Great-Grandmother Shows Up!

Spinning Your Gold Blog: Words that Open Hearts and Inspire Actions

You are the fairy tale told by your ancestors.
 -Toba Beta, My Ancestor Was an Ancient Astronaut
I woke this morning knowing it was my favorite grandmother’s birthday, Ella Esplin Lelash. 

Born in Arbroath, Angus, Scotland, she blessed me and our world from 1904 to 1983.

(L-r Sister Cathy, Mamie, me, Bump Bump, and brother Mike;  Huntington Beach, CA)

 “My Mamie” shaped me in ways that I continue to appreciate. This elegant, entrepreneurial and religious woman…

* Blessed me by birthing my precious mom, Clare Ann.

* Gifted me by renaming me “Lore” instead of Lorraine–a name too large she thought for such a wee lass weighing in at 6 pounds.

* Taught me how colors could be worn.

* Inspired decades of baking Scot’s Shortbread enjoyed by dozens.

* Infused me with her devotion to God, the angels, family, and the sea.

Baby–grandmother–Mamie with my great-grandmother, Magdalene Jane Watt Esplin.

Out of curiosity, I scrolled the web for information about Mamie and came across a site my dear brother has kept updated. Reading the information about her and then, my great-grandmother, hit me like a lightning strike! 

What I didn’t know until this morning was that Magdalene, my great-grandmother, arrived into the world on October 13 in 1881.

After 65 years, how could I have missed that my great grandmother and I shared back-to-back birthdays?!

My birthday is October 14; I arrived 13 hours “late” at 1:00 pm.

Seems some of Magdalene’s and Mamie’s Scottish independence transferred to me. I celebrate knowing that I come from a lineage of great women.

What my research also uncovered was Arbroath’s location; in my ignorance, l imagined all these years that it was an inland city–not so! As you can see from the map above, it’s a coastal town on the North Sea and one of Scotland’s largest fishing ports. Now I better understand my Mamie’s love of the sea.

These research revelations were all early, unwrapped birthday pressies for me. Thank you, Google.

Indeed, I am a fairy tale that’s still being told. I pray that they’re proudly reading my story.

Do you really know your ancestry? 
Perhaps it’s time to check it out.

Join the Conversation


  1. I love my ancestry! I did research on it many years ago. I have had such strong women in my life and in my history. I reflect upon how much I am like them. I have great appreciation for their lives and what they've gone through. I greatly appreciate all the wisdom they have shared. I too was very close to my grandmother. She was a great inspiration in my life.

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