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December 29th, 2009

I'd always thought the ability of my family to hold a grudge came from my grandfather, a German.
But on my research, I'm now suspecting it came from his wifes family - scots. The scots took grudges and put them in their childrens hope chests, to pass down. The scots refined grudges, honed them sharp, and threw them at their target with deadly accuracy. (or in the case of my ancestor, ...oops.)
My uncle hasn't talked to me in years. Wont have a thing to do with me. I hated another uncle, with a passion only capable by a teenager. I dispised him with every fiber and breath in my body. And even though he's been dead these last 30ish years, and the passion has faded, it takes nothing at all for the feelings to well up; when I think of his death, I think "good riddence".
My grandmothers fathers family I've traced to Gilchirst, First Earl of Menteith. Gilchrist was a great grandson of the Irish prince Anrothan of the O’Neill line of kings of northern Ireland.
Tracing back down Gilchrists decendants, we find a branch called Callendar, who backed the wrong side of a war, and lost his title and house to his daughters husband, Livingston, who's decendant married a Ruthven...who's decendant (my blood ancestor), Alexander Ruthven, hated King James with what I emagine to be a stronger hatred than I held for my uncle. The Gowrie conspiracy was an utter failer, and Alexander was killed by the Kings friends and guards. He was then tried (king James: "You Traitor!"), hung, drawn and quartered (after his death!), and body parts sent to various places for disply. King James, showing that grand scottish humor, distroyed the Ruthven name, took the castle and lands (and incendently, not paying back the £80,000 he owed the Ruthvents) and started hunting down every Ruthven family member he could find. Some he killed, some he imprissoned. Those that were smart - like Alexanders' son, James (my ancestor) changed their name and went to "the contenant" (probably england). James changed his name to his mothers maiden name - the name my grandmother was born with.
I think there's two things I've learned. 1. There needs to be an end to the anger. 2. don't leave your victim alone with a servant.