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April 1, 2011 06:36 - April Highland Games & Events

For most of us, Spring has sprung and our desires to be immersed in things Scottish is rapidly growing. With thoughts of piping, skirling kilts, and all those wonderful Scottish foods, it’s time to find an event somewhere.

The biggie this month are various Tartan Day celebrations. New York City probably has the biggest hoo-haw, though Scotland overall has a week long celebration in various locations.

One of my favorites is the Tartan Day Celebration at the Texas Alamo on April 1st. I will be attending for the first time. We’re all busy digging out our tartan "whatevers" to wear as part of the event.

  • March 29 to April 10, New York City ~ Tartan Week, sponsored by Friends of Scotland. Events include ~

    Ellis Island, April 1

    Dressed to Kilt, April 4, an annual event celebrating tartan and contemporary designs, with Sean Connery’s granddaughter, Saskia, making her modeling debut

    Whisky Live, April 6

    Tribute to Scottish Music, April 6

    A Celebration of Scotland’s Treasures, April 6

    Pre-Parade Ceilidh, April 8

    Kirkin of the Tartan, April 9

    Parade, April 9

  • Tartan Day Celebrations across the US beginning April 1 are too numerous to post, just use this link to find one near you

  • April 1 to 10, across Scotland ~ Tartan Day Scotland
    Arbroath, Brougty Ferry, Carnoustie, Dundee, East Renfrewshire, Fife, Forfar, Kirriemuir, Monifieth, and Monkie
  • April 1, San Antonio, Texas ~ Tartan Ceremony at the Alamo, as part of San Antonio Highland Games
  • April 2, Bundanoon, New South Wales, Australia ~ Bundanoon Highland Gathering . Their theme is Bundanoon is Brigadoon
  • April 2, Bakersfield, California ~ Bakersfield Gathering and Games
  • April 2 to 3, Helotes, Texas ~ San Antonio Highland Games
  • April 2 to 3, Honolulu, Hawaii ~ Hawaiian Scottish Festival and Highland Games
  • April 3, Levittown, Pennsylvania ~ Tartan Day
  • April 8, Annapolis, Maryland ~ Scottish Tartan Day Concert
  • April 8 to 9, Rochester, New York ~ Rochester Tartan Day
  • April 9, Albany, Oregon ~ Oregon Scottish Heritage Festival
  • April 9, Arvada, Colorado ~ Colorado Tartan Day
  • April 9, Dunedin, Florida ~ Dunedin Highland Games
  • Concord, New Hampshire ~ New Hampshire Indoor Highland Games
  • April 9, St. Paul, Minnesota ~ Minnesota Tartan Day
  • April 15 to 17, Huntersville, North Carolina ~ Rural Hill Scottish Festival and Loch Norman Highland Games
  • April 15 to 17, St. Louis, Missouri ~ Tionol, the Mississippi River Celtic Music Festival
  • April 15 to 24, Havana, Cuba ~ CeltFest Cuba
  • April 16 to 17, Las Vegas ~ Las Vegas Highland Games & Celtic Gathering
  • April 17 to 19, Batesville, Arkansas ~ Arkansas Scottish Festival
  • April 22 to 23, Maclean, New South Wales, Australia ~ Maclean Highland Gathering
  • April 26 to May 1, Donegal, Ireland ~ Pan Celtic Festival
  • April 28 to May 1, Glen Innes, New South Wales, Australia ~ The Australian Celtic Festival
  • April 30, Prince Frederick, Maryland ~ Celtic Festival of Southern Maryland

There may be other events I’ve overlooked. My usual sources, U.S. Scots and the Scottish Heritage Society and Keltic Nations, either have no information or some of the information is erroneous.

Tomorrow, famous Scottish Americans as Civil War heroes…

April 4, 2011 06:18 - Tartan Day ~ Part III, The New York Highland Regiment

The 79th New York Infantry Regiment began as a New York social club, formed to parade, train as heavy artillery, and provide a guard for the Prince of Wales when he visited the United States.

Their nicknames included Scots Regiment, Highland Guard, Cameron Highlanders, Cameron Rifle Highlanders and the Bannockburn Battalion.

With James Cameron as their financial backer, the 79th regiment of New York wore the Cameron of Erracht Regimental Tartan, designed for the Queen’s Own Cameron Highlanders, raised by Alan Cameron in 1793.


Cameron of Erracht Regimental Tartan WR993


By New York militia rules, they were to wear tartan trousers, with the fabric imported from Scotland. With Scottish panache and dash, the uniform bears description.

The jacket was dark blue with red cuffs and collar trimmed with white piping. Red cording trimmed the edges and cuffs. A total of 18 buttons adorned the jacket. Inverness flaps were lined with red.

The trews, though of tartan, were cut to an 1850’s style. The kilts, only to be worn on parade, were not pleated to military standards, but box pleated to the set instead of the line. There was no size variation, so two tartan straps buckled into suspenders.

The dark blue Glengarry bonnet was knit and felted with the body and dicing as one piece. The dicing was red, blue and white in two rows.

The names of officers tell of their heritage ~ Samuel McKenzie Elliott, David McClellan, David Ireland, Patrick Home, Harry Pearson, James Norval, John J. Shaw, S. B. Hayman, George S. Doughty, William Robertson , James Cummings, James Cameron, Isaac Ingalls Stevens, Addison Farnsworth, David Morrison, William Nobles, John More, and Henry G. Heffron.

They took part in nearly every engagement of war, becoming one of the most known and traveled regiments in the Union army. Initially they served in Washington, serving as part of the rear guard during the initial retreat.

They then saw engagements at Blackburn's Ford, Bull Run, Lewinsville, Bayle's Cross Roads, Fredericksburg, Armstrong’s Ferry, Wilderness, Spotsylvania Court House, Ni River, Petersburg, Richmond, Hatcher’s Run, Port Stedman, Kelly's Ford, Sulphur Springs, Groveton, Bull Run, Centreville, Manassas, and Chantilly in Virginia; Bay Point, Port Royal Ferry, Pocotaligo, James Island, and Secessionville in South Carolina; South Mountain and Antietam in Maryland; Vicksburg and Jackson in Mississippi; Green River Bridge in Kentucky; Blue Springs, Campbell Station, Lenoir, Knoxville, Fort Sanders, and Strawberry Plains in Tennessee.

A Charleston Mercury newspaper article said, "Thank God Lincoln had only one 79th regiment." While others raised a monument in Knoxville as a remembrance of their valor at Ft. Sanders.


79th Highlander Monument, Ft. Sanders courtesy Wikipedia

The regiment faced their last battle at Spotsylvania, and were mustered out in 1864 when their enlistment expired. A new regiment was formed as the New Cameron Highlanders. The new regiment served at Cold Harbor, Bethesda Church, Petersburg, Weldon Railroad, Poplar Springs Church, and Appomattox.

During the war, the 79th New York lost 198 killed, plus 304 wounded or missing, out of a total enrollment of 2,200.

Tomorrow, celebrate the Scots of Texas…

April 5, 2011 08:50 - Tartan Day ~ Part IV, Scots in Texas

Among the Scottish men who fought elsewhere for Texas independence, the list includes Sam Houston, Stephen F. Austin, James Bowie, David Crockett, Peter J. Bailey, Henry P. Brewster, J.A. Brooks, David Burnet, Mathew Caldwell, Capt. Ewen Cameron, S.P. Carson, Robert Cochran.

The oldest signer of the Texas Declaration of Independence was Collin McKinney, of Scottish descent. Both the county of Collin and the town of McKinney honor his contributions to Texas. Over half of the counties of Texas are named for persons of Scottish ancestry.

Famous early Texas names of Scottish origin: Bigfoot Wallace, John B. Denton, Cecil Lyon, Burke Burnett, John Simpson Chisum (Chisholm), Albert S. Johnston, Stephen Crosby, Capt. R.A. Gillespie, Anthony Lucas, William C. Crane.

The Texas town of Ingram was named after the original Texas braggart. He wrote home to Scotland telling outrageous stories extolling Texas.

Ten men from Scotland financed the building of the state capitol in Austin. In exchange, the state government gave them 150,000 acres which became the famous XIT Ranch. The XIT stands for "Ten in Texas".

The colloquialism "y’all" evolved from the Gaelic sibh vile, pronounced se’ val and meaning you all. In Scotland the phraseology "are you all going?" or "are we all invited?" is used as opposed to the English form of "all of us" or "all of you."

Our ranching term "spread" comes from Gaelic spreid" meaning a flock of sheep while spredith means cattle or livestock of any kind.

Tomorrow, Big Foot Wallace…


April 6, 2011 10:00 - Tartan Day ~ Part V, Bigfoot Wallace

One last Texas hero, bigger than life, is William Alexander Anderson Wallace. He claimed both Braveheart’s William Wallace and Robert the Bruce as ancestors.

Born in 1817 in Virginia, Bigfoot grew to be 6 foot two inches tall, weighing 240 pounds of solid muscle.


Bigfoot Wallace courtesy Wikipedia

Along with others whose ancestors came from The Borders of Scotland, including Patrick Henry and Sam Houston, he was outspoken and lively, with a very strong sense of family honor, including lex talionis, the rule of retribution.

When he heard a brother and a cousin had been shot down by Mexicans in Goliad, Texas, Bigfoot lit out for Texas. He meant to claim the rule of retribution, to "take pay out of the Mexicans". Years later, he stated he believed the account had been squared.

Bigfoot got to Texas too late for the Texas War of Independence in the 1830‘s. But he served in the Mexican-American War of the 1840’s and commanded his own company of Texas Rangers while fighting border bandits in the 1850’s. In the American Civil War of the 1860’s, he guarded the western frontier against Comanche attacks.


Bigfoot Wallace’s Buckskin Coat courtesy Bound Away

One exploit that spread his legend includes working as the mail carrier from San Antonio to El Paso. Comanches stole his mules, so he hiked to El Paso, ate 27 eggs at a house on the outskirts of town, then went on into town and ate a full meal.

Bigfoot never married. When it came time to retire, he headed to South Texas to a small settlement which came to be known as Bigfoot.

Mellowed with age, yet still filled with a sense of honor and humor, he would sit in his roomy chair, with a rawhide seat, in the shade of his home, embroidering tales of his famous career. Some of these tales were published in 1870, enhancing his reputation as a Texas folk hero.

After his death in 1899, the Texas government had his body disinterred and reburied in the Texas State Cemetery.

Known as "The King of the Lariat", Big Foot personified the Texas cowboy as a popular, colorful character in the Penny Dreadfuls.

Tomorrow read about Penny Dreadfuls, Chap Books, and Gothic Bluebooks all forerunners to comic books…


April 7, 2011 08:35 - Tartan Day ~ Part VI, John Burns, The Hero of Gettysburg

A slight change of plans was needed for today. Therefore penny dreadfuls will have to follow on another day. Instead another U.S. Civil War hero will be honored.

John Burns was the village character of Gettysburg, who claimed to be a descendant of the poet, Bobbie Burns.

Having served in the Mexican War and the War of 1812, this hard-drinking 70 year old man made it be known what he’d do if the Rebels ever made it to Gettysburg.

When Burns tried to enlist, his age disqualified him. So he went to Washington and worked as a wagon driver.

Sent home, on July 1, 1863, when he heard the noise of battle, John put on his outdated best clothes, which included a blue swallow-tail coat with gilt buttons and a tall hat, picked up his antiquated musket and headed for the battle.


John Burns courtesy Wikipedia

Asking a wounded soldier for his modern rifle, John joined the 150th Pennsylvania Volunteers and was posted near the McPherson farm with the Iron Brigade which consisted of the 24th Michigan and 7th Wisconsin Infantry.

Despite their jocular teasing as they awaited battle, Burns proved to be an able sharpshooter, even shooting a charging Confederate officer from his horse. Over the afternoon, Burns received several wounds, forcing the Union soldiers to leave him on the battlefield as they retreated.

Injured and exhausted, he crawled away from his rifle, buried his ammunition, and convinced the Rebels he was a non-combatant. Treated by a Confederate doctor, John crawled onto a cellar door and sent word to his wife to fetch the wagon and bring him home.


John Burns Home courtesy Wikipedia

One of Matthew Brady assistants took pictures of John. One story tells of the photographer passing John’s story on to Washington. Another tells of General Abner Doubleday praising John’s valor in a report.

Away from Gettysburg, he came to be known far and wide as "The Hero of Gettysburg". As a popular folk hero, Bret Harte wrote a poem about John’s exploits. At home he was still just an outspoken old codger.


John Burns courtesy Wikipedia

When President Lincoln came to deliver his Gettysburg Address, he asked to meet John Burns. The two walked arm-in-arm, down Chambersburg Street, around the village square, onto Baltimore Street and into the Presbyterian Church, much to the awe of local residents.

In his last years, John’s mind was failing and in 1871, on a cold winter’s night, he was found wandering in New York City. He was cared for and sent home, but died on pneumonia in 1872.

Today, a statue stands on the McPherson Farm battleground where he fought. The sculptor depicted John facing the Rebels with his antiquated flintlock musket, fist clenched.


John Burns Monument courtesy Wikipedia

His grave is one of only two that has permission to fly the American flag twenty-four hours a day. After his original gravestone was vandalized, a new one was placed, bearing the inscription "Patriot".

Tomorrow, read the Bret Harte poem memorializing John Burns…

April 8, 2011 09:05 - Tartan Day ~ Part VIII, The Hero of Gettysburg

After writing about John Burns, his honorific poem has a whole new meaning for me, perhaps for you as well.

John Burns of Gettysburg
by Bret Harte

Have you heard the story that gossips tell
Of Burns of Gettysburg?--No? Ah, well:
Brief is the glory that hero earns,
Briefer the story of poor John Burns.
He was the fellow who won renown,--
The only man who didn't back down
When the rebels rode through his native town;
But held his own in the fight next day,
When all his townsfolk ran away.
That was in July sixty-three,
The very day that General Lee,
Flower of Southern chivalry,
Baffled and beaten, backward reeled
From a stubborn Meade and a barren field.


I might tell how but the day before
John Burns stood at his cottage door,
Looking down the village street,
Where, in the shade of his peaceful vine,
He heard the low of his gathered kine,
And felt their breath with incense sweet;
Or I might say, when the sunset burned
The old farm gable, he thought it turned
The milk that fell like a babbling flood
Into the milk-pail red as blood!
Or how he fancied the hum of bees
Were bullets buzzing among the trees.
But all such fanciful thoughts as these
Were strange to a practical man like Burns,
Who minded only his own concerns,
Troubled no more by fancies fine
Than one of his calm-eyed, long-tailed kine,--
Quite old-fashioned and matter-of-fact,
Slow to argue, but quick to act.
That was the reason, as some folk say,
He fought so well on that terrible day.


And it was terrible. On the right
Raged for hours the heady fight,
Thundered the battery's double bass,--
Difficult music for men to face
While on the left--where now the graves
Undulate like the living waves
That all that day unceasing swept
Up to the pits the rebels kept--
Round shot ploughed the upland glades,
Sown with bullets, reaped with blades;
Shattered fences here and there
Tossed their splinters in the air;
The very trees were stripped and bare;
The barns that once held yellow grain
Were heaped with harvests of the slain;
The cattle bellowed on the plain,
The turkeys screamed with might and main,
And brooding barn-fowl left their rest
With strange shells bursting in each nest.


Just where the tide of battle turns,
Erect and lonely stood old John Burns.
How do you think the man was dressed?
He wore an ancient long buff vest,
Yellow as saffron,--but his best;
And buttoned over his manly breast
Was a bright blue coat, with a rolling collar,
And large gilt buttons,--size of a dollar,--
With tails that the country-folk called "swaller."
He wore a broad-brimmed, bell-crowned hat,
White as the locks on which it sat.
Never had such a sight been seen
For forty years on the village green,
Since old John Burns was a country beau,
And went to the "quiltings" long ago.


Close at his elbows all that day,
Veterans of the Peninsula,
Sunburnt and bearded, charged away;
And striplings, downy of lip and chin,--
Clerks that the Home Guard mustered in,--
Glanced, as they passed, at the hat he wore,
Then at the rifle his right hand bore,
And hailed him, from out their youthful lore,
With scraps of a slangy repertoire:
"How are you, White Hat?" "Put her through!"
"Your head's level!" and "Bully for you!"
Called him "Daddy,"--begged he'd disclose
The name of the tailor who made his clothes,
And what was the value he set on those;
While Burns, unmindful of jeer and scoff,
Stood there picking the rebels off,--
With his long brown rifle and bell-crown hat,
And the swallow-tails they were laughing at.


'Twas but a moment, for that respect
Which clothes all courage their voices checked;
And something the wildest could understand
Spake in the old man's strong right hand,
And his corded throat, and the lurking frown
Of his eyebrows under his old bell-crown;
Until, as they gazed, there crept an awe
Through the ranks in whispers, and some men saw,
In the antique vestments and long white hair,
The Past of the Nation in battle there;
And some of the soldiers since declare
That the gleam of his old white hat afar,
Like the crested plume of the brave Navarre,
That day was their oriflamme of war.


So raged the battle. You know the rest:
How the rebels, beaten and backward pressed,
Broke at the final charge and ran.
At which John Burns--a practical man--
Shouldered his rifle, unbent his brows,
And then went back to his bees and cows.
That is the story of old John Burns;
This is the moral the reader learns:
In fighting the battle, the question's whether
You'll show a hat that's white, or a feather!

Monday, hopefully Penny Dreadfuls…

April 11, 2011 06:08 - Penny Dreadfuls, Chap Books, and Gothic Blue Books

As far back as the 1500’s chapmen, who were peddlers, were selling cheap literature, called chap books, for a halfpenny or a penny. The topics included nursery rhymes, almanacs, religious tracts, poetry, folk tales, political agendas, and broadside ballads.

These small books had 8, 12, 16 and 24 pages and spread information to the common people, both in towns and rural areas. They were read to family groups and the evening crowd at the local alehouses.

Publishers sold over 200,000 per year in just Scotland. Historical stories, set in the mythical and fantastical past, were popular. Has much changed in 500 years?

In the 18th century, Gothic blue books gradually replaced the chap books. They were abridged editions of Gothic novels, being 36 or 72 pages long. Costing sixpence and a shilling, they were dubbed "Sixpenny Shockers" and "Shilling Shockers". The deeds of highwaymen was a favorite topic.

During the 1800’s cheap newspapers and penny dreadfuls were meeting the reading needs of the general populace, as first the chap books, then the Gothic Blue Books lost their popularity.

The Penny Dreadful, at the cost of one penny, first brought lurid tales to the working class adolescents of the British Isles. These were serials that continued over a number of weeks.

In comparison, main stream fictional serials included the works of Charles Dickens and cost twelve pennies an issue.

Other names for this type of publication were penny horrible, penny awful, and penny blood. All were printed on cheap pulp paper, as the comic books of today, publishing the same cheap sensational fiction.

For those who couldn’t afford a penny a week, many banned together into clubs, jointly buying the weekly penny dreadful.

In the U.S., the dime novels filled the same need. These were often edited for English tastes, thus giving them U.S. folk heroes such as Buffalo Bill, Deadwood Dick, and, of course, Bigfoot Wallace [see the April 4, 2011, blog].

Tomorrow, the Tartan Day hero series continues, with author, Washington Irving…

April 12, 2011 07:49 - Tartan Day ~ Part IX, Washington Irving

Washington Irving, a noted American author, whose father was born on Orkney. In 1783, Washington was born in New York City into an intellectual and literary family. During the 1798 yellow fever epidemic, his parents sent him upstate New York, where he traveled along the Hudson River, learning Dutch customs and hearing local tales. He traveled on through the Catskill Mountains, of which he wrote,

Of all the scenery of the Hudson, the Kaatskill Mountains
had the most witching effect on my boyish imagination.

Those youthful travels gave us The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, Rip Van Winkle, and A History of New York from the Beginning of the World to the End of the Dutch Dynasty, by Diedrich Knickerbocker (1809), a satire on self-important local history and contemporary politics.

The pseudonym, Knickerbocker, also gave us the nickname applied to residents of Manhattan and their basketball team. He also gave us the name Gotham for New York City, later popularized in the Batman comics. And he coined the expression, "the almighty dollar".

By the way, there is a Gotham in Nottinghamshire. It’s claim are the Wise Men of Gotham. In the 12th century the whole village feigning madness to avoid a Royal Highway being built through their village, as they would be responsible for building and maintaining the road. At the time madness was believed to be contagious. The villagers went fishing for the moon in the village pond, put a fence around a bush to keep the cuckoo in, tried to drown an eel in the pond, and other antics. You may recognize the nursery rhyme.

Three Wise Men of Gotham
They went to sea in a bowl
And if the bowl had been stronger
My song had been longer

The rhyme had been published in 1765 and quite likely Irving had heard the tale while living in England.

He spent 17 years abroad, returning home at age 35 to write three popular books with western frontier themes, A Tour of the Prairies, Astoria, and The Adventures of Captain Bonneville. He also wrote under the pseudonym Knickerbocker for Knickerbocker Magazine.

Aspiring young authors often sought his advice. Irving endorsed stronger copyright laws. And he served as minister to a politically torn Spain, negotiating American trade interests. In London, he negotiated the Oregon territory border. Perfected in John Jacob Astor’s will he was named as chairman of the Astor Library, which became the New York Public Library.

He published a 5 volumes biography of his namesake, George Washington between 1855 and 1859. Well into his 70’s his popularity continued to grow as he became the first American Man of Letters and perfected the short story.

Among his firsts are

  • placing American writings firmly in the U.S.
  • writing in the everyday, local or vernacular language
  • without an obligatory moral, or didactic, lesson, writing simply to entertain not enlighten, which some critics felt contributed style without substance
  • a literary humorist

He also contributed to the American view of Christmas in a dream sequence of St. Nicholas soaring over the treetop in a flying wagon, which revived the Christmas holiday in America and influenced the writings of his friend, Charles Dickens, in A Christmas Carol.

Tomorrow, social activist, Francis Fanny Wright…

April 13, 2011 09:04 - Tartan Day ~ Part X, Francis Fanny Wright

Francis Fanny Wright [1795-1852] was a Scottish born U.S. lecturer, writer, freethinker, feminist, abolitionist, and social reformer. Born to wealth, she fell in love with America and Tennessee.


Frances Fanny Wright courtesy Wikipedia

Among her ideas was Nashoba, an experimental community near Memphis, aimed at allowing slaves to work the land while paying off their purchase price and learning to become productive citizens. The experiment failed due to mismanagement during a stint of absence due to ill health. She resettled the entire population in Haiti. Germantown is now situated on the site of Nashoba. Nashoba and it’s failure caused her financial ruin.

Wright became the first woman to lecture publicly before a mixed audience when she delivered an Independence Day speech at New Harmony, Indiana, in 1828. Thus prompting this hostile cartoon.


A Downright Gabbler courtesy Library of Congress

Frances was dubbed "The Great Red Harlot" for her personal life, including several illicit romances, and her progressive views on sexual relations.

Her primary emphasis was on the workingmen’s movement, the women’s involvement in medicine, health, and their place in society. Though her personal life was judged unsuccessful, with her life struggles she is considered the greatest role model for the women’s movement.

Her tombstone in Cincinnati reads

I have wedded
the cause of human improvement,
staked on it my fortune,
my reputation and my life

Tomorrow, read about William Kennedy Laurie Dickson…

April 14, 2011 08:56 - Tartan Day ~ Part XI, William Kennedy Laurie Dickson

On his mother’s side, Dickson descended from the Lauries of Maxwellton, with connections to the Duke of Athol and the Royal Stuarts.


William Kennedy Laurie Dickson
courtesy Wikipedia

You can thank, or curse, this Anglo-Scot for devising an early motion picture camera for Thomas Edison. He also invented the first practical celluloid film for cameras. Dickson was the one who decided that 35mm would be the size, thus our 35mm cameras.

Dickson’s team worked for several years developing the Kinetosocpe. This was a peep show machine showing a continuous loop of Dickson’s 35mm film.

Circa 1895, Dickson began working with the Latham family, devising longer filmstrips and a projector system used in the first commercial movie screening in 1895.

He also produced a hand cranked peep show movie machine. Featured at seaside locations, these revealed women undressing or acting as artist’s models. In Britain, they’re common name was What the Butler Saw machines, named from one of the first and most famous "softcore" reels.

So, it seems, we can also thank him for his contributions to the pornography industry. This is one Scot who contributed the good, the bad, and the ugly to modern society.

Tomorrow, Robert Rogers, a hero of the French and Indian War…

April 15, 2011 07:27 - Tartan Day ~ Part XII, Robert Rogers

The French and Indian War of 1754 to 1763 was one front of the international Seven Years War, in which the French pitted themselves and their allied Indians against the British, Colonial America, and their allied Indians. Battles were fought from Virginia to Nova Scotia.

This map shows basically who possessed what.


1750 North America map courtesy Wikipedia

A colonial farmer from New Hampshire, named Robert Rogers, was recruited by the British in 1755.


Interpretation of Robert Rogers
courtesy Wikipedia

Calling his unit Roger’s Rangers. Rogers established his own rules, considered unconventional by the British. Rogers outfitted his men in distinctive green outfits.


Rogers’ Ranger courtesy Wikipedia

When on patrol, the men marched through the North American woods in single file, using shrubs and bushes as cover, with outlying skirmishers covering the unit on all sides. Each ranger was highly mobile and self-sufficient. When outnumbered, they simply slipped off into the under story of the forest, fled, and met at designated rendezvous points.

Not only did Rogers’ tactics became famous in both the colonies and back in England, they form the basis of Ranger patrol today, including the Green Berets.


US Army Special Forces Green Berets courtesy Wikipedia

By 1758 the British placed Rogers in charge of all colonial Ranger companies. His men saw action against the Abenaki St. Francis Indians who had killed more than 600 colonists. They also fought in Quebec and Montreal, oversaw the Northwestern posts, and fought Chief Pontiac.

After the war, King George III granted him command of Fort Michilimachinac [Mackinaw Island}, giving Rogers a base to conduct expeditions in the Northwest Territory. Rogers explorations caused a charge of treason to be filed, for which he was acquitted.

Former Rangers were among those who fired on the British at Lexington and Concord. Rogers returned from England, but was refused enlistment in the American forces.

By this time in his life, he was an alcoholic and his previous ties to Great Britain raised questions of his being a loyalist spy. Eventually Rogers went over to the British side, where he organized and led the Queen’s Rangers, which served around New York City. Later, he also created the King’s Rangers. But his inability to perform, due to his advanced alcoholism, led to his dismissal.

Rogers died in obscurity and poverty in England. It wasn’t until 2005 that his statue was erected on Rogers Island, where he wrote his "Rules of Ranging". In the Ranger Handbook, Rogers is written of respectfully and credited as the originator of ranger tactics.

Tomorrow, the Rogers Rangers roster, honoring the men who served in his unit…


April 18, 2011 07:59 - Tartan Day~ Part XIV, Rogers Rangers’ Roster

These men served under Rogers, endured hardships, fought hard, then went home to resume their agrarian lifestyle. Yet when shots were fired beginning the American War of Independence, they lined up once more for their beliefs, as did their sons. When the American Civil War began, their grandsons did their duty, and, I suspect, men of both World Wars, Korea, Vietnam, and the Middle East have inherited some of their blood from these men.

A bullet beside their name indicates a possible Scottish connection.

  • Abbott, Nathaniel of Pennacook NH
  • Adison, James of Derryfield NH
  • Aker, William of Derryfield NH
  • Archibald, James of Derryfield NH
    Bedel, Timothy of Salem NH, His son, Moody was a Brigdier General in the War of 1813 and his grandson, John was a Brigadier General in the American Civil War
    Bennett, Elisha of Derryfield NH
  • Bernard, Francis of Germany, Royal Americans 4th Battalion
    Boujour, John of Switzerland, Royal Americans 4th Battalion
  • Boyce, Richard of England
  • Brewer, Ensign of Goffstown NH
  • Brewer, Jonathan of unknown
  • Bridge, Benjamin of unknown
  • Brown, John of Derryfield NH
  • Bulkley, Lt. of Goffstown NH
  • Burbank, Jonathan of Goffstown NH
  • Campbell, Archibald, Jr. of Scotland, 42nd Highlanders
  • Carruthers, Ronald of Great Britain, 44th Regiment
  • Chalmers, Ronald of Great Britain
  • Christopher, Matthew of Derryfield NH
    Cilley, Joseph of Notingham
  • Clark, James of Derryfield NH
  • Clarke, John of Great Britain, 44th Regiment
  • Colton, Isaac of Derryfield NH
    Creed, Francis of Great Britain, 27th Regiment
    Crofton, Walter of Great Britain 46th Regiment
    Crotty, Andrew of Great Britain 22nd Regiment
  • Cunningham, William of Derryfield NH
    Dekefar, Lahainsans of Switzerland, Royal Americans 4th Battalion
  • Drake, Abraham of Hampton NH
    Drought, Thomas of Great Britain 44th Regiment
    Dudley, Charles of Derryfield NH
    Eastman, Joseph of unknown
    Erlington, Richard of Great Britain, 22nd Regiment
  • Foster, Rowling of Derryfield NH
  • Fraser, William, Sr. of Scotland, 42nd Highlanders
  • Fraser, William, Jr. of Scotland, 42nd HIghlanders
    Frisborough, unknown of Great Britain Royal Americans 2nd Battalion
  • Frost, John of Derryfield NH
  • Gilman, Unknown of Unknown
  • Graham, John of Scotland, 42nd Highlanders
  • Grant, Allen of Great Britain, Royal Americans 2nd Battalion
    Grise, James of Derryfield NH
  • Hale, Enoch of Rindge NH
  • Hamilton, John of Great Britain 55th Regiment
  • Hartman, John of Derryfield NH
    Hazen, Moses of Haverhill MA
  • Henry, James of Derryfield NH
  • Hill, James of Derryfield NH
  • Hobbs, Captain of Goffstown NH
    Hodscase, Timothy of Derryfield NH
    Horst, Engelbertus of Switzerland, Royal Americans 4th Battalion
  • Humble, Charles of Great Britain, 22nd Regiment
  • Irwin, William of Great Britain, 44th Regiment
  • Johnson, Nathaniel of Derryfield NH
  • Johnson, Noah of Dunstable NH
  • Kennedy, Lieutenant of Goffstown NH
  • Kent, Michael of Great Britain, 27th Regiment
    Kiser, John of Derryfield NH
  • Leiton, John of Derryfield NH
    Letch, Samuel of Derryfield NH
  • Lysaught, Cornelius of Great Birtain, 4th Regiment
    Mahanter, Piller of Derryfield NH
  • Mars, James of Derryfield NH
  • Martin, Joshua of Goffstown NH
  • Maxwell, Thompson of Bedford MA
  • McBean, Donald of unknown county, Royal Americans 4th Battalion
  • McCurdy, John of Derryfield NH
  • McDonald, Gregory of unknown
  • McDougal, John of unknown country, Royal Amercans 2nd Battalion
  • McKeen, William of Derryfield NH
  • McMIllan, Andrew of Concord NH
  • McNeal, James of Derryfield NH
  • Menzies, Charles of Scotland, 42nd Highlanders
  • Michel, John of Derryfield NH
    Millet, Thomas of Great Britain, 22nd Regiment
    Monfel, unknown of unknown
  • Mooney, Hercules of Dover NH
  • Morgan, James of Derryfield NH
    Moulton, Jonathan of Hampton NH
  • Nicholson, William of unknown
  • Nutt, David of Derryfield NH
  • Oliver, Robert of unknown
  • Paige, Caleb of Starkstown NH
  • Patterson, Walter of unknown
  • Perry, Charles of unknown
  • Pottinger, James of unknown
    Putnam, Israel of Salem MA, shipwrecked in Cuba in 1762, he returned to
    Connecticut with tobacco seeds which founded the state’s tobacco industry


    Israel Putnam courtesy Wikipedia

  • Reed, James of Fitzwilliam NH
    Reinhault, Ericke of unknown, Royal Americans, 4th Battalion
  • Roberts, Benjamin of unknown, accused Rogers of treason at Michilimackinac
  • Robertson, John of 42nd Highlanders
  • Rogers, James of Goffstown NH, born in Ireland, brother of Robert, served in the Queen’s and King’s Rangers
  • Rogers, Richard of Starkstown NH
  • Rogers, Robert of Dunbarton NH, Captain
  • Ross, Andrew of Scotland, 42nd Highlanders
    Schlosser, John Charles of Germany, Royal Americans 4th Battalion
    Severence, Martin of Deerfield MA
    Silaway, Jonathan of Derryfield NH
  • Simond, James of Derryfield NH
  • Simpson, Pileh of Derryfield NH
  • Smith, Nahaniel of Derryfield NH
    Spikeman, unknown of Goffstown NH
    Squanton, Benjamin of Derryfield NH
  • Stark, John of Goffstown NH


    John Stark courtesy Wikipedia

  • Stark, William of Londonderry NH, older brother of John Stark
  • Stephens, Simon of Deerfield MA
  • Sterling, Hugh of unknown
  • Still, unknown of unknown
    Titwood, Joshua of Derryfield NH
  • Toby, Simon of Derryfield NH
    Ven Bebber, Henry of unknown, Royal Americans 4th Battalion
  • Wackerberg, Andrew of unknown
    Wadleigh, John of Derryfield NH
  • Ward, Nicholas of unknown, Royal Americans 3rd Battalion
    Wardoman, George of unknown, Royal Americans 4th Battalion
  • Webster, Ebeezer of unknown
    Weisberg, Daniel of Hanover NH, German of Royal Americans, 2nd Battalion
  • Welch, James of Derryfield NH
  • Wells, Agrippa of Deerfield MA
    Wheeler, William of Derryfield NH
  • White, James of unknown
    Wilcox, John of unknown
  • Wills, Phillip of Derryfield NH
  • Wyman, Isaac of Keene NH
  • Young, Stephen of Derryfield NH
  • Young, Walter of unknown

With such a preponderance of Scottish names, it’s no wonder the men were so successful at guerilla warfare, either directly, or in the oral legends told by their fathers and grandfathers.

The bullets designating possible Scottish heritage is not at all complete. These are simply the names I could associate with Scotland. If your name is among these and you hail from New England, they just might be your ancestor. All have given us a rich heritage and history as builders and defenders of America.

Tomorrow, Patrick Henry strikes his plea for liberty or death…

April 19, 2011 10:14 - Tartan Day ~ Part XIV, Patrick Henry

Patrick Henry is numbered among our founding fathers and considered a great American statesman who co-wrote our Bill of Rights with another of Scottish descent, James Madison.

A reader sent me family oral traditions regarding his ancestry, which tells of Patrick’s father being a McEmbry of Clan Campbell. A well educated man, he allegedly stole the tax collector’s daughter and his money, fled to America, and changed his name to avoid prosecution.

Going to other sources, the father, John Henry, emigrated c. 1830, a time when many families of The Borders quit Scotland and North England for the Americas. John had been liberally educated in Scotland, was among the country gentry families, and esteemed for his intellect and character. Positions he had held included county surveyor, regimental colonel, and presiding county court judge.

And the extended Henry family was involved in many Scottish affairs. David Henry, a cousin, managed the "Gentleman’s Magazine".

In America, John married Sarah Syme, reportedly beautiful, definitely a backcountry widow, and also of Border gentry. Originating from a Welsh family named Winston, she was often described as vivacious, conversational and eloquent, yet fond of country living, including fishing and hunting.

Sarah’s uncle, William Robertson, was minister in The Borders at Borthwick, Midlothian, and later Old Greyfriar’s in Edinburgh.

Another cousin, William Robertson was an historian and principal of the University of Edinburgh.

The most famous of her relatives was Lord William Brougham, considered one of England’s great politicians. Though only a third cousin to Patrick Henry, a likeness runs through both their works. William championed parliamentary reform against aristocratic and commercial self-interest with the same zeal and radicalism as Patrick.

Along with other emigrants from The Borders, the families found they weren’t welcomed by the established families of the Virginia Tidewater. Raucous, rough and tumble, many descended from cattle thieves, and outspoken, they quickly moved on west to where it didn’t matter.

Most who settled to the west were extremely poor. They emigrated in family groups, thus having strong networks to under-gird one another. And rich or poor, they had a bond in their cultural heritage. This included the desire of natural liberty, freedom to be left alone, and freedom from the crown to become someone. This horrified the Tidewater Virginians, as if The Border immigrants cared.

If what the British thought of them in Scotland didn‘t matter, why should it matter in America? And with all the land available beyond the Tidewater, why stay where you’re not wanted.

Tomorrow, the history of Patrick Henry and the influences in America that formed his character and his thinking…


April 20, 2011 07:56 - Tartan Day ~ Part XV, Patrick Henry’s Boyhood

As stated yesterday, his mother loved country life, including the unkempt charms of nature and natural pleasures, such as hunting and fishing.

In turn, Patrick has been described as indolent, dreamy, and frolicsome, with an enmity toward books and a passion for fishing and hunting. His dress was considered disorderly, his posture as slouching, his attitude lacking ambition. A vagrant who roamed the woods and loitered on river banks, with trappers and frontiersmen his preferred company.

Despite all this, his father and his uncle, who was the rector of St. Paul’s in Hanover, did give him an education. The uncle, also named Patrick, was a good Scottish classicist. Young Patrick studied Latin, Greek, and mathematics.

When Patrick turned 15, he was apprenticed into a shop. At 16, his father set Patrick and his older brother, William, up in a country store. By all accounts, William was even more indolent, disorderly, and unsuited for commerce than Patrick. Within a year, the business had failed.

Tomorrow, Patrick Henry grows into manhood…

April 21, 2011 10:06 - Tartan Day ~ Part XVI, Patrick Henry Grows into Manhood

Living in the remote countryside far from the centers of government, with no need for large organization, natural liberty was a way of life for not only Patrick, but most of the backwoods population. These beliefs came with them from The Borders of Scotland.

As an adult, Patrick Henry was consistent in his defense of minimal government, light taxation, and the right to bear arms against and authority that infringed on these liberties.

As a young lawyer, Henry showed his mettle and won local fame in a court case called "The Parson’s Cause". The Two Penny Act of 1758
Henry argued that the King, in disallowing the act had "degenerated into a tyrant and forfeited all rights to his subjects’ obedience." Back in the Tidewater, people were aghast, whispering of treason. In the back countryside others were well pleased.

In the House of Burgesses, Henry argued that Virginia was too much governed by favoritism, a policy that gave the oligarchy of Tidewater Virginia almost unbreakable control.

The Stamp Act furthered Henry’s reputation. His speaking out against the act ended with his declaration that all who agreed with the act should be treated as an "enemy to his Majesty’s Colony.

Tomorrow, Patrick Henry the politician…

April 22, 2011 06:14 - Tartan Day ~ Part XVII, Patrick Henry’s Politics

In 1754, at the age of 18, Patrick married Sarah Shelton. They had 6 children. Sarah’s father gave them Pine Slash Farm as a wedding gift and Patrick began working as a planter, setting out and harvesting a tobacco crop. In 1757 fire destroyed their home and in 1760 Patrick decided to become a lawyer.

He first came to the forefront, becoming somewhat famous for his stance regarding the Two Penny Act in 1763. Virginia and the British Crown argued over the price of the tobacco annually paid to the clergy in lieu of salary. Dubbed the Parson’s Cause, Reverend James Maury filed a suit against Louisa County for back wages. The county hired Henry. Being his outspoken self, he side-stepped legal niceties, declaring the Virginia law an "enemy of the community" and any king who annulled good local law a tyrant who "forfeits all right to his subject’s obedience".

Two years later, Henry was elected from Louisa County to fill a vacant seat in the Virginia House of Burgesses. Nine days after beginning his term, Patrick introduced the Virginia Stamp Act Resolutions, using language so extreme that some Virginians said it smacked of treason. Awaiting a day when most of the conservative members were not present, he debated, persuaded, and succeeded in getting his bill passed.

Many consider this bill the most anti-British political action of the time. Some even go so far as to claim it as a main catalyst of the War of Independence.

The proposals were based on well-established British rights. But Henry took it further arguing that the colonial assemblies had the "exclusive" right to impose taxes on the colonies. Another of his famous quotes arose from this confrontation, "…If this be treason, make the most of it!"


Patrick Henry courtesy Wikipedia

As a lawyer and a political representative, Henry consistently defended the principles of minimal government, light taxes, the right of armed resistance to authority in all cases which infringed liberty.

Patrick had an uncle, William Winston. The older gentlemen of Virginia enjoyed discussing his gift of eloquence, often described as dazzling and wondrous like Patrick’s. But those who admired William were always quick to point out that his abilities were surpassed only by Patrick.

Monday, the war and beyond…

April 25, 2011 06:04 - Tartan Day ~ Part XVIII, Patrick Henry’s Revolution

On March 23, 1775, Henry left his home at Scotchtown Plantation, riding to St. John’s Church in Richmond, where the House of Burgesses met. Henry delivered what was perhaps his most impassioned and famous speech, closing with these words

Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased
at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God!
I know not what course others may take; but as for me,
Give me Liberty, or give me Death!

The Burgesses were undecided about mobilizing for military action against the British. Henry was known for using fear of the Indians and slave revolts to promote military action against the British.

Meanwhile his mother calmly described this American Revolution as just another Border Dispute.

By August Patrick was a colonel in the 1st Virginia Regiment, leading his troops in the "Gunpowder Incident" against the Royal Governor Lord Dunmore. He also served during the war as the first Governor of post-Colonial Virginia.

In November, along with James Madison, he was elected as a founding trustee at Hampden-Sydney College, remaining a trustee until his death. Seven of his sons attended the college.

1775 also brought the death of his wife, Sarah. After moving to Scotchtown in 1771, Sarah was diagnosed as mentally ill. When she became dangerous to herself and others, Patrick chose to adapt a private two-room apartment in the basement for her use. His only other option was the public hospital in Williamsburg. If sent there, she would have been locked in a windowless brick cell, with only a mattress and a chamber pot.

The rooms the Patrick arranged for Sarah had windows which looked out over the grounds while providing light and circulation. There was also a fireplace for warmth and a comfortable bed.

Patrick took care of Sarah on a daily basis, except when away, watching over her, feeding, bathing, and clothing her, while protecting her from self harm.

In the spring of 1775 Sarah died. The church considered her illness a "possession of the devil" and she was denied a religious funeral service and Christian burial. Patrick buried her 30 feet from their home and planted a lilac tree next to her grave. The tree still stands, just a few steps from her basement door.


Scotchtown Plantation courtesy APVA

Left with six children, Henry continued to help form a new nation. While serving as governor, he married Dorothea Dandridge in 1777. They had an additional eleven children.

With Samuel Adams and Thomas Paine, Henry was one of the most influential, radical advocates of republicanism. He was particularly outspoken denunciating the corruption of government officials and defending individual historic rights.

Tomorrow, Patrick Henry and his post-war years…


After the Revolution, Henry was a leader of the anti-federalists who opposed the replacement of the Articles of Confederation with the United States Constitution, fearing that it endangered many of the individual freedoms that had been achieved in the war.

April 26, 2011 07:25 - Tartan Day ~ Part XIX, Patrick Henry, Post Revolution

After the Revolution, Henry was a leader of the anti-federalists. He still believed in natural liberty and the freedom to be left alone.

When the Federal Government began discussing a Constitution to replace the Articles of Confederation, he was outspokenly opposed. His fear was that many of the individual freedoms gained by the War of Independence would be endangered.

In 1795, offered the post of Secretary of State, Henry declined as he was still opposed to the Federalist policies of George Washington. Yet, when he saw the radical nature evolving in the French Revolution, his views began to change as he saw how a similar fate could await America. By the late 1790’s, Henry was supporting Washington and John Adams and their Federalist policies.

Offered a post as American emissary to France, Henry said no, as his health was declining. At the age of 63, Patrick Henry died of stomach cancer on June 6, 1799. He was at his family plantation, Red Hill.


Red Hill Plantation courtesy Wikipedia

As well as his reputation as a firebrand, albeit one with a honey-tongue, his signature has lived on through the years, shining forth from the Articles of Confederation. His signature is one well recognized by many an American


Patrick Henry’s signature coutesy Wikipedia

Though a high-born backcountry gentleman with connections to the English border gentry, his power and energy went to speaking out for the common people, defending their individual rights.

His Scottish ancestry shone throughout his life, displaying to many what a Scotsman had to offer. In the same line, his descendants set aside part of Red Hill as a Christian residence for at risk teens

Tomorrow, the counties, schools, and military facilities named in his honor…

April 27, 2011 09:01 - Tartan Day ~ Part XX, Patrick Henry Memorials

With such an historic background and the multiple contributions he made toward the birth of our nation, you would expect a plethora of memorials, and there are.

The U.S. Navy has named three ships in his honor.

  • Civil War Confederate Steamboat CSS Patrick Henry
  • WWII Liberty ship, SS Patrick Henry
  • Ballistic submarine USS Patrick Henry SSBN-599

On the South Fork of the Holston River, where Kingsport, Tennessee, is now located, colonial Fort Patrick Henry was built during the American War of Independence. The Fort is gone, but a dam built on the river and the reservoir behind it are named Fort Patrick Henry.


Fort Patrick Henry Dam courtesy Wikipedia

Camp Patrick Henry was a World War II army base in Newport News, Virginia. A total of 1,412,107 military personnel passed through the camp during the war. The camp also served as a demobilization point for many soldiers returning home.


Camp Patrick Henry courtesy Wikipedia

After the war, the decommissioned base became Patrick Henry Airfield. Eventually it evolved in the Newport News/Williamsburg International Airport. All that remains of Camp Patrick Henry is a memorial plaque and the airport code which is still PHF for Patrick Henry Field.

Few people in early American history other than American Presidents have been honored on US postage stamps. Patrick Henry is on two stamps. In 1955, a $1 Liberty stamp was issued.


Patrick Henry 1955 $1 stamp courtesy Wikipedia

In 1961, the Postal Department issued a series of six stamps bearing famous quotes. Appropriately, the Patrick Henry stamp was first released in Richmond, Virginia.


Patrick Henry 1961 Credo stamp courtesy Wikipedia

Also named in his honor are two Virginia Colleges, the Christian residential facility on the grounds at Red Hill mentioned yesterday, a scholarship program at Hampden-Sydney College, and 8 Virginia high schools. No other person in the Commonwealth of Virginia has that number of schools bearing their name.

Counties in Virginia, Kentucky, Georgia, Ohio, Tennessee, Alabama, Illinois, and Missouri bear his name; as does Patrick Henry Village in Heidelberg, Germany.

Tomorrow, the Tartan Day series wraps up, with the history of Patrick Henry’s sister, Annie…


April 28, 2011 07:26 - Tartan Day ~ Part XXI, Patrick Henry’s Sister, Annie

One last reflection on the Henry family reveals a sister who stood resolute in her strength, while her husband fought Indians and commanded the fort at A’Sturgis Station, Kentucky.

Henry’s sister, Annie Christian wrote letters home full of woe and despair. The following is part of a letter to her sister-in-law, back in Virginia.

This Country has Sufferd much by the Indians this Summer,
I must give my oppinion to you of this place now, which is,
if we had trade & a Peace with the Indians we might live
very well, but at present it is the most expensive part of the world I ever lived in, everything being excessive, & little & no credit, however I hope for an alteration to take place some time hence, Your Brother seems to be much displeased with Kentucky generally & I fear to have to move again.

Annie Christian, A’Sturgis Station
December 15, 1785

Annie urged her "disgusted" husband to give Kentucky more time, but he was unmoved. She wrote, "So it Seems as if we were to wander stil farther, but I pray, to have grace not to murmur."

5 months later, Colonel William Christian was killed by Indians, leaving an estate encumbered by Á2,000 debt. Annie took on responsibility to supervise the 9000 acre estate. She stayed in Kentucky for two years, managing her land and her slaves. During this time she began calling A’Sturgis Station after her husband. The title Fort William stuck and is known as such today.

Becoming ill Annie traveled to the West Indies, hoping to recover. In 1788 or 1790 Annie headed home. She either died aboard ship or the day after arriving back in Norfolk.


William Christian Marker courtesy Wikipedia


Fort William Marker courtesy Wikipedia

This concludes the Tartan Day series about Scots who contributed to the greatness of America. There were so many more, but choices had to be made. And their histories aren’t going away. They’re only tucked away for another day.

Tomorrow, the May Highland Games and Festivals…


April 29, 2011 09:47 - May Highland Games & Events

May brings us many events, all inviting, all educational. There’s food, there’s fun, there’s kilts and pipes. So find one, grab your honey, and go!

  • April 26 to May 1, Donegal, Ireland ~ Pan Celtic Festival
    Including a Lace Seminar and Workshops.


    Dingle Peninsula, County Kerry courtesy Pan Celtic Festival


    Dancing courtesy Pan Celtic Festival


    Lace collars courtesy Pan Celtic Festival

    As I wasn’t able to copy the photos, the seminar and workshop has some lace thumbnails worth opening. Be sure to look at the gorgeously, lushly feminine gown of cambric and Kenmare lace and the Kenmare lace fan. Any bride would feel so feminine and pampered with a fan like this to carry…and flourish…and use for flirting.

    Athletic events include camogie, which is ladies hurling, and the annual Irish hurling vs. Scottish shinty game. Cultural events include competitions on the harp, fiddle, choral, poetry reading, and dancing. Plus street entetainment and Celtic language classes.

  • April 28 to May 1, Glen Innes, New South Wales, Australia ~ The Australian Celtic Festival
  • May 1, Greensboro, North Carolina ~ Triad Highland Games
  • May 6 to 8, Bridgeport/Clarksburg, West Virginia ~ Scottish Festival & Celtic Gathering
  • May 6 to 8, WaKeeney, Kansas ~ Th' Gatherin' Ancient Festival O' Beltane
  • May 7, Prescott, Arizona ~ Prescott Highland Games
  • May 7, Savannah, Georgia ~ Savannah Scottish Games
  • May 8, Inverclyde, Scotland ~ Gourock Highland Games
  • May 9 to 15, Yorke Peninsula, South Australia ~Kernewek Lowender Festival, kernewek lowender being Cornish for happiness
  • May 14, Carrollton, Kentucky ~ Kentucky Scottish Weekend
  • May 14, Farmington, Minnesota ~ Minnesota Scottish Fair and Highland Games
  • May 14, Winston-Salem, North Carolina ~ Bathabara Highland Games
  • May 20 to 22, Maryville, Tennessee ~ Smokey Mountain Highland Games, formerly Gatlinburg Scottish Festival & Games
  • May 21, Courtenay, British Columbia, Canada ~ Comox Valley Highland Games
  • May 21, Dumbarton, Scotland ~ Scottish Pipe Band Championships
  • May 21, Eugene, Oregon ~ Eugene Scottish Festival
  • May 21, Fair Hill, Maryland ~ Colonial Highland Gathering
  • May 21, Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan, Canada - Moose Jaw Highland Games
  • May 21, Springfield, Illinois ~ Springfield Area Highland Games
  • May 21 to 22, Albuquerque, New Mexico ~ Rio Grande Valley Celtic Festival and Highland Games
  • May 21 to 22, Mint Hill, North Carolina ~ Mint Hill Highland Games
  • May 21 to 22, Victoria, British Columbia, Canada ~ Victoria Highland Games
  • May 22, Fochabers, Morayshire, Scotland ~ Gordon Castle Highland Games
  • May 22, Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada ~ Regina Highland Games
  • May 26 to 29, Tobique Narrows, New Brunswick, Canada ~ Gathering of the Scots
  • May 28, Bathgate, Scotland ~ Bathgate and West Lothian Highland Games
  • May 28, Blackford, Scotland ~ Blackford Highland Games
  • May 28 Greenfield, New Hampshire ~ Southern New Hampshire Scottish Games & Celtic Festival
  • May 28, Lippo Karawaci, Jakarta, Indonesia ~ 32nd Jakarta Highland Gathering
  • May 28 to 29, Alma, Michigan ~ Alma Highland Festival
  • May 28 to 29, Atholl, Perthshire, Scotand ~ Atholl Gathering and Highland Games
  • May 28 to 29, Costa Mesa, California ~ Scots Fest 2011
  • May 29, Akron, Ohio ~ Brigadoon Beltane Festival
  • May 29, Kingston, Ontario, Canada ~ Kingston Celtfest

There may be other events I’ve overlooked. U.S. Scots and the Scottish Heritage Society has had a few months of outdated and erroneous information.

Keltic Nations information seems to still be current, but many games are missing.

The Clan Campbell Society of North America seems to have current North America information.


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