Category Archives: Ancestry

Ancestral Synchronicity in Saltcoats, Scotland

The Saltcoats train and bus station, with connections to Glasgow, Ayr, Kilmarnock and many other places in Ayrshire.

Jeff and I parked the camper for two weeks in Saltcoats because their “holiday park” had the amenities we needed for such a long stay, and it was a centralized location, with a train station, for my genealogy research in Ayrshire. Little did I know, when I booked our spot months before we left the States, that I would also find ancestral connections there!

Saltcoats Town Hall

Saltcoats is a cute little town on the coast of the Firth of Clyde in southwest Scotland, just a short hop to Kilmarnock—where most of my research was to be done—and to Ayr and Glasgow, also places with ancestral connections.

My husband (Jeff), my brother (Mike) and I spent a lot of time bopping around the town on the days that I didn’t feel well enough to be out scouring the countryside for genealogy clues. There were plenty of pubs to keep us busy, including The Salt Cot, where the food and drinks were very affordable and downright delicious. They have a great system where you order by app from your table by giving your table number and paying for it on the app when you order. They were also one of the few places I found with Pimm’s readily available.

On the days I felt well enough to leave the camper, I certainly kept up with Jeff and Mike in the ale sampling, in spite of (or because of?) being sick with a head cold. One of my favorites pubs was the Windy Ha, where Rabbie Burns is said to have been a regular customer because he enjoyed the friendly atmosphere.

The Windy Ha, where Robert Burns is rumored to have been a regular.

There’s a framed print on the wall, inside, saying that Rabbie wrote his 1792 poem, Saw Ye Bonie Lesley, “while having a quiet drink” in the Windy Ha, about a local woman named Lesley, with whom he had fallen in love.

In addition to enjoying our unhurried time in Saltcoats, which allowed us a chance to soak in some genuine Scottish life, as opposed to hurrying from place to place or only visiting tourist sites, imagine my surprise and delight when I discovered that my 3x great-grandfather, Alexander Garroch, lived in Saltcoats in his final years, according to the 1901 census.

Alexander is as far back as I can trace the Garroch name in my family tree. He was born around 1827 in Wigtownshire and, from what I can gather, was involved in a paternity suit in 1844 at age 17, while working as a farm laborer. He didn’t marry the girl, and she gave birth to a daughter. He married my 3x great-grandmother, Margaret, when she was 21 (he was 19). They had nine children in 15 years.

My 3x great-grandfather lived at this address at age 75, according to the 1901 census. He lived in many places throughout his life, but retired and probably died here.

Alex and Margaret eventually moved to Riccarton, near Kilmarnock, living for a while in a place called Bridgehouse Cathouse. I assumed, using American vernacular, that this meant it was a house if ill-repute, but my Scottish researcher friends were surprised at that and quickly assured me that it probably meant that there were just a lot of cats hanging out around that house. Many houses had descriptive names instead of street addresses. The local residents knew the houses by these names.

In 1861, they lived in the Gatehead Tollhouse, where Margaret was the toll keeper and Alex worked, again, as a farm laborer. She died in 1870 at the age of 45 and he remarried a woman named Jessie, with whom he eventually moved to Saltcoats and lived as a “Retired Ploughman” according to the census.

The most welcome ancestral connection, though, came in the form of meeting a living and breathing distant cousin, Sandra, who just happened to own a caravan at the same holiday park we were staying in. Sandra and I are related through our shared 5x great-grandmother, Grace Maxwell. Grace has been a brick wall for many of her ancestors, with a lot of different online family trees disagreeing about who her parents were. That mystery has finally been solved, but now her confirmed father, James Maxwell, is the new face of that brick wall.

I had a lovely chat with Sandra and her husband, Bobby, when they came to the park’s laundromat to keep me company as I tried valiantly to do two weeks worth of laundry. We talked like we’ve known one another for lifetimes. Unfortunately, I didn’t get any photos because I was distracted and looking pretty ragged, after so much traveling. The dryers weren’t working because the fish and chips shop next door had recently caught fire, so the gas was turned off in the building—meaning, no heat in the dryers!

But, just like family, Sandra and Bobby generously volunteered to take my wet laundry back to their house to dry it for me. Weeks later, as I write this, my heart still swells with gratitude for this huge favor. We had no way to get the wet clothes to another local laundromat (we couldn’t drive the camper, due to the diesel/unleaded fuel clusterboink) so I was screwed. My cousin’s willingness to help was such a godsend! Thank you, Sandra and Bobby!

And, of course, here’s you another dug (Scottish for dog), this one waiting for its people on the main drag in Saltcoats:


Lisa Bonnice is an award-winning, best-selling author. Her current passion-project is a series of metaphysical comedy novels. The first is entitled The Poppet Master (previously published as Be Careful What You Witch For!, now revamped and with a new ending). The Poppet Master is a modern-day fairy tale about Lola Garnett, a bored housewife and office drone who wakes up with unexpected psychic abilities, and no instruction manual, and Twink, the reluctant, sarcastic faery assigned to assist and educate her. The Poppet Master will be available in summer 2019. Its sequel is in the works.

Lisa is also writing The Maxwell Curse, a fictionalized version of a story she found in her own ancestral lineage about a witch trial, a generational curse, and massive mine explosion, all of which left ripples of destruction in their wake, devastating one family’s tree.

 

 

http://www.lisabonnice.com

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Ancestral messages delivered via involuntary altered states

This is what the sky looked like in Scotland much of the time we were there. It was windy, rainy and cold—not a good combination for an oncoming head/chest cold.

Almost immediately upon arriving in Scotland to begin the hunt for my ancestors, I caught a cold. Between adverse conditions and taking whatever cold/flu meds I could find in a country where I didn’t recognize the brands (no Nyquil or Sudafed*), my head was in an altered state for this journey.

My first reaction was panic, and then rage. I had been saving and planning for this trip for years and now it was about to be ruined. I had a schedule to keep, ancestral sites to visit and research to be done. Ain’t nobody got time for that. On top of that, the weather felt frosty, in spite of it being June, and I just couldn’t get warm.

I live in Arizona and, at home, summer means temps over 110 degrees. It was unseasonably cold in Scotland—the highs during most of our visit were only in the 50s, with thick clouds overhead, lots of rain and frigid winds. We were camping on the coast in a little town called Saltcoats, so the wind was gusting off the Firth of Clyde, adding a biting chill to the air.

I packed for the kind of summer I remembered from growing up in Indiana, where the average summer temp would be around 70, expecting that to be our experience in Scotland. But even the heavy sweatshirt I bought in London to wear under my jean jacket, once I realized I had underpacked, wasn’t enough to keep me warm.

This tiny bunk is where I slept and shivered with fever during our trip. I had a stock of nasal spray, tissues, ibuprofen and plenty of liquids tucked away in a corner near my head, along with a copy of Michael Caine’s book, Blowing the Bloody Doors Off, which I picked up at Tesco, in London.

As my teeth chattered from the fever, lying in my bunk in our camper, I was terrified. What if this gets worse? What if this goes from being an annoying cold to a full blown sickness, the kind that one needs to see a doctor or die? It can happen. I’ve been that sick in the past and I know what it feels like. This felt like it could turn into that.

Where was the nearest hospital? Where could I find a doctor if I needed one? What if that happened while I was a stranger in a strange land, stuck in a camper that had come to feel like a prison?

After all, we couldn’t drive it anywhere. Not only had Jeff accidentally put unleaded gas in the diesel tank (long story, but suffice to say in the UK, the unleaded pump is green, like diesel is in the States, and the nozzle fit in the tank, also unlike in the States where they’re different sizes) and we couldn’t drive it until we had it drained and refilled. And even if that weren’t a situation, he was still learning to drive on the “wrong” side of the very narrow roads and needed me as a co-pilot, and I was thoroughly unable to do that. We were immobile.

This is the view of Saltcoats from the bridge over the ScotRail train track, between the campground and the beach. Our camper is on the right and to get to any of the stores, which are mostly on the left side of the photo, is about a one mile walk. Surprisingly, being so close to the track wasn’t an issue. The trains were whisper silent.

The town itself was about a mile away from the campground so if we needed anything, we had to walk. I was in no condition to do so. Jeff would have to walk by himself and be gone for a long time, leaving me alone. So yeah, I was scared. Feverish and scared.

While I lay there shivering and half out of it, I received my first message, this one from my great-grandmother Helen: this is what it felt like for them, to get sick. Any illness was potentially deadly. And it was cold in their houses, up there in Scotland, in the days before electricity. This inability to stay warm was part of being sick for them.

Helen had 10 children, and only four lived. She knew the gut-wrenching terror that a fever could cause. She watched her babies die and then died, herself, at the young age of 38. Early death was a reality for them.

In modern times, if we’re privileged enough, we can pop a pill or go to the health food store for bone broth and echinacea tea (which I couldn’t find locally, either). Maybe we visit the local Urgent Care center, or even the Emergency Room, but at least we have these luxuries (those of us who can afford them, that is).

I also heard, loud and clear, that there was a reason I was sick. I had intended, planned and requested my ancestors’ help for a specific type of trip. I wasn’t just in Scotland to sight-see, I was there to walk in their footsteps, to pick up as many psychic impressions as I could and that couldn’t be done without being in a slightly altered state. I wasn’t so out of it that I was tripping, just enough to tilt my reality and allow for information to enter that would have otherwise been blocked by my rational mind.

See that brick building way in the distance? That was the bathroom/shower building. That’s how far I had to walk, in my weakened condition, to use the facilities because we were not using the camper toilet/shower. If I wasn’t sick, I might have grumbled occasionally about the long walk, but I was sick, so it became an issue. I realized, though, that this was part of it. My ancestors didn’t have indoor plumbing. They would have to walk to the community privy. Yes, even when they were sick.

Add to the illness the appearance of dark, cold and stormy weather, which was weirdly frightening. Also, we were so far north, and so close to the summer solstice, that the days were 17 hours long. That’s a lot of daylight for someone not used to it. Even though it was mostly cloudy, it was light when I went to sleep and when I woke up. I was definitely outside of my comfort zone and very open to feeling the echoes of the ghosts of the past, throughout the rest of the trip.

Fortunately, a few days after we got to Scotland, my brother Mike flew in from the States to meet us and hang out for a week (staying at a local B&B, with a rental car), and he’s a seasoned enough traveler to have brought Sudafed and Nyquil with him. He gave good advice on traveling while sick, and kept me well supplied and able to push through while feeling like crap.

Thank God, I didn’t end up getting desperately ill, but I did stay sick the rest of the time. I ended up going to my doctor a week after getting home, as I had developed a sinus infection. But I’m on the mend now and finally able to sit down and write a blog. I’ll be sharing more, in upcoming days, about the continuing series of synchronicities and messages I received from my ancestors.

(* I did eventually find Sudafed at a Boots pharmacy, once we were in Glasgow, but I couldn’t find it in Saltcoats.)

Also, here’s you another dug (dog, in Scottish)— this one was always tied up to a camper between ours and the bathroom:

That was one ferocious beast, barking its head off every time I’d walk past.


Lisa Bonnice is an award-winning, best-selling author. Her current passion-project is a series of metaphysical comedy novels. The first is entitled The Poppet Master (previously published as Be Careful What You Witch For!, now revamped and with a new ending). The Poppet Master is a modern-day fairy tale about Lola Garnett, a bored housewife and office drone who wakes up with unexpected psychic abilities, and no instruction manual, and Twink, the reluctant, sarcastic faery assigned to assist and educate her. The Poppet Master will be available in summer 2019. Its sequel is in the works.

Lisa is also writing The Maxwell Curse, a fictionalized version of a story she found in her own ancestral lineage about a witch trial, a generational curse, and massive mine explosion, all of which left ripples of destruction in their wake, devastating one family’s tree.

http://www.lisabonnice.com

Setting foot on ancestral land

This flag attached to the ceiling of the Tam O’Shanter Inn in Ayrshire, Scotland reminded me that I was in the land of “Freeeeeeeeeedom!!!”.

I knew, when I set off for Scotland, that I would come back changed. I knew that some “ancestral healing” would occur, because that was my intention. And, boy, did I get it … in spades!

For the first time, I set foot on Scottish soil—the land of my mom’s dad, and his folk for as far back as I can trace. I went because I’m that serious about  genealogy and because these people have a fascinating story. But mostly I wanted to figure out why my mom—who died last year—was chronically depressed, because she passed it on to me and I had to know: Did she inherit the gray gloom from them? And, did I have to inherit the gloom from her?

It makes sense that an inherent miasma of woe was passed down through this lineage, considering what happened to her own dad, William (called Willie, as a child—in his homeland, that’s pronounced “Wullie”).

On the right side of this photo taken in Coalburn, Scotland, there used to be a coal mine. My great-grandfather and his son Wullie, my granddad, used to walk to work down this road. I walked in their footsteps.

Wullie had a hard childhood, working in the coalmines as a teen, and then losing both of his parents before he turned 19, right after emigrating to the States and leaving everyone and everything he knew behind.

No wonder he couldn’t show love to his own kids, when he eventually had them. His ability to feel must have been blown to bits after his mom died of cancer and was buried on his eighteenth birthday, and his father was killed in a mine explosion just a few months later, leaving all four of their children orphaned in a strange land.

(Image Source) This photo was taken days before the March 8, 1924 explosion at Castle Gate Mine #2, in which my great-grandfather was killed. For all I know, he could be in this photo.

Wullie could have died alongside his father that day—he should have been in the mine, but was laid off because work was slow and he didn’t have a family yet. Men with families to support were allowed to work that day.

So, let’s add survivor’s guilt to an already very full plate. It’s no surprise that he was unable to connect emotionally with his children or his many wives, leaving my mom hurt and resentful through the end of her days.

If you want to talk about passing down depression, this is a pretty good place to start. Mom, even though she had a good life by normal standards, was never happy. No matter what she achieved, or what gorgeous possessions she surrounded herself with, she just couldn’t be happy for herself, or anyone else. In fact, many of us wouldn’t even tell her our own good news because she’d always find a way to look at the dark side and pee in our Wheaties.

I have a tendency to look at life the same way and have, therefore, been as deliberate as I can to instead view things in a positive light. In spite of these efforts, I have always been tortured by depressive thoughts. No matter how much I accomplished, no matter how nice a home I created, it just wasn’t enough to feel okay. That’s all I wanted—to just feel okay, and that’s not a very high bar. Even so, I couldn’t do it.

It didn’t start with my mom or Wullie, though. I experienced things in Scotland that showed me that they were just cogs in a very large wheel. I could write a book about how this trip has changed my outlook (in fact, don’t be surprised if you see it fictionalized one of these days). But because this is a blog and needs to be kept short, I’ll just say that these past few weeks of being put through the ancestral healing grinder have been truly transformative. I’ll tell more about it in the days to come, but this is enough for now. The story needs time to unfold.

I’ve been home less than 24 hours and my house feels both alien and familiar. Yes, this is the same place I’ve lived for a long while, and these are the things I’ve collected over the years, but I’m seeing it all like a hologram through prismic lenses.

Right now, I’m struggling to fit back into my old life without losing any of the expansion I’ve attained. It feels like trying to force myself into a pair of favorite shoes that I’ve grown out of over the past month. I loved those shoes, but my feet are bigger and I can’t wear them anymore.

Some hae meat and canna eat,
And some wad eat that want it,
But we hae meat and we can eat,
And sae let the Lord be thanket.

So, I’m stretching those shoes as I reminisce, unpacking my souvenirs and showering with the remains of the travel-sized soaps and shampoos. I’m hanging up the Rabbie Burns plaque that we bought in an antique shop in Ayr, and finding a place for the rock that I picked up in the parking lot at Stonehenge. I’m eating the last of the chocolate Weetabix that I brought home, and drinking my morning tea from the cup I bought in London on our first day there. This is all helping to assimilate old me into new me.

I’m changed. I’m more multidimensional. I’m bigger on the inside. I’m deeper and richer, and somehow … happy. So, the healing begins.

Stay tuned for more and here’s you a pair of Scottish dogs (or dugs, as they pronounce it there):

 


Lisa Bonnice is an award-winning, best-selling author. Her current passion-project is a series of metaphysical comedy novels. The first is entitled The Poppet Master (previously published as Be Careful What You Witch For!, now revamped and with a new ending). The Poppet Master is a modern-day fairy tale about Lola Garnett, a bored housewife and office drone who wakes up with unexpected psychic abilities, and no instruction manual, and Twink, the reluctant, sarcastic faery assigned to assist and educate her. The Poppet Master will be available in summer 2019. Its sequel is in the works.

Lisa is also writing The Maxwell Curse, a fictionalized version of a story she found in her own ancestral lineage about a witch trial, a generational curse, and massive mine explosion, all of which left ripples of destruction in their wake, devastating one family’s tree.

http://www.lisabonnice.com

Money … tickets … passport … holy water

We’re leaving tomorrow for our trip to the UK so it’s crunch time! Do I have everything? Money? Tickets? Passports? My sanity?


I’ve been planning this trip since 2013 and it feels like a lifetime. But now that we’re less than 24 hours from departure out of Phoenix, we’re zooming through time at the speed of light and if that isn’t enough to bend the time/space continuum, I don’t know what is.

It’s not just the physicality of what we’re doing … money, tickets, passport … that’s looming large. It’s the psychicality (is that a word? it is now!) that’s blowing my mind.

See, there’s a lot going on here. I’m not just going to fly across the Pond for the first time, I’m going to achieve a Bucket List event — visiting the glass-floored “Eye” of the Blackpool Tower. But even more importantly, I’m also doing research for two books, including genealogy research into a witch trial in my family’s past AND doing what I can to break the resulting curse.

Although I’m ecstatic that we’re going, I’m also on the verge of empathic overload. Those of you who have at least one foot consciously in the psychic realm will know exactly what I’m talking about. For those who don’t, I probably already lost you when I wrote about breaking curses.

But, for those of you who are still with me, I’m what some would call “overly sensitive” to the thoughts and feelings of others. It’s easy to sometimes lose track of where I end and the “external” world begins. So, therefore, all of what I’ll be doing over the next few weeks is a little overwhelming.

But I’ve learned, from many years of experience, to just put one foot in front of the other. And for today, that means … money, tickets, passports.

Before I go, here’s you a traveling dog:


Lisa Bonnice is an award-winning, best-selling author. Her current passion-project is a series of metaphysical comedy novels. The first is entitled The Poppet Master (previously published as Be Careful What You Witch For!, now revamped and with a new ending). The Poppet Master is a modern-day fairy tale about Lola Garnett, a bored housewife and office drone who wakes up with unexpected psychic abilities, and no instruction manual, and Twink, the reluctant, sarcastic faery assigned to assist and educate her. The Poppet Master will be available in summer 2019. Its sequel is in the works.

Lisa is also writing The Maxwell Curse, a fictionalized version of a story she found in her own ancestral lineage about a witch trial, a generational curse, and massive mine explosion, all of which left ripples of destruction in their wake, devastating one family’s tree.

http://www.lisabonnice.com

Ancestral Healing and Generational Pattern Shifters

My interview with Heather Dane (Image Source)

I mentioned in my previous blog that I’m hosting the Ancestral Healing Summit for The Shift Network, which airs online (free) from April 8-12, and I’d like to talk today about Heather Dane, who offered a fascinating look into the concept of Generational Pattern Shifters.


Health Coach and 21st century medicine woman Heather Dane combines ancient wisdom from her Native American lineage (Haudenosaunee, Oneida Nation Member) with holistic health and nutrition training to offer the most cutting edge prescriptive remedies for your health. She has co-authored two books with Louise Hay: Loving Yourself to Great Health and The Bone Broth Secret: A Culinary Adventure in Health, Beauty and Longevity. She also hosts her own show on Hay House Radio.

She specializes in supporting people to resolve addictions, weight challenges, stress, chronic fatigue, depression, autoimmune illness, energetic sensitivity and much more, while enhancing their capacity for self-love and self-care.

Heather and I met a couple years ago when I was first beginning to get an inkling that there even was such a thing as ancestral healing. I had been fairly obsessed with genealogy as a hobby, and I was starting to recognize that there’s more to it than just finding out the names of ancestors … there were deeply meaningful patterns in the chaos. I didn’t realize anyone else was doing this kind of work or that it even had a name, until I heard Heather talking about Generational Pattern Shifters.

She says that she’s noticed, over the past several years, that many of her clients have been called to break the chain of unhealthy patterns that have been passed on through the generations. These people fit a certain set of descriptors, all of which I relate to. Do you?

As Heather began studying epigenetics and how people can heal at the DNA level, she began noticing these patterns. She says that the call to be a Generational Pattern Shifter may come unexpectedly, through a breakdown in the family, a health diagnosis, or a trauma. What many people don’t realize is that these challenging experiences are an invitation to heal not just yourself, but all generations before you and after you.

The journey is often not mainstream, it’s not straightforward, and it often requires healing many layers. The end result is that as you heal yourself, this healing often extends to all generations before you and after you.

My interview with Heather was chock full of fascinating information, and it’s one of the key conversations in the Summit. I hope you’ll do yourself a favor and drop in to listen. Check it out here.

By the way, here’s you some generational dogs:


Lisa Bonnice is an award-winning, best-selling author. Her current passion-project is a series of metaphysical comedy novels. The first is entitled The Poppet Master (previously published as Be Careful What You Witch For!, now revamped and with a new ending). The Poppet Master is a modern-day fairy tale about Lola Garnett, a bored housewife and office drone who wakes up with unexpected psychic abilities, and no instruction manual, and Twink, the reluctant, sarcastic faery assigned to assist and educate her. The Poppet Master will be available in summer 2019. Its sequel is in the works.

Lisa is also writing The Maxwell Curse, a fictionalized version of a story she found in her own ancestral lineage about a witch trial, a generational curse, and massive mine explosion, all of which left ripples of destruction in their wake, devastating one family’s tree.

http://www.lisabonnice.com

Ancestral Healing Summit, a free online event, April 8-12

My blog subscribers may not know that I work with The Shift Network, as a program host, because I don’t write about work very often. That’s about to change because I want to tell you about our first ever Ancestral Healing Summit, a free online event from April 8th through the 12th. The topic of ancestral healing is so expansive and diverse that it takes a whole five days with over three dozen expert speakers to even begin the discussion and, even then, we’re only scratching the surface.


As many of you do know, I’m obsessed with genealogy and TV shows like Who Do You Think You Are? and Finding Your Roots. I’ve found that both programs show patterns in the chaos that is our family trees, when they demonstrate how their guests’ families frequently display story-lines that repeat over the generations.

While I pondered this phenomenon, and applied this knowledge to assist in figuring out my own family patterns, I was working with Shift Network faculty who would occasionally drop references into conversations about something they were calling ancestral healing. My ears perked up and, eventually, I heard enough of them mention it to bring the topic to the attention of our Summits team and asked if I could put together a summit and interview the experts.

Fortunately for all of us, they said yes! So I got to work and booked as many experts as I could squeeze into a week’s worth of interviews and discovered, as I said above, that we’re only scratching the surface.

In my interviews with the experts, we talk about the hard science of epigenetics which tells how our DNA is actually affected by our ancestors’ experiences, which then got passed down to us in the form of illnesses, phobias, unhealthy social behavior patterns, anxiety, depression and PTSD. I interviewed some of the top experts in the field, like Drs. Dan Siegel and Sue Morter, Dawson Church and Gregg Braden.

I also looked at the psychological aspects of how our ancestors affect us with Mark Wolynn, head of the Family Constellations Institute and Director of The Inherited Trauma Institute. I also talked with Sangoma healer Gogo Ekhaya Esima, who specializes in exploring the connection between what may appear as mental or physical illness but is actually unaddressed ancestral calling.

In addition, I explored Ancestral Healing from a shamanic perspective, with shamanists like Sandra Ingerman, Hank Wesselman, don Oscar Miro-Quesada and, of course, Daniel Foor – a renowned expert in Ancestral Healing work. They, and many others, offer powerful insights into how you can explore communication with your ancestors and work with them to create more satisfying and healthy lives for you, your family and your descendants.

And, because ancestral history is something we all have in common, I looked for a global perspective, and made the effort to connect with experts with backgrounds in some of humankind’s most destructive historical events like the African diaspora, the Holocaust, the displacement of indigenous peoples, Japanese internment camps, and the oppression of the LGBTQ community.

I had a fascinating conversation about how past lives enter into the equation, with Dr. Linda Backman and how karma plays a role, with Raja Choudhury. I talked to Heather Dane about her work with ‘generational pattern shifters’, and Dr. David Kowalewski and his work as a psychopomp, assisting deceased souls to a peaceful state in the afterlife.

I also interviewed Natalia O’Sullivan, a psychic medium who specializes in ancestral healing work, and Desda Zuckerman, an expert in working with the energy field in clearing up stuck ancestral patterns. In numerous conversations, we even addressed how adoptees, who may have no idea who their ancestors are, can absolutely participate in this work.

Each and every expert I talked with offers incredible insights and wisdom and there are far too many to name here. Please take a look at the lineup and make a point of listening in to as many as you can. These conversations will change the way you look at your life, the lives of those who came before you and those who are yet to come.

It’s free to watch them online for 48 hours after they air, and the only cost is if you choose to buy the upgrade package, with all of the bonuses and lifetime access to the recordings. Check it out. It’s fascinating stuff!

Also, here’s you a dog, wearing a family tree-shirt:


Lisa Bonnice is an award-winning, best-selling author. Her current passion-project is a series of metaphysical comedy novels. The first is entitled The Poppet Master (previously published as Be Careful What You Witch For!, now revamped and with a new ending). The Poppet Master is a modern-day fairy tale about Lola Garnett, a bored housewife and office drone who wakes up with unexpected psychic abilities, and no instruction manual, and Twink, the reluctant, sarcastic faery assigned to assist and educate her. The Poppet Master will be available in summer 2019. Its sequel is in the works.

Lisa is also writing The Maxwell Curse, a fictionalized version of a story she found in her own ancestral lineage about a witch trial, a generational curse, and massive mine explosion, all of which left ripples of destruction in their wake, devastating one family’s tree.

http://www.lisabonnice.com

The voyage to meet my ancestors begins …

On November 8, 1921, my great-grandfather William Garroch—along with his brother Peter, his 16-year-old son (my grandfather, William Jr.) and his nephew Thomas—crossed the Atlantic Ocean, from Glasgow to New York City. They traveled on an ocean liner called Cameronia, in second-class cabins.

On January 20, 1922, my great-grandmother Helen—along with their three daughters—followed on a ship called Lapland, also second-class. Helen had $200 cash, in pocket.

After passing through Ellis Island, they traveled by train to Castle Gate, Utah, where Helen’s brother, William Littlejohn, was the superintendent of the Castle Gate coal mine, owned by the Utah Fuel Company. He had arranged jobs for numerous family members, and many of them traveled from Scotland, where the life of a coal miner was much, much more difficult.

Both oceanic voyages took 11 days, and I don’t know how long it took them to get from NYC to Castle Gate. Tomorrow I will travel to Castle Gate with my daughter, from Phoenix, Arizona, a nine-hour drive.

I’ll keep their discomfort in mind if I begin to feel restless about sitting in a car for such a ‘long time’. My daughter’s car is a comfy ride, and we’ll have a cooler packed full of fresh, healthy Trader Joe foods. In comparison, I have nothing to complain about.

Once we’re there, we’ll be touring the site where the town of Castle Gate used to be. It no longer exists. The only thing left is the cemetery where William, Helen, Peter and Thomas are buried, and the opening to Mine #2, the mineshaft in which all three men were killed during the Castle Gate Mine Explosion on March 8, 1924.

We’ll also be visiting the Western Mining and Railroad Museum to view pictures of the town and the people from back then, and chat with the curators there.

I’ll be posting here and on Facebook, live, during the trip so if you’re as interested in genealogy as I am, follow along! I think you’ll find it fascinating.