P.E.I. publisher revises MacLeod family history book

P.E.I. book publisher John Westlie is releasing a revised edition of Harold MacLeod's book — The MacLeods of Prince Edward Island — first released 30 years ago.

'They’re not all Selkirk settlers,' says John Westlie

The revised edition of The MacLeods of Prince Edward Island is set for July 22 in Montague. (CBC)

If your last name is MacLeod and you live on P.E.I., it's likely that John Westlie has come across some information about your family history.

MacLeod family history

Westlie, a book publisher, just finished revising Harold S. MacLeod's book — The MacLeods of Prince Edward Island. The book, first published 30 years ago, has 492 pages of MacLeod family tree information and a few stories as well.

One story involves a MacLeod descendant who left the Island to work in a mine and was "a bully who was murdered in his bed by a fellow worker with a shovel," said Westlie on CBC Radio's Mainstreet.

Harold MacLeod was born in 1927 in Lyndale, P.E.I. He died three years ago, but left behind computer files containing revised information about the MacLeod families he received since the book was first published. Westlie used those files to update the book.

A year to revise the book 

Revising the book took Westlie and his wife, who was Harold MacLeod's niece, about one year. He said he was relieved when the project was completed.

Westlie noted that anyone interested in learning more about their MacLeod family history needs to know something about recent ancestors. The reason is that Westlie wasn't able to index the book, given that so many MacLeods shared the same first name, such as Margaret or Donald.

Westlie noted that the MacLeods came to P.E.I. from the Hebrides region of Scotland, especially the Isle of Skye, at different times in history beginning in the early 19th century.

"They're not all Selkirk [P.E.I.] settlers, meaning they didn't all come in 1803 on the three ships," he said.

The revised edition will be launched on July 22 at the Montague Rotary Library.

With files from Mainstreet