Lord Sempill to Attend Stone Mountain Games

Lord Sempill will be attending the 2013 Stone Mountain Game

Lord Sempill will be attending the 2013 Stone Mountain Game

Every year during the third week of October, you’d be forgiven for thinking a little piece of Atlanta was in fact a little piece of Scotland. Over one weekend, the picturesque grounds of Atlanta’s Stone Mountain Park meadow resound with the sounds of bagpipes, fiddles and harps, as it plays host to one of the biggest Highland Games events in the world.

With only two weeks to go until the beginning of the 41st annual Stone Mountain Highland Games, half a world away in Scotland, Jamie, Lord Sempill is preparing to make the trek to his third international Highland Games event for 2013. “I’m coming back to America for a second time. Rain stopped play at Grandfather Mountain Games in July, so I’m coming back for a dry game – and I don’t mean no alcohol.” For American clans attending Stone Mountain, they’ll have the chance to meet with Jamie and who will be happy to share one of Scotland’s finest offerings, a dram of single malt whisky.

Lord Sempill comes from one of Scotland’s oldest families and has been actively involved in the international clan network for fifteen years. As the driving force behind Edinburgh’s 2009 Clan Gathering, Lord Sempill attracted 42,000 people from around the world to the event, which was described as the largest recorded international clan gathering. The Gathering also included a clan convention which became the largest meeting on record of Scotland’s clan chiefs. He’s certainly got his finger on the pulse in the world of the clans – as an active member of the Standing Council of Scottish Chiefs, an honorary member of the Council of Scottish Clans and Associations, Inc., and a board director at the American Scottish Foundation.

Over the years Lord Sempill has seen the relationship grow and prosper between the international clan network and Scotland, with his latest venture yet another step in building those ties. He’s currently working in collaboration with Macdonald & Rees, a new Scotland-based ancestral tourism company who specialise in providing the ultimate ancestral journey – bespoke visits to Scotland based on an individuals clan genealogy. Lord Sempill says that for many descendents around the world, tracing your roots can be a daunting prospect. “For many with Scottish ancestry, it’s a lifelong dream to travel to Scotland and discover family history and ancestral connections. Macdonald and Rees provide descendents with expert historians and genealogists on the ground, that ensure an incredibly meaningful and insightful visit home. Whether an individual or a family group, we can reconnect you to the world of your ancestors.” Jamie recently led a group of Clan Rose descendents to their ancestral homeland just east of Inverness, where they met with Clan chief Chief and 26th Baron of Kilravock, David Rose.

This year thousands of Scottish descendents will don their family tartans and make the trip to Stone Mountain, where two days of Highland Games competitions will take place including the ever-popular heavyweight events, piping, drumming and Highland dance competitions. There will also be a parade of the tartans and Clan Challenge athletic events, open to any attendees. The guest of honour, Margaret Elliot of Redheugh Chief of Clan Elliot will also be making the trip from Scotland. As well as Lord Sempill, other distinguished guests include Andrew Morrison – Viscount Dunrossil, Lord Montgomerie – Younger of Montgomerie and David Rose Chief of Clan Rose.

Lord Sempill and Mike McAlpin at Grandfather Mountain Highland Games, 2013

Lord Sempill and Mike McAlpin at Grandfather Mountain Highland Games, 2013

Attendees will also have the chance to find out more about their genealogy in the clan information area, with 65 clans and family associations confirmed in attendance. You’ll most likely find Lord Sempill at the Scottish Heritage USA tent, however he will be making visits to clan association tents. “The torrential rain stopped play at Grandfather Mountain, so I didn’t get to speak to a lot of the clans who were there. I’m especially interested in meeting those who want to make the trip to trace their roots and discover Scotland.”

For more information on the Stone Mountain games, view our event listing over at TartanFootprint.com where you can also download the schedule of events and get in touch with Lord Sempill directly.


About Nadine Lee

Originally from New Zealand, Nadine is a documentary researcher now based in the north east of Scotland.

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