In Memoriam: Gene Donald Lamont 1925-2013

Coll Mailing List. A RootsWeb mailing list is available to everyone interested in the genealogy or history of the Isle of Coll. To register as a subscriber (it is free and safe) send an email to with the single word subscribe in the subject and message fields. After you register you will receive all messages posted to the list. As a subscriber you can seek help with your family research, help others with their research, ask questions, initiate or participate in discussions, or just listen. It is recommended that you also consider subscribing to the Tiree Mailing List. Tiree is the near neighbour of Coll (the two islands are separated only by the narrow Gunna Strait) and had close family ties with Coll. To subscribe to the Tiree list, send an email to with the single word subscribe in the subject and message fields.

Isle of Coll Genealogy
in association with Tiree Genealogy & Mull Genealogy

administered by James Macdonald & Keith Dash
contact: email

Alternative Forenames

With special thanks to: An Iodhlann, Andy & Flo Straker, Anne Maye, Argyll & Bute Council, Barbara Hall, Betty MacDougall, Bill Clarke, Brenda Dougall Merriman, Brian Wills-Johnson, Catriona McLeod, Chris McKinnon, Darryl Stout, Deborah Robertson, Diana Ogg, Esther MacRae, Eugene Quigley, Fionnadh, Flora MacDonald, Gene Lamont, Glenda McPhadden Franklin, Gordon Scott, Hilda Downey, Iain Campbell, Ian Phillips, Ian Scott, Jackie Davenport, Jean Little, Jenny Hicks, Joe Moore, John Livingstone, John MacFadyen, John Temple, Linda Brackenbury, Linda Temple, Louise MacDougall, Marina Campbell, Melda Brunette, National Archives of Scotland, ScotlandsPeople, Terry Hicks, Terry Sheppard, Valerie Bowden & Wayne Cameron.

About copyright. Everything on the website is provided freely in the interests of genealogical research. It is all protected by copyright, so any content, including webpages, articles, spreadsheets, lists and photos, must not be copied and reproduced in other publications without the consent of the author(s) and the website administrators. Copying for personal research or study is permitted. If you use information from the website in your own writings it would be appreciated if you could acknowledge the author(s) and source.

About this website
On this website there are a number of pages, reached by clicking on the blue links, giving information contributed by people with an interest in genealogy and the history of the Isle of Coll. It shares some pages with its 'twin' website, Isle of Tiree Genealogy. New contributions are welcome at any time.

Coll History Coll in Crisis - Emigration in the 1800s, by Brian Wills-Johnson, describes the circumstances leading to the emigration of many Collachs from their homeland to distant lands. Recommended reading.
Coll Censuses Searchable databases of the 1776 List of Inhabitants of Coll and the 1841-1911 national censuses (Microsoft Excel or Excel Viewer is required to download and search the databases).
Births, Baptisms & Marriages Searchable indexes of Coll baptisms 1776-1855 (with later entries also recording the date of birth), and Coll marriages 1776-1855 (Microsoft Excel or Excel Viewer is required to download and search the indexes).
Statistics of Tiree & Coll A series of articles relating to the economy, population, land types, farm practices and estate management of Tiree and Coll in the 1700s and 1800s.
Churches in Coll & Tiree Short histories of the Church of Scotland and other Christian churches in Coll & Tiree, and an explanation for why some records are missing in Old Parish Registers.
Research Interests Lists of surname and family research interests of people of Coll ancestry, with contact addresses. The lists are updated as new entries are received.
Genealogical Records Detailed records of ancestors and descendants of Coll and Tiree families from early times to their expansion in Coll and Tiree, and their further expansion in North America after the mass emigrations of the 1800s. The records include those of the McPhadens of Coll and Tiree, and the Macleans of Tiree.
Coll Map A map of the Isle of Coll showing the location of the village, settlements, and geographical features.
Coll Photos Visitors' photos of the Isle of Coll. Additional contributions (in JPG format) are always welcome.
Historic Journals Descriptions of the people and customs of Coll in the 1690s by Martin Martin, and in 1773 by Samuel Johnson & James Boswell.
Old Newspapers Transcripts of articles from newspapers of the 1700s and 1800s. Additional contributions are always welcome.
Emigrant Ships Passenger lists of emigrants from Coll or Tiree to Australia or Canada in the 1800s.
Emigration to Australia An account of the life and times of John Macdonald who emigrated with his family from Tiree to Australia in 1853. The account includes a description of life on board immigrant ships to Australia in the 1850s.
Links Websites giving interesting and useful information about Coll, nearby islands or mainland Argyll.
Tiree Genealogy A link to Coll's 'twin' website, Isle of Tiree Genealogy
Argyll & Bute Archives Indexes of family history documents held in Argyll & Bute Council Archives, Lochgilphead, Scotland, and links to transcripts of selected documents.
Old Word Meanings Meanings of unusual words or abbreviations that might be encountered in old parish registers, early censuses, rental records, or other old documents.
Alternative Forenames A list of some common forenames in old parish registers or census returns that may be recorded differently in later Scots or overseas documents, sush as the forename recorded as Marion in Scotland but as Sarah outside Scotland.

About the Isle of Coll

Clabhach, Isle of Coll
(photo by John MacFadyen, 2009)

The Isle of Coll, situated north-east of Tiree and separated from it by the narrow Gunna Sound, is similar in size to Tiree but it is much more rugged, with numerous hills and a rocky coastline with occasional beaches. The island's population peaked at about 1,500 in the 1840s and today is less than 200. As was the case in in Tiree and the other Western Isles, many of its people were encouraged or coerced to emigrate in the 1840s and 1850s to mainland Britain or to distant British colonies in Canada, Australia, New Zealand or South Africa.

The early history of Coll was similar to that of Tiree: it was part of the Celtic Kingdom of Dalriada; then came under Viking control; and then under the control of the MacDonald Lords of the Isles who ceded both islands to their allies, the MacLeans. The central and principal part of the island was granted by King James II to John Garve (Iain Garbh), first laird of Coll and ancestor of MacLean of Coll. In 1674 the two extremities of the island were acquired by the Earl of Argyll, along with other MacLean of Duart lands in Tiree and Mull, but in the 1800s the Coll lands were sold by the Argyll family to other proprietors and are no longer part of the estate of the Duke of Argyll.