22 July 2007


While the rest of the world was reading Harry Potter, I spent the weekend planning my trip to Britain and doing some genealogical research.

I finished reading the Let's Go Britain guide book that I bought a few weeks ago and spend a considerable amount of time on the internet. I discovered some very cool mapping tools from google maps that I will share with you in my next post. Right now, I'm still planning out the trip.

I was all jazzed this morning (at 3:00 a.m. and at 9:00 a.m... I sort of slept in between). My sister did some research a while back on the Clement side of our family and discovered that indeed we were related to the Vikings. I spend a considerable amount of time digging into those roots.

If we are indeed descendants of Rollo the 1st Duke of Normandy, and we are indeed descendants of Olaf, King of Norway, I have found the link between these families. Although we are not DIRECT descendants of Rollo, there is a connection between the two. I found it! It was an exhilarating moment!

Well, push forward from Rollo, who founded Normandy around 0912 and it's really easy to trace his lineage to William the Conquerer who invaded (and ruled) England beginning in 1066. That's where the trail cools, well, frankly, freezes. Skip 700 years to Richard Clement born around 1712 in either Essex or Berkshire England who fathered Henry Clement (born around 1760) who fathered John Clement (born on Oct. 19, 1783) who was the father of several children who left their home in Eddington, Berkshire, England to make a new life in Canada, USA, New Zealand and Australia (luckily one child stayed home -- the youngest, of course!). His son Benjamin moved to the US and had a ridiculous number of children... one of which eventually produced a son who produced a son, who produced a son, who eventually produced, you guessed it, yours truly.

I spent a considerable amount of time searching for ancestors of Richard, but could find nothing. I'm not sure we ever knew about Richard, but I have a poor memory, so this may not have been a new discovery. I think Richard married a woman named Elizabeth, but I'm not even sure about that. As as to who his parent were... well, I'm hoping that nugget of information has not been lost to history. I mean, after all, I still have 700 years of generations to sift through to find the connection between the Clement family and William the Conquerer. I know there is a connection, but finding it may prove to be quite a chore.

After dead-ending at Richard Clement, I switched to the Campbell family. Wow. I must have been on over-load of genealogical research because I just couldn't figure any of that out. There are 4 branches of the Campbells and I'd like to know specifically which one I am descended from so I know which tartans to buy when I am in Scotland!

I really wonder how many people in the world search for their ancestry. It seems to be a unique characteristic of the "new world" nations. I get to embrace so much of the Scots, Germans, English, French, Vikings... as my own! I find my history so rich with culture and so mysterious. Yet, if I lived in Normandy now, would I be so obsessed with figuring out who my ancestors are? Would I be more obsessed with cave paintings in southern France, wondering if they were my ancestors? In the end, don't we all (Europeans, that is) come from essentially a pretty small band of Cro-magnon who kicked out or killed the Neanderthals from Europe?

Such a fascinating study. I could spend my life trying to figure it out!! In the meantime, I will work on bridging the 700 year gap.

05 July 2007

Monday #2

It's really unfair of life to deliver two Monday's in the same week!!