I wonder if the same thing that makes me wish I’d been an FBI agent is the same deep thing that makes me love a mystery? Finding clues, sorting them out and solving a mystery is more than just a challenge – it’s actually intriguing. This time, I’m talking about searching out clues in my family history. Years ago, my late sister Dot had the dream of finding our ancestors. I joined her in the exciting search. It didn’t take a whole lot of imagination to know that with the last name of McGregor, our ancestors had come from Scotland.
We began the journey back through the years and enlisted the help of our other two sisters. The four of us traveled to the archives of Mississippi and various other libraries. We wrote many letters requesting information from archives in several states. Amidst the laughter on each trip we’d take, we discovered answers – in birth records, death records, marriage records, old newspaper clippings and family Bibles. You would have thought we’d won the lottery when we “proved” a date or name. There are three large rubbermaid containers stacked next to my chest in my bedroom…filled with several years worth of hard work. I purposely did not put them in the storeroom for a good reason: they’re there to remind me that I must finish this family history. When the snow starts to fall in a few months, I will rejoin Ancestry.com and begin the journey back through time once again.
Several years ago, my husband and I were traveling through North Carolina where my immigrant ancestor, Rev. William McGregor, had lived almost 300 years ago now. There at the foot of Fall Mountain, he built a homestead – complete with a sturdy log house and outbuildings. He established a large apple orchard. He “preached in the meeting houses of America”…which had been his reason for coming to America in the first place. He sold his home and land to Dr. Kron, the first physician of North Carolina. The house has been rebuilt as an exact replica and is in Morrow Mountain State Park in Stanly County, North Carolina.
It was somehow humbling, yet awe-inspiring, to stand on the land of my ancestor, a Baptist preacher from Scotland (there weren’t a lot of Baptists in Scotland at that time). I stood on the porch of his home and wondered where the answers lie. So many of the actual records burned in fires over the years according to the archives there in Stanly County. There are hundreds of his descendants who are searching – as I am. Supposedly, Rev. William McGregor was born in Ossian’s Glen, Scotland. Other records indicate he came from the Isle of Skye.
The mystery lies in Scotland but there is much to prove here first. This is just part of the mystery that I will be working on this Winter, when the snow begins to fall…
Below: The front of Rev. William McGregor’s house in Morrow Mountain State Park, Stanly County, NC…
Below: The back of Rev. William McGregor’s log house in Stanly County, NC