Even before I heard the word, "genealogy", I was fascinated by family history. I am fortunate that both of my parents spoke often of their childhoods and their families. My mind was filled with images of people and places I had only heard of, yet felt that I knew.
A few years ago, I had the chance to travel to Aberdeen, Scotland, where my maternal family originated. I can't describe how thrilled I was to walk the streets of that old, beautiful city, knowing my great-grandparents and those who came before them had once lived there. I had done a lot of research before the trip and was able to visit the exact locations of where many of them had lived and are buried. It was a trip of a lifetime for me.
I love to collect souvenirs when I travel. Usually, I go for t-shirts and typical touristy stuff that will remind me of the place when I wear or see it. This trip was different.
Knowing the history of my maternal family, whose last name is Anderson, I knew there was an Anderson tartan and I set out to find items that connected to my family name. My favorite was a blanket. I don't remember what it cost and it wouldn't have mattered to me anyway. I was going to be buying one. I looked at so many different tartans and there were some that I liked the looks of better than my own, but this is the one that means something to me.
The Anderson tartan is unique because it is the only one to contain seven colors. Others have six or less.
Many Scottish families have their own tartan, but not all. I tried to find some other related names and only a couple of them could be found.
As I visited the shops in Aberdeen, I was impressed by all the various names, family crests and other items that show pride in who they are.
I've had this blanket for a few years now and cannot bring myself to use it. It's a nice heavy quality blanket with vivid colors that I could use in various places, but I am too sentimental. If something were to happen to it, I couldn't replace it. Of course, I could order one online, but that wouldn't be the same as the one that was purchased in the city of my ancestors.