Saturday, March 18, 2006

Culloden's Descent

Yesterday was a good day at my house, and there was no binge drunk salute to a long-dead Irish monk. In fact, I studiously avoided doing, saying or watching anything connected with the traditional March 17th lunacy. I didn't wear green, although its a favorite color of mine. In years past I have participated on the fringes of this day, but not this year.

I'm from Celtic stock, but my ancestors wore highland tartan; and while they drank to celebrate, they didn't celebrate drunkedness.

I once spent a year's free time tracing the grain of my family tree from it's present leafy new growth, back to it's roots in Scotland. Thanks to folks who spent a lot more time researching the family line that I did, I have been able to trace it back to a story of two young brothers, who, shanghaied in Glasgow, jumped ship in Boston in the 1680s. For reasons unknown, but I believe have to do with the fact that the ruling Scottish clan Campbell had "outlawed" clan MacGregor, they changed last names to that of their (possibly) subclan Gregory and started new lives in the new world. Admittedly the ties to my line at that point are a bit tenuous, but I like the tale's timber and I'm sticking with it.

The ties are much clearer to one Thomas B. Gregory (interesting how a name continues to resurface generation after generation in some families), born 1730 in Chatham County, NC and died 1818 in Smith County, TN. His descendents who form my lineage spread across the northern hills of Alabama and Mississippi, and my namesake, greatgrandfather, and Methodist preacher Thomas Edwin Gregory died in Pontotoc, MS, 6 years before my appearance on the scene.

Yesterday was a good day at my house, because my grandson, Caleb Thomas Gregory, the latest in the Gregory line, came for a visit.
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