Last year I finally made the move I have always wanted to a land I have always felt was home to me. Romantic notion? certainly, but whenever I drove over that border something in me changed and even now writing this as I think on it I get goose bumps. Does DNA have a memory? there are suggestions now that it might . What ever the reason this land of mists, and mountains, oceans and dark brooding history takes a hold of you and when I hear a lone piper playing a lament well that is the icing on the cake.
With a name like mine you immediately assume Scots, but no I was born in the London Borough of Bermondsey. My father was born in Bruce Castle, Tottenham and his father in County Durham. I always had an innate sense that we had Scots blood but our direct family line was in Northumberland from at least 1772. Recently I decided to bite the bullet and with the help of a good friend John Jameson, a genealogist who runs the Jam?eson network I decided on a Y-DNA test to see just who my Jamiesons might be. 8 weeks later I found out that somehow I am very strongly linked to a direct descendant of Sir John Stewart of Ardgowan, illegitimate son of King Robert III of Scotland. Not only that but to the Sinclair and Rattray families and to a lesser degree two knights, one from 1160 and one from 1460. Whilst I cannot prove what the link is I am happy to know that the blood that flows through the veins of the Stewart/Stuart royal line also flows in my veins to a lesser extent.
This helped, I think, answer another question too. What Clan should I belong to? Jamiesons are a Sept of two clans, Gunn from the North of Scotland and Stewart of Bute who are from the South Western end of the Highlands. I now tend to think that it is most likely Stewart of Bute but one can never be completely sure. Of course I have no way of knowing how we ended up in Northumberland but the romantic in me would like to think an ancestor was a prisoner of war from the Rebellion of 1745 or fled there afterwards, Northumberland was a fiercely Jacobite stronghold and would have provided safe haven. Not knowing just adds to the imagination really and makes life a little more fun.
In celebration of my return home, what I discovered in my FTDNA test and my intuition that we are of Clan Stewart of Bute I decided to paint this depiction of the arms of the Chief of the Clan, currently John Bute the 7th Marquess. The simple version more akin to it’s medieval roots in style and depiction. At the end of the day it’s all just fun and I am just happy to know that I have some ‘Scots’ blood in my veins and that the sense of home I have has some kind of genetic foundation beyond that Scotland is still a land of inspiration to me and has very much impacted my work.
Andrew Stewart Jamieson
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This article and illustrations are the copyright of Andrew Stewart Jamieson and may not be published or reproduced without prior written permission. All Rights Reserved 2018