Sunday, July 16, 2006

The Roots of Harris

I was talking with Bill on the drive up to Aviemore, and we were discussing many things. Among them, he mentioned where the Harris family comes from. I had always thought Harris was English, and I doubt my father or grandfather knew differently. But we are not English. Harris is a proud Scottish name from the Isle of Harris, two hours boat-ride northwest of Skye. It is from this rocky pastoral land that the finest tweeds come--Harris tweed.

The Isle of Harris is also called the Isle of Lewis. As Bill told it, the Lewis people and the Harris people don't get along, and they have named the south part of the island Harris, the northern part Lewis. (My grandfather, interestingly enough was Milton Lewis Harris, so perhaps we share a bit of both?) As it turns out, all three of my grandfather's names, Milton, Lewis and Harris, are all Scottish. I had never known this before.

Bill said the Isle of Harris is beautiful, but to see it requires an overnight stay--more than we're willing to do at this point. Bill pushed us to see if we'd go, for he loves seeing it, and he has a good friend who is a gamekeeper on the island, but we politely declined. We'll have to save it for next time. For now that I've learned that I am Scott of Harris, I feel compelled to return! And I found a nice stone manorhouse with land that can be had for a mere £400,000; it's almost within reach!

Next trip, I'll bring the downpayment!


Sandi said...

What interestiing history of the Harris name. I'll be sure to direct Uncle Dale to your Blog so he can read this. I'm sure he & Aunt Linda would both enjoy the info.

Aunt Linda said...

This brother....Dale...and I and Julie spent 10 days in Scotland and knew quite a bit of what Scott mentioned about the Harris background. Truthfully, Dale knew about it before we went to Scotland.

We loved Scotland, the tea shoppes and scones were wonderful. Our hotel was family owned and every evening she would bring us tea and scones. I LOVED it!!

Dale played golf there too. It was during the 80's when the TV show DALLAS was popular and Dale was head and shoulders taller than the Scots..wearing his stetson...they would holler .... hey, J.R...
We went to St. Andrews Golf Course, can't remember if he played there, think so. The one I remember best was reached by trekking through a cemetery to reach the golf course...

Scott, I loved all the phots and details of your trip. It was awesome!!


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