Genealogy Blog-‘Ceud Mìle Fàilte`

lecainn walk to auchindrain


You have found your way to “Talking Stones and Genealogical Ramblings,” the blog of Beneath the Cairn. Here you will find a little bit of this and a little bit of that. From genealogy technique tips to sharing results of family research. This is a place of honest sharing without pretense to having all the answers. I will always showcase my failings alongside my successes.

My hearts in the highlands

My obsession with genealogy and local history blossomed out of my grandpa’s love of Scotland. He freely shared all he knew of his magical home and the surrounding hills of Argyll. He planted a seed or maybe he just awakened that which is already in the blood.


Wherever I wander, wherever I rove,
The hills of the Highlands forever I love.

Robert Burns


My father, an American serviceman at the time, met my mother in her homeland of Argyll. It is not surprising that young love sprang up in a backdrop of such beauty. After an American wedding, the vast contrast in cultures led to England becoming the compromise to raise a family. Altogether a wonderful place to experience childhood, not to mention we spent our school holidays in the highlands with loving grandparents. A priceless bonus not lost on anyone.

Genealogy starts in a cemetery

Honoring the final resting places of our loved ones was important to my granny. She inherited the self-dubbed “keeper of the cemetery” title from her mother and she fulfilled her duties faithfully. For this reason, I learned grave site housekeeping before I even knew who I was honoring. Even today I cannot walk in a cemetery without pulling a weed or tidying up wind-swept flowers. I still pick up “chuckies” off the beach to bring with me to lay on the graves of my ancestors.

Initially just happy to accompany Granny on these family visits, it was my desire to expand my relationship with the names on the headstones that spurred this hobby-gone-wrong. Who were the other names on great-great-aunt Sarah’s stone? Granny shrugged. Apparently, the knowledge of why Sarah was buried in that particular lair was lost.

A little research at the council office showed that Sarah was buried with her parents (who would have thought!), her husband, her brother and her uncle.  Here was Granny lovingly caring for the grave of her great-grandparents and not even knowing it. It didn’t take long to further trace this line of my family to Auchindrain Township, now an open-air museum near the seat of the Campbell’s, Inveraray, Argyll. It would be an understatement to say this might have added to the genealogy hook being quickly sunk deeper.

Hoping you Visit Often

Finely crafted genealogy blogs with an educational approach maybe found easily these days on the internet. I will recommend many of them as part of this blog. Initially, this may not be one of them. Don’t despair. Life is a journey of self-discovery and development. There is no use starting out where we want to end up. Patience is a virtue we must embrace in genealogy.

Slàinte mhor a h-uile là a chi ‘s nach fhaic


To learn a little more about me, please go here.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *