It’s time for some family history! I don’t remember if I told you in the past, but one of the reasons that I’m [slightly] obsessed with Scotland is that this is one of the places where my ancestors come from. I grew up in a family that is very much into doing family history. It’s all about finding out where “our people” came from and linking those generations together. My dream of seeing Scotland with my own eyes finally came true in December of 2002 (I hope I’m getting the year right) when my friends David Hammond, Dominoe Reed, James Jenkins, Nicole Hayes, Makaylee Jensen, Julie Linton and myself went on a little vacation to the United Kingdom.
On this trip, I remember staying at The Amsterdam Hotel in London, not too far from Hyde Park. I remember having my first “proper” fish n’ chips. I remember visiting the mission home- Dave had recently returned from serving in London as a full-time missionary and we stopped to visit the mission president and his wife for awhile. I remember going to Nottingham, standing in front of a Robin Hood statue, and then taking a bite of my first (and last) battered Mars Bar at the Maid Miriam cafe. It was my first visit to Westminster Abbey- and my first time seeing Big Ben with my own eyes! I learned that the London Bridge is not the Tower Bridge (and that the original London Bridge is now somewhere in Arizona). I remember strutting down The Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Walk. I remember seeing the crown jewels while touring The Tower of London.
^The Amsterdam Hotel
Since there were seven of us, and we were there for seven days, each of us chose what we wanted to do for the day. I remember Julie’s day was going to see Wimbledon, since she was very much into playing tennis. On James’ day, we took the rental car down to Wales, since that’s one of the places where his ancestors came from. I remember going to Stonehenge on somebody’s day and trying to figure out how those people lifted those heavy stones, so many years ago.
For my day, we drove the rental car up to Scotland and stood on the bank of Loch Lomond, Dave and I trying to work out the harmonies so that we could sing The Bonnie Banks o’ Loch Lomond.
Anyway, back to family history: On my dad’s side of the family, I have a lot of the surname Wallace. I thought it would be cool if I could find some link to William Wallace (of Braveheart fame). Sadly, there’s no record of William Wallace ever having children. Odds are he had illegitimate offspring, though. Back then, a favorite past time for the young men was to shag any girl who would let you (or didn’t necessarily let you).
Then I decide to follow my mother’s side of the family. I have always been told that the surname Lee comes from Ireland. Sure enough, I traced them into Ireland as far as I could. I soon discovered that before Ireland, many of them also came over from Scotland (just like my dad’s side of the family). And with links to royalty (James II of Scotland and Robert the Bruce), it is quite possible that my dad’s ancestors actually paid taxes/homage to my mom’s ancestors!
I have found a line that links me to kings’ of England, Scotland, France, Prussia, and Wessex!
According to Ancestery.com:
When I return for my 5th visit to Scotland, this coming March, my goal is to proclaim Scottish independence from the rest of the United Kingdom and then reclaim the thrown. I need to get an army.