Electric Scotland News
Electric Canadian
The Flag in the Wind
The Working Life of Christina McKelvie MSP
Jamieson's Dictionary of the Scottish Language
Scottish Poets in America
Calendar Of Documents Relating to Scotland
Northern Notes and Queries
Songs of Robert Burns
The Bards of Bon Accord 1375 - 1860
Biggar and the House of Fleming
Lairds and Lands of Loch Tayside
History of the Barrhead Co-operative Society Ltd.
The History of Blairgowrie (New Book)
Thistles And Ferns
The Ancestry Of The Younger Family
Robert Burns Lives!
Rankine, William John MacQuorn

Electric Scotland News
The ScotCards program is now live and well at and has been fully tested for sending out postcards both right away and at a future date and all arrived as expected.


Our ScotGenealogy program has now been installed on Electric Scotland. We hope to launch it next week as all we now need to do is some cosmetic things to make the site look good and configure some options.


Have also managed to get back to working on the site with a new book up for which see more below.


Got my US taxes sorted out and filed so guess this weekend it's now down to getting my Canadian taxes organised.

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 and also

Electric Canadian
As it was and as it is in 1877

This is an excellent account of Newfoundland with a chapter on Labrador. I'm hoping to make this book a basis for adding many pictures in the next week or so.

History of Farming in Ontario
By C. C. James (1914).

I already had this book available as a pdf file but decided to ocr the book onto the site to make it more easily readable.

Woolen Industry in Canada
A look at the past and present of the woolen industry in Canada.

I found an old pdf version of a booklet which discusses the industry and the poor state it is in. With this I found a current pdf publication on how the industry is doing today.

I do find it remarkable on how poor this sector is performing given the space that Canada can devote to sheep farming. But judge for yourselves by reading these two publications I've added.

This weeks issue has been Compiled by Jennifer Dunn and obviously covers the UK budget and how it reflects on Scotland.

You can read this issue at

The Working Life of Christina McKelvie MSP
We got in Christina's diary for 22nd March 2012 which you can view at

Jamieson's Dictionary of the Scottish Language
We've added more to this dictionary...

Scottish Language Letter T

You can read this at

Scottish Poets in America
With Biographical and Critical Notices by John D, Ross (1889)

Now added...

Telford, William

This is a new entry for this week and can be found at

The other entries can be found at

Calendar Of Documents Relating to Scotland
By Joseph Bain

Our thanks to John Henderson for compiling this for us. This week we've added...

Volume 4
1427 to 1453

Was interested to note the number of references to exporting salmon.

You can get to this at

Northern Notes and Queries
Edited by Rev. R. W. Cornelious Hallen (1886)

We now have up the next entry of this publication. "December Edition 1888", which you can read at

Good information on the name Livingston in this edition.

Songs of Robert Burns
We added "Historical Notes" to this book.

You can get to this book at

The Bards of Bon Accord 1375 - 1860
By William Walker

Added the chapter on "William Meston".

You can read this at

Biggar and the House of Fleming
An Account of the Biggar District, Archaeological, Historical and Biographical by William Hunter (1862)

We have now added...

Chapter XIV.
Physicians connected with Biggar
Chapter XV.
Biggar a Burgh of Barony
Chapter XVI
The Commerce and Trade of Biggar
Chapter XVII
The Benefit Societies of Biggar

Chapter XV starts...

ONE of the favours which James II. conferred on Robert, Lord Fleming, was the erection of Biggar into a free burgh of barony. The original charter is still preserved in the archives of the Fleming family. Like other early charters, it is of no great length. It states expressly, that, for the love and favour which the King had for Robert, Lord Fleming of Biggar, he erected Biggar into a free burgh of barony, with all the usual privileges, and particularly a weekly market on Thursday. This charter was given under the great seal, at Edinburgh, on the 81st of March 1451, It was renewed by the Scottish Parliament on the 25th November 1526, in the reign of James V., in the following terms:— ‘Our sourane Lord, with avis and consent of his thre estatis, ratifyis and apprevis ye charter of new infeftment maid be our sourane Lord to Malcolme, Lord Flemyng, making ye toun of Beggar and Kirktul-loch burghis in baronyis, with ye mercat dais, in all punctis and artiklis, effcer ye forme and tenor of ye said charter of infifbnent maid yareupon.’ New ratifications of this charter were made by James VL, on the 6th of January 1588; by Charles I., on the 1st of February 1634; and by Charles II., on the 10th of May 1662.

The privileges of a burgh of barony were, in general, the holding of a weekly market and certain annual fairs; the exaction of a custom on all merchandise brought into the burgh for public sale; the trial of all disputes and offences which took place within the bounds of the barony, with the punishment of offenders by fine, imprisonment, and even in some instances by death; and, lastly, the recovery of the baron’s mails, duties, profits, multures, and mill service.

It is a popular tradition, that the burgh of Biggar, at one time, possessed the power of self-government; and that it was thus, in point of jurisdiction, similar to a royal burgh, or a burgh of regality. This power, it is said, was taken away by the influence or active interference of a lawyer in Edinburgh, who in his youth had been a vagrant, and who, on account of some depredation committed at Biggar, had been rather roughly handled by the authorities and the inhabitants. The following rhyme is understood to have a reference to this transaction, from which it would seem that the individual in question had been drummed out of the town:—

‘The laddie had tricks that cost him fa’ dear,
For he was a runnagait loon;
But their links and their ain drumstick
Hae fared as ill for the toun.’

You can read the rest of this chapter at

The other chapters can be readt at

Lairds and Lands of Loch Tayside
By John Christie (1892)

This week we've added...

Some Woodcuts

And this now completes this book.

Here is how the account starts for Eddergoll...

THE district which extends from Auchroich burn at Callelochan to the east end of Loch Tay, was anciently known as Eddergoll. This name has been long obsolete, and is entirely unknown on Loch Tayside as a local place-name. From the Crown Rental of 1480, we find the district was then divided into Easter end of Eddirgolly, Wester end of Eddirgolly, Killalochane in Eddirgolly, and the Remainder of Eddirgolle. The mill of Eddirgolly is also mentioned. In the Exchequer Rolls for i486, the name appears as Ardgollane, and the Wester end is described as lying infra torrentes, while Killalochane is referred to as being in Nethergolly, and the mill as de Argolly. In the Chronicle of Fothergill’ we find other forms of the word:—“ 1531, August 11, Death of Duncan McConell Gorme at Rayn (Remony?) in Eddirzowell, and he was buried in the church of Inchaden at the north end of the Host Choir.” “ 1556, John Challar Moyr died at Eddergooyllyt, on the 27th of September, and was buried at Inchaden, on the eve of St. Michael the Archangel.”

Eddergoll appears to have been annexed to the Crown at a very early period, and until set in tack and eventually feued out to the lairds of Glenorchy, the lands were held by the different tenants direct of the king.

You can read the rest of this chapter at

You can read the other chapters at

History of the Barrhead Co-operative Society Ltd.
A Record of its Struggles, Progress, and Success from its Inception in 1861 until the Year of its Jubilee, 1911 by Robert Murray, J.P.

We now have up...

Chapter I. 1860-61: Establishment of the Society
Chapter II. Condition of Barrhead about 1860
Chapter III. 1861-71: Early Days of the Society
Chapter IV. 1871-81: Rapid Progress
Chapter V. 1881-91: Continued Advance
Chapter VI. 1891-1901: Further Progress

Here is how chapter III starts...

“Some of the objects of Co-operation are, to economise the necessary expenditure of the working class by dispensing with the unprofitable labour and capital that stand between the producer and the consumer, to gain access to the purest and cheapest markets, to afford commercial instruction to the people, to give opportunity for developing the intellectual and moral faculties, to inculcate the practice of prudential virtues, and thereby create higher aspirations and fit men for nobler aims in life.” —(From nth quarterly report of Barrhead Co-operative Society.)


AT the end of our first chapter we left the little shop at 95 Main Street with its shutters newly taken down, the shopman behind the counter with his sleeves up, and the committeemen all hopefully yet anxiously waiting the first results of their bold experiment. On the day the shop opened, the Society was in the position of having fifty members and capital amounting to £70—all of which was sunk in shop fittings and a small stock of groceries. It was a very humble beginning ; and a very small matter—the neglect of the members or a little carelessness on the part of the managers—might have meant its ruin. But once it had got fairly launched, the new Society went steadily on without a single setback worth speaking of. Doubtless there were moments of anxiety, but of these we find no mention in the chronicles of the period. On the contrary there were many things to hearten the pioneers, and we can readily understand with what joy the report would be received at the end of six weeks that the membership was increasing and that the weekly drawings for this period averaged £36,14s. From the first moment of the Society’s existence the directors face the difficulties that arise in a practical spirit which commands success.

You can read the rest of this chapter at

You can read the other chapters at

The History of Blairgowrie
Town, Parish and District being an account of the Origin and Progress of the Burgh from the Earliest Period with a description of the Antiquities, Topography, Civil History, Ecclesiastical and Parochial Records, Institutions, Public Works, Manufactures, Legends, Sports, Statistics, and Biographical Sketches of Eminent Persons, etc. by John A. R. MacDonald (1899)

A new book we're starting on. “The Barony of Blairgowrie—a gift fit even tor a Queen to bestow.”—Queen Mary to Ronald Graeme...

THE volume now published has been the work of my leisure for many months, but the collecting and compiling has been the labour of nearly fifteen years. During that period the MS. has been revised, condensed, and re-written five times. It was undertaken more from regard to the necessity of meeting a want long felt to exist than from any sense of fitness for the task. The Rev. James Johnstone’s contribution to the Statistical Account of Scotland is very valuable, and is reproduced in its entirety, yet lip to 1865, when Ireland’s handbook was issued, no History of Blairgowrie existed. In supplying the want referred to, I have endeavoured to collect and compile, as far as possible, the historical facts, records, and traditions, in the hope that they will interest and gratify the sons and daughters of “ Rest and be thankful,” especially those scattered abroad, with the memories of the good old town.

You can read this book at

Thistles And Ferns
The Memoirs of Bob Walker of Waipukurau, New Zealand.

This is a new account we're starting on which will continue for a few weeks until complete. You can read this at

The Ancestry Of The Younger Family of Alloa and Leckie, Gargunnock, Stirling
Our thanks to John Henderson for pulling this together for us. This is an interesting account and I note they ran a Salt business in Culross.

You can read this account at

Robert Burns Lives!
Edited by Frank Shaw

Hats off to Clark McGinn, formerly of London and currently of Dublin, a friend then, a friend now, no matter where he lives. Clark is always available with a helping hand or a word of encouragement. For years I had wanted to hear him speak and finally had that long awaited pleasure in January of this year during the annual Burns conference at the University of Glasgow’s Centre for Robert Burns Studies. No one present could have been disappointed in his presentation as he has mastered one trait many, including me, need to learn - stand up, speak up, and shut up. I’ll keep saying it until I die, “The mind will retain only want the tail will endure!”

Some of our readers may not be aware that Clark has two best sellers that appeal to the mind, heart and soul of those who love Robert Burns and all things Scottish, The Ultimate Guide to Being Scottish and The Ultimate Burns Supper Book. I don’t know of any other two publications that have helped me as much with both subjects. You may think you know all there is to know about your Scottishness and the annual Burns Supper you have attended for the last 25 years but if you have not read these two books, you are in for a surprise about how much you do not know about either topic.

Thanks again, Clark, for your friendship and for the many guest articles of yours that appear in the chapters of Robert Burns Lives!. (FRS: 3-22-12)

You can read this article at

Rankine, William John MacQuorn
Professor of Civil Engineering and Mechanics in Glasgow University has been added to our Significant Scots section. You can read about him at

As mentioned in this biography he wrote many poems and put fables to music so we thought we'd also bring you this book and will be working on it over the next few weeks. You can see this at

And finally...

Common entertainment included playing cards. However, there was a tax levied when purchasing playing cards but only applicable to the 'Ace of Spades...' To avoid paying the tax, people would purchase 51 cards instead. Yet, since most games require 52 cards, these people were thought to be stupid or dumb because they weren't 'playing with a full deck'...

And that's all for now and hope you all have a great weekend.