Bill's Genealogy Blog

Bill Buchanan is a long-time genealogy enthusiast, living in Spruce Grove, Alberta, Canada. This blog will describe my experiences as I research my family history and help others.

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Location: Spruce Grove, Alberta, Canada

I am a retired online school teacher. I love family history. Since 2007, I have spent much of my time providing part-time support for the world's largest free family history site https://familysearch.org This is very rewarding. I have helped others with the Family Tree and related FamilySearch products.
Since April 2010, I have served in the Edmonton Riverbend Family History Centre. I have a FHC blog at Bill's Family History Center Blog For information the Latter-day Saints and family history click http://mormon.org/

Monday, September 17, 2018

Clan Buchanan appoints its first chief since 1681

Some of you are aware of my interest in early Buchanan history.

I received a text message from James informing me that the Lord Lyon (the heraldry authority for Scotland) has recognized John Michael Baillie-Hamilton Buchanan as Chief of Clan Buchanan. Up to this point, he was the representative of the Arnprior and Leny branches of the family, so he seems like a natural choice.

John Michael Baillie-Hamilton Buchanan
the new Chief of Clan Buchanan

Arnprior was noted for several things.

  • They were descendants of the facetiously-named King of Kippen, friend of King James V, whose amusing story was recorded by Sir Walter Scott. 
  • A Buchanan of Arnprior who removed the gates of Mugdock Castle, seat of the chiefs of Clan Graham, when they were on the opposite sides of a civil war in the 1600s.
  • Francis Buchanan of Arnprior died as a supporter of the Jacobite cause.
  • John Buchanan of Arnprior was the agent for settling the estate of John Buchanan of Buchanan, the last chief in 1681. (At this point most of the Buchanan estates passed to the family of the Duke of Montrose.) 

Leny is one of the oldest Branches of the Buchanan clan.

  • In fact when William Buchanan of Auchmar, a rival claimant to the the title of Chief, wrote his monumental history of the Buchanan clan in 1723, he expressed surprise that the Leny branch bothered to keep the surname Buchanan after all this time. (His own Auchmar line died out in two more generations, so even if the Lord Lyon had granted them the title, it would not have lasted for long.)
  • Janet Buchanan, one of the two daughters of Chief John Buchanan who died in 1681, married Hugh Buchanan of Leny.
  • So you might say that after all this time the title is where it belongs.
Best wishes to the new Chief of Buchanan and the Lady Buchanan, his wife!.

For further information see https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-scotland-45518505 and
https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2018/09/14/clan-gets-first-chief-337-years-genealogist-keeps-promise-grandmother/

Saturday, September 01, 2018

Happy 75th Anniversary!

On Sunday Judy and I drove to Lacombe to join in a special celebration.

Myrtle and Evans celebrated their 75th wedding anniversary recently. They are my last surviving aunt and uncle. They have a daughter and two sons.


I have known for a long time that the best man and the maid of honour for the wedding were my father George Buchanan and Evans' sister Fern. But I did not know that I had played a very small role as well. "They first met at a baby shower for Billy Buchanan at the home of Mrs. Hettie Chapin." So if it wasn't for my baby shower they might not have met. But by even the longest stretch of imagination, that is all of the credit I can claim! The remaining 75 years was entirely their own achievement.

In 1943 Evans was serving in the Canadian Army and was able to get a short leave to marry Myrtle, before his unit was shipped off to join the conflict in Europe. He served in England, France, Holland, and Germany before returning home. 

Myrtle and Evans spent a lifetime serving in the community organizations where ever they lived. And they both enjoyed sports, even late in their senior years, and the medals they won proved their skills. Horse shoe pitching was a part of our Ing family reunions, and I remember that Evans was almost always a member of the winning twosome, regardless who he had for a partner.

They have impressed me as being happy and positive through bad times and good. I have never heard an unkind word from either of them. These wonderful people have made the world a better place in every way they could.

Congratulations Myrtle and Evans!