@2022 Copyright by Carla Love Maitland
"We all have a story to tell." This blog is a collection of stories about my family and the research I've done on its history, as well as other thoughts on historical issues and events.
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.
SOURCES: https://www.clanmaitlandna.org/; https://clanmaitland.uk/
SOURCE OF PHOTO:
@2020 Copyright by Carla Love Maitland
Marion Skipworth Lemman, Jr. (Big Unk)
I don’t have a bachelor uncle, but there was a man in our lives whom we called “Big Unk” and who was most certainly a lifelong bachelor.
Big Unk was Marion Lemmon, a confirmed bachelor who was a friend and companion of my Mother’s for about 10 or 15 years. My Mother never remarried after her divorce in the early 1950s, and truly only dated one or two men whom I remember. She devoted herself to her work and making sure that she was able to provide for her two children.
She worked for many years in the jewelry business, first at Munford’s Jewelers in downtown Memphis and then as the bookkeeper for the old George T. Roy’s Jewelers located in the 100 block of Madison between Front Street and Main Street. She would go on to serve as District Manager for Sarah Coventry Jewelry.
Marion (or Big Unk) was also in the jewelry business, and she had known him for a number of years as an acquaintance. I honestly have no idea when they began dating, but it was probably sometime when I was in high school or college. After my brother and I both married and had small children, he was always around for them. He doted on our children as if they were his own grandsons. They loved him, too, and still fondly remember their Big Unk.
Marion Skipworth Lemmon, Jr. was born 15 August 1907 in Memphis, Shelby County, TN to Eva Blocker and Marion Skipworth Lemmon, Sr. He had one sister, Katherine, who had two sons. Those sons were the originators of the name “Big Unk.”
Marion joined the Army during WWII even though he was 35 years old at the time. He was always proud of his service, but returned to the world of retail jewelry after his discharge.
He was a resident of the Peabody Hotel and a longtime employee at Brodnax Jewelers, working as a diamond expert.
Big Unk left us too soon. He passed away on 7 November 1974 in Memphis. He was 67 years old.
I’m happy to write about Marion Skipworth Lemman, Jr., since he had no children of his own to carry on his story, and I’m not sure if his nephews research their family’s history.
I’m happy to include him in ours!
(Sources for military service, birth and death: U.S., Department of Veterans Affairs BIRLS Death File, 1850-2010. Ancestry.com)
@2019 Copyright by Carla Love Maitland
Shelby County Courthouse in Memphis, TN
The courthouse was huge. I remember standing outside staring at the statues. They appeared to be giants. The steps were steep and hard to climb. The benches inside were too high to sit on and the deep, dark wood made them completely intimidating. The windows were enormous. I had never seen such big windows in my life.
I was six years old and my parents were getting divorced. It was the early 1950s and people just didn’t get divorced that often back then. None of my friends had divorced parents. At least none that I knew of at the time. The fact that I had to go to the courthouse at all was traumatic in itself. My brother and I had to be ‘on call’ for at least a couple of days because the judge wanted to visit with us. I didn’t know why at the time, but of course, I know now that custody was an issue. He wanted to get to know us so that he could make the decision as to which parent should have custody.
The beautiful, stately Shelby County Courthouse, that I’ve since come to love, was so frightening to me back then. Everything seemed so vast and so solemn. My brother managed to bring some fun to our visits there by teaching me how to run along the benches and climb up the windows. Needless to say, we eventually got caught, and the fun ended quickly. Very quickly.
Over the years, I visited that courthouse as little as possible. But now I go frequently, mainly to participate in lineage society events held there. It’s funny how small those benches seem to me now.
The records for Shelby County are now located in our archives and not in the courthouse. I’ve visited many small-town courthouses over the years searching for treasures in my family’s history. None of them are as beautiful as the one we have here in Memphis…and none have as many memories as that one does for me. Memories filled with nightmares from my childhood. It took a long time for me to be able to go into any courthouse at all.
Thankfully, I’ve gotten over those nightmares. I’ve got research to do!
@2019 Copyright by Carla Love Maitland
|The Archer Family Farm in Washington Co., TN (Early 1880s)|
This is a Valentine that my Mother gave to her Mother
when she was a little girl. Love for others is strong in my family.
Nov 1935: Name listed as EVELYN WALLACE PECK; Oct 1945: Name listed as EVELYNE W LOVE
|My Mother - around age 15|