An incident which is related about him Iain Se˛ldair gives an insight
personality. It appears that there had been a fracas between a group of
fishermen in one of the mainland ports and this led later to one of the
fishermen appearing in court. While giving his evidence he gave his
the Ach M˛r people,
"Muintir an Acha, Muintir an Riabhaich." (The Acha M˛r people - people
just as he said the words he happened to notice Iain Se˛ldair enter the
the court so, with only a second's hesitation, he hurriedly added, "A
duine riabh ach Iain Se˛ldair." (All of them but Iain Se˛ldair.)
Another version of the story has the encounter take place in a church
`troublemakers' had been confined.
In the census return for 1851 Iain is described as a weaver - and indeed
according to family lore he was the first weaver in Lochs, having built
handloom. It was a trade that was to be carried on by his grandson,
the next century.
One of Iain Se˛ldair's daughters, Effie, married an Angus MacDonald from
Bernera. Theirs was a whirlwind `romance' - the young man, having heard
Iain Se˛ldair's fine daughters, contrived to fall into the burn at
This provided him with an excuse to call at the MacArthurs and he was so
smitten by Effie that he proposed on the spot!
It would appear that Iain Se˛ldair's sons were the first generation to
literate. Malcolm is known to have attended the Free Church school in the
village and was awarded first prize for diligence in 1872. A few years
his brothers Donald and John attended the Board School which had opened in
1877. The brothers could read and write in both Gaelic and English, were
extremely competent in arithmetic and had a wide general knowledge.
It is doubtful if any of the girls would have attended school; certainly
Mary registered her father's death in 1900 she had to record her name
with an X.