Tuesday, August 6, 2013

The sixth day of August...

There are some days in life that are just bittersweet…today is one of those days.

On a sweet note, today is Cindy's birthday.  She is my sister Gerry’s firstborn.  Cindy is beautiful with a heart of gold…just like her late Mom. She has an ever ready smile and a wonderful sense of humor. We are always laughing when we’re all together. An amazing pianist and wonderful teacher, she must bless the hearts of the students at the college where she teaches. No doubt, she blesses the hearts of our entire family…just as she blesses mine. Happy Birthday, Cindy! I love you. Wish I could be there to celebrate with all of you!

Love this photo from about 1957. Cindy was almost 5 and I was 12. 
(just guessing at the year and ages) 
Apparently, I’d propped her up in the car window! 
I was a really good baby sitter!


Sadly, today also marks the ninth anniversary of my beautiful sister Dot’s death. She fought a courageous battle against AML (Acute Myloid Leukemia) but Heaven needed her. She had such strength and optimism. She believed in FAMILY more than anyone I have ever known. Dot remembered special days with a card, a note or a call. She organized family reunions and made sure that we all got together. She had a gift for staying in touch. Dot had the burden/privilege of being the oldest…maybe that comes with the territory. As I shared in the previous post, searching for our family roots was Dot’s inspiration and I will honor her by finishing it. She would like that.

How I would love to answer the phone and hear her quip one more time, “Hello! What’s going on besides the rent?” with that smile in her voice. I miss her every single day…but I will see her in Heaven.

I love this picture of my sister when she was about 21 years old.

Sunday, August 4, 2013

A mystery in Scotland...

As published in Sweet Journey Home...

I wonder if the same thing that makes me wish I’d been an FBI agent is the same deep thing that makes me love a mystery? Finding clues, sorting them out and solving a mystery is more than just a challenge – it’s actually intriguing. This time, I’m talking about searching out clues in my family history. Years ago, my late sister Dot had the dream of finding our ancestors. I joined her in the exciting search. It didn’t take a whole lot of imagination to know that with the last name of McGregor, our ancestors had come from Scotland.

We began the journey back through the years and enlisted the help of our other two sisters. The four of us traveled to the archives of Mississippi and various other libraries. We wrote many letters requesting information from archives in several states. Amidst the laughter on each trip we’d take, we discovered answers – in birth records, death records, marriage records, old newspaper clippings and family Bibles. You would have thought we’d won the lottery when we “proved” a date or name. There are three large rubbermaid containers stacked next to my chest in my bedroom…filled with several years worth of hard work. I purposely did not put them in the storeroom for a good reason: they’re there to remind me that I must finish this family history. When the snow starts to fall in a few months, I will rejoin Ancestry.com and begin the journey back through time once again.

Several years ago, my husband and I were traveling through North Carolina where my immigrant ancestor, Rev. William McGregor, had lived almost 300 years ago now. There at the foot of Fall Mountain, he built a homestead – complete with a sturdy log house and outbuildings. He established a large apple orchard. He “preached in the meeting houses of America”…which had been his reason for coming to America in the first place. He sold his home and land to Dr. Kron, the first physician of North Carolina. The house has been rebuilt as an exact replica and is in Morrow Mountain State Park in Stanly County, North Carolina.

It was somehow humbling, yet awe-inspiring, to stand on the land of my ancestor, a Baptist preacher from Scotland (there weren’t a lot of Baptists in Scotland at that time). I stood on the porch of his home and wondered where the answers lie. So many of the actual records burned in fires over the years according to the archives there in Stanly County. There are hundreds of his descendants who are searching – as I am. Supposedly, Rev. William McGregor was born in Ossian’s Glen, Scotland. Other records indicate he came from the Isle of Skye.

The mystery lies in Scotland but there is much to prove here first. This is just part of the mystery that I will be working on this Winter, when the snow begins to fall…

Below:  Rev. William McGregor’s house in Morrow Mountain State Park.…


Below: The back of Rev. William McGregor’s log house

Below: The back door of Rev. William McGregor’s house…