The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

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June 10, 2008

Father’s Day spurs family tree notion

With every Father’s Day comes that old wondering —the wondering about where all of us Browns came from.

I have pretty good evidence most of my family tree is made up of Scotch-Irish ancestors. I have McCrisakens, McIntyres, Campbells, Craigs and Browns (how did they get in there?) hanging here and there from various branches of the tree.

We have Protestants and Catholics on the tree. Someone joked the other day the name Obama, as in our presidential candidate, might really be O’Bama, which I guess would make him Scotch-Irish, like, say, O’Brien. No? OK. I’m sure he would be the first to refute any link.

As you may or may not know, most of us Scotch-Irishmen have at least a smidgen of Viking blood in our veins, and you know what robbing and raping yahoos the Vikings were.

How many red-haired Scotch-Irish lads and lassies have you seen? Quite a few. And you recall the Viking “Eric The Red” (so named because of his flaming red hair, I’m sure) and his longboat were poking around up and down our East Coast even before Christopher Columbus sailed the ocean blue in 1492.

There also may be a bit of Spanish in the mix, too. My mother had brown eyes and black hair. I’ve wondered if the McIntyres and Craigs, and maybe the Campbells, too, may have consorted with the Spanish sailors who swam ashore after the British defeat of the Spanish Armada in 1588 off the coast of Ireland.

I can only presume some of the Spaniards survived and made it ashore. Anyway, the idea seems to have some logic and could explain my mother’s black hair and brown eyes. Si?

But what about the Browns? They tell me there are a jillion million Browns in Kentucky, and all my Dad knew is what his Dad told him — they came from Kentucky. I believe Kentucky must be international headquarters for the Browns.

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