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:

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.