T h e S p o r r a... T he Clan Davidso

The Sporran
Arms Of The Chief
Clan Davidson
A«Ceann Cinnidh Cuimhne
recognizing DUNCAN HECTOR DAVIDSON (of New
Zealand) as Chief of the Name and Arms of Clan Davidson.
The letter states:
“The Lord Lyon suggests the designation “Davidston” as
this is the name of the farm on the Black Isle from which the
family originated. The then Lord Lyon in 1952 indicated that
this would be the correct and historic course to follow as
Davidston was associated with the family long before~Tulloch,
which was acquired through marriage and is of relatively
recent association. It would also avoid any possibility of
association with the Vickers of Tulloch line.”
Duncan’s full name title and description when the Letters
Patent are issued shall be: “Duncan Hector Davidson of
Davidston, Chief of the Name and Arms of Clan Davidson.”
The new Chief’s Arms, which accordingly dispense with
the Tulloch quarterings to become the undifferenced Arms of
Davidston, are described thus:
Argent, on a fess Azure between a dexter hand couped
accompanied by two pheons in chief and a pheon in base
Gules, a buck lodged Or. Above the Shield is placed a helmet
befitting his degree with a Mantling Azure doubled Argent
and on a Wreath of his liveries is set for Crest a stag’s head
erased Proper and in as Escrol over the same this Motto:
Duncan’s full name title and description when the Letters
Patent are issued shall be: “Duncan Hector Davidson of
Davidston, Chief of the Name and Arms of Clan Davidson.”
(The President’s Thoughts)
By Richard Halliley
By now, I’m sure that many Society members are aware
that the Chiefship of Clan Davidson has been filled. This news
reached our shores the day after the last issue of The Sporran
was put to bed at the printer, and there was no reasonable way
for the Sennachie to “stop the press”. For this, we apologize.
That’s the bad news; now, better late than never, here’s the
good news, Clan Davidson has a Chief!! And who better to
retell the details than Dr. Frank Davidson of Paddington,
NSW, Australia, who has spent so much effort and resource
to make this auspicious event happen!
Hail To The Chief !
The Lord Lyon King Of Arms Recognizes Duncan
Davidson Of Davidston, Chief Of The Name And Arms Of
Clan Davidson by Dr. Frank Davidson, President, Clan
Davidson Society of Australia & New Zealand
After 79 years, Clan Davidson has rejoined the ranks of
the clans whose Chiefs are recognized at the Court of the Lord
Lyon in Edinburgh. Throughout the world, members of our
clan can rejoice that our Chiefship’s dormancy is ended.
A letter from Lyon Clerk Mrs. C.G.W. Roads dated 13th
June announced the Lord Lyon’s warrant for Letters Patent
Recognition of the next proven Davidson Chief should be to
confer on him the designation “... of Davidston”.
“A Tale Of Three Duncans”
Our last Chief, Duncan Davidson 6th of Tulloch, who
claimed to be the 25th Chief of the ancient Davidsons of
Invernahavon descended from Donald Dubh and the Comyn
Lords of Badenoch, died without issue on 11th November
1917 in Scotland.
Fifteen months earlier, on 14th June 1916, our new Chief
Duncan, now entitled Davidson of Davidston, was born in
New Zealand; to this small extent the lives of these two
Duncans overlapped. But they had something else in common.
Both descended from another Duncan, 4th of Tulloch - the
spectacular head of the Clan from 1827 to 1882, father of
eighteen children by his five wives, grandfather of Duncan
6th of Tulloch - and great grandfather of Duncan of Davidston,
our newly recognized Chief.
Davidston And The Davidsons
The title DAVIDSTON in fact precedes that of Tulloch.
The Davidsons, of Davidston, a farm on the Black Isle near
Dingwall in Cromarty, are noted in Lyon Court records back
into the 15th century . Ian Davidson (Membership Secretary
of the Clan Davidson Association UK) tells of his visit to
Davidston in 1992:
“I found that it consisted of a farmhouse with outbuildings
and a terrace of derelict cottages. From 1730 onwards, however,
the parish register mentions a range of tradesmen living
there, including weavers, blacksmiths, wrights and a mason.
So it was once more than a farm.”
It is pleasing for Antipodeans to think that their Chief’s
title reflects not only something of the Clan’s past in Scotland,
but that the designation is from a small settlement typical of
the kind once to be found throughout the Australian and New
Zealand bush, where each station settlement supported not
only the family of the owner but the community of workers
and tradesman needed for its successful functioning.
Duncan has nominated his cousin Alister Guthrie
Davidson to succeed him. With Alister’s two sons, Grant and
Jeffrey, the succession looks secure for many years to come.
May our new Chief and his heirs embody the world-wide
identity of the Clan for all of us; with our help may they guard
well its history, and heritage; may they be the instrument to
A New Chief; An Old Title
Scottish baronial titles derive from the name of lands held
from the Crown. In the same way that lands in the New World
lent their names to significant families, prominent Scottish
families became identified by their territorial titles. The
Davidson Lairds of Tulloch held that title until 1917 but with
the death of Duncan 6th the title passed to the female line and
was then said to be held by the Vickers of Tulloch, who held
other titles also.
In 1952, the then Lord Lyon indicated that, since Tulloch
had passed to the Vickers, the “correct and historic course” for
focus its several Societies and Associations on the task of
building and maintaining good works, friendship and
international goodwill.
Thanks once again Ken for being our American representative
for the Clan.
I continue on with the list of Christmas thank-you’s: to
those brave-hearted souls, who without their efforts and hard
work, Clan Davidson Society might truly not exist! Thanks be
to our Sennachie for really making this “Sporran” work, and
for his new role as Membership Registrar... thanks be to Jack
Mobley for taking on the duties of Quartermaster (Dave’s got
a real good title for ya!)... thanks be to Mike Davidson for
being a hardworking VP and pioneer at Loch Norman...
thanks be to Matt Dawson for standing up to the surprise
“bureaucracy” over Pipers in the West... thanks be to all the
Regional Directors who have worked hard this year attending
games and being instrumental in taking the Society over the
four-hundred membership mark!... and finally... thanks be to
God who put it in the hearts and minds of wise men and
women to help create this wonderful organization of ours to
begin with!
See you in the next issue, and may the quiet peace of the
Holiday Season be yours today and always.
I’d like to echo Frank’s wishes for the continued good
will, friendship and good works among the Global Davidson
organizations! Resounding thanks goes out to all the officers
and members of the Clan Davidson Association in the UK,
and the Clan Davidson Society in Australia and New Zealand
for their unwavering determination over the last, who knows
how many years, and for their ultimate success in bringing
about a Chief for Clan Davidson. It is final! You have won the
long struggle with Lord Lyon. Just when it appeared all was
lost, all was over and Duncan prevailed. I am sure that I speak
for the entire North American Clan Davidson Society, in
that... we owe much gratitude for what you have finally
accomplished, and look forward to a long lasting union with
our new Chief and with our sister Associations around the
Best Wishes Aye!
Now, for the more mundane.... I hope the holiday season
has been one of joy for all Davidson families across the nation.
Now that we’re heading into the new year, it’s time to recap
other events that have happened in late 1996.
First, I want to pause and give a great big, huge, enormous,
gargantuan thanks to Eleanor Davis. Over the last twelve
years, Eleanor has served as our clan treasurer, secretary, and
in various other duties in the “early years”, not to mention
supporting her husband, our past president, now President
Emeritus Andrew Davidson, during his tenure. I pondered
on this the past year, knowing that October 19th would be
Eleanor’s last day. I thought... who will keep me on the
straight path?... how will I handle this situation, and that
problem? We’ll, she hasn’t dropped out of sight, and she’ll
still be just a phone call away to help guide me through an
issue here or there. Nonetheless Eleanor, I thank you from the
bottom of my heart for all you have done, and for so many clan
Next person to receive blessings out of my sack of kudos
is Elaine Davidson. Elaine not only remains as our secretary,
but now takes over for Eleanor and handles the treasury
duties as well. Please join me in supporting Elaine in her dual
role for our clan (better keep your dues up to date, because
she’ll come get ya!). Thanks much Elaine!
Kenneth Davidson from Tiffin Ohio is next. Ken made the
trip to Scotland for the big “Inch of Perth”, six-hundred year
commemoration, plus all the Davidson festivities in September
and became our “Ambassador” so to speak. Ken sent me a
wonderful package of goodies, including the souvenir
program, menu from the Tulloch Castle Hotel the day of the
gathering, various newspaper clippings and so forth. Look
for more interesting info elsewhere in this issue of the Sporran.
Richard Halliley
New Officer for the Society by Richard Halliley
For those of you who would like individual (or regional
directors who may need stock quantities) Clan “T”-Shirts,
license tags, Clan books, name tags etc... Jack Mobley has
agreed to handle the duties of serving your needs with these
items. Jack has been a “whiz” at creating all sorts of neat stuff
for our clan (He’s got a better shot at getting this stuff to you
quicker too). Please call or write Jack with your requests,
whether for individual need or for stocking up for the games.
Also, Jack has produced a newly redesigned Clan
Davidson T-shirt that sells for $10.00. The shirt is made from
100% quality cotton, and features a much larger, centered
Clan Crest as compared to the old style. (Please allow an
additional $2.00 shipping/handling on the shirts) License
plates are still $ 10.00, books $ 8.00 and name tags $ 5.00. Jack
can be reached at (704) 5370107, or write to him at 2718
Springway Dr., Charlotte, NC 28205. (Please allow Jack
additional time for processing shipments for director stock).
I do have a limited stock of the old style shirts which will
be discontinued after supply is exhausted. These are reduced
at $7.00 each (allow $2.00 shipping/handling). They are only
available in adult medium, large, and X-large. For these,
please contact Richard Halliley.
Am Fear Fardach
Ramblings From The Sennachie
by Dave Chagnon
There is a newly created Executive Committee Officer,
the keeper-tracker of stuff & things, otherwise known as the
Am Fear Fardach, or Fardach, for short. According to Frank
Adams, author of “Clans, Septs, & Regiments of the Scottish
Highlands” (first published 1908 and long considered by
many as THE Bible of Scottish Highland traditions) the function
of the Fardach was to act as a Chief’s Quartermaster, providing
lodgings for the Chief’s retinue when traveling (hence, the
“Master of Quarters”). This term has come to mean one who
keeps track of stuff, and it is in this sense the the term is being
used by the Society Executive Committee.
“HOLY SMOKES” says MacBatman to Robin-son, “where
do I begin?”
Just a year ago, I was nagging on y’all about sending in
some material. My words were obviously heeded. This 28
page effort is proof of the puddin’! Thank you so much....BUT,
don’t slack off, or I’ll have to start nagging again!
I’d like to add my twa pence worth of congratulations to
our new Chief, Duncan Hector Davidson of Davidston. It’s
been far too long that our great Clan has been without a chief,
and I am delighted to see this situation corrected.
Newsletter Conventions
Before we get into the meat of “The Ramblings”, let me
point out a few conventions I use in laying out the newsletter.
Based on the principle that we all like to see our name in print
(except on “Wanted” signs in the Post Office....), I always like
to give authorship attribution to the various letters and articles
you find in this publication.
Since I can’t keep from muddying up the waters with my
own notes, asides, feeble attempts at humor, and general
acerbic comments, I italicize them so they can be readily
distinguished from the more rational verbiage of the
contributors. Anything you see in italics (or not...) which is
not attributed to a specific author is probably my nonsense
recently dribbled off the end of my keyboard!
Jack Mobley - Am Fear Fardach
Changes In Davidson Society (USA) Officers
During the Society’s Annual General Meeting (AGM)
held in October in conjunction with the Stone Mountain
Highland Games, Mrs. Eleanor Davis, wife of President
Emeritus Andrew Davis and longtime Society Treasurer and
Membership Registrar, announced that she was electing to
step down from her duties. Eleanor has been keeping track of
the Society’s money and membership for some 12 years, and
I know her efforts will be missed!
Eleanor was presented a gold Celtic Harp pin as a modest
“Thank You” for her many years of service to the Society.
Herewith follows a message from Eleanor:
Dear Clan Davidson Members, A big, big thanks to
each of you for the honor you give to me and the lovely gold
pin. Serving as your Treasurer was my pleasure and I’m
going to continue helping the Clan whenever and wherever
I can as we continue to grow.
Thank you all, and God bless.
Eleanor E. Davis
Former Recording Secretary, Elaine Davidson was elected
to the position of Treasurer, while the Membership Registrar
function will be handled by that bumbling fool otherwise
known as your Sennachie.
It will be the job of the Fardach to keep track of those items
of memorabilia that the Society decides it wishes to offer for
sale, either as a service to members, or as a fund-raising
activity. Clan Davidson Books, Davidson T-shirts and license
plates are examples of these. Jack Mobley, Charlotte NC was
elected to fill this position. Jack will be the person to contact
for Society salable items when you plan to man a Society tent
at a Scottish Games or Gathering, and to whom your leftovers
will be returned (no, NOT your dinner leftovers, fool....).
Letters to the Regional Directors will be going out shortly
about this.
Along the same vein, we have had a number of requests
for sources of Davidson memorabilia, ornamental items,
jewelry, and what have you. For the most part, things like
Davidson Clan Crests for cap badges, kilt pins, key chains
necklaces and other items made from metal (sterling silver or
silver plated for the most part) can be found at any number of
reputable vendors of Scottish items here in the USA...also at
a few disreputable vendors, no names to be mentioned! The
prices for these items vary quite widely from one source to
another, so shop around for the best buy. Other kinds of items,
more modest than sterling silver jewelry, like stationary,
mugs/glassware, clothing apparel and the like are quite hard
to find.
As a service to our members, and, frankly, as a fund raiser
for the Society, our enthusiastic Fardach is contemplating the
establishment of a Davidson mail order service. The Fardach,
assisted by my creative spouse Evil Evelyn, plan on putting
together a modest catalog of Davidson related items which
will be sent out for your perusal. If anyone has a burning
desire for a particular item you’ve been unable to find and just
have got to have, please let these erstwhile Society stalwarts
know so they can consider including it in their planned
catalog. The catalog will probably be sent out with the July
edition of “The Sporran”.
Ah, yes, a brief note on the conventions I use in identifying
people in their letters of inquiry in this newsletter. You will
note that a letter from a Society Member will have the member’s
name and home town and state listed, but not the street
address or phone numbers. If you want to communicate with
any of these members, check your Membership Roster....that’s
why we publish it! That’s also another good reason to make
sure we have your correct and current address, phone numbers,
fax numbers and e-mail addresses! It’s important for you to
keep the Society informed when you change addresses. This
cuts down on wasted postage (hey, that’s your money!!), time,
and effort, and helps us keep you informed about what’s
happening with your Clan Society. It also helps us get your
membership renewal to you in a timely fashion so that you
don’t fall by the wayside as your global Davidson family goes
marching off into the twenty first century without you!
Actually, I heartily encourage everyone to consider multiple
year renewals. This really reduces the overhead and keeps me
from nagging you on this subject! I promise you that my wee
computing machine & I will keep very good track of “whos’
been naughty or whos’ been nice” so your prepaid dues won’t
fall through the cracks!
Soooooo, let’s take just a minute when we change our
“hoose amang th’ heather” and let ye olde Sennachie know
about it, please!
Membership Renewals & Address Changes
Since I’ve taken on the Membership Registrar duties, I’d
like to remind everyone that, while I don’t take myself too
seriously, I do take my job of keeping track of members and
putting out this newsletter and making sure it gets to you
VERY seriously. You will notice that the format of the
Membership Renewal Notice has changed. This is a part of the
upgrade to the Membership Register which has already been
implemented. I have entered ALL Society membership
information (going back to 1982) that I could lay my grubby
paws on into a single database. This makes Membership
Search Service now possible. More on this, below. By the
way, since we are in a state of transition it’s entirely possible
that you may be (or already have been!) inappropriately
dunned for membership dues. If this happens, don’t get
angry and take it personally, just ignore it, or drop me a quick
line, e-mail, fax, or call and let me know what corrections you
think need to be made.
Society Gift Memberships
Aaaannnnnddddd, while I’m gassing off about
membership dues and renewals, let me put another thought
into your wee Davidson minds: Society Membership Gifts!
What better way to put into practice THE big reason the
Davidson Society exists.... to encourage the knowledge and
preservation of our mutual Davidson and Scots heritage, and
to pass this on to our children. Take another look at the
verbiage on the bottom of your Membership Certificate that
starts “We are a people to whom the past is forever speaking....”.
These words are more than a quaintly sentimental bit of
poetry, they are a statement of fact and express the Society’s
commitment to the last words of this statement, “We will
remember and set an example for those who will follow.”
Back in November, Sherry Davidson DePalma, Cooleemee
NC, thought enough of this concept to give each of her four
daughters (Cynthia, Susan, Maria & Christina) a Davidson
Society membership as a Christmas gift! What a caring
gesture... Please, think about following Sherry’s example of
remembrance and set your own example for those who will
Every year at the Society’s AGM the issues of dues and
grace period are raised. This year was no exception. First the
good news: by dint of great miserliness and much donated
time and money, the Society’s dues will remain at $15 per
year. This is where they have been for 15 years, a tribute to the
quality of the Society’s past Executives. Now for the bad
news. The grace period for keeping your Society membership
dues current will be, effectively, 6 months. Members who fail
to keep their dues current will be kept on the mailing list for
one additional issue of the newsletter, after which I will send
out a “FINAL” notice. If dues are not paid after this “FINAL”
notice and before the next newsletter issue is due out, the
member in arrears will be removed from the mailing list and
placed in “Inactive” status. Our newsletter has gotten quite
substantial and the costs of paper, printing and postage have
skyrocketed, so we can no longer afford the luxury of a year
or two’s worth of non-dues-paying members. Please, send off
your renewal check to Elaine Davidson just as soon as you
receive your first notice in the mail. By the way, when you do
this, make sure you ask Elaine about her North Carolina hill
country “frog on a flat rock” theory of human origin.... it
blows both Darwin and Scientific Creationism out of the
Additional Membership Services Now Available
Newsletter Index & Reprints: In order to more accurately
reflect the evolution of “The Sporran”, I have added an Index
and page numbers. I, for one, have gotten very tired of
thumbing through back issues looking for a specific reference,
and have often wished we had some sort of readily found
index. In this vein, I’ve created a “Master Index” by issue #,
subject matter and specific item for all issues of “The Sporran”,
going right back to Vol. 1, No. 1 in January, 1982. What’s that
Annual General Meeting
you say: “You big dummy, why didn’t you do this sooner?!?”.
Hey, I don’t know....if I had any sense, I wouldn’t be doing this
at all.... so hush up!
I really hate to do this, but I am asking for a donation to
the Society’s treasury of $5.00 for a copy of the Master Index
(prints out on 17 pages) and $2.00 for each back issue you
request. Just send your requests (with check made out to Clan
Davidson Society USA) to me and your copies shall be shortly
forthcoming. The back issues may not be exactly formatted
like the original ones (e.g. legal sized for earliest editions, or
printed both sides for later issues) since I’ll be genning these
out on a laser printer, but the content will be exactly the same.
Hey, whatta you want for 2 bucks?
Membership Roster: I’ll continue to send out a current
copy of the Active Membership List with the January issue of
“The Sporran”. If, for whatever reason, you’d like a “right to
the minute, latest and greatest” copy of this list, I’d be happy
to send one out to you for the same $5.00 donation to the
Society deal. Mailing labels are a possibility (depending on
what you may want them for....) for a slightly higher fee
arrangement. Just let me know.
Membership Search Service: As mentioned above, all
known current and past Society membership information
(name, address, years of membership, etc.) is now stored in a
common database, making searches for members or
production of comprehensive membership lists now a working
reality. I’d be happy to do a “look up” in this database for any
“Active” member as a freebie. Just drop me a line, fax, or email. Since there is considerable repetition of certain names
(there are 44 “William’s” out of nearly 900 records, for example)
you need to give me as much info about the subject of your
query as you can (i.e. middle names, last known address,
spouse’s name, etc.). And, puhleeese, avoid nick-names! For
only $5.00 (cheap!) I’ll be happy to send you a current “Inactive”
member list, which, fortunately, is still smaller than the
“Active” list!
By all means, if anyone can think of any other similar
services you’d like to see implemented, please to let me know.
The Society’s AGM was held in conjunction with the Stone
Mtn. HG, October 19,1996. Minutes of the AGM, as recorded by
Secretary Elaine Davidson.
The annual meeting of members of Clan Davidson Society
was held on Saturday, October 19, 1996 at 2:00 p.m. at the
Stone Mountain Highland Games, Stone Mountain, Georgia.
The following officers of the Society were present:
Richard D. Halliley
Michael Davidson
Jim Deas
Jane Halliley
Elaine Davidson
Eleanor Davis
1st Vice President
2nd Vice President
Dan Owens
Dave Chagnon
Officers absent from the meeting: Ann Peck, Historian.
The meeting was called to order by the President who
acknowledged the attendance of the officers and directors
present. Jim Deas was called upon to give the invocation.
A copy of the Minutes of the 1995 meeting were passed
out to the members present. A motion was made, seconded
and carried that the Minutes of the 1995 meeting be accepted.
The President then called upon Eleanor Davis to give the
Treasurer’s Report. A copy of the Treasurer’s report was
given to each member present and a motion was made,
seconded and carried that the report be accepted.
Membership status reports were given by Michael
Davidson and Dave Chagnon.
Michael Davidson reported that 95 new membership
units were gained since the previous annual meeting.
Dave Chagnon reported that postage expenses for the upcoming year to mail the newsletter, roster, etc., will be
approximately $1600.00 plus. Dave also reported that he
plans to publish in the upcoming issue of the Sporran an index
offering reprints of all old Sporrans for any member who
wishes copies at a nominal cost per reprint.
ScotVision Catalog
As a general rule, you won’t see a whole lot of commercial
endorsements in this publication..... BUT, here’s the exception.
I received a 40 page catalog from ScotVision in late November.
I was most impressed with the very wide selection of video
and audio tapes/CD’s they were carrying, everything from
reprints of the BBC series “The Castles of Scotland” through
Harry Lauder chuckling his way wi’ a wee doch ‘n doris on a
Saturday nicht in Glasgow! You can acquire your very own
freebie copy by calling (800) 729-8671. Be forewarned..... I can
see several hundred dollar bills disappearing from your
sporran after you look at this catalog!!
By the way, this is an unpaid notice and a personally
untried commercial source, sooooooo, caveat emptor!
New Business:
The President brought before the meeting a letter received
from Clan Chattan. Clan Chattan would like for Clan Davidson
to invite the new Clan Chief of Clan Davidson (Duncan
Davidson) to their 1997 annual meeting. After a brief
discussion, a motion was made, seconded and carried to take
the matter under advisement until the President has more
details regarding the matter.
The President also made mention that Regional Director,
Caroline Davidson-Koch attended the commemoration of the
Battle of the North Inch of Perth in Scotland this past summer.
The President also noted the following Regional Directors
and their efforts for the past year: Lonnie Sibley in Biloxi,
Mississippi, Larry Davidson in Wichita, Kansas, Linda Thomas
in Chicago, Illinois, William Deason and Matt Dawson.
William Deason, Regional Director of Region 10 gave his
report on games attended and the excellent efforts of Clan
Member, Trent Bradford in athletic competition on behalf of
Clan Davidson.
Bob Davidson, Regional Director of Region 18 was present
and gave a brief report of activities in his area and a request
that more highland games sponsor children’s games and
Michael Davidson, Regional Director of Region 8 gave his
report on games attended in North and South Carolina and
informed members present of the recent demise of Mrs. Gage
Davidson, wife of Chalmers Davidson (Past President of
Davidson College) who passed away in 1995.
Davidson Tartan
Our search for a reputable weaver for cotton-based
Davidson tartan has turned into a quest similar to that of the
Arthurian knight’s pursuit of the Holy Grail or Juan Ponce de
Leon’s search for the Fountain of Youth! Mills in this country
which can weave true tartan are far and few, and the smallest
minimum yardage we have located (Dan River, Danville VA)
is 3,000 yards, some 8 to 10 times more than we were looking
The best (and most reputable...) deal we have come across
so far is from a mill in Scotland through a well-known
Edinburgh kilt builder. We’re guessing the USA sale price
(per yard) to be in the $20 to $30 range, plus shipping from
Arkansas. This compares with $60 to $80 (plus shipping and/
or import duties) for wool tartan.
We anticipate having samples of the weave (NOT the
Davidson sett) available for potential buyers in January or
February. As soon as this sample becomes available, we will
contact those of you who have already indicated an interest in
cotton Davidson tartan. If you have not done so already, and
are interested, please let either Dave or Evil Ev Chagnon
know, soonest.
Open Discussion:
William Deason made mention of the recent increase in
clan membership by stating that the election of officers should
be provided to each member by way of printing a ballot in the
newsletter. The President has had concerns regarding this
matter also and will look into the formation of a committee to
investigate the possibility of getting ballots to all members for
voting purposes. A motion was made, seconded and carried
to investigate the matter.
Evelyn Chagnon gave a report on obtaining cotton tartan
fabric and has negotiated a minor deal with sweatshirts and
golf shirts showing the Davidson tartan with embroidered
red rampant lions and the name Davidson on each shirt.
There will be more information on this in the next issue of the
The President then stated that it was time for the election
of new officers for the 1996-97 year.
Frances Brown, Chairperson of the nominating committee
submitted the following list of nominees to serve as Officers
and Directors for Clan Davidson Society for the next year and
upon Motion duly made, seconded and carried, the following
are the officers and their offices for 1996-97.
The Basics of Tartan by Evelyn Chagnon
Gentlemen - The Tartan!
Here’s to it!
The fighting sheen of it,
The yellow, the green of it,
The white, the blue of it,
The swing, the hue of it,
The dark, the red of it,
Every thread of it!
The fair have sighed for it,
The brave have died for it,
Foemen sought for it,
Honour the name of it,
Drink to the fame of it —
The Tartan! Murdoch Maclean
Nominee Office
Richard Halliley
Michael Davidson
Grant Baker
Elaine Davidson
Jane Halliley
Ann Peck
Dan Owen
Jack Mobley
Dave Chagnon
1st Vice President
2nd Vice President
Corresponding Secretary
Am Fear Fardach
Sennachie & Membership
Directors at Large: Andrew Davis, William Brown, Jim
Davidson, Gerard Davidson, Betty Stayner
There being no further business to come before the
meeting, the meeting was adjourned.
Respectfully Submitted, Elaine Davidson
Tartan - a two syllable word, comprised of only four
different letters, but simple? Nae...the complex emotions,
passions, genetic memory and pride of heritage this wee
word evokes is worthy of volumes, not a humble article in an
already bulging newsletter!
I sincerely doubt that any other scrap of fabric in the
history of modern man has more angst, anger, pride,
proscription, heritage or hot headed controversy attached to
it. How does one begin???? Fair Southern housewives (many
with a rich, Scottish heritage) have a recipe for chicken ‘n
dumplings that begins: “first you steal a chicken...” Those of
us who regard tartan as something more than a pretty, plaid
fabric have a similar directive.... First you need some
tartan....but, please, pay for it with cash, check or credit card
(in lieu of the “steal” directive) in these politically correct
organization (Tartan Talk by Philip D. Smith as found in Two
“Shades” of Tartan: Tartan as Seen from Both Sides of the Atlantic)
This subject will be further explored in a future article, Tartan:
Myth and Mystery.
According to R.W. Munro in Highland Clans and Tartans ,
the standard definition of tartan, or breacan as the Gaelic has
it, is ‘a kind of woolen cloth woven in stripes of various colors
crossing at right angles so as to form a regular pattern’. Size
or scale of pattern is unimportant - what matters is the
proportion of the different colors, or sett (see below), that is
the relative width of the stripes or lines which go to make up
the whole.
Sett - a specific configuration of tartan; a proportional
ratio used by weavers in order to produce a specific tartan.
The sett can be quite narrow (Buchanan, with three inches,
bare) or wide (Sutherland is the widest, with thirteen and
three-quarter inches) A sett can be simple (Menzies, the
simplest, with two colors and fifteen divisions) or complicated
(Ogilvy, the most complicated, with seven colors and eighty
one divisions)
Sett is a technical term, unique to tartan weavers. The
word is not found in most dictionaries.
For us nontechnical, common folk, it
is safe to refer to a tartan necktie as
being made with a small sett, a 16 oz.
worsted kilt as having a large sett.
The size of the sett with the same
tartan is determined by the thread
diameter in the warp and weft...thicker
thread or yarn will yield a larger sett.
The sett of a tartan refers to the order
and proportion of colors, rather than
the number of ends per inch. Usually,
the same order is used for both warp
and weft. The numbers are not
necessarily the actual numbers of
yarns used but show the lowest
number possible to retain the
The scale of the pattern is adapted to the size of the end
use. For large textiles, such as kilts, use multiples of the
numbers to achieve a large-scale repeat; for small pieces, such
as ties, use the smallest possible sett or even a miniaturized
sett made by decreasing the largest color groups. Each color
order shows a half-repeat. The full repeat is made by mirrorimaging the half-repeat at the pivot point, the number in bold
at each end of the sequence. The pivot point number is not
doubled. For instance, 4 black, 2 yellow, 8 black, 16 red would
repeat 4 black, 2 yellow, 8 black, 16 red, 8 black, 2 yellow, 4
black, 2 yellow, 8 black, etc.
Weight - term used to describe the relative thickness of
the fabric, usually stated as “9 oz worsted”, or “7oz Saxony”.
The weight is based on 1 square yard of the material. As a
practical consideration, I have found anything heavier than 9
or 10 oz wool to be much too warm for the Southern half of the
USA, even during the winter, and for much of the northern
USA during the summer. Woolen Tartan of any kind tends to
be oppressive in the Southern summer unless you plan to be
inside with a well functioning air conditioner!
times! In order to do this wisely, one must have a rudimentary
grasp of some basic guidelines or definitions, if you wish. At
the risk of over-simplification, I shall try to provide you with
a few of the most important ones.
Tartan - The generally accepted (and necessarily technical)
description of tartan today is ‘cloth woven with colored yarns,
in a sequence of bands, stripes, and lines which form a pattern
that “repeats” regularly throughout the length and breadth of
the cloth’. The points in the pattern where the sequence of
colors begins to reverse are called the pivots: blue: green: red:
black: red: green: blue. Before 1750, there were many more
patterns which were ‘asymmetrical’ or ‘non-repeating’. In
these, the sequence of colors came to an end and then merely
started again with the first color of the original sequence, with
no pivots: blue: green: red: black/ blue: green: red: black/
blue: green, etc. Tartan patterns are as clever as they are
simple. They give the effect of many more colors than have
actually been used because, wherever two pure colors cross
(for example, blue and red) a ‘half-tone’ is produced (for
example, red/blue). Using two pure yarns gives the effect of
three tones, but nine pure yarns give
the effect of 45 tones. No wonder that
the Gaelic word for tartan is breacan
which means ‘speckled’ or
‘multicolored’. (The Gaels also called
the trout breac, because of its speckled
coloration.) A more familiar word to
describe an effect with more than one
color is brock from the old Celto-British
word for the badger, with its blackand-white striped face.
So, in common parlance, tartan is
a cloth with a (generally) regular
pattern of colored stripes, although
some may perceive the patterns in
terms of square islands of colors. But
where does a check end and a tartan
begin? Technically, they are one and
the same. In practical terms, however, a check might be
described as a simple pattern with squares formed by no more
than three colors, and with no lines or stripes crossing the
squares to produce ‘overchecks’. (see The Clans of Scotland by
Micheil MacDonald)
It is difficult to define the tartan pattern. It is a check
pattern, embellished with a regular arrangement of lines and
stripes in contrasting colors; but there is more to it than that.
The colors must be chosen so that they neither clash with
others nor swamp them, so that where two colors cross, a
good blended shade results; and the yarn for weaving must be
fine and smooth, so as to delineate a sharp “picture.” (see
Tartan: A Fireside Chat, by James Scarlett, as found in Two
“Shades” of Tartan: Tartan as Seen from Both Sides of the Atlantic)
In truth, the origin of tartan is unknown. It is a relatively
simple multicolored fabric art form, usually a series of different
colored stripes, woven at right angles to one another to form
the appearance of colored squares. What makes tartan
distinctive from similar cloth woven throughout the world is
that it has an association with a family name, a place, or an
Plaid - (acc. to The Living Webster Encyclopedic Dictionary
of the English Language) [Gael, plaide <peallaid, a sheepskin, <
peall, a skin or hide.] A large rectangular outer garment or
wrap, frequently of tartan, worn by Highlanders and others in
Scotland; a fabric woven in a tartan pattern; such a crossbarred pattern. Spelled plaide in Gaelic, it is pronounced with
an ‘a’ as in badger.
Ezra Pound once said, “England and America are two
countries separated by a language.” The American common
or vernacular usage of this one syllable word, plaid, is certainly
a case in point. The American fashion industry has convinced
us that any fabric with stripes both vertically and horizontally
is a plaid. Many humble scholars of the “Scottish Connection
Ilk” cringe when we hear our fellow countrymen use the
word plaid used in relation to a tartan kilt. I fear I may be a bit
too strident (I have been accused of being a self proclaimed
“Grammar Czar” or”Miss Manners of the Written and Spoken
Word”...Give me a wee break! I’ve been living with your
‘umble scribe for more than 30 years; we all know what a TB
[ie. technical bas....d] he can be! Get him going on Scotchman
vs. Scottish. Scotch is whiskey...we are Scottish. In my
observations, some of us ARE, at times Scotchmen ie. men full
of whiskey)
When speaking of things Scottish, try to limit your use of
this word to the blanket like garment worn over the shoulder.
The word “Plaid” should be limited to Parochial school girls’
uniforms (some are true tartan and some are mongrel “plaids”)
and generic clothing found at a K-Mart blue light special.
Twill - the weave used for tartan, in which the threads
cross first over two, then under two producing the effect of a
diagonal rib on the web. (Highland Clans and Tartans )
Saxony -( acc. to Living Webster ) A fine wool orig. from
Saxony, Germany; the soft, compactly woven cloth made of
this or similar wool; a fine-textured woolen yarn. In my
experience, I find that tartan yardage classified as Saxony has
a softer, lightly napped finish, similar to a fine grade of wool
flannel. It is often a wee bit less expensive than worsted
Worsted - acc. to Living Webster [From Worsted, now
Worstead, town in Norfolk, England] Firmly twisted yarn or
thread spun from combed long0staple wool, used for weaving,
knitting, crocheting and the like any kind of cloth woven of
such yarn...author’s note: In practical usage of today’s
manufactured tartan, I find that the yardgoods classified as
“worsted” (as opposed to “Saxony”) has a crisper, harder
hand or finish. It holds a press well and tends to resist lint and
Selvage/selvedge (acc. to Living Webster) [self and edge;
lit. ‘an edge formed of the stuff itself’ self edge; self end] A
woven border on a fabric, made of the threads of the fabric,
and designed to prevent fraying. In application to tartan, I
have found that much of the fabric woven or loomed in the
USA has an undyed or off color selvedge. Depending on your
plans for said fabric, this can be a critical factor. If you are
building a kilt, self dyed selvedge is a must, for a kilt, in order
to have proper “swing” of the pleats, must not have a sewn in
hem. The selvedge edge becomes the “hem” or bottom edge
of the kilt. ( more about this in a future article, Using
Tartan...or...Now That You Bought It, Whatcha Gonna DO
With It???) On the other hand, for ladies fashions, blazers,
skirts, vests etc. or household goods such as table linens,
pillows, throws, draperies, this is no critical issue, for the
white or off color selvedge will be cut away.
A delightful Scots proverb holds that if you put two Scots
in a room for a discussion, you’ll soon have three viewpoints.
We might paraphrase this to read, “Bring up the subject of
Tartan, and any of the recognized experts and specialists on
both sides of the Atlantic will quickly give you more viewpoints
than you have bargained for.” (publisher’s forward: Two
“Shades” of Tartan)
We will explore the tartan controversy in a future article...if
you wish to see a topic related to tartan, its applied usage,
proprieties of Scottish dress, etc. please let me know.
If you have any questions, would like further information,
or you have found this article to be a dreadful waste of
precious space, let me know that, too. You can contact me at
the same address as for the Sennachie, by phone at (501) 8511174, by fax at (501) 851-3444 or by email to
[email protected]
Needles, AYE!!
Upcoming Events
The following games are listed for your convenience in
making plans for early 1997. Games with an asterisk are likely
to have a Clan Davidson sponsored tent. Check with the
Regional Director in your area. We ask you to come out and
support their efforts. Please join us as we begin a new year
filled with fun and excitement at these various Scottish
highland events.
There are literally hundreds of Scottish Gatherings of one
form or fashion throughout the year, at locations throughout
the world (including a Scottish Country Dance Gala in
Novosibersk, Siberia!). This list is not meant to be
comprehensive, by any means. Your Sennachie, by dint of
extreme good fortune, stumbled across an Internet Web Site
maintained by Clan MacLachlan and endorsed by COSCA
which has absolutely THE most comprehensive list of worldwide Scottish activities I have seen anywhere, period.
There are 86 events listed in July, alone! If you have
Internet access you can reach this list at “http://
www.shirenet.com/MacLachlan/games.html”. If you do not
have Internet access, and would like to know what events are
going on at a particular place, or at a particular time, contact
me and I’ll be happy to look the information up for you.
Orlando Scottish HG
Sarasota HG
*Jacksonville HG
Queen Mary Scottish Fest
*Arizona Scottish HG
SE Florida Scot Fest
*Scot Fest & Kirking
*Culloden HG/Festival
*Loch Norman HG
Orlando, FL
Jan. 18
Sarasota, FL
Jan. 25
Jacksonville,FL Feb. 15
Long Beach, CAFeb. 15,16
Mesa, AZ
Feb. 23
Ft. Ldrdle FL Mar. 1
Pnma City, FL Mar. 8-9
Culloden, GA Apr. 11-13
Hntrsvle ,NC Apr. 18-20
Modern Day Davidson Explorer
This letter from Society member Earl Davison of Waukesha, WI, starts out: “I don’t know if you have room in one of the upcoming
issues, but”..... IS HE KIDDING?!?!? I’d make room for this story if I had to trash that drivel up under the “Ramblings From The
Sennachie” header!
Dear Sennachie,
October 8, 1996
I don’t know if you have room in one of the upcoming issues, but
if you do some of the clan might be interested in what my wife
Marion and I did between Mar 15th and Sept 6th of this year.
Nearly 50 years ago I started hearing about the Appalachian
Trail while I was a teenager and still at home in New Jersey. A friend
of the family was section hiking the trail (doing a few miles at a time)
whenever he could find the time. As I got near retirement age, I
started to really consider a thru-hike and so, when I retired in June
of 1995, it was time to get to it. From June ’95 until we left home on
March 15th, 1996 Marion and I spent a lot of time hiking and working
out at a couple of gyms to be sure we were in the best shape possible
to attempt such an endeavor. Marion did not intend to hike the entire
trip but wanted to be able to hike a good portion which she did and
estimates that she hiked 500 miles
I hiked the entire 2,159 miles of the trail from Springer Mt. at
Amicolola Falls State Park, Georgia to Mt. Katahdin in Baxter State
Park, Maine. The trail crosses parts of 14 states, national and state
parks’ and forests.
Altogether the hike covered 172 days with 14 days off spread out
over the entire time. Six of the 14 days we spent attending a Davison
family reunion in New Jersey with 83 relatives in attendance.
Statistics also include 47 rain and 3 snow days. I encountered
temperatures as low as 5 above in the Smoky Mts. and 95 in central
Virginia. Marion hiked the last 115 miles with me through the Maine
wilderness and together we climbed Mt Katahdin on Sept 6th.
I am enclosing two photos, one of Marion and me on the summit
of Mt.Katahdin, and the other of me wearing the Davidson kilt
which I carried up the mountain in a small day pack. The kilt was not
worn on the hike but traveled along in the family car which Marion
drove. I was able to get resupplied every few days when she would
meet me where the trail crossed a road that we both felt was drivable
with a regular auto. I’m not sure whether a kilt has ever been to the
summit before but I’d bet it was the first Davidson kilt up there!
Yours, aye
Earl & Marion Davison
*Indian Sprngs Scot Fest
Jackson, GA
Apr. 26-27
*Scottish Festival & HG
Pensacola, FL May 3
*Houston HG/Festival
Houston, TX
May 10
*Savannah Scottish Games Savannah, GA May 10
*Gatlinburg Scottish Fest
Gatlinburg, TN May 15-18
*United Scottish H G
Costa Mesa, CA May 25-26
*Glasgow HG
Lucas, KY
*Grandfather Mountain HG Linville NC
July 10 - 13
Letters From The Membership
Here’s a wee travelogue from Society Member, Miriam
Meadows., Greenup, KY
Bobbe and Jim Stapleton & Homer and Miriam Meadows,
recently had the privilege of taking a tour of Scotland ( the first
Alex Beaton tour). We are mentioning a few of the highlights
of our trip and enclosing a picture of Tulloch Castle (for the
most part, a residence of the Davidsons) which is now a hotel
at Dingwall.
We landed at the Glasgow airport and spent several days
seeing the points of interest in around Glasgow, including a
side trip to Ayr and the Burns cottage. Leaving Glasgow
behind we started traveling north to the highlands. We stopped
off for a boat tour of Loch Lomond and continued to Glencoe,
the Glenfinnan monument, Eilean Donan castle and the Isle of
Skye, Loch Ness, Culloden moor and battlefield, Scone Palace,
St. Andrews and winding up about ten days later in Edinburgh
where we spent several days sight-seeing and taking in the
Tulloch Castle
While in Inverness, we attended the Clan Grant Highland
Games and managed to fall into one of those inexplicable
coincidences that seem to occur every so often. While at the
Grant Games, a woman noticed Gayle’s Davidson shirt. She
asked Gayle if we were Davidsons, since she was a Davidson
by birth. As it turned out, she, a Davidson, and her husband,
a Grant, were the exact opposite of Gayle, a Grant by birth,
and me, a Davidson by birth! We spent time with these very
friendly natives, talking about all sorts of things. What a treat!
We also spent a lot of time walking about in Inverness,
even managing to trip through a wedding, pipers playing and
Leaving Inverness, we journeyed on to Tulloch Castle,
better known to us as Davidson Castle. We thought the castle
would be closed, in which case we would stroll around the
grounds. Not so! As we pulled into the grounds, we were
greeted by a gentleman who turned out to be the castle’s
owner, and the new one at that. Seems he had just occupied
this fine old estate during the past month, and had turned it
into a hotel with 9 bedrooms and a restaurant. He was very
knowledgeable about the castle, and filled us in on much
Davidson lore as he gave us a tour. This was definitely the
highlight of our trip!
We ended our journey at the bustling city of Glasgow,
loaded with memories, and scheming on how we could
return to this beautiful land of our ancestors!
On about day six we stayed at Tulloch Castle near Dingwall
which was begun in the twelfth century. It has been added to
and remodeled several times. In a room off the main hall there
was a fire in the fireplace (in August) and in the stone there
was a huge carving of the Davidson stag-head. This was an
unexpected plus for us. (Miriam and Bobbe are sisters, and
our mother’s maiden name was Davidson. All four are
members of Clan Davidson Society.)
Looking forward to seeing folks at Stone Mountain.
The next article, a real “True Confession”, emanates from Trent
Bradford, an otherwise seemingly intelligent and sane member-ingood-standing of the Society residing in Birmingham, Alabama.
Dear Sennachie,
Yours, Miriam Meadows
I have been a member of Clan Davidson Society (USA) for
a year and a half (about as long as I have known of my Scottish
heritage) and I love representing our clan on any occasion.
One area that I had not previously participated in, or seen
other clan members participate in, was Scottish Athletics. As
of the Culloden (Georgia) Highland Games 1996 that has
I decided, with much coaxing, to enter the Clan Challenge.
Being a musician studying the bagpipes, I am not prone to
much athletic competition, but found that nothing gets the
testosterone pumping like throwing the hammer, turning the
caber or throwing the mighty 56 lb. weight for distance. I have
truly become addicted to athletics.
During the Clan Challenge I threw the 16 lb. hammer 64'
4"; tossed the sheaf a height of 17'; threw the 28 lb. weight 32'
7” and shot-put the “stone of strength” 27' 9". Although I
failed to turn the 135 lb. caber during the competition, I have
since turned a 90 lb caber for two perfect 12:00 scores and
tossed the sheaf over 21’. By the end of the Clan Challenge I
was thoroughly exhausted but very happy with my
performance. I came in 7th out of a field of 15 and 2nd out of
the 5 clansmen that had never previously competed (not.bad
for a skinny band director).
The athletes were all very receptive, helping us beginners
with our technique, to prevent us from seriously damaging
anything vital. I have been to Macon, Ga. to receive coaching
And another travelogue from new members Rod & Gayle
Davidson., Shoemakersville PA
Gayle and I took our “trip of a lifetime” to Scotland, this
past August. We left our home in Shoemakersville, PA via
limo en route to JFK airport for our long flight across “the
pond”. After pogosticking through London’s Heathrow, we
arrived at Edinburgh and picked up our rented car. It was
somewhat unnerving, after being in transit for some 18 hours,
to find the steering wheel on the right side of the car, while
having to drive on the “wrong” side of the road!
Our first big activity was attending the Edinburgh Military
Tattoo, held on the Edinburgh Castle Esplanade. What a
show! My cousin Ann and her husband Ray came up from
their residence in Liverpool for a 2 day family reunion and a
great time.
Following several days of knocking about Edinburgh, we
ventured forth to the wilds of Invernesshire and the beautiful
town of Inverness. Our trip took us through the magnificent
Highlands, solid granite monoliths that rise straight up into
and moral support from the Athletic Director for the Culloden
Games, the infamous Kay Cummings and also participated in
a Scottish Athletics demo at the Atlanta Celtic Festival. It has
been thrilling!
To those who inspired me to take up the bagpipes, I
haven’t decided to give up the pipes but rather to continue
studying as well as training and proudly representing our
clan in future competitions.
Yours Aye, Trent Bradford
Scottish and American identities that most intrigued me
during my work on their surviving Civil War correspondence.
As a result, I plan to continue to investigate the contribution
of foreign and foreign-born soldiers during the Civil War,
possibly making an in-depth study of the 79th New York
Infantry or the Union Light Infantry, or examining the role of
Scots and Scottish-Americans on both sides during the conflict.
I am writing to discover whether or not you or other
members of the Clan Davidson Society can assist me in my
ongoing quest for material on Scots and Scottish-Americans
who fought either for the North or South- during the Civil
War. I am primarily interested in finding letters, diaries and/
or reminiscences authored by Scots who served during the
war, but am also looking for any relevant secondary sources
that may assist me with my research.
Thank you in advance for your assistance. I look forward
to hearing from you.
P.S. If anyone in the clan is interested in athletics, please
contact me.
Just for information, Trent, your now gray-bearded Sennachie
competed as an amateur Scottish Athlete for 8 years, was Athletic
Director or judge for a dozen different games, and was the source for
the athletic equipment still being used by the Alabama Games in
Montgomery. It’s great to see the Davidson colors back on the Games
field once again! Keep up the good efforts.
Sincerely, Terry A. Johnston, Jr.
802-10 Creekside Drive
Clemson, South Carolina 29631
(864) 654-6228
e-mail [email protected]
The following letter was originally addressed to Dr. Lonnie
Sibley, Society Region 10 (Louisiana) Director. Lonnie forwarded it
to me for inclusion in “The Sporran”.
Dear Dr. Sibley,
I have spoken with Terry on the
phone and he sounds like a most
impressive and sincere young man. He
has promised to share whatever
information about Davidsons he might
come by, so if you can help him out,
please do so!
I received your name and
address from Ms. Ruby Campbell,
genealogist for the Clan Campbell
Society. Ms. Campbell believed
you might be able to assist me
with my current research.
I have just received my
Master’s in history from Clemson
University ( May 1996). For my
thesis, I edited the Civil War letters
of two brothers (Campbells) who
fought on opposite sides during
the war. Both men were born in
Scotland in the 1830s and
immigrated to the U.S. in the early
1850s. Whereas one brother settled
in New York City and found work
as a stonecutter, the other brother
established himself in Charleston (South Carolina, Schnie.),
where he worked as both a drayman and clerk.
By the outbreak of the Civil War, both brothers had
become staunch supporters of their adopted state’s position
on the preservation of the Union, state’s rights and slavery. In
April 1861, the brothers enlisted to fight for their states:
Whereas the ‘northern’ brother enlisted in the 79th New York
Infantry Regiment, the ‘southern’ brother served in the Union
Light Infantry, a militia company based in his hometown of
Interestingly, both the 79th New York Infantry Regiment
and the Union Light Infantry were “ethnic” units, composed
predominantly of Scots and Scottish-Americans.
It is the brothers’ strong identification with both their
This letter is from Member
Suzanne Lamb, Lebanon TN. I had the
honor of meeting Suzanne and her
husband Richard at Stone Mountain
in October. Her infectious enthusiasm
and sense of discovery of her
“Scottishness” makes her a lot of fun to
be around! Richard sort of lovingly
tolerates her, somewhat like a beagle
Dear Sennachie,
Just received the July issue of “The Sporran’’ and I am
thrilled !!! Thanks so much for including the railroad magazine
article on my Great Grandfather Samuel Davidson!! Thanks
so much for including the genealogical inquiry for me also. I
certainly enjoyed speaking with you a few weeks ago.
The Glasgow Games were a “first” for me, but it definitely
won’t be the last! I had myself a ball. What an overwhelming
sense of “family” and “pride” I felt seeing all the Clan tents,
with Tartans flying and hearing the bagpipes. I still don’t have
a good understanding of Scottish History and traditions yet,
but I felt right “at home”. It may take a long while for me to
grasp an understanding of the Celtic activities
I would love to go to the Grandfather Mountain Games
but don’t know if I’ll make it. I definitely plan to be at Stone
This letter was sent in by Member Doug Ikelman. Doug is obviously a technical picker of nits, and a man after my own heart!
I have all too frequently been referred to as a technical b—ard (i.e. illegitimate offspring) of the worst sort, and it does my tired old
eyes good to see I am not alone in the world!
Dear Sennachie,
The insert showing Scottish jewelry in The Sporran for July 1996 deserves some comment with regard to the
“Davidson Clan Crest (sans motto)”.
The stags head, as shown here, is used in many arms, including those of Colquhoun, Forbes, and Fraser. Without a
motto, it is just a stags head encircled with a belt. For one of our Davidson kin to wear this as a Davidson crest badge would
be incorrect. Further, the belt is buckled. This would show that the wearer is the owner of the crest. Only a chief would
wear a crest badge with the belt buckled, as he or she is the owner of that particular crest badge.
I enjoyed the articles in The Sporran. You are doing an excellent job.
Sincerely, Douglas C. Ikelman
Rhode Island 4
136 Peachtree Memorial Dr.
Atlanta, GA 30309-1037
Well, well, well.....a controversy brewing right here in our very own family newsletter!
Doug’s assertions are part right and part wrong (maybe). He correctly points out that the stag’s head in profile is included in
the Clan Crest of other Scottish clans. I think he is incorrect, however, in his statements concerning the encircling buckled belt as
being an indicator of personal ownership of the right to wear the insignia within the belt.
This very subject is given 7 pages of space in a great little book entitled “So You’re Going To Wear The Kilt”, by J. Charles
Thompson (© 1978 by author). JC (as he kindly allowed me to call him after we became acquainted back in ‘75) actually quotes another
earlier article on the subject of The Clansman’s Crest Badge which originally appeared in “Forebearers”, and is © The Augustan
Society, Inc., 1973.
To boil this 7 pages of well documented discussion down to a bite sized piece, the encircling belt (IF it includes the Clan motto)
is proof positive that the wearer is ascribing loyalty to the person who owns the crest, i.e., the Clan Chief (or other owner, as the case
might be). Only the owner of the insignia can wear the insignia without the encircling buckled belt. The illustration taken from JC’s
book (with permission), below, explains this.
Crest and crest badges. a) The crest of a man who has his own
arms appears with the motto on a circlet or other plain form of
ribbon. The wreath is part of the crest. b) A clansman wears the crest
of his chief encircled by a buckle and strap bearing the chief’s motto.
The buckle and strap is the sign that he does not claim the crest as
his own. This converts the crest into a badge. In earlier badges, c), the
buckle and strap took the exact form of the insignia of the Order of
the Garter. Later ones, b), change the way the end of the strap is
tucked in. d) The crest of the MacNeil of Barra. The three feathers are
the sign of his rank as chief of a clan.
I first cast eyes on JC, by the way, in the Atlanta Airport in 1975. I was
in town for my very first Stone Mtn Games, and was not yet in possession
of my Davidson tartan kilt which was still under construction by Geoffrey
Tailor of Edinburgh. JC, properly kilted, bibbed & tuckered certainly
turned a lot of heads that day as he proudly strode through the Friday
afternoon airport crowd. I met JC later on that weekend, and have forever
after been grateful for the great advice he gave me vis a vis Scottish dress
and customs. I heartily recommend JC’s book as a “must have” for every
Society member.
I was actually aware of all this when I dubbed Sam Smith’s art work
as a “Davidson Clan Crest (sans motto)” which sparked off this affair. I
innocently assumed that I (sans good sense) could run this past the eyes of
our readers with no harm done. My apologies to one and all, and a tip of the
Sennachie’s bonnet (it’s not a hat, mind you....) to Doug Ikelman for
keeping your Sennachie honest!
Mountain GA this Fall.
I bought a Woolen Davidson Tartan Sash at one of the
booths and a Clan crest pin. The merchant told me that there
were two Davidson Tartans the Ancient one (that was more
pale in coloring) and the modern (he said recognized) version.
Being a rookie, I bought the modern version. It was about
$50.00 and I figured it might be a good start for me
I have an interest in obtaining a small amount of the
cotton fabric in the Davidson colors that you mentioned in
our Newsletter. This type of material would certainly be more
practical for me. If there is a good response from the
membership on this, please let us know how and when to
Thanks so much for your time and attention to all of my
requests. I have only been a member of the Clan Davidson
Society for a year now and already I feel like “family”.
THANKS!! Suzanne Lamb
we missed that.
It’s rather amazing the number of Scots (and other Celts))
that one can find in New Mexico. Even some people from
Scotland have settled here and it is a treat to hear their accents
among the “Texans” hereabouts. The Shriners in Albuquerque
have a pipe band, but they did not compete. We have a 1 5year old lad in Los Alamos who is a Nationally-ranked piper.
That’s about all for now. I’ll send more at a later date.
Aye, Don
This letter is from Member Edward M. (Mike) Skaggs, Aurora
CO. Mike is looking for some info about his grandfather, and maybe
being somebody’s pen pal. Mike sends me his letter via e-mail, bless
his little electronic soul.....
Dear Sennachie,
This letter is the second-in-a-row published in our newsletter
from new members Donald and Lorel Davidson of Los Alamos, NM.
Don will be be profiled in the July, ‘97 Sporran. Other members,
please take note of this industrious clansman, and send me your
cards and letters, too!
Dear Dave,
June 27, 1996
October 25, 1996
My name is Edward M. (Mike) Skaggs, and I am starting
my 2nd year of belonging to Clan Davidson Society. I claim
that privilege through my maternal grandfather, Jesse
Davidson (b. Brownsville, TX about 1885-90, d. Oklahoma
about 1940-45). I’d be delighted if anyone reading this had
any more information about Jessie.
I believe I spoke with you on the telephone last year. I
work for the Department of Defense. I received my July
Sporran and was very excited to read it. My wife, Annie, and
I are planning to attend the Long’s Peak Festival this September.
I would be happy to let you know what I think of it, if you like.
By the way, I think you mentioned something about Davidson
license plates, and their availability. I would be interested in
two of them. Would you be so kind as to spell “Sennachie”
phonetically, so I can pronounce it correctly? I would
appreciate it. I would be interested in possibly purchasing
some”shirt weight” Davidson Tartan, so please let me know
if that is possible.
I wonder if you could pass along to the Clan Genealogist
about Grandfather Jesse to see if any more information may
be available, because I have nothing else. Since we are really
rookies, you may publish my E-Mail address
([email protected]) in a future Sporran in case someone
would like to contact me, and, even though I wouldn’t be able
to give much information, I would love to talk with other clan
In reply to your request for information, I’d like to
comment on the Celtic Festival and Highland Games held in
Albuquerque and share some other information. Also, I want
to thank you for publishing my letter in the July, ‘96 edition of
The Sporran. It was a most pleasant surprise.
Your readers might be interested in something that I
learned recently at the Family Search Center at our local
Latter Day Saints Church, if you have not already touched on
this in a previous issue. A very helpful lady there told me
about the naming traditions in old Scottish families, as follows::
1st Son Named after Father’s Father
2nd Son Named after Mother’s Father
3rd Son Named after Father
4th Son (& beyond) Named after Uncles (Father’s &
Mother’s Brothers)
1st Daughter Named after Mother’s Mother
2nd Daughter Named after Father’’s Mother
3rd Daughter Named after Mother
4th Daughter (& beyond) Named after Aunts (Father’s &
Mother’s Sisters)
Mike Skaggs
OK, Mike, here’s the answers to your questions. You can
acquire the Clan Davidson license plate from our newly elected
Fardach, Jack Mobley at 2718 Springway Drive, Charlotte, NC
28205. They cost $10 each. By the way, make sure you ask Jack where
he got his experience in making license plates.... Sennachie is
pronounced “shonn-a-kee”, and means storyteller, rather a more
lyrical term than “Newsletter Editor”, or “Putter Outer of the
Newsletter”, don’t you think?
The 9th Annual Rio Grande Valley Celtic Festival and
Highland Games were held on May 25th. Several clan
organizations had information booths and the various
activities ran from 0800-1930 hours, many concurrently. We
arrived in the early afternoon (from 100 miles away) but did
got to see me pipe band competitions and sit in on a Gaelic
language workshop We saw a number of people whom we
had met at the Burn’s Night dinner in Santa Fe. They even had
a “bonniest knees” contest, judged by blindfolded fair lassies.
There were no standards, just what “felt right.” Unfortunately,
Genealogical Inquiries
This inquiry comes from non-member Joe Nelson of Alberta,
say you have a fine newsletter, much improved since last I
was a member of the Society.I have already included the
Membership Certificate among the growing pages of the
history of my branch of the Clan.
Speaking of history...I noted in the letter from Mike
Davidson of California,his grandfather, three greats back,
was “born in Virginia” in 1812. I am suffering from the same
“born in Virginia” with my grandfather, three greats
back,Andrew J. (Jackson ? ) Davidson, born “in Virginia” 15
July 1825. He next appears in Knox County Ohio, Married
Clarinda Barnes, and moved to Fremont County, Iowa in
1856. From there he and his family moved to Madrid Iowa
where he died in 1900.
My question ? Has anybody done a history of all the
Davidson’s that were “born in Virginia” ? There must have
been hundreds and no one seems to know where. For that
matter, what was the migration route that all these Davidson’s
followed to get to Virginia. I have done a considerable
amount of research in Virginia, I live in Newport News, and
so far have drawn a blank. Have I overlooked something ? .
If any of the readers of our fine publication can throw
some light on any of my questions I would surely apprecate
it. Contact me”E Mail” at [email protected] or at
[email protected] Of course there is still the overland route, Richard C Davidson, 935 Willbrook Rd., Newport
News, Virginia 23602.
It’s good to be back
7320 156 Street,
Edmonton, Alberta
TSR 1X3 Canada
Dear Sennachie,
23 October 1996
Your name was given to me by Heather Davidson of the
Clan Davidson newsletter (Canada) as someone who might
be able to help me either track down other descendants of an
ancestor ELIAS DAVIDSON of Kentucky or tell me if you
know of some book containing research already done on his
line. It was thought that there was an older book also available
on microfilm (for purchase from someone in USA). Do you
know of any such source(s)?
The person is below. I know nothing of his ancestry (this
I also seek! ).
Descendants of ELIAS DAVIDSON
B: 19 Mar 1778
M: 23 May 1804 to SARAH BALL DAVIDSON @
D: — Sep 1869^2;3
1 Child
(2: OR 19 FEB 1843)
B: — — 1784 @ LINCOLN CO.;KENTUCKY Parents
Thomas Ball (b. Virginia) & Mary Reed.
1 Child
B: 11 Sep 1805 @ WASH.CO.; KENT.
D: 07 Dec 1867
I first became acquainted with the author of the next letter,
Cheryl Ann Parker, through a “chat room” maintained on a World
Wide Web site. I have been out casting the Society ‘s net over the
Internet, and the Society is reaping the benefits of this effort. Let’s
all put our thinking bonnets on and see if we can come with some help
for Cheryl Ann.
Any assistance you or any Society member can provide
would be deeply appreciated.
Joseph Schieser Nelson
This letter, an e-mail from Richard C. Davidson, Newport
News VA, brought a smile to the cockles of your old Sennachie’s
granite encrusted heart! Dick is a “prodigal son” of the Davidson
Society, last being a member some ten years ago in the Society’s
“salad days”.
Dear Sennachie,
Dear Sennachie,
Dec. 8, 1996
November 20, 1996
I am the grand daughter of a Davidson. Family members have traced our tree back to my great-great grandfather.
I would like to go back further to Scotland but have hit a snag.
The only information I have is his name David
Davidson , that he was born circa 1801 in Ireland,
married Harriet Hughes (born circa 1816 in Wales) unknown
Thank you for your kind letter of “Welcome Back”. I must
July 7, 1996
Dear Sennachie,
I am a member of the Clan Davidson
Society and would appreciate it if you would
place the following inquiry in the next issue:
Would appreciate any information
regarding this branch of the Davidson
family. Very little is known of Alexander
Davidson and his wife Elizabeth Ball except
that he came from Scotland or Ireland. Thank
you for your time.
Sincerely, Judy Davidson Jones
Member John T. Davidson of Marion IL
has some questions about his Davidson kin,
which are best summarized with the
accompanying chart.
Dear Sennachie
August 1, 1996
I am trying to find my roots in Scotland
to Canada and thence to northern USA. I
am trying to fill in some of the blanks on the
attached chart.
I do know that I am related to the
Davidson’s of the motorcycle HarleyDavidson, at least according to my father.
Any help from any Davidson reading
this would be greatly appreciated.
John T. Davidson
as to year of marriage or immigration to Canada. Children
were James born 1842 in Canada and John, Ellen, Mary,
David, and Phoebe. David (Jr.), ggrandson ( of David born in
Ireland), last known Wyoming 1928.
I am very proud of my heritage and am very happy to
hear that we have a Chief after so many years. Any information to assist me in my quest will be greatly appreciated. Many
Thanks, Cheryl Ann
Hither, Thither & Yon
The following item was submitted by Society Treasurer Elaine
Cheryl Ann Parker
7 Glen Arden Cresc.,
Belleville, Ontario
e-mail [email protected]
At the June 11, 1996 Annual Meeting of the Catawba
Valley Scottish Society, Davidson Society (USA) VeePee Mike
Davidson was elected to the Board of Directors. The Catawba
Valley Scottish Society organizes the Loch Norman Highland
Games in April and the Rural Hill Sheep Dog Trials in
The next article is about Society Member Raymond G. Davis.
It is reprinted from “The Atlanta Journal - Constitution” 7/11/96,
and was submitted by Eleanor Davis
Veterans group renamed to honor Korean War hero
By Josh Newcom, Staff Writer
It was the winter of 1950 on the frozen waters of the now
infamous Chosen Reservoir in North Korea, where U.S.
Marines were being killed by the hundreds. The battalion of
Marines, trapped and exposed on the ice, most likely would
have been wiped out by Communist Chinese forces if Lt. Col.
Raymond G. Davis had not intervened. His Marines
overwhelmed Chinese troops to save the battered and trapped
Fox Company after three other rescue missions had failed. In
the process, Davis’ battalion reopened the critical Toktong
Pass. For this Davis was given the Medal of Honor by President
Harry S. Truman and was promoted to general.
Saturday night late (the tropical storm that swept the South
and the East Coast). Saturday was a good day. We again
enjoyed meeting the folks in that area and were especially
pleased to meet one young man who apparently had been
wanting for some time to make connection with Clan Davidson
Society. Most of the people to whom we gave the application
form were to mail them in with their dues payment; however,
this young man did not want to do that. He apparently felt like
if he gave it to us then he was at that moment a member of the
Clan and would not have to wait for the mails.
You will probably see Michael Anthony Davidson at the
Stone Mountain Games. We gave him all sorts of information,
including kilt makers, subscription info for The Highlander,
etc. as well as the Stone Mountain games which he hoped to
attend. He especially wants to have a Davidson tartan coat
made for his dad to replace one he had years ago and lost. If
no one else had come by, the whole experience would have
been worth the trip and the effort, just because of his
enthusiasm and obvious joy. This has happened before and is
one of the reasons we enjoy serving at the Davidson tent.
We have already said that the rains came Saturday night
and continued through Sunday. We are fortunate that the
Clan Tent row is under a large covered arena but the humidity
and blowing rain dampened everything. When it became
evident that people were not coming out in such weather, we
packed up and left at noon. There was only one Clan Tent
operating by then.
We hope you and the others have a good annual meeting
there in Atlanta and a most enjoyable time. Please convey our
greetings to all.
The recognition for his actions continues today. Davis, a
resident of Stockbridge, was honored recently by having the
North Georgia Chapter of the Korean War Veterans
Association renamed after him. The organization is now the
General Raymond G. Davis Chapter, sanctioned by the national
Korean War Veterans Association, in which Davis is active.
“This is seldom done unless posthumously,” said Bob Bates,
assistant secretary for the association. “The vote was
unanimous.” Among other accomplishments, Davis received
the Navy Cross during World War II and, more recently, led
the committee that created the Korean War Memorial unveiled
in Washington last year.
Lonnie and Eleanor Sibley
Report From Region 15, Oklahoma, Ray Davis
General Davis is a great American, and it’s certainly an honor
to have him as a member of our Clan Davidson Society family!
Dear Sennachie,
Report From Region 10, Louisiana, by Lonnie & Eleanor
Dear Sennachie,
Sept. 15, 1996
October 14, 1996
It has been a very rewarding year to date. Here in
Oklahoma I have been busy making things for my rep booth,
(targ, sheath, banner, etc. ). I was fortunate enough to have
friends bring Davidson tartan back from a visit to Scotland.
After making my banner, there was a piece (16x58) left over to
make a small flag.
Let us tell you a little about the Games we have attended
in recent months, majoring on those at Biloxi.
We went to the Games in Jackson, Mississippi and there
saw William (Deason, Reg Dir. 10, Alabama, Snchie) at his
Davidson tent (it couldn’t have been much hotter!). We later
attended the Games in Estes Park Colorado, and were surprised
by the enormous crowds and the lines for buying tickets and
then lines for entering the gates. Parking was a much bigger
problem than at Grandfather Mountain. Naturally on entering
the gate, we went directly to the Clan Tent area, looking for
our Davidson tent but there was none; however, as we moved
around the tents, we happened to stop at the Gunn tent and
to our surprise found Davidson listed as a sept. When we
asked for information concerning Davidson as a sept, they
had no knowledge, though they were very gracious.
Finally, our trip to Biloxi was fine until the rains came
In June, I was able to visit Jerry and Betty Edmiston as
they worked the Arlington, Texas Games. I only stayed one
day but enjoyed the experience. The public response was
worth the effort we put forth.
Well, I guess it’s time to get busy preparing for the
Oklahoma games in Tulsa this weekend.
Ray Davis
Report From Region 16, Utah, Matt & Angela Dawson
Dear Sennachie,
June 30, 1996
competitor unless he joined and that if he joined he would
have to start from scratch as a rookie! Of course we were all
mad because it applied to all of us, but Monte’s 27 years
compared to my 8, humbled me. The worst part is, if we had
been informed of the changes, or better yet, asked if we agreed
and WANTED to Join, it would not have been a big deal, after
all, twenty bucks a year is no big deal to do what we enjoy. But
only 20% of the pipers, drummers, and drum mayors from the
Mississippi to the west coast were even informed!!!!! What a
shock to spend three days pressing, tailoring, polishing, and
practicing only to be told on the day of competition that you
were nothing!!
Here’s the part you’ll enjoy. A formal complaint was
lodged but denied at Salt Lake. So we took it to Payson
Highland Games. From the beginning of the day all opposed
to the WUSPBA and protectors in support, wore war paint in
various creative patterns. There were so many blue faces
around that day that one would have thought everyone was
starved for oxygen! When any of the
“Painted People” were asked why they
wore the war paint, they were told and
suddenly there were that many more who
had gone to the booth to get “painted.” At
the end of the day, a tired and somewhat
frightened WUSPBA official came to the
Davidson Clan tent to seek out Monte
and myself to inform us that she and the
State WUSPBA representative ( which
we had no idea existed) along with the
Utah Scottish Association Presidency
would represent our issues at the AGM
in Reno, Nevada ( which we hadn’t a clue
there was), and find a mutually benefiting
solution. This was agreed to in the
presence of 253 blue-faced witnesses!!
We won the first battle, and like in past
history, the Davidsons were a major part
of the fight. We stood up for our right as Scotsmen and women
to participate unhindered in our beloved heritage, and to
practice the things that give our hearts lift and refuge from
today’s modern pressures. Even though it may have been
insignificant in the way of the world turning, I believe our
ancestors would have been proud. We were gentile, rational,
and informed, we made no personal attacks, and brought no
embarrassment to the Clan, ourselves, or our various bands.
I hope you are proud of us too.
Wow! Emotional piece eh? I hope it wasn’t too boring, but
that’s how the day went on 7/13/96. We did sign one new
member and her husband, as previously mentioned, which
was really good, and of course spent the day in the company
of our fellow Davidsons.
Now, to relay the story from the Salt Lake Highland
Games, which is a story that shows the relationships within
the Clan.
On Saturday, June 8th, the 23rd annual Salt Lake Highland
Games and Clan Gathering was held. We were very prepared,
and excited to go. A week prior to the games, I got a call from
Jenny Bozeman. She called to say hello and see how we were
doing. She’s a terrific lady, and she couldn’t have picked a
Hello Cousin! I realize it has been a long time since last I
wrote, but as we discussed then, between your schedule and
mine, and the energy we put into a day, we could power a
small third world country if it was contained!
My apologies for the long delay. The Mountain - West
Davidson region is going well. In fact, the Payson Highland
Games were just this weekend, and though we only got one
new member, it went well. Angela has made a BEAUTIFUL
backdrop with the Clan crest and the sept names on it, and we
have recently obtained a poster with 13th century weaponry
on it that was a big hit.
One unusual thing happened though, and it is one of two
stories that I write to relate: As you and all the rest of my dear
readers know, the war paint depicted in BRAVEHEART was
a factual occurrence, one that our
ancestors practiced when going into
battle, primarily the Picts and Celts, which
is where the tradition originated-”The
Painted People.”
Well, to begin, there were two main
organizations for piping and drumming,
and two for drum majors. The former, the
WUSPBA ( Western United States Pipe
Band Association), and RSPBA (Royal
Scottish Pipe Band Association) of which
the RSPBA included drum majors. The
organization primarily for drum majors
was NASDMAn (North American
Scottish Drum Majors’ Association - the
“n” was added for effect so it read “nasty
man,” and if you know many drum
majors, you understand why). I have been
a Drum Major now for the A’ceorah Dubh
Pipe Band for the past eight years, and my instructor and
“second father,” Monte Morgan has been in circuit as a
competitor and judge for the past 27 years in the U.S. and
In the past 11 months, all organizations other than the
WUSPBA have been secretly dissolved, and all authority west
of the Mississippi and from British Columbia to the Rio
Grande has been usurped. We found this out at the major
games here in Utah, the Salt Lake Highland Games at our Fort
Douglas, when a number of perspective competitors were
told they could only compete if they joined the WUSPBA for
a 20.00 dollar fee, and then pay their additional 15.00 field
entry fee! Further, they were told if they didn’t join they
would become defunct as competitors, and not allowed to
perform publicly! Not only did this rob us of our chance to
perform, but to even do the thing we LOVE and celebrate our
It began with the drum majors, but also effected the
pipers and drummers. 60% of all competitors were not allowed
to compete, or grudgingly paid their fees. Monte was told - by
a man who has competed TWICE and both times been judged
by Monte - that he was no longer recognizable as a judge or
better husband, even though he is a Cameron! Anyway, she
asked me what the date of the Salt Lake Games is, and I tell
her, “ A week from today.” She tells me that she and Mike are
going to come and can I recommend a hotel! You can’t
imagine the excitement that Ang and I felt, we were in such a
good mood that I almost forgot that Jenny was still on the
phone. I recommended that they stay at the University Park
Hotel, on the campus of the University of Utah where Ang
and I go to school. They got reservations, and the Friday
before, we went to meet them. Here’s where it gets funny. Do
you know the Shakespeare play A Comedy of Errors? Well,
eat your heart out Billy!
Mike and Jenny had said that they would probably be in
around 5:00 p.m. that evening. So, being the Director, we of
course showed up an hour early with a bottle of actually quite
nice scotch in hand to leave in their room as a surprise, along
with a map and a dinner invitation for the next night. A little
background about the previous week is again required. As
you may well know, we have two children, Paisley who is 3,
and lan who is 2 - both going on 20. They both got a bout of the
flu at the beginning of the week. But this was no ordinary
week, it was FINALS week! Ang is trying to get into the
Masters’ of Psychology program and I am trying to get into
Medical School, so it wasn’t a light test week. To top it off, she
is working as a probation officer, and I am working on an
ambulance, both of which require a little more attention than
your average bean counter when you’re on the job. I relate this
because it just so happened, that being survivors of the week
from hell, we paid dearly in the amount of brain cells that
were lost.
So we found ourselves “sneaking” up to the front desk
and asking for admittance into their room to leave our little
care package, when we were told that they had already
checked in, and had been so for an hour! Well, that shot the
surprise down, but we could still go and greet them, so up we
went to the elevators. The doors opened and out stepped a
tired looking couple, and they, having vacated, we ourselves
entered. Pressing the button to the third floor, the doors
closed and up we went. It was then that my wife looked over
and said, “They really looked familiar.” Oh well, and we went
and knocked on the door. No answer. Knocked again. Looking
at each other and realizing what had happened, we ran back
to the elevator, only to end up one floor lower than we wanted
to. We ran up the stairs trying to catch them, but they had left
to go to dinner. We were able to get the key and leave their gift,
but upon getting there, we couldn’t decide whether or not to
take the scotch from the box, or leave it wrapped. This
decision took nearly 15 minutes. Even though they were
extended family and friends, the idea of being in someone
else’s room finally got to us and we left.
Jenny did call us later to say thank you and make plans for
the next day, and we laughed for quite some time at the day’s
folly. The next day’s games were 100 times as enjoyable with
them there. We went to dinner that night and we introduced
them to our local breweries’ fine wares, and had a wonderful
time. A long time friend and clan member, Doug Burke joined
us. We can’t begin to tell you how much they mean to us, like
all of you, and how sorely we will miss them until next year,
since due to school and finances we will be unable to attend
Estes Park and the other Colorado games.
The moral of this story is to relate to you, my dear readers,
that any time I have been in the company of any clan members,
it has been a warm and enjoyable experience, whether our
recent time with Mike and Jenny, those lovely people, or with
the gentle and warm Bob Davidson and company in the
northwest, or with you via letters or phone calls. It is my
experience that we truly are a family and it makes me even
more proud to call myself a Davidson. My thanks to you all.
I will close now with the message that all here is well, and
that even though I may appear silent out there, we are here
and working to improve our representation, and functions
within the clan. By the way, we will be having our monthly
Mountain - West Davidson meeting at the end of August. Any
ideas as to what needs to be discussed globally or nationally
( I know, besides renewals) would be greatly appreciated to
inform and connect our area with the rest.
I hope this rambling finds you well and comfortable. Our
best wishes to you all.
Matt & Angela Dawson
Highland Games Reports
Grandfather Mountain HG by Richard Halliley
It seems the attendance report I made about the 1995
Grandfather Mountain Highland Games couldn’t have been
beat. We’ll, that was last year, and this is this year! I don’t
know how so many people made it up the hill, and in
fact...many didn’t! All parking was exhausted. Shuttle bus
service was halted. Well over thirty thousand people attended
on Saturday. Another eighteen thousand on Sunday! We
were literally overrun at the tent. I don’t think I have ever
passed out so many Davidson brochures and applications,
and talked with as many people at the same time. We survived
it though, and managed to have the usual fun. Clan Na Gael
played their progressive style of music right behind our tent
and it was wonderful, loud at times but simply wonderful.
Once again, Mike and Elaine Davidson hosted the annual
Clan Davidson dinner and it was just great to relax, recount
the days events and plan for the next day’s excitement. I don’t
know how GMHG will top this one. In fact...might have to get
there by parachute next year!
Images From Stone Mountain
President Emeritus Andy
Davis stands ready to hold off
marauding Campbells
Sennachie & Kate
d'Kruel ready for the
Sponsor's Reception
VP Mike Davidson & Eleanor Davis
keeping an eye out for new members
Region 18 Director Bob &
Jan Davidson
think of the loooonnnnggg
trip from Washington State
to Georgia
Trent & Dottie Bradford,
young folks who'll lead the
Clan into 21st century!
Former Society Director Buz Faith
listens intently to new receipe for making
Scotch Whiskey
Stone Mountain HG by Richard Halliley
Why-oh-why does it have to be so nice several days
before the Stone Mountain Highland Games, when all of a
sudden a Canadian cold front slams into the big rock! Wow it
was cold Saturday (had to keep the trusty single-malt real
close by).
As this is our premier games, and site for our AGM, I was
a bit preoccupied on Saturday morning hammering out lastminute details with the clan before the afternoon meeting (I
am happy to report, the meeting was completed in under an
hour this year). I did manage to meet quite a few prospective
members inquiring about our group.
Thankfully, my wife Jane, Earlene and Jack Mobley, Fran
and Willie Brown, Mike and Elaine Davidson, Rod Davidson,
Bob & Jan Davidson & daughter Donna Sue (all the way from
Washington State!) and a host of other Davidson folk were on
hand to handle the throng of people. Dave Chagnon and the
“Evil Evelyn” made the trip from Little Rock and it was great
to spend time with them chit chatting about clan matters.
(Your Sennachie even took some of the goody box back with
him to work a festival in Arkansas the following week...I’m
Saturday night’s annual clan dinner at the Steak and Ale
was well attended... by very patient people I might add.
Eleanor Davis, our retiring treasurer was the focus of our
evening, and was presented with a Celtic harp pin for her
faithfulness to the clan. Betty Stayner, our loving and tireless
“matriarch” and founding member, was also on hand to share
in the evening’s festivities. I believe all in attendance had a
wonderful time just as I did.
Sunday was quite a bit nicer weather wise too. A record
number of pipe bands and various athletic performers were
on hand throughout the weekend. After all was said and
done, over a hundred folks had signed the Davidson register!
As usual, the weekend flew by, and now I have to look
forward again to next year.
By the way...the Thursday evening Tattoo is well worth
your efforts to attend. The Stone Mountain HG are the only
games that host a Tattoo of it s size and stature in the eastern
US. Bands from the UK, Canada and all over the nation are
frequently in attendance. I would say this is perhaps the most
popular event of the entire weekend, for the many that do
make it!
Festival Of The Scots, Maumelle, Ark.
by the Sennachie
It’s been a while since I manned
(personned??) a Davidson tent at a Scottish
Games. I’d forgotten just how much fun it
really is! ....except for the wind...that blew
through at 3:00 am...and moved ALL the
tents, canopies and signs halfway to
Tulsa...yeh, except for having to work from
6:30 to 8 to help put it all back, right again...it
was really fun!
For a small Games, the Davidson tent
had good traffic throughout the day. Several
new members signed up, including the
Mayor of Maumelle, Judy Baldwin, proudly
sporting her Davidson dance sash.
My resident Medical Case Manager
(also spouse and sparring partner) Evil Evelyn states I need to
do this more often, since I lost 4 pounds working the table! I’ll
probably do it again next year!
International Events
Report on The International Gathering of Clan
Davidson, Perth, Scotland, September, 1996, by Frank
Davidson, President, Clan Davidson Society of Aus. & N.Z.
The minute I heard about the Clan Davidson Association’s
plans to celebrate the 600th Anniversary of the Battle of the
North Inch in Perth, I knew that, come what may, I had to be
there. Along with a dozen or so other Australians and New
Zealanders, I joined Clan members converging on the Isle of
Skye Hotel in Perth on Friday 20th September. What a great
event it was.... and the fact that it was an international
Gathering, with clan members from U.S.A and Canada as
well, made it even more special.
Originally the suggestion of Major Dave Davidson, the
celebration got off to a great start with a ceremony on the
battleground, the North Inch, on the Saturday morning. A
marquee was erected on the site of the 1396 conflict, when two
30-a-side teams of warriors fought to the death to prove a
point of honour before their King, Robert III and his court. A
very dignified ceremony, concluding with a lament specially
composed and played for the occasion by Lindsay Davidson,
the clan piper, was presided over by the Lord Provost of Perth
and attended by official representatives of both the Davidson
and the MacPherson clans. James Davidson, President of the
Davidson Association (UK), gave a carefully researched outline
of the battle on the surviving evidence, while Ewen
MacPherson, President of the MacPherson Association, urged
the Davidsons to continue their initiatives for the preservation
and celebration of Clan Davidson heritage.
That night, a Clan Dinner was held at the hotel. Guests
were welcomed by the Chairman of the Association, Professor
Colin Davidson. I was invited to convey a message to the
Gathering from the Chief of the Clan, Duncan Davidson of
Davidston, who was unable to attend this historic Gathering,
much to his regret, because of age (he’s
over 80, but hale and hearty and sound as
a bell!) and distance (he lives in New
Zealand). Due praise was generously
given to the main organizer of the
Gathering, Sydney Davidson and his team,
and Syd was faced with the difficult but
enjoyable prospect of draining a quaich
(note: a two handed ceremonial drinking
cup, Snchie) presented to him as a token of
thanks for his splendid work.
A ceilidh followed, with many fine
items of entertainment coordinated by Syd
and the Secretary of the Association, John
Davidson (York, England).Our Aussie
Secretary, Iain, carried off the prize for the
best original poem on the battle theme.
With displays of dancing, song and poetry,
it was a grand night.
On the Sunday morning, the Association held its Annual
General Meeting, which all financial members were entitled
to attend, including Kenneth Davison (Tiffin, OH, Snchie)
from the U.S.A. Society. Ken spoke extremely well, conveying
the best wishes of the U.S.A. Society and expressing admiration
and thanks. In the afternoon, another highlight was a visit to
Scone Palace, once the seat of Scottish Kings, and the site of the
famous “Stone of Destiny” now in London’s Westminster
Abbey, but which Queen Elizabeth II has recently decided
must be returned to Scotland. “Boot Hill”, a mound outside
the palace, is said to have been formed by loyal chieftains
bringing to the coronation of their kings a boot full of soil from
their clan lands as a symbol of faithfulness.
On Monday morning we were up early to check out of the
Isle of Skye Hotel and say goodbye to Perth. We were off by
motor coach for a Highland tour, culminating in a night at
Tulloch Castle, the old home of the Davidson Chiefs. The
castle is now operated as a hotel, and is being gradually
modernized and restored after years of neglect. We were
greeted by a roaring log fire, and a sumptuous dinner in the
It may not be the precise anniversary today, but we are pretty
The Site. The battle was staged within barriers “beside the
Blackfriar’s.” The Blackfriars, which I have located on an old
map, was an area of a few acres belonging to the Order of
Blackfriars who were Dominicans or preaching monks. It is
immediately west of here, just the other side of the road where
Blackfriars Road and Wynd are still to be found. Why was
Perth chosen? It was a Royal City, it was a centre of
communications, and reputedly it had existed for longer than
Edinburgh, Aberdeen, Dundee or Glasgow. What better
An Eye-witness Account? The event was described by
Andrew of Wyntoun in his ‘Cronykil’ about a decade later. He
may well have been an eye-witness, because from 1395 to 1413
he was Abbot or Prior of the small monastery of St. Serfs,
situated just fifteen miles away on the island in Loch Leven
where Mary Queen of Scots was imprisoned a century and a
hall later. It is on the basis of his account alone that all
subsequent accounts were written, although the authors may
have had access to oral traditions for which there is no
The Combatants: The fact that the names of the two
opposing clans recorded by Andrew Wyntoun bear little
relation to the names of any modern clan - whether in English
or in Gaelic - has led to endless controversy. I came across a
whole book published in 1905 dealing with this controversy.
It is entitled “The Perth Incident of 1396”, by Dr Robert Craig
Maclagan, who was apparently familiar with both Latin and
Gaelic This enabled him to study all the written records and
the Gaelic etymology, yet even he could reach no satisfactory
conclusion! The identity of the combatants will never be
known with certainty but most authorities accept that Clan
Chattan was one of them. It is therefore a reasonable
assumption that the Davidsons, as members of the
confederacy, were represented in one of the two teams of
thirty hand-picked clansmen. Some say the Davidsons fought
the MacPhersons and lost; others that the Camerons were the
opponents of Clan Chattan who were the victors.
The Cause: What was the reason for the battle? According
to Johanis Forduni Scotichronicon - .John Fordun’s Scots
chronicle - “a great part of the north of Scotland beyond the
alps was disturbed by two wretched caterans and their
followers”. According to another account the area disrupted
was “the entire earldom of Angus”. This was, roughly
speaking, the land between the Esk and the Tay, which might
lead one to believe that one of the two clans was based in the
eastern Highlands. We tend to think, perhaps, that in those
days the depredations of clans were restricted to a radius of
fifty miles or so from their home ground, but this was not the
case. As recently as 5th October, 1666 my own Davidson
forbears, who farmed in the Howe of Cromar in the western
part of Aberdeenshire, were raided by the MacDonalds of
Glencoe. Glencoe, as you all know, is more than 100 miles
away on the West Coast.
The Solution: To return to 1396, King Robert III
commissioned the Earls of Crawford and Dunbar to find a
solution. Eventually it was agreed that this should be achieved
Grand Hall where the new owner of Tulloch, Ken MacAulay,
welcomed the Davidsons back and regaled us with a few of
the stories from the castle’s history, including its resident
ghost, the Green Lady! There are still Davidson items in the
castle, including a large portrait of one of the Chief’s families,
and a stained glass window over the stairway depicting the
clan Chief’s Arms, identical to those awarded recently to our
new Chief Duncan Davidson of Davidston. Tulloch is well
worth a visit, and Ken MacAulay is always pleased to welcome
Davidsons from all over the world.
On the way to Tulloch, we saw another important
Davidson site, but a much older one than Tulloch. This was
the battlefield of Invernahavon, at the junction of the Spey
and Truim Rivers in Badenoch. Here, in 1360, occurred the
famous defeat of the Davidsons by Cameron marauders. By
1360 the Davidsons had entered the Clan Chattan
Confederation, captained by the Mackintosh chief, who upheld
their position as the senior branch; the MacPhersons, jealous
of this honour to the Davidsons, withdrew from battle and the
result was the near obliteration of the Davidsons. It’s good to
know that we got over such delicate points of honour a long
time ago!
Finally, a word about something every Davidson visiting
Scotland must see if they can. On the way from Invernahavon
to Tulloch, and after a fine luncheon provided by President
James and his family at his house, we called at the Highland
Folk Museum in Kingussie. Established by the late Dr Isobel
Grant, it is devoted to collecting relics of Highland life. Now,
owing to the work of the Clan Davidson Association, it also
houses a small but significant Clan Davidson display, and it
was to inaugurate this that we had all come on our way to
Our coach trip, led by clan genealogist Flora Davidson,
was full of information, grand scenery, good fellowship and
made a fitting conclusion to an unforgettable experience.
Don’t miss the next international Clan Davidson Gathering in
Frank Davidson, President
Clan Davidson Society in Aus. & N.Z.
The following information about the The International
Gathering of Clan Davidson, Perth, Scotland, was most
thoughtfully provided by Society member Ken Davidson of Tiffin
OH. In addition to attending the festivities at Perth, Ken and
Virginia just returned from a 51 day sojourn to Scotland and Ireland
tracking down those elusive ancestors. I sincerely thank Ken and
Virginia for their efforts.
Commemoration Of The Battle Of The North Inch Of
Perth- 1396 (21 September 1996) Address By James D. G.
Davidson, President, Clan Davidson Association (UK)
The Date. We are gathered here to commemorate an event
which happened on this exact spot almost exactly 600 years
ago: the clan battle, or trial by combat, on the North Inch of
Perth which took place (according to the Registrum
Episcopatus Moraviensis) on the Monday before the feast of
St. Michael, or Michaelmas Day, which is the 29th of September.
The Battle Of The North Inch
By lain S Davidson, Hon. Membership Secretary
Clan Davidson Association (UK)
by staging a Judicial combat on the North Inch of Perth: a fight
to the death between two teams of thirty warriors armed with
bows, three arrows each, axes, dirks and claymores, in front
of a huge audience which included King Robert III and his
court. According to the written accounts they wore no
defensive armour and were naked except for their plaids.
The Outcome: As everybody knows all the warriors of
one clan were slain with the exception of one who escaped by
swimming across the Tay. Eleven wounded men of the
victorious side survived, one of them reputedly a local
blacksmith who had been brought on - and paid - as a reserve!.
A final score of 29-19 would represent a fairly close match in
modern rugby terms - sufficient excuse for the post-match
celebration which will take place this evening in the Isle of
Skye hotel - but I am talking about bodies, of course, not
It’s Thirteen Ninety-Six. The awful day
Has dawned at last. King Robert has decreed
That on this greensward by the River Tay
Full sixty men must chop and hack and bleed.
What brought this pass? A feud of long intent
Between two clans, with honour as the cause:
No compromise or offer to relent;
No peaceful word or pacifying pause.
Now thirty men a side are on the field,
Locked in a deadly dance inside a ring;
Inch by inch, yet not an inch to yield:
A victory or death before the king.
Yet wives and lovers - they’re affected, too,
For pitted here are honourable men,
And those who cheer the slaughter of the few
Know not the pain that each dawn brings again.
And seen through loving eyes their men will sway
To dodge a hungry dirk or cleave a head
With battle-axe or sword. And then they pray:
“Please, not my man; I do not wish him dead.”
Inexorably amid the clash of steel,
The cries, the groans, the heaving clansmen fall,
Embracing bloodied grass; no more to feel
Embracing arms or striding free and tall.
How fast the river ripples, cool and clear
Around this field; how wide the trees are spread
With friendly shade; how blue the sky; how dear
The few who live; and, oh, how dear the dead!
Settling Disputes: We may well wonder if this was a
sensible way to settle a serious dispute, but in the absence of
a proper legal structure, with no standing Scottish army or
police force, what alternative was there?... negotiation?... In
modern times there are countless examples of the failure of
negotiation to settle serious disputes... because of the
intransigence of selfish and ambitious individuals, nationalist
or ethnic aspirations, religious fanaticism, or greed for power,
land, or natural resources. In that context perhaps a fight to
the death between two evenly matched teams of combatants
- under strict supervision, and with no women, children or
peaceful citizens put at risk - was not an unacceptable way to
settle a long standing feud: far less murderous than the
hundreds of international, religious and tribal conflicts which
we all know have taken place over the last couple of centuries.
Civilization: Who would claim with confidence that
civilization has advanced in the last six centuries? Science,
technology and hygiene - undoubtedly yes! Civilization,
conservation and humanity? I doubt it! So let us salute the
combatants of 1396 and look forward to a civilized and
enjoyable gathering in the Isle of Skye Hotel tonight, to which
the Provost and Lady Provost of the fair City of Perth, and our
kinsmen from overseas, are particularly welcome!
For nothing’s cheap when honour is at stake:
Death may be swift, yet mocks a lasting pain.
This battle merely scored a further ache
When friendly words could win a lasting gain.
As is my wont, the following information was reived (stolen)
from the pages of The Thistle & Wheatstalk, the newsletter of the
Scottish Society of Wichita, Kansas. Davidson Society member,
Larry Davidson, is the “putter outer” of this publication. With the
exception of the correction of the odd typo and the addition of a note
or two, it’s pretty much the way I reived it last fall.
An Introduction to Highland Culture
Note: The following has been extracted primarily from
material prepared by the Scottish Tourist Board Those
members who have long studied the subject will find it “old
hat" but many others. we hope, may find it a useful frame
work for further study - Larry Davidson
The Clans
Whatever their ancient origins,
Celtic, Norse or Norman-French, by
the 13th century the clan system was
well established in the Highlands of
Scotland. The clan system was part
of a Gaelic tribal culture, completely
separated by language, custom and
geography from the "Sassenach" or southerner (i.e., of "Saxon"
origin - a word applicable both to the English and to Lowland
Scots). In Gaelic the word clann means family or children.
When the clan system was at its height, when it had least
contact with "Lowland" ways, it was common practice for the
sons of the clan chief to be "boarded out" to other families
living nearby. Growing up with other members of this
extended family helped to bond the clan unit together and to
foster allegiance. Thus the chief was a kind of tribal father to
whom both lesser chieftains and ordinary clansmen gave
their loyalty.
The clans lived off the land, with cattle as their main
wealth. Stealing cattle (sometimes to survive) was widespread,
as were territorial disputes between clans. The
clansmen did not own land, only the chief,
sometimes directly from the Crown, sometimes
from other superior clan chiefs.
In battle, the clan members used their slogan
or battle cry to identify themselves and keep
together. (Slogan is said to be Gaelic sluagh, arm
or host, and gairm, call.) In daylight, visual
recognition was aided by the wearing of a
distinctive "badge", or sprig of easily recognizable
plant material, in the bonnet or cap.
The most powerful chiefs kept expensive courts and
retainers and had virtual autonomy over matters of law and
order within their territory. An important member of the
chief's retinue was the bard (note: This was the sennachie,
Snchie) who could both compose an epic poem, perhaps
recalling a feat of heroism or infamy, and recite lineage, which
was part of his role as the recorder of the clan's history. The
clan piper was another hereditary post, of whom the
MacCrimmons, hereditary pipers to the MacLeods, were the
most famous.
By the 1 8th century, the building of roads and the spread
of agricultural improvements from the Lowlands brought the
clans into more and more contact with "southern" ways. Some
chiefs began to spend their income on fine clothes or French
wines, as did the rich in the Lowlands. Some even sent their
children to Lowland schools or, worse, took Lowland (or even
English) wives, all of which gradually eroded the old ways
and values. Thus even before Culloden and the subsequent
proscriptions and forfeiting of estates, the old clan system
was gradually being absorbed into the modern economic
society of the south.
on the family crest), Sinclair (St. Clair) and Bruce (Brix, a
Normandy place name).
From early Viking invasions of Scotland, others have
Norse connections: The MacLeods of Skye trace descent from
Liot, son of a Norse king, the MacDougalls of Lorne come
from Dougall (Gaelic - "dark foreigner"), a grandson of Norse
King Olaf, the Black.
Some clans are linked with ancient monastic houses: the
MacNabs (son of the Abbot) descended from the abbots of St.
Fillan; The Macleans (son of Gillean, who descended from the
abbots of Lismore.) Other examples include Macmillan, "son
of a tonsured man"; Buchanan, "of the canon's house";
MacTaggart, "son of a priest"; and MacPherson, "son of a
Clans with uncertain origins include the MacKenzies
who appeared in Ross and Cromarty, claiming descent from
a 12th century kinsman Gilleoin, as do the Mathesons, with
lands close to Kyleakin in Western Ross. The Gunns in
Sutherland claim a most unusual descent. They may have
been an ancient surviving Pictish tribe, forced into far northern
The Lords of the Isles
Clan Donald, the chiefs of which styled
themselves "Lord of the Isles", were for generations
the most powerful clan in the west of Scotland.
Great seafarers, they controlled the sea lanes of the
Hebrides with their oared galleys (bir-linns) and
lived in semi-royal style. Their power brought
them into conflict with the Crown, and in 1462,
John, Lord of the Isles, together with the Earl of
Douglas, actually sided with the English King
Edward IV, concluding a treaty to help him with an invasion
of Scotland! (Actually, the planned invasion never came off.)
The power of Clan Donald was finally broken before the
end of the 15th century.
Massacres Aplenty
Origins of the Clans
Some clans have Norman roots and married into Celtic
society: Cummings (Comyns), Hays (de la Haye), Frasers (La
Frezeliere, linked to the French term for the strawberry device
Clan conflict often meant spilt blood. The MacGregors are
said to have massacred 140 of the Colquhouns in Glen Fruin
west of Loch Lomond. Clan Donald forces once shut a hundred
Campbells in a barn near Oban and set it alight. More than 100
Lamonts were executed at Dunoon in revenge for changing
sides by the Campbells after the Battle of Inverlochy.
Yet the bloody deed which has gained the most notoriety
was not principally a clan affair at all. The massacre of
Glencoe was carried out on a branch of the Clan Donald by a
regular regiment of the British army, raised from the Clan
Campbell. The latter had a long history of anti-Jacobitism and
support for the Hanoverian government. The Campbell
regiment acted under orders from
King William, who wanted the
MacDonalds punished as part of a
government policy designed to bring
rebel clans to heel. In this case, the
brutal politics of the late 1 7th century
were far more important than mere
clan enmity.
The Clans at Culloden
The powerful clan Campbell was to the fore at the Battle
of Culloden in 1746 as well. Their militia took the government
side against the 5,000 Jacobites and were part of the British
army of 9,000 which included three other regiments of Lowland
Scots. Subsequent Jacobite mythology has obscured the fact
that more Scots took up arms against Bonnie Prince Charlie
than for him. Out of a total fighting force in the Highlands of
about 30,000 clansmen, less than one-sixth fought for his
The oldest continuous games have been held at Ceres in
Fife, Scotland since 1314 when they were first held as a
celebration for the safe return of the district's bowmen from
the Battle of Bannockburn.
The earliest Highland Games in the U. S. were sponsored
by the Highland Society of New York and held in Hoboken,
N.J. in 1836. The Games of the Caledonian Club of San
Francisco were first held in 1866, and the Detroit St. Andrews
Society began holding them the following year. During the
late 1800s, as many as 125 Highland games or gatherings were
being held in the U. S. each year, many being larger in scope
than the games of today.
A resurgence of popularity began after World War II, and
the number of Scottish Highland games now being held in
this country each year is approaching 100.
The Modern Clan Revival
As part of a romantic movement in art and literature in
the late 18th century, an interest in nature and the idea of the
"noble savage" became popular on both sides of the Atlantic.
The first tourists came to Scotland as part of a "cult of the
picturesque" and a certain mystique became attached to the
Highlands, which had been populated by a race of noble
warriors. Much of the mystique was fostered by Sir Walter
Scott with his tales of Scottish heroes and their brave deeds.
Also, the Highlands were no longer considered a threat to
the nation's stability, and the event of a visit by King George
IV in 1822 ( largely staged by Sir Walter Scott) generated much
of the pageantry about clans and tartans that has come down
to us today. It soon became de rigeur to walk the streets of
Edinburgh clad in a garb which, if it had been worn a century
or so before in the capital, would have probably caused the
wearer to be shot on sight!
The old clan ways had been swept aside by emigration,
the proscription after Culloden, the Industrial Revolution,
and "foreign" landlords who all changed the nature of the
land. It was left partly to those chiefs and their descendants
who'd taken the government side (or been politically adept at
escaping retribution) and partly to a variety of Celtic and
Highland societies to resurrect or maintain the old traditions.
Queen Victoria's love of the Highlands and her patronage of
the Braemar Highland Gathering helped sustain the fashion
and foster interest in Scotland's Highland heritage.
This has been maintained to the present day, often taking
the form of worldwide clan societies promoting the history
and comradeship of a particular clan, or of local or regional
Scottish societies formed to foster a continuing interest in
Scottish history and tradition. Though the clans of old have
gone from their homelands forever, their ancient traditional
values of loyalty and family honor still have an important
place in our hearts today.
From Days Gone By
In the last issue of this publication, I promised to offer opposing
views about Clan Davidson’s involvement with the famous
(infamous??) Battle of the North Inch of Perth (1396), who the
combatants really were (maybe....), and so forth. A surplus of great
stuff for this issue of The Sporran precludes the publishing of this
material at this time (it’s about 5 pages....). If I have the space, I’ll
publish this in the July ‘97 issue.
Return of the Stone of Scone
The next item is reprinted from “The Arkansas Democrat
Gazette” dated 11/15/96. There have been books written about the
subject of “The Stone of Destiny”, and, following the 1950 pilfering
of the Stone, there is still much speculation about the authenticity of
the stone to which this article refers. I’ll not get into any further
explanation of the subject!
(AP) COLDSTREAM, Scotland —With a piper, toasts of
whiskey and a pinch of skepticism, Scots on Friday welcomed
the return of the Stone of Scone (pronounced skoon), an
ancient symbol of sovereignty stolen by an English king 700
years ago.The rough hewn block of gray sandstone, weighing
458 pounds and also known as the Stone of Destiny, had
rested inside the Coronation Chair at Westminster Abbey
since it was taken as war booty by King Edward I in 1296.
“I remember my mother telling me it was taken by
Edward I, it was ours and should be returned, and I think
most Scots feel that way," said Michael Forsyth, the Cabinet
Highland Games
The phenomena of"Highland games" or gatherings is
actually a much older tradition than many suppose. Their
roots may be traced back to the Braemar Gathering held when
King Malcolm III came to the throne of Scotland in 1057.
Highland games were a way for clan chiefs or rulers to choose
the fastest and strongest men to serve as their personal
retainers Early forms of the traditional Highland athletic
competitions were developed to test the contestants for
strength, stamina, accuracy and agility.
minister responsible for Scotland.The stone was removed
from Westminster Abbey on Thursday and was escorted by
members of the Coldstream Guards on the 400 mile journey
north to this border village on the River Tweed.
After an hour's delay because of a bomb scare that proved
false, the stone was brought to the center of the bridge,
accompanied by a piper, and both the piper and Forsyth were
treated to toasts of whiskey. From there, Scottish soldiers
escorted the stone to Edinburgh, where conservationists will
check on the need for any repairs before the stone goes on
display Nov. 30 at Edinburgh Castle.
Prime Minister John Major announced the return of the
stone earlier this year, noting it was the 700th anniversary of
its seizure by the English. Some Scots suspect the government,
facing an election next year, is playing politics. "I think the
Tories want it in Edinburgh because they hope to get some
political support from it, but they are just clinging to power
and makes no difference," said Donald Moffat, a member of
the local government council, and of the independence seeking
Scottish National Party.
Scotland's ancient kings were crowned on the stone at
Scone for centuries. By seizing the stone, Edward demonstrated
English supremacy although the two countries were not
united until 1707. The stone was stolen on Christmas Day
1950 by four Glasgow University students who broke into
Westminster Abbey, but it was recovered four months later.
"Basically, people are glad to see the stone returning,"
said Alex Salmond, leader of the Scottish National Party,
which wants independence for Scotland. "However, I think if
you walked along this crowd and asked people what they
would like, they would like the symbol returned but also they
want the substance and the substance is a free parliament for
a free people."
Reprinted from The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette 12/1/96
(AP) EDINBURGH, Scotland — With prayers, pipers and
some political nuance, the legendary Stone of Scone was
placed in its new home in Scotland on Saturday, seven centuries
after it was stolen by an English king.
"It's back where it belongs in Scotland," said Jean
Livingstone, who stood with her 7-year-old granddaughter in
the crowd along Edinburgh's Royal Mile as the stone rolled
past on an army Land Rover.
Prince Andrew represented his mother, Queen Elizabeth
II, at the ceremonies on the feast day of St. Andrew, Scotland's
patron saint. The rough-hewn block of gray sandstone,
weighing 458 pounds, was the coronation seat of Scottish
kings until it was carried away as war booty by King Edward
I in 1296. The Stone of Scone (pronounced "skoon") was
placed under the coronation chair in Westminster Abbey,
where it has been involved in all coronations since. The stone
will be placed on public view in Edinburgh Castle.
Legend says the stone originated in the Holy Land, and
that the biblical patriarch Jacob rested his head on it when he
had his dream of a ladder reaching to heaven. "Today is like
recovering a valued item that has been missing for a long time,
like getting back a lost wedding ring," said the Right. Rev John
McIndoe, moderator of the general assembly of the Church of
Scotland, who preached at a service in St. Giles Cathedral.
The government has said little about why it decided to
return the stone, though Prime Minister John Major noted in
his announcement in July that this was the 700th anniversary
of the stone's removal. Many Scots suspect the gesture was
intended to shore up the governing Conservative Party's
dwindling support in Scotland.
The Stane o' Destiny
peeking out from under the throne
The main opposition Labor Party says that if it wins the
next election, it will create a regional parliament for Scotland,
but not grant it full independence.
Classified Ads
The following information is re-printed from the Canadian
Davidson / MacDhai Clan Newsletter (see Clan Davidson
Organizations Worldwide, below, for subscription information)
The Scots Emigrant Experience
The Canadian Association for Scottish Studies at the
University of Guelph presents this course to launch its
program. It is an audio and paper based course highlighting
the unique characteristics of Scottish emigration in a period
when 4,000,000 people emigrated from Europe to the colonies.
It looks at the various periods and phases of emigration,
examines the voyage over, the military, particularly the
Highland Regiments, and the social, cultural, economic and
political impact of the Scots emigrants.
Future courses are being developed in Genealogy,
conversational Gaelic and about the national characters whose
portrayals are true neither to the characters nor to the period.
Cost: $185 (Canadian). For further info, contact Archie G.
McKay, IES Education Services Inc., 127 Fairlawn Avenue,
Toronto, Ontario, Canada MSM 1S9 (416 480-1978)
“Salt Lake City - Here I Come!”
This article published in The Canadian-American
Genealogical Digest was written by Jill Lilly and special to the
Digest. It outlines her experiences at the Salt Lake City History
Library. If you are a genealogist who plans to go or if you just
want to know what it is like, you will enjoy this article.
For info about the Digest, write Elizabeth BarclayLapointe, Buckingham Press, 10 des Castors, Buckingham,
Quebec, Canada J8L 2W7
Notice From The Council of Scottish Clans
and Associations (COSCA)
Scottish Workshops
A Country House Hotel on Mull run by Clan Davidson
Association (UK) member
The Council of Scottish Clans & Associations, Inc.
(COSCA) will present a series of l-hour workshops on Friday,
July 11, 1997, from I :00 to 4:00pm. The workshops will be held
at Lees McRae College, in Banner Elk, NC, on the afternoon
before the Grandfather Mountain Highland Games.
The workshop subjects are:
1. Scottish History (three individual sessions)
(John Napier 111)
la. Earliest - 1314 lb. 1314 - 1513 1c. 1513 - 1746
2. Introduction & Beginning Gaelic (1-2 hours)
(Dr. Philip Smith)
3. History of Tartans
(Charles Rodearmer)
4. Being Scottish: Myths and Reality (Dr. Celeste Ray)
5. Newsletters: The Good, The Bad, The Ugly
(designed for editors) (Beth Gay)
6. Clan Concerns: tents, events, parties/ceilidhs, attracting
members, publicity, supplies/sales, etc. (designed for clan
organizers/convertors) (Mary Jane Gibbon, CDUSA SE
Total cost for 1 -3 workshops is $15. Checks should be
made payable to COSCA. Registration must be received by
June 15, 1997. Please return registration to: COSCA Workshops,
Box 1110, Moultrie, GA 31776-1110. Make sure to indicate by
number your Workshop Subjects, and include your name and
Hope to see you there!
Malcolm and Jane Davidson, recent additions to the Clan
Davidson Association (UK), run a hotel, Ardfenaig House, at
the head of Loch Caol on the Isle of Mull, Scotland. Ardfenaig
is a good center for bird watchers, artists and walkers. The
house was once owned by the Duke of Argyll, who used it as
a shooting lodge. The Davidsons also have a self-catering
Coach House available. Contact them at Ardfenaig House, By
Bunessan, Isle of Mull, Scotland UK PA67 6DX
List of Clan Davidson organizations:
In addition to our own Clan Davidson Society (USA), there are
two other Davidson organizations to be found in the world, plus a
Canadian Davidson newsletter. All of these sister branches publish
newsletters and journals from which your Sennachie frequently and
cheerfully reives material. Please feel free to support these fine
worldwide Davidson efforts!
Australia & New Zealand
Clan Davidson Society in Australia and New Zealand
President: Dr. Frank Davidson,
23 Elizabeth Street, Paddington NSW 2021
Annual membership is AU$15 per year.
Davidson / MacDhai Clan Newsletter
Contact Heather Davidson, P.O. Box 91,
Hantsport, Nova Scotia BOP 1PO
Newsletter subscription is $9 per year.
Thanks From The Sennachie
The Sennachie would like to thank all the contributors for
their thoughtful submission of material for this newsletter.
The Sennachie offers his heartfelt apologies for any heavy
handed editing to which he may have subjected these
“The Sporran” is published semi-annually in January and
July. A Society Membership Directory is published and
distributed with the January issue. Written material and
graphics (photos, charts, etc) may be submitted at any time to
the Sennachie on paper, 3 1/2” floppy disk (MAC or DOS), or
electronically via Internet e-mail to [email protected] Cutoff dates are December 1 and June 1.
United Kingdom
The Clan Davidson Association.
Contact Ian Davidson, Hon. Membership Secretary
Holly Wood House, Broom Way, Holbridge
Surrey KT13 9TG
Membership is £10 per year.
Davidson, AYE!!