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The Ellen Payne Odom Genealogy Library Family Tree
The Family Tree - October/November 2004
Clan Cunningham Gathering & Historical Sites Tour 2004 in France & Scotland

     This November you are cordially invited to walk in the footsteps of our ancestors who over the last millennium forged the legacy of the Cunningham name that from its genesis in Scotland has spread throughout the world. For thirteen days, up to 40 of  our kith, kin and friends will embark on what we think is the adventure of a lifetime in France and Scotland. The tour is organized and offered exclusively by the Clan Cunningham Society of America (CCSA) and culminates with our International Clan Cunningham Gathering at Stirling Castle this November 28, 2004 organized by Ben Cunningham, Preceptor of the Society of the Earl of Glencairn of Cunningham of Great Britain.

     Have you ever wanted to transcend the typical tourist experience, to participate in an event tied to history that is so removed from the era in which we live that it seems more like fiction than fact? If so, join us as we dine and dance in the Great Hall of a French castle, the Château de Cherveux, at an Evening Soirée & Ceilidh organized for our visit, being hosted by the owners François and Marie-Thérèse Redien whose castle was built over five centuries ago by a Cunningham, Captain Robert de Conyngham, who served as Captain of the Scots Guard for the same French King, Charles VII, (the dauphin) whom was led to Rheims for his coronation as King of France during the 100 Years War back in the Middle Ages, by Joan of Arc.

     In Scotland we will spend the American Thanksgiving Day holiday as the guests of Captain Robert and Rose-Anne Cunninghame at their Caprington Castle, the ancestral seat of the Caprington branch of the Cunninghams, where we will feast on a traditional Thanksgiving Day dinner Scottish style! Many of the sites we will visit on this tour, like Caprington Castle, are not open to the public, but their owners have graciously granted us the privilege of a visit.

     Our tour has been organized, and will be led by our High Commissioner, Larry Augsbury, who studied the French language in Chambéry, France and has previously visited both the Château de Cherveux, as well as Paris many times, where we will spend one day and night. He has visited and researched the District of Cunninghame in Scotland on two previous occasions and is familiar with the sites we will visit. He will be assisted on the French tours by CCSA members François Redien and Jim Hutchison (a Scottish born resident of France, fluent in both languages.) and will be assisted throughout the tour by members Valerie, Chris and Sheryl Cunningham among others.

     For the detailed itinerary and prices, please visit our web sites at There is limited availability for the Tour and Gathering. For more information, questions, and to confirm your reservation contact Larry Augsbury at or by telephone at 303.460.8736. Half of the tour price is required by September 22, 2004, with the balance in full by October 22, 2004.

Discover the History of Clan Cunningham and participate in our Gathering at Stirling Castle with the following itinerary:

Round trip airfare not included.
Eleven nights lodging, 4 in France, and 7 in Scotland at 3 Star Hotels.
Twelve breakfasts and 11 dinners, 3 dinners arranged at Castles.
Transportation provided or included in price, from arrival airport in Paris or hotel in Glasgow, to departure airport.
Tour guide and itinerary provided. Admission fees, to attractions included as part of tour, are included in price.
$2,999.00 per person (round-trip airfare not included)

French Leg: 4 days & nights lodging in France, 3 in Cherveux vicinity castles while availability lasts, and local hotels when castles are full, and 1 in Paris including breakfasts and dinners, to include a St. Andrew's Night Banquet & Ceilidh at the Castle that Robert de Conyngham (Captain of the Scots Guard & Captain of the King's Bodyguard for French Kings Charles VII and Louis XI during a brilliant 30 year career [a real-life D'Artagnan!]) built in 1470 with his son Joachim, including a 3 day Clan Cunningham and Scottish historical sites tour, including a day in Paris.

French leg of tour not mandatory. Tour can begin in Scotland at Glasgow's Jurys Doyle hotel on the Clyde River on Monday evening, November 22, 2004.

Scotland Only Tour: Seven nights lodging at 3 Star Scottish hotels in Glasgow, Ayr and Stirling including breakfast and dinner, to include a Thanksgiving Day Feast at Caprington Castle, a 5 day Clan Cunningham Historical Sites tour in the District of Cunninghame and the Clan Cunningham Gathering and Banquet at Stirling Castle.
$1,999.00per person (round-trip airfare not included)

Day 1 - Wednesday, 17-Nov-04 - Overnight Flight
     Your overnight flight should be booked so that you arrive in Paris at Charles de Gaulle airport on Thursday morning between 7am and 9am if possible in order to catch the morning train to the Château de Cherveux.

Day 2 - Thursday, 18-NOV-04 - Cherveux, France
     Meet group in Paris and travel by train to the Château de Cherveux. Accommodations in the Château de Cherveux and the Château du Petit Chene and vicinity if necessary. The remainder of the afternoon is leisure time to relax or to explore the area, the castle grounds and the adjoining village of Cherveux.
     Meet your hosts and fellow Cunningham travelers at the welcome dinner at the Château de Cherveux.

Day 3 - Friday, 19-NOV-04 - French tour
     A tour of 3 sites is planned for this day. First, a visit to the town of Baugé, and its museum in the Château de Baugé. The new museum is excellent with bilingual facilities and two kilometers away is the site of the battle of Baugé during the 100 Years War between England and France. In 1421 the French forces were joined by a Scottish force, including Henri Cunninghame who distinguished himself in this battle, and between them wiped out the English army. We can visit the riverside scene of the battle where a monument exists and also there is a splendid plaque to the Scottish army in the village.
     Next we visit Orleans. This wonderfully historic city was, of course famous for Joan of Arc, and there were Scottish forces involved, but it is also the city where Mary Queen of Scots held in her arms her dying husband Francois 2nd, the young French king. This happened in a building called the Hotel Grolost which still exists. Soon after, Mary returned to Scotland to claim the Scottish throne, her son became the first king of Great Britain in 1603, and Mary was executed by Elizabeth of England. We are in the Loire valley and the journey will offer spectacular views.
     Next is Thouars where Margaret of Scotland died. On the way lies the Abbey of Fontrevault. It is a magnificent historical site where lie the remains of Queen Eleanor of Aquitaine and King Richard the Lionheart, king of England. If time permits, we may stop here. There is no Scottish connection to the Abbey of Fontrevault but it is a fine place to visit.
     Dinner at the Château de Cherveux or local vicinity.

Day 4 - Saturday, 20-NOV-04 - French tour and St. Andrew's Night Dinner at Château de Cherveux
     Saturday morning is market day in Niort, the second largest market in France. This visit will provide a non historical French cultural experience. Adjacent to the market we will visit the Dungeon of Niort, a fine medieval building and museum which has Cunningham connections as one of Robert de Conyngham's sons was the Captain of the Guard at the dungeon in the 15th century. It is a good picture opportunity on the banks of the river Sevre.
     St Andrew Style Soirée in the Château de Cherveux Great Hall for an evening of fine dining, dancing and music.

Day 5 - Sunday, 21-NOV-04 - Paris
     Following an early breakfast and departure by train, we arrive in the morning to spend the afternoon, evening and night in Paris. A tour of select attractions will be provided, or you can explore on your own.

Day 6 - Monday, 22-NOV-04 - Paris or London - Travel to Glasgow's 3 Star Jury Doyle Hotel
Here you are offered a choice of two options:

Option 1: We depart Paris early in the morning for London via the Chunnel (the EuroStar high-speed train that travels under the English Channel.) There will be 3 to 5 hours to explore London (depending on how early we leave Paris) on your own if you prefer via the London Underground subway system which is fast, efficient and easy to navigate. Or you can join the tour to the Sherlock Holmes museum & the Hercule Poirot Flat, and the majority's choice with the remaining time. There are 2 trains that leave London; one at 3pm and 3:45pm, arriving in Glasgow at 8:15pm and 8:59pm respectively. A short trip to the Glasgow Jurys Doyle hotel restaurant for a late evening dinner.
     Lodging at 3 Star Jurys Doyle Hotel in Glasgow on the Clyde River.

Option 2: You may spend the morning and early afternoon in Paris as you wish. Valerie Cunningham will be available to guide guests to a boat tour on the Seine with Bateau Mouches, or to attractions chosen by majority consent and to the airport for the flight to Glasgow via London to arrive at the Jurys Doyle hotel restaurant for a late evening dinner, unless the group chose dinner in Paris before the flight.
     Lodging at 3 Star Jurys Doyle Hotel in Glasgow on the Clyde River.

Day 7 - Tuesday, 23-NOV-04 - District of Cunninghame Historical Sites Tour begins - Dumbarton area, Lodge in Glasgow
     Visit Dumbarton Castle where 4 Cunninghams were Governors of the castle.
     Visit Glencairn Greit House, home of the Earls of Glencairn in Dumbarton, the oldest building in Dumbarton's Royal Burgh.
     Visit Loch Lomond and take a cruise, if you wish, on the largest expanse of fresh water in Great Britain which covers 27.5 square miles.
     Lodging at 3 Star Jurys Doyle Hotel in Glasgow on the Clyde River.

Day 8 - Wednesday, 24-NOV-04 - Finlaystone area, Lodge in Glasgow
     Kirk at Kilmacolm where many Earls of Glencairn are buried. Also the site where the feud with the Porterfields began.
     Visit Duchal House Gardens privately owned by Lord and Lady MacLay. Visit the ruins of Duchal Castle, seat of the Porterfields, that the Cunninghams set afire during the feud.
     Finlaystone, ancestral home of the Earls of Glencairn and Clan Cunningham Chiefs for four centuries, guided by Chief George MacMillan. Newark Castle if time permits.
     Lodging at 3 Star Jurys Doyle Hotel in Glasgow on the Clyde River.

Day 9 - Thursday, 25-NOV-04 - Cunningham Castles and Thanksgiving Day Feast, Lodge in Ayr
     Visit the restored Aiket Castle privately owned by Robert (a Montgomery descendent!) and Katrina Clow. The Cunninghams of Aiket are one of the most ancient Cunningham branches from the 13th century. Coffee and scones will be provided during our visit to Aiket castle.
     Visit Robertland privately owned by Alan Burns Williamson, a Georgian style home built in 1820 which replaced the original castle built in 1597 by David Cunningham whose ancestor received a charter for the Barony in 1506. Some of the ancient castle foundation stones are still visible. The Cunninghams of Robertland were descended from Alexander Cunningham, 1st Earl of Glencairn, through his second son, William.
     Visit Caprington Castle privately owned by Captain Robert and Rose-Anne Cunningham. The Caprington branch of the Cunninghams are descended from Thomas, the younger son of William Cunningham of Kilmaurs who married the heiress of Denniston (Finlaystone). We will have a light lunch here. Then tour the castle and grounds before feasting on a Thanksgiving Day holiday dinner. Caprington is the only ancestral Cunningham Castle in existence which is currently owned and resided in by Cunninghams. We are privileged and honored to celebrate our American holiday here.
     Lodging at 3 Star Ramada Jarvis hotel in Ayr.

Day 10 - Friday, 26-NOV-04 - Kilmaurs and Robert Burns Country, Lodge in Ayr
     Kilmaurs is the original Cunningham family seat from the 12th century. The seat of power was at the "Kilmaurs Place" where still can be found the remains of the 15th century castle next to which stands the current "Place" built by the 9th Earl of Glencairn and privately owned by Martin and Mary Horner who have kindly granted us a visit this morning.
     At 11am we will meet Mr. David MacGregor who will open up and guide us through the St Maurs-Glencairn Church where exist several plaques to the Cunninghams. He will unlock the vault at the back of the church wherein stands the Glencairn Aisle, a momentous carved stone memorial to his family commissioned in 1600 by James Cunningham, the 7th Earl of Glencairn. We will also visit other points of interest like the Monk's Well among several others as time permits.
     Then we are off to Robert Burns country and the Burns National Heritage Park to visit the Burns Cottage, museum, monument, Brig O' Doon, Tam O' Shanter Experience, etc.
     Lodging at 3 Star Ramada Jarvis hotel in Ayr.

Day 11 - Saturday, 27-NOV-04 - Bannockburn and Sauchieburn, Lodge in Stirling
     Travel to Bannockburn and Sauchieburn, the sites of epic battles. At Bannockburn Robert the Bruce led Scotland accompanied by several Cunninghams against England's Edward II where Scotland won its independence. At the battle of Sauchieburn, King James III and Alexander Cunningham, 1st Earl of Glencairn, lost their lives against rebellious Scottish nobles. We will tour the Heritage Center and Robert the Bruce Monument in Bannockburn and have a guided tour of the sites and history.
     Lodging at 3 Star Highland hotel in Stirling.

Day 12 - Sunday, 28-NOV-04 - Clan Cunningham Gathering at Stirling Castle, Lodge in Stirling
     We will likely arrive and tour the castle around 10:30 or 11am. The exact time of our banquet has not yet been confirmed. Our Clan meeting is being planned for about 2 PM followed by entertainment and fun Clan activities. For the evening, a Feast of Carols singing is being planned to ring in the holiday season, either as carolers outside the castle, or in the Church of the Holy Rude (next to the Castle) which will last until 7 or 8 PM.
     Lodging at 3 Star Highland hotel in Stirling.

Day 13 - Monday, 29-NOV-04 - Travel to airports for return flight home
     The farewell breakfast will be at the Highland hotel.
     The coach will be available to take guests to their Glasgow and Edinburgh airports.

Please contact our High Commissioner at or or telephone at 303.460.8736 for questions and to confirm. Half of the tour price is required by September 22, 2004, with the balance in full by October 22, 2004.

We hope you will join us in the fun and adventure of this exclusive CCSA Clan Cunningham tour this coming November!

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