Here's your word of the day.
What's a "mickle?"
Definition: Great, large; a great number, many, much.
Usage: Today's word is used much more in Scotland than anywhere else
but that does not prohibit its use elsewhere. It has no need for
relatives since, though basically an adjective, it may just as
properly be used as a noun, pronoun, or adverb.
Suggested Usage: Here is how today's word works as an adverbial
quantifier, "When Addie agreed to marry him, Thornton leapt with so
mickle joy that he left his shoes behind."
Etymology: Today's word, a cousin of "much," was yet another
salvaged from oblivion by our Scottish cousins.
In Old English it was "micel" akin to Old Norse "mikill." The
original root was Proto-Indo-European meg- "large," found in Latin
Magnus "great," which underlies "magnitude," "magnum," "magnificent"
and "magnify." It appears in the name of the last letter in the
Greek alphabet, "omega," from o-mega "large o," to distinguish it
from the short o-micron "small o."
In Hindi it emerges in a series of words based on Sanskrit mah-,
mahat- "great," such as maharajah "great king," maharishi "great
seer," and, of course, the Hindu with the great life, Mahatma
Gandhi. (Today's word came from a great Scot with a mickle
vocabulary, Wanda Anderson, who came across it while wondering what
she is doing in Minnesota in the middle of a mickle cold winter.)
For more words of interest you might wish to visit
on the Internet.
Work set to start on genealogy centre in Edinburgh
The œ1.6 million transformation of two famous Capital buildings into
a new "one-stop shop" for genealogy research is set to get underway
within months, it was revealed today.
The Scottish Family History Centre campus will span the A-listed
General Register House and adjacent New Register House at the East
End of Princes Street.
Two new public rooms containing information from the General
Register Office for Scotland, National Archives of Scotland and the
Court of the Lord Lyon are expected to be operational by 2006.
Deputy Justice Minister Hugh Henry today said: "We have two landmark
buildings here which are architectural treasures, but the public
can't properly enjoy them. This project will change that. The
buildings contain a treasure trove of information reflecting the
personal histories of Scots over many centuries.
"The creation of a single family history campus will unite the
efforts of three offices providing genealogy research services. It
will produce a first-class facility - a visitor attraction in its
Tourism Minister Frank McAveety added: "Research shows that many
visitors to Scotland give 'family roots and ancestry' as the main
influence on their decision to holiday in Scotland. The National
Archives of Scotland holds records spanning the 12th to 21st
centuries, touching on virtually every aspect of Scottish life.
Scotland is fortunate in having some of the best genealogical
resources in the world.
"The development of a Family History Service provides a valuable
opportunity to attract more visitors and maximize use of this
Publications firm has a new website
The Harris based publishing company, Bill Lawson Publications has
recently launched a new website, <BillLawson.com>, with an
e-commerce facility, selling their publications direct from the Old
Schoolhouse in Northton in South Harris.
The company was set up in 1989 following the publication of their
first Croft History. This was a new concept in recording and
relating the histories of the villages of the Western Isles. Since
then Bill Lawson has written twenty more Croft Histories, as well as
twenty other books including his bestselling book, Harris in History
and Legend, for John Donald Publishers, which is now being
reprinted. The company has also published books of Harris Gaelic
songs, as well as leaflets on various parts of Harris including an
Guide to Taransay from the mainland.
In partnership with Global Genealogy in Milton, Ontario, Bill Lawson
Publications have sold their books on the Internet for eight years.
The relationship proved so successful that Global Genealogy and Bill
collaborate on some lectures in Canada. Three years ago when a BBC
Education crew went with Bill to Canada to film on emigration,
Global Genealogy staff provided information that became part of the
subsequent programme for schools in Scotland.
<Familyhistorybooks.com> in England also sell Bill Lawson's books
With Broadband coming to the islands, the company felt the time was
right to start selling their books online direct from Harris. By
bringing an international mail order business to South Harris, a
facility like the local Post Office is protected. This venture has
been part funded by Western Isles Enterprise and EU HISTP. The site
was created appropriately by Joanne MacKenzie-Winters, whose
grandmother came from Tarbert. Joanne is the Webmaster of one of
Scotland's best travel guide websites, The Internet Guide to
Bill Lawson's writing continues and the company will publish more
Croft Histories, as well as books on Emigration. Bill has also been
commissioned by John Donald to write three more books on the
islands, the first of which is due for publication later this year.
Lt. Col. Roy A. Pool wins the cricket bat!
Congratulations to Lt. Col. Roy A. Poole, Retired, from Arvada,
Colorado, who was the winner of the beautiful cricket bat drawing
held during the recent Scottish Weekend 2004.
His winning ticket number was 0325. The bat was mailed to him in one
of the longest boxes the UPS Store could find!
Thank you to Dick and Chris Lucas for the gift of the cricket
bat...and to all who sent donations.
New Clan Campbell sept tartan
to be unveiled
The new Clan Campbell sept tartan, "California Burns," will be
officially unveiled at the fifth annual Dixon Scottish Games &
Gathering on Saturday, September 25th, in Dixon, California.
Designed and commissioned by Dixon Scottish Cultural Association
vice chief Don Burns, the tartan is the weathered/hunting-style
version of the brightly-colored "Burns Family" modern-style tartan
kilt that he wears. The California Burns pattern is of muted blue,
green, red, and yellow.
The Scottish Tartans Society will award Burns and his new tartan
design an accreditation status in the "Registry of All Publicly
"It was only three years ago that I discovered the rare Burns Family
tartan for my kilt which was only woven in the 'modern-style' of
bright red-orange, blue, green, and yellow. I wanted a second Burns
Family tartan kilt, but chose the muted colors for a
hunting/weathered pattern," Burns said.
Clan Campbell has been selected as the "Honored Clan" at the 2004
Dixon Scottish Games & Gathering that is annually hosted by the
228-member Dixon Scottish Cultural Association. The clan's Northern
California commissioner will be invited to the California Burns
tartan dedication at the Dixon games' opening ceremonies.
For more information on the September 25th Dixon Highland gathering,
please visit <http://dixon.scottish-games.com> or phone
Judges' ruling ends clan chief's 18-year battle!
MacDonald of Keppoch has new chief!
An acupuncturist has won his lengthy legal battle to be recognised
as a clan chief after the title had lain dormant for 156 years.
Three judges have ruled that Ranald MacDonald should be recognised
as Chief of the Name and Arms of MacDonald of Keppoch on present
They decided that he had completed his pedigree as the heir to the
14th chief who held the Highland clan title.
Mr. MacDonald, 73, from Edinburgh, first raised a petition seeking
recognition of his right to succeed in 1986. Much of his claim was
based on the traditional Gaelic genealogy of the male family line,
passed down orally from generation to generation, known as the
Mr. MacDonald, who has managed a hearing aid shop in Edinburgh, had
his claim rejected initially by the Lord Lyon, who deals with
questions of heraldry and the right to bear arms in Scotland.
But he took his case to the Court of Session, where it was heard by
Scotland's senior judge, the Lord President, Lord Cullen, sitting
with Lord Macfadyen and Lord Nimmo Smith.
The judges said they were prepared to grant his petition to the
extent of recognizing him in the name of chief of the MacDonalds of
Keppoch "for aught yet seen."
The court was shown a chart, listing the descendants of Ranald Mor,
the seventh chief of Clanranald of Keppoch, who was beheaded in
The family tree included other chiefs, such as Alexander of the
Tricks and Coll of the Cows. The 17th chief, Alexander, was killed
at the Battle of Culloden, and other relatives were executed.
The court heard that the 21st holder of the chieftainship,
Chichester, died in 1848 without male heirs.
Mr. MacDonald claimed he was entitled to be recognized as chief
through a male line of descent from the 14th titleholder, Alexander
Buy, who died in 1669.
He relied on the sloinneadh of Donald the Drover, which narrated
Gaelic lineage in the family.
The judges accepted a submission by Mr. MacDonald's counsel, Sir
Crispin Agnew of Lochnaw, QC, that the Lord Lyon misdirected himself
in deciding it was necessary in all cases, placing reliance on the
oral Gaelic family tree, to have evidence that it was kept in
Lord Macfadyen said the judges were prepared to make a finding over
the genealogy in the case, which, taken together with other material
established at the Lyon Court, "completes the petitioner's pedigree
as the heir of Alexander Buy, the fourteenth chief of the MacDonalds
They sustained Mr. MacDonald's plea to be recognised as Chief of
MacDonald of Keppoch "for aught yet seen." They sent other aspects
of the case, concerning matters of heraldry, back to the Lyon Court
to be considered.
Qualified presidential candidates needed for Illinois Society
The mission of the Illinois Saint Andrew Society is to nourish the
Scottish identity through the advancement of Scottish culture,
traditions, commerce, fellowship, values and service among the Scots
and their friends. The Society is headquartered at and also owns and
operates The Scottish Home, a retirement residence in North
The Society has spawned a number of programs which include the
Scottish Business Forum, a group of committed Scots from various
business backgrounds with interests on both sides of the Atlantic
which meets at least quarterly to network and discuss topics of
mutual interest; the Scottish Law Society which meets regularly to
hear lectures on a wide variety of Scottish or Scottish-American law
related subjects; the Scottish Genealogy Group which meets quarterly
to exchange information and historical facts on Scots past and
present; and the Scottish-American Club which gathers twice a year
to tour significant Scottish towns and establishments in Illinois.
Most notably, the Society sponsors the Highland Games where
thousands in the Chicago area gather to celebrate and participate in
Qualified candidates should be of Scottish descent and/or have some
Scottish affiliation (e.g., spouse, education, etc.) in order to
represent the organization in a dynamic and believable manner. It is
also preferable for candidates to have both knowledge of and
experience in Chicago's philanthropic community including business,
foundation and financial circles. A track record in leading
organization fund-raising, marketing, membership and/or strategic
membership recruitment and retention would be particularly
For additional information, please contact Richard King, President,
Kittleman & Associates, 300 South Wacker Drive, #1710, Chicago, IL
60606. Phone 312-986-1166 or fax 312-986-0895.