Fa’doon is a croft in Sourin, Rousay, situated on the south-eastern slope of Kierfea Hill, lying at the foot of an abrupt and precipitous slope outside an old hill-dyke.

William Craigie, a farmer and fisherman lived here in 1851. He was the son of William Craigie and Betty Leonard and was born at Cruar on November 14th 1807. In 1839 he married Janet Inkster, daughter of William Inkster and Margaret Gibson of Eastfea, Faraclett, who was born on March 2nd 1816, and between 1839 and 1861 they raised a family of eight children; Margaret, Mary, Betsy, Mary, William, John Ritchie, James Gibson, and Jessie Ann.

In 1864, 46-year-old John Craigie was tenant of Fa’doon, paying an annual rent of £6.0.0. for the 7 acres arable and 11 acres of pasture land. He was the son of James Craigie and Betty Marwick, born at Geordroine, Sourin on December 30th 1817. In 1861 he married Betsy Sinclair, daughter of Robert Sinclair and Christian Inkster of Swandale, who was born on February 19th 1831, and they had three children, Christina, born on March 26th 1862, David on December 21st 1863, and Elizabeth, who was born on February 7th 1871. Before her marriage Betsy had a son, John Harrold, who went to Melbourne, Australia. After his half-brother David died on his way to join him, nothing more was heard from John.

At this time the stock at Fa’doon consisted of one horse and two cows, and the land covered 10 acres arable and 7 acres outrun. After husband John died Betsy was joined at Fa’doon by her daughter Christina and her husband William Grieve of Whiteha’ who earned his living as a fisherman. Between 1887 and 1908 they raised a family of eight children; William, born in 1887 and later lived at Digro; John, born on February 28th 1889, but was killed in World War 1; Robert, born on December 15th 1891, and later lived at Cruannie; Mary Ann, born on December 29th 1897, and later lived at Swandale; Isabella, born on March 26th 1900; Hannah, born on October 16th 1903, and later lived in Kirkwall; James, born on April 8th 1906; and Hugh, born on August 23rd 1908, and later lived at Saviskaill.

William Grieve and his wife Christina, with children Isabella, Mary Ann, and Hannah; with Hughie [centre] and Jimmy [right].


[All family photographs are courtesy of Alan Grieve]

The Grieve brothers: John [left], Robert,

and William [right].

The birth of John David Grieve in 1889 recorded in the Rousay Parish Register.

[Orkney Library & Archive]

Standing are Isabella, Hannah, and Jimmy.

Seated are Mary Ann, Bobby, and Hughie.

Christina Grieve 1862 - 1954

Mary Ann Grieve with husband Jimmy Taylor, Swandale

Jimmy Grieve [Alan’s father]

James Grieve, Neuks, Sourin, brother of

William of Fa'doon


4 generations of the Grieve family together in 1950. Christina is seated next to her son William, with his son John and his and his wife Mabel’s twins – Sheena and Ian.


[Photo courtesy of Tommy Gibson]

Fa'doon c1950s Fa'doon (1) Fadoon 15 07 2015 (3) Fadoon 15 07 2015 (4) Fadoon 15 07 2015 (5) Fadoon 15 07 2015 (8) Fadoon 15 07 2015 (6) Fadoon 15 07 2015 (10) Fadoon 15 07 2015 (9) 04a Isabella, Mary Ann, Hannah; William [alan’s grandfather], Hughie, Christina, Jimmy [alan’s father] John David Grieve birth cert 1889 03STAN~1 07 Isabella, Hannah, Jimmy [alan’s dad] front, Mary Ann, Bobby, Hughie. 05 Christina [alan’s grandmother] 06 Mary Ann Grieve & Jimmy Taylor, Swandale. 01 Jimmy Grieve [Alan’s father] 02 James Grieve [brother of Alan’s grandfather, Neuks, Sourin] 09 4 generations