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Story entitled 'Do'ull Gearr no Cearr' including a short verse, 24 January or February 1865

Identifier: Coll-97/CW113/13

Scope and Contents

Story entitled 'Do'ull Gearr no Cearr' collected from Janet Currie, age 64, Staoinebrig/Stoneybridge, Uibhist a Deas/South Uist. The story tells how Niall Mòr acquired the right from Mac 'Ic Ailean [Clanranald] to Baile-bhaird at Staolaigearai [Baile a' Bhàird, Stadhlaigearraidh/Stilligarry, Uibhist a Deas/South Uist] and how his son Donald Gearr lost that right. Donald had married twice and his second wife realised that her children would come second to those of his first wife so she burnt the papers. The story also explains that Donald was the illegitimate child of Niall Mòr and the wife of mac Ghilleaspa Dubh at Clachan a ghloip [Clachan na Luib/Clachan, Uibhist a Tuath/North Uist]. Mac Ghilleaspa Dubh and his wife had been unable to have children and so when she gave birth to Niall Mòr's son he threw her out of the house. Homeless, she and the baby went wandering until one day at Dreimsdale [Driomsdal/Drimsdale, Uibhist a Deas/South Uist], they met Niall Mòr's daughter, who looked at the child, recognised that it was not the child of mac Ghilleaspa Dubh and recited a verse warning the woman to take care of the child as he would be a bard. The verse begins 'Altrum iocar uacar ucair, As caoin nam ban o thir mhucain'. Mac Ghilleaspa Dubh's wife takes the baby to Niall Mòr who keeps the baby and sends his wife back to her husband with two ponies and two milk cows and mac Ghilleaspa Dubh is happy with that arrangement. The text has been scored through in ink and written transversely is 'Transcribed into Book I page 174 Creagorry 2 October 1875'. Carmichael notes that she heard the story from Donald Currie 'seann seann duine', Ormaclaite [Ormacleit/Ormaclete].


  • Creation: 24 January or February 1865

Language of Materials


Conditions Governing Access

This material is unrestricted.


From the Series: 86 folios ; 20.3 x 16.5 cm

Physical Location


Physical Location

folio 47v, line 18 to folio 50r, line 16

Related Materials

Coll-97/CW112/18 - another copy of this story from the same informant.


Gillies, WIlliam, 'Alexander Carmichael and Clann Mhuirich', Scottish Gaelic Studies, vol. 20 (2000), pp. 1-66.

Repository Details

Part of the University of Edinburgh Library Heritage Collections Repository

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