Alban Pilgrimage

Gillespie is an unusual Celtic name.  The family story says we came from Scotland.  But there is a big mystery. Records beyond four generations in the US were lost during the Civil War and family stories didn’t come down through the generations.  When and why did we emigrate to the United States?

Gillespie Family Bible from the time of the US Civil War

In researching the name Gillespie, I found earlier roots – 5th century in the northern part of Ireland. The name is associated with poets, the fili, (or filidh in Scotland) the highly skilled oral tradition guardians of royal of family lineage and heroic tales. And here am I, not knowing my family story yet, attempting to learn more about a family-clan of story tellers. The irony demands a poetic sensibility to penetrate the mystery.

The 10 week pilgrimage begins May 18, 2013 to Scotland to learn about my ancestors. It starts with a week in Paris.  Why?  A gut feeling. I will let you know.

At this point, I don’t have names of relatives, not even places of origin. Few clues, but I have been able to find some hints through research on the internet. So, I have created a journey to explore places – historic and contemporary – cultural events – landscapes – language in order to meet people, live in a variety of settings and listen to nature.

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