Malcolm Calder, Olrig & Rosegill Farm Dunnet, Caithness , Barbara Waters Scotland

Malcolm Calder and Barbara Waters

Olrig & Rosegill Farm

Dunnet, Caithness, Scotland

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My Mother's Scottish family


The Calder name is usually associated with Cawdor Castle near Nairn but a Calder line has been in the Caithness records for a long time. I descend through the 3rd son, Alexander as seen below. Sheila Moir of Caithness is deeply knowledgeable about the Calders and has been a great help. Jean Bannerman, Moir Maclennan and the records of Pat Sedgewick deserve thanks as well.

Malcolm Calder
was born Abt. 1783 in Gerth (Garth), Olrig, Caithness, and died Bef. 1861.  He married Barbara Waters August 06, 1808 in Olrig, Caithness, Scotland, daughter of Alexander Waters and Janet Manson.  She was born May 13, 1783 in Olrig, Caithness, and died March 25, 1872 in Rosegill, Parish of Dunnet, Caithness.

There children are:
i.      William2 Calder, born June 30, 1809 in Olrig, Caithness, Scotland; died March 15, 1885 in Hillhead Farm, Dunnet, Caithness.  He married Elizabeth Nicholson March 09, 1845 in Dunnet, Caithness; born Abt. 1826 in Dunnet, Caithness.
ii.    Jessie or Janet Calder, born June 16, 1811 in Olrig, Caithness, Scotland.  She married Alexander Stephen June 02, 1831 in Dunnet, Caithness; born Abt. 1801 in Dunnet, Caithness.
iii.    Alexander Calder, born March 05, 1813 in Olrig, Caithness; died October 23, 1886 in Brinmore, Strathnairn, Daviot and Dunlichity.  He married Henrietta Munro April 02, 1858 in Croy and Dalcross, Inverness; born July 13, 1840 in Croy and Dalcross, Inverness; died May 22, 1922 in 49 Kenneth St, Inverness.
iv.    Micah Calder, born November 01, 1814 in Olrig, Caithness, Scotland; died October 31, 1891 in Rosegill, Dunnet.  He married Margaret Simpson October 23, 1863 in Rosegill, Dunnet, Caithness; born Abt. 1844 in Dunnet, Caithness.
v.    James Calder, born August 02, 1816 in Olrig, Caithness, Scotland; died March 24, 1888 in Corsback, Dunnet, Caithness.  He married Jessie Gunn March 20, 1849 in Thurso; born Abt. 1820 in Dunnet, Caithness.
vi.    Jane Calder, born February 03, 1819 in Olrig, Caithness, Scotland; died February 04, 1892 in Castletown, Olrig.  She married James Taylor December 11, 1855 in Dunnet, Caithness.
vii.    Ann Eliza Calder, born June 12, 1821 in Olrig, Caithness; died November 01, 1893 in Barrock, Dunnet, now known as Mossy View.  She married David Calder January 11, 1859 in Rosegill, Dunnet, Caithness; born December 03, 1836 in Greenvale, Dunnet; died April 06, 1931 in Barrock, Dunnet, now known as Mossy View.

SOURCE 1: Malcolm was born around 1766 or 1771 and died around 1842 or 1851. Information from Pat Sedgwick Dec. 12, 1993.
SOURCE 2: LDS search indicates from LDS member submissions indicate a Malcolm Calder was born: About 1783, Of Gerth, Olrig, Caithness, Scotland.

William Calder and Margaret Allen are not his parents according to Sheila Moir. She found records of these parents who had a son malcolm but he is not our malcolm.
Source: phone call, May 2009

In the 1851 census there is a Garth, Olrig. It is adjacent to Tansfield, Milhill, Garth, Murdiscroft, Shurdisloft, Thurdisloft, Coulig, Whitefield, London and Duncan. The location is adjacent to the sea and on the east end of Olrig adjacent Dunnet.
Source: 1851 census, Dunnet, Caithness, Enum Schedule 3, LDS film 103666. Information taken from the film by R. Saylor, Apr. 2003.

BARBARA WATTER, Birth:  13 MAY 1783, Christening:  16 MAY 1783   Olrig, Caithness, Scotland
Parents: Father:  ALEXR. WATTER, Mother:  JANET MANSON    
Messages: Extracted birth or christening record for the locality listed in the record.
Source: Batch No.:  C110392 Dates: 1699 - 1854, Source Call No.: 0990553, Call No.: 6903137

She lived in Castlet, near Thurso, according to Jean Bannerman.

"1808 - Malcolm Calder in Gerth and Barbara Waters in Olrig were matrimonially (contracted) 16 July and married 6 August inst.. Wit's George Calder and James Waters."
Source: Extract of an entry in an Old parish Register, Olrig, Caithness, Scotland, p. 557, otained in 1989 by Sheila Moir, Caithness, descendant. Emailed a copy to WRS, 2 May 2003.

Footnote to the above marriage.
David Calder emailed saying that "George Calder, the witness to the above marriage, is my GG Grandfather. George's wife was Anne Johnston Calder. They later moved to Edinburgh. He passed away there. Mary and her oldest son David were baptized in the LDS Church and she moved the family to Illinois, to prepare to travel West with the pioneers. My G Grandfather (George) was 2 yrs. old when they left Scotland.
Anne Calder and her family arrived in the Salt Lake Valley in 1851. She never remarried, but my G Grandfather George married Mary Bennion and later my Grandfather Wallace was born. Their original homestead is now a golf coarse. Look up Calder's Park, Salt Lake City, Utah on the internet, to see what the Calder Family did in their spare time. I am curious to know anything about my GG Grandfather's family."
Source: email from David Calder, May 2012

Malcolm is listed as a gardener at Castlehill on 2 Aug 1816 in the Midwife Registry for the birth on son James and possibly on 3 Feb 1819 for birth of daughter, Jane.
"I  just got this from a Lady from Ayrshire who was up in Wick on holidays.  Take note! 2nd Aug 1816. It now proves what my Aunty Peggie told me that our folks were gardeners & planted the trees at Castlehill in Olrig. That is our G.G. Grandfather Malcolm, who is gardener et Castlehill and who then went to Rosegill. His son James was born on that date & on next page on 3rd Feb 1819 it was Jane who married James Taylor who was born then."
Source: Midwife Register, 1793 - 1828 housed at Wick. Copies of transcription emailed by Sheila Moir 18 Oct 2003 to WRS. Files.

ROSEGILL - ownership
"Rosegill - Nobody is sure as to the meaning of the name. A Highlander would refer to a small valley as a 'gill', so possibly roses were once grown in this comparatively sheltered area."

"The Historical Search Room of the Scottish Record Office advises that Rosegill is a farm in the parish of Dunnet and the early owner of this land was one James Traill of Rattar. In order for me to trace the history of Rosegill a search would have to be made of the papers of the Traill family. Although this office does hold a certain amount of papers relating to the landed families, unfortunately the Traill family is not one of them. Nor have I been able to discover whether such papers do exist, or their where about, if so.

However it is of interest to note the family association of the Calders and the Traills in the name of our forebear James Traill Calder, historian and author."
Source: email from Sheila Moir, files of WRS, May 2003.

Calder, Malcolm farmer of Reisgill is registered as a voter for the County of Caithness after 1835.
Source: Ian Sutherland's book, p. 96, WRS files from Sheila Moir, June 10, 2003

The last child of Malcolm and Barbara ws born in Olrig in 1821 and this suggests they moved from Garth in Olrig to Rosegill in Dunnet between 1821 and 1835. WRS

Living at Rosegill, parish of Dunnet are:
Malcolm Calder, 70, Farmer
Barbara Calder, 50
All children below are unmarried.
William Calder, 30
Alexander Calder, 25
Micah Calder, 25
James Calder, 20
Jane Calder, 20
Ann Calder, 15
David McKay, 9, Ag Lab
Barbara Stephen, 9 (note - probable grandchild)
Note the rounded off nature of their ages suggesting a lack of care in recording them.
Source: 1841 census, Dunnet, Caithness, Enum Schedule 4, p. 10, LDS film 101829. Information taken from the film by R. Saylor, Mar. 2003.

Living at Rosegill, parish of Dunnet are:
Barbara Calder, Head, Married, 65, Farmer 65 acres, employing 1 labourer, born Olrig.
Micah Calder, son, unm, 34, Farmers son, employed at home, Olrig.
Jane Calder, dau, Unm, 30, Farmers dau, employed at home, Olrig.
Ann Calder, dau, Unm, 28, Farmers dau, employed at home, Olrig.
Johann Steven, grandchild, 4, Bower.
George Sutherland, serv, Unm, 16, farm labourer, Dunnet.
Source: 1851 census, Dunnet, Caithness, Enum Schedule 3, p. 1, LDS film 103666. Information taken from the film by R. Saylor, Apr. 2003.

Living in the District of Cosback, Rosegill, Dunnet,
Barbara Calder, Widow, 70, farmer 80 acres, 3 men, born Olrig.
Micah, unmarried, son, farmer, born Olrig.
Eliza Stephens, 19, niece, Dom. Ser., born Bower.
Ann Simpson, 20, servant, Dom. Ser., Dunnet
David Calder, 24, Head, marr, Ploughman, Dunnet
Ann Calder, 34, Wife, marr, Ploughman's wife, Dunnet
In the bothy:
James Ross, Head, Unmarr, 17, Ploughman, Dunnet.
Source: 1861 Census, Caithness, Dunnet, Enum. Div. 2, p. 6, LDS film 103814, checked by R. Saylor, March 2003.

Dwelling: Rosegill
Barbara Waters, mother, widow, 87, born Olrig.
Micah Calder, Head, married, 47, farmer 105 acres, 90 arable, 2 men, 2 women, born Olrig.
Margaret Calder, wife, 27, born Dunnet
Three children named - see notes for Micah.
Source: 1871 Census, Caithness, Dunnet, Enum. Div. 2, p. 11, LDS film 103974, checked by R. Saylor, March 2003.

1843 DEATH of Malcolm Calder
1. Malcolm is not listed in the 1851 census at Rosegill yet his wife is named as 'married' and still has the surname Calder.

2. 6 Sep 1843 FATAL ACCIDENT
On Saturday night last, an accident, attended with fatal results, befell Mr Malcolm Calder, farmer at Reisgill. The deceased was a member of Mr Burns’ congregation, in Thurso, and had come into town for the purpose of attending the sacrament; but, while about to retire for the night, he had occasion to pass a part of the stair landing, which has no rail, and he was precipitated headlong to the stair foot. When taken up, he was quite insensible. He never rallied, and lingered till Wednesday afternoon, when he expired. The deceased was a quite industrious man, and his untimely end is much lamented by his neighbours and acquaintances. This is the second fatal accident recorded in our columns within the last few months, occasioned by the stairs being left in an unguarded manner. The expense of railings cannot surely be very heavy; and we would earnestly press on the attention of the inhabitants of houses similarly situated, the propriety of immediately remedying so serious an evil where it is found to exist.
Source: I was looking through a Scottish website called “Am Baile” meaning “the family” one day and I came across a newspaper article regarding the death of Malcolm Calder in 1843.  From this website you can request a copy of the newspaper article to be sent to your computer, and I received a copy yesterday. John O'Groat Journal Friday, September 8, 1843, Maureen Foster, Sept 2009

NOTE: The census records from 1841 to 1881 show that their children were all born in Olrig. By 1841 Malcolm and Barbara are living at Rosegill and their children have moved there or nearby. There are few Calders in Olrig and most live in the Dunnet area around Corsback.

1872 DEATH of Barbara Calder
Barbara Calder, Farmer, widow of Malcolm Calder, farmer; died 25 Mar 1872, Rosegill, 88 years; father Alexander Waters, farmer, deceased; mother Janet Waters, M.S. Manson, deceased; cause nervous sef??raeh? from severe by burns by flames (sic), 5 days, certified by Dr. Sutherland; informed by James Calder, son, present; registered 28 Mar 1872 at Dunnet.
SOURCE: copy of death registration, obtained from, Dunnet, Caithness, GROS data 036/0006, Nov. 11/02, files WRS.

1872 OBITUARY of Barabra Waters
A correspondent sends us the following: I observe the following announcement in your obituary of the 4th inst. “At Rosegill, Dunnet, Barbara Waters, relict of the late Malcolm Calder, aged 88 years.” Having had the privilege in early life of being well acquainted with this amiable and sincere Christian, I cannot refrain from adding to this brief announcement, that, as a friend and neighbour, she has left none her equal in the parish. Her portly person and benign countenance were never absent from the house of mourning, deeply sympathising with the bereaved, and pouring into the disconsolate ear those sacred thruths upon which she herself so bountifully fed. It could well be said of her, “diligent in business, fervent in spirit.” Happily for Mrs. Calder, her husband and family were of kindred spirit, which made their home a happy one. Summer and winter she rose at an early hour, and the smoke from Rosegill house could be seen curling heavenward hours before the neighbourhood was astir. The morning sacrifice ascended from that dwelling ere the sun arose, and whilst engaged in her wordly avocations, the Psalms of David (which she had by heart) afforded her sweet meditation and matter of song. She adhered to the doctrines of the Original Seceders, and was justly esteemed by that covenanting few. The Rev. David Waters, the much respected Free Church minister in Burghead, is a brother of her’s and the other branches of the family (now gone to their rest) were highly esteemed in Caithness, and were throughout proverbial for their consistency and zeal in witnessing truth. Mrs. Calder leaves four sons and two daughters and a number of grandchildren with a sorrowing neighbourhood to mourn their bereavement.
Source: scanned image of the newspaper clipping emailed to RS by Shelia Moir, August 2013. Transcribed by RS and saved in McIntosh files. Newspaper name not recorded.