Flag of New Scotland (Nova Scotia)
Nova Scotia Scots are out and about on the internet. Nestled on the Chebucto Community Net (CCN) in Halifax, they echo around the world, responding proudly and prolifically to search engine queries: "Here we are!"
The website was initiated in Pictou, The Birthplace of New Scotland, at a 1994 gathering of the Scottish Clans in Nova Scotia, as a project of the Clan MacKay Society of New Scotland in commitment to improved communication between Scots in Nova Scotia and beyond its sea-washed boundaries.
Generic home pages for more than 450 Scottish clans and septs are featured. Clan societies operating in Nova Scotia are invited to complete and enhance their home pages.
Response from clans is overwhelming, and encouraging. It is an economical, efficient means of sharing information between clan members and promoting clan activities world wide. Using internet search engines, each clan is easily found by key words, such as "Clan Campbell" or "Clan Henderson."
Alastair McIntyre, Director of ALMAC in Grangemouth, Scotland, (a leading internet provider in the UK) notes with friendly dismay that our Nova Scotia site comes up more frequently on a "Lycos Spider" search than ALMAC's "Electric Scotland: The Premiere Source of Scottish Information on the Web."
Clan pages on our website are linked directly with ALMAC, clan-to-clan. In return, ALMAC links clan-to-clan, from it's "Scottish Clans and Families" section, to our clans. Internet visitors to, for example Clan Matheson on Electric Scotland, can follow a direct link to the Clan Matheson pages in Nova Scotia.
The website celebrates New Scotland, the province we call home. The map and flag of Nova Scotia, the Nova Scotia tartan, the Mayflower and other provincial emblems provide graphics throughout the site. One section is dedicated to promoting Nova Scotia in all its intrigue, with emphasis on its Scottish origins and heritage. Another area features the Scots' role in Nova Scotia's Multicultural Mosaic.
The green and blue of the Nova Scotia tartan is reflected in the marble bars and icons used to enhance the pages. Nova Scotia's acclaim as "Canada's Ocean Playground" features in soft beach sand background, a colour found in the Strathnaver MacKay tartan and relaxing to the eye. "The site looks great. Crisp and uncluttered!" says Michael Lindsay, President of Webscribe.
Clan Armstrong makes a major contribution in scanning images and photos, generously sharing HTML expertise, and creating tartan web designs. Some of the design was inspired by Matthew MacDonald, an outstanding teenager of Clan Donald.
"I visited the site, and was very impressed. A lot of work and talent went into those pages," commented Jack Tattrie, who maintains a CCN website for The Anglican Church in Nova Scotia.
Scottish emigrants settled in all parts of Nova Scotia, with heavier concentrations in Shelburne, Pictou, Colchester, Victoria and Inverness Counties. They came as Loyalists after the American Revolution, as Planters from New England, as Ulster Scots, as Highlanders, or as Lowlanders. Their experiences and contributions in Nova Scotia are included on this New Scotland website.
1996 is the 200th Anniversary year of the death of Scots bard, Rabbie Burns (July 21, 1768), and the 250th Anniversary of the Battle of Culloden (April 16, 1746) which destroyed the Highland clan system. These events are commemorated on our Scots site, with links to information on Scotland websites. An annual Remembrance Ceremony to the Battle of Culloden is held each April in Knoydart, Pictou County.
The haggis and the Loch Ness Monster have their own pages. There is a special spot for "Whiskying and Dining in Scotland and New Scotland".
Gaelic is featured, for it was spoken in the Garden of Eden. The serpent, of course, was speaking English. (Lister Sinclair of CBC's "Ideas", commenting on the Scots' auld enemy, the Sassenach).
Under "Current Issues in Scotland and New Scotland," Alasdair McKay (native of Stirling, Scotland with ancestry in Strathnaver), holds forth on crucial topics. His insight in objecting to the removal of the Duke of Sutherland's statue from Ben Bhreaggie, Golspie, puts matters into wise perspective.
The Baronets of Nova Scotia received their land grants at Edinburgh Castle, in the ceremony of "earth and stone" on a plot of land deemed to be Nova Scotia. "Nova Scotia" in Edinburgh Castle has moved location. Alasdair McKay asks, why?
Tom McRae shares his research regarding the Kirkin' of the Tartan ceremony. It was initiated by Peter Marshall, Chaplain at the White House, during WWII.
This site is specifically for Scots in New Scotland (in Jacobean Latin, Nova Scotia). There are many clan websites in Scotland. There are some in USA; and one in Canada with predominantly American content. We live in New Scotland (Nova Scotia), and call it home. This website is for us.
Confirmation that we are approaching our goals came from Scott Murray of Wisconsin, a descendant of the Murrays of Canso, NS. "It is the best site I've visited," he told his cousin, Glen Matheson in Glenholme, NS. "I've been to others and they were fine, but the Scottish website Clan MacKay maintains has THE best local coverage I've seen yet."
Clan societies in Nova Scotia who wish their home pages developed, are invited to submit information to: Janet MacKay, Webmaster, Clan MacKay Society of New Scotland, 27 Quarry Road, Halifax, NS, B3N 1X1 (902) 479-0656; Fax: (902) 477-3206; E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
New Scotland was founded in the early 1600s by Sir William Alexander of Scotland. His son, William, brought Scottish settlers to Port Royal in 1629. When the colony was returned to France (1632), the Scots left. The ship Hector brought the first permanent Scottish settlers to Pictou in 1773. An account of the founding of New Scotland is on the website.