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Showing posts from December, 2012

New Year : Hogmanay in the Strath and the Comrie Flambeaux

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Crossing Dalginross Bridge Hogmanay -  Seekin' Their Cakes In Fife  Burning The Clavie At Burghead   Hogmanay ( New Years Eve ) is an old and much celebrated occasionthroughout Scotland . The word itself however is something of a mystery . Amongst the theories regarding its origins is that it is from the word “ Hagmena “ – a corrupted Greek wordmeaning “ holy month “ . Another “ learned “ school of thoughtimplies that theword isof French origin andwasbrought over with the Normans in 1066 !This latter line isbased on theold Norman word “ Haguillennes “ . To add to thegeneral confusion a third source promotes the theory that the Hogmanay source lies in theancient Norse festivals that was celebrated at Yule time . The nightbefore it startedwas called “ hoggin – nat “ or“ hogenat “ whichmeant the slaughter night when the cattlewerekilled to allowthe prepararationoffoodon the great day . Confused ? – well join the club!
There isno doubt that the Scottish Hogmanay and Neerday ( New Years…

The Perthshire Clearances and Glen Beich

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OS Map showing the area of Glen Beich in this "blog" Loch Earn from Glen Beich  I recall about ten years ago being askedby a lady from Ontarioin Canada to look into her Scottish roots and in particular those of her ancestorswho hadcomefrom Glen Beich near Lochearnhead . At that time I was totallyignorantof the significanceof this , one of the most beautiful and unheraldedparts of the Strath . Apparentlyher familyhadbeen small crofters in a n area of the Glen on anelevated part above the settlement of Ardveich . Ardveich which in Gaelic is Ard-Bheathaich or “ height of the birch woods ” liesless than half a mile from the shores of Loch Earn on the east side of the Beich Burn . On the west side was another small settlement known as Dalveich- Dal-Bheathaich- “ the field of the birch woods ” .It isclear that this area had beeninhabitedfor countless generations back into the mists of time . A castle hadbeen builtnear by and had been constructed as a fortifiedtowerhouse for thechie…

Where was that ? The Crieff of yester year !

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The top of Church Street was known as the " Shambles " 

There isan incredibly detailedmap of Crieffdrawn up in 1822 by John Wood . Wood was a Scottish surveyor resident in Edinburgh. Between 1818 to 1830 he engraved 52 plans of Scottish towns, of which 48 were published in Atlas form in 1828. He also surveyed numerous Northumberland and Durham towns during the period 1826 and 1827. Fortunately hisworkhas beenpreservedby the National Library of Scotland in digital form on the internet : (http://maps.nls.uk/towns/detail.cfm?id=321)
By clicking on the imageyou can increase or decrease the sizemaking itso easyto takea town tour of Crieff as it was nearly two centuriesago ! For thegenealogist / family historian withroots in the town there is an addedbonusin that the houses are clearly delineatedwith the owner oroccupier’sname shown . Indeed in some cases theoccupations are also listed !
An area shown with cross hatching is described as the “ Shambles ” . I had always associate…