It’s all about the members, and it’s all about getting together.
When the Clan Macpherson Association was formed in 1947, there was no US Branch. There were three Americans listed as members of the Canadian Branch, and in those early years, US Branch Representatives and members joined from primarily the East Coast. In 1968 the Canadian and US Branches had merged to become the North American Branch, which was in existence until 1974. During this period, all of the annual meetings were held in Canada.
The US membership increased through the years (100 in 1962, 125 in 1967) as reported in the Creag Dhubh issues.
In 1974, the US Branch was formed, with 45 Macphersons gathering at the Robert B. and Arlena MacPherson farm near Belchertown, Massachusetts during the weekend of 25-27 October. At that first annual meeting, officers were elected, and the haggis was ceremoniously piped in. US membership had grown to 282 by 1974, and to 498 by 1980. Membership continued to rise until it peaked at around 2000 in the year 2000.
With the launching of the US Branch came annual meetings held in different locations with a movement toward the west and south. Some of the recent AGM locations have been Albuquerque; Dallas; Washington, DC; and Reno. Our 2019 AGM and Ball will be in Dunedin, Florida. Every 5 years the US Branch meets jointly with the Canadian Branch with the last joint meeting held in Chicago in 2015. At many of our US Branch meetings, we have been joined by Cluny and Macphersons from around the world.
Macpherson Cousins meet up with other Macpherson Cousins at Highland Games, such as those held annually at Grandfather Mountain, Queechee and Pleasanton. The annual Christmas Walk is held on the first Saturday of December at Alexandria, Virginia, and draws Scots from all over the US.
Many of the US Branch members attend the Gathering in Scotland each year as well as the US Branch meetings, which is a highlight to visit the homeland and renew friendships there.
This short article is just a summary of the many years of vibrant US Branch History. For more detail, click on the links below. Thanks, and hope to see you soon at one of the events!