September 2020     Title   Past Issues

In this Issue:

  Society News   Luckenbooth Brooch
  President's Letter   Women and Children First
  The St. Kilda Evacuation   Snippets from Scotland
  Scotland's Hidden Gems   Our Clan Representatives
  Research Your Scottish Ancestry   A Word from our Advertisers  

Society News

It’s been a long time since we gathered together as a society, but moves are now under way to rectify that situation and, at the very least, enjoy a ‘remote’ meeting.

It is planned to have a Zoom Happy Hour this month, possibly as early as next week but with the exact date still to be finalized. For those who are able to attend, there will be a rundown on the state of play regarding next year’s Games and other events, as well as the general health of the Society.

We will also be examining the possibility of meetings both remote and ‘real time’ in the immediate future. We may not be able to do much of what we had been planning earlier in the year, but certain restrictions are being lifted and that opens up some possibilities for us.


President's Letter
David McBee, President

David McBee

When I have been able to find time between Covid chaos and family support tasks, I have been working on an outline of an option for a Survival Games event with inspiration from Pat Schuller. I will get this out to the Board and area chairs for review and input shortly. It may be something we can develop, but with the way the governor has been treating bars and outdoor events, I am not sure we can get any event permits approved, and they require significant lead times to get in place. However, we can at least get some research in progress and do some negotiating on major cost reductions from our suppliers for the next time we can put on a big Games.

Ian Warrander has been working on a format for a Zoom Happy Hour and discussion meeting for this month. Maybe I can find a walk-in freezer to connect from. I will let Ian publish the event.

As to the walk-in freezer, I was supposed to be in Scotland last month but was trapped here in triple digit heat. The heat is still here but my main lawn mower got sick. Must have been the hole in the mask. But now I am mowing an acre of grass in this heat with a push mower. Let’s drink some good Scotch in a walk-in somewhere!

Stay safe at your own pace and be as happy as you can be. Whisky and pastries may just be the answer ...


St. Kilda Evacuation

The evacuation of the remote St Kilda archipelago, many miles west of Scotland’s Outer Hebrides, took place 90 years ago this month. The event was one of most emotive and heart-wrenching stories of 20th century Scotland.

For the 36 residents who were forced to leave, it meant the end of a way of life their ancestors had carried on for generations.

St. Kilda

Today the islands are a World Heritage Site owned by the National Trust for Scotland. The story of the St Kilda evacuation is told in the Trust newsletter:

Scotland's Hidden Gems - the Waverley paddle steamer
Iain Lundy, Editor

The Waverley is more than just a hidden gem – since she was launched in 1946 she has become a precious Scottish cultural icon; a much-anticipated day out for residents and holidaymakers alike; and a reminder of a way of life long since consigned to history.

Known as the ‘Grand Old Lady” of Scotland’s waterways, the Waverley plies her trade in the summer months between her home port of Glasgow and the mostly faded holiday resorts of the Firth of Clyde. She makes the occasional foray to the west coast and the south of England.

Waverley paddle steamer
Photo: Craig Anderson

When she was launched from the A&J Inglis shipyard in Glasgow, she was named after Sir Walter Scott’s first novel. At the time she was one of many paddle steamers and turbine vessels of all shapes and sizes that offered cruises to day-trippers around the ports of the Clyde – towns such as Rothesay, Largs, Dunoon, and Campbeltown.

From the post-war years of the 1940s through to the mid-60s these vessels were enormously popular. Hundreds would queue up at piers waiting their arrival and, as the ships neared the harbor, they were often over-balanced by the sheer weight of passengers waiting to disembark.

By the end of the 1960s, cheap Mediterranean holidays had replaced the traditional Scottish day out. One by one the Clyde steamers had disappeared from their routes, many to the scrapyard, until by the 1970s only the Waverley remained.

By 1973 she was too costly to operate and sold to the newly formed Paddle Steamer Preservation Society for the token sum of £1. Since then she has been kept afloat by a combination of volunteer work, Lottery grants, and charitable donations.

The Waverley has had her fair share of scrapes, most notably in 1977 when she ran aground on the Gantock Rocks off Dunoon with more than 700 passengers on board. But since she was taken over by the charity she has carried more than five million passengers and it is difficult for Scots everywhere to imagine a time when there is no longer a paddle steamer Waverley.

As we went to press, the Waverley crashed into the pier at Brodick on the isle of Arran. Twenty-four passengers were injured, and the vessel is likely to be out of service for the rest of the season. BBC News

Research Your Scottish Ancestry

Robert WilbanksGazetteers

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

Location, location, location. A key to genealogy research is to know the right place and the right time to research the location of where your family lived, migrated, and settled. Understanding the physical geography or jurisdictional boundaries of where your family lived can be key to enhancing your ongoing family history research. As a result, every beginner genealogist quickly discovers maps as an extremely useful tool in their research. Maps allow genealogists to visually connect to and understand the geographical location where their family lived, migrated, and settled. However, maps can be limiting in detail and information.

Gazetter exampleA reference resource known as a "Gazetteer" can provide more extensive detail of a location, including names and background information not generally found on maps.

A gazetteer is a dictionary of place-names. Gazetteers list or describe towns and villages, parishes, counties, states, populations, rivers, mountains, and various other geographical features.

As a written resource, usually without images, it can be used in conjunction with, or entirely without, maps.

Often a Gazetteer can be a recurring publication over decades, varying by location and publisher, with each edition only being relevant to the time of publication incorporating additions and changes.

Gazetteers may be created by type of location, such as by physical geographical features, or by jurisdictions, such as by country or by towns, counties, etc., and then alphabetized accordingly. Because the names and geographical features of a location can change over time, these historical publications are particularly helpful. Often, historical changes may be noted and included in newer editions. Additionally, when identical place names may exist in a country, a gazetteer can help distinguish the different locations.

Gazetteers may also provide additional information about towns, such as:

  • Different religious denominations.
  • Schools, colleges, and universities.
  • Major manufacturers, canals, docks, and railroad stations.
  • The population size.
  • Boundaries of civil jurisdiction.
  • Ecclesiastical jurisdiction(s).
  • Longitude and latitude.
  • Distances and direction from other cities.
  • Schools, colleges, and universities.
  • Denominations and number of churches.
  • Historical and biographical information on some individuals (usually high-ranking or famous individuals).

Many historic gazetteers, dating to before 1930, have been digitized and can be found free and open access on the internet through sites such as Google Books (, and Internet Archive ( You can find varying gazetteers for the United States as a whole, or by specific state. Additionally, many historic gazetteers have been transcribed in full and made available, and searchable, on the Internet. Lists and links to Gazetteers for the United States, Scotland, England and Ireland, can be found on the FamilySearch Research Wiki ( page.

A few of examples of gazetteers for Scotland, available online, are as follows:

  • Electric Scotland
  • Topographical Dictionary of Scotland, by Samuel Lewis, originally published in 1846. (British History Online).
  • Gazetteers of Scotland, 1803-1901 20 volumes of descriptive gazetteers of Scotland, a comprehensive geographical encyclopedia of Scotland in the 19th century. Principal places in Scotland, including towns, counties, castles, glens, antiquities and parishes, are listed alphabetically.
  • Gazetteer for Scotland, a vast geographical encyclopedia, featuring details of towns, villages, bens and glens from the Scottish Borders to the Northern Isles.

Of course, like any other aspect of genealogy, the key is to know the right place and the right time to research the location of where you family lived, migrated, and settled. Once you have the place, it is not difficult to learn all you can about the geographical and jurisdictional features of that location.

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.

Luckenbooth Brooch

Luckenbooth brooch: A traditional Scottish love token often given as a betrothal or wedding brooch. It might be worn by a nursing mother as a charm to help her milk flow, and/or be pinned to a baby’s clothing to protect it from harm.

Luckenbooth brooch Our Scottish heritage here at the CSA means that every so often a new – or in this case old – Scottish word crops up which has us scratching our heads. When Society member Linda Lambie recently found herself in possession of a ‘Luckenbooth’ brooch, we set out to answer the obvious question. What is a Luckenbooth?

Linda discovered the piece of jewelry when she made the sad journey to Scotland after her mother’s passing in July. She knew nothing of its existence but, judging by the date, it was given to her mother by a great-aunt around the time of Linda’s birth.

The term Luckenbooth stems from the fact the tokens were traditionally sold from locked booths on Edinburgh’s Royal Mile. The brooches often depict two intertwined hearts, often with a crown above one heart. Mary Queen of Scots gave a Luckenbooth to her soon-to-be husband Lord Darnley, hence the reason for the crown.

Linda LambieLinda’s brooch contains a topaz – her birthstone – and she believes it was given to her mother at the time of her birth. She said, “I was shocked when I found it. The first thing that came to my mind was why did no-one show it to me. But it’s a beautiful piece and I intend to have it cleaned.”

For Linda it’s a case of ‘better late than never’ and for the rest of us, it adds to our knowledge of historical Scottish terminology.

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Lt. Col. Alexander Seton

The phrase “women and children first” embodies the age of chivalry. But who knew that it was defined by the actions of a tall imposing Scottish army officer who, in 20 terrifying minutes, demonstrated a level of selflessness, bravery, leadership and chivalry rarely witnessed before or since.

Lt Col Alexander Seton was a native of Aberdeenshire and served with the 74th Highlanders. He achieved his place in history by his actions on board the sinking troop ship Birkenhead off the coast of South Africa in February 1852. The iron paddle ship had sailed from Cork in Ireland with 631 on board, most of them soldiers, some with their wives and children, bound for action in the Cape of Good Hope.

Lt. Col. Alexander SetonSeton was the senior officer on board and the vessel was in the command of experienced Royal Naval captain Robert Salmond. The voyage had been unremarkable and the weather fair until 2am on February 26 when disaster struck. A sickening crash shattered the silence as the vessel ploughed into an underground reef not marked on the maps.

Within minutes it had ripped open the Birkenhead’s iron hull. Water poured in and more than 100 soldiers sleeping in the lower troop decks were drowned.

As terrified survivors scrambled on to the deck they were met with a scene of amazing calmness. Capt Salmond, dressed in his nightclothes, ordered the women and children to be taken up and carried to the lifeboats.

Lt Col Seton gathered his officers and told them “Gentlemen would you please be kind enough to preserve order and silence amongst the men and ensure that any orders given by Captain Salmond are instantly obeyed?” Then the 6ft 3in, 38-year old stood by the gangway as the 25 women and 29 children were put aboard a cutter, his sword drawn in case any men tried to jump aboard. None did.

When the cutter was launched, and only 15 minutes after the collision, Seton ordered the troops to line up on the poop deck, regiment by regiment. They stood to attention, staring silently into the night sky as the lifeboats sailed for the safety of the shore. Suddenly there was a horrific crash as rocks tore open the ship and it began to sink rapidly.

Capt Salmond climbed the rigging and urged all who could swim to abandon ship. But Seton, his sword still drawn, raised his hands above his head and told his men “You will swamp the cutter containing the women and children. I implore you not to do this thing and I ask you all to stand fast”. Seconds later the Birkenhead broke her back, not a man disobeyed Seton’s orders and they shook hands and said goodbye as the water closed in over their heads.

In all, 437 men died that night including Seton and Capt Salmond. The 207 who survived included every woman and child on board the doomed ship and the phrase “Birkenhead Drill” entered the language as the epitome of discipline in the face of adversity. A history of the 74th Highlanders says the action on the Birkenhead “sheds more glory upon those who took part in it than a hundred well-fought battles”.

Snippets from Scotland

BBC logo

A nine-year old schoolboy has had his flag design chosen to represent the Isle of Skye. Alasdair Munro’s flag features a wooden boat with five oars to represent the island’s five areas.

Inverness Courier logo

A Scottish Highland reservoir has dried up in the summer drought to reveal incredible hidden secrets – a long disused road, bridges, old croft homes, and even old tins of food.

>Press and Journal logo

For the whisky aficionados among us – and there are many – here’s the tale of the founding and early days of the classic Chivas Regal brand.

Our Clan Representatives

Continuing our series about the clan tents that help brighten up our Games every year, we spotlight two regular attenders, Clan MacCallum-Malcolm and Clan Keith.

Ashleen O’Gaea – Clan MacCallum-Malcolm

I’m a MacCallum on my mother’s side – my family spells it MacCollum – so my interest is life-long. Jim Law and I attended the Tucson Celtic Festival and Highland Games for years, and the Phoenix Scottish Games a few times, before it occurred to us to join the MacCallum-Malcolm Clan Society and set up a tent for our clan.

Jim Law and Ashlean O'Gaea

Friends and kinsfolk do occasionally drop by to give us a break, but it’s usually just the two of us. We don’t mind, though, because we really enjoy meeting people and answering their questions - about the clan, and about our dogs. The dogs are definitely the stars of our show, because, you see, one of our “clancestors,” Col. Edward Donald Malcolm, developed and named the West Highland White Terrier.

West Highland White TerriersWe are lucky enough to have two. Wee Dram is an AKC Champion; his sister, Islay Single Malt, says she’s the cute one. Their breeder, Nancy Stolsmark of Peoria, AZ, brought them up with pipe-and-drum music, so the loud noises at some Games don’t faze them at all. (If I may be permitted a shameless plug … with my clan chief’s approval, I wrote a book. It’s All About the Little White Dog: A History of the West Highland White Terrier tells more of the story than the few sentences most breed books include. It’s available from us at Games, and on Amazon all the time.)

We travel to Games in our fifth wheel, with all the Games gear stored in its “basement.” We transfer it to the bed of the pick-up to get it from the campground to the venue, and after a few years, we’ve got set-up down pretty pat. We’re honored to have earned Best Clan Tent at all the Arizona Games that award them: Phoenix, Flagstaff, and Prescott. We are immensely proud of our Scottish heritage and feel blessed to know our MacCallum line back to the seventeenth century. We – Jim and I, and Drammy and Isla - love the reunions with friends that the Games have become for us, and we look forward to seeing everyone again, maybe as soon as 2021! Sláinte!

David Marshall – Clan Keith

Clan Keith USA. Inc. has been actively represented in Arizona for more than 20 years. Prior to me and my wife Maria assuming the role of Convener eight years ago the role had been initiated in the state by Sandy and Steve Glasscock. Sandy set the groundwork for actively promoting and building our membership within Arizona. Clan Keith holds the title of “Great Earls Marischal of Scotland”. This title was given to the Clan by Robert the Bruce for support provided in the Wars of independence from England in the 1300s.

MDavid Marshallaria and I take pride in representing Clan Keith at not only the annual Phoenix games but also games held in Flagstaff, Prescott and Tucson as our schedule allows. Many clan and association members have met Maria through her role as the Clan and Association Chairman for the annual Flagstaff Celtic Festival.

As with many other clans and societies across the country we have struggled in the last several years to maintain and increase our membership with the younger generations, but it is always encouraging when we have folks come to our tent and see their name listed as a sept of the clan. It gives those with interest in their heritage a sense of pride to know they are a member of Clan Keith.

AClan Keiths far as support staff for setting up at the games around the state the task usually falls to me and Maria. As other representatives know it is a time of excitement to put your tent together and display your heritage with pride. Luckily, we have many immediate family members and friends who will, over the course of a weekend, visit with us, help us promote our clan and most importantly be there on Sunday afternoon to help pack up and load out. My hope for 2021 is that we can once again gather and celebrate our Celtic heritage together.

Membership Notice

All Memberships now run from April 1, 2020 to March 31, 2021.

Membership dues for 2020-2021 are:
- - $30.00 single and $50.00 Family (at the same address)

It's easy - just jump to the Membership Page for information.

Society Gatherings
Gatherings have been suspended due to the COVID-19 situation. Watch for information when government guidelines change.

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