Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Family Legends Are Such Fun!

In one of my earliest blog posts, I recounted my first meeting with my wonderful double cousin Mary Margaret.  During those first couple of years I was definitely a stumbling, bumbling but enthusiastic family historian . . . ohhh hell, I still am.  I wrote about her often, and she even wrote a "guest" blog post for me. But at that first meeting she told the story of MacIan of Glencoe, a story which was told to her father by his grandfather who claimed he heard it from his father.  Luckily, I boldly asked if I could make a video of her telling the story, and she consented.  I am so glad I did.  Although our time together was short, we were definitely kindred spirits.  Sadly she passed away in February of 2011 after a struggle with ALS.  Often, I was the one struggling, she was accepting.

 I always knew I would post this someday, but it just didn't seem like the right time until now.  Now seems just perfect.

This was filmed on the spur of the moment with my camera.  Up till that time I had never heard of MacIan or Glencoe. But when I returned home even thought it was after midnight, I flew to my computer and "Googled" every conceivable spelling of both, wondering if there might be a record of an event like this.  I was shocked to learn that it is an extremely well known event in Scottish history.   Go figure.

 Recently I discovered that there is a song about the massacre. As a college student in the late 60's, I fell in love with folk music, and I've never gotten over it.  I wish I could post a snippet of the song here, but, if it is possible, I don't know how.  I hope you will check out Massacre at Glencoe by the Corries.

Will you share your family legend, and if there is a song, I'll sing along!

I invite you to meet Mary Margaret in other posts about or by my wonderful double cousin,  found here, here, here, and here.


  1. "2338 W. Washington Blvd." has been included in the Sites To See for this week. I hope this helps to attract many new visitors to here.

  2. Margel, thank you for posting this. It brought tears to my eyes but also a smile to my face to see and hear mom as herself before she got so sick. We do not have much video of her so to hear her voice again is so wonderful. Hope you are well.

    1. I'm so glad you are okay with this post. I probably should have asked first. I think it is a wonderful video, and I love it. I can't work on the family history without thinking how much she would have enjoyed each new lead or discovery.

  3. Margel,
    I hope this note reaches you. I enjoyed seeing and hearing Mary Margaret.
    I went to Youtube and listen to the Corries sing about the MacDonald. It makes me wonder about the change in spelling to McDonnell. Youtube had clips of historians giving the background that lead to the killings, very interesting.
    thanks again for posting the video.
    Mary Cragan Arnold

  4. I find driving through Glencoe very spooky - it makes the hairs on the back of my neck stand up every time. So sorry to hear that Mary Margaret has passed away, but it's lovely that you have the video of her telling the story.

    1. I would love to visit some day. What makes it so spooky?

  5. It's always great to know your family's history and really interesting to listen. That is why I always listen to those stories from my grand parents.