First and foremost I want to wish my sweetheart Cheri and daughter Emilie Happy Valentines day! Without their love and support all the things I've done and enjoyed here would not have been possible.
LAST DAY IN STIRLING
Today was a busy one, it seemed everywhere I looked there was more information on family lines to be researched later. I found a book on the Heraldry of the Campbell's, (which is a connection for James Stirling circa 1500.) Then there was more information on the Andersons, Moncrieffs, Reids, and on and on. I didn't have time today to look at it all, or even to make copies of all of it. It was almost like some unseen power was showcasing all the areas I had missed on this trip, making sure there would be ample projects to bring me back to this special place again.
As I entered information in the computer for later publication on the website I am starting to understand what an incredible legacy our Stirling ancestors left us. We have existed as a family unit in Scotland for at least 900 years, and during that time have melded with almost every family line based in this part of Scotland. All of us who are of the name Stirling have a special legacy. I've felt a peace and connection today, indeed part of me will still be here long after I return.
Because this is home. It's the home of our ancestors. It's home to a way of thought and experience that is so incredibly comfortable. When you come to Scotland you need to come here. Go to the hills above the town and look down over the beauty of this spot, for your ancestors did that same. Walk the paths they walked. Eat the foods they ate - Including Neaps, Tatties and Haggis, which are what we had for dinner this evening. If you do I can promise you will see and feel relationships here unlike anything else I've ever experienced, a deep reawakening of many things. Indeed, isn't this the way all of us would like to spend some time, energy and $$$ to find our roots?
One of the Research Trust's trustees is noted author David Ross. He has written several books about where he goes in Scotland to retrace the steps of famous men in Scottish History. His book On The Road With William Wallace is published now. He also has another book soon to be released on Robert the Bruce. He knows what it feels like to stand where Wallace stood, to see where Wallace fought, and where Bruce found himself and gave Scotland their brief taste of freedom. He also knows how it feels to come to America and be told by our own immigration officials that he can't put "Scottish" for his Nationality an the entry form! I was shocked and dismayed to hear that Scottish is not a term accepted by the immigration authorities, something I will dig into after getting home. For David Ross is one of the most Scottish people I've met while here in Scotland.
The plane awaits in the morning. The final post will be a recap of this incredible two weeks.