Electric Scotland newsletter meaning the weekend is nearly here :-)
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Electric Scotland News
The Flag in the Wind
Poetry and Stories
Book of Scottish Story
The Concise Household Encyclopaedia
Social Life in Scotland
The Writings of John Muir
Fraser's Scottish Annual
Robert Burns Lives!
Among the Forrest Trees
Alberta, Past and Present, Historical and Biographical
The Scottish Church
The Scot and Canada (New Book)
Inverness-Shire, Parish by Parish (New Book)
ELECTRIC SCOTLAND NEWS
We have been working on the new community system this week and were
having problems on restoring it after a crash. We have thus decided
to implement a raid system and so have purchased 3 new 650Gbyte
drives with 5 year warranties. We intend to install these on
Saturday night or Sunday and so we will be down for a couple of
hours while we do this.
Not sure why but this week I have actually had several emails in
asking when or if we will be bringing back our community system.
The answer to that is yes we will be bringing it back and as to time
scales we hope to have it available by end of June or earlier.
There is actually a lot of work of testing to be done on this and
since we've been down there have been several upgrades to the
service some with new features and some to solve some security
issues. There is also a new upgrade to the Arcade system and we have
identified a new chat service that can integrate with Yahoo and
Google. So all of this needs to be tested and tweaked. We also want
to bring it up in our own customised look as well. A lot of the
features disabled in the old beta trial will now be enabled making
the system more useable.
Once back up we fully intend to ensure that should we go down due to
a system crash or hard disk failure that we will never be down for
more than 24 hours and hopefully a lot less than that.
We also have a few groups that would like to make use of our new
service so that's also an incentive to get it up sooner rather than
later. We've also had interest shown by 2 groups in being the
sponsor for it which would enable us to ensure it's a totally free
service. They are looking at offering US$500 a month which is really
an excellent offer. Mind you I'm not relying on this as interest
doesn't mean it will turn into actual :-)
The Flag in the Wind is dropping their cultural side of their
regular weekly edition. We have an offer in to take this over but we
are yet to hear if our offer will be accepted. I'll let you know
what happens when I know myself.
I have undertaken a new project for Donna Flood which you'll see in
the weeks ahead. Essentially over the years she's been telling us of
her old school which was for Native Indian children. Well she's just
been gifted a lot of the old year books that the school produced. As
there is no-one willing to take and preserve these Donna is taking
pictures of each page and is sending them to me to put up on her
section of the site.
David Hunter, President of the Scottish Studies Foundation, gave me
a present of a book entitled "The Scot and Canada" for which I offer
my many thanks. It's actually a very interesting wee book and I've
already ocr'd it onto the site and more information on this book can
be found below.
Some of you may remember that I discussed a possible Loyalty Card
scheme that we might develop to help Clan Societies offer benefits
to clan members which in turn would help them get new members and
encourage existing members to renew. Well in principal this is now a
goer but we need to get some figures in from Clan Socities to see if
they'd be interested in adopting this scheme. And so if you have any
clan connections I'd appreciate it if you'd ask your society to get
in touch with me at
As to future books coming to the site. You'll soon be learning a lot
about the slave trade in America. I will be posting up a couple of
books on this, one about Dr John Ross who is a Scot that moved to
Canada and then worked in the US and was also an advisor to Abraham
Lincoln. He got slaves onto the Underground railroad and up to
freedom in Canada. The other is about Vice President Henry Wilson,
of Scots parentage, who fought for many years in the US Sentate and
Congress to free the slaves and of course lived through the Civil
I am also working on getting more information on the history of
Sports up. I'm currently working on "The Story of Scottish Rugby"
and have found a good book on Scottish Football which I'm hoping to
borrow from the McLaughlin Library at the University of Guelph.
Also working on "Memoirs of a Highland Lady" The Autobiography of
Elizabeth Grant of Rothiemurchus afterwards Mrs Smith of Baltiboys
1797-1830. The Highland lady was a clanswoman of the Rothiemurchus
Grants, and is therefore of special interest to American readers,
since it was from that same branch of the ancient Scottish family
that Gen. Ulysses S. Grant claimed descent.
On there I also have a section "Books that are Work in Progress" and
in there we put against each book either (Being added to the site
right now) or (Coming soon).
Lots more on the way :-)
I just wanted to highlight the fact that on our menu we have an item
"Services". These are all services which you can use yourself to
submit information to our site or useful services to use such as a
Roman Numbers Calculator, Driving Directions, Hotel Search, etc. On
the top of that page and in the header of the site are small buttons
which carry links to our advertisers and include accommodation
companies, Celtic music downloads, DNA company and the tourism of
Loch Ness as well as a company dealing in Tartan products. We'd
obviously appreciate it if you'd have a look at these advertisers as
the money they pay for these buttons do go towards helping us to
make the site available to you.
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 or on our site menu.
THE FLAG IN THE WIND
This weeks Flag is compiled by Ian Goldie who talks about the book
"Breaking up Britain" and he points to a link where you can get a
free download of one of the chapters.
Book of Scottish Story
Our thanks to John Henderson for sending this in for us.
This week have added...
The Barley Feverand Rebuke
by D. M. Moir
Here is how it starts...
On the morning after the business of the playhouse happened, I had
to take my breakfast in my bed, a thing very uncommon for me,
being generally up by cock-craw, except on Sunday rnornings whiles,
when ilka ane, according to the bidding of the Fourth Commandment,
has a license to do as he likes, having a desperate sore head, and
a squeamishness at the stomach, occasioned, I jalouse, in a great
measure from what Mr Glen and me had discussed at Widow Grassies,
in the shape of warm toddy, over our cracks concerning what is
called the agricultural and the manufacturing interests. So our
wife, puir body, pat a thimbleful of brandyThornas Mixerns
real-into my first cup of tea, which had a wonderful virtue in
putting all things to rights ; so that I was up and had shapit a
pair of leddys corsets (an article in which I sometimes dealt)
before ten oclock, though, the morning being gey cauld, I didna
dispense with my Kilmarnock.
At eleven in the forenoon, or thereabouts,-maybe five minutes before
or after, but nae matter,in comes my crony Maister Glen. rather
dazed-like about the een, and wif a large piece of white sticking-plaister,
about half-a-nail wide, across one of his cheeks, and over the brig
o his nose ; giving him a wauff, outlandish, and rather blackguard
sort of appearance, so that I was a thocht uneasy at what neebours
might surmeese concerning our intimacy ; but the honest man
accounted for the thing in a very feasible manner, from the falling
down on that side of his head of one of the brass candlesticks,
while he was lying on his braidside, before ane of the furms in the
His purpose of calling was to tell me that he couldna leave the town
without looking in upon me to bid me fareweel; mair betoken, as he
intended sending in his son Mungo wi the carrier for a trial, to
see how the line of life pleased him, and how I thocht he wad answer
a thing which I was glad came from his side of the house, being
likely to be in the upshot the best for both parties. Yet I thocht
he wad find our way of doing so canny and comfortable, that it wasna
very likely he could ever start objections; and I must confess, that
I lookit forrit with nae sma degree of pride, seeing the
probability of my sune having the son of a Lammermuir farmer sitting
cross-leggit, cheek for jowl wi me, on the board, and bound to
serve me at all lawful times, by night and day, by a regular
indenture of five years. Maister Glen insisted on the laddie having
a three months trial; and then, after a wee show of standing out,
just to make him aware that I could be elsewhere fitted if I had a
mind, I agreed that the request was reasonable, and that I had nae
yearthly objections to conforming wit. So, after giein him his
meridian, and a bit of shortbread, we shook hands, and parted in the
understanding, that his son would arrive on the tap of limping Jamie
the carriers cart, in the course, say, of a fortnight.
Social Life in Scotland
From Early to Recent Times by Rev. Charles Rogers in 3 volumes
Now on the third and final volume of this publication and it is now
completed with the addition of the
There are a lot of wee interesting notes to be found in this
Supplement and is well worth a browse. For example...
Vol. i., pp. 113-117.Marriage Feasts in the Northern Counties.
"Weddings or marriage feasts were highly in vogue, and there was in
every case a double feast, one at the bride's father's or friend's
house, where the ceremony was performed. At this feast the bride and
bridegroom sat as the principal guests, remaining for one or more
days. The next feast was at the bridegroom's house on the arrival of
the happy pair at their own home. This was called 'a bhanais theth'`the
heating of the house'or, as the men of Sutherland literally
rendered the phrase from their native tongue into English, `the
wedding hot.'"Memorabilia Domestica, 1694-1830, MS., vol. i., p.
Vol. i., p. 127, 1. 27.Scotsmen debarred from Marrying English
By the eleventh Parliament of James VI. it was enacted "that no
Scotsman marrie an Englishwoman without the King's license under the
Great Seal, under pain of death and escheat of moveables."
Vol. i., p. 231, 1. 9,Farm-houses.
Dr James Russell of Yarrow, in his "Reminiscences" (pp. 75-6),
describes the farm-houses of Yarrow in the end of the last century
as small, low-roofed, and covered with thatch. They were built on a
uniform modela room in one end, and a kitchen in the other. The
kitchen opened into a third apartment, commonly used as a bedroom,
while in certain houses were two attics, reached by a trap-ladder.
The old farm-house at Foulshiels, in which. Mungo Park was born,
remarks Dr Russell, was one of this description.
The Writings of John Muir
We have made a start on the 5th volume and added this week are...
The Mountains of California
Chapter XIV. The Wild Sheep
Chapter XV. In the Sierra Foothills
Chapter XVI. The Bee Pastures
Chapter I. The Approach to the Valley
Chapter II. Winter Storms and Spring Floods
Chapter III. (V) The Trees of the Valley
Chapter IV. (X). The South Dome
I got in some excellent pictures of The Yosemite to add to the text.
Here is how Chapter I starts...
WHEN I set out on the long excursion that finally led to California,
I wandered, afoot and alone, from Indiana to the Gulf of Mexico,
with a plant-press on my back, holding a generally southward course,
like the birds when they are going from summer to winter. From the
west coast of Florida I crossed the Gulf to Cuba, enjoyed the rich
tropical flora there for a few months, intending to go thence to the
north end of South America, make my way through the woods to the
head waters of the Amazon, and float down that grand river to the
ocean. But I was unable to find a ship bound for South America -
fortunately, perhaps, for I had incredibly little money for so long
a trip and had not yet fully recovered from a fever caught in the
Florida swamps. Therefore I decided to visit California for a year
or two to see its wonderful flora and the famous Yosemite Valley.
All the world was before me and every day was a holiday, so it did
not seem important to which one of the world's wildernesses I first
Arriving by the Panama steamer, I stopped one day in San Francisco
and then inquired for the nearest way out of town. "But where do you
want to go?" asked the man to whom I had applied for this important
information. "To any place that is wild," I said. This reply
startled him. He seemed to fear I might be crazy, and therefore the
sooner I was out of town the better, so he directed me to the
So on the 1st of April, 1868, I set out afoot for Yosemite. It was
the bloom-time of the year over the lowlands and coast ranges; the
landscapes of the Santa Clara Valley were fairly drenched with
sunshine, all the air was quivering with the songs of the
meadowlarks, and the hills were so covered with flowers that they
seemed to be painted. Slow, indeed, was my progress through these
glorious gardens, the first of the California flora I had seen.
Cattle and cultivation were making few scars as yet, and I wandered
enchanted in long, wavering curves, knowing by my pocket map that
Yosemite Valley lay to the east and that I should surely find it.
Fraser's Scottish Annual
These are articles from the 1900 - 1904 issues of Fraser's Scottish
Annual. This week we've added...
Scotland's Contribution to Ontario's Agriculture
Here is how the article on "Scotland's Contribution to Ontario's
BY C. C. JAMES, M.A.
(Deputy Minister of Agriculture, Ontario.)
THOUGH Champlain made in his memorable tour of the province in 1615
by way of the Ottawa, Lake Nipissing, Lake Huron and the Trent
Valley to Lake Ontario, the period of settlement began only in 1784,
at the close of the American War of Independence. The history of our
agricultural development, then, is confined to a period of less than
125 years. The consideration of our subject gives us three main
divisions: First, from 1784 to 1812, the early settlement of the
frontier townships along the St. Lawrence River, Lake Ontario. and
Lake Erie, mainly by families from the neighbouring States; second,
from 1825 to 1850, when the great streams of British immigration
poured into this country and filled up the townships between and in
the rear of those earlier settled; and third, the recent years, when
the surplus population moved about, filling up the vacancies still
left in that portion of our province between the Ottawa, the St.
Lawrence, and the Great Lakes, and flowed westward into the Northern
States and the new Province of Manitoba.
First, we ask as to whether Scotland contributed anything to the
first settlement. The lands were first allotted to the Americans who
had remained true to Britain, and who desired to move or were
compelled to move out and seek new homes under the protection of the
British flag. Many had borne arms for Britain, and they were
promised homes in Canada, being officially designated as United
Empire Loyalists. Those from the New England States first chose
lands in Nova Scotia and New Brunswick near at hand and in proximity
to New Englanders who had, some years before the war, been settled
on the rich dyked farm lands previously occupied by the exiled
Acadians. Quebec, to a point just beyond Montreal, was held largely
under seignorial tenure; therefore the Loyalists from New York and
New Jersey were offered lands in the western or upper portion of the
province along the St. Lawrence above Montreal, on the Bay of Quinte,
an arm of Lake Ontario, and along the Niagara River. The New York
and New Jersey Loyalists were composed of a very mixed nationality;
there were descendants of the Dutch of New Netherland, of Palatine
Germans sent out in Queen Anne's reign by the people of London, of
French Huguenots, who had made settlements along the coast, and of
Puritans and Quakers, who had drifted in from New England. But there
were some sons of Scotland also.
Robert Burns Lives!
By Frank Shaw
Starkey Staring Mad by Clark McGinn
Here we go again! What is it about some English people and would-be
Scots who cannot help shooting themselves in the foot when it comes
to Robert Burns and Scotland? Now comes the next in line, David
Starkey, pronouncing Scotland as a feeble little nation with a
romantic 19th-century style of nationalism and Burns as a deeply
boring provincial poet and, for whatever the reason, evidently does
not like bagpipes either. Whats with these people? What did
Scotland, Robert Burns or the bagpipe ever do to them? Seems this
historian had ugly things to say about all three on BBCs Famous
Let me digress for a moment. I grew up in a small South Carolina
town where you were looked down on if you came from a certain part
of town or if your dad did not own a store, a business, was not a
doctor or a lawyer, or your family did not have money - make that
old money. I know what it is like to live so close to a railroad
track that the only thing separating one corner of our house and the
track was a ditch. And, even though this was a spur track, you
always knew when the train came by. Since my father hauled wood with
a mule and wagon, and we were the only family in my grammar school
classes not to own a car, I am used to people who like to say catty
things, think they are better than you, or who look down on you.
Like I said, you always know when the train or a condescending bully
And, as you can see below, that is exactly what the good doctor is
a bully! Mom always tried to teach my nine siblings and me to say
only good things about people. However, Mom never met Starkey! He
tries to beat you up with words, not fists. He gets off on putting
you down with his intellect. He may know his history, but he is
rude. I had my share of run-ins with fisticuff bullies as a boy and
won about as many as I lost. As an adult, Ive had my run-ins with
bullies like Starkey who want to assault you with words. I have
found that most of them, sooner or later, get around to opening
their mouth only to change their feet. Usually, as in this case, it
Some say people like Starkey should be ignored and go unchallenged
since they have a right to their opinion. I agree with the latter
part, but I also have a right to my own opinion. Robert Burns does
not need me or anyone else to defend him and neither does the Auld
Country or the bagpipe, but letting those like Starkey know my
feelings makes me feel a lot better. It comes down to one of those
scenarios where you do it your way and Ill do it my way.
But I get ahead of myself and am happy to bring you a rebuttal to
Dr. David Starkey by Clark McGinn who has appeared in these pages
before. The Scotsman asked Clark to respond to the professor, and
McGinns op-ed piece appeared in the newspaper Monday, April 27,
2009. Welcome, Clark, you are welcome anytime! (Check out this site:
Among the Forrest Trees
or How the Bushman Family got their Homes, by being a book of facts
and incidents of pioneering life in Upper Canada, arranged in the
form of a story, by Rev. Joseph H. Hilts (1888)
We have several more chapters up now...
Chapter XI - Clearing Land
Hemlock Compass - Poor Grip's Fate - Log Rolling - A Mother-in-law's
Question-- Philosophers in Petticoats.
Chapter XII - Sowing and Reaping
The Three-square Harrow - Tests of Character - Post Offices - Forty
Miles' Walk - A Letter - Plenty of News.
Chapter XIII - Harvesting the Crop
Threshing-floors - Skilful Housekeeper - Beavers - Gathering Wild
Fruit - Finding a Dutchman - A Fawn.
Chapter XIV - Mary finds a Friend
Being Isolated - A Glad Surprise - Canadian Girls - Cart Making -
Dr. Ashgrove - Underbrushing.
Chapter XV - Winter in the Woods
Threshing - Cleaning - White Caps - Katrina - Mixed-up Dreams - John
goes to Mill - Killing Venison.
Chapter XVI - Visitors and Callers
Familiar Faces - Backwoods Police - Woman's Intuitions - Making
Sap-Troughs - The Big Store - Trough.
Chapter XVII - Sugar-Making
A Good Business - Sugaring-off - Moses Comes Home - The Hoot-Owl - A
Sugaring Party - Dutch Pleasantries.
Here is a bit from Chapter 17...
PEOPLE who never had experience in the work of making maple sugar
can form but a very vague idea of what it really means. The work is
so mixed up with what is pleasant and exhilarating that a great deal
of it seems, betimes, more like play than work. It is true that some
things that have to be done are hard to do. The carrying of the sap
by hand, when the snow is deep and covered with crust that will
almost bear up a man, and then let him down with his load of sweet
water and perhaps spill it all, is not among the easiest or
pleasantest kind of employment. This is not only tiresome, but it
also tries one's temper sometimes pretty severely.
Then there is wood-chopping, which is hard work, and working around
the fire and in the smoke is by no means like play. But after all is
said that can be said about the hardships of sugar-making, there is
more of pleasure than pain in it, more profit than loss, and more
sweet than bitter; on the side of its advantages may be counted
first, the saving of expense in buying your year's supply of this
saccharine necessity in household furnishing. And the feeling of
independence that a good supply of sugar gives to the housekeeper,
who knows that she can't be taken short for sweetness, while she has
a lot of cakes of sugar stowed away in some safe place, is among the
advantages of the business.
And the pleasure of making our own supply of any thing seems to
enhance its value. And another advantage is in the business itself
after it has been started. The expense of starting is something, but
it is not like an annual outlay. Once the business is fitted up, it
will last for years without additional expense. There is no seeding
nor feeding to be done in connection with a sap-bush, so that after
the work of tapping the trees and boiling the sap is paid for, the
rest is clear profits in sugar, molasses and vinegar.
Alberta, Past and Present, Historical and Biographical
By John Blue, B.A. (1924)
We now have several more chapters up...
Autonomy, The Alberta Act and the Constitution
Review of Municipal Government in North West Territories and Alberta
The North West Mounted Police in Alberta
Land and Colonization
Population, Aborigines, Indian Treaties and Immigration
Church History in Alberta
Church History (Continued)
Schools and Education
Here is how Chapter XII starts...
One of the greatest tasks of successive Governments of Canada has
been the settlement of the western prairies. Generally this has been
encouraged by free grant lands to actual settlers and to
colonization companies or railway corporations. In recent years, in
fact since 1897, grants to railways have been discontinued and the
policy of granting tracts to colonization companies has practically
ceased. Land is now reserved to the actual settlers.
The first step in the settlement of the prairies was the adoption
and execution of a system of survey. After the transfer of the
Hudson's Bay Company's rights to the Government of Canada,
immigrants began to come. The completion of the Dawson Route and the
Northern Pacific Railway in 1872 gave a great impetus to immigration
and created conditions which called for prompt measures to place the
settlers on the land. At the time of the transfer, settlement was
confined to the river banks of the Red and Assiniboine Rivers, where
the Selkirk settlers and others occupied lots varying from one and
one-half chains to twenty chains in width and extending back from
the banks of the river a distance of about two miles.
The Dominion Lands Office was organized in March, 1871, under John
Stoughton Dennis, Surveyor-General, and the first regulations
respecting the disposal of Dominion lands were issued on April 25th,
1871. Under these regulations, unappropriated, surveyed Crown lands
were offered for sale at $1.00 per acre, limited to 640 acres to any
one person. Pre-emption and homestead rights were established and
provision made for the first railway subsidy in the North West
Territories. Lands subject to the regulations might be withdrawn
from settlement to provide a strip three townships wide on each side
of the route of the proposed Inter Oceanic Railway.
The first Dominion Lands Act was passed in 1872. This Act has been
amended from time to time to meet the changing conditions of the
country, but its main features have persisted to the present and are
embodied in the Dominion Lands Act of 1908 and amendments thereto.
Numerous survey parties were placed in the field under the
supervision of Mr. Lindsay Russell and a grand scheme of surveys
outlined which embraced the whole of the North West Territories.
Meridians and bases were surveyed and explorations carried on to
locate the timber areas and sources of water supply. To ensure that
in any one township the greatest possible number of settlers should
benefit from the timber found there and to prevent a monopoly
thereof by the first settlers, the Act provided that the timbered
sections should be divided into wood lots and that one lot should be
apportioned to each homestead of 160 acres. This regulation applied
only to surveyed lands. The right to take timber or unsurveyed lands
was regulated by permit, a system which still exists.
The Scottish Church
From Earliest Times to 1881, By W. Chambers (1881)
Our thanks go to John Henderson for sending this into us.
we've added another Lecture...
Lecture II - Early Christian Scotland, 400 to 1093 A.D., by the Rev.
A. K. H. Boyd, D.D., First Minister of St Andrews.
Time is short; and I have to tell you the story of six hundred and
ninety years; from the beginning of the fifth century to near the
end of the eleventh: a period which may be taken as including the
Introduction of Christianity into Scotland, and its progress till
earlier organisations were merged in the great Mediaeval Church. Not
one sentence, therefore, of introduction, save this: that it would
be easier to compile a moderate volume than to prepare the
thirty-two pages to which these lectures are restricted. For the
materials, though often unreliable, are more than abundant. They are
sometimes of deep interest.
The Scot and Canada
By James A. Roy (1947)
Despite the title there is a good deal of information in this 2 part
publication. The first is mostly to do with the Scots themselves in
Scotland while the second part talks about the Scot in Canada it
also provides information on Scots elsewhere in the world.
About the Author
James Alexander Roy, author and, since 1920, Professor of English at
Queen's University, Kingston, was educated at Webster's Seminary and
at Edinburgh and Giessen Universities. He was formerly a Lecturer in
English Language and Literature at St. Andrew's University, and
guest Professor at the Universities of Berlin, Gottingen and
During 1915-1919 Professor Roy served with considerable distinction
in the Artillery and Intelligence Staff. G.H.Q.
Critical works by Professor Roy include: Cowper & His Poetry (1914);
Joseph Howe, A Study in Achievement and Frustration (1935); James
Matthew Barrie, An Appreciation (1937). The Heart is Highland, an
autobiography, will be published this year.
In all my travels I never met with any one Scotchman but what was a
man of sense.
F. Locken, D.D. (1667-1740)
There never came a fool out of Scotland; they all stay at home.
Scotlandthat knuckle-end of England, that land of Calvin, oat-cakes
Sydney Smith (1771-1845)
There used to be a gibe in Scotland that only the fool of the family
stayed at home. According to Professor James A. Roy a goodly number
of the wise ones came to Canada and have there made their mark. From
emigrants they have become nation-builders. By the time they have
reached the second generation they have become more Canadian than
Scot, yet they have retained the qualities that make for success,
and have given their racial characteristics to Canada more than any
In the first half of The Scot And Canada, Professor Roy outlines the
conditions which have governed the growth of the Scottish mentality.
In the second half he comes down to cases, depicting some of the
outstanding Scots associated with British North America, including
those who came to Canada by way of Continental Europe and the United
States. He recalls romantic incidents that have been too lightly
forgotten, as for instance in the pages dealing with Flora Macdonald
which alone make the book worthwhile. The account of Lord Selkirk's
Settlements in Prince Edward Island and on the Red River is
particularly good. Admirably told, also, is the story of the Scots
in Upper Canada.
This is a book which should be a 'must' for the Scottish-Canadian
Inverness-Shire, Parish by Parish
Antiquarian Notes, Historical, Genealogical and Social (Second
Series) Inverness-Shire, Parish by Parish By Charles
Fraser-Mackintosh, FSA Scot. (1897)
This is yet another new book we're starting on and there are many
names in this which makes it another source for genealogists.
The first chapter starts...
THERE is not a mountain or glen, lake or river, in the Highlands
without its own tradition and story, and whether bright or dark,
humorous or pathetic, they are all to us, in this present age of
research, full of speculative interest. But their real history, and
that of the people since the 'Forty-five, concerns Highlanders so
closely that authentic and hitherto unpromulgated information,
cannot be too widely made known. With this object in view, I have
selected for the first of this series of Notes one of the largest
artificial Saharas in the North.
I.PARISH OF KILMORACK.
At the period of the final disjunction of the county of Ross from
Inverness-shire, the Earl of Seaforth and Mackenzie influence was
all powerful. Most of the Seaforth estates were made part of Ross,
however arbitrary the bounds and wanting in natural division. For
instance, the disjunction of Lewis, if divided at all, ought to have
been at Tarbert; and nearer Inverness, the whole upper waters of the
Morriston, the Affaric, the Cannich, and the Farar belonged
naturally to Inverness, although assigned in every case, but that of
the Affaric, to Ross. Again Corriecharrabie, whose waters run into
the Orrin, should belong naturally to Ross. The name of "Glenstrathfarar"
is modern and, the two first syllables being synonymic, should be
limited to "Strathfarar." Of old the whole of it belonged to the
Earldom of Ross, and the first time any part of the Inverness-shire
portion has been noted is on 3rd March, 1416, in the contract of
marriage betwixt Janet Fenton, sister of William Fenton of that Ilk,
and Hugh Fraser of Lovat. In this contract it is stated that Fenton
gives inter alia with his sister the two Buntaits, of the value of
ten merks of old extent, under this condition that what time the
lands of "Uchterache" be recovered, the said Hucheon and the said
Janet shall receive these lands in joint infeftment to the extent of
ten merks, and if the same lands of Uchterache be not found of the
extent of ten merks land of old extent, Fenton shall make it up and
shall receive back the two Buntaits.
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