May 2021     Title   Past Issues

In this Issue:

  Genealogy Presentation   Violinist to Perform
  Highland Games 2022   June 2021 Gathering
  Scotland's Hidden Gems   Snippets from Scotland
  Research Your Scottish Ancestry   A Word from our Advertisers

Annual Genealogy Presentation

Robert WilbanksJoin us on Thursday 8 July for one of the most popular and eagerly anticipated events in our calendar, the talk by the Society’s chief genealogist Robert Wilbanks.

Robert, who has been probing family history for over 40 years, will be explaining the best internet resources for people starting off on their genealogical adventures, and revealing some tips which will make the whole process easier and more fruitful.

He will illustrate his talk with a slide show, after which there will be a question-and-answer session. So make a date on the 8th and keep an eye on the Society Facebook page and this website for a time and a link to the Zoom meeting.

Phoenix Highland Games 2022

After missing out on our Scottish Games this year, our organizing committee is determined to make one happen in 2022. After several years at Steele Indian Park in Phoenix, there is a possibility the next Games will be at a different location.

A committee is pursuing research, estimates, and feasibility on a new venue that could significantly lower costs and site use difficulties.

Society President David McBee said, “We intend for there to be a Games. We are meeting with site owners now and gathering requirements to then meet with event contractors such as ProEm (tents, fencing, etc.) into get initial agreement terms and estimates.

“We will put together comparative business cases later this summer and have a decision meeting.”

Scotland's Hidden Gems - Royal Deeside
Iain Lundy, Editor

When Queen Victoria chose Balmoral estate as the royal family’s Scottish holiday home, she was displaying mighty good taste. The 50,000-acre estate sits among some of the most spectacularly beautiful scenery Scotland has to offer.

Balmoral Castle

Balmoral Castle may be the crown jewel of the royal estate but the countryside surrounding it – known as Deeside because it follows the course of the River Dee – is stunning and well worth a visit. The businesses in nearby towns such as Ballater enjoy financial benefits from the regular royal visits and locals are proud of the royal association.

Ballater town Chemist Ballater

The old railway station in Ballater that was the final stop for royals travelling north is now a tourist center. Several businesses in the town, including Davidson’s the Chemist, proudly display royal warrants on the shop frontages.

Loch Muick

Balmoral estate is open to the public. A drive around the back of the castle leads to Loch Muick (pronounced: Mick), with the slopes of the Lochnagar mountain in the background. Victoria retreated to a lodge by Loch Muick to mourn the death of her husband Prince Albert.

Lochnagar Distillery

Also worth a visit on the estate is the Lochnagar whisky distillery. If you are a fan of a good Scotch that goes down smoothly then this is an ideal stop.

Craigievar Castle Braemar Castle

The countryside west of Aberdeenshire is known as ‘castle country’ and Balmoral is only one of many fine structures. Follow the route of the River Dee inland and you’ll find Drum Castle, Crathes Castle, Craigievar Castle (left), Braemar Castle (right), Castle Fraser, and many more. Each has a rich and fascinating history.

The main road alongside the River Dee runs through some traditional old villages such as Kincardine O’Neil and Dinnet, complete with rows of granite buildings. If you enjoy wildlife spotting then you’re in the right place, and the route makes for a pleasant drive from Aberdeen to the Highlands.

Research Your Scottish Ancestry

Robert WilbanksImages & Visual Aides

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

A couple of articles ago, I wrote about photographs in genealogy; how to find them, identify them, preserve them, and incorporate them into your genealogy research and the final family story you create. It is often difficult to give an accurate description of a person. One photograph will do what a page of written text cannot do.

However, family photographs are not the only elements that you can include in the final family history you write. There are many other possible elements you can add to the family story, such as official documents, maps, charts, certificates, heirlooms, etc. Of course, I don’t literally mean you can add artifacts into a book. But, you can include photos of various said heirlooms and other such artifacts. Or even, photos of historical places, cities, ships, military images, and more.

These other types of images and visual aids help readers understand and connect to places and events, and can portray what words cannot. Examples of visuals that will help readers include the following: photographs; official documents; maps; charts; certificates; awards; journal entries; newspaper articles; letters; personal writings; recipes; art work.

Family Photographs is the first obvious visual aid and were discussed in an earlier article. The next most obvious visual aid are the various official documents found during the course of the research. These would include birth, death, marriage documents, census, wills, deeds, military records, etc. You can scan original documents, or download images found online. Since most of these documents might be too large, when using them in the family history it will be most effective to crop and use only most notable parts of the documents you choose.

Maps are also great to add into the written family history. Maps show the area your people lived, where they immigrated from, where they migrated to. They also can include the layout of the land they owned, who their neighbors were, geographical names and features nearby, and so much more.

Newspaper articles can really add to the story of the family member, providing personal details of childhood, education, career, parents, siblings, wife, children, and much more. Sometimes news articles can provide professional memberships, church activities, court cases, financial status, business adds, and personal events and activities. Newspapers articles can really be fun, and really add to the family story.

Personal writings, journals and diaries, letters, recipes, and drawings by family members can also really add to the understanding of your ancestors’ character and personality. Images of these types can really personalize the story, show their creative abilities, their passions, loves and talents.

Lesser known images to consider adding to the family writings, are historically relevant images that can be found anywhere online, related to any aspect of your ancestors’ life. When writing unique stories about ancestors, many stories can be enhanced through images of the ship your ancestor came to America on, or the steamboat going up a river, or a notable train, plane, or automobile. Also, you can add historic photos of towns and cities, bridges, military units and forts, naval vessels, unique tools of your ancestor’s business and trade skills, etc. It doesn’t have to be photographic images. Sometimes it can be just the right kind of clipart or drawing.

The great thing about adding images and visual aids is that it will allow you to be creative in many various ways. It will be fun. It may ease the complexities and anxiety of putting together that family history. But, be careful, you could get carried away. Don’t overdo it. Remember, ‘Less is More’.

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.

CSA Member to Perform at Eagles Concerts

CLinda Lambie SA member Linda Lambie, a classical violinist and Assistant Concertmaster with the Arizona Orchestra, has been invited to play alongside some famous musical figures over the past few years including Johnny Mathis, Bernadette Peters, Led Zeppelin, the Moody Blues, and Bob Hope.

Now Linda, who is originally from Falkirk in Scotland, is looking forward to being one of the backing musicians for the Eagles when they visit Phoenix in September. The band is playing two concerts at Talking Stick Arena on 24 and 25 September.

Linda said, “I’m really excited. I was hired to play originally a year ago in April and of course it was canceled. In the meantime, the contractor that hired me back then has retired. I heard they were coming back to play again but wasn’t sure if the new contractor would call me.

“I heard from the new person a few days ago. When the first concerts were canceled I was so disappointed. It will be the first concert and major gig since I played the concert with Bernadette Peters on 7 March 2020.”

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June 2021 Gathering Report

Last month’s presentation by CSA member and travel agent Lois Wallace was well-attended and whetted the appetite for those present to book a flight back to the ‘Auld Country.’

Travel to the UK has, of course, been out of bounds for 18 months because of Covid, making for a frustrating time for travel agents such as Covid, not to mention the tourist industry across the Atlantic. There are hopeful signs, but Lois warned that 2022 is a realistic goal.

Lois WallaceLois took us through the tourist spots most favored by her clients; the places to go and things to see in Scotland’s largest cities; some of her own personal favorites; and some out-of-the-way spots that are often bypassed.

Among her must see spots were Edinburgh Castle, Glasgow city center, Stirling Castle, the Victoria and Albert Museum in Dundee, Loch Ness (and its monster), the Orkney Islands, and the abbeys in the often-overlooked Scottish Borders.

She also reminded those hoping to visit that it isn’t necessary to hire a car – there is plenty of good public transport to take you round the country.

There were also presentations by Mark Pelletier, who has toured Scotland several times, and Vicky Phegley, whose mother was an Inverness lass.

Snippets from Scotland

Pess and Journal

Ancient medieval ruins have been uncovered in the center of Inverness. Archaeologists who made the discovery said coins and objects dating to the 12th century were found


Polish troops who helped defend Scotland during World War 2 and who parachuted into action at Arnhem are being remembered at an exhibition in St Andrews.

The Scotsman

The North Coast 500 route around the north of Scotland has proved highly popular for tourists. But one community is less than happy at the sheer number of new visitors – not to mention motorhomes.

A Word from our Advertisers

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