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Tuesday, January 22, 2008


Mo Cinneadh:

Here is a news article I just now read, although it's a few days old, at least.

I first saw it posted in THE BLOOD IS STRONG discussion forum, and copied it from THE SCOTSMAN newspaper's web site.

You will notice that Henderson is prominently featured.

Therefore, Henderson children have a special interest in getting involved in this project.

One or more of them might be going to Scotland, all expenses paid.


By John Ross 

It was a brutal conflict that changed the course of history, pitching Scot against Scot, clan against clan and brother against brother.

The Battle of Culloden in Seventeen Forty-Six ended the attempt by the Jacobite army to reclaim the British throne for a Catholic, Stuart king.

Its aftermath led to the "pacification" of the Highlands, and the dismantling of a way of life with estates seized, and kilts and tartan banned.

The campaign accelerated emigration from the area and the setting up of new colonies in the United States of America, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.

Now the National Trust for Scotland, the guardians of the battlefield, have launched a global search for young people whose ancestors fought on either side of the conflict.

The National Trust for Scotland wants to encourage youngsters to research their family trees to find out if any are related to the soldiers who fought for Prince Charles Edward Stuart, or the government troops, led by the Duke of Cumberland.

The aim is to find two direct descendants to help officially open a new nine and a half million pound Visitor Centre at Culloden on 16 April 2008, the anniversary of the battle.

Alexander Bennett, the trust's project coordinator, said:

"The myth that Culloden was a conflict between England and Scotland is still alive today. 

"In fact, many Scots fought with the government troops and some families had members who fought on opposing sides, often against their will. 

"The Battle of Culloden signalled the end of the clan system and contributed to the exodus of many Highlanders to the New World where they played a significant role in the creation and development of the United States of America, Australia, and Canada. 

"We think it's very important that the descendants of those who fought on either side should help us officially open the new centre."

Mister Bennett said he hopes to uncover children with a direct line to the battle, but not necessarily the leading players.

"It's more to do with the process rather than who the ancestor was.

It's not as if we are looking for a direct descendant of the prince. 

"It would be nice if we could have someone from both sides, just ordinary, everyday people."

The names of soldiers on the Prince's side included Cameron, Macleod, Maclean, Farquharson, Chattan, Fraser and Stewart, while among the government troops were Monro, Campbell, Price, Cholmondely, Bligh, Semphill and Flemming.

"There will be some obvious direct descendants from, say, the clan chiefs, but that's not quite what we are looking for," said Mister Bennett.

"It's more for children who want to get involved in research. 

"It would be great if we get someone from Canada, or Australia as that is the diaspora and they are extremely proud of their ancestry."

The project is open to school-age children who have until 19 March 2008 to submit their family trees.

These will then be scrutinised and authenticated by a panel of judges, including Doctor Nick Barratt from the television genealogy series, WHO DO YOU THINK YOU ARE?

Doctor Barratt said:

"This is an opportunity for generations to come together and explore their shared past.

"Family trees are the gateway to history.

"There is something very exciting about seeing past events through ancestors' lives."

Nellie Leitch, who lives in Culloden, spent thirty years investigating her family connections to the battle and discovered her great grandfather three times removed, Roderick MacKenzie, fought with the Life Guards on the Jacobite side.

He survived the fighting and was among those who helped Prince Charles Edward Stuart escape.

Government troops caught and shot Mister MacKenzie and beheaded him, mistaking him for the prince.

His head was taken to London and put on display for a month before the mistake was realised.

David Henderson, of Farr, near Inverness, is able to trace his family to an Andrew Henderson, who was an eyewitness at the battle, working as an early war reporter on the government side.

Born in Roxburghe in February of Seventeen Seventeen, Mister Henderson wrote a book about the conflict, a copy of which is now at the Culloden Visitor Centre.

Slainte mhath!

Tapadh leibh.

Is Mise Le Meas,

John Robert "SAIGON" Mallernee, KB3KWS
Official Bard of Clan Henderson
Armed Forces Retirement Home
Washington, D.C. 20011-8400

NOTE: "My unpopular and controversial personal opinions are independent of my Scottish clan."


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