Remembering Kaye and her Ballachulish Livingstones

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Remembering Kaye and her Ballachulish Livingstones

Postby Canadian Livingstone » Mon Oct 28, 2019 3:34 pm

Hi All,

Recently I learned from our North American Clan Commissioner Greg Livingston that Kaye Saunders of Dunedin,New Zealand had passed away. Kaye has been for a long time steadfast in her support, assistance and work with the Clan Maclea Livingstone Society and like many of us had a great interest in Argyllshire Livingstone genealogy. She was very proud of her of highland Livingston ancestral roots in Ballachulish near Glencoe in Western Argyllshire and her Livingston families connection to old slate quarriers working the Laroch slate quarries in Ballachulish. In the 19th century some of finest quality slate came out of the East and West Laroch quarries. I have noticed that a number of Livingstons in Argyllshire in the 19th century found work in the Slate quarries situated in Ballachulish and on the slate islands of Western Argyllshire. Over the year our Forum has been contacted by a number of folks of Argyllshire Livingston ancestry descended from Livingstons who worked the Western Argyllshire slate quarries.

Kaye also did some extensive research of the surviving St. John's Episcopalian Church records of Ballachulish pertaining to Livingstons that resided there and kindly passed on these Livingston related church records and some St. John's Church gravestone from the transcriptions of Allan J. Collins to our Clan website several years ago.

Her great-grandmother Janet Livingston, also known by family members in Laroch, Ballachulish by a Scottish nick name for Janet which is Jessie, was born May 6, 1839 daughter of Donald Livingston a East Laroch Quarrier and his wife Catherine MacDonald according to baptismal and birth records of St. John Episcopalian Church of Ballachulish. According to Kaye her great-grandmother Janet Livingston was apparently orphaned sometime later in the 1840's and raised apparently in East Laroch, Ballachulish by her Uncle and Aunt Charles Livingston labourer and his wife Dorothy McColl and she is listed in the 1851 Scottish Census at East Laroch, Ballachulish residing with her Aunt and Uncle Charles Livingston his wife Dorothy and their children. Charles and Dorothy also took in a nephew according to the census, a brother of Janet.The 1851 census information from Ballachulish confirms that Janet Livingston born abt. 1838 or 1839 was a niece of Charles and Dorothy Livingston as Kaye had stated.

In 1860 Charles Livingston, his wife Dorothy with three surviving sons and 4 daughters are recorded as passengers aboard the Henrietta that sailed from the port of Glasgow to Port Chalmers at Dunedin, New Zealand. The names of the children are not listed but it states that Charles and Dorothy travelled with 3 sons and 4 daughters. As Kaye stated that her ancestor their niece Janet Livingston b. abt. 1839 or 1838 travelled with them then I assume she was listed as 4th daughter in the passenger list by mistake. If that is the case then it looks to me that Kaye's ancestor Janet b. 1839 was listed with her cousin's Mary born abt. 1846, Janet born abt. 1852 and Margaret born abt. 1855 as one of four daughters of Charles an Dorothy Livingston aboard the Henrietta. Also three surviving sons of Janet's Uncle and Aunt Charles and Dorothy Livingston whom were probably at the time of voyage to New Zealand in 1860: Dugald b. 1843, Hugh(Ewen)b.1850 and John b. 1859 in East Laroch, Ballachulish. Dorothy McColl's Father Duncan McColl and some McColl family members also travelled to New Zealand on this voyage in 1860 of the Henrietta. More information on Charles Livingston, Dorothy McColl and their family in the years after they arrived in New Zealand can be found via ( with some family descendants submitting family genealogy info.

The vessel Henrietta under the command of a Capt. Andrew Cumming left the port of Glasgow, Scotland on May 30, 1860 with over 200 passengers including the Livingstons and arrived Sept. 24, 1860 at Dunedin New Zealand a 115 days into the voyage. Among the passengers were Scottish farmers, carpenters, coopers, blacksmiths and quarriers, their wives and family ready to seek a new life a half a world away from their Scottish ancestral homeland. Fortunately Janet and her Livingston relatives aboard the ship during that lengthy voyage avoided contagious diseases that caused fever and brain inflammation and in the end claimed the lives of several passengers before they reached New Zealand. At the beginning of the voyage there were 238 passengers some of whom paid their passage to New Zealand but many others including Charles Livingston and the Livingstons from Ballachullish were assisted in some way with their passage fees. Conditions were very crowded aboard the ship and the passengers complained about the inadequate medical attention given to them and with the Doctor aboard the ship who was apparently drunk.
Kaye in 2013 stated that within two years of her ancestor Janet Livingston's arrival in New Zealand she married William Saunders of Perthshire, Scotland and settled in Gummies Bush, Southland. She died in South Riverton, New Zealand on April 16, 1933.

No doubt there are today, a good number of New Zealand descendants of Janet Livingston and her Uncle and Aunt Charles and Dorothy Livingston.
For more information on Charles Livingston and Dorothy McColl and their family that arrived at Dunedin, New Zealand in 1860 from Scotland, Kaye recommended a book "Livingstone of Laroch Balluchulish to Forest Hill" which was a story of Charles Livingston and Dorothy McColl researched by Agnes McFadzein and Margaret Docherty published in 1998 who were descended from Charles and Dorothy Livingston. It may be out of print by now, but probably available in some libraries in New Zealand and likely some descendants out there in New Zealand may own a copy. Another book that may be of some interest to researchers with Ballachulish Livingston ancestry is Barbara Fairweather's book Highland Heritage published in 1984 which focuses on the history of the Glencoe area and in chapter 4 an extensive history of the Ballachulish slate quarries which began to be mined as early as the 1690's. Kin of Charles Livingston and Dorothy McColl have submitted some detailed family tree information that covers details of the family in the later years after they arrived in New Zealand, with

Kaye had mentioned back in 2013 that she was going to expand her Livngston research beyond her own family and was working on collecting genealogy info on a number of New Zealand Livingston families in the future.
It is my hope that some descendants of Kaye's ancestor Janet Livingston and those of her Uncle and Aunt Charles Livingston and Dorothy McColl of East Laroch, Ballachulish, Argyllshire, Scotland may someday see this message in Kaye's memory and help in some way to carry on her Ballachulish, Argyllshire and New Zealand Livingston research efforts that obviously meant a lot to her. Like a number of other clan members and supporters of Clan Maclea Livingstone and the Clan Maclea Livingstone Society due to illness, we have lost in recent years she will be missed.


Donald (Livingstone) Clink
Clan Maclea Livingstone Society
Canadian Livingstone
Posts: 2641
Joined: Wed Jul 15, 2009 9:00 pm

Re: Remembering Kaye and her Ballachulish Livingstones

Postby Greg Livingston » Tue Oct 29, 2019 3:35 am

Donald, I am sure that Ginger Livingston Saunders will be happy to read this. I will let her know that you posted this about her cousin.
Greg Livingston
Clan Commissioner
Northglenn, Colorado, USA
Greg Livingston
Posts: 297
Joined: Wed Jul 22, 2009 11:42 pm
Location: Northglenn, CO, USA

Re: Remembering Kaye and her Ballachulish Livingstones

Postby Canadian Livingstone » Tue Oct 29, 2019 1:37 pm

Hi Greg,

It is one of the nice things about our Clan Maclea Livingstone forum that from time to time Livingstone family researchers visiting the forum like Kaye and Ginger did several years now and discover they share a common ancestor and that they are cousins.

I found it interesting that the forum has drawn a number of folks here of Livingstone ancestry who tell us that their Livingston ancestors lived at Ballachulish or in the case of the late Jill Richmond one of the nearby Slate Islands of Western Argyllshire. I read that a lot of workers were drawn from other parts of Argyllshire to areas of Western Argyllshire where there were slate quarries being mined as it provided some steady work for them. Apparently the workers were provided with housing in the Ballachuilish estate. There was a Livingston gentleman from Australia who I was in touch with more than 10 years ago now whose Livingston ancestors also resided in Ballachuilish and who emigrated to Australia in 1850. There must be a lot of Livingstone's and related kin in Australia and New Zealand no doubt. The East and West Laroch slate quarries at one time employed a large number of workers in the Ballachulish area, but apparently have not been in operation for some time.

One could spend a few weeks just in Western Argyllshire as there are so many idyllic and scenic spots such as Ballachulish and nearby Glencoe rooted in Scottish history to explore. Many places where in the past a good number of Livingstone families could be found.


Canadian Livingstone
Posts: 2641
Joined: Wed Jul 15, 2009 9:00 pm

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