The Ethical Value of an Interest in Genealogy

The Ethical Value of an Interest in Genealogy Extempore Remarks By Miss Mary Magruder.

From: Year book of the American Clan Gregor Society By American Clan Gregor Society (1908).
Art Genealogy

TO many an interest in genealogy seems a useless fad, or a proof of a foolish family pride.

Many Magruders have been careless about keeping family records from prejudices which we hope this gathering of the Clan may overcome.

As we meet together it is interesting to note in those who were strangers until today the sociability and energy, amounting almost to intensity, which have characterized near relatives whom we have known all our lives.

It is a pleasure to think that in places far from each other there have been those allied to us who have been useful citizens ready to make sacrifices for the communities in which they have lived.

When the clannishness developed by genealogy, indulged in as a fad or recreation, strengthens the desire to do one’s own share toward making one’s own work worthy to form part of our honorable family record, it can do only good.

When it makes those who have been fortunate help those of the same blood who have been less so, it is a blessing.

When it makes each individual put forth an earnest effort to correct faults and overcome failings which are family traits, it is especially useful.

Perhaps no one idea connected with an interest in genealogy is more worthy to be taken to heart by us in connection with the pleasant work which we are undertaking here at this time than that expressed by Ella Wheeler Wilcox in her poem:

Divine Heredity.

There is no thing you cannot overcome,
Say not thy evil instinct is inherited;
Or that some trait inborn, makes thy whole life forlorn,
And calls for punishment that is not merited.
Back of thy parents and grand parents, lies
The great Eternal Will; that too, is thine Inheritance—strong, beautiful, divine;
Sure lever of success for one who tries.
Pry up thy fault with this great lever—will;
However deeply bedded in propensity;
However firmly set, I tell thee firmer yet
Is that great power that comes from truth’s immensity.
There is no noble height thou canst not climb;
All triumphs may be thine in time’s futurity.
If, whatsoe’er thy fault, thou dost not faint or halt,
But lean upon the staff of God’s security.
Earth has no claim the soul cannot contest.
Know thyself part of the supernal Source,
And naught can stand before thy spirit’s force;
The soul’s divine inheritance is best.

UPON the organization of the Society, October 9, 1909, Caleb Clarke Magruder, Jr., proposed a cablegram to The Chief in Scotland, worded: “American Clan Gregor sends you greetings and promises most loyal fealty.”

The message was promptly adopted and forwarded to The Chief at Edinchip, Balquhidder, Scotland, officially signed by Dr. E. M. Magruder, Chieftain, and Dr. Jesse Ewell, Scribe, and elicited an appreciative acknowledgment.

THE Rules and Regulations of the American Clan Gregor Society prescribe that its insignia shall be:—”A Sprig of Pine surmounting a MacGregor tartan silk ribbon, one and a half inches wide and not longer than two patterns.”

THE “Official Sprig of Pine” worn at the First Gathering (1909) was cut from “Dunblane,” patented by Alexander Magruder, immigrant, in 1671, and was the gift of Thomas Trueman Somervell Bowie, since deceased.

NINIAN MAGRUDER, [Capt. Samuel (2), Alexander (1)], was Vestryman and Warden of Rock Creek Parish from its organization and signer of a petition to make Rock Creek the Parish church.

His eldest son, Samuel Magruder (3), was a Vestryman in 1734 and, until his death in 1786, he was almost continuously Vestryman or Warden. He was also a Justice of the Peace in 1731-‘2-‘3.