Last updated September 2014. Click to return to The John and Muriel Higgins home page.

David Cargill

I occasionally work on a study of my great-great-grandfather David Cargill (1809-1843), the missionary who developed Fijian spelling and stumbled on the phonemic principle 50 years before it was re-discovered and named in Europe.

I have now made available the full text of his "Memoirs of Margaret Cargill" (in effect his reports on seven years of mission work in Tonga and Fiji) as a paperback from


Bulloch, J Malcolm (1921). "An Aberdeen graduate as pioneer in Fiji." Aberdeen University Review, June 1921
Cargill, David (1841). Memoirs of Margaret Cargill. London, John Mason. 350 pp.
Dickson, Mora (1976). The Inseparable Grief; Margaret Cargill of Fiji. London, Dennis Dobson. 174 pp. ISBN 0234 72015 8.
Douglas, Norman and Ngaire (1989). Tonga: a guide. Alstonville, NSW, Australia, Pacific Profiles. Pages 107 - 110.
Higgins, Mrs W.A. (1977). A Family Record. Now published on at 12.00 (hardback) or 2.50 (download).
Schutz. Albert (1977). The Diaries and correspondence of David Cargill, 1832 to 1843. Australian National University Press.
Link to entry for Cargill's diary held at Aberdeen University provided by the Mundus Gateway project.


Margaret Cargill nee Smith, Cargill's first wife who died in Fiji.
Mission station at Viwa, Fiji.
Chapel at Viwa.
Margaret Jane Smith, Cargill's mother-in-law.
Jane Smith, Cargill's sister-in-law.
Mary Cargill, his fourth daughter, born in Fiji, and later married to W.E.Wilkie Brown.
William Elmslie Wilkie Brown, Cargill's son-in-law and minister of Bannockburn.
Margaret Brown, Cargill's granddaughter, later Lady Margaret Hamilton of Balmacara, photographed wearing court dress for a royal occasion.
Sir Daniel Hamilton of Balmacara.

The last two pictures have been loaned to the National Trust for Scotland and are used in the 2002 edition of their guidebook to the Balmacara Estate.