The Celtic flags of Scotland and the Crawford Clan Tartan flew in front of the reception hall of Pit Stop BBQ in celebration of the Crawford clan Saturday afternoon.
More than 70 clansmen gathered to honor the day and bring a new awareness of the historical significance of the Crawford name.
The many guest cane from as far away as Houston and even several from Kearns where Tim Crawford lives. Others made the trek from as far away as Idaho, where Aodhan Crawford brought his mixed heritage to the gathering.
Beginning the gathering was a parade around the park led by the Flag of Scotland. As the clan members walked, Don Shannon, a bagpiper from Ulster, Ireland, played many of the favorite Celtic songs.
Tim Crawford then welcomed the gathering and thanked each and every person in attendance for taking the time to share their memories.
“It is wonderful to be here. This is my family heritage. I used to gather with them when the older ones put the reunions together," Crawford said. "As they got older and died away, the reunions died too. I’m proud of my daughter trying to kick it back off so these folks can continue to know each other. Some don’t know how they are related because we let the family fall apart. So, we are going to rebuild that."
This is the first year for the Crawford family gathering, which was the idea of Karen Crawford, of Red Oak.
“I started researching my name about seven years ago. From there I wanted to bring our family together in the Celtic fashion from where the Crawford family name originated,” Karen said. “I also did this to celebrate and honor my father, Tim Crawford."
She continued, “As a kid, I remember having [the gatherings] down around Houston where my daddy and his brothers worked in chemical plants. They left farming in the 1940s because it was so tough to make a living and went to Houston to work at the chemical plants. And, every year they had a reunion there.
"They had what they called an oyster supper where they would fry oysters. They had a big party there and I remember going there with my mom and dad as a kid. My granddad died when I was six and my grandmother Crawford also died when I was young. So, I don’t remember much about them. But, I learned a lot about them going to those reunions.”
The walls of the reception hall were lined with historical documents, maps and illustrations of the Crawford family tree.
According to historian Don Crawford, of Victoria, the Crawford history in the United States began in the 1600s.
After researching the Crawford name, Don explained, “From the text of distant lands, earliest Crawford kin mixed their blood and fought for blood and liberty as Viking Norseman. For a millennium, they intermingled with the royal English Saxon. Courageously, they imposed the rule of law on England and found Christianity.”
Don the explained the Crawford named is derived from being ”strong and adaptable generations assimilated desirable traits, yet stubbornly held key values. In Scotland, Crawford’s earned their surname and became an ancient, noble and honorable house.”
He added, “a Crawford was in the Alamo, fought for Texas Independence and was a part of the Battle of San Jacinto.”
The Celtic style gathering continued with several Scottish style folk dances by the Dallas Highland Dancers. The young dancers performed many of the traditional folk dances including the sword dance.
During their performance, Aodhan Crawford, of Boise, Idaho, joined.
Later in the day, Aodhan Crawford, having both Celtic and Native American ancestry, gave a presentation.