Clan CrestThe Clan McLea/Livingstone Forum

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Title: Dr. David Livingston without the e
Posted by: Donald (Livingstone) Clink
Date: 06 April 2006

Hi Andrew, 

In one of my recent messages I referred to Dr. Livingstone's father for a time had dropped the e from the family name. The source was actually a biography on Dr. Livingstone's published in the late 1800's. The name of the book and it'st author I have temporarily forgotten, but I found the quote I was looking for:

"The Saxon name of the family was originally spelled Livingstone, but the Doctor's father had shortened it by the omission of the final "e". David wrote it for many years in the abbreviated form, but about 1857, at his father's request, he restored the original spelling."

Most of these 19th century DAvid Livingstone biographies basically repeat much of what was stated in Livingstone's own 1857 autobiography that contains a very brief account of his familie's highland origins. It is worth checking them all out however, because some occasionally do contain some rare tidbit of information that was drawn from some other obscure source about Livingstone's family. It is truly regretfull that the Doctor felt that his readers would not be interested in a  more detailed family history in his book. Judging by the numerous tales his grandfather Neil Livingstone Sr. told him as boy, I can only imagine what valuable information we missed out on. 

My great-great-great grandfather Miles Livingston and his children for reasons unknown dropped the e shortly after they settled in Canada. My late cousin William Livingstone Clink retained the e because he is descended from two different highland Livingstone families that came to Canada, one of which retained the e. This other Livingstone family were actually neighbours of Miles in the township where he settled in Canada, but to our best knowledge were not from Islay or Movern where Miles had resided in his youth. 

Part of me however has always wondered if that Mull information is incorrect and this other Livingstone family that settled so close to Miles was in fact kin. It would not be the first time someone had stated we were from Mull. Some of the later records from Western Canadian researchers even recorded our family as being from Mull because we were travelling to Red River Settlement in British North America in 1812 with a McLean family group that joined us from port of TObermory, Mull. Anyways with such a large party on the vessel originating from Mull it easy to see why poor Miles and his other Livingstone companions originating on the voyage from Bowmore, Islay, but natives of Movern, would be later stated as being of Mull. The vast majority on the vessel that Miles sailed on to British North America in 1812 were from Mull. 



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