section contains contributions from members of the Society.
All contributions welcomed by the Webmaster - he would rather
not invent the
Where is Carnoustie?
On the first day of the 147th Open Golf at Carnoustie it was reported on the radio that the crowds were less than usual because the course was located in a somewhat remote part of Scotland. This set the Society Treasurer thinking. He realised that he does not know where the town of Carnoustie is. On studying the map he was surprised to discover that golf was taking place a mere 41 miles East of the Clan land at Clach na Coileach – a journey of a little over an hour by car, traffic permitting. Now he knows!
Motoring across America
Back in the 1930's Clansman
Bernard Thoms embarked on a trip halfway around the
world. His journey included a cross-country
motor expedition through the United States.
Highlights of the trip were were described
in pieces that he penned for publication in the
Dundee Courier and Advertiser.
Clan Society member, Hamish
Thoms, has now compiled the story of his
father's adventures. Please click here to
read his article.
MacThomas in Shetland
The Clan's connection with Orkney is well documented.
The East window in Magnus Cathedral in Kirkwall is known
as the Thoms Window after George Hunter Macthomas Thoms
(1831-1903). He was appointed Sheriff Principle of
Caithness, Orkney and Zetland in 1870 and in his will he
left a substantial part of his estate as the 'Thoms
Trust Bequest' for the restoration of the
We have recently discovered
that there is another window named after Sheriff Thoms.
This second window is located in Lerwick Town Hall,
Shetland's main civic building. Please click here
for more information about this second Thoms window
together with an enlarged photograph.
MacThomas on the Net
Whilst browsing the Internet your Webmaster was
surprised to come across an article and photographs of
the Clan land at Clach na Coileach in Glenshee in an
online magazine entitled "The Hazel Tree".
The article states that it
was added on 30th March 2015. However it is a bit of a
mystery when the photographs were actually taken. The
grass around the stane is short and there are copious
molehills, which were certainly not there when the
Webmaster visited towards the end August 2015. Perhaps
the Hazel Tree author visited in late 2014.
To view the article on the
Hazel Tree please click here.
Wolseley visit the Cockstane *****
We are always interested to find references to our
Gathering place in Glenshee on the internet. Even we
were surprised when we came across photographs of the
Cockstane in 2014 on the Wolseley Resister car club
website. It appears that club members visited the area
on a 50th anniversary tour of Scotland. ***** Please click here
to view those photographs and a link to the website
article. ***** Your webmaster has strong family
connections to the Alvis Register and wonders if he can
arrange a visit by a selection of vintage Alvis cars to
our historic site as part of their Annual Gathering in
Perthshire in June 2016. That would be a sight to
behold! ***** Added
Glenshee in 1947
Tank Traps Today
We have recently discovered a film in the National
Library of Scotland that includes a short section
featuring coaches and cars travelling through the
Devil's Elbow north of the Spittal of Glenshee on its
way to the Braemar Games in 1947. This was long before
the road was improved in the 1960's. How things have
The part about Glenshee
starts after about three minutes and lasts for just four
minutes. The "Devil's Teeth" (tank traps) that are shown
in the film were installed in the early 1940's to slow a
Nazi invasion and some can still be seen today when
motoring up the improved A93.
Glenshee in the Snow
you ever wondered what it would be like driving through
Glenshee on the A93 when it is covered with a couple of
inches of snow?
If so why not click here
to view a video of a car journey South from the Spittal
in the middle of December 2014. The Clan land at the
Cockstane can be seen on the right after about 1 minute
50 seconds. Looks chilly - poor trees!! Your Webmaster
certainly would not be driving that fast.
Skiing In Glenshee
Modern trends never
cease to amaze your Webmaster - well he is getting on a
bit!! He finds the practise of
filming one's daily activities rather
A quick search of the
internet reveals a large number of videos of people
enjoying themselves on the slopes at Glenshee. Some are
better than others! Even your ever sceptical webmaster
was impressed by the example than be viewed by clicking
1 2 4 5
3 3 3 3 3
6 7 8
may have noticed that your Webmaster and Treasurer is
fascinated by numbers. Since he retired he has become a
bit of a Sudoku addict.
He was therefore absolutely
delighted when at 19:38 BST on Tuesday 10th June 2014 he
became visitor number 33333 to the home page of the Clan
MacThomas website. He is still trying to work out the
odds for this. Who will be visitor number
One of our officers in
North America came across these shoes for sale on the
internet. They are handmade in Scotland to order and are
available in a number of leather colours with a huge
range of tartan panels and inserts - including MacThomas
Ancient or MacThomas Modern.
There is one slight snag -
the price is £360 (US$ 600) per pair of brogues. However
shipping is free!
They are a little loud for
your webmaster's taste.
The photograph shows the
MacThomas Bar in Lübeck in Germany. Sadly the full name
of the premises is the MacThomas Irish Pub. Trip Advisor tells us
that the cuisine is Irish and that they promote the
A quick search on YouTube
reveals that musical entertainment is also a
House for Sale
"What is the Clan
connection?" I hear you ask. That is simple - it is the
84** MacThomas Avenue North
West, North Canton, Ohio, USA.
Five bedrooms, five
bathrooms in 0.81 acres for US$394,900 - that sounds
very cheap by UK standards!
A Thom Family History
The Clan Sennachie, a Thom himself, regularly browses
the internet and encourages your webmaster to do the
same. He recently, by chance, came across information
about a recently published book, "Bervie and Beyond".
Written by Colin W. Thom who lives in Queensland,
Australia, the book, subtitled "Thom Family History",
reaches back to the early 1700's and into the lives of
the author’s paternal ancestry in North East Scotland.
It then trys to chart the lives of all his descendants
through to around the mid-1900's.
To find out more about the
book please click here.
The author has recently joined the Clan
Odder by the Minute!
It is amazing what
one finds whilst Browsing the web. Your
webmaster accidently came across a website in Russian
extolling the virtues of the Clan
MacThomas - at least that is what he assumes that it is
doing! He has worked out that Клан Мактомас is the
Russian for Clan MacThomas; but not much more. It really
is amazing that someone has spent so much time
translating information about all the Scottish Clans.
The page features a picture of the Cockstane in the snow
- complete with a Russian name - try
**** An afterthought - maybe this
explains the visitors to our website from Russia - we
thought that Analytics simply got in
Strange Places in Scotland
Your webmaster is always looking for something different
to feature in this area of the website. He recently came
across a series of videos on YouTube entitled Strange
Places in Scotland - they all feature a gentleman called
Please click here
to view one of the series, entitled "Stange Places in
Scotland - Clach Na Coileach". This was published in
January 2013 and gives a very alternative view to an
area that many of us know very well. The least said
about the mark that Mr Betty gives the area the
Members who have
visited Glenshee will have probably driven up the A93 to
the Glenshee Ski Centre and perhaps gone on to visit
Braemar. These days this
is a relatively straightforward journey. In years gone
by, before the road was improved in the 1960's, it was
not so simple. Drivers had to negotiate the dreaded
This well known
postcard image shows the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh
taking the hairpin in their Daimler. This scene has
recently been reconstructed by the BBC and members who
have logged on can view the video by clicking here.
Motoring in Glenshee
Your webmaster is a fairly regular visitor
to the Glenshee area in Scotland. He would like to visit
more often but it is a round trip of just over one
When he does visit he often
remarks upon the number of motorcyclists who seem to
love driving up and down the A93 between Blairgowrie and
Braemar and beyond.
Recently he has discover that some of these
motorcyclists do more than just drive up and down the
road admiring the wonderful scenery. A number of them
fit movie cameras to their bikes and film their
journeys. Please click here
to view one of the more scenic
You should be warned that viewing this
video may re-ignite a desire to visit the beautiful area
Thoms in New
Members Grahame and Rossie
Thom were on a holiday in New Zealand in October 2012
and, whilst driving to the northern most point of the
North Island, noticed this bridge with a Clan related
name - Thoms Landing. The bridge crosses a small stream
which heads east into
Parengarenga Harbour. On returning home Grahame tried to
find out the origin of the name without any success. If
anyone can provide more information will they please
Members can click here
to view more photographs and a map.
In the book
"Sacred Sites of the Knights Templar" by John K. Young,
PhD, a discussion of the megalithic site ''Carnac'', in
Brittany, France, includes the following statement, "This megalithic site
has been meticulously surveyed and studied by Alexander
Thom, a Scottish civil engineer who took an interest in
megalithic architecture and who has published numerous
studies that have been well received by the scientific
The text goes on to discuss Professor
Thom's widely accepted hypothesis that the builders of
the site exhibited a definite interest in astronomy and,
from the placement of stones around Carnac, had
constructed what appear to be two lunar observatories in
the area. Another item of interest in this same
discussion is that the Carnac site includes "Le Grand
Menhir", the largest single megalithic stone known in
Europe, estimated to weigh 330 tons. (Menhir is the
Breton word for standing stone).
Further discussion of Professor Thom's
analysis of megalithic architecture may be found in the
October 2009 and July 2010 issues of the former U.S. and
Many of us
will be familiar with the World War Two saga of young
Naval officer John F. Kennedy, as narrated in the book
commanding officer of the PT-109 which sank after being
struck by a Japanese destroyer, the future President of
the United States led his crew to the shore of a nearby
island. He then swam into the hostile waters of Blackett
Straits in an attempt to attract a rescue vessel.
Eventually he and his crew were rescued by Solomon
Islanders led by a British coast watcher. His friend and
companion during this entire adventure was his executive
officer, Leonard J. Thom (1917 - 1946).
possible than a Clan member was involved in the events
that led up to the composing of the United States
During the conflict
known in America as the War of 1812, and in Britain as
the Seven Years War, the US National Anthem was penned
by Francis Scott Key after a night spent observing the
"rockets' red glare" during the siege of Fort McHenry in
Baltimore harbor. The outcome of that siege was in large
measure determined by two young citizens of Baltimore on
the preceding day, in the approach to the Battle of
North Point on 12th September 1814. Two Baltimore
teenagers, Daniel Wells and Henry McComas are credited
with mortally wounding British General Robert Ross.
McComas was subsequently killed in the battle.
The photograph shows the inscription on one
face of a monument in Baltimore.
write about people with our Sept names. Have we ever
thought about places with these names? One of our US and
Canada branch officers has just returned from a visit to
the coal camp at McComas in Mercer County, West
Virginia. Looks interesting.
I heard the
other day that one of those present at the 2008 AGM in
Glenshee was so impressed by the way that the meeting
was run that he asked our President if he would be
prepared to become Chairman of his company. I understand
that Finegand declined - citing lack of relevant
Tartan for your dog!
We have found
a website where you can buy Tartan collars, leads or
kerchiefs (whatever they may be) for your favourite dog.
And yes - they do MacThomas. Just use the link