For Justin – Who You Are – Part IV


Nana has the coolest ancestors, I think.

Pierce Butler Bohannon was an old reprobate.  He was the family scandal.  The scandal was so bad, Gamma (your great-great grandmother Moore) and her side of the family did their best to obscure who he was.  You see, Pierce Butler Bohannon and Grandma Sally were…. oh the shame and scandal… divorced.  This was during the late 1890s when it was a scandal.  She went to live with Poppy and Gamma.  He went to live with his son Frank, who ended up putting him in the Confederate Soldier’s Home with his other reprobate buddies, so they could spend their time drinking, playing poker, and pinching nurses, when they weren’t marrying them.   Yes, the old boy married a second time, so someone much younger, only for her to leave him, almost immediately!  It was a dastardly situation, humiliating.  In his younger, more dashing days, he was in the Confederate cavalry.  He was captured and did time in one of the most infamous Yankee prison camps, infamous for its abuse.  He was one of the few to escape.  Once he did, he drew easier assignments, like escorting the bodies of his fallen comrades home.  That’s how he met Grandma Sally, escorting the body of her brother.  From what I can tell, he didn’t do much of anything after the ‘war’ other than be a dude, drink, play poker, collect his pension, and make life miserable for Grandma Sally, who just didn’t approve of his hard living ways.  I think he was cool.  He was a man of his era.  He would have been much better off heading west like so many men of his generation.  He would have been a perfect fit in Dodge City, Wichita, or even Tombstone.  That was the kind of man he was.

“…Sir Maurice Buchanan 10th of Buchanan married Margaret Menteth (also spelt Menteith) . Margaret was the daughter of Sir Walter Menteth of Rusky, and granddaughter of Sir John of Menteth, Sherriff of Dunbarton Castle, and Helena daughter of Gartnait, Earl of Mar. Sir John is reputed to have betrayed Sir William Wallace to king Edward I of England on 5 Aug 1305. Sir John was imprisoned by king Robert I but in 1314 “through influence of his sons-in-law; Malice, Earl of Strathern; Sir Archibald Campbell, of Lochow; and Maurice Buchanan, of Buchanan, he was released immediately before the Battle of Bannockburn, where he deported himself valiantly on the part of the Scottish king.”  Sir John was also a signatory to the Declaration of Arbroath in 1320.

During the Wars of Scottish Independence the Clan Buchanan supported King Robert the Bruce by aiding his escape in 1306, the chief, Maurice 10th of Buchanan, refused to sign the Ragman Roll, and the chief and lairds of the clan (and presumably their clansmen) served under Malcolm the Earl of Lennox.[20] It is tradition and likely given the aforementioned service, but ill-documented, that the clan fought at the Battle of Bannockburn.

During the reign of king David II (1324–1371), undated, at least part of the lands of Buchanan belonged to Sir Gilbert Carrick.

During the reign of Donald Mormaer (Earl) of Lennox (1333–1365), and confirmed by the king David II in 1370/71, “Confirmation is of charter by Donald, Earl of Lennox, in favour of Maurice Buchanan, son and heir of late Maurice Buchanan, of that carucate of land called Buchanan with Sallochy, with these bounds ie Akehin up to Aldmarr [Auchmar] just as it descends below the water of Hanerch [Endrick], and the land of Sallochy, with these bounds, from Sallochy all along to Kelg and then it descends to the water of Lochlomon [Loch Lomond], to hold in fee and with the freedom to hold as many courts with jurisdiction of life and limb as he may wish.”…”

Nana was basically a Scot.  Oh, she had a heck of a lot of Brit flowing through her veins, but she has so much Scot in her that our blood flows tartan.  She was also a Glenco MacDonald, which is a really big deal.  We don’t like the Campbells, who basically butchered the Glenco MacDonalds.  (The reason I get my mail in Glencoe, is due to the name).   Unfortunately, we have the taint of Campbell blood in our veins.  Running Nana’s Scottish genealogy is interesting.  When we get to the Bohannons, – Buchanans, it is quite clear marriages were dynastic.  Her lineage is a veritable who’s who in the formation of Scotland, including Robert the Bruce!

The Declaration of Arbroath was a very big deal, the predecessor for the Declaration of Independence.  We had an ancestor who signed it!  (I did one of my master’s level history papers on the Declaration of Arbroath).  Nana’s family were political animals.  That’s where we get it.  It’s amazing we’re even here, at all, considering how the Bohannans barely made it to Barbados alive, getting the hell out of Dodge while the getting was good – or they would have basically been sent to the chopping block.  From what I can tell, that’s the primary reason most of Nana’s ancestors made it across the Pond – because they couldn’t keep their big fat mouths shut when it came to politics.  (Does that sound familiar?)

That’s where we get it, that’s who we are.  We can’t stay quiet, must get involved, and end up on the losing side, usually, because we value doing what is right.  You can basically pick and choose which tartan you want to wear, and that’s also way cool.

You need to learn what it means to be a Scot.  They are more emotional than Italians, but keep it bottled up, being so sentimental they do nothing but hide it.  A true Scotsman is the most sentimental person you will ever meet – and the gruffest – hiding the sentiment.  They are emotional, given to depression, waxing poetic about the state of their lives.  And – they are pig-headed.  I am highly prejudiced about our Scottish ancestry.  As a whole, as a nation, we are scientists, authors, engineers, artists, and highly creative, motivated people.  There is a reason why we laughingly refer to Scotland as THE Holy Land.  It is.  That’s who we are – and that is very much who you are.  Get in touch with your inner Scot, just don’t indulge in the mother’s milk of the holy land as much as some do.