Initial ideas on purposes and goals of a Cuindlis Families Association

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    • #653

      What, basically, would a formal Cuindlis Families Association do? What purposes would it serve from the start? (Updated 2023-08-31.)

      Short-term goals, little funding required:

      • Promote the website and nascent family society with flyers at Highland games events, Burns Night suppers, and other events. The family is too small, the name too uncommon, to justify our own booth. But there is probably at least one person of “McC” genealogy at any given major event. In Galloway, Ulster, and the US East Coast, probably quite a few more.
        • Design a flyer or brochure that lists the more common name variants, illustrates the tartans and crest, directs people to the website, and lets them know we’re in process of establishing a family society. [Update, 2023-08-31: I have done this, and made a sign as well. After some tweaking, I will upload the files for these materials so others can print them on-demand.]
        • Some events might be willing to let us put up a free-standing brochure box like like this low-cost one that stakes into the ground, for free or cheap. I have already contacted the Pleasanton, California, Highland Gathering and Games organizers about doing a “microbooth” like this for the 2023 event, and got permission!
        • For events where something like that isn’t okayed, we could reach out to other clan/family associations about sharing some of their booth space at events.
      • Do outreach via social media to bring in more individual site users (potential family-society members later).
        • Facebook: “TheClan McCandlish” obviously. But it was set up as a fake user profile not a “Group” or “Page”, so it might get deleted at any time as bogus. Update: 2023-08: I’ve set up a proper FB Group, at https://facebook.com/groups/Cuindlis, but need to port over more of the website content to it. Also need to “advertise” in Scottish & Irish genealogy, Gaelic history & culture, kilt & tartan, etc. FB gropus. I only drop a notice in them annually, so I don’t seem spammy. Have only done a few so far, but have built a good list of them.
        • XMarksTheScot forum might be another place to try to find people.
        • Genealogy sites with McCandlish/McCandless genealogy threads might also be okay, but it would be better if our website had some genealogy files. I do have an old GEDCOM database with a lot of McCs in it, but it needs a lot of cleanup before it’s public-worthy.
        • Where else? I’m not dialed into social media much, beyond Facebook.
      • Ensure that vendor sites and tartan databases list McCandlish/McCandless as an option, and have the correct thread counts and colors, for all 6 tartans.
        • Scottish Register of Tartans had several errors. [Fixed in January 2022. And they have removed the copyright-restricted flag from all the McC tartan listings as of May 2023]
        • Scottish Tartans Authority had several errors. [Fixed in May 2022.] Update: As of 2023, the site no longer has a tartan search feature, and defers to the Scottish Register of Tartans instead; but they also say their website is being reworked, so such a feature might come back.
        • Clan.com had several errors. [Fixed in May 2022.] This seems, as of 2023, to be the only site from which one can directly order McCandlish tartan garments. It’ll still be woven-to-order, so it’s more expensive that buying a stock tartan, but it costs about half as much as going with a custom weave through a kiltmaker, because there’s no large minimum order. On the down side, you won’t have left-over cloth for making other stuff.
        • DC Dalgliesh had several errors. [Fixed in August 2023.] The tartans are listed at their website as available options, and this is probably the only weaver from which one can order McCandlish cloth directly without going through a kiltmaker, or ordering a full bolt.
        • House of Tartan does not list M[a]cCandlish at https://houseoftartan.co.uk/scottish/searchsurname.asp except as a family that can use Galloway district tartan; same with this site: https://www.plaidwerx.com/tartan-finder-mac.htm; not listed at all in https://www.scotlandshop.com/us/tartan-finder
        • TheTartan https://github.com/thetartan/tartan-database has errors in it, since it is based on previous databases, most of which were not entirely correct; data is in CSV format.
        • Some other software and databases will probably suffer the same problems.
      • Ensure that heraldic product vendors have the coat of arms correct (several do not, though the errors are subtle, most often missing oars on the galley).
        • [List needed. House of Names is one.]
      • Identify online lists of clan/family associations and get listed in them:
      • Provide freely reusable heraldic images. [Development in progress. Budget about $200.]
      • Incorporate as a registered charitable/educational organization – a 501(c)(3) in the US, or the UK equivalent.
        • This will require some legal advice.
        • After it is set up, it will require an annual meeting of boardmembers (which can be done via teleconference), published minutes of meetings, and annual tax paperwork.
        • Setup cost estimated at US$500.
      • Join the Council of Scottish Clans and Associations: https://www.cosca.net/ and https://www.cosca.scot/
        • See also American-Scottish Foundation, St. Andrews Society, etc. – at very least they may maintain lists of clan/family associations.
      • Set up a formal membership system after incorporating – will need some form of benefits to make this appealing.
      • Canvass members for people going to Highland games, Burns night, etc. events and ask them to post flyers about McCandlish/McCandless.
      • Produce an annual or more frequent newsletter.
      • Take over ownership of this website in perpetuity. I’m in my 50s and won’t live forever, so some surety for the future is needed.

      If the organization were only able to do most of the above list, I would consider it a success. What follows in later posts are ideas I’ve gotten from other family/clan associations.

    • #656

      Medium-term goals, with some funding:

    • #657

      Long-term goals of other clan/family societies, with significant funding that might be out of the reach of a small family association with few members:

    • #1118

      Stanton,

      I’d like to help. What would be the best way for me to do that?

      Ben

    • #1125

      Ben, at this early stage it’s not really clear what needs to be done. I have a “hit list” above of some technical matters to deal with, like fixing McC tartan listings in some databases, but for organizing an actual family association what we probably need is additional interested parties, including someone with some experience setting up a not-for-profit organization.

    • #1477

      Stanton, Let me ask around my branch of the family and see who might be interested in some level of participation in a family association. I think that once something is set up, most of them will be willing to be part of it, but getting people to participate in governance is always tricky. Once I’ve asked around, let’s do some brainstorming and see how we might bootstrap this.

    • #1514

      Yes, we’re basically needing to corral some people to act as a board of directors and fill some legally required (though low-workload) volunteer positions including a treasurer (files the annual tax paperwork) and secretary (records the required minutes at annual meetings). So, probably not the average person wants to volunteer for that. I know having worked with some previous non-profits that it’s best if would-be boardmembers are also willing to contribute financially or do some fundraising, though a family association like this should have very low expenses (at first, just web-hosting costs and the incorporation fees).

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