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Weekly Mailing List Archives
15th December 2006

It's your Electric Scotland newsletter meaning the weekend is nearly here :-)

You can view what's new this week on Electric Scotland at and you can unsubscribe to this newsletter by clicking on the link at the foot of this newsletter.

See our Calendar of Scottish Events around the world at 

Electric Scotland News
The Flag in the Wind
The Scottish Nation
The Celtic Monthly
The Southern States of America
The Scottish-Canadian Newspaper (1890/1)
Standard Settings of Pipe Music of The Seaforth Highlanders
Scottish Catholics in Prince Edward Island
Scotland's Road of Romance
Craft Stories
History of Inverness County, Nova Scotia (new book)
Priory of St. James, Toronto, Canada
Royal Heraldry Society of Canada
Scots Independent Newspaper 80 years old
Scottish Clans DNA Project
Historical research on New Zealand
Have you locked your keys in the car? Does you car have remote keys?
Holiday Eating Tips

Got in a message this week that the pipe music I posted up from the Seaforth Highlanders may still be in copyright. I have emailed the Marketing Manager of the company that published the book in 1936 to check with them. I've essentially offered to take it down if it is copyright but have also asked if I can keep it up with their permission even if it is in copyright. So hopefully I'll hear from them in the next week as I would like to get this resolved.

Got in an email...

I wonder if you'd like to include information about the Scots Language Centre in your next news letter. The Centre has a special Christmas / New Year edition where visitors can hear the real sound of a Scotland during the festive season. There's poetry from Shetland and the North East, the words to Auld Lang Syne, suggestions for first fittin gifts and the Christmas story in Scots.

It's all at

Got in another email...

Win £250 Compose a pipe tune by Christmas

The tune is a present to celebrate and mark the 80th Birthday of Robert Thomson Brown on the 26th of December – father of the competition organiser, Alistair Brown. Closing Date 20th December.

Robert was born one of fourteen children in Springside, Ayrshire - nine of whom survived into adulthood. Worked as a Bevan boy and later at Massey Ferguson building tractors and harvesters. He is a heart and soul scottish nationalist and socialist (ploughed a lonely furrow as SNP councillor in Kilmarnock for many years), a life long Robert Burns nut (former curator of the Burns Musuem in Irvine) and an elder of the Church of Scotland in Crosshouse, a keen walker and nature lover and very fond of an occasional malt whisky and ALSO a big believer in the great highland bagpipe - attends as many piping events as possible and has rarely if ever missed a Cowal or Dundonald Games. Best mate a piper now lives in Australia.

Please email entries to: 

Rights: Copyright retained by composer but tune licensed for publication on

I also thought it was time to add another of my own Journal entries to bring me up to date with some of the highlights since my last issue. You can read this at

Some of the stories in here are just parts of a larger story so do check out the site for the full versions. You can always find the link in our "What's New" section at the link at the top of this newsletter and pick up poems and stories sent into us during the week from Donna, Margo, Stan, John and others.

Mind that The Flag is now in two sections (1) Political and (2) Cultural.

The political section is compiled this week by Ian Goldie.

Peter in his cultural section is reminding us how the Scots celebrate New Year...

Although the custom is passing – probably due to television and organised events, both indoors and outside, the heart of Hogmanay is the tradition of first-footing. The choice of the first person to cross the threshold in the New Year is very important as they represent luck, good or bad, for the year ahead, therefore a good choice is essential. The traditional first-foot has to be male, tall, dark-haired, but not a doctor, minister or grave-digger. Preferably a fine physical specimen, but also, and perhaps more importantly, should be generous, good-tempered and liked by all. Was there ever such a paragon of virtue? The first-foot must also bear the all-important bottle, a lump of coal and cake, and a suitable gift. One bonus for the first-foot is that he can claim a kiss from every woman in the house.

This week’s recipe is a perfect choice for a refreshing dessert for New Year’s Day – Caledonian Cream. It uses a great Scottish ingredient – marmalade – which has been a popular Scottish cookery favourite since its invention in Dundee 200 years ago

Caledonia Cream

Ingredients for the cream: 4oz cream cheese (about half a cup); 4 fluid ounces double cream (about half a cup); 1 tablespoon marmalade (thick, bitter marmalade is suggested but use what you have); 2 tablespoons brandy or rum; 2 teaspoons lemon juice; Sugar to taste

Ingredients for base: 4 oranges, segmented and the pith removed

Method: Blend all the ingredients for the cream in a liquidiser till smooth. Place the oranges in four long-stemmed glasses and, if you want, add a teaspoon of brandy (or rum) to these. Add the cream on top. Garnish with some orange zest (boil for a few minutes in water to reduce the bitterness). Serve chilled.

You can read this weeks issue, see the pictures and listen to the Scots language at 

MSP Linda Fabiani's weekly diary can be viewed at 

The Scottish Nation
My thanks to Lora for transcribing these volumes for us.

Now onto the D's and added this week are Dumbarton, Dumfries, Dunbar and Dunblane.

A large account of Dunbar this week and here is how it starts...

DUNBAR, a surname once very prominent in the annals of national and border warfare, and derived from the town of that name in Haddingtonshire. The word Dun-bar, both in the British and the Gaelic signifies “the fort on the height” or, “strength upon the summit,” and the town obtained its designation from the fortlet on the rock, which at this place projects into the sea.

Boece, and after him Buchanan, state that Kenneth the First having defeated the Picts in a pitched battle at Scoon, conferred the fortress here upon one of his most valiant soldiers, whose name was Bar, and hence the name of Dun-bar, or the Castle of Bar; but Kenneth was king of the Picts, and certainly did not make war on his own subjects. He invaded Lothian six times, and burnt Dunbar, which had its name before his day. Boece’s derivation of the name, like many others of his statements, is therefore a mere fable.

So early as 961 we find the men of Lothian under two leaders of the names of Dunbar and Graeme, doing battle against the Danish invaders at Cullen.

The title of earl of Dunbar and March was long enjoyed by the descendants of Cospatrick, earl of Northumberland, who, with other nobles of the north of England, fled to Scotland after the conquest of that country, in 1066, by William of Normandy, carrying with them Edgar Atheling, the heir of the Saxon line, and his two sisters, Margaret and Christina.

Malcolm Canmore, who married the princess Margaret, bestowed on Cospatrick the namor of Dunbar and many fair lands in the Merse and Lothian.

His second son, who was also named Cospatrick, witnessed the foundation charter of the abbey of Holyrood house, by David the First in 1128. He had soon afterwards the rank of an earl, and died in 1139, leaving a son, Cospatrick, the second earl, who made donations to the monastery of Kelso of the patronage of the churches of Home, Lambden, and Greelaw. He died in 1147, leaving four sons.

His eldest son, Cospatrick the third earl, had two sons, Waldeve, his successor, and Patrick, who inherited the manor of Greenlaw. The latter died in 1166. His son William, after mentioned, was ancestor of the earls of Home.

Waldeve, the fourth earl, was the first who was designed earl of Dunbar. He was one of the hostages for the performance of the treaty for the release of King William the First from his captivity in England, in 1174. He died in 1182.

Patrick, the fifth earl, is described as having been a brave warrior. William the Lion bestowed on him, in 1184, Ada, one of his natural daughters, in marriage. He held the office of justiciary of Lothian and keeper of Berwick. In 1218, Earl Patrick founded a monastery of Red friars in Dunbar. In 1231, being then very old, after taking farewell of his children, relations, and neighbours, whom he invited to his castle of Dunbar during the festivities of Christmas for the purpose, he retired to a monastery, where he died the following year.

His daughter Ada obtained from him the lands of Home, and took for her second husband her cousin William, above mentioned, son of Patrick, second son of Cospatrick, third earl. He assumed the name of Home, and was progenitor of the earls of Home, so created in 1605. See HOME, earl of.

Patrick, the sixth earl, succeeded his father, at the age of forty-six. Lord Hailes calls him the most powerful baron of the southern districts of Scotland. He held the first rank among the twenty-four barons who guaranteed the treaty of peace with England in 1244. He died in 1248, at the siege of Damietta in Egypt, while on the crusade with Louis IX. of France.

You can read the rest of this account at

You can read the other entries at 

The Celtic Monthly
A magazine for Highlanders

Added the May 1903 issues which contains...

AEnas Ranald McDonell 21st Chief of Glengarry, Fighting Mac, The Eagle, The House of Dreams, The Martial Music of the Clans, Some Notes on the Harris, General Hector A. MacDonald, The General MacDonald Scandel, The Anglicising of the Highlands, Sutherland Folk-Lore Tales, Pittsburg U.S.A. Pipe Band, Days of Yore at Arrochar.

You can read this issue at

You can see the issues to date at 

The Southern States of America
Published in 1909.

Now up to Chapter VI of the History of Virginia up which means 3 chapters added this week. Here is how Chapter VI starts...


Virginia's unwillingness to Leave the Union.

Virginia was attached to the Union more strongly than any other state. None of them had done so much to create and enrich it. Her sons had taken the leading part in securing its independence, and were chiefly instrumental in framing the constitutional compact, which was designed to secure to each and all of the states the blessings of liberty and peace, without the sacrifice of rights. When objections were made by other states, in the formative period, that Virginia s vast territorial area would give her undue preponderance in the new government, with a free, self-abnegating hand, she conveyed to the United States her territory northwest of the Ohio River "for the common benefit of the Union." The Louisiana purchase made by President Jefferson, added to the national domain an area larger than the original states. The armies which acquired the larger part of Mexico, and expanded our possessions on the Pacific Ocean into imperial proportions, were commanded by Virginia generals. Indeed, the stars in the blue field of the national flag are a proof to those who know their story and significance of the Old Dominion's devotion and sacrifices for the Union. And not less earnest, though unavailing, were Virginia's efforts to preserve the Union than those she had successfully made to secure its formation and prosperity.

Never did her people rise so high above all selfish considerations, and stand upon a sublimer moral plane, than when they took up arms for their convictions of right and duty, in the then impending conflict. And it will ever be a proud recollection of Virginians that every effort short of abject humiliation and abandonment of their time-honored and sacred principles, was made by her representative bodies to avert a war which cost ten thousand millions of money (five times the value of all the slaves), and nearly 1,000,000 men who perished by the sword or by disease.

On Jan. 1, 1860, John Letcher, an ardent Union man, succeeded Henry A. Wise as governor of Virginia. In his inaugural message to the General Assembly, he strongly urged the calling of a state convention to consider and provide a remedy for the alarming state of political affairs, if the Union were to be preserved, "to which end everything should be done consistent with honor, patriotism and duty."

Disintegrating events, in rapid succession, signalized the year 1860. There were four presidential tickets in the field. Two of them represented wings or factions of the Democratic party, to wit: (1) Douglas, of Illinois, and Johnson, of Georgia; (2) Breckinridge, of Kentucky, and Lane, of Oregon. Another ticket was Lincoln, of Illinois, and Hamlin, of Maine, sectional candidates, upon an anti-slavery platform. The fourth was Bell, of Tennessee, and Everett, of Massachusetts, upon the broad platform; "The Union, the Constitution and the Enforcement of the Laws." Virginia cast her electoral vote for Bell and Everett. Lincoln received a majority of the electoral college, but fell far short of a majority of the popular vote, having received only 1,857,610 as against 2,804,560 cast for the other candidates. This election of sectional candidates by an exclusively sectional vote caused intense excitement, especially in the extreme Southern states, whose people regarded it as the precursor of a war against their reserved rights and domestic institutions.

President Buchanan was torn by conflicting opinions. He argued against the right of secession, but expressed doubt as to the right of the government to coerce a state by military force. The situation thus became more complicated and strained by the vacillation of the administration, which seemed like a ship adrift in a tempestuous sea. Seven Southern states had seceded and their senators and representatives had withdrawn from Congress. They took possession as far as possible of such of the forts and arsenals of the United States as were within their borders, and demanded those which were still held by the government.

In the midst of these exciting events, Governor Letcher, on Jan. 7, 1861, convened the General Assembly of the state in extra session. Among its first acts was a call for a state convention, the people when electing delegates thereto, to vote also on the question as to whether any ordinance changing the relations of Virginia to the other states of the Union should be submitted to a popular vote for approval or rejection. It also invited the other states of the Union to meet Virginia in a peace conference at Washington, to devise, if possible, a plan of pacification, naming as her own representatives ex-President John Tyler, William C. Rives, John W. Brockenbrough, George W. Summers and James A. Seddon, from different parts of the state, and all men of national distinction. It also appointed Mr. Tyler a commissioner to the President of the United States, and Judge John Robertson a commissioner to the states that had seceded to urge them to refrain from acts likely to cause a collision of arms, pending Virginia's efforts to secure peace. The peace conference met in Washington and the venerable ex-President Tyler was made president of it.

When the result of its anxious deliberations was transmitted to Congress, with a favorable message from President Buchanan, Senator Crittenden appealed for a vote, either for his own plan, or that of the peace congress, and Senator Hunter declared that Virginia would deeply deplore the failure of her patriotic mediation.

Though the peace conference really represented a majority of the people of the country, and a still greater preponderance of its wealth, its intelligence and patriotism, the radical element of the North had control of Congress, and rejected all propositions of compromise.

You can read the rest of this chapter at

The book index page is at

John sent in 8 new doggerls which are the ones at the bottom of his index page at

Scottish Canadian Newspaper
This is the weekly newspaper that I acquired a years issues of. Some pages are missing but not a lot so hopefully you'll enjoy reading this. Due to the size of this newspaper I have no option but to photograph each page and post it up as a picture.

Got up the weekly issue for December 11, 1890 at

And the one for December 18, 1890 at

Standard Settings of Pipe Music of The Seaforth Highlanders
Have now completed this book but as I mentioned above there may be copyright issues with it and it may need to be taken down.

Scottish Catholics in Prince Edward Island
Memorial Volume 1772 - 1922.

I am now up to Chapter 9 and as it's a short chapter here it is for you to read here...

The death of Father James was a sad loss to the immigrants. It ushered in the very state of affairs, which they dreaded so much when they had first made up their minds to emigrate, and which kept the project in abeyance for so long a time. Now they have no Priest to minister to their Spiritual wants. They have been deprived of the Saintly Pastor, who was their consolation and their joy throughout the darkest days of their exile, and whose presence and fatherly counsel bore them bravely over the most trying experiences of their isolation. He had lived with them and labored with them when conditions were at the worst, he had shared in their wants and privations, and now that a brighter era was dawning for them, and his life growing more comfortable, he is called away as his feet were about to press the threshold of comparative ease and comfort. Indeed a great change had taken place in the condition of the people during the thirteen years of his stay amongst them. The small thatched log house was giving place to more commodious dwellings, roads were being opened up from place to place, the poverty of the earlier years was now a thing of the past, and in its stead the people enjoyed a competence and in some instances even plenty. God in His Goodness had wonderfully blessed the immigrants in the new country, and encouraged by the experiences of the past they faced the future with a firmer hope and a more settled assurance of happiness to come.

But now the greatest loss of all has come upon them, and they feel it the more, that look upon it as they may, they find it in every sense irreparable. For a number of years they had been in correspondence with their friends in Scotland, and had held out to them many inducements to come to Prince Edward Island. They told them of the success they had been able to achieve in the new Colony, and contrasted the same with the untoward conditions in the Motherland, which had forced them to emigrate. Their friends in Scotland too, were talking of emigration. They had taken up the idea as the only solution for the problems that faced them at home under the Penal Laws.

As a matter of fact, the state of the Catholics in Scotland, though somewhat improved, was still far from satisfactory, and there were many who were longing for the day when they would be able to emigrate and join their kindred beyond the seas. But now that Father James was dead Prince Edward Island held out no inducement to would be Catholic emigrants. In Scotland, their circumstances might indeed be precarious ; but they could at least see a Priest from time to time, whereas in Prince Edward Island this great privilege would necessarily be denied them. Hence in such circumstances, emigration was out of the question, and the poor people were forced to nurse their discontent as best they could until more favorable conditions would prevail. For five years things went on in this way, when God in His Providence, raised up another Apostle to minister to His needy flock in Prince Edward Island.

You can read the other 5 chapters I added this week at

Scotland's Road of Romance
Travels in the footsteps of Prince Charlie by Augustus Muir (1937).

Got another 3 chapters up this week and here is a bit from the 2nd chapter "Into Moidart"...

MY new acquaintance talked without ceasing, and I was afraid I might grow a little weary of Gillespie before we said good-night. An exchange of snowballs in youth may be a powerful link between two young men; but I felt physically tired, and people with the salient energy of an oil-gusher take some coping with. And yet it was impossible to dislike him. I found myself passively disagreeing with a good half of his opinions about life and death and literature, all of which he touched upon at tea with a bustling bravado; and he cheerfully warned me that my politics were radically unsound as well as being too damnably eighteenth-century for words. But when he began to speak about his friends, I found myself listening with interest. The man was a mass of warm loyalties, and even in his remarks about his enemies - he seemed to have several - you could detect not the slightest trace of venom. Then I began actively to like him. His honesty was as transparent as a bit of clean plate-glass; but when you know exactly where you stand with a man, you may disagree but it is difficult to quarrel with him. Later on in the evening, however, I found out one piece of deception. The bedroom allotted to me had been the one Gillespie himself was to have used. For some domestic reason, no other was available that night, and without a word to me he had given up his bed and arranged to sleep on the couch in the sitting-room next door.

After tea, he suggested that we might stroll down to the loch and-if we could find a good place-bathe. but bathing seemed to be impossible, and I said so for the tide was low, and the beach was covered with a deep mat of saffron-coloured seaweed that shone like pale gold in the evening sun. Gillespie's enthusiasm swept aside my objections, however, and before darkness fell that evening I was glad that I had given in to him, for if we had kept to the higher ground I would not have seen what I did. We descended the hill to the uttermost tip of the loch, into which a river flowed from a wooded glen and curled like a long shining eel in and out among the hillocks of seaweed. We sauntered up this river and came upon a pool that evoked a sudden whoop of joy from my companion. In a trice, his clothes were on the grass, and he flopped into the pool and bobbed about like a sportive seal. As the water was icy, I was out again and clothed long before Gillespie crawled up beside me and lay on the grass with heaving sides and wet hair over his forehead. It was good to get your back against a warm rock and close your eyes against the brightness of the setting sun. For the first time since we had met, his cheerful tongue was still, and I am not sure whether it was the smell of his tobacco or a slight nip in the evening air that awakened me from a delicious dose. We must have lain there for nearly an hour. I noticed that my companion was casting glances upwards at the crags across the river; then he spoke.

"Thought I saw something moving! It's a man-look, he's got a gun with him. Wonder what he's doing up there ."

I followed the direction of his pointing arm. The hillside rose steeply above the crags, and whins and heather grew thick among the outcrop of rocks.

Though the distance must have been four or five hundred yards, the air was so clear that I could make out the man distinctly. He had settled down beside a clump of whins, stretched out at full length, his gun between his hands.

We continued our talk for a little, but the presence of the man on the hillside seemed to worry Gillespie. He got to his feet and took a survey over the flat top of the boulder beside which we lay. Except for the gentle rush of the little waterfall a dozen yards from us, there was no sound to be heard ; in the bay, the tide was ebbing sluggishly ; a few sheep brooded on the slope behind us ; and on the skyline, the smoke from the chimneys of the inn wavered gently to westward against the reddening sky.

"Good lord-look, man, look! "

I jumped to my feet. Gillespie was pointing eagerly across the river into a corn-field. At first, I could not make out the reason for his excitement. And then my eye lit upon a moving thing.

It was a stag. The animal was wading through the corn, which came up past his brown haunches. He was breasting it as if he were crossing a pool, his head high, his horns thrown back, and was moving very slowly as though he hated the stiff stalks of the grain swishing around his flanks.

He halted for an instant, the sun glinting in his big brown eye, then went on again. Though the shoulder of the hillside shut him off from the man among the rocks above, it was plain that every moment he was coming nearer to the point when he would be in full view.

Presently, we caught sight of another figure-a short kilted young man with a faded blue bonnet on his head. He was on the low ground across the river, crouching behind a dry stone dyke, obviously afraid he might startle the oncoming stag. The pair of them must have been waiting for the beast for some time; and Gillespie told me he had heard at the inn in the afternoon that for the last few days a stag had been coming down from the hills and working havoc among the corn.

The young man behind the dyke was making gestures towards the hillside above, and a hand was raised in acknowledgement. The stag must now have been within twenty yards of the edge of the field ; and at any moment he would be within the keeper's area of vision. I tried to watch both man and animal at the same time. The keeper was motionless beside his rifle, his face making a pale blotch against the darker surface of the rocks. The wind was blowing gently in our direction, and the stag had not scented any danger, for he came on through the corn with his slow gliding motion. And then on the hillside, the man's head jerked up, and went down again. He had seen the beast. I found myself holding my breath, and though I wanted to watch the stag in the cornfield, I could not take my eyes from the clump of whins on the hill. After what seemed a long interval, there was a tiny flash and a puff of smoke. I could hear the scream of a bullet, then the bark of the rifle, and the explosion was caught up in the valley in long deep echoes.

For the fraction of a second the stag stood rigid. Then he leaped. I could see daylight below his belly. And across the pale gold of the grain there was a streak of brown as he covered the last few yards to the edge of the field. Over the wire fence he went, his horns back, his bent knees high on his breast, alighting as nimbly as a cat, and you could hear the patter of his hoofs as he skimmed across the road to take the ditch and dry-stone dyke at a jump. With his buttocks oddly like a scurrying rabbit's, he dived into a grove of birch trees and hazels, and had disappeared before the echoes of the shot had quite faded in the glen.

I drew in a long breath. Only a stop-watch could have told how few were the seconds that had ticked away, from my first sight of the animal to the final flicker of his hindquarters among the hazel-bushes ; but that brief span of time had been as heady as any man could have wished for. Gillespie and I stared at each other in silence.

"Were you hoping he'd get the beast?" he enquired at length. "Or are you one of those damned sentimentalists - like me?"

"Yes, damned sentimentalist," I said.

"Good," grunted Gillespie. "Well, he's half a mile into Morar by this time. Here's hoping he stops there . . ."

As the sun went down over Arisaig, leaving a sky that was splashed with all the colours of one of Turner's wildest visions, we slowly climbed the hill. There were lights in the windows by the time we reached the inn.

You can read the rest of this chapter at

The book index page is at

Craft Stories
Donna has been sending in a number of craft stories and you might enjoy browsing not only the new ones but the old ones as well at

Donna also sent in a wee entry to commemorate her daughter getting her degree which you can see at

History of Inverness County, Nova Scotia
By J. L. MacDougall (1922)

This is another new book and you'll note that Inverness County is actually Cape Breton in Nova Scotia. I have the first chapter up for you to read at

Here is what the Preface has to say...

It has long been felt that an effort should be made to write a History of Inverness County. Many wished to have it done, but none seemed prepared to undertake the work. The almost total absence of public or private records germane to such a project made the undertaking peculiarly difficult. At length the Municipal Council officially lent its countenance to the enterprise, and a Board of Editors was designated of which we happened to be an humble member. Immediately thereafter we plunged into the actual work.

Our principal aim was to perpetuate the names and memories of the brave, intrepid men and women to whom we are indebted for the opening up and reclaiming from the bondage of the wilderness of this favored region of fine and free country. The lives of people in the woods are usually uneventful; but their noble sacrifices have eternal life.

Matter for ordinary history was not likely to be abundant here. What little there was could not readily be found, because of the dearth of original records and the death of the old people. We know that our haphazard endeavour can only be remarkable for its pathetic failure and defects. Yet, we indulge the hope that even our poor attempt may move abler pens to cure those defects in days to come. For ourselves we can only say that, in the untoward conditions, we did our little best, and "the best can do no more."

Our first formed plan was to give the whole of the country's history in District sketches. Contact with the actual work required us to modify that preconceived plan. We found that many general subjects common to the whole county could not be treated appropriately in District Sketches. For that reason we dealt with these general subjects by themselves, and they form the major portion of Part I, of the Book.

We would not that our friends should ever know from experience how tedious, tiresome and perplexing was the labor involved in our venture. Often did we fear that our weary, waning, strength was not equal to it, nor would it, but for the splendid assistance given to us by valued friends in different parts of the County and Province.

Hon. N. H. Meagher of Halifax, D. S. Macintosh, Professor in Dalhousie, D. D. MacKenzie, M. P. of North Sydney, Donald Maclennan, M. P. P., and Daniel MacLennan, K. C., of Port Hood, D. C. MacDonald, Inspector of Customs, Rev. D. MacDonald of Port Hastings, D. D. MacFarlane and A. S. MacDougall of South West Margaree and Prof. A. G. MacDonald of Antigonish are some of the friends to whom our grateful acknowledgments are due.

Strathlorne, N. S. January 2nd, 1922.

You'll likely note the numerous Scottish names and of course this is an area of Nova Scotia mainly settled by Scots. You can also see my Travel Journal of my travels in Cape Breton at

Priory of St. James, Toronto, Canada
I have posted up a page for the Priory of St. James so they can have all the photographs available of their investitures. You can view this at

Royal Heraldry Society of Canada
I attended the Christmas dinner of the Royal Heraldry Society of Canada and managed to get some information about them which I've shared on the site. You can read this at

Scots Independent Newspaper 80 years old
I thought I'd share a few stories from the November edition in which they were 80 years old :-) Actually the newspaper is a great read each month and you might be interested in purchasing a subscription so have also added a link to where you can order this online.

You can read this story at

Scottish Clans DNA Project
Got in the December 2006 newsletter and as a summary of what it is...

The Scottish Clan project was started to look at the potential interrelationships of the Scottish Clans. However, it is also obvious that these same results will show relationships with any other family or group that could have a common connection by migration due to wars, economic movements, etc.

The current project goals have broadened a bit to include anyone that has some indication of a Scottish, Irish, British and even Scandinavians background. The current study that I'm completing that has looked at other nationalities is very interesting. The sample base is still small ( 2200 results).... but is on cusp of being statistically significant.

The Scot-DNA List at is the original list that supports the Scottish Clans (Scot DNA) Project and all those project managers and participants and interested parties that want to contribute and receive information regarding the Original project for all Scottish peoples.

You can read the whole newsletter at

Older newsletters can be read at

Historical research on New Zealand
I have been doing some correspondence with a Don Hutton in New Zealand and in one of his emails to me he produced a number of links to some really good sites about Scots in New Zealand. He agreed to me sharing this with you and so you can read these at

When you go to the first link offered you'll read...

The voyage section of 'Going Abroad' is the most detailed account ever published of shipboard arrangements and conditions on early emigration voyages to New Zealand. It includes publication, for the first time, of Francis Pillans' diary, written during the voyage of the Mooltan. This fascinating record is one of the longest and most interesting diaries of sailing ship passengers to New Zealand. Illustrations include almost every engraving of emigration ships and shipboard scenes published by the famous Illustrated London News between 1844 and 1855, and 22 drawings by a passenger on the Duke of Portland, which sailed to Canterbury, New Zealand, in 1851.

The sailing ship Mooltan – describing the ship which carried the MacGibbon family and 152 other passengers to Otago. Shameless hyperbole from the Greenock Advertiser describes the fitting out of the vessel.

Ship from Clyde to Otago – the Greenock Advertiser reports on the Mooltan's departure for Otago. "No finer ship or more hopeful body of emigrants ever left the Clyde..."

And so well worth a wee browse :-)

Have you locked your keys in the car? Does you car have remote keys?
I got in an email which offered some interesting advice which I thought I'd share with you...

This may come in handy someday. Good reason to own a cell phone:
If you lock your keys in the car and the spare keys are at home, call someone at home on their cell phone from your cell phone. Hold your cell phone about a foot from your car door and have the person at your home press the unlock button, holding it near the mobile phone on their end. Your car will unlock. Saves someone from having to drive your keys to you. Distance is no object. You could be hundreds of miles away, and if you can reach someone who has the other "remote" for your car, you can unlock the doors (or the trunk).

Holiday Eating Tips
Keith Rattray sent me in these Holiday Eating Tips which I thought I'd share with you :-)

1 . Avoid carrot sticks. Anyone who puts carrots on a holiday buffet table knows nothing of the Christmas spirit. In fact, if you see carrots,
leave immediately. Go next door, where they're serving rum balls.

2. Drink as much eggnog as you can. And quickly. Like fine single-malt scotch, it's rare. In fact, it's even rarer than single-malt scotch. You can't find it any other time of year but now. So drink up! Who cares that it has 10,000 calories in every sip? It's not as if you're going to turn into an eggnog-alcoholic or something. It's a treat. Enjoy it. Have one for me. Have two. It's later than you think. It's Christmas!

3. If something comes with gravy, use it. That's the whole point of gravy. Gravy does not stand alone. Pour it on. Make a volcano out of your mashed potatoes. Fill it with gravy. Eat the volcano. Repeat.

4. As for mashed potatoes, always ask if they're made with skim milk or whole milk. If it's skim, pass. Why bother? It's like buying a sports car with an automatic transmission.

5. Do not have a snack before going to a party in an effort to control your eating. The whole point of going to a Christmas party is to eat other people's food for free. Lots of it. Hello?

6. Under no circumstances should you exercise between now and New Year's. You can do that in January when you have nothing else to do. This is the
time for long naps, which you'll need after circling the buffet table while carrying a 10-pound plate of food and that vat of eggnog.

7. If you come across something really good at a buffet table, like frosted Christmas cookies in the shape and size of Santa, position yourself near them and don't budge. Have as many as you can before becoming the centre of attention. They're like a beautiful pair of shoes. If you leave them behind, you're never going to see them again.

8. Same for pies. Apple. Pumpkin. Mincemeat. Have a slice of each. Or if you don't like mincemeat, have two apples and one pumpkin. Always have three. When else do you get to have more than one dessert? Labor Day?

9. Did someone mention fruitcake? Granted, it's loaded with the mandatory celebratory calories, but avoid it at all cost. I mean, have some standards.

10. One final tip: If you don't feel terrible when you leave the party or get up from the table, you haven't been paying attention. Reread tips; start over, but hurry, January is just around the corner. Remember this motto to live by:

"Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, chocolate in one hand, martini in the other, body thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming "WOO HOO what a ride!"

Have a great holiday season!

And that's all for now and I hope you all have a great weekend :-) I have added our Christmas page which you can get to by clicking on our laughing Santa on our Index page or go to


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