About two months ago I began researching the Snowden family–which is my surname. Family tradition has it that we were Scottish, with the temperament and “fighting spirit” to back that up. Many years ago I started out as a bricklayer, and was told that I was a “sixth generation bricklayer.” And, the stories and family lore went on and on.
Well, lets start with being Scottish. It seems that my great grandfather–Osman Edin Snowden, who was also called Edward–left Lincolnshire, England and moved to Motherwell, Scotland about the time the steel plant was built there. It appears he worked there for his remaining years.
My grandfather, Emerson, was born there. So was my father, Andrew. I suppose that makes them Scotch–and me a person of Scottish heritage. But, we were simply transplanted Englishmen–pure and simple. So this family lore has a blemish, but so what.
Next comes the story that I was a sixth generation bricklayer. OK, there was me (1), my father Andy (2), Grandpa Emerson (3), Great Grandpa Osman(4) or Edward or whatever he was called, and here comes the problem–great, great grandpa Emerson was a farmer and Cordwainer (boot maker). But, it does improve a bit. Great, great, great grandpa William was a shepherd–but his father, Thomas (5), my great, great, great, great grandfather was a stone mason.
So technically, there are four of my forefathers that were bricklayers–but we missed two generations somewhere in the middle. It could be that Thomas’ father was a bricklayer, but ‘ole Thomas moved to North Reston, Lincolnshire about 1795 and I can’t figure out for the life of me where he came from. So, that sixth generation still needs a little proof.
But heck–even being a fourth generation bricklayer is still something to crow about. How many tradesmen do you know who passed down their trade to four continuous generations?
Things get a little stickier too. Emerson the cordwainer got into a little trouble after his wife Ann Hufton passed away, and we have one line of the family that we didn’t know about. What else lurks around the corner is beyond my contemplation. But, I can’t wait to get to the genealogy library to research those old parish records to find out. The next problem though is that after about 1750 they are written in Latin. Two years of high school Latin, and all I can say today is the Pig Latin term for Fruit Loops.
Hang in there with me though. This is actually getting very interesting.