By Barb Hauge
My Baird ancestors were Celts of Scotland. Baird was originally Bard (meaning poet) because they were Strolling Minstrels who went from village to village and castle to castle performing their musical ballads. They composed and sang their verse accompanied by music from a harp. Often they told of battles fought, victories won and memorable events. They were the singing newspapers of ancient times.
We have traced the Bairds back nine hundred years to Scotland where an ancestor saved King William the Lion when he was attacked by a wild boar. For this brave act Baird was rewarded with large grants of land.
One of our most combative and adventurous ancestors was General Sir David Baird who commanded the 73rd regiment in India. They captured a whole lot of India and Africa (including Cape of Good Hope) and were also in Spain where General Baird lost an arm but still commanded his troops. At one point he was captured by Hyder Ali and spent four years as a prisoner in India. The General died in 1829, a much decorated War Hero.
A more recent and well-known Baird relative has done much to change the World we live in. In 1926, John Logi Baird, inventor and son of Reverend John Baird, a Scottish minister gave the World our first demonstration of television.
When we visited Scotland in 1985, I purchased woolen fabric of the Baird Clan Tartan and made a cloak and lined pants (no kilts for me). I also acquired our "Baird of Auchmedans Clan Crest" with its motto "Dominus Fecit" which is Gaelic (language of the Celts) and mans "By the Lord Made" which means we are forever blessed. (We hope.) Our Gaelic name is Mac A'Bhaird.
A celt was also a prehistoric, all-purpose tool of stone believed by the Romans (who occupied Scotland for a time) to have come from and to have the mysterious power of thunder. Both the Scotch and Irish are said to possess "A Bit O Fey" which means we have supernatural power we are visionaries who can foretell and possibly prevent death and calamity. One of my Great Aunts described it as "being able to see with the Eye of the Mind."
This is my poem about "Her Mind's Eye:" From her childhood days in Wisconsin she saw things with her "Mind's Eye." She found lost and stolen objects and knew when a baby might die. She was called on when there was sickness an could tell where the trouble might be. She used natural herbs and poultices so the patients, from pain, could be free.
One day a desperate farmer came knocking at her door. He lost his pouch full of harvest money which he must have to live and farm some more. She went into her quiet room along and concentrated with the Eye of her Mind and saw his pouch caught in the wagon. Right where she "saw it;" there he did find." This Power may go beyond the grave as in "His Spirit: The Crew was threshing in the Fall after my Dad had died. My husband was alone on the bundle pile pitching them over the side. When all of a sudden he heard Dad's voice calling his name so plain and clear. He quickly walked to the back of the load; away from the thresher that stood so near. He looked around and saw no one at all; alone there with the piles of straw they did glean. Then the whole load, where he had been standing fell into the threshing machine. Did my Dad's spirit reach out from Above to rescue the man that I love? I think Dad still rides herd on the Baird Ranch and watches out for us from Above."