Do you know of Harry Lauder and his walking stick?

Harry Lauder Walking Stick Many folks are related to presidents in some way or another. Some may have famous atheletes or artists in their family. We have this guy, albeit distantly, named Sir Harry Lauder. He was my husband’s great great grandfather’s cousin – whatever that makes him.

Harry Lauder was a popular Scottish singer, comedian, and movie star. (No doubt where my husband gets his talent – the family talent runs deep.) Here’s one of his albums.

Harry Lauder Walking Stick He was a spiffy chap whose trademark was a crooked cane, or walking stick.

I wish I still had a turntable ’cause I bet “A Wee Deoch-an-Doris” is a rockin’ tune.

And “Breakfast in Bed on Sunday”… Harry you sound like my kind of man.

He was definitely “the man” back in the day. Now he’s perhaps best known here in the U.S. for being the namesake of this shrub, Harry Lauder’s Walking Stick.

Harry Lauder Walking Stick The botanist who named this species was apparently into early 20th century pop or a Sir Harry Lauder fan.

This shrub (or dwarf tree) is a baby that we planted a little over a year ago and only a few feet tall. The Harry Lauder Walking Stick is a hardy, but slow growing shrub but can grow to be 8-10′ tall and wide. I can’t wait – I bet it’ll be a show stealer. And while the foilage is pretty, it’s best features are enjoyed in the winter garden when the curly, wild branches are stage front.

The shrub is perfect for zones 4-8 and is fairly easy to grow. Other than well drained soil and full sun to part shade, Harry Lauder’s Walking Stick tolerates many conditions and pests. Check with your local garden center or Ag extension for specific (and more accurate) information.

Be sure to keep your eyes open for Harry Lauder’s Walking Stick, and if you run across one, do a little jig in memoriam.

So, what famous lineage do you hail from? Any Kings or queens? Presidents? Movie stars? Nascar drivers?

I can’t wait to hear your stories – do tell!

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  1. 1

    mommymel says

    Not much exciting in my ancestral line unless you count the ones hanged in Britain’s Civil War/Cromwell’s day. But my husband’s grandmother is a direct descendant of William Bradford of the Mayflower/Pilgrim fame on one side and Leif Erikson/Erik the Red of Icelandic fame on the other side. Makes for fun family stories.

  2. 2

    cbp says

    Your cleverness never ceases to amaze me! What a great story and what a fun heritage. I’ve never traced our family line but grew up thinking I was related to Heinz 57 Variety (the steak sauce) because that was what my Dad said every time I asked where our family came from. It wasn’t until I was older that I figured out that meant he didn’t know either and that we were definitely from a variety of families with a few black sheep thrown in. This makes me want to do a little research to see what I can come up with.

  3. 3

    Miss Wisabus says

    How cool! Harry looks like a good time :)

    My great-grandmother, 15 generations back, was Mary Boleyn. Yes, that’s right. “The other Boleyn girl.” On that side I know most everyone I am related to. I realize how blessed I am to have it all in history books when so many people can barely trace past their grandparents.

    And one of my fun Okie connections — my great-great uncle (or cousin, not really sure) was Wilson Rawls, author of Where the Red Fern Grows.

  4. 4

    amandab says

    Don’t know about my lineage, but that is one gorgeous plant! Those photos are stunning!

  5. 5

    nikki says

    Hi Amy, thanks for your reply about your camera, I’m excited to start learning how to use mine. Regarding this post, my first cousin is a model/actress out in L.A, her name is Scarlett Chorvat. Thats about the extent of any famousness in my family. Thanks again.

  6. 6


    None that I know of. But I’ve never researched it and no one else in the family has.

    Since you mentioned Nascar: My grandparents lived right across from the Granddaddy of all Nascar tracks. Grandmama had her little beauty shop in the corner of the property that my granddaddy built her. I was there for every stinkin’ race. Helped park cars. Viewed the races atop a UHaul in the infield. Loved it! The house was sold after my grandmother’s death almost four years ago. I haven’t been by it since then. I don’t think my heart could stand it.

    Oh, and my cousin dated Michael Waltrip once.

  7. 7

    Denise says

    I’m not really sure, but with my WVA roots I’m probably related to the Clampetts in some way. One relative with a claim to fame was Carrie Elisabeth Adkins, who was the first woman to walk across the Golden Gate Bridge right after it opened. She was 75 years old and I have a photocopy of the newspaper article describing her feat.
    Also, some distant cousin was once married to Gilligan of “Gilligan’s Island”.
    Love the photos of Harry Lauder’s Walking Stick…I want to check that out next time I’m at your house!

  8. 8

    Tibi says

    I’m related to Mary Chilton, the first female passenger of the Mayflower to step foot on Plymouth Rock. Family stories also link us to Robert E. Lee, but that’s never been proven.

    Not exactly as flashy as Harry Lauder. Imagine, a kilt-wearing pop star in your family! I’d imagine all those Scottish punk stars nowadays are merely imitating the Immortal One. 😉

  9. 9

    Buckeroomama says

    I LOVE those photos of Harry Lauder’s Walking Sticks!

    One of my dad’s cousins who’s the family tree updater in the family sat me down one time and told me, “Be proud that you’re a descendant of xxx Emperor.” I put xxx down not because I’m trying to protect my identity or anything, but rather because I don’t remember which one. I doubt if there’s any of my cousins who actually really cared or even know of that fact. Made me giggle, though, when he told me. :)

  10. 10


    as it just so happens, i often randomly break out in a jig. now i’ll have an excuse ready, assuming it occurs outside… :)

  11. 12

    Amanda says

    Very engaging post!! Loved it and loved the pictures of the shrub! I don’t think we have anyone famous in our lineage, but I did go to middle school one year with Tyler Florence (famous Food Network chef) – does that count? LOL

  12. 13

    Eileen says

    Love the Harry Lauder’s Walking Stick — I gave one to my best friend as I present and I love to visit it in her winter garden.

    As for important relatives, mine are all through marriage. My husband is related to Ralph Waldo Emerson, Sir Francis Drake, and also some guy who signed the Magna Carta. Through my sister-in-law, I’m related to Harry Connick Jr. (Guess which relative I’m most excited about!)

  13. 14

    Tickled Red says

    I love the plant and how it is connected to you. I especially like the Scottish connection, I am partial to all things Scottish :) Let’s see…I have the Wright Brothers and NC Gov. Zebulon Vance way back in the family tree. My surfer has someone who walked the Trail of Tears. It’s amazing what you will find when you start looking.

  14. 15

    vetmed says

    I grew up singing a Wee Deoch an Doris ’cause Mom had that record and it starts, There’s a good old scottish custom that has stood against the Dane, it’s a custom that’s been carried out in every land and claim, where brother Scots are gathered, it’s aye the usual thing, just before we say goodnight we fill our cups and sing…

    My Papa’s middle name was MacKnight, we have Choctah and folks killed by other tribes, horse theives and preachers, 6’5″ great uncles and their brother who was a jockey, when there are 14 kids in the family one thing you will always be sure of is variety. Three brothers married 3 sisters from a neighboring farm and there were a bunch of double first cousins. We are distantly related to both Michael Weatherly (from NCIS) and Britany Spears- how is that for variety.

    The neatest thing is imagining what your children and grandchildren will do and what will they think of you so try to do something they will be proud to talk about!

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