The Centre contains a large archive of genealogical material relating to the Ross of Mull. This is of interest to people worldwide, some of whom are the descendants of families who emigrated to the USA, Canada, and Australia in the 18th century due to hardship and 'the clearances'. In 1846 potato blight caused the failure of the crop which was a mainstay of the diet and which continued for 10 years. Simultaneously villages were being 'cleared' of crofters and their families by landlords who sought to improve the profitability of their estates with large sheep farms. People were encouraged to emigrate which resulted in the extensive depopulation of the Ross of Mull, with the many ruined abandoned townships scatted across the landscape today an evocative reminder of a dark period of history. The archive is also popular with people with more recent family connections , whether still resident in the area or as a returning visitor. Anyone interested in history and the natural environment cannot fail to be drawn in to find out more about the many fascinating layers which the Ross of Mull offers.
Among the resources available within the centre are:
In the Centre there are various booklets detailing the history of individuals or families. These booklets are a valuable resource and the Centre is grateful to the individuals who took the time to research them.
The Ross of Mull is an extraordinary microcosm of all that draws visitors to the Hebridean Islands. The scenery, as you travel along the single-track road from the ferry at Craignure is breath-taking. You experience in the many walks in the area a true sense of wilderness; the secret bays with their beaches of silvery sand, the abundance of wildlife and the innumerable marks on the landscape of the lives of past generations and communities long gone. The Ross of Mull is a compelling place for anyone fascinated by history and the ancient way of life of the Gaelic people.