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Tartans
~ Of The Carey's and Hollands ~
 
The Tartan History
A group of travels set out on the ancient caravan route through the heart of Asia, known as the Silk Road. Illness or natural disaster overtook this group of early travelers and they're bodies were over taken by the moving sands of the Talkamakan Desert in Xinjiang, western China.
 
Nearly 2,500 to 3,000 years later, a Swedish explorer named Sven Heden discovered the burial place of what had become exceptionally well preserved mummies. Despite being in western China, their faces were not of the Asian lands. They had long slender noses, reddish brown or brown hair and fair skin, they were Caucasian. The textiles found in their burials were exquisitely woven from wool yarn and amongst them were perfectly preserved, complex patterns. This is the first and earliest evidence of the Tartan.
 
Those ancient tartans, had been woven at least 500 years Garrett, Angus Ancient Tartanbefore King Tutankhamen of Egypt had been born. They are proof that tartan was a complex art form of those tall and long-nosed Celts, long before they became popular and well known to the Highlanders. The Celts were a group of west European peoples from what we know today as Ireland, Scotland, Wales and the northern parts of Spain. They include the pre Roman inhabitants of Britain and France.
 
After that early manifestation of tartan, the art seemed to disappear into obscurity. Roman chronicles tell of brightly colored and striped clothing worn by the inhabitants of the Celtic people, but they were not specific enough to identify the patterns as tartans. Another 1500 years passes before any meaningful references to the 'tartan' is documented. Even then the situation was extremely confusing.
 
The etymology of the word Tartan is linked to Middle French around 1454, tiretaine meaning a "strong, coarse fabric". It might also be linked to the Middle Latin tyrius "cloth from Tyre." If this is the source, spelling likely influenced during the time of the Middle English language around 1343 as tartaryn meaning a "rich silk cloth" and Old French tartarin meaning "Tartar cloth,". The reason this view of the word might be important comes from the link of those early travelers on the Silk Road. It is conceivable they were traveling that road, bringing woven silk material or methods and technology to improve the manufacturing of weaving back to the early Celts.
 
In the 1600s Tartan is referred to as a kind of cloth rather than the pattern in which the cloth is woven. The first positive proof of the existence of the modern tartan comes from a German woodcut of about 1631, thought to show Highland soldiers in the service of the army of Gustavus Adolphus. These Highland soldiers were most probably mercenaries, and they are depicted wearing a clearly identified tartan worn in the old style, known as the Great Kilt.
 
During the Battle of Culloden in 1745, Charles Edward Stuart, also known as the Bonnie Prince Charlie, gathered his Jacobite forces of Highlanders against the English Duke of Cumberland's disciplined army. The Jacobite army was organized into Clan regiments. Historian Jamie Scarlett explains "here we have the first hint of the use of tartan as a clan uniform."
 
The Tartan became a symbol of Celtic Districts out of general artisanship. A weaver would be part of the artisans in each regional area, providing services to his community. The weaver would produce the same tartan for those around him and that tartan would initially become what we now call a District Tartan. A District Tartan is defined as a pattern worn by individuals living in close geographical proximity. By its very nature, that community would be one huge extended family that became identified by tartan pattern of the weaver.
 
These patterns became known either by their weaver, which is often the case in Scotland. Or by their District or county, which is often the case in Ireland.
 
Family Tartans
For the Holland side of the family, we can be sure of the Scottish connection and therefore the corresponding tartan pattern. The family name traces back to the Angus Ancient pattern. The Carey side of the family has connections to both Scotland and Ireland. Many genealogy sites, put the Carey's in Ireland however, with the alternative spelling Kerry. In Scotland the family name is associated with the Kidare District and therefore that tartan would be appropriate used. The Irish side links back to Kerry County and their tartan could also be appropriately used.
 
Below are examples of all three tartans, based on the research so far. As more information becomes available and verified, these may change.
 
 Holland
Angus Ancient Tartan
 Carey - Scotland
Kildare District Tartan
Carey - Ireland
Kerry County Tartan
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