Odds & Ends

Allison "Cummy" Cunningham and Robert Louis Stevenson
    Robert Louis Stevenson, famous author of adventure stories, was a sickly child who was nursed by Allison Cunningham.   Alison Cunningham (1822-1913), or Cummy as he called her, fired up his feverish imagination with blood-curdling  stories about ghosts and Covenanters.    She told him stories from the Bible and Scottish history (including "Braveheart" William Wallace) and fables like the  Great Silkie, half man and half seal!  In 1863, Alison Cunningham accompanied the Stevenson family on an extended tour
of the Continent.   This was her first contact with life outside of Scotland and she was, for the most part, decidedly unimpressed.   The diary she kept during this period was published in book form much later as  Cummy’s Diary (1926).
    He dedicated his book "A Child's Garden of Verses" to her, with the dedication: "My second Mother, my first Wife, The angel of my infant life—"
Charles Cunningham Boycott and the term "Boycott"
    Captain Charles Cunningham Boycott (1823-1895) was an Englishman working in Ireland. In the 1870s he was farming at Loughmask in County Mayo and serving as a land agent for an absentee English landlord, Lord Earne. This was the time of the campaign organised by the Irish Land League for reform of the system of landholdings. In September 1880, protesting tenants demanded that Captain Boycott give them a substantial reduction in their rents. He refused. Charles Stuart Parnell, the President of the Land League, suggested in a speech that the way to force Boycott to give way was for everyone in the locality to refuse to have any dealings with him. Labourers would not work for him, local shops stopped serving him (food had to be brought in from elsewhere for him and his family), and he even had great trouble getting his letters delivered. In the end, his crops were harvested that autumn through the help of fifty volunteers from the north of the country, who worked under the protection of nine hundred soldiers.
    The events aroused so much passion that his name became an instant byword. It was first used—in our modern sense of collective and organised ostracism—in the Times of London in November 1880, even while his crops were still being belatedly harvested; within weeks it was everywhere. It was soon adopted by newspapers throughout Europe, with versions of his name appearing in French, German, Dutch and Russian. By the time of the Captain’s death in 1897, it had become a standard part of the English language
Feather Crowns
Want to know what a Feather Crown is? Click here to read about them and view some!!
The Lyon Quintuplets
I have created a new page about the Lyon Quintuplets.  No, they aren't related to the Cunningham family (that I know of!), but I found the story so fascinating, I had to creat a page for them!  They were born near Mayfield, Ky, so are part of Kentucky history.   Click here to read about them!!
Scot Naming Patterns
Scots often named children by following a simple set of rules.  Don't use these as a firm guide (there were often variations, for all sorts of reasons) but you may find that some of your ancestors used these too...
First born son, named after Father's Father (paternal grandfather)
Second born son, names after Mother's Father (maternal grandfather)
Third born son, named after Father
Fourth born son, named after Father's eldest brother (eldest paternal Uncle)
Fifth born son, named after Father's second oldest brother or Mother's oldest brother (eldest maternal Uncle)
First born daughter, named after Mother's Mother (maternal grandmother)
Second born daughter, named after Father's Mother (paternal grandmother)
Third born daughter, named after Mother
Fourth born daughter, named after Mother's eldest sister (eldest maternal Aunt)
Fifth born daughter, named after Mother's second oldest sister or Father's oldest sister (eldest paternal Aunt)
** In some cases you will find the the order is reversed with the first and second children, i.e., the first born son being named after the Mother's Father, and the second born son after the Father's Father.  If this is the case, then the daughters are also usually reversed.
Definition of the word "Clan"
    Definition of the word 'Clan' The Gaelic word for children is more accurately translated as 'family' in the sense in which the word clan became accepted in the Scottish Highlands during the 13th century. A clan is a social group whose core comprises a number of families derived from, or accepted as being derived from, a common ancestor. Almost without exception, that core is accompanied by a further number of dependent and associated families who have either sought the protection of the clan at some point in history or have been tenants or vassals of its chief. That chief is owed allegiance by all members of the clan, but ancient tradition nevertheless states that 'the Clan is above the Chief'. Although Gaelic has been supplanted by English in the Lowlands of Scotland for nearly a thousand years, it is an acceptable convention to refer to the great Lowland families, like the Douglases, as clans, although the heads of certain families, such as Bruce, prefer not to use the term. Allegiance was generally given to a father's clan, but Celtic tradition includes a strong element of descent through, and loyalty to, a mother's line. In reality, the chief of a clan would 'ingather' any stranger, of whatever family, who possessed suitable skills, maintained his allegiance and, if required, adopted the clan surname.
Definition of the word "Sept"

     A Sept is a family name which can be related to a clan or larger family for various reasons: Either through marriage or by seeking protection from a larger and more powerful neighbouring clan or family. Many names which are recorded as septs have since become clans in their own right and many can be related to more than one clan.


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