Garthbeg Coat Of Arms

The Lost Families of Stratherrick, Strathnairn, and Dunmaglass, Inverness-shire, Scotland


Metis Cousins

Inverness 22d July 1841

My dear Mother 

It is only now that I have got an opportunity of seeing any person who might give me any information as to your address since receiving your affectionate letter of the      not being sure of your proper address and might have been mislead, however I have last week seen Mr Alex Simpson late of your company, and he has been good enough to give me your address. 

The only circumstance that will anyways interest you, and which has occasioned some emotion in my feelings is Duncan's departure from this Country to a foreign Colony two or three times farther distant from me, than you are from me called South Australia where an immense number of people have emigrated from this Country for the last few years and from which there has been very good accounts both as to the fertility of the soil, and the immense produce of wool which is considered the finest in the world, there he has gone to pursue the business of Sheep and Cattle dealer, not only because he found himself more adapted for that employment - but because it is really the most successful one there, for person have been known to accumulate large fortunes in a very few years; And I am sure, at least I hope Duncan may do the same. He sailed on the 28th of April last from Glasgow, he is by this time halfway on his Voyage.  I will let you know how he gets on there, whenever I hear from him.  My old Grandmother was nearly breaking her heart when he left, she is keeping wonderfully well considering her old age, and probably may live a good many years yet.  I have got a likeness of of Duncan, which he gave me as he was going away.  I hope you have got mine which was sent you some years ago.  I forget whether you had one of my father - My Grandmother has got one of him which was taken before he left this Country at all.

I think I have said enough about Duncan.  I will now tell you what myself is doing.  I am at present in the office of a respectable Solicitor in this Town, a friend of my own, where I have been now for more that two years - and not finding myself adapted for that profession,  which has fallen off very much for many years back.  I am endeavouring with the aid & assistance of a few friends (who might do a great deal more for me if they wished) to procure a situation, in some Mercantile Counting house in London, or some other large Commercial City in this Country.  I am likely to succeed in procuring that situation, and whenever I have procured a competent sum of money for myself, I am determined I will go out to see you once more.

You would have seen Mr Finlayson, who was here some years ago, and he would have given you an account of this country, so that it is useless for me to say anything on that subject.  If Mr Mackenzie ever happens to come to this Country, be sure to give him a letter to me addressed to the care of “Duncan Mactavish Esq Garthbeg by Inverness”, my guardian, and he can forward it or tell on what part of the Country I may be in, at the time, for there is nothing that I would wish better than that I should see him here. 

I have been in very good health for the last few years, thank God for it.  I hope you have been the same.  Give my best respects to Mr Mackenzie, and all who know me there, for I remember no one; and I hope the day may may come when we shall meet again, Although I am far from my dearest friends and Country, my heart is still there.  Trusting that you will write me immediately


I subscribe myself 

Your ever Affectionate & Dutiful son 

Dond. Mactavish


P.S. On the first page here, you have a view of the Town of Inverness where I am, and the other small plate on the right subscribed “Falls of Foyers” is about 20 miles from the Town of Inverness, and within 2 miles of my Grandmothers little Cottage.  It is considered the most romantic place in Scotland.  The Fall is 207 feet heght {?} Often have I fished at the bottom of them, and stood where you see the figures looking on the Fall from a point. 




This letter is addressed as follows: 

Prepaid – Per Private Ship “Stag” 

Mrs Peter McKenzie

St Mary’s Sault 

State of Michigan 

North America 

Care of

The Hon. Hudson’s bay Company’s Secretary

Hudson’s bay House