April 2017

In this Issue:

 Tartan Day at the AZ Senate  Lifetime Award Member
 Letter From the Editor  Odds and Sods
 Second Scottish Independence Vote  Society Officers
 Research Your Scottish Ancestry  Coming Events: Valley & Other
 April Historical Article  A Word from our Advertisers

Tartan Day at the Arizona Senate

You are invited to witness the reading of the Tartan Day Proclamation
at the Arizona Senate, Thursday April 6.
Meet in the lobby of the Senate Building at 9 AM - reading at 10 AM.
(It's the building at the left in the photo below, 17th and Jefferson)
Free parking at 19th and Jefferson.

There will be NO Gathering at the ICC this month - April 13

Tartan Day

Tartan Day Article from the Pima County Genealogical Society

Pima Cty Genealogy
Click the image to read their article

Letter from the Editor, Don Finch

Dear fellow Caledonians:  

Ready for a Spring Break? If you’re headed to Scotland this month, here’s a few things to consider…

  • Highland Haggis Festival; 1 - 2 April - This will be the third year for this unusual festival in Spean Bridge.
  • Walk Islay; 9 - 14 April - Annual walking festival on the Isle of Islay
  • Aye Write! Glasgow's Book Festival; 9 - 19 April
  • Doune Hill Climb Car Competition; 15 - 16 April – Perthshire
  • Loch Shiel Chamber Music Festival; 20 - 23 April -  various venues around Lochaber & Ardnamurchan – now in its 21st year
  • Etape Loch Ness; 23 April - Cycle race of 67 miles/107 km around Loch Ness
  • Spirit of Speyside whisky festival; 27 April - 1 May

If you’re staying in Arizona, we offer these suggestions….

  • Celebrate Tartan Day; 6th April – 9:00 am at AZ State Senate for the Proclamation http://www.azleg.gov/legtext/53leg/1r/bills/hcr2020p.pdf
  • Phoenix Scottish Games Volunteer Appreciation Party; April 8th – contact Games VP Paul Bell for information at 602-882-0840
  • Tartan Day Scottish Festival, Tucson; April 8th – Many Hands Courtyard
  • NACHS Tartan Day Celebration; April 2nd – Uptown Pubhouse, Flagstaff

Many of you have been asking why we’re not holding our ‘monthly gatherings’ on a more consistent basis. The answer is quite simple – we don’t have anyone willing to help organize them. In addition to my role on the Board, the Games Committee, and Editor of this esteemed publication, plus special projects like the St. Andrew’s Day Dinner and this month’s Tartan Day activities with our legislators, I’ve been trying to come up with interesting meeting topics and some new locations.

Don FinchWe’ve got a ‘Meet the Authors’ night planned for June, a Genealogy event in August, and our annual ‘people’s choice’ Scotstoberfest in the works.

But we need help planning for the other months remaining in the year. If you’re interested in joining a ‘Monthly Gathering’ committee, or even heading it up, please contact me at: president@arizonascots.com

Cheers! Don Finch, Editor

Second Scottish Independence Vote
Give me liberty, orů..

Theresa May attacks Sturgeon's 'tunnel vision' over referendum Scots DON'T want

THE Prime Minister has angrily hit back at Nicola Sturgeon after the Scottish First Minister today demanded a second Scottish independence referendum next year.
By Greg Heffer, Political Reporter, The Express London    Mar 13, 2017

Speaking from 10 Downing Street, Theresa May attacked the SNP leader’s “tunnel vision” over Scottish independence as “deeply regrettable”. In a hastily-arranged press conference this morning, Ms Sturgeon revealed she will next week begin the process towards a second ballot on whether Scotland should quit the UK.

The First Minister insisted she wants a vote as early as Autumn 2018, before Britain has completed its departure from the EU.

Ms Sturgeon claimed her demands for a “differentiated” Brexit deal for Scotland have been ignored by the UK Government. But in a strongly-worded retort, Mrs May said: “As we negotiate to leave the EU I want to negotiate an agreement that is going to work for the whole of the UK and that includes the Scottish people.

“That's why we've been working closely with the devolved administrations, we've been listening to their proposals and recognising the many areas of common ground that we have such as protecting workers' rights and our security from crime and terrorism. “The tunnel vision the SNP have shown today is deeply regrettable. It’s set Scotland on a course for more uncertainty and division, creating huge uncertainty.”

The Prime Minister also pointed to consistent opinion polling that shows a majority of Scottish voters don’t want a fresh independence vote before Brexit is completed. Mrs May added: “This at a time when the evidence is the Scottish people, the majority of the Scottish people, do not want a second independence referendum.”

Nicola Sturgeon talks of global role of independent Scotland
Associated Press   4 April 2017

While addressing academics and students at Stanford University in California during her week-long tour of the United States, Scotland's First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said on Tuesday that independence from the United Kingdom, combined with partnerships around the world, is the best way for her country to build a fairer society at home and to make a positive contribution elsewhere.

"Our modern identity will remain open, outward-looking and inclusive," she said. "And Scotland will of course continue to build partnerships around the world - including with governments, businesses and universities here in California and across the United States."

The First Minister said independence is something that will be debated across Scotland in the months ahead, with the country planning to hold a referendum on independence sometime between fall 2018 and spring 2019.

Research Your Scottish Ancestry

History: The Times of Your Ancestors

Robert Wilbanksby Robert M. Wilbanks IV, B.A.
Chief Genealogist & Historian, C.S.A.

Genealogy and history cannot be separated. You cannot disassociate your ancestors from the times and the places in which they lived. To better understand them, and to more successfully research them, you must learn about the events and the times which was a part of their lives; and the records that were created in that context.

A large part of the thrill of American genealogy is to learn of an ancestor’s participation in the "Great American Experience". It is exciting to find an ancestor part of great American moments as: disembarking at Ellis Island; fighting in the Civil War or the American Revolution; coming over on the Mayflower in 1621, or settling Jamestown, Virginia in 1607. To better find these ancestors, and to understand them and the period that they lived in, you must know the basics about American History.

The same goes for researching your ancestors from Scotland. Did they come to America in the 1600s and 1700s to escape the British subjugation or consequences of failed insurrection? Were they part of the great number of Ulster-Scots who came to America in the early to mid-1700s, becoming the backbone of the frontier growth of America? Were they convicts sent to the far reaches of the British Empire, or did they leave Scotland during a period of economic instability? Did they emigrate to England and America during the great industrial growth of the mid to late 1800s and early 1900s, adding to the growth of cities such as Birmingham, Manchester, Liverpool or New York, Boston, and Chicago?

While the internet can help with detailed specific historical information, an old school textbook, or other young adult books, on the history of America and Scotland should perhaps still be a standard part of every genealogist’s library. These books will be easy to read, and will help to present a general overview of the history of America or Scotland, thus providing you with a basic knowledge and understanding of the times of your ancestors.

Meanwhile, a knowledge of history will help you to better be able to research your heritage. History actually dictated the types of records kept, along with the format, content and survival of those records. Understanding social stratification, patterns of migration and settlements, and even occupations, will help you better know when and where to search for your ancestors in the records. Success in genealogical research depends upon an understanding of the events in the lives of your ancestors, and to determine whether those events would have created records for your ancestor and discovering where those records would be.

For example, a basic knowledge of the American Civil War would help you to realize that if your ancestor was of an age to be drafted and fight in that war, he would thus appear in the records that were created for his service in that war. These records may provide his date and place of birth, parent’s names, heirs, and, if he died, the date and place of his death, as well as other helpful information.          

However, if he was of an age to serve and yet you find that he didn’t, then your search may need to go in a different direction. What prevented him from serving: a disability? a religious belief? The absence of your ancestor in a record during a significant event can be a clue, but only as long as you know and understand what was happening around him during his life.

Meanwhile, as important as history is to genealogy, genealogy has become significant to the study of history. The historian has discovered that he can enrich his understanding of the past by seeing it from the perspective of those most affected by its events. He has also discovered that the family and the individual had a greater impact on historical events than was previously thought, and that the effect of an event on individuals, families and communities may be more important than the event itself.

Genealogy is contributing more and more significantly to the study of local, regional and national history. To study the history of a community, it becomes necessary to study the families in that community. Views change on various aspects of history through more in-depth and detailed research of individuals, families and groups of people, many times changing the generalizations that had long been believed.

Most importantly, personal journals, memoirs, diaries, and other family records, are being discovered and have added to our historical awareness. Personal accounts are important for studying historical events. For example, more than half of the records studied in the American Civil War are personal accounts of the people who were there. During the 50th Anniversary of World War II in the 1990s, veterans were being interviewed about their experience so that Americans would have a better understanding of the personal lives of the men and women in the war.

Studying your family’s history helps to bring history alive and make it more exciting. It is fascinating to learn why your family left home to come to America, or to learn of their experience in war, frontier settlement, migration to the big city, etc. Even the more harsher aspects of history, such as frontier life, slavery, the subjugation of the Scottish, help you to learn about those who suffered, and understand and respect them for their ability to survive and grow. You will realize that as hard as your life seems, you have it easy compared to your ancestors, and you will feel grateful toward them for what they gave up and endured to make a better life for themselves and their families. For good or for bad, our ancestors left us a heritage to acknowledge, respect and honor. They left us a legacy of which we should be proud.

The Ragman Rolls
by Jo Ramsdell

After the death of Queen Margaret in 1291, there were a number of claimants to the Scottish throne.  At the time, due to several marriage alliances, Scotland and England had a diplomatic relationship.  When it became obvious that Scotland couldn’t make the decision without creating all out clan wars, King Edward of England ‘volunteered’ to hear their cases and decide who had the most valid claim.   The noblemen, who were involved, met with Edward at Norham on Tweed.  Edward insisted on having them sign an oath of allegiance to him, partly because he was afraid of making an unpopular choice and causing a riot among the Scots.  The document signed by most of the noblemen is called the first and smallest of the Ragman Rolls.

John deBalliolJohn deBalliol (right), who was King of Scotland at the time, resisted the demands, so the English king sent an army and fought the Scots at the Battle of Dunbar.  He then proceeded across Scotland and stole some most important Scot artifacts such as the Stone of Destiny, where Scottish kings had been crowned from the earliest time, the Scottish Crown and the archives of Scottish Records.

On August 28, 1296, Edward again called together the Scots royalty and armies and asked them to swear allegiance to him and to sign another Ragman Roll.  It was signed by most of the leading Scots of the day including Robert Bruce and William Wallace’s uncle Sir Reginal deCrauford.  This roll has nearly 2000 signatures making it one of the most valuable documents for future researchers.

Copies of both the 1292 small Roll and the 1296 longer Roll were preserved: one in the charterhouse at Westminster (now kept in the Record Office in London) and one in the Tower of London (now also in the Record Office). 

The derivation of the word “ragman” has never satisfactorily been explained but there are various guesses as to its meaning.  It is suggested that the term “Ragman Rolls” derives from the ribbons that each nobleman affixed with his waxed seal to the original parchment paper or that it is from an earlier record compiled for the purposes of Papal taxation by a man called Ragimunde whose name was corrupted to Ragman.

27 seals

The name ragman roll survives in the colloquial “rigmarole”—a rambling incoherent statement. 

Jean Latimer - Lifetime Member Award
By Don FInch

Jean LatimerDuring the Opening Ceremonies of last month’s 53rd Phoenix Scottish Games, we were honored to present Past President Jean Latimer with our Lifetime Member Award.

Jean has been a member of the Society for 20+ years and served a two-year term as President during 2010-2012.

She guided the organization through several moves for the location of the Highland Games to the present venue at Indian School Park and also found a new home for the monthly gatherings at the ICC.

Congratulations Jean and thank you for your service!

CSA President Don Finch presents the award,
with Games VP Paul Bell (partially hidden)
and MCPB Senior Drum Major Kevin Conquest


Coming Events: Valley, Arizona, and Nearby States
North American Highland Games Calendar available at Clan Campbell Society

April 6 Tartan Day
April 8 Scottish Games Volunteer Appreciation
April 13 No Gathering at the ICC this month
April 22 CSA Board Meeting
April 29-30 Las Vegas Highland Games
May 11 May Gathering at the ICC
May 13-14 Prescott Highland Games
May 20-21 Rio Grande Celtic Festival & HG (Albuquerque)
May 27-28 Scottish Fest (Costa Mesa CA)
July 15-16 Arizona Highland Celtic Festival (Flagstaff)
November 3-5 Tucson Celtic Festival

Odds and Sods

The Scotsman The Scotsman

New Saltire EMOJI to be Introduced

Couple Sues Over a Whisky Fungus

Membership Renewal Reminder

Dues are still only $25 Single and $40 Family. This admits you to all our wonderful monthly events with food and entertainment provided.

It’s easy to pay by credit card at our On-Line Shopping Cart - just jump to the Membership Page

Society Gatherings
Regular membership gatherings are usually held the second Thursday of each month at the Irish Cultural Center, 1106 N. Central Ave., Phoenix, AZ. beginning at 6:30 pm. Please check our website for further details.

Caledonian Society Officers
President: Don Finch
Immediate Past President: Mark Clark
Past President: (2010 – 2012) Jean Latimer
Vice President Administration: Mark Pelletier
Vice President Games: Paul Bell
Vice President Membership : David McBee
Secretary Ginni Caldwell
Treasurer: Vicki Phegley
Trustee 1: Ian Warrander
Trustee 2: Thom von Hapsburg
Trustee 3: Dan Miller
Newsletter Editor:

Don Finch
Statutory Agent: Dan Miller
Chief Genealogist & Historian: Robert Wilbanks

A Word from our Advertisers

Kilt Rental USA

Len Wood
Bagpiper USB

Lois Wallace


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