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Saturday, November 29, 2014

Sir Thomas Kirkpatrick’s attire

Posted by Dawn-Ann on June 21, 2010

Here’s a really neat historical find I think you’ll like. I stumbled upon it by accident one day and then forgot about it. A place called Artfund has acquired an antique outfit that belonged to our very own Sir Thomas Kirkpatrick. I imagine that’s Sir Thomas who was the Bart of Closeburn. It looks to be in impeccable condition!

Who knew our Sir Thomas was such a fashion plate?

Happy Father’s Day, Dedy!

Posted by Dawn-Ann on June 20, 2010

Getting geared up for the Calgary Stampede

I’m really lucky in that I get to see my Dedy fairly regularly, as he lives just a couple hours’ drive away. Occasionally he comes in for family gatherings and appointments and – even more occasionally – I go out to his town for Legion events and just to hang out camping.

This blog post serves no purpose but to let my Dedy know how much I appreciate him and am so glad he is part of my life. I believe we choose before we’re born who we will be spending our lifetimes with and I do believe I chose well.

So, happy Father’s Day, Dedy. I love you! :)

Sandy Kirkpatrick’s pictures, Part III

Posted by Dawn-Ann on

And today I will post the last two pictures Sandy sent me that he took while in Scotland recently. They’re gorgeous images and I just had to share. Thanks again, Sandy!

Sandy says: Closeburn Castle is back in Kirkpatrick hands after 300+ years. Needs some work!

Sandy says this plaque is on the main square of Dumfries, opposite the statue of Robert Burns. Notice that the wording is almost identical to the mural I posted yesterday.

Sandy Kirkpatrick’s pictures, Part II

Posted by Dawn-Ann on June 19, 2010

Today I will share a photo Sandy took of a mural he spotted in Dumfries. It depicts the slaying of Red Comyn by Robert the Bruce and acknowledges Sir Roger Kirkpatrick’s part. It also gives the Kirkpatrick motto!

Thank you Sandy for sharing these pictures with us.

Sandy says: This mural is on the wall of a building in central Dumfries.

Scroll detail

Sandy Kirkpatrick’s pictures, Part I

Posted by Dawn-Ann on June 18, 2010

Mr. Sandy Kirkpatrick from Florida responded to one of my posts recently. He very kindly offered to share some photos he took while he was in Scotland. He has just returned from there, so his pictures are of sunny spring days – not like my rainy, wet ones from a couple of years ago.

I’ll share one a day for the next few days, sharing my and Sandy’s thoughts. Enjoy!

Today, it’s Caerlaverock Castle. Click on the images to see larger versions.

Sandy says: Most histories (we visited the Dumfries library) say that this impressive castle (built as early as the 1100s and rebuilt many times since) was in Kirkpatrick hands for a brief period in the 1350s, awarded to them for their efforts in taking it back from the English. A Kirkpatrick, maybe Sir Roger's son or grandson, is said in legend to have been murdered there in revenge for the 1306 church murder.

Here's a lovely detail of the spring grasses and the water.

I wonder if Sandy noticed he had captured what looks like a girl in the upstairs window!

Wallace’s House

Posted by Dawn-Ann on May 30, 2010

Going through all the family history material I have amassed over the years, I find treasure now and then. This has to do with Wallace’s House, which is, I believe, sometimes confused as “Watties Neach” in Kirkpatrick history.

In an 1869 publication called The Bruce and Wallace, I found this little bit of history that even names a Kirkpatrick (quoting an ancient poem called Wallace or The Life and Acts of Sir William Wallace of Ellerslie by Henry the Minstrel):

In the Knok wood he lewyt all bot thre. – V. 735.

In the parish of Kirkmichael, county of Dumfries, there is “a small fort in the Knock Wood, called Wallace’s House, said to have been thrown up by Sir William Wallace, after he had slain Sir Hugh of Moreland and five of his men, at a place still named, from that event, the sax corses, i.e. the six corpses.” Stat. Acc. I. 63. It has been ingeniously remarked, that “the sax corses more probably signify six crosses, in allusion to some religious monument so decorated.” Kerr’s Hist. Bruce, I. 125.

Ane Kyrk Patryk, that cruell was and keyne,
In Esdaill wood that half yer he had beyne.
With Ingliss men he couth nocht weyll accord. – V. 920

This, it appears, was the ancestor of the Kirkpatricks of Closeburne, who appear on record so early as the year 1141. Alexander II. grants a confirmation charter of Closeburne to one of this name, A. 1332, which is still in the possession of the family.

Interesting! This is the same Wallace’s House that I searched for near Garvald. Apparently, it is only a pile of rubble now. I was not successful in finding it – maybe next time.

There is more mention of “Kyrk Patryk” in this lengthy poem, in which he seems to be fighting with Wallace and they seem to be “kyn” (kin). However, I only have a bit of it printed out so I’ll have to do some more study of it when I get a few minutes.

Read more about my Wallace’s House debate here.

What I should have said

Posted by Dawn-Ann on May 16, 2010

Bonnie Janine Kirkpatrick
Born: September 23, 1964
Died: November 15, 2009

School photo, age uncertain

After three months of struggle, my beautiful sister Janine passed away late one dark November night. Her hospital room was packed with people who cherished her – her father, her sisters, her daughters – and as she took her last breaths different ones would bend over and kiss her forehead, murmering soft words of love to her.

Thinking of an amazing road trip we took with our kids once, along with years of birthday parties, BBQs and family gatherings, I quietly thanked her for sharing her life with me. “We sure did have us a time,” I whispered. I like to think she heard me.

The funeral was simple but moving. Janine was laid to rest with our grandparents, George and Inez Kirkpatrick, in the family plot. Different ones got up to speak and we all stopped to watch as a small flock of Canada geese flew low, directly overhead, honking a farewell. Family legend has it that an eagle always soars overhead when one of our own is buried, but Janine got a special salute, flying in formation, on that bitter, windy day.

As a young teen

I had fully intended to say a few words at the service. We had invited anyone who wished to say something to do so. Amanda had us all laughing and crying with her loving tribute to her mother. Karen, who is probably the most introverted of all of us, spoke bravely, voice trembling, about her love for her sister.

I meant to put some words together to share. I had the best of intentions and had started a few scraps of notes – things I remembered here and there. But it had been a very long three months and there was too much to do to prepare for the funeral. Excuses, I guess, but my heart just wasn’t in it.

So now, six months later, as spring flowers bloom in the sunshine and sweet breezes blow, here is what I should have said…

Lovely lady (at a sister's wedding)

Being six years older than Janine, I remember a wee girl with big brown eyes sucking her thumb, a chubby little foot crossed over her thigh, her blanket with the silky edge (her “soft”) held up against her cheek. I recall that she tried so hard to be involved with the big kids’ play but was often too young or too little for our games. She would cry bitter tears about that sometimes, but with four girls there was usually someone willing to play. She tried so hard to keep up…

Janine was such a sharp little girl! School was a breeze for her in her first years (she got bored in high school). She had a sunny personality and a cheerful laugh, which developed in adulthood into an irreverent, quirky, ribald sense of humor. There was always much hilarity when Janine was around. We rarely argued, the two of us, and we enjoyed hanging out together whenever we could.

If I had given my talk, I would have told everyone about Janine’s inventiveness and creativity. She often had to struggle to get by, so would come up with ingenious ways of making do. For years I’d tease her about her campfire coffee. She hated instant coffee, so when we were on our road trip she invented a way to make “real” coffee by wrapping the grounds up in a coffee filter, tying it up with thread, and dangling it into boiling water. It wasn’t half bad, truth be told, but I had to tease her anyway.

My 45th birthday

She’d often mock people irreverently as a passtime, but inside Janine was loyal and loving. She sometimes had difficulty expressing her love in so many words but I never doubted it. I was tickled and moved when she threw me a surprise birthday party on my 45th birthday. The cake said, “You old bat!!” in blazing red letters. Ironically, Janine was in ICU for her 45th birthday. I brought her a bright bouquet of balloons but it just wasn’t the same.

Janine was the one who went back and forth to Montana with me, time after time, working tirelessly and loyally by my side as we helped clean out years of clutter for mom. We worked like dogs but (and this should be no surprise) we laughed a lot and shared a lot of family history together, finding treasures amongst the junk. Finding treasure in each other’s company.

Janine's red curtains

For someone who was as photogenic as she was, Janine hated getting her picture taken. My shots of her are few and far between. She seemed to have a sixth sense about where camera lenses were pointing and made a point of looking the other way. My favorite is a grainy one of a young teen in a lacy dress, beautifully made up, smiling naturally into the camera.

We became very close over the last couple of years of working together. I had edited some video of us as wee children, growing up throughout the movie, and she so treasured that little production. She watched it again and again, taking still shots of several of the scenes and cleaning them up and printing them out. We talked a lot about how things were then and what she could see in those images. She’d say over and over that she was so happy to have been given that video; that now she understood a lot more of what things were like all those years ago. This gratified me to no end.

There’s a lot I should have said that day but better late than never. We sure did have us a time, didn’t we sis. I love you.

Skull wearing glasses, Part II

Posted by Dawn-Ann on May 12, 2010

If you’ve been reading my blog, you may recall an entry I wrote about a carving of a skull I found in a Kirkpatrick mausoleum. The skull appeared to be wearing glasses.

Is this a skull wearing glasses?

I searched and searched online and could find nothing about any other such carvings and thought it was probably just a one-off – a tribute to the great Kirkpatrick sense of humor.

However, some kind soul recently dug up a link for me in answer to a query I posted on Rootschat.com.

Here is a link to the page in question. If you scroll down to the Kirkliston Graveston bit, you can see another carving of a skull wearing glasses – also in Scotland!

Those wacky Scots. What were they trying to tell us? Perhaps the person the skull represented was educated? Perhaps they wore glasses when they were alive? The mystery is far from solved but I find it oddly comforting to think that the Kirkpatrick skull was not the only one thus decorated!

Kirkpatrick timeline

Posted by Dawn-Ann on May 10, 2010

This is kind of neat. I was searching for Kirkpatrick family information and Google produced a timeline for me. It uses several websites and documents as its source to produce an interesting view of Kirkpatrick history.

Here is a link to the timeline. Enjoy!

Click on the image to view a larger version.

The Trail of the Covered Wagon

Posted by Dawn-Ann on March 14, 2010

If these old wheels could talk...

I’m probably spending too much time on genealogy stuff and not enough time on other things I could be doing. It’s how I relax, though, and the “other stuff” will wait until tomorrow.

Stumbled upon this story at the JP Kirkpatrick site. It’s a recounting of how some folks set out west in wagon trains, heading for the gold rush in California. Some made it, some didn’t. This particular story involves my Third Great-Grandaunt, Susan Emily (Kirkpatrick) Stockton and her family.

I found the story to be very moving and my heart hurt for Susan as she left some of her most precious memories behind her. But the story is also full of interesting details about life in the wagon trains. Here is a little bit of it:

We crossed the Mississippi river at Warsaw, on the ferry, The Missouri, at St. Joe, the same way, tho’ we had a long wait for an opportunity to cross.  We had to take our turn, a few among thousands, all setting out on the same mission.  So great was the need that every conceivable kind of boat was pressed into the service.  So anxious was the multitude to get on their way, that they were willing to risk their lives, in an old leaky skiff or raft.  The river was high and muddy as usual, which added to the difficulties.  Sometimes horses and cattle would become frightened and jump over board, upsetting the boat.  I do not recall that anyone was drowned, while we were there, but few outfits got over with all their livestock.  It was nearly the end of May when the long wagon trains began moving out through western Nebraska, on the California Trail.  When we got across the river we thought our troubles were about over.  Really, they were just beginning.  The trail was nearly a quarter of a mile wide – that is, a row of wagons fifteen-hundred feet across, and extending in front and to the rear, as far as we could see – a vast sea of white flapping wagon covers, and a seething mass of plodding animals.

Read the rest of the story here.