Posted by Dawn-Ann on May 12, 2010
I’ll be leaving Facebook soon, so am looking around for fun alternatives. After all, I kinda like staying in touch with everyone. I’m playing around with Google’s Orkut, but not too many of my friends are there yet.
In my searching, I came across Diaspora. A group of four enterprising young men have come up with the brilliant idea of creating a collaboration of resources to host your data, so you can display what you want when you want.
The world must be ready for them. Their goal was to raise $10,000 and as of this writing they have already raised six times that. Go Diaspora guys!
Posted by Dawn-Ann on
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!
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.
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.
Posted by Dawn-Ann on March 12, 2010
I’ve written before on what I have discovered about Watties Neach (there ain’t one). Now I have stumbled upon some fresh evidence that I am correct in my assumption!
In an old edition of the Kirkpatrick Newsletter, dated Jan-Feb-Mar 1990, I found this letter to the editor. It was written by a fellow named Charles Jacobs and reads, in part:
Most of the family information from Scotland states that Alexander and his brother Andrew were born at Watties Neach in Dumfrieshire. In talking with local historians in Dumfries, I was told that there is no such a community in the area and such a name would be meaningless. Before we arrived there, a genealogist ran an inquiry in the local paper about Watties Neach. Several replied that there was a Watties Neuk [Neuch] on property known as Denby Yett. The translation would be something like Walter’s Nook or corner. Watties Neuk is nothing more than a pile of stones in a pasture at this time.
So there you go. Where my previous post says it is Wallace’s Neuch, this one says Walter’s, but in all other details we are in agreement. And the search goes on!
Posted by Dawn-Ann on March 11, 2010
I’ve know for some time that the Kilpatricks were kin, their name being a variation of Kirkpatrick. Tonight I stumbled upon an interesting explanation for the difference. The source is an old Kirkpatrick Newsletter dated Oct-Nov-Dec 1989. It was published by Nathan L. Barlow of Rison, Arizona, whom I have not been able to locate online. If anyone knows of him, please contact me!
Anyway, the article was written by George M. Kirkpatrick of North Syracuse, NY.
While there were many with the surname Kirkpatrick in America prior to 1800, it is difficult to find documentation to establish family lines. A further difficulty is found in the use of various surname spellings, particularly prior to 1800. Kirkpatrick and Kilpatrick are used almost interchangeably (and also Killpatrick). It seems likely that Kilpatrick is closer to the original surname spelling and that Kirkpatrick is the anglicized version… The Kilpatrick spelling is still found near Glasgow, Scotland as in the towns of ‘Old Kilpatrick’ and ‘New Kilpatrick’ while the Kirkpatrick spelling is common near the English border, e.g. near Closeburn and Dumfries. All three versions are still in use, however.
Posted by Dawn-Ann on March 3, 2010
My baby girl (who is now in her 20s) is expecting twins in April. This tickles me to no end, as I had long despaired of ever becoming a grandmother. Robb, her partner, is a devoted dad-to-be and has started a delightful blog about what it’s like to be expecting twins – from his perspective. His observations are disarmingly sweet and refreshingly honest.
Worth a look! Twins of the father’s Blog.
Posted by Dawn-Ann on February 11, 2010
Ira Cram, family ancestor
I stumbled upon an excellent blog post about how to deal with those “family legends” – some of which are true, some not; some of which are good, some not-so-good. Sometimes it takes a whole lot of tact and diplomacy.
Katrina at Kick-Ass Genealogy says this:
When you interview your family, sooner or later you will encounter a pretty tall tale. The novice researcher gets excited at the possibility of belonging to an exotic ethnicity; the more jaded historian dismisses the stories of war-time heroics out of hand. Neither approach is particularly constructive. In this article, we’re going to walk through how to prove (or disprove) a family legend.
Read the rest of her excellent article here.
Posted by Dawn-Ann on February 7, 2010
The more research I do into the Kirkpatrick clan, the more I love and respect ‘em. No doubt there were exceptions, but for the most part I’m finding tales of love, strength, dignity and loyalty. Those who knew them seemed to be unwaveringly devoted to them. The Kirkpatricks as a whole lived life with a wicked sense of humour, strong family ties and a mighty work ethic.
My grand-uncle, Samuel D. Kirkpatrick’s “words for posterity” pretty much sum up the family code: “Live life with enthusiasm, with moderation, with service, and sympathy for less fortunate people in the world.”
More examples of the Kirkpatrick viewpoint:
Family legend tells that when many Native children in Canada were being put into residential schools the B.C. Kirkpatricks refused to break up their families in this way. They chose to remain strong family units, teaching their children how to play musical instruments and become industrious, contributing members of society. (Most of us Western Canadian Kirks have at least a smattering of Native blood.)
Another family legend tells of how some of the first American generations went south to Georgia, then came back north again because they were disgusted with the idea of slavery.
Going back even further to old Scotland, we see this about Sir James Kirkpatrick (d. 1804) in Records of the Closeburn Kirkpatricks by Major-General C. Kirkpatrick:
The Dumfries Weekly Journal of the 12th June 1804 described him as “the representative of an ancient and respectable family, which had inherited that estate in succession, for upwards of seven hundred years. Descended from this ancient race, he was inferior to none of his predecessors in that generous spirit and fortitude by which they were distinguished. Mild, gentle and courteous in his manners, he possessed at the same time that firmness and stability of mind which made him tenacious of his purposes, constant in his friendships, and steady in his principles. His principles were no other than the two great sources of human excellence – piety to God, and benevolence to men”. etc.
In another obituary reference to him it was said:- “His publick character was strongly marked by disinterestedness [free from bias or partiality] by generosity and by a firm determined spirit. Possessing in a high degree all the publick and social affections, he was always amongst the first to promote any measure which he considered as of general utility and never suffered his own private interest to stand in the way of what appeared to him to be a publick good. Warm and stead in his friendships, he never deserted those to whom he once attached himself, nor declined any exertions, however inconvenient for himself, that could [be] beneficial to them.
When I was tramping through graveyards in Scotland, over and over again I saw words like “deeply loved” and “we miss thee, dear” on Kirkpatrick gravestones.
But the story that has moved me the most in my genealogical studies so far is the tale of Alexander Richard Kirkpatrick of Dublin, Ireland (1813 – 1891). He was a scholar at Cambridge and was called to the Bar in 1840, according to Chronicles of the Kirkpatrick Family written by Alexander de Lapere Kirkpatrick.
From the book:
Mr. Kirkpatrick was beloved by all who knew him, rich and poor; the grief evinced by the latter at his funeral was very striking, and many and most touching were the tokens received by his family of their affection for him. Whilst on his other properties it was said by both Priests and others that they had never seen such deep and widespread grief, extending even to the children. He was carried to his grave by his own tenants, several of them quite poor, who had come a long distance, and at no small cost, but they looked on him as a Father and a Friend.
Wow. Would that we all could be remembered this way upon our passing.
Posted by Dawn-Ann on February 5, 2010
From the book Records of the Closeburn Kirkpatricks by Major-General C. Kirkpatrick, C.B., C.B.E.:
When the loch [at Closeburn Castle] was drained in 1859, a number of relics were found. Amongst those, was an oak canoe 12 feet long in a good state of preservation. This was sent to the Antiquarian Museum in Edinburgh. The tradition is it was used to carry the dead of the Kirkpatricks across the loch to the family tomb in Closeburn kirkyard.
The 3rd Baronet [Sir Thomas Kirkpatrick] had the family coat of arms carved over the gateway of the tomb, with the Grierson fetlock impaled (his wife’s coat of arms; the addition conforming to heraldic custom).
The words engraved on the stone, read;- “vanitas omnia vanitas” [vanity, all is vanity], and inside, on the walls over the gateway, is inscribed:-
“Nos, nostraque Morte dobemus
De Closeburn Baronetus
Extratruendum curavit. 1742″.
“Sic transit gloria mundi”.
Signifying, Sir Thos. Kirkpatrick Baronet of Closeburn caused this to be created A.D. 1742.
“We and our relatives
have all to die.”
Thus earthly glory passes”.
Hardly an original thought, but a true prophecy, for his house went up in flames six years later, and he lost all his possessions.
Detail of one of the engravings on the Kirkpatrick mausoleum at the old Closeburn kirkyard.
This is the same mausoleum I wrote of in this post – the one of the skull wearing glasses!