Drever was the most common surname over the census periods from 1841 to 1901 with often around 30% of the population of Pharay and almost 45% in 1861. This was followed by Harcus, which gradually increased from a little over 10% in 1841 to 20% in 1861 and 1871. The occurrence fell thereafter, especially with the influx of new families prior to 1901.

Drummond maintained a relatively steady occurrence of around 15% until 1881 but then almost disappeared from the island.

Of the other two long established families, Groat occurred as a surname for a little over 10% of the population until 1881 and then dropped slightly.

Burgar, together with the Burgess variant, was the surname of around 5% of the population from coming to the island shortly before 1851.

The Sinclairs are largely represented by the family at Windywa in 1841. Other names recorded are Wallace, Shearer, Donaldson, Peace, Allan, Muir, Stout, Cowper, McCallum (a teacher), Stevenson and Dearness. Some of these are merely isolated occurrences as can be seen from the detailed analysis either by reference to actual figures or the surnames shown as a percentage of the population.

The Wallace surname was at the Ness for some time and they were the last to leave the island.