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Monday, March 30, 2015

Jane Kirkpatrick

Posted by Dawn-Ann on May 3, 2009

Further to my decision of yesterday, I did a search on to see if there are any other Kirkpatrick writers of note. There are many. But a happy coincidence I discovered was a lady named Jane Kirkpatrick who lives in Oregon. She has written a number of books that seem to be on many of the same themes I enjoy exploring – homesteading, community and spirit.

Of particular interest to me in my “urban homesteading” phase is her book called Homestead: Modern Pioneers Pursuing the Edge of Possibility. The Amazon review says, “Joining her husband in the fight to create a home out of a rugged stretch of sagebrush, rattlesnakes, and sand in eastern Oregon, Jane Kirkpatrick uneasily relinquishes the security of a professional career; the convenience of electricity, running water, and a phone line; and, perhaps most daunting, the pleasures of sporting a professional manicure. But the pull of the land is irresistible, and they dream of gathering their first harvest from a yet-to-be-planted vineyard.”

Looks interesting! I think I’ll have to order this and have myself a good read!

Kirkpatrick Family Research – Watties Neach / Wallace’s House

Posted by Dawn-Ann on February 15, 2009

I’ve been interested in my genealogy since I was a young girl and the advent of the Internet has been a great boon for my research. However, I have discovered it’s also a frustrating source of greatly inaccurate information. Unfortunately, much of the Kirkpatrick information out there is suspect. Many well-meaning people are simply copying and pasting scads of information that is just not correct.

To that end, I guess it shall be left up to me to rectify the situation. As I find time, I have been poring over some intriguing publications I have stumbled upon about the Kirkpatricks. I’m piecing together a family tree, one tiny clue at a time, and my aim is to verify as much of it as I can from reliable sources. When I am satisfied that I have something worth sharing, I will do so here. Watch for it!

So, here’s the first tip for Kirkpatrick researchers. There is no “Watties Neach.” Not now. Never was. It’s a mis-translated (probably mis-read from old documents) phrase that has been copied and pasted into many, many Kirkpatrick family trees.

I first got an inkling of this when I was trying to figure out where exactly Watties Neach was. I was having a dickens of a time and could find no record of it anywhere (I am the Queen of the Search Engines and can sniff out information pretty quickly.) Then I stumbled upon an old email in a genealogical research site. Someone who had lived and worked in the area suggested that Watties Neach was likely a mis-reading of Wallace’s House. Indeed, it is easy to see how double l’s could have been mistaken for double t’s on old documents, but how house could become neach is a bit of a stretch.

Then, when I was in Scotland last summer, I stopped in at the Dumfries and Galloway Family History Society. A very helpful, very knowledgeable lady there told me that neach is probably a mis-reading of neuch, which in the old language meant “corner” or “place.” Bingo! Wallace’s Neuch! There is a recorded association between the Kirkpatricks and the Wallaces and many Kirks came from that area (though I have yet to figure out what exactly that association was).

Fun and interesting stuff. Wish I had tons more time to work on the research!

DNA Genealogy

Posted by Dawn-Ann on February 5, 2009

So, I am thinking of getting my DNA analyzed for genealogical purposes. And I’m considering going through Family Tree DNA because it is the one that’s been most recommended to me by my genealogy-studying colleagues.

Family Tree DNA will test womens’ mtDNA and/or men’s Y-DNA. The former is what is handed down from mother to daughter and the latter is what men pass down to their sons. Unfortunately, I can only see my maternal heritage unless I get my dad or a male cousin to take the test, as well. But it’s kind of neat what a person CAN find out.

Family Tree DNA has a number of projects they’re working on and if there isn’t one for you, you can start your own.  I searched for Kirkpatrick and found a project has, indeed, already started for that.  The Kirkpatrick Surname Project has 21 members already!  However, the test is for Y-DNA and my father would have to submit to it.  I’ll have to check further to see if there are any maternal last names I could search for.


Posted by Dawn-Ann on January 28, 2009

We shall not cease from exploring,
And the end of our exploring
Will be to arrive where we started
And know the place for the first time.
~T.S. Eliot

Life never stands still for us. It winds and spirals in great waves and cycles, sometimes taking us back to where we started, other times dropping us somewhere new and uncharted. My life, of late, has been one of rites of passage.

What I mean by that is that I have passed some personal milestones and ends of personal eras. The last of my grandparents passed away. The last of my children grew up and struck out on his own. I turned fifty. And now I have been called upon to help my mother get her things sifted through in preparation for her own new beginning. And I’m getting the cabin ready for sale.

This tiny cabin has been in our family for years. Situated on a lake in Montana, my grandparents made it their final home until they could not live unassisted any longer. When they left, it became a staying place for my sisters and I, and finally it is being used for storage of mom’s “stuff” – boxes and boxes that fill the rooms to jam-packed. This is what my sis and I will be sorting through in a couple of weeks.

Grandma and Grandpa's cabin in Montana.

Grandma and Grandpa's cabin in Montana.

I had occasion to spend a little time there a couple of weeks ago, wandering from room to room. Looking past all the “stuff,” I gazed instead at the memories. I remembered star gazing with Grandma, bundled against the cold, stretched out on deck chairs with drinks in our hands. I recalled my children sitting in the sunny living room, surrounded by soft, warm daylight and the warmer glow of being loved by family. I envisioned Grandma’s gardens and her eternal fight with the squirrels. Once again I saw Papa making smart cracks about Grandma’s cooking as he wandered on by.

Some of us at various times have tried to keep the cabin in the family but now we know it is time to let this cycle come to a close. Thank goodness for photos and video and memories. For even though we occasionally have to let go and be swept into the next cycle, it’s still good to look back from time to time to see where we’ve been.

I’m baaaack!

Posted by Dawn-Ann on December 29, 2008

Sorry for the long absence.  First, my host changed my site over to a new server, which caused some headaches. Then Christmas happened and I didn’t have time to fix the site and its woeful little error messages and stuff.  Still, it was a fabulous Christmas and New Years looks like it will be even better.

I hope everyone had as marvelous a holiday as I did (I’m still ON holidays, truth be told) and I’ll be posting some real stuff soon.  In the mean time, here’s what’s been going on in our neck of the woods!

Granddaughter Odessa's beautiful smile.

Granddaughter Odessa's beautiful smile.

Grandson Ashton helps distribute gifts.

Grandson Ashton helps distribute gifts.

The Unexpected Community

Posted by Dawn-Ann on November 21, 2008

Sometimes you’ll be doing something random in life and all of a sudden you’re surrounded by people who form an unexpected community. Maybe you’ll be stuck on a bus in traffic and someone will tell a joke and soon everyone is smiling and talking.

Here is a lovely little story about just such a thing. One man, Shel Israel, is grocery shopping one day when he finds out he is a grandfather. He says, “Slowly, I realized that my eyes were misting up. And then I was bawling like Isla [the new baby] must have done a few hours earlier. I stood there wondering if I could shoplift a Kleenex when some guy came up to me, concerned, asking what was wrong. I told him I had just learned I had a new granddaughter. He stared for second, then, beaming, stuck out his hand.”

Read the rest of Shel’s story here.

I’d be interested to hear other stories of spontaneous, “unexpected” community!

Kirkpatricks galore

Posted by Dawn-Ann on November 11, 2008

The Kirkpatrick crest and motto on a family mausoleum in Dumfries

This is the last day of my five-day weekend and I have it earmarked for genealogy. Well, genealogy and laundry, but the laundry kind of does itself in the background, for the most part. So, I have one whole day of genealogical bliss ahead of me!

I am still looking for the “missing link” that will tie my Kirkpatricks into the Kirkpatricks of old. I am this close and expect to accomplish it today. In the mean time, here is something interesting I found. Her Imperial Majesty, the Empress Eugènie, who eventually married Napoleon, had Kirkpatrick roots. Here is how it goes, from her mother on down, according to one source I found:

  1. Marie Manuelita Elizabeth Kirkpatrick, m. Don Cipriano de Palafoix, Count de Montijo
  2. William Kirkpatrick of Malaga, 1764-1837, m. “Fanny” (probably Doña Francesca), daughter of the Baron de Grivegnée of Malaga (Spain)
  3. William Kirkpatrick of Conheath, 1736-1787, m. Mary Wilson of Kelton, Kirkcudbright (Scotland)
  4. Robert Kirkpatrick, 2nd son of William Kirkpatrick, Lord of Kirkmichael, m. Henrietta Gillespie of Craighsheille; d. 1746
  5. William Kirkpatrick IV, Lord of Kirkmichael, d. 9 June 1686
  6. Alexander Kirkpatrick III, Lord of Kirkmichael, m. Margaret, daughter of Sir Thomas Kirkpatrick of Closeburne
  7. William Kirkpatrick II, Lord of Kirkmichael, 1548
  8. Alexander Kirkpatrick I, Lord of Kirkmichael, 1484, second son of Sir Roger Kirkpatrick of Closeburne
  9. Sir Roger Kirkpatrick of Closeburne, m. The Hon. Margaret Somerville, daughter of Lord Somerville, grand-daughter of Alexander, Lord Darnley
  10. Sir Winfred Kirkpatrick of Closeburne
  11. Sir Roger Kirkpatrick of Closeburn and Caerlaverock, d. 1357
  12. Sir Roger Kirkpatrick, 1305, “I mak sicker”
  13. Stephen, Lord of Closeburne, 1278
  14. Adam Kirkpatrick, Lord of Closeburne
  15. Yvone de Kirkpatrick of Closeburne, 1232, m. The Lady Euphemia Bruce, daughter of the Lord of Annandale
  16. Yvone de Kirkpatrick, Lord of Closeburne, 1135
  17. Cospatric, Cumberland, 1066
  18. The Kirkpatricks held lands in Nithsdale in A.D. 800
  19. Cella Patricii, A.D. 370
  20. The Tribe of Alsani, 300
  21. Finn Mac-Cual (ancient Irish king), A.D. 200

Of course, the last three are not provable and are only family legend, but I have learned that often such legends hold a grain of truth. The rest have been more or less proven, with the first known record being a legal document with the first Yvone’s name on it (No. 16; Yvone was probably pronounced “Ivan” or “Ewan”). Number 12 is the guy who gave us our motto by helping Robert the Bruce get rid of Red Comyn.

I think my family will tie in at approximately the No. 5 or No. 6 position, as that is the date frame and location of the highest Kirks on my tree. I just have to find that missing link!

Kirkpatrick family connections to the world

Posted by Dawn-Ann on October 15, 2008

Me at Closeburn Castle, which is still occupied by Kirkpatricks! Technically, I think I was trespassing onto a personal driveway, but we just took quick pictures and left.

I have been tracing my family tree and on a recent trip to Scotland managed to gather scads of material that I still need to sift through and enter into my database. However, there is a gap between our Kirkpatricks and the lords and knights of old. I think I have found the missing link, but it still needs some verification – hopefully I’ll find that in the above-mentioned scads of material.

If my links are sound and we really are descended from the Kirkpatricks of old (a probability, as there weren’t a lot of them back then and theoretically we are ALL descended from them), then that also ties us in to a couple of royal lines. For instance, Euphemia de Bruce of the royal Bruce line of Scotland, married Ivone Kirkpatrick back in the 1200′s sometime. As well, Lady Margaret de Sommerville, who was a daughter of the Royal House of Stuarts, married Sir Roger Kirkpatrick in about 1508.

The Kirkpatrick motto on the last standing wall of the old Closeburn church.

My trip was full of happy coincidences and at least once I said aloud, “These Kirkpatricks want their story told.” Maybe I’m just the gal to do it.

Summiting Jumping Pound Mountain

Posted by Dawn-Ann on October 5, 2008

The surprise birthday party would have made my weekend complete in itself. However, the next day I decided to join Holly and Isaac (#2 and #4 offspring) hiking in Kananaskis. It was a stunningly beautiful fall day and I figured I’d better get out there while the getting was good.

Trudging ever upward

Holly and her friend planned to summit TWO mountains that day. I’m not sure what Isaac had in mind, but I planned to only go as far as I felt comfortable, then hang out communing with nature until everyone came back. However, I just kept putting one foot in front of the other and eventually there came a point where I said to myself, “I’m going to go for it.”

It took me hours and hours (far longer than it took Holly), as I had to stop to catch my wind at times, but eventually I made it. Isaac, bless his heart, stuck with me the whole way and we summited! Somehow, I thought it was the perfectly fitting way to finish off the first half century of my life. If I can climb a mountain at 50, there is nothing I can’t do!


Posted by Dawn-Ann on September 28, 2008

I love, love, LOVE flowers and I brought a lot of them home last night

I am about to turn 50 in a week or so. I joke with my kids that I’m “wise” now. Well, in spite of my infinite wisdom, I somehow missed catching on to the fact that they were planning a surprise birthday party for me! I sure as heck hope that SOMEONE took good pictures for me to post here and on Facebook.

I was absolutely blown away by the party – the fabulous food, the great music and all the love from friends and family. Robb and Kim had arranged the music (including a fun “name that tune” game that hit all the Number One songs on each of my birthdays), catered food, hall rental, etc. My oldest son arranged for stunning floral centrepieces for the tables. Holly calmly looked me in the eye and LIED about where we were going. With a straight face. (She didn’t learn to lie from me!)

We danced. We sang. We hugged and kissed a LOT. We ate good food and then we all cleaned up afterward. It was truly a night to remember. I love my family!

Thanks kids. That will be a hard one to top!