Clan MacFarlane Worldwide, Inc.

Helping To Connect You With Your Heritage


Diaspora - 6 March 2019

Going to the Dogs


Steve and I have blended our families.  However, we blended when all our children were adults.  So instead of additional children, we did the most obvious thing to do, we brought home a dog.  Hamish, is a shitszu.  Not a Scottish dog, but our family member.  

At one of our favorite Highland Games, there is a parade on Saturday morning.  Thousands, yes thousands, line the streets of downtown Estes Park, Colorado.  The crowds cheer on the various Scottish Clans, piping bands, high school marching bands, steam engine cars, and dogs.  The dogs of Scotland not only walk in the parade, but they compete at the Games for a variety of awards.  But I will say, I've always been a bit confused on what is a Scottish dog, and what isn't.  I'm sure there are some very proud owners who "fudge" their baby's breed.

So that begs the question; what is a Scottish breed?  Of course I found a terrific website with info and pictures of the various Scottish breeds.  Interested in acquiring your own Scottish breed?  Try here:

According to this very official-looking website, there are 9 breeds that originated in Scotland and of those, 5 of them are terriers.  So what are the 9 breeds?  

Bearded Collie

Cairn Terrier

Dandiee Dinmont Terrier

Gordon Setter

Scottish Deerhound

Scottish Sky-Terrier

Scottish Terrier

Shetland Sheepdog

West Highland White Terrier

So with that, time for me to share a loving photo of our Hamish.  Afterall, his name is Scottish!



Diaspora - 5 March 2019

A Scot in Poland


When I started looking for information about the Diaspora, I did see that there are many from Scotland who are in Poland.  So now is as good a time as any to explore this.  I found a great article from 2015 in the Krakow Post that provides some great help.

Bonnie Prince Charlie's mother, Marie Klementyna Sobieska, was the grandaughter of Polish King Jan III.  Now THAT's a big connection, but Scots had actually been migrating to Poland since the 15th century.  In fact, there are numerous locations in Poland with the name "Nowa Szkocja" or "New Scotland."  Think back quickly to my blog about Nova Scotia and lessons in Latin.  There is a very close resemblance.  Well, I think there is. 

And it appear that many typical Scottish names have been morphed into a Polish version.  Thus, MacLeod is Machlejd.

Polish merchants ventured to Poland for the ability to trade easily, as well as enjoy a religous freedom they might not otherwise enjoy in their home land.  By the 17th century, there were at least 30,000 Scots living in Poland.  If you get a chance, do read the article from the Krakow Post that I have linked to above.  There is much more information there that brings us to modern day.  The history between Poland and Scotland is truly rich.

I also found a great website with Polish Scottish Heritage: Well worth the time spent if you are interested in:

The Best kept secret of the Enigma Secret

The Curious Story of Two Beverages 

The Royal Connection

Scots in the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth

In Which Country is the World's Biggest Map?

and many, many more encompassing music, medicine, and inventors.


Truly a Diaspora! 



Diaspora - 3 March 2019

Playing with Sticks

As the designated "Tom Boy" in the family, I did sit with my Dad when he watched ice hockey on his old black and white TV.  I cannot say I ever understood the rules.  Very much like rugby, I was never sure what was going on.  (Really... why do they climb on another player's back...).

Fast forward about 40 years, and I had an opportunity to learn more about ice hockey when the company I worked for, Thomson Reuters, took my group to Toronto, Ontario for a work meeting.  Now let me paint a picture for you:  2 large commercial bus loads of women, all educated with law degrees, all law school teachers, all "girly-girls."  There were perhaps 2 men in "upper management" from our group who had decided that for our closing cocktail party meeting, we should all go to the Ice Hockey Hall of Fame.  Yeah, 2 bus loads of women - Ice Hockey Hall of Fame.  I was only slightly amused.  My work mates were saying less than lady-like things about the venue.  But as I looked in the gift store for something to redeem this horrible idea, I did find a red ball cap to give to my dad with the Swiss Ice Hockey team logo sewed onto the front that would honor my Dad's heritage.  I also noted many, many different ball caps from countries around the globe, including Scotland.

And so now the point of this blog entry:  Scotland and the game of Ice Hockey.  According to Wiki, ice hockey was officially introduced to Scotland in the 20th century.   Fellow Canadians call it "Shinty" or "Hurling."  Shinty is the national stick game in Scotland.  So there appears to be a connection between Shinty - a Scottish team game played with sticks and a ball and ice hockey (wait for it, I am getting to it).  Shinty is similar to our field hockey, but also very different because in Shinty, the stick can be raised into the air, and both sides of the stick can be used to manipulate the ball.  If you are an American, think field hockey vs. lacrosse, and more bruises about the shoulders and head with the raised stick.  (I have my own personal experience with this, which is why I went back to soccer.)

Shinty was played primarily in the Highlands.  The Irish version, hurling, as well as the Welsh version, bando all have their own rules.  Similar, and yet not.  But there is a ruling Camanachd Association that has combined rules for both Hurling as well as Shinty that allows Irish and Scottish teams to play each other.

Now for ice hockey.  In Scotland, there was another game played - Bandy.  Similar to Shinty, but played on ice, the word Bandy is Scottish Gaelic for "Ice Shinty." So there you have it.  The Scots might have actually invented the game of ice hockey.

And are there differences?  Yes.  Hockey plays with a flat puck.  Bandy uses a ball.  Bandy uses 11 players for a team and hockey only has 6 players on the ice.

Wiki is conflicted on the origins.  The Russians claim it.  The Scots claim it.  As for me, I'll go with the Scots.  

And now for a list of Scottish ice hockey teams:

Aberdeen Lynx
Dundee Comets
Dundee Tigers
Kilmarnock Thunder
Kirkcaldy Kestrels
Murrayfield Racers
North Ayrshire Wild
Paisley Pirates
Solway Stingrays.


For more information on Scottish Ice Hockey, start here:

Photo below from Wiki