We were men who didn’t fit in, we Ulster Scots of yore……

26th May 26, 2011

By now many of you have found “McCutcheons From Donaghadee” and are pondering the vast history of this unique family.  Many of you are asking the question:  “Who are you?”

I will tell you who I am.  My name is Angela Andrew, born on the 23rd January 1948 in Neepawa, Manitoba, Canada.  My father was Harold Andrew, son of Blanche  McCutcheon.  She was the daughter of Andrew Thomas McCutcheon (1862-1954) who was the eldest child of HR and Rebecca.

I have attended three different universities,  although I have no degrees.  First I attended the University of Manitoba at the Medical School,  studying Physical and Occupational Therapy, then I  completed one year of residency at the Royal Victoria Hospital, psychiatric department, in Victoria BC.  That wasn’t for me.  I quit and went to work for BC Hydro, but I still attended night classes, this time at the University of Victoria, studying Music theory.  Two years.

My husband and I were married in 1968 and we moved on, to Banff Alberta, then in 1972 to Calgary, where we still reside.

Both of our children swam competitively  with the Olympic swim program with the University of Calgary, and I used to wait for them every evening for 2 hours, at the University swimming pool.  So in order to pass the time, I took courses there, studying English Classic Literature and just plain English writing.  I also produced 2 newsletters for several years – volunteer position only – for the University of Calgary Swim club.  That was quite a unique experience – interviewing the top swim coaches (from all over the world), listening to their 20 minute dialogue, then having to condense the conversation to fit 2 paragraphs!

I developed the habit, out of necessity, of eliminating words, to pack as much pertinent  information into the smallest space as possible.  And this habit may be noticeable in my rendition of the “McCutcheons From Donaghadee”.  It is currently sitting in my computer at 371 pages, and 142,000 words and multiplying.

The method I have used to produce this history, wordpress, does not present a space problem.  However, if it ever goes to paper form, then it would be a problem, a financial one.

Blanche was a kindly, little old fat lady (at least in my memory) who liked her whiskey, although I don’t ever remember her smelling like alcohol when-ever I hugged her.  Maybe she tippled a little later in life, because they were dirt poor most of their lives.  “Tippling your cups” can be expensive.  As Lawrence McCutcheon often reminises: “There was the poor people, then there was us.”

Blanche buried three of her five sons.

Kinda like me, at the moment.  I don’t drink whiskey, but I am a “little old fat lady” who drinks red wine.

I have done some changing to some parts of the book already;  First, I added some information, along with Mary Stewart’s picture to Chapter 7.  Not very much information, but it could lead to more research.

Second, I changed the “Lest We Forget” section a bit.   I am really trying not to be singular minded in my approach to this history which was evident in this chapter.  So I have added “Canadian and American” in two places.  I have already found some relatives who are serving and worthy of mention under “Canadians and Americans – Veterans of Peace.”  And I am sure there are many more.

I need to mention here that there are a substantial amount of our McCutcheon kinsmen who reside south of the 49th parallel and need more attention in this history.  I have just added a story on “John McKee and Sarah McCutcheon” only because I recently purchased the book, “Washington, West of the Cascades“.  Their story is unique and another example of the many “firsts” accomplished by the McCutcheon pioneers in this once un-inhabited and wild country.

John and Sarah owned the first moving picture theater house in Everett, Snohomish County.

“Why do you spell Stewart as Stuart?” is another question asked of me.

My mother was a war bride, born and raised in the slums of Edinburgh on Restalrig Square.   Of course, it is no longer slums, but a trendy part of Edinburgh that looks at the Firth o’ Fourth and Edinburgh Castle.   My mother was more Gaelic than Scottish, even speaking some Gaelic.  Her allegiance lay with the Gaels, they being northern Scots and Irish.  Why?  I wish I knew.  I never thought to ask her that question.  One of those things that you take for granted.  Of course, your mother teaches you how to speak and by the time I went to school at the age of 5 years, one would have thought that I had just arrived off a boat from Scotland.

That did not last long.  I was teased beyond belief, and within less than a year, I spoke “Canadian”.  And I began the arduous task of teaching my mother how to speak, and of course my younger sister and brother.  I made sure that they spoke “Canadian” by the time they started school 2 years later.

I forgot to mention that I am also bossy.

Back to Stuart or Stewart.  My mother and of course, my Mom’s cousin Sally, will swear it is spelled Stuart.  Too Scottish perhaps.  Stewart is more Anglicized and of course, when the McCutcheons et al immigrated to the province of Ulster in Northern Ireland, they tried to lose their “Scottishness”.  They stopped wearing the kilt, except on special occasions; they  stopped using the bagpipes; they stopped quoting Robbie Burns; they stopped eating haggis; they tried very hard to blend in.

But they still remained “men who didn’t fit in”.


Author 1993 – Mary Queen of Scots House – Jedburgh, Scotland.



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