Tuesday, January 02, 2007

The Clan MacRae

The other day, Old Knudson sent me a site address that would reveal some history of a part of my family tree, having remembered that I am, somewhere in my roots, a McRee. McRee is evidently derived from MacRae, so I claim the Clan MacRae as my own. This strapping young man with a deer or something slung over his broad shoulders is my kinsman.

Quite a wild bunch, those MacRaes, participating in rebellions and squabbles all over Scotland. Their motto was "Fortitude." The illustration to the right depicts their--no, OUR family crests.

I have recorded history of my family tree back to Thomas Compton born in Northampton, England, 1754*. He emigrated to the colonies in the later 1700s with his family through a port in Boston and eventually settled in Tennessee. But I can only trace the McRee connection back as far as Thomas Richard McRee born in 1867.

It goes like this. Alfred McVey Compton (1842-1913) married Mary Frances Abernathy (1834-1903). Here they are on the left. They had four children, pictured below. The woman in the top right corner is Effie Ethelene Compton (1867-?). Effie married Thomas Richard McRee. One of their children was Mary Agnes McRee, my paternal grandmother.

So, that is how I am a McRee, a proud member of the Fortitude clan.

*correction from previous post. Oops.


dive said...

We find it very strange (yet very lucrative) over here; the American obsession with ancestry.
We don't have a Northhampshire, Robyn, but we do have Northamptonshire, which is just next door to Peahen's county and is quite picturesque in places, much like the photos on her walking site.
Compton is a splendid cricketing name, and I must say that Mr. Alfred sports admirable whiskers!

Robyn said...

It is kind of ironic, this obessesion with our ancestry. Our ancestors risked everything to get over here, and then we keep digging them up. And of course there is no Northhampshire--I made it up--what I meant to type was Northampton.

Sassy Sundry said...

I'm such a bastard of Europe that assembling something like this would be impossible. Not to mention the little Native American thrown in.

Robyn said...

Sassy, I have a little native American as well--as any good southerner would. We're a mixed bag of native and Scotch/Irish. In fact, my sister thinks I'm mistaken to think McRee is Scottish because the Mc (instead of Mac) denotes Ireland. Who knows.

Glad to have you back, though.

Sassy Sundry said...

Oh, there's Scots, Englishpeople, Irishpeople, Finnishpeople, Swedishpeople, Germans, Frenchpeople, Welshpeople, who-knows-people, doodah, doohdah. The one thing I can say is that I'm not inbred.

Robyn said...

Sassy, you really are a mutt then. I guess we all are. I don't care--I just like the old pictures and wondering about the stern folks with frightening eyes.

Sassy Sundry said...

Those photos always creep me out a bit, but they are fascinating.

Sister # one said...

Robyn, Do you remember those old pictures hanging in the front bedroom at Mimaw and Granddaddy's house - I think they were Mimaw's parents. I always had a hard time falling asleep in that room with them looking down at me - they looked so sad!
It is interesting trying to figure out who all those poor old people were, and what you might have in common with them.

Robyn said...

Sister: they had sunken cheeks and hollow eyes, and they looked like they could beat you with a switch, which they probably kept in the back by the shed. I remember them clearly, and the frame and the rounded glass. Shivers.

Gina said...

I am first generation American on my mom's side, and second on my Dad's, so I don't know that I could come up with much. Or, probably I'm just too lazy. ;)

Old Knudsen said...

The Scottish mostly came from Ireland, same language different dialects, Mc and Mac mean something like 'son of' or 'kin of' to be PC.

Richard said...

Greetings, distant cousin (technically, second-cousin-once-removed)!
I am a great-grandson of Alfred McVey Compton. My grandmother was the youngest of his 3 children by his 2nd wife. My grandmother died last July at the age of 98 here in Decatur, Alabama.

To slightly correct your post, Alfred McVey ("Mick") and Mary Frances Compton had 10 children. They were:

1. Stonewall Jackson Compton, b 1863
2. Isaac Buckner Compton, b 14 Jul 1865
3. Effie Ethelene Compton, b 6 Sep 1867
4. Harper Berriman Compton, b Oct 1869
5. Ada M Compton b1872
6. Eurodias Compton, b 1874
7. Clayton Abernathy Compton, b 9 May 1876
8. Etta Compton, b 1879
9. Marvin Ditzler Compton, b 5 Aug 1881
10. Estelle Compton, b 7 Sep 1884

Your great-grandmother was the 3rd child. The photo you posted of the children showed just the 4 girls, and it was probably taken in January,1903, perhaps at their mother's funeral.

The Compton name is a famous one in English history. One of our ancestors was a special friend of Henry VIII! It's a fascinating study if you ever get a chance to look things up.

And, yes, obsession with ancestry is an odd thing. But, as someone once said, those who do not remember the past are condemned to repeat it!


Robyn said...

Richard, it's so nice of you jump in here! Somewhere I have a listing of the family tree back to Thomas Compton who immigrated in the 1700s and a wink to his possible father. I haven't been able to confirm anything beyond the father of Basil. I have a copy of Thomas' will, and I have the cemetery information, but that's about it.

I have read many references to the Compton name in UK history, but I wasn't sure who was who and how I might be connected. I would appreciate any information you could pass along.

I haven't been to Decatur since my maternal Grandfather died in 1982. I have Wells relatives there (Mary Agnes McRee married Robert L. Wells), and my mother who now lives near Atlanta is planning a visit back there soon. My father died 6 years ago, but my mother likes to visit with his one remaining sibling and in-laws. I heard just yesterday that the Wells groups is planning some kind of mini-reunion in Decatur in the spring. Our reunions were always held at a park in town, but I don't know the name--I can only vaguely remembered the swingsets. Ha.

Richard said...

Hello again, cousin (actually, half-cousin).

There is another cousin of ours named Lem Compton, who lives in Missouri, who has compiled a book with a title something like "The Descendants of Basil Compton". My uncle has a copy of the 2nd edition, dated 1999, and it contains a lot of names and information dating back to the earliest record of a Philip Compton in 1204.

If you want some fascinating reading sometime, do a search for Sir William Compton in the time of Henry VIII. Another good search is "Compton Wynyates", which is the ancestral home in Warwickshire. It is still owned and occupied by the Compton family!

Decatur has really changed since 1982, and not all for the good according to some of us natives. The park you are thinking of is probably Delano Park, which is located in what used to be the central part of town. It was (and still is) a favorite of kids because of its playground area. Do you remember a small footbridge across a dry gully?

Do you want me to add a few more family details here in the comments as time permits, or is there a better way to pass along what tidbits that I have? I know a couple of stories about our last common ancestor, Alfred McVey Compton.

Robyn said...

Hello again Richard. I do remember the little bridge in the park--that's about all I remember about the place. Interesting.

If you would like to pass on other family history, you can use my e-mail address:


Kevin said...

I am the grandson of a Compton and I have the same photograph of Alfred and Mary Compton. Does anyone have information on Berriman Harper Compton and who is the Stonewall Jackson Compton guy? He was named after the General apparently the year he died? Youcan e-mail me at kswarn@integrity.com.