Sunday, March 27, 2011

Ye McFarland Clan - Lovers of Mountains and Cows

Sure, we're part of Ye Stewart Clan.  But on my maternal side we're also part of Ye McFarland Clan, a proud group of Highlander Scots going back many centuries.  And it's amazing what you can learn about yourself when you learn about your ancestors.  I've been re-reading a book ("In Honorable Remembrance") about my ancestors William and Margaret McFarland.  The first chapter describes the McFarland ancestral lands on the northwest bank of Loch Lomond, and contains this revealing paragraph:

This ancient territory, one of the loveliest regions in the West Highlands, could not but in the course of centuries produce a race of men instinct with the love of the mountains and moors, and with all the chivalrous qualities which go to make the traditional character of the Highlanders of Scotland.  This is nothing less than a fact in the case of the Clan McFarland.

I've long suspected that my love of mountains is genetic, as it feels as much a part of me as my arm, and it looks like that may just be the case.

Oh, and here's another uncanny insight into my character, as described in the McFarland history:

When times were bad they would raid the Lowlands and steal cattle.  This practice was considered an honorable occupation, and they felt justified in doing it because they believed that at one time the Lowlands had belonged to their ancestors and that the people of the low country were inferior to them in courage. . . . The McFarland clan are reputed to have participated frequently in these raids. . . . Sir Walter Scott wrote that "The clan of McFarland, occupying the fastnesses of the western side of Loch Lomond, were great depredators on the Low Country and as their excursions were made usually at night, the moon was proverbially called their lantern."

And now I know why I have the impulse to steal every cow I see.


Daisy Chick said...

It makes sense now....I loved the line that the moon was their proverbially lantern....I too have used the moon as a lantern on winding trails. As one now from the Clan McAllister...and evidently having other Scottish blood in me I too understand the call of the mountains from within. Hope you and your family are well. We love reading your posts and seeing your sweet family grow.

Dad said...

Just an FYI. With current economic conditions in the ag sector, you shouldn't have to steal any cows. If you will feed them, the farmers will probably give them to you. :) Dad