Friday, 6 April 2018

A look at some family tartans on Tartan Day

Happy Tartan Day! On April 6, Canada, Scotland, the United States, Galicia and Argentina* mark Tartan Day. The date was chosen as it marks the day in 1320 that the Declaration of Arbroath document declaring Scotland's independence from England was drafted.

Over the past year, I've been lucky enough to push back in my family history research on some of my maternal Scots ancestors, and so today I present their tartans. Those familiar with tartans will know that most clans have dress and hunting tartans, and both ancient and modern versions of both of those.

Matheson ancient dress 
The tartan of John Matheson (1884-1964), my maternal grandfather (left).

Ross modern dress
Ross is the tartan of Annie Ross (1849-1922), my maternal great grandmother.

Grant ancient hunting
I've just started to seriously research my Smith line that originates with Isabella Smith (1815-1922, my 2nd great grandmother, and discovered that my Smiths are part of Clan Grant. This makes perfect sense when you see the Scotland clan map compiled by History Scotland. Grant territory overlays the area where my Smiths originated.

Gillanders ancient hunting
One of the best discoveries I made over the past year is that of a 3rd great grandmother, Isabella Gillanders (b abt 1775). I look forward to learning more about this line, although mid-1750s Scottish records are very scarce. I'm up to the challenge.

Mackenzie modern hunting
Another 2nd great grandmother is Margaret McKenzie (1798-1865). McKenzie and Mackenzie are interchangeable in many records. In my family, it's McKenzie. But I have a Mackenzie friend (sadly, we're not DNA matches). The McKenzie tartan search brings up Mackenzie, who rule.

MacDonald modern dress
Likewise, the search for the tartan of another 3rd great grandmother, Marjory McDonald (1782-1844) brings up the mighty MacDonald. These names also are interchangeable. There are many Donald clan tartans. I can't begin to accurately ascertain which tartan my McDonalds adopted. Here's one though.

The clan tartan of another 3rd great grandmother, Margaret Davidson (1778-1863) is below.

Davidson modern
Gordon modern

Clan Gordon is represented in my family tree by a 4th great grandmother, Jean Gordon (b abt 1755).

Cruickshank ancient
And finally, the tartan of the family of a 5th great grandmother, Margaret Cruickshank (b abt 1720), which for now, is the furthest back I've traced. It's one of the smaller clans.

*Why Argentina? Wikipedia tells us that Argentina has about 100,000 people of Scots descent, the largest group outside the English-speaking world. Who knew?

The never ending story continues....

© Margaret Dougherty 2016-2018 All rights reserved

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