Excerpt from Tadhg’s Journal: I have a formal celebration and party to go to in a couple of months, and so what I’m doing today, in this year, of 2016 has a direct connection with the year 1747 for me and my family.
I am going to be officiating at a ceremony and an annual, family ‘institution’ and, because it’s a formal and very grand occasion, I needed to order some suitable clothes, replacing a well-worn kilt, yes, a kilt, and that’s the connection with 1747. I’ve actually enjoyed spending the last hour ot two checking the ceremonial gear (ie kilt, brogues, sporran, sgian-dubh (the knife that goes in the right long sock etc)) in my wardrobe, getting measured for a replacement kilt (a Gordon/Gordoner kilt, blue, modern tartan), and so have just indulged in some retail therapy. And, that was wonderful.
It’s not a skirt…
On a late Thursday afternoon, in the autumn of 1747, a year after the Battle of Culloden – maybe 24 September 1747 – Raibeart Gordon, allegedly, rode past the volatile borders of Scotland, entered England under the cloak of darkness, and headed to the wilds of North Wales, arriving there some weeks later.
Marrying a young lady there a year or so later, the marriage certificate showed his occupation as a reporter for a newspaper or court, we’re not quite sure. For someone of that period, though, that was a very good job.
However, dear Raibert couldn’t sign his name, and just scribed an ‘x’ on the certificate, which probably means he was a porter, and not a reporter. Such is the power of the town clerk to make a mistake or to be ‘inventive’. The certificate also has a little smudge here and there just to make things even more indecisive.
Fast-forward a few years, and still not being able to sign his name, several children were born to his wife and him, but this time, according to another town clerk, dear Raibert, who would have been known as a ‘Gordoner’,was now shown on various birth certificates as Gardener, and later on, as Gardner.
He was one of my ancestors, and from the Scottish contingent. Scotland meets the Welsh side of my family, and my modern-day lineage is ‘born’. So much for history.
Is anything worn under the kilt? The answer is…
Meanwhile, back to today, and I’ve just been measured for a replacement, traditional eight-yard kilt. I can’t wait. It’s going to look great. I might even put a photo on FaceBook etc when it arrives in a few weeks. For tartan colours, do see the photo above.