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Newsletter for 26th August 2022

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  • Newsletter for 26th August 2022

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

    Electric Scotland News

    I would encourage you to make use of our own site search engine when reading anything on the site. For example one of the two stories I added to this newsletter mentions lots of names. I decided to try and learn more about them and used Google to do a search for them and while they found the people it didn't provide that much information. I then decided to use our own site search engine and found lots more than I'd found using Google.

    I know a lot of you also use our site for Genealogy research which is why I'm working with MyHeritage and have thus embedded their site search engine onto our site search page which you can get to at:

    I might just add that if you have advertising turned off then you won't see the MyHeritage search engine which is at the top of the search page in which case you'll need to scroll down the page to find our own search engine. Of course at the top of all our pages there is a link to our site search engine page.

    I'd also like to mention that on our search page I provide 6 helpful tips on how to make use of it when doing searches and in some cases this can cut down the number of links that are suggested. Tips like turning on case sensitive searches or turning off stemming are also useful tips and I explain more on the page.


    The Garbage strike in Edinburgh seems to be causing some people real difficulties with the smell in this hot weather not being very pleasant to say the least. It's a 12 day strike so it's really piling up. Great advert for Scotland during the Edinburgh Festival.

    I confess I'd like to see some way of making strikes illegal as they often cause real problems for other people that have nothing to do with their issues. Like the rail strikes cause many people extra expense and time. Will the Union compensate them for that loss? Of course not!!!
    Then we have the school teachers and university professors looking to strike so that causes our children issues and parents then need to find ways to take time off work or rope in relatives to help. Again time and expense.

    There has to be a better way to resolve issues.

    I also noted that John Swinney MSP has suggested councils could do more to help and that is of course after 12 years of reducing their income levels. So where does the money come from to pay for all this? You and me have to find that money for them as they are all paid for through the Scottish Government and as they are responsible for education, health, transport and councils, etc. they have to find the money through taxation or reduce spending on something. And I might add that this applies no matter what party is in power.

    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.

    Conrad Black: Pierre Poilievre the man to raise Canada out of its infantile stupor
    The first plausible sign of a more adult direction in public policy leadership for some years is coming from Poilievre

    Read more at:

    Conrad Black: Donald Trump will be a successful president again
    Compared to his enemies, he is a candidate for Mount Rushmore

    Read more at:

    Children with support needs denied chance to reach their full potential
    Almost a third of school-aged children and young people are now assessed to have additional support needs (ASN).

    Read more at:

    We’re at pandemic levels of death. Why is no one talking about it?
    But it isn’t Covid that’s causing these deaths anymore. In the latest figures, published by the ONS, just 6 per cent of English and Welsh deaths had anything to do with Covid. Of nearly 10,000 weekly deaths in England, just 561 mentioned the virus on the death certificate.

    Read more at:

    By Hamish Mackay in the Scottish Review

    Read more at:

    Canada is hoarding its resources. Our allies have noticed
    German Chancellor Olaf Scholz's trip to Canada was supposed to be about LNG, not hydrogen

    Read more at:

    GERS 2022 - Here we go again
    Every year the Scottish Government's Chief Economist publishes the Government Revenue and Expenditure Scotland (GERS) report and every year the SNP's spin machine goes into over-drive. This year is no exception.

    Read more at:

    Working class heroes are a riveting sight
    PORT GLASGOW had a sculpture placed in the last month within shouting distance of the SNP Government-owned Ferguson’s yard. It’s refreshing to see a celebration of workers who wouldn’t know or care about mission statements or brands or company values. They just knew how to rivet and would do it for pay.

    Read more at:

    The untold history of black bourbon
    It's become undeniable that black people once missing from American whiskey bars and in the telling of whiskey's story have long played a role in creating the beloved spirit.

    Read more at:

    What will happen to energy bills and mortgages?
    Upcoming dates to be aware of

    Read more at:

    Scotland's biggest offshore wind farm to generate first power
    When the project is completed and running at full tilt the developers say it will be able to power the equivalent of two thirds of all the homes in Scotland.

    Read more at:

    Canada just missed possibly one of the greatest opportunities in its history
    Canada could have been using its LNG to save an embattled Europe ... and make billions in the process

    Read more at:

    Conrad Black: Is this a return to global MADness?
    We may be returning to a variant of the age of Mutual Assured Destruction

    Read more at:

    Electric Canadian

    A Short History and description of the Ojibbeway Indians
    Now on a visit to England (1844) (pdf)

    You can read this at:

    Canada and the Crimea
    Or, Sketches of a Soldier's Life from the Journals and Correspondence of the Late Major Ranken, R.E., Edited by his Brother W. Dayne Ranken (1862) (pdf)

    You can read this at:

    Canadian Energy Fact Book 2021-2022
    By Natural Resources Canada (pdf)

    An interesting publication which you can read at:

    Forty Years Among the Telugus
    A History of the Missions of the Baptists of Ontario and Quebec, Canada to the Telugus, South India 1867-1907 By the Rrv. John Craig, B.A. (1908) (pdf)

    You can read this at:

    Monograph of the Dènè-Dindjiè Indians
    By the Rev. B. Petitot, Oblat Missionary, Etc., Etc. Translated by Douglas Brymner (1878) (pdf)

    You can read this at:

    Thoughts on a Sunday Morning - the 21st day of August 2022 - Compassion
    By the Rev. Nola Crewe

    You can watch this at:

    An Unredeemed Captive
    Being the story of Eunice Williams, who, at the age of seven years, was carried away from Deerfield by the Indians in the year 1704, and who lived among the Indians in Canada as one of them for the rest of her life, written by Clifton Johnson (1897) (pdf)

    You can read this at:

    Electric Scotland

    Beth's Video Talks
    August 24th, 2022 - America It costs an arm and a leg and Laws of genealogy

    You can view this talk at:

    Beth's Newfangled Family Tree

    Hi Everyone. Here is the Section A for September. I believe it is chock full of articles and things you will enjoy. I hope so anyway.

    The weather here has been decent the past few days, and I can go out and water the "farm" early in the morning without being so hot. Fall will be here soon. I did find some non-hybrid veggie seeds and even have planted a second crop of yellow crook-neck squash, and they are coming up! I think we'll have time for some squash before fall/winter gets here.

    I will, if the Creek don't rise, be doing speeches at Stone Mountain again this year. I learned the times for them. I am doing my first talk at 11 AM Friday morning at the host hotel. There's no charge, no registration, just come. Tom is going to take just a few minutes to explain in the first talk about coats-of-arms, and I know you will enjoy that one! My subjects that morning will be Genealogy and the Scottish Games as well as This family tree may save your life.

    The second speech will be at 1 PM and will be about When you start Scottish Genealogy from the very beginning. We'll also talk just a little bit about Be careful of famous people. Tom will answer a few of your questions about your own Heraldry.

    So far, over the years, we've had much more fun than you're supposed to have in a genealogy talk.

    Tom had his surgery yesterday in Toccoa, GA. So far, so good. This surgery was to encourage his pressure ulcer to heal. We sure hope it works.

    I'm afraid the hospital staff had to rescue me from a broken recliner. I was very embarrassed. My feet were very high, and the chair wouldn't work. Ah well, it wasn't the first time my face has gotten red in more or less public.

    Be sure to remember to tell me if/when your email changes. Use to communicate with me, please.

    Please enjoy this section! See if you can help me figure out my strange eye colors on page 3.

    Many thanks.

    Aye, beth

    You can read this issue at:

    Record of the Kirk Session of Elgin
    1504 - 1779 with a brief record of the Readers, Ministers and Bishops 1567 - 1897 by Wm. Cramond, LL.D., FSAScot., Schoolmaster of Cullen (1897) (pdf)

    THE Minutes of the Kirk-Session of Elgin are, in several respects, the most valuable now extant in Scotland. The parish was of more than ordinary extent, and containing, as it did, a large burghal and a considerable rural population, the business of the Session was thus necessarily of a very varied character, while the successive Session Clerks were men possessed of exceptional qualifications for their office. Few, if any, Session Books illustrate so fully the various phases of social and religious life in the sixteenth, seventeenth, and eighteenth centuries.

    You can read this book at:

    Council of Scottish Clans and Associations
    Got in their Summer 2022 newsletter which you can read at:

    Ostend and Zeebrugge
    April 23: May 10, 1918 Despaches of Vice-Admiral Sir Roger Keys, K.C.B., K.C.V.O. and other Narratives of the Operations edited by C. Sanford Terry, Litt.D. (1919) (pdf)

    You can read this at:

    The Orphans of Glenulva
    By T A Latta (1882) (pdf)

    A novel based on facts which you can read this at:

    Did an update of this page and also added a most interesting book entitled Old Dundee which includes Ecclesiastical, Burghal, and Social Life prior to the Reformation by Alexander Maxwell, FSAScot (pdf) and included the contents of this section on our Dundee page so you can see the topics it covers.

    You can get to this at:

    Confessionalization and Clan Cohesion
    Ireland's contribution to Scottish Catholic renewal in the seventeenth century by R. Scott Spurlock (pdf)

    You can read this article at:

    A New Trumpet? The History of Women in Scotland 1300–1700
    By Elizabeth Ewan, University of Guelph (2009) (pdf)

    You can read this article at:

    Eunice Guthrie Murray
    She was the first woman to stand for election in Scotland.

    Added this person to our Scots Women in History page at:

    Fitting out a Man-of-War
    From Chambers's Journal (1854) Also added a short article on Philosophical Transactions - XV. On a new principle of constructing His Majesty's Ships of War. By Robert Seppings (1814) (pdf)

    You can get to this at:

    Moir Genealogy and Collatoral Lines
    By Mr Alexander L. Moir

    A massive volume of some 500 pages entitled “Moir Genealogy” has recently been published by the author, Mr Alexander L. Moir, of Lowell, Mass. The work, which is brightened by upwards of 150 tasteful illustrations, is the result of ten years careful gleaning, and reflects credit on Mr Moir for the width, as well as the thoroughness, of his research. Indeed the volume may be classified as a national history of the family, all those of importance bearing the surname in its varied form - whether in Scotland or America - being included. Copious extracts from parish registers, tombstone inscriptions, and other recognised authorities are given, while a table showing the wide distribution of the family is appended. Unfortunately through the work having been printed in Lowell, several slips in the spelling of names of people and places applicable to Scotland have crept in, but readers will have no difficulty in noting and overlooking these. Acknowledgments for assistance ate made to Mr Andrew J. Mitchell Gill of Savock; Mr R. Murdoch-Lawrance, Aberdeen; Mr John George Burnett of Powis, Mr James M. A. Wood, Aberdeen, and others. The edition is limited to 500 copies at £1 each, the Aberdeen agents being Messrs D. Wyllie and Son.

    You can get to this at the foot of our Moir page in the Scottish Nation at:


    Two stories for you this week....

    When Scotland was Barbaric—1742.

    I have recently had lent to me by Mr John MacGregor, Edinburgh, a rare and exceedingly, interesting pamphlet, entitled: —

    “A Short Scheme; whereby is proposed, by the Help of the Military Road, made by the Honourable Lieutenant General Wade, and now extended by the Honourable Lieutenant-General Clayton, effectually to stop Depredations and Theft, so frequently committed in, and so destructive, to the Northern Counties of Scotland. To which is added by way of postscript a short dissertation upon the most valuable uses great or small military roads are of, both to the Prince, and to the Country through which such roads are made.” Edinburgh, Printed and sold by the Booksellers, 1742: 4to; pp., iv., 15.

    The pamphlet, dedicated; to the Lord Justice-General of Scotland, the peers and “the honourable the Knights and Burgesses, representing the Counties and Burghs Boroughs be-north the Forth serving in this pamphlet,” was written by William Mackintosh, who dates from Edinburgh Castle, January 15, 1742. In his dedication he says:—

    “Fourteen years and more in this place has made me incapable of rendering all that Time any personal service to my country: and I will say had I those years been in the world, some thousands of acres had been this day inclosed, planted and carrying some profitable vegetable that now (and I doubt ever will) bear only the Heath, Moss or Water, Noah’s Flood left upon them: But, to be free of the Wiseman’s Reproach, I give, by my advice, my Country, the best service my situation and small capacity will allow.”

    He begins by an account of the history of the Black Watch, which had its rise and “from a few companies independent of any corps or regiment and for no other service but to stop depredations and stealing of cattle”: —

    “In consequence of this design two only companies, at first raised by Captain Grant and Major Mackenzie, successfully check’d! thieving from the river Tay to the North Ocean, where still, before depredations, murder and rapine of all Scotland was most frequently committed, but the wicked, idle and destructive crew of thieves, finding all the Passes in the North stop’d upon them, associate themselves with the thieves of Broadalbine and Argyle Shire, and make incursions be-south Tay, unon the shores of Perth; and all be-south it to Forth: upon which Campbell of Fannah, a brave and diligent officer, got a Company and scoured the South-side, as Grant and Mackenzie had the North.

    “Because the Military Road goes no further north than Fort Augustus, I begin at the end of it, to show how useful that road may be used to curb stealing, I divide a company of 70 men in six divisions, which allows twelve men to each division of five, and 10 to the sixth; the first division of these Twelve I post at Garvamore, the second Twelve I post at Dalwhinny, the third Twelve I post at Dalnakeardich, the fourth I post at the Bridge of Kynachan. In my way from this to the Bridge of Tay, I leave the great military road on the left hand, and post my last Twelve at the point of Lyon, of which last Twelve, four are to cross the Water of Lyon, and I post them at the mouth of the Water of Tay, just where it falls out of the Loch of that name, a very beaten pass of driving stolen cattle from Perthshire, Stirlingshire, Kinross, and Clackmannan shires into Glenlyon from Rannoch, Broadalbine, Glencoe, Appin, Lorn and many parts of Argyleshire.

    “This point of Lyon and Taymouth cannot be too carefully guarded. The desperate thieves that drive droves from the innocent Low Country People over these rivers want neither bridge or boat, but each man takes hold in his one hand of horse, bullock, or cow’s tail he drove into the water, and extends out his other hand with his fusee, and his pistol in his teeth, and so is drawn with his firearms dry to the other side. In their using which practice I myself have once apprehended them.

    “From Ruthven to Inverness there are four rivers, viz., Spey, Dulnan, Findorn, and Nairn interjected, without bridges or boats, the least of which very oft, every year, is capable not only to stop travellers, parties, and carriages, but even whole armies, if they have occasion to march that road.

    “It is true Spey has under Ruthven a bauble of a ferry boat, only of use when the river is fordable in a hundred places, never in a flood.

    “If it begins to rain or thaw when snows lying on the ground at their [travellers’] setting out from Inverness [from Edinburgh or Glasgow] they may pass the three nearest rivers to that town [the farthest, to wit, Tulnan, not being about 12 miles from it] and consequently but three or four hours riding at most. But by the time they ride the other 12 miles [if the min or thaw has continued], they find Spey not a river but a lake, and by that time the three rivers they past in the morning, now torrent, to be repast. So that travellers are caught in a trap, which frequently happens; and I believe was lately the case of a Noble Peer, travelling from his seat in the north to take his seat in Parliament, who, besides the inconveniency of bad quarters for his lordship and several ladies of quality in company, for some days, was at last obliged to cause men at the hazard of their lives to draw the small passage boat from the lower end of Lochinch up the river five or six miles to Ruthven, where his coach, after being pull’d down to pieces, was with difficulty forry’d over.

    “To make the Military Road useful to King and subject, the passage of Spey at Ruthven must be transposed to the lower end of Lochinch, where ... a large flat bottom’d boat, that will receive a coach or waggon, with their horse, and may be wrought by a cable, 20 or 30 fathoms long, will, in. the highest flood or greatest storms, ply safely, readily and at all times, except when the lake is frozen; and, when it is, there is within 100 paces lower a shallow pond, with a good firm gravel bottom, which never freezes, and is always very thin when the lake is cover’d with ice.”

    The pamphlet is well worth some antiquarian society reprinting. As it is, I have transcribed its more notable facts and suggestions.

    J. M. Bulloch.

    Agricultural Improvement in the North

    The first general Scottish Agricultural Society was founded in 1723. The earliest local society was started only seven years later, 'and, curiously enough, in a distant district “benorth the Mount.” The leading members of this body, who described themselves as "A Small Society of Farmers in Buchan,” and published in 1735 an essay on practical points of husbandry, were Alexander Lord Pitsligo, the Hon. Alexander Fraser of Strichen, a Senator of the College of Justice, Sir James Elphinstone of Logie, James Ferguson of Pitfour, Alexander Garden of Troup, James Gordon of Elion, Ernest Leslie of Balquhain, and William Urquhart of Meldrum. The original stimulus to agricultural improvement in the north had been given by a lady, daughter of the Earl of Peterborough, who married the eldest son of the Duke of Gordon in 1706. She brought down to the Duke’s estates “English ploughs with men to work them, and who were acquainted with fallowing—heretofore unknown in Scotland.”

    Probably the earliest of the pioneers of improved agriculture in Aberdeenshire was Sir Archibald Grant of Monymusk, who began the management of his estate on Donside in 1715. “At that time,” he afterwards wrote, “there was not one acre upon the whole estate enclosed, nor any timber upon it.... All the farms ill-disposed and mixed... The people poor, ignorant, and slothful and ingrained enemies to planting, enclosing, or any improvements or cleanliness.”

    Yet when John Wesley visited Monymusk in 1761 and 1764 he described it as lying in a beautiful and pleasant valley, in which Sir Archibald Grant had reclaimed a large area of waste ground, and planted millions of tree's, and stated that the cultivation, especially near the manor-house, would compare favourably with that prevailing in England. Another active improver was the Hon. Patrick Ogilvie, brother of the Earl of Seafield, who, as Chancellor of Scotland, had been largely responsible for the Act of Union. Mr Ogilvie devoted himself to cattk-raising, and on being remonstrated with by the Chancellor on his undignified business of cattle-dealing, he replied, “Better sell nowte than sell nations.” In Banffshire the lead was given by the Earl of Findlater, who, as Lord Deskford, went to reside on his estate in 1754.

    Another practical improver was Mr Udny of Udny, in Formartine, who invented an improved turnip-sower, and whose turnips were so successful as to give some cause for the boast of his loyal retainer—“Jamie, the Laird o’ Udny'e Feel”— when another proprietor was showing off his “roots” with satisfaction. “Neeps! They’re naething to the neeps at Udny. At Udny ilka ox eats its wye intil a neep, an’ bides there in a hoose o’ its ain till it’s ready for the flesher.” Wight, who conducted the Surveys of Scotland for the Commissioners of Forfeited Estates between 1773 and 1782, and published the results of his journeys in 1783, states that the land at Udny had originally been very rough. Yet, “with great expense and unremitting perseverance,” it was so improved that no vestige remained of what it had originally been; nothing was to be seen but neat enclosures, thriving hedges, and commodious offices; a favourable rotation of cropping had been established, it was famous for a breed of horses, and the “English bull shorthorn” and the cows, “some from England, some from Berwickshire, and some the very best of his own country breed” were good.

    Another public-spirited landlord was Mr Cumine of Auchry, in the west of Buchan, whose improvements in a high-lying and bare region were so noteworthy that Francis Douglas, who visited the east coast of Scotland in 1780, made a special journey from Aberdeen to inspect them. In the Garioch, Hacket, the Jacobite laird of Inveramsay, “that bann’t a’ the ’ouk and del’t dockens on Sunday,” was the first to introduce turnips, and set an example in laying out his lands in well-arranged fields, enclosed with fences planted with rows of ash and other hardwood trees.

    Both Wight and Douglas also preserve the names of other landlords engaged in the same efforts. Wight particularises in Aberdeenshire— the late Earl of Erroll, Buchan of Auchmacoy, Paton of Grandholm, Burnet of Crichie, Russel of Aden (termed by him Moncoffer—the owner's previous designation), Fraser oi Stricken, Ogilvie of Anchirie, Fraser of Memsie. the Master of Saltonn, Gordon of Ellon, Dirom of Muiresk, Gordon of Premnay, Forbes-Leith of Whitehaugh, Innes of Breda, Farquharson of Haughton. Burnet of Kemnay, Mr Baron Gordon of Clunie, “formerly more devoted to the study of the law than of husbandry, now - become a champion of the latter, an eleve of Lord Adam Gordon, to whom his conversion is probably owing,” and Garden of Troup. Douglas, in addition, records Skene of Parkhill, Sir Arthur Forbes of Fintray and Craigievar, Burret of Counteswells, Lord Monboddo, Lord Gardenston, Sir Alexander Ramsay of Balmain, and Irvine of Kingcausie. A local writer summarises the “patriotic labours” of Mr James Ferguson of Pitfour, grandson of one of the society of 1730, and, like him and his father, Lord Pitfour, a member of the Scottish bar, who was for the thirty years prior to 1820 member for Aberdeenshire, in the improvement of his own district.—“Lairds and the Land,” in “Blackwood’s Magazine” for February.

    Northern Rural Life in the Eighteenth Century is a good overview of early agricultural improvers in Aberdeen and Kincardineshire which you can read at:


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