Welcome to Clan MacFarlane Worldwide!
If you're like the rest of us you have no doubt found yourself pondering your heritage. Maybe your interest was nurtured as a child or maybe it was just discovered. Either way, we're glad your interest has led you here and we invite you to become part of our worldwide, yet tight, community. Our goals are to educate, share, and take pride in our heritage.
We are MacFarlanes of all spelling variations, McGaws, Spruells, Robbs, Millers, Websters, Weavers, Blacks and many others. Together we form a organization that's kept by the strongest of bonds... family. We answer to the call Loch Sloy, we carry the arms of our forefathers, we preserve the heritage that is so uniquely yours and ours.
It is with your support that the heritage of Clan MacFarlane will continue to thrive for another 800 years. Please join today.
TWIGS TO TREES #36, SEPTEMBER 2019
Hope everyone has had a lovely summer. I know many of you are preparing for the 2020 trip to Scotland/Ireland. The experiences I had on the 2009 and the 2014 trips were unforgettable. Scotland and Ireland are both magical places, and the chance to share those with fellow Macfarlanes is very special. Getting a chance to visit Inveruglas and Eilean-a-Vhow, as well as Gartartan are not to be missed.
Congratulations to Joe Osborn, my 7th cousin, on the completion and publication of his book The McFarlands: Eight Generations of the family from Robert McFarlan to John Barton McFarland. It is a beautiful book, filled with maps, illustrations, primary source documents, letters, and photographs. Thank you for the copy.
Last quarter we added a new Sproul member to CMW, which prompted more research to help connect this line to known lines. That led me to look at the Sprouls in our MacFarlane DNA project, which then led me to the Sproul DNA project and its administrator Joe Sprowl.
Joe has been a member of CMW since 2014, but had not submitted his pedigree, so we had no contact up to this point. Since then, I have been asked by Joe to join the Sproul DNA project so we can collaborate and look into the Scottish background of Sproul descendants. We encourage all Sprouls (any spelling) to test their DNA and be a part of both the Sproul project and the MacFarlane project. Many Sprouls (again, all spellings) in the southern part of the U.S. descend from Doctor Godfrey Spruill, who was born in Scotland about 1650, came to America about 1784, and died in 1719 on his patented land in Chowan District, North Carolina.
To provide background on the history of the Sproul Sept, Joe has kindly agreed to introduce this Sept to those of us who may not be familiar with the Sprouls.
Thank you for the gracious invitation as a guest writer on the topic of the family of Sproul, sept of Clan MacFarlane, at the invitation of Mary Helen Haines and Loch Sloy! I would like to take this opportunity to focus the article on the history of this lesser known family and its connection to Clan MacFarlane. And if invited to, I would like to follow up in time, on different aspects of our relationship with Clan MacFarlane since ancient times. But for now, I feel it is more important first to give a preliminary overview of our Family.
The Sproul family of Norman origins and Germanic ancestry has a long and complex history in Scotland dating back to the latter period of the 13th century. The earliest known Sproul, or “Spreull” was Walter Spreull (c.1285) of Coldoun (or Cowden), Neilston, Renfrewshire. Walter held the title Seneschal to Malcolm, 5th Earl of Lennox, and this relationship with the Lennox earls would continue with future generations of Spreulls. It is from this Walter that many, if not all Sprouls, today claim descent.
The Sproul connection with Clan MacFarlane is not as widely understood. What is known however is that Walter as seneschal would have been deeply involved in the affairs of the House of Lennox and Clan MacFarlane. A deep and interwoven connection between Lennox, MacFarlane and Spreull is evident as they share similarities in their arms. But their fidelity during this period of Spreull history most assuredly would have been with the Earls of Lennox.
Lennox MacFarlane Spruell
Can I Buy a Home in Scotland?
But buying a home in Scotland is NOT like buying one in the U.S. I’ll have to do some research on other countries too, but because I sold real estate in a former life and do have a fairly good understanding of property law here, I think it fair to just speak to purchasing in Scotland.
Several years ago, Randy and Cheryl Mcfarland and Steve and I stayed in Bridge of Allan in a lovely B&B. The owners told us all about their adventure in purchasing their stately home. It did not sound anything like a real estate deal in the U.S.
In the U.S., usually, a seller posts their home for sale with a price listed. The seller can sell the home themselves or go through a realtor. In either case, the seller considers “offers” from buyers. As soon as the seller finds an offer that is acceptable (even after some good old-fashioned negotiating), the buyer formally accepts the offer, and that deal is binding unless something happens preventing THAT deal from completion. Watch the movie “My Cousin Vinnie” if you would like to hear a very down-to-earth explanation of “offer and acceptance.” There might be contingencies such as passing a home inspection, but even if something fails during the inspections, the parties do what they can to get the deal to work and get to closing so that everyone is satisfied. That is a rather simplistic description of purchasing property in the U.S., but it will work for the moment.
However, we learned that in Scotland, that is not the case. Found a great article that goes through all the steps. Wait until you get to step 8: At any time, either party can pull out of the deal. https://www.countrylife.co.uk/property/buying-a-house-in-scotland-67964
And…. There is a Land and Buildings Transaction Tax (aka Scottish Stamp Duty).
That aside, I did find a website, similar to Zillow, Realtor.com, or Trulia, for properties in Scotland, if you want to take a look. https://www.rightmove.co.uk/property/Scotland.html
By the way, I found many of the properties listed would state “offers over.” At first, I thought this would mean that offers were no longer being accepted. It actually means the seller or realtor are hoping to receive offers over the listed price. Don’t you just love language?
Other websites to consider:
Love this website because it lists properties in both U.S. dollars and Pounds.
So dream on and have fun looking. I actually found a pub with a 2 bedroom upstairs apartment available in my price range. Wondering how I would feel about running a Pub. Now THAT’s an interesting idea! Cheers!
Time to Vote!
When we set up our corporation, the Clan MacFarlane Worldwide, Inc., we wanted to ensure that CMW would be run by our members, and not someone who has a chokehold on the function and future of our organization. To that end, CMW holds elections EVERY YEAR for 3 Board of Director members.
We are governed by a body of 9 Board of Directors. Each Director may serve for a 3-year term, and upon completion of one term, they may run again. But at the end of 6 years of serevice, they must step away. We do this to keep ideas and leadership young and fresh. We also do not want one individual to control the future of CMW. We want our participating, voting members to do that. And we don't want old worn out cronies to keep control. Right?
So with all that in mind, if you are currently a voting member, and qualified for the Corporate Date of Record in June, as a paying member, you will receive an email ballot tomorrow, August 11th. If we have your current and correct email address, it will be in your inbox sometime during the day. If you do not see it in the inbox, please check your spam/junk folder. It might have landed there. We do use the SurveyMonkey service, so your email service might deem it unworthly of your inbox. But once you are certain that you didn't receive your ballot, please reach out to me via email, and I'll get one off to you right away.
This year, there are 4 candidates. Each one of them is worthy of your consideration. their biographies are included in the ballot so you can make a careful consideration of each of them. Please vote for a total of 3 out of the 4 candidates.
The election closes on midnight (C.S.T.) of September 11, 2019. The candidates will be contacted about the outcome and then the results will be announced by our Secretary on the website, on our facebook page, in our Diaspora, and in the Loch Sloy!
And with that, I wish each candidate the best of luck!
One of the benefits for our paying members (voting members), is access to a digital copy of CelticLife. If you are a paying member, just click on the link to the attached document (visible to members) and it should open for you. Cheers!
CelticLife - August 2019
Scotland and the Space Race
Dad worked for NASA in the 60’s. He moved us from Waldwick, New Jersey to Merritt Island, Florida when he took a position, with countless other engineers, at the Kennedy Space Center.
Some of my best memories from my childhood are from the years we lived in Florida. We lived in what I considered a mansion, but in reality, was a 4-bedroom ranch home that backed up to the Indian River citrus orchard, and was close enough to the Banana River, I could picnic on a dock and reel in blow fish any time I wanted to. I try to push back the memories of the nasty mosquitos, palmetto bugs, hurricanes and snakes. I remember long bike rides down island and exploring new construction homes and pick-up games of baseball with other kids in the neighborhood. Those were great memories from an important time in our lives.
So many of the kids in my then 5thand 6thgrade classes had parents who also worked for NASA. Our teachers made a point of ensuring we were outside on the playground whenever there was a rocket launch. The playground would fill with children looking towards the sky waiting to see the tell-tale sign of the trail of smoke from each launch. We vied to be the first to spot the rocket. As the earth rumbled, we all knew our parents were part of something really important. We had no idea just how important.
50 years later, I have a much better sense of just how important the space race was and continues to be. As Steve and I cleared out the last few boxes from the garage that once held all my Dad’s “stuff” we found one box that had been squished among other prized possessions (blow-up rafts, duct tape, various nuts and bolts, and golf shoes). I glanced through the box and decided it alone would be the one box I would take to our new home on wheels to see what was inside. I’m glad I did. Inside was a small posted envelope from the 16thof July 1969 (50 years ago) with the Apollo 11 emblem, postmarked from Kennedy Space Center, to my Dad. We had moved back to New Jersey in 1968, and a fellow engineer had posted it the day Apollo 11 launched. A small note inside told my Dad “… hang onto this it might be worth something someday.” I gave the envelope to my younger child, who in turn just donated it to the NASA International Space Museum in Alamogordo, New Mexico. The museum was very pleased to receive it. Due to the timely receipt of their new acquisition, it will be on display with other Apollo 11 items this weekend to commemorate the launch 50 years ago. I’m so glad my Dad kept it.
No doubt some of us are old enough to relive the moment we watched American astronauts, Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin step onto the moon. Do you remember where you were when you watched that moment? I do. Music Camp, University of Kansas (French horn).
But what does all this walk down memory lane have to do with Scotland? Well… it turns out that Scotland has recently taken a very active part in the Space race. A quick search for Scotland and the Space Race reveals that Glasgow is a leader in Europe. Cally Russel has written a nice article in Forbes that you can read in detail here: https://www.forbes.com/sites/callyrussell/2019/03/06/glasgow-from-ships-to-the-space-race/#562f0854b598
Companies such as Clyde Space, Alba Orbital have been taking the lead. Producing as many as 6 small satellites a month, Scotland has certainly taken their seat at the table of countries that will be at the forefront of space exploration.
Glasgow has produced more satellites in the last 2 years than any other city in Europe, and Scotland will also be home to the UK’s first Spaceport. Located in Sutherland (A'Mhòine peninsula), it will be optimal for satellite shots for polar orbits and more. Wiki has good information here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sutherland_spaceport
With the uptick in the number of satellites produced in Glasgow, there is also the need to analyze the data that is gleaned by the satellites. So this is the other large role Scotland is participating in. Bird.i, a start-up, is providing new data that will update some of the now outdated Google Maps imagery. (8 years old data, in some cases.)
Universities in Glasgow are also taking a lead in the exploration of space. Strathclyde and Glasgow Universities have world-class facilities focusing on space. They’ve opened up to companies to provide commercial opportunities in Scotland.
So, although I always think of Florida when I think of the space program, it is wonderful to realize that Scotland has stepped up to take a lead a short 50 years after that moment in time we all remember.
Thank you Neil and Buzz and Michael Collins.