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News - July 15, 2015

Fifth Annual Clan Currie Gathering & Academic Symposium Coming This October to Laurinburg, North Carolina

Clansfolk to Participate in the Scotland County Highland Games

Here's your chance to learn more about the Clan Currie (MacMhuirich) and enjoy a great weekend of Scottish history and heritage.


An important symposium on the history and heritage of the early Scots settlers to North Carolina takes place in Laurinburg, North Carolina on Friday, October 2, 2015. The symposium takes place as part of a weekend of Scottish celebrations highlighted by the Scotland County Highland Games.


The program is being hosted by the Clan Currie Society which celebrates and preserves the history of the MacMhuirichs – an ancient race of powerful Scots-Gaelic bards. Clan Currie will also be hosting their annual clan gathering at the Scotland County Highland Games, also held in Laurinburg, North Carolina on Saturday, October 3. The MacMhuirichs, a name later anglicized to ‘Currie’, served for over 700 years as professional poets to the Lords of the Isles, and later to the MacDonalds of Clanranald.


The symposium is being held in the Scottish Heritage Center on the campus of St. Andrews University. The program will commence at 9 AM. Admission to the symposium is $10 per person and includes an invitation to attend the Highland Games’ welcome reception, which follows the symposium on Friday evening. A warm invitation is extended to all Clansfolk to attend the Symposium and the Highland Games and Clan Gathering.


Through these symposia, the legacy of the MacMhuirichs as an elite of far-reaching significance has only recently come to be recognized, not only as key to the understanding of Gaelic history and culture but also to the appreciation of Scottish history in its wider aspects, both national and international.

Prestigious Conference Lineup

The Clan Currie Society has assembled an “A-list” roster of speakers, including author and historian Dr. Michael Newton from the University of North Carolina, renowned genealogist Dr. Bruce Durie and North Carolina historian, Dr. Alexander “Sandy” Stewart.

These illustrious speakers will cover topics both specific to the Clan Currie as well as the much broader topic of the early Scottish settlers to North Carolina and the latest developments in ancestry research tactics, including DNA research to trace one’s North Carolina Scots ancestors.


Past participants have included Prof. Hugh Cheape of Sabhal Mòr Ostaig on the Isle of Skye, Scotland, Dr. Alan Titley of the University College Cork, Ireland, author Sheldon Currie of Cape Breton, Nova Scotia, Lewis MacKinnon, Executive Director of Gaelic Affairs for the Government of Nova Scotia, Canada and Dr. Willie Gillies formerly of Edinburgh University’s Department of Celtic Studies.

According to Bill Caudill, Director of The Scottish Heritage Center and Instructor, of the St. Andrews University Pipe Band, "The Scotland County Highland Games welcomes Clan Currie’s participation in our weekend, and particularly appreciates this added educational facet to our already scheduled events. As the surname Currie is an old Highland one found in the Upper Cape Fear and Pee Dee region in which our games is located, we hope that many descendents of Curries – as well as any other interested parties will take part in this event.”


This will be the fifth annual Academic Symposium presented by the Clan Currie Society. Past events have been held in Glasgow, Scotland, Antigonish, Nova Scotia and the Island of South Uist in 2012. The inaugural symposium was held in Edinburgh, Scotland.


The 2015 Scotland County Highland Games will be held Saturday, October 3rd on the grounds of the John Blue Home and Historical Complex in Laurinburg. Local hotels and restaurants will offer Scottish-inspired Southern hospitality to welcome you to Laurinburg and Scotland County, North Carolina.


The weekend concludes on Sunday. October 4 with a traditional Kirkin’ of the Tartans worship service at the Old Laurel Presbyterian Church which was founded in 1797 by Scots Highlanders. There will also be a Premier Professional Piping Competition at St. Andrews University featuring the top solo bagpipers in the Eastern United States starting at 9 AM.


The Clan Currie Symposium on October 2, the Scotland County Highland Games on October 3, and the Kirkin’ of the Tartans service and Premiere Solo Bagpiping competition on October 4 all add up to a great Scottish heritage weekend not to be missed, not only for anyone interested in the Clan Currie, but also for people interested in the history and culture of Scotland.


Host hotel for the weekend is the Comfort Inn of Laurinburg. For further details and information on the Scotland County Highland Games, visit www.schgnc.org.

Keep watching Clan Currie's Facebook page for additional conference updates and news.