The Registrar of Births Deaths and Marriages, Kilmore & Kilbride published his quarterly report for the period ending 31 December 1878 in the Oban Times on Saturday 4 January 1879, page 5. For the three months ending December 1878 of the thirty births, which was about average, two were illegitimate. On the other hand, marriages and deaths for the period were above average. From the twelve marriage ceremonies performed during three months, seven couples tied the knot in December. Similarly, the final death tally of thirty seven for the period was above average and took the number of deaths for the year to one hundred and two, the largest ever recorded in the district. However, the quarter was excessively cold and pulmonary complaints and whooping cough had been prevalent for some time. Naturally, this had an effect on the elderly and young, with eight of the deceased over seventy years and twelve children under five years of age.
Page four of the Oban Times, 4 January 1879, reported that the weather had been “excessively cold” between Christmas and the New Year. Over the preceding week, the long frost had abated and a rapid thaw set in, consequently, by Monday most of the ice had disappeared although the hills of Mull and Morven retained their wintry covering, down to their base. The thaw stopped on Tuesday night and the New Year was welcomed in with frost and a slight snowfall. However, in the Lochalsh district, rarely had sheep farmers experienced a such a terrible winter with livestock suffering great privations caused by the deep snow and severe frost, which has lasted for over three weeks. In the low ground, the hogs cannot get at the turnips while on the hills, rushes and heather are buried from sight. As a result, farmhands were hard pressed feeding sheep and cattle with hay and straw. Before going to press, the author wrote, it was bitterly cold at Oban and every indication another snowstorm was imminent.
Members of Mary McFadyen and Peter McIntyre’s family were part these statistics. During the month of November, their grandson, twelve year old Peter McIntyre the son of deceased slater, John McIntyre and his widow Margaret Buchanan, afflicted with dropsy and hectic fever passed away in his Shore Street home on the 13th. On a happier note in December, Mary and Peter’s thirty year old son, Archibald McIntyre, fisherman married twenty seven year old, domestic servant, Janet McLean. Archibald’s cousin Malcolm McFadyen from the Isle of Mull witnessed the ceremony, which took place at 25 High Street, Oban in accordance with the forms of the United Presbyterian Church.