Homeward Bounders (was Re: Bujold Bibliography in Haiku)

Colin Fine colin at kindness.demon.co.uk
Fri Sep 16 12:44:58 EDT 2005


minnow at belfry.org.uk wrote:
> Colin replied to my:
> 
> Graham was the youngest Macready boy, and I don't think there's any doubt
> about the Macreadys being a Scots family.  The other two Macready boys were
> called John and Will, good English names both.  There's some assimilation
> going on there, I think.  English names for the first two, and then a Scots
> name for the youngest.
> 
> You missed a trick, by the way: "Elsie" is usually derived from "Elspeth",
> which was the Scots form of "Elizabeth".  And "Margaret" was often used by
> Scots, on account of Saint Margaret (and all you had to do to get sainted
> in Scotland at one point was be related to Saint Margaret, or so it
> sometimes seems).  So that's another two Scots names in the Hamilton
> family, and Jamie's brother's name, Rob, might be Scots as easily as
> English (see the Bruce).
>
Ah yes, Queen St Margaret, the English princess who persuaded Malcolm 
Bighead to adopt her funny English tongue, and more or less precipitated 
a civil war over it.

> "Bits from all over" surely might include two families originally from
> Scotland!  (DWJ's husband being a man of Scots ancestry whose family were
> living in and near Lancaster during the 19th century, why not?)  I agree
> with you that the combination you've come up with does imply a Scots
> enclave, but I can't really see why there shouldn't be such in a Lancashire
> town.  There was work for engineers in the Industrial North, I'd've
> thought, and engineers are traditionally Scots, not to mention dour, and
> they'd probably have families some of whom would not follow their fathers'
> trade.    Furthermore and to boot, the corner shop often seemed to have a
> canny Scots owner, and what about all those gardeners?  They must have come
> equipped with kith and kin sometimes.  (Jamie's mother wanted him to stay
> at school and become a doctor: very Scots of her, medicine being another
> profession the Scots went in for in a big way and education being something
> they took great pride in.)
> 
Indeed, I do not disagree at all. My great grandfather became a doctor 
in London, rather than an Edinburgh jeweller like his father. His name 
was Gustav, btw.

> Given parts of my own ancestry, I tend to the conclusion that the English
> *thought* they took over Scotland, and the Scots allowed them their
> illusion whilst quietly taking over England by stealth and industry.
>
Well it is generally the better educated and higher standard of living 
that does the colonising ...


> Graham as English forename (not relevant to a Macready, but still)...
> Bearing in mind the number of Scots who moved south from the early
> seventeenth century onwards, what with Jamie the One-And-Six and all, I'd
> be surprised if Alexander, Bruce, Colin, Douglas, Graham, Ian, Kenneth,
> Neil, and other such Scots names were not in reasonably common English
> usage by 1870 or so when Graham Macready was being named.  Perhaps not all
> over the place like Henry, John, Peter, Richard, Stephen, Thomas or
> William, but not unusual enough to mark the man who carried tham as being
> Furrin, unless by surname.  I'm not about to start going through parish
> registers to see what I find, and even if I were to do so there'd be no way
> to establish the Scottishness or otherwise of a family with the surname,
> oh, Bell for instance.  :-)
> 
You may be right.


Colin

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