As you probably have figured out from many of my posts this year, I have been researching and documenting my family tree. When I started, I thought the only tree that I would find would be a small sapling compared to most. My four grandparents were all the offspring of immigrant families to the United States, and I did not expect to be able to trace back much farther than the 1900’s. It turns out that I was wrong.
With so much information on the Internet these days, I was able to trace back one branch of the tree to the early settlers of Nova Scotia, Canada, in the mid 1600’s. At that time, France was looking to populate it’s new property in the New World, and sent ships with soldiers and families to protect and to populate the area. Many of those families are well documented, and once I found my connection in the early 1800’s, the rest fell into place.
Another branch of the family came from Scotland to the United States in 1842. It turned out that my “immigrant” great grandfather was actually a native born American.
More than knowing where they came from, I was fascinated to learn what kind of occupations they had and how many of them related to textiles in some way. My father’s grandmother and aunt both listed “seamstress” as their occupation in 1920. Another pair of aunts worked in the knitting mill. There was also a weaver, a shoemaker and a tailor.
It was my great,great grandfather who was the weaver. He was born in Scotland and came from a town called Paisley. It turns out that the weavers in Paisley became well known for their woven shawls, and the Paisley pattern that we know today was named after their town.
So there you have it…my 15 minutes of fame. I descend from a family that brought you Paisley. ;-)