Well, I've been re-infected with the family history bug. It all started back in the late 80's, I think. One of my late father's friends passed away. Dad was so depressed, saying things like, "They're all dead!" So Mom went onto the international directory enquiries and asked for a friend of Dad's by name. They offered her twelve or so numbers for that name in the whole of the USA. The first one she dialed was the right one, so she handed the phone to Dad. I can't remember the name of that friend, but it cheered up the old man considerably.
At the same time Mom handed me the "Family Tree", a large paper handwritten one begun in the 30's by cousin, James Picken. At the time I was working in Aberdeen, Scotland, thus popped into the Aberdeenshire and North East Scotland Family History shop to see what they could do for me. My task was to try to find a living relative of my Dad's in the UK. Well, I failed miserably in that goal, but was delighted to meet a charming lady, one Olive Murray, at that shop. She asked what I had so far and became very animated and excited when she saw the name Picken. She rushed off to view some microfiche or other and then turned to me and shook my hand. "What's that about?", I asked. She explained that part of her life's work had been to research the families of the "Covenanters" and had always wished to meet a living descendant from the signatories of the document.
Ashamed to say, I was a little lost. "Don't you know your Scottish history?" she asked. Well I didn't.
Here's a little about the Covenanters...