– 40 – family history/family mystery

This is how you end up losing a whole day …

First you need to have a few books to put into your bookcase and because they’re in colour order this always require a little bit of shuffling and moving.

Then you end up getting slightly distracted and start looking for books you haven’t read yet to see if there are any whose author’s surname begins with ‘F’ in order to carry on the AtoZ in books crusade you started in January.  (Secretly you hope you won’t find any so to earn a trip to the bookstore)


Suddenly your eyes catch the – extremely old/need to be replaced – sofa and notice that one of your offspring has voluntarily removed one of your quilts from the storage box and placed it onto the sofa.

Moving on from the miracle of initiative exhibited here … you had totally forgotten about that quilt!! (and you still like it… so that’s another bonus)


And this is were the real time wasting started.

Are you keeping up?

I remember being inspired by the genius of Denyse Schmidt and wanting to do a quilt that was dark enough to withstand three young boys dirty paws and would utilise that checkered fabric in an interesting way.  Why that particular fabric?

Well… I was always told that my mother in law’s surname was Maitland-Hudson and that Maitland was (still is) a Scottish clan with his own ‘tartan‘… so of course we gave all our children Maitland as a middle name and as soon as No 1 was born I purchased a piece of the family tartan to make… something.  You know how it goes… a family quilt… a piece of heritage… blah blah blah.

Mr M’s uncle came to our wedding splendidly clad in a tartan suit which seriously impressed the Italian contingency.  Trousers, jacket, waistcoat… the lot.

Anyway, moving on… a few years ago I began searching the family tree and for the life of me I couldn’t find any reference to ‘Maitland’.  None.  Zilch.  Not a sausage.  Not a haggis…

What was going on?

(The moral of the story?  Check your facts before you get the suit.)

Yesterday I received back from Mr M’s uncle all my research notes and began again.   FOR HOURS … I’m determined to get to the bottom of this.  The name first appear on Mr M younger uncle’s christening certificate as a middle name.  Ok I buy that.  The family lived in India at the time and Mr M’s grandfather was in army there so perhaps (big maybe) ‘Maitland’ was the name of someone in the army with him, perhaps a superior? perhaps a friend? Was in honour of someone? A debt of gratitude?

That name doesn’t not appear in any of the other people on the family tree on either side of Mr M’s grandfather… but from the moment they set foot back in England post India Independence it becomes part of the surname.

Strange eh?

I need to get myself to the British Library in London where most of the records of the period (what survived) are kept.

I trawled through what I could find online FOR HOURS but to no avail…

The day was gone.

The mistery stays.

The quilt is by now probably on the floor.