The Beauty of Connecting to Family From Long Ago

A couple of weeks ago, I mentioned a doorway in a blog post about updated results from my DNA ancestry. Since then, my interest in genealogy has been rekindled, and I have been dreaming up a trip overseas to walk in my ancestors' footsteps.

My mom's sister and brother have devoted hundreds  (if not thousands) of hours to researching our family history and have discovered some amazing connections to Ireland and Scotland. My aunt has traveled twice to both countries in search of tangible evidence of the family legacy, so she was my first call in planning my quest.

After a long and beautiful conversation with her, I had a list of castle names and the deep sense that I had opened a door to the past. I began with my maternal grandmother's side and Googled Kincaid House in Scotland. My great-grandmother was a Kincaid before she married into the Hays family, and her lineage can be traced back to the 1690 family who lived in the castle. Today, it has been fashioned into a hotel and event venue with modern facilities. I closed my eyes and pictured myself sleeping within the same walls as my family would have over 300 years ago.

It was thrilling and comforting to imagine!

Kincaid House Hotel

Turning to my maternal grandfather's branch, the Hume family, I realized that their footprints are all over Scotland with several related castles and houses that still stand today with names like Blackadder House, Paxton House, Wedderburn and Hume Castle.

Wedderburn Castle was high on my list as it was the seat of the Hume family when it was built in 1770 for one of my long ago cousins, Sir Patrick Hume. A quick internet search showed that this historical building has also been converted into a hotel and wedding site. In fact, the Hume heritage in this place has been so powerful that the daughters who have been heirs to the castle have kept the name in addition to their married surname. They tell the story of pride and loyalty reflected in the Hume motto, "True to the end."

Wedderburn Castle

In reading the histories and listening to old stories, I have become immersed in the lore and drawn across the ocean uncovering a kinship that nourishes my soul.

Families these days seem complex and can become disconnected. How much do you know about your ancestors? Can you name anyone beyond your grandparents? Where are they from? 

And most importantly, where can they take you?


A few doorways from this week:

  • The autumn weather brought a cloudy and cool day this week and though I felt subdued, it was a calming weight that inspired me to breath deeper and slow my steps.
  • My little dog, Nita, has a huge bed in my office where she likes to curl up in a ball, tucking her tail into the folds of the cushions. Her tiny comforts bring me joy.
  • As I was scrolling my FB feed, I came across a picture that had been taken by a satellite just before crashing into the surface of Saturn. I could see the layers of clouds in the atmosphere with a band of Saturn's rings turned perpendicular and skyward in the distance, giving me perspective in our vast universe.


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