Clan MacLellan adds to archives
Several years ago Clan MacLellan's Board of Directors decided to
move their archives to The Odom Genealogy Library. Five boxes filled
with books and publications were delivered to Odom and have been on
the shelves several years.
Still facing Archives Committee
chairperson Nancy Sears was the task of sorting multiple boxes of
members' genealogical information, which had accumulated during the
organization's early years. In order to prepare the material for
easy access by researchers, Sears sorted it by the most popular
spellings of MacLellan (McLellan, McClellan, McClelland, MacLellan,
etc.). In addition, she set up a binder for spellings of other
names, such as Clelland and Gilliland.
Because members of the same family
sometimes spelled their name differently, researchers are advised to
check through material in all binders. Submissions were put in
"sleeves" in alphabetical order according to the first name of the
earliest ancestor in that particular family.
In October, Sears, along with East Central Region
director Kathy Kessinger, took the items to Odom. Other binders
contain records from churches, cemeteries, etc., sorted by spelling
of name, sites in Scotland pertaining to MacLellans and sites in the
United States and Canada pertaining to MacLellans. In addition to
the binders, there were numerous documents of bound research
contributed by members. For a complete listing of Clan MacLellan
Archives, contact Kathy Kessinger at
When a member joins Clan MacLellan, they are asked to
submit data about their ancestors. This information is added to the
Clan's database in which there are currently over 17,900 names. If
the genealogy archivist discovers a new member's ancestors are
already in the database, she notifies them. Through this connection,
many times distant cousins become acquainted.
Questions regarding membership in Clan MacLellan may
be sent to treasurer Nancy M. Sears at
The death on October 30th of Lady Macpherson of Cluny, dear
wife of the Honorable Sir William Macpherson of Cluny and
Blairgowrie, 27th Chief of Clan Macpherson, came as a great shock to
many of their clansmen and clanswomen, for less than three weeks
earlier she had been her customary charming self at the 30th annual
meeting of the United States Branch of the Clan Macpherson
Association in Roswell, Georgia.
Less vigorous perhaps than usual she had nevertheless
taken a great delight, as always, at being with her husband and
meeting old and new friends. A few days after their return to
Scotland, she was found to have cancer and, following an operation,
died peacefully in a hospital.
Born Sheila McDonald Brodie in 1931 in India, where
her father, from Castle Douglas in Scotland, was a banker, she
attended school in Scotland before joining her parents in Kenya,
when her father was by then serving with the National Bank of India.
After the Second World War, she took a secretarial course in
Edinburgh and subsequently spent some time there before moving to
work in London as a personal assistant to the head of the National
Association for the Paralyzed, work which she found particularly
One Saturday in 1956 she and a
friend attended a rugby football match involving the London Scottish
team and afterwards met an ex-captain of that team, a distinguished
young barrister. After a lengthy courtship, she and William
Macpherson were married in St. Columba's by the Castle in Edinburgh
in December 1962.
lives together were spent mainly in London while William
Macpherson's legal career progressed from barrister to a knighthood
as Judge of the High Court of Justice and later to Presiding Judge,
Northern Circuit. But they always regarded Newton Castle,
Blairgowrie, Perthshire as their home. Sheila became adept at
running two homes, as well as finding time to raise three devoted
It was in 1969
when her husband succeeded his father, Brigadier Alan Macpherson, as
27th Chief of Clan Macpherson, that Sheila came into her own as the
wife of a distinguished clan chief. She took great pride in this
extended family. She was a keen student of its history and
painstaking in preserving and caring for the artifacts and family
mementos at Newton Castle. She delighted in meeting members of the
Clan and took a great interest in them. She enjoyed accompanying her
husband to clan events at home and overseas, in the United States,
Canada, Australia and South Africa, where they were as enthusiastic
as those they met and joined in their activities with great gusto.
At the Grandfather Mountain Highland Games in 1998, a local
newspaper described them as "the hits of the weekend."
At home at Newton Castle, where they settled for good
in their retirement, Lady Cluny was ever the gracious hostess to
those of their Clan and to the many local organizations under the
patronage of her husband. Always dignified and elegant, on formal
and informal occasions alike, her warmth and charm endeared her to
all who met her. She was at once refined yet full of fun, never more
so than at the annual Clan Macpherson Rally at Newtonmore, where she
would grace the dance floor until late at its Ball.
Lady Cluny was a well known and popular in the High
Street, and on the golf course, in Blairgowrie, having a ready word
for everyone. She was a loving and devoted wife; a tower of strength
to her husband whose public duties were arduous, but undertaken with
great skill and steadfastness. She was also devoted to her family,
all of whom adored her.
When a clansman observed as she
entered a room "Here's the real Chief," Sir William's ready smile
showed clearly that he did not disagree with the sentiment. She
leaves countless fond memories of herself. She was an excellent
ambassadress for their Clan and epitomized all that is best in the
wife of a Highland Clan Chief. And it is standing proudly and erect
beside her husband that she will be long remembered.
The service of thanksgiving, which was held in the
Blairgowrie Parish Church on November 12th, was attended by a full
congregation of clansfolk, friends and admirers. The appreciation
was given by the Reverend Kenneth Rathband supported by The Bishop
of Birmingham, the Right Reverend Dr. John Sentamu.
Lady Macpherson of Cluny is survived by her husband,
Sir William, her daughter Annie, sons Alan and Jamie, and
grandchildren Eliza and Torquil.
Electric Scotland has dedicated a collection of
photos to Lady Cluny -
Travelling to the lands
of Clan MacPherson.
1900 a monument honoring the memory of missionaries in the Lambuth
family was dedicate in front of the Pearl River Methodist church
in Madison County, Mississippi. Members of the Lambuth family have
rendered ministerial and missionary service for more than 300 years.
After moving to Mississippi and teaching the children of Reverend
John R. and Nancy Lambuth, Mary Isabella McClellan of Cambridge, New
York, married James William Lambuth. Shortly after their marriage in
1853, they became the first missionaries to China sponsored by the
Mississippi Conference. In 1927 the church has observed Lambuth Day.
The Clan MacLellan treasurer, Nancy Sears, was this
year's guest speaker. Because the men in the Lambuth family were
usually the focus of the annual event, Nancy's theme for her
presentation was highlighting the work of Mary Isabella. Through her
genealogy research, Nancy learned that Mary Isabella is her
great-grandmother's sister, daughters of William Gordon McClellan
and their great-granddaughters of Robert and Nicholas (Gordon)
McClellan, who came from Kirkcudbright, Scotland in 1774.
It has been said that all mission work for girls and
women of the Southern Methodist church owes its beginning to Mary
Isabella. Using her teaching skills, she opened her first school in
1856. Letters written by her husband to the New Orleans Advocate
editor describe their lives as missionaries in china and Japan. In
1886 they were transferred from China to Japan in order to assist in
opening a mission there. After her husband's death, she continued
her work in Japan, opening the Lambuth Bible and Training School.
Their children were educated in the United States and continued the
work of their parents. One became a Methodist Bishop, another became
an educator at the Japanese Military Academy, and their daughter
married a medical missionary. In addition, several of Mary
Isabella's siblings went to Japan and China.
During her presentation, Nancy gave information about
the Clan. One of the organizers of the event is Kathryn McLellan
Clark, a distant cousin of Clan MacLellan co-founder Crawford
McLellan. Another McLellan who often attends the event is Elma
Heffner, a third cousin of Crawford, who is mentioned in Think On,
Volume 11, Number 1, "Perhaps the first impetus (to founding Clan
MacLellan) came when Crawford's cousin, Elma Heffner, asked him to
organize a reunion of their mutual ancestor, great-great-grandfather
William McLellan. About 200 descendants met in Mississippi in 1976
with Crawford serving as president for five years."
Eric Montgomery, founder of the Ulster-American Folk Park in
Omagh and a former Government Press officer at Stormont, has
died after a short illness. He was 87 years old.
The son of a Methodist minister from Moy, County
Tyrone, Ireland, he worked as a journalist on the Impartial Reporter
before the Second World War and later joined the Guards Armoured
Division. He joined the civil service at Stormont in 1950. He served
under four Prime Ministers and later, until his retirement in 1976,
with the Direct Rule Administration at Stormont.
Mr. Montgomery took a very keep interest in the
Ulster-Scots emigration to North America and in 1967 he was
inspirational in setting up the Ulster-American Folk Park outside
Omagh. He received a military MBE and in 1991 the QBE. He was the
founder of the Frontier Culture Museum at Staunton, Virginia.
He is survived by his wife, Joan, and their son, Nigel.