It was The City of Chattanooga Pipe Band!
In the last issue of The Family Tree, we had a photograph of a very
handsome pipe band...but did not know who they were!
We had answers from Norman Livermore, Watt Alexander, Anne Armstrong and
Angela Barclay Arnold!
Ms. Arnold wrote, "That is the City of Chattanooga Pipe Band headed by
Pipe Major Russ Spaulding. The band's highest ranked player is
17-year-old Joseph Simpson, a Grade II competitor. Young Joe has played
for our local Burns Dinner twice and has impressed everyone with his
She continued, "The band competes at the Grade V level and has two first
places finishes to its credit - the Alabama Games and the Kentucky
Scottish Weekend at Carrollton, Kentucky."
Anne Armstrong wrote, "...that is the City of Chattanooga Pipe Band, a
relatively new group that is doing quite well. They were recently
upgraded to Grade IV. On the left in the sunglasses is Brad Collins, a
nigh school senior and to Brad's left is Roger McCullough, who hasn't seen
the inside of a high school in many, many years. They both live in
Cleveland, Tennessee and used to play with our band, the Knoxville Pipes
and Drums. Cleveland is 70 miles from Knoxville and only 30 from
Chattanooga, so it makes sense that they choose to travel the shorter
Norman Livermore wrote, "They are one of the up and coming Grade IV
And all of this has sparked an idea...
Writing this, all awake and fresh at 5:28 AM on a Saturday morning, your
editor had an idea!
Why not feature pipe bands in The Family Tree? There are so many folks
who work so very hard and who accomplish wondrous things with our pipes
and pipes and drums, it will be fun learning more about them!
So, if you are in a pipe band or know of a pipe band and the details about
it...please send a good, clear photograph and a little story about the
group and we'll print it in the print edition of The Family Tree. We'll
also put it up on the Internet in a section we'll call (not very
creatively) Pipe Bands (or maybe will have inspiration to think of
something clever)...and keep on adding to the photos and stories at that
place. In awhile, we'll have a pretty good directory of the pipe bands we
all love so much!
Be sure and include contact information for the group so that Highland
Games and events will know how to contact the bands.
Can anyone help Jim Hardin?
Jim Hardin, PO Box 99901, AJ-1593, Pittsburgh, PA 15233 writes, "I am
incarcerated. For the last 2 years I have been working on tracing my
maternal family (Carcaiso/Carcaise) tree. The odds are almost
insurmountable from here. I have no access whatsoever to the Internet,
research libraries, very limited telephone usage and lack of monies to
hire a professional genealogist to help me. Despite all these setbacks,
I've had very good success to date thanks to the untiring and unselfish
research that volunteer genealogists have provided to me pro-bono.
They're a true godsend to me! I have exhausted what I can do locally and
need the help of a volunteer who lives near the Family History Library in
Salt Lake City, Utah. I need records researched there. Is it possible
that there is a volunteer there that would be willing to help me? I could
give them a stipend of $50 - $100. The records I need researched are in
Naples, Italy, but available on file at the FHL in Salt Lake City."
Patricia MacDonald Phillips, a long time and active member of Clan
Donald USA, wife of Robert J. Phillips of Clan MacNachtan, passed away in
early February 2003 after a valiant struggle against Endometrial Cancer.
They have been active members of the St. Andrew Society of Southern
California as well as CDUSA and Clan MacNachtan.
Legislature increases certified copy fees in California
Effective this last January, the State Legislature of California added $2
to existing certified copy fees for birth and death certificates.
The cost to get a certified copy of a birth record from the Los Angeles
County Registrar - Recorder/County Clerk's office is now $18 and the cost
for a death record is $13, officials said.
Of the increased fee, 35 cents will be kept at the local level to defray
costs to develop security measures to protect against fraudulent use of
birth and death records. The remainder of the increase, $1.65 will be
forwarded to the state registrar to fund a statewide database.
For information on how to get a copy of records, call 562-462-2137. For
information on the fee increase, call 562-462-2081.
Are you Melungeon? I think I am!
There's a great 2-page article in the recent Smoky Mountain Historical
Society Journal and Newsletter about Melungeons, entitled Melungeons in
If you would like a copy, please send us a SASE along with a note telling
us what you wish for us to send to you. (The Family Tree, PO Box 2828,
Moultrie, GA 31776-2828)
In my own case, it's my hair that is my genetic link! If you know me at
all, you know that my hair is baby fine and silky...and will NOT curl and
pins and barrettes sliiidddeee out! Hats fall off! Under a microscope,
each hair is flat, not round. A physician once told me that you can only
have hair like this if you are of either Native American or Asian
ancestry. The color doesn't matter and it can be any color (in my case
dishwater blonde/rat brown). I can find neither Native American nor Asian
traces in my genealogy - at least in what I have found in a lifetime of
However, in my father's family are many common Melungeon names: Howell,
Clemmons/Clements, Gibson/Gipson, Hendrix, Atkins, etc. They come from
the right places, too. My parents were divorced when I was less than
2-years old, but my mother always told me my father was "Indian" and that
his mother was "full-blooded." When I asked my father about it years
later, he said, "No, we are not Indian, we are Spanish."
My research tells me I am neither, but both - Melungeon. Your ed.
Online Welsh course may be offered
The Madog Center for Welsh Studies at the University of Rio Grande is
considering offering an online Welsh course if enough demand for the
The Welsh Language spoken in Wales is the oldest living language in
Europe. It developed from its mother tongue, "Brythoneg" (British) in the
6th century AD. It is spoken today in Wales by at least 20% of the
When the Welsh came to America, they brought with them their language and
customs. The Gymanfa and the Eisteddfod are still alive today!
However, the Welsh language has not fared so well. If you are interested
in a Welsh language course online, please go to
www.rio.edu/madog/onlinecourse.htm or write Madog Center, F-40, PO Box
500, Rio Grande, OH 45674-0500.
What to do about "family secrets..."
John McCoy in Questing Heirs Genealogical Society Newsletter Presidents
Column Family secrets are a potential mine field to family researchers.
As genealogists, we want to tell the truth that we have worked so hard to
uncover, but we also have no desire to alienate our families. Family
history is supposed to be a positive force. Thus, we are sometimes faced
with difficult decisions and must be guided by ethical considerations.
Discussions of ethics for genealogists, unfortunately, are usually limited
to a sort of "Genealogist's Creed," something to the effect that "I will
tell the whole truth all of the time and always cite my sources when I
plagiarize the work of others." That's fine, as far as it goes, but it
entirely ducks the problem of which family secrets should be revealed and
which should remain hidden.
For that, we have to think carefully! Our discussion at a recent meeting
was based on two resources. First, I highly recommend a little book by
the well-known philosopher Sissela Bok, Secrets (1982). Secrecy, it turns
out, is part of everyday life and it is widely abused. In the name of
"privacy" for example, a school bus driver might conceal a dangerous heart
condition, even though keeping this secret places children at risk.
We understand that there are limits on secrecy, when the secret may cause
harm to others.
A particularly subversive kind of secret is illustrated by the situation
where a mother tells her child that she intends to leave her husband, but
requires the child not to tell his father. The more he keeps the secret,
the more disloyal he feels.
We recognize that keeping a secret may be every bit as destructive as
revealing it. Examples such as these show that there are many dimensions
The second resource for our discussion was the collective experience of
our members. Questing Heirs is fortunate to have many members who have
lived long and complicated lives. Some have the experience of family
secrets in their own lives. When our members explain from personal
experience what it is like to be told as a child that their parents were
not their real parents, their perspective on these situations carries
great weight. Likewise, the feeling that it is usually not harmful to
reveal secrets of generations long dead, but potentially very harmful when
participants or their children are still living and consider the matter
I would almost go so far as to recommend that genealogists not attempt a
book that traces a family into modern times until they have reached
retirement age. It may take many years to develop sufficient "discretion"
- that is, the ability to determined which things should be said and which
should not be - in relating the story of a family.
While waiting for our sense of discretion to develop, however, I think we
need to pay attention to the possibly conflicting interests that might
attend the writing of a family history.
" How do I now I have the whole story and that no one's motives or
character has been misrepresented?
" Is the secret something that would ordinarily be considered private, or
is there some overriding aspect that gives it significance beyond the
" Is the secret causing harm to anyone? Is it keeping someone from making
important decisions? Does it involve people against their will, or who
can't speak for themselves (such as children)?
" Would revealing the secret cause harm to anyone?
" Would anyone benefit if it were revealed? Can the participants in the
secret cope with the consequences of revelation?
" How much of the secret is already in the public record?
" For purposes of family history, is it necessary to reveal the secret?
Would the significance of someone's life be better summed up by
concentrating on other facets of his or her life?
" Has anyone been coerced of manipulated to keep the secret?
" How would I feel if this story were printed about me?
" Who am I to reveal the truth? Am I trying to reveal the secret in order
to get back at someone? Are my own motives above reproach?
Family secrets, both good and bad, are part of the reason that we do
genealogy. But, we have a responsibility to use our findings wisely.