Notwithstanding all that has
been done 5n promoting intercommunication between this district and the rest
of the country it is surprising to find how decendants of the clans
originally holding possession here seem to stick to their own old homes.
This is the home of the Clan Ross and out of a voters’ list (Parliamentary
and Parochial) of 2,554 no fewer than 495 bear the name of Ross. After them
come the Mackenzies with 218 representatives. The following table shows the
ten most popular surnames with their distribution in the various Parishes.
There are representatives of
nearly every other clan. There are Camerons and Chisholms, Gunns and Grants,
Macleans and Macraes, Morrisons and Murrays, Sinclairs and Forbes, etc.
As to Christian names by far the most common here as elsewhere is John, of
whom no fewer than 390 are on the lists, and there are altogether 67 bearing
the name John Ross. Next in order comes Alexander which name appears 286
times. The others most common are Wiiliam, 270; Donald, 236; George, 139;
James, 138; David, 87; and Robert, 53. Next in order follow Hugh, Andrew,
Murdo, Finlay, Thomas, Duncan, Angus, and Henry. Many of the surnames can
easily be accounted for by those who know the social history of the
district. Thus the Border surnames appeared when sheep farming was
introduced, Vass and Skinner when a social experiment was made in the
seventeenth century. Sport and commerce account for quite a large number of
the English names found in the lists.