Who We Are

The Comainn Eachdraidh

Thirty years ago a movement began in Ness in the Isle of Lewis to research and record local histories, to collect and to exhibit material, to acquire and to apply skills and to increas their own understanding.  The result was the establishment of Comann Eachdraidh Nis (Ness Historical Society). Since then, the intiative has spread throughout the deeply rural and traditional Western Isles and now every community supports a Comann Eachdraidh engaged in the preservation and promotion of Gaelic and the rich local heritage. The societies work singly and in partnership to maintain local archives and registered museum collections, to run events and projects and to produce publications, for the benefit of local residents and visitors.  A distinctive feature of Hebridean communities is the comprehensive local memory of village and family histories, and these living histories form the heart of each society’s collections.  In recent years several of the Comainn Eachdraidh have come together to launch the Hebridean Connections project, an innovative web-based project aiming to provide easy online access to these histories through a complete genealogical database supplemented by thousands of photographs, recordings, documents and stories.

The Caidreachas

An Caidreachas Eachdraidh (the Federation of Historical Societies) is  the coming together of these societies to share information, develop joint projects and contribute to the development of the heritage sector in the islands.  Membership is open to all Comainn Eachdraidh in the Western Isles, and associate membership to other heritage bodies, including the Islands Book Trust, Northton Heritage Trust, Hebridean Connections and the Angus Macleod Archive.  We also work in partnership with Lews Castle College (UHI) and Comhairle nan Eilean Siar.

Contacting the Comainn

All of the Comainn Eachdraidh are happy to help with research into genealogy and other areas of local interest, and generally have excellent local knowledge that can help to break through the “brick walls” familiar to all genealogists.  If you know which area is relevant to your research, please contact the comann in question directly; if unsure, feel free to contact the secretary of the Caidreachas for advice.

Please note that all societies operate on a voluntary basis and resources are limited. Donations are always gratefully received and substantial research projects may attract a fee.

Nis | Ness

The townships of Eoropie, Port of Ness, Fivepenny, Habost, Lionel, Eorodale, Calicvol, Skigersta, Swainbost, Cross, North Dell, South Dell, Galson, Melbost, Borve and Shader

Barabhas agus Bru | Barvas & Brue

The townships of Barvas (Upper Barvas, Lower Barvas, Monard, Park Barvas, The Corners, Heatherhill and Loch Street) and Brue (Am Baile-stigh nearest the shore and Park Brue).

Toabh Siar | Westside

Dalbeg, Shawbost, Bragar and Arnol.

Càrlabhagh | Carloway

Dalmore, Upper Carloway and Park, Garenin, Borrowston, Knock, Kirvick, Doune, and Tolsta Chaolais.

Loch Rog an Ear | East Loch Roag

Breasclete, Callanish, Garynahine and Linshader.

Bearnaraigh | Bernera

The island of Bernera (Barraglom, Kirkibost, Breaclete, Croir, Tobson, Hacklete) and the Tir Mor: Earshader, Crulavig, Linshader.

Uig | Uig

Kinlochroag, Morsgail, Scaliscro, Strome, Gisla, Enaclete, Ungeshader, Geshader, Carishader, Miavaig, Cliff, Valtos, Reef, Uigen, Timsgarry, Crowlista, Aird, Ardroil, Carnish, Mangersta, Islivig, Brenish, Mealista, Hamnaway, Kinresort; and the islands of Pabbay and Vuia.

Tolstadh | Tolsta

North Tolsta, New Tolsta, Glen Tolsta.

An Rubha | Point

Melbost, Branahuie, Aiginish, Knock, Swordale, Bayble, Garrabost, Shader, Sheshader, Flesherin, Broker, Aird, Portvoller and Portnaguran.

Steornabhagh | Stornoway

The town of Stornoway and surrounding settlements that have been absorbed into the burgh.

Ceann a Tuath nan Loch | North Lochs

Leurbost, Crossbost, Grimshader, Ranish, Achmore and Lochganvich.

Ceann a’ Loch | Kinloch

Soval, Keose, Keose Glebe, Laxay, Balallan, Arivruach

Pairc | Park

Habost, Kershader, Garyvard, Caversta, Crobeg, Cromore, Marvig, Gravir, Lemreway, Orinsay, Steimreway and Eishken.

Na Hearadh | Harris

All of the Island of Harris.

Bearnaraigh | Berneray

The small island of Berneray (townships of Borve and Rushgarry) in the Sound of the Harris. Not to be confused with Great Bernera in Lewis.

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