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A Dundee Lass
The Clan McIntosh

Touch not the cat – Clan Motto

Red Whortleberry – Plant Badge

Wha daur meddle wi’ me? . . . Black Watch motto, but the one my Granny used for her life!

What can I tell you about the Clan McIntosh? I think what I learned from my Granny about our Scottish name is written in the words above.

I have a very good little book, The Clan McKintosh, written by Jean Dunlop and published 1960 by W. & A. K. Johnston, etc., of Edinburgh and London, which gives a wonderful, very readable history of the Clan. From it, you can learn that the clan lands are around Inverness and how the McIntosh are associated with the Frasers of Badenoch (especially interesting for those of you who read my favourite Scottish historical-adventure-romance-very large novels by Diana Gabaldon of Scotsdale, Arizona) and the Chan Chattan and a very large group of other septs and general hangers on. But from me, I want you to learn that you are Highlanders and that your ancestors marched with Dundee and that it was probably uncles and fathers of yours whose "bonnie blue bonnets" went "over the border", accompanying those "hundred pipers an’ a’ an’ a."

Be proud of being McIntosh, the first Scottish name in your family history and the one I believe we have the right to claim for our clan and our tartan. Of course, we also have Duncan’s and Benvie’s and Stewarts’ and Halkett’s and mair, but with the McIntosh I feel we are bound.

Be proud of the fighting men of the McIntosh. Think of fighting men who join with fighting women and raise strong sons and daughters. I think it’s the highland blood that somehow never got diluted that made my Granny the woman she was, and must have linked my personality and spirit with hers. I can remember by grandmother being angry and frustrated, but I can never remember her defeated or depressed. She always seemed to have that ability to, in the words of the song, "keep right on to the end of the road." And my mother, too, although I’ve often seen her depressed and suffering the sorrow of a sense of defeat, has also kept going down that sometimes weary and long road.

McIntoshes seem to even fight among themselves. We can’t agree on how to spell our name – McIntosh, MacIntosh, McKintosh, Mackintosh.. If it wasn’t spelt "McIntosh" like my Granny’s, she didn’t consider the bearer a "real McIntosh." Either that, or as a clan, we’re very poor spellers – and that’s not an out for you, my children or children’s children who claim your writing challenges are genetic! We’re McIntosh – where canna is niver winna’s brither!

Clan Crest



A Colouring Page

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The Wedgewood

The Wedgewood biscuit barrel has always been synonomous for me with the meaning of being a McIntosh, at least a McIntosh after the type of my Granny. Just this year, my granddaughter, the Charlotte who’ll get the biscuit barrel when her mother feels she’s ready for it, had a project in school. She asked me to help because it was one of those "Pick a foreign country and write about it as a geography/genealogy/history/culture experience" type of things get. You know, write a paper, give a presentation, give Granma (that’s me) an "A" for the work the kid did! Edie picked Scotland, knowing I have lots of stuff being worked on, and I helped her put together a family tree chart and prepare a little presentation. But what I really like is this little picture story I wrote about the Wedgewood. I think it belongs in this book in the section about Our Clan McIntosh. Hope you like it.

The Story of Jasper Stone Ware


I am known as Jasper. Jasper Stone Ware. Perhaps my name may conjure up for you, my reader, visions of Regency or Dickensian England, populated by beautiful women, scheming mothers with bankrupt husbands, and dark brooding heroes written in novels from the fertile minds of George Eliot, the Bronte Sisters, or Jane Austen.

However, if I were to rewrite my nomenclature as Jasper stoneware I am sure a different vision would enter into your imaginings - one of Roman vases and white classical figures carved in relief upon deep blue backgrounds.

The Wedgewood biscuit barrel

I am no ordinary ceramic. I am part of the Wedgwood heritage. Created in Staffordshire, from the skills and experiences of generations of potters, I am a work of English art that has been part of a Scottish family for five generations.

This is my story of four Charlotte’s who are linked together by my presence.

Charlotte Beat McIntosh Crofts

Charlotte Beat McIntosh Crofts, the daughter of Jessie Hackett Beat and Peter McIntosh, is noted on the 1881 Scottish census as a "stoneware dealer". Sister of Alexander McIntosh and aunt to Charlotte Beat McIntosh, and known as "Auntie Chat", she shared a home, and her business in the Hilltown area of Dundee with her widowed mother. She was the favourite aunt of her namesake, Charlotte Beat McIntosh.

Charlotte McIntosh and her Welsh sailor husband, David James Thomas of Llanelly

I traveled from "The Potteries" in Staffordshire to her shop and, instead of being sold, was given as a wedding gift to Charlotte McIntosh and her Welsh sailor husband, David James Thomas of Llanelly on their wedding day in 1916.

For many years I sat on Charlotte Thomas’ mahogany sideboard at 7 Hill Street, Dundee. I was known not as Jasper Ware, or jasper stoneware, but as "the blue Wedgwood biscuit barrel from Auntie Chat."

Occasionally, biscuits were preserved within my white shell, kept fresh with my silver handled lid with its silversmith’s mark securely closed. However, for most of my provenance there I was used to store the bits and pieces of life that go in and out of a person’s home – keys, loose change, pieces of paper with addresses, even an official document of sorts at times, such as a birth certificate, or a love letter its recipient wanted to keep safe.

From my place in that home, I observed the passage of events in the times of the McIntosh and Thomas lives. A daughter was born. The Welsh submariner was killed shortly before the end of the Great War.


Charlotte had a son. Eric died and was buried in a pure white coffin on his 16th birthday. Caroline Bett Thomas grew up and married a Canadian soldier from Windsor, Ontario, Jerome Alvoet also of Pitthem, West Flanders, Belgium, and Detroit, Michigan, USA, during the second great, or World, war. They had a son. She and her son left for America but returned to give birth to another child in Scotland.

The daughter’s daughter was born, and named Charlotte, for the grandmother and the aunt. And I was promised to Charlotte Marie Alvoet from the Charlotte who became Thomas who received me from the Charlotte who became Crofts.

I observed the passage of events in the times of the Thomas and Alvoet lives. Charlotte Alvoet grew up and claimed me as hers, but I was not given to her until the day she married her American sailor, John Edward Bleh from Cincinnati, Ohio and of Edzell, Angus, Scotland during the Viet Nam war on a winter day in 1965. I was carefully packed with the wedding dress and other treasures to be taken from Scotland to carry on my observations of the events in the times of the Alvoet and Bleh lives in America.

Children were born. The American sailor died. Charlotte told her daughter the story of blue Wedgwood pottery and the Charlotte who gave me to the other Charlotte and how I became hers. And the daughter claimed me as her own.

The daughter who heard the story of how I am passed from Charlotte to Charlotte is now a woman. From my place in the glass paneled walnut cabinet in her home in Arizona, I observe the passage of events in the lives of another family descended from the McIntosh’s of Dundee, Angus, and Stirling, Perthshire. Daughters have been born and are learning the story of Josiah Wedgwood and the art of the potteries. The elder daughter is learning from her mother the story of the three Charlotte’s before her and has claimed me to become hers.

And from my place in her home I shall observe the passage of events in the life of another Charlotte and of the family that will someday be hers.




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