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!

© Copyright 2005-2014, Scott E. Harris. All Rights Reserved.
Please do not reproduce or copy without the permission of the author.