Scotland's Weekly Email Newsletter
Electric Scotland newsletter meaning the weekend is nearly here :-)CONTENTS
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See our Calendar of Scottish Events around the world and add your
Electric Scotland News
The Flag in the Wind
Poetry and Stories
The Writings of John Muir
Book of Scottish Story
Old World Scotland
The Bark Covered House
Fraser's Scottish Annual
Biographical Record of the County of Kent,
Whom England Feared (New Book)
Recollections of a Long Life 1829 - 1915 (New
Newfangled Family Tree - August Edition
Robert Burns Lives!
Oor Mither Tongue (New Book)
"Curdies" a Glasgow Sketch Book (New Book)
John's Scottish Sing-Along
The Life of St Margaret (New complete book)
FamilyTreeDNA at the Clan Gathering in
ELECTRIC SCOTLAND NEWS
Our Aois Community continues to move ahead and
at time of writing last week we had 171 active members. At time of
writing this week We now have 276 active members. This newsletter
was read 618 times which of course indicates that many of you are
reading it as a Guest. I might just add that joining the Aois
Community is free and by joining you'll get an email alert when a
new issue is posted.
Steve is in the process of installing a new
Arcade system which promises to fix the saving of the high scores
problem we were having with the current system.
Lots of new books and
projects on the go this week for which see more below.
I've also completed this
quarters Canadian Journal. As you may know if you've been following
this that I only intended to keep it going up to getting Permanent
Landed Status. It was suggested that I might keep it going up and so
I have but now only quarterly and really just keeping track of some
highlights during the quarter.
You can view this latest
As you'll know from various
entries in here over the months I've been trying to tell a story
about the Scotland of Today but have had zero luck with getting
anyone to help with this. I have actually written to BP, the Oil
Company, to see if they could help. When my father worked for them
and was sent to Kuwait to source, install and run a computer system
for Kuwait Oil Company I remembered he had to take a course to
familiarise himself with Kuwait and the people.
I thus thought that perhaps
they also do a course to familiarise people with the UK when
employees from other countries come to work in the UK. And so I
emailed there Press Office to see if they could help and I also
emailed a member of this newsletter list who has a bpconnect email
address. So far I haven't heard back from them but ever hopeful.
only mention this in case one of you work for an International
organisation and if so you might enquire if your own company does
some kind of course to introduce fellow employees to the UK. And if
they do I'd appreciate a contact to explore the possibility of them
sharing information with us.
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 in
which he covers the Johnnie Walker petition and the upcoming
by-election in Glasgow.
You can read the Flag at
Christina McKelvie MSP's Weekly diary is not available as the
Parliament are now on the Summer recess.
got in information on the Clan Denovan which you can read at
got in some pictures from Clan MacIntyre showing them at the Clan
Gathering in Edinburgh which you can see at
got in a mini bio of Currie's in Australia which you can read at
Poetry and Stories
We've posted up the famous poem "John Tamson's
Bairns" which I'm sure you'll enjoy reading at
You can read other stories in our Article Service and even add your
own at http://www.electricscotland.com/article
The Writings of John Muir
We're now onto our 10th and final volume which
brings to a close the final years of his life. Added this week
Chapter XI. On Widening Currents, 1873-1875
Chapter XII. "The
World Needs The Woods," 1875-1878
Chapter XIII. Nevada, Alaska, and a Home,
XIV. The Second Alaska Trip and the Search for the Jeannette,
Winning a Competence, 1881-1891
Chapter XVI. Trees and Travel, 1891-1897
chapter XII we see how tough life can get although he seems to shrug
it off very easily...
On the 28th of April he led a party to the
summit of Mount Shasta for the purpose of finding a proper place to
locate the monument of the Coast and Geodetic Survey. Two days later
he made another ascent with Jerome Fay in order to complete some
barometrical observations. While engaged in this task a fierce storm
arose, enveloping them, with great suddenness, in inky darkness
through which roared a blast of snow and hail. His companion deemed
it impossible under the circumstances to regain their camp at
timber-line, so the two made their way as best they could to the
sputtering fumaroles or 'Hot Springs" on the summit. The perils of
that stormy night, described at some length in "Steep Trails," were
of a much more serious nature than one might infer from the casual
reference to the adventure in the following letter.
To Mrs. Ezra S. Carr
1419 TAYLOR ST., May 4th,
DEAR MRS. CARR:
Here I am safe in the arms
of Daddy Swett - home again from icy Shasta and richer than ever in
dead river gravel and in snowstorms and snow. The upper end of the
main Sacramento Valley is entirely covered with ancient river drift
and I wandered over many square miles of it. In every pebble I could
hear the sounds of running water. The whole deposit is a poem whose
many books and chapters form the geological Vedas of our glorious
I discovered a new species of hail on the
summit of Shasta and experienced one of the most beautiful and most
violent snowstorms imaginable. I would have been with you ere this
to tell you about it and to give you some lilies and pine tassels
that I brought for you and Mrs. McChesney and ma Coolbrith, but
alack! I am battered and scarred like a log that has come down the
Tuolumne in flood-time, and I am also lame with frost nipping.
Nothing serious, however, and I will be well and better than before
in a few days.
I was caught in a violent snowstorm and held
upon the summit of the mountain all night in my shirt sleeves. The
intense cold and the want of food and sleep made the fire of life
smoulder and burn low. Nevertheless in company with another strong
mountaineer [Jerome Fay] I broke through six miles of frosty snow
down into the timber and reached fire and food and sleep and am
better than ever, with all the valuable experiences. Altogether I
have had a very instructive and delightful trip.
The Bryanthus you wanted was
snow- buried, and I was too lame to dig it out for you, but I will
probably go back ere long. I'll be over in a few days or so.
You can read the rest of this chapter at
The rest of the chapters can be read at
Book of Scottish Story
Thanks to John Henderson for sending this book
This week he's sent in chapter 1 of "Basil
Rolland" which starts...
THE period at which the
circumstances recorded in the following narrative happened was in
the troubled year of 1639. At that time the points in dispute
Dispute betwixt Charles and his subjects were most violently
contested, and the partizans, of each were in arms all over the
country, endeavouring, by partial and solitary operations, to gain
the ascendancy for their faction. The first cause of these
disturbances was the attempt of the monarch to establish Episcopacy
over Scotland--a form of worship which had always been disliked by
the Scotch, as they considered it but a single step removed front
Popery. The intemperate zeal with which Charles prosecuted his views
(occasioned by a misconception of the national character of his
subjects), and his averseness to compromise or conciliation, first
gave rise to the combination called the Covenanters ; weak at first,
but in a short time too powerful to be shaken by the exertions of
the High Churchmen.
One of the first and most politic steps taken
by the Council of the Covenant, denominated "the Tables," was the
framing of the celebrated Bond or Covenant ; the subscribers of
winch bound themselves to resist the introduction of Popery and
Prelacy, and to stand by each other in case of innovations on tire
established worship. Charles seeing, at last, the strength of this
association, uttered, in his turn, a covenant renouncing Popery;
also dispensed with the use of the Prayer Book, the Five Articles of
Perth, and other things connected with public worship which were
obnoxious to the Covenanters.
During this contention, the
citizens of Aberdeen remained firmly attached to the royal interest,
and appear to have come in with every resolution that was adopted by
the government. In 1638, a deputation from "the Tables," among whom
was the celebrated Andrew Cant (from whom the mission was
denominated "Cant's Visitation"), arrived in the town, for the
purpose of inducing the inhabitants to subscribe the Covenant; but
as their representations entirely failed of success, they Were
obliged to desist. The Earl of Montrose arrived in Aberdeen Aberdeen
in the spring of 1639, and, partly by the terror of his arms, partly
by the representations of the clergy that accompanied him, succeeded
in imposing the Covenant on the townsmen. After his departure, a
body of the royalists, commanded by the Laird of Banff, having
routed the forces of Fraser and Forbes, took possession of the town,
and wreaked their vengeance on all who had subscribed the Covenant.
They only remained days in the town, and, on their departure, it was
occupied by the Earl of Marischal, who in turn harassed the
royalists. As soon as Montrose heard of these occurrences, being
doubtful of the fidelity of the inhabitants. He marched to Aberdeen
again, again disarmed the citizens, and imposed a heavy fine upon
them. The citizens, who had been impoverished by these unjust
exactions, were somewhat relieved, when Montrose, their greatest
scourge, after another short visit, marched into Angus and disbanded
The rest of this chapter can be read at
other stories can be read at
Old World Scotland
Giving Glimpses of its Modes and Manners, By T.
F. Henderson (1893).
We have now added the final chapter, Chapter
XXII. The Union which now completes this book.
Here is how the chapter
IN Scotland the accession of James VI. to the
English throne was matter for almost boundless satisfaction. Short
of the actual conquest of her "auld enemy," nothing could have
touched the nation's vanity to anything like such pleasant purpose.
Apparently the problem of the relationship between the two countries
had been finally solved, and solved (from a Scottish point of view)
in a fashion preposterously felicitous; but it was not long ere the
honour done the northern kingdom was discerned to be no more than
merely nominal. Except in the rewards bestowed on a few needy
courtiers, the real and solid advantages that might have been
expected to follow in its train were nowhere visible, while the
drawbacks of the new connection were presently a matter of acute
experience. Nominally the era of avowed hostility was closed, but
the new departure proved as antagonistic to Scottish national
interests as the ancient enmity itself. The mere transference of the
Court from Edinburgh to London did not involve a great pecuniary
loss; but the attention of the sovereign was now primarily occupied
with the affairs of the wealthier and more powerful of his kingdoms,
and the prosperity of the other became a matter of less vital
concern to him. By retaining her legislature Scotland was supposed
to retain her nationality, but it was the shadow without the
substance, and the privilege was attended by evils as great as those
of yore, with none of the old advantages and with no new ones to
atone for their loss. Indeed there is no more striking fact in
Scottish history than the miserable effect upon Scotland of the
simple union of the crowns her condition was never more gloomy or
more desperate than during the century or so that elapsed before the
union of the parliaments.
The rest of this chapter can
be read at
The book index page can be found at
The Bark Covered House
We have several new chapters up for you to
Chapter 13. Metheglin; or, the Detected Drink
Chapter 14. Our Road—How I Was Wounded
Chapter 15. Prospect of War—A.D. 1835
Chapter 16. Fishing and Boating
Chapter 17. How I Got in Trouble Riding in a
Chapter 18. Our
Clearing and the First Railroad Cars in 1838
Chapter 19. Trees
Here is "Fishing and
IN the spring of the year, when the ice broke
up, in the creek, the pike (or pickerel) came up in great abundance
from Detroit River, and they were easily caught. At such times the
water was high in the creek, often overflowing its banks. Sometimes
the Ecorse appeared like quite a river. We made a canoe of a
white-wood log and launched it on the Ecorse. Sometimes we went
fishing in the canoe. At such times it needed two, as the pickerel
were fond of lying in shallow water or where there was old grass. By
looking very carefully, on the surface of the water, I could see
small ripples that the fishes made with their fins while they were
sporting in their native element. By having a person in the back end
of the canoe, pole it carefully, toward the place where I saw the
ripples, we would get up in plain sight of them, and they could be
either speared or shot.
I think the most successful way was shooting
them, at least I preferred it. If the fish lay near the surface of
the water, I held the gun nearly on it, and if it was six inches
deep I held the gun six inches under it, and fired. In this way, for
the distance of two or three rods, I was sure to kill them or stun
them so that they turned belly up and lay till they were easily
picked up with a spear. In this way I frequently caught a nice
string. I have caught some that would weigh eight pounds apiece.
Sometimes I stood on a log that lay across the creek and watched for
them when they were running up. I recollect one cloudy afternoon I
fished with a spear and I caught as many as I wanted to carry to the
house. Sometimes they would be in a group of three, four or more
together. I have seen them, with a big fish below, and four or five
smaller ones above him, swimming along together as nicely as though
they had been strung on an invisible string, and drawn along quietly
through the water. I could see their wake as they were coming slowly
up the creek keeping along one side of it. When I first saw them in
the water they looked dark, I saw it was a group of fishes. It
looked as though the smaller ones were guarding the larger one, at
least they were accompanying it. They appeared to be very good
friends, and well acquainted, and none of them afraid of being eaten
up, but any of them would have eagerly caught the smaller ones of
another species and swallowed them alive and whole. I do not know
that they devour and eat their own kind, I think not often, for
nature has given the pickerel, when young and small, the ability to
move with such swiftness that it would be impossible for a larger
fish to catch them. They will be perfectly still in the water, and
if scared by anything they will start away in any direction like a
streak. They go as if it were no effort and move with the rapidity
of a dart. I have cut some of the large pickerel open and found
whole fish in them, five or six inches long.
You can read the rest of
this chapter at
You can read the other chapters at
Fraser's Scottish Annual
We have added another article from this
The Foundations of Scottish Character
how it starts...
THE purpose I have in view is to point out some
of the influences that have helped to form the best side of Scottish
character, believing that these influences are of general
application, with equally happy results, and that they ought to be
cultivated by the young in Canada as in every other country. But it
will be necessary to say something as to what Scottish character, as
distinctive in itself, is, and where its foundations lie.
Ian Maclaren, who has so
graphically described many phases of Scottish character in such
books as "The Bonnie Brier Bush," "The Days of Auld Lang Syne,"
"Kate Carnegie," etc., in a lecture delivered a few years ago in
Toronto, picked out for emphasis the "dour" side of the average
Scot. The Scots' dourness does not consist of a love for contention
or obstruction, nor from a desire to be disagreeable. Indeed, on the
contrary, not a few of the virtues of the Scottish character arise
from, or are associated with it. Etymologically, the word is easy
enough, being derived from durus the Latin word for "hard,"—meaning
hardy, vigorous, inflexible, firm as a rock. Here you have some
valuable qualities which are discernible in the Scot. If the Scot
should lack somewhat of the mental agility of, say the Frenchman, he
can generally be relied upon. He lacks neither in firmness of will
or force of character, and these are essential to the man who
desires to forge ahead. The "dourness" of Ian Maclaren have been
made the pivot merely for these remarks, but in itself it is an
interesting, a somewhat picturesque indeed, feature of Scottish
character. Intrepidity, boldness, endurance, austerity, pertinacity,
have been ascribed to it, and even Burns finds in it the sting of
the north wind when he says in "A 'Winter Night" :-
"When biting Boreas, fell
shivers through the leafless bower,
When Phoebus gies a short-liv'd glower,
Far south the lift;
Dim.dark'ning thro' the flaky show'r,
Or whirling drift.
You can read the rest of
this article at
The other articles can be read at
Biographical Record of the County of Kent,
Our thanks to Nola Crewe for sending these into
This week we've added the mini bio of James M.
Gardiner who for several years conducted a successful livery
business in Chatham, has been a resident of the County of Kent for
fifty years, during which time he has been a prominent, useful and
highly esteemed citizen. The family is of Scotch extraction, the
grandfather of James M. having been a native of Scotland, where he
passed his whole life. His family consisted of six daughters and one
son, William Gardiner.
You can read the bio at
The Sailor Whom England Feared
Being the Story of John Paul Jones, Scotch
Naval Adventurer and Admiral in the American and Russian Fleets By
M. Mac Dermot Crawford.
This is a new book we've started about the
Father of the American Navy and as it happens also an Admiral in the
AMONG the brilliant adventurers who passed
meteor- like across the closing years of the eighteenth century, no
name is better known than that of the famous Scotsman John Paul
The Preface sets the scene...
In response to his ardent
plea for a sailor's life, he was apprenticed and sent to sea at the
age of twelve to seek his fortune. He rose rapidly, unaided by
favour or influence, and at nineteen became chief mate of a slaver,
at twenty-one captain of a West India trading vessel; then came his
experience as a Virginia planter. At twenty-eight he was
commissioned lieutenant in the American Continental Navy, at
twenty-nine became captain, at thirty-two commodore, "the ocean hero
of the Old World and the New," spoiled, adulated, petted by great
and small. Special envoy to the French Court at thirty- six; at
forty, in commemoration of the victory of the Bonhomme Richard over
the Serapis, voted a gold medal by Congress; and now the thread of
life shows its first sign of wearing. . . . A vice-admiral in the
Navy of the Russian Empress at forty-three, waiting for the last
brilliant chapters to be written; at forty- five dead!
At heart he was a
free-lance, without a country, without family; he had his brief
hour, his life was like "the stuff that dreams are made of." He left
no book of his hopes, his secrets, for us to pore over. Self-
contained being that he was, we do not know if the mystery of his
parentage ever sorrowed him. He asked nothing from the world but
fame and glory, and these he may justly claim, for who does not—if
but in a vague way—know the name of that "rebel," "corsair" and
"pirate," Paul Jones?
We now have several chapters up which can be
Recollections of a Long Life 1829 - 1915
By Isaac Stephenson (1915)
Again the Preface of this
book sets out the scene of this Scots-Irish gentleman...
IN undertaking to set down,
so that others may read, the recollections of my own personal
experiences during three-quarters of a century or more, it is not my
purpose to trespass upon the field either of the historian or of the
commentator by attempting to interpret the events which came
directly or indirectly under my observation.
Nor is it my purpose to
point a moral. What I have written is no more than a concise
narrative of what befell me, of the difficulties I encountered, the
disappointments I suffered and the triumphs I achieved, the fortunes
and misfortunes that were dealt out to me by my controlling destiny.
There are few men living who
have had so varied, certainly so long, a career as I. It is a far
cry from the agitation over the northeastern boundary controversy in
1839 to the vicissitudes of latter-day politics in 1915. Many things
have happened within that spice of time. The greater portion of the
country has been transformed from a wilderness into a cultivated and
settled area. Railroads have intersected it; cities have been built;
and its vitality has awakened to the pulsations of a highly
organized commercial life.
In that epoch of progress I
moved as an individual with the flowing stream, but I no less than
the others have seen something of the changes that have been
wrought, the decay of old customs and the growth of new, the
succession of problems from meeting the rigors of the wilderness to
the adjustment of social and economic relations in the complex
civilization of to-day. If this viewpoint from a lengthy perspective
will enable anyone who may read to measure with greater accuracy of
vision the advantages and disadvantages of the shifting present, I
shall count what I have written as of some value.
The migration of the
lumbermen of the Maine and New Brunswick forests in the early part
of the last century the greatest center of the industry in the world
- is one of the interesting phases of the pioneer period of American
history. They blazed a way with restless energy into the timbered
wilderness of Pennsylvania, of Wisconsin and Michigan, of Minnesota,
of the mountain region of the far West and finally finally of the
Pacific coast. From ocean to ocean the tide has moved within the
span of my own lifetime.
A part of that course it was
my lot to travel. I journeyed from Maine to Boston by sea, from
Boston to Albany by train, from Albany to Buffalo by canal-boat and
thence over the Great Lakes, the main thoroughfare from the
expanding West, to Milwaukee before the railroads extended beyond
Buffalo and many of the great cities of the country were more than a
name. Of the early settlements along Green Bay and the northern
peninsula of Michigan struggling for foothold on the verge of what
seemed to be almost illimitable forests I have watched the growth,
and the wilderness I have seen melt away before the encroaching
stretch of farms.
My experiences were, in large measure, the
experiences of those who set the pace of achievement under these
conditions. I worked with them exploring the forests, in the logging
camps, on the rivers and at the mills, and sailed with them on Lake
Michigan as seaman, mate, and master.
Favored by circumstance, I
covered wider fields than most of them. From the time I fell under
the eye of my mother's cousin, Christopher Murray, at Murray Castle,
Spring Hill, New Brunswick, when I was four years old, it was my
good fortune to attract the attention and enjoy the confidence of
many men. I came to the West as a member of the household of
Jefferson Sinclair, the greatest practical lumberman of his time;
was associated in business with William B. Ogden, at one time mayor
of Chicago, also one of the towering figures of his day; and
numbered among my friends Samuel J. Tilden and a host of other men
of large affairs - lawyers, railroad builders, bankers,
manufacturers - who set the seal of their energy upon the broadening
destiny of the country,—pioneers, no less, of their kind.
By reason, no doubt, of the
knowledge I had gained of conditions in northern Wisconsin and
Michigan and the training I had received at the hands of Mr.
Sinclair, a score of offers of employment were made to me by men who
desired me to take charge of lumbering, mining, land, and
railroad-building enterprises. It is possible, therefore, that some
idea of the difficulties these men encountered and the ordeals
through which they passed may be gathered from this narrative,
although it is a purely personal one, my own story told in my own
Whether a comparison of the present manner of
living with that which prevailed in those early days would point the
way to reforms I doubt much. Changing standards offer a cloak for
lapses from hard-and-fast rules of conduct, and the judgments of one
generation are held not to apply in another. None the less the
necessity which confronted these hewers of wood and drawers of water
was a wholesome stimulant. The long days of hard work bred sturdy,
if not facile, character a lesson which no age is too advanced in
wisdom to learn.
In this time of social and economic
readjustment it might be well to remember that their achievement was
due to industry and thrift and that the opportunity which looms
large in retrospect was less apparent in their immediate environment
than that which the future now seems to hold.
Too often, as I see it, the
background of toil and struggle is left to hazy outline while the
results of their labors are blazoned forth in vivid colors.
Accordingly is the measure of their compensation exaggerated and the
extent of their effort minimized. What allurement did the prospect
of an isolated wilderness possess for those who turned their faces
westward? The prairies stretched for almost countless miles to
regions unmapped and unexplored. The pine forests had no bounds.
With such abundance mere possession availed nothing. The only wealth
to be obtained was wrested from them by grinding labor; and these
men labored from dawn to twilight, valorous, undaunted, and
I have seen this period of construction pass
and the chief function of government change, for the moment at
least, from the stimulation to the regulation of effort. In the
cycle of progress and growth of a country so blessed with abundance
as ours, this, no doubt, is necessary. Adroitness has in too many
cases been made to serve the purposes of toil. But in the light of
the philosophy of my own experience I should choose my steps
carefully lest I put upon honest effort an unnecessary burden or
take from it its just reward. Progressivism and reform are a
resonant shibboleth. I should demand from those who cry it other
credentials than a loud voice.
Whether, when viewed from
the perspective of a hundred years hence, it will be observed that
greater progress was made in the earlier years of the nineteenth
century than in the earlier years of the twentieth, I shall not
presume to predict. I only hope that progress has been made, is
being made, and will continue to be made without let or hindrance
and that the problems of life will be met and solved as they arise,
to the happiness and contentment of human kind. ISAAC STEPHENSON.
We now have several chapters
up which can be read at
Beth's Newfangled Family Tree
The August edition is now available and
included are a couple of interviews with clan chiefs. You can read
this issue at http://www.electricscotland.com/bnft
Robert Burns Lives!
By Frank Shaw
The Honorary Graduation of
Professor G. Ross Roy
This will be an easy introduction regarding a
much beloved and respected Burns scholar. Professor G. Ross Roy was
recently recognized by the University of Glasgow with an honorary
doctorate degree. Before we learned of this honor, my wife and I had
already planned the Scottish “trip of a lifetime” with our family,
including our two grandchildren Ian and Stirling. Otherwise, had it
been just the two of us, we would have changed our plans to be
present for the ceremony honoring Dr. Roy. As it happened, he was on
the way back the day we were travelling to Scotland…two ships
passing in the sky, you might conclude. We did raise a glass of wine
to him at 35,000 feet. Thomas Keith, Burns scholar from New York
City, was fortunate to make the trip and represented a vast number
of us who wished we could have been present for the festivities.
I enlisted the help of Dr.
Rhona Brown, who was present and who serves on the faculty of the
University of Glasgow’s Scottish Literature Department, to write the
article below about the event. I deeply appreciate her comments and
think it is one of the better articles submitted to our readers
about a man who has been referred to as “The Chairman of the Bard”.
I hope you enjoy this article as much as I did, and I hope you pass
it along to others who have respect and love for not only Robert
Burns but for G. Ross Roy as well. (FRS: 7.30.09)
You can read this article at
You can get to all the articles at
Oor Mither Tongue
An Anthology of Scots Vernacular Verse by
Ninian Macwhannell (1938) and our thanks to John Henderson for
sending this into us.
This Anthology is the outcome of "Talks" on
Modern Scots Vernacular Verse given to Literary Associations during
the last thirty years. During that period our own sons and daughters
have given us excellent Vernacular Verse, which, unfortunately, is
not so well known as it should be.
The Editor has kept himself
in touch with that poetry, and has waled his selection from it.
His object has been to make
these writers better known and to stir up a livelier interest in the
Vernacular, which, though not now a spoken language, is still a
language of literature - brimful of couthy and sappy words and pithy
John is scanning in this book by Author and so
on the index page you'll see the list of authors and their poems.
When you click on an author it will bring up a pdf file giving the
poems from that author.
You can see this at
"Curdies" a Glasgow Sketch Book
By Hugh S. Roberton and our thanks to John
Henderson for sending this into us.
Another new book we're
adding to the site. The brief foreword to the book says...
This book, containing, as it
does, what might be called the small change of journalism, I have
entitled CURDIES. That it may bring half as much joy to the reader
as that small coin of the realm was wont to bring to me when I was a
boy is my fervent wish.
The sketches have appeared variously in The
Daily Express, The Daily Record, and The Glasgow Evening News.
Hugh S. Roberton
John is scanning these
stories in pdf format and the index page will get you to each file
which you can get to at
they're quite amusing stories and I've enjoyed reading the first
Chapter I - The He'rt o' a Lion
Chapter II - The Blantyre Bodie
Some of you likely know John Henderson who
writes his own poems and does historical and genealogy work now he's
retired from Scotland and now lives in Cyprus.
He suggested to me that I
should have a section for some old favourite Scottish Songs on the
site that we can sing along with. I thought this was an excellent
idea and so John is now going to contribute ones each week so we can
build a grand collection of songs.
And so we're now starting to
build this and as we add a song and go to its page you'll see the
text of the song on the page and after a short delay the song will
be sung to you and you can sing along if you so desire
available this week...
Flower of Scotland
Granny's Heilan Hame
The Star O' Rabbie Burns
You can find these songs at
The Life of St Margaret
Life of St. Margaret, Queen of Scotland By
Turgot, Bishop of St Andrews, translated from the Latin by William
Born about 1045, died 16 Nov., 1092, was a
daughter of Edward "Outremere", or "the Exile", by Agatha, kinswoman
of Gisela, the wife of St. Stephen of Hungary. She was the
granddaughter of Edmund Ironside. A constant tradition asserts that
Margaret's father and his brother Edmund were sent to Hungary for
safety during the reign of Canute, but no record of the fact has
been found in that country. The date of Margaret's birth cannot be
ascertained with accuracy, but it must have been between the years
1038, when St. Stephen died, and 1057, when her father returned to
England. It appears that Margaret came with him on that occasion
and, on his death and the conquest of England by the Normans, her
mother Agatha decided to return to the Continent. A storm however
drove their ship to Scotland, where Malcolm III received the party
under his protection, subsequently taking Margaret to wife. This
event had been delayed for a while by Margaret's desire to entire
religion, but it took place some time between 1067 and 1070.
is made available to you through 6 small pdf files which can be
FamilyTreeDNA at the Clan Gathering in
As Bennett and I just returned from The
Gathering 2009, we would like to share with you a short
press-release that we wrote about our presence there. This was our
busiest event ever, to the point that Bennett and I could not leave
our stand for not even a minute, and therefore, our plans to visit
all the Clans tents had to be set aside. But we met many friends
that came to our booth and we had the opportunity to "swab" a lot of
people from many places and Clans.
At the bottom of this
release there's a link to the page that we setup at Family Tree DNA,
which contains this message, as well as a few pictures from that
All the Clans should be proud of it, and
Bennett and I really feel privileged of being there!
testing - the talk of the Scottish Gathering of the Clans
One of the 47,000
participants at The Gathering 2009, the largest assembly of Scottish
Clans ever, Tom MacDonald travelled from Australia to Scotland, and
one of the highlights of his trip was to have a DNA test to try and
prove his connection to the MacDonald of Sleat.
Houston based Family Tree
DNA, the pioneer and largest DNA testing company, was a sponsor and
official DNA testing organization at The Gathering 2009, which saw
130 Clans participating in Highland Games during the weekend of the
25th and 26th of July at the Holyrood Park in Edinburgh.
Like Tom, thousands had the
opportunity to learn about genetic genealogy, either by listening to
the presentations or by learning directly from Bennett Greenspan and
Max Blankfeld, the heads of Family Tree DNA, about how a DNA test
could help them connect to others and verify relationships.
Asked why he was taking the
DNA test, another visitor, a McNeil from Canada, said "I was
thinking of doing this test for a while, and having the company with
the largest database here at The Gathering gave me no excuse not to
have the test done. Now I can try and find other McNeils to whom I
may be related and hopefully further my own genealogy research."
During an exclusive
reception offered by Alexander Salmond, the First Minister of
Scotland, Greenspan and Blankfeld were thanked by the organizers for
participating in that important event, and promised to return on the
occasion of the next Gathering. Said Bennett Greenspan, the founder
and CEO of Family Tree DNA: "Being part of this large reunion was
something of unique significance, not only because of its magnitude,
but also because of the growing interest in DNA testing that we saw
among the participants, many of which took the opportunity to test
their DNA - which now has definitely consolidated its place as one
of the important tools for genealogists."
Founded in April 2000,
Family Tree DNA was the first company to develop the commercial
application of DNA testing for genealogical purposes that had
previously been available only for academic and scientific research.
Almost a decade later, the Houston-based company has processed over
500,000 tests for its own customers as well as for the public
participants of National Geographic and IBM's Genographic Project,
and, with the largest DNA databases for genealogy purposes, it
continues to establish standards and create new milestones in the
increasingly popular and rapidly growing field of genetic genealogy.
Since its inception, Family
Tree DNA has been associated with the Genomics Analysis and
Technology Core at the University of Arizona as well as some of the
world’s leading authorities in the fields of Genetics and
Anthropology. In 2006 Family Tree DNA established the
state-of-the-art Genomics Research Center at its headquarters in
Houston, Texas, where it currently performs R&D and processes over
200 types of advanced DNA tests for its customers, which include not
only genealogists, but also academic and research organizations from
around the world.
This press-release and event related pictures
can be found here:
And that's it for now and hope you all have a
good weekend :-)
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