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Ficcing don't work with a brain like custard... - dorsetgirl
December 3rd, 2008
07:11 am
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Ficcing don't work with a brain like custard...

...and neither does beta'ing (sorry nepthys_uk !), so this past week I've found myself with a little time to do some family history. I have a separate journal for that, but I thought I'd share two little things I've discovered over the past few days:

(1) Until the 1760's, salmon was so plentiful and cheap in the Tay Valley (in Scotland) that the servants used to make it a condition of employment
that they not be given it more than twice a week!

(2) I've always known that my maternal grandfather was very proud of his MacPherson ancestry, and of his membership of the clan, and the name lives on in his son's descendants, now in England and New Zealand. I'd never really thought anything of it, but I've now found the link back to the ancestral lands in the Parish of Laggan, Inverness, so it seems that at some point (sadly before 1775 when the Register begins), there may genuinely be a link to Cluny himself.

The point of that being, there's your gateway to several hundred years of detailed family records.

I've spent too much time over the past few days following up MacPherson links, and I've found a number of references to detailed analyses of the Laggan Register regarding the MacPherson name, to reconstitute family groups and look at the patterns of incomers, cousin marriages, and emigration; there's also hints at earlier clan records, but nowhere can I find any links to the actual data. Grr.

The Register actually shows which farm a baby was born on, but I've already paid to look at the three pages relating to my ggg-grandfather and his siblings (bless Scottish records, and bless the
Scotland’s People website) and I really don't want to work my way through paying for every page individually. It's incredibly annoying to know that someone has done all the work of transcription, reconstitution and analysis, and they haven't bothered publishing it. I thought of joining the Clan MacPherson Association, but it seems to be mainly run for the benefit of overseas members who want the connection to the Old Country. Which is fine of course, I'm all for it, but what about the bloody data? I keep coming across hints that the clan genealogy is documented in a lot of detail somewhere, but I can't find the links!

Hmm. Looks as if I'll have to find out if the Clan MacPherson Association has room for someone who doesn't actually bear the name...

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(4 comments | Leave a comment)

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Date:December 3rd, 2008 02:05 pm (UTC)
Woot! - the Clan MacPherson, eh? It all sounds quite fascinating, but I can well understand your frustration at finding research which has been done but not published (or else published at an exhorbitant price).

And don't worry about the beta stuff (I'm carrying on with writing the next part, anyway) - this might turn out to be useful background research to sort out that niggling plot problem!
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Date:December 3rd, 2008 07:10 pm (UTC)
I'm hoping to get back to the beta in a day or two - I've had this cold for a week so far, and I just don't get colds, and when I do they normally last two days. It's a bit odd how I can do the family history but not fic stuff - different kind of thinking, I suppose. Anyway, I definitely have some ideas which you might be able to use, and some info to send to you - but that requires me to type up a brief explanation, which I just can't get my head around atm!
Date:December 3rd, 2008 03:07 pm (UTC)
Wow! That's awesome! I keep wanting to delve into genealogy, but that's like having a second full time job. LOL! Data is the issue too; a lot of amateur genealogists I talk to spend $$ every year traveling the states to look at records/data (local histories, church records, cemetaries, etc.) that is not available online.

From what I know about the clan associations (stateside, that is) they only care about your connection to the clan; if you have an ancestor who was MacPherson then you are in, no matter your current last name. That's how it works here. And once you join, you'll be hooked up with everyone who HAS done the research and you'll be golden!!!! *cue optimism*

Husband is Mackall, which we SUSPECT is a corruption of McAuley, but it could be McColl, and we'd have to go back four+ generations to find out as his family came over some time ago. My mother's family has been mapped out by others, but Poppa was a hillbilly and those mountain trails are difficult to sort out.

Of course, being mutts (and somewhat lazy), we just opted to join New World Celts instead. :)
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Date:December 3rd, 2008 07:15 pm (UTC)
I've never done any US research, being descended from The Ones Who Stayed At Home, but I understand the US census online is pretty good. The principles are broadly the same though, so do let me know if you'd like any pointers to getting started. There's normally absolutely no need to go visiting places until you're further along the line, although I believe records may be more localised in the US than they are here.
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