If you ask me what my heritage is, I will tell you my Great-Grandfather came from Switzerland. Another Great-Grandfather came from Germany. But the rest of my family, like so many, has been here a very long time. I am a loyal fan of the FtDna testing and results, but I decided to take advantage of a sale with Ancestry DNA to see how the results compared. Afterall, I do a ton of research via Ancestry.com. So I indulged. Looking at my Ancestry DNA results, I was not surprised to see just how much of my heritage comes from England, Scotland and Ireland. With names like Coppock, Hubbard, Duncan, MacGregor, Snodgrass (yes, it is true) and Linn why would I be surprised? But now I find I am curious to know more about my Ulster-Scot relations. I've done the typical research on the Ulster-Scots and yes, they came from Scotland and settled in that northern area of Ireland prior to coming to America. But that really is all I know. I just found a booklet that I've hung onto for some time now entited "Ulster-Scots and the Declaration of Independence." Prepared by and distributed by the Ulster-Scots Agency, it is the start of a deeper dive for me.
The booklet states that "the 56 men from the 13 colonies who signed the Declaration were almost entirely of British famiy origin. Thirty eight were firmly established as being of English extraction, eight Irish (at least five of whom had direct Ulster family connections), five Welsh, four pure Scottish and one Swedish." "A forerunner to the American Declaration of Independence was the Mecklenburg Declaration, signed at Charlotte in North Carolina on May 20, 1775 by 27 leading citizens in the region, 18 of whom were of Ulster-Scots Presbyterian origin."
The Ulster-Scots Agency has a website at http://www.ulsterscotsagency.com should you wish to do a little exploring yourself. If you go to their link on history, they point out that the separation between Scotland and Ireland is but 13 miles. No wonder travel between the two countries has been ongoing long before we can even imagine. The history, of course, includes Robert the Bruce, a marriage with the Irish "Red Earl's" daughter, Elizabeth de Burgh, battles and much more. So yes, if you visit our CMW tent at a Highland game and you insist you are Irish, Steve and I will always ask you "are you sure?" No, the spelling of your last name is not indicative of whether or not your are Irish or Scottish. Check your DNA, and I bet you'll find you are of Scottish descent.
It is also important to start my family research on this because CMW will be hosting a trip to Scotland and Ireland during the summer of 2020. The trip will include visits to MacFarlane heritage sites. I know some of the dates will be forthcoming very soon, but for now, I need to be ready before June 30th, 2020. Steve and I are getting excited about our 3rd trip to Scotland. We believe Steve's Robb family came from Aberdeen, and per our friend, John A. MacFarlane who lives in Aberdeen, he assures us there are tons of Robbs there. We are aware of the rest of his family who are Ulster-Scots. The Crocketts (Davy Crockett), Simmerwells (first missionaries to Kansas), are just a couple of his family names that are truly Ulster-Scots. If you are looking for your own family names, the ulster-scot agency has a nice list of those who are famous Ulster-Scots (and they are not all Americans), so you might want to look for your own famiy name. https://ulsterscotsagency.com/what-is-ulster-scots/famous-ulster-scots/. Of course, those are just a start. To learn more about the Ulster-Scots and the Ulster Plantations, try a visit to an Irish website: 1609 Plantation of Ulster.
I've seen the photos from the last CMW trip to Ireland and Scotland, and I'm just so excited about the 2020 trip!
Free image from Pixabay
The Ugly Duckling
There is a child's story about an ugly duckling. Do you remember that one? An old Hans Christian Andersen story, a mother duck hatches all her eggs. Among them is a hatchling considered truly ugly by the other baby ducks and other farm animals. It is different from the others. The ugly duckling is the focus of horrible verbal and physical abuse. But in time, the little ugly duckling grows up to be more beautiful than all its siblings. In fact, the ugly duckling is a full grown swan. Of course, there is much to be learned from this story, but for now, let's just focus on swans because they are part of the MacFarlane history.
(free image from Pixaby)
The majority of swans that you will find in Scotland are the typical white swan. The Black swan is native to Australia, but according to wikipedia, the black swan is now in the UK. Don't ask me how a black swan from Australia made it to Scotland, but let's just roll with it. And THAT brings us to the MacFarlane connection.
There was a story retold in Charles McKinnon's book Scottish Highlanders that a seer foretold of the demise of the MacFarlane chief line. According to the story, when a black swan appeared among all the other MacFarlane white swans in Loch Lomond, the chief would lose everything. The story goes on to tell us that a black swan did actually show up in 1785. Then the 23rd clan chief sold all of Arrochar, the lands that had been in the possession of the MacFarlane line for 600 years. He then emigrated to North America, and that was the end of the chiefly line.
CMW Elections Kick off
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 tomorrow, 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.