Gaelic Music

John Matheson (far left) and friends
John Matheson (far left) and friends

In 1905 my great-great-grandfather John H Matheson immigrated from Uig, Isle of Lewis, Scotland to Duluth, Minnesota. He was a famous, award-winning Gaelic singer both in Scotland and Minnesota. He was held in the highest regard as a traditional singer and his music was admired by many Scot immigrants. Sidney Robertson Cowell recorded his songs on September 18th, 1937 and 17 of them (I don’t know how many there are in total) are archived in the Library of Congress. 
In November 2016, a woman named Laura MacKenzie took 12 of his songs and performed a recording of them at an event called “From Uig to Duluth.” She was accompanied by Dáithí Sproule (guitar of Atlan), Andrea Stern (harp) and The North Star Gaelic Singers who added their vocals to two of the tracks.
My great-great-grandfather's story is very unique because there weren’t and aren’t very many Gaelic singers and because his songs really helped and inspired many Scots with their transition from Scotland to the United States.  

Place(s): Scotland,Minnesota
Year: 1905

– Katie Wight

Relationship:  Great-grandchild of im/migrant or more Great-grandchild of im/migrant or more