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Newsletter for 14th January 2022

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  • Newsletter for 14th January 2022

    For the latest news from Scotland see our ScotNews feed at:

    Electric Scotland News

    Beth redid her video so fixed the issue she had last week.


    Col. Alexander (Alick) John Fraser C.B. 1821-1866
    Compiled by LeeAnne (pdf)

    LeeAnne got in touch and allowed me to create a pdf of her research into this person.


    Peculiar Death Notice

    At Baltimore, on the 24th January last [1850], Mr John Brandor, a native of Cairney, Aberdeenshire, in the thirty-eighth year of his age, but lately of Alexandria, Virginia, U.S. The several tribes of the Improved Order of Red Men made a strong turnout to pay their last tribute of affection. The following tribes were in the procession: —Powhatan, Logans, Pocahontas, Uncus, Manctto, Tecumseh, and Ottowa with the Great Council of Maryland, and accompanied by several bands of music.—"Aberdeen Journal," March 20, 1850.
    It would be interesting to find out more about this person so please get in touch if you have any information.


    Eric Finlayson

    During the forties of the last century, there was a tailor's shop in Marischal Street, Aberdeen, a few doors above the old Theatre Royal, and the signboard had "Eric Finlayson" upon it. This peculiar name struck my boyish fancy as exceptionally Norse and romantic, and I inferentially deduced his ancestry from Caithness, where such baptismal names and surnames are common. On my return to Aberdeen after a sojourn in the south, I missed the familiar sign. It had disappeared, and its erstwhile owner had left the locality. However, on my arrival in Australia, and on being employed to "read" the electoral rolls of the colony, I became aware of an Eric Finlayson, who was registrar of the Castlemaine district, a new name for the old Mount Alexander goldfield. His rolls were always correctly drawn up, and it was a pleasure to look over them when compared with the slummocky abortions of other ignorant and inexperienced officials. I thought that this colonial Eric Finlayson was a Thurso man, but he turned out to be the identical tailor (I think that was his trade) who had his shop in Marischal Street, Aberdeen. When he died at Castlemaine on the 29th of October, 1895, at the great age of 95 (born with the advent of last century), an obituary notice stated that he was a native of Aberdeen, that he had been the Master of Hospital of the Incorporated Trades there, had emigrated to Australia in 1850, and after a spell in Melbourne and Ballarat, had settled in Castlemaine, where he took the first census in 1851. He was appointed the secretary of the Mechanics' Institute and electoral registrar, and was house and land agent, with other duties, resigning the positions in 1888 on account of advancing years and infirmity, and finally that he was esteemed by all ranks of the community as a most capable, worthy, and intelligent man. Considering how persistently Scotsmen are attacked for their success in life by southron hard-ups, it was pleasant to find no jarring note in the eulogiums on old Erie Finlayson.


    Scottish News from this weeks newspapers
    Note that this is a selection and more can be read in our ScotNews feed on our index page where we list news from the past 1-2 weeks. I am partly doing this to build an archive of modern news from and about Scotland and world news stories that can affect Scotland and as all the newsletters are archived and also indexed on Google and other search engines it becomes a good resource. I might also add that in a number of newspapers you will find many comments which can be just as interesting as the news story itself and of course you can also add your own comments if you wish which I do myself from time to time.

    Omicron: Why do boosters work if two doses struggle?
    The heavily mutated Omicron variant has led to a serious dent in the ability of vaccines to protect us from catching the Covid virus.

    Read more at:

    Canada party plane influencer idiots fly home to face music
    Canadian officials say a group of influencers whose rowdy behaviour on a flight led to their stranding in Mexico have flown home to face an inquiry. In a briefing, a top health official said that 27 had returned and were screened at the airport. Some of the group could face stiff punishments.

    Read more at:

    The paywall keeping the public out of history
    Looking back and forward, Scotland’s census is crucial to understanding the lives of the people who make the nation. It is a vital resource for policy makers and service providers in our present time, and equally essential to historians exploring who we were and how we got here.

    Read more at:

    Wishing love: a song and poem for the new year
    There is a great deal of discrepancy between the world as it really is and the world that we ought to have.

    Read more at:

    Covid: Quebec to impose health tax on unvaccinated Canadians
    The Canadian province of Quebec will charge a health tax to residents who are not vaccinated against Covid-19.

    Read more at:

    Following the science tells us Sturgeon’s government lacks candour
    IF WE COMPARE the Omicron wave with previous waves, examine hospitalisation with Covid data and explore infection spread it is increasingly clear the Scottish Government (ScotGov) jumped the gun when rushing to impose new restrictions, tantamount to a New Year lockdown for hospitality.

    Read more at:

    On the edge: Ministers accused of abandoning Scotland’s island communities and urged to act on homes, jobs and ferries to secure their Future.
    Scotland’s islands have lost 20 million of EU funding in the first year of Brexit as uncertainty surrounds the financial support meant to replace it, community leaders warn today. The financial shortfall is, they say, only part of a wider failure by ministers and public service quangos to effectively tackle a series of crises threatening the future of island communities.

    Read more at:

    The finest ocean liner ever built
    Fifty years years ago this week, on the morning of 9 January 1972, one of the finest ocean liners ever built, the former RMS Queen Elizabeth, perished in Hong Kong. Six thousand miles away, at his home in England, a former captain, Commodore Geoffrey Marr, told reporters: It must be sabotage.

    Read more at:

    Greater Govanhill: a publishing success story
    Although launched only a year ago in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic upheaval, a hyper-local independent community magazine project centred on Govanhill in Glasgow's south side, has already emerged as a remarkable and heart-warming Scottish publishing success story.

    Read more at:

    Emmanuel Macron election horror show looms - French President loses grip in new poll
    EMMANUEL MACRON is losing ground against Valerie Pecresse should the two presidential candidates face each other in the second round of the election, according to a new poll.

    Read more at:

    Electric Canadian

    The Inuits of our Arctic Coast
    By His Honour Lieut.-Governor J. C. Schultz, LL.D., M.D. (1890) (pdf)

    You can read this at:

    Sir William Alexander and the Scottish Attempt to colonize Acadia.
    By the Rev. George Patterson, D.D. (1892) (pdf)

    You can read this at:

    Builders of Nova Scotia
    A Historical Review^ with an Appendix containing Copies of Rare Documents Relating to the Early Days of the Province By Sir John G. Bourinot, K.C.M G., LL.D. (1899) (pdf)

    You can read this at:

    THOUGHTS on a SUNDAY MORNING - the 9th day of January 2022 - EPIPHANY
    By the Rev. Nola Crewe

    You can view this at:

    The Conquest of a Continent
    Or the Expansion of Races in America by Madison Grant (1933) (pdf)

    You can read this at:

    Electric Scotland

    Beth's Video Talks
    January 12th 2022 - Overlooked Genealogy resources 1

    You can view this at:

    Beth's Newfangled Family Tree

    Hi Everyone,
    Here is the first part of the February issue of BNFT. I hope you enjoy reading it. As always, I had such a good time making it for you.

    All of my life when I have seen an old building torn down and the earth that was for all those years covered by that building exposed again, I have wished that someone with the knowledge to do it would check the ground when things started to grow to see if any plants came up that are today extinct or rare. Where did that come from? I have no idea. I only know that the article in this section about the Judean date palm just grabbed my interest and imagination. It's here for you to see and there are many articles on the Internet about this amazing happening. Just type in "Judean Date Palm Tree." This tree was one of the largest crops in Judea 2000 years ago, but was lost completely and has been brought back. A few folks have even been able to taste those ancient dates! What a thrill that would be.

    In this issue of Beth's Newfangled Family Tree, we help celebrate the American College of Heraldry's 50th anniversary. I've been an honorary member since 1999 and do have my American College of Heraldry Arms. You'll find a story about the anniversary and, HURRAH, a column by the present Executive Director, David Robert Wooten who has agreed to do columns for BNFT along and along. Thanks, David! Congratulations to the American College of Heraldry!

    I am delighted to be able to give you a tiny bit of medical advice. Imagine my feelings when the fingernail on the index finger of my right hand began to curl and try to grow across under the existing nail. My thoughts were, "YUK." It took me almost a year to find who would work on something like that. I did not even know it was called an ingrown fingernail. I discovered that it is an orthopaedic surgeon who will work on it. I had very little pain and could use the finger right away. Hopefully, in another few months, it will once again at least look like a human finger.

    Tom is progressing very well these days. We think his pressure ulcer will be healed in another month or two or three. His heart was not damaged by the Afib of last November and the kidney stone will be destroyed in another 10 days or so. If you know someone who is a paraplegic or quadriplegic please ask them to get checked for kidney stones. Paraplegics with high levels of injury (Tom is a T-4.) or quadriplegic cannot feel the kidney stone pain.

    Remember, please, to notify me at <> if you have a change in your email address. I hope you know that Flowers of the Forest are free in BNFT as are genealogical queries. Send that information to my email too.

    Oh, if you would like to browse amongst the archives of BNFT since 2007, you're most welcome to do so. Just go to <>; and you'll find the archives and the newest issues of the publication. FREE, of course.

    Stay safe and healthy.



    You can read this issue at:

    Banff & Macduff Curling & Skating Clubs
    By Stanley Bruce (2022) (pdf)

    You can read this at:

    Jay Scott
    Highland Athlete

    You can read about him at:

    Balquhidder, Lochearnhead and Strathyre Highland Games
    Featured athlete - Ewen Cameron

    You can read this at:

    Alexander Anthony (AA) Cameron of Mucomir, Spean Bridge
    Was a heavyweight legend and three times world champion, in 1903, 1904 and 1905.

    You can read about him at:

    The British Colonial Press Coverage of the Indian Rebellion of 1857-8 and its Relationship to Local Concerns
    By Ralph Stewart Loch, A thesis submitted for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy in January, 2018 (pdf)

    You can read this at:

    Scottish Banner
    Got in their January 2022 issue.

    You can read this issue at:

    Sandy Sutherland, athlete
    Born: 28 March 1931 in Portmahomack. Died: 19 November 2021 in Inverness, aged 90

    You can read about him at:

    Ancient Marriage Customs
    Includes a pdf copy of Traditional Customs connected with the Scottish Liturgy

    You can read this at:


    Ancient Marriage Customs

    In the volume “Traditional Customs connected with the Scottish Liturgy’’ by Mr F. C. Eeles, F.R.Hist.S., FSA Scot., etc, newly published by the Alcuin Club, the following is given regarding ancient marriage customs:—

    Until comparatively recently, marriages more commonly took place at the bride’s house than at the church. Before marriage, women used to wear nothing on their heads, except perhaps a shawl on a rainy or a cold day and in church. The hair was kept in place by a narrow black band called the snood, passing round the temples and tied behind, the presence of which unfailingly denoted virginity—indeed, if an unmarried woman committed fornication, the snood would have been torn from her head, if not laid aside by herself. At and after marriage, the woman put on a cap, made of white linen, tint in front and pleated behind. This was worn no matter how young the Bride might be, or how much hair she had, and, it was never afterwards discontinued. It will be noticed that it was really of the nature of a veil, and may have originally denoted that the wearer was living under vows. This would rather lend support to the view that the bride's veil is separate and distinct from the care-cloth. The bride’s dress was usually a mixture of reds and whites. The bride was attended by one bridesmaid (who was not a mere child), called her maiden, ami also by a young man. The bridegroom had likewise a young man, and also a “maiden.” The bride and bridegroom were accompanied at the .altar by one “maiden'’ and one young man, the other “maiden” and the other young man reunaining in a seat in the church. Widows and widowers were married on Sunday morning immediately before service.

    During the marriage service the man stood on the right, the woman on the left, as directed by the rubrie, which, like most of the marriage service, is taken directly from the Sarum Manual. At. the word "Who giveth this Woman to be married to this Man?” the bride's father took Iher right hand and placed it in the priest’s right hand, and the priest thereupon gave it into the right hand of the man, who then said, “I, N, take thee, N. to be my wedded wife,” etc. The ring was placed upon the book, and the priest made the sign of the cross over it, using some form of blessing in silence. The man placed it on the third finger (that next the little finger) on the woman’s left hand. An old tradition told how at one time the ring was first placed momentarily on the thumb and the other fingers in succession before being finally placed on the ring finger. This was a very interesting survival of the old Sarum ceremony. . . .

    It is very curious that the more modern custom of placing the ring, on the left hand has become the rule in Scotland—why, it is not easy to say. The right hand was anciently the hand for the ring, but Cranmer changed it to the left in the 1549 Prayer Rook. Strangely enough, the same change was made by the Roman Church in the ”Rituale” of Paul V. in 1615. and it was at first only received in certain places. The Romanists in this country, for example, do not seem to have adopted it until the eighteenth century. .....

    The bride and bridegroom did not walk arm-in-arm or even side-by-side within the church; the bridegroom wont, first, followed by the bride, and afterwards the young men and the “maidens.”

    But the great occasion for ceremony—-more than the actual marriage—was the “kirkin’,” or first appearance in church. of the newly married couple. This took place on the first. Sunday after the marriage, or on the same day (being Sunday) in the case of a. widow. About half an hour before the beginning of the service, the bride’s father (or oldest, male relative) went to the church ami sat down at the outside end of the seat which the newlv married couple were going to occupy, so as to keep out intruders. At the beginning of the service, the bride and bridegroom came to church in procession; the bride went first, supported by the two young men, one on each side, and the bridegroom followed, supported in like manner by the two “maidens.” At the church door the young men and the “maidens” stood aside and allowed the bridegroom to pass into the church and up the passage first and unattended. The two “maidens” and the two young mon follows!, each side by aide. The bridegroom stood at the entrance to (he seat while the rest of the party went in, and they sat in the following order—the. bride at the inner end of the seat next the wall; next her. not the bridegroom, but her own “ maiden ” ; then her young man, next the bridegroom’s maiden and his young man, last of all the bridegroom "himself at the outside end of the seat, the bride’s father having moved off somewhere else on the entry of the procession.

    When the newly married couple first received Communion together, they went to the altar one after the other, and not side by side. The bride knelt between her husband and the priest, that is to say, on the right or south side in churches where the priest communicated the people from south to north. . . . She therefore received first; but she kept the Sacrament in her hands until her husband received, and then they both consumed it together. This, of course, could not be done in the case of the chalice. After the “kirkin’,” they left the church in procession in the same order in which they came. . . .

    At Muchails ... a very peculiar custom was observed. The bridegroom's young man, who supported the bride on heir right, carried in his right band a staff, made of some white wood with the bark peeled off. It was between two and a half and three feet long, and was carried upright, a bunch of blue ribbons being tied to the top of it. The young man (who sat next thio bridegroom) held it in his right hand throughout the service. In the evening, the ribbons or streamers were tied round the right arm of the bridegroom ,. who wore them that night.

    These marriage customs, which are of great interest, survived till the end of the nineteenth century among the fishing population on the coast, particularly at Muchalls. The recent migration of the fishing people to the large towns has had a most disastrous effect upon all old usages, and if a marriage were to take place among the few remaining inhabitants of the old villages, it is hard to know how much or how little of the old ceremonial would be followed.


    Weekend is almost here and hope it's a good one for you.


  • #2
    Hi Al, good to see the reports about the 'heavy' athletes.
    Also I have to agree with the thoughts about the costs associated with obtaining info on ancestors from Scotlands People... A surname of Campbell, combined with the fact that both parents had that name, add in the proclivity of the same forenames and tracing my family becomes very expensive.