The Clan MacGillivray Society U.S.A.
Hosts Third U.S. Gathering

    The Marriott University Park Hotel, Salt Lake City, Utah, was the venue for the third gathering of the Clan MacGillivray Society USA. This event took place September 11-12, 2009. The downturn in the economy certainly had a negative impact on the number of members and guests who attended the gathering. A total of 44 were in attendance.

    For those attending a MacGillivray gathering for the first time, it was an opportunity to establish new relationships with members of the "family." Those who had attended one or both of the previous gatherings got to continue discussions and get updates on other families.   

    The gathering was dedicated to the memory of Robert McGillivray (1931-2009). Robert was a resident of Edinburgh, Scotland and the author, along with George B. Macgillivray, of "A History of the Clan MacGillivray" (1973) and the author of "The Clan MacGillivray" (2004). Robert was a gentleman of the first-order and a proud MacGillivray.

    Friday evening found the piper in the hotel's garden to welcome everyone to the Meet and Greet reception. Members signed in and received their welcome packets. It was wonderful greeting one of the society's newest members, Ida Barlow, who turned 96 on September 14th. Ida was accompanied at the gathering by family members.

    The reception was held inside a large tent in the garden with a buffet table of good food in place for all those who needed nourishment. Included in the food available were four wonderful, homemade cheesecakes brought by car from Missouri by society vice president, Dan Hyde, and his wife, Celena. Rocky Mountain Area Convenor, Jordan MacGillivray, who lives in Salt Lake City, had arranged for the guest speaker of the evening, John M. Kitzmiller II. Mr. Kitzmiller is an accredited genealogist from the Family History Department of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (LDS) and has a special interest in Scotland because of his own family background. He provided a very interesting powerpoint presentation regarding Scotland and the MacGillivrays. He also discussed the sources one must use to reconstruct their family history, and the impact Clan MacGillivray members had on the United States and the rest of the world.

    The Saturday morning breakfast buffet was served in the hotel ballroom. The general meeting of the society was held. Following the meeting, Craig MacIntosh and another gentleman from Salt Lake City set up a Culloden display in miniature and briefed everyone on the history of the Battle of Culloden and, more specifically, the actions of the MacGillivrays during the battle. Seeing the battle from above, as it were, was quite enlightening.

    With Saturday afternoon free, many members spent time at the Family History Library of the LDS church, a world-class facility for genealogists. There were reports from some members on the success they had in obtaining information regarding their family history.

    Saturday evening began with the piper welcoming everyone to the banquet. There was the piping in of the haggis, followed by U.S. Commissioner, Bruce McGillivray, providing a very spirited rendition of Robert Burns's "Address to the Haggis." From all reports, the haggis was quite good. Following dinner, Elizabeth Barnhill provided everyone with a fascinating and humorous report on her recently completed visit to Scotland, during which she met with U.K. Commissioner, Ishbel McGillivray-McGregor, and other members of Clan Chattan. Elizabeth had the honor, as the only American MacGillivray present, of signing the renewal of Clan Chattan's Great Band of Union on the 400th anniversary of the signing of the original.

    After ten years as the founding president of the U.S. society, Jim McGilvray will be ending his tenure on January 1, 2010. With this in mind, society vice president, Dan Hyde, presented Jim with a beautiful album put together by Dan's wife, Celena. The album contains numerous photos taken at the first two U.S. gatherings. A similar album was presented to ex-vice president, Mary Cox, in recognition of the many years of service she has provided to the society. There was a drawing for door prizes, many donated by Dee Carbonell, plus the "MacGillivray Bears" that had decorated the dinner tables. The banquet ended with all present standing in a large circle, holding hands, and singing Scotland the Brave and Auld Lang Syne..

    While the banquet was scheduled to end at 10:00 pm, a few members stayed later to continue chatting with new and old friends. Some members departed Salt Lake City early Sunday morning, while others took advantage of the buffet breakfast in order to keep their conversations going until the very end.

    This third U.S. clan gathering was a great success. The society looks forward to the next gathering, with the hope that the world and U.S. economies will have improved so that more members may be able to attend.

Clan MacGillivray Society USA - Group Photos of those attending the gathering.
The inset includes those who were absent when the large photo was taken.

In attendance at the gathering:
L-R: Bruce McGillivray, U.S. Commissioner of the Clan MacGillivray; Donald Almy, Treasurer; James McGilvray, President; and Dan Hyde, Vice President.