Saturday, August 6, 2011

Upon the Moors

I'm planning on going AWOL.    And here's why ...

Chilham Castle
Begun in 1174 for Henry II, it
was completed in 1616 for my
ancestor, Sir Dudley Diggs,
son of
Sir (Knight) Thomas Kempis

The Ruins of Castle Cary
Built sometime in early 1100 by
my ancestors, the Percevals 

For several years I've been building my family tree.

As I trace my lineage through the web of branches on both sides (Wells on my dad's side; Grinnell on my mother's), I am absolutely thunderstruck to have made my way back as far as the 800s.  Stunning!  And I'm not done threading yet ...

My discoveries have taken me to the Moors of England & Ireland & Scotland, as well as to the fertile & verdant valleys of France's Argonne region where, most likely, Jewish ancestry was handed down as well (having been exiled with the Sephardic Jews of Spain).  Some small consortium of my DNA  derives from the forests & farmlands of Germany. 

All-in-all, I'm predominantly a Celt, but no commoner.  The ancestors I've met along these various branches (and on both sides of my parentage) include lords & ladies, sirs/knights.  As expected, this includes a fair number of castles (two of many shown above) & kingdoms.  

Which brings me back to where I began.  My AWOLism is born of my heartfelt yearning to visit those ancient lands & peoples that are, even today, near & dear.  With the advent of the internet, as well as sites like, what was once thought lost is found.  I long to know these people & their times; to look long at their family crests and the coats of arms they bore proudly.   I will attempt to look on their faces in search of the resemblance that is mine both physically & spiritually.  Much of what I see is now readily available.  The rest I'll have to imagine.

So, if you wonder about my whereabouts, just picture me walking the misted moors with Lady Amy Anne or Sir/Knight Thomas Moyle.  We've much to speak of ...


Now faith is confidence in what we hope for
and assurance about what we do not see. 
This is what the ancients were commended for...  
Therefore, since we are surrounded by
such a great cloud of witnesses,
let us throw off everything that hinders
and the sin that so easily entangles.
And let us run with perseverance the race
marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus,
the pioneer and perfecter of faith. 
~ Hebrews 11:1, 12:1-2

P.S.  I'm not actually going to Ireland & Scotland.  That's something I'd planned to do this Fall, but have postponed until next year.  But, I am going to spend a considerable amount of time in research, and less on social networks.  I'll be back.  In the meantime, you can always reach me at my direct email address.  I'm hoping to drop by to see what you're up to when I return from my heathered wanderings of the heart ...


Denise said...

enjoy sweety.

Diana Ferguson said...

Have a wonderful blessed time!!!

Maryann said...

Sounds like fun, enjoy!

Debbie said...

Are you really going Kathleen? How very exciting! As you know, I've been to my native Norway and met many relatives. They were so gracious and hospitable. They were more than willing to show me photos and there's even a farm that is in our family north of Trondheim where we can stay in the summers. It's too cold and snowy during the winters.

I love to explore roots and to understand some of the family quirks and good things too. Happy exploring.

Blessings and love,

Just a little something from Judy said...

This is so interesting. I wish you the best in your journey, and the joy of making some exciting discoveries. I hope it does not take too long because you will be missed.

Rebecca said...

Literally?! You're crossing the ocean?!? How incredibly wonderful is that?

Sonja said...

I'm still trying to decide if this is a cyber journey or a real life one! Either way, it will be wonderful and you will find new connections to your family roots. How exciting!

Can't wait to hear all about it.

elaine @ peace for the journey said...

Stepping the path of an ancient faith... near and dear to my heart. Happy traveling, sister. I hope to do this very thing someday soon.


Janette@Janette's Sage said...

Look what technology can do...this is great. My sister did a lot of this for our family. We found out we weren't what we were told for years...there was an identity crisis for my Dad. He is still stunned to find out he is not part Indian. exciting.

Saleslady371 said...

It may be a cyber journey now, but it sounds like the real thing is coming next year. I smiled when I read this. You are anything but a commoner, Kathleen! Love you! Have a blast researching.

LisaShaw said...

Precious Kathleen,

I've MISSED you! I am so glad to see that you are off enjoying yourself!!!

Can't wait to hear all the good details from your research.

Much love dear one!

Peggy said...

Have a wonderful time on your researching trip and the real thing later. I have Scotch, Irish & English ancestry. I've been to England & would love to visit the others someday.

Rosezilla said...

Sounds lovely. We nearly took off on a trip to Ireland, but got badly needed flooring instead. But, oh, Ireland! someday...

Technonana said...

Oh, I would love to go too!! Dan, his brother, sister and Dad went to England and Scotland many years ago, searching for their roots... found out the Holladays are a branch from William Wallace..Dan loved the scenery, and people, but not the food!! LOL!

Cheryl Barker said...

What exciting stuff! I have Irish and Scottish ancestors, too, but probably not the uppercrust folks like yours :) Hope you get to take a trip there sometime!

Nel said...

Oh how fun! I love tracing roots and reading stories and just researching. I am working on a puzzle now on my mom's side her grandma left when my grandma was very young. I am trying to find information on her, just recently got a copy of their marriage license. Genealogy can be very addicting and very fulfilling. Just wish I would of asked more questions when some of the older folks were alive... But there is so much online! I love it! Have you ever used a site called Cyndi's List. She has a lot of good resource sites listed. If you can not find it my googling it email me and I will send it to you.
Have fun!
until next time... nel