Jersey Shore Journal

Jersey Shore Journal - Life and Times at the Jersey Shore

Monday, October 25, 2010

Scottish Plaids from Scotland to America

Do you have a favorite Tartan or plaid? Perhaps you have Scottish ancestry and know what your family tartan is? I found some great websites to check out for great history, gift ideas and inspiration.

Tartans are textile patterns consisting of stripes and colors crossed at right angles against a solid background making a unique pattern worn by the members of a Scottish clan, usually wool.

Some of my ancestors on my Dad’s side, the Livingstons(The Livingston Tartan above) and the Jamiesons ,came from Scotand. The Jamieson’s were from Glasgow (their tartan is under the Stewart Clan)and the Livingston’s were from Kilbride, near Oban. My great grandfather David Jamieson knew everything about wool and plaids, from the sheep to the spinning to the dyeing of the wool. He was an expert in the making the dyes and plaids. He was invited to come to the Centennial Exposition in 1876 in Philadelphia and they asked him to stay in America and manufacture his products. We still have some of the original dye formulas.

David Jamieson and Mary Livingston Jamieson

My family story will continue later this week but here are some neat sites for more info on the Tartans and the Wool Industry.

*When we were in Martha’s Vineyard we visited Allen’s Sheep Farm in Chilmark.

The lady inside had been to Scotland and told me there are still Jamieson’s in Scotland in the wool business. here

This is a great pic of the Allen farm from the NYTimes, Matthew Weinstein.

Check out these sites.

* What’s my tartan? The History of the Clans.

*Check out tartan gifts including these mugs, clothing, bow ties, apron, mugs and plates.

* plates and mugs too and clothing.

*I love to read the Blog Adventures of Tartan Scot-the Life and Times of an Interior Designer. Scot Meacham Wood is so inspirational and also loves tartans. I think we must be distant cousins! (Below from his blog)

More of my story coming soon…Slainte! Cheers! Jennifer aka Gigi


  1. My husband's family is from Ireland and I was lucky enough to get to go there a few years back. I found their geneology and saw a million plaids...many clans have their own tartans. I found none for his, so I chose my own and a crest too! He loved it when we got home...have it hanging on a plaque now and love it!!

  2. That sounds like so much fun! I hope to get there someday. We can pass along the family stories too!