Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Clan Monroe

Unlike the Clan MacEwen (Ewen) that some have called a lost Clan, the Clan Munro has been front and center of the Scottish Clans. Hot tempered and combative, you learned to stay out of Mam maw's way when she had her dander up. In Gaelic the clan were called "Rothack" and are thought to have taken the name Munro from a place in Northern Ireland where they are thought to have originated. In time of clan warfare, they called the clan together by lighting a single tower on the highest point in their castle. Fighting seemed to be their middle name and warfare was their game. As early as 1369 Munro chiefs were being killed in battles. They became Protestants in the reformation, and remained so for the rest of our families history. Many Munroes became professional soldiers, fighting in Sweden where 27 of the Swedish officers had the name Munro. Fight, fight, fight, what a life. It certainly came in handy in the frontier of Virgina where my Monroe side first arrived. Mam maw use to say we were "kined" to President James Monroe (1758-1831)but I have not been able to establish this story yet. Any Munroes out there?

The picture to the right shows the tartan of the Munro Clan. The standard definition of a tartan is "a kind of wollen cloth woven in stripes of various colours crossing at right angles so as to form a regular pattern". The weave used is called the "twill". Here the threads cross first over two, then under two producing the effect of a diagonal rib on the weaver's loom. A love of bright colors has long been a characteristic of the Scottish Clans.

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