MacAskill Sept Society Newsletter Spring 2008



MacAskill Sept Society Newsletter Spring 2008
c/o Don MacAskill, Treasurer
8 Huckleberry Lane Hampton, NH 03842-1516 USA
Descendants of Asketil
The MacAskill Sept Society
Adherents to the Chiefs of MacLeod of Harris
and Great Swordsmen in Defense of that Clan
Spring 2008
Volume V, Number 1
© 2008 MacAskill Sept Society
The MacAskill Sept Society
Adherents to the Chiefs of MacLeod of Harris
and Great Swordsmen in Defense of that Clan
on page
The Angus in me
By Patricia Minton Sivcovich
So… what are you doing this
By Dorna Caskie ...............6
Information for Highland
Games in North America ........8
A brief history of the MacAskill
Sept Society
By Olive McCaskill Bell .......9
MacAskill Gathering 2008 –
save the date!
By Lloyd MacAskill ........... 11
“Scotland of today”
coming to North America
In North America, “Tartan Day” has
evolved into a colorful if somewhat
commercial remembrance of the
anniversary of the signing of the
Declaration of Arbroath on April 6,
1320. This year it starts with “A
wee bit of Scotland” in Toronto,
March 25-28 (more information at
ebitofscotland.html). Tartan Week
then continues famously through a
busy calendar of events in New
York City, described at
More on the Legend of Hos, the
Grey One (Norway) ............. 12
Lila Mae MacAskill Buerger,
By Trish Avery ................ 14
The Book Nook ................... 15
Haggis: the Sequel .............. 16
The Mail Bag: corrections,
praise, gripes, and humor .... 17
MacAskill Sept Society membership
form .............. inside back cover
Page 20
The MacAskill Sept Society Newsletter Volume V, Number 1
At the beginning of his speaking
tour across the USA and Canada,
Scottish First Minister Alex
Salmond will outline his vision of a
Celtic Lion economy to emerge in
Scotland when he addresses
Harvard University's Center for
European Studies at the Harvard
Business School on March 31.
The MacAskill Sept Society Newsletter Volume V, Number 1
Page 1
The MacAskill Sept Society
The MacAskill Sept Society
8 Huckleberry Lane
Hampton, NH 03842 USA
An ancient sept of MacLeod of Harris
On the web at
Please print or type
Lloyd MacAskill
1149 Veranda Court
Leland, NC 28451-7790
[email protected]
Vice-President, USA
Betty MacAskill Shea
Post Office Box 1975
Exeter, NH 03833
+1 (603) 772-2569
[email protected]
Vice-President, Canada
Allan B. Blair
506 Brand Street
Vancouver, BC V7N 1G1
[email protected]
Donald W. MacAskill
8 Huckleberry Lane
Hampton, NH 03842
+1 (603) 926-4608
[email protected]
Anne McCaskill Libis
8708 Windsor Mill Road
Windsor Mill, MD 21244-1118
[email protected]
Dorna Caskie
Contributions to this newsletter,
268 Washington Street
letters, and suggestions for
Groveland, MA 01834
future articles are welcome and
should be sent to:
[email protected]
+1 (978) 373-7826
Page 2
The MacAskill Sept Society Newsletter Volume V, Number 1
Town or
State or
Annual dues are $25.00 (in US funds) and
should be paid annually on July 1st.
Your dues cover the costs of this newsletter and preparation for our
Gatherings. Please send your membership form and a check or money
order to:
The MacAskill Sept Society
c/o Don MacAskill
8 Huckleberry Lane
Hampton NH 03842-1516
What is your connection
with the name “MacAskill”
(or McCaskill, etc.)?
Should we contact you for the names of any others who might be
interested in joining the MacAskill Sept Society? YES NO
The MacAskill Sept Society Newsletter Volume V, Number 1
Page 19
Six months later, the doctor met George on the street. "Why
didn't you ever come to see me about those fears you were
having?" asked the psychiatrist.
"Well, eighty bucks a visit three times a week for a year is an
awful lot of money. A Cape Bretoner cured me for $10 and a
quart. I was so happy to have saved all that money that I went
out and bought me a new pickup."
"Is that so? And how, may I ask, did a Cape Bretoner cure
"He told me to cut the legs off the bed! Ain't nobody under
there now !!!"
A smiling Senator Clare McCaskill supporting Senator Obama
The Angus in me
By Patricia Minton Sivcovich
Sometime in the late 1950s or early 1960s my hometown
newspaper, The Idaho Statesman in Boise, ran a regular item
from The Guinness Book of World Records. One of these was
about “Giant” Angus MacAskill of Cape Breton, Nova Scotia. I
still have the yellowed clipping that my mother, Eloise MacAskill
Minton, cut out and sent with me to school for “show and tell.”
She told me, and my grandmother Zoa Hussey MacAskill told
me, that I was related to Angus. Of course they forgot to remind
me that I was adopted as an infant, but that never seemed to
matter. MacAskills and Mintons always have been my family and
I consider myself to be half Scots and half Irish, right down the
The end of the story is this: my new-found Idaho cousin
Sharon McConnel recently documented that I’m more distantly
related to Angus the Giant than my grandmother led me to
believe. But my grandmother’s interesting life and times and
her intense pride in being a Scot and a MacAskill, if only by
marriage, was enough to propel me to Nova Scotia in 2004 in
search of the giant.
Another recipe – Easy Scots eggs!
By Sharon McConnel
• hard cooked eggs, shelled
• country-style pork sausage, preferably finely ground
Mold pork sausage around eggs, place on a rack in shallow
pan and back in 325 degree oven until sausage is cooked
through. Place eggs on paper towels to drain fat. Cut in halves
or quarters when ready to serve. Serve as snack or garnish.
It’s a trip so many other
MacAskills have taken – to
the Angus MacAskill museum
at Englishtown where
Michelle Cavanaugh has
constructed a family tree on
the back wall and where I
held the giant’s boot and
bought the Sept tartan; to
the Gaelic College of Celtic
Arts and Crafts at St. Ann’s,
across the river on the tiny
ferry named “Angus
MacAskill, and to the giant’s
Neil, Eloise, and Zoa
Page 18
The MacAskill Sept Society Newsletter Volume V, Number 1
The MacAskill Sept Society Newsletter Volume V, Number 1
Page 3
Back in 2004 I believed that the Neil MacAskill on the
museum wall, where one branch of the family tree ended, was
my grandfather. I thought he was born in Nova Scotia and since
my grandmother did little to dispel that notion, I’ve always been
drawn there. But Sharon’s work shows that my grandfather Neil
Angus and his younger brother Donald Osman “Dan” (Sharon’s
grandfather) were born in Nevada. Their father, Donald Angus
MacAskill, was born at St. Ann’s in 1845 and emigrated to the
U.S., probably first to Eureka County, Nevada, and then to
Pearl, Idaho.
The connection to “Giant” Angus is this: the giant was first
cousin to Sharon’s and my mutual great-great grandfather, yet
another Angus MacAskill of Munro’s Point, Cape Breton, who,
like the giant, was named for their grandfather Angus MacAskill
(b. 1758) of Quidinish, Isle of Harris.
And herein lies the tale of the amazing Zoa (b. 1894 at Star,
Idaho). Neil Angus MacAskill, (b. 1880 in Eureka County, NV),
made his way to Idaho where he was a laborer and eventually a
mining engineer in the communities of Delamar, Pearl and
Atlanta. I don’t know how he met Zoa, but he was 32 and she
was 18 when they married at Caldwell in 1912.
Zoa was the eldest of five – sisters Edith, Eva and
Marguerite, and brother Wilburn -- but not really. She often
wore a locket with a young woman’s photo in it. It turns out that
was her older sister Nettie, actually a half sister who was the
product of a rape. The stigma of rape was strong in those days
and it drove Nettie to commit suicide when she was 18. That
was the family story anyhow.
After Zoa and Neil married, it appears that she was often
pregnant, but she miscarried several times, some babies were
stillborn, two apparently died in early infancy and only my
mother Eloise lived to adulthood. She was born in Atlanta in
December, 1917. Zoa recalled that she had a dozen
pregnancies, and she told stories about putting the babies in a
shoebox in front of the oven to keep them warm. Various
relatives helped her deliver the babies at home -- to me this
Page 4
The MacAskill Sept Society Newsletter Volume V, Number 1
The Mail Bag: corrections, praise, gripes, and humor
A note on Jick McCaskill
By Steve MacAskill
The third book in Ivan Doig's trilogy is “Ride with me Miriah
Montana”. The whole trilogy is excellent. They were published
out sequence. I recommend reading 'Rascal Fair' first, then
“English Creek” second, and “Ride with me” last. Jick is a boy in
“English Creek” and an old man in “Ride with me”. “Rascal Fair”
is about his grandfather's journey from Scotland to Montana.
They provide an excellent flavor of rural Montana. Another Doig
book you might also enjoy is “This House of Skye”. Happy
Proper gender use of Gaelic names
By Sharon McConnel
As MAC means 'son,' a woman, obviously, cannot correctly
use this prefix in the true Gaelic form of her name. A woman
must prefix the genitive of her patronymic with NIC (which is an
abbreviation of NIGHEAN MHIC). As for example, MAIRI NIC
AILPEIN instead of the usual anglicized form Mary MacAlpin."
-- Taken from Ronald MacDonald Douglas in “The Scots Book”,
published in 1995 by Bracken Books, London
The cure
By Sandra MacAskill, Englishtown, Nova Scotia, Canada
George went to a psychiatrist.
"I've got problems. Every time I go to bed I think there's
somebody under it. I'm scared. I think I'm going crazy."
"Just put yourself in my hands for one year," said the shrink.
"Come talk to me three times a week, and we should be able to
get rid of those fears."
"How much do you charge?"
"Eighty dollars per visit, replied the doctor."
"I'll sleep on it," said George.
The MacAskill Sept Society Newsletter Volume V, Number 1
Page 17
widely been praised by critics as “compelling, thoughtful, witty
and [a] beautifully written book”.
sounds like such a pioneer existence, out there in the hills of
Idaho, in a roughshod mining community, in the dead of winter.
This book is available from the ACMS business manager,
William R.. McLeod, 210 East Juan Linn, Victoria, Texas, 77901
or through the merchandising section of the ACMS website at
Neil at some point showed signs of illness and for his health
the family moved to San Diego where Eloise went to elementary
school and junior high, and where Zoa lived out the rest of her
life. Neil died of acute leukemia in 1923. Eloise, in turn,
developed asthma and Zoa sent her, alone at age 14, to the
drier Idaho climate where she boarded with a Boise spinster,
met my father Donald Minton in high school, married in 1940
and adopted me in 1952.
Haggis: the Sequel
By Little Bo Peep and a few of her distinguished friends
Just when you thought it was safe to go
back in the kitchen, we have uncovered
some interesting uses for any haggis that
may not have been completely consumed on
its initial presentation (a.k.a. “leftovers”).
Because of its rich and pungent flavor,
haggis will lend itself to recipes that
utilize paté, ground meat, or bold
garnishes. Here are some suggestions:
Paul Haggis, awardwinning writer and film
director (no relation to
any recipe)
Haggis-stuffed Portobello mushrooms, or haggis as a topping
for any canapé
Serve alongside breakfast meats as part of a brunch buffet
Haggis lasagna, mousakka, or shepherd’s pie
As a topping for baked potatoes, perhaps with a juicy mound
of warm caramelized onions
Baked haggis in quiche shells, served with sweet pickle relish
on the side
Pack haggis into a loaf-pan, and slow-bake it for a faux paté
Layer into or use as a center in a conventional meatloaf
Use as stuffing for beef “olives”
Add green chilies and create a southwestern style haggis
(remember, a good haggis always has a decent dose of
pepper anyway!)
Wrap teaspoonfuls of haggis in wonton skins and deep fry;
serve as an appetizer on a tiny bed of ‘neeps and tatties
Page 16
The MacAskill Sept Society Newsletter Volume V, Number 1
Meanwhile in California, Zoa who was a very young widow,
put herself through nursing school in Los Angeles and became a
registered nurse, today the equivalent of a master’s degree. I
have lots of her nursing memorabilia, right down to her diploma
and her starched white cap. During her nursing education she
learned that she and Neil were RH Factor, and that’s why she
lost so many babies. She returned to San Diego and became a
private duty nurse to a number of wealthy or notable clients.
At some point she met Bertha Alice Cole, a post office
employee who had inherited a fortune from an uncle in upstate
New York. They became lifelong companions.
I never met my grandfather Neil; he died so long ago that
my mother barely knew him. But I have vivid memories of Zoa.
When I was growing up in the 1950s and 1960s she and Bertha
came to Boise every year at Christmas and we went to San
Diego every summer. Zoa taught me to cook from scratch and
never to waste a morsel of food. She could peel an apple right
down to the seed.
She diagnosed and nursed back to health herself, Bertha, my
mother, myself and my father, who credited her with saving his
life. But when I was 16 she couldn’t bring herself to pierce my
ears! She did all kinds of sewing handiwork – she stitched quilts,
crocheted, knitted and she was the only person I ever met who
could tat.
She was sharp-tongued, opinionated, strong and imposing.
Her foot was so long and narrow she had to buy special shoes.
The MacAskill Sept Society Newsletter Volume V, Number 1
Page 5
The Book Nook
She’d take her partial dentures out and put them in a glass jar.
She kept spearmint gum in a certain drawer in the kitchen. She
had a taste for fine, expensive things such as French bone china
and oriental rugs. She died of Alzheimer’s in 1982, just four
years before her daughter.
Scottish Exodus: Travels Among a Worldwide Clan
In the mid-1980s I moved to San Diego and took up
residence in her house – an apartment in a building Miss Cole
had built and where the two ladies lived for more than 40 years.
I had all of their furniture and beautiful things. I moved them
right back into the apartment where they are today. Now the
story of Bertha Cole – that’s another kettle of fish. And Neil,
Zoa and Eloise are just one side of my colorful family!
Dame Flora, Chief of MacLeod of MacLeod,
took a great deal of interest in the trove of
ancient documents in the archives of
Dunvegan Castle. Unlike any other castle of
its period, Dunvegan had never in all its
centuries passed out of the possession of the
MacLeod family, and was therefore the only
one with all its records intact.
If Zoa MacAskill was anything, she was proud of a Scottish
heritage she married into, proud of her husband who carried on
the mining tradition of Nova Scotia, proud of his distant relation
to Giant Angus, proud to be a Presbyterian, proud to be from
Most of this lay dormant in me until a few years ago when,
as a talent agent, I began to represent a famous bagpiper and
his world music band. I started going with them to Scottish
highland games where I visited clan tents, watched sheepherding dog trials and sampled single-malt whiskeys. Then I
went to Cape Breton. Then I found Sharon McConnel who reintroduced me to my family. And I became a MacAskill all over
Footnote: Sharon McConnel detailed the Nevada/Idaho MacAskills
in the Winter 2007 MacAskill Sept Society newsletter.
So… what are you doing this summer?
By Dorna Caskie
Times are hard and we all seem
to be broke, but there’s still no
reason not to dream a little bit about
traveling. If your dream destination
is Scotland, here’s some information
that may help you make your plans.
Page 6
The MacAskill Sept Society Newsletter Volume V, Number 1
by Olive McCaskill Bell
by James Hunter
Dame Flora employed several scholars to compile, organize,
and publish all that information. She visualized a trilogy of
books, the first of which “The MacLeods: The History of a Clan,
1200-1956” was written by noted author Dr. Isabel Grant. The
second volume was a five-part genealogy of the chiefly houses
of the MacLeods of both Harris and Lewis. The third and final
book she planned to be a story of the MacLeod clan's part in the
great Scottish Diaspora, initially after Culloden and then later
the Clearances.
Following Dame Flora’s death in 1976, the work on the third
volume did not commence until the Associated Clan MacLeod
Societies was formed. The ACMS functions as a coordinating
body, supporting the various National Clan MacLeod Societies
and helping them move toward common goals. One goal has
always been the completion of the historical trilogy. Dr. James
Hunter was engaged to undertake this daunting commission. A
world-wide itinerary was laid out for him, encompassing all the
places where descendants of emigrating MacLeods were eager
to share the stories of their ancestors' hardships and triumphs.
“Scottish Exodus” was finally published in 2005.
Mr. Hunter's narrative style flows easily and makes for
interesting reading. He gives full credit to the good chiefs and
tacksmen, but he makes no attempt to whitewash the memories
of those who exploited the underprivileged. The book has
The MacAskill Sept Society Newsletter Volume V, Number 1
Page 15
Lila Mae MacAskill Buerger, 1910-2008
By Trish Avery
Lila fell asleep in death on March 11, 2008. She was the
daughter of the late Angus Duncan MacAskill and Margaret
Curran, sister of the late Una MacAskill and late Ian MacAskill.
Lila was born August 3, 1910 in Newton
Massachusetts and was raised in
Englishtown, Cape Breton, Nova Scotia by
her Aunt Christie MacAskill and Uncle John
MacAskill in the home of her grandfather,
Duncan MacAskill. Duncan was the
brother of the famous Giant Angus
Lila taught school in Jersey Cove, Nova
Scotia with all eight grades in a one room
school house. She returned to Massachusetts as a young adult,
where she met her late husband Martin Julian Buerger. They
had six daughters: Marla Christine, Julie Margaret, Laura
Pauline, Janet Elizabeth, Dorothy Ruth, and Patricia Anne.
Lila was a gifted homemaker, decorating for every season
and holiday, a wonderful cook and a busy mother. She
delighted in crafts; she was an accomplished needleworker,
knitter, seamstress and made beautiful original wreaths and
decorations. She had the gift of entertaining adults and children,
making everyone feel relaxed and welcome. She often
entertained the MIT students of her husband.
Lila lived in Massachusetts from
1942-1999, and later in Pennsylvania
from 1999-2008. She is survived by
four of her daughters, three
granddaughters, two great
granddaughters, and one great
grandson. In addition, she acted as a
second mother to many children not her
own, who also mourn her passing. She
was loved widely and is missed by all.
Page 14
Lila and husband
Martin Buerger
The MacAskill Sept Society Newsletter Volume V, Number 1
There are a couple of leaflets online, originally created for
people traveling to the 2006 Clan MacLeod Parliament/World
Gathering. These contain general travel information about
transportation, technology, money, safety, and other concerns:
It may help to keep in mind that in general, flying directly
into Scotland is a lot easier from Canada than from the USA.
Scottish Enterprise, the commerce branch of the government,
continues to search for partners and hopes to open additional
routes in the USA soon, so keep an eye out for them. A couple
of new Canadian “bargain” carriers I found recently are:
Reaching Scotland from elsewhere within the UK or Europe is
possible via a number of economical flight carriers that don’t
normally advertise in North America. These, along with other
travel information, are here
If you can’t go as far afield as Scotland this summer, the
Clan MacLeod Society of Canada is hosting the North American
Gathering at the University of Ottawa, in Ontario
( from July 2 through
July 6. The “NAG” is always a terrific event, and is attended by
MacLeods (and a few MacAskills) from all over the world.
And if long-haul travel is not feasible in 2008, there are still
great things coming up in future years.
2009 is the focus for a series of events that
will be part of the Scottish Homecoming
Later in 2010, we will have the next Clan
MacLeod Parliament, based on the Isle of
Skye in Scotland. (More information about
Parliament 2010 will be available on the
ACMS website later this year at
The MacAskill Sept Society Newsletter Volume V, Number 1
Page 7
The MacAskill Sept Society
We regret that – due to the cost of producing the newsletter -persons who do not pay their annual dues will receive
only one additional issue of the magazine
before being dripped from our mailing list.
(See Membership Application at the back of this newsletter)
The MacAskill Sept Society
c/o Don MacAskill, Treasurer
8 Huckleberry Lane
Hampton NH 03842-1516 USA
If you know others who would be interested in receiving this
newsletter and joining the society, please e-mail me and I will gladly
contact them about membership. Prospective members will receive
one free copy of our newsletter.
Thank you
Don MacAskill, Treasurer
[email protected]
(See Membership Application on the inside cover of this newsletter.)
Information for Highland Games in North America
To find bits of Scotland closer to home, Clan MacLeod USA
webmaster Bill MacLeod keeps regional calendars of events in
the United States updated on the Clan MacLeod USA site at The
North American Scottish Games Association also has a lively and
informative website at
Page 8
The MacAskill Sept Society Newsletter Volume V, Number 1
Some years later Erling, his mother (whose name has not
come down to us) and a few old retainers went over the
mountains in search for a place to settle after a dream where
Hos had asked for them to find a place for sacrifices. After
various adventures they settled in a place near the
Drammensfjord and Erling built a hill fort that was called Hoskoll
(The Hill of Hos) and initiated sacrifices to his father. The
Hosling (descendants of Hos) never really converted to
Christianity and remained true to the old ways and still are to
this day. The family still uses the name of Hos instead of Odin.
Around 350 years later, another son of an Earl of Moere settled
in Normandy and one of his descendants become the first
Norman king of England, but this has no connection with this
story. Of course none of this can be proved, it is just an old
family tradition, but the Hoskoll is still there and it has been
dated to around year 500.
Notes : "Hos" literally means "The Grey One" which is a
typical name for Odin. The Hosling (Descendants of Hos) still
live in the region near Hoskoll. The Hafskjold family are the
chief branch of the Hosling clan.
[Authors’] disclaimer: These texts are presented for research
purposes. The texts represent the views of the original authors
and do not necessarily represent the views of Shaun D. L.
Brassfield-Thorpe, Phillip Brough, the Stav Academy, the Stav
Heimbu, the Stav Hov's, the Stav Vé's or any members of Stav
International. The reader should be aware that many of the
texts in the library are old and therefore some hypotheses
presented in some works may have been superseded by more
recent research. In addition, some authors may express views
which would be very much contrary to that of Stav
International, especially in any instances referring to issues of
race, politics, gender etc. The reader is again reminded that
many texts in the library are historical documents and should
be seen as such, and these should in no way be taken to in any
way reflect any form of official view or policy within Stav.
Please address any complaints regarding the nature of the text
to the author if appropriate.
The MacAskill Sept Society Newsletter Volume V, Number 1
Page 13
More on the Legend of Hos, the Grey One (Norway)
A brief history of the MacAskill Sept Society
From materials posted on the web pages of the Stav Academy
By Olive McCaskill Bell
Lloyd MacAskill surveyed in his article “Tea in the Kettle?”
(MacAskill Sept Society Newsletter, Volume IV, issue 4) several
possible roots of the name MacAskill, among which were an
illustrious ancestor “Hos”, from whom may descend members
of the Norwegian family of Hoslings. Further research reveals a
fascinating set of myths and pre-history from the Northern
world, which reminds us that our mythological heritage doesn’t
always come from the plot lines of Walt Disney movies.
The text below has been taken from the oral history of the
Hafskjold/Hosling family as related by Ivar Hafskjold, the 44th
Herre of Hafskjold and inheritor of the Hosling tradition on
Stav. This extract has been slightly edited here.
More information on the legends stored in the Stav Library can
be found at This is an open
resource containing around 1000 documents covering a wide
range of subjects with a focus on Northern European mythology
and history.
Regarding Hos there isn't much
known. In short the story goes that
around 1500 years ago, at around
the year 500, a stranger that called
himself Hos arrived at the house of
the Earl of Moere - Moere is in
Western Norway, North of Bergen,
South of Trondheim - and evidently
gave a series of very wise advice.
After some time, Hos disappeared
Odin from Thomas Bulfinch, The
again as suddenly as he had
Age of Fable, Henri Altemus
appeared in the first place. Some time
after this one of the Earl's daughters gave birth to a boy who
was named Erling (meaning descendant of the Earl) a name that
is still common in my family; both my father and my son were
so named. It became rumoured that the wise and mysterious
wanderer who called himself Hos was in fact the god Odin.
Page 12
The MacAskill Sept Society Newsletter Volume V, Number 1
As our little Society grows, I think it is important to remember
that we are making history as well as collecting it. In this
spirit, I asked Olive if she would give us her recollection of how
the Society originated. Olive has also served as an officer of
the Clan MacLeod Society, USA as well as led a number of other
Scottish-heritage related activities. -- Dorna
Someone asked about a history of the MacAskill Sept
Society. My first thought is to give credit to two of the grandnieces of the Cape Breton Giant, Carola MacAskill MacDonald
and Emiline MacAskill Campbell. In the 1980s, these women
were involved with several of their siblings in trying to establish
a small museum devoted to the history of the Giant and his
family. The family had been evicted from their small-holding on
the Isle of Bernara, in the Outer Hebrides, in 1838, and
arbitrarily resettled at Englishtown, Nova Scotia. The Giant,
Angus, was six years old when he arrived on Cape Breton with
his parents, grandparents, and other members of their extended
Carola and Emiline wondered if other MacAskills scattered
over the New World would like to meet each other, and perhaps
help with the struggling little museum. So they planned a
MacAskill Gathering to which they invited any one who was
interested. For some time the first weekend in August had been
designated as MacAskill Fun Days, so the Gathering just
expanded on that. They sent brief notices to The Highlander
magazine (which I received) and the Scottish Banner
newspaper, which at that time circulated almost exclusively in
This was in the summer of 1987. That year, one could catch
a Canadian Air flight in Dallas, depart via Halifax, land at
Prestwick and take the shuttle into Glasgow - thereby passing
London. I was planning just such a trip in the company of an
eleven-year-old granddaughter. (Eleven is a wonderful age for
a traveling companion - a child is old enough to bathe and dress
The MacAskill Sept Society Newsletter Volume V, Number 1
Page 9
without help, but won't beg to drive the rental car, nor form a
blazing romance with one of the locals!)
MacAskill Gathering 2008 – save the date!
I arranged my itinerary so as to attend the MacAskill
Gathering. A surprising number of people showed up, from as
far away as Florida and California. There were boat trips on the
Bay, horseshoe and dart tournaments, an and abundance of
wonderful food. There was a general opinion circulating that we
ought to organize, but no one took the initiative to set up a
formal business meeting. So we just had a good time,
exchanged addresses, and went our separate ways.
The MacAskill Sept Society will hold its 2008 Gathering in
Red Springs, North Carolina USA, in conjunction with the Flora
Macdonald Highland Games. The Games are sponsored by the
Cape Fear Scots and will be held in 2008 from Friday October 3
through Sunday October 5. While our annual Gathering has
become a movable event held in different parts of North
America, this year's get-together will provide an excellent
opportunity for the large numbers of MacAskill descendants still
living in the Carolinas to come out and meet some of their
distant kinfolk and learn more about the Sept Society.
The next year, 1988, the invitation was repeated. It so
happened that the U.S. and Canadian Clan MacLeod Societies
were holding their quandary annual joint meeting in Dearborn,
Michigan, that summer, and my husband, Saul Bell, attended
along with me. When that meeting was over, we rented a car
and drove to Englishtown, where, again, we had a wonderful
time. Saul was so impressed with the area, and especially the
people, that he said we should have some sort of pied de terre
there. It was, he pointed out, much closer to New Mexico than
Scotland, and really just as Scottish, if not more so!
Everyone got very busy about then, with work and families,
and nothing more than Christmas cards were exchanged until
1997, when those MacAskill sisters again organized a Gathering.
While there that time I saw a lovely lot on Goose Cove across
St. Ann's Bay from Englishtown. I bought it, I got Angus
MacAskill's promise to build me a house, I opened a bank
account in Baddeck, and I hired a lawyer.
The next summer I spent in a
rented cottage in Englishtown,
watching my own house go up. It was
several years after that when Jamie
Wilson - whose mother is a MacAskill and I cobbled together a set of bylaws and registered the Sept
Society in the province of Nova Scotia as a not-for-profit.
And this is where we pick up the story of our Society!
Page 10
The MacAskill Sept Society Newsletter Volume V, Number 1
By Lloyd MacAskill
More information available at
Planning for both the Games as well as this year's MacAskill
Gathering are still in the early stages, but we will coordinate
MacAskill plans with those for the Games’
athletic and cultural events. This means
that in addition to our own MacAskill
reception and AGM, you will be able to
attend the games in Red Springs as well
as the fabulous Flora MacDonald Ball
The ball includes Scottish country dancing,
contra dancing, waltz, and other vintage
dances. We encourage our members to
participate in these events.
Flora MacDonald
We will arrange for a hotel (yet to be selected) to be our
MacAskill "headquarters". Complete registration details will be
available in the next issue of the newsletter or earlier on the
Society website (
The MacAskill Sept Society Newsletter Volume V, Number 1
Page 11