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. What a view!
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. On January 18th 1839 he married Janet Inkster, daughter of William Inkster and Margaret Gibson of Eastfea, Faraclett, who was born on March 2nd 1816. Between 1839 and 1861 they raised a family of eight children; Margaret was born on October 29th 1839; Mary, on May 19th 1842, but died very young; Betsy, on August 19th 1843; Mary, on October 15th 1846; William, on May 1st 1849; John Ritchie, on October 4th 1851; and James Gibson, on October 22nd 1856.
The family moved across Rousay Sound – to Newhouse, Egilsay, where another daughter, Jessie Ann, was born on May 4th 1861. Her father William Craigie was 54 years of age when he died of dyspepsia on the evening of May 14th 1862. His widow Janet moved back to Rousay, and moved into Mount Pleasant, Frotoft, where she lived with three of her children, William and John, who were sailors, and James, who at the time of the 1871 census was a 14-year-old schoolboy.
In 1864, 46-year-old John Craigie was tenant of Fa’doon, paying an annual rent of £6 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. [That house name is now obscure, though Hugh Marwick places it in the vicinity of the Old School.] In 1861 John married Betsy Sinclair, daughter of Robert Sinclair and Christian Inkster of Swandale, who was born on February 19th 1831. 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 was born on December 11th 1855. He went to Melbourne, Australia, but after his half-brother David died whilst crossing the Red Sea on May 6th 1884 on his way to join him, nothing more was heard from John.
John Craigie passed away in the early hours of May 4th 1886. At this time the stock at Fa’doon consisted of one horse and two cows, the land covered 10 acres arable and 7 acres outrun, and now Betsy had to take over the running of the croft. On August 6th 1886 her daughter Christina married fisherman William Leonard Grieve, son of Robert Grieve, Outerdykes, later Whiteha’, and Isabella Leonard, Digro, and he was born on August 2nd 1850. Between 1887 and 1908 William and Christina raised a family of eight children at Fa’doon; William was born in 1887, married Ann Leonard Corsie, Knarston, and lived at Digro; John David, born on February 28th 1889, but was killed in World War 1; Robert, born on December 15th 1891, married Catherine Lyon and lived at Cruannie; Mary Ann, born on December 29th 1897, married James William Taylor and lived at Swandale; Isabella, born on March 26th 1900; Hannah Leonard, born on October 16th 1903, married James Irvine and lived in Kirkwall; James, born on April 8th 1906, married teacher Isabella Godsman Craigie; and Hugh, who was born on August 23rd 1908, married Janet Sinclair Mainland, Hurtiso, and lived at Saviskaill.
[All family photographs are courtesy of Alan Grieve]