18 Feb. 2000 Bloomington, Idaho - Home From Scotland - Recap The Last Two Weeks.
For some reason this seems sort of inaccurate, for Stirling felt very much like home for the past two weeks. The planes and airline companies have done their job, in less than a day I find myself sitting at my own desk in Idaho looking at a pile of books, notes, copies and photographs over three feet high. To make sure it's looked after quickly, about five feet of snow waits to be shoveled. Wow, there is a lot of work to do ...
I've learned a few things in all my years of doing family history research , but I never cease to be amazed how much more I learn each time I go looking. This trip has been more productive than any trip I've ever taken, and yet all it does is open more doors.
But that is not all that happened in Stirling during February 1-15th 2000. Not by a longshot. Over 40,000 visitors found the time and energy to stop by and visit the website to see what was going on. Quite a number of you shared your own feelings and experiences, for which I'm thankful. This family is finding itself, and you are all finding each other. Cousins have found other cousins, siblings have found long lost brothers and sisters. Family lines have been reconnected, some in America, some in Scotland, some from America back to Scotland. Hard to believe when I look back and realize why the website was started.
Stirling Historian Bob McCutcheon best summed up my reasons for starting the website to the other Trustees -
"He Did It Out of Pure Laziness."
What started out as a way to get genealogy information to my sisters and mother and father without having to go to the copy center and post office has become one of the largest and most often visited Scottish Clan web sites on the Internet. The real story of what happened this past two weeks is that the Stirling family is getting organized, that members are finding not only their ancestral roots, but each other as well. This family is a large one, due in part to our history of over one thousand years of living life, making sacrifices, and always endeavoring to better ourselves and others.
So what is it to be a part of this large extended family? It means in part that we have literally spread all over the world. There are family members in Canada, America, Austria, Germany, South America, South Africa, Japan, Hong Kong, Ireland, Iceland, and most of the countries in Europe. I haven't heard from a Stirling from the North or South Pole yet, but given enough time I'm sure I will. Have any Stirlings out there been to these spots?
The fact that the Stirling family is reconnecting to its roots and each other is not all that is happening. The nation, yes the nation of Scotland is starting to figure out its own roots and do the same thing. Scottish people and those of us with Scottish heritage are starting to move towards something truly special, the birth of the Nation of Scotland. The vote on 11 Sep 1998 for Scottish Independence was just a start, for that vote was only on paper. Just like the United States of America it wasn't a piece of paper that will give rise to the Scottish nation, it will be families and groups of people working together, deciding for themselves what they will have.
So in looking back and trying to recap the past two weeks it's no surprise Scottish Families like the Stirlings have begun to find each other and a voice, for if Scotland is to take her rightful place in the United Nations as an independent country, it will be her families that will drive it.
That is THE MOST EXCITING thing I saw in Scotland. The Nation of Scotland, her sons and daughters starting to see and feel the voices of their ancestors, starting to stand up to the centuries of garbage they have had to put up with. People speaking with passion about having a truly Scottish Nation of their own. And an ancient family starting to find it's voice.
It was deeply moving to see this progress. You and I and all the world are part of it.
Coming in the next few weeks will be lots of changes and updates to the Clan Stirling website. We will have our own domain, old.clanstirling.org. Lochcarron has sent us the price list for the Stirling family Tartan, soon you will be able to order your own kilt and other items. There are hundreds of thousands of names of Stirlings to update the website with. Photographs. Pedigrees. Heraldic information. Information on other families that tie into our Stirling lines. A database from Tony Murray of many lines of the Stirling family in Scotland, making it easier for all of you to find your link back to the mother country. And more. I hope you all will continue to move forward and share your own discoveries with all of us.
What follows was written in 1998 in an attempt to understand my Stirling roots. It means much, much more to me today.
Who are Ye, Family of Stirling?1
Who are we this family of old
Ancient, Scot, Young and Bold.
Strong and vibrant like the strong yet gentle ox
Supportive, builders, thinkers, we fit in no ones box.
Sensitive are we to earth, wind, fire and place,
Our souls ring with devout emotions sensitive to time – And space.
We love all deeply, singly, we hold on tight
Don't cross us, you will always lose that fight.
We yearn to learn quickly, we yearn to eloquently speak.
We strive to do our absolute best, to climb the highest mountain, to the peak.
Children and Families, the almighty above, this is our forever strength.
We Support and help others with no measure, no thought given to length.
Schools, Teachers, Education is our focus, the shiny red Apple.
Subjects such as English, Science, Math, with these and more we grapple.
Joyful, playful, we love our mental and physical sports,
We play them all, all different kinds, all different sorts.
To win is one objective, but over all for us is to do our best.
The lord above grace willing, he will do the rest.
Me myself, I stand tall and proud,
What a Blessing it `tis, to be a part of the crowd.
I'm honored to call meself a heritage man, an ancient Scot.
But A Stirling, hey now, `Tis the best I've got.
We the family of Stirling, Forever growing, forever Bold,
Forever and Forever, linked to future, present, past and old.
- Michael L. Jex
Clan Stirling Online!
PO Box 282
Bloomington, Idaho USA 83223