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Weekly Mailing List Archives
9th February 2007

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
Micro Button Advertiser - Great Scot offering 15% discounts
The Flag in the Wind
The Scottish Nation
The Celtic Monthly
The Southern States of America
Skye Pioneers and "The Island"
History of Inverness County, Nova Scotia
Scots Minstrelsie
Clan Newsletters
History of Scottish Medicine to 1860
Biographical Record of the County of Kent, Ontario
Scottish Canadian Newspaper
A Homily
Children's Story
Establishing of Social Contacts

I got in an email from Deana...

I run a former pupils site and one of my members has asked for samples of the funny little Valentine verses we wrote to cover a sheet of paper and send to the object of our desire. It seems he has promised his granddaughter he will make one for her.

I could only remember the one we put on the envelope...."Postie, postie dinna tarry, take this to the one I'll marry".

I've sent out a plea through my mailing list, but I wondered if you'd know anyone who has kept a page or two and can share them with him?

I'd appreciate any help you can offer.

And so if any of you know any of these verses do email me with them and I'll pass them on and even add a page to Electric Scotland to keep them for posterity :-)


As you likely noted in the news this past week has been very very cold. On Friday evening I was begining to feel a touch cold so went to check my thermostat reading only to find it was at 56 degrees. No wonder I was feeling a touch cold. Of course it would be a Friday evening so it was off to search for a 24 hour heating company. Well they came out pretty quick but couldn't fix the problem but would be back on Saturday through the day. I had by this time dropped to 44 degrees and when they returned on Saturday they worked out it was the board that was duff but couldn't get a new one until Monday! Sheesh! So out I went to purchase a couple of heaters and managed to get the heating back up to 51 degrees.

So there was me freezing the rest of Saturday, Sunday and they finally turned up on Monday at 5pm. Well they fixed the problem and in a few hours I had myself up to 70 degrees and it was real nice to be warm again. Off to bed around midnight but thinking to myself that it wasn't quite as warm as it had been. Checked the thermostat and it was down at 62 degrees!!! Well I wasn't about to get another high bill by calling someone out after hours so quickly got to bed to keep warm and in the morning it was back down to 52 degrees. Called the folk out and they turned up in around an hour and seems the striker they replaced was faulty so they replaced that and heating is now back to my normal 68 degrees. Hopefully this time it will stay fixed! I can confirm that work does not go well when you are freezing! I think we were down to -18 in Chatham.

I might add that my feet felt they were in a block of ice and so I switched on my oven and let my shoes toast up in it and it's remarkable how good you feel when your feet go into some nice warm shoes [grin].


I thought I'd also mention that I was fed up with my Norton/Symantec anti virus products so decided a few months back to delete it from my system and have since used the Trend anti virus product. I must say I've been very happy with it and in particular the anti-spam. In fact over the past 4 weeks I have not found one genuine email in the spam folder and so have decided not bothering to check that folder any more and instead just delete it each day. I only mention this to alert you to the fact that if you were to send me an email and don't get a reply within 48 hours then please email me again but this time use a different subject line just in case the last one did get caught up in my spam.

And having said that about email I have to confess I have not been quite as diligent with answering emails as I usually am but am trying to catch up. Answering emails actually takes a chunk of time out of each day. Usually if it's just a quick question I will answer as it comes in but where it is more complex I pass it over and come back to it later in the day. Only problem is they seem to be stacking up a bit so doing my best to catch up :-)

Also... I do reply to some emails but the reply gets sent back with the comment.... the user is not known at this address. This seems to be happening more frequently for some reason. I'm just wondering if this is because the person has changed their email address but not changed their Reply address? There are two fields here... E-Mail Address and Reply Address. So perhaps you might check that just in case you left your Reply Address as your old E-Mail Address.


Mind in a previous newsletter I told you about the special Scottish Tour that Dr. Graeme Morton of the University Guleph was putting on... well he now has the official brochure produced which you can view at


And as it is going to be Valentine's Day on the 14th I might just point out that Grower Flowers are offering great deals on Flowers and Special Valentine Gift Baskets which you can view at


I note with interest the time taken to get an appointment for an eye specialist in Chatham. I phoned today for an appointment and the earliest date they could give me was 19th April. Mind you from what I understand it's hard to get quick appointments for any specialist these days. I only mention this as I used to get an annual eye test back in Scotland and had forgotten all about that. What reminded me was attending a Scottish Studies Foundation Board meeting where I had forgotten my reading glasses. I was lent a pair to try and read the previous minutes and found everything was sharper than I remembered my own glasses to be... and hence this appointment :-)

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.

Micro Button Advertiser - Great Scot
Sally at Great Scot is offering all our USA vistors 15% off any purchases made before February 19. As Sally already offers some very competitive prices this is a great offer. All you need to do to get your 15% discount is add the phrase HEATHER IN THE GLEN at the comment section when you check out and 15% will be taken off your bill.

Sally also offers a time payment plan for purchasing a kilt which is $75 down and $60 a month on credit card. You get your kilt before the payments are up and they don't charge interest. They just want folks to be able to afford a kilt :-) Also, payment plan for folks who want more than the kilt is $200 down and $75 month. Note that the 15% discount offer does not apply to time payment plans.

Check out all the items available such as Highland Dress for men and women, Scottish Clan Crests & Family Coat of Arms, Blankets & Scarves, Celtic Jewelry, Pewter Crafts, Gifts and Needlework and lots more. They even offer Tartan Yardage - Over 700 Scottish wool tartans for those who want to sew their own kilt, up-holster furniture or decorate the castle with the flair of the Highlands. The tartan cloth comes from Lochcarron in Scotland.

On their website, you can see samples of all of the colors and styles of tartan fabric they offer. Once you've decided which colors you want, click on the link marked "Yardage." There, you will find tartan ribbon and six different weights of tartan fabric from which to choose.

So do visit them at and perhaps get an early birthday or Christmas present while you are there.

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

The political section is compiled this week by Jim Lynch where he is muttering about having to do another Flag due to him getting the schedule mixed up [grin]

I noted a wee foot in the mouth note...

According to what we read in the English press, there is a growing demand for an English parliament, and a growing resentment at the “perceived” cost to England of Scotland.

How ironic, and a mirror of the poll tax; when this was imposed in Scotland we protested and marched against it, to no avail. When it was imposed in England, they rioted in the streets, and it was abolished; how odd if England’s reaction leads to Scottish Independence.

The political section of the Flag is heating up as it's less that 3 months to the Scottish Elections so here you can read what is going on from an Independence point of view.

Peter in his Cultural section reminds us about Valentine's Day and here is what he had to say...

A notable date this week is, of course, engraved on the hearts of romantics world-wide, St Valentine's Day, on 14th February. Scotland can claim a close affinity to the Saint as his remains lie in a Glasgow Church - the church of Blessed John Duns Scotia in the Gorbals. The notorious 'Glasgow Kiss' has nothing to do with the Saint or with romance, indeed quite the opposite!

Scotland's most famous romantic poet, Robert Burns, wrote of St Valentine's Day in his poem 'Tam Glen'

"Yestreen at the valentines' dealing
My heart to my mou' gied a sten' ;
For thrice I drew ane without failing,
And thrice it was written - Tam Glen."

And our most famous novelist, Sir Walter Scott, wrote of St Valentine's Day in 'The Fair Maid of Perth' -

"Tomorrow is St Valentine's Day, when every bird chooses her mate. I will plague you no longer now, providing you will let me see you from your window tomorrow when the sun first peeps over the eastern hill, and give me right to be your Valentine for the year."

A romantic time of year requires a romantic recipe - love and chocolate traditionally go together so why not make for your Valentine the 'naughty treat' Death by Chocolate. But remember this is a calorie loaded traybake and that a little goes a long way!

Death by Chocolate

Ingredients: 1.5 oz (35 g) Ratafia Biscuits; 2.5 tablespoons liquid glucose; half pint (330 ml) double cream; 8 oz (225 g) plain chocolate; 2.5 tablespoons Rum.

Method: Crush biscuits and sprinkle over base of seven inch square tin. Melt together chocolate, glucose and rum. Beat cream and fold in chocolate mixture. Pour in tin. Cover with cling film and set in refrigerator. Cut in VERY small pieces - remember calorie count!

I firmly believe that Peter's Dates in History section makes a great read each week and as he archives all those in a special section you can browse thousands of past entries. Here is the list from this weeks issue...

9 February 1784
The Highland and Agricultural Society of Scotland was formed in Fortune’s Tontine Tavern, Edinburgh. The objects were defined on 11 January 1785:

1. An enquiry into the present state of the Highlands and Islands of Scotland, and the condition of their inhabitants.
2. An enquiry into the means of improvement of the Highlands by establishing towns and villages; by facilitating communication through different parts of the Highlands of Scotland; by roads and bridges, advancing agriculture and extending fisheries, introducing useful trades and manufactures; and by an exertion to unite the efforts of the proprietors, and call the attention of the Government towards the encouragement and production of these beneficial purposes.
3. The Society shall also pay a proper attention to the preservation of the language, poetry, and music of the Highlands.

9 February 1853
Owing to ill-health Alan Stevenson resigned as Chief Engineer to the Northern Lighthouse Board. He had succeeded his father, Robert Stevenson, to the post in 1844 and was responsible for the design and construction of ten new lights including Skerryvore in Argyll. He was, in turn, succeeded by his brother David Stevenson.

9 February 1990
Evelyn Glennie, musician, and Sir James Black, scientist, were named Scots of the Decade.

9 February 2006
Liberal Democrat candidate Willie Rennie pulled off a surprise win in the Dunfermline and West Fife Westminster by-election following the death of Labour MP Rachel Squire.

13 February 1784
William Burness, father of Robert Burns, died at Lochlea. His son wrote his epitaph:

“The pitying Heart that felt for human Woe;
The dauntless heart that fear’d no human Pride;
The Friend of Man. To vice alone a foe;
For ‘ev’n his failings lean’d to Virtue’s side’.”

From his tombstone in Alloway Churchyard.

13 February 1931
The Scottish Youth Hostels Association was formed.

14 February 2006
After a 0-0 draw Gretna defeated First Division side Clyde (3rd round victors over Cup holders Celtic) in a 4th round Scottish Cup replay at Raydale Park, Gretna. The Second Division club reached the last eight of the Scottish Cup after only being in the Scottish League for four years.

15 February 2006
Singer KT Tunstall, St Andrews, took the award for Best British Female Solo Artist at the annual Brit Awards held at Earl’s Court Arena in London.

You can see all the Dates in History at

You can read the Flag, listen to the Scots Language, enjoy the Scots Wit and lots more at
You can view MSP Linda Fabiani's weekly diary at 
Email Linda at

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

Now moved onto the F's and added this week are Farquharson, Fenton, Fenwick, Fergus, Fergushill, Ferguson, Ferme, Ferrier and Fife.

Some quite long accounts this week and here is how the account of Farquharson starts...

FARQUHARSON, the surname of one of the Highland clans, a division of the great clan Chattan; particular badge of distinction, the foxglove or red whortleberry; rallying cry, cairnna-chuimhme, ‘the cairn of remembrance;’ chiefship claimed by Farquharson of Finzean, on the ground of being heir male of the clan, of which the heir of line is Farquharson of Invercauld. It had large possessions in the district of Baremar, in the south-west extremity of Aberdeenshire, and also, at a later period, in Perthshire.

The immediate ancestor of the family of Invercauld was Farquhar or Fearchard, a son of Shaw Macduff of Rothiemurchus in Strathspey, lineally descended, according to tradition, which has been accepted by Nisbet (Heraldry, vol. i. p. 283, and App. vol. ii. p. 26), and generally adopted, from a younger son of the ancient thanes of Fife, but without good grounds, as from the MS. of 1450, discovered by Mr. Skene, the Farquharsons, like the Machintoshes and all the other branches of the great native sept of clan Chattan, appear to have been, from the beginning, a purely Celtic race. Shaw Macduff joining the Macphersons, was very active in the expulsion of the Cummings of Badenoch, and is said to have obtained several large grant of land from Robert the Bruce. It is certain that his son Farquhar, who lived in the reigns of Robert the Second and Robert the Third, settled in the Braes of Mar, and was appointed bailie or hereditary chamberlain thereof. The sons of the latter were called Farquharson, the first of the name in Scotland. It is stated in Skene’s History of the Highlanders (vol. ii. p. 177) that the leader of the clan Yha, in the celebrated conflict on the Inch at Perth in 1396, with the clan Quhele, is by old authorities styled Sha Fercharson.

Farquhar’s eldest son, Donald, by his wife, a daughter of Patrick Duncanson or Robertson, first of the family of Lude, had an only son, Farquhar, who married a daughter of Chisholm of Strathglas, and died in the end of the reign of King James the Third. The younger sons of this Farquhar settled in the Braes of Angus, and founded there several considerable families of the name. His eldest son, Donald, married a daughter of Duncan Stewart, commonly called Duncan Downs Dona, of the family of Mar, and obtained a considerable addition to his paternal inheritance, for faithful services rendered to the crown.

Donald’s son and successor, Findla or Findlay, commo9nly called, from his great size and strength, Findla Mhor, or great Findla, lived in the beginning of the sixteenth century. His descendants were called MacIanla or Mackinlay. Before his time the Farquharsons were called in the Gaelic, clan Erachar or Earachar, the Gaelic for Farquhar, and most of the branches of the family, especially those who settled in Athol, were called MacEarachar. Those of the descendants of Findla Mhor who settled in the Lowlands had their name of Mackinlay changed into Findlayson. [Family MS. quoted by Douglas in his Baronage.]

Findla Mhor, by his first wife, a daughter of the baron Reid of Kincardine Stewart, had four sons, the descendants of whom settled on the borders of the counties of Perth and Angus, south of Baremar, and some of them in the district of Athol. By his second wife, Beatrix, a daughter of Gardyne of that ilk or Banchory, he had five sons and five daughters. He was killed, bearing the royal standard, at the battle of Pinkie in 1547.

You can read more of this entry at

You can read the other entries at 

The Celtic Monthly
A magazine for Highlanders

Added the June 1912 issue at 

This contains...

The Chief of the Clan MacPhail, Sketches of Life and Character, Scottish Clans Association, Stornoway and the Lews, The Religion in the Gaelic Language, The Land for the People, The Sons of Rob Roy, The Cape Breton and Nova Scotia Highlanders, Fionn's Wars with the MacGregors, Notes on the Celtic Year, Celtic Notes and Queries, Gaelic Proverbs.

You can see the issues to date at 

The Southern States of America
Published in 1909.

Added this week are...

The History of Georgia - Chapter II
Georgia in the Federal Union, 1776 - 1861

The History of Georgia - Chapter III
Georgia in the Confederacy, 1865 - 1865

Here is how The History of Georgia - Chapter III starts...

Secession Accomplished.

The election of a President by a purely sectional party, which had in various ways shown undisguised hostility to the South and her institutions, a party, which for the first time since the formation of the government was represented in but one section of the Union, excited in Georgia and the other South Atlantic and Gulf states a feeling of genuine alarm.

All agreed that the South was in great peril. The only point of difference was as to the remedy.

The conservative sentiment of the people of Georgia was shown in the presidential election of 1860. The most pronounced Southern rights Democrats carried the state by a plurality vote, polling for Breckinridge and Lane 51,893 votes, while the united vote for the Bell and Everett and Douglas and Johnson electors was 54,435. After the result of the election became known, the tide began to set strongly toward secession, which was stoutly advocated by Howell and Thomas R. R. Cobb, Henry R. Jackson and Francis S. Bartow, while Alexander H. Stephens, Herschel V. Johnson and Benjamin H. Hill stood just as firmly against it.

The Georgia legislature met early in November and, influenced by Gov. Joseph E. Brown, began to take measures for the defense of the state by creating the office of adjutant-general, to which position Henry C. Wayne, of Savannah, was appointed, by authorizing the acceptance of 10,000 troops by the governor, and by the purchase of 1,000 Maynard rifles and carbines for coast defense. The legislature also provided for an election on the first Wednesday in January of delegates to a convention which should determine what action the state should take in this emergency.

The secession of South Carolina on Dec. 20, 1860, added to the enthusiasm of those Georgians who favored immediate secession. Popular approval of the action of the South Carolina State Convention was manifested in the large cities and towns of Georgia by bonfires, the ringing of bells and the firing of cannon. Volunteer companies that had been organized by act of the legislature began to offer their services to the governor, and many new companies were formed even in December, 1860. The zeal of the Georgia militia had shown itself as early as Nov. 10, 1860, when a convention of military companies, presided over by John W. Anderson, heartily endorsed the recommendations of Governor Brown looking to the defense of the state against possible aggression.

Before the assembling of the State Convention, which was called for Jan. 16, 1861, the people of Georgia became alarmed because of the removal, by Major Anderson, of the Federal garrison from Fort Moultrie to Fort Sumter, with the plain intention of subsequently using that strong fortress as a means for accomplishing the coercion of South Carolina. Governor Brown being advised that the people of Savannah would probably seize Forts Jackson and Pulaski, decided that it was advisable to occupy them with state troops, so as to prevent their seizure by the citizens on the one hand or by a hostile force on the other hand, before the Georgia Convention could decide on the policy which the state should adopt in this emergency. Under instructions from Governor Brown, issued Jan. 2, 1861, Col. A. R. Lawton, commanding the First Volunteer Regiment of Georgia, having selected details from the Chatham Artillery under Capt. Joseph S; Claghorn, from the Savannah Guards under Capt. John Screven and from the Oglethorpe Light Infantry under Capt. Francis S. Bartow, 134 men in all, went by boat on the morning of January 3 to Cockspur Island and seized Fort Pulaski without resistance from the few men there stationed, who were allowed to continue in their quarters without restraint. These proceedings were reported to General Totten, at Washington, by Capt. Wm. H. C. Whiting, of North Carolina, afterwards a major-general in the Confederate States service.

You can read the rest of this chapter at 

The book index page is at

Skye Pioneers and "The Island"
by Malcolm A. MacQueen (1929).

Have continued with the Belfast family histories including...

Donald Ban Oig MacLeod of Murray Harbour Road
The MacQueens of Orwell
The Martins of Uigg and Murray Harbor Road
The Martins of Newton, Belfast
Donald Nicholson of Orwell

These histories really contain some excellent information as well as good genealogy. There is an excellent account within the account - The MacQueens of Orwell...

Malcolm Macqueen was one of the first children born in Belfast. After living with his widowed mother on the river farm until about 1833, he leased, and afterwards purchased from Louisa Augusta, Lady Wood, wife of Sir Gabriel Wood, and Maria Matilda Fanning, daughters of Governor Fanning, the homestead fronting on Fletcher's road, a short distance east of Orwell cross-roads. To this new farm he moved, across the frozen Nicholson marsh, the frame dwelling house, which was used until 1859, when a nine-room house was built. This was the home of the family until in 1895 it was replaced by the one now in use.

Of average height, he was a man of powerful physique. In an age when books were possessed by the few, memory was cultivated to a degree that is not thought necessary today. In this respect he was a marked man. There was stored in unusual measure in his retentive memory the folklore of the distant Highlands, as well as a complete knowledge of his native Belfast. He was as true a Highland Seannachie as if he had been born and lived in Skye.

His wife, Margaret Martin, of Newtown, was a woman of delicate body, and refined intelligent mind. Fortunately refinement of mind and manner is not confined to those living in luxurious surroundings. Mrs. Albert Jenkins recently spoke of her and others of her neighbors, who were born in an age when wants were few, as possessing innate refinement and gentility of manner to a degree equalling, if not surpassing, that aimed at in modern ladies' schools.

Their son, John Angus, was born on the old homestead on which he died, near Orwell cross-roads. He was even more characteristically Highland than his father. In a community where honesty was as common a quality as chastity, he was distinguished for it to a degree that made business relations with him a thing of mathematical exactitude. He was outspoken and uncompromisingly honest. No act inconsistent with the strictest integrity was ever imputed to him. In all his relations with his fellow men he was distinguished by a virtue, defined as "punctuality." Four generations came and went and he was still in the same place. He is reported never, in that time, to have missed a Sunday in church, and never to have been late for service. The regularity of his life made him an unchanging and continuing institution in the district.

If there was any announcement to be made in church that was omitted from the minister's agenda, he would calmly arise in his pew, and facing the audience amend the omission in an unembarrassed tone. He knew the Bible from cover to cover, and was satisfied with nothing less than a Scriptural sermon. One day he became impatient at the wanderings of a clergyman into politics, and is reported to have rebuked him, almost in the words of Queen Elizabeth, who "when the Dean of Saint Paul's, at a public sermon, enunciated some observation that displeased her, threw open the window of her private closet, in which she always worshipped, and shouted to him `leave that ungodly digression and return to your text.' "

To him character was the one and only test of worth and position. He recognized no other ground for social distinction.

Possessing the variable Highland temperament, he would pass from brooding melancholy to Highland gaiety with electric speed. The changing moods of the elements awoke in him a ready response, and he watched the varying phases of wind and sky, foretelling with mystifying accuracy what the elements had in store. In an age of superstition, living among people who inherited and believed in it, he was practical to an unusual degree, and scorned what he could not demonstrate from actual experience.

Order was a passion with him, and the child who failed to return to its designated place any instrument or tool, was the recipient of a well earned rebuke. Deceit and dissimulation were entirely foreign to his nature. No one was ever left in doubt as to his estimate of him. It seemed perfectly natural and proper to disclose frankly his likes and dislikes. One possessed of so many virtues is usually austere and uncompromising by nature. For their virtues such men are respected, to a certain extent feared, and to a less extent loved. His physical strength was great almost to the end. In all his long life he was never treated by a physician. At seventy-eight his striking pale blue eyes could detect an open rowboat at Point Prim seven miles from where he stood.

His wife, Isabella Nicholson, had an insatiable appetite for the things of the mind. With the ardor for education that characterises the Scottish people, she engaged in the daily tasks, not infrequently with an open book or newspaper clipping beside her, to be perused at every favorable opportunity. Her knowledge of history, and of the involved inter-relations of families, not only in her native province, but among the great in foreign lands, was so intimate that she was known among her friends as the "historian." The death of five of her children after reaching maturity failed to crush her indomitable will; each recurring blow of fortune seemed to strengthen her power to meet the one to follow. With her own temper in complete subjection, she was wont to rebuke the ill tempered and passionate in the words, "greater is he that controlleth his temper than he that taketh a city."

You can read the rest of this account and see the genealogy at

You can read all the chapters at 

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

Inverness County is part of Cape Breton in Nova Scotia. I am now up to the District Sketches which contain a ton of genealogical information. You can read the chapters at 

The Districts added this week are...

The Catholic Parish of Princeville
Port Hood

Here is some of the information contained in the huge account of Port Hood...

Port Hood has always been the shiretown of Inverness County, formerly the name was given to the port alone, but is now applied to e whole municipal district as well. Both town and district are important communities in this County, the former, largely for its memories, the latter, for its growth and solid strength. No doubt Port Hood was made the shiretown on account of the harbour on which it is built. On any other ground the selection would seem illogical and unfair, in such a long, loose-jointed municipality as Inverness.

At the time of the early settlement the harbour of Port Hood was very different from what it now is. There was then a substantial neck land connecting the northern end of the inner Island with the main-land. The arm of the sea which ran into that neck of land from the South constituted an ideal harbour of refuge. The port was then an admirable fishing station, and such stations meant much to our pioneer fathers. That early harbour also facilitated communication with Pictou and Prince Edward Island, and this communication was keenly desired in the days of Auld Lang Syne.

In the course of the years that neck of land was worn away by the sea and the storms, giving two entrances to the harbour. Then this safe and satisfactory haven was laid open to the full force of the Northern blast. The shifting sands of the neighborhood were stirred into action and mischief. These drifting sands were sent churning through that new found channel, settling down betimes into bars of danger in the very middle of the harbour.

The most distressing marine disaster we ever witnessed occurred near the centre of Port Hood Harbour. It was late in December 1877. On a certain evening several schooners entered this harbour in a stiff north-westerly wind, and cast anchor under the lee of the Island. During the night the wind rose into a living gale, and the sea was lashed into rank insanity. Some of those vessels broke away from their mooring's, and were again made fast with perilous difficulty. One of them, "Maggie B.", of Port Hastings, Murdoch MacLennan, master, drifted in towards the shore, and was stranded on a dangerous sand bank in the middle of the harbour. It was a night of terror. No attempt at rescue was possible. The frost was intense, the wind was terrific, it was snowing and drifting, the ship listed and stuck, the sea was rolling mountains high, the spars, hull and rigging screamed and strained, death to all was imminent. Three of the crew lowered a boat and made off for the beach: the boat was swamped, the men were drowned. The rest of the crew and passengers stood by the wreck, and suffered pitifully till removed the following afternoon by daring men from the shore. All were badly frozen. One lady passenger, a Mrs. Roberts of West Newfoundland, was so badly frozen that her limbs had to be amputated. Her husband, the Captain and all aboard were painfully frost-bitten.

That tragedy of the home seas left some heart-aches in Inverness that will abide for ever; it has sent several souls to eternity for whom all the wealth of creation were not a ransom. And yet, the condition of Port Hood Harbour, instead of being improved, has been going from bad to worse ever since. Poor Doctor MacLennan, made while in Parliament, a very practical effort to relieve the situation here; but that strong and steadfast servant died too soon. Port Hood awaits his fitting successor.

You the rest of this chapter at

You can read the rest of the chapters at

Scots Minstrelsie
Started work again on the final volume 6 of this publication complete with sheet music. The index page is at 

To volume 6 I added...

O Wat Ye Wha's In Yon Toun?
The MacGregor's Gathering
Annie's Tryst
Sound The Pibroch

You can see these at 

Clan Newsletters
Added the Winter 2007 newsletter for the Clan MacIntyre at

History of Scottish Medicine to 1860
by John D. Comrie (1927).

I have up another two chapters which you can read at

Chapter V - Early Public Health Regulations and the Plague - Early Regulations, 1498 - Notification made compulsory - Convictions - Isolation - Cleansing infected clothing and houses - Buriers of the dead - Charities for plague-stricken poor - Appointment of a Medical Officer - Recurrences in the XVIth Century - Immunity in Aberdeenshire, Sutherlandshire and Liddesdale at

Chapter VI - The Surgeons of Edinburgh in the Seventeenth Century - Advance of the Guild of Surgeons and Barbers - Surgeon-Apothecaries Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh incorporated - Double and Triple qualification - Instruction in Anatomy - Convening House built New Surgeons' Hall - Pitcairne and Monteath - Eliot, first "Professor of Anatomy" - The Monros at

Biographical Record of the County of Kent, Ontario
Our thanks to Nola Crewe for sending in more of these...

McLachlan, Duncan at
Cruickshank, James at

Here is the account of James Cruickshank...

JAMES CRUICKSHANK is a prosperous general farmer and ex-reeve of Zone township, residing on Lot 5, Concession 4, where he owns a fine farm of 150 acres to which he came in 1853, having purchased it from John E. Brooks, land agent. The property was then all a wilderness, and he had to make a clearing in order to erect his little cabin on the spot where now stands his handsome brick residence, which was put up in the fall of 1897.

Mr. Cruickshank was born March 6, 1832, son of James and Janet (Marnes) Cruickshank, of Aberdeenshire, Scotland, where they remained until 1833, and then emigrated to Canada, settling in Howard township, County of Kent, Ontario, where they took up 100 acres from Col. Talbot. Later the father purchased 250 acres, and there he died in 1867, aged 63 years, while the mother died in 1879, aged 69 years, and they are buried in the Morpeth cemetery. They were members of the Presbyterian Church. The father held many minor township offices, became very prominent and was especially active in educational matters. His children were as follows: James; Alexander, who died in Zone township, on an adjoining farm, in 1881; John, a retired farmer of Aylmer, Ontario; Mary, of Zone township, widow of John Tinney William, who died in Howard township, on the old homestead; Elizabeth, who died in 1891 at Brown City, Michigan, wife of John Brewster.

James Cruickshank has been twice married, his first union in 1858, in the township of Howard, being to Elizabeth Bullock. One child was born to them: Rachel E., who married Alonzo Grawburg, a farmer of Sanilac, Michigan. On November 5, 1866, Mr. Cruickshank was married in Florence, Ontario, to Mary A. Maynard, and she bore him children as follows: Mariah married William Dickson, a farmer of Zone township; Sarah J. married John W. Southerland, a driller of Petrolia, Ontario; James is at home with his parents; Hester A. is at home; Jeanett married Charles Hubble, a contractor and builder of Thamesville; Mary I. Is at home; Ada M., a school teacher, is also at home. Mrs. Cruickshank was born in Harwich township, daughter of Manel and Esther Maynard, both of Canada, the former of Nova Scotia. They were married in the County of Kent in an early day, there beginning life as pioneer farmers. On January 1, 1865, in this same locality, the father passed away aged 58 years, and he was buried in the English cemetery of Harwich township. The mother resides in Howard township, and is advanced in years, having been born in 1817. She is a member of the Baptist Church as was her husband.

Until his marriage Mr. Cruickshank remained with his parents, and then located on his present farm, where he has since remained. In politics he is a Conservative and is very active in local affairs. For eight years he served as township reeve; seven years he was assessor and also township collector, and for about 30 years he has been in the township council, having been one of the first to be elected to that office. Being very deeply interested in educational matters, he has served upon the school board for a number of years as member, secretary and treasurer and trustee. Fraternally he is a member of the Orange Lodge. His farm is one of the best cultivated in the township, and his home is a very pleasant and comfortable one. Having firmly established himself in the confidence of the neighbourhood, he is highly regarded and is justly considered as one of the representative farmers in his section of the County of Kent.

You can read other biographies at

Scottish Canadian Newspaper
Added another issue of this newspaper...

March 26, 1891 at

This issue has an interesting account of Baroness Nairne.

A Homily
From Nola Crewe

Got in a homily that Nola gave on 14th January 2007 which I thought I'd share with you.

You can read this at

Children's Story
Margo has been back in touch and sent in another of her children's stories called Captain Blackheart - Iceberg

It starts...

Captains Log:

I’ve never felt this cold in all of my life. My toes are so numb; I am afraid to touch them for fear they’ll fall off. My fingers are stiff and holding this pen is a chore. How did the Treasure Hunter find herself in such a mess? The last time I wrote was two years ago. I know a captain is supposed to write daily, but nothing much has happened since we left Skull Island, until a week ago. Just in case something happens, I will fill you in on the events that have taken place over the last few days.

The Treasure Hunter sailed the South Pacific. We were having a grand time, stopping at all the tiny islands, enjoying the company of the natives and eating until we were stuffed. The trade winds carried the scent of tropical flowers on it. What a joy those months were! One particular morning a strange wind blew our sails, taking us in a south-easterly direction.

“Cap’n, I don’t like this one bit. I’ve never heard of winds comin’ from the northwest before, not this far south. We may end up in South America, or worse, havin’ to go around the Cape of Good Hope!” Silverear stood at the railing, eyeglass in hand.

“Aye, Silverear. There is something rotten brewing. Look at that sky. I’ve never seen olive green clouds. Can’t you put Grub and Zeedal on the sails and turn us around, or at least easterly?” I pulled the spyglass from Silverear’s hands. “What’s all over this spyglass? You been at the papaya again? Learn to wipe your hands. This is disgusting.” I reluctantly wiped it off on my jacket. “I don’t like this. Do your best to turn this ship around.”

It was no use. The wind kept howling, carrying us further and further south. A thin layer of ice formed on the deck and just about everywhere else on the ship. I sent Dungheap and Ribeye to start chipping it off, but it was no use. Eventually the wind stopped blowing. We took down the sails and with no other choice, let the current carry us to our doom. Supplies began to spoil and we were forced to toss the rotten fruit over the side.

A knock came at my cabin door. Chappy stuck his head inside. “Beggin’ your pardon, Cap’n.” I looked up. “Cap’n Blackheart, there are icebergs floatin’ all ‘round the ship. Dungheap’s up there tellin’ the crew stories. He says that only a small part of the ice is above water. The rest is below the surface, waitin’ to crush the hulls of unsuspectin’ ships. The crew’s a bit worried, Cap’n.”

And you can read the rest of this at

Establishing of Social Contacts
I had occasion to go through the book The Scottish Week-End at

This is somewhat tongue in cheek publication which is fun to read and amongst all the interesting information I found...


and as it discusses how to progress a love affair thought this might be fun to read over the Valentine weekend :-)

THE matrix or prime condition of a holiday is the abatement of labour. Energy is thereby released for other and more genial purposes, whether actual of the body or speculative of the mind, which for the greater part of the year, in the greater proportion of mankind, is spent in the quotidian offices of a mercantile, professional or industrial occupation. In the perdurable words of the Bishop, that is, a vacation provides both time and inclination. It is true that people who are brutish by nature, or in whom the felicities of curiosity and imagination have been starved by the mechanical circumstance of their environment, will squander this happy increment on the golf-links or the tennis-courts; and the muscular explosions that propel a volley or a forehand drive, as also the mental exertion required to equate windage and the parabolic drift of a slice, will sensibly hinder their perception of the aphrodisiac quality of leisure. Yet this quality cannot be disputed, and whatever may be said for the use of Arabian skink, eringoe root, the durian, the brains of sparrows, civet and nux vomica, it seems probable that the exploratory instinct and happy fantasy of love will find in idleness a more healthy nourishment than in any of these reputed specifics; and while there is a sufficiency of young men and women, their nature not yet perverted by athleticism, who have the virtue to perceive and the grace to admit the aggravation of amativity that should in all cases accompany a holiday-but especially in the months of July and August and September-it is clearly desirable that knowledge of the preparatory strategy and preliminary tactics of a love-affair should be more generally diffused. For in spite of the growing easiness of manners and the diminishment of formality there are still many who find difficulty in accosting a stranger without embarrassment-which is more ruinous to love than great ugliness or a sour breath-and of these many, some, could they but cross with courtesy and determination the frontiers of non-acquaintance, would make gentle, trustworthy and pleasing companions.

How, then - with what passport, that is, or recognisable yet decent countersign - should these frontiers be approached?

With discretion, in the first place. Let there be some period of diligent yet concealed reconnaissance during which the active or approaching party may assure himself that the objective is truly desirable and not patently beyond his reach; that it is not ineradicably habituated to nourishment and entertainment outwith his financial resources; that it is not surrounded by lovers already too strongly entrenched to be dislodged within the duration of a summer holiday; that it is not indissolubly joined to an ailing parent or a bespectacled friend.

Having satisfied himself on these points, the approaching party should behave with fortitude and resolution: but fortitude in a mask of gaiety, resolution in a garment of ease. Let him smile, but not lickerishly or with too gaping an aspect. Let him speak clearly, but on some trivial subject, for many young women, though agreeable to all the senses, have no more intellect than a pullet, and like a pullet from a thundering blue charabanc will flee squawking from any word upon the impasse in Ethiopia, the harmonic resources of Hindemith, or the incoherence of the Zeitgeist. As introductory gambits or forcing bids for a sentimental friendship, topics such as these have only a limited appeal; they may serve in Bloomsbury, but in Arran or Dunoon a comment on the weather is more generally acceptable, while a well-timed reference to sea-bathing or ballroom-dancing will establish a reputation, not easily shaken, for fluency and savoir vivre.

In the manner of the suitor - as he has now become - there should be apparent a courteous inclination to humour and amuse the object of his suit. To a strong and primitive nature this may be tedious, but a modern holiday resort is generally too populous to permit the more urgent approach of Solutre and the mammoth-hunters. A self-doubting and timorous mind, on the other hand, will be tempted to exaggerate its complaisance, and show anxiety to please: a fault more mischievous than the ash-plant. A safe course between violent Scylla and fawning Charybdis may be found in some small and seemingly careless display of generosity, such as the purchase of wine or sweetmeats. Mr Norman Douglas has said that chocolate is "of no value as an endearment, an incentive working not upon body but upon mind; it generates, in those who relish it, a complacent and yielding disposition". Mr Nash, the American poet, debating as rival allies the cocoa-bean and the grape, has clearly observed, and in a memorable poem succinctly described, their social values:

Is dandy;
But liquor
Is quicker.

But celerity in coming to the goal of desire will not be over-estimated save by the fool, the vulgarian and the base disciple of efficiency. The wise man, the gentle and the ingenious, will rather recall with favour the pleasant verses of Ben Jonson's friend, Sir John Roe, who sang:

Dear love, continue nice and chaste,
For if you yield, you do me wrong;
Let duller wits to love's end haste,
I have enough to woo thee long.

And yet to woo by wit, for the long fourteen days of holiday, one-only chance-got littoral acquaintance, might muscle-bind invention, or dehydrate it, make it sinewy and dry; do not emulate the limpet, that is doomed by lack of vision to fidelity, and grows in time so weary of faithfulness it will change its sex. Rather recall the virtuosity of that musician who, playing but one tune, could play it to perfection on thirty-seven different instruments.

And that's all for now and I hope you and your families all have a great weekend :-)


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