Trip To Scotland
Sunday, May 02, 2004
I guess it began back in early adolescence with a trip to Nova Scotia. I heard the bagpipes, and the sound changed my last name from just another name to a heritage. I was a Robertson. It was on the list of old Highland Clans, and with that knowledge the dead came to life. Soon I had my kilt in Red Robertson and my clan pin with our motto "Virtus Glorias Merces," (Glory is the reward of valour). The Highlands began to call my name.
But for some reason, I never went. I went to Iceland and to Germany, to Russia and to Austria, to Italy and Hungary and Yugoslavia, but I never set foot in the British Isles. And still the Highlands called...in the distance, the way bagpipes do when they are over a hill somewhere beyond sight.
Then, in the frigid winter this past season, I decided to dabble in a bit of genealogy. Older relatives on both sides of my family had done some work already, bringing each side back a couple of centuries at least. With the help of the Mormons and their genealogy website, I began to hunt back further. My father's family took me to Glasgow before I got stuck in the 1600's. Do you have any idea just how many Robert Robertsons there are? I couldn't sort them out from the information online...only a trip to Glasgow...I heard the pipes in the distance.
Stuck on the Robertson line for a bit, I moved to my mother. All swamp-Yankee fisherman, I knew, but I began to poke at first this line and then that. Since I had just read the Da Vinci Code, I decided to follow the line of one Mary Magdalene Winslow, and the world opened before me. Swamp Yankee fishermen indeed! By about 3 am, I had traced lines to Alfred the Great, Charlemagne, and just about all of the Kings of Scotland from Malcolm Canmore on back. The bagpipes began to march over to my side of the hill.