Friday, July 16, 2010

Houston family

Maggie was a somebody!

I joined with the intention of adding family members that my Dad had already researched. He spent 20+ years working and talking to people all over the world. This was before you could just click on the little leaf. My cousin in London, Larry Shearer, has been on for many years. He came to visit Mom and I in May. We shared photo's and Mom sat and gave us all the names she could remember. He sparked an interest and I decided to take all of Dad's records and put them on

I joined and added all the information Dad had. I was so surprised to find most of what he had researched was right on the money. I found censes that backed up all his information. Then as I looked and searched more and more I was able to find people that he was not able to find. They were just there with the click of a button.

Now all of my life I had heard stories about how my dad's mom (grandma to me) was from a wealthy, well to do, family from Scotland. My thought all my life was "so what? what did that have to do with me?" Well, it still doesn't really matter. 3 of my grandparents were born in Scotland and I never had family in this country. Then with my Dad in the military we moved all over the country and world. I always felt lost no family, no relatives. I never knew family! It was as best as I can describe "like being adopted and wanting to find some roots". Why is that important? I think it is because we all want to feel like we are part of something. We are not alone. In moving every 3 years you never have time to make friends - either they move or you do.

In the need to be part of a family I started to research. I found where my Dad's family is from in Scotland. I have the privilege of being able to make a trip next month to Scotland. My mom's family still live there and it has been a joy to keep up with them. I am going to try and find where the rest of my family is from.

Maggie Wortherspoon Chalmers Houston

Maggie was the woman that was taught that you do not change social classes. She went to a private school and her father owned his own store. Maggie lost her mother at 6 and in the desire to keep her mom close she always remembered she was a Wortherspoon. She had a new step mother within a year of her mom's death. She always talked about her step mother as "her mother". Then she was up rooted 3 years later from a county and family she felt close to. My great grandfather gave up everything they had to come to this country. The american dream. Freedom. He was under political pressures and left for those reason. He brought none of his power or riches to this country. He started over like most immigrants do.

After Maggie married my grandfather she lost her first 2 children. The first was 7 months old. She also lost the step mother that raised her on the same day she lost her sweet daughter. The next child, a son, died at 1 year and 11 months old from the flu. Next she had 2 daughters and then a son. Her son died from a fall into a fire place. He burned to death at the age of 3 1/2. Grandma lived with the scars on her arms trying to go in after him. Her husband was a tough one to live with not easy. She then had 2 more sons - the last one was my father. Maggie had to bury the first son of these sons before her own death just 1 year - 1 month later. How much does one woman have to endure. She buried 2 mom's, left her country, friends, family, and buried 4 of her children. Her life was not easy - my grandfather was not an easy man to live with. But, they were Christians and that is how they made it.

I have learned a lot searching for family. Who am I? I am the grand daughter of some very important people. Two sets of grandparents that loved me beyond what I could have ever imagined.

I never knew my paternal grand parents. I have no big memory of them. But, in searching for them I have learned who they were. Maggie became a strong woman. In her trials of letting go she has taught me to be strong to. To hold onto a God that will get us through anything. Who my ancestors are doesn't really matter. Not in the long haul of things. But, what it does helps us learn is that a lot of people have made me who I am today.

Maggie a story I never knew. A quiet, strong, woman. You were a somebody. Born 10 Dec 1878 Hamilton, Scotland died 22 Feb 1960.

You taught me much!

Maggie's Father George Houston taken in Hamilton Scotland.

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