Thursday, September 13, 2018

Great-Grandmother Shows Up!

Spinning Your Gold Blog: Words that Open Hearts and Inspire Actions

"You are the fairy tale told by your ancestors."
 -Toba Beta, My Ancestor Was an Ancient Astronaut

I woke this morning knowing it was my favorite grandmother's birthday, Ella Marie Esplin Lelash. Born in Arbroath, Angus, Scotland, she blessed me and our world from 1904 to 1986. Today we'd be celebrating her 116th turn-around-the-sun with scones and a cup of tea-- some of her favorites!

(L-r Sister Cathy, Mamie, me, Bump Bump, and brother Mike;  Huntington Beach, CA, 1960)
"My Mamie" shaped me in ways that I continue to appreciate. This elegant, entrepreneurial, and religious woman:

* Blessed me by birthing my precious mom, Clare Ann.

* Gifted me by renaming me "Lore" instead of Lorraine--a name too large she thought for such a wee lass weighing in at 6 pounds.

* Taught me how colors could be worn.

* Inspired decades of baking Scot's shortbread enjoyed by dozens.

* Infused me with her devotion to God, the angels, family, and the ocean... oh, yes the ocean!

Baby-grandmother-Mamie with my great-grandmother, Magdalene Jane Watt Esplin.

Out of curiosity, I scrolled the web for information about Mamie and came across a site my dear brother has kept updated. Reading the information about her and then, my great-grandmother, hit me like a lightning strike! 

What I didn't know until this morning was that Magdalene, my great-grandmother, arrived into the world on October 13, 1881.

After 65 years, how could I have missed that my great grandmother and I shared back-to-back birthdays?!

My birthday is on October 14. 
I arrived 13 hours "late" at 1:00 pm.

Seems some of Magdalene's and Mamie's Scottish independence transferred to me. I celebrate knowing that I come from a lineage of strong, independent thinking women.

What my research also uncovered was Arbroath's location. In my ignorance, I imagined all these years that it was an inland city. Not so! As you can see from the map above, it's a coastal town on the North Sea and one of Scotland's largest fishing ports. Now I better understand my Mamie's love of the sea.

These research revelations were all early, unwrapped birthday pressies for me. Thank you, Google.

Indeed, I am a fairy tale that's still being told. I pray that they're both proudly reading my story.

Do you really know your ancestry? 
Perhaps it's time to check it out.


  1. I love my ancestry! I did research on it many years ago. I have had such strong women in my life and in my history. I reflect upon how much I am like them. I have great appreciation for their lives and what they've gone through. I greatly appreciate all the wisdom they have shared. I too was very close to my grandmother. She was a great inspiration in my life.


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