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Newsletter December 24th, 2010

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  • Newsletter December 24th, 2010

    Electric Scotland News
    Electric Scotland Community
    The Flag in the Wind
    Geikie's Etchings
    Historical Tales of the Wars of Scotland
    Glencreggan: or A Highland Home in Cantire
    Harry Lauder Songs
    Kay's Edinburgh Portraits
    William McTaggart, R.S.A., V.P.R.S.W.
    Tales of the Scottish Peasantry
    Holiday Cottages Travel Article
    A History of British Columbia
    Sir James Douglas (New Book)
    History of America
    History of India - An Historical Disquisition
    Ten Tales by Sir Harry Lauder
    Cavendish - The settlement of P.E.I.
    The Lairds of Glenlyon: Historical Sketches (New Book)
    Clan Leslie Society International
    The British Navy Book
    Tribute: George Burnett Cormack
    John 'Jock' Troup
    Beth's Newfangled Family Tree
    Fallbrook Farm

    Electric Scotland News
    I've managed to acquire a book about "The Scot in England" and it's an amazing tale. It is very tightly bound so it might be difficult to ocr it in through the scanner but am bound and determined to make it available for you.

    In the Preface he starts by saying...

    To tell the story of the Scot in England, in all its detail, would be a formidable task, requiring the space of many volumes. I have contented myself with telling the story briefly, but have made an effort to touch on the various aspects of the Scots' influence on English life, in such a way that the whole picture is discernible in the background.

    And so looking forward to bringing this book to you.


    We were asked to help support this company that have products to help children with their reading and as we have some 800 children's stories on the site we're keen to help them learn to read so they can enjoy them... so here is information about them...

    Learning to read is a milestone in every child's education. Most children begin to read at six or seven years of age, but for some children who have trouble grasping the alphabet, phonetics, and the letter and word decoding required for reading success, a new Internet program can help

    The program is designed for children as young as 4 years old and teaches the complete K-3rd grade phonics curriculum taught at USA public schools. The lead-model test system allows children to use the lessons on their own with little or no parent or teacher guidance. Children who are learning to read English for the first time, those who are struggling with reading and children with learning disabilities should use the program. Adults who are learning English as a second language are even using the program.

    The program is used online just like viewing standard web pages. It can be used at home, at Grandma's, at the office or while on vacation. There are no out-of-date CD ROM's, broken videos, lost flash cards or other cost and time-intensive obstructions to interfere with quality and consistent instruction. There is no setup, training or program software to install and no waiting for shipping. You can begin using ClickN READ Phonics immediately after ordering.

    ClickN READ Phonics represents the best in curriculum, the best in computer technology and the best in program design for ease of use. And best of all, kids love it! All other phonics products and programs are simply toys when compared to ClickN READ Phonics. For homes, the cost is only $59.85 for a LIFETIME subscription for one child and just $19.95 for each additional child. All subscriptions come with a 60-day money back guarantee.

    Don't put your child's future on hold. Try ClickN READ Phonics in your Home Today!

    I might add that there are four lessons available for free when you click on the link below. I would also add the lessons are in US English although they do plan a UK English version.



    An old friend of the site emailed me to say his daughter is starting a new business and so we're more than happy to give her a plug and as it's all about haggis you might use her company to get in your supplies for next months Robert Burns Suppers... Her site can be found at


    And doing regular backups of my computer sure paid dividends this week. When restarting my computer it came up with "Boot sector not found" <gulp>. After much bother I eventually restored a system image back up that I do every Sunday and managed to recover pretty well everything. Just a few lost emails and a couple of scans was all that was lost. I was telling a friend about this and he immediately said... I'm off to do a backup as it's months since I did one and I have tons of stuff I just can't afford to lose! So perhaps a timely reminder for you.

    I might add I spotted a 2Tb external hard disk for only $99.95 which would be an excellent way to do your backups.


    I mentioned in my last newsletter that I intended to bring you the whole book about Cavendish and so I have been scanning in the pages from this book for which see more below.

    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 in our site menu and at

    Electric Scotland Community
    we've been having a lot of fun with our Merry Christmas thread and you should take the time to visit

    A neat wee mix of videos in here which I'm sure you'll enjoy.

    Our community can be viewed at

    This weeks issue is now available compiled by Jamie Hepburn and clearly education is at the very top of the agenda with the SNP wishing to continue free education in Scotland against the large rise in England and Wales. An interesting debate for the future of Scotland's students.

    You can get to the Flag at

    Christina McKelvie's weekly diary is available at

    Geikie's Etchings
    This week we've added more articles...

    Bargaining for Fish
    Old Man Standing for his Portrait

    You can read these at

    Historical Tales of the Wars of Scotland
    And of the Border Raids, Forays and Conflicts by John Parker Lawson (1839). This is a new publication we're starting on which is in 3 volumes. We intend to post up 2 or 3 stories each week until complete.

    This week we've added...

    Siege Of The Castle Of Merchiston - 1571
    Surprise Of Dumbarton Castle - 1571
    Siege Of The Castle Of Edinburgh - 1573

    You can read these at

    Glencreggan: or A Highland Home in Cantire
    By Cuthbert Bede (1861)

    This week we put up Chapter XIII - Glencreggan

    Situation of Glencreggan. — A View of one Hundred Miles. — The Southern Hebrides. — A Glass for a Toper of the Picturesque. — Conversing Mirrors. — An imaginary Waterfall. — The Mare's Tail, and a Mare's Nest. — Atlantic Blue. — Harvest in the Highlands. — The lady Reapers. — Bare Feet and Stubble. — The Artist's ideal Gleaner. — Stern Reality. — Clouts. — Little Monkeys. — What educated Feet can be made to do. — Singular Instances. — The walking of Cloth. — Novel way of scouring a Room. — Broth withal. — Cleanliness and Picturesqueness. — A naked Foot saved Scotland. — Nemo me impune laeessit.

    Here is a wee bit from this chapter...

    I esteemed myself fortunate to visit Glencreggan at such a season. When we had left England the harvest was well-nigh over, but here it was barely begun. It is always a picturesque time; but harvest in the Highlands exceeds an English harvest in the elements of the picturesque,—chiefly from the scenery, but partly from the abundant presence of women in the national dress. A loose cotton jacket is commonly worn by them, and, for this, pink was the all-prevailing colour: beneath appeared a short petticoat, similar in colour (and perhaps in texture) to that dark blue stuff of which bathing dresses are made. In many cases the girls wore nothing upon their heads but their own luxuriant hair: where they adopted any covering, it was a loose white cotton bonnet or a wide-awake. They used the sickle as dexterously as did the men; even as Wordsworth describes the

    "Solitary Highland lass
    Reaping and singing by herself;"

    (which is somewhat tautological, seeing that she could not be solitary without being by herself). But the Highland lassies that I saw reaping and singing, and

    "Breaking the silence of the seas
    Among the farthest Hebrides,"

    were never solitary, but were altogether gregarious in their habits. The women, as usual, wore their large white caps, or "mutches;" and, together with the girls, had coverings for their feet and ankles,—which is almost the only occasion on which they wear anything on their legs, Sundays excepted. The rule seems to be, go barefoot everywhere but into a kirk; but when you work in a stubbly barley-field, protect your legs.

    You can read this at

    Harry Lauder
    we've added two more songs for you to listen to...

    Oh How I Weary Dearie For You
    The Scotch Errand Boy 1911

    This page can be found at

    Kay's Edinburgh Portraits
    A Series of Anecdotal Biographies chiefly of Scotchmen, Mostly by James Paterson and Edited by James Maidment (1885)

    This week we have added...

    The Rev. William Robertson, D.D, Author of the "History of Scotland"
    A Cock-fighting Match between the Counties of Lanark and Haddington
    Henry Viscount Melville
    The Right Honourable Robert Dundas, Lord Chief Baron of the Court of Exchequer
    General Sir Ralph Abercromby, K.B.
    Lachlan M'Bain, a well-knoiun Vendor of Roasting Jacks

    As we've been posting up the writings of William Robertson you might enjoy this small biography of him at

    The other entries can be read at

    William McTaggart, R.S.A., V.P.R.S.W.
    Painter and Artist and a man of considerable talents.

    Added Chapter VI. "The McTaggart Portfolio"

    You can read this at

    Tales of the Scottish Peasantry
    By Alexander and John Bethune (1884)

    We have added several more tales...

    Jonathan Moudiwort
    Chapter I. Indications of Character - Small Beginnings
    Chapter II. Ways and means indispensable to rising in the World
    Chapter III. Important discovery concerning the keeping of the Sabbath, and other matters, ending with a marriage
    Chapter IV. Poetical Justice - Untoward Accidents, and the Conclusion
    The Cousins
    Auld Peter and his Foster Son

    And this now completes this book.

    And you can read these at

    Holiday Cottages Travel Article
    Ayr – The waterside town of Scotland. You can read this article at

    A History of British Columbia
    By R E Gosnell (1906)

    We have now concluded this book with...

    Chapter X
    British Columbia and the Canadian Pacific Railway
    Chapter XI
    Governors and Lieutenant Governors of British Columbia
    Chapter XII
    Material Resources

    The Biographies are in pdf format as I decided not to ocr these onto the site.

    You can read this book at

    Sir James Douglas
    By Robert Hamilton Coats and R. E. Gosnell (1908) from the Makers of Canada series.

    Seeing as we did the History of British Columbia we thought we'd also bring you the biography of the second Lieutenant Governor of BC as well and we have the first three chapters up now...

    Chapter I - The West Coast
    Chapter II - The Traveller Overland
    Chapter III - New Caledonia

    You can read this book at

    At the foot of the page you'll also see links to other material about him and also a collection of black and white pictures as well as my own pictures of my time in Kimberly in BC when I first came to Canada.

    History of America
    by William Robertson

    We now have up...

    Book 1
    Book 2
    Book 3

    And these can be read at the foot of this page at

    History of India
    by William Robertson

    We've now added Section II - Intercourse with India, from the Establishment of the Roman Dominion in Egypt, to the Conquest of that Kingdom by the Mahomedans. You can read this at

    Ten Tales
    By Sir Harry Lauder (1908)

    We found this charming wee book and thought we'd add it to the site. We've added the fourth tale...

    Mrs. M'Minn's Second Man

    and you can view this at

    This is an area of Prince Edward Island that was settled by Scots. I have mentioned that while hunting for some decent information about settlement I discovered this book while visiting the island on my first ever trip to Canada. At the time I took the liberty of lifting a couple of chapters from the book as I thought the descriptions were truly excellent. I have tried over the years since to find out who holds the copyright for this book but it seems that there is no copyright holder. I deem the book to be of considerable interest so I have decided to scan it into a set of pdf files to place with what I already have up.

    At time of writing I am up to chapter 13 and I thouroughly recommend it to you.

    You can get to these chapters at the foot of the page at

    The Lairds of Glenlyon: Historical Sketches
    Relating to the Districts of Appin, Glenlyon and Breadalbane by Duncan Campbell (1886)

    THE following Historical Sketches were first published in the form of articles contributed to the "Perthshire Advertiser" at various dates between August, 1855, and June, 1858. Their Author, Mr. Duncan Campbell, now of Inverness, was at that time Parish Schoolmaster of Fortingall, Glenlyon; he was thoroughly conversant with the topography, antiquities, and legends of the districts of Appin, Glenlyon, and Breadalbane, and had access to the family records preserved in Glenlyon House. The Sketches have been collected by Sir Donald Currie of Garth and Glenlyon, and carefully revised for him by the Author, with a view to their reproduction in the present volume.

    May, 1886.

    INVERNESS, July 4th, 1885.

    DEAR SIR DONALD CURRIE, "The Lairds of Glenlyon" which you are republishing for private circulation from the old files of the Perthshire Advertiser; were written by me in weekly or fortnightly instalments, long, long ago, when I was schoolmaster of Fortingall, and as yet quite a young man. I was full of traditional stories I had heard in my boyhood from my grandmother, from Archibald M'Arthur, miller of St. Eonan's Mill, and many other aged persons. I possessed papers left by my grandfather, and had access to papers then at Glenlyon House, which, at a time when repairs were going on, I had the good fortune to save from being burned. Very few of the papers went further back than 1670, and the few that dated from 1620 did not tell much about Glenlyon. I had therefore at first to rely upon tradition alone in respect to the earlier history, and I found that while agreeing in the main my chief informants, who were John M'Arthur alias "Iain Mor Mac Rob," my grand-uncle, Donald M'Naughton alias "Domhnull Ciotach," Archibald M'Diarmid alias "Gilleasbuig Mor Scoileir," and the Kirkton of Fortingall veteran soldier, John Campbell alias "Iain Caimbeul a Chlaoidh," differed in details and modes of telling their stories. Before the series of papers was concluded, The Black Book of Taymouth came out; and that gave me an opportunity of supplementing and correcting traditions. The reprint will therefore contain within itself recorded history, along with traditions. The proofs of this reprint now before me contain all the purely traditional part, and what strikes me most is its general faithfulness to recorded history, and the elucidatory light it throws thereon. But on the other hand traditions always confuse chronology and obliterate or expand periods of time without remorse. I have much pleasure in sending you for an appendix to the reprint a few notes which will, I hope, help to give the book a decent historical backbone, and to atone for the defects of tradition.

    I remain,

    Yours truly,


    of Garth and Glenlyon,
    Fortingall, Perthshire.

    And so I hope you'll enjoy this book which we're atarting to add to the site at

    Clan Leslie Society International
    We got in a copy of their December 2010 newsletter which you can read at

    The British Navy Book
    You may remember we did the Wonder Book of Soldiers and so this is a book about the Navy which we thought we'd make available for you to read. This is in pdf format and is available to read at

    I actually read somewhere that the Scots made up some 25% of the sailors in the British Navy.

    Tribute: George Burnett Cormack
    And Irene Stewart (Sharp) Cormack - 'A Scottish Musical Twosome'
    By John Henderson

    The names Cormack and Sharp, appearing on billboards outside variety theatres and in hotel cabaret, guaranteed a popular, high-quality musical twosome in Scotland, England, and Ireland, for close on three decades. That was the rule from the 1950s through to the 70s, when live variety and popular Scottish revue flourished from Aberdeen and Inverness all the way down to most of Scotland's central belt.

    You can read this account and listen to a couple of their songs at

    John 'Jock' Troup
    Evangelist (1896-1954)
    By John Henderson of Stirling, Scotland

    John ‘Jock’ Troup was born on the 26th of May, 1896 in Dallachy, near Fochabers, in the Parish of Bellie within the County of Elgin, Scotland, to Harry Clark Troup [Railway Signalman] and Harriet Ross, who married on the 13th of February, 1892 in Garmouth, Moray, Scotland.

    You can read this account of him at

    Beth's Newfangled Family Tree
    Edited by Beth Gay

    We have the January 2011 edition in for you.

    Beth's Newfangled Family Tree is filled with articles about things Scottish - from events in the USA to famous Orkadians and inside information on travel. You'll find articles of interest to genealogists and news of the Scots Clan organizations as well as Flowers of the Forest.

    You can get to this issue at

    Fallbrook Farm
    We got in a December update on happenings with this project which you can read at

    And to finish...

    Fruity Xmas

    "I told my kids," said the loudmouth in the bar, "that when I was their age, all I got at Christmas was an orange and an apple.

    "But all my son said was, Wow! .... a mobile phone and a computer - not bad'."

    And mind that we have a Christmas page for you at and if you're looking for something to keep the Kids occupied one of the links in there is to our "Krafts and Kooking for Kids Korner" at

    And that's it for now and hope you all have a Very Merry Christmas :-)


  • #2
    Re: Newsletter December 24th, 2010

    And Merry Christmas to the Community and you too Alastair, with thanks for all you've done in 2010.