It's your Electric Scotland newsletter meaning
the weekend is nearly here :-)
You can view what's new this week on Electric Scotland at
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Electric Scotland News
The Flag in the Wind
The Scottish Nation
The Celtic Monthly
The Southern States of America
Skye Pioneers and "The Island"
Scotland's Road of Romance
History of Inverness County, Nova Scotia
Robert Burns Lives!
History of Scottish Medicine to 1860 (new book)
Maps of Clan Lands
Biographical Record of the County of Kent, Ontario
Die Drummonds (German translation)
RUAIRIDH (Rory) ‘Breac’ MacNEIL
Well as I battle on with my bad back I must express my thanks for those of
you that sympathized with me :-) Also many thanks for those of you that
provided information on your clan lands.
Got a wee bit of a shock this week... got my accounts audit bill in which is
usually around $600 but this time it's gone up to $3,000 <yikes!>. I think
it's time to find a new accountant!
I was in Toronto on Sunday attending a wee Burns supper at singer Michael
Danso's home along with 14 others. We had a great time and yes indeed we had
haggis as well as some great roast beef and clootie dumpling along with a
fine malt whisky. I took the opportunity to read a translation of a couple
of Burns poems which seemed to go down very well. A few folk commented that
it was great to be able to understand the poems. The book "Understanding
Robert Burns" has been a great inspiration to me personally and I think I
might have sold a few copies at the supper :-) Mind you can read this online
ABOUT THE STORIES
Some of the stories in here are just parts of a larger story so do check out
the site for the full versions. You can always find the link in our "What's
New" section at the link at the top of this newsletter and pick up poems and
stories sent into us during the week from Donna, Margo, Stan, John and
THE FLAG IN THE WIND
Mind that The Flag is now in two sections (1) Political and (2) Cultural.
The political section is compiled this week by Allison Hunter. This week she
brings us a concerning item...
FIRST MINISTER MUST MAKE STATEMENT TO PARLIAMENT
The Scottish National Party commented on a leaked report in the Herald
today, written for the First Minister by the Scottish Executive’s senior
official in its European Office, which says that Whitehall departments
ignore the views of the Scottish Executive, and that “can have a disastrous
impact on Executive policy.”
In relation to Scottish Executive Ministers at Council of Ministers
meetings, the report says: “Unfortunate examples are where there is no seat
for the Minister in the Council room during the meeting so they have to
follow discussions from the salle d’ecoute [listening room] alongside
SNP Deputy Leader Ms Nicola Sturgeon MSP said:
“Jack McConnell must make an urgent statement to Parliament to explain how
this disgraceful situation has been allowed to happen, and what he is doing
This report – from the heart of the administration – proves everything that
the SNP has ever said about Scottish misrepresentation in Europe under the
Labour/Lib Dem Executive.
Whitehall departments are routinely ignoring the Scottish Executive, and
Scotland’s interests across the board suffer as a consequence.
You can read the rest of this report in the Political section of the Flag.
I also noted in the cultural section one of the quotes by James Halliday...
Strangers to Scotland, and many Scots themselves, often feel puzzled by the
hero-worship which so many bestow upon Robert Burns. The truth is that if
Burns had never lived, Scotland could hardly have avoided going the way of
ancient English-speaking kingdoms whose identity is long lost. Merged within
a greater whole. Scotland today would rank alongside Mercia or Northumbria
or Wessex, of interest as an antiquity, a curiosity or an affectation. If
Scotland is anything more in modern times, it is because Burns, speaking as
and for the ordinary man, stemmed the tide of history, flowing strongly in
the direction of absorption and integration. His work meant that a sense of
identity was preserved at a time when the politically active classes in
Scotland showed little interest in such sense. Aristocracy is by its nature
international. It is ordinary people, involved with humbler local community
life, who have greater national awareness. These ordinary people had no
political power until more than a century had passed, but when in due course
these people for whom Burns spoke did gain the right to political
participation, Scotland was still there.
(British Scotland – Scotland A Concise History 1990)
You can read this weeks issue, see the pictures and listen to the Scots
This week I thought I'd bring you the current weeks diary from Linda Fabiani
as she tells us a lot about "Scottish Council for Single Homeless initiative
for pupils in fourth and fifth year at school – HomeSmart" which I found
very interesting and thought you might like to read. It's also quite a long
time since I've included one of her diaries in here so here it is :-)
WEEK BEGINNING MONDAY 15th JANUARY 2007
Always a good start to the week when you get to go along to a Primary
School; St. Mark’s in Hamilton this Monday morning where the primary 7
pupils had prepared a ‘Question Time’ event. Pupils on the Panel first,
followed by myself and the local SSP and Tory MSP. The wee lad who was doing
his ‘Dimbleby’ stint really had it off pat – no nonsense and very fair in
his allocation of time. Well done St. Mark’s! We then had tea with the Pupil
Council – a rep from each class who discuss what’s happening in the school
and plans for the future. All very organised and impressive.
Very different company in the afternoon when I sped through to Edinburgh to
meet with Sir Peter Ricketts, UK Permanent Under-Secretary and Head of the
Diplomatic Service (“he was very nice”, I said to Calum; “of course he was”,
says the bold boy, “he is heid diplomat, after all!”; yeh, right enough). It
was an enjoyable meeting though, and we discussed the Foreign Office’s
relationship with MSPs and members of the Europe and External Relations
Committee, and how we might improve this in the future. Not that it’s a bad
relationship particularly – I have always found the Diplomatic and Foreign
Office staff helpful generally, it’s just difficult sometimes to know who to
go to for information. It’s interesting, the way that different UK
departments deal with us here in Scotland’s Parliament: Although they deal
with ‘reserved matters’ I’ve always found the International Development
Department and the Foreign Office very approachable whilst the Home Office,
in relation to Immigration and Asylum issues, is extremely unhelpful. I
suppose it depends a lot on who’s heading up the operation – John Reid MP at
the Home Office; I guess that answers that point!
Talking of the Home Office I found myself shouting at my car radio last week
when I heard John Reid’s predecessor, David Blunkett, criticising the police
investigation into the ‘cash for honours’ scandal because they’d arrested a
Labour aide (Ruth Turner) at her home at 6.30 in the morning on suspicion of
perverting the course of justice. He reckoned this was ridiculous, she
wasn’t a criminal after all; so, what about the practice of dawn raids on
innocent asylum-seeking families then Mr. Blunkett? You fully supported that
when you were Home Secretary, and still do as far as I know – their
hypocrisy is staggering. They basically think that they and their pals are
above the law of their land.
Europe committee on Tuesday afternoon – taking evidence still on the
‘Transposition of European Directives’, and some interesting perspectives on
how the Scottish Executive looks after Scotland’s interests in Europe. For
example – some direct quotes:
Andy Robertson (NFU Scotland):” … Engagement through the Executive is
minimal. … … … My experience is that I can get more direct access to
officials in Brussels by working through the NFUS than I could in my
previous existence as a Scottish Executive official … …”
James Withers (NFU Scotland): “I add that, in my experience since devolution
the Executive has struggled to find its feet in dealing with Europe. there
is a lack of clarity about where the boundaries are. … … … We sometimes find
ourselves in the difficult position of feeling that we are doing the
Executive’s job for it. We run to the Commission to find out the parameters
within which we are working and then feed the message back to the
Readers can form their own conclusions as to whether the Labour/LibDem
coalition is truly looking after Scotland’s interests in Europe. Of course,
since our meeting there have been further developments on this question, but
that’s next week’s diary!
Busy Chamber days on Wednesday and Thursday with introductory debates on
proposed legislation – The Protection of Vulnerable Groups (Scotland) Bill,
the Prostitution (Public Places) (Scotland) Bill, and the final debate on
the ‘Criminal proceedings etc. (Reform) (Scotland) Bill. And then, on
Thursday evening, a debate sponsored by yours truly on the Scottish Council
for Single Homeless initiative for pupils in fourth and fifth year at school
– HomeSmart. I was really pleased to be able to secure a slot for debate for
this really important campaign. I won’t reproduce the whole debate here, but
my own contribution at the start outlines the initiative and if anyone wants
to read more about it, you can log on to the SCSH website at http://www.scsh.co.uk/
Linda Fabiani (Central Scotland) (SNP): It is a mark of how important the
subject is that members have agreed to bring the debate forward by an hour.
I declare an interest, as a fellow of the Chartered Institute of Housing.
That membership exists from the days before I was elected, when I worked in
housing associations. I have experience of dealing with homelessness
applications from a service provider's point of view, as well as from a
politician's. I think that I speak for most housing professionals when I say
that there was always a particular poignancy when a young person presented
as homeless—I felt helpless and that I could not be of real assistance to
My experience has given me a perspective on the issue that underpins my
belief in the absolute necessity of tackling homelessness and seeking to
eliminate it as far as is humanly possible. Part of that task is the
provision of suitable and affordable housing, including owner-occupied and
social rented housing. We all know that that is an issue in many areas. In
East Kilbride, where I live, it is a particular problem. A major part of the
task must also be helping people to avoid homelessness in the first place.
That is the main thrust of the home smart campaign, which seeks to ensure
that every fourth-year pupil in our schools knows that help and advice is
Great credit should be given to the Scottish Council for Single Homeless for
creating the campaign. Its importance is underlined by the statistics on
youth homelessness. In 2005-06, 19,400 young people between the ages of 16
and 24 turned to their local authority because they had nowhere safe and
secure to stay. That is a rise of almost 4,000 since 1999. If we consider
the figures for 16 and 17-year-olds, in 2005-06 more than 4,300 young people
turned to their local authority. While few fourth-year pupils are likely to
think that homelessness will affect them personally, the figures tell a
There is a significant, worsening problem with youth homelessness that we
owe it to Scotland's youngsters to address. With 3 per cent of young people
in Scotland reporting as homeless each year, we cannot afford to turn away
and hope that the problem resolves itself. We should be grateful to the
Scottish Council for Single Homeless for the work that it has been doing and
we should embrace the home smart campaign as an extremely worthwhile
The council's idea for the campaign is simple, but appears to offer the
right kind of help. Rather than waiting until the young person strikes out
on their own, obtains a tenancy, then fails to maintain it and ends up
homeless, it has taken the sensible step of taking the message into schools.
The information in learning packs allows teachers and pupils to consider the
issues that often arise with tenancies and young people, and to consider how
they might avoid the pitfalls that have befallen so many in the past. As
well as facilitating discussion, the packs offer sensible advice, including,
for example, advice about how to ensure that the behaviour of one's friends
does not affect one's tenancy. That seems fairly straightforward to those of
us sitting here, but one of the major problems that young tenants have is in
controlling their home environment and not letting it turn into a community
centre for their friends.
I wish to make it clear, though, that the campaign is not an entirely new
venture for the Scottish Council for Single Homeless. The ‘I'm offski!’
learning materials were first produced in 1988 and have won awards. However,
home smart goes even further. The experience of the organisation over many
years is illustrated by its developing and innovatory campaigns. It will
soon produce an evaluation toolkit to measure the success of the campaign—I
am sure that it will be very successful. Getting pupils to think about the
issues while they are still in the fourth year of secondary school will
ensure that the information is embedded and that they know that support and
advice is available.
Targeting the campaign at fourth years is important—I believe that it is the
optimum age group to target. It is the age group that is perhaps desperate
to leave home for negative reasons. It is an age group that may have a
rose-tinted view of how one can strike out on one's own and be a success.
Many young people who are at a stage in their lives when they should be
building for the future can struggle to find the resources just to survive.
Surviving day by day instead of planning for their future leaves them
vulnerable to all sorts of outside influences. Home smart is about trying to
stop that happening.
It is hard to judge how many pupils have so far been exposed to the
materials produced by the council, but around a third of our mainstream
schools have indicated a strong interest. That points towards a possible
20,000 pupils. I make particular mention of John Ogilvie High School and
Strathaven Academy, schools in central Scotland that I know well for their
openness to new ideas and that have responded positively to the Scottish
Council for Single Homeless.
Roseanna Cunningham (Perth) (SNP): Understandably, the member is mostly
focused on central region, but is she aware that the interest of schools in
home smart goes far beyond it? Indeed, a primary school in my constituency—Balnacraig
school in Perth—has won a prize in the competition. Does she agree that that
school should also be commended?
Linda Fabiani: Absolutely. I am happy to commend Balnacraig school in Perth.
That underlines the fact that the campaign is national.
As I said, every mainstream school has received a pack, and any special
needs and residential schools that have expressed an interest have received
I congratulate and commend the Scottish Council for Single Homeless for the
work of home smart. I also want to thank Lovell, the housing developer that
has sponsored the campaign and provided the prize for the recent draw. If
the campaign has ensured that pupils know that there are people and
organisations to which they can turn for help, and if it has encouraged
those pupils to think about the issues and appreciate the challenges and
difficulties that leaving home presents, the campaign is worthy of
congratulation and encouragement. As I said earlier, more than a third of
all homeless applications are from people between the ages of 16 and 24.
Scotland's politicians should be working towards ending the scourge of
homelessness. Each of us in the chamber should be humbled that the problem
has still not been turned around eight years after devolution, despite the
good intentions of us all. That perhaps indicates a need for more positive
action on the part of Scotland's politicians, a more proactive agenda on
youth homelessness and a greater encouragement of the work done by
organisations such as the Scottish Council for Single Homeless.
And so to Friday. Looking back over the week above it looks as if I wasn’t
doing much, and certainly I did have a couple of early nights for a change,
but then there was Friday! Up to Dornoch to do the Toast to Scotland at the
Tain SNP Burns Supper. A long way to go but a great time was had, even
though I had to get the early train from Inverness the next morning. I don't
get up to the Highlands enough these days - so many friends there and so
many beautiful places still to see.
The week started with enjoyment, and finished with some more – the 50th
Anniversary of the Trefoil Guild in East Kilbride, celebrated with a lunch,
some speeches, and some chat. The Trefoil Guild comprises ladies (men are
allowed but none have applied!) who care about the Guiding Movement and want
to keep an involvement – most, but not all, have been Guides or Guiders
themselves. Even though I admitted I was never a Brownie or a Guide, they
assure me I can join the Trefoil Guild; and even when I admitted I’d been in
the Girls Brigade for all of around three months (before I got in big
trouble for howking up my skirt to a mini during the parade), they still let
me be a Guiding Ambassador – gracious ladies all of them!
Back next week.
You can view MSP Linda Fabiani's weekly diary at
Email Linda at
The Scottish Nation
My thanks to Lora for transcribing these volumes for us. She is still in a
plaster cast which needs to remain until end of January.
Now completed the E's and moved onto the F's and added this week are Errol,
Erskine, Ewart, Ewen / Ewing, Eythen, Fairfax, Fairfoul and Fairley.
We had a large account of Erskine and here is how it starts...
ERSKINE, anciently spelled Areskin, and sometimes Irskyn, a surname of great
antiquity, and one which has been much distinguished in all periods of
Scottish history, was originally derived from the lands and barony of
Erskine in Renfrewshire, situated on the south side of the Clyde, the most
ancient possession of the noble family who afterwards became Lords Erskine
and earls of Mar.
An absurd tradition asserts that at the battle of Murthill fought with the
Danes, in the reign of Malcolm the Second, a Scotsman having killed Enrique,
a Danish chief, cut off his head, and with the bloody dagger in his hand,
showed it to the king, saying in Gaelic, Eris Skene, alluding to the head
and dagger; on which Malcolm gave him the name of Erskine. In those remote
times, however, surnames were usually assumed from lands, and all such
traditions referring to the origin of the names of illustrious families are
seldom to be depended upon. The appearance of the land justifies the
derivation of the name from the British word ir-isgyn, signifying the green
rising ground. The earliest notice of the name is in a confirmation of the
church of “Irschen” granted by the bishop of Glasgow in favour of the
monastery of Paisley, betwixt the years 1202 and 1207 [Chartulary of
Paisley, p. 113.] In 1703, the estate of Erskine was purchased from the
Hamiltons of Orbinston by Walter, master of Blantyre, afterwards Lord
Blantyre, in which family the property remains.
Henry de Erskine was proprietor of the barony of Erskine so early as the
reign of Alexander the Second. He was witness of a grant by Amelick, brother
of Maldwin, earl of Lennox, of the patronage and tithes of the parish church
of Roseneath to the abbey of Paisley in 1226.
His grandson, ‘Johan de Irskyn,’ submitted to Edward the First in 1296.
Johan’s son, Sir John de Erskine, had a son, Sir William, and three
daughters, of whom the eldest, Mary, was married, first to Sir Thomas Bruce,
brother of King Robert the First, who was taken prisoner and put to death by
the English, and secondly to Sir Ingram Morville; and the second, Alice,
became the wife of Walter, high steward of Scotland.
Sir William de Erskine, the son, was a faithful adherent of Robert the
Bruce, and accompanied the earl of Moray and Sir James Douglas in their
expedition into England in 1322. For his valour he was knighted under the
royal banner in the field. He died in 1329.
Sir Robert de Erskine, knight, his eldest son, made an illustrious figure in
his time, and for his patriotic services, was, by David the Second,
appointed constable, keeper, and captain of Stirling castle. He was one of
the ambassadors to England, to treat for the ransom of that monarch, after
his capture in the battle of Durham in 1346. IN 1350 he was appointed by
David, while still a prisoner, great chamberlain of Scotland, and in 1357 he
was one of those who accomplished his sovereign’s deliverance, on which
occasion his eldest son, Thomas, was one of the hostages for the payment of
the king’s ransom. On his restoration, David, in addition to his former high
office of chamberlain, appointed Sir Robert Justiciary north of the Forth,
and constable and keeper of the castles of Edinburgh and Dumbarton. In 1358
he was ambassador to France, and between 1360 and 1366 he was five times
ambassador to England. In 1367 he was warden of the marches, and heritable
sheriff of Stirlingshire. In 1371 he was one of the great barons who
ratified the succession to the crown of Robert the Second, grandson, by his
daughter Marjory, of Robert the Bruce, and the first of the Stuart family.
To his other property he added that of Alloa, which the king bestowed on
him, in exchange for the hunting district of Strathgartney, in the
Highlands. He died in 1385.
His son, Sir Thomas Erskine, knight, succeeded his father, as governor of
Stirling castle, and in 1392 was sent ambassador to England. By his marriage
with Janet Keith, great-grand-daughter of Gratney, eleventh earl of Mar, he
laid the foundation of the succession on the part of his descendants to the
earldom of Mar and lordship of Garioch.
You can read more of this entry at
You can read the other entries at
The Celtic Monthly
A magazine for Highlanders
Added the April 1912 issue at
Mr A. W. M'Lean - Lumberton North Carolina USA, Sketches of Highland Life
and Character, Gaelic Proverbs, Mr L. MacBean of Kirkcaldy, Notes on the
Celtic Year, A New Zealand Pioneer, The Clan Piper, The MacEwans of Ottir
and Other Small Clans - The MacLays, The MacQueens, "Culloden, April 16th
1746, Who have the Largest Heads and Feet?, Pipers Three, Fionn and the
Fidga, The Cummings, The Book of Deer, The Clan Stewart, Celtic Notes and
Queries, Our Musical Page, Reviews.
You can see the issues to date at
The Southern States of America
Published in 1909.
The History of North Carolina - Chapter IV
North Carolina in the Confederacy, 1861 - 1865
The History of North Carolina - Chapter V
North Carolina from 1865 to the Present Time
The History of South Carolina - Chapter I
South Carolina, 1562 - 1789
Here is how Chapter I of South Carolina starts...
Early Visits by Foreigners to the Coast of South Carolina.
AS EARLY as 1520, thirteen years after the passing of Christopher Columbus,
two Spanish ships entered a wide bay on or near the coast of the present
state of South Carolina. A point of land near the bay was given the name St.
Helena by the Spanish sailors. A river in the vicinity they called "Jordan."
They found, moreover, that a portion of the country on one side of the bay
was called by the natives, Chicora. A large number of these natives,
yielding to the persuasions of the Spaniards, went on board the two ships.
When the decks were crowded with them the sailors suddenly drew up the
anchors, spread their sails and headed the ships out into the open sea. Not
long afterwards, one of the vessels went down and all on board perished. The
other vessel sailed to the island of Hispaniola (now known as Haiti) in the
West Indies. There the captive Indians, as many of them as survived the
hardships of the voyage, were sold as slaves. The responsibility for this
cruel treatment of some of the redmen of America rests upon a Spaniard named
Vasquez de Ayllon, who had fitted out the two ships and sent them to capture
Indians. A few years later De Ayllon himself sailed with three vessels to
the river which had received the name Jordan. He expected to conquer all the
country near the river, and to rule over it in the name of the Spanish
sovereign. This expectation was not realized. According to the stories
handed down to us in the old Spanish records, the natives of the country,
filled with hatred on account of the treachery shown by the previous company
of explorers, slew so many of De Ayllon's men that his expedition ended in
In the year 1524 Giovanni Verrazano, a native of Florence, Italy, was sent
across the Atlantic by Francis I., of France. Verrazano reached the American
coast at a point near the mouth of the Cape Fear River, North Carolina. He
coasted thence southward "fifty leagues" in search of a harbor. This voyage,
of course, brought him to the region now known as South Carolina. "The whole
shore," runs Verrazano's description of the country, "is covered with fine
sand about fifteen feet thick, rising in the form of little hills about
fifteen paces broad. Ascending farther, we found several arms of the sea,
which make in through inlets, washing the shores on both sides as the coast
runs." He speaks, also, of "immense forests of trees, more or less dense,
too various in color and too delightful and charming in appearance to be
described. They are adorned with palms, laurels, cypresses and other
varieties unknown to Europe, that send forth the sweetest fragrance to a
You can read the rest of this chapter at
The book index page is at
Skye Pioneers and "The Island"
by Malcolm A. MacQueen (1929).
Now got up another chapter of this book - "Founding of Uigg" and here is how
In a little Minute Book in the custody of Samuel MacLeod, Uigg, in the
handwriting of Malcolm MacLeod, K.C., a native of Uigg, is the following
brief authoritative history of the founding of that district.
Uigg in Queens County, Prince Edward Island, was settled in the year 1829
and 1831 by immigrants from the Isle of Skye, Scotland. The immigrants of
1829 were chiefly from Uig, in Skye, and in memory of the place of their
birth, they called their new home in the woods of Prince Edward Island, Uigg.
The first map in this book shows the original farms and the names of their
first permanent occupants. Beginning on the eastern side of the Murray
Harbor Road (which was made through this settlement in 1828) and on the
south side of the settlement, there are William MacPhee, Donald Kelly, James
Campbell (who had bought out one Allan McDonald, called Allan MhacHamish),
Norman MacLeod and Alexander Martin; who had entered into possession of
their farms in 1827, James Campbell, however, only going into actual
possession in 1829 as successor to Allan MhacHamish. Donald Ross and David
Ross (whose father lived on the road crossing from Orwell to the Murray
Harbor Road) had taken their farms but did not go into actual possession
till a few years after 1829, probably 1833 or 1834. Roderick McLeod and John
McLeod (with their father, Norman McLeod), Angus McDonald, James McLeod,
Murdoch McLeod, Malcolm McKinnon and James McDonald, went into possession in
1829, the year in which they arrived from Skye. A few years afterwards the
Rev. Samuel McLeod bought and entered on the north half of James McDonald's
farm. Michael Chisholm, whose people were from Strathglass, near Inverness,
was several years later in coming. To the westward of the Road were Donald
Gordon, Donald McDonald and William McLeod (known as Ulliam Sceighdear), who
arrived from Skye in 1831. Donald Shaw was born in Pinette on this Island,
and he and John Matheson (from Skye also) went on their farms about 1833.
The farm marked Fletcher was originally occupied and before 1829, by one
Gay, from Lot 49, called by the Highland people "Gaieach Cam," who built a
saw mill. His son, John Gay, afterwards occupied the farm and sold it to
John Fletcher, who built a grist mill further up the stream (where John F.
McLeod's mills were) sometime about the year 1840 or 1845. The farm marked
Archibald McDonald was taken by Archibald (son of James) some ten (10) years
after the original settlement. Of the farms to the rear or eastward, the one
marked Roderick McLeod was taken by him about 7 or 10 years later than 1829.
His brother, Ewen McLeod, went into possession of his farm 2 or 3 years
still later. Of the original occupants above named there are only Roderick
McLeod and his brother John and David Ross, still living on the land of
which they took the original possession. James McDonald and his wife (a
sister of Roderick, John and Samuel) are still living, but removed from Uigg
several years, and are now living with their daughter at Green Marsh, on
Murray Harbor Road. Of the original settlers, Norman McLeod, James McLeod,
and Murdoch McLeod, were an older generation, and were brothers. John
McLeod, Roderick McLeod and the Rev. Samuel McLeod were also brothers, and
sons of Norman, known as Tormoid 'ic Neal 'ic Murchuidh, Gillie Brighe, 'ic
Murchuidh. Angus, James and Donald McDonald were also brothers.
In these days the whole face of the country was covered with a dense forest,
and the first settlers, perfect strangers to the use of the axe on their
arrival, had little but their labour to depend on for making a living and
rearing and educating numerous families.
The first school house for the settlement was built about 1840, to the
northward of the stream of the Orwell River, and to the west of the Murray
Harbor Road, near the top of the ascent from the brook, in a dense spruce
bush, a portion of William McLeod's woods. It was a long building, perhaps
20 x 15 or 18 feet, roofed with boards and slabs, having the spaces between
the round logs filled with moss. The fireplace was open, having its sides or
"jambs" of wood like inverted sleigh runers. The first teacher was one
Donald Kelly (a relation of the Donald Kelly whose name appears on the map),
who arrived from Skye in 1839 or 1840. He and his wife and one or two
children lived in the school house for a year or two. Parents paid him one
pound per annum of the then currency ($3.24) per pupil, and gave him
besides, for his support, one bushel of wheat each family.
You can read the rest of this chapter at
You can read all the chapters at
Scotland's Road of Romance
Travels in the footsteps of Prince Charlie by Augustus Muir (1937).
Now completed this book up to chapter 19 and here is a bit from it to read
THERE was a slight drizzle of rain on that Sunday morning as I set out on
the road to Edinburgh. I did not know whether I would reach my destination
before dark, but I was determined to make the effort; and the prospect of
sleeping in the city which to my dying day I will think of as my home filled
me with an elation that made me ignore the rather uninteresting countryside
through which at the start I found myself passing. I had never tramped on
this road before, although I had gone quickly over it in a motor-car, and I
had caught glimpses of it from a railway compartment. I have always agreed
with Robert Louis Stevenson that there is no more vivid way of seeing a
landscape than from the window of a railway-train, to which must now be
added that of the motor-coach ; and while one does not travel merely to gape
at a picture-gallery of landscapes, and the delicate essences of travel are
distilled from many impressions other than those which enter the soul
through the eyes, travel of any kind would be a barren affair without its
visual background. But where the walker scores over the railway-traveller is
in this: his impressions may not be so quick or sharp, but they have time to
sink deeper, and they are enriched by a man's contact with the ground over
which his own feet carry him. The country I met after Linlithgow is not
picturesque in the sense that Blair Atholl is, and only the blind can ignore
the slag-heaps which the miners call "duff." Back at Falkirk I had looked
upon a land which gave me a fairly good idea of what I had always imagined
the Potteries to be like : the horizon had been thick in smoke, with
chimneys and the machinery of pit-heads looming up through it in a ghostly
way. East of Linlithgow the air was clearer, but again the slag-heaps
assault the eye; and as I passed beside them on that Sunday morning I saw in
them, almost against my will, a unique beauty. Yellow grass grew upon them,
and there was a curious red sheen upon their dark sides, like the blood of
an otter drifting a little below the surface of a slow-running stream. Those
pit-heads and slag-heaps of West Lothian are a subject for an artist, but
they need a man of the calibre of Wadsworth to capture their spirit.
Soon I had passed Kingscavil, and had come to a group of cottages called
Three Miletown, where the Prince brought his men to a halt. On the previous
night, he had managed to snatch but a few hours' sleep before making the
sortie from Callendar House at Falkirk, and now Lord George Murray was eager
to push further on, but Charles decided to remain until the next morning.
O'Sullivan had selected this place on rising ground, and the Prince slept in
a small farmhouse west of where the Highlanders lay in their plaids. After I
had passed through the hamlet of Winchburgh, which is unremarkable except
for the amount of dullness that is crammed into a few yards, I was brought
to a stop by the glorious view of a countryside that rolled to the foot of
the Pentlands. Caerketton and Allermuir, Swanston and Glencorse: these names
came back to me, bringing the same little wisp of nostalgia that is always
evoked by the name of the street in Edinburgh where I lived, and in high
spirits I strode out to Kirkliston.
It was near Kirkliston that the Prince paused on the march next day. To the
south-west was the house of Newliston, then belonging to the Earl of Stair
whose grandfather the Highlanders blamed for the massacre of Glencoe. The
descendant of the murdered Macdonald chief was in the Prince's army with
many of his clansmen; and in sudden anxiety the Prince pictured the house of
the Stairs going up in flames, with the Macdonalds dancing vengefully around
it. He suggested therefore that the Glencoe men should be guided past the
place at a safe distance, but so indignant was the Macdonald leader that he
threatened to take his clan back to the Highlands if any watch was set upon
them. He reminded the Prince that the Macdonalds were men of honour, and at
once Charles responded by giving orders that a guard of Macdonalds from
Glencoe were to be mounted at Stair's house during the halt. The Prince
himself was entertained at the farmhouse of Todhall (afterwards rebuilt and
re-christened Foxhall by some man who was not satisfied with the old Scots
word for a fox); and in the afternoon the army moved forward in the
direction of Edinburgh.
You can read the rest of this chapter at
The book index page is at
History of Inverness County, Nova Scotia
By J. L. MacDougall (1922)
Inverness County is part of Cape Breton in Nova Scotia. I am now up to
chapter 11 and you can read all the chapters at
As this is a huge chapter I am dividing into various parts of the County and
here is a bit about District of Judique which I might add has information on
loads of Scottish names and I only know that by the sheer time it took to
ocr this in :-)
The district of Judique is an important part of Inverness County. It was
settled early. It is a large, rich and beautiful piece of country. It has a
pleasant and accessible coast with some fine coves and beaches. The place is
well adapted to fishing and farming pursuits. The virility and prowess of
its pioneer settlers were proverbial. Judique was the cradle of religious
organization for the lonely immigrants to this forest land. That fact has a
right to be remembered. It is unquestionable that the triumph of our fathers
in the forbidding wilderness of the new world was due to three principal
causes. First, the physical strength and vigor of those hardy pioneers;
second, their fine freedom, for the first time, from feudal laws and
landlords; third, and greatest of all, their strong, simple and sincere
faith. No matter what denomination of Christians our fore-fathers belonged
to, they all harboured in their bosoms that clear, strong, light of faith
which could only be extinguished in their graves. Out of these graves,
today, there comes to us a voice that cannot be denied.
When Father Alexander MacDonnell came to America in 1811, there was no
resident clergymen of any creed between Cheticamp and the Strait of Canso.
Although he crossed the ocean in 1811 Father MacDonnell did not come to
Judique until 1816, having remained five years at the Gulf shore of
Antigonish with the veteran Scottish priest, Reverend Alexander MacDonald.
On coming to Judique in 1816 he took up his abode at Indian Point where
lived his cousin, Thomas MacDonnell (Bin). A part of the barn in which he
used to say mass is still standing. His jurisdiction covered the whole
county of Inverness except the French communities of the extreme North. His
field was large, his work arduous. He lived in Judique for twenty-five
years, died at his home at Indian Point on 25th September, 1841, and was
buried by Rev. Father Vincent of the Monastery of Petit Clairvaux, Tracadie,
The district of Judique runs along the coastal waters Northwardly from the
Northern boundary of Creignish near Long Point to the Southern boundary of
Port Hood near Little Judique. It is subdivided into Judique North and
Judique South, and elects two representatives to the County Council. Duncan
MacDonnell of Judique Banks, Merchant, and the late Allan MacLellan,
afterwards Sheriff of Inverness, represented the district for a long time,
whilst the Old Reliable, Hugh Gillis, has been a foremost member of the
Municipal body for so long that "the memory of man runneth not to the
The physical features of Judique are strikingly picturesque. The shore road
leading from Port Hood to Port Hastings cuts through this district from side
to side within half a mile of the sea, and parallel there to. It is a good
road, affording full opportunity to view the scenic sights, on either side.
The homes and houses of the people lie along this road, suggesting in
various ways lives of peace and contentment.
The farms are prettily laid out and cleared, and in some cases highly
cultivated. They would all be well cultivated but for the unfortunate exodus
from these shores of the younger people in former times. In a smaller degree
that exodus still continues.
In the centre of this shore settlement of Judique there have stood, for
several generations, a handsome Catholic Church and Presbytery, with other
appropriate glebe buildings, and a good school house. The first church,
glebe house and cemetery were down near the sea towards Indian Point. We
regret to record that the most recent church in Judique was destroyed by
lightning two years ago. It is missed by all the travelling public. We trust
it may soon rise from its ashes more resplendent than ever to remind us all,
as we pass along, of its mission and its need. There are other settlements
in Judique besides the shore one. On the rear there are several communities,
on different heights, such as Hillsdale, River Dennis Road, Rear Long Point,
and Rear Little Judique. All these are peopled by honest, forceful sons of
The first settlement of white men in Judique was effected by Michael
MacDonald, Sea Captain and Poet of Uist, Robert MacInnes of Blair Athole,
Mason, Allan MacDonnell of Glengarry, Alexander MacDonald, Retland, Ewen
MacEachern of Kinloch-Moidart, John Graham (Veteran of the American War of
Independence) and Donald Ban MacDonald, a scion of the brave "Chloinn
Sheamis". The first three named were married to sisters of Bishop MacEachern
of Prince Edward Island, who died in 1835 after a long period of devoted and
difficult labour as priest and bishop. The Donald Ban here mentioned was the
grandfather of that noble Scotsman, the late Donald J. MacDonald, who was
Registrar of Probate and County Treasurer for the County of Inverness; and
who married Mary one of the daughters of the late widow McDonald, who for
many years kept house for the late Vicar General Rev Alex. McDonald at Mabou.
You can read more of this chapter at
Started work again on the final volume 6 of this publication complete with
sheet music. The index page is at
To volume 6 I added...
The Tribute of Gask (1364)
M - Hm
You can see these at
Doug and Pat Ross sent in the December 2006 newsletter of Clan Ross of
Canada which you can read at
Alan McKenzie sent in the December 2006 newsletter for the Clan MacKenzie of
Canada which you can read at
Keith Rattray sent in a new leaflet for Clan Rattray which you can read at
Clan Wood sent me in a wee page about Famous Woods which you can read at
Here is one entry for you to read here...
Admiral Sir Andrew Wood (1st Chief)
Born around the middle of the 15th century in Largo, Fife, Andrew Wood was
the eldest son of William Wood, merchant, who was almost certainly a scion
of the Woods of Bonnytoun in Angus. They had a long history of owning lands
throughout that district, Kincardineshire and elsewhere. Those areas still
held around the time of James VI are shown in the map 'Scotland of Old', by
Andrew Wood, too, was a successful merchant, and owner of the frigate
Flower. He became a master of fighting off Dutch, English and Portuguese
pirates. His fame reached James III, who asked him to captain his ship, the
Yellow Caravel. Sailing out of Leith, Andrew triumphed in many major
skirmishes with privateers and squadrons sent by the English government, was
made Admiral of Scotland and a baronet. He built a castle at his barony of
Largo, a tower of which still stands. Sir Andrew Wood died probably in 1515.
Enjoying the friendship of successive Stewart monarchs, his significance to
Scottish history, and that of his descendants, is far greater than some
people realise or can be gone into here.
Robert Burns Lives!
By Frank Shaw
Robert Burns Diamond Stylus
A grand wee detective story which starts...
My article in the Robert Burns Federation’s 2006 Spring Chronicle about
Rabbie’s 22 day Highland tour in 1787 prompted a number of queries from
One point questioned was a reference I made to Burns using a diamond stylus,
presented to him by the Earl of Glencairn, to write his version of graffiti
on various window panes. This has been referred to in a number of books but
the specific reference I quoted was taken from Dr. John Cairney’s ’ On The
Trail of Robert Burns’ published by Luath Press Ltd., first in 2000.
The query was whether Burns used a diamond ring, as some works state, or a
pen / stylus, and does the object still exist and if so where?
That set me off on a search, the kind of mission that I am sure is very
familiar to Burnsians, to answer and hopefully find this holy grail.
You can read the rest of this at
History of Scottish Medicine to 1860
by John D. Comrie (1927).
A new book for you and I have up the first two chapters which you can read
Chapter I - Early Medicine in Scotland
Healing wells - Amulets and charms - Monasteries and medicine - Michael Scot
- Gaelic medical manuscripts - Priory of Torphichen - Sir James Sandilands.
Chapter II - Early Scottish Hospitals and Regulations for Isolation
Soutra-Kirk o' Field-Trinity Hospital - Hospital of Our Lady - Hospitals of
St. Mary Magdalen - Hospital of St. Nicholas - Hospital of St. James -
Spittal's Hospital - Nether Hospital - St. Thomas's Hospital - Cowane's
Hospital - Leper Houses and Hospitals - Early Edicts, etc., regarding
Leprosy and Syphilis.
Maps of Clan Lands
I have made some progress on this project and you can see the clans I've
managed to add at
There is also a help page which explains more about this project at
Added a map for Clan Grant lands at
Mind that you can help with this project by sending me in pictures of your
clan lands :-)
Biographical Record of the County of Kent, Ontario
Our thanks to Nola Crewe for sending in more of these...
MICHAEL HOUSTON barrister and solicitor at law, and police magistrate of the
city of Chatham, County of Kent, is descended from Scottish ancestry in both
paternal and maternal lines.
The oldest member of the family of whom we have authentic record is
Nathaniel Houston, the grandfather of Michael, who was born in Dalry,
Scotland, about 1770, and there married Jane Dixon, who was born in 1773.
Their children were: Alexander, Jennette, Jane, Robert and John M. Of this
family, Robert, the father of Mr. Houston, was the first to come to Ontario,
emigrating thither in 1825, at the age of 22 years. In due time all the
other members of the family came also, and here the parents died. When
Robert Houston reached Canada he settled first at Montreal, and later moved
to Aldborough, where in 1829 he married Nancy Campbell, who was born in
Argyllshire, Scotland, in 1806, three years later than her husband, who was
born April 6, 1803. After marriage Robert Houston and his wife settled on a
farm on what was known then as the Long Woods road, where they remained
about two years. On April 10, 1832, they moved to a farm in Harwich
township, County of Kent, where he spent the remainder of a useful life,
dying April 10, 1897, just sixty-five years to a day from the date of his
settlement at that place. His wife died in 1882. The following children were
born to them: (1) Annie, born December 25, 1830, married E.P. Longford, of
Harwich township. (2) Duncan, born March 6, 1833, married Catherine
Ferguson, and resides on a part of the old farm in Harwich township. Their
children are John D., a farmer of Raleigh, who married Effie Clark; Maggie,
who married James Smith of Harwich; Annie, at home; Michael F., who married
Sarah McKinley and is a farmer of Harwich; and Kittie, Tina and Walter, at
home. (3) Margaret is the widow of John Richardson of Chatham. (4) John
married Mary McKillop, of Harwich, and their children are Bessie, the wife
of George Smyth; Alexander, who married Jennie Smyth; Annie; Margaret;
Robert; John Jr; Mary and Duncan. (5) Michael is mentioned below. (6) Bessie
married John R. Wood, of Appleton, Wisconsin, and they have six daughters.
Michael Houston, of Chatham, so well and favourably known throughout that
locality, was born February 28, 1842, in Harwich township, County of Kent,
on the old homestead, and there grew to manhood. His education was obtained
in the public schools of Harwich, and he finished his course in the Chatham
high school. In 1865 he creditably passed his primary examination in the
law, and spent the winter of 1867-68 in the law school of the University of
Michigan; later he became attached to the law office of Patterson, Harrison
& Patterson, of Toronto, passing his final examination as barrister and
solicitor in November, 1870. That year he settled in Chatham, and for a time
attended to the business interests of E.W. Scane, but in January, 1871, he
opened an office of his own, and continued in active practice alone until
May 5, 1873, when he formed a partnership with E.W. Scane, the association
continuing until Mr. Scane’s death in Spril, 1902.
On May 5, 1882, Judge Houston was appointed to his present responsible
position, in connection with which he still continues in the practice of his
profession. He is solicitor for the Chatham Gas Co., of which he is a
director, and he is one of the trustees of the Public General Hospital.
On November 12, 1873, Mr. Houston married Miss Harriet Northwood, of
Chatham, daughter of the late William Northwood. She was born July 28, 1852,
and is a lady of education and social position. Four children have been born
to this union, namely: Grace, who was educated at McMaster University;
Margaret; Jessie, B.A., of the University of Toronto, class of 1902; and
William, a student in the Collegiate Institute at Chatham. The beautiful
modern home of Judge Houston and family is located on Victoria Avenue, in
Chatham. Politically the Judge favours the Reform Party. The religious
membership of the family is in the Baptist Church.
Mr. Houston is an able lawyer, well equipped in the ethics of his
profession, a magistrate of most excellent discrimination, a business man of
integrity, and a progressive, enterprising and representative citizen.
You can read other biographies at
Our thanks for this German translation of our page on The Drummond which you
can read at
RUAIRIDH (Rory) ‘Breac’ MacNEIL
A Case Study based on the application of the Genealogical Proof Standard to
the story of an 18th century pioneer in Cape Breton. The study assembles and
correlates indirect evidence to resolve an identity question.
I was sent in a link to this article and was mightily impressed with the
sheer amount of detective work that went into this and actually read the
whole article. You might like to view this yourself at
http://ca.geocities.com/[email protected] on the contents page
(Legends and Lore), the only active button, at the moment, is "His Story".
And that's all for now and I hope you and your families all have a great
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