Villages celebrate links with a legend

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the unique link between a world-famous music legend and two Howe of Fife villages has been celebrated in a poignant ceremony.

Children from Falkland and Strathmiglo primary schools unveiled a commemorative plaque on a bench at Brunton Green, Falkland, which bears an inscription specially penned by Rosanne Cash, daughter of the late Johnny.

It speaks of the ‘great love and affection’ the Cash family have for the area and their ‘deep attachment’ to the Howe of Fife.

Councillor David MacDiarmid came up with the idea of a permanent memorial to the great man after seeing Rosanne perform at the Big Tent Festival in Falkland last summer.

CELEBRATE

He said: “The Cash family had no recognition in their ancestral home and it was time to right this wrong.

“This family is one of the most famous on the planet and they are ours, so let’s celebrate that fact.

“I would also like to have some recognition in Strathmiglo, where the family originate, and am open to suggestions.”

Johnny Cash found out about his Scottish ancestry as a result of a chance conversation with Michael Crichton-Stuart, the hereditary keeper of Falkland Palace.

He had the family genealogy researched thoroughly, and visited Falkland and Strathmiglo for the first time in the early 1980s.

He was thrilled to see the Cash name on signs in the area and returned to film a Christmas television show, with Andy Williams as his special guest, at Falkland Palace.

SETTLED

“My father gave me the genealogy shortly before he died,” said Rosanne Cash, a respected singer in her own right.

“William Cash, from Strathmiglo, was a mariner who ferried Scottish immigrants to the New World.

“After a few trips, he decided to stay in the New World himself, and settled in Salem, Massachusetts.

“On one trip, he brought his nephew with him, also from Strathmiglo, and that nephew decided to stay as well.

“This was in the 1650s. The elder William Cash stayed in Salem, and became a prominent citizen, serving on a jury for a murder trial.

“The records for this trial, and William’s last will and testament, still remain in the Salem town hall.

“The younger William Cash moved south, to Westmoreland County, Virginia and his descendants spread through Virginia, Georgia and Arkansas.

“I had a Cash ancestor of the 18th century, also named William, fight in the Revolutionary War.

“I had ancestors fight on both sides of the Civil War.

“My father’s grandfather, William Cash, settled in Arkansas.

“His youngest son, Ray Cash, born in 1897, was my father’s father. My father was born in Kingsland, Arkansas.”