Ancestral Notes

My Family History blog

Just A Few Words…

I was wondering, after reading my cousin’s Remembrance Day post about her father, whether his survival and courage was influenced at all by his belief in his family motto. I can just imagine his ancestors’ voices shouting out to him when he was feeling discouraged and all alone, “remember you are a Fairbairn, yield not to difficulties!”

In Scottish history, a family motto was used as a war cry, and most of the clans and septs had their own. If my granduncle would have been born with the surname Campbell whose motto is “Forget not” or Kennedy with “Consider the end,” or Livingstone with “If I can”, would he have made it home?

Having a family motto gives a sense of pride in your heritage and your ancestors and gives you a sort of unity with your ancestors, who spoke the very same words when faced with adversity. A family motto can even be a source for inner strength, as I’m sure it was with Stan Fairbairn. He really believed in his family motto and it helped in keeping him alive and gave him strength and endurance to be able to heal and go back to a normal family life. His motto was more than just a few words, those words had meaning and were more necessary to him than even his arms. Those four word were a part of him that he could pass on to his children to make them stronger individuals.

If you don’t have a family motto, get your family together and create one. It doesn’t need to be anything fancy, just a phrase that is an inspiration for your family. It may be phrase that describes your faith, your family values, your ideals, etc. Give it some thought, you never know when a few words of inspiration may be the difference between life and death.


Filed under: Genealogy,

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November 2009
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