The furthest I’ve got back –
is in Yorkshire, to Richard Savile born in 1601 (exactly 350 years earlier than me). He is my ggggggggg grandfather, so if you count me as generation 1, Richard is generation 12! Or at least it looks as if he’s my direct ancestor – firm connections are hard to prove going back that far. In 1601, Queen Elizabeth I was still on the throne, and Shakespeare’s play Hamlet probably had its first performance. The only reason anyone can get back to that time is because good records were kept and have survived. Richard Savile came from Flockton, a village now half way between Huddersfield and the M1. Robert Savile, born there in 1865, ended his life in the parish of Royston, which is where my great grandmother Charlotte Senior came from. Interestingly, Robert Savile married Ann Senior but I haven’t yet found out if or how Ann was related to Charlotte born 218 years later.
I can get the furthest back –
in Yorkshire and Aberdeenshire. This is due to two things. One is that the records seem to have been better kept there than in Ayrshire, and have survived, and the other is that my Yorkshire and Aberdeenshire ancestors stayed within the same small area, whereas my Ayrshire ancestors moved around a lot more and quite possibly weren’t from Ayrshire prior to the 1700s.
There are some neat surname duplications –
which are probably just coincidence but are nice to have nonetheless. One I really like is that on my Strachan (Ayrshire) tree I have Thomas Strachan marrying Susannah Alexander in 1771 and on my Fraser (Aberdeenshire) tree I have William Alexander marrying Ann Strachan in about 1750.
There’s something odd about the McCrae line –
which I need to really think about and try and sort out. I have a dead end with John McCrae as I can only find his mother in the records – there’s no trace of his father. His mother was, according to what her son said when she died, born Mary Henderson, daughter of John Henderson and Jean McCrae and I can’t find out anything about either of them. So her mother’s maiden suname was the same as her husband’s, which is perfectly possible but is making me think there just might be some illegitimacy going on. Or they might have come from Ireland. If they were Irish, this makes my McCrae tartan kilt – which an aunt sent to me when I was in my 20s and moved to London – a bit irrelevant.
We Strachans have more Irish blood than our more recent ancestors realised –
which may not be what some of our more recent ancestors would have liked to know! But with names such as Haggerty, Murphy, McCrae, Henderson and McInerney on the tree, Irish links are inevitable. I haven’t done any research into Irish records as of yet as it is a daunting task when you’ve no idea whereabouts in Ireland they might have come from.