Native Scots and their
descendants have figured in the life of this country since colonial times. That
exact same statement may be applied the great state of Texas as well, as Stephan F.
Austin, Sam Houston, Davey Crockett and Collin McKinney all possessed Scottish roots!
In fact, 112 of the counties in Texas (out of a total of 254, or 44%)
have been given names which have Tartans associated with them. (The plaid pattern
that you see in kilts, is referred to as a tartan and in
fact in Scotland, they use the word tartan instead of the word plaid.)
Based on the presence of their surname, or that of an
ancestor, in the book Tartan for Me by
Dr. Philip D. Smith, 34 of the 45 U.S.
Presidents (77%) have potential ties to Scotland! Clans Munro,
Buchanan, and Grant are all "still alive and well" in the 21st century! (James
Monroe [5th president], James Buchanan [15th] and Ulysses S. Grant [18th].)
Even Mr. Lincoln's last name has a tartan associated with it: Inverness District.
Did you know that Dallas is a Scottish name? There's a wee village in northern Scotland
Dallas! (Just how our Dallas got its name is
unclear and there is little evidence to support the idea that it was somehow based
on its smaller, Scottish "cousin.")
Andrew Carnegie and
Andrew Mellon (49th, U.S. Treasury Secretary),
University is named, were both of Scottish descent.
The first man to walk on the moon,
Neil Armstrong, is descended from the southern border
clan of the same name. At least two letters from him, on NASA letterhead, can be
seen at the Clan Armstrong Centre and Museum, in
Gilnockie Tower, near the village of Canonbie, in the border
country of southern Scotland.
As a result of the above connections, and numerous others, we celebrate National Tartan Day. For more information