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.
Mother's Day in the U.S. is this Sunday, the 10th of May
Mothering Sunday in the U.K. was the 22nd of March
They are hardly the same. In the U.S., we honor our Mothers and thank them for, well, just about everything. Flowers are usually in order, a meal out, and just generally a warm and fuzzy feel-good day for our Moms. Invented in 1907 by Anna Jarvis to honor her own mother, it took on larger proportions. By 1911, all states in the U.S. were celbrating Mother's Day. In 1914, Woodrow Wilson deemed it a national holiday, and by 1920 Hallmark ® was creating the lovely cards we have become accustomed to purchasing.
In the U.K., it appears it was originally a day where children who had left home, were allowed to go home again, or what was actually their "mother church." See: The Scotsman During the holiday, Lent fasting was relaxed in order to celebrate. (I know, if you have read any of my previous Diaspora, you would think... there she is talking about food again. Right. Not my intention this time.)
Over time, the location may be different, as well as the date, but the intention is still the same. We stop to honor our mothers. But this is 2020 and I loath to use the terminology that we have all come to associate with the coronavirus and how it has affected our lives. But there is no way to avoid it. Right now holidays are not the same. We have family members who have all but lost their means of income. Many might lose their homes. Families are separated. There is much to complain about. But I notice that most of us are not Eeyores. We are starting to see stories of those who refuse to give it all up.
And we have been there before. Whether the Depression, WWI, WWII, or more recent conflicts, many of us have given/lost much during our current predicament. So yes, these are tough times. We have been here before. So it is appropriate to share something I just received from one of our MacFarlane family.
Maxi Fitzjarrald, one of our founding members with Clan MacFarlane Worldwide, shared this with me last night. Although it was a birthday poem written by her father to her mother during a very sad time, it seemed fitting to share for Mother's Day. What follows is a moment of happiness shared then and now. And when you finish, whether or not it is Mother's Day, please remember your mom. Pick up the phone and talk to her, or write her an actual letter. Skype, email, or text her. But do this and remember that things will indeed get better, and sometimes, like right now, it really is just the thought that counts.
It was during hard times, similar to what we are considering hard times now. At that time, we were coming out of the depression and into World War II. Everyone was poor and did whatever it took to make a nickel.
My oldest brother was married and had a child and another on the way. My middle brother had joined the Army Air Corp and my youngest brother had joined the Navy Air Corp. Dad tried to enlist, but was too old, so he went away to work in the defense plant in Illiopolis, IL. He would be gone all week, renting a room in a private home there in Illiopolis, and come home for the weekend.
This letter was written October 5, 1942, by my Father in a letter to my Mother for her fiftieth birthday October 6, 1942.
The letter starts, “Dear Queen O My Heart.” It goes on to tell about his day and the other people that are renting rooms at the same home as he was. Then the letter continues….
“Well Honey child, there is no news, not even the dog died, so if I write it will just be to fill up space. Oh yes & tomorrow is your birthday and you will be fifty tomorrow.
“It was up in Minnesota in the country wild and free
There was a sweet maiden I used to go see
She was the sweetest girlie a man ever could see
I was twenty six and she was twenty three.
I courted her & won her just to be mine
Looking back thru the years it is not a very long time.
“But time goes along as we plainly can see,
For tomorrow she’s fifty & I’m fifty three.
She was fair as the lily & sweet as the rose,
& somehow I still love her where ever she goes.
“Sure she has changed a little, in her face a few wrinkles, in her hair a little grey
But her heart is warm & pure tho her hair is turning grey
& I want her to know I still love her in the same old loving way.
“So they say we are a lovin’ couple as you could ever see even if she is fifty & I’m fifty 3.
So tomorrow is her birthday and she is two & one half score.
Here I sit & wish her fully that many more,
here’s hoping fate will grant us to just go on together & many more good times to see
The double of this fifty and fifty 3.
“Just Read between the lines dear & u will read the rest. Love & xxxxoooo Dad”
Thank you dearest Maxi. We love your share.
Well here we all are, sitting at home, watching the news, watering all our plants, and counting the days until we can all get back to a more normal life. Feel like you are in an enormous petrie dish? Whether you are in Scotland, Australia, the U.S., Canada, or somewhere else on the globe, you have very likely been affected by the current virus. Clan MacFarlane Worldwide is still here. We are still working behind the scenes (maybe in our pajamas), making plans and changing plans as quickly as we can.
In the midst of all this life-changing turmoil, we would like to offer this from CASSOC, the Clans and Scottish Societies of Canada. Put forth by Visit Scotland, we hope you will enjoy!
On behalf of the Board of Directors of Clan MacFarlane Worldwide, please take good care of you and yours.
CMW Elections Kick off - 2020
It is that time of year again when the Election Committee reaches out to voting members for nominations of names to serve on the Board of Directors. Please expect an email via survey monkey, April 1st, asking for a maximum of 3 nominations to serve.
When CMW was started, it was suggested that we have a rotating Board of Directors. We adopted this idea because it keeps fresh ideas coming in to CMW, and won't allow any one individual or group of individuals to have control of our organization. Since inception, this has worked extremely well. As the process goes, nominations are opened on 1 April of every year, and then the nomination period closes on 11 April. This will be true for this year again.
We are an all-volunteer group, so we rely upon those who are willing to serve. Terms are for 3 years. A Board member may run again for an additional 3 years, but then they must sit out at least a year before serving again. Once the Board has been selected, the new members will convene in January of the following year to start the next term. And in January, the Board votes from among the 9 members to place the Executive: the President, Vice President, Secretary, and Treasurer. And there you have it.
If you are a voting member (yes - this is one advantage of being a paying member, you are a voting member), please consider running for the Board of Directors, or nominate another voting member to serve on the Board of Directors.
CMW is a 501(c)3 corporation, and we are very proud of our ability to provide to our members ongoing information about archaeological discoveries we sponsor, game highlights, geneaology assistance, FtDNA participation, athletic/dance sponsorships, group trips to MacFarlane heritage sites in Scotland (2020), and more. Please consider sharing your time and MacFarlane interest with all of us.
TWIGS TO TREES #38, MARCH 2020
Twigs to Trees
Mary Helen Haines
Good day everyone. I am looking forward to seeing and meeting in person some of our members on our CMW trip to Scotland in July. It is always fun to finally meet members that I have been communicating with for years.
It has been great to see all the participation in the FTDNA MacFarlane project. We are discovering more SNPs with the new generation of Big Y 700 tests coming in. With each new tester we are able to further define SNPs that belong to a particular individual back in time. As the tests get less expensive over time, I hope everyone interested in their family history will join our project of over 1200 members.
Mother used to almost draw a breath whenever she would say to me: "Oh, but it is a really nice tweed jacket." As an adult, I now understand why she loved tweed so much. A tough fabric, it does come in a variety of colors, albeit what I would deem muted in brilliance. To date, I have never personally owned anything tweed. But I know it when I see it. It exudes quality and endurance. It also usually comes with a higher price tag than I have felt my cheap old bones willing to pay. But in all honesty, I have to also remember another statement from my Mother. She would say that you get what you pay for. "A $100 coat will likely last you 10 or more years. At the cost of $10 per year, it is well worth the investment."
So, after yet another visit through a department store where I longingly ran my hands across a beautiful tweed jacket for myself, I've decided to educate myself on tweed. I guess we can take that ride together.
There is a wonderful website that provides expert education in the simplest of manner (of which I am MOST appreciative), on a variety of topics. So when I went looking for something on the internet, a Master class all about tweed, was something I just did not want to overlook. The class about tweed is taught by Marc Jacobs, a well-known fashion designer. You can review his succint lesson here: TWEED.
So, in a nutshell, tweed appeared in the mid-eighteenth century. We all know it comes from Ireland and Scotland. But it was originally called "tweel." Twell is the Scottish word for twill. There appears to be a story that a bumbling Englishman misinterpreted "tweel" for "tweed" and the rest is... history.
Farmers were the first to wear tweed, but as usual, give a nobleman an idea, and they will run with it. So after 1848, Prince Albertt purchased Balmoral Castle and designed a Balmoral tweed. From there, it was fashionable for each estate to have their own tweed design.
Yes, tweed is really warm. This is why we have actually purchased one for Steve. We were in Scotland, and it was terribly cold. He always insists on having his tweed jacket with us if we are going to the mountains. But beyond a jacket or coat, you have likely seen the use of tweed in hats, bags, and of course, full suits for men and women.
Many years ago, I an certain that I saw a program discussing tweed, the weave of tweed, and a discussion about how the tweed is a match to the countryside and used as a sort of hunting camoflauge. I've never seen that expressed anywhere again, so although I trust my PBS, I do have to wonder if this wasn't a convenient explanation. The truth is, there are several recognizable tweed patterns.
1. Harris tweed - legally protected and made in the outer Hebrides off the northern coast of Scotland. There is a Harris Tweed Act of 1993: “Handwoven by the islanders at their homes in the Outer Hebrides, finished in the Outer Hebrides, and made from pure virgin wool dyed and spunin the Outer Hebrides.”
2. Donegal tweed - From Donegal, Ireland, this is deemed the most popular tweed with colorful specks and a knobby surface.
3. Saxony tweed - Originally made in Saxony, Germany, it is a very soft tweed. The wool comes from merino sheep.
4. Herringbone tweed - The familiar weave with a pattern of V's. It does look like fish bones, this the name.
5. Shetland tweed - This tweed is from the Shetland Island sheep. The Shetland Islands are off the northeast coast of Scotland. This wool is lighter in color and weight, producing what is considered a casual tweed.
6. Barleycorn tweed - (Never heard of it!). The weave has the appearance of barleycorn kernels on the surface of the fabric. Slightly bumpy, the pattern is, per Marc Jacobs, "a dynamic pattern."
7. Cheviot tweed - From the Cheviot sheep of the Scottish borders, this produces a rough and heavy tweed.
8. Overcheck tweed - a plain fabric with a large checked design with contrasting colors.
(Thank you Marc Jacbos!)