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August 20, 2010

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  • August 20, 2010

    Electric Scotland News
    Electric Scotland Community
    The Flag in the Wind
    Holiday Cottages
    Gairloch in North-West Ross-Shire
    Book of Scottish Story
    Robert Burns Lives!
    Scottish Notes and Queries
    The Kingdom of Fife
    Scottish Loch Scenery
    Oor Mither Tongue
    Poems of William Dixon Cocker
    The Land of the Leal
    Pipes of War
    Geikie's Etchings
    From the Clyde to California
    The Highlands and Islands of Scotland
    Town Council Seals of Scotland
    Historical Description of the Town of Dundee
    Annals of the Scottish Widows Fund Life Assurance Society (New Book)
    The Railways of Scotland (New Complete Book)
    Scottish History Society (50 volumes of great Genealogy resources)
    St Hilda’s Church of England, the Headland, Hartlepool
    Records of Inverness
    Scottish Parochial Registers
    Rosslyn Castle and Chapel (Complete New Book)
    Clan Cochrane Newsletters
    Poems in the N.E. Doric

    Electric Scotland News
    Hopefully by now you'll have made use of our Toolbar which appears at the foot of each page of our site.

    From a personal perspective I am getting a lot of interesting information myself from viewing the live stats. I think it reinforces just how wide our content is. For example I did a snapshot of some of the pages that were being viewed live the other day and the list included...

    If you actually sit and watch them for a wee while you see people coming in and out all the time and thus the pages being viewed are always changing.


    i managed to get to the Fergus Scottish Festival on Saturday and managed to meet a few folks. Regret to say I was not feeling well after a couple of hours there so had to cut my visit short. I did however manage to take pictures of most of the clan tents. I was also able to do a wee feature on the clan passports and you can see this at


    Dr Houston Lowry has died in Tennessee. He was very involved with the Clan MacLaren and other Scottish American organisations and Beth Gay provides a special supplement on his life which you can read at


    This week I've done a lot of work on genealogical publications which are all in pdf format. In particular I worked on 50 volumes from the Scottish History Society as looking at one volume I was struck with the sheer volume of names going back to 1574. My problem was simply that while these volumes were available there was no information as to the contents of each. I then tried to find some list somewhere that might list the contents but was unable to find anything. I thus thought it would be a worth while task to open each volume to find the title and some information as to the contents. While doing all this work I also found a few other publication that I thought would be useful for reference. And so below you'll find more details on these volumes and hope you'll find them useful.

    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
    Seems the new release did in fact break something as it would appear there is a problem saving scores in our Arcade and the Links system is not taking new links <sigh>. Steve is working on this to resolve these issues and pleased to say he has fixed the scoring in the Arcade. Still working on the Links though.

    Thankfully the forums are all working well and lots of new messages and threads have been entered.

    Our community can be viewed at

    This weeks issue was compiled by Jamie Hepburn. In this issue he talks about the BP enquiry and gives a tribute to Jimmy Reid. Also discussions on the Tory/Lib Dem alliance.

    You can read this compilation at

    Holiday Cottages
    These are wee tourism articles. Got in this week...

    Speyside - The malt treasure of Scotland.

    This can be read at

    Gairloch in North-West Ross-Shire
    It's Records, Traditions, Inhabitants and Natural History with a Guide to Gairloch and Loch Maree and a Map and Illustrations" by John H. Dixon FSA Scot. published in 1886.

    Added this week...

    Part IV.—Guide to Gairloch and Loch Maree.

    Chapter XX.—Deer Forests and Grouse Shooting

    List of Books and MSS. Quoted or Referred to
    Statement of Authorities for Traditions, &c, embodied in this Book.
    I. Mountains of Gairloch
    II. Distances
    III. Population of Gairloch
    IV. Ministers of the parish of Gairloch
    V. Lairds of Gairloch

    A. Genealogical Account of the MacRas, by Rev. John Macrae, who died 1704.
    B. Tour in Scotland by Thomas Pennant in 1772.
    C. Old Statistical Account of Scotland, 1792.
    D. Dr MacCulloch's Highlands and Western Isles of Scotland, 181 to 1821
    E. New Statistical Account of Scotland, 1836

    Appendix B starts...

    EXTRACT from "A Tour in Scotland and Voyage to the Hebrides, 1772, by Thomas Pennant." Dedication dated at Downing, March 1, 1774.

    Mr Pennant accomplished most of his tour in the Western Highlands and Islands by means of a sailing vessel. Landing at Dundonnel at the head of Little Loch Broom, on 30th July 1772, in tempestuous weather, he was hospitably entertained by Kenneth Mackenzie, Esq. of Dundonnel. He made this note here:— "Dundonnel,—Determine to go by land to visit Loch Maree, a great lake to the south ; and direct Mr Thompson to sail and wait for us at Gairloch."

    After a rough ride, occupying most of the day, and which seems to have been by way of Achneigie, thence by Glen na Muic and the heights of Kenlochewe to the lower end of Glen Dochartie (a route still indicated by a mountain track), he writes as follows (vol. ii., page 328) under date of 1st August 1772 :—

    "Black morassy heaths succeed, named Gliann-dochartai. Dine on the side of a rill at the bottom, on plentiful fare provided by our kind host, whose son Mr Mackenzie, and another gentleman of the name, kindly undertook the charge of us to the next stage. Ride through a narrow strath called Kin-loch-ewe, where we first saw the signs of houses and a little cultivation since morning. This terminates in a meadowy plain, closed at the end with Loch-Maree : the night proved wet and tempestuous; we therefore determined to defer the voyage till next day; and to shelter ourselves in a whisky house, the inn of the place. Mr Mackenzie complimented Mr Lightfoot and me with the bedstead, well covered with a warm litter of heath : we lay in our cloaths, wrapped ourselves in plaids and enjoyed a good repose. Our friends did not lose their sleep ; but great was our surprize to see them form their bed of wet hay, or rather grass collected from the fields; they flung a plaid over it, undressed, and lay most comfortably, without injury, in what, in a little time, must have become an errant hot bed: so blest with hardy constitutions are even the gentlemen of this country!

    You can read the rest of this account at

    You can read all these chapters at

    Book of Scottish Story
    We've started "Peat-Casting Time" by Thomas Gillespie which is a 2 part story and we have the first part up which can read at

    The other stories can be read at

    Robert Burns Lives!
    By Frank Shaw

    What an honor to have Clark McGinn send the following article. Clark is a gifted Scottish speaker, talented writer, consummate Burnsian, and a Historian in his own right. He would easily be described as “a Burns scholar”. I’ve never seen anyone credit his sources like Clark, who knows as much about the Bard as anyone I know!

    Clark McGinn is a man of the people because he speaks and writes from his heart. Those who are fortunate to hear him speak or read his books and articles understand him. We are fortunate to have him again in this space and I in particular find this topic illuminating. Sir Walter Scott occupies a prominent spot in my library as well as in my heart. Scott was my first Scottish hero, long before Burns became such an important part of my life. No man loved Scotland and her people more than Scott, including Burns. While Scott seemed to have been the forgotten writer during the big Homecoming events last year, he stands tall in my life. He was the world’s first celebrity writer! It is because of him that today we have “historical novels”.

    Thanks, Clark, for dropping by again. You are always welcome and I’d like to pay tribute to the Burns Chronicle where this article previously appeared. (FRS: 8.19.20)

    You can read this article at

    Frank's other articles can be read at\

    Scottish Notes and Queries
    This is a periodical started in 1887.

    We decided to make some of these issues available for you to read and added another issue this week. These issues can be found at the foot of the page at

    The Kingdom of Fife
    Its Ballads and Legends by Robert Boucher, Jun (1899)

    This week we added another chapter called "The Struggle for Independence" which can be read at

    By the British Medical Association (1922)

    We've added another chapter to this book, "Ecclesiastical Glasgow in Pre-Reformation Times" By John Edwards, LL.D.

    You can read this at

    Scottish Loch Scenery
    From drawings by A F Lydon with descriptive notes by Thomas A Croal (1882)

    This week we added "Falls of Inversnaid" which you can read at

    The other entries can be read at

    Oor Mither Tongue
    An Anthology of Scots Vernacular Verse by Ninian Macwhannell (1938)

    And we've now started on the final section on "Poems Suitable for School Competitions" and we have the first three poems...

    Cuddle Doon, Schule in June and Castles in the Air.

    These can be read at

    Poems of William Dixon Cocker
    We've been adding a few pages from this book each week and have now arrived at his English poems Pages 187 - 192 which you can read at

    Pipes of War
    A Record of Achievements of Pipers of Scottish and Overseas Regiments during the War of 1914 - 1918. by Brevet-Col. Sir Bruce Seton, Bart. of Abercorn, C.B. and Pipe Major John Grant. (1920)

    We have added lots more pages...

    Canntaireachd. By Major J. P. Grant, MC., Yr. of Rothiemurchus
    The Irish Pipes: Their History, Development and Divergence from the Simple Highland Type. By W. H. Gratton Flood, Mus D., K.S.G,
    The Tuition of Young Regimental Pipers. By John Grant, Pipe Major
    The Spirit of the MacCrimmons, By Fred T. MacLeod, FSA Scot
    A Gossip about the Gordon Highlanders. By J. N. Bulloch
    To The Lion Rampant. By Alice C. MacDonnell of Keppoch
    The Music of Battle. By Philip Gibbs

    Here is how The Spirit of the MacCrimmons starts...

    IT was the year 1626, a memorable year in the history of the Western Isles of Scotland, and singularly eventful in the history of Skye and of the Dunvegan family. Sir Rory Mor MacLeod, warrior and statesman, patron of Art, of Music and of Letters, and dispenser of lavish hospitality to rich and poor alike, had died in the Chanonry of Ross an event "greatly deplored among the Gael at that time" The ancient sea-gate of Dunvegan Castle was opened, and into a waiting boat stepped Patrick Mor MacCrimmon, the dead chief's hereditary piper, the representative of a line of pipers almost as long as the line of MacLeod chiefs. Swiftly, yet silently, the piper was rowed across Loch I)unvegan to Boreraig. MacCriminon stepped ashore and took from his servant the instrument which had on many occasions cheered his beloved master. His heart could no longer contain its pent-up emotion, and his frame shook with a violent outburst of grief. Then, with head erect and firm step, he walked the remaining distance to the renowned College of Pipers, the home of his family for many generations. The fingers of a master player lingered for a moment lovingly on the chanter. In swift succession there fell upon the ears of his pupils, themselves no mean players of ancient piobaireachd, the arresting, appealing, plaintive notes of "Cumha Ruaridh Mhoir," "Lament to Rory Mor."

    You can read the rest of this chapter at

    You can read these chapters at

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

    "Hech Sirs, I'll Rive"
    Show Jamie
    Grassmarket - Hallow Fair

    You can read these at

    From the Clyde to California
    With jottings by the way by James Airken (1882)

    we've added the final 2 chapters to this book...

    Chapter IX.—Cotton Manufacture in America—New York—Rochester
    Chapter X.—Home Journey—Parting Words to Pleasure-Seekers and Farmers— Conclusion

    Here is how Chapter 9 starts...

    HAVING exhausted the time allotted for our stay in Boston, we proceed by rail to Fall River, which is 48 miles south, and is the point where passengers ship on board the steamer for New York. Viewing the city from either the boat or rail, it has a dull, monotonous appearance, the houses being all detached, with a considerable extent of ground to each, which is used either for ornamental gardens or for orchards, but principally for orchards, on which there was an abundant crop of various kinds of fruit Many of the footpaths were strewn with cherries, which were over-ripe and had fallen from the trees. It is the custom there to employ boys to climb the trees and pull the cherries. The boys get as the reward for their labour the half of all they pull, and the owner of the orchard claims the other half as his share.

    Entering the city, we soon discover that it is not the dull place we had anticipated. There is activity and bustle at every turn. It is only the wide streets and the great extent of ground on which the city stands that give it the quiet appearance. It is one of the great centres of American cotton manufacture. There is no other work carried on within the city unless what is requisite to supply the immediate wants of the inhabitants. This place has been judiciously selected for such an industry on account of a succession of natural ponds, about two miles distant, and covering an area of about 3500 acres on the high land. The water-shed to these ponds is but trifling; the supply is chiefly derived from springs that furnish sufficient water to give a constant supply to a very rapid stream from which the city takes its name, and which furnishes a constant flow of 7300 cubic feet per minute, or about three times the quantity of the Greenock Shaws water supply for driving purposes. The increase of the cotton manufacture in this locality has fairly outgrown the water-power of the district. Some of the mills lately erected have had to adopt steam power, the falls on the stream being all taken up. In 1870 the population was 27,000, with thirteen mills in operation. It is now about 55,000, with forty-five mills running, and four at present in course of erection, all of which are owned by joint-stock companies.

    You can read the rest of this chapter at

    You can read the other chapters at

    The Highlands and Islands of Scotland
    Painted by W Smith Junior, Described by A R Hope Moncrieff

    We've now completed this book with the following chapters...

    Chapter V - Pibrochs and Coronachs
    Chapter VI - Tourists
    Chapter VII - Lochaber No More
    Chapter VIII - The Outer Hebrides
    Chapter IX - Thule
    Chapter X - Children of the Mist

    You can read these chapters at

    Town Council Seals of Scotland
    Historical, Legendery and Heraldic by Alexander Posteous

    Added this week...

    Dalbeatie to Dysart

    You can read these at

    Historical Description of the Town of Dundee
    We've provided another book on Dundee in pdf format but have also extracted the engravings from it to show what Dundee looked like in the old days. You can see these engavings and download the book at

    Annals of the Scottish Widows Fund Life Assurance Society
    During 100 years, compiled by the Hon. Sir Herbert Maxwell (1914).

    IT can scarcely be expected of any purely business concern that its annals should furnish matter for exciting or amusing literature; but a brief chronicle of prosperous enterprise may not be devoid of interest to those who have experienced the vicissitudes of financial endeavour, and have realised in their own persons the strain of anxiety inseparable from the initial stages, as well as the glow of success after difficulties have been overcome. It is fitting, also, that the members of the Scottish Widows' Fund Life Assurance Society should be in possession of such information as will enable them to honour the memories of those men who, at a time when the principles of life assurance were but dimly understood, had the hardihood to launch a scheme of that nature, the foresight and sagacity to steer it through the perils of infancy, and to hand it on to succeeding generations endowed with the sound constitution which has caused it to attain to its present vigour and scope.

    We've now made a start at this book and you can read it at

    The Railways of Scotland
    By W. M. Acworth (1890)

    The present work, though it would claim to be regarded as a book complete in itself, is, to this extent, a supplement to the larger book which I published last year on the Railways of England— that it avoids dealing with matters which are there described, and that it owes its existence to the favour with which the public received its elder brother.

    Once more I have to acknowledge my obligations to the officials of the different lines for the ready assistance they have given me, and for the information which in almost every case they have freely placed at my disposal. More especially I must express my gratitude to Mr. George Graham, who, as one of Joseph Locke's assistants, started the first passenger train upon the Caledonian Railway, of which for seven-and-thirty years he has now been chief engineer, not only for a copy of his privately printed work on the origin of the Caledonian, but also for the unwearied kindness which has opened to me the stores of railway knowledge garnered for half a century by a marvellously accurate and retentive memory. To Mr. Drummond also, the locomotive superintendent of the same line, who has placed unreservedly at my disposal a large mass of curious and interesting old railway documents collected by him, I would tender my most hearty thanks. Not a little of the detail in the first chapter has, I may add, been filled in by tradition, handed down in my own family from the time when my grandfather was one of the original promoters and directors of the Monkland and Kirkintilloch Railway. To Mr. Arrol also, the builder of the Forth Bridge, I must express my thanks for the kindness which led him, not only to explain to me some of the methods adopted in the execution of his wonderful work, but also to look through and correct the proof sheets of what I have written on the subject.

    This is a short book and we've actually got it all up now for you to read at

    Scottish History Society
    I've spent several days cataloguing some 50 pdf volumes from this society which contain thousands of old records. I spotted them on the Internet archive but there were no descriptions of the contents and I was unable to find any reference sources. So I have gone through each one to give a brief summary of the contents.

    What I did was create a page where you get the title of the volume which in turn links to a page for that volume where you can read the Preface which tells you something of the contents and there is also a link to download the volume.

    This is a fabulous resource for genealogists. There are a few missing volumes but we'll keep an eye open for them and if found will add them for you.

    The list look like this...

    Volume 1
    The Commissariot Record of Edinburgh/Register of Testaments. Part I. Volumes 1 - 35 1514 - 1600
    Volume 2
    The Commissariot Record of Edinburgh/Register of Testaments. Part II. Volumes 35 - 81 1601 - 1700.
    Volume 3
    The Commissariot Record of Edinburgh/Register of Testaments. Part III. Volumes 81 - 131 1701 - 1800.
    Volume 4
    The Commissariot Record of Inverness/Register of Testaments. 1630 - 1800.
    Volume 5
    The Commissariot Record of Hamilton and Campsie/Register of Testaments. 1564 - 1800.
    Volume 6
    The Commissariot Record of Aberdeen/Register of Testaments. 1715 - 1800.
    Volume 7
    The Commissariot Record of Glasgow/Register of Testaments. 1547 - 1800.
    Volume 8
    The Commissariot Record of St. Andrews/Register of Testaments. 1549 - 1800.

    You can read these at

    St Hilda’s Church of England, the Headland, Hartlepool United Kingdom
    An article by Kelly Whitiker showing the connection of this church with Robert the Bruce. This can be read at

    Records of Inverness
    I came across this 2 volume publication which details some fascinating records going back to the 16th century. They are in pdf format and I thought I'd make these available for you to read. See the foot of the page at

    Scottish Parochial Registers
    This is a pdf publication which details the state of the Parochial records in Scotland. It does an excellent job of telling us what is available and what is not and thus can help the genealogist to trace what is available.

    You can read this publication at

    Rosslyn Castle and Chapel
    By Will Grant

    Thanks to John Henderson for sending us in this book. The various chapters are in pdf format and the whole book is complete on the site.

    You can read this at

    Clan Cochrane Newsletters
    Added more of these which you can read at

    Poems in the N. E. Doric
    Nae Mercy
    A poem in N.E. Doric by John Henderson. which you can read at

    I might add that I've been taken to task about my misspelling of Doric which for some reason I keep spelling Dorric. Hopefully I'll now remember the correct spelling <grin>

    John has done an amazing job on these Doric poems most of which are accompanied by suitable background music. I note however that for some reason Firefox and Chrome don't appear to be able to play the music but IE does. You can see his whole collection at

    And to finish I noted this message in our Rib Ticklers forum in our Electric Scotland Community...

    Pope's visit to Glasgow

    The Pope comes to Glasgow and asks "Anyone with 'special needs' who wants to be prayed over, please come forward to the front by the altar."

    With that, wee Brendon got in line, and when it was his turn, the Pope asked, "My son, what do you want me to pray about for you?"

    Wee Brendon replied, "Your Holiness, I need you to pray for help with my hearing."

    The Pope put one finger of one hand in Brendon’s ear, placed his other hand on top of his head, and then prayed and prayed and prayed. He prayed a great prayer for Brendon, and the whole congregation joined in with great enthusiasm.

    After a few minutes, the Pope removed his hands, stood back and asked, "Brendon, how is your hearing now?"

    Wee Brendon answered, "Ah don't know. It's no' 'til next week....."

    And that's it for now and hope you all have a good weekend :-)