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Descended from a family of bards


FOR generations, the Marquis family of Kintyre have considered themselves of Huguenot descent. Now comes news that we're more likely to be from gaelic-bardic stock - with a John McMarkish peddling odes and rhymes around the hills of Argyllshire as early as 1506.

This information comes from author-poet-fisherman Angus Martin, recognised as an authority on Kintyre and its colourful history. He claims my gaelic forefathers were around long before persecuted French protestants arrived in Scotland.

Angus, editor of Kintyre Magazine, which specialises in the history of the rugged western peninsula, now wants me to write an article about my Marquis forebears, who have been Loch Fyne fishermen since the 18th century.

I'm hoping a five-page feature will appear before the end of the year.

Angus, who lives in Campbeltown, at Kintyre's southern tip, has written several books about the area, mostly concentrating on the established farming and fishing communities.

The Marquis family lived in Kintyre for at least five centuries, if Angus's theories are correct. My great, great grandfather, great grandfather and grandfather were all fishermen in the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries, the mould finally broken by my father, who left his home village of Tarbert Loch Fyne in 1925 in search of work. Most of the family now live in Leicestershire.

* Pictured above is the book Fish and Fisherfolk, by Angus Martin, available on Amazon.


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