Tidbits - August 13, 2020

TIDBITS by RALPH SHEALY

WAY BACK

  In one of my ancestry searches on Ancestry.com, I found a note that one of my third great-grandfather Erasmus Youngblood was a direct descendant of William the Conqueror.

  That was exciting, but Conqueror is not a last name to research on Ancestry. I’ve hit a temporary road in my quest for Grandpa William.

  The Mayson branch has some interesting stories, too. One of my greats was the Secretary of State of Scotland!

  If you watch the “Game of Thrones,” you know people died horrible deaths. You think those just came from imaginative writers?

  Read this true account. Alexander and Margaret are my eighth great-grandparents.

  “The Murder of John Drummond of Drummond-erinoch [Warning - this story is rather gruesome]

  Alexander Stewart of Ardvorlich was married to Margaret Drummond of Drummonderinoch. Her brother, John Drummond, 4th Laird of Drummond-erinoch, was keeper of the royal forest near Bal-quhidder. One day John caught a group of Mac-Gregors poaching in the forest. As punishment for poaching he cut off their ears and sent them home humiliated. (Some versions say that John Drummond hanged the poachers as this was their second offense, and that he clipped their ears on their first offence.)

  The poachers ran home to their clansmen who were outraged at the humiliation brought upon their kin by John Drummond. The MacGregors vowed to have their revenge on Drum-monderinoch and set out after him. When they found him, they killed him, cut off his head, wrapped his head in their tartan, and headed off to visit Drummond’s sister at the house of Ardvorlich.

  When they arrived at Ardvorlich they found Alexander Stewart away and Margaret home alone. They asked for hospitality and were invited in. (In Highland culture, hospi-tality is an extremely important virtue. It would be a significant social sin to refuse hospitality to anyone at your door.) Margaret quickly brought bread, cheese, and drink, and then went off to the kitchen to prepare a more substantial meal for her guests. 

  While Margaret was out of the room the MacGregors took the severed head of her brother and placed it on the dining table. They then proceeded to stuff her brother’s mouth with the bread and cheese she had brought them.

  When Margaret returned to the dining room with the meal for her guests she was greeted by the gruesome severed head of her brother disgraced with her hos-pitable offerings. Margaret became hysterical (under-standably) and ran from the house into the forest not to be heard from for days. To compound matters, Mar-garet was also pregnant at the time and nearly full-term.

  When Alexander returned home, he was distraught and combed the woods for his pregnant wife, but to no avail. Servants claimed to see glimpses of Margaret on the fringes of the forest but then she would disappear into the trees again before anyone could catch her. Eventually she did return home, but with a surprise. According to family legend, while she’d been away in the forest she gave birth to her child, a son, James.”

  James was my seventh great-grandfather, so if something had happened to him while Margaret was running around in the woods, I wouldn’t be writing this.

 BOBBY LIVINGSTON

  I was saddened to read of the passing of Dr. Bobby Livingston of Newberry, a longtime subscriber of this newspaper.

  At his optometry office in Newberry, he gave me my first eye exam. Naturally, I had never had my eyes dilated before, so driving home  after the exam was quite an adventure. He told me I didn’t need glasses at that time, but later I started using drugstore glasses when I worked at the computer.

  I was in my 40s before I went to Dr. Bob Rollings for my second eye exam, and I went from drugstore glasses to bifocals!

  Dr. Bobby’s father was an eyes, ears and throat doctor, and he removed my tonsils at the Newberry Hospital when I was seven years old. Like his son, he was a good man.

  I’ll miss Dr. Bobby’s visits, when he’d ride over to renew his paper, or put in ad for he quail organization he supported.

.