Can you help identify these two photos?

Do you know who these two women are? 

Unknown - McGillivray associated family 1
Unknown McGillivray associated family 1
Unknown McGillivray associated family 2
Unknown McGillivray associated family 2

Do you know who these two women are?  These two photos were in a photo album for the Scouller / McGillivray / Boyd families.  They are believed to be relatives of Alexander McGillivray born at Teangue, Sleat on the Isle of Skye on December 2, 1834.  They are most likely descendants of either his father Angus’ siblings or his mother Ann McDonald’s siblings.  I would guess they may be on the female lines as I have explored many of the male lines more fully.  However they may be on the male line.  Alexander’s parents were Angus McGillivray and Ann McDonald.  Angus was the son of Archibald McGillivray and Ann McIver.  Ann McIver lived until well into her eighties if not her nineties, dying in 1857.  No mean feat in those days living in a croft at the south of the Isle of Skye.

His mother’s parents were Alexander McDonald and Isabel McPherson.  From what I have been able to work out they had four daughters only two of whom I have been able to trace.  My line through Ann and that of her sister Mary who married Malcolm McInnes and lived her married life at Airor, Knoydart, on the Scottish mainland across from Skye.  Mary and Malcolm had at least 11 children.  The other two daughters were Catherine born 1816 and Marion born 1818.  They may not have lived into adulthood.  Both they and the girl’s parents disappear.  I must admit I haven’t looked for them for a while so will do so again.

Then back to Archibald McGillivray and Ann McIvor.  They also had at least eleven children.  Alex was supposedly in the Queen’s Guard and ‘died young’.  Nothing is known of John, aside from his name.  Mary married McKenzie, Catherine married Roderick Chisholm and had at least ten children.  Most of them migrated to Canada with her and her husband.  Their eldest daughter Betty married Duncan MacPherson and is reputed to have migrated to Australia.  This would have been around the 1830s.  I haven’t found a trace of them, as yet, and they are a reasonable possiblity to be the parents of the girls in these photos.

Martin McGillivray married Mary MacInnes and stayed on Skye.  They had at least six children.  Margaret married Ranald McDonald and had at least three children, she also remained on Skye.  Donald married Flora McLennan and had at least two children.  He is reputed to have migrated to Canada where he was a teacher perhaps around Montreal.  Charles married Catherine MacInnes and had at least six children before 1836.

Marion married Ewen (Hugh) McIntosh and had five children.  The family were about to migrate to Australia under the Highland and Island Emigration Scheme (HIES) when Ewen died.  They were going to join his brother Archibald McIntosh in modern day Sale.  Marion migrated to Australia with her children.  This was the family Alexander came to in the mid 1860s when they were living at Glenmaggie.  Marion’s eldest daughter Janet had married Malcolm McInnes on Skye and they also migrated to Australia but settled in Grafton in New South Wales.

Lastly Kenneth married Christy McInnes on Skye and had at least two children before 1841.  He died some time between 1841 and 1851 on Skye.

The photos were taken at Yass, New South Wales by William Fearne.  He was a traveling photographer.  In the Mechanical Eye no dates were given as to when he may have been in Yass.  According to the Yass Courier of October 20, 1866:



In consequence of the very extensive patronage received during the past week, W. FEARNE, artist, begs to inform the inhabitants of YASS, and its vicinity, that he has extended his stay until MONDAY, the 20th inst., having completed arrangements for commencing business at


On the 3rd of November”.

In the same paper in the gossip column was the following:

“PHOTOGRAPHIC GALLERY – Mr Fearne, who is now on a business visit to Yass, deserves great credit for his ingenuity and enterprise in the construction of a portable gallery in which can be completed portraits equal in distinctness and effect to any that emanate from the well-known glass galleries in Sydney. The very paltry makeshifts so common with photographers who visit the rural districts prevent perfect correctness in the picture, while at the same time the sitter is exposed to the view of anyone passing by. Mr. Fearne’s gallery is as comfortable as a parlour, and the light so arranged that sunshine is not necessary for the production of a portrait. We notice that Mr. Fearne is about to quit Yass for fresh fields and pastures new further South. Should anyone desire to have their likenesses taken we can honestly recommend them to see Mr. Fearne at his gallery before he packs it up and is off with it. We may mention that his is the only portable photographic gallery in the colonies, and can be taken to pieces or erected in a few hours”.

I was able to view these when I visited Yass Historical Society last week on my way to the Congress in Canberra.  These dates are consistent with the style of the dress and studio set up in the photographs.  Below is the back of one of the photographs, both are the same.

Unknown McGillivray and associated families 1 - back of photo
Unknown McGillivray and associated families 1 – back of photo

Please share this so as many people see it as possible.  It would be wonderful to find out who these two women are and what their relationship is to our family.  Perhaps you have one or both of these photos and also don’t know who they are.  The context they are in or details of your family may help me identify them.


2 thoughts on “Can you help identify these two photos?”

  1. Hi Lynda, I only have these photos, don’t think they will be much help and you probably have them too. Good luck, hope someone knows. …………….Di


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