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Introduction / Families


There was one Kent family on Pharay for a short time in the 1890s. This was George Kent, his wife Joanna Irvine and their family. In common with many incomers to Pharay, George had a Westray connection.

Although coming from the parish of Firth in the West Mainland of Orkney, he was born in Westray and baptised on 31st January 1839, the son of Thomas Kent and Jean Louttit. That family had moved to Firth from Westray in the early 1850s.

George married Joanna Irvine (b. 9th August 1855) from Stromness on 10th June 1879. She was the daughter of shoemaker Edward Irvine and Barbara Laughton.

George and Joanna are known to have had eight children:

  • George Kent b. 1880
  • Jemima Kent b. 1882 who married James Thomson in Harray in 1903
  • Thomas Kent b. 1883. He died on 14th August 1901.
  • Isabella Kent b. 1887 who married James Milne. She died on 21st December 1918 at the age of thirty one.
  • Williamina Kent b. 1890
  • James Kent b. 1892
  • John Kent b. 27th September 1893

They moved from Quatquoy in Firth to Pharay around 1892. Certainly their son James, who was 9 per the 1901 census, was born in Firth while their last child was born in Pharay on 27th September 1893. This was at Quoy where they stayed.

Thomas, Joanna and Isabella certainly attended school in Pharay and were there until at least December 1894.

George and Joanna were in Harray in the West Mainland of Orkney by the 1901 census.

Stoneyhill, Harray

Name Relation Status Age Occupation Born
George Kent Head Married 61 years Labourer Stonemason Westray
Joanna Kent Wife Married 45 years Stromness
Thomas Kent Son Single 17 years Navy, 1st Class, Boy Firth
James Kent Son 9 years Scholar Firth
John Kent Son 7 years Scholar Pharay

Joanna, Isabella and Willimmina were also in Harray, working as servants at Caperhouse, Ballarat and Garth respectively. Jemima had moved from Pharay across to Eday and was a servant with her uncle and aunt, John Harcus and Jemima Kent, at Braehead, Cuthsby. This was close to Panhouse, where she was to live with her future husband, James Thomson.

Joanna Irvine died on 7th October 1916 and is interred in the kirkyard in Firth, alongside their son, Thomas. George Kent was with his daughter Jemima and her husband at Panhouse, Eday when he died on 22nd June 1925.

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