Rotten Family Roots

the best medicine
the best medicine

Having had heart-warming successes in Northern Ireland finding personal connections that I could actually touch, I was tempted to explore my family roots in Scotland. Prior to planning this trip, I had vague recollections of a long ago Scottish connection through my paternal grandmother, but without the voice of my grandfather to bring that connection to life, I put it out of my mind.

But my brother did not. He enthusiastically researches all kinds of historical stuff. Without him, I would not have had anything to look for in Ireland. A couple weeks before I left on this journey, he sent me a reminder of Grandma Brown’s past. We were descended from a Brit named Sherburne and a Scot with an unusual French-sounding name. On a lark, I typed that name plus ‘Scotland’ into Google – it being the less common name and, I figured, more likely to bring pertinent info.

Right back at me came news article after news article of a famous – or infamous – fellow from Edinburgh. He had been a well-known boxer in the late 1900’s. Then he beat up a guy (badly) after which he killed another during a time he worked for some very serious crooks. The fellow in our family who eventually made in to the USA in the mid-1800’s had fled Scotland after believing he had killed his uncle (the uncle survived.) These two stories were a bit too close for my comfort, so to avoid a potentially embarrassing family history of extreme violence and prison sentences, I decided to let my attempts to pronounce Edinburgh fill my academic time in that city. Some family secrets you just don’t want to know.


13 thoughts on “Rotten Family Roots

      1. Well not heinous crimes anyway. Some were more like felonies. During the whole Clinton/Monica Lewinsky much-ado-about-nothing a reporter was asking people on the street in Australia about it and one comment apparently was “Thank God they got the puritans and we got the convicts”. Lol

        Liked by 1 person

  1. As much as all of us would like to believe we are descendants of kings and lords, I find it far more interesting to find the darker links in our pasts, don’t you think?

    Liked by 1 person

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