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    Newsletter 6th April 2012

    Electric Scotland's Weekly Newsletter for April 6th 2012

    A pdf version of this newsletter is attached to this message. You can also download it at


    Electric Scotland News
    Electric Canadian
    The Flag in the Wind
    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
    History of the Barrhead Co-operative Society Ltd.
    The History of Blairgowrie
    Beth's Newfangled Family Tree
    Clan Munro of Australia
    Alastair's Canadian Journal

    Electric Scotland News

    This Newsletter

    I am trying out a new option for this newsletter by producing a copy of it in pdf format. Many thanks to the many responses I got from you as I sent out a trial mailing. And I might add that it was great to hear from so many of you, it was quite like old times! <grin>

    When you click on "Newsletter" in our menu we send you to a new landing page at:

    From that page there is a link to the newsletter forum within our community. But there are also copies of our old old newsletters. What I am now doing is adding pdf copies of the newsletter to that page so you can either simply click on the link or right click on it to download it to your computer.

    What I now intend to do is to attach the pdf newsletter to the newsletter for that week in our community so you'll always be able to download it if you wish. And by getting your responses to my test emailing it was clear that you had to login to be able to download the pdf version. And so because of this I decided to add them also to this landing page as well. All of this just takes an extra five minutes to do so figured it would be worthwhile to try this out.

    To create the newsletter I've always just used a text editor but now I am using my web publishing program to produce it. I'm hoping I can just copy and paste it into the forum without having to do anything else. But now I can create a pdf document from a web page and hence it should be easy to do. Time will tell <grin>

    My intention is to simply add a link to the weeks newsletter and so it should be easy to get as it will be on our main site.

    So there you have it and we'll see how it works out.

    Our Food & Drink Section

    I got an email in this week asking me to do a wee correction on a recipe we have on the site. They kindly provided the url of the page so I could locate it quickly and to my astonishment is was at This is a domain we gave up some years ago so looks like whoever purchased it has lifted some of our content. So this is just to say we no longer own this domain and if you are looking for recipes then all of ours can be located at

    I might add that it is some time since I looked at this section of the site so while doing so I discovered that our recipe database program wasn't working. So I checked with Steve and now it works like it should. I purchased this program some time ago and it was only $35.00 so thought it would be a useful resource to make available. You can thus use this program to add your own recipes and also look to see what recipes we have on there. Part of the reason for adding this program is that Scottish Television (STV) wanted to work with us to promote their offerings and thought it would be good to start with video recipes.

    Electric Scotland's Family Tree Service

    As I mentioned some time ago we were looking to bring you the latest and greatest release of our Family Tree program that runs under We have now completed this process and the new site can be found at:

    The old service is still there but when the domain expires we won't be renewing it. And so if you have data in it you should export it and import it into the new program.

    The link I provide above is to a landing page where we give a wee bit of advice and from there you can click a link to go to the site.

    To be frank this is a very powerful program but I know most folk doing genealogy will already have their own programs either on their own computer or online. However almost all these other programs have an export function so you can export to the common gedcom format. So my advice would be to do an export and then when you have your account setup on ours to simply import the file. By doing that you'll be better able to compare the functionality of our program to the one you use.

    This time around we are doing approvals manually so that we can be sure only appropriate people get access. When you apply your application will be reviewed and if all is ok we'll enable your account and send you an email telling you. And as the approval process is manual that will mean there will be a delay before you get approved but I would hope never more than 24 hours and depending on the time it could be within the hour. We've already had one application so I'm hoping they got the email telling them their account is now live.

    And just so you know there is a link to the service on our Genealogy page and also on our index page.

    Electric Scotland's Calendar

    We have today launched our own calendar where you can add and view Scottish events from around the world. Please pass the word around and hopefully anyone running a Scottish event will add it to our calendar. When you click on the link we send you to a landing page giving a wee bit of advice on how best to add an event and on that page is the link to go to the calendar.

    I've added a link to the calendar on the index page near the top and also on our Lifestyle page. I will promote the link into our header next time I do a redesign.

    You can get to this at

    Comment System

    Steve has told me that he can't hack this program to make it work so we're back in communication with the authors to get an estimate on how long it's going to take for them to get it working. They did say they were working on a fix but didn't give any time scales. We have been unable so far to find an alternative system that will work with out system. Or should I say we've not found one with the functionality we are looking for.

    Scottish Independence

    I found a couple of articles from a Diaspora point of view, one which is a copy of a talk given by Alan Bain, President of the Scottish American Foundation given on Tartan Day. The other is a more general article in which I am quoted a few times. You can read both these long articles at

    Tartan Day

    Stirling & Stirling produced a wee video showing some lovely views of Scotland and thought you might be interested in viewing it at

    Knights Templar

    As some of you will know I produce the bi-monthly newsletter for the St. James Priory in Toronto. In this particular issue there is a link to a disturbing video produced by a young woman going back home to find that Muslims have taken the area over and showing their attitude to Britain. You can get the pdf copy of the newsletter at:

    Scottish Tourism

    This is just an observation by viewing a BBC news item where they showed the US with 8.3% unemployment whereas in Asia the unemployment is half that or less. In a discussion in the program it was saying one of the main reasons for this is due to tourism. Apparently the growth is huge and employing hundreds of thousands of new jobs. I think this just goes to show the problem our tourism sector is facing. Partly because of increased competition but also because they are not embracing the online world to promote the country. Most of the promotion is still based on the Visit Scotland web site that at best probably receives some 150,000 visitors a month. So that's the tiny market they reach with their online promotions. I've always been highly critical of the Scottish tourism sector for their lack of innovation and enterprise but I can't do much about that and just hope someone wakes up to their very poor performance and does something about it. I think there is still tremendous scope to promote Scottish tourism online.

    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
    We try not to point to a pdf file and instead send you to page where the pdf can be downloaded.

    Electric Canadian
    The Stories of the Counties of Ontario
    By Emily P Weaver (1913) Have now added the Eastern counties.

    I've been trying to find some decent information on the history of hockey in Canada but haven't yet found anything BUT I have discovered a couple of more general book which look to be very interesting and they do include sports. And so after I complete the above book I'll move to getting these up.

    The Flag in the Wind
    This weeks issue has been compiled by Jamie Hepburn and one of his articles demonstrates that partisan politics is also live and well in the UK as well.

    You can read this issue at

    The Working Life of Christina McKelvie MSP

    Got in her diary for 29th March 2012 which you can read at

    Scottish Poets in America

    With Biographical and Critical Notices by John D, Ross (1889)

    Now added...

    Robert Whittit

    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
    1482 to 1501

    You can get to this at

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

    We now have up the next two entries of this publication. "Index of Places" and "June Edition 1889", which you can read at

    In this issue there are around 14 pages on the Ross family as well as the names Lyle and Stewart.

    Songs of Robert Burns

    We added
    "Historical Notes: Love Songs Humorous
    Historical Notes: Love Songs Connubial
    Historical Notes: Love Songs Bacchanalian"

    You can get to this book at

    The Bards of Bon Accord 1375 - 1860
    By William Walker

    Added the chapters on "Jacobite and other Poetry of the ’45"

    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 XXI.
    The Battle of Biggar
    Chapter XXII
    Military Movements and Royal Progresses at Biggar
    Chapter XXIII
    Historical Sketches of the Fleming Family
    Chapter XXIV
    Historical Sketches of the Fleming Family—Continued
    And you'll note we've now got to the Fleming pages which I think cover 6 chapters.

    Chapter XXIII starts...

    IN the twelfth century, the Flemings were perhaps the most active and enterprising people in Europe. Finding their own territories in Flanders too limited for their ambitious aspirations they emigrated in considerable numbers to England, during the reigns of William Rufus and Henry I.; and, some years afterwards, took an active part in the civil war waged by Stephen to obtain the English throne. Henry II. having, in the end, vanquished his opponent Stephen, the Flemings were consequently banished the kingdom; and numbers of them taking refuge in Scotland, entered into the service of David L, then on the Scottish throne. Many other Flemings are understood to have come, about the same time, directly from their native regions to Scotland. These strangers, settling in towns and rural situations, contributed greatly, by their skill in agriculture and other industrial art#, to the improvement of the country.

    One of these Flemish leaders, it is said, obtained a grant of the lands of Biggar from David I., and settled there with his followers; and thus became the founder of a family that for several centuries reigned as lords superior in that parish. We propose to give a brief account of the most notable incidents in the history of this family, and particularly of the battles and warlike expeditions in which the successive members of it took part. These are entitled to special notice in a work on Biggar. The Flemings of Biggar, in addition to their anxiety to support and advance any cause to which they might be attached, were bound by the feudal law, not merely to appear in the field themselves, at the call of their sovereign, but to bring with them a certain number of their retainers.

    These retainers, or vassals, were in their turn bound, in consideration of occupying their farms and feus, to give their superior suit and service, both in his court and in the field, as often as these should be required. It is, then, a matter almost of certainty, that in all the battles in which the Flemings fought, they were attended by a portion of the inhabitants of Biggar. In fact, some of the charters by which the Scottish kings conferred honours or rewards on the Flemings, make express reference to the services of their retainers on the battle-field. For instance, in the commission of Chancellorship to James, Lord Fleming, granted under the Great Seal on the 12th of November 155S, during the minority of Queen Mary, it is stated that this honourable office was conferred on Lord Fleming, specially in consideration of ‘the good, faithful, and gratuitous service to our late most noble father, of happy memory, whose soul may God benefit, and to us, by our late well-beloved cousin, Malcolm, Lord Fleming, our Great Chancellor, who, under our banner, with diverse of his relatives, servants, and friends, was slain in the camp of Pinkey Cleugh.’ In the warlike proceedings in which the Flemings took part, the men of Biggar, no doubt, then, fought by their side, and sometimes lost their liberties or their lives in contending with them to revenge a wrong, to repel invasion, or maintain the independence of their country.

    You can read the rest of this chapter at

    The other chapters can be read 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.

    Added this week...

    Chapter X. The Educational Department and the Appendices,

    Here is how chapter VII starts...

    IN these days we have grown so familiar with the work of the educational committee—its lectures, entertainments, distribution of literature, penny savings bank, women’s guild, junior choir, gala-day, excursions, and other activities—that it is difficult to believe that the Society had been in existence for' a quarter of a century before a separate educational committee was appointed. It would be wrong, of course, to assume that until the committee was elected no educational work was done. In point of fact there had been no period of the Society’s life at which educational matters were altogether neglected, although a number of years had to elapse before funds were expressly put aside for that purpose. The decision to devote a certain proportion of the profits to education was arrived at in the end of 1868; but, in spite of the fact that they had no distinct fund to draw upon, the directors yet found ways and means of doing various things of an educative character. Thus members of committee were regularly supplied with copies of the Scottish Co-operator (cost halfpenny per month), and at intervals a free distribution of the little paper was made to the members. There were also a few lectures, with long intervals between, the speakers being principally Messrs Paton, M'innes, Borrowman, and Allan.

    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)

    We now have up...

    Chapter IV.
    Founding of Public Hall—Earl Russell at Meikleour—Address from Inhabitants—Public Banquet—Address by Meikleour Tenantry—Earl Russell’s Speech—Opinions of the Press—A French View—Introduction of Water Supply—Report and Analysis of Water—Drainage of Town—Erection of New Schools—Opening Up of Commercial Street—Planting Trees in Wellmeadow—Franchise Demonstration—County Council —Boundary Commission—Public Park : a Generous Gift— Burgh Seal—Macpherson Memorial Fountain—New Sewage Works—Visit of Lord Wolseley—The Bailies of Blair— Magistrates—Provosts,

    Chapter V
    Original Inhabitants of Scotland—Druids and ^Druidical Remains— Standing Stones—Haer Cairns—Tumuli— Store Mount Blairs—Buzzard Dykes—Bloody Inches—Steed Stalls— Roman Relics—Lo^al Antiquarian Collections-Relics in Scottish Antiquarian Museum—French Bell— IFrchen Hill -Agreements and Charters—Interesting Map-Seals of Families- -Pedigree of Drummonds of Blair—Copy of Two Letters by King James the Seventh—Notes from Rental Book of Coupai Abbey—Cally—Murtoun—Blair -Old Parish Tokens,

    Chapter VI.
    Ecclesiastical State—Parish Church and Ministers—Associate Antiburgher Secession Church—Brown Street Chapel -St. Mary’s Church—First Free Church- -Free South Church—St Catherine’s Church—St Stephen's Church—Congregational Church-Extracts from Parochial Registers—Shearing on Sabbath— Sel’ing Aile in time of Sermon—English Army in Scotland—Collection in Aid of Glasgow— No Session Applicant for Schoolmaster—An Indigent Baronet—Act Anent lirydals—In the Jouggs—The Boatman of Blair -Administering the Lord's Supper -Irregularities—Sabbath Breach— Communion Cups —New Schoolhouse—Poor’s Rates Established—Sunday Shooting Match for a Sow—Population— Schools and Schoolmasters—Parish School—James Street School—Will’am Street School—New Public Schools— Episcopal School—Dames’ Schools—Adventure Schools—St Stephen’s R. C. School—Sextons of Parish of Blair,
    Chapter VII.

    Statistical Account of the Parish, 1796 -Population and Statistical Table—Conditions and Professions—Births, & c.— Religious Persuasions — Stock, Rent, &c. — Population-Character-Origin—Extent, Surface. Situation, Soil, See. -Cattle- -Prices of Provisions and Labour—Bleaclifield, Cloth, Stamp Office—Climate and Diseases--Rivers, Cascades, Fish, Birds. Scenery, .Vc.—Lakes, Islands, &c. -Minerals and Mineral Springs -Woods—Manufactures, Mills. &c.— Ecclesiastical State. Schools. &c. — Poor — Village and Markets—State of Propni-ty, Inclosures, &c.—Agriculture, Produce, &c. -Improvements, Farm Rents. &c. -Roads and Bridges—Gentlemen’s Seats—Eminent Men—Antiquities— Disadvantages.

    Chapter V starts...

    IT has since the beginning of this century up to the present time been a vexed question among archaeologists—who were the first discoverers and occupiers of the kingdom ? Evidences have been found from time to time which antiquarians believe to- be the remains of several distinct races who inhabited those regions many thousand years ago. According to some, the Druids, a very learned and enlightened people from the borders of the Caspian Sea, traversed Europe nearly along the 45th parallel of north latitude, crossed the Channel, and were the first discoverers and occupiers of the country.

    How long that nation peopled the land, or where their descendants migrated to, is mystery alike, but the monuments they have left behind attest their genius and power.

    The unhewn stones found in Hindosta, and the East are attributed by the natives there to a fabulous being named Pandoo and his sons; and, with a similarity of character attesting their common origin, they are also to be found in many parts of Europe, on the shores of, and in the interior of, Britain. About a mile south-west of the town, near the Darraeh Wood, on the Essendy Road, are the remains of one of these Druidical monuments. It is in the form of a hexagon, and is supposed to be one of the earliest erected in this part of the country. Further examples are to be found at Glenballoch and Easter Rattray.

    You can read the rest of this chapter at

    The other chapters can be read at

    Beth's Newfangled Family Tree

    We now have the April 2012 edition up which you can read at

    Clan Munro of Australia

    Added the April 2012 newsletter which can be viewed at

    Alastair's Canadian Journal

    This is for the first quarter of 2012 and can be viewed at
    This issue covers in some details food and drink in Canada. It's only because I haven't discussed this aspect before and noted a past comment about historical details on eating habits not being too plentiful so thought I'd cover this area of my life in Canada.

    And finally...

    At local taverns, pubs, and bars, people drank from pint and quart-sized containers. A bar maid's job was to keep an eye on the customers and keep the drinks coming. She had to pay close attention and remember who was drinking in 'pints' and who was drinking in 'quarts,' hence the phrase 'minding your 'P's and Q's'.

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


    PS Do let us know what you think of our pdf offering.
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