Well - - - -
I've had a look at the earlier thread and it raises exactly the questions that I had. Trouble is - despite interesting speculation, there wasn't any real conclusion.
I'm still puzzled that there appears to be no reported evidence of a bagpipe tradition transferring from Europe to America in the same way as the fiddle.
The other thread petered out in 2002 - is there no one out there now with anything new to add?