Families of Torridon

Looking over Loch Torridon to Inveralligin, October 2019

Loch Torridon is located on the west coast of Scotland. It forms the northern edge of the Applecross peninsula and consists of an inner and outer loch. It is, even today, one of the remote areas of Scotland.  Most roads in the area are single track, with passing places and some have only been built since the 1960’s.

My gggrandparents were born in Loch Torridon – my gggrandfather was born in Inveralligin on the northern shore and my gggrandmother was born in Ardhelsaig on the southern shore. The map below shows exactly where Inveralligin and Ardheslaig are located. The map is interactive and it is possible to zoom in and out to better see where Loch Torridon is located in Scotland. 


I have always had a romantic fascination with the area. It is truly beautiful on a sunny day but I am sure day to day living in the 19th century was very hard, cold and wet. My gggrandparents did not marry in the area and I do not know if they knew each other when growing up there. However, I wanted to see if I could piece together and document local family histories using surviving records.

One of the aims of this study is to explore the relationships between the people in this small community. And on a very personal level, how many are actually related to me in some way. As this was a remote and isolated area there was plenty of intermarriage. Was this within each small settlement or within the Loch Torridon area? How many “outsiders” were there and where did they come from and why?

Another area of interest is to see how the inhabitants survived. Did they stay where they were and soldier on and manage to survive or did they fail. Conversely, did they move away and how did they fair in their new home?

What is the scope of this study? I have included all the places on the shore of Loch Torridon from Diabaig, the western-most settlement on the north shore to Fernmore in the south west. As there are no parish records prior to the 1790’s I will be concentrating on those families listed in the census records from 1841 until 1891. Please see the resources page for details of the sources used for this study.

More to come about these families.

Learn more about the Loch Torridon area at these websites: