Laverne Bellemare enclosed a copy of an observation made by the late Robert Craig who had a saying that ” every true Cleland should have a crooked mouth because once upon a time the laird sat on the roof of his house when who should appear but the Devil, and attacked him. But the laird was well grounded in Scripture and kept him at bay with a battery of texts, till at last the Enemy was discomfited and spread his wings to flee, but as a last endeavour ‘clechet’ (bent) his finger in the by-going, and hooked the laird in the mouth, with the consequence that he and his descendants have had their mouths agley (aslant) ever since”. Some members of the family have already made this observation in particular one branch in Victoria, Australia.

My questions are “Why was the good laird on the roof in the first place”? “Was he under the weather or hiding from the ‘devil’ after a night out with the boys”? “Is the crooked mouth the result of taking only half of the grin off his face when he had to explain why he was on the roof”? or is the truth closer to the tale and the crooked mouth IS the result of being caught on the roof by his ‘devil’ and being brought to book by this very patient lady. I refer you all to the Burns poem ‘Tam O Shanter’. The ‘guid Scots wife’ may have had something to do with it.

I mentioned the ‘crooked mouth’ as an hereditary sign in another news letter and a member has pointed out the there are some more startling resemblances. A totally unrelated Cleland said that he must be a Cleland as he had the Cleland ear lobes. All I know is that when I saw the pictures of the Clelands of ‘Cleland Cold Storage’ fame Percy looked an awful lot like my grandfather and on receiving a photograph of my grandfather in Cameronians or Scottish Rifles (Lt Col William Cleland C in C and killed at Dunkeld) uniform during WWI it could have been my younger son, Scott, standing there.

Perhaps the Victorians and the Canadians are related as the Victorians specialise in refrigerated transport and they would have to have some great empathy with those that live in such a cold climate.

Whilst on the subject of likeness Lloyd Cleland of New Zealand points out that the ear lobes of his family have been found to bear a striking resemblance to those of an as yet unrelated family of Clelands. He has also seen a great likeness between the female members of an American family and that of his sisters and an aunt.