Thursday, March 17, 2011

My Irish Heritage

I've been really blessed to be born into the families I have. Both sides have wonderful heritages that are an honor to be a part of. Both of my grandmothers are half French and half English and both of my grandfathers are half Scottish and half Irish. So I'm 25% of each!

Today, in honor of St. Patrick's Day, I want to share a history about a couple of my Irish ancestors.

The history is about my 4th Great-Grandmother, Margaret Cowan Bryson Dunlap, aka, Grandma Margaret, aka the Butterfly Grandma (she is why I love butterflies!). She was born in 1797 in Banbridge, Co. Down, Ireland, and died almost a century later in 1871 in Salt Lake City.

Below is her & her son's (Samuel Bryson Sr., aka "Little Sam") history as told by her granddaughter, Ada Bryson Jardine, and recounted by Conrey Bryson and comments by his sister (two of Margaret's great-great grandchildren). His history is generally accepted as official, considering it's the only history I've ever read or heard. Its long, but I love it. I've always felt a strong connection to Grandma Margaret. Maybe because we have such a detailed history about her life, maybe because I heard the stories all growing up, maybe because I decided I was named after her (Megan is a derivative of Margaret). But whatever it is, I'm excited and look forward to the day we meet again.

Click here for the history.

It was really cool growing up knowing this history. Because I was so familiar with it, I was able to find some cousins we didn't know about. Here is that story:

Nicole and I met and were roommates my sophomore year in college. In October, Nicole accidently ran into (almost literally) Elder Eyring in one of the buildings on campus. Apparently he was meeting with President Bednar. Nicole was so excited and came home and told us all about it. I said something about how my grandparents were friends with him way back in the day when they were all stationed at the same base. Somehow their last name came up in conversation and my roommate said, "My grandparents are Bryson's too!" We figured out exactly how we are related and found out we were 4th cousins! It was so awesome. I went home with her for Thanksgiving and met her whole family. And I got to tell them the Grandma Margaret Butterfly story. They had no idea! It was awesome to get to share my family history with new family members. We even got this fun picture of Nicole, her twin, Natalee, and I with our third great-grandfather, Samuel Bryson, Sr., on the pedigree!

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