Search just our sites by using our customised search engine

Unique Cottages | Electric Scotland's Classified Directory

Click here to get a Printer Friendly PageSmiley

Weekly Mailing List Archives
14th September 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
Scotland on TV
2007 Fall Colloquium at Uni of Guelph
The Flag in the Wind
The Scottish Nation
New Statistical Account of Scotland (1845)
Clan Donnachaidh (Robertson)
Poetry and Stories - lots to read :-)
Te Papa's NZ Scots exhibition
A History of Scotland, Civil and Ecclesiastical From the Earliest Times to the Death of David I., 1153 (new book)
Proceedings of the Scotch-Irish Fourth Congress at Atlanta
Good Words - Edited by the Rev Norman MacLeod
Mini Bio - George Leslie
Transactions of the Highland and Agricultural Society of Scotland in 1876
Book of Scottish Story
Reminiscences of Old Scots Folk
History of the County of Bruce (new book)

As we went through 11th September I reminded folk on our what's new page about "On this day in 2001 terrorists flew two planes into Twin Towers in New York City, causing both towers to collapse. Electric Scotland posted a memorial page which you might like to see again." at

I'd like to take this opportunity to congratulate Donna Flood on her 50th wedding anniversary celebrations. A grand landmark for anyone to celebrate. You can see her and her husband cutting the cake at

As Joe Hughes of STV is now back from paternity leave we've received his introduction which you'll find below. We're looking forward to bringing in news feeds onto the site so you can enjoy the wide range of shows. There are further developments afoot for October so lots more to come.

See below for details of the 2007 Fall Colloquium at Uni of Guelph which is usually a sell out event.

We moved back to our fast server over the weekend but I was horrifed to notice that for some reason our common borders had been removed from thousands of our web pages. Horrified because it took 4 days of hard work to get them back [sigh]. Should you notice any weird looking pages or dead links please let me know.

We hope to have a new email server and dns (Domain Name Server) in the next few weeks. Steve has not really been around much for the past 3 years so we've lost out on a load of new stuff. He tells me he's now back and ready to rock n roll so hopefully this means lots of new stuff will start appearing in the weeks ahead.

I'm also hoping to bring you something new and interesting within the Celtic Music scene.

I've managed to acquire a 2 volume publication of "Sketches of the Character, Manners and Present State of the Highlanders of Scotland with details of The Military Service of The Highland Regiments" by Major-General David Stewart published in 1825. I'll be working to get this up in the weeks ahead. It looks to be a really interesting book although it has a huge number of large footnotes but many of them are wee stories.

I've also acquired a 4 volume publication of "The History of Ulster: From the Earliest Times to the Present Day" by Ramsey Colles published in 1919. This should to a large extent complete the histories of the Scots-Irish that I've been working on for some time.

I've made a start at the History of the County of Bruce. This is the Bruce peninsula on Lake Huron where a large number of Scots settled for which see more below. In fact I've expanded this section to show my efforts at trying to get more up to date information so if you can help with this I'd appreciate it.

And on the subject of help, Scotland on TV are asking for any recommendations you might make for an expert in Scottish cookery, someone who is really passionate about passing on the traditions that they themselves were taught. If you know of someone, preferably within Scotland, then please write to them 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.

Scotland on TV
Visit their site at

Scotland on TV is getting well and truly stuck into the 'wee dram' again this week. We've been editing the second part of the series ‘the Making of Malt Whisky’ - this one is all about the process of ‘mashing’ where the malted barley is milled down and then added to piping hot spring water to convert the starch in the grains to sugar.

And we've got another classic episode of Weir’s Way. In this programme, the late Tom Weir visits the source of the River Clyde in Crawford, Lanarkshire and hears tales and myths about the Leadhills area and its residents.

And, as we’re all celebrating Scottish sport (and some nursing hangovers) following the national football team’s success in Paris (Scotland 1 - France 0), and the national rugby team’s great start in the 2007 World Cup, we've got a video about another Scottish victor, this time it’s Scottish Indianapolis 500 winner and series champion Dario Franchitti.

Now one last thing - we're looking for a bit of help! We want to locate an expert in Scottish cookery, someone who is really passionate about passing on the traditions that they themselves were taught. If you know of someone, preferably within Scotland, then please write to us at

------ is the website of stv (Scottish Television). We’re a constantly growing resource offering the best Scottish news, sports coverage, tv programming and coverage of entertainment in Scotland. Much more than just a web version of stv's broadcast output, we take the remit of stv’s broadcast arm - to focus on everything Scottish - and engage with it in the much broader way that being online allows.

So in the news section, you’ll find the latest scottish news, updated seven days a week from the team that brings you Scotland Today and North Tonight. We've got the latest headlines, in-depth coverage of Scotland's political scene and special features from our team of reporters. We've also got news blogs in video, a weekly news quiz and a selection of videos from our archives that you can watch online. brings you the bigger picture from Scotland.

The sporting side of Scotland is well catered for by our Sports section, with news from the top sporting Scots, close coverage of Scottish football teams in Europe, all the action from the Scottish Premier League and exclusive video interviews with dozens of players and managers every week. With the addition of brilliantly insightful sports columns and a whole section devoted to following the Rugby World Cup 2007, including live games and highlights from France, we think it’s as good as it gets for Scottish sport online.

As you would expect, our TV section contains exclusive content relating to all the programmes that we produce and broadcast, as well as archive footage from stv’s rich 50-year history, including exclusive video of The Beatles, Francie & Josie, Arthur Momford and Taggart, all in Scotland! One of the other highlights of the TV site that we strive to provide is the ability to rewatch our programmes, so you don’t even have to live in Scotland to enjoy all that stv has to offer!

In Entertainment, we work hard to produce the best online video content possible, and the result is that we currently house a massive archive of in-depth interviews with personalities ranging from the biggest American movie stars to the smallest unsigned Scottish indie bands, and every level inbetween. With over 100 interviews across our Music and Movies sections, as well as exclusive live performance videos, up-to-the minute film and music reviews and a weekly entertainment blog, there’s literally hours of content to find and devour.

And this summary hasn’t even touched on everything that’s available on, with competitions, games and constantly updated Scottish weather coverage just a few more of the elements on offer. To truly appreciate the wealth of Scottish content that contains, you’ll just have to come and check it out for yourself!

Joe Hughes

2007 Fall Colloquium at Uni of Guelph

Lecture by winner of the 2007 Frank Watson Prize for the best book in Scottish History, 2005-2006. Richard B. Sher (New Jersey Institute of Technology) The Enlightenment & the Book: Scottish Authors & Their Publishers in Eighteenth-Century Britain, Ireland & America (Chicago, 2006)

Inaugural Jill McKenzie Memorial Lecture to be given by Professor Christopher Whatley (University of Dundee) based on his new book examining the Union of 1707 on its 300th anniversary.

Dr Deborah A Symonds (Drake University) will speak on Crime and Body Snatching, a talk based on her recent book Notorious Murders, Black Lanterns and Moveable Goods: The transformation of Edinburgh's Underworld in the early nineteenth century.

Dr Linda Mahood (University of Guelph) - Disciplining juveniles in Victorian Scotland.

Dr John Kissick (University of Guelph) - An illustrated talk on the Murals of Belfast.

Dr Penelope Cole (University of Colorado, Boulder) - 'Joanna Bailie and the construction of Scottish national identity after Union'.

Talk by the 2006 Winner of the Edward Stewart Graduate Scholarship, Douglas Richmond.

Graduate Awards, News, Launch of International Review of Scottish Studies, Vol. 32 (2007)

Book Displays and Sales from Scottish Studies Collection and MORE…

(piping from 9:30am, talks start at 10am)
Fee: $35 for members of the Scottish Studies Foundation, $40 for non-members, $20 student rate
(Cheques payable to 'The University of Guelph'). LUNCH & REFRESHMENTS INCLUDED

To help with catering, please register in advance:
Scottish Studies
Department of History
University of Guelph
Guelph, Ontario, N1G 2W1
Tel: (519) 824 4120, ext 53209

This weeks Flag is compiled by Richard Thomson. This issue he is talking about Wendy Alexander taking over as the head the Labour Party in Scotland. There is also some detail on how the BBC are not investing in Scotland and making a real mess when it come to misleading facts they are presenting. As always an interesting read.

In Peter's cultural section he has an interesting range of quotations...

Johnny Beattie:

Call me an old square, but I like women to look feminine. They tend to dress down, which I think is unappealing.

Muriel Gray:

I don’t compromise beliefs – and I don’t suffer fools gladly.

Lorraine Kelly:

I’m delighted we’re scrapping that horribly cringe-making slogan that Scotland is the best small country in the world. There’s nothing small about Scotland. We’re all about big, beautiful scenery and giant intellects that invented the likes of penicillin, telephone and TV. We enjoy gigantic portions of grub and throw ourselves wholeheartedly into our football and rugby clubs. That slogan made us look like a lot of wee timorous beasties.

(On the SNP Scottish Government dropping the previous Labour/Liberal Democrat Executive slogan – Sunday Post 2 September 2007)

Sir Henry (Harry) McLennan Lauder (1870-1950):

I like a womanly woman. Nane o’ your walking sticks for Harry Lauder!

(Tickling Talks)

Sir Edward Montagu Compton Mackenzie (1883-1972):

Women do not find it difficult nowadays to behave like men; but they often find it extremely difficult to behave like gentlemen.

(On Moral Courage)

Mary Slessor ‘The Mother of All the People’ (1848-1915):

Give up your whole being to create music everywhere, in the light places and in the dark places, and your life will make melody.


Dame Muriel Spark (1918-2006):

It is impossible to persuade a man who does not disagree, but smiles.

You can read the Flag, listen to the Scots Language, enjoy the Scots Wit and lots more at

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

Now on the J's with Jack, James, Jameson and Jamesone

Here is how the account of James starts...

JAMES I., King of Scotland, one of the best of our old poets, the third son of Robert III., by Annabella Drummond, was born at Dunfermline in 1394. After the untimely and mysterious death of his elder brother, David, duke of Rothesay, King Robert resolved to send James to the court of France to complete his education, which had been begun under Walter Wardlaw, bishop of St. Andrews. Accordingly, in 1405, when only eleven years of age, the young prince sailed from his native country, under the care of the earl of Orkney, but his vessel being taken by an English squadron, in violation of a truce which at this time subsisted between England and Scotland, he was carried prisoner to the Tower of London, where he remained for two years, and was afterwards transferred to Windsor castle. Though kept in close confinement, he was instructed in every branch of knowledge which that age afforded, and became also eminently expert in all athletic exercises. He acquainted himself especially with the art of government, and made observations on the mode of administering justice, in a country which had been earlier civilized and was more advanced in the knowledge of law than the one he was destined to govern. His father having died of grief at his capture, his uncle, Albany, and after his death his son Murdoch, ruled as regent in his absence.

In 1421 Henry V. of England took James with him in his second expedition against France, in the hope of detaching the Scots auxiliaries from the French service; and on his return recommitted him to Windsor Castle. The captive monarch cheered the gloom of his prison by the consolations of philosophy and poetry, in the latter of which he excelled. He appears particularly to have studied the writings of Chaucer and Gower. At length, after a captivity of nearly nineteen years, he was restored, when in his 30th year, to his kingdom, by the duke of Bedford, then regent of England, and he returned to Scotland in April 1424, having espoused the Lady Joanna Beaufort, daughter of the duke of Somerset, of the blood royal of England. This lady was the fair beauty described in his choice poem of ‘The King’s Quhair,’ or Book, of whom he became enamoured on seeing her, from his window, walking in the royal gardens at Windsor castle, and who, he says, had

“Beauty enough to make a world to doat.”

Finding that the duke of Albany, and his son Murdoch, had alienated most of the royal possessions, and reduced the kingdom to a state of anarchy and lawless disorder, he caused the latter, with his two sons, and the aged earl of Lennox, to be executed as traitors, and their estates to be confiscated to the Crown. By the enactment in parliament of wise and judicious laws he endeavoured to curb the enormous power of the nobility, and to improve the condition of the people, which, while it rendered him popular with his subjects generally, drew upon him the hatred and indignation of his nobles, who had long acted beyond the control of the law. Besides appointing judges to administer and enforce the laws in every county, he ordered standard weights and measures to be made, encouraged learned men, erected public schools, which he liberally endowed, and finding the resources of the kingdom greatly diminished, and trade much neglected, he invited various manufacturers from Flanders, whom he liberally encouraged to settle in Scotland.

You can read the rest of this entry at

You can read the other entries at 

New Statistical Account of Scotland (1845)
Have made a start at this huge publication which will likely be with us for a few years. The first volume I am dealing with is the one on Aberdeen. There are some 85 parishes in this volume and a write up on each.

This week have added...

Parish of Auchterless at
Parish of Rathen at

Here is how the account of Rathen starts...

The parish of Rathen is said to be one of the most ancient in the county of Aberdeen, and at one time contained within its limits the greater part of the parish of Strichen, and a part of the parish of Fraserburgh. The church and teinds, it is said, were at an early period appropriated to the Cathedral of the diocese, the incumbent of the benefice becoming the stipendiary of that establishment, till its dissolution at the Reformation.

Extent, &c.—The parish is 3 miles distant from Fraserburgh, and extends upwards of two miles along the sea-coast betwixt that town and Peterhead; from thence it runs inland, in a south-west direction, to the extent of seven miles. The average breadth is 2 miles. There is a vein of limestone on the estate of Auchirus, yielding lime of excellent quality for building or manure, which is occupied by an industrious tenant, who has generally a great demand for the lime, chiefly for building.

The few plantations in this parish have made a rapid advance during the last fourteen or fifteen years, to which (it is the opinion of the writer of this report) the early seasons we have enjoyed since 1817, have not a little contributed, by the young shoots coming to a degree of maturity before winter. The north-west wind seems to be the most noxious in this district,—the few trees we have, when in exposed situations, being bended towards the south-east.

II.— Civil History.

Antiquities.—The few antiquities in this parish are, 1. A Druid temple on the estate of Cortes, from which that property is said to derive its name; Cortes meaning a circle in the Gaelic language. 2. The three cairns of Memsy, described in the former Statistical Report, one of which only now remains, is composed of small round stones; the cairn is about 60 feet in circumference at the base, and about 15 or 16 feet high. In the foundation of one of the former cairns, there was discovered an urn of peculiar shape, containing calcined bones. There were also found several human skulls, and a short sword with an iron handle. The latter, with the urn, were, a few years ago, presented to the Society of Antiquaries at Edinburgh, by Mr Gordon of Cairnbulg. The foundation of one of these cairns exhibits a large mass of vitrified matter, resembling what is found in vitrified forts. On a rising ground east of the church, there have been found at various times urns of different sizes, containing calcined bones. In one of these, a large boar's tusk was discovered about twelve years ago, which is now in the Museum of the Royal Society of Edinburgh.

You can read the rest of this account at

On the index page of this volume you can see a list of the 85 parishes and also a map at

Clan Donnachaidh
Our thanks to James Irvine Robertson for sending us in articles from the Clan Donnachaidh annual magazines of which he has been editor for some 10 years. You can see the collection of articles at

Got up additional articles this week including...

The Breadalbane Evictions
Balquhidder Surnames
Highland Curse

Here is how The Breadalbane Evictions starts...

As second Marquis, "the son of his father," contrary to all prognostications, became, as soon as expiring leases permitted it, an evicting landlord on a large scale, and he continued to pursue the policy of joining farm to farm, and turning out native people, to the end of his twenty-eight years' reign. But like the first spout of the haggis, his first spout of evicting energy was the hottest. I saw with childish sorrow, impotent wrath, and awful wonder at man's inhumanity to man, the harsh and sweeping Roro and Morenish clearances, and heard much talk about others which were said to be as bad if not worse. A comparison of the census returns for 1831 with those of 1861 will show how the second Marquis reduced the rural population on his large estates, while the inhabitants of certain villages were allowed, or, as at Aberfeldy, encouraged to increase. When such a loud and long-continued outcry took place about the Sutherland clearances, it seems at first sight strange. that such small notice was taken by the Press, authors, and contemporary politicians, of the Breadalbane evictions, and that the only set attack against the Marquis should have been left to the vainglorious, blundering, Dunkeld coal-merchant, who added the chief-like word "Dundonnachie" to his designation. One reason — perchance the chief one — for the Marquis's immunity was the prominent manner in which he associated himself with the Non-intrusionists, and his subsequently becoming an elder and a liberal benefactor of the Free Church. He had a Presbyterian upbringing and lived in accordance with that upbringing. His Free Church zeal may therefore have been as genuine as he wished it to be believed; but whether simply real or partly simulated, it covered as with a saintly cloak his eviction proceedings in the eyes of those who would have been his loud denouncers and scourging critics had he been an Episcopalian or remained in the Church of Scotland. The people he evicted, and all of us, young and old, who were witnesses of the clearances, could not give him much credit for any good in what seemed to us the purely hard and commercial spirit of the policy which he carried out as the owner of a princely Highland property. Such of the witnesses of the clearances as have lived to see the present desolation of rural baronies on`the Breadalbane estates can now charitably assume that had he foreseen what his land-management policy was to lead up to, he would, at least, have gone about his thinning out business in a more cautious, kindly, and considerate manner, and not rudely cut, as he did, the precious ties of hereditary mutual sympathy and reliance which had long existed between the lords and the native Highland people of Breadalbane.

You can read the rest of this entry at

Poems and Stories
Added an article about Scottish Highland Games Heavy Athletics by Heather Walker at

Donna sent in a poem, The Harder You Work at

John sent in Chapter 60 of his Recounting Blessings series at

Donna sent in a Journal entry, Special People, Special Places at

More from Donna with a poem, Rain, at

Added a short obituary on Robert Hay Carnie, Professor Emeritus at

Donna sent in two H-Factor recipes...

Beet, Corn Two Bean, Salad at
and Cold Fruit at

John sent in a doggerel, Simmer Campin, at

Donna sent in a journal entry, Friends vs Native Friends at

Te Papa's NZ Scots exhibition
Added a wee article and pictures about the exhibition.

Around fifty per cent of New Zealanders can claim some Scottish ancestry so Te Papa is expecting lots of visitors to their latest exhibition.

‘The Scots in New Zealand’ exhibition opened today (18th Aug 2007) and it highlights the contribution of kilted kiwis.

The Scottish were one of the biggest immigrant streams to New Zealand and with a recent flurry of interest among descendents and academics, Te Papa has launched a two and a half year exhibition on the Scots.

The Scots’ contribution to New Zealand has been so far reaching from engineering, education, agriculture and architecture – it has been difficult to select what to exhibit.

Over the next few months, the exhibition will be brought to life with Scottish games, dancing and of course the pipes.

You can read more of this exhibition and see some pictures kindly sent in by Philipp Fahr and Tanja Bueltmann at

A History of Scotland, Civil and Ecclesiastical From the Earliest Times to the Death of David I., 1153
by Duncan Keith (1886).

Like the book I mentioned last week I had acquired this 2 volume set to post up on the site to find that when I went to start on it someone else had beat me to it. And so I have managed to acquite a .pdf file of both volumes so you can read them here.

Here is what the preface has to say...

The object of the author in bringing this work before the public is to present in a popular form the history and state of the people of Scotland during a period little known to any but students of archaeology. Modern historians, with the exception of Dr Skene, have passed lightly over it, stating what is true enough, that there are no reliable facts to chronicle. But there is a growing love for the investigation of the mythological and legendary history of peoples other than the Hebrew, Greek and Roman, a feeling that present enigmas may be solved, and present duties enforced by such an investigation. The study of the mythology and legends of the peoples named, forms an integral part of the education even of the young: why should we neglect our own ancestors, the Celt and the Teuton? The boy is father to the man— if at the present day we receive with reverence or rapture the childish records of the great names in Literature and Art, why should we not treasure up all that remains of the forefathers who gave us the rude outline of our present institutions in Church and State?

While making free use of modern works, the author has taken his facts entirely from the earliest authorities, and has based his inferences on these facts and on these alone. He trusts that his readers will treat his work as an honest attempt to bring before them an important period in our National History, little known and less thought of.

While the .pdf files are large they are worth the download as you'll then have an entire book to read. The volumes can be found at...

Volume I - Civil (.pdf) 30.5Mb at

Volume II - Ecclesiastical (.pdf) 36.8Mb at

Commemorative Biographical Record of the County of Kent, Ontario.
Kindly typed in for us by Nola Crewe

I have added two more biographies this week on...

McGregor, Henry at
McKerrall, Peter at

Proceedings of the Scotch-Irish Fourth Congress at Atlanta, GA., April 28 to May 1, 1892
Have now completed this volume with a list of members of the Society in which there are many small bios and likely makes this an excellent genealogy resource.

Here are just a very few of the entries...

Adams, Adam Gillespie, Nashville, Tenn. Born near Strabane, County Tyrone, Ireland, July 12, 1820, at the old homestead, owned by his ancestors for several generations; his father, David Adams, married Jane Gillespie; both born in Ireland; were members of the Presbyterian Church; his mother was a woman of decided piety, and exercised a marked influence over her children, especially over the subject of this notice; Mr. Adams's first wife, Susan Porterfield, died two years after marriage, and he afterward married Mary Jane Strickler, a woman of marked piety, as was her mother, Sarah Eakin Strickler; Mrs. Adams is still living; also seven of their eight children; Mr. Adams got his business training in Strabane, and at the age of nineteen arrived in Nashville, and has continued there since as a wholesale dry goods and shoe merchant, and is now President of the Equitable Fire Insurance Company; elder in the Presbyterian Church, and superintendent of its Sabbath-schools since 1843; Chairman of the Presbyterian Committee on Sabbath-schools; President of the Board of Directors of Ward's Presbyterian Seminary for young Ladies; Chairman of the Committee of Reception and member of the Board of Directors of the Nashville Centennial Commission; President and Secretary of various turnpikes; Secretary and Treasurer of the John M. Hill fund of the First Presbyterian Church; Treasurer of the Nashville Bible Society since 1854, and Vice-president for Tennessee in the Scotch-Irish Society of America; the First Presbyterian Church lately established a mission Church and Sabbath-school in the north-western part of Nashville, which is called after his name.

Alexander, William Henry, Box 303, Omaha, Neb. Born at Lisbon, New London County, Conn.; father, Harvey G. Alexander; grandfather, James Alexander; great-grandfather, Joseph Alexander; great-great-grandfather, James Alexander, was one of the founders of Londondery, William Henry coming over from north of Ireland about 1720; Surveyor of United States Customs, Omaha, Neb.; taught school in Connecticut for throe years; left there when twenty-two for the West; superintendent agencies Whitney & Holmes Organ Company eight years, Quincy, Ill.; Alderman two years in Omaha; President Board of Trustees First Congregational Church, Omaha.

Bonner, Robert, No. 8 West Fifty-sixth Street, New York City. President and life member of the Scotch-Irish Society of America; born at Londonderry, Ireland, April 24, 1824; came to the United States in 1839; editor of the New York Ledger from 1851 until recently. See Appleton's "Cyclopedia of American Biography," Vol. I., page 313.

Barr, William Patrick, Jacksonville, Morgan County, Ill. Born in Wilson County, Tenn.; his father, Rev. Hugh Barr, moved from Wilson to Sumner County, Tenn.; from Tennessee to Alabama in 1820, and from there to Illinois in 1835; his grandfather was Patrick Barr; mother, Katherine Hodge; grandfather, Joseph Hodge; all from North Carolina; Mayor of Jacksonville and Trustee of Illinois Institution for Deaf and Dumb.

Blackwood, Rev. William, D.D., LL.D., 1022 Belvidere Terrace, Baltimore, Md., and 1149 South Broad Street, Philadelphia, Pa. Born at Dromard, County Down, Ireland; son of Samuel and Agnes Blackwood, both Scotch-Irish; besides being a land-holder, his father was extensively engaged in the linen trade, and for sixty years was ruling elder in his native congregation; ordained by the Presbytery of Belfast on February 17, 1835, to the pastoral charge of Holywood, near Belfast; in 1843 was removed to Newcastle on Tyne, in the North of England; there built Trinity Presbyterian Church, and because of that and other services was raised to the Moderator's chair of the Synod, the supreme judicatory of the English Church; in 1850 was settled in the First Presbyterian Church, Philadelphia; after forty years labor in that charge, demitted the pastorate, and now holds the position of Pastor Emeritus.

Breckinridge, William C. P., Lexington, Ky. Born in Baltimore, Md.; son of Robert Jefferson Breckinridge and Ann Sophonisba Preston; grandson of John Breckinridge and Mary Hopkins Cabell; great-grandson of Robert Breckinridge and Lettice Preston; Robert Breckinridge, son of Alexander Breckinridge, an emigrant from Ireland; Lettice Preston, daughter of John Preston, an emigrant from Ireland; Alexander Breckinridge was descended from the Breckinridges of Ayrshire, Scotland; John Preston from a soldier of Londonderry; Mary Hopkins Cabell was the daughter of Joseph Cabell and Elizabeth Hopkins; Joseph Cabell was the son of Dr. William Cabell, an immigrant from England; Elizabeth Hopkins was the daughter of Dr. Arthur Hopkins, an immigrant from Ireland; grandson of Francis Preston and Sarah Buchanan Campbell; great-grandson of William Preston and Susanna Smith; William Preston was the brother of Lettice Preston and son of John Preston; Sarah Buchanan Campbell was the daughter of William Campbell and Elizabeth Henry; William, Campbell was descended from the Campbells and Buchanans of' Scotland; Elizabeth Henry was the sister of Patrick Henry and the daughter of the emigrant John Henry, of Aberdeen, Scotland, and Sarah Winston; lawyer; colonel of cavalry C. S. A.; Member of Congress from Kentucky.

I also added a final "In Memorial" article on Hon. William E. Robinson, Brooklyn at

You can get to the index page of this volume and read the other entries and List of Members at

Mini Bios
After the last newsletter went out asking for any mini bios I received one on the Descendants of George Leslie, of Drumbarrow 1st Laird Aikenway from Barrie Leslie in New Zealand who provided a 30 or so page .pdf file of his researches. Here is what he had to say in his email to me...

I am one of the few Leslie families who can trace there line back to Bartolf, Progenitor of Clan Leslie. It also included family who went to Canada and the USA.

At the moment I am working on proving the Hungarian basis to Clan Leslie and the link to the Court of the Grand Duke of Kiev and the wife of Edgar Atheling, the King of England usurped by William the conqueror.

In fact the Leslie who started the fur trading company, Patton Leslie & Co, based in Florida when Spain was in control of Florida etc, is also included in the Aikenway family.

Even the late Ian 21st Earl of Rothes was amazed at the work that had been done.

You can read his page and get to his .pdf file at

And I might add I got the wrong name up which is why the file is leslie_david but now corrected in the text :-)

Good Words - 1860 Edition
Edited by Rev. Norman MacLeod

You should note that as this is a weekly publication you'll find larger articles are continued week by week.

This week have added articles on...

A Journey by Sinai to Syria (Pages 81-84)
Popular Misapplication of Scripture (Pages 84-86)
The Power of Prayer (Pages 86-87)
Do not Err from the Truth (Pages 87-88)
Lady Somerville's Maidens (Pages 89-92)
Sonnet (Page 92)
Lessons for Young Men (Pages 92-95)

Here is the Sonnet for you to read here...


O Scotland, thou art full of holy ground!
From every glen I hear a prophet preach;
Thy sods are voiceful. No gray hook can teach,
Like the green grass that swathes a martyr's mound.
And here, where Nith's clear mountain waters flow,
With murmurous sweep, round Sanquhar's hoary tower,
The place constrains me, and with sacred power,
What Scotland is to Scottish men I know.
Here first the youthful hero preacher [James Renwick] raised
The public banner of a nation's creed:
Far o'er the land the spoken virtue blazed,
But he who dared to voice the truth must bleed.
Men call'd it rash: perhaps it was a crime—
His deed flash'd out God's will, an hour before the time.

9th May 1858. B.

You can also read about the "youthful hero preacher" James Renwick at

You can read the other articles at

Transactions of the Highland and Agricultural Society of Scotland
Am adding a variety of articles from this publication and this week have included...

Reports on the disease of the potato crop in Scotland for 1846
(This is but a few of the many reports published in this report.)

On the Agriculture of the Counties of Edinburgh and Linlithgow

Both of these articles are substancial ones and certainly the account on the Agriculture of the Counties of Edinburgh and Linlithgow will provide a marvellous insight into farming in those counties.

As the potato famine was such a significant event at this time in both Ireland and Scotland I thought I'd give you a flavour of what was being found at that time with two accounts selected from the others in the article...

The Highland and Agricultural Society of Scotland, with the view of ascertaining the state of the potato crop last year, again issued a series of Queries similar to those circulated among the agriculturists of Scotland in 1845. The results of the investigation are now given in the form of Reports from various parts of the country, including districts which had escaped the disease in 1845. The Queries sent will be found in the previous Report, and it is needless to repeat them here. It does not appear necessary to enter into an analysis of the Reports, as the results in most instances correspond with those of 1845.


No. 1. - Mr John Hutchison, Monyruy, near Peterhead, 19th Dec. 1846.

I have this season to give quite a different report from last year; as, instead of never having seen the disease in this quarter, I cannot now hear of a single instance within many miles, where the potatoes have escaped.

On the 3d of August, I first noticed the leaves of a few potatoes affected; nothing could then be seen on the tubers. I put two men to cut off the leaves of about one-third of the crop. On my return from Aberdeen that week, I found the tops of all the others gone, and a few of the potatoes affected. The disease spread very fast after that for at least a fortnight; when it seemed to stop. The tubers did not grow after the tops were smitten; and most of the diseased ones were close to the stem, or near the surface. There might be one-fourth to one-fifth of the tubers left usable ; these not mealy, but waxy. The purple cluster was most affected. No potatoes that I have heard of being raised and pitted, have kept a week - all have gone. Most people here have left their potatoes in the ground undug all winter, by which means it is expected they will have a few in spring. I have dug mine daily (until the late snow), without much difference on them for months. I have also planted from one and a half to two acres, which I have examined several times, and they appear to be keeping well; they were carefully picked.

The half-bad potatoes I made into fine potato starch. I had some of all my different sorts planted, without any dung, purposely for seed next year, on poor dry land dug out of grass; and these were all smitten the same as the others ; most of them not being earthed up, and being nearer the surface, were worse. I had, however, a number of recent seedlings among them, one of which in particular was nearly safe in the tubers, the stems having decayed, and it seems to have been more hardy than the others. My early garden potatoes were ripe, and dug before the disease appeared—quite sound and of fine quality; they were put on the surface of the ground to green, but decayed faster than any other; not one was saved.

It would appear to me the disease came from the atmosphere: the weather at the time was dry, very warm, frequent fogs, especially during the night, with a great deal of electricity in the air.


No. 12. - Mr Henderson, younger, of Stemster, Thurso, 2d January 1847.

Up to the beginning of August, the potatoes appeared everywhere more luxuriant and healthy than usual; but about that date, the disease, which was formerly unknown here, was observed on the eastern side of the county, whence it extended to the west coast; many parts of the interior not having been affected for at least a fortnight later. The leaves presented the scorched and blackened appearance usually caused by severe frost, but with this difference, that spots often not much over a yard in diameter were affected, and in some cases the leaves and stems quite withered, before the disease extended to the other portions of the field, which it did most gradually. On removing the skin, brownish coloured spots were found on the tubers, which soon extended, and they became entirely rotten. This, however, was not the case with all the tubers of each plant, some of them remaining sound ; though, from the stems being injured at such an early period of the season, they were soft and small in size, unless where the potatoes had been planted very early.

No variety appeared to escape the disease, though some were less affected than others. Of these may be mentioned the black kidney, and some of the coarser kinds commonly grown for cattle, horses, and pigs. A bed of seedlings, not in the immediate vicinity of any other potatoes, were the first observed affected in this district of the county. Any particular condition of the soil or kind of manure was not observed to influence the disease.

The mode of preserving the potatoes, which has been most generally adopted, is leaving them in the fields with some additional earth heaped over them, to protect them from the action of the weather, which, as they are not grown in large quantities, and as the ground was not required for the winter-sowing of any crop, was perfectly convenient, and at the same time prevented the rotting or rotten potatoes from infecting the sound. In some eases where a small quantity had been pitted in the usual manner with a light covering of earth, they were soon afterwards found a putrid mass; which, however, may have been caused in part by their unripe state, as the disease made little or no progress after the stems were destroyed.

It is deserving of remark, that about the middle of October fresh leaves were in some cases observed to appear on the stems which were not entirely withered; and in one part of the bed of seedlings already mentioned, a bunch of fresh stems came up, and grew to about the height of eight inches, whilst potatoes of a small size were formed at the roots. These facts, with others which have been noticed, would tend to strengthen the opinion that the disease is not inherent in the plant, but has been caused by external agency, probably atmospheric.

You can read the rest of this account at

The other article is also substantial and here is a bit from the Introduction...

The agriculture of the Lothians already possesses a considerable literature, especially the county of Haddington, which has often formed the subject of essays, reports, and reviews. In the present paper it is our intention to describe the agriculture of Mid and West Lothian, which are embraced in the counties of Edinburgh and Linlithgow. The two Lothians under consideration lie side by side, and on the north are washed by the waters of the estuary of the river Forth. They are therefore situated in the eastern part of the southern division of Scotland. The figure of Edinburgh proximates closely to that of a half moon, resembling, on a coloured map, the outstretched wings of a butterfly. Its extreme length from east to west is about 36 miles, and its breadth from north to south about 24 miles. The superficial area was computed by the authors of " Caledonia," and of the "Agricultural Survey of Mid-Lothian," at 229,120 and 227,832 imperial acres respectively; but more recently it has been ascertained on reliable authority, that the area is 367 square miles, or 234,926 statute acres. Mid-Lothian lies between 55° 39' 30" and 55° 59' 20" north latitude, and between 2° 52' and 3° 45' 10" longitude west from Greenwich. The shire containsforty-eight quoad civilia parishes and part of two others. The county throughout presents a striking scene of industry, not only in an agricultural point of view, but also with respect to mining and other profitable resources. Though it cannot lay claim to high mountains, like the lofty Ben Nevis or the majestic Ben Lomond, yet it is not entirely destitute of mountain chains of an inferior order. Most prominent are the Pentland Hills, which appear in continuous and parallel ranges from Peeblesshire, on the south, and sweep along the centre of the county, rising in Cairnhill to upwards of 1800 feet above sea-level. In the east are the Muirfoot Hills, which are a continuation of the Lammer-muir Hills. About one-third of the entire extent may be estimated as the proportion inaccessible to the plough. This lies chiefly in the south and south-east parts of the county, and produces sweet and healthy herbage, which supports large flocks of sheep. In the north and west, the land, although diversified by rising grounds and gently undulating eminences, is mostly capable of cultivation, and produces a variety of crops which tend to bring credit to the farmer, to enrich the agricultural district, and beautify the far-extending prospect.

You can read the rest of this at

You can get to the other articles at

Book of Scottish Story
Kindly sent in to us by John Henderson

The Book of Scottish Story
Historical, Humorous, Legendary, Imaginative
by Standard Scottish Writers Published by Thomas D. Morison, 1896

This week we have the story of "The Sutor of Selkirk: a Remarkably True Story" from "The Odd Volume" and here is how it starts...

Once upon a lime, there lived in Selkirk a shoemaker, by name Rabbie Heckspeckle, who was celebrated both for dexterity in his trade, and for some other qualifications of a less profitable nature. Rabbie was a thin, meagre-looking personage, with lank black hair, a cadaverous countenance, and a long, flexible, secret-smelling nose. In short, he was the Paul Pry of the town. Not an old wife in the parish could buy a new scarlet rokclay without Rabbie knowing within a groat of the cost; the doctor could not dine with the minister but Rabbie could tell whether sheep's-head or haggis formed the staple commodity of the repast; and it was even said that he was acquainted with the grunt of every sow, and the cackle of every individual hen, in his neighbourhood; but this wants confirmation. His wife, Bridget, endeavoured to confine his excursive fancy, and to chain him down to his awl, reminding him it was all they had to depend on ; but her interference met with exactly that degree of attention which husbands usually bestow on the advice tendered by their better halves—that is to say, Rabbie informed her that she knew nothing of the matter, that her understanding required stretching, and finally, that if she presumed to meddle in his affairs, he would be under the disagreeable necessity of giving her a top-dressing.

To secure the necessary leisure for his researches, Rabbie was in the habit of rising to his work long before the dawn ; and he was one morning busily engaged putting the finishing stitches to a pair of shoes for the exciseman, when the door of his dwelling, which he thought was carefully fastened, was suddenly opened, and a tall figure, enveloped in a large black cloak, and with a broad-brimmed hat drawn over his brows, stalked into the shop. Rabbie stared at his visitor, wondering what could have occasioned this early call, and wondering still more that a stranger should have arrived in the town without his knowledge.

"You're early afoot, sir," quoth Rabbie. "Lucky Wakerife's cock will no craw for a good half hour yet."

The stranger vouchsafed no reply; but taking up one of the shoes Rabbie had just finished, deliberately put it on, and took a turn through the room to ascertain that it did not pinch his extremities. During these operations, Rabbie kept a watchful eye on his customer.

"He smells awfully o' yird," muttered Rabbie to himself; "ane would be ready to swear he had just cam frae the plough-tail."

The stranger, who appeared to be satisfied with the effect of the experiment, motioned to Rabbie for the other shoe, and pulled out a purse for the purpose of paying for his purchase ; but Rabbie's surprise may be conceived, when, on looking at the purse, he perceived it to be spotted with a kind of earthy mould.

"Gudesake," thought Rabbie, "this queer man maun hae howkit that purse out o' the ground. I wonder where he got it. Some folk say there are dags o' siller buried near this town."

By this time the stranger had opened the purse, and as he did so, a toad and a beetle fell on the ground, and a large worm crawling out wound itself round his finger. Rabbie's eyes widened; but the stranger, with an air of nonchalance, tendered him a piece of gold, and made signs for the other shoe.

"It's a thing morally impossible," responded Rabbie to this mute proposal. "Mair by token, that I hae as good as sworn to the exciseman to hae them ready by daylight, which will no be long o' coming" (the stranger here looked anxiously towards the window); "and better, I tell you, to affront the king himsel, than the exciseman."

The stranger gave a loud stamp with his shod foot, but Rabbie stuck to his point, offering, however, to have a pair ready for his new customer in twenty-four hours; and, as the stranger, justly enough perhaps, reasoned that half a pair of shoes was of as little use as half a pair of scissors, he found himself obliged to come to terms, and seating himself on Rabbie's three-legged stool, held out his leg to the Sutor, who, kneeling down, took the foot of his taciturn customer on his knee, and proceeded to measure it.

You can read the rest of this story at

The index page of the book where you can read the other stories is at

Reminiscences of Old Scots Folk
By T. Ratcliffe Barnett (1913)

I might add there are a number of interesting wee colour pictures in this publication. As it says in the book title...


Stories added this week are...

Chapter VIII
Providence and the Press-Gang
Chapter IX
Bridal in the Lammermoors
Chapter X
The Blind Gangrel
Chapter XI
Lady Hungry and the Kain Hens
Chapter XII
The Last of the Old Scots Burial Customs

Here is how "The Last of the Old Scots Burial Customs" starts...

JUST AS OUR FOREBEARS HAD THEIR own peculiar rites and customs at weddings and christenings, so when it came to the hinderend of all things, they had their strange ways at death. The stopping of the wag-at-the-wa' clock whenever the spirit had fled, to mind the company that for their dead friend at least all time was done; the laying of a plateful of salt on the body to preserve it; the opening of the door to let the spirit go its way to a better world; the burying of the boots to keep the ghost from walking—all these and many more weird habits of death were observed by the old Scots folk of long ago. And in many a back-lying parish or distant island round the coasts of Scotland you will find these dark ways in vogue to this very day.

But there is one weird death ceremony that is still observed in the old seaport town and in quiet country places. Dwellers in cities and those who have been born and bred in places whose roots of tradition do not reach away back into the past may never have heard of it. But still it lingers with us, and the very folk who observe it have not enough knowledge of ancient things to know the purely secular origin of its religious latter-day significance.

It is the ceremony of Chesting the Dead.

You can read the rest of this story at

You can get to the index page where you'll find the other stories to read at

The History of Bruce County
By Norman Robertson, published in 1906

Many months ago I published the book "The McGregors" A Novel of an Ontario Pioneer Family By Robert Laidlaw which you can read at

The book was based on the authors recollections of his life in Bruce County and the stories told by his parents and grandparents. I had wanted to put up a history of a county in Canada that showed in the history the life of Scots settlers and other ethnic groups and how they settled the lands and built their communities, towns and villages and developed agriculture and industry. I felt that this history does this in fine style and why it was selected. I had already done a similar work on Ryegate in Vermont which can be read at

I did contact by email the tourism and economic development folk in Bruce County to see if they'd like to furnish some up to date information on the County but so far have yet to hear back from any of the 30 or so people I emailed. Should any of them come back to me with any additional information I'll add it to the book. I will say that not getting back to me is not a problem as I do find local tourism and economic development people from all over the world generally do not respond to these emails despite the benefits that would naturally devolve to them if they had got involved.

I thought it might be intereting for you to read the email I sent out to them which is much like others I have sent to other areas that we've featured on the site....

Hello.... I'm about to launch the book "History of Bruce County" by Norman Robertson published in 1906 at

The site in the next month will get some 1.2 million visitors so this is an opportunity for you to capitalise on this book launch. The book will go up shortly and several chapters will be added each week until the book is complete.

I regret to say that most tourism and economic development offices around the world don't have any vision on how to capitalise on such exposure on the web but in the hope that you might want to get involved I am offering you the opportunity to...

1. Send in colour pictures of the County of today to add to the various chapters.
2. Send in old pictures of the County to add to the various chapters.
3. Send in an article highlighting tourism opportunities in the county/towns today.
4. Send in an article about economic opportunities in the county/towns today.
5. Send in any particular web urls where people can explore more about the area.
6. Send in any additional information that you feel would contribute to the information on the county.

As the book will be indexed on Google and other search engines any search for "County of Bruce" and the various towns and villages will eventually provide a link to this book. is a site devoted to the history of Scotland, Scots and people and places of Scots descent. The reason this history was selected is due to the high number of Scots in the county. I wanted to illustrate how Scots settled in an area of Canada and how they integrated with other ethnic groups to develop that area into what it is today.

I have on the site the book, "The McGregors", a Novel of an Ontario Pioneer Family by Robert Laidlaw. It was this book that got me interested in the County of Bruce. I was given permission to publish this book by the authors daughter (Alice Munro). The novel can be read at

In the author's Preface he says...

"This book is dedicated to the courteous, friendly people who lived in the area described herein during the 1930s and the 1940s. My purpose in writing the book was to give a partial history of this part of South Bruce and North Huron counties through an imaginary account of a man’s life from the 1850s to the 1920s. The names of the characters were chosen at random and have no connection with any real persons, living or dead; the village is a combination of Lucknow and of Blyth where I grew up.

I have tried to give an account of what it must have been like for the first settlers, of how they lived and worked and what they worked with. As the book progressed I was able to rely on my own memories and impressions, but the early pages are largely based on memories of conversations with parents and grandparents. Nothing much has been written of the history of this area as yet and I think it is important to make a record before the lives of these people have been forgotten. If reading The McGregors gives pleasure to a few, that is all the recompense I ask.

Thanks are due to my wife, Mary Etta, who corrected my spelling, and to my daughter, Alice Munro, without whose encouragement this book would not have been written."

Many people have difficulty in understanding the process of settlement and how ethnic groups made a contribution to their new community and I felt that the "History of the County of Bruce" did an outstanding job of explaining this process.

The whole book has already been ocr'd onto the web site and it just remains to activate the links to each chapter.

There is no limit to the information you and the citizens of the County of Bruce can contribute. For example individual towns may wish to add additional information to bring the history up to date, contribute some old and new pictures, add biographies, etc. While I am looking for some up to date pictures as quickly as possible information can be sent in at any time and also after the book is on the web.

I should add that the web site is being left to the University of Guelph and so it will eventually reside on the McLaughlin library computers at the University and be run by the Scottish Studies Dept. Given that the Scottish Studies Dept. is the only place in North America that you can study for a Doctorate or Masters in Scottish Studies it is most appropriate that the site will reside there and be available to future generations. Equally the Scottish Collection at the McLaughlin Library is already recognised as a "Collection of National Importance" by the Government of Canada. With over 150,000 web pages already on the site, is already the largest Scottish history site on the web.

There is no charge to you for providing any additional information other than your time.

I have taken the liberty of cc'ing this email to a number of contacts that I have found on various web sites to do with the community.

I hope you will decide to help with this project and I look forward to hearing from you.

Kind regards


And so that's the email I sent and as mentioned it is a typical email I do send to any area where I am featuring them on the site usually through publishing a book on the area. I really can't understand why people don't take this as an opportunity to help promote their area but the fact is they don't. Such emails have been sent to people in Scotland, Canada, USA, Australia, New Zealand and other countries and rarely do I get a response. In fact I think the only response I ever got was from New Zealand.

Should you know anyone in the County of Bruce feel free to copy and paste the message into an email to them and perhaps they can be of help in getting some additional information and I'd certainly appreciate any help you can give :-)

Anyway enough of that.... Here is what the author has to say in the Preface of the book...

As the numbers became reduced of those who had entered the county of Bruce as its first settlers, a desire prevailed that, ere it was too late, an attempt be made to gather from their lips the story of the pioneer days; as this, with an accurate narrative of the early evolution of Bruce, must be obtained, if ever, before those who had been the active participants had passed away. In the preface to the Atlas of the County, published by H. Belden & Co., in 1880, is to be found the first effort made in this direction. This Atlas, however, was an expensive volume, and is in the possession of but few, and the historical sketch contained therein is but little known. In 1896 the County Council offered a prize of $50 for the best paper on the history of the county. In response to this, two papers were submitted, one written by John McNabb, the other by the author of this volume. Both of these papers were considered to possess such merit that the Council offered to give to each of the writers the prize offered, provided that two additional chapters be written — one on the Schools of Bruce, and the other on the Militia and Volunteers of the County. These two chapters were supplied by the writer. After paying the promised reward, the County Council let matters rest, taking no steps to publish the manuscripts submitted. From the foregoing it may be seen that a knowledge of any historical facts relating to the county has been largely confined to the recollections of the oldest inhabitants, and to them only.

The two historical sketches above referred to were prepared along different lines. Mr. McNabb wrote largely of the history of the several minor municipalities. The other sketch was a continuous historical narrative of the county as a whole. Perceiving that each form possessed merits the other had not, and thinking that a larger work combining these two forms would cover every historical feature necessary to be recorded, the writer suggested to Mr. McNabb a compilation of the two narratives. Nothing, however, was done to carry out the suggestion. After thinking it over for two or three years, the author resolved to start do novo and write a History of the County of Bruce along the line spoken of above. Putting both of the above papers aside, work in the way of gathering necessary material was commenced. It was not long before the author became aware that he had not commenced a day too soon. Death was very busy among the old pioneers, and in a short time he would have been too late. During the past eight years scores of old settlers have been personally interviewed; those who are no longer residents of the county have been corresponded with; the records of the county offices at Walkerton and Goderich have been searched, and also those of many of the minor municipalities. Various Government Departments at Ottawa and Toronto have, on application, supplied documents full of interesting historical facts. The libraries of Parliament have also furnished a quota of information. Piles of old newspapers have been closely scanned, and no stone has been left unturned to secure material for a full and accurate history of the county and of the minor municipalities therein.

The first eleven chapters of this work refer to the county at large. Then follow twenty-seven chapters, each of which deals with a separate minor municipality. This method may have resulted in some repetition, but only where for the sake of the narrative it has been unavoidable, which, under the circumstances, the reader is asked to excuse.

I now have the first 5 chapters up which include...

The Surrender of the Indian Title
The Queen's Bush
The Pioneers, 1831-1849
The Infant County, 1850-1856
The Settlement of the County, 1850-1856

Which you can see at

And that's all for now and hope you all have a good weekend :-)


With Electric Scotland's new site design it is now possible for you to advertise your company on all 150,000+ pages of our site. Email address and contact information can be found at 

You can see old issues of this newsletter at 

For only $10.00 per year you can have your own email account with both POP3 and Web Access. For more details see 

To manage your subscription or unsubscribe visit and select "Manage Subscriptions" at the foot of the Application box.

Return to Weekly Mailing List Archives


This comment system requires you to be logged in through either a Disqus account or an account you already have with Google, Twitter, Facebook or Yahoo. In the event you don't have an account with any of these companies then you can create an account with Disqus. All comments are moderated so they won't display until the moderator has approved your comment.

comments powered by Disqus