May 2021     Title   Past Issues

In this Issue:

  Hall of Flame Tour   Culloden Anniversary
  Nancy Walker Book   April 15 Quiz Results
  April Valley Events   Rula Bula Closing
  Scotland's Hidden Gems   Snippets from Scotland
  Research Your Scottish Ancestry   A Word from our Advertisers

Society News

Hall of Flame Museum tour

Hall of Flame Museum One of the fire engines on display in the Hall of Flame Fire Museum in Phoenix was bult before George Washington was even born. That was just one of the many amazing facts CSA members discovered at last month’s visit to what is the largest fire museum in the world.

Board member Pat Schuller, a long-serving fire service member, conducted the tour of the series of buildings on Van Buren Street in Papago Park.

The sheer number and age of the engines on display was an absolute eye-opener to those who went along.

Hall of Flame MuseumIt was an emotional experience for many. There was a temporary, and very moving, exhibit dealing with the 9/11 attack. Constructed by a Dutch artist, it includes detailed replica models of the twin tower buildings and is a traveling exhibition.

A special section of the museum is dedicated to the memory of the 19 Granite Mountain Hotshot firefighters who died when they were overcome by a hill fire in Yarnell in 2013.

It was again an emotional moment watching footage of the pipes and drums playing Amazing Grace at the memorial service.

The Hall of Flame is a hidden gem in the true sense of the word.

Thanks go to Pat and his colleagues for the welcome

New Book by Nancy Walker

One of the most active Scottish Society members in Arizona over several decades, Nancy Walker, has put the pandemic to good use and become a published children’s author. Nancy has been active in the Society since the 1960s and was President of the Highland Society of Arizona in 1979 when the Games were held at Scottsdale High School Field. She said the lockdown had persuaded her to embark on the book project and that she was thrilled to see the finished product.

Nancy WalkerEntitled 'The Old Mesquite Tree', the book has strong personal meaning for Nancy and her family. The story is told through the eyes of the mesquite tree in Nancy’s garden, the children who have played under it for three generations, their adventures and their storms.

The tree, Nancy said, has "watched over and been a part of her family" for many years.

"We had just rejoined the Scottish Society when Covid decided the best place for everyone to be was at home. It was at this time I decided to write a children’s book about all of my children and grandchildren and a great grandchild and their fun times under and in the Old Mesquite Tree in our backyard.

I was sorting out photos which were bringing back many good memories to me."

"I was fortunate to find a great illustrator for the book and my brother happened to be a printer. All the members of the family received the book as a Christmas present last year and it was a very exciting event for me."

She and her husband George's involvement in Scottish societies began in 1965, and George is a former Pipe Major of the Phoenix Scottish Pipe Band. Nancy hails from Douglas, Arizona. George's grandparents were born in Scotland, hence the Scottish connection.

Books cost $10 plus $2.89 for mailing. To order a copy contact Nancy at

Valley Events in April

Two separate Scottish-related events were held in the south-east of the Valley during April - both proving highly successful and marking a return to 'real-time' competition following the Covid crisis.

For those who missed the heavy events at the Phoenix Games, which sadly had to be canceled, there was an opportunity to watch the athletes going through their paces in the Von Katzenburg Classic in Gilbert Regional Park.

The event, which was sponsored by Claymore Imports, was a huge success with an excellent turnout of athletes. The CSA Games Convener Tim Timm remarked on Facebook that the sound of the pipes had "brought tears of joy."

On the weekend of 17/18 April, a Scottish Day was held at Queen Creek Botanical Garden. Again, it went well with pipers and young Highland dancers delighting those who attended. Roll on more 'live' Scottish events as things open up.

Harvest Festival

Scotland's Hidden Gems - William Wallace Cross
Iain Lundy, Editor

Wallace CrossWilliam Wallace is arguably Scotland's greatest ever patriotic hero. His victories over the English at the Battles of Stirling Bridge and Falkirk cemented a reputation that will never fade. Scots around the world cling to his memory.

His memory lives on as Braveheart, the man who struck fear into the enemy from south of the border. But what few people realize is that his days as a free man ended with something of a whimper - betrayed and handed over to the English by a traitor in a farmhouse in what is now a Glasgow council housing estate.

Wallace was taken from the suburb now called Robroyston to London, where he was hanged, drawn and quartered. The Scottish nobleman who led the English to him was called Sir John de Menteith. He in turn had been tipped off by the owner of the farm that the great patriot was in their midst.

A 20 ft high Celtic cross now marks the spot where the treasonous deed was done on 5 August 1305.

The statue has a plaque with an inscription in Latin which translates as "I tell you the truth, the best of all things is freedom, never son, live under the bonds of slavery".

Another inscription reads, "We are not here to sue for peace but to fight for the freedom of our country."

Wallace plaque

The cross is impressive and well worth a visit, especially if you are a Wallace or a fan of Scottish history. But finding it is not easy. Robroyston is in the north side of Glasgow and difficult to navigate. The easiest way is to make use of high-tech route planning and Google-map the location.

Find the roundabout at the junction of Auchinairn and Lumloch Roads, where a road sign pointing towards the monument simply says 'Wallace'. Further along Lumloch Road you will find Wallace Well which the great man is said to have used while staying there.

Just be on the lookout for treacherous farmers.

Research Your Scottish Ancestry

Robert WilbanksScottish Clans

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

One of the most popular areas of interest in Scottish genealogy is determining the family connection to a Scottish clan. Originating from the old Gaelic word clann, meaning 'children' or 'kindred', the Scottish clan is a group of persons within a certain locality who are all connected by common ancestry.

The concept of the clan dates back to the 12th Century when certain families grew in power over a specified area of land, eventually developing a leader, the clan chief, who acted as a king, protector, judge, etc., over that recognized territory. /p>

While one family became dominant over a territory, the other families within that territory accepted the authority of that chieftain and in turn became associated with that dominant clan. These associated families are known as 'septs'. Over time clans became the main political system of Scotland.

Soon, a seal or crest, or a clan badge, perhaps even a coat of arms, along with a family motto, became associated with the more dominant clans. However, more notably, of more popularity are the certain tartan patterns, originally common to the clans particular territories, that had over time become associated with the clan that dominated that territory.

After the Jacobite rising in 1745, and the Battle of Culloden in 1746, the clans and the clan system lost its power. The Highland Clearances, beginning in the 1750s and continuing through the 1850s, further displaced the clan leaders and their families, and soon the hereditary chieftains became lost to time. By the early 1800s, anti-clan legislation began to be repealed, and along with the popularity of the tartan, and the Romanticization of the Highland Scots, clan acceptance and popularity began to rise. Though they would not achieve the power they once had, many clans began to become officially recognized, along with a proven hereditary chieftain. There also became officially recognized clans whose hereditary chieftain had become lost to time. These clans without chieftains are termed 'armigerous' clans.

Scottish descendants around the world do extensive research to find the clan that their family would most likely be associated with. Those with the more common surnames of notable clans usually can attach themselves to a particular clan very quickly. However, not every Scottish name was itself a clan, so it becomes necessary, through more extensive genealogical research, to determine the particular area a family came from, and then confirm if it is a recognized sept of that territorial clan.

In today's modern society and technology, most clans have become more organized and have developed extensive networking systems through websites and Facebook pages. Additionally, many of these clans have extensively developed genealogy records, resources, libraries, and even official genealogists. You can visit these online resources, or contact the clan officers, to learn more about that clan's history, genealogy, septs, and more.

Lochcarron Clan MapLocharron, the noted Scottish producer of clothing and accessories has created a wonderful interactive Clan Map of Scotland.

Wikipedia provides a list of all recognized Scottish clans with and without chiefs, including crest badge, motto, clan chief, clan seat, and more. Naturally, we cannot list here all the different clans that currently exist, nor provide links to their official websites or Facebook pages.

But be sure that they are very much out there, and you can find them with search engines such as Google or Bing, etc.

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.

Anniversary of the Battle of Culloden

Culloden Memorial We shouldn’t let the 250th anniversary of the Battle of Culloden pass without coverage.

It was fought on April 16, 1746 and was a decisive victory for the government troops over the Jacobite forces of Prince Charles Edward Stuart - or Bonnie Prince Charlie.

The battle was short but bloody and the Jacobites were soundly defeated. Much has been written over the past weeks.

This article by historian Hamish MacPherson in The National newspaper is an interesting summary. It ends with the line, "The Jacobite Rising was at an end and the Union was safe. For now…"

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April 15 Quiz Results

Bob and Lois Wallace were on top form at our Zoom Scottish quiz last month. They showed that two heads are better than one as they answered all but one question correctly to finish as winners.

In second place were James and Janet Grant; in third place Robert Wilbanks; and fourth was Mark Pelletier. As for the defending champion from the December quiz, let's just say it was a 'Proper' disaster.

The questions included the descriptive term for people from Aberdeen; the identity of the last British monarch born in Scotland; and the type of fish that is smoked to make an Arbroath Smokie.

The top four all got a choice of Scottish-themed books.

More quizzes may well be planned for the future, hopefully when we are able to meet in person.

Rula Bula in Tempe is closing

The Society's favorite drinking howffs* in the Valley have not been having much luck recently. Rula Bula, the long-established Irish bar in Mill Avenue, Tempe, where the CSA has enjoyed a few good sessions, is being forced to close after failing to agree lease terms with its landlord.

We were able to bid farewell after our visit to the Hall of Flame museum last weekend. The place was packed and here's hoping it finds a new venue soon.

Rula Bula

The Rula Bula situation follows the closure of the Caskwerks Distilling Company on University Drive, again following a landlord dispute, and the owners are now looking for new premises. Lochiel Bar in East Mesa was closed for a while during Covid and is now open on a limited basis.

Let's hope we can raise a glass in all three establishments - wherever they may be – in the not-too-distant future.

* In Scotland a howff is favorite meeting/drinking place - a haunt; a hangout place.

Snippets from Scotland

Pess and Journal

After being forced to close throughout the pandemic, most of the leading Speyside distilleries, including Glenlivet and Glen Grant, reopened in April, with others expected to follow suit soon.


Litter is a never-ending problem in Scotland’s wild places. But the latest find takes the biscuit – or should that be the sandwich. A plastic wrapper from a ham and tomato sandwich, dated 1992, was found in the Cairngorm mountains.

The Scotsman

Archaeologists have discovered a prehistoric site on the Orkney Islands that is thought to date to 3,600BC. The site contains pottery relics and a Neolithic quern used for grinding grain.


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