COSCA was founded in 1976 by Dr. Herbert MacNeal and a handful of other dedicated volunteers for the purpose of supporting Scottish Clan organizations and preserving Scottish heritage. The initial meeting was held at the Grandfather Mountain Highland Games in Linville, NC and we continue to honor this tradition by gathering on the mountain annually.
Today COSCA welcomes all kinds of Scottish American organizations as well as interested individuals to join us in our work to strengthen and energize the Scottish American diaspora and to preserve our Scottish heritage.”
In August 1976 COSCA’s original application for tax exempt status was filed. That document contained the following narrative description of COSCA’s mission:
“The COUNCIL, through its officers receives correspondence from persons of Scottish ancestry inquiring about their status in any given clan, inquiring about addresses where information about their ancestry and clan or family can be obtained, the address of any clan association representing their family. Correspondence is returned promptly giving the desired information. In addition, where no clan association exists to represent the family, written instructions are returned to them specifying steps to be taken in order to set up such a society. Names of interested persons are forwarded to the officers of the respective Clan Associations when these exist.
As funds become available, a more vigorous individual correspondence with all Scottish groups will be maintained. A newsletter will be published and circulated to acquaint each individual group with the activities, methods and accomplishments of others. The services of the COUNCIL will be made known to the media, to active organizations in Scotland and elsewhere in the world. The COUNCIL offers its facilities to overseas groups desiring to reach the Scottish community in the Western Hemisphere. So far, it has been of some value in assisting the American tour of Scottish National Orchestra Chorus. Currently, it is gathering information for distribution to all Scots here giving specifics on participation in the International Gathering of the Clans in Scotland in April-May, 1977. Future plans call for bringing together the many individuals interested in tracing their families’ ancestry. Often these live and work close together, but are oblivious of the existence of others with whom they might work with mutual benefit. It is hoped to organize directories of all the Scottish Castles and homes of current interest to Scots traveling in Scotland. The COUNCIL looks after the interests of the entire Scottish community and intercedes when action is considered desirable, a function beyond the capability of the individual group.
In 1976 through the offices of COUNCIL the New Jersey Chapter of the American College of Surgeons enjoyed a two week visit to Edinburgh where they met with surgeons of the larger Scottish cities in an educational program. The guidance and suggestion for this tour (but no money) was provided by COUNCIL. Further exchanges and educational tours planned.
Closer communication with all existing Scottish Societies in Scotland will be developed. National Trust for Scotland, The Gaelic Society of Inverness, the Standing Council of Scottish Chiefs, the Court of Lord Lyon, the Scottish Genealogical Society, the President Eisenhower quarters and the Eisenhower fund restoring Culzean Castle near Maybole, Scotland. Schools here will be educated in the benefits of exchanging students with one or more of the Scottish Universities, summertime and for the full school year.
No control of the individual Clan Societies is planned.”
So that is what our founders said about COSCA’s mission. Although its language is beginning to appear a bit antiquated (it is almost 40 years old!), this founding statement of COSCA’s charter and mission rings true today as our current Trustees, volunteers and members continue to work toward the goals of:
- strengthening the Scottish American community by bringing individuals together with their Scottish clans and families;
- supporting our member Scottish organizations with training and resources to help them meet their own missions;
- providing education and learning opportunities in Scottish fields;
- building relationships with Scotland and the global diaspora.
- And as always no control of the individual Clan Societies is planned.