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Title: Happenings Newsletter No 3 May 2009
Posted by: Kevin Livingston
Date: 18 June 2009


The Official Newsletter of the Clan Livingstone/Clan MacLea Society of Australia and New Zealand

Volume 1, Issue 3 May 2009

1 From the Chief
2 ANZAC Commissioner’s Brief
2 From The Kiwi Desk
2 Gathering 2009 - Update
2 DNA Project Update
3 Earliest Known Member of Your Family
4 Meet a Livingston/MacLea
3 Calendar of Events
3 Arrivals – New Members
4 Family History & History Searches
4 Final Bits

                From The Chief….              

As some of you will know it has been a frantic year from my perspective.  However, I have now moved down to Somerset where I shall be staying for a few years before returning to Lismore.  I hope to be at Bachuil for a long weekend every month, if only to try and stop my mother from climbing ladders.

Plans are reasonably well in hand for the Gathering.  Mother has kindly paid for a clan tent in the clan village at Holyrood Park and I am having a parade banner made to fly proudly as we progress up the Royal Mile to the Castle.  In the newsletter you will see an update on the Tour.  Numbers need to be firmed up as soon as possible.  Please see the clan website and read or join in the debate there.  The tour will include a visit to Bachuil.

The Culloden Marker stone is becoming quite a saga.  I have been given so many titbits of information that it is proving quite hard to pull it all together.  However, it is progressing, albeit slowly.

During my move south 1&nd1 closed down the Clan site – which is now back up and running.  However, we really must try to move onto more modern software and away from this webhost.  The only positive aspect of the loss of service was it brought home how many people use it.

It would also be good to get an “Umbrella” Clan Society up and running.
Niall Livingstone

ANZAC Commissioner’s

Our Financial year is from 1 July 2008 to 30 June 2009 and, of course, if you have not paid up for this segment then you contribution would be sppreciated.
A very warm welcome to all new Members. Please feel part of this Society.
Contributions and Ideas to this Newsletter are very welcome. If you have something to say then say it here. My email address is 
I would like to float the idea of bringing our Chief Niall Livingstone (Baron of Bachuil) to Australia and having a local gathering. It may mean that we all make an extra contribution for this event. Any one interested?
Do you know of the Scottish Clans and Associations Council INC. 
This is an Australian group that caters for all Scottish clans and Associations You can locate them at 
Kevin Livingstone
From The Kiwi Desk
Firstly, welcome to all the new Kiwi members who joined us this last year. This followed a targeted mailout campaign to all known Livingstones and MacLeas. I’m sure there are alot more clansfolk out there who would be interested in the Society, so if you have friends or family who you think might have an interest please do put them in touch.
At the moment we have no activies or events planned in NZ, so if you have any ideas, including any events that you think we should be represented at then drop either myself or Kevin an email. Iain
Iain Livingstone

Gathering 2009 - Update
The 2009 Gathering is quickly approaching.  If you haven’t made arrangements to travel, please do not delay.  Niall has booked a tent for the weekend, however to attend the many events it is essential to obtain a Gathering Passport – see - for details. 

All passports include: 

Entry to both days of the Highland Games in Holyrood Park, a place in the clan parade up the Royal Mile and a seat at the Clan Pageant at the castle esplanade. 

The prices vary from £88 for Bronze (poor seats and therefore discarded) to £95 for Silver – in the North and South Stands to £110 for Gold the East Stand.  I was a guest at the Tattoo recently and the East Stand is undoubtedly the best.  Given the marginal price difference I suggest we go for Gold. 

DNA Project - Update
If you have not yet joined the Livingstone DNA project please enquire with Andrew Lancaster in Belgium at Some fascinating results are coming out of this project. The main webpage is here 

The Livingstone/MacLea DNA project has been in existence since 2003, which makes it old in the fast moving world of genetic genealogy. It was founded by Rob Livingston, of California, who was able to prove his connections to the Clan Chiefs of the Isle of Lismore and hence become our first genealogical success story. The Chiefs have been supportive since those first days, and this has been extremely helpful. 

Sadly, Rob passed away relatively young from illness, but before we lost him permanently he passed the baton on to me. Although I live in Belgium, my Livingstones are Australian. 

I have described some of the search for their roots on some webpages: 

Unfortunately, my “paper trail” genealogy uncovered many reasons to believe that family myths about a connection to Dr Livingstone were wrong. Our family were in the wrong place at the wrong time, and they spelled their name in some bewildering ways. But the “genetic genealogy” side of my research has shown us to be part of a very small unusual cluster of Scottish families which also includes McClays, Maclays and Mclays. And so the trail of our clan link remains warm!

In the last year or so we have had some major breakthroughs. We believe we have identified the Y DNA signatures for two of the most famous Livingston(e) families apart from that of the Clan Chief. Of most interest to our Commonwealth members including the Aussies and Kiwis, we have identified Doctor Livingstone’s line. (We also showed that this is not the same male line as the Clan Chief’s.) Of more interest to history buffs and Americans we have also identified the so-called Livingstons of Clermont, an old New York family who are said to descend from the original lowland Scottish family who owned the place named Livingston. It is fascinating to think that this family which lost so much power in Scotland in the 18th century, was deeply involved in the American revolution only a few generations later.

Trying to explain the link between the lowland place-related surname Livingston, and the Clan MacLea, remains a long running goal of the DNA project and of many enthusiasts. For whatever reason, the Gaelic speaking clan MacLea saw “Livingstone” or “Livingston” as their English-language surname, and they saw the above-mentioned lowland Livingstons as their protectors and patrons. Was it just a matter of alliance?
Andrew Lancaster

Earliest Known Member of Your Family
We are thinking of forming a register of your oldest know relative. 

Descendent of Kevin Livingston 
Mine goes back to James Livingston, circa b 1795 Place unknown but could be Trannent (near Edinburgh) and transported from the Port of Leith in 1834 aboard the “Palmer” skippered by Capt. Francis, to Hobart arriving 30 January 1835.  He had 6 children when he started out but arrived with 7 Children.

Descendent of John Livingston
My earliest identified descendent(s) are John and Mary Livingston.  Marriage extracts from a church in Appin suggest they were married in either Appin or on Lismore on the 11th of November, 1798.  They had at least two children James (ban) and John (ban) Livingston.  James married Isabelle Clarke either in Appin or on Lismore on the 30th of April, 1837.  James worked at the Ballachulish Quarry until emigrating to Australian in 1852 upon the Marco Polo.

Clan Convention – Chiefs Only 
Friday 24th July. 

Holyrood Park 
Saturday 25th July & Sunday 26th July 
The clan will have a tent at the clan village in Holyrood Park. 

Clan Parade and Pageant at Castle 
Holyrood Park 
Saturday 25th July  

Pre Gathering tour of Livingstone clanlands and Lismore. Tue 21st – Fri 25th July
Organised by Scottish Ancestral Trail

Tuesday 21st July 
From Edinburgh to Lochaline and cross on the ferry to Mull. Return via ferry for overnight accommodation in Oban

Wednesday 23rd July
South from Oban to Lindsaig. Overnight in Oban

Thursday 24th July
To the Isle of Lismore, the home of Baron of Bachuill, via Achnacree and Achnacloich. A social event will be arranged by the family on Lismore.
Overnight in Oban

Friday 25th July
South along Loch Lomond to Blantyre and a visit to the home of the explorer David Livingstone. Return to Edinburgh.

Parade and Pageant Only.  One Nights stay on Sat 25th July and a Passport. 

Edinburgh Weekend. Holyrood Park, Parade and Pageant.  Two Nights stay on Fri 24th and Sat 25th July and a Passport.

Please let me know if you have any events that should be added to this column into the future

Arrivals - New Members
A very big welcome to all new members. It is hoped that you will be pleased with what you get from the Society. We would appreciate any comments, good or bad, about how you perceive the benefits.


Your contributions to this column are important and help us all in identifying those pieces of information, lost ancestors or curious leads that progress our endless genealogical searches.  

When looking for family history don’t forget to check Old Parish Records. Join your local Genealogy Group. They may have lots of records access by microfiche with thousands of records on them

Some of you have sent in your family histories. These will be catalogued and kept as reference material for later use.

If anyone wants to contribute to these documents please feel free to do so. Just send by email to of post to    7 Darville Court, Blackmans Bay, Tas. 7052

Livingstones Remembered

As I write this editorial I am reminded of the date. The 16th of April is a significant date of the Livingstone calendar because on the 16 April 1746 we lost 4 Livingstones at the battle of Culloden and via the skills of Donald Livingstone the Stewart’s Banner was returned to the Stewarts Chief at Appin. Donald had apparently wrapped the banner around his body and swam Lock Ness near Inverness and walked the remainder of the distance to Appin to return the banner.

Meet a Livingston/MacLea
An opportunity to meet our contemporary Clan.

John Livingston 
My name is John Livingston and I am psychologist, married with two children.  I have been involved with the Clan Society for approximately four years, and was fortunate to travel to Scotland in 2004 and visit Glencoe, Ballachulish, Appin and Lismore.  My long term plan is to find a little cottage on the shore of one of the many Loche and retire……well it is a fantasy.  When I’m not working and
working, I am a cross country 
mountain biker

Final Bits
In closing this newsletter, I would like to take the opportunity to invite all Clans Folk out there to contribute to this newsletter – it is your newsletter!  The more we all contribute the more the more this newsletter shall grow.
Finally, we would like to offer a deepest sympathy and support to all of those Clan Folk affected by the recent spate of natural disasters across Australia during the past few months.  Our thoughts and prayers are with you all. 
John Livingston




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