View from the choir

I am a Catholic layperson and Secular Franciscan with a sense of humor. After years in the back pew watching, I have moved into the choir. It's nice to see faces instead of the backs of heads. But I still maintain God has a sense of humor - and that we are created in God's image.

Sunday, May 08, 2011

A Son of Clan MacMillan

My mother was from Greenock, Scotland (Glasgow). She met my father when he was in the U.S. Navy, and came over here to marry him. Nana followed.

They were Baxters. When I asked what clan we belonged to, Nana always said we were associated with Clan MacMillan (or Macmillan), but she said back in Scotland they didn't really made much of it. When I asked what plaid was ours, she said she never really paid attention: She just wore whatever looked good.

The other day I was at the library. They were having a used book sale, and what did I spot? A booklet entitled Your Clan Heritage: Clan MacMillan. I bought it.

Sure enough, the booklet reported that Baxter is one of the names associated with the clan - a so-called "sept name."

According to one story, a certain Archibald MacMillan was forced to hide out after killing a man from anotgher clan, and disguised himself as a cook making barley loaves. After he made a money-payment as a fine for the killing, he became known as "the baker," and his children inherited the name Mac-Baxtear, later shortened to Baxter.

The clan includes a fomer Prime Minister, Sir Harold MacMillan, the explorer Donal MacMillan, and the composer/conductor Ernest Macmillan. Thed family also features Kirkpatrick MacMillan who apprently invented the first practical bicycle, but someoneelse made it commercially successful. (I sense a family trait in that tale.)

The clan motto is Miseris Succurrere Disco (I Learn to Succour the Distressed). I like that.

Ah, roots.


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