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When I started researching our Scottish ancestry, it soon became apparent that each and every family had a different background.   The trick is how to write each story as interesting as the other. 

The McGregor family is possibly the easiest because so much has been written over time about the McGregors in general and Rob Roy McGregor in particular.  Our McGregors came from the Loch Tay / Appin of Dull valley area of Perthshire and were crofters before the clearances forced them to move to Perth town for work.

The Gilchrist family were coal miners originally from the Denny area near Stirling and later from Cumbernauld.

The Petrie family, I believe were tenant farmers in Kincardineshire and Aberdeenshire where they moved about as work demanded. 

Jack's Muir family lived mainly in the Paisley / Inchinnan / Renfrew areas of Scotland.  

The Muir family were farmers who leased their lands and moved about from time to time.

The Caldwell family were from Kilbarchan, Refrewshire and later as maniners moved to Cumberland, England

On our visit to Scotland in June '99 we were overcome with the friendliness of the Scots people and the similarities of Scotland to New Zealand.  We could understand how easy it would have been for  our ancestors to accept New Zealand as their new home, albeit a harsher land to break in.

We were also amazed that the history of the country just oozes out .  It was very easy for us to imagine the land as it was in the 1700's and 1800's. Obviously today the land is very well tended with modern machinery and houses are more modernises but if you look at the land you can see the shadows on the hills where the crofts once stood.  Pick up any book on the history of Scotland, the clearances, Culloden and Glencoe and you can see  it.  Needless to say we loved Scotland.  I will be writing more within each family section.

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Copyright © 2001 Taggart
Last modified: November 30, 2008