Good Friends and Good Food
I am in New Mexico visiting family. It is a 14-hour drive from our little farm in Kansas to Alamogordo, New Mexico. I normally would drive it non-stop, but I made a very last-minute decision to leave about noon Saturday. So, I reached out to good CMW friend, Sandy McFarland Morgan, and asked if I could park my car in her garage and then I would wander out into Amarillo, Texas to find a hotel room. But Sandy extended an invitation to stay with her.
8 hours later, I drove into their driveway and secured my car in their garage (I was transporting my son's stuff that I really did not want available to the outside viewers). Sandy is an excellent cook, and she held supper until I had arrived. Her corn bread and beefy home-made vegetable soup were just what a traveler needed at the end of a long day. I had 2 bowls of soup while I enjoyed Sandy's banter with me. We discussed all sorts of things about CMW and our own family history research. I travelled extensively for my job, and hotel nights were the norm for me. But there is nothing better than staying in a home with friends.
That said, I will submit to you that there are places that I think I would like to stay, even if they are not with friends. Right? Such as the Turnberry Hotel. I have been toting around a magazine that my cousin, Sally gave me last year. Like most of us, she keeps stuff that she probably doesn't need to keep. This is a May 1986 Gourmet magazine. On the cover of this magazine that has a tag line of "The Magazine of Good Living," is the photo of a piper walking on the grounds. I suppose she thought because there was a man in a kilt with bagpipes, I'd be interested. She was correct.
The article, written by a Lillian Langseth-Christensen, has a facing page of the entire hotel as the backdrop for a golf scene, flag at the hole included. The grounds are spectacular with flowers and shrine to Robert Burns.
What is of particular interest to me in this article is the list of recipes. Scottish Tea Pancakes Turnberry Hotel, Whisky Cake Turnberry Hotel, Poached Peaches with Black Currant Sauce, Marinated Salmon Strips with Green and Pink Peppercorns. Amazingly, I just heard of pink peppercorns while watching a children's bake-off competition on TV.
But if you are an avid golfer, you probably already are familiar with Turnberry. There are 3 golf link courses, a golf academy, a 5-star hotel from 1906 and additional cottages and a lodge. Off the southeast shore is Ailsa Craig, a bird sanctuary for gannets and puffins. The stone on Ailsa Craig has been mined for years for curling (the sport, again, not your hair). The golf course here is where Tom Watson narrowly beat Jack Niklaus in 1977. Dubbed the "Duel in the Sun" the 18th hole on the Ailsa course has now been renamed the same to honor the event.
I am not going to pretend to know anything about Turnberry Hotel other than the opulence, the golf, the food and little more. So instead, I'll provide a link here. Now, don't get your political ire up, depending on what side of the aisle you land upon, but it is now a Trump property. Part of the Trump luxury hotels, I would definetly spend time there if I had the time and money. https://www.trumphotels.com/turnberry So if for no other reason than to enjoy the Turnburry as it has always been, I would invite you to enjoy the link provided to view the gallery of photos: https://www.trumphotels.com/turnberry/weddings Situated on the sea at the Firth of Clyde in South Ayrshire, Scotland, you will not feel cheated clicking through the pictures.
And of course, wikipedia has quite a bit of information about the use of Turnberry during WWI and WWII as an airbase and a hospital for the wounded. So go for the golf, go for the food, the history or just to take in the view. But when in Scotland, you might want to put this on your list of places to visit.
Photo from wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Turnberry_(golf_course)
Where Are You From?
Some are aware that my husband and I have sold our farm in Kansas and have started the process of packing up our worldly posessions (again... long story). But not too many know that Steve's mom, Bette, has reached that golden age where she no longer will live in her own home. The Robbs are Kansas folk. They are also farm folk. I don't know if this is common elsewhere, but a Kansas farmer keeps EVERYTHING. So I am never surprised to find another treasure in his 94-year-old mother's home. And I was not the least bit surprised (a bit grossed out) when Steve's mom handed me a little box of my then 68-year-old husband's baby teeth. Yes. They keep EVERYTHING! She was so proud of this little treasure. Ummm... no comment.
I believe she wanted to give me this treasure because I am the family history keeper. When I met my husband, I helped start the research for his Robb line. Easy enough to do because I am the 3rd generation to keep and upkeep my own family tree, photos and keepsakes. Many of the Robb stories are fascinating, such as Steve's grandmother, who was a Catholic nun. Well, she was a nun for a few years, and then decided she didn't have the "calling."
Family treasures are a great path to more stories. By example, my grandfather was born in 1866. My father, quite the surprise, was born in 1921. So even my own grandfather, a professed communist at the turn of the century left behind some interesting momentos. I actually have a red ribbon he kept from one of the Communist party gatherings. His political leanings were somewhat ignored until the day he started painting political signs on the side of the family home with red paint. And that earned him a one-way-ticket into a private room at a local nursing home.
So now that Steve's mom is in a nursing home, we have the joy of exploring all her worldly lifetime possessions. It has been a bit of a treasure hunt. I love the whale-bone bodices from his great grandmother's dresses she had planned to remake. The old wire-rimmed glasses and gold watch fobs are glorious. But the photo and history booklets are most interesting.
Today I found a 1961 Centennial Bulletin from the Shawnee County Historical Society. Now, I'm trained as a librarian, so I'm always a bit discouraged not to find a Table of Contents or an Index to help me figure out exactly what is in a book. But today, that was ok. This small booklet about Topeka, Kansas history caught my eye, and I flipped through the pages quickly. What caught my eye was a photo of Mrs. J. D. McFarland. I started working through a few pages and discovered there was a bit of history here about the Kansas McFarlands.
McFarland is a common name in Kansas. There is a town on Highyway I-70. We had a Kansas Supreme Court Justice, Kay McFarland (1935-2015). There was a very large McFarland home (mansion by some standards) on the corner of 10th and Gage in Topeka that had a ballroom on the very top floor. And we still have a restaurant in Topeka named, McFarland's. So I am not surprised to have additional history about McFarlands in front of me. But I suppose the point is, you will just never know where Clan MacFarlane will pop up.
Topeka, Kansas. Yup. Kansas. There is a rich history of McFarlands/MacFarlanes here too.
So if you want to see if this is part of your family, that were discussed in the 1961 Shawnee County Historical Society booket, here you go:
Mrs. James D. McFarland (nee Matilda Steele) came to Kansas from Illinois in 1860. Her father, Rev. John A. Steele, had moved to Illinois from Virginia in 1837. He was an abolitionist and did not "desire to rear his family... where the curse of slavery existed."
Matilda McFarland and her husband, James D. had 10 children: Pearl (Mrs. C. C. Stillman); Lillian (Mrs. Lee C. Forbes); John Steele; Hugh; Earl; Hampton (died in infancy); Helen M.; James M.; Robert Bruse; Katherine Hampton (Mrs. Wm. H. Alderman).
Do you see a familiar name? Well, there you have it. If you are interested in the accounting of the family moving to Kansas at the time of the U.S. Civil War, let me know. I'll photocopy the pages and send it to you. But keep in mind, part of the joy of doing family history is sharing. If you find some McFarlane history, consider sharing it on the fb page, or contact one of the Clan MacFarlane Worldwide geneaologists. You might actually close a gaping hole in someone's family tree search.
Why be a Joiner?
If you are a paying member (voting) of Clan MacFarlane Worldwide, there are benefits you enjoy over our non-paying members (fellows). One is assistance of our genealogists to help you with your family tree. We have a vast collection of accumulated family history for MacFarlanes, etc. In many cases, we might just have a quick answer for you on your query. Although we pride ourselves on the assistance we can provide you, the geneaologists must do a little work on your behalf, and are willing to help our paying members.
Another benefit is access to CelticLife, the lovely magazine. The latest issue is now available for our voting/paying members on our website. (the link is only viewable if you are a member)
So if you are NOT a paying member, please consider joining. It is a mere $20 U.S. dollars for a year for a indivual, and not much more than that for a family. Inerested in joining? Use the link on our website to inquire: Membership.
And just in case you want to know what happens to your membership money, we are very proud to have sponsored several archaeological digs by local scientists, and that is just to start. We are preparing to publish the latest report of a dig conducted this past Fall. You will have access to this information. We sponsor athletes, dancers and more. We participate in the FtDna MacFarlane project, and much more. So please consider a membership so you can have a deeper understanding of your relationship to all things MacFarlane.
For now, enjoy this article about a "dig" we sponsored in 2018 - our members' dues at work.