Families of Lewis by Mac Gille Chaluim

A series of articles published in the Stornoway Gazette in the 1950s and 60s by “Mac Gille Chaluim”, Rev William Matheson who came from the West Side and lived latterly in Edinburgh.  He conducted extensive research into original manuscripts and estate records and collected oral traditions for many years, testing the validity of the traditional tales against other sources and producing very detailed histories of the Macaulays, Macdonald, Macivers, Mackenzies, Smiths, Murrays, Macphails, Matheson, Nicolsons and Macleods. 

Some of these were also issued in other formats but no comprehensive volume of his articles has been published.  While very occasional slips in accuracy have been identified in the articles, we consider them to be a reliable source for information on the origins of the principal families of Lewis and also of ceilidh-house traditions, which he treats with a respectful skepticism.  Uig Museum holds some of his letters enquirying in the 1940s about local traditions of the Mathesons.