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Introduction / Houses


Doggerboat is the third house from the north end of Pharay, lying between Cott and the School. One family occupied it probably for as long as the same family has occupied any house on the island. This was the Harcus family.

  Image produced from the Ordnance Survey Get-a-map service.
  Image reproduced with kind permission of Ordnance Survey
  and Ordnance Survey of Northern Ireland.

However the tenant at the time of the 1810 rental was David Hourston. There were certainly Hourston children born to David Hourston and Christian Drever in the 1790s. They are thought to have left for Eday shortly after this.

The Harcus link to Doggerboat came with James Harcus and his wife Marion Allan from Westray. The parish of baptism of their children suggests that they moved as some time between 1806 and 1809/10 although non appearance in the 1810 rental may suggest the end of this period. Marion Harcus does appear at Doggerboat in the first census in 1841, when her age is given as seventy five.

The number of Harcus households at Doggerboat varied with the censuses and the new generations:

  • John Harcus (son and married to Jane Drummond) from the 1841 census until he died in 1884
  • John Hercus (grandson and married to Margaret Seatter) in 1861 and 1871. They moved to Kirkwall.
  • Peter Harcus (grandson and married to another Jane Drummond) and then Margaret Drever from the 1861 census until he drowned in 1887
  • Peter Hercus (great grandson born in 1872 and son of Peter Hercus and Jane Drummond). He married Jessie Moodie from Sanday and lived all his life at Doggerboat

Robert Leslie who was at Hammer had the tenancy in 1943/44 and Robert Seatter from Westray occupied it for the last three years until 1947.

There is a story in respect of how Doggerboat got its name.

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