One cannot help but think of Tartan when thinking of Scotland. There is an official register of Tartans, which can be found at http://www.tartanregister.gov.uk/.
The website enables the searching and registration of Tartans and the Register of Tartans was made by an Act of Parliament in 2008 in order to protect preserve and promote the Tartans and the heritage they represent.
The reality is that anyone, anywhere in the world can submit a request for a tartan to be registered provided they meet the criteria which can be accessed via http://www.tartanregister.gov.uk/registerGuidance.aspx.
Just recently there have been some interesting and probably well know Tartan’s registered. The first relates to The Outlander Series, recently broadcast in the US and Australia (sadly not in the UK yet) and based upon the books by Diana Gabaldon. I certainly recommend the books and you can read details via the author’s website http://www.dianagabaldon.com/.
There are currently five tartans referencing the Outlander series.
The second tartan that has been registered is from the Daughters of the American Revolution. This tartan can only be woven with the permission of the Daughters of the American Revolution Organisation.
Apart from displaying some incredibly lovely designs there is a huge amount of work that goes into creating them.
This image is of a Hattersley Loom which was still in use in the 1940’s.
It is quite hard to imagine the skill and labour that it takes moving from what is shown in the picture above to create the tartan shown here.
It is not just authors and organisations that can register tartan’s. You can search for a variety of surnames and there may be a tartan registered. I have an interest in the name of Ironside and there is a tartan registered that relates to a specific branch of the Ironside family from Aberdeenshire.
Next month we are going to have a closer look at what the Tartans meant to Scottish ancestors.
Until next time