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Introduction / Barbara Allan / Westray Allans / Marion Allan and James Harcus / John Harcus and Jane Drummond

Peter Hercus

Peter Hercus was born about 1838 on Pharay to John Hercus and Jane Drummond. He married his cousin Jane Drummond on 8th April 1858. Jane was the daughter of Stewart Drummond and Jane Drever, born about 1839. After Jane's early death, Peter married Margaret Drever in November 1866 at her home of Langskaill, Westray. Margaret was born on 3rd October 1844, daughter of Thomas Drever and Margaret Seatter. Peter and Jane had three children:

  • Robert Hercus, b. 4th July 1858 and d. 27th Apr 1862, Holland, Pharay
  • Peter Hercus, b. about 1860 and d. 24th May 1868, age 8, Holland, Pharay

Peter and Margaret had the following children:

  • Margaret Hercus, b. 17th Oct 1867, South Langskaill, Westray. Margaret was with the family in 1881, but has not been found later.
  • Mary D. Hercus, b. 12th Aug 1870, in Eday parish (probably Pharay) who married James Stout at Rapness, Westray on 9th Nov 1888. James was the son of Thomas Stout and Ellen Kent, born about 1867. They had two children born on Papa Westray: Margaret Stout, b. 1889, and Peter H. Stout, b. 1890. In 1891, James, a 23-year old widower and farm servant was living at New House No 2, Papa Westray with his daughter Margaret and his mother. Young Peter was with his grandmother Margaret Harcus at Doggerboat. Mary had died at New House on 3rd Nov 1890 at the young age of 20, probably from complications of childbirth.
  • Peter Hercus, b. 26th July 1872, Doggerboat, Pharay, who married Jessie Moodie in Lady Parish, Sanday on 17th Dec 1908. Jessie was born about 1881, daughter of David Cormack Moodie and Ann Firth Leslie. Peter and Jessie lived their working life at Doggerboat where he was a lobster fisherman. They had a family of eight: two daughters and six sons including a set of twins and one son who was lost on a destroyer in WWII. In 1942 Peter and Jessie retired to Galtyha, Eday.
  • Barbara Hercus, b. 12th July 1874, Doggerboat, Pharay who married William Cooper 31st Oct 1893 in Eday. Their daughter Mary Jessie Cooper was born at Doggerboat 13th Nov 1893. In the 1901 census Mary was with her maternal grandparents. William and Barbara could not be located, and it is not known what became of them or their daughter.
  • Jessie Ann Drummond Hercus, b. 1876 who married a widower George Meil of East Gretna,Westray in Apr 1918. Jessie was a domestic servant at Surrigarth, Westray. George, son of John Meil and Jane Logie was born about 1863. He was the widower of May Allan.
  • Thomas Hercus, b. about 1879 who married Margaret Reid of Holland in 1907 and had three children. He was captain of the S.S. Petunia which was torpedoed during WWI and he was interned in Germany. During WWII he and his son captured two German Air Force officers after they crashed on Tom's farm at Sandwick on the Orkney mainland on Christmas Day 1939. He had retired and was building a new house in Finstown when he died 19th Mar 1957.
  • Eliza Hercus, b. 1880 who married Robert Reid in 1902. She was raised by her aunt Eliza Burgar after her father died when she was just a girl of about 7. She and Robert lived at Holland, Pharay, then about 1925 moved to Garth, Westray. They had four children. Robert, a farmer, died 23rd Jan 1948, and Eliza died 2nd Sep 1970, on Westray. Robert was one of the Pharay Heroes.
  • Ann Hercus, b. 1882 who married her distant cousin John Groat in May 1907 in South Leith, Edinburgh. John was the son of Robert Groat and Ann Tulloch. At the time of their marriage John was a cable car driver and Annie was a servant. They lived in Edinburgh.
  • John Hercus, b. 21st Sep 1884, who was one of the Pharay Heroes

(Margaret Reid, who married Thomas Hercus, and Robert Reid, who married Thomas' sister Eliza Hercus, were siblings, the children of James Reid and Isabella Reid from Smittlady, Westray. The Reid family had moved to Holland, Pharay about 1890.)

Peter lived at Holland, Pharay. After Jane died on 31st March 1865 and Peter married Margaret Drever, Peter was perhaps living at her home of Langskaill, Westray, or she returned there for the birth of her first daughter. In any event, by the 1871 census, Peter and Margaret were living at Doggerboat, Pharay and Peter was a crofter. He drowned off the coast of Pharay with a young Drummond cousin on 13th October 1887, at age 48. It was said he was transporting a cow when his yawl sank. The bodies were not immediately recovered.

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