Introduction / Families
There are a number of early Harcuses where only a small amounts of information is known. Sometimes this can be as little as the baptism of their children being recorded in the OPR
The rental of 1810 of James Stewart of Brugh in Westray, which takes in Pharay, includes a William Harcus renting Bull and Lakequoy and probably gives one of the earliest indications of the family name on the island.
This is most likely to be William Harcus who married Janet Groat from Pharay. As he died pre the 1851 census, it is not possible to determine whether he actually came from an earlier Pharay family. The birth of their children suggests that they were in Pharay in 1810, leaving for Eday sometime between 1817 and 1821.
The principal line of the Harcus family name on Pharay that can be traced through quite a number of generations at Doggerboat goes back to James Harcus and Marion Allan from Westray. The parish of baptism of their children suggest that they went to Pharay between 1806 and 1809/10. However James Harcus is not listed as a tenant in 1810.
These Harcuses appear at Doggerboat in the first census of 1841 and subsequent generations were there until 1943, just four years before the last of the population left. The Harcus surname also appeared at Cott in the 1861 to 1881 censuses with William Harcus, a grandson of James Harcus and Marion Allan and the female line married into the other Pharay families.
Another two Harcus families came to Pharay in more recent times.