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The Celtic Connection in Kern County

By Herald Yule

The Celtic Community is alive and well in Kern County!  The Scots and Irish have provided much to enrich the history and lives of Kern County residents.  Here's a little local history from 1830 to 1923 involving the Scots/Irish, using the Clan or District name where the surname was first reported.

  • Ewing Young (Clan Douglas), second U.S. citizen to enter the San Joaquin Valley

  • Captain Joseph Walker (Clan Walker) of Walker's Pass fame

  • Kit Carson (Galloway district) with the Fremont Expedition

  • Richard Owns (Clan MacEwen), Owens Valley namesake

  • Lt. George Derby (Aberdeen district) Derby Acres namesake

  • General Edward Beale (Clan Denzell) established Fort Tejon and Tejon Ranch.  His son, Truxtun Beale, left memorials to his parents in the form of the Clock Tower, the Memorial Library, and a city park.

  • Lt. Williamson (Clan MacWilliams) explored the Tehachapi mountains for the railroad

  • William Blake (Clan Lamont) explored both Tehachapi Pass and Tejon Pass for the railroad

  • Richard Keyes (Clan MacKay) began Kern's gold rush and was the namesake of Keyesville

  • Major Aneas Gordon (Clan Gordon) is of Gordon's Ferry fame

  • John Hamilton (Clan Hamilton) began commercial oil development

  • William McFarland (Clan McFarlene) built the first Kern County Hospital

  • Captain John Barker (Stirling district) was editor of the Kern County Echo and his ranch, Hart Park, was the first to use natural gas

  • Tom Means (Clan Menzies) made the oil discovery which led to the Great Oil Boom

  • John Searles (Dundee district) discovered gold at Goler

  • Aurthur McFaden (Clan MacFadyen) founded the town of Lamont and named it after his mother's clan.

Probably Scottish-influenced settlements: 

  • Edison (Clan Gordon); Edwards (Lennox district)

  • Fellows (Strathspey district)

  • Frazier Park (Clan Fraser)

  • Keen (Clan MacKean)

  • McFarland (Clan MacFarlene)

  • McKittrick (Clan Maxwell)

  • Sumner (Clan Lindsay), now known as East Bakersfield.


Copyright Kern County Scottish Society.  All rights reserved.

Dagney's Celtic Music_edited.jpg


A small group of musicians gets together once a month to perform in Bakersfield.

Toe-tapping entertainment! Come on down and show your Celtic support!

Dress to Kilt!

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