Monday, June 27, 2011

The Oregon tartan

Yet again I find myself in the midst of the Highland Games season, and it is time to explain my blog background for those who were not with me last year.

My blog background is the Oregon tartan. I adopted it because Oregon is my home, and it's where I've set down my roots. When I learned that it has an official tartan (as does each of the US states) I knew instantly that it would be my own.

My brother, Tall One, does not wear the Oregon tartan. I'm not sure if he knew about the tartan when he was picking out what to wear (I know I didn't, when we first started talking tartans) and he settled on the Douglas tartan. But even that decision was made because of a certain connection to where we live, I think -- the official tree of Oregon is the Douglas Fir tree, which was named for a Scot from clan Douglas.

Of course, Douglas is only one of two tartans that my brother wears. When playing with his pipe band he wears the tartan that they picked out. :)

Now, it's true that we do have Scottish heritage and that we could choose to wear the tartan that our ancestors wore. But we choose not to for a few reasons:

1) About five or seven generations back an ancestor of ours got our branch of the family disinherited. Or he disinherited himself. It's sort of debatable.

2) After this feisty ancestor was disinherited the king of Scotland pointed the clan nobles (or those who were in Scotland, anyways) and yelled "treason!" Whether treason was really plotted is debatable, but the fact that the clan nobles in Scotland got executed is not. (Or anyways the men were. One noble woman just got married off.) The clan was disbanded, but some of the noble family was outside Scotland at the time and survived.

3) Because the band was disbanded the tartan is no longer officially in use. I could probably get ahold of it if I were determined to, but I'm not really interested. I'm sure I have distant relatives who still use the tartan.

So that's all about my blog background, and a little family history. :)

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