2022 American Independence Day Message from the Chief

This July 4th, 2022, I would like to congratulate my fellow American countrymen and women on the 246th Anniversary of our Declaration of Independence.


Our constitutional republic has often been described as an experiment that paved the way for greater personal liberty throughout the world. However, throughout its history, our relatively young nation has faced severe challenges as we seek to perfect the freedoms our people enjoy, while working to improve our unity and cohesiveness as a nation.


Katherine Lee Bates (1859-1929), understood this, but reflected her hope for our country in the refrains to the four stanzas of her famous hymn, “America The Beautiful.”


… America! America!
God shed His grace on thee
And crown thy good with brotherhood
From sea to shining sea! (refrain, verses 1 and 4)
… America! America!
God mend thine every flaw,
Confirm thy soul in self-control,
Thy liberty in law! (refrain, verse 2)
— America! America!
May God thy gold refine,
Till all success be nobleness,
And every gain divine! (refrain, verse 3)


Professor Bates’ interest in American history inspired her to write “America” in 1883 after experiencing our magnificent landscape from New England to Pike’s Peak in the Rocky Mountains. She deeply understood the turmoil, pain, and joy that our Urquhart, Cromartie and Orcutt ancestors have experienced during America’s refinement.


The problem with how history is depicted, is it is often oversimplified to support the objectives of a particular writer or pundit. Just as the many wars in Scotland’s history were not simply between the Scots and the English, but involved factions in Scotland vying for dominance, the American Revolution and subsequent struggles in American have been a struggle to mold America.


During the American War of Independence our American ancestors found themselves of both sides. It wasn’t simply “the Americans versus the British.” Scots who were on opposite sides during the Jacobite uprising of 1745 – 1746, changed their perspectives during the 13 Colonies’ struggle to liberate themselves. Hugh Mercer, Flora Macdonald, and John Murray (later 4th Earl of Dunmore) supported the Jacobites during the ’45, whereas the Reverend John Witherspoon supported British government.


However, by April 1775, when the first shots of American Revolution were fired, all four were in America, with Mercer and Witherspoon championing independence and Macdonald and Dunmore backing loyalty to Britain.


By July 4th 1776, John Witherspoon was one of the signatories of the Declaration of Independence and Hugh Mercer was serving as a General in the Continental Army.


Lord Dunmore had returned to Britain after being defeated in his attempts as Colonial Governor of Virginia to subjugate the revolution.


Flora Macdonald’s Husband, Captain Allan Macdonald, was a prisoner of the American Continental Army after raising a battalion of the North Carolina Loyalist Militia in May 1775, but being defeated at the Battle of Moore’s Bridge in February 1776.


Like Flora Macdonald and her American Patriot neighbors, members of Clan Urquhart in America, found themselves on different sides of the Revolution.


In New England, various Orcutts served in the Continental Army, but various Loyalist Urquhart families escaped to Canada. In Boston, Captain James Edward Urquhart, 104th British Regiment of Foot (and second son of Captain John Urquhart of Craigston), served as Town Major of the Garrison in Boston from July 1776 until March 1776, when Patriot forces re-took the city and the British Garrison evacuated to Halifax, Nova Scotia.


In North Carolina, Norman Urquhart and William Cromartie made it through the war without losing their property, indicating they supported the Patriots.


In Spanish Louisiana, my ancestor George Urquhart, an immigrant Scot who was a loyal British subject, was mortified in 1778, when Continental Navy Captain James Willing lead an expeditionary force down the Mississippi. George penned a letter expressing his alarm at how Willing raided British owned properties to forcefully compelled residents of British West Florida to remain neutral during the Revolution.


However, Katherine Lee Bates’ optimism for the future of America is reflected in how subsequent generations of Clan Urquhart came back together in the arduous, painful, yet inspiring process of building our country.


More Urquharts immigrated to the newly formed Unites States, Children of Urquhart Loyalists who had fled to Canada returned to Maine. Families of Urquharts, Orcutts, and Cromarties who had supported the Revolution continued to grow in their new homeland.


And my ancestor, David Urquhart, born to George and Angela Urquhart during the year of James Willing’s military expedition, joined American Forces at the Battle of New Orleans in 1815, helping ensure the Louisiana Purchase would provide the territory for so many American States.


I pray that our current generation of Clan Urquhart in America will continue to help unify and perfect our country as we work to solve our ongoing challenges.


May God Bless America!


Col. Wilkins Fisk Urquhart, 28th Chief of Urquhart

The Chief’s New Year’s Message for 2021

Dear Clanfolk,

The terrible pandemic we continue to endure and the clamour of doubting, secular voices make it hard for those who don’t have faith in Christ to open their hearts to accept the gift of Salvation announced by angels at His birth (Gospel of Luke, 2:1 – 20).  Our ongoing trials can also rattle the faith of those of us who are following Christ.

If you find yourself in either place spiritually as we enter 2021, I’d like to ask you to consider wisdom shared with me by the late Reverend Jim Urquhart, who went to Our Saviour in February.

During a Clan Urquhart Gathering in Scotland, Jim and I were discussing life while walking through Cromarty, when he suddenly turned and asked, “What is the chief end of man?”

I was taken aback by the depth of his simple, very direct question.  At that time, my concept of faith vacillated between wondering whether what I’d been taught about Christ as a child was really true or dismay that I continually fell short of meeting what I thought was God’s standard.

I had also become jaded.  My experiences as a U.S. Air Force Special Agent made me wonder why a loving God would allow the murders and suicides I had helped investigate.  On my first day as an agent trainee years before, I had also witnessed the fiery crash at the 1988 Ramstein Air Base Air Show, that killed 70 and left 376 horribly injured.  God seemed absent during that horrible accident and during the autopsies I observed as an investigator.

I was caught even more off guard by the answer Reverend Jim provided, “Man’s chief end is to glorify God, and to enjoy Him forever.” 

As we continued our walk, Jim explained that the question and answer came from the Westminster Catechism of 1648.  His words of wisdom were perfectly timed, because when he shared them with me, my walk in Faith had consisted of church and Sunday school as a young person, and many years of fruitless soul searching as an adult.

In retrospect, Reverend Jim’s simple answer was packed with meaning.  He was saying, “Don’t be confused by what others tell you about Christ — experience His glory for yourself” and “When we glorify Our Lord, He give us the power to face life’s challenge!”

By sharing the simple words, “Man’s chief end is to glorify God, and to enjoy Him forever,” Jim helped me see that real hope comes through faith in Christ.  …Not from my own efforts.  …And not from the secular or relativist voices that had confused and discouraged me for decades.  I began to understand that God is not a cold, distant figure, merely looking on with disinterest as we hopelessly stumbling through a cold universe.  We can find His purpose in the fallen world in which we live.

God later led me to other wonderful people of faith, who mentored me in finding Our Lord’s purpose in my life through prayerful study of the Bible and an open heart.  To paraphrase the words of John 9:25 and John Newton, “I had been blind but began to see!”  What followed was an exciting spiritual journey, which included meeting my wonderfully faithful wife, Hanna, and being called to share the Gospel myself.

Thanks to Reverend Jim’s words of wisdom and God’s mercy, I understand that the tragedy I’ve witnessed in my life and the pandemic we are currently experiencing are painful aspects of a fallen world, but when we glorify Our Lord, He helps us persevere during the worst of times.

Beloved clansmen and women, as we continue to seek strength and courage together in the 2021, I pray that God will also bless you with the understanding of His grace and mercy,

Trust and Go Forward!

The Urquhart

Clan Urquhart Banner Winter 2020 UPDATE

Good Morning from the USA Clan Folk and Good Evening to our Family in the UK!

Just a quick update to let you all know that the Clan Urquhart Banner for Winter 2020 is shaping up quite nicely!

As of 6 am Arizona USA time, the Banner is showing at around 32 pages long. However, we are still finalizing more information and adding more of the submitted content, so it is quite possible the final product will be in excess of 50 pages!

This is turning out to be such a great edition!

We are all very excited to have so many articles from so many of our Clan Folk, and want to thank all who have contributed to the success of our Clan by being the best part of it!

Again, Thank you to all of you for being part of Clan Urquhart.

Slàinte mhath.

ALL MEMBERSHIP DOCUMENTS HAVE BEEN E-MAILED

Good Day Clan Folk!

As of Wednesday / early Thursday, all the Membership documents have been sent out.

If you have not received yours, please email us with all your information (Your Name, Your Spouse’s Name, Children’s Name(s), Address, Phone Number, when you joined Clan Urquhart Association, and email address to send your documents) and we will be happy to get your documents to you!

Thank you.

The Clan Urquhart Leadership Team
http://www.clanurquhart.org/

Staying Strong and Courageous: A Thanksgiving Day Message from the Urquhart

Greetings Everyone,,

The U.S. Thanksgiving holiday is not unique.  Harvest festivals, like clans, are found all over the world.  Oktoberfest is celebrated wherever Germans have immigrated.   My wife’s relatives in South Korea celebrate Chuseok (추석) during full moon of eight month of the lunar year.  Canada has its own national Thanksgiving Day holiday, which is celebrated in October.

The Canadian and U.S. holidays are rooted in giving thanks to God for a good harvest and other blessings.  The U.S. Thanksgiving Day was introduced as a national holiday by our first president, George Washington.  He proclaimed November 26, 1789, “… a day of public thanksgiving and prayer, to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many and signal favours of Almighty God”.

In America., many people are looking forward to the holiday within the restrictions imposed because of Covid-19.  Our son is back from college and we are anticipating our “traditional” dinner, whose menu actually changes each year.  This evening, we will enjoy Popeye’s deep-fried turkey, green beans, cabbage kimchee, Basmati and Himalayan red rice, and baked whole yams stuffed with brown sugar and marshmellows.

On Thanksgiving Day, it’s tradition to share why we’re thankful.  During these uncertain times, this may seem disconnected or naïve.  A recent article in USA Today highlighted how November 2020 bears an eerie similarity to that of 1918 during the global Spanish influenza pandemic.  Then, Americans also had to endure the fear of losing loved ones as the worldwide death toll climbed into the hundreds of thousands, while our country wrestled with the deep societal inequities we are still addressing.

However, even with very difficult times facing us, I am still very grateful:

      I am thankful for my immediate family and Clan Urquhart and Kim family members all over the world who have supported each other through the pandemic.

      I am very grateful that here in America, we wake up every morning enjoying the freedoms the Pilgrims and non-Puritans yearned for when they sailed from England on the Mayflower.

    I am thankful that with the Mayflower Compact, the Pilgrims laid the groundwork for the freedom of religion and expression enjoyed by hundreds of millions of Americans today.  Like our country’s founders, those early settlers in Massachusetts had the universal flaw of human imperfection, making them targets for today’s cancel culture.  However, as Katherine Lee Bates penned in America the Beautiful, the Pilgrims beat a thorough for freedom that our founders embodied in our Declaration of Independence, Constitution, and subsequent Constitutional Amendments

     I am very grateful that the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution guarantees us the right to worship or not as we choose, express our beliefs openly without fear of persecution, and assemble peaceably to bring about change in our society.

     I am extremely thankful that our Founding Fathers gave us the promise of government that would reject the tyranny our ancestors lived under.  If our freedoms are threatened, we do not have to suffer for decades under the despotic, narrow ideology of one faction or a powerful group of elites.  We, the People, still have the power to decide what reforms must be implemented and change the direction of government to protect our Constitutional rights.  We must never allow those freedoms to be taken from us.  My Scottish, French, German, English, Spanish, and Dutch Jewish ancestors did not enjoy them.  Neither did my wife and son’s ancestors during the Chosen Dynasty or occupied Korea.

       I give special thanks for the thousands of American men and women of all national and ethnic backgrounds who protect us, as well as the hundreds thousands of our countrymen and women who sacrificed their lives to advance the ideals in our Constitution at home and abroad.  From the fields of Gettysburg, to the forests of Germany, to the mountains of Afghanistan they have personified America the Beautiful’s words by proving they loved our country more than themselves and mercy more than life.

      We are especially blessed by the examples of four Urquhart heroes who fought to safeguard our freedoms:  Sergeant Gordon K. Urquhart, U.S. Marine Corps, and U.S. Army soldiers Corporal Thomas M. Urquhart, Private First Class Clifford S. Orcutt, and Private First Class George D. Cromarty.  Clifford Orcutt, George Cromarty, and Gordon Urquhart were of Scottish descent; Thomas Urquhart was African American.  Clifford and George gave their lives liberating Europe during World War II, Gordon helped repel the communist invasion of South Korea, and Thomas made the ultimate sacrifice in Vietnam.

Whatever country you call home, I encourage you to also count your own blessings as we all strive to remain strong and courageous during the coming months.

With warm regards,

Wil Urquhart of Urquhart

Castle Craig




This is Castle Craig (Creag Na Taigh in Gaelic) it sits on the Cromarty Firth coast of the Black Isle.

This is the only Castle that is still in the hands of the Clan Chief, and as you can see, is in a pretty ruinous state. Currently, we are working hard raising funds to stabilise the building, and build a road to it from the landward side, as it is pretty well inaccessible at this time. The best vantage point to see this from, until the works are completed, is from the Evanton cut off on the A9 after crossing the Cromarty Bridge from the Black Isle on the way North.

This is only one of the many philanthropic ventures the Clan is involved in on the Black Isle (Eilean Dubh in Gaelic), and we try as best we can to support historical buildings as best as we can. This takes a lot of money, and is what your basic membership to the Association goes towards.





THE URQUHART CLAN CREST

The Urquhart Clan Crest is derived from the Chief’s personal Coat of Arms. Every new Chief has the right to amend the design when they take on the Chiefship, but it must comprise elements from his Arms, and there have been only a few changes over the Centuries.

The Arms above are the Arms of the first Cromartie Chief of the Clan. They were recorded on a Fireplace Lintel in Cromartie Castle and it was called the Kinbeachie stone – or the Cromartie Stone, and all the elements of the Crest are on this stone.

Cromarty Castle has long gone, it’s stone being used to build what is still the present day Cromartie House. The Kinbeachie stone was saved and can be seen in the National Museum of Scotland in Edinburgh.

The attached picture is the Kinbeachie stone as it appears in the National Museum of Scotland. A more extended history can be found at the following link: http://www.stravaiging.com/history/castle/cromarty-castle







Excerpt from Burkes Peerage:

Sir Thomas is remembered for his service to the monarchy. A royalist officer, he was captured at the Battle of Worcester in 1651 and was imprisoned in the Tower of London. While in London, he wrote a book tracing his ancestry back to Adam and Eve, and authored works on mathematics, a universal language, and other erudite subjects. Before leaving Scotland in 1651 he commissioned a 5′ 6″ by 2′ 8″ carved decorative lintel for the great fireplace in Cromarty Castle. Called the Kinbeachie Stone, this celebrated sculpture depicts the arms of the Chief of Clan Urquhart and various emblems and inscriptions recalling the legendary history of the family. In the 1920s the stone was donated to the National Museum of Antiquities of Scotland in Edinburgh. Some seventy years later it was transferred to the new Museum of Scotland where it is today displayed in the section devoted to “The Seventeenth Century Challenge”. Sir Thomas died unmarried in 1660, reputedly of mirth on hearing that Charles II had been restored to the throne.

A Letter From Colonel Wilkins Fisk Urquhart, 28th Chief of Urquhart

Greetings from Wilkins Fisk Urquhart of Urquhart, Chief of Clan Urquhart!

I hope that you are all weathering these very difficult times. My wife and my prayers are with all of you, especially those who lost loved ones and acquaintances to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Be strong and courageous — just as Urquhart, Orcutt, and Cromartie ancestors were during wars, pestilence, civil unrest, and other trials in Scotland and everywhere else they emigrated. We have their example as an inspiration when it seems our current circumstance are overwhelming.

As many of you know, Vince Zangari, John Gay, and the other officers of Clan Urquhart, and I have been working hard since Summer 2019 to develop the Clan Urquhart Association into a viable organization that no longer functions based on the hard work of a handful of key people. If we are going to thrive in the 21st Century, we need more active and broader involvement of Urquhart, Orcutts, Cromarties, and their descendants.

Despite setbacks associated with Covid-19 caused travel restrictions, the Clan Urquhart Foundation and Black Isle Castle Craig Foundation are pressing ahead with essential work to preserve the ruins of Castle Craig. Castle Craig is the last cultural artifact that is owned by Clan Urquhart in our Black Isle homeland.

I am particularly appreciative to Vince Zangari for all his hard work since Fall 2018 on the Clan Urquhart Association Facebook page and in working with me to reinvigorate our clan website, www.clanurquhart.org.

I would like to welcome Tom Urquhart of Scotland back in his new role in assisting Vince Zangari with the Clan Urquhart Association Facebook page and assisting Vince with Clan Urquhart Association memberships. We look forward to once again having Tom’s unique perspective on life in Scotland.

Blessings,

The Urquhart

MEMBERSHIP CERTIFICATES AND WALLET CARDS — COVID-19 UPDATE

July 14th, 2020

Good Day Clan Folk!

Just a quick update about Membership Certificates and Wallet Cards: We had brought our supplies and paid a small local company to do the printing of the Membership Certificates and Wallet Cards, but they had closed down due government mandate caused COVID-19 as a “non-essential business”.

Once the printer has reopened, we will have our Membership Certificates and Wallet Cards printed, and will be able to mail them thereafter.

We offer our sincerest apologies for this delay.

If you would like an electronic copy of your Membership Certificate and Wallet Card, please email us at ClanUrquhartOnline@gmail.com and we will forward you an electronic copy.

Thank you.





UPDATE: November 17th, 2020

The Leadership Team of Clan Urquhart had a meeting recently and we have determined that all Membership Certificates, Wallet Cards, and Welcome Letters will be sent electronically via email once again, since there have been set backs with getting the physical copies out to everyone.

We will be printing these files to PDF and will be emailing them out to everyone from our ClanUrquhartOnline email address to the email address we have on file for you in your Membership information.

If your email address has changed, or if you still have not had a chance to join Clan Urquhart officially, now is a great time to do so, as Lifetime Membership is only $20 US or £10 GBP!

Just head over to our Membership Page, fill out the form online, submit the application, and Pay The Membership Fee Online, and within a few weeks you will hear if you are the newest Member of Clan Urquhart!

I am very excited for this chance to speak with you all! If you have not already liked our Facebook page, please do so now, and we will be happy to speak with you all!

Slange Var!

Vince Zangari
Web Master, ClanUrquhart.org
Clan Urquhart Commissioner of Arizona, USA