List of Officers        2
   Message from Cluny        4
   From the Top of Creag Dhubh        5
   A Fiery Cross around Creag Dhubh        9
   Let's Learn Gaelic (17th Year)   11
   Report from the Curator (1982)  13
   The Clan Armorial   16
   The Clan Macpherson Rally   18
   Rally Dedicated to Elizabeth Gillespie   20
   Appointments   21
   Some Notes on Laggan by Hugh Barron (Part 2)   22
   Three Generations at the 1982 Rally   28
   Ball at Glen Truim   30
   Clan Macpherson Trust      32
   Report from the Branches      34
   The Macphersons of Charles County, Maryland (Part 2)      40
   South African Branch Commitee      42
   Full Circle      43
   McCurrach Wedding      45
   Photographs of Robert Macpherson      46
   The Murdochs and Clan Mhuirich      47
   Rally Report      48
   Tel-El-Kebir      49
   Letters to the Editor      51
   Income and Expenditure Account      54
   Balance Sheet      55



No. 35


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        THE ANNUAL OF




The Chief

Hon. Vice-Presidents

Officers of the Association

Fleenasmore, Ardclach, Nairn

1776 Herrity Lane
Ionia, Michigan 48846, USA

Hon. Secretary
39 Swanston Avenue, Edinburgh, EH10 7BX

Hon. Treasurer
RONALD W. G. MACPHERSON, 'Kilmuir', Dundas Street, Comrie, Perthshire

Mrs E. C. G. MACPHERSON, 'Kilmuir', Dundas Street, Comrie, Perthshire

EOIN MACPHERSON, FSAScot, Clan House, Newtonmore, PH20 1DE

Piper                                                                                                     ROBERT PEARSON
Hon. Auditor                                                                                                     Vacant

Editorial Committee
A.C. MACPHERSON, M.A., LL.B (Editor),
30 Trinity Cresent, Edinburgh EH5 3EE
JOHN M. BARTON, W.S. (Secretary) and T.A.S. MACPHERSON, FRICS. (Advertising)



TOM MACPHERSON (Lord Macpherson of Drumochter. Died 1965)                                   1947-1952
NIALL MACPHERSON (Lord Drumalbyn) 1952-1954
LT. COL. ALLAN I. MACPHERSON (Died 1958) 1954-1957
HON. J. GORDON MACPHERSON(Lord Macpherson of Drumochter) 1960-1963
A.I.S. MACPHERSON 1969-1973

Branch Representatives
                        Mrs. CATHERINE MACPHERSON

  Clan House, Newtonmore
  32 Crown Drive, Inverness
  39 Swanston Avenue, Edinburgh EH10 7BX
  39 Blackford Road, Hunterhill, Paisley PA2 7EN
  16 Grasmere Ave, Kingston Vale, London. SW15 3RB
  47 Revell Road, Kingston-upon-Thames, Surry KT1 3SL
  193 Waldencroft Cresent , Burlington, Ontario
  1776 Herrity Road, Ionia, MI 48846
  PO Box 130, 23 Paw Paw Road, Altona North, Victoria
  164 Lewis Street, Invercargill
  PO Box 69241, Bryanston 2021, Republic of South Africa


The Council appeals to members to support the Annual by contributing articles of historical, genealogical, or topographical interest, and by forwarding news of themselves and other clanmen, honours, appointments, etc. Photographs, prints, etc., of places or people and 'Letters to the Editor' on matters of Clan interst are also welcome.

All communications should be addressed to the Editor of Creag Dhubh, Archy Macpherson, M.A., LL.B. 30 Trinity Cresent, Edinburgh EH5 3EE, Scotland.

PLEASE NOTE -- In order to meet publications dates for the current year, it is essential that all matters for publication in Creag Dhubh be received not later than 31stOctober in each year.



      Greetings once more to all members of the Clan Macpherson Association from the Cluny family at Blairgowrie!

      Looking at the opening pages of the 1982 "Creag Dhubh" it strikes me yet again how very fortunate our Association has been in its succession of Chairmen and officers through the years. And as we go into 1983 I would like to record special thanks to J. Donald Macpherson, and in the same breath to his delightful Betty, for the three years of his term as Chairman. It is a long way to Badenoch from Oakville, Ontario, but J. Donald and Betty have made regular and frequent trips over the Atlantic; and many calls and letters have kept them much in contact. Furthermore their Oakville home has welcomed ourselves and many others over the years. We do owe to them both, and indeed to many others who travel regularly from far away places, a special debt of gratitude.

      The succession to John P. Macpherson, with full backing from Sarah and their family, and with Monroe as Vice-Chairman, will give us assured years of leadership. And it is particularly good to have a Scottish-based Chairman to deal with the intricacies of the plans to extend the Museum. Who would have thought 10 or 15 years ago that we would be able to plan an enlargement of our displays!

      At Newton Castle we had a special Christmas in 1982, since we had the great bonus of having Monroe and Phyllis with us on a winter visit, and their presence gave the season a special flavour.

      It was again a great pleasure to see again good numbers of families and younger members of the Association at our Gathering. I feel that it is right to repeat how important it will be for our future as a thriving and ever cheerful Clan that the younger members play a large part in all that we do. In this context it was very good to see Colonel Bill Macpherson's father and his son in our March -- three generations at one go! And also to welcome Bill Jarrett from Alexandria, U.S.A. and his son Billy and their friends. They not only took back with them heather and happy memories, but they actually transported to Alexandria a 25 lb chunk of actual Creag Dhubh! What the Customs officials made of it History does not relate.

      But if, as you make that inspiring approach to our 'Watch Hill' from the South, you notice a lump out of its profile you will know where to find the missing piece!

      Until we meet again we send our good wishes to all our members for 1983. And we hope to see many of you both at our own Gathering (5-7 August 1983) and perhaps also at the Clan Chattan Association celebrations on the following weekend (12-14 August 1983).



      We are not only our own selves, or roots and traditional past, but as well, we are the children of our own age.

      This is not strange, arguments and hopes of our own day are re-echoed throughout the world. A look at History and Philosophy throughout the centuries would have us agree with this. Some similar thoughts and hopes seem to pop up as if from nowhere like flowers from windblown seeds.

      Longevity and how to increase the human life span has begun to grip men's imaginations worldwide with the proposition that since mankind has solved so much about communications in travel, the preserving and spreading of sound and sight; many of the problems of medicine, the computer and electronic revolution, the creation of the environment, clothing and shelter etc.

      Yet, the whole foods magazine "Here's Health" points out in its January 1983 issue, the adult today has only a little extra expectancy of life compared to a hundred years ago, almost all the improved expectancy being accounted for by the fall in child and infant mortality.

      As a dietary magazine they are keenest, not suprisingly in advocating the food aspect but admit that other factors play an important part. They point out that these can be deduced from three communities with the highest life spans as in the village of Vilcabamba in Ecuador, the Hunza people of North India and Abkhazians of the Soviet Republic of Georgia. It was pointed out these three vastly separated communities had several things in common, of course, like location and rural activities.

      But what concerns us as a clan, is the importance that all these three communities attach to close family ties. Since we are all of one descent as clansfolk and septs of the clan we are all related. We are all cousins as our present Chief's father pointed out.

      This matter of long living communities and the importance of strong family ties is discussed most vividly by Victor Kozlov in the October 1982 issue of "the U.N.E.S.C.O. Courier."

      Evidently in 1977 an agreement was concluded between Soviet and U.S. scientists to carry out parallel work on "comprehensive biological, anthropological and socio-ethnographic studies of peoples and ethnic groups with a higher than normal percentage of long lived persons."

      In the U.S.S.R. the work is carried out under the direction of the Institute of Ethnography of the U.S.S.R. Academy of Sciences in Moscow, of which Mr Kozlov is director. In the United States by the New York Research Institute for the Study of Man.

      In the U.S.S.R. the first investigations concerned the rural population of Abkhasia and certain groups of Georgians living there. In the United States the first community to be studied was Robertson, Kentucky, where most of the people are of Scottish or Irish origin.

      The data produced is still being analysed. Nevertheless some points can already be made in relation to the origin of longevity.

      Since dietary habits are conflicting as to evidence we are not able to discuss them here.

      In the areas studied those who have reached much longer healthy lifespans than usual have generally lived in the place where they were born and have always done the same kind of work. This we can not provide but in that they see their circle of friends and relatives and take an active part in social activities. Here is an area relevant to ourselves. Not only have each of us his or her immediate family but at the same time we have a duty of care to our other cousins.

      In the rural areas studied, old people live with the family of one of their grown-up children. They maintain regular contact with their other children, relatives and friends who usually live in the same viliage. With us Macphersons and our septs scattered across the world, the miracles of modern travel and communications must be used to keep in touch as if we were still living in the same village.

      The following passage should be noted with the greatest possible care. The exact


words are quoted:-- "Clan and family relationships are particularly strong among the Abkhasians; several hundred people gather at weddings, funerals and annual family reunions." Note how important the maintenance of clan links are to the life expectancy of people and the annual family reunions which we have in the Clan Rally and in lesser annual rallies in the lands throughout which we are scattered like Grandfather Mountain in the United States.

      The great discovery was that these clan and family reunions and relationships actively combat stress -- one of the factors which shortens human life. So attendance at every possible Rally of the Clan is a positive means of extending one's life span! One or even two attendances even in two consecutive years is obviously not enough to lessen killer stress. Attendance at Clan Rallies year after year is what is called for, year after year, all our lives if possible in getting to know the great circle of cousins that God has given us.

      It is in the interest of our children's health and chance of giving them a longer lifespan that we encourage them to take the fullest possible involvement in all Clan reunions and activities as these studies have shown. Then they know that they belong to their kindred whom they see at least once a year.

      The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation could scarcely be expected to sponsor inaccuracies in their official journal the "U.N.E.S.C.O. Courier" and this research on lengthening the human life-span ought to be treated with respect.

      The report goes on to tell us that the traditional strength of these family ties has a powerful effect in reducing stress, especially in extreme situations; when a person is fully supported by those around him or her. It is as if his or her burden of grief is lessened through being shared with dozens, even hundreds of people.

      We know how the tribute in last year's issue of "Creag Dhubh" was appreciated by Harvey's family and how glad Sheila, his widow, was by the visit of clansfolk during last year's Rally.

      The influence exercised by old people, especially among the Abkhasians, is such as that they continue to play a leading role in family councils, clan assemblies and village meetings. In everyday life care and attention are lavished on them; at family gatherings and meals they are given a place of honour, in accordance with their age. This source of social and psychological comfort, which strengthens the feeling that they are useful to their family, including the younger generations, and to the wider circle of village people undoubtedly helps to keep them active and prolongs their lives.

      So for our own sakes we must seek the company of cousins and help them out in their difficulties so far as we can, and rejoice in the opportunity to meet each other at local clan meetings and at the Annual Clan Rally in Kingussie and Newtonmore. What do they say in the Bible about 'this year in Jerusalem?'; for us its 'this year in Badenoch'.

Tha cairdeas mar a chumail e . . . . . friendship or relationship is as it is kept up.


Alastair Charles Grant Macpherson on 8th November, 1982 -- a son to Diana and Charles, 63 Arnhall Drive, Aberdeen. A brother for Katie and Charles and a grandson for Ronnie and Betty.

Colin Fraser Stairs on 25th February, 1982 -- a son to Robert and Marion Macpherson, 20 Walden Place, Bedford, Nova Scotia, Canada.







      More than a year ago, a special initiative was inaugurated by the Highlands and Islands Development Board, in partnership with the Scottish Tourist Board and in consultation with the Clan Macpherson Association. It aims at making the three southwestmost communities of Badenoch and Strathspey more accessible. The area covers Newtonmore, Dalwhinnie and Laggan, which is almost 500 square miles of the Highlands and while lacking Kingussie and a bit beyond, to which it may be extended later, it includes a great part of the traditional Clan Macpherson territory.

      The need for the scheme was sparked off by the isolation which has occurred in the wake of the realignment of the old Great Highland road, now known more prosaically as the A9. For more than 200 years the Spey Bridge, across which the Clansmen of Clan Macpherson march to the Games in Newtonmore every year has been the thoroughfare for visitors into the locality, but now the area has been bypassed by the new road.

      An initial major visual improvement scheme has been produced for the main axis through Newtonmore including the area of the Clan House. In conjunction with the Highland Development Board there have been discussions with the executive of the Clan Macpherson Association. They have agreed in the warmest possible co-operation to increase the space now being planned at the Clan Museum. A £ 100,000 improvement to Newtonmore Golf Clubhouse is being considered and research and planning is under way in the hope for a million pound downward skiing development at the entrance to the Macpherson lands at Drumochter.

      There are 22 hotels and guest-houses in this Newtonmore, Dalwhinnie and Laggan area, as well as bed and breakfast facilities, caravan sites and houses let on a self-catering basis, some of the latter on exclusive estate and farm sites. A determined effort is being made to raise the standards of service all round. The Scottish Tourist Board has been particularly helpful, bringing out a print personalising businesses and facilities in the area last summer and a new colour brochure for this summer season. A winter sports folder has been produced by the HIDB who is also providing a presence at major exhibitions.

      A féisd (the Gaelic for a celebration or festival) is to be mounted in the first three weeks of August. The programme will embrace Clan Rally and the Newtonmore Games. The 1982 Games had a £500 loss and is a matter of concern to ourselves since it has such a part to play in the Rally and the Macpherson clansmen's march down from Old Ralia. Accordingly we can but be anxious to see the increase of visitors both local and overseas to make sure that the Games become viable.

      A number of items, it is hoped, will complement the Clan programme; including lectures on clan subjects and expeditions like that to the famous Cluny's Cage on remote Ben Alder.

      The local Badenoch people behind this initiative would be so glad of a little help from among the worldwide family of the Macphersons to publicise their homeland at suitable occasions, like, for instance at the forthcoming Highland Gathering in New York Central Park and such other events where people of Scottish extraction and interest meet together anywhere throughout the world.

      Anyone willing to assist in this real practical way for the benefit of their ancestral homeland are invited to get in touch with:

                  Jack Richmond,
                  The Secretary,
                  The Newtonmore, Dalwhinnie & Laggan Project,
                  The Badenoch Hotel,
                  NEWTONMORE, Inverness-shire, Scotland.

      Similarly, he will respond as helpfully as is in his power to any requests for bookings and information.



(17th year) by Chevalier Archy Macpherson, KCT, MA, LL.B

      Just over two hundred years ago, in 1762-3, our own James Macpherson of Ruthven, near Kingussie, startled and entranced the whole of Europe with his two poems Fingal and Temora.

      The writer has even seen the copy that Napoleon always carried next to his heart, preserved at Napoleon's home, in Malmaison, near Paris.

      Though both these poems were in English, they set the heather a fire and our homeland, Badenoch, has justly associated with the tongue of our ancestors ever since.

      There are many references in Gaelic poetry to us, as an integral part of the Gaelic scene; take, for instance, Alexander MacDonald's (Alasdair MacMhaighstir Alasdair) "Song of the Clans" (Oran nam fineachan Gaidhealach) which he composed for Bonnie Prince Charlie:

                "Gu tairbeartach, glan, caismeachdach
                  Fior-thartarach 'nan ranc:
                 Thig Cluainidh le 'chuid Phearsanach
                  Gu cuanna, gleusda, grad-bheirteach"

                 (Gracious, willing, full of marches and war song;
                  Really clamorous in their ranks;
                  Cluny will come with his Macphersons;
                  Elegantly, diligently, soon-prepared).

      Even without crossing the Atlantic one can learn Gaelic in Nova Scotia at Francis Xavier University, Antigonish, and the Gaelic College at St Anne's.

      Thanks to the world postal union, anything postable, can be sent anywhere in the world. Peter Hamilton, 3 Westbank Quadrant, Glasgow G12 8NT, Scotland offers to send his catalogue of Gaelic song and music on records and cassettes anywhere for 20p and presumably for a couple of international postal coupons. An Comunn Gaidhleach, 13 Bath Street, Glasgow, Scotland will give the words (and often music) to any Gaelic song that catches your fancy. It's one way to learn a song.

      One can visit the Gaelic bookshop on the top floor at Gairm Publications, 29 Waterloo Street, Glasgow G2 6BZ, Scotland (it is next door to Archie's Bar - sorry, not property of the writer). They can post you a catalogue of all Gaelic books in print for 60p plus postage and the all-Gaelic quarterly GAIRM for £4 per annum. TOCHER is a great help to reading, as each page of Gaelic is translated on the facing page. With the songs the music is given. The whole run from No. I is available from the School of Scottish Studies, University of Edinburgh, 27 George Square, Edinburgh EH8 9LD, Scotland. They also put out good back-up songs and music in conjunction with Tangent Records.

      If news of Gaelic courses and Mods (Gaelic festival competitions) as well as books etc is wished for, one can best write or call on An Comunn Gaidhealach, Abertarff House, Church Street, Inverness IV1 1EU, Scotland. They have shops in Stornoway and Oban too. For the Edinburgh area the local An Comunn Secretary to contact is Seonag Marshall, 14 Viewforth Gardens, Edinburgh EH1O 4EU (telephone 031-226-6807).

      Residential Gaelic courses held throughout the year in Scotland at Glencoe Hotel can be arranged by contacting Alasdair Maclnnes, Am Bealach, Springbank Crescent, Dunblane FK15 9AP and at the Gaelic College, Sabhal Mòr Ostaig, Teanga, Sleit, Isle of Skye, Scotland with local residents or at the fabulous nearby peat-fire, bilingual, Hotel at Isle Oransay (Taigh Osda Eilean larmain).

      All these treasures are all an Aladdin's cave of delights which belong to us all as part of our heritage. It's not all heady stuff but ceilidhs, social events and fun too.

Mise, le spèis. . . . . Gilleasbuig





      At the Annual General Meeting in August we reported an attendance of 2,364from May to Juy. Donations received in the collection boxes £240, (a decrease of £38); Sales of Publications, etc, £112 -- a slight increase

      The recorded addresses show that they came from the following countries:

Scotland & England 1995 Canada    48
United States of America  133 Australia   46
New Zealand    15 South Africa   10
Netherlands   82 Denmark   11
Norway      2 Sweden   24
West Germany   80 France   45
Belgium   18 Switzerland   12
Israel   12 Italy   14
Austria   4 Japan      4
Spain    16 Zimbabwe     4

      Sums received in the collection boxes amount to £399, a decrease of £ 157, Sales of Publications realised £221, a decrease of £46. Considering the large decreases in attendance, the return from sales we believe, reasonable. The attendance figures are '(1981; 4863) (1982; 2575), a decrease of 2288. However, a successful raffle at the Ceilidh realised E103 -- for Association Funds.

      This is the first time we have had to report abnormal decreases in numbers and cash received in the collection boxes. The whole of the North, and indeed, Scotland, had few early tourists, and blame high petrol prices, unemployment, and, of course, the Falkland crisis; one felt they did not know what would happen next. When that was settled, people seemed to get moving again, but too late to be of any advantage to tourist areas. Regarding tourists making use of the Picnic Area at Ralia, it would appear that once they have had a meal and a rest they are not inclined to visit Newtonmore, and rejoin the A9 there, and continue their journey North.

      Many organisations are now in the same position as ourselves, hotels, bed and breakfast establishments, and shops all report decreases in income from the tourist trade.

      Up to now we have always had the pleasure of reporting increases in attendance and income through the Museum. Every year has been better than the previous one, but, like others, we must, during a world-wide recession, accept the bad years with the good. We have had many years of the latter, and we hope for an early return to prosperity.

      Our letter referring to the Centenary of the Battle of Tel-el-Kebir (reported on page 49) to the Editor of the Strathspey and Badenoch Herald created considerable interest in Badenoch.

Additions to the Museum
Unofficial Guide-Directory of Fort Mcpherson, Georgia, Headquarters United States Army Forces Command,
From Alastair F. Macpherson of Pitmain

The Museum received a copy of the unofficial Guide--Directory from Lieutenant General John L. Throckmorton, Commanding General, Third United States Army in 1970 (see Creag Dhubh number 22 page 345).





By R. G. M. Macpherson, F.R.S.A., F.S.A.Scot.

No. 31 Stuart Macpherson, F.R.S.A., F.R.G.S.

      A coat of arms of particular interest is the recent grant to Stuart Macpherson by the State Herald of the Republic of South Africa on the 18th October 1981. This is the first Macpherson Grant of Arms made by an heraldic authority outside of the United Kingdom and, as such, is unique. As this was the first Macpherson registration in South Africa, the design was submitted to the Lord Lyon, Edinburgh, to ensure that the Arms would be acceptable to Lyon and not conflict with any other Macpherson coat of Arms.

      The Arms consist of two wavy blue bars "in base" on a white or silver field, over which is placed a red Galley, "sails furled, oars in action, flags and pennon flying". The upper part of the shield (termed in heraldry "a Chief") is blue with a gold band and dagger between two gold fleur de lis. The "hand and dagger" will be recognised as a component part of the Cluny Arms and the two" fleur de lis" commemorate the armiger's long association with the Boy Scout movement which covers a period of more than forty years.

      The crest is described as "a Catamount sejant erect proper, charged on the shoulder with a fleur de lis Or". The motto, "Beware the ungloved cat" is "an answering motto", one of the finest features of Scots heraldry.

      Stuart Macpherson is the founder and Chairman of the South African Branch of the Clan Macpherson Association.

Breakdown by Geographical Location
United Kingdom 25
Canada   9
United States   3
Australia   3
South Africa   1

----------------------------------------------------------------16 -------------------------------------------------------------

No. 32 Norman Douglas McPherson

      Arms were granted by the Lord Lyon King of Arms, Edinburgh, on the 12th February 1982, to Norman Douglas McPherson of Roleystone, Western Australia, and matriculated in the Public Register of All Arms and Bearings in Scotland, p.2 Volume 65. Douglas is the second Australian clansman to receive Armorial Ensigns; the first being Ian Fyfe Macpherson, M.C., of New South Wales, in 1944.

      These Arms, as are all Macpherson Arms, are based on those of the Chief of the Clan, Macpherson of Cluny, but with a suitable "difference" to distinguish them from any other Macpherson coat of Arms. So, in addition to the Galley, the hand holding the dagger and the cross-crosslet taken from the Cluny Arms, the principal "difference" is a wavy green "chief" or band placed across the upper part of the shield. This wavy band represents water on which are depicted two Trout swimming, alluding to the armiger's special interest as a trout farmer. The "Black Swan", of course, represents Western Australia and gives a very nice geographical touch to the design.

      The Wildcat is seated upon a grassy mount and is described as "a cat sejant guardant proper", i.e. a cat sitting with its head turned towards the spectator. As a further "difference", the cat is charged on the shoulder with a silver "seven pointed star" from the Australian national flag. The motto is "an answering motto" to the Chief's "Touch not the cat but a glove".

      Norman Douglas McPherson is Chairman of the Western Australia Branch of the Clan Association.

Clan Macpherson Armorial Statistics
No. of matriculations in 1672 when the Public Register of
all Arms and Bearings in Scotland was inaugurated

No. of matriculations from 1672 to 1945
No. of matriculations from 1945 to present

Total 41



Not Included


      Time was short. Just a few weeks from the big event. Reservations were coming in much too slow. My hotel contact had left and I was dealing with someone new. Changes were made unexpectedly in hotel arrangements. I couldn't seem to tie down the pipers. The harpist had left on vacation and I had no confirmation. The tartan banners had been loaned to a Ft. Worth group and I worried they wouldn't be returned in time. In short I was uptight. It seemed that disaster loomed around every corner and that none of my carefully made plans would stay in place. One by one visitors we had expected from Scotland cancelled their plans to come to Dallas. Cluny wired that family and professional commitments would prevent their attendance.

      The day's mail brought only one response to our reservation letter. The response was a regret!!! My depression deepened. But then I noticed the check and the message.

      Edith Gillespie, long time Life Member, regretted she couldn't come to the Rally. She explained that she was over eighty and had recently had a bout of illness and was unable to travel. She wished for us the best of Rallys; and said she would be anxious to read a report of our activities. She enclosed a cheque to help defray the expenses of the Rally.

      My spirits lifted. I wrote a return letter telling her how much her caring meant to me the Convener and I made her the commitment that, if within my power as Convener, the Ninth Annual Rally of the U.S. Branch Clan Macpherson Association would be officially dedicated to Edith Gillespie.

      It was done and our report has been so written. God bless you Edith Gillespie.

James F. Macphearson, Convener





      William Alan Macpherson of Cluny, Q.C. to be a High Court Judge, in place of Mr Justice Lawson who will retire on 8th April, 1983. He will be assigned to the Queen's Bench Division.

Ronald Thomas Stewart Macpherson appointed High Sheriff for Greater London for 1983.

      One of the oldest chivaleric orders, founded 1118 A.D., has graciously conferred the rank of K.C.T. (Knight Commander of the Temple) on the Editor, Chevalier Archy Macpherson, M.A., LI.B.

      Her Majesty the Queen, the Sovereign Head of the Order of St. John has been graciously pleased to sanction the promotion of two Canadian Clansmen. Lt. Col. J. P. C. Macpherson, of Kingston, Ontario, promoted a Knight of Grace, and R. G. M. Macpherson, Chairman of the Canadian Branch of the Clan Association, promoted to the grade of Commander. These clansmen were presented with their insignia by His Excellency the Governor General at an Investiture in Ottawa in October.


(Continued from Craig Dhubh 1982, p. 43)

      Alex. Dott, merchant in Laggan Bridge, married a daughter of the Kingussie bard Donald Campbell (Dòmhnul Phàil nan oran). He is remembered as a calm, gentle and most considerate man and as a good business man. His son David who succeeded him used to sell at certain times of the year sgadain ùr o Taobh Loch Shuirn (fresh Herring from Loch Hourn-side) and was annoyed by boys outside the shop calling out "Tha sgadain aig Daibhidh Dott, sgadain ùr is sgadain grod" (David Dott has herrings, fresh and rotten).

      David's sister Mary who lived latterly in Kingussie died in 1952 at the age of 95. An Aunt (d. 1963) of the writer of these notes was probably the last who could recollect the bard Dòmhnul Phàil who died in 1876. At the age of about four she recalled being taken by her father to the bard's house.

      The wood behind the house of the medical officer at Creag a' Bhile is still known as Coill' an dotair. For about twenty-three years up to about 1893 Dr John Macrae served the parish and was succeeded by Dr Campbell. Dr Kunz was there afterwards for a year or two towards the end of the century.

      For several generations there was a family of Tolmies in Balgown. The first of them is said to have come from Glenurquhart and his wife from Athol in Perthshire. One of the family was a bard and as some verses he composed gave offence to certain people, he was summoned to Inverness but had himself proclaimed as a bard in presence of the sheriff and thus hoped to be immune from trouble if he composed further lampoons. In Balgown the family was succeeded by the Gordons who lived in a house once occupied by Angus Macpherson, father of Calum Piobair, near the old Balgown School. One of the Tolmies acted as carrier in the district and was followed in this later in the century by Aonghas Phàil and his brother Lachlainn, sons of Paul Macpherson in Balgown. John Dott, Kingussie, also did carrying between there and Laggan Bridge. The last of the Tolmies in the parish, two brothers, James and Donald, who had the farm of Blargie, died in the years 1947 and 1955.

      The blacksmith at Balgown, Huisdean a' Ghobhainn, was a Macdonald from Glenmoriston and about that glen he had many stories to relate. He was a strong active man who kept the boys in the vicinity up to the mark in matters of behaviour. The smithy was at certain times recognized cèilidh house where good conversation and story telling could be heard.

      Shortly after the middle of the century a mill dam was formed behind Cluny Castle to the west of which the Allt a' Mhuilinn (The mill stream) flows into the Spey, joining it immediately below Luib a' Mhòid, a bend on the Spey near Tom a' mhòid (court hillock). One of the early millers was Peter Chisholm from the Inverness district and after his time came James Grant, a Strathspey man. From the latter, boys in the vicinity used to get sgilig, grain, kiln hardened after the husks were ground off. it was considered a great delicacy by them. A well, about 300 yards north of the castle is Fuarnan Dhonnach (Duncan's well).

      Soon after the arrival of the railway at Kingussie, Hugh Macdonald, Achintore, Fort William, began a regular coach service between that town and Kingussie. He had stables (Stabuill nan Abraich) at Moy, west of Loch Laggan, and at Kinlochlaggan, the journey taking about six hours. A well known driver was David Jack, a most interesting man. There also was John Warren from Kingusssie and Raoll a' choach from Lochaber. Later on, Dr Campbell owned a coach with stables at Laggan Bridge. When the coaches finally ceased, the last driver was James Gillies, Laggan Bridge.

      One of the last of the drovers was Ruaraidh an Dròbhair, also known as Ruaraidh Mhìcheil as his father, Michael, of the Clanranald, was from Moidart. Many times he accompanied droves to Falkirk, Crieff and elsewhere and had many tales to tell. He used to say that when the droves reached the Lowlands they were in the habit


of resting overnight at Braco, Greenloaning, Dunblane and Larbert. At the last named the stance was where the asylum now is. His son, Dòmhnul Ruaraidh, was born in the 1870's and was well known as the manager of several farms in Badenoch before living in Balgown where he died in 1956. He was a Roman Catholic and after his first marriage attended the U. F. Church in which he became an elder. Much of the old lore and song passed with him.

      Donald Campbell, tailor in Balgown, who had the reputation of being an excellent maker of kilts, died in 1931. He spent his early days at Gergask and came of a family which had a close connection with the Breadalbane family. Another Campbell, Iain Fada (Long John) had the farm of Shanval in Glentruim and a son became a provost of Kingussie. John Campbell who had the farm of Middleton early in the century was a son of Archibald, son of John. A great grandfather was the famous Rev. Duncan Macpherson (Am Ministir Mór) minister of Laggan from 1747 to 1757 who overcame the Gobhainn Mór thus winning the people to attend the church. This John Campbell had a son, Rev. Dr Archibald Campbell who became a minister in Collingwood, Ontario about a hundred years ago.

      The present farmhouse of Breakachy was built in the 1880s, the mason work being carried out by James Macdonald, a Kingussie contractor. One of his workmen was John Macpherson (from Dulnain Bridge) who later had a successful career as a detective in the Metropolitan Police and was also something of a bard. He published a small book of Gaelic and English verse. While working at Breakachy he stayed with Calum Pìobair and together they devoted many evenings to the music of the pipe and fiddle, both being players of the highest order in their respective instruments. The manager at Breakachy was a Glenurquhart man, John Fraser, who was well liked in the district and was considered to be a good farmer and stockman. He had three daughters and a son who became coachman to the Count Serra Largo in Kingussie.

      A court of session case took place in the 1880s between Mr MacCall Smith of Breakachy and a neighbouring proprietor. One who was summoned to Edinburgh to give evidence regarding the marches at Drumochter was John Macpherson (Iain Mhuirich) in Catlodge, then aged about 83 years. He was born at Corrachy, east of Breakachy, and was the son of Murdoch and Ann Mcintyre from Glentruim. His wife, Janet Gordon, had a brother, Rev. Evan Gordon, Glasgow. Iain lived for a time at Presmuchrach and his grandson, John, in Catlodge, had the contract of carting the stones used in the building of the monument to Old Cluny on Creag Ruadh. In the very severe winter of 1895 the ice was so thick on the Spey that heavily laden carts were able to cross between Balgown and Breakachy. Ewan Macpherson, Eoghann Mór or Eoghan an Luig (Lagg, Catlodge) became a keeper near Dalwhinnie.

      Alexander Cattanach, Achmore, was well known beyond his parish as Alasdair Catananch a Sgir' Lagain, one of the "Men". He lost his life in 1886 when he fell over a steep rock while gathering sheep on Creag Dhubh on a day of thick mist. Earlier in the century there was a tacksman at Achmore, MacGregor, who was married to one of Leslie family. Those bearing the surname Cattanach seemed to have originated from the districts of Strone and Clime near Newtonmore. It is said that long ago some of them settled in Aberdeenshire, the name in a number of instances being altered to Catto.

      There lived in the district a rather old man always known as Am Bodach Catach (The Old Sutherland Man). He frequently attended the weekly prayer meeting and expressed a wish to be allowed to lead the prayer. This was at last granted to him and continuing fervently, the prayer being of course in Gaelic. He proceeded to mention the children of Israel quoting, "out of the Land of Egypt out of the house of bondage, when all was lost, lost just as, as . . . as the kale was lost by the Lowland bodachs (mar a bha a' chàil a bh' aig na bodiach Ghallda).

      It is not now known who the caileach was of whom the following is told. Perhaps it was poor old Ceit Dock who certainly had weak eyesight and who lived at Gaskmore near An Drobhar with whom she quarreled. Maighstir Ruaraidh and his housekeeper, Seònaid, were among those who were very kind to her. Every time a funeral passed she used to start weeping and wailing. One day she was at the gable end as a wedding party came along the road. Not being able to see very well, and, thinking it




was a funeral, she called out in a mournful voice, "O siud an t-sligh' air an teid sinn uile". (That is the way we will all go).

      About the year 1830 a regular system of policing the country came into being with a constable in every parish. After serving for about two years at Carr Bridge in the parish of Duthil, one who came to be known as the Constabal Mór was settled in Laggan, the house in which he lived being at the extreme end of Balgown, close to the Cluny woods, and overlooking the crofts. Although there was an instance of a Corp crè (a day corpse) in the parish about 1861 there was hardly any crime in a district of this kind at that period and the idea of having to appear at the court in Inverness was considered a thing of shame. The thought of Old Cluny getting to know of a misdeed was in itself a deterrent. The strength of the Inverness-shire Police in 1865 was Chief Constable, Superintendent, three inspectors, three sergeants and twenty nine constables. The Constabal Mór was a native of the western part of Inverness Parish whither his father had come from his ancestral parish of Kirkhill. He had a reputation as a good story teller and at that time in Laggan the old Ossianic ballads were still known in a fragmentary form as were stories of the kind found in J. F. Campbell's West Highland Tales. It was said too that he was instrumental in getting the farmers and crofters of the district to make stacks of hay and corn of a better type. One of the Balgown bards -- it is not known which one -- composed verses about him on two occasions. A surviving fragment of the first one is:

                               "So an Constabal Mó a' tighinn
                               An daine stòlda againn fhin;
                              Tha e daonnan dol troigh 'n sgir',
                               O deas gu tuath, o ' n ear gu 'n iar".

      (Here the Constabal Mór, our own steady man, comes; he is always going through the parish, from south to north, from east to west).

      One from the second, as if spoken by people engaged in mischief, is:

                              "Bi e so, fhearaibh, mus tig an Constabal Mór,
                               Oir gheibh sinn e, oir gheibh sinn e".

      (Move away from here, men, before the Constabal Mór comes, because we will get it, we will get it).

      At certain times he used to meet, at Uvie, the Newtonmore constable. This man was a Cameron and was the person used as a model by Kenneth Macleay in his series of portraits of a representative of each clan about the year 1868. After some years the Constabal. Mór moved to a house, once occupied by Lachlan Macpherson, the ground officer, lower down on the left as you enter the Balgown road near the West Lodge. The brae between the road and his former house is still known to some as Bruach a' Bharain. One of his sons later served in the Inverness-shire Police, two became teachers, a fourth an engineer and a grandson, called after him, is the writer of these notes.

      The Strathspey people were not highly regarded by the Laggan people, probably because they were considered as being almost Lowland (Leth-Ghoill). Despite Badenoch having at one time suffered from raids by men from Lochaber, the people of that part were regarded more favourably. The Laggan people thought of Newtonmore as a rather inferior place and the remark -- "Cha robh annt' ach gràisg a thainig leis an rathaid iarainn" (only a herd that came up at the time of the railway) was heard on certain occasions. The nicknames applied to the various parishes were: Kingussie, "Na daolagan dubha", the black beetles; Newtonmore, "Na Seileachagan", the snails; Alvie, "Na Snioganan", the ants. There did not seem to be a name given to the people of Insh nor was one heard for the Laggan people themselves.

      In the great days of the Inverness Wool Fair, (Féill na Clòmhe) held in July every year since its inception in 1817, the bigger farmers of Badenoch were well represented. One who was spoken of about the middle of the century in Blargie was Donald Cameron, a Perthshire man. There, in the 1860s and 1870s, was Robert Gordon who also had Coul. Later on came Ewan Cameron from Rannoch. Along with him for some


time he had his brother Angus, a double Queen's Prize winner at Wimbledon. He gained this coveted award in 1866 at the age of nineteen. When he won the prize again in 1869 he shot from the left shoulder, having had a damaged eye in the intervening years. Their mother was a Campbell, closely related to DòmhnuI Phàil, the bard. It was probably in the Camerons' time that one of a family known as Plocan (Little block) acted as shepherd. On retiring from work, he lived in the old schoolhouse at Balgown. By the 1880s Donald MacKillop (Dòmhnul Beag) had become the tenant. He was born at Muckoul and, already mentioned in connection with shinty, was a noted sheep farmer. A son, John, acted as County Clerk of Inverness for many years.

       Coul was tenanted about 1880 by Alex. Macdonald and later, from 1895, by Donald Fraser who had several sons, one of whom became a minister, and one daughter. The sale when Donald Fraser left was a great event, recalled long afterwards. An ancient burial ground lies immediately to the east of the Coul farmhouse. The oldest burial ground was said to be at Raplaich, on the east bank of the Markie, about a mile above Crathie.

      Gaskbeg will always be remembered because of its associations with the celebrated Mrs Grant of Laggan in the last quarter of the 18th century. By the third decade of the nineteenth century, John Ross, a native of Abernethy Parish in Strathspey had the tenancy. A son, James, who was born there in 1837 had a distinguished career as a professor of medicine in Manchester. Gaskbeg, along with Gaskmore and Gergask, had shieling ground in the Coire Buidhe, where Allt Bronach, written about in prose and verse by Mrs Grant, rises south of Creagan Soilleir. The Bronach is joined above the farm by the Allt na Crìche (Boundary Burn) which rises some distance to the east.

      The manse of Laggan is situated near Gaskbeg and Rev. Dr Mackintosh Mackay, who lived there from 1825 to 1832 did much of his work on the Highland Society Dictionary in




this period. About 1875 when Archibald Campbell retired from farming, Gaskbeg, along with Gaskmore and Drumgask, was let to William Macgillvray who had Am Baile Mór (Cluny Mains). He was from Moy Parish and was known to some as Mac bodach peileir na circ' a thainig a nall a Srath Eireann (Son of the old man of the hens who came from Strathdearn).

      Many prizes at shows were won by him over the years. When the Baile Mór was farmed by Old Cluny, good quality Highland cattle and black faced sheep were kept. A good number of acres were added as a result of reclamations and improvements near the river banks at Cluny about the middle of the century. At the sale, when the farm was let in 1878, Calum Piobair' played A chlann nan con, thigibh an so is gheibh sibh feoil (Children of dogs, come here and you will get flesh). Cluny Mains was later taken by William Macdonald who also acted as local factor for the Cluny Estate along with Mr Donald Davidson of Davidson and Scott, Inverness. William Macdonald was a son of Angus Macdonald, Catlodge, who had the farm and hotel at Drumgask. A cousin was James Anderson, son of Sandy Anderson, farmer at Middleton, Laggan. In 1893, Middleton was let to the Macfarlanes, horse hirers in Kingussie.

      The Macnabs, from Perthshire, held Dalchully for some generations. When the Roman Catholic Church at Sron an Duin was erected early in the century, John Macnab of Dalchully was one who was able to provide labour for the carting of building materials. A priest there about that time was Father Evan MacEachan, remembered as the compiler of a Gaelic Dictionary. One of the editors of this work in its 5th edition received his early education in Balgown and Gergask schools. Towards the middle of the century, Father Macnab, who was related to the Dalchully family, served as priest at St. Michael's, Sion an Dùin. A bridge near Crathie became known as Drochaid an t-sagairt (The priest's bridge) and some distance upstream on the Mashie was Lag an t-sagairt (The priest's hollow).

      The Balgown tenants who at one time had shielings at Allt Dearg were long in the habit of getting their peat in the Blar Beag, the moss east of Creag a' Bhil', the nearest house being that of Seoc Breac. Grass close to banks of the Spey used to be auctioned by the Crerars from Kingussie. This meadow grass was known as Fiar miadanach. The fields, protected from flooding by the embankments, came to be called bardan or "bards". A crofter who had only one horse had, in the spring, to team up with a neighbour to form a pair. This was known as a dol co-chrann. (Literally, going a plough together).

      The nearest cultivated land to the source of the Spey was at Shirramore, the tenant for some years up to about 1880 being a Mr Kennedy from Ayrshire. Money was provided about the middle of the century to enable ploughing matches to be held in rotation in the parishes of Insh, Kingussie and Laggan by Huisdean Friseal (Hugh Fraser) who had returned from India where he had succeeded in business. His family at one time had the mill at Cluny and they were related to the Andersons and Macdonalds mentioned above. Hugh Fraser, who was born at Breakachy and conferred a number of benefits on his native parish, later had an estate in Fife. His wife was related to the late Sir Thomas Stewart Macpherson's father. It was about 1880 that the first ploughing match of the new society was held at Drumgask; usually about twenty or more pairs of horses competed at these events which were attended by many including Old Cluny.

      The information given has come from family tradition and from Miss Mary Macdonald (Màiri Ruaraldh) Balgown, Angus Macpherson, M.B.E., Thomas J. Macpherson, Inverness (Catlodge), Calum Macdonald, Balgown all of whom have passed on. Also from Mrs Hugh Millin (Bella Anderson), Gergask.



      "Hi Dad", it was our son Bill (Lt. Colonel USAF) calling from Germany on Tuesday, 15th July. "Can Mom and you come over for the Macpherson Clan Rally in Newtonmore on 6, 7 and 8 August? I was able to get some leave time and will bring Stuart (aged 4) so we can have three generations of our family in the March."

      My wife Florence and I had just returned to our home in Decatur, Illinois after an eight-week trip to the East Coast. We had been visiting with our daughter Bonnie and her children in New Jersey while her husband John, a Lieutenant in the US Air Force was on duty in Turkey. We had also had good time with members of our family and friends from New York to Virginia.

      Could we unpack, get another house sitter, make travel arrangements and repack for a four-week trip (to include time for touring Scotland again and visiting with Bill and his family in Germany), within the next ten days? Could we pass up the opportunity to march with our son and grandson behind the pipes with our fellow clansmen as our forefathers had done?

      A few more phone calls to Bill and others soon settled it. We go!

      Bill met us at Frankfurt, Germany and drove us to his lovely home near Ramstein where we spent several pleasant days. We had some interesting moments when I tried on the kilt for the first time in my life. The Hunting plaid I was to wear was given to Bill by Ronnie Macpherson when he attended a Rally several years ago and realised that his Air Force uniform was not really the proper garb for such an occasion.

      From the time we crossed the border into Scotland we felt the thrill of fulfilment gained from again visiting the homeland of my Father. Two pleasant days in Edinburgh, a visit with Hugh Macpherson to make sure I would be in proper uniform and the welcome to Newtonmore by Eoin at the Museum made us realise the wisdom of making the trip.

      The memorable meeting and greeting of our distinguished Chief, Cluny, the vivacious Lady Sheila and other members of the Clan from many parts of the world at the Ball Friday evening was exhilarating. It was good to see Ethel and John Macpherson again. They had visited us in Illinois several years ago.

      The Scottish country dancing was a bit strange to us at first, but with the helpful guidance of Andrew Gillies, the cooperation of others in our set, the contagious joyful spirit of all and the lively tunes, we just danced and danced and danced. We even got grandson Stuart on the floor where he tripped the light fantastic first with his parents, then with the whole family.

      We appreciated the recognition given to our three generations -- son Bill in the white dress kilt, Stuart in the red and I in the hunting plaid with our wives wearing the Macpherson skirt and sash proudly.

      The Annual General Meeting of the Clan at the Village Hall in Newtonmore on Saturday morning impressed me with the broad scope, the strength and the vibrancy of our Association. Although I have been a Life Member since 1974, I had failed to appreciate, until that meeting, the wisdom of our founders more than thirty years ago and the abilities of our leaders since that time.

      I really felt that I "belonged to the Highlands" when, walking back to our room from the meeting, wearing my kilt and bonnet, a car stopped and the driver, with a distinct English accent, asked me if I would pose for a photograph with his lady friend. They wanted a photo of a Highlander! This I did with pride and pleasure. I wonder what they told their friends when they showed the photograph?

      The Clan March from Old Ralia, led by the pipe band, proved to be the "cup that overfloweth". Our new Chairman John presented son Bill and me with claymores to carry "upright and straight" beside the Cluny banner proudly borne by Eoin with grandson Stuart marching beside his father. I have participated in many parades and received several honours in my career, but none filled my heart as marching with our son and grandson as guardians of the colours before our Chief Cluny and fellow Clansmen.


The "Three Generation Family" --
Maureen and Lt. Col. William R.
Macpherson, Florence and Col.
Rupert G. Macpherson (Ret.) and
Stuart William Macpherson.


      The socialising at the Newtonmore Games, the hospitality to overseas visitors, the sights and sounds of the various competitions, all with the music of the pipes in the background gave us many pleasant memories as well as plenty of opportunities to take even more photographs.

      Never having been to a ceilidh before, we looked forward to this one with great anticipation. We were not disappointed. The Macpherson artistic talent presented was both interesting and enjoyable. Even we, who do not understand Gaelic, knew that Archy was demonstrating the milking of a cow. We particularly appreciated the film presentation of the Clan Macpherson presented by Monroe. Every Macpherson who sees it will be that much prouder of his or her heritage. Every non-Macpherson who views it will gain a greater appreciation for the Sons of the Parson.

      Our "three generations" were strengthened at the Church Service at St. Columba's Parish House in Kingussie on Sunday morning. We were grateful for the opportunity to worship with so many members of our Clan and to seek the Blessings of the Almighty in our worthy endeavours.

      The gracious hospitality of Sandra and Euan on Sunday afternoon at Glentruim proved a fitting climax to our weekend at Newtonmore. Florence and I gained new friendships and renewed others made the previous two days. Son Bill and his wife Maureen chatted with old friends and new while grandson Stuart played on the lawn with other younger members of the Clan.

      We had to forego the bus trip tour on Monday as we drove to Banffshire to visit the farm birthplace of my father at Castle Hill in Aberchirder and the resting place of my grandparents in Marnoch. A mossed rock from the several century old rock fence on the farm now rests in a special place, bordered by white heather (a little bit of Scotland), in our garden here in Illinois.

      To you who have not yet been to a Macpherson Clan Rally in Newtonmore the first weekend in August, I urge you to attend in 1983.

      To you who reside outside of Scotland, are second or third generation Highlanders, come home again and gain the benefits of your great heritage.

      To you who are grandparents or great grandparents, bring all three or four generations along. It is the thrill of a lifetime and you as senior Macphersons deserve it.

Rupert G. Macpherson, Colonel AUS (Ret.)
2707 West Macon Street, Decatur, Illinois 62522, U.S.A.

------------------------------------------------------------------30 --------------------------------------------------------------

BALL AT GLEN TRUIM (Ball Ghlinn-Truim)

      This English and Gaelic medley used often to be sung at ceilidhs in Badenoch. It purports to record the happenings at the ball held at Glen Truim to celebrate the coming of age of Ewan Macpherson who was the eldest brother of the present Glentruim's father.

      Evidently the hospitality at Glentruim was no less generous then than it is today and the song gives the impression of somewhat hazy memories of a great party which lasted far into the following morning.

      The author of the song was Donald Campbell (Domhnall Og) the son of Donald Phail nan Oran, the bard of Kingussie, who is remembered particularly for his composition "The Emigrant's Song" (Gu'm a slan do na fearaibh). Donald Phail was of Rannoch stock; his father, Paul, farming at Lerigan before coming to Badenoch in the early part of the nineteenth century. Domhnall Og began life in Glen Gynack and followed his father as a shepherd, but migrated to Kingussie where he set up in business as a general merchant and was active in public service.

      The song is sung to the air "The Laird of Cockpen".


      In the following medley the English and Gaelic forms a felicitous combination, full of playful touches and witticisms, tending to produce mirth and laughter.

Le Dòmhnull Caimbeul, Mac Dhòmhnuill Phail, Bàrd Chinn-a'-Ghuibhsaich.
Ann am Beurla 's an Gàilig.

Air Fonn:-"The Laird of Cockpen."

Yesterday evening, 'san fheasgar an raoir,
We marched away to Ball Ghlinn-truim,
We could na get lasses, cha rachadh iad leinn,
And going without them bu mhuladach sinn.

When we arrived, gu'n d'fhuair sinn ho-rêumflex;!
They all inquired "nach tug thu leat te?"
"We're better without them" gun threagair mi fhéin;
But never let on, nach fhaighinn a h-aoh.

And when we entered an rùm 's an' ro' 'n danus',
The lasses were dressed anns na fasanan GaIld',
With white muslin frocks agus cròtaibh na 'n ceann --
They would cheer up your heart ged a bhitheadh ta farm.

With gum-flowers and ribbons gur h-iad a bha briagh --
All trimmed in the fashion nach fhaca mi riamh,
With hoops in their skirts, 's arm annta bha 'n liad:
They thought nach robh 'n leithid ri 'fhaighinn, mas fhiar.

When the dancing commenced, cha robh iad cho gann,
But you would get plenty 'reidheadh comhl' riut' a dharnns';
The house was so crowded -- bha 'n t-urlar cho trang;
You never saw leithid de rabble's a bh' ann!

The butler then went le toddy mu 'n cuairt;
When they got the whisky's ann aca 'bha 'm fuaim;
The lads were with lasses ri barganan cruaidh
And I went to listen, and taice ri 'n cluas!


The wind was hard blowing 'n sabhal Ghlinn-Truim;
The candies were dripping a mhàn air ar druim --
They painted our coats gun fharachdainu dhuinn:
If we stayed at home, cha d' eirich sid dhuinn.

It was four o'clock --'a i mhaduinn a bh' ann
We started for home anns a' choach aig a' Ghall When we reached Kingussie, gu 'n deach mi 'na ghleann,
Regretting the loss 'bhi gun chadal 's an ám.

Glentruim looking magnificent with his daughter Catriona.



Not included





Chairman               Douglas McPherson
Vice-Chairman       Frank Smith
Sec./Treasurer       Margaret McPherson

      Our Annual General Meeting was held at a restaurant on the 3rd October, 1982. We had the place to ourselves thus enabling us to hold the meeting at 7 p.m. This was followed by dinner for those wishing to stay.

      The Office-Bearers were re-elected "en masse". Margaret, deservedly, was thanked for all her efforts over the year.

      During the year we had a very successful night at Rae and Cliff Harris' home. Much music and dancing, led by Dawn MacPherson and her dancers from the RSCD Association.

      We had a meeting with representatives of Clans Campbell and MacLeod and it was decided to hold a gathering at a park on the banks of the Swan River in Perth on Sunday, 28th March, 1983.

      This event will be well publicised, inviting all Scots to come along. Scottish dancing, tossing the caber and various other strange Highland practices will no doubt take place. I believe we have also been threatened by a haggis, so claymores will be worn.

      Our Xmas meeting will be in the form of a festive dinner, shared by members and friends alike.

      Greetings and Best Wishes to our Kinsfolk where e'er they may be.



Call up our Clansmen,
Creag Dhubh! Creag Dhubh!
The war cry of old
Calling all of those who
Bear the name of Macpherson,
Gillies, or Gow, Cattanach,
Murdoch and Clansmen who now
Gather all the world over,
United once more,
To sing of our past
And Scotlands dear shores.

To re-tell the tales, the legends, the stories,
To ensure that our children
All hear of the glories
Told down through the ages
At many Clan Ceilidhs.
Of the soldiers, the statesmen,
The Clergy, the Sailors.
Of the Rovers, the Drovers
And so many others
Who descended from Ewan,
The son of the Parson;
First of the line to be MAC a' PHEARSAIN. So call up our Clansmen,
And all those who truly.
Can say that their Chief

July 1982

Kenneth D. Macpherson

as at 31/12/81
Chairman      Stuart Macpherson
Secretary      Huntly MacPherson
                        PO Box 69241, Bryanston, Transval, 2024

      The year was one of consolidation and not much growth in membership. The Committee have planned for an intensive drive for new members in 1982.

      The Branch was very active in attending many Scottish and Caledonian Societies' gatherings as well as organising a few golf competitions, an annual dinner/dance, at which the Chairman Stuart Macpherson was invested with the South African Branch's Order of Merit. With haggis and a pipe band to dance to, it was a grand evening at which a hundred persons were in attendance.

      The founding Committee was re-elected en bloc at the Annual General Meeting in September at which Vice-Chairman Allan D. MacPherson gave a humorous report on his attending the Annual Gathering in Newtonmore and where he was priviliged to carry the Clan Banner in the Saturday March. He also attended all meetings as the official representative of the South African Branch.

      Membership was still over 100 when the year closed in spite of the death of two members and the transfer of four to Western Australia.



      Fifty-four voices in unison shouted "gie her a Haggis". Thus ended an outstanding "Address to the Haggis" by James D. MacPherson. The dinner and ceilidh following were equally memorable. The ceilidh featured an excellent demonstration of country dancing by Ayr native Averil Vestals, Dallas based Caledonia Country Dancers. Judith Romero played the Scottish harp. Mark Bowers and Duncan Ballentine, of the Dallas Caledonian Pipe and Drums, played the pipes. James D. followed his outstanding "To the Haggis" histronics with equally outstanding renditions of several of the Bard's poems. Our "Fear an Tighe", Glasgow born Bill Innes, a modern day Harry Lauder and our Musical Director Bill Gardner sang several songs and led the entire company in singing some American favourite Scottish songs. They were accompanied on the organ by Co-convener Doris Macphearson. Before the evening ended with the traditional "Auld Lang Syne", a drawing for door prizes was held. Everyone present won a prize.

      The Saturday evening dinner and ceilidh was just one of many activities provided to members and guests of Clan Macpherson Association -- United States Branch, who gathered from ten states and three countries for the Branch's Ninth Annual Rally. The Rally, dedicated by Convener James F. Macphearson to Edith Gillespie of Flint, Michigan, was held at the North Park Inn and Convention Center in Dallas, Texas on 29th through 3 1st October, 1982.

      Other activities included a Friday evening reception followed by a Kinship/Friendship Dinner featuring Texas Barbecue and lovely Western motif decorations. Convener James read a telegram of greetings from Cluny and Sheila and Chairman Monroe MacPherson raised a toast to our Chief. Helen Macpherson, our lone Clan representative from Scotland, brought us greetings from the cradle of the Clan Association. The letter she read from her parents was beautiful, its thoughts set the tone for our Rally. We ended the evening with a showing of the tape/slide show prepared by Chairman Monroe for the Museum in Newtonmore.

      On Saturday morning while the Council, under the direction of Chairman Monroe MacPherson, conducted the business of the Association other members visited the


Biblical Arts Center and viewed the Miracle of Pentecost, one of Texas' most outstanding art exhibits. This magnificent 128 foot by 20 foot painting with its life-size figures is augmented with remarkable sound, lighting and commentary.

      Saturday afternoon the General Business Meeting re-elected existing officers: W. Monroe MacPherson, Ionia, Michigan, Chairman; Dr Roderick W. Clarke, Alexandria, Va., Vice-Chairman; Herbert T. Armitt, Williamstown, Mass., Secretary Robert B. MacPherson, Belchertown, Mass., Treasurer and Urlar Editor. Also reelected were Executive Council Members: Robert J. M. Gillespie, Attleboro Falls, Mass.; William F. Jarrett, Alexandria, Va.; Donald F. McPherson, Hilton, N.Y. and David F. Carson, Hopkins, Minn.

      Robert B. MacPherson, who founded the U.S. Branch and served as its first Chairman, was honoured by being elected to the newly created office Chairman Emeritus. James F. Macphearson, Dallas, Texas was elected Membership Secretary. Named as new Council Members were: Region One Chairman, James D. MacPherson, Annapolis, Md.; Anna L. M. Wiley, Mesa, Arizona and Carlisle, lo.; Dan R. Gentry and Rosemary M. Perkins, both of Dallas. Dan Gillies, a member of the Canadian Branch was honoured by being elected the first Honorary member of the United States Branch.

      The decision was made to hold an interim full day Council Meeting before the next Rally. The probable time and place will be March 1983 at the Dunedin Games in Florida.

      The Rally ended with an impressive "Kirkin' o' the Tartans" Ceremony at North Park Presbyterian Church. Eighty-four Tartan Banners representing the Clans of the Scottish Surnamed Members of the Congregation were displayed in the church. Kilted Standard-Bearers Steve Perkins, Herb Armitt, Bob MacPherson, James H. Macphearson, Bruce Macphearson, James F. Macphearson, Donald F. McPherson, Dr Rod Clarke and Dan Gillies led the entire Macpherson contingent in their march to the church. They also presented the Macpherson Tartans and Banners at the appropriate time during the Worship Service. Celebrating Reformation Sunday the entire Worship Service was based on our Scottish heritage and the Scots who influenced it.

      Everyone had such a fine weekend they hated to say their goodbyes. However, reluctantly some took the high road (planes) and some the low (autos and buses) and all spoke of being in Scotland. Many will journey to Newtonmore next August. Those that can't be there physically will certainly be there in spirit. It's a grand, grand family and every Rally, whether in Newtonmore or somewhere else in this wide world of ours, always confirms how grand it is. Now Texas is just one more place that has confirmed our kinship and/or friendship ties.

Respectfully submitted,

James F. Macphearson, Convener.


Chairman            Mrs Catherine Macpherson
Hon. Secretary   Dr Margaret A. Calder, M.D.
                            43 Braid Road, Edinburgh EH10 6AW
Hon. Treasurer   J. R. Currey

      The last year has been quiet, the only function being a social evening held at the home of the Chairman in December, when the Edinburgh Macphersons took the opportunity of re-uniting. A varied programme of piping, singing and verse was enjoyed, together with an interesting showing. of slides of the Clan countryside. The money raised on this occasion was handed over to Hugh Macpherson to swell his funds for the Clan Museum Extension. We were saddened to learn of the death of Robert Macpherson, O.B.E., one of our oldest members, who had been a main-stay of the Branch for many years. His expertise in organising dances, ceilidhs and other functions will long be remembered, as will his friendliness, courage and his infectious good humour. Our sincere sympathy goes to Grace and his family.



Chairman      Mrs Isabel S. Lamond
Secretary       Athole H. Macpherson
                      164 Lewis Street, Invercargill

      The 35th Annual Meeting was held in the home of the chairman. Our membership is 47.

      On 18th September a dinner was held in the Scottish Hall. Many of our folk are farmers, and unfortunately some were still busy with the lambing. However, those attending enjoyed our variety of items -- mainly instrumental this year. Wherever possible, we provide our own entertainment and we have good talent.

      Mrs Mabel McPherson -- a Kiwi Canadian of North Irish descent -- gave a amusing talk which carried us to many parts of the world. Alec is a Past Chairman of the Clan and he quickly educated her as to the best tartans, and to further improve he education, took her to Scotland where she met cousins from Gigha and came to truly appreciate the worthiness of all things Scottish. She now attends a Scottish country dancing club with Alec and has been assimilated into our idiosyncracies.

      Mr and Mrs W. Allan represented the Combined Clans Council at the dinner. Mr Allan's birthplace is Cumbrae.

      In the annual bowls tussle for Inter-Clan cups, Clan MacKenzie emerged the victors, with Clan Donald being runners-up.

      Invitations were accepted to Clan Lindsay dinner and a social evening with Clan MacKenzie. Both evenings were most enjoyable.

      It is with regret that we announce the death of a Past Chairman, Mr Donal Macpherson -- brother of Hector.

      Donald was a keen member of the Clan and though of recent years ill-health prevented attendance at meetings, his interest in our affairs never flagged. On hi retirement some years ago a lengthy trip overseas was made and he gladly showed clansfolk splendid slides of Scotland, and included in these was the home of his forbear on Skye.

      Donald was most generous with donations to our Association. He leaves a widow and two daughters.

      Again we send our warmest greetings to all clansfolk.


Chairman       R. G. M. Macpherson
                   193 Waldencroft Crescent, Burlington, Ontario, L7L 3A6
Secretary       Donald J. MacPherson
                   205 Kensington Ave., South, Hamilton, Canada, L8M 3H6       The 33rd Annual General Meeting and Gathering of the Canadian Branch was held on September 25/82, at the 110-year-old Hamilton Club in Hamilton, Ontario.

      We had a goodly number for our get-together with several attending for the firs time.

      Some of the special guests were: the Chairman of the Hamilton-Wentworth region Mrs Anne MacPherson Jones, Alderman and Mrs Wm. McCullough who brought greetings from the City of Hamilton, and our special guest speaker Canon D. Ralph Spence and Mrs Spence.

      We were also pleased to have Monroe and Phyllis MacPherson from Ionia Michigan. Monroe brought greetings from the U.S. Branch.

      A period of social time was held where everyone renewed aquaintences and mad some new friends.


      Our Clan Piper Mr Thomas MacPherson of London did the the honours as we were led into the dining room for a lovely turkey dinner. Of course the usual haggis was given parade of the room and after being properly done in by the Chairman, the address was given by Lloyd MacPherson.

      The business meeting followed and was kept short in order to allow as much time as possible for the guest speaker. Reports were given from many areas.

Tribute was paid to the early members of our Executive Committee who supported the Branch for so many years, namely: Lisa MacPherson, Roberta and Mildred Gillies, Jim Stephens and Mrs James Thompson.       A drive is needed in order that we can speed the sales of our Clan Publications. Most importantly the Posterity of Three Brethren and the Glimpses of Church and Social Life, part 1. It is only with the sale of these that we can realize the printing of other materials. An invitation was given to those present that were not members to join with us as members of the Association.

      Monroe MacPherson treated us to a brief film presentation on the history of the Clan especially prepared for raising funds for the Museum addition.

      After we were wetted down (thirst wise), and comfortably seated, Canon Spence was again introduced.

      He gave an extremely interesting talk on the subject of "Flags". He began with Clan Banners and then showed us examples of the flags of many countries, with an account of the history behind each flag. Everyone agreed that it was a most informative and entertaining address, well illustrated by a few of the over 800 flags in the collection of Canon Spence.


Chairman           Ewen S. L. MacPherson
Vice-Chairman   M. Alastair F. Macpherson of Pitmain
Treasurer          George C. J. Macpherson
Hon. Secretary    Neil H. Macpherson
                           16 Grasmere Avenue, Kingston Vale, London SW15 31111

      Our year began with the Annual General Meeting held at the Royal Scottish Corporation on 11th May, where our new Chairman Ewen took the chair after eleven years as secretary. The meeting was followed by a buffet and a showing of the film "The Glorious Effect" which had been shown on BBC television on New Year's Day, and portrayed the world-wide effect of the bagpipes in contemporary intensive competitions. The programme was originally presented by Rory MacPherson whom we were delighted to welcome on the evening.

      The Festival of Scotland Highland Games took place on the following Saturday where we again shared a tent with the MacLeods at the Hook Road Arena in Ewell, and were pleased to see Clan members, friends, and several potential members.

      Our annual Dinner Dance was held on 5th November, again at the Kensington Close, and we were delighted to have Cluny and Lady Cluny back with us again together with the young generation -- Annie and Alan of Cluny. The Guests of Honour were Sir Torquil Matheson of Matheson and Lady Matheson, whilst Harry Macpherson Symons replied to the toast of the Association. Robert Pearson was on hand to pipe in the Haggis and play for some of the reels. The atmosphere during the evening was one of friendly conviviality and we take the opportunity of extending this bonhomie to all our fellow branches throughout the world.


(Part Two) -- The Case of Alexander McPherson
Alan G. Macpherson, St. John's, Newfoundland

      In critically reviewing Lewin Dwinell McPherson's genealogical compilation "Kincheloe, McPherson, and Related Families" (published privately, Washington, D.C., 1951), the first part of this article (Creag Dhubh No. 34, 1982: 35-38) concentrated upon William McPherson "tailor", a Jacobite transportee aged 23 who arrived in Maryland on the Godspeed in October 1716, was indentured to Michael Martin, and subsequently acquired a plantation in Charles County which he named "Dalraddie". The name has direct associations with Badenoch and implies that William was a Badenoch man, thus demolishing the notion of an Argyllshire origin for at least one of the three men identified as ancestors of the Macphersons of Charles County.

      The notion that Alexander and Daniel McPhersons of Charles County were brothers of William of Dalraddie Plantation originated with William's genealogically-minded descendants Maud Burr Morris and her cousin, Alan Corson (1876-1943), as did the notion of an Argyllshire (Dalriadic) origin. Their source for Alexander McPherson's family was a manuscript genealogy compiled in 1930 by Miss Helen Montague Turner, of Newport News, Virginia, a descendant of Alexander McPherson's daughter Virlanda and her husband Samuel Turner. By 1951 Lewin McPherson was unable to trace this lady, an unfortunate circumstance as his account of the family presents formidable difficulties; it is clearly a historical reconstruction and not an original family account. A copy of the 1930 manuscript may well exist in the possession of Lewin McPherson's son, Charles Marion McPherson (b. 1898), or his grandson, Charles Marion McPherson Jnr. (b.1938). In its absence there is no way of knowing the basis for statements in Lewin's account of this family, or who was responsible for the reconstruction.

      The first point to note is that there is no "origin tale" to account for Alexander McPherson's arrival in Maryland, such as exists for William of Dalraddie Plantation and -- as we shall see in the third part of this article -- for Daniel McPherson. Alexander first appears on record signing his will on the 27th July (or June), 1761, and as this was probated 22nd May, 1762 it can be assumed that he died in the interval. He is identified with Alexander McPherson who witnessed the will of Thomas Mudd on the 25th June 1740, both in Charles County; if Thomas Sanders is the person who sold Brierwood Plantation to William McPherson to form the nucleus of Dalraddie Plantation, this may indicate a connection between Alexander and William. There are difficulties in accepting this, however, when Alexander's family is examined critically.

     The 1761 will lists Alexander's wife Elizabeth, their sons Alexander, Mark, William and John, their daughter Ann, and their granddaughters Elizabeth and Priscilla McPherson and Dorcas Turner (b. 21 Apr. 1741) and grandson Alexander McPherson. Dorcas Turner was the third child of Virlinda who, it is surmised, had predeceased her father. There is no mention, however, of Dorcas' two elder brothers, Zephaniah (b. 19 Sept. 1737) and Hezekiah (b. 23 July 1739), nor of any of her younger Turner sisters, the last of whom was born in 1756. In any case, these dates suggest that Virlinda McPherson was born between, say, 17 10 and 1718. As Samuel Turner's mother inherited St. Ann Plantation in Charles County in 1711, to become the nucleus of Turner's Forest Plantation, it seems likely that Virlinda was married in Charles County; a date of 1736 would suggest that her father Alexander McPherson could indeed have been Thomas Mudd's witness of 1739. There is no evidence as to why Virlinda was believed by her descendants to have been Alexander's eldest child. Her birth between 1710 and 1718, somewhere in North America if not in Maryland, throws doubt upon the notion that Alexander was a Jacobite transportee of the 'Fifteen Rising like William of Dalraddie Plantation and Daniel McPherson.

      These doubts are reinforced when John, the second child according to the 1930 manuscript but fourth son in the 1761 will, is considered. The father of Priscilla (mentioned in the will), he married Sarah Miller in 1734, a date which makes it unlikely that he was born after the 'Fifteen and the transportations of 1716. With William, listed


as Alexander's fifth child (third son in the will), the same difficulty arises though in a lesser degree; he married Elioner (Eleanor) Wilkinson in Charles County on the 13th August 1737. Of eleven children born between 1739 and 1765, their third child, Alexander Wilkinson McPherson (b. 25 Feb. 1743), witnessed Samuel Turner's will in 1761 and was evidently the grandson mentioned in Alexander McPherson's will of the same year (as was his sister Elizabeth). Their father William, if aged 20 at marriage, would have been born in 1717. All in all, the facts point to Alexander's being in North America before 1715, though not in Charles County with any certainty till 1737.

      So far, the account of the family exhibits some internal corroboration of its accuracy. In addition, Zephaniah Turner was a witness to his aunt's signature when Ann McPherson (Mrs McDonald) made her will in 1773. But with Alexander and Mark, the other sons mentioned in the 1761 will, the genealogical reconstruction seems to go awry. It alleges that Alexander, the third child (first son in the will), was the "Alexander Jr." whose will of 2nd May, 1775 named his son Alexander. This third generation namesake is then identified with a William Alexander McPherson mentioned in an estate inventory of 29th August, 1776 and with an Alexander McPherson who was father to Walter, Chloe, Anna and Samuel McPherson and for whom Walter and Chloe acted as executors of a will dated 30th November, 1775, passed or probated 23rd February, 1778. Walter, allegedly fourth generation, was a corporal in the l2th Militia in 1778, had signed a petition to the Deputies of Maryland in Convention in 1775, and had married Mary Barnes in 1772. Thus, we are led to believe, three generations grew to responsible manhood with a period of no more than (possibly less than) 55 years. Could the first Alexander, arriving in 1716, have had a great-grandson born in the early 1750s? To compound the matter further, the first census of the United States (1790) lists among the Macphersons of Charles County, Maryland, Walter McPherson Senior and Walter McPherson Junior, each with their families and with 23 and 8 slaves respectively. The 1930 reconstruction indicates that Walter McPherson died between 1802 and 1807, leaving a family of seven including one son, Samuel, whose will (22nd Oct. 1807) was proved in Charles County on the 22nd March, 1809, bequeathing his estate to his mother and sisters; listed in the 1790 Census (no family, 8 slaves), he died unmarried. We are evidently dealing with a genealogical morass in which relationship and identifications tend to founder. There is, in fact, no direct evidence that Corporal Walter McPherson Sr.'s father Alexander was a son (or grandson) of Alexander McPherson of the 1761 will.

      Mark, the sixth child of Alexander (second son in the will), is identified with Lt. Mark McPherson who served as a private in Col. William Smallwood's regiment between March and December 1776, as a sergeant in the 1st Maryland Regiment from December 1776 to December 1779, as ensign in that regiment in 1780, and as lieutenant and adjutant in Col. Adams' 3rd Regiment of Maryland Troops from 1781 till the end of the Revolutionary War. He is recorded in the 1790 Census as "Lt. Mark McPherson and company ... 26 men". The soldier's applications for a United States pension, written from Lincoln County, Kentucky, in 1818 and 1820, however, indicate that he was born in 1753; he died in Lincoln County in 1847. Thus Lt. Mark could not have been the son named in the 1761 will, though he may well have been a grandson. This seems all the more likely from the fact that Lt. Mark and his wife Mary Middleton (m. 14 Nov. 1795) had, among their eight children sons called Alexander (b. 14 Mar. 1798), Samuel (b. 15 Jan. 1800) and Walter (b. 6 Apr. 1802); a close relationship between Walter Senior and Lt. Mark and to the families recorded in the wills of 1761 and 1775 seems probable, though the precise nature of these relationships remains obscure.

      Finally, it should be noted that the 1930 manuscript genealogy apparently recorded no association with place or property within Charles County for Alexander or any of his supposed descendants -- at least none are mentioned in Lewin McPherson's 1951 compilation. The exception is Mark McPherson, who enlisted at Port Tobacco; the Census of Maryland for 1778 (not quoted in the compilation) also lists Walter McPherson in Pamunkey Hundred, where one of William of Dalraddie Plantation's descendants later resided. More to the point, Port Tobacco was where Daniel McPherson served out his indenture. Part Three of this article will be devoted to him.



Branch Committee:
Stuart Macpherson, Chairman
Allan D. Macpherson, Vice-Chairman
Lorna S. Macpherson, Registrar

Committee Members:
Ann C. Macpherson
Avril McPherson
Gilbert J. Macpherson
Huntly M. Macpherson

      The Branch arranged or took part in the following:
Royal Scottish Gathering, August 1980
Wreath-laying at Polish/SA Air Force Remembrance Day, September 1980
Visit to Cape Town by Chairman to start a division, October 1980
Branch Gathering, November 1980
Gold Day at Irene Country Club, December 1980
Benoni-Boksburg Scottish Gathering, February 1981
Branch Dinner/Dance, March 1981
Pretoria Scottish Gathering, March 1981
Gold Day at Irene Country Club, April 1981
Southern Callies Gathering, August 1981
Royal Scottish Gathering, August 1981
Rand Show Scottish Gathering, April 1981

      This topped at 104 but we record with great regret the passing of the following members:
Mrs Ann H. Macpherson
Mrs Edith Macp. Ovenstone

      Also four members have removed to Australia and will be lost to this Branch. We also inherited three members whose current whereabouts are unknown.

      The committee set a goal of 200 for the year ending 31st December 1981 and this will require a great effort on the part of every member to achieve.

      It is hoped the Cape Town Division will be more firmly established and that we can look to Durban or Pietermaritzburg for our next development.

NEWSLETTER       Three issues of the Branch Newsletter were issued in 1981 and were preceded by two circulars in 1980. Due to the high cost of postage and stationary, it has not been possible to continue circulating information to Macphersons and our septs, but from time to time, this will be done. ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING, CLAN MACPHERSON ASSOCIATION, in SCOTLAND
      The SA Branch was represented at the above function held in Newtonmore on the1st August 1981 by our Vice-Chairman, Allan D. Macpherson. It was the first time since the founding of the Association that all branches were personally represented at the Annual Meeting.

      The first year of the South African Branch has been a successful one and all concerned are to be thanked for their support and efforts. It is hoped this enthusiasm will continue and the Branch will grow from strength to strength.



This article was obviously written by James F. Macphearson of Dallas but this was not indicated in the article. The photo that appears belowis the same one show on page 33 of this issue. The date of the story is 1980 in that mention of the joint meeting of the Canadian and US Branches at Niagara on the Lake which was held in that year. -- RM

      As the flash went off I was thinking "we have come full circle; how appropriate it is to have a picture of Stuart Macpherson, Chairman of the South African Branch, Clan Macpherson Association, with his new-found Dallas cousins". The Macpherson banner over his head had been made for the Ninth Annual Rally of the United States Branch to be held ten days later in Dallas. It was hung by Rally Convener James F. Macphearson as a greeting to Stuart and Ann on their first visit to Dallas.

      On Stuart's right were life members Dan Gentry and Rosemary Macphearson Perkins and on his left James. Except for one of fates strange twists this picture never would have occurred. Let me tell you the story.

      Our flight was late leaving Boston and was even later when it landed in New York. We were given incorrect instructions on how best to get to the British Airways Terminal in the fifteen minutes before our flight to London departed. How we made the connection is still another story, of no interest here.

      Had we failed to make the connection or if we had made it with the stipulated one hour lead time this story would end here and our lives today would be much different.

      Because we were late the airline tried to give our seat reservations to Stuart Macpherson. Stuart thus became aware of a couple with the same name, well almost, travelling to London on the same plane.

      Had we failed to make the connection personal contact would have been impossible and we would never have met Stuart Macpherson.

      But such slender threads of fate pulled us together and we did meet. Stuart made himself known and found we were headed for London and Edinburgh for a three-week vacation (holidays) in Scotland and England. He casually (and verbally) assumed we would attend the Clan Macpherson Association Rally in Newtonmore. Our ignorance of the event was evident from the blank look on our faces. Stuart told us about the Rally and said he was to see Cluny the next day. Since we had indicated that there was some possibility we might change our plans and attend the Rally, Stuart said he would ask Cluny to be alert, in Newtonmore, for a couple of Texas Yankees, with the improbable name of Macphearson. We were too embarrassed about our lack of knowledge of the Macpherson name to ask about this Cluny he kept mentioning.

      We arrived in London, said goodbye to Stuart and proceeded to follow the carefully detailed travel plans we had made so many months before.       The weather was terrible. We could visualise the beauty hidden in the mist and rain but we couldn't photograph it and photographing Scottish scenery was one of our principle vacation objectives.

      Leaving Blair Atholl we studied the map and realised how close we were to Newtonmore. We decided to investigate. The Tourist Office in Newtonmore sent us to the Glen Hotel; we discovered the Clan Macpherson Museum; we decided on the spot to attend the Rally; we made reservations at the Glen for the weekend of the Rally. The dates of the Rally were almost a week away so we headed for Skye.

      The following Friday we checked into the Glen and then crossed the road to enquire at the museum about Rally attendance. We saw our first kilted Scotsman. He was wearing a tartan we recognised as the Hunting Macpherson. He entered the museum with us and we found he was Dan Gillies from Canada. We met Eoin Macpherson. Doris and I were shaken because he looked so much like my father.

      Dan suggested we go to the Ball that night. We went and there we met John and Ethel Macpherson from Edinburgh and John and Helen McPherson from Paisley (my grandfather's birthplace). These strangers, not only made us a part of their group, they also made us feel like members of their family. They became forever a part of our lives. We both