For nearly fourty years, The Sporran has been bringing “all the news that’s fit to print” to the membership of the Clan Davidson Society (NorAm). The Sporran is published twice a year, January and July, and each issue contains anywhere from 40 to 60 pages of material related to the Clan Davidson, the CDS-NA, or matters of interest to the descendants of Scots whereever they may live.
In a newsletter contest sponsored by the Family Tree (Ellen Payne Odom Genealogy Library, Moultrie, Georgia) a few years ago, The Sporran took a First Place Award for Scottish Clan Publications.
The goal of The Sporran is to educate its readers in matters of Scottish history, to help the genealogist make contacts relevant to his/her research, to provide in-depth history of the Great Scottish Highland Clan Davidson, to bring current Scottish affairs into context for the membership, and to (gasp!) even entertain.
The editor, compiler and producer of The Sporran is the Sennachie. This position is currently held by Dave Chagnon (a Davison descendant), who has held the post since 1993. Dave is constantly on the lookout for material for The Sporran, and relishes receiving articles and photos from the membership about family stories, interesting careers, journeys to the Auld Country, and similar material.
Issues of The Sporran have traditionally been black and white printed affairs, delivered via the US Postal Service. Beginning in January, 2010, however, the ever-rising costs of printing and mailing have forced us to do away with the printed and snail-mailed version of the newsletter, and now it is distributed as an electronic PDF file via email. The CDS-NA is an all-volunteer organization which meets its funding needs from the membership dues and the sale of modest amounts of Clan memorabilia, thus the total switch to electronic distribution of our “mail-outs” has kept us from having to raise our already modest membership dues.
We have been asked many times how The Sporran got its name, and the best answer comes from the man who named it back in the very first issue published in January, 1982. This man was Mike Dye, the first President of CDS-USA and a current member of the Board of Directors. In the very words of Mike as taken directly from page 1 of Volume 1, here, then, is the answer to the question:
The Sporran was chosen as the name of our newsletter to symbolize its function of carrying our ideas. A Scot carried a variety of items in his sporran and I hope we have a variety of items to carry in ours. I make no pretensions at doing a professional job with The Sporran. We are operating of necessity on a shoestring budget. However, even if we become a very large organization (which we show every sign of doing), I would like for The Sporran to remain a very informal format. I hope you enjoy this first volume. I also hope you feel free to contribute pieces to it. This will help it become more of a part of the Society, and I might add, help me to fill out the volume.
The Sporran’s current Sennachie still strongly agrees with Mike’s philosophy!
For those Clan Davidson Society NA members interested in the history and evolution of The Sporran and the times which it documented, see the Newsletter Archives in the Members Only Area of this website. Please note you’ll have to log-in to that section to see the archives.
Follow the link, below, to get your very own copy of the January, 2010 issue of The Sporran, in its pure, unadulterated, full color format… enjoy!
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