Most of my early McFadyen ancestors remain a mystery to be filed away under Cold Cases until new evidence comes to light. Variations in the spelling of the surname don’t help.

1808 Parish of Torosay (OPR 550/00 0010 0030)

  • 22nd May – Martin McPhaden & Marion McKinnon, Moy, Allan and further down the page
  • 10th July – Colin McTavish & Cath. McGilvray, Laggan, Archd

I struck it lucky here, two ancestors on the same page, but my luck ran out with Allan McFadyen. I have a suspect, whom I have located in the census from 1851 through 1871, the only hindrance preventing me from claiming him, is locating the correct death certificate which will solve the tiny problem of his age and parents.

In each of the census years he is ten years younger than expected.

The signs that led me to believe he is related: –

  • Birthplace – Isle of Mull and Torosay;
  • The 1850 birth of son Donald at Oban;
  • Charles McFadyen, close in age to his younger brother, named his youngest son born 1856 at Oban, Allan;
  • Donald McFadyen’s 1906 death certificate gives his father’s occupation as Fisherman. (This McFadyen line consists of fisherman and seaman).

Archibald McTavish is the first born son of Colin and his wife of six months, Catherine McGilvray who married February 1808 at Torosay.

1825 Parish of Torosay and Kinlochspelvie (OPR Births 550/00 0020 0013)

  • 4th December: George McLean and Cath. McPhaiden, Moy, Martin
  • 29th January 1826: Colin McTavish and Cathn. McGilvray, Laggan, Catherine

Another two for one although I’m not sure whether Catherine McPhaiden is the daughter of Martin and Marrion – it was the baby’s name, Martin that caught my eye. Catherine is another cold case and the only lead I have is:

1851 census for Charles McFadyen at High St, Oban. Included in the household this night were, Lachlan McLean, nephew, age 25, born Torosay, builder’s labourer and Malcolm McLean, pauper age 3, born Torosay.  Could these McLeans be related to George McLean and Catherine McPhaiden?