Electric Scotland News
Electric Canadian
Canada and its Provinces
The Scots Canadian
Grand Priory of Canada
The Flag in the Wind
Electric Scotland
The Scottish Historical Review
Songs from John Henderson
Songs Of Scotland, Prior To Burns
History of the St Andrew's Society of the State of New York 1756 - 1906
Robert Burns Lives!
A Study in Scarlet
Outer Isles
The Scot in Ulster (New Book)
Balfour and Bethune
Suggested Reading
and finally

Electric Scotland News
I continue to watch the press for information on the referendum debate. I am on record as saying that Scotland can be successful as an Independent country. However I am also on record as saying that the SNP is not telling us the whole truth and they should be tasked with having to answer specific questions. And you all know my view on being a member of the EU.

I was asked this week in an email why I support a YES vote when all the polls indicate the majority currently support a NO vote. Well that's actually quite simple as I want to balance the books as it were. I have considerable information on the site which actually supports a NO vote. Like I already have a book up about the Scots in England. I have just started the book on the Scots in Ulster for which more below. Point is that of the current generation of Scots born in Scotland some 800,000 of them are currently living in England, Wales and N. Ireland (rUK). At least 10 Prime Ministers have been Scots and hundreds of Scots have been MP's representing rUK constituencies.

Then economically we sell more goods to the rUK than we do to the whole of Europe. Then if you look at the texts on the site you'll see how Scotland was a major beneficiary of the Union.

Yesterday I received a "secret" document that was prepared by John Swinney of the SNP for his Cabinet colleagues around one year ago. Given what he says in that document and comparing it to what the SNP have been saying since then it is obvious the SNP are not telling us the truth. I have posted up a copy of the document which you can read at:

I have been supportive of the SDA in that to my mind they have been the only party that has a genuine vision on how Scotland could operate as an Independent country. Problem is they are unlikely to be in power if we vote for Independence. However I felt their vision was important to document on the site and have done so.

I believe it is important for Scots to have a complete set of information available to enable them to make the right choice in the referendum and that is what I am trying to provide. I would also make it clear that whatever the decision it will not impact me personally as I now live in Canada.

I was also asked what side I am on in all this so I thought I'd also clarify my position. I would vote NO with my principle reason being that I simply do not trust the SNP. Were I convinced that the SDA would be in power after the referendum then I might be tempted to vote YES but that is very unlikely at this point in time.


I also got in some comments on the Newspaper circulation figures. It was noted that the Scottish Sun was very popular in Scotland. Well for those that don't know the Sun is the newspaper that prints the Page 3 topless girls and while I haven't seen an actual copy of the newspaper for some time their online edition certainly continues to show many pretty ladies. I would thus conjecture this is the main reason for their popularity <grin>.


I've been working hard over the past few weeks on building up future books to add to the site. I simply don't have the time to work on the Electric Canadian site if I am to continue to do justice to the main Electric Scotland site. That said I think I've done a pretty good job in providing good information on Canada and I will add more material when I get the time.

My focus right now is completing the history of places in Scotland and right now I just have three books to go to complete that part of the work. I will of course continue to add other material but my next focus will be on histories of clan and family names which also includes septs of clan names. I am also reviewing some books I've acquired in pdf format which have been sitting in my to do list for some time. Usually this is because the books themselves are a bit of a challenge to ocr. I am thus looking to make a number of these books available as simple pdf files and just create a web page to give you a bit of an introduction to the book with a link to download it should it prove to be of interest to you.

Now when it comes to clan and family names and those of septs I do intend to work through the Internet Archive to see if I can find any books or articles on the various names. It's no great hardship to do this but it is time consuming. I guess this is where it would be great to have a wee team of people to help but past experience tells me I'm on my own on this one. I intend to approach this by working alphabetically through the clan names. I'll note down any sept names and then just start to do searches to see what I can find. Once this is completed I'll then move on to my "Other Names" list and do the same.


16th annual Tartan Day Scottish Faire
Presented by the East Bay Scottish Association (EBSA)

Saturday, April 6th, 2013
10:00 am – 5:00 pm

No pets, wheelchair accessible

Family Friendly, cultural event with Scottish & Celtic music, dancing, athletics, living history, vendors, Free Parking.

Adults (18 – 61 yrs) -- $12.00
Seniors (62+ yrs) -- $8.00
Children (4 – 17 yrs) -- $5.00
Children (3 yrs & under) -- free

Admission includes access to the rest of the park, including the Patterson House and farm animals

Ardenwood Historic Farm
34600 Ardenwood Blvd
Fremont, CA 94555

Electric Canadian

Canada and its Provinces
In 22 volumes and Index

I have now started to add these volumes and the idea is to make one volume available each week until complete. Should you be interested in this series then you'll be able to dip into each volume during the week and thus be ready for the next volume appearing.

Now added The Dominion: Political Evolution:Volume 8.

You can get to this collection towards the foot of our Canadian History page at

The Scots Canadian
Got in a copy of their Spring Newsletter which is produced by the Scottish Studies Foundation (pdf) at:

Grand Priory of Canada
As you'll know I am their newsletter editor and have now produced the quarterly issue for March 2013 which you can read at:

The Flag in the Wind
This weeks edition was Compiled by Margaret Hamilton.
You can read this issue at

Electric Scotland

The Scottish Historical Review
We have now started on Volume 3 and added this week July 1906 Part 1, 2 & 3 at:

You can read the previous issues at

Songs from John Henderson
John sent us in a new song this week and here is one to read here...

Climin Ben Vorlich (Loch Earn)
Lyrics composed by John Henderson on the 23rd of february, 2013,
to Harry Revel and Mack Gordon's 1936 song, 'Goodnight My Love'.

The lift, wis bricht, fur stertin-tae clim-up Ben Vorlich;
Bit seen, dairk cloods, brocht doon haar an' reyn och-sae oorlich.

It wis sae dreich-(dear-me), we claise-huddl'd, doon a wee,
An' biled-up waarmin'-bree, afore suddenty aince mair we-cud-see.

The snoot, up tap, steed prood in its hivvenly glory;
Fyle-tee, ablo, Earn's watter wis fair lown bit hoary.
Thase sichts seen vainish faist, as the haar wins;
Sae-mynd, ma freens, Bens' fusperins,
Aye girn-oot they hiv ull bins.

'Twis nae, a day, fur rinkin-up Ben muckle hicher;
Blin wauks ow'r rocks are daft fan ye canna mak siccar
Yer sicht aheid is wide, sae ye maun bide
Oontil, strang winds, skail haars aff braes,
Sae ye micht ging-clim ither days.

lift=sky; haar=mist; oorlich=miserable; dreich=dreary; a wee=a short time;
snoot=summit; steed=stood; fyle-tee=while also; ablo=beneath; lown=calm;
girn=complain; ull=bad; bins=moods; rinkin=clambering; muckle=much;
hicher=higher; blin=blind; mak siccar=make sure; maun=must; bide=wait;
skail=dismiss; braes=hillsides

You can read more of John's songs mostly in the Doric language at:

Songs Of Scotland, Prior To Burns
This book is by Robert Chambers who is famous for collecting old Scottish Songs. His publishing house produced numerous very important works many of which he authored himself. On the page for this book is a biography of him along with another song book he published.

We are adding individual songs in pdf format so you can print them out. As each song provides the sheet music, words and notes about the song it should be of great help to anyone wanting to play these. Added this week are...

Dame Do The Thing Whilk I Desire
Ever Alack My Auld Gudeman
I Ha'e Laid Three Herrings In Saut

You can get to this book at the foot of the page at:

History of the St Andrew's Society of the State of New York 1756 - 1906
By George Austin Morrison, General Secretary of the Society

I have already published theHistory of the St Andrews Society of Torontoso thought this would be a great addition to our understanding of what the Scots got up to in New York.

This week we've added bios on the following Presidents...

George Austin Morrison
J Kennedy Tod
William Lyall
John Reid
Andrew Carnegie
W. Butler Duncan

This now completes this book and I have also added a link to download the book which contains a list of the members which should be a good source for genealogists.

These can be read at

Robert Burns Lives!
By Frank Shaw

What Others are saying about Robert Burns Lives!

This is an unusual presentation in that the Robert Burns World Federation has begun distributing a newsletter and, yes, you will find Issue 1 below. It’s the first time I have felt the necessity to include an organization’s newsletter on our web site. I do so for several reasons, and I have been given permission by Mike Duguid, Editor of The Robert Burns Federation Newsletter, to put the entire newsletter on the pages of Robert Burns Lives!. The federation is seeking new members and among the many benefits of a membership is the annual Burns Chronicle produced by friend and colleague Bill Dawson who has done an outstanding job since he became editor. Now we have a newsletter as well. Their annual meeting is worthy of your time, and I have been able to attend two of them - in Atlanta and Ayr. I have been a member of the federation for years and find the Chronicle an indispensable research source when writing an article or preparing a speech on Burns. Some of our readers are already members, but let me encourage those who are not to consider this resourceful avenue.

All you have to do is contact the federation office for the necessary information. Believe me when I tell you that your participation is not only needed by the federation but will become an interesting part of your life, especially those who have a desire or the need to learn more about Robert Burns. I have worked hard over the years to collect every issue of the Burns Chronicle and probably have 99% of them. You might even find yourself collecting them one day! I would like to congratulate the federation for reverting back to the practice of publishing only one annual volume - some things are best left “the old way”!

There is a brief article on page 3 of the newsletter below on Robert Burns Lives!. I’m never comfortable accepting compliments, and this is no exception, but I do thank Mike for allowing the article to appear in his newsletter, particularly in the first ever issue when there are so many more speakers with more intriguing topics. Also you will find a photo of the Burns Club of Atlanta that I am particularly proud of which I was so fortunate to take on January 3, 2003 after a rare blanket of snow in Atlanta. The picture appeared on the program of ROBERT BURNS: AT HOME AND ABROAD, A One-Day Conference Hosted by the Centre for Robert Burns Studies at the University of Glasgow on January 12, 1013. In addition, I would like to thank administrative assistant Corinne Buivenga, (pronounced “bouffin hah”) for sending me the newsletter in a Word document format so I could transfer and share it on our web site.

It is with humble thanks and appreciation I bring you Chapter 166 of Robert Burns Lives!. (FRS: 3.6.13)

You can get to this article and read the first copy of the Robert Burns World Federation newsletter at:

Other articles in this series can be read at

A Study in Scarlet
We've been serialising this book and have now completed it by adding the final two chapters.

You can read this at:

Outer Isles
By A. Goodrich-Freer (1902)

We now have up...

Chapter I. Tyree
Chapter II. Natural History of Tyree
Chapter III. Tyree Churches: Skerryvore
Chapter IV. The Ceilidh in Tyree
Chapter V. Miscellaneous Notes on the Islanders
Chapter VI. Barra
Chapter VII. South Uist
Chapter VIII. South Uist and its People

An interesting introduction to the chapter on Barra which pretty well indicated the need for a strong stomach when sailing there...

I would be tolerably safe to assert that of those who approach Barra, certainly if coming from the south, nine-tenths look with satisfaction, if not affection, upon the still waters of Castle Bay, for they have almost certainly spent several hours in a fashion which makes them more than thankful for a peaceful harbour and a tranquil sea. Even if they are going further the worst is over, and the worst—from, say an hour beyond Tobermory—is an experience compared with which that of the Bay of Biscay is a mere trifle. Macbrayne facetiously describes the journey, which may be taken three times a week, as of seven and a half hours’ duration, 6 a.m. from Oban to 1.30 Castle Bay; but there are circumstances, such as the condition of one’s fellow-passengers, the accommodation, the amount of space at command, which, even when one is the best of sailors, compel attention to the duration of time, and that is seldom limited to seven and a half or even nine hours.

The tonnage of the Flowerdale is 537, and we, personally, have spent some very happy hours on the brave little boat. We generally had the deck to ourselves, we asked no questions, we came provided with food, and we had every confidence in the kindly captain. May he live to rule a better boat!
There is a companion-boat, the Staffa, her tonnage is 196, her captain and mate are alleged to be very skilful seamen, and the boat, built for the Tagus, but rejected for river traffic, is said to be very strong. I can well believe it, for, I repeat, her tonnage is 196 and she crosses the roughest minch on the coast of Scotland.

Perhaps this is all so much the better for Barra. As the purser of the Dunara Castle said to us under some such circumstances, “If it were not for these little disadvantages”—the discomfort of one’s fellow-creatures—“we should not be the select party we are,” and Barra has quite enough to endure without the invasion of the tourist.

You can read the rest of this chapter at

You can read this book at

The Scot in Ulster
Sketch of the History of the Scottish population of Ulster by John Harrison (1888)

A new book we're starting...

These sketches of the history of the Scottish settlers in Ulster were published in the columns of the ‘Scotsman’ during this spring. They have been recast, and are now published in a permanent form, as I think they may interest some who care to examine the Irish question for themselves. Their English and Scottish origin seems to me to give to the men of Ulster an inalienable right to protest, as far as they are concerned, against the policy of Separation from Great Britain to which the Irish, —with the genius for nicknames which they possess —at present give the name of Home Rule.
My thanks are due to many friends in Ulster and at home for kind assistance; and more especially to Professor Masson for allowing me to have access to those sheets of the ninth volume of the 'Privy Council Records of Scotland,’ now in the press, which bear on the Scottish share in the settlement of 1610.

J. H.
7 Greenhill Place,
Edinburgh, 16th October 1888.

I might add that we already have a 4 volume publication up about the History of Ulster which you can read at:

This book however may well be of specific use when considering the forthcoming referendum in Scotland as it will show how many Scots left to settle in Ulster which of course remains in the UK.

You can read this book at

Balfour and Bethune
Found an old account of the genealogy of Balfour and Bethune which I extracted into a pdf file and have posted on the Balfour history page.
We didn't have much of a history on the name Balfour so this will help to flesh this out and can be read at:

Suggested Reading
I've often been asked what I would recommend reading to provide a decent understanding of Scottish history. Here I give some guidance which I hope will help. You can read this at:

And finally...

Be Seen And Not Heard

"Light travels faster than sound," was the rather deep observation from a woman in a wine bar to her pals.
She then added:

"That's why some people appear bright until you hear them speak."


A Slip In Time

A regular in the pub announced that his wife had asked him if he would still love her when she was old, fat and wrinkly.

"Surely you answered, 'Of course I will'," answered his mate.

"I meant to," the chap replied sadly.

"But somehow it slipped out as, 'Of course I do'."


And I might just finish by pointing you to an hilarious video that was posted up in our Community which you can view at


Having said that another post just came in showing a pilot that lost a wing of his aircraft and actually managed to land it safely... quite astonishing. You can watch that one at:!

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