Our Founders

Today, the Clan’s membership exceeds 350 members. Clan Lindsay participates in over 60 Scottish games and festivals and we have area representatives for more than 15 states. Over 10,000 genealogy entries have been entered into our database.

Mr. and Mrs. William Lindsay

Mr. and Mrs. William Lindsay

The 1950’s

On August 19, 1956 at MacRae Meadows in Linville, North Carolina, the first Grandfather Games were held. This one-day event attracted approximately 10,000 people. Among the attendees were:

  • Mr. and Mrs. Lindsay D. Saunders of Savannah, Georgia
  • Mr. and Mrs. William Lindsay of Greenville, South Carolina
  • Mr. and Mrs. Saxon D. Crawford of Birmingham, Alabama, who were also patrons.

This group approached the home office of the Clan Lindsay Society in Scotland to establish a branch in the United States, but did not receive permission. Undaunted, Lindsay Saunders agreed to sponsor the Clan Lindsay Society at the Grandfather Games and William Lindsay became the Registrar of the Games. Lindsay Saunders, William Lindsay and Saxon Crawford were also patrons of the games.

The 1960’s

In 1960, Lindsay Saunders presented the trophies for the Highland Wrestling competition. This was only the second year that this event was a part of the games. Clan Lindsay has continued to donate trophies for this event, even after Lindsay Saunders’ death in 1969.

For a number of years, Mr. and Mrs. William Lindsay continued to serve as Registrars of the Grandfather Mountain Highland Games and also represented the Clan Lindsay Society of Scotland.

The 1970’s

Dr. James Pressly

Dr. James Pressly

Dr. James Pressly

In 1973, Mr. and Mrs. Lindsay, along with Dr. James Pressly, approached the Lindsay Society of Scotland with the idea of forming a branch in the United States.

Due to the restrictive nature of the Scottish Society’s charter, it became clear that an independent American organization would best serve the needs of Scottish Americans.

Mrs. Florence Pressly

Mrs. Florence Pressly

Mrs. Florence Pressly

At that time, a decision was made to accept the publication Scots Kith & Kin as the authority of Septs for membership in Clan Lindsay USA. These guidelines allowed enough members to be found in authorized Septs to form a viable organization.

Clan Lindsay Association, USA received its Certificate of Incorporation from the State of South Carolina on February 1, 1974 and held the Charter meeting on July 14, 1974 at the Grandfather Mountain Highland Games in Linville, North Carolina. A total of 28 Charter Members voted in a slate of officers to start the Clan on its way to what it is today.

William Lindsay served as the first President and was then elected Chief.

In February 1975, the first Recorder, the official newsletter of Clan Lindsay, was published by John Watson. That same year, the first scholarship was awarded to Catherine Dianne Jensen of Gaithersburg, Maryland, which she used to attend the North American School of Piping. The first Flower of the Forest was Kate Evans Cathcart Lindsay, the wife of cofounder William Lindsay, who died in 1975.

The 1980’s

In 1980, Clan Lindsay contributed a stone to the Grandfather Mountain Cairn. That same year, the Clan Lindsay Marketplace made its debut with Clan Lindsay T-shirts and decals.

At the 1989 Grandfather Mountain games, Clan Lindsay celebrated its 15th Anniversary. Robert Alexander Lindsay, 29th Earl of Crawford, 12th Earl of Balcarres, the Premier Earl of Scotland and Head of the House of Lindsay, was the honored Guest of the games.

The 1990’s

In 1990, Sylvia Gaillard started the Stone Mountain Highland Games Ceilidh, which featured a raffle to raise funds for the James B. Pressly Scholarship Fund; a tradition which continues to this day at both the Stone Mountain and Grandfather Mountain Games.

The Council voted to establish the official Clan Records at the Ellen Payne Odom Library in Moultrie, Georgia in 1993. At the 1999 Grandfather Mountain Highland Games in Linville, North Carolina, Clan Lindsay celebrated its 25th Anniversary. Mrs. Florence Pressly, wife of founder Dr. James Pressly, was officially added as a founder of Clan Lindsay.