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22nd May 2009

Alastair McIntyreElectric Scotland's Weekly Email Newsletter

Electric Scotland - The No.1 Scottish History Site The Aois Community brings you message forums and lots of community services
Electric Scotland's Article Service where you can add your own stories and articles  Send a postcard from our ScotCards service


Dear Friend

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. In the event the link is not clickable simply copy and paste the link into your browser.

See our Calendar of Scottish Events around the world and add your own at

Electric Scotland News
The Flag in the Wind
Clan and Family Information
Poetry and Stories
Book of Scottish Story
The Concise Household Encyclopaedia
The Writings of John Muir
Fraser's Scottish Annual
Robert Burns Lives!
Among the Forrest Trees
Alberta, Past and Present, Historical and Biographical
The Scottish Church
Inverness-Shire, Parish by Parish
Grazing and Agrestic Customs of the Outer Hebrides (New Book)

Our new advertiser, FamilyTreeDNA, have sent in an overview of their services...

DNA testing has revolutionised the world of family history during the past decade, and the links within surnames and between them become clearer day by day. As more and more DNA results are gathered by ordinary genealogists of Scottish origin around the world, what we’re finding is changing our understanding of how Scottish surnames were formed and how they relate to each other.

Family Tree DNA (FTDNA) is the leading genetics firm in the world that offers DNA tests specifically designed to help genealogists to uncover new family connections. We've been in business since 2000 and over the last decade our academic lab partner has processed more than 500,000 DNA test kits submitted by researchers from more than eighty countries.

As the #1 choice of the vast majority of genealogists worldwide, we host dozens of surname projects for Scottish-origin surnames. If you want to use DNA testing to discover new relations sharing your surname, the FTDNA surname project for your name is the best place to look.

We offer a wide range of genealogical DNA tests, but the two of most importance to family historians are the Y-chromosome test, which will give you a DNA reading of your direct male line, and the mitochondrial DNA test, which gives a DNA reading of your direct maternal line.

It’s important to realise that the actual test result you get back from us, or from any other company, isn't an answer in itself to your genealogical query. The value contained within your result only becomes visible to you when you compare it with the results of everyone else who's taken a test. Put simply, you stand the best chance of finding a genetic match with someone else by choosing FTDNA as our database of results is larger than any other company’s by a factor of five to ten.
While we’re based in the USA, we are the only recreational genetics firm working directly to help genealogists which meets the EU's data protection and privacy requirements. Testing with FTDNA, you're in safe hands!

I might add that I used this company myself over a year ago to get my DNA done and they have been recognised as the DNA company for this years Highland Gathering in Scotland. You can get to their site at


As to the Flag in the Wind's Cultural section. I have copied this over to Electric Scotland and am in the process of editing the thousands of pages to bring them more into line with our site and fixing any broken links that I find. It will likely take a few weeks to get all this fixed but once done will advise where it can be found.

I still haven't heard from Peter so still don't know if he's interested in keeping his section going albeit under Electric Scotland.


As a wee aside... I was chatting to Harold Nelson about half breeds in that I mentioned that an Intuit had said that his people were 50% half breeds and of them 75% were Scots half breeds. Harold then mentioned that a Scot and Native Indian half breed in Canada were called "Improved Scots" :-)

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 or on our site menu.

This weeks Flag is compiled by Jim Lynch and as usual there is a great deal to read with articles in Gaelic and the old Scots language as well as the regular Clamjamfrie articles by Donnie MacNeill. In one of his articles he tells us...

It’s not often I’m wrong...

The current inability of our Prime Minister to admit that he might have ‘got it wrong’ with his non-stewardship of the UK finances, reminds me of my late Uncle Willie, a sterling chap and ‘one of Brutain’s hardy sons’, as Para Handy would have put it.

When I was studying in Glasgow, I used to stay with him and my Aunty Rita at the foothills of the Campsies. One night, whilst watching the TV news, an article about Nigeria came up on the screen, together with a map.

“That’s the river Danube!” exclaimed Uncle W.

“No it’s not,” said I, who had his higher geography!

“Yes it is!!”

“The Danube runs through Europe,” I persisted and went through to my room and came back with my atlas, opened at Africa. I pointed out the Niger and then showed him the Danube, with a self-satisfied smirk on my face.

Undaunted, he stared me in the eyes and without blinking said,

“Well, they’ve shifted it since I was at school!”

Aye, just like Gordon Brown, right enough!

You can read the Flag at

Christina McKelvie MSP's Weekly diary is available at

This week she's telling us about the UK Border Agency and it's dawn raids and highlights the plight of one family.

Clan and Family Information
Got the Clan Thompson Newsletter at

Poetry and Stories
John sent in another poem this week...

"Sindoon an Mornin" at

You can also read other stories in our Article Service and even add your own at

Book of Scottish Story
Our thanks to John Henderson for sending this in for us.

This week have added...

Elphin Irving, the Fairies' Cupbearer
by Allan Cunningham

Here is how it starts...

Chapter 1

The romantic vale of Corriewater, in Annandale, is regarded by the inhabitants, a pastoral and unmingled people, as the last border refuge of those beautiful and capricious beings, the fairies. Many old people, yet living, imagine they have had intercourse of good words and good deeds with the " gude folk ;" and continue to tell that in the ancient days the fairies danced on the hill, and revelled in the glen, and showed themselves, like the mysterious children of the Deity of old, among the sons and daughters of men. Their visits to the earth were periods of joy and mirth to mankind, rather than of sorrow and apprehension. They played on musical instruments of wonderful sweetness and variety of note, spread unexpected feasts, the supernatural flavour of which overpowered on many occasions the religious scruples of the Presbyterian shepherds, performed wonderful deeds of horsemanship, and marched in midnight processions, when the sound of their elfin minstrelsy charmed youths and maidens into love for their persons and pursuits ; and more than one family of Corriewater have the fame of augmenting the numbers of the elfin chivalry. Faces of friends and relatives, long since doomed to the battle trench, or the deep sea, have been recognised by those who dared to gaze on the fairy march. The maid has seen her lost lover, and the mother her stolen child ; and the courage to plan and achieve their deliverance has been possessed by, at least, one border maiden. In the legends of the people of Corrievale, there is a singular mixture of chin and human adventure, and the traditional story of the Cupbearer to the Queen of the Fairies appeals alike to our domestic feelings and imagination.

In one of the little green loops or bends, on the banks of Corriewater, mouldered walls, and a few stunted wild plum-trees and vagrant roses, still point out the site of a cottage and garden. A well of pure spring-water leaps out from an old tree-root before the door ; and here the shepherds, shading themselves in summer from the influence of the sun, tell to their children the wild tale of Elphin Irving and his sister Phemie; and, singular as the story seems, it has gained full credence among the people where the scene is laid.

"I ken the tale and the place weel,” interrupted an old woman, who, from the predominance of scarlet in her apparel, seemed to have been a follower of the camp; " I ken them weel, and the tale’s as true as a bullet to its aim, and a spark to powder. Oh, bonnie Corriewater! a thousand times have I pu’ed gowans on its banks wi’ ane that lies stiff and stark on a foreign shore in a bloody grave :” and sobbing audibly, she drew the remains of a military cloak over her face, and allowed the story to proceed.

The rest of this chapter can be read at

The other stories can be read at

The Concise Household Encyclopaedia
Added four more pages including, Cupboard, Cup Cake, Curacao, Curb, Curd, Curly Kale, Currant, Currant Sawfly, Curry.

You can read about these at

The Writings of John Muir
We have now completed the 5th volume and added this week are...

The Yosemite

Chapter V. (XI). The Ancient Yosemite Glaciers: How the Valley was Formed
Chapter VI. (XII). How best to spend one's Yosemite Time
Chapter VII. (XIII). Lamon
Chapter VIII. (XIV). Galen Clark
Chapter IX. (XV). Hetch Hetchy Valley

And we have now started on the 6th volume in which he tells us...

IN this book, made up of sketches first published in the Atlantic Monthly, I have done the best I could to show forth the beauty, grandeur, and all-embracing usefulness of our wild mountain forest reservations and parks, with a view to inciting the people to come and enjoy them, and get them into their hearts, that so at length their preservation and right use might be made sure.

The chapters added so far are...

Chapter I. The Wild Parks and Forest Reservations of the West
Chapter II. The Yellowstone National Park

Here is a bit from Volume 5 chapter VI...


No. 1

IF I were so time-poor as to have only one day to spend in Yosemite I should start at daybreak, say at three o'clock in midsummer, with a pocketful of any sort of dry breakfast stuff, for Glacier Point, Sentinel Dome, the head of Illilouette Fall, Nevada Fall, the top of Liberty Cap, Vernal Fall and the wild boulder-choked River Cañon. The trail leaves the Valley at the base of the Sentinel Rock, and as you slowly saunter from point to point along its many accommodating zigzags nearly all the Valley rocks and falls are seen in striking, ever- changing combinations. At an elevation of about five hundred feet a particularly fine, wide-sweeping view down the Valley is obtained, past the sheer face of the Sentinel and between the Cathedral Rocks and El Capitan. At a height of about fifteen hundred feet the great Half Dome comes full in sight, overshadowing every other feature of the Valley to the eastward. From Glacier Point you look down three thousand feet over the edge of its sheer face to the meadows and groves and innumerable yellow pine spires, with the meandering river sparkling and spangling through the midst of them. Across the Valley a great telling view is presented of the Royal Arches, North Dome, Indian Cañon, Three Brothers and El Capitan, with the dome-paved basin of Yosemite Creek and Mount Hoffman in the background. To the eastward, the Half Dome close beside you looking higher and more wonderful than ever, southeastward the Starr King, girdled with silver firs, and the spacious garden-like basin of the Illilouette and its deeply sculptured fountain peaks, called the Merced group; and beyond all, marshaled along the eastern horizon, the icy summits on the axis of the range and broad swaths of forests growing on ancient moraines, while the Nevada, Vernal, and Yosemite Falls are not only full in sight, but are distinctly heard as if one were standing beside them in their spray.

The views from the summit of Sentinel Dome are still more extensive and telling. Eastward the crowds of peaks at the head of the Merced, Tuolumne, and San Joaquin Rivers are presented in bewildering array; westward, the vast forests, yellow foothills and the broad San Joaquin plains and the coast ranges, hazy and dim in the distance.

From Glacier Point go down the trail into the lower end of the Illilouette basin, cross Illilouette Creek and follow it to the fall, where from an out-jutting rock at its head you will get a fine view of its rejoicing waters and wild cañon and the Half Dome. Thence returning to the trail, follow it to the head of the Nevada Fall. Linger here an hour or two, for not only have you glorious views of the wonderful fall, but of its wild, leaping, exulting rapids and, greater than all, the stupendous scenery into the heart of which the white passionate river goes wildly thundering, surpassing everything of its kind in the world. After an unmeasured hour or so of this glory, all your body aglow, nerve currents flashing through you never before felt, go to the top of the Liberty Cap, only a glad saunter now that your legs as well as head and heart are awake and rejoicing with everything. The Liberty Cap, a companion of the Half Dome, is sheer and inaccessible on three of its sides but on the east a gentle, ice- burnished, juniper-dotted slope extends to the summit where other wonderful views are displayed where all are wonderful: the south side and shoulders of Half Dome and Clouds' Rest, the beautiful Little Yosemite Valley and its many domes, the Starr King cluster of domes, Sentinel Dome, Glacier Point, and, perhaps the most tremendously impressive of all, the views of the hopper-shaped cañon of the river from the head of the Nevada Fall to the head of the Valley.

Returning to the trail you descend between the Nevada Fall and the Liberty Cap with fine side views of both the fall and the rock, pass on through clouds of spray and along the rapids to the head of the Vernal Fall, about a mile below the Nevada. Linger here if night is still distant, for views of this favorite fall and the stupendous rock scenery about it. Then descend a stairway by its side, follow a dim trail through its spray, and a plain one along the border of the boulder-dashed rapids and so back to the wide, tranquil Valley.

You can read the rest of this chapter at

The rest of the chapters can be read at

Fraser's Scottish Annual
These are articles from the 1900 - 1904 issues of Fraser's Scottish Annual. This week we've added...

The Art of Robert Louis Stevenson
A Judge's Joke
The Passing of the Century
The Scotch Church of Birmingham

Here is how the article on "The Art of Robert Louis Stevenson" starts...


THERE are some works of fiction which one never dreams of reading a second time, though the first perusal may be interesting enough. To others, most of the novels of Scott, Thackeray and Dickens, for instance, we constantly return.

"Age cannot wither them, nor custom stale
Their infinite variety."

Or, rather, perhaps it is not precisely the variety—some quality, at any rate, they have, whose spell is unfailing and inexhaustible. The more we read them the more they bind us to them; the more inevitably do we go back to them. Their people are old friends, the friends of our youth, with whom, though they never cease to live in our memory, it is ever a fresh delight to renew the fulness of a direct and immediate intercourse. Their scenes abide with us like the familiar landscapes of childhood, and are wrought into the permanent stuff of our inward world; our hearts are irresistibly drawn to revisit them ; we are jealous as of a precious possession which is slipping out of our hands, to fix once more their fleeting shapes and colours.

What is the secret of these writers' charm? We call it genius. The word is vague even as the quality at which we throw it out is elusive. This much at least seems to be implied in it, a certain strong vitality and, as it were, permanent youthfulness and freshness of sense, which finds an inexhaustible interest and delight in the spectacle of the world. The ordinary man soon outgrows the catholicity and vividness of his childish interest in things. He becomes blunter as he grows older. He has seen all this before. It is dull, stale, flat and unprofitable to him. That is to say, he has failed to grasp the elements of permanent significance in the shows of things. As soon as the newness of their outward features has worn away, and they have ceased to prick his jaded sense, they become a mere weariness. He has never seized, or never strongly and clearly enough, the immortal part of them, and the perishable appearance, the symbol by which their inward life is half revealed and half concealed, fades by repetition. The old cat, reserving herself for serious business, which is mice, is unmoved by the ball of thread which let loose the overflowing vitality of the kitten. All the more is our need for those who, favoured by the gods, like the ancient Greeks, are always children, who in their firm manhood still retain the disinterested and unworn exuberance of youth, and use the solidity of their maturer vigour to give body and consistency to such glimpses as have come to them of the perennial, myriad-sided marvel and problem of the living world. Those who succeed in doing so with a certain clearness, completeness, harmony and sanity, we call great artists.

The rest of this article can be read at

The other articles can be read at

Robert Burns Lives!
By Frank Shaw

"Fickle Man", Robert Burns in the 21st Century

Fickle Man is a book any serious Burnsian, scholar or layman should acquire. More importantly, it needs to be read, maybe twice, it’s that good! I found it to be both challenging and rewarding, and it will enlarge your Burns horizon. The book is edited by two men who are imminently qualified in Burns scholarship, Johnny Rodger and Gerard Carruthers. Rodger lectures at Glasgow School of Art and is co-editor of The Drouth. Carruthers, noted international Burns scholar, is Head of Scottish Literature at Glasgow University. In addition, they have brought together some of the best minds in the world on the subject of Robert Burns.

Right off the bat the two authors say “…Burns is not a phony, he is a great artist and as true a writer as any other. We celebrate here the 250th birth anniversary of the poet by publishing a collection of essays of his life and work.” Fickle Man is written by men and women who are not afraid to unlock doors to new topics on Burns and neither are they afraid to provoke “the Burns Police”, a term I picked up from popular Scottish singer and Burns vocalist Eddi Reader. Who are the Burns Police? They are so labeled because they insist on their way or no way when it comes to Burns. This usually happens when the Burns pot is stirred with a hard question about Burns or when a new view is espoused vis-à-vis the Bard. Burns Police cannot tolerate their “ownership” of Burns being challenged. Neither do they tolerate their beliefs concerning Burns being threatened.

You can read this article at

And you can read other articles in this Robert Burns Lives! series at

Among the Forrest Trees
or How the Bushman Family got their Homes, by being a book of facts and incidents of pioneering life in Upper Canada, arranged in the form of a story, by Rev. Joseph H. Hilts (1888)

We have several more chapters up now...

Chapter XVIII - More Settlers Coming
Rapid Settlement - A Crowded House - Lost Children - Harry Hawthorn - Mr. Beech - Shearing Sheep.

Chapter XIX - And Still They Come
A True Woman - A Bear Eats a Boy - A Bear in a Berry Patch - Matthew Millwood.

Chapter XX - A Neighborhood of Strangers
Canadian Society - Married Under a Tree - The First Baby - Neighborly Kindness - Mean Speculation.

Chapter XXI - Riverbend Mills
The Stolen Baby - White Squaw - Children Killed - The First Funeral - A Neighborhood Sensation.

Chapter XXII - A Boarding House Wanted
A Cook Needed - Backwoods Society - Wolves at Work - The Wolf Classified - He is a Sneaking Coward.

Chapter XXIII - A Backwoods Lyceum
The Old Mill - The Boy's Load - The Bear and the hunter - No Toll Allowed - The Bear and the Mill Saw.

Chapter XXIV - More Boarding-House Tales
The Lost Girl - The Lost Woman - Boys and Ghosts.

Here is how Chapter XX starts...

Now that the lot at the bend of the river was taken up, every lot that in any way touched John Bushman's lot was taken up, and had some one on it, or was to be occupied in a short time. So that John's isolated condition was already a thing of the past. At the east end of his lot, and butting against it, was the Crautmaker family. These were an industrious and well-doing class of people; a trifle awkward in some things, perhaps, but, on the whole, a very safe and respectable acquisition in any settlement. On the north of these, and cornering John's lot at its north-east angle, was the Greenleaf's home. Richard Greenleaf. and his wife were an intelligent and well-brought-up couple, who had been trained to industry and economy from childhood. They had got married and come right off to the bush on what now would be called their wedding trip. Read if you like between the lines, that few wedding trips last as long or prove as successful as theirs did. Martha Greenleaf was the first white woman in her township.

Then at the south-east corner of John's lot was a family of Gaelic people, by the name of McWithy. They had only been a few days on their lot. They came in from the east, and lived in a tent made of blankets until they got up a shanty. They are a hardy-looking family, made up of father and mother and a number of children. Some of the children are nearly men and women. They are more accustomed to backwoods life than those who come here directly from the Old Country. They lived a few years in the country before they came to settle here.

On the lot that is the east hundred acres of the one that Mr. Beech is on, there is a single man, a Nova Scotian, his name Timberline. He is a nice, steady young man. But he seems to be very bashful, especially when there are any young women around. On the whole, however, he is a promising settler.

Mr. Beech and his family we have already heard about. They are English people, of the industrious and well-doing class.

Then on the west John has for a neighbor the Irish family, Mr. Hawthorn and Bridget. They are a hardworking couple, and for a real, genuine, free-hearted, unbounded hospitality you can't beat them anywhere; in fact, Harry would take the shoes off his feet and give them to one who needed them. And Bridget would take the handkerchief off her head and give it to a bareheaded woman.

Then, as we have already learned, the lot that touched the north-west angle of John's lot was to be occupied by Messrs. Millwood and Root; and at the south-west angle is the lot occupied by Mr. Woodbine and family. They are Lowland Scotch, and they are not much accustomed to life on a farm, having been living in one of the manufacturing towns in Scotland.

But Mr. Woodbine is, perhaps, the best read and most intelligent man, on general subjects, among the settlers around the four corners.

On the south side of Bushman's is Will Briars' lot of two hundred acres, running across the concession.

Now, if we should divide this little community into distinct nationalities, we would find one family of Irish; two of Scotch; one of English; two Canadian, of English descent; two Canadian, of German descent; one Nova Scotian; one American, of German descent; and one Canadian, of Irish descent. And taking Moses Moosewood into the number, we have one man who is a Canadian, of Scotch descent. Then, if we go one lot north of Mr. Beech, we find a Mr. Baptiste Shelebean, who is a Frenchman, from Lower Canada.

This is a fair sample of the mixed origin of the race of people who are making this Canada of ours what it is, and in whose hands is the destiny of this Dominion.

This reminds us of a statement that has been attributed to the late John Hilliard Cameron, which is as follows:

"If you take the cool, shrewd, calculating head of a canny Scotchman, the stern, unbending will of the German, the warm heart and ready wit of an Irishrnan, the vivacity and activity of the Frenchman, and put all of these into the robust, healthy frame of an Englishman, you then have a Canadian."

You can read the rest of this chapter at

The other chapters can be read at

Alberta, Past and Present, Historical and Biographical
By John Blue, B.A. (1924)

We now have several more chapters up...

Chapter XVII
Transportation and Communication

Chapter XVIII
Initiation and Growth of the Live Stock Industry in Alberta

Chapter XIX
Live Stock (Continued)

Chapter XX
Irrigation and Water Conservation in Alberta

Chapter XXI
Mining Industry in Alberta

Chapter XXII
Labor, Trade Unionism, Industrial Unionism and Labor Legislation

Chapter XXIII
Alberta in the Great War

I have also started on a few of the Scots biographies which include...

Hon. Alexander Cameron Rutherford, K. C., LL. D.
Hon. Alex Ross
Hon. Charles Wilson Cross
Joseph H. Ross

Here is the biography of...

Hon. Alexander Cameron Rutherford, first Premier of the province of Alberta and a member of the senate of the University of Alberta since 1907, is the senior partner in the firm of Rutherford, Jamieson, Rutherford & McCuaig, barristers and solicitors, which maintains offices in the McLeod building of Edmonton and in the Imperial Bank Chambers of Edmonton South. His birth occurred at Osgoode, Carleton county, Ontario, on the 2d of February, 1857, on his family's dairy farm. His parents being James and Elizabeth Rutherford, had immigrated from Scotland two years previously. He received his early education in the public and high schools of Metcalfe, Ontario, continued his studies in Woodstock College of Woodstock and prepared for a professional career iii McGill University. The Hon. Dr. Rutherford engaged in law practice in Ottawa, Ontario, from 1885 until 1895 and then came west to Strathcona (South Edmonton), Alberta. Here he has remained an active representative of the bar to the present time, now practicing as senior member of the firm of Rutherford, Jamieson, Rutherford & McCuaig. He is also a factor in business circles as director of the Canada National Fire Insurance Company, director of the Imperial Canadian Trust Company and director of the Great West Permanent Loan Company. He is a member and one of the founders of Local No. 1 of the United Farmers of Alberta.

Dr. Rutherford was a member of the Ottawa Inter-Provincial Conference in 1906, vice president of the Dominion Lord's Day Alliance in 1907 and also delegate to The Imperial Conference on Education in London, England, in the latter year. He was presented to the late King Edward and was specially invited to the Royal Garden Party at Windsor Castle in 1907. His public career has been of a varied and highly important character. He was elected to the legislative assembly of the Northwest Territories for Strathcona constituency in 102 and three years later was elected to the legislative assembly of Alberta, to which he was re-elected in 1907. On the formation of the province he was selected its first Premier by Lieutenant Governor Bulyea and was called to form a ministry on the 2d of September, 1905. He served as Premier, minister of education and provincial treasurer during the period between 1905 and 191.0 and resigned the Premiership on the 26th of May, of the latter year, owing to dissension in the ranks of Liberal members in the legislature. Under his regime as premier of Alberta the Normal College and Provincial University were founded and all the institutions and machinery of government were established as in other provinces of Canada. The Hon. Dr. Rutherford is an ardent supporter of high educational standards and is responsible more than any other man in Alberta for the found- lug of a state-controlled University and for keeping degree-granting power in the hands of the Provincial University. He was the first exponent of railway expansion for Alberta by guarantee of bonds and he encouraged agriculture, coal mining, judicious labor legislation, and state control of telephones.

In 1888, in Ottawa, Ontario, the Hon. Dr. Rutherford was united in marriage to Miss Mattie Birkett, daughter of the late William Birkett. They are the parents of a son and a daughter, namely: Cecil, who served with the artillery in France and is a member of his father's law firm; and Hazel, the wife of Stanley H. McCuaig, of the firm of Rutherford, Jamieson, Rutherford & McCuaig.

The Hon. Dr. Rutherford has been a Liberal-Conservative in politics since 1911, prior to which time he was a Liberal. He is a Baptist in religious faith. He is a fellow of the British Association for the Advancement of Science and the Royal Colonial Institute of London, England, honorary colonel of the One Hundred and Ninety-fourth Battalion of the Canadian Expeditionary Forces and was director of National Service for Alberta of the National Service Commission during the period of the Great war. The Montreal Herald referred to him as "a man of fine ability," while the Toronto Globe characterized him as "an honest, up right figure in politics. A big man physically and mentally with a radiant humor in his eyes, and lines of stubborn strength finely blended in his genial face."

The rest of the chapters can be read at

The Scottish Church
From Earliest Times to 1881, By W. Chambers (1881)

Our thanks go to John Henderson for sending this into us.

we've added another Lecture...

Lecture III - Mediaeval Scotland, 1093 to 1512 A.D., by the Rev. James Campbell, D.D., Minister of Balmerino.

It starts...

THE long period of four hundred and twenty years of our ecclesiastical history of which I have to give an account is marked by the rise and growth of so many institutions, and the occurrence of so many important events, as to preclude an exhaustive treatment of it in the limited space at my disposal. All that I can here attempt is to sketch in outline the reconstruction of the Scottish Church in the twelfth century after the pattern then prevailing throughout Western Christendom, and the further development of this system onwards to the time when, through internal corruption, it had lost its energy and usefulness, and only awaited the shock by which it was to be overthrown.

You can read the rest of this lecture at

The other pages can be read at

Inverness-Shire, Parish by Parish
Antiquarian Notes, Historical, Genealogical and Social (Second Series) Inverness-Shire, Parish by Parish By Charles Fraser-Mackintosh, FSA Scot. (1897)

This week we've added the following chapters...

Chapter II. Kiltarlity
Janet Ross, Lady Dowager of Lovat, 1544-65

Chapter III. Kirkhill
The Mackintoshes in the Fraser country

Chapter IV. Bona
Interesting Historical Incidents
Dochcairn and Dochfour
The Macleans of Dochgarroch

Chapter V. Dores
Its old Possessions and Divisions
The Macbeans of Kinchyle
Present and Past Valuation
A Stirring Runaway Romance

Chapter VI. Boleskine and Abertarff
The Origin of Fort-Augustus
The Village
Incidents in John Mackay's, Inchnacardoch, career
The Gwynne Family and Mrs Grant of Laggan, 1827
Abduction by William Fraser, merchant, Fort-Augustus, 1744
Dalcattaig and Portclairs
The Earl of Selkirk and the Stratherrick Emigrants in 1803
The People of Abertarff, and the Canal, in 1808

Chapter VII. Urquhart and Glenmoriston
The Grants of Glenmoriston

Chapter VIII. Kilmonivaig
Blar-nan-Leine, in 1544
Glengarry—State of Affairs in 1762
Glengarry—State of Affairs 1762-1788
Condition of its People
State of Affairs in 1788-1808
Condition of the People, and other Grievances, in 1793, etc.
The Glengarry Trials of 1798 and 1807
Glengarry and his Tenants
Glengarry and the Old Stone Bridge of Inverness
Glengarry's Piper, and the Canal Commissioners in 1807, etc.
Coil Macdonald of Barisdale
Ronald Scammadale
Brae Lochaber—Old and New Rentals—Old Places and People

Chapter IX. Kilmallie
Fort-William and the Gordon Lands
Camerons v. Macdonalds, et c contra
Regarding An Old Map of Mamore
Old Rights of Fishing and Floating on the Lochy
Lochaber Literary Men--Past and Present
Dismemberment of Inverness-shire in Lochaber
Tenants and Rentals of Glenluie and Loch Arkaig in 1642
Eilean-'ic-an-Toisich, and the Clunes Lands
Loss of Glenluie and Loch Arkaig by Mackintosh
Lochiel—Enormous Increase of Rent
Consolidation of Sheep Farms
Church Site Refusal in 1843
Present Rental and other Details
The True History of Miss Jeanie Cameron

There is some good information on the name MacBean in chapter 5 which starts...


According to Shaw the first of the Macbeans of Kinchyle, by origin a Macgillonie, came from Lochaber with Eva, the heiress of Clan Chattan, and settled near Inverness. According to the Mackintosh History in the time of Angus, sixth of Mackintosh, "Bean Vic Coil Mar (of whom the Clan Vean had their denomination) lived in Lochaber, and was a faithful servant to Mackintosh against the Red Cumming who possessed Inverlochie and at that time was a professed enemy of Mackintosh ;" and again in the time of the next Mackintosh it is said that " Mulmoire or Myles Vic Bean Vic Coil Mor, and his four sons Paul, Gillies, Myles, and Ferquhar, after they had slain the Red Cumming's steward, and his two servants Paten and Kissen, came to William Mackintosh, seventh of Mackintosh, in Connage in Pettie, where he then dwelt, and for themselves and their posterity took protection and dependence of him and his as their chief." This would have been about 1334, and establishes the Macbeans as one of the oldest branches of the historic Clan Chattan. The Clan Vean suffered severely, it is said, at the battle of Harlaw. There is no authentic deduction however until 1500, when Gillies Macbean may have lived, succeeded by William, he by Paul, and he by Angus in 1609, when we arrive on firm historical ground. In 1609.

I. ANGUS MACBEAN, for himself and his race, signed the Bond of Union amongst the Clan Chattan. There were three other heritors in the county of the name, at Faillie, Tomatin, and Drummond, but all writers who treat of the matter place Kinchyle at the head of the tribe.

Campbell of Calder had only acquired the lands of Kinchyle on 31st October, 1608, yet as early as April, 1609, he is found contracting with Angus Macbean for a feu. By feu contract dated at Auldearn, 18th May, 1610, Sir John Campbell of Calder feus Kinchyle to Angus vic Phail vic William vic Gillies, described as "in Kinchyle," the feu duty being £10 Scots, and with power to Angus to build a miln, and other privileges, one of the witnesses being William Mackintosh of Benchar, afterwards of Borlum, and another, Alexander Campbell, brother-german to Calder. Infeftment duly followed upon the feu charter. By another feu charter Calder feued to Angus Macbean styled "of Kinchyle" the church lands of Durris, called Daars, and others lying within the barony and regality of Urquhart (in Moray) and Sheriffdom of Inverness. The feu was fixed at £6 2s Scots and the charter, dated at Calder 26th May, 1614, was followed by infeftment. Upon 27th May, 1626, having lent the Earl of Enzie two thousand merks, the Earl gave a wadset of the half davoch land of old extent of Bunachton to Angus vic Phail of Kinchyle. Upon the ioth of November, 1631, Angus of Kinchyle with consent of his eldest son, John, entered into an adjustment of marches with his neighbour to the South, Alexander Mackintosh of Aldourie. The transaction was entirely for the benefit of A]dourie, whose house was so close to the burn of Alt Dourak (the march), that when the burn was in spate the house was endangered, and Aldourie desired to cut a new and straight channel a little to the North and further away from his house. Kinchyle, who had but a trifle of frontage to Loch Ness, lying between the above burn and Borlum's lands at Bona, agreed to Aldourie's request, and got in exchange a deal of hill land by Loch Ashie. Angus Macbean was succeeded by his eldest son,

II. JOHN, who did not make up a title to the estates. He had a brother named William, found in 1627. John was succeeded by his son,

III. PAUL, who on 11th May, 1664, received a precept of Clare Constat from Sir Hugh Campbell of Calder, for infeftiñg him as heir of his grandfather Angus, dated at Invermoriston. It would appear that Calder and Glenmoriston were great friends, for in a letter by John Forbes second of Culloden to Calder, dated in August, 1664, Culloden begs of Calder to use his influence to settle the serious differences between Inshes and Glenmoriston. Upon this precept Paul Macbean was infeft, but he seems to have fallen into such great difficulties that he had to resign all the ]ands into the superior's hands, on the narrative of his embarassments, by deed dated 10th of April, 1685. Upon a long preamble of the prior state of possession, Sir Hugh Campbell of Calder feued out the whole lands to "William Macbean in Kinchyle" (who raised money to pay off the old debts), by charter dated 25th November, 1685. The old feu, it will be noticed, was £10 Scots for Kinchyle and £6 2s for the Church lands, but in the charter of 1685 the total feu is a single sum of £20 Scots. lnfeftment followed upon the charter on 19th June, 1686. Among the witnesses were William Mackintosh, son of Donald Mackintosh of Kellachie and also of Aldourie, Angus Macbean, writer in Inverness, and Lachlan Macbean, brother-german to William Macbean. There was also another brother, the well-known Mr Angus Macbean, minister of Inverness. Paul Macbean of Kinchyle, is one of the 28 signatories to the bond by the minor heads of the Clan Chattan to Mackintosh as their chief, dated at Kincairne the 19th November, 1664. This bond has the signatures of John Macpherson of Invereshie, and John Macpherson of Pitmean, the respective heads of the important houses known as Sliochd Gillies vic Ewen, and Sliochd lain vic Ewen.

You can read the rest of this chapter at

The book index and other chapters can be found at

Grazing and Agrestic Customs of the Outer Hebrides
By Alexander Carmichael (1884)

I came across a reference to this paper in another book I was working on and it seemed to afford us an interesting look at the Run-Rig system in the Western Isles and so I took it upon myself to make this available on the site. There are also some old hymns included in the paper.


This paper was written at the request of Lord Napier and Ettrick for the Crofter Royal Commission, over which his Lordship presided. Government have courteously granted the writer permission to reprint a few copies to give to his friends.
Originally the paper was meant to contain some account of the Geological changes, and of the Natural History and Antiquities of the Outer Hebrides, but these not coming within the scope of the Commission, Lord Napier found himself obliged to exclude them.

The paper is hurried and fragmentary, and contains but little of what might have been said of the interesting people and customs of the Western Isles.

"The account of the old customs is the most interesting thing in your Report; the old hymns are also charming"- Extract of a Letter from a Nobleman in London to Lord Napier.

Alexander Carmichael.


The Long Island comprehends a series of islands 116 miles in length. The breadth varies from one mile to twenty-six miles.

In shape the Long Island resembles an artificial kite—Lews being the body, and the disarticulated tail trending southward and terminating in Bearnarey of Barra.
A range of glaciated hills, rising from the centre of Lows, and at intervals cut into by the Minch, runs along the east side of the islands. Along the west side, washed by the Atlantic, is an irregular plain of sandy soil, locally called Machair.

These islands are called the Outer Hebrides, being the most westerly islands of Scotland, except those of Saint Kilda. They form a breakwater against the Atlantic, from Cape Wrath on the north, to Ardoamurchan on the south.

The Outer Hebrides were of old called louse Gall, the Isles of the Gall, the Isles of the Strangers, from the Norse Occupation.

The ancient name of the Long Island, and still traced among the people, was louis Cat, the Island of the Cat, or Catey. Who the Catey were is uncertain, though probably they were the same people who gave the name of Cat Taobh, Oat Side, to Sutherland, and Cat Xis, Cat Ness, to Caithness. May not the modern Clan Chatan be of these people? They are called the descendants of the Cat or Catey, and have a cat for their crest.

The present inhabitants of the Long Island are essentially Celtic, with some infusion of Norse blood. They are a splendid race of people, probably unexcelled, mentally and physically, in the British Isles.

The populations of the different islands form all of over 40,000 souls. Of these, forty families occupy about two-thirds of the whole land of the islands, the numerous crofters occupying the other third. These crofters retain pastoral and agrestic modes of life, now obsolete elsewhere. To describe these modes of life is the object of this paper.

All the crofters throughout the Outer Hebrides occupy and work their lands on the Run-Rig System, more or less modified. They work under this system its three different modes, two of these being stages of decay. An example from each of these three modes will be given from each of three parishes where they are in operation. This the writer thinks is preferable to any general description which he could devise. These parishes are Barra, South Uist, and North Uist, which form the Southern Division of the Outer Hebrides.

You can read this paper at

And that's it for now and hope you all have a good weekend and hope our American Friends enjoy the Memorial Day weekend :-)


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