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The Ellen Payne Odom Genealogy Library Family Tree
The Family Tree - Jun/Jul 2002
Electric Scotland

Hello, I am Alastair McIntyre and owner of the Electric Scotland web site and would like to thank Beth for the opportunity to tell you a little about my site.

The site is all about Scotland, Scots and people of Scots descent and is really more of an historical site rather than a genealogical one. Of course with having so much history, over 10,000 web pages, there are of course lots of names all over the place and so has become a great genealogical resource. Essentially I wanted to explore Scotland's history and that of it's clans and to that end I have been posting up complete books on Scottish History.

For example, we have around 4 volumes of the History of the Scottish Highlands which explores history from BC through the Roman period and right through to around 1870. This includes a huge and detailed account of Bonnie Prince Charlie. We have the complete book of Scotland - A Concise History written by James Halliday, Scotland's foremost historical writer, which gives you a great overview of Scotland's history. We also have a number of books on regions of Scotland such as Byways of the Scottish Borders, History of Stirlingshire, History of Rothiemurchus, The Story of Leith, Rambles Round Glasgow and many others. We also hold decent information on many of the Highland Clans and list all that are recognised by the Lord Lyon Court. We encourage everyone to visit their own clan web site but we do in fact hold more history on some clans than is available on some official clan web sites.

One of the benefits of Electric Scotland is the research you can do on the site using our Site Search Engine. As an example, if you were to put in the word "Fraser" you'd find some 305 web pages that contain that word. They might be mentioned in our account of the Battle of Killiecrankie or even in our account of the Fraser Highlanders but might also be mentioned in discussing a clan feud in the 1500s in our History of the Scottish Highlands. We also undertook the publication of The Great Historic Families of Scotland, a 2 volume set which gives great information on them as well as interesting accounts of various activities they were involved in.

Equally we hold very detailed information on Highland Regiments and many officers of those regiments are mentioned throughout the various accounts. These accounts run from the formation of the regiment through to the 1870s and sometimes beyond. We probably have over 1,000 "Significant Scots" listed on the site and while some are small some are also very large indeed.

To add to that we have a section on "Mini Bios" where visitors to our site can send us in small or even large bios of their family. Indeed some American and Canadian visitors have been able to provide comprehensive accounts which make a great read. We recently started to receive contributions from South American countries which brought in a whole new area to be examined in looking at where our descendants settled and made a new life for themselves.

Our Canadian visitors can enjoy a 4 volume set on The Scot in North British America and indeed the grandson of the author got in touch to say he was delighted to see his grand-father's publication on the web and he sent us a copy of a "memorial article" printed about him which we included on the site. We have over 500 "Mini Bios" in our American history which cover ordinary people such as farmers, cashiers, miners, as well as Senators, Governors and other famous Scots-Americans. In fact if you go to the "World" section of our site you'll see history arranged by country. So you'll see from the above that we try to present varied information and explore all kinds of subject matter relating to Scotland, Scots and people of Scots descent.

We do also feel that sense of family and when we were emailed by a mother in America to ask if I could help in persuading her 8 year old son to wear a kilt I was delighted to help. I sent over an account of the Black Watch in the American Wars of Independence which discussed the great bravery of the Highlanders but also told the story of how during the winter campaign there was not one Highlander that went down with an illness. In that same campaign a third of the English troops went down with illness so it demonstrated that the kilt wearing Highlanders were much stronger that their trouser wearing English counterparts. I was delighted to hear that her son did in fact wear a kilt to the local Highland Games that year.

It was this same sense of family that made us design a special Kids section on the site where we provide some fun games as well as over 200 Children's stories and Fairy Tales, jigsaws, colouring books and lots more. We also provide a few Windows screen savers with a Scottish theme as well as a great Postcard section where you can send electronic Scottish postcards to friends and relatives.

We are always looking at new things to do on the site and thanks to the Scots Independent Newspaper we've started to put up political commentary each week in their "Flag in the Wind" and this has developed into a great online newspaper. Each issue now also includes "Dates in History", "Scottish Food", "Sing a Sang", and "Kirst o' Fairlies" where we bring you words, stories and poems in the Scots language in Real Audio format for you to listen to. In fact the Flag also did a complete Burns Supper for people to enjoy and listen to.

Add to the above we have started to produce a weekly version of "Scottish Community Radio from Australia". Jock Dundee records his weekly 2 hour show for us and we publish this on the site for everyone to enjoy listening to. We also produce other wee snippets on the site and an example might be the books of Lillian Beckwith. This author lived for 20 years in the Hebrides and wrote a number of stories about her life there. The publisher of the books has given permission for us to produce one chapter from each of her books for people to read on the site. As each chapter is a complete story in its own right these also make a great read and give you a flavour of what life was like then.

We are building a genealogical advice section and where we hear of good new resources we add this to that section on a regular basis. As we also add information daily to the site we have our own email newsletter which is send out each Friday telling what is new on Electric Scotland and adding a wee story or other interesting information.

Burke's Peerage & Gentry help sponsor the site and working together we help each other tell the story of Scotland and it's Landed Gentry. Burke's have kindly let us add a short summary of each of the Scottish names that they hold information on. This is of course indexed in our site search engine and so is a big help in finding information on Scottish names.

We are gradually expanding the information on other topics and so have sections on recipes, gardening, humour, music, poetry and stories, the King James Bible as well as a Gaelic translation of the "Gospel of Mark".

We have developed an interesting Travel section where we are starting to add "Suggested Tours of Scotland" where our visitors have send in a story of their holiday in Scotland. In here you'll also find regional guides, activity holidays, historic properties to visit and lots more.

We plan to expand our Business section where we hope we'll be able to encourage Scots from around the world to do business with each other. That was one of the main reasons for creating the site to bring Scots and their descendants together to learn more of our common heritage, to make friends and to encourage business.

We are always keen to hear from our visitors that have accounts to tell of their descendants or indeed others that can give us permission to put up interesting books on the site. Electric Scotland is really a collaborative effort between myself and our visitors and between us I believe we give you months worth of reading and entertainment.

I would certainly like to tell more about our descendants that left these Scottish shores and explore how they arrived in the country of their choice and how they went through the process of settlement. So certainly if you have any information that you'd like to share I'd love to hear from you.

I hope you have found the above of interest and if you'd like to get involved you can also join our popular Web Board where you can message and chat with our other regular visitors and I look forward to hearing from you. Alastair McIntyre Tel: +44 1324 666336

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