Sunday, November 29, 2009

Battle of Bannockburn Anniversary


If you've ever wanted to visit Scotland, then you might consider the 700th Anniversary of the Battle of Bannockburn on June 24, 2014. The Stirling Council of chiefs have announced their interest in hosting such an event for the next Gathering.


This battle was a huge victory in favor of Scotland and marked the turning point in the War of Scottish Independence against England. Edward Bruce, the brother of Robert the Bruce, Scotland's King, began a seige of Stirling Castle, commanded by Sir Philip Mowbray. Bruce and Mowbray agreed that if no relief came by midsummer, the castle would surrender to Bruce.



That summer King Edward of England entered Scotland with the goal of relieving Stirling Castle and defeating the Scots to end the war. He had 2-3,000 calvary, and 16,000 foot soldiers, which was 2-3 times the size of Bruce's gathered army.


King Edward began to lose control of his army when the Earls of Gloucester and Hereford quarreled over who was going to lead the charge, both were given joint command. To make matters worse, the English army was so large they had trouble moving quickly and getting into accurate positions.
Bruce forced his entire army straight into the disorganized English army. It was a blood bath, fighting one-on-one to the point that archers on either side could not shoot their arrows for fear of killing their own men. The English fortresses began to break. The Scots continued their siege until the English fled in a disordered retreat back across Bannockburn.

Even though England did not recognize Scotland's independence until ten years later, the Battle of Bannockburn established credibility for Robert the Bruce as Scotland's king. The statue above is a monument on the site where it is believed that warring parties camped the night before the battle.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Book Review - "Child of the Mist"


by Kathleen Morgan

This is the first book in These Highland Hills series. Child of the Mist was hard for me to put down. I loved the conflict and attraction between the hero, Niall Campbell, and the heroine, Anne MacGregor. Her father pledges her hand in marriage after a one year commitment to seal the promise of peace between their clans. But Niall's people believe her to be a witch with her herbal healing powers, and he must constantly strive to protect her and work with his people to accept her, while trying to discover who in his clan is a betrayer. They both must strengthen their faith and learn to trust each other to overcome their struggles and fear.

The story is intriguing and keeps one reading to find out what will happen next. The emotional appeal between the characters gives the reader a chance to experience their world. The writing and dialogue gives the reader a sense of 1564 Scotland. If you enjoy a Scottish historical novel, I highly recommend Child of the Mist.

Back Cover Copy:
An arranged betrothal was never the course Anne MacGregor imagined her life would take. Yet when her father explains that her cooperation is the only way to bring about the long-sought truce between feuding families, Anne has no other choice.

A simple ceremony pledging Anne's hand in marriage after one year of commitment is the only seal to the promise of peace. But when the arrangement requires the reluctant Anne to follow Niall Campbell back to his home, she soon discovers that peace is not so easily achieved. Before they even arrive, rumors about her abound, and her safety is threatened. Meanwhile, Niall's ascension as leader of his clan is in jeopardy as a traitor works to bring about his downfall.

As Niall and Anne began to see beyond each other's defenses, love takes them by surprise. But will it be enough to defeat their foes? Or will the truce be broken, their lives forfeit, and war return to their beloved land?

For more about the book and the author, Kathleen Morgan, visit her website here.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Handfasting

Handfasting is an old Celtic custom whereby a couple agreed to live together for a period of time, whether it be one year and a day, or a lifetime. If it was to be a temporary arrangement, after the end of that period, they may wed or part ways. It's a NeoPagan ritual that is no longer recognized as a legal marriage in England, Wales or Ireland, but is still considered a legal Pagan wedding in Scotland.

As Christianity was adopted into the ancient Celtic lands, many couples chose to have a combined wedding of their Christian beliefs with some of the Handfasting traditions.

There are many rituals that are part of the ancient Handfasting Ceremony, but one that I've read about often is the minister ties a strip of cloth around the couple's hands. If it is a temporary agreement, it will be loosely tied. If they have a permanent agreement, it will be tied tighter, thus the expression, "tie the knot". The couple will then kiss each other as their first gift to each other. The bride does not necessarily wear a traditional white bridal gown.


Sunday, September 27, 2009

The Scottish Claymore


One of the most famous historical Scottish weapons is the Scottish Claymore, a double-edged sword with a blade around 41" in length with a possible reach of 60". It weighs around 5.5 lbs.The Gaelic term is "Claidhermh-mor". It is recorded to be in use as early as 1300 and still used as late as the 1700's.

Over the years a few changes occurred such as the twisted hilt that came about around 1500. Also adapted from the medieval style, is the two-handed claymore with a distinctive style of a cross-hilt with downward sloping arms. There are many different types of hilts and handles were in use. You can probably do a Google search for different examples.


Then came the Basket-Hilt Claymore broadsword, a one-handed sword with a shorter blade, which can either have a one-sided or double-sided edged blade. It weighs between 2-3 lbs. The basket hilt handle was designed to protect the hand during combat and often had a red velvet liner inside the basket. Some had decorative tassels on the hilt or pommel.

Friday, September 4, 2009

The Beltie Galloway Cows

I first heard of the Beltie Cow in Liz Curtis Higgs' book, My Heart's in the Lowlands. I was fascinated by the sketch in the book. Before I had even finished reading it, I noticed real Beltie Cows while driving home from Charleston, SC. These cows are known to be from Scotland as Beltie Galloway Cows and have most recently earned the nickname of "Oreo Cows" in the US. They are typically black with a white belt around the middle. Some are brown with a white belt.

The white belt is a dominant trait in the herd and will often appear even if a Beltie Cow is crossbred with a different cow.
Their heritage allows them to survive in harsh climates having adapted to the poor upland pastures and windswept moorlands of Scotland, originating from Galloway. In 1997, western America suffered the "April Blizzard" resulting in great floods. As much as 21 feet of water resided in some places. While lots of animals, including horses and cows were lost, one breed withstood the flood, days without food, or rest from treading water--the Beltie Cows. Read the story here.

Their beef is exceptionally lean and flavorful. While most breeds of cows develop an extra layer of fat on their hide to protect them from the cold in winter, Beltie Cows grow an extra coat of hair rather than fat.


Here in North Carolina, you will find Beltie Cows at Fearrington Village, a quaint place settled on farmland dating back to 1770's in Chatham County, NC. This is an area of North Carolina that was surrounded by Scots-Irish immigrants and descendants for many generations. The small community is modeled after the villages of England. Fearrington Village offers a relaxing visit of dining, a beautiful country inn, shopping, historic gardens, and Beltie Cows.

For more information on Beltie Cows, visit the Belted Galloway Society of the United States.

The photos in this post are courtesy of Fearrington Village.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Albannach - Scottish War Music

If you are interested in listening to some Scottish war music, Albannoch is a band you might enjoy. All band members are originally from Scotland. Their goal is to share the culture, heritage and history of their country through their music. They claim to be more than another pipe and drum band, their website says they play "outlawed tunes on outlawed pipes".

They tour year-round throughout Europe and the U.S. at highland games and festivals. They are regular performers at the Grandfather Mountain Highland Games in North Carolina, and have also performed at the games in Greenville, SC. Over the next couple of months they will be in the U.S. touring in Ohio and Virginia. Then in November they are back in Scotland.

You can check out their music and tour dates at their website: www.albannachmusic.com.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Scotland County Highland Games

In 1899, Scotland County, North Carolina was formed from Richmond County. The earliest settlers of the area were mainly comprised of Highland Scots by 1729. They came up from the Cape Fear River through Wilmington, NC, and the Pee Dee River from South Carolina.

The Scotch Fair Highland Games that has traditionally taken place in Scotland County, is changing to Scotland County Highland Games. This year the games are scheduled to take place October 2-4, 2009 at the John Blue House in Laurinburg, NC. It's a beautiful historic home that has been restored and is surrounded by a rich history of Scottish descendants and other antebellum homes, and a pre-Civil War cotton gin (believed to be the oldest in existence). The John Blue House is known as the "Riverboat on Land".

Those interested as participating vendors, or athletic contenders may contact Bill Caudill at the Scottish Heritage Center of St. Andrews College at 910-277-5236.

Be sure to mark your calendar as the Scotland County Highland Games are slated to be a great October event!

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

America's Braemar


Donald McDonald is the author of America's Braemar, a historical book covering the 50-year history of The Grandfather Mountain Highland Games (1956-2006). But the history on which the games is based is much older than 1956, predating the Greek Olympics. The highland games of Scotland were brought from Ireland to the Argyll district and were first called Odas, a Norse name.

A former resident of Charlotte, NC, Mr. McDonald now lives in Edinburgh, Scotland. He is a retired journalist and university lecturer who first attended Braemar in 1954. The Braemar Gathering was born from the Braemar Wright Society in 1816, six months after the Battle of Waterloo and was registered with the Clerk of Peace as a friendly society, the oldest surviving friendly society in the country of Scotland. In 1826 the name changed to the Braemar Highland Society. In 1848, Queen Victoria attended the gathering and ordered that the society add "Royal" to the title. It is now known as the Braemar Royal Highland Gathering. The royal family has been faithful attenders ever since.

Mr. McDonald returned to North Carolina from his visit and decided to try and duplicate the Braemar gathering among the thousands of descendants who settled the Carolinas in the 18th and 19th centuries. Thus, the Grandfather Mountain Highland Games were born, with the assistance of Agnes MacRae Morton, the games were christened as "America's Braemar". Mr. McDonald's book was completed in 2007 and published by Southern Lions Books Historic Publications in Madison, GA.

The success of the Grandfather Mountain Highland Games has led to the birth of over 200 Scottish games, highland festivals, and societies. To learn more about the book, or to order it, visit here.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Book Review - "My Heart's in the Lowlands"


By Liz Curtis Higgs

This is a delightful travel book - ten days in bonny Scotland. I picked it up while purchasing one of her fiction novels. I don't know why, but I started reading this one first. Perhaps it's because I have a dream of visiting Scotland some day, the homeland of my ancestors. And it's about Galloway, a place I'd planned to do some research since my gg-grandmother was Elizabeth Galloway who married a Hudson (my maiden name).

Liz writes as if you're traveling with her and she includes descriptions of the atmosphere, not just places and things. As you're reading, you get a sense of what it would have felt like to be there with her. Although, I must admit, her writing makes one's desire to visit Scotland even greater. She layers in many historical details, a bit of poetry from Robert Burns, and takes the time to explain some of the vocabulary differences between the U.K. and the U.S.

Even though Liz does an excellent job of describing things, the sketches that are included throughout the book give even more details. For instance, she described some of the Scottish cows, but when I saw it in the sketch, it was like "now I get it." After reading that chapter we took a trip to the Carolina coast, and there were some cows in a pasture. My husband and in-laws were commenting that they had never seen cows like that before. I remembered the images from this book and was able to explain that they were Scottish cows.

One thing I didn't discover until I had almost finished the book was the Scottish glossary in the back. I've created a Scottish glossary for writing purposes, but it's wonderful to have this resource as well. It includes several words I didn't include in mine.

Liz's fun personality glows in her writing and you get a glimpse of her faith. I'd love to meet her one day at a writing conference. Maybe I'll get that chance through ACFW, where we are both members of American Christian Fiction Writers.

It's a wonderful book. If you enjoy learning about Scotland, even if you aren't considering a trip there anytime soon, I would still recommend reading it. My Heart's in the Lowlands is a great experience!

To learn more about Liz Curtis Higgs and where to purchase this book, click here.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Kinnaird Head Lighthouse Castle

Kinnaird lighthouse was built inside the remains of Kinnaird Castle in Fraserburgh of Aberdeenshire in 1787 by Thomas Smith, an engineer who was a member of the Northern Lighthouse Board. The small town of Fraserburgh was developed from a fishing haven by Sir Alexander Fraser of Philorth with the approval of Mary, Queen of Scots in 1545. It was known as a haven of refuge for ships that were overtaken by storms. Kinnaird Lighthouse is the first documented lighthouse built in Scotland. It is also the site of the first radio beacon in Scotland in 1929.

It has a stone Wine Tower on the edge of the cliff where a tale of tragedy has passed down from generation to generation. According to legend, A daughter of the house fell in love with a piper who was imprisoned by her father in a cave beneath the tower. He drowned by high tide. Grieved and heartbroken, the lass jumped to her death.

The links below will take you off this blog to other photos. Be sure to view the arial photos. It will give you a real feel of the place and it's location to the rocky shores of Scotland.

  • Kinnaird Head Lighthouse Castle
  • Aerial views of Kinnaird Lighthouse
  • Thursday, July 16, 2009

    Frazier Family of North Carolina

    Our Frazier line comes from Clan Fraser. My 6th great-grandfather was George Thomas Fraizer born about 1725 in Inverness, Scotland. He died about 1790 in Guilford County, NC.

    You won't find our Fraizer family listed in Douglas Kelly's "Carolina Scots" because they didn't come by way of the Cape Fear River t
    o the Carolina coast. Nor are they recorded in the historical books of the Presbyterian churches, the predominant faith of most Scots at this time.

    George Thomas Fraizer arrived in Pennsylvania. Some records indicate around York County. Since Pennsylvania was the foundation of the Quaker religion in
    America, George might have converted to Quakerism at this time. The Quakers kept excellent records that have survived the last couple of centuries, and it is by these records we have been able to trace George Thomas Frazier and his descendants.

    They cam
    e down "The Great Wagon Road" to North Carolina settling in Orange County, which later became Guilford County. The Quakers first established New Garden Friends Meeting, which became the cornerstone of all the other Quaker churches in the south. Later they established Centre Friends Meeting about 1752 in southeast Guilford County near the Randolph County border. My Frazier ancestors helped with the early establishment of this church. The first photo of this post is of a monument with a sketched inscription of what the original church looked like. The second photo is a memorial to the James Fraizer family who is recorded in the records as being buried here, but no tombstone has survived. This is also the case with my 3rd great-grandmother, Nancy Frazier Saferight.

    The Frasers of Scotland are descended from three brothers who arrived in 1066, according to Master James Fraser, 17th century minister of Wardlaw-Kirkhill on the south shore of Beauly Firth. Two main Fraser lines evolved in northern Scotland. One was through Sir Alexander Fraser who married Bruce's sister. This family line held Cairnburg Castle, Aberdeenshire. The other family line is from Sir Simon Fraser, brother of Alexander, who founded the House of Lovat in Inverness-shire.

    The lands of Fraser Castle (shown in the photo on the left) was given by James II in exchange for land near Stirling in 1454. Today's castle was built by Lord Fraser in 1633. Cluny Castle nearby was also a Fraser landmark. Fraser Castle is now owned and operated by The National Trust of Scotland. The castle is open for visitation.

    There are so many insightful details to Clan Fraser and their contribution to Scotland that I'll be cov
    ering them in various upcoming posts. In the meantime, if you are interested in joining Clan Frasier, visit their website for more information.

    Clan Fraser of North America
    Clan Fraser of Scotland and the United Kingdom


    Thursday, July 9, 2009

    Threave Castle - Scotland


    Threave Castle is a four-story tower located on Threave Island nestled on the broad side of the River Dee in Kirkcudbrightshire near the town of Castle Douglas in the lowlands of Scotland. While these ancient lands once belonged to the rulers of Galloway, this 14th century tower was built by Archibald the Grim, one of the Black Douglas Earls of Nithsdale. The outer wall actually dates to the 15th century, indicating a later restoration or addition. Even today, one must cross the river by boat in order to reach Threave Castle. It's location is perfect as an offensive and defensive stronghold, since it lies on the main invasion route from the south, and served as a gathering point for plundering raids into England.

    The Douglas family was loyal to Robert the Bruce, and as a result, received an earldom from Bruce's son. Black Douglas became the third Earl of Douglas, Lord of Galloway and Warden of the West March. The Douglas family continued to thrive and gain prominence. When Archibald Douglas, the 5th Earl of Douglas died, two men fought for his place. Sir Alexander Livingstone and Sir William Crichton invited the young 16-year-old Douglas heir to dine in Edinburgh Castle. All three were murdered.

    King James invited William Douglas, the 8th Earl of Douglas to Sterling where he was stabbed and killed. It was said that King James resented the power of the Douglas family. He began a campaign to dismantle the Douglas strongholds and waged a two-month siege against Threave Castle. In spite of the heavy bombardment, the castle held out and the Douglas family did not surrender until King James promised various payments and safe conduct. The crown then took control of Threave Castle and surrounding grounds.

    Sources Include:
  • "Castles of England, Scotland and Wales" by Paul Johnson.
  • "Threave Castle: The Stewartry of Dumfries and Galloway of Southern Scotland" on the website About Scotland.
  • Tuesday, July 7, 2009

    The Glencoe Heritage Trust


    As an amateur genealogist and a lover of history, I believe we need to preserve as much of our history and heritage as possible. That's why when I read about The Glencoe Heritage Trust organization in the Henderson Clan newsletter, An canach, I knew I wanted to blog about it in hopes of raising more awareness to the effort of saving and preserving the ancient lands of the MacDonald Clan.

    Clan Donald has been associated with the Glencoe lands since the 14th century when Angus Og MacDonald of Islay bestowed the lands to his son, Iain Abrach. By the 17th century the land passed to control of the Campbells of Argyll when the MacDonald chief had to forfeit his lands for supporting King James. A couple of years later he was murdered at what became known as the Massacre of Glencoe. The MacDonalds gained a portion of the lands back until 1894 when the lands were put up for sale.

    The lands contain a house that was build by Lord Strathcona, which now serves as a hospital. Along the River Coe, the historic Eilean Munde lies as the traditional burial ground of the MacDonalds. Other historic significance includes the Old Mill of Glencoe, the Crofters Common Grazings, the last remaining Ancient Woodlands of Glencoe, fishing rights on Loch Triachtan and eight miles of salmon netting rights on Loch Leven.

    Alistair MacDonald raised private funds ($105,000 pounds) to save this land in unsecured loans and established The Glencoe Heritage Trust, which now owns the land. A sum of $49,000 has been raised to repay the debt, but the rest must be secured to ensure that these lands are never sold again and the ancient history of Glencoe is preserved.

    If you'd like to help, email: glencoe-heritage@talkj21.com for more information.

    Tuesday, June 30, 2009

    July Highland Games

    Grandfather Mountain Highland Games
    July 9-12, 2009
    McRae Meadows, on Grandfather Mountain near Linville, NC
    This is one of the largest highland games on the eastern coast. You don't want to miss it. For more information, visit their website at: www.gmhg.org.

    Thursday, June 25, 2009

    Highland Blessings Cover


    My cover for Highland Blessings is now available! I think the Abingdon Press designers did a superb job. Please be on the lookout for my book May 2010. In the meantime, I've listed a brief description and posted a video book trailer on YouTube below.

      Description

    Scotland, 1473

    Highland warrior Bryce MacPhearson kidnaps Akira MacKenzie on her wedding day to honor a promise he made to his dying father. When he forces Akira to wed him, hoping to end a half-century feud between their clans. She struggles to over come her anger and resentment...Yet her strength in the Lord becomes a witness to Bryce. But there is a traitor in their midst...and murder is the ultimate weapon.



    If you would like to rate it on YouTube, go here.

    Tuesday, June 16, 2009

    Pictorial History of Tredegar, Wales

    Tredegar in south Wales is constructing a pictorial history of Tredegar and surrounding areas, available for free viewing online. They are requesting any photos, old or new of Tredegar Town or the Valleys area.



    If you feel you can help please contact them. Credit & Copyright will be provided provided to photographers. To see their Gallery with over 2,000 photos, please visit: http://www.tredegar .co.uk/gallery/ gallery.asp. Email photos to Webteam@Tredegar. co.u.

    Tuesday, May 26, 2009

    Galloway Family of South Carolina


    Our Galloway family settled in Darlington County, South Carolina. Galloway is a territorial name from a region in southwest Scotland. The associated clan name for Galloway is a sept of MacFarlane Clan.

    My gg-grandmother was Elizabeth Galloway who married William Wesley Hudson. Her parents were George Galloway and Susanna Pipkin. Her grandfather was Absalom Galloway. Based on circumstantial evidence, we believe that Absalom's birth was during or before the 1760's. Our Galloway family cemetery is still in the Galloway family and in excellent condition on private property. While we aren't sure exactly when and where our Galloways came to the Carolinas, we do know they were here by the mid-to-late 1700's due to the land deeds and will records from the area.
    As time permits, I plan to continue researching the the Galloways in the Carolinas.

    Tuesday, May 19, 2009

    Book Review - "Carolina Scots"


    by Douglas F. Kelly and Caroline Switzer Kelly

    This is a nonfiction work that is an historical and genealogical study of over 100 years of emigration. The book begins with a Preface that explains the author's background, knowledge and education on Scottish history and his upbringing in the Carolinas. He states that this is not an exhaustive study of all Scottish settlers that came to the Carolinas and that it mostly concentrates on his family roots and those he knew who came to the Carolinas through the Cape Fear region.

    There are several Scottish emigrants who settled in the Carolinas that came through Charleston, South Carolina and down the Great Wagon Road from Pennsylvania and a few through Virginia. Those families are not covered in this book.

    The book is primarily broken down into two parts. The first consists of a brief history of Scotland that includes an outline of Scotland's geography with an illustrated map of the country. The author explains the difference between the highlands and the lowlands, the culture, and language of those regions. An explanation of the highland clan system is given, clan structure, poetry and music, housing and living conditions of the 1700's with photos and illustrations, social relationships, and schools and churches in community life.

    The author then describes changes in farming practices, rent raising, and forced removals by estate holders and managers who widely contributed to the mass migration of Scots from their mother country. The Carolinas became a popular area for Scottish immigrants to target as they received many letters from family and friends describing the Carolina colony as a vast opportunity for commoners to start over and buy cheap land since there was so much of it, and be near other Scots who were already established in Carolina. It helped that North Carolina had a Scottish governor.

    Photos of homes built by Carolina Scots are included, along with a brief excerpt on their lifestyle and the business market in the Carolinas. Most Scottish immigrants were Presbyterian and began churches that still exist today. They struggled to find enough educated and qualified ministers. The Argyll Colony petitioned the Presbytery of Inverary and Synod of Argyll for a presbyterian minister in 1739, 1741 and again in 1748.

    The Gaelic language was widely spoken in the Sandhills of North Carolina and along the Upper Cape Fear region since the arrival of the Argyll Colony in 1739. As with many immigrant families today, most Scots were bilingual. They spoke Gaelic in the home and at church, but English at school and on the job. Fayetteville, NC had a Gaelic printing press in the early part of the 19th century and several of their publications are preserved in the Presbyterian Historical Foundation in Montreat, NC.

    Part Two of this book covers the family history and genealogy of the 1739 Argyll Colony in North Carolina. Three hundred and fifty men, women and children arrived with the first ship of this colony. A list of 52 names are given that have been verified. Some of the surnames include, McNeill, Armstrong, Clark, McAlester, MacLaughlin, McPherson, Buie, McCranie, Campbell, McDuffie, Stewart, McGill, Smith, Smylie, Ward, Colvin, and Cameron.

    Each family section has a brief introduction and then it lists the parents and their children, and the following subsequent generations. An exhausted list of sources is given for every chapter and section. This is an excellent book with historical documentation and detail, as well as a wonderful source of genealogical reference for the descendants of those families.

    If you would like more information on this book, visit:
    www.carolinascots.com

    Thursday, May 14, 2009

    Fordell Castle


    King James IV gave the lands of Fordell to the Henderson Clan in 1511, which is now Fife, Scotland. The castle wasn't built until 1567. A bridge leads to the entrance of the castle, past a weir that used to hold back the waters of the Fordell Burn, and a lake that has dried up. Historical records show that Mary, Queen of Scots visited as a guest when Marion Scott, her lady-in-waiting, married George Henderson, the laird.

    Unfortunately, the castle was destroyed by fire and had to be rebuilt around 1580. Oliver Cromwell's army nearly destroyed it in 1651. In 1866, the estate passed to Hew Duncan, second son of the Earl of Camperdown through marriage. During the 20th century, the castle was destroyed. Only the remains of the stonework of the foundation existed.

    The ruins of Fordell Castle were purchased by Sir Nicholas Fairbairn, a lawyer and politician. He restored the castle and used it as a private residence, living there until as recently as 1997. It then sold to a local veterinary surgeon, and then to a multi-millionare businessman. In November 2007, Fordell Castle was sold as the fifth-highest-priced home ever sold in Scotland and remains a private residence.

    Tuesday, May 12, 2009

    Scottish Glossary for Novelists

    In writing a Scottish novel, whether it be medieval or a later time period, the author must portray a Scottish dialect and a Scottish tone must be present in the narrative. While accomplishing this, the author must achieve it in a way that isn't overbearing, annoying, and hard to read. The best way to do this is to use a few Scottish words, blended in the text. You'll find other Scottish glossaries online that are much more in-depth than this one, but they tempt you to overdo it, with all the extra, unnecessary information.

    Below is a list of words that will give a Scottish novel the tone it needs without being overbearing.

    1) Clan - Consists of families claiming a common ancestor and following the same hereditary chieftain, specifically in Scotland, but some clan systems exist in other Celtic countries such as Ireland and Wales. The word clan means children.

    2) Clan Chief or Chieftain - Ruler of a specific clan, traditionally the heir would have to be elected. In the present-day system, the chief must be approved by The Court of the Lord Lyon (Lyon Court). Chieftains can be rulers of a branch of a clan, while a Clan Chief can be ruler of all the clan branches and ruling Chieftains. These rulers led their clans in battle, made decisions regarding disputes among clan members, etc.

    3) Laird - A member of the gentry and a heritable title in Scotland, very similar to the titled, landholding lords in England. The title is granted to the owner of an estate and may hold certain local or feudal rightss, as well as voting rights in Scotland's Parliament.

    4) Lass or Lassie - A young girl.

    5) Lad - A young man.

    6) Aye - Yes.

    7) Nay - No.

    8) Ken - To know. Many American southerners use a similar expression such as, I reckon it's time to retire for the night.

    9) Mayhap - Perhaps.

    10) Yer - Your.

    11) Ye're - You are or you're.

    12) Mither - Mother.

    13) Da - Father.

    14) Tartan - A plaid design of Scottish or Irish origin consisting of stripes of varying width and color usually patterned to designate a distinctive clan.

    15) Plaid - A twilled woolen or cloth fabric with a tartan pattern worn by various Scottish clans.

    16) Kilt - A knee-length skirt (although many Scots hate this term) with deep pleats, usually of a tartan wool, worn as part of the dress for men in the Scottish Highlands. Only available after the mid-1700's.

    17) Great Kilt - Clothing made from wool, often grown on one's own sheep. The yarn would be taken to a local weaver for cloth, 27" wide and up to 30" wide. The first known reference to the Great Kilt was in 1594. One description is quoted as, "their exterior dress was mottled cloaks of many colours with a fringe to their shins and calves, their belts were over their loins outside their cloaks."

    18) Aft - Often.

    19) Bairne - Baby.

    20) Loch - Lake.

    21) Claymore - Large sword.

    22) Daft - Mad or crazy.

    23) Glen - Valley.

    24) Kirk - Church.

    25) Wee - Small.

    26) Auld - Old.

    27) Tarry - Take one's time.

    Thursday, May 7, 2009

    Golden Retrievers Bred in Scotland


    It wasn't until I was reading through a magazine I had picked up from the Loch Norman Highland Games that I discovered how Golden Retrievers originated. They were developed at Guisachan near Glen Affric on the highland estate of Sir Dudley Marjoribanks.

    His breeding records from 1835 to 1890 were finally published in 1952, revealing that he crossed the yellow-coloured Retriever with a Tweed Water Spaniel. Golden Retrievers were originally developed to retrieve waterfowl shot from the air by hunters as well as other land game. They were bred to have a soft mouth so they wouldn't damage the game while retrieving it and to have a love of water.

    Because of their intelligence and flexibility, many people use them in such roles as illegal drug detection, search and rescue, hunting dogs, and guide dogs for people with disabilities. Golden Retrievers are known to be friendly, eager-to-please and to possess a patient demeanor. Everything about them makes them great for family dogs.

    The photo above is of our Golden Retriever, Kada, with my daughter and my husband. Kada is four years old and a delight to our family.

    Tuesday, May 5, 2009

    The Gathering 2009 & Robert Burns


    This year an international gathering of the clans will take place in Edinburg, Scotland, July 25th - 26th. It was developed as a signature event of Homecoming Scotland 2009, to encourage those with a passion or connection to Scotland to come home. It is expected to be "the greatest international clan gathering the world has ever seen, and the largest Highland Games to have been held in Scotland" as quoted from www.clangathering.org. This website will give you all the history and details of the event.

    Also, 2009 marks the 250th anniversary of the birth of Robert Burns, the national poet of Scotland. Several Highland Games are celebrating Robert Burns' birthday anniversary as the theme for their events.

    Who was Robert Burns?
    He was born January 25th, 1759 in the village of Alloway, in Ayrshire. His father, William Burns, worked as a gardener on the Doonhom estate. He also farmed his own crops. He saw that Robert received a decent education. Robert's mother went about the house singing folk songs, stirring Robert's creative imagination. These traditional melodies inspired Robert to write some of the finest songs ever composed, and later his poetry career.

    They were a poor family, required to relocate to several farms, all of which proved infertile and unprofitable. Robert fell in love with a young lady by the name of Jean Armour and married her, but her father forced her to renounce Robert and tore up the legal document. This painful experience later shines through his work.

    Heartbroken, he resolved to emigrate to Jamaica. To raise the funds for his trip, he decided to try and sell some of his poetry. His first print run sold 612 copies and became the topic of conversation in literary circles. He forgot about his trip and visited Edinburgh instead, accepting several social and literary gatherings. He began making a small fortune with his poetry.

    He bought a farm, establishing his own home and returned to Ayrshire in 1788. Robert sought to marry Jean Armour as his wife, and this time her father and the rest of her family welcomed him with open arms, due to his success and acclaim. His health rapidly declined. While he lay dying, his wife was unable to be at his funeral as she was giving birth their ninth child, of which only three survived infancy. He was only 37.

    You can read more about his life and works at www.robertburns.org.

    Tuesday, April 28, 2009

    The Henderson Clan

    Our family recently joined the Henderson Clan of the US and I'll be sending in a small genealogy report on our North Carolina line. Unfortunately, I've only traced it back to James Henderson born around 1815. Our new Henderson Family webpage is now up on Rootsweb. Check it out here.

    In trying to determine when and where our Henderson line arrived in the Carolinas, I've discovered a few possibilities. There is a James Henderson Family that came in through Wilmington around 1720, but I haven't been able to tie them to our line.

    Another possibility is a very large Henderson family from Granville County, North Carolina. There is evidence that this line arrived from Virginia, and possibly from Pennsylvania before that, down the Great Wagon Road.

    My husband has agreed to a DNA test if it's needed. We did a DNA test in my Hudson line and it has proven to be quite beneficial.

    If you have a Henderson line from the Carolinas, I'd be interested in hearing from you.

    Thursday, April 23, 2009

    Highland Games Coming in May

    May 9, 2009
    9th Annual Historic Bethabara Park Celtic Festival & Highland Games
    Games begin at 9 AM

    Buildings open from 10:30 AM
    2147 Bethabara Road
    Winston-Salem, NC
    For more information, click here.

    May 22-23, 2009
    5th Annual Mint Hill Highland Games
    The Mint Hill Park on FairviewI-485,
    Exit 44 (Highway 218)
    Mint Hill, NC
    For more information, click here.

    Tuesday, April 21, 2009

    Wolfstone Kilt Company

    This past weekend we attended the Loch Norman Highland Games and discovered the Wolfstone Kilt Company, which provides authentic, custom-made costumes for highland attire. I'm looking for a late-medieval gown around 1473, similar to what my character Akira MacKenzie would have worn in my debut novel, Highland Blessings. The photo on the left is me in my new gown. It is for the Renaissance time period, but gorgeous just the same.


    I spoke to the owner, Virginia Watson, and she worked with me to pick out a plaid pattern. I wanted something that would be authentic to one of my own family clans, but I could only order them in wool or silk. Since I'm allergic to wool, and silk is rather expensive, I settled on a generic plaid. She was very helpful and informative. I learned that the length of a gown's arms was based on a woman's station in life. 


    We first ordered a gown for my daughter that would be custom-made to fit her size. They allow you to pay half down when you order, and you can pay the rest before they ship your order. This is very convenient for those of us on a budget. My daughter's gown should be ready in 6-8 weeks. 


    If you would like to check out Wolfstone Kilt Company, visit their website at www.potomacleather.com. They are located out of Virginia and travel to many of the Highland Games and Festivals.

    Thursday, April 16, 2009

    Loch Norman Highland Games

    This weekend (April 17-19, 2009) the Loch Norman Highland Games take place at Rural Hill Farm in Davidson, North Carolina. A few of the highlights will included:

  • Children’s games and activities
  • Live Scottish and Celtic music with a Saturday night Celtic Jam and Concert
  • Genealogy Search – Council of Scottish Clans and Associations (COSCA), the Tartan Museum, and Family Tree DNA
  • Scottish Clans and their representatives
  • Piping and Drumming with sanctioned competitions and massed band performance
  • Highland Dancing with sanctioned competitions
  • Scottish Country Dancing
  • Harp and Fiddle sanctioned competitions
  • Heavy Professional and Amateur Athletics
  • Food Vendors
  • Merchandise Vendors
  • Historical Encampment with Long Bow shooting competition
  • Battle Axe throwing
  • Climbing Wall

    For detailed information on tickets, event registration, schedules and locations, visit here.
  • Tuesday, April 14, 2009

    Molly's Scottish Clan and Jennifer's Were Enemies


    Please welcome guest blogger, Molly Noble Bull, author of historical Christian fiction and Scots-Irish descendant. In this post Molly has been kind enough to share a bit of her heritage. ________________________________________

    The Clan Colquhoun originated in Luss, Scotland on Loch Lomand, and my branch changed the spelling of the name from Colquhoun to Calhoun when they arrived in America.

    According to legend, the Colquhoun Clan was an ancient enemy of the McGregor (Jennifer's ancestry clan) and McFarland Clans and especially Rob Roy McGregor.

    James Patrick Calhoun was born in Donegal Country, North Ireland in 1688 at Crosh House Estate, Newton-Stewart, and County Tyrone, Ireland. His wife, Catharine Montgomery, was born in 1684 at Convoy House, County Donegal, and Londonderry, Ireland. In 1733 they left Ireland and traveled to the United States with their four sons, Ezekiel, William, James and James Patrick Jr., and their married daughter, Mary Catherine Calhoun, and Mary’s husband, John Noble.
    My name was Noble before I married, and I am directly descended from John and Mary Catharine Calhoun Noble.

    The families first settled in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania where James Patrick Calhoun, Sr., died in 1741. Later, they resettled in Augusta County, Virginia where John Noble died in 1752. After John's death, Mary Catherine Calhoun (Noble) and her children moved with her widowed mother and her four brothers to the Long Cane area of South Carolina near Abbeville.

    In late January 1760, the Cherokee Indians began to worry the settlers of the Up-County of South Carolina. On February 1, 1760, the people of the Long Cane Settlement were fleeing to Augusta when the Cherokee attacked them. Twenty-three members of the Long Cane Settlement were killed, including Catherine Montgomery Calhoun, and her son, James Calhoun.

    The Long Cane tragedy is personal for me in two ways. My great, great, great, great grandmother was killed in the massacre, and my husband is part Cherokee—the very tribe that killed my ancestor. And of course, all of my descendents are part Calhoun and part Cherokee. My story proves once again that God is good. He can make something good out of a horrible situation.
    To see what Luss, Scotland looks like today, visit here.


    Sanctuary by Molly Noble Bull begins in France in 1740 and ends in Luss, Scotland. Sanctuary won the 2008 Gayle Wilson Award and tied for first place in the 2008 Winter Rose contest, both for published Inspirational authors. You can learn more about Molly and her books at
    http://www.mollynoblebull.com/. Two of her favorite scriptures are Proverbs 30: 4 and Genesis 9: 4.

    Thursday, April 9, 2009

    The Argyll Colony of NC

    Gabriel Johnston, was a lowland Scot who served as North Carolina's governor from 1734-1752. He wrote enthusiastic letters to friends and family back in Scotland encouraging them to migrate to the Cape Fear region of North Carolina. He offered them free land grants of two crops each year, and possible exemption from taxation for a time.

    Most likely they landed at the port of Brunswick and then traveled up the Cape Fear Valley about 90 miles to what is now Fayetteville. They established a number of Presbyterian churches in the area, many of which are on the present-day property of Fort Bragg.

    Gaelic was universally spoken throughout the area from about 1739 until around the 1860's during the Civil War. As with many Latino families today, most of these families were bilingual and spoke Gaelic at home and at church. Fayetteville had a Gaelic printing press in the early 19th century and some of their publications are preserved in the Presbyterian Historical Foundation in Montreat, NC.

    For more information, visit:
    http://www.theargyllcolonyplus.org/history.html

    Or read:
    Carolina Scots by Douglas E. Kelly and Caroline Switzer Kelly

    Tuesday, April 7, 2009

    Loreena McKennitt


    When I'm writing a book, I enjoy listening to music that inspires the creative muse in me. Since I write historical fiction, it helps to listen to a selection that is of the time period I'm writing about and helps me emerse myself in that era.

    As a result, I discovered Loreena McKennitt's music when I was writing my debut novel, Highland Blessings. My favorite CD of hers is The Book of Secrets. Two of the songs I enjoy most on this CD are: The Mummers' Dance and The Highwayman. A version of this story was told by the character Anne Shirley in the second movie of Anne of Green Gables, one of my favorite movies.

    Her music is Celtic. She has a beautiful voice that gives one a feeling of peace and contentment. Each song she sings has a drammatic storyline. As an author, I enjoy the stories as much as the music. If you've never heard her music, and you enjoy the Celtic sound, I would encourage you to visit her website and listen to some of her beatiful samples.

    Thursday, April 2, 2009

    Campbell Castle


    Castle Campbell was originally called Castle Glume (Gloom) when it was built in the late 15th Century. It was first owned by Walter Stewart of Lorne. It became Colin Campbell's keep, the first Earl of Argyll, when he married Elizabeth Stewart in 1465, an heiress of the estate. At his request, the name of the castle was changed to Campbell Castle by King James IV in an act of Parliament in 1489. The castle remained in the hands of Clan Campbell for several generations and hosted Mary Queen of Scots in 1563. The castle was occupied by Cromwell's forces in 1653 and partially burnt by General Monck in 1654. The castle was owned by the Taits and Orrs in the 19th and 20th centuries, until the National Trust for Scotland took it over in 1948.

    The buildings within the castle include a tower house, hall, chamber range, and an east range. The tower house has four main floors. The ground floor contains a vaulted storage cellar. An upper entrance, once reached by an outside staircase, leads into the hall, the principal reception room. An original narrow spiral staircase was replaced in 1600 by a more substantial one. The terrance gardens are located to the south.

    The second and third floors of the tower were most likely used as private chambers. It is possible that the hall and chamber range served as the residence for the Earls of Argyll, since the reception room and the east end were on a much grander scale. This part of the castle now lies in ruins.

    The east range dates from about 1600 when it was remodeled. The south-west corner of the rocky knoll is locally referred to as John Knox's Pulpit. To the west of the castle there would have been a kitchen garden.

    Tuesday, March 31, 2009

    Upcoming Highland Games in the Carolinas

    This month there is only one upcoming Scottish Highland Games event in the Carolinas. The other has been cancelled due to recession difficulties. Please check out the linked sites below for specific costs, location, and details. If you know of any others for the month of April, please list them in the comments section. Thanks.

    April 17th - 19th, 2009
    Rural Hill Scottish Festival and Lock Norman Highland Games
    Huntersville, NC (north of Charlotte)

    May 1 & 2
    Triad Highland Games
    Greensboro, NC
    *Postponed to 2010!*

    Thursday, March 26, 2009

    The Scotch-Irish: A Social History of Scotland


    by James G. Leyburn

    Growing up in North Carolina, I always knew we had a huge group of Scotch-Irish settlers in the Piedmont of the Carolinas, but I didn't understand their ancestry. Were they from Scotland or Ireland? Many of them had been here for so many generations that they no longer knew where they came from--my family included. I was left to assume the Scotch had intermarried with the Irish and that is why they were called the Scotch-Irish. But as I've recently discovered, there is much more to the story.


    I've finished reading The Scotch-Irish: A Social History by James G. Leyburn published by the North Carolina University Press. It begins with Scotland in the 16th century and lays out the lifestyle and condition of the Scottish families and Scotland as a country on the political front. What I have discovered is sad, but the spirit of these people was never broken. They have endured and sought new opportunities to better themselves, and many thrived when given the chance. They had strong convictions and they lived by them, even through oppression and persecution.

    Most families were living in poverty and renting their farmland and homestead from an overlord, who considered it his responsibility to protect the tenants on his land. With so much lawlessness, families and neighboring villagers were dependent upon each other from other Scots raiders. Feuds often broke out among the overlords regarding land boundaries, while the number one cause was cattle stealing. It seemed that Scotland was in a constant state of undeclared civil war, while always fighting the English. These people had a hard life and to other countries seemed barbarious in the way they lived.

    The borders between Scotland and England were very difficult to maintain under control, but in 1603 when James VI of Scotland became James I of England after Queen Elizabeth's death, both countries finally had a common ruler. He enforced military retaliation against border raiding, and appointed English and Scottish commissioners to catch criminals that tried to escape passed the borders. They were sent back to their own country to be tried by the court. By 1610, the borders were under control enough for safe travel and prosperous trade between the two countries. The lowland Scots adapted to this new way of life, but the Highlanders in the up country of Scotland continued to live in their barbaric ways. The Highlander prided himself on how well he could reive a Lowlander's cattle and almost thought of it as a sport. This developed a dislike between the Highlanders and the Lowlanders.

    England decided to try and subdue the Irish who they saw as wild and untamed as the Highland Scot. While the Reformation achieved its purpose in Scotland and many were converted from Paganism and Catholism to Protestant, no such reformation had occurred in Ireland. Queen Elizabeth decided to colonize Ulster of Ireland, a province of the counties of Armagh, Cavan, Donegal, Derry, Fermanagh, and Tyrone in northern Ireland. Her hope was to transport English families there to bring change, but many English had no desire to be transplanted. But the Scottish families were ripe for establishing the colony. They were Protestant (Presbyterian) and they were looking for an opportunity to leave their poverty stricken homes for the hope and promise of new lands, prosperity, and a chance to do better for themselves and their families. In 1609, England opened the Ulster Colony to Scotsmen.


    Over the next century the colony prospered. The Irish were not happy losing their land and being forced to give up what was theirs, but over time they began to accept the Scottish. Some Irish families intermarried with the Scottish and new generations had begun to think of themselves as Irish even though their ancestors were Scottish. These were the Scotch-Irish.
    In 1717, their landlords began raising rents higher than the common people could afford. The English colonies of America were sending representatives to Ulster hoping to hire indentured servants and find Ulsterman who would work on their plantations. They promised a land of opportunity, prosperity, and a chance to save enough money to purchase their own land. Many couldn't pay for their own passage, so they sold themselves as indentured servants for four to seven years. At the end of their indenture, some would receive an agreed upon sum of money and even a tract of land, and some basic farming tools. After the first wave of Ulsterman emigrated, they wrote back to their kinsmen of their success. Things in Ulster had grown worse and between 1720 - 1750's a mass emigration of Scotch-Irish arrived to the colonies. Many of them came to the Carolinas and settled.

    Tuesday, March 24, 2009

    CFBA Book Review - A Passion Redeemed




    Revell (September 1, 2008)



    ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
    Julie Lessman is a debut author who has already garnered writing acclaim, including ten Romance Writers of America awards. She is a commercial writer for Maritz Travel, a published poet and a Golden Heart Finalist. Julie has a heart to write “Mainstream Inspirational,” reaching the 21st-century woman with compelling love stories laced with God's precepts. She resides in Missouri with her husband and their golden retriever, and has two grown children and a daughter-in-law. A Passion Most Pure was her first novel.

    ABOUT THE BOOK:
    No man can resist her charms. Or so she thought. Charity O'Connor is a woman who gets what she wants. Her stunning beauty and flirtatious ways have always succeeded with men. Until Mitch Dennehy, that is.

    Brilliant and dangerously handsome, Mitch is a no-nonsense newspaperman who wants nothing to do with her. Charity burned him once, destroying his engagement to the only woman he ever truly loved. He won't play with matches again. But Charity has a plan to turn up the heat, hoping to ignite the heart of the man she loves. And she always gets what she wants--one way or another.

    Or does she? Will her best-laid schemes win his love? Or will her seductive ways drive him away forever? Book 2 in the Daughters of Boston series, A Passion Redeemed will captivate your heart and stir your soul with a story of faith and redemption rising from the ashes of temptation, desire, and shame.

    Praise for the first book in the series:
    "Full of romance, humor, rivalry, and betrayal, A Passion Most Pure will captivate readers from the first page." --Historical Novels Review "Superb! Incredible!

    "I loved Julie Lessman's A Passion Most Pure from the second I picked it up until the very last moment I stopped reading." --Armchair Interviews

    "I devoured this book and loved every single page. . . . This is a thick, juicy read, and one I would pick up again in a heartbeat." --christianreviewofbooks.com

    If you would like to read an excerpt from A Passion Redeemed, go HERE.

    Thursday, March 19, 2009

    The Carolina Tartan


    Even though I was born and bred in the Carolinas, it was only recently that I discovered that the Carolinas had their very own tartan. No other two American states share the same tartan except North and South Carolina.

    Peter MacDonald designed the Carolina Tartan in 1981, but it was his father, Micheil MacDonald who came up with the idea. The design was taken from a pre-1800 sample from the Prince Edward Charles Stuart tartan. Since King Charles II of England was the last king of Scotland to be crowned at Scone, January 1, 1651, and it was said that he wore a jacket of ribbons suspected to have been the Royal Stewart Tartan. King Charles II opened the Carolinas through a land grant in 1663.

    For further reading, visit:


    Tuesday, March 17, 2009

    The Truth About St. Patrick


    Who Was St. Patrick Anyway?
    Patrick was born to wealthy parents in Britain around the end of the 4th century. Most scholars believed he may have died on March 17th, (460 A.D.).

    His father was a Christian deacon. At 16, Patrick was taken prisoner by a group of Irish raiders who attacked his family's estate. He spent 6 years in captivity, working as a shepherd, outdoors and away from people in Ireland. It was during this time of loneliness and uncertainty that he turned to his faith for solace and became a devout Christian.

    He finally escaped from prision after another 6 years. According to his writing, he believed God told him in a dream that it was time to leave Ireland. Back in Britain, Patrick experienced a second revelation in a dream in which an angel told him to return to Ireland as a missionary. Patrick trained over the next 15 years in the ministry. He was ordained as a priest and sent to Ireland.

    Since he was familiar with the Irish language and culture, Patrick used traditional rituals when teaching Christianity rather than attempting to destroy the Irish pagan beliefs. For example, to celebrate Easter, he used bonfires since the Irish were used to honoring their gods with fire. He included a sun on the Christian cross to create what is now widely known as a Celtic cross. These tactics helped to make things seem more natural to the Irish.

    Celebrating in America
    The first St. Patrick's Day parade took place in America, not Ireland. Irish soldiers in the English Army marched through New York City on March 17, 1762. The parade helped the soldiers reconnect with their Irish roots and introduced their music to other colonists.

    Even today, many Irish descendants gather to share a traditional meal of corned beef and cabbage. People are supposed to wear green and if they aren't, they might get pinched.

    Patrick used the three-leafed shamrock to explain how the Trinity represents the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit as separate elements of the same entity. His followers adopted the custom of wearing a shamrock on St. Patrick's Day. This custom came to American in 1737 in Boston.

    So have a great St. Patrick's Day and be sure to wear your green!

    Thursday, March 12, 2009

    Early Highland Warror Clothing


    When I decided to write a Scottish medieval novel, I discovered that my "idea" of what a medieval highlander would wear was completely incorrect. What I had seen in photos and movies like Braveheart and had read in other Scottish novels had given me the wrong impression. Even after I discovered this, my opinion of the movie didn't change. I still love it. But the depiction of the characters in my book would be different.

    I wanted them to be as accurate as possible, but I didn't want to throw people out of my story by using terms such as "leine" when most people would be unfamiliar with the term. So I chose to use the terms "plaid" and "tunic" to refer to my hero's clothing. The other alternative would have been to use the specific terms and include a glossary in the back. I don't know about others, but when I read for education, I don't mind a glossary, but when I read for pleasure, I would find it annoying. I'd love to hear some opinions on this.

    Modern kilts as we know them today date back to around 1725. It’s similar to a skirt with pleats from the waist down to slightly below the knees. However, it is not a skirt.

    The Great kilt or Belted Plaid dates back to 1594. The great kilt was an untailored garment made of cloth gathered up into pleats by hand and secured by a wide belt. The upper half could be worn as a cloak draped over the left shoulder and secured by a brat (clip) or draped down over the belt and gathered up at the front. In cold or wet weather, they might have brought it up over the shoulders or head for protection against weather.

    Before the Great kilt or belted plaid, they wore a long shirt that is known as a "leine" in Gaelic and thought of as a "tunic" in English. A plaid of wool cloth would have been draped over the shoulders and around the arm and fastened by a brat. The tunic came down to the knees on a man and was much longer on a woman. Because of the length on a woman it was similar to what we think of as an English chemise.

    The association of clan family specific tartan colors and plaid designs was a late development in the 17th & 18th centuries. However, much earlier family clans that lived within a region would wear similar plaids and colors because they used the same seamstresses in the area. And of course, families that intermarried typically lived in the same region in medieval Scotland, especially in the highlands. Much of the clan colors and design patterns associated with specific family clans probably derived from this regional practice.

    For more detailed information, visit these sites:

  • http://albanach.org/kilt.html - The Early History of the Kilt by Matthew A. C. Newsome
  • http://albanach.org/leine.html - The Leine by Matthew A. C. Newsome
  • http://www.geocities.com/~sconemac/kilt.html - A MacCorkill, History of the Scottish Kilt
  • http://reconstructinghistory.com/ - This site has some excellent resource material