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Introduction / Eday and Papa Westray Grays / John Gray / William Gray and Margaret Corrigall / William Reid Gray and Margaret Sinclair Fea

Maggie Ann Gray and Balfour Leigneer Craigie Rendall

Maggie Ann Gray met and married Balfour Leigneer Craigie Rendall. He was a son of Thomas Drever Rendall and Mary Rendall and grandson of Jemima Paul Rendall. He was brought up by a great uncle and aunt at Manseboat on Eday. Manseboat was just to the east of Stackiegeo, where the Grays had come from, while the Ruah was just to the west. Each is by the shore on the South Side of Eday.

They were to have ten children including:

  • William (Billy) Gray Rendall (b. 26th August 1912) who married Annie Jean (Jeanno) Seatter (b. 19th January 1913). They had three children. Billy worked as a farm servant in various places in Orkney including Westray, Rousay and Holm. He retired to Kirkwall and died on 16th February 1998). Jeanno died later that year on 4th November.
  • Balfour Leigneer Craigie Rendall (b. 30th June 1920). On the death of his father, he became the head of the household, his older brother having married and left. He lived on Pharay and moved to a farm in Tankerness in 1947. He married a girl from the West Side of Eday, who taught in the Pharay school during WWII, on 5th April 1950 and they lived in Kirkwall. They had one son. Balfour worked for the wholesale grocer, Robert Garden and Co, for many years and subsequently at the Creamery in Kirkwall. He retired and died on 28th June 1997.
  • Jean Gray Rendall (b. 28th August 1928) who married James (Jim) Drever on 28th August 1946. They lived in Finstown and Jim worked for the firm of Flett and Sons. They had two children. Jim died on 2nd March 1983 and Jean on 24th November 1989.
  • Sarah (Cissie) Yorston Rendall (b. 1928) died of Tuberculosis at the age of 14 on 28th December 1940.

The other children of Maggie Gray and Balfour Rendall have tended to be employed in farming or to marry farmers. One daughter married a serviceman during the war and left Orkney to live in Airth, Stirlingshire. Maggie Gray and Balfour Rendall were to have nineteen grandchildren.

Balfour Rendall served in World War I and was mentioned in despatches. This did not help his health and he died on 28th March 1937 at the age of forty three. Maggie Gray was carrying their tenth child, who was born subsequently.

The family lived at Windywa on the island of Pharay, of the west coast of Eday. Balfour, their second oldest son, became the head of the household. In 1947, the family moved to a farm in Tankerness in the East Mainland of Orkney. There were only eight households in Pharay and the following year, some of the family went back to assist the others in leaving. The island has been uninhabited since 1948 and is used for grazing sheep.

With the exception of the schoolhouse on the top of the island, all the roofs of the abandoned buildings have now collapsed. The schoolhouse has been maintained and occupied during the lambing season.

Maggie Gray died in hospital in Aberdeen on 10th November 1964 at the age of sixty seven. Her sons made the trip from Kirkwall to Eday by small boat, on an extremely rough day, for the interment with their father in Old Kirkyard in Eday. Their grave is about the closest to the shore.

Balfour L C Rendall
Husband of Margaret A Gray
Who Died 28th May 1937
Aged 43 Years.
Also Their Daughter, Sarah
Who Died 28th Dec 1940
Aged 14 Years
And the Above Margaret Ann Gray
Who Died 10th Nov 1964
Aged 67 Years

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