Dornoch Historylinks Image Library

Embo Street photographs
Embo Street photographs

First in a series of five monochrome photographs relating to Embo Street showing Davie Leslie and Anne McKay ('Babbie' Anne} at 4 King Street.
Picture added on 05 December 2017 at 10:58
The lady shown here is indeed Barbara Ann Mackay (nee Cumming) who we knew in Embo as Babbie Ann. I knew her particularly well, as she was my mother's aunt, even though she was only 14 years older. My maternal grandfather, Donald Cumming (1861-1940) was the oldest of eight siblings, while Barbara was the youngest. Barbara was born in Embo on the 30/08/1885 and died in Embo in 1977. She was married to Donald Mackay on the 27/11/1903.
In the 1911 census she and Donald are shown as living at 3 King Street from where they ran a trading store. Barbara still ran that store in the early 1940s. Barbara Ann was then 25 and Donald 32 and they had been married for 7 years with no children. Both are shown as born in Embo and both Gaelic and English speakers. In that same census it is shown that living next door to them was her father James Cumming (1834-1923) (Shamie) and her mother Jessie Cumming (1858-1918) (Jessie aigh Merrie)
Barbara was a Gaelic scholar of note. She was also a woman with a kind disposition but she had a very strong character. For a two-year period in the 1930s she lived in Florida in the USA with her many Embo born nieces and nephews, and other Embo relatives that formed a Gaelic speaking community there.
Her husband Donald Mackay is reported to have been the first person in Embo to own a motor car. However, sadly in about 1940 he had a fatal accident in this car when driving in The Mound area coming from Golspie. Other people in the car at that time, including my father William Mackay (Willie M), escaped serious injury.
Davie Leslie I also knew in my childhood in Embo. If my memory serves me right he was from Fourpenny and had the “County” contract to remove household rubbish in Embo. ~ Many thanks for this very interesting explanation of Anne Mackay and her family. ~Administrator

Added by Kenneth Mackay on 31 January 2018
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