September 2017

In this Issue:

 Lochiel Brewing Beer Tasting & Tour  Burns Supper 2018
 Letter From the Editor  Orkney Islands / Scalloway Castle
 Glengarry Highland Games  Society Officers
 Research Your Scottish Ancestry  Coming Events - Valley & Nearby
 Odds and Sods  Future Gatherings for 2017
   A Word from our Advertisers

September Gathering - 9/16/2017

Lochiel Brewing - Tasting and Tour

Lochiel Brewing - Ian Cameron

On Saturday September 16th, join us at 1:00 p.m. for a tasting of Scottish brewed beers in the Desert.

Lochiel Brewing of Mesa, AZ operated by Ian Cameron invites us to enjoy a tasting of the area’s only Scottish-style beers. Website:

The Caledonian Society will provide a light lunch and snacks.
Lochiel Brewing information:

Address: 7143 East Southern Ave, Ste 131, Mesa, AZ  85209

If you are traveling east on Southern Ave from Power Rd turn right on S Clearview Ave then enter through the first entrance on the right, turn right in parking lot you’ll see the sign in the window on the left

Transportation options:

  • Bus service to Superstition Springs Transit Center, then 20 minute (1.0 mile) walk to Lochiel
  • Lyft
  • Uber
  • Other taxi services

The Caledonian Society of AZ has regular membership gatherings on the second Thursday of each month, often at the Irish Cultural Center, 1106 N. Central Ave., Phoenix, AZ.
Meetings are open to everyone. Admission is free to Members. Non-member visitors are welcome and asked for a $5.00 donation.

Note: The planned Curling event for September was canceled because the Curling facility will be out of operation at this time.

Note: there will be no Thursday evening Gathering at the ICC in September.

Letter from the Editor, Don Finch

Dear fellow Caledonians:

Hello from ‘on the road again’! Both Publisher Mark Pelletier and myself have been traveling a lot this summer (separately!), but we’re happy to present this September edition of the Desert Highlander Newsletter.

Unfortunately, we’re not able to hold our ‘Kilts on Ice’ Curling Bonspiel this month as the Coyote Curling Club does not have a convenient date open for us.

Don Finch Instead, Board Member Ian Warrander has organized a tour of one of the Valley’s newest breweries, Ian Cameron’s Lochiel Brewery in Mesa. (See details in this issue).

We’re looking forward to catching up with all our members and friends, many of which were in Scotland sight-seeing or attending the Edinburgh Tattoo and/or the World Pipe Band Championships in Glasgow.
Enjoy the rest of the summer!

Cheers, DON

Visiting the Glengarry Highland Games
By Don Finch

The Glengarry Highland Games celebrated their 70th anniversary this year. They’re held in Maxville, Glengarry County, Ontario between Ottawa and Montreal.

This area was originally settled in 1784 by Highland Scots, mainly from Clan MacDonnell, who remained loyal to the King and moved north from New York state. It also welcomed those displaced by the Highland Clearances.


Glengarry has hosted the North American Pipe Band Championships since 1948. This year 50 bands competed in Grades 1-5 and the awards were handed out during the massed bands event at the closing ceremonies. Top award went to the Gd. 1 Toronto Police Pipe Band.

The 2017 Games Guest of Honour was Bill Livingstone, Pipe Major of the 78th Fraser Highlanders from Toronto who were the first ever non-Scottish band to win the World Championships in 1987. Under his leadership they also won the North American Championship 13 times!

Massed Bands Bill Livingstone


There was a large group of athletes competing in all the heavyweight divisions (Amateurs, Open Pros., Women, and Masters.)

Many of these athletes have achieved "#1" rankings in numerous prestigious competitions around the world.




All Militia units of the Canadian Army are invited to send a team for this annual headline event which began in 2007 as a grudge match between the Cameron Highlanders of Ottawa, and the Stormont, Dundas & Glengarry Highlanders (SD&G).

Tug of War All that is needed is a team of 10 (8 pullers plus 2 spares) and a coach. The Prize: The Highlanders Tug-o-War Challenge Cup plus a prize purse donation to the winner’s charity of choice. As this is a highland games sporting event, dress will be kilt with unit t-shirt and combat boots for the competitors.

2017 results: This year 12 regiments competed, with First Place retained by the Cameron Highlanders and SD&G coming in third. Maybe next year!


The Glengarry Highland Games are the only games in North America to host the Piobaireachd Society Gold Medal Competition that is sanctioned by the Piobaireachd Society of Scotland. This competition is held on Friday in Maxville at the United and Anglican churches. In addition, there are amateur piobaireachd competitions on Friday as well as Professional Piobaireachd on Saturday on the main grounds.


Two days of competition include Pre-Premier, Restricted Premier and Premier National competitions on Friday. On Saturday spectators witnessed World Champions, North American, Canadian and Ontario dancers as they showcased their best in dancing at the Games Open Championship. Cash awards to 6th place were recently added to this prominent Championship event.




Scottish FiddlingAlthough the 1500-strong massed pipe bands was an exceptional event to behold, my favorite entertainment was Scottish Fiddling. Unique to eastern Ontario and Cape Breton Island, this activity is organized by Ian MacLeod and encompasses a full two days starting with the “Youth Fiddlers’ Showcase” featuring young fiddlers from Glengarry and surrounding area.

Following this there was a performance by special guests The Cape Breton Fiddlers Association. The afternoon concluded with a performance by the Glengarry Massed Fiddlers who were also scheduled to perform at the rained-out Friday evening Tattoo


Thanks to Glengarry Highland Games President Anne Stewart for her gracious hospitality throughout the weekend. (See her photo below with ‘surprise’ guest P.M. Justin Trudeau, in his mother’s Clan Sinclair tartan.) I attended the Tartan Ball which featured Canada’s first P.M., Sir John A. MacDonald as the after- dinner speaker!

I was honored to be introduced to John Cameron Yourt, Games Past President and the Canadian Representative of the Piobaireachd Society of Scotland; to Graeme Ogilvie the Drum Major of the R.C.M.P. Pipe Band; to Terry Lee, recently retired Pipe Major of the seven-times World Champion Simon Fraser University Pipe Band, now a North American and Worlds judge, as well as many other Board Members and Committee Chairs.

As Paul Bell did when he visited the Chicago Games in July, we presented Anne Stewart with some souvenir items from the Phoenix Scottish Games and invited all to leave the Ottawa Valley winter behind and visit Phoenix next March!

Justin Tudeau and Ann Stewart [RCMP Oopening Ceremony

Research Your Scottish Ancestry

Networking and Ongoing Learning

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

Through these writings I can only highlight basic fundamentals of any particular topic in genealogy. Often there is more to learn. In this article, I wish to discuss how you can obtain clarification and more in-depth information in the time between these monthly publications and my annual presentations. A local, national and international system of networking and continuous education is a key component of genealogy that is readily available.

As you progress in your genealogy, discovering new and interesting facets of your family history, you will find that there is always something more to learn about the research process and resources available. Finding others with common research interests, but with more practical experience, is an important, and fun, aspect to genealogy. Whether it is finding a distant cousin who has made more progress in the researching of your common family tree, or learning from a record type expert, or research locality expert, networking with others to learn more is just one aspect of becoming a more skilled researcher. The other key aspect, is just straight forward genealogy education. Getting out there and learning more.

As I have hinted through these articles, and presented in person, genealogists and genealogy has a very strong presence on the internet. In addition to informational resources, there are a great wealth of blogs, e-newsletters, courses, and even videos, to help with fundamentals, or more in-depth understanding, of any genealogy research topic. “How-to” genealogy websites on the internet is extensive. For example, here is the link to a great Scottish genealogy blog:

With the internet search engine Google, you can enter any term or combination of terms, with the word genealogy, and find any of the types of online resources, blogs, “How-to” e-columns, newsletters, etc., to help you better understand a type of genealogy resource or record type, or learn about resources or research in a particular locality.

A couple of articles ago I discussed FamilySearch ( as a free family history research and records access and genealogy building site similar to Ancestry. One of their key features is a “Wiki”. The FamilySearch Wiki is a tool for finding information about subjects, records that may have been generated about your ancestors, and the places in which the records might be found. It is a vast information depository. Here is the link to their “Beginners” Wiki page:     FamilySearch also includes a Help Center where you can search for writings, PowerPoints, and video lessons on virtually any topic in the United States or Internationally. Type the word “Scotland” in the search bar for a handful of Scotland “How-to” genealogy lessons.

Speaking of Video Lessons. YouTube has an amazing wealth of “How-to” genealogy videos in a wide variety of topics, and in lengths from several minutes to a couple of hours. Some are created by fellow hobbyists, professionals, genealogy clubs, and some of the best genealogy libraries and archives. The US National Archives has their own channel which includes a wealth of genealogy presentations ( as does Scotland’s People  ( If you use only the keyword “genealogy” in your initial search you will get 224,000 hits. Use other keywords with “genealogy”, such as “beginning” or “101”, or “Scotland”, or “Indiana”, or “probate”, etc., for more specific topics.

Genealogy societies are commonplace across the U.S. and around the world. Various national societies, such as the National Genealogical Society (NGS) (, or the Scottish Genealogical Society (, provide newsletter and quarterly publications with articles on research tips, techniques and strategies, and also online courses, webinars, and more.

Locality specific genealogy societies also exist, such as the South Carolina Genealogical Society (, or the Ohio Genealogical Society (, or the North Perthshire Family History Group (, where membership benefits can include publications, research help, online courses, blogs, etc. Often here you may find people researching your family as well.

Even though you may not have Arizona ancestry, local genealogy societies across the state are a great place to network, learning from others, and attend meetings, and learn from great presenters on a variety of topics. The Family History Society of Arizona ( has seven chapters around the valley that each meet a different day of the month. You could theoretically attend all seven meetings monthly. Their annual meeting in March 2018 will feature highly noted Thomas W. Jones; with long list of accolades.

The West Valley Genealogical Society ( is the largest genealogy society in Arizona and operates its own genealogy library with over 4000 square feet of books and more, plus access to a wide variety of subscription based genealogy databases. In addition to their monthly meetings, the Library provides a number of “How-to” genealogy classes on a variety of topics. Their annual seminar in February 2018 will feature Cyndi Ingalls of Cyndi’s List fame (

There are many other Arizona genealogy groups, historical and heritage societies that you can find through the Arizona Genealogical Advisory Board (AzGAB) (, promoting genealogy and history by addressing the educational needs and interests of Arizona’s genealogical community through cooperation by the various groups and individuals. They have an impressive calendar of genealogy events around Arizona.

And lastly, the Mesa FamilySearch Library (/, features many on-site classes, online classes and webinars, and the annual multi-track all day conference in October at ASU.

This is another of a series of articles in which I show you the basics of searching for your family history, discussing the use of family records, public records, and online resources nationally and internationally, etc. The previous articles are now available on the Genealogy Section of this website.   See “Genealogy” in the menu options at the top of the web page.

Odds and Sods

The Scotsman

The Italian Highlanders
who may have Scottish roots

Walkers threaten to axe two popular crisp flavours
(Crisps are chips to us in the US)

Burns Supper - 2018

Mark your calendar now for February 3, 2018 when the Caledonian Society and the Daughters of Scotia will hold a joint Burns Supper.l

More information to come - but save the date!

Scottish History - The Orkney Islands / Scalloway Castle
by Jo Ramsdell

OrkneyOrkney, also known as the Orkney Islands, is a group of islands off the north coast of Scotland, separated from mainland Scotland by the Pentland Firth.  

Orkney is made up of about 70 islands but only 16 or 17 of them are populated.  The largest island is known as Mainland and is linked by causeways to several of the other islands. 



The islands have a total population of about 19,000—the majority of who live on the Mainland in the towns of Kirkwall and Stromness. It is divided into 3 regions the North Isles, the South Isles and the Mainland. Orkney is usually divided into three regions: the North Isles, the South Isles and the Mainland.

In 1564, Robert Stewart (1533-1593), illegitimate son of King James V, was granted lands in Orkney and Shetland and established himself as a powerful but unscrupulous figure in the islands.  Despite many complaints against him for seizing lands and misusing taxes, Stewart was later made Earl of Orkney and Lord of Shetland by King James VI.  He remained unpopular with the local lairds and they were able to turn the king against Stewart.  His earldom was revoked in 1587 and he died impoverished. 

Scalloway CastleRobert Stewart’s son Patrick (c.1566-1615), who had been on unfriendly terms with his father, remained in the king’s favor and was himself created Lord of Shetland in 1590.  He succeeded as Earl of Orkney on his father’s death, though this was not formalized until 1600.  Following his charter of the Earldom, Patrick Stewart began construction in Shetland of Scalloway Castle which was completed around 1607.  His main residence was the Earl’s Palace, built by his father on Birsay, Orkney while Scalloway was used by his representative in Shetland.   In 1609 the Shetland lairds complained to the king of Earl Patrick’s misrule of the islands.  Patrick was subsequently imprisoned at Edinburgh Castle and was executed in 1615 for encouraging his son to retake his Orkney possessions.  Image Copyright © Shetland Heritage, Shetland Amenity Trust

Control of the islands was then given over to James Law, Bishop of Orkney.  By the early 18th century the condition of the castle was described as poor.  Some of the ornamental stonework was removed to be incorporated into the Haa of Sand, an 18th century house to the north-west of Scalloway.  The ruin was placed into state care in 1908 and is now maintained by Historic Scotland and is a scheduled monument and a category A listed building. 

There is an inscription above the door, illegible today but recorded in the 18th century:  “Patrick Stewart, Earl of Orkney and Shetland. James V King of Scots.  That house whose foundation is on a rock shall stand but if on sand shall fall” 

COMING EVENTS and Highland Games in Arizona and Nearby
Games Calendar compiled by Clan Campbell Society NA

September 2-3 Pleasanton Games (CA)
September 7-10 Longs Peak Festival (CO)
September 16 Fresno Games (CA)
September 17 Gathering in Mesa - Lochiel Brewing Beer Tasting
September 29-30 Colorado Military Tattoo (CO)
September 30 Dixon Scottish Games (CA)
November 3-5 Tucson Celtic Festival
February 3, 2018 Burns Supper (Joint CSA and DOS)







Saturday 16th


Lochiel Brewing beer Tasting


Thursday 12th


ScotsToberfest and AGM


Thursday 9th




Sunday 12th


RAF Memorial, Mesa City Cemetery


Thursday 14th


Annual Family Christmas Party

Membership Renewal Reminder

Membership Special for New Members joining for the rest of 2017:
- - $12.50 single and $20.00 Family (at the same address)

It's easy - just jump to the Membership Page for the form.
And you can pay by Credit Card at our On-Line Store descibed at the left.

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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