.

Here, gathered in our beloved South Dakota, are a few members of our Williamson / Mattson Clan. Charles and Luella are to be blamed (be kind, they didn't know what they were doing). We're generally a happy bunch and somewhat intelligent (notwithstanding our tenous grasp on reality). I'm also proud to say that most of us still have our teeth.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Our 27th Great Grandmother. St. Margaret of Scotland, Patron Saint of Death of Children, Large Families, Learning, Queens, Scotland and Widows.

Our 27th Great Grandmother, Saint Margaret of Scotland
by Somerset

From the Fortress of Solitude
Pleasant Grove

Good Morning!

From the deck of the Fortress I see the valley below is in good spirits. The air is fresh and warmer than yesterday. Warming breezes from the south are ominous signs of an approaching storm, but that isn't until tomorrow. Until then, we enjoy the moment and let tomorrow take care of itself.

I'd like to share a few stories with you this morning about our 27th Great Grandmother, Saint Margaret of Scotland. We have another Catholic Saint as an ancestor. If you are a Catholic you could pray to your own Grandmother for intercession on your behalf. How awesome is that! And if your not Catholic, would it hurt to try, especially considering she is the patron Saint of so many things that pertain to family life? An icon of St. Margaret could double as a religious piece but also a family portrait.


Being non Catholic and not a believer in Saints, I can only hope that if I'm wrong and the Catholics are right, that my Great Grandmother will feel mercy on her heathen great grandson and intercede on my behalf for a shorter sentence in purgatory.

Shall we start with the Relationship Chart?

Saint Margaret of Scotland and Malcolm III King of Scotland
to
Matilda of Scotland and Henry I King of England
to
Matilda (Maud) de Normandy Empress and Count Geoffrey V
to
Hamelin Plantagenet and Isabel De Warenne
to
Countess Norfolk Ida Isabel and Roger Bigod
to
Lord Hasting William De Hastings and Margaret Bigod
to
Sir Henry De Hastings, Knight and Ada De Huntingdon
to
Henry De Hastings and Joane De Cantilupe
to
Baron John Hastings and Isabel De Valence
to
Hugh De Hastings (Sir Knight) and Margery Foreliot
to
Hugh De Hastings and Anne De Spenser
to
Edward Hastings and Meryell Denham
to
John Hastings and Ann Morley
to
Hugh Hastings and Anne Gascoine
to
Bryan Hastings and Anne Portington
to
Francis Hastings and Jane Restwold
to
Bridget Hastings and Robert Swift
to
William Swift and Joan Sisson
to
William Swift and Ruth Tobey
to
William Swift and Elizabeth Tomson
to
Ebenezer Swift and Abigail Gibbs
to
Ebenezer Swift and Jedidah Benson
to
Judah Swift and ?
to
Phineas Swift and Deborah Dearborn
to
Elmira Swift and Joseph McCrillis
to
Isabel McCrillis and John Mayberry Dennis
to
Vesta Dennis and Walter Pierce
to
Violet Pierce and Walter Mattson
to
Luella Mattson and Charles Williamson
to

Us



Margaret's life was an example of a true Christian life devoted to her family and the people of Scotland. Please take a moment to learn about this pious and righteous ancestor.

St. Margaret's Church Dunfermline, one of Many Churches of St. Margaret throughout
Scotland and the United States.


A Biography of our 27th Great Grandmother, Saint Margaret of Scotland

Margaret was a daughter of Edward d'Outremer ("The Exile"), next of kin to Edward the Confessor, and sister to Edgar the Atheling, who took refuge from William the Conqueror at the court of King Malcolm Canmore in Scotland. The young prince Malcolm, who was to become Margaret's husband, was still a child when his father, King Duncan, was killed by Macbeth. It was not until 1054 that Macbeth was driven out and Malcolm established on the throne of Scotland, as readers of Shakespeare's Macbeth will remember.

Margaret, as beautiful as she was good and accomplished, captivated Malcolm, and they were married at the castle of Dunfermline in the year 1070. Margaret was then twenty-four years old. Their marriage bestowed great blessings upon Malcolm as well as Scotland. Malcolm was rough and uncultured, but his disposition was good, and Margaret, through the great influence she acquired over him, softened his temper, polished his manners, and rendered him one of the most virtuous kings who have ever occupied the Scottish throne. To maintain justice, to establish religion, and to make their subjects happy appeared to be their chief objects in life.

St. Margaret of Scotland Statue, Stockbridge MA

What she did for her husband Margaret also did in a great measure for her adopted country, promoting the arts of civilization and encouraging education and religion. She found Scotland a prey to ignorance and to many grave abuses, both among priests and people. At her instigation, church councils were held which passed enactments to meet these evils. She herself was present at these meetings, taking part in the discussions. Attendance at Mass on Sundays and holy days was made obligatory, and the rules for Easter communion and Lent were restored. Many scandalous practices, such as simony, usury and incestuous marriages, were strictly prohibited. St. Margaret made it her constant effort to obtain good priests and teachers for all parts of the country, and formed an embroidery guild among the ladies of the court to provide vestments and church furniture. With her husband she founded several churches, notably that of the Holy Trinity at Dunfermline.

God blessed the couple with a family of six sons and two daughters, and their mother brought them up with the utmost care, herself instructing them in the Christian faith and superintending their studies. Their daughter Matilda married Henry I of England and was known as Good Queen Maud, while three of their sons, Edgar, Alexander, and David, successively occupied the Scottish throne, the last named being revered as a saint. St. Margaret's care and attention was extended to her servants and household as well as to her own family; yet in spite of all the state affairs and domestic duties in which she was involved, she kept her heart disengaged from the world and recollected in God. Her private life was most austere: she ate sparingly, and in order to obtain time for her devotions she permitted herself very little sleep. Every year she kept two Lents, the one at the usual season, the other before Christmas. At these times she always rose at midnight and went to the church for Matins. King Malcolm often shared her vigil. On her return, she washed the feet of six poor persons and gave them alms.

She also had stated times during the day for prayer and reading the Holy Scriptures. Her own copy of the Gospels on one occasion was inadvertently dropped into a river, but sustained no damage beyond a small watermark on the cover. That book is now preserved among the treasures of the Bodleian Library at Oxford. Perhaps St. Margaret's most outstanding virtue was her love of the poor. She often visited the sick and tended them with her own hands. She erected hostels for travelers and ransomed many captives, mostly those of English nationality. When she appeared outside in public she was invariably surrounded by beggars, none of whom went away unrelieved, and she never sat down at table without first having fed the crowds of paupers and orphans. Often -- especially during Advent and Lent -- the king and queen would entertain three hundred poor persons, serving them on their knees with dishes similar to those provided for their own table.

In 1093, King William Rufus surprised Alnwick castle, putting its garrison to the sword. King Malcolm and his son Edward were killed in the ensuing hostilities. St. Margaret at this time was lying on her deathbed. The day her husband was killed she was overcome with sadness and said to her attendants, "Perhaps this day a greater evil hath befallen Scotland than any this long time." When her son Edgar arrived back from Alnwick, she asked how his father and brother were. Afraid of the effect the news might have upon her in her weak state, he replied that they were well. She exclaimed, "I know how it is!" Then raising her hands toward Heaven she said, "I thank thee, Almighty God, that in sending me so great an affliction in the last hour of my life, thou wouldst purify me from my sins as I hope, by thy mercy." Soon afterward she repeated the words, "O Lord Jesus Christ, who by thy death hast given life to the world, deliver me from all evil!" and breathed her last. She died four days after her husband, on November 16, 1093, being in her forty-seventh year, and was buried in the church of the abbey of Dunfermline which she and her husband had founded. St. Margaret was canonized in 1250. Dunfermline was sacked in 1560, but the relics were safely removed. St. Margaret's body, together with that of Malcolm, was transferred to a chapel in the Escorial, outside Madrid. In 1673, St. Margaret was named a patron of Scotland.