MOULTRIE -- Southern Living magazine knows this family tree. So does Sotheby's in New York and other large companies who have consulted and donated money to it the past few years.
"The Family Tree," a genealogical newsletter that sprouted out of the Ellen Payne Odom Genealogy Library, has reached a nationwide audience of about 85,000 within 12 years.
Beth Gay, editor of "The Family Tree" and Scottish liason and public relations director for Ellen Payne Odom Genealogy Library, said the tabloid is renowned among Scottish descendants. Perhaps the 28-page newsletter is popular because the library is a genealogical depository for 117 Scottish clans.
Gay has taken another step to increase the 28-page newsletter's popularity -- she established a link on a Scottish Web site, electricscotland.com, with webmaster Alastair McIntyre 10 days ago.
One Scottish descendant, Frank R. Shaw, owner of a healthcare business, Shaw Executive Services, Inc., in Atlanta, said he recently wrote friends about the newsletter he subscribes to.
"I referred to it as the best Scottish newspaper in America -- that's just my opinion," Shaw said. "She (Gay) does a herculean task getting out the Family Tree out each month."
Another Clan Shaw member, Howard E. Shaw, who lives north of Santa Barbara, Calif., likes The Family Tree because it ties together the Scottish clans.
"Most of the clans have their own newsletter, but this one (Family Tree) has a compilation," Shaw said. "(It) gives a calendar for events, publicity for those events and the result of them."
Howard E. Shaw is chairman of the board of Clan Chattan, USA, convener of the Clan Shaw society for the West Coast and lieutenant to the chief for Clan Shaw.
Despite its popularity among its Scottish recipients, Gay said, "The Family Tree" sometimes struggles to meet mailing costs.
"The Family Tree" is distributed free of charge, but Gay said subscribers routinely send her $25 to $30 "postage contributions" to cover distribution costs near $200,000. Gay said generous donations from people like Bernard L. Shaw, vice president of corporate security for The Hearst Corporation, and Clyde C. Tuggle, vice president and director of worldwide public affairs and communications for The Coca-Cola Company in Atlanta, have helped the publication meet its expenses. In addition, Gay said, the County Commission recently made a large contribution to help "The Family Tree" with Internet costs.