Sunday, August 16, 2009

Homecoming Scotland 2009

Over the course of commenting on the last post, Surviving Scotland, Patty asked about my "certificate for the returning". On reaching the Isle of Skye, our last destination, Kathleen and I went to the Visitor Center to collect our certifications for Scottish descendants returning for Homecoming 2009.

Our Scottish ancestral line runs through Reuben Steele of Brayll County, Argyllshire, who immigrated in 1745 through Philadelphia to Virginia. Wouldn't it be fascinating to know why this young man and his wife came to the colonies? Was it about the 'Rising? Was he a deportee of the English? As lowlanders, probably Presbyterians, they most likely came for religious freedom as the Church of Scotland had an Episcopal constitution. One of his 15 children, Robert, our fourth great grandfather, was a soldier in the Revolution in the company of Captain Alexander Sayers.

When I was talking with a Scot about The Homecoming during our Walk, he lamented "our greatest export are young people". Indeed, an estimated 1.5 million Scots have immigrated over the centuries, many to the colonies and a free America. Lucky for us as they were well educated, liked a good fight, and liked freedom, albeit they were a bit split during the Revolution.

The Homecoming coincided with the 250th Robert Burns anniversary, a hero to the Scots. This poster was in the Kelvingrove Museum. Hm-m-m, who does it resemble?

All over Scotland were Festivals for the returning, busloads of clans who had come back to celebrate their identity. On the plane over to Glasgow, I sat beside a distinguished man from Texas and his college student son, Madisons they were, and the son had made the arrangements for them to go "home".

I felt like I was home.

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