I did the neatest thing today! My late husband and I had been members of the Clan Maitland Society of North America for a number of years. We had not ever been able to attend any of the functions because their annual meetings always occurred in September, right at the beginning of the school year.
Needless to say, as a teacher, that wasn’t good for me. When I finally retired back in 2011, we resolved to try and attend one of the conferences and get to know our Maitland brethren. (It’s a ‘known fact’ that if you were born a Maitland, you are probably related. *) It was a dream for both of us to one day travel to Scotland and visit Thirlestane Castle, ancestral home of the Maitland family. The Maitlands are and have been the Earls of Lauderdale since 1624.
Regrettably, fortune was not in our favor, and his unexpected illness put an end to those dreams. But even after his death I was determined to remain a member of the Clan Maitland Society. I did, after all, bear his name and bore him a child - a Maitland son. As the Scots might say, “Blood of my blood.” I am a Maitland.
With all of that said, I was finally able to meet some of those members today via a Clan Maitland Society Zoom meeting! I know that the Pandemic has brought about many hardships and tragedies, but I’m always looking for the good in everything. This was a good thing. I would probably have never connected with them on my own (even though I continue my membership), and everyone was so warm and welcoming that I am looking forward to the possibility of attending the annual conference that is tentatively scheduled for next September in Indianapolis. I will hopefully get to meet them in person there!
Does your family have a Surname Society? If you’re not sure, do a Google search to find out. Also, do a search on Facebook if you’re a member. Many societies have Facebook pages and share tons of information with each other.
Cyndi’s List is another source to look for a Family Surname society. Follow the trails at: https://www.cyndislist.com/surnames/ to see if your family is listed there. (The Maitland Society, UK listing is how I found the North American Society many years ago. *)
Here's a list of other surname sites to use in your search for those illusive relatives:
Becoming a member of or connecting to people who share your last name is usually very beneficial to furthering your genealogical resources and enhancing your research. It’s also the neatest thing ever to find others who have similarities in many ways to you, or in my instance, to a loved one.
My maiden name is LOVE, and the only group I’ve found for them is the FamilyTreeDNA Project Group that stems from the DNA my brother sent in years ago. Unfortunately, it’s not been very active in recent years and was never much of a discussion group anyway. I hope your search results are better than mine!
Good luck finding yours. And if you don’t have one, consider starting one. How fun would that be?
*Because of the unusual meaning of the original last name, it is believed that only those born with the name actually took it for their own if they weren’t born with it.
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@2020 Copyright by Carla Love Maitland