priscilla shipping records states that he could not write. The article contains the same information as does the one by R. Balfour but also has the following:-

" We left St. Kilda in a sailing ship belonging to Mrs. Sarah MacDonald and came to Skye. We called at Harris. We were about a fortnight in Skye and  neighbourhood. From there we went by steamer to Glasgow.

We were there some 24 hours and shipped aboard a steamer to Liverpool. We were there some three or four weeks and shipped aboard the  Priccilla bound for Port Phillip, departing 13th October, 1852.

We saw no land or vessel till we came near The Heads after 13 weeks. Three weeks after leaving, measles broke out and many died, about 80 old and young- largely owing to the ignorance of the doctor. He used to drive them on deck and they would be dead the next morning.At last the passengers rebelled and refused to allow the doctor to have his way; no-one died after that. I was the last man to take ill with it. My mother was laid up at the same time as I was. A young widow and another woman were very kind. Frank MacKenzie and Alex MacDonald were very kind to me. They did not live long after getting here.

On our arrival we were placed in quarantine. Passengers were landed at the Quarantine Station but those who were ill were kept aboard and the vessel was made a quarantine hulk. Scarlet fever was aboard when we arrived. Many who were well when landed got ill at the quarantine station and most of them died.

The total number of deaths was 42, 31 on the voyage, mainly due to measles, and 11 at the quarantine station.These deaths were shown to be from scarletina (Scarlet  fever) but may have been caused by typhus. Passengers from the “Ticonderoga "were at the quarantine station, this ship had lost many passengers to typhus.


BUCHANAN      John           29    Achnahannait   Lord MacDonald
    237                  Mary          28   Died 20-11-52
                           Donald         9    Died 19-11-52
                           Mary         Inf     Died 29-11-52

P/N    £9-19-2     Eligible couple.

BETHUNE       Marion          52    Uig            Lord MacDonald
   238                Anne              27
                        Murdoch         24
                        Christy            19
                        Roderick        11
                        Anne              14
BRUCE            Ann             16

P/N    £29-18-4 .  Healthy eligible family.

BUCHANAN        Alexander       38    Borniskitaig   Lord MacDonald
    239                     Catherine       38
                               Mary             17
                               John              15
                               Malcolm        11
                               Kate               6
                               Ann                3
                               Christy         Inf     Died 11-11-52

P/N    £20-4-7    Cottage destroyed by fire last year.  Very poor family.

BETHUNE         Norman         32    Romisdale      Lord MacDonald
   240                   Catherine       28
                            Janet                4    Died 17-2-53
                            Anne               2
                            Peter             22   Uig
                            Ann               25   (sister & Brother of Norman)
                            Finlay            22 

P/N   156 16-14-5    Very good family

CAMPBELL         Ann              46    Coillemore     Lord MacDonald
    241                     Angus          18
                              Alexander     14

P/N    £17-0-11    Very poor and destitute.

CUMMING          Mary            54    Carbost,       Lord MacDonald
    242                     Kate             22    Bernisdale
                              Archibald       29

P/N    £11-2-8    Strong healthy woman. Nurse & midwife.

FINLAYSON         Murdoch         39   Balmeanach      Lord MacDonald
    243                     Catherine         36
                               Malcolm          17

P/N    £12-10-3    Good family.

FERGUSON          Malcolm        31    St. Kilda     J.M.MacLeod Esq.
   244                      Catherine       23    Died 9-2-53
                               Mary               3    Died 6-12-52
MORRISON        Mary             57    Died 9-11-52
FERGUSON         Hector          35     Died Quarantine Station
                               Mary            22  (Nee Morrison)

* Mr MacLeod the proprietor of St.Kilda has paid for the outfit and has undertaken to pay the deposit. Catherine daughter of Roderick McDonald No 277

GILLIES          Ewen            27    St. Kilda     J.M.MacLeod Esq.
    245                Margaret      28
                          Mary              1    Died 3-12-52

* Mr. MacLeod the proprietor of St. Kilda has paid for the outfit and has undertaken to pay the deposit. Margaret daughter of  Roderick McDonald 277. Ewen as a widower returned to St. Kilda, remarried and emigrated to Canada.

McPHEE           Margaret         60    Rhuandunan     MacLeod of MacLeod
    246                 Christy            29
                           Alexander       26

£27-0-9    Healthy old woman. Has two sons in Australia. John and Duncan arrived Victoria on "Europa"

McPHEE          Archibald       36    Rhuandunan MacLeod of MacLeod
   247                 Christy           36
                          Christy           13
                          Mary             10
                          Norman          8
                          Jane               4     Died 10-12-52
                          Infant born at sea,  Died 8-12-52

P/N    £15-1-8      Son of Margaret McPhee

McPHEE           Angus         34    Sligachan      MacLeod of MacLeod
    248                 Effy            34
                           John           13
                           Mary          10
                           Effy              8
                           Christy         2
                           Inf.               born at sea

P/N £12-8-0     Son of Margaret McPhee. An excellent family. Appointed constable on board the Priscilla.

McPHEE         Donald          36    Carbost        MacLeod of MacLeod
  249                 Marion          36
                         Angus           13
                         Marion          12
                         Margaret         8
                         Norman          6
                         Mary              3     Died 6-1-53
                         Neil               Inf

P/N    £17-12-5 
Very eligible man.  Appointed Constable on board the Priscilla.

McKENZIE        Duncan          25    Coillemore     Lord MacDonald
    250                  Christy           24
                            Mary              2 
                            Mary born at sea Died 8-12-52

P/N    £8-11-10       Very Poor family.

McKENZIE         Murdoch       29    Coillemore     Lord MacDonald
    251                   Catherine       29
                             John                8
                             Mary              6
                             Kenneth          4
                             Ann                1    Died 3-12-52

P/N £16-5-8    Son of Murdoch no 252. Strictly within the  regulations of the Emigration Commissioners, but not a very  good family on account of the number of young children.

McKENZIE         Murdoch       63    Coillemore     Lord MacDonald
   252                    Catherine       63
                             John              20
                             Mary             18
                             Christy           40

P/N    £52-2-11     Hale old man, family well clothed

McKENZIE         Neil            60    Sconser        Lord MacDonald
   253                    John            29
                             Ann             25
                             Frank          23
                             Kate            20

P/N    £35-4-11    Sons and daughters eligible.

McKINNON        Neil             55    Coillemore     Lord MacDonald
   254                     Christy         24
                              Elizabeth      22
                              Rachel         20
                              Rory            18
                              Alexander    12

P/N    £31-4-4     (Neil widower)  Very poor family.  Children very eligible.

McKINNON        Angus          47    Coillemore     Lord MacDonald
   255                     Ann             44
                              Christy        23
                              Duncan       21
                              Catherine    19
                              Alexander   18
                              Christy        15
                              John            13
                              Marion        12
                              Angus            8

P/N    £36-5-0 
Very poor and destitute family,  but a very suitable one for Australia.

McINTOSH         Lachlan         35    Achnahannait   Lord MacDonald
    256                   Margaret       30
                             Christy          28

P/N   £11-7-9           Eligible young people. _

McLEOD           Donald       33    Tormichaig     Lord MacDonald
   257                   Effy            30
                            Christy         7
                            Mary           4
                            Flora           2
                            Kate           1

P/N    £14-7-0     Very poor family

McKENZIE         John           20      Sconser        Lord MacDonald
    258                   Jane            19       (wife)
                             Mary           23
                             Murdoch     19

P/N    £22-15-6     Eligible young people

MacAULAY        Angus    55    Kildonan  Alexander McDonald of Lyndale
    259                   Ann           47
                              Donald     20
                              Ann          24
                              Flora        22
                              Kate        14
                              Marion     18
                              Donald       1       Died 21-11-52

P/N    £39-7-10    Very poor and destitute,  but a good family for Australia.

McDONALD        Alexander       58    Sheader, Uig   Lord MacDonald
    260                     Margaret        52
                               Effy                27
                               Donald           24
                               Catherine       21
                               Murdoch       18
                               Mary             16
                               Anne               8

P/N     £47-19-11       Very poor family, but a  very suitable one for Australia.

McDONALD         Duncan          55    Upper Lachasy  Lord MacDonald
   261                       Marion          50
                                Alexander     21
                                Isabella         20
                                Angus           15
                                Peggy           14
                                Archibald      11

P/N    £47-12-11      Very poor family but a good  one for Australia.

McKENZIE         Alexander       35    Uig            Lord MacDonald
    262                    Marion           22
                              Donald          Inf      Died 6-11-52

P/N    £9-4-4      Eligible couple.

MATHESON         Effy                 20    Uig            Lord MacDonald
    263                      Alexander       18

P/N   £7-10-10   Brother &  sister  Eligible young people.

To More Passengers of the "Priscilla" (264 - 295)