Friday, July 17, 2009

Scottish Descendant, Looking Back

As far back as I can remember, I have always been fascinated with a single tombstone seen from Rye Road in East Bradenton. Many, many times my grandmother, my mother and her sister would stop the car and point out through the orange grove and tell me the story of the man who was buried there in 1884. We had no access because it was private property and could only see the tombstone and a 5ft x 5ft iron picket fence that encircled it.

They told me the man buried there was my grandfathers, grandfather, Sir Thomas Urquhart, born in Loch Ness, Scotland. Thomas had a daughter, Lula Alice Urquhart (1862-1951) who turned out to be possibly the meanest woman ever born. but that is another story.
Lula married Hampton Overby and had a son, Albert Overby
Albert (1904-1953) and Alva Hale Overby (1904-1968) had two daughters, my mother Mary Lucille and Patricia.
The three of them told me the man under that tombstone,was my great, great grandfather.
Hampton Overby my great grandfather (on the left), Policeman, Atlanta, Ga

the Rest of the story was that during the first world war, a letter was received by Lula stating the last of the heirs of Thomas Urquhart Sr had died and the property would go to the state, if Thomas Urquhart or his heirs did not come to Scotland to claim it, it would pass to the state. Lula did not want to cross the ocean into a war zone, so the property went to the state.
Alva Hale Overby, my Grandmother

Mary Lucille Overby, my mother at 15

My mother at 16

Mother on her 18th birthday, when she married my father, Charles F. McCall, September 22, 1943

The photo of the castle ruins, is one my broker brought back when she and her husband toured Scotland in 1992, Clyde actually climbed down a cliff to take pictures for me.
Urquhart Castle lies in ruins, and is now open to the public. I have no idea if this story is true, we have no written proof because the letter was lost per my family stories.
I am still fascinated by the story and was very surprised last year when I drove my friend Diane to show her the tombstone out in the grove. We found the grave open to the public, it seems the grove died, and they enclosed the old Rye Cemetery and I was at last able to walk up and touch the tombstone
The inscription reads:
Thomas Urquhart Died April 16, 1884, Blessed are they who die in the Lord.

I am so blessed that my great, great Grandparents believed in God and all of my ancestors handed that belief down to ME.
In God We Trust


Snapper II said...

I could not do that with my family,
they were horse thieves. What would I put in there? A hang mans noose. He he he he

Madeline said...

Beautiful pictures of your mother. I saw them several days ago and am just getting around to commenting. I told Carole and Catherine that your mother was an angel. She was a beautiful lady inside and out. Always so sweet to me.

Mark Green said...

The story of the castle is one of those family stories that runs thru many families but is not really true.

Thomas Urquhart was actually born in Georgia, son of John Urquhart and Rebecca Neely. He lived in Montgomery County AL and moved to Fl in 1852. He was one of the signers of the original Florida Constitution in 1868.

KleinsteMotte said...

Your mom and mine married on the same day and year but miles apart. You resemble your mom.