The Scottish Society of Dallas
Sharing Scottish History & Culture with North Texans since 1963...

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Tartan Day

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 surname with a corresponding tartan assigned? What's more, there's a wee village in northern Scotland today, called 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), for whom Carnegie Mellon 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 click here.

Younger members of the Dallas Highland Dancers.
Younger members of Fiona Alpaugh's Dallas Highland Dancers, are about ready to perform at the Society's 2013 ceilidh!     (Photo by Lampton)

Dallas are Celtic band, Seamus Stout.
A perennial favorite, Seamus Stout performs at the 2013 Tartan Day Ceilidh.    (Photo by Teakell)

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