April 2018

In this Issue:

 April Gathering - Tartan Day Event  Tribute to Joe Leonard
 Letter From the President  Phoenix Games Results
 Tartan Day - Five Things  Society Officers
 Scotland's Hidden Gems  Coming Events - Valley & Nearby
 Research Your Scottish Ancestry  A Word from our Advertisers

April Gathering

Mesa Caedonian Pipe BandIn place of a Gathering at the ICC for April, we are encouraging our members to join the Mesa Caledonian Pipe Band in celebrating Tartan Day, Saturday, April 7, at:

A Tartan Day Concert

Join Arizona's premier Scottish pipe band for a celebration of Tartan Day. A national holiday in the United States since 1998, Tartan Day recognizes Scottish heritage and Scottish contributions throughout history.

This concert will explore the traditions of piping and drumming from the ancient music that has been passed down through centuries, to modern compositions re-imagined with a highland flair. Following the concert will be a reception with silent auction of Scottish themed items and an opportunity to socialize with the band and others in the Arizona Scottish community.

Location: St. Markís Episcopal Church, 322 N. Horne, Mesa
Date/Time: Saturday, April 7th, 2018 at 4 PM
Cost: $10 per person / FREE for children 10 & under
Reception: 50/50 Raffle and Silent Auction follow immediately

All proceeds benefit the programs of the Mesa Caledonian Pipe Band, a 501(c)3 Non-Profit Organization.

Letter from the President, Don Finch

Dear fellow Caledonians:

Scottish voter"Now is the time for all good men to come to the aid of the party" is a phrase first proposed as a typing drill by instructor Charles E. Weller; its use is recounted in his book The Early History of the Typewriter, p. 21 (1918) [per Wikipedia] One hundred years later, this is the time for good men and women to come to the aid of the Society. And many have, agreeing to stand for positions on our Board of Directors which will elect a new slate of candidates during the month of April.

If on March 31st 2018 you are a Member-in-Good-Standing of the Society, i.e. youíve paid your annual dues, you will be sent * a ballot to choose the new Board for the term July 1st 2018 until June 30th, 2020. You will also be asked to approve the By-Laws which were revised following the last election, but not submitted to you for ratification.

*the ballot will be emailed to the address we have on file. If youíd like to receive a copy by post, please notify Nominating Committee Chairman Ian Warrander at iandwaz@gmail.com

The results of the election will be announced at the May Gathering and the new Board will be sworn in when we gather in June.

On behalf of all of us at the CSA, we also thank the Mesa Caledonian Pipe Band for letting us share their Tartan Day Concert and Social on Saturday April 7th. Weíre looking forward to seeing lots of our members and friends on Tartan Day+1. Cheers!


National Tartan Day: 5 Things You Didn't Know About Scotland
from ABC News (April 6, 2013)

TartansDon't be surprised if you see people decked out in tartan this weekend. Today, April 6, the United States is celebrating National Tartan Day. The day is intended to recognize the contributions of Scottish Americans to the U.S. Here's a look at five things you didn't know about Scotland.

  1. Tartan: Scotland's Famous Patterned Woven Textile

    It's the most recognizable pattern associated with Scotland. Tartan consists of "interwoven vertical and horizontal lines, known as a sett," according to Scotland's National Tourism Organisation. The pattern is seen on shirts, kilts and other clothing.

  2. April 6 Commemorates the Signing of Arbroath in 1320

    The Declaration of Arbroath, a declaration of Scottish independence, was signed on April 6, 1320. Scottish barons and earls then sent the declaration, in the form of a letter, to Pope John XXII to assert Scotland's status as an independent state. It also asked the pontiff to recognize "Robert the Bruce as the country's lawful king," according to the National Records of Scotland. The American Declaration of Independence was modeled after the Declaration of Arbroath.

  3. "Auld Lang Syne" Is a Traditional Scottish Song

    It's the tune that New Year's Eve revelers love to belt out. Written by poet Robert Burns in 1788, the song was set to a traditional Scottish folk melody. "Auld Lang Syne" literally means "old long since," according to Scotland's official government site 

  4. Not all Bagpipes: From Snow Patrol to Idlewild to Susan Boyle

    Susan Boyle albumWhile Scottish music is often associated with bagpipes, there are several artists who hail from or got their start in Scotland, including "Britain's Got Talent's" Susan Boyle, Scottish/Northern Irish band Snow Patrol, rock band Big Country and indie band Frightened Rabbit.

  5. Gaelic Still Alive in Scotland

    While English is still the main language spoken in Scotland, there are more than 150 other languages spoken, including the ancient Celtic language of Gaelic. According to the "Attitudes Toward the Gaelic Language" study in 2011, 80 percent of the Scottish population was "aware of Gaelic being used in Scotland, with highest awareness of Gaelic usage in the media (61percent)." Another 39 percent mentioned Gaelic used in education. Gaelic is also used in transportation signage.

Scotland's Hidden Gems - The Pineapple
by Iain Lundy

The Pineapple, tucked away down a potholed, single-track road near the village of Airth, a few miles outside Falkirk, has been christened 'the most bizarre building in Scotland' - quite a boast considering the country's many weird and wonderful structures. It is an unfinished folly built in 1761 by John Murray, 4th Earl of Dunmore, as a birthday present for his wife Charlotte. The building is part of a walled garden with an adjacent hothouse which was used for growing a number of plants and fruits, including pineapples. So Dunmore, for reasons known only to himself, decided he would have the impressive pavilion on his family estate topped off with a giant stone pineapple - and there it stands to this day.

The Pineapple

To be architecturally accurate, the Pineapple is an example of a cupola - or dome. It is around 14 meters high and extremely intricate and detailed. The most remarkable feature is that every one of the carefully sculpted pineapple leaves is curved so water drains away and there is no resultant frost damage.

If there was a 'Weird Scotland' competition, there's a good chance the Pineapple would win. The Dunmore family sold off the estate in the 1970s and it is now owned by the National Trust for Scotland, so visitors are welcome. It's accessible off the A905 road just west of Airth but the road is too narrow for coaches or buses. You will need to hire a car.

Incidentally John Murray, the 4th Earl of Dunmore, became the last British Governor of Virginia, and one of the most controversial figures in colonial America. He was appointed just as the Revolution was about to explode, but bitterly opposed independence and lacked the diplomatic skills to empathize in any way with the people of Virginia. He tried to deprive the colony of military supplies; issued a proclamation urging slaves to abandon their masters and join the British side; clashed with leading revolutionaries including George Washington and Patrick Henry; and gave orders to burn the city of Norfolk.

The Earl was forced to return home and, like a typical British eccentric, was rewarded for his abject failure by being given a seat in the House of Lords.


Research Your Scottish Ancestry

Robert WilbanksUnique Identity

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

In the pursuit of their heritage all too often genealogists may tend to gloss over the uniqueness of each ancestor. It is a bit ironic. The main idea of researching the family history is the discovery of the individual uniqueness and story of our ancestor that we are chasing. Yet, in actuality, it isnít unusual for genealogists to get so caught up in the research, that they quickly pass over the ancestors interesting uniqueness and story, and instead get more involved in the exciting frenzied pursuit for the next ancestor.

While I certainly want to encourage taking the time to ponder your ancestorsí unique identity for personal understanding and enjoyment, here I am actually going to explain the importance of that unique identity from a research perspective. Understanding fully the uniqueness of your ancestorís physical description, character and personality traits, skills, education, involvement in the community, profession, socio-economic status, and more, can actually aid in the research for an ancestorís parents and family connections. Connecting your ancestor to the wrong family can easily happen when these certain unique individual traits are not taken into account.

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What this is about

For example, a miner in Arizona in the 1880s who states his place of birth as Scotland is more likely to come from a mining town in Scotland rather than an agricultural community or a manufacturing town. Thus, helping you to focus your continued research. This is more significant when you are researching an ancestor with an extremely common name. First, how do you recognize when there are two people of the same name, instead of seeing them as one person doing all these humanly impossible things? Secondly, how do you differentiate persons, applying the right events, family connections, etc., to the correct individual of the same name? Unfortunately, less experienced genealogists are highly likely to compare two persons of the same name and usually combine them as one person solely based upon their estimated date of birth being the same.

An Example

Let me give you a fictitious example of how you should take into account and correctly apply these personal characteristics to place your ancestor in the correct time, place and family. Letís say your ancestor Kenneth Ferguson is the eldest son of a Duncan Ferguson, aged 45 in 1881 (thus born about 1836+/-), who is a 5 foot 6 inch red haired shopkeeper in Illinois originally from Perthshire, but your research leads to three Duncan Fergusons of about the same birthdate in Perthshire. One is an illiterate farmer, 5 foot 9 inches, red hair, in the town of Methven, the son of Ewen. The second is a black haired son of a notable barrister named Alexander in the City of Perth. The third is a 5 foot 6 inch red haired son of a shopkeeper named Kenneth in the village of Plockton. Once you take into account the personal details of the Duncan Ferguson in Illinois, it is fairly easy to see that he is probably the son of Kenneth the shopkeeper in Plockton. They have the same occupation, his description is the same, and Duncan in Illinois names his first son Kenneth, presumably after his father.

How you can use this technique

It is often these little details of the individual uniqueness of an ancestor that can be the most significant in correctly identifying parentage and other family connections. So, it is very important, not only to utilize these details, but to also actively find them and take note of them in the various records you find for your ancestor. It doesnít require extra effort in research to find these details. These tidbits of personality are already in the records you are making the effort to find. It is merely a matter of you to make note of these individuality traits, and not solely get focused merely on the date and place of birth, marriage and death in those records. Look for the unique details and add it to the story of your ancestor. Give your ancestors the unique personality and story that they deserve.

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.

A Tribute to Joe Leonard
by Len Wood, reprinted from the April 2010 Desert Highlander

Joe Leonard was among the founding members of the Caledonian Society of Arizona. He worked tirelessly for many years to promote the society and increase its membership. He regularly attended the meetings until the past year when his health made it impossible for him. He is missed and long remembered. — The Editor

Mr. Arizona Pipe Band, Joseph M. Leonard, passed away on Thursday, March 11, 2010. That’s all his obituary mentioned but there was so much more to say. I met Joe when I joined the Phoenix Scottish Pipe Band, at 14. Joe promptly took me under his wing as he did for countless young pipers and drummers. He was responsible for acquiring my first set of bagpipes. Some 45 years later, when I reminded him of that, he kindly said, “that was the best money ever spent.” Over the years his friendship never wavered, even as we both moved to opposite ends of the country. We stayed in touch and managed to get together many times at the highland games, frequent home visits, even at the Atlanta airport when Joe was rushing from one terminal to another to visit his son in another city. The conversation was always started about piping, but then went to his son, Scott and two grandchildren who he loved so much and was so proud.

Drum Major Joe LeonardJoe got his start in pipe bands as a Bass and Tenor Drummer in the Syracuse Scottish Pipe Band in the late 40’s/early 50’s. After moving to Arizona to take a job with Motorola Company as a graphic artist, he helped start the Phoenix Scottish Pipe Band. Together with 13 other pipers and drummers, he put up posters at local grocery stores in an effort to build a pipe band in Phoenix.

Finally, on July 4, 1958, his dream of a performing pipe band came to fruition, in the Prescott Rodeo Parade. An old newspaper clipping shows the band marching in Prescott in Mackenzie tartan kilts. Joe was in the mid section playing tenor drum, along with his younger brother Bill.

Joe later played the Bass for the pipe band, an unfortunate place to be in 1965, when in the Parada Del Sol Parade, Scottsdale, AZ, a horse threw its rider and charged through the band. Joe was struck by the horse, thrown up in the air and landed on his back. Recuperation was slow for Joe and when returning to the band, he picked up the mace becoming the band’s new drum major, and he was great as a D/M. In that position, he welcomed a number of new drum majors, giving them a start and instruction to go on to bigger things. Joe was never stingy with his advice and council. One of his stars students is Kevin Mac-Heffner Conquest, one of today’s top five drum majors in the world. No envy there, he was proud of Kevin’s accomplishments.

A long time friend of Joe’s is Ian MacRae. Joe was Ian and Rita’s best man at their wedding. Ian too was a founder of the Phoenix Scottish Pipe Band, a snare drummer and later a piper in the band. They maintained their long friendship over some sixty years and in all those years he never saw Joe angry, lose his temper or utter a swear word. In his words, “Joe was a gentle giant.”

Joe’s art work was magnificent. Each of his friends has something, a print of dancers, pipers, cowboys, Navajos or Apaches. Every piece is full of detail, right down to the line in the feathers. He was well know among Arizona native communities, where he was known as “One who walks alone.” His paintings have the small signature of a single feather with sets of footprints following it. Joe was quite proud of that, and well he should be. Years ago, my wife Kathy found two of his prints at a yard sale. She couldn’t get them home fast enough and to bet Joe to sign them. On each he wrote, “To Kathy, my long time best friend, Joe Leonard.” She was so proud of them. Joe went on to give prints to local pipe bands and Scottish societies for silent auctions and raffles, each signed with his best regards.

If Joe had a fault, it was his poor hearing. More than once, acting as drum major for Phoenix Scottish, Tempe Police, The Argyll’s or the Melbourne Pipe Band, he managed to lose his band when they turned off a parade route and Joe could not hear them leave. He was never angry about it, just embarrassed. Like everything else, he took it in stride.

Joe was also clever. My favorite story was a trip the band made to the White Mountain Apache reservation. The band actually marched through the town twice. The parade was that small; logging trucks, flat bed trucks with hoop dancers and the Phoenix Scottish Pipe Band, and the audience was great! That evening we went to dinner where the hostess asked for the number in our party and under what name. Joe gave the number - 10 and the name “Hunter.” Hunter, I asked? To which Joe replied, “never give ‘em your own name.” I have since used Hunter dozens of time and from now on, will think of Joe every time I do.

The man who walks alone leaves some pretty big footsteps to fill.

Phoenix Scottish Games Results

Here are results for competitions and presentations from the March Games:

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

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

April 6 Tartan Day
April 7 Tartan Day Celebration
Mesa Caledonian Pipe Band
  This will be our April Gathering, no event at the ICC
April 14-15 Las Vegas Celtic Gathering
Las Vegas NV
May 19-20 Rio Grand Valley Celtic Fesitval
Albuquerque NM

Membership Reminder

Membership dues for 2018 are:
- - $25.00 single and $40.00 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, many at the Irish Cultural Center, 1106 N. Central Ave., Phoenix - others around the Valley - usually beginning at 6:30 pm. Please check our website for further details.

A Word from our Advertisers

Kilt Rental USA

Len Wood
Bagpiper USB

Lois Wallace


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