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

Electric Scotland News

I have now scanned in another book which does take some time as each page needs to be scanned so if it's a 200 page book that means it is at least 200 scans but often more as the book may be a bit skewed and has to be rescanned.

Also thought it was time to do a bit of an update on My Canadian Experience to cover the Coviid-19 pandemic. I note the deficit in Canada is likely to be over 300 billion dollars. And at the end of Prime Minister Harpers reign he'd actually managed to eliminate the deficit.

Been shopping in the newly opened British Store in Chatham so enjoying a few items that I haven't had for quite some time.

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 as world news stories that can affect Scotland and all the newsletters are archived and also indexed on Google and other search engines. 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.

Coronavirus: New rules in force for bars and restaurants
Bars and restaurants in Scotland are now required by law to collect customers' contact details. They also comment on names being given like Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck but in my opinion I would hope if that's all they were prepared to offer they would have been kicked out and if not then closed down.

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Universities face a reckoning - it’s time for a radical degree of reform
The growth in university attendance has not improved social mobility, GDP or workforce productivity

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Why Covid-19 shows secession is a leap of faith in the dark
Having been given the opportunity to write a defence for the Union, for me there was only one topic to look at - the economy.

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Nicola Sturgeon: the fear-mongerer's fear-mongerer?
Aside from the odd tourist, there is barely a mask to be seen in the streets, shops, bars and cafes in Amsterdam. Masks are only mandatory on public transport.

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Bill Morneau: Canada finance minister quits amid charity probe
Canada's finance minister has said he will resign after conflict-of-interest allegations involving WE Charity.

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The London boy who came alive on a Scottish island.
As a boy, photographer Paul Glazier travelled to the island of Vatersay to open up his world beyond the stifling suburbia of London. Life has never quite been the same since.

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Eat Out to Help Out dishes out 35m meals in two weeks
The scheme offers customers in restaurants, pubs and cafes 50% off their meal up to a maximum of 10. It runs every Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday in August to encourage support for the hospitality sector.

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Chrystia Freeland named Canada's first female finance minister
Canada's deputy prime minister Chrystia Freeland has been named finance minister following a Cabinet shuffle.

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Fallout from the Alex Salmond trial continues.
Alex Salmond is one of the towering figures of postwar Scottish politics - a politician who dramatically changed the country and his party's fortunes, taking it into office in 2007, winning majority government in 2011, and taking Scotland close to independence in the 2014 referendum.

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First bottle from new Scottish whisky brand breaks world record at auction
The eye-watering price of 41k was achieved for a west coast whisky firm's first bottle of single malt, and will go to charity.

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Goodbye - Sort of - to Germany?
Why should America anchor Germany's defense? It cuts deals with Russia, has never met its NATO commitment, and is the most anti-American nation in Europe.

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Electric Canadian

My Canadian Experience
Added a page to talk about the Covid-19 pandemic in Canada which you can read at: and do watch the video link at the end.. a bit scary.

Common Ground Magazine March 2015 issue which you can read at:

The Canadian Dominion
By Charles Marshall (1871)

You can read this at:

Thoughts on a Sunday morning - 16th August 2020
By Rev. Nola Crewe

You can view this at:

Breaking the Ice Curtain?
Russia, Canada, and Arctic Security in a Changing Circumpolar World. Edited by P. Whitney Lackenbauer and Suzanne Lalonde (2019) (pdf)

You can read this at:

Ancient Aborigional Trade in North America
By Charles Rau, reprinted from the report of the Smithsonian Institution for 1872 (1873) (pdf)

You can read this at:

Electric Scotland

Beth's Newfangled Family Tree
Hi Everyone.

Here is the newest section of BNFT for September 2020 at:

The front-page story lets us know that the National Trust for Scotland is in big trouble. Clare Campbell, a tartan designer and creator who owns a weaving firm, Prickly Thistle, has come up with a way to help.

There's an interesting story about the locating of the grave of "Red" Hugh O'Donnell in Spain.

The Wigtown Book Festival will be online this year. That is amazing and made me think that when any of us get down and depressed about staying at home and the interruptions to our normal lives, we should all be grateful that this has happened in the time of the Internet! Think about it! Our lives today would be really worse without the miracles of the Internet.

Thanks to Historic Scotland, we have a marvellous cutaway of what life in a Scottish broch was like!

There are digital games coming. The Fringe in Edinburgh will be digital too. The creativity of the Scottish folks is shining brightly.

Don't forget to let me know if there are changes to your email address. Don't forget, please, to send me a query or two regarding your own genealogy. Just use <> anytime.

Above all, please be careful and stay safe!


The Parish of Durris
Some Historical Sketches by Robin Jackson (2019). Added a link to this book from our Gazetteer page for the area at:

He also hopes to get some help in tracing Thomas Fraser in return for letting us post up his book onto the site.... here is what he wrote to me...

I have recently published a book which looks at the history of the parish of Durris in the County of Kincardineshire. Part of the book focuses on the Fraser of Durris family which for several centuries held the lairdship of the parish of Durris.

One chapter in the book is devoted to trying to discover the identity of a Thomas Fraser who bequeathed to the Durris Kirk Session an extremely valuable silver communion set at the end of the 17thC. We know that Thomas Fraser was Chaplain and Judge Advocate aboard a ship – HMS Sussex – that capsized in the Straits of Gibraltar in 1694. But that’s about all!

I have searched and four genealogists I have hired have searched for Thomas Fraser – but with no success. What little I have discovered is set out in the book.

It is just possible that someone perusing the electricscotland site may have the key that unlocks this mystery.

I would be more than happy to send a copy of the content of the book to you so that you may judge its merit for inclusion on your site.

2020 Virtual Scottish Festival and Highland Games. A 2 hour video.
You can view this at:

If you enjoy this video you might consider donating to their Care home as you'll likely have some money spare if you were intending to visit a Highland Games in your area but it was then cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

When the Morning Wakens
By Rev. Malcolm James MacLeod, D.D., MANY and varied are the subjects in this volume of sermons. They touch many human emotions. One is carried to the Mount of Transfiguration, walks the way of Christian obligation, communes with the sacred things of life, and feels the shadows of the valley which men call death. But wherever the reader is led there is a consciousness of security, for to this distinguished author and preacher God is in constant communion with man. (1926) (pdf)

You can read this at:

Clan Henderson Newsletter for September 2020.
You can read this at:

History of James Allan
The Celebrated Northumberland Piper: Giving an Account of his Parentage, Education, extraordinary Adventures and Exploits; his numerous Enlistings, and wonderful escapes:—with a brief Narrative of his last Confinement and Death in Durham Gaol, which happened in 1810. (pdf)

You can this CHAP book at:

Clan Little
Did an update on the Clan Little page with 2 short videos on the history page and a new genealogy book and a couple of new links.

See the Clan Little page at:

An American Aristocrat's Guide to Great Estates: Inveraray Castle, a 50 minute video.
You can watch this at:

Scotland Glasgow to Mallaig Cab Ride
A 4 hour train journey which you can watch at:

Famous Texas Beans recipe
You can try this at:

Musings of a real Tank Commander By Stuart Crawford. Added Part 15.
You can read this at:


I got sent in the first chapter of this book with a promise of sending me the complete book and so thought I'd include it here as our Story of the week.

The Fragrance of Christian Ideals
By Malcolm James (MacLeod) McLeod, Minister of Collegiate Church of St. Nicholas, New York City

In one of his books Maeterlinck has a chapter on perfume. He calls perfume the soul of the flower. And it is mysterious because the soul of everything is mysterious. Why flowers are fragrant has never been answered. Some say to attract insects, but then some of the sweetest herbs attract no insects. The little busy bee prefers the almost odorless maple to an American Beauty. So far as we yet know, perfume in the Floral Kingdom fulfils no useful function. We are confessedly in the realm of the unexplored. We know not what it is, nor why it is. And yet it must surely hide some gracious secret. We cannot think of it as purposeless. What wondrous revelations would be ours if we had the nose of the dog or the butterfly! Some scientists are insisting that our sense of smell is only an awakening faculty, that it is as yet in the early stages of development. They claim that the human period is the only epoch of fragrant plants. That is to say it is in process of evolution, coming into the world and running parallel with man, and being intended solely for his gratification and delight.

But it is not of plant life I was thinking particularly. Human beings too have an aroma. There went virtue out of Jesus, and from us all a subtle effusion for good or evil is ever emanating. Not more continually is the sun sending forth its beams, or a flower expiring its essence, than are we radiating cold or caloric upon those about us. Go where we may, do what we will, this outgo never ceases. It would seem as impossible for a man to hide his forthgiving as for a stove to be filled with fuel, then lighted, and retain its heat. Heat cannot be retained. The fundamental law of heat is motion. Some things even God cannot do. He cannot make a crooked straight line. That would be a contradiction, and as Jonathan Edwards once put it, “a contradiction is not a thing.” And even Omnipotence is powerless to dissociate a man from his shadow. The shadow mayhap may not be visible, but it is there all the same; in the right light it will emerge.

And each man’s outbreathing is his own. That is the crowning seriousness of it. It is like the scent of the jasmine -- inimitable. It cannot be reproduced by any cunning chemistry. It is individual, characteristic, idiomatic. How wonderful a thing is this! As mysterious is it not as the scent of the lilac? And who can tell what that is? No one can. It is too delicate and subtle. Neither can we analyze the delightful flavor of many of God’s elect ones. The hem of their habit imparts healing. They have the power to restore, to quicken, to reinforce, but oftentimes how it is done we cannot tell. Not infrequently they are retiring people, preferring to live unnoticed, and quite unconscious of their power. “They wist not that their faces do shine.”

Perhaps it is because our lives are so peculiarly impressible. In chemistry there is an odd phenomenon called instability. The equilibrium of some elements is exceedingly unstable. Iodide of Nitrogen has to be handled very cautiously. The touch of even a feather is apt to explode it. And our lives too are most delicately adjusted. They can sometimes be changed by a word, by a look, by a smile. There came to my knowledge only yesterday the story of a discouraged woman who was on her way to the river. She was accosted by a strange face who fortunately knew her name. “Good morning, Mrs. ---------,” he exclaimed. “Why,” she thought to herself, “he knows my name,” which seemingly simple greeting led her to think on her ways and the awful step she was about to take. But the most interesting thing about perfumes is what our essayist calls their morality. Perfumes and the passions are interrelated. Some odors stimulate, some effeminate. The fumes of stuff that is fermented have driven many a poor fellow to drink. They have been known to do it even at the Communion table, which, by the way, ought to furnish some very serious food for thought for some of our churches. It is again the inexplicable mystery of atmosphere. One need not talk to the man who sits next to him, there need be no point of tangency, and yet he may do him harm. Some men we meet pull us down, chill us in some unaccountable way, dull our spiritual acuteness, make it harder for us to believe. Others contrariwise lift us up, fortify us, make it easier to be virtuous.

And one does not need to be great to throw out healing shadows. Ambergris gives flavor to a hundred essences, but is odorless itself. Reading the life of Beecher recently, I was struck with what he says of his childhood. “As I look back upon my life, I see how the largest natures did not always get access to me. It was late in life before my father influenced me very much. I think it was a humble servant who first gained any considerable control over me. He was a colored man, and I am not ashamed to say that my whole attitude toward the Civil War was largely due to a poor colored man who worked on my father’s farm. He did not try to influence me; he did not know that he did; but he did.” I was told recently of a man who could not see his way clear to come to the Lord’s Table. He was a most faithful attendant at all the services and a most admirable member of the community.

“Why not come forward this time?" His pastor said to him.

“Oh,” he replied, “I guess it is not essential.”

“Maybe not, but suppose your influence is keeping others away.”

“I do not know of any such,” he returned.

“But I do,” the pastor interjected. “I spoke to your head clerk the other day, and he quoted you.”

Let us remember then our influence. A good deal of our writing is done with invisible ink -- we cannot read it at the time. The flower does not know what becomes of its breath; it sails away on the air. We cannot tell what becomes of our breath; it goes off likewise on its mighty mission. There has always been a discussion as to what worldliness is. Worldliness is putting the emphasis on this world, and it is an atmosphere. Blessed the Christian whose atmosphere, like McCheyne’s, reminds the world of Jesus.


And that's it for this week and hope you all have a great weekend and mind and keep your distance, wash your hands and stay safe. Don't be stupid or selfish and instead be considerate of others and wear a mask if going shopping or into a crowded place and consider whether you should indeed go into a crowded space in the first place.