Thursday, December 29, 2011

The Scottish Connection

I've been absent for awhile as my Husband and I have enjoyed a traditional Southern Thanksgiving and Christmas to the hilt.  We're satiated with the love and warmth that we soaked up from our big family, and have delightful memories of the Grand Babies and Grand Doggies that will keep us warm on cold January nights.

In addition to that, I've been roaming around Scotland and the Shetland Islands, visiting with some of my Husband's old relatives as I made another Ancestor's Book for Christmas.  See, we all thought that the McMullan ancestors were pure-T Irish.  But we were wrong.  They came down out of Scotland.  And after spending the better part of three weeks there via the internet, I am stone-cold in love with Scotland, the Orkneys, and the Shetland Islands.

This is one of my favorite places - the ancient Girnigoe Castle ruins on the upper East Coast of Caithness, in Northern Scotland.  That's the Bay of Sinclair out in front of Husband's distant Great Grandmother was Mary Sinclair, descended from the Earls of Caithness, Earls of Orkney and the Lords Sinclair.  Castle Girnigoe is now protected by a Trust, formed by the descendants of the Sinclair Family.  HRH Prince Charles is a Patron.
Image from Field Archeaology Specialists in the United Kingdom.

Here's an image of the man I'm now referring to as "Big William".  Disrespectful, I know, but there are so MANY William Sinclairs in the lineage.  Descending from Norse and French lines, Big William was born around 1410 in Scotland, and he had three wives.  And a bushel of kids.  And they also had bushels of kids, with multiple spouses.  The family is enormous and complicated, but a DNA study on the Sinclairs is that you can tell which branch you are from.

One of the coolest parts of this family research reveals that not only was Big William blonde, like my Husband, but he was also quite a Real Estate junkie.  Just like Husband.  Those genes don't lie...

Big William built the lovely and mysterious Rosslyn Chapel in Midlothian, Scotland.  The Chapel that was in the Da Vinci Code.  

 Rosslyn Chapel is filled with carvings, some of which look like corn and has some folks in a lather about Big Williams's explorer and wanderer Grandfather Henry - they say he was actually in North America before Chris Columbus.  And you know what THAT means...

Don't know if I buy that...
Getting this Clan straight has been exhausting but fascinating, and I'm not really sure that all of the kids and wives and mistresses will ever be uncovered...that's the part that keeps consuming my days.  I want to know about the relationships, like any intelligent woman.

But Husband just wants to know where it all went, and where is his money??  And there is an answer to that.  His ancient relatives, just like any modern family living large and flying high, got snarled in feuds, subterfuge, debt and indifference as the centuries went by.  All that's left is the Sinclair Trust, Clan Sinclair USA, and the DNA.   

The DNA.  That's what is most important...

Now, are those babies Scottish-looking nobility, or what?

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