Jessiquest 

Part One: Root, Branch & Tree

Found in a journal of family history, written in the hand of my Grandmother Stover’s first cousin, Mary Etta Ergenbright, and transcribed by myself:

Some of you are aware and others was shown the invitations Grandmother Taylor received to the wedding of Elizabeth II and Phillip, Duke of Edinburgh, 1947, also to the Coronation 1952. I remember some of us was excited and spoke of this to Grandmother. Being the “grand” lady she was, she was pleased but modestly stated, “Elizabeth II (now Queen of England) was a distant cousin.” I wish now, (as we all do, I’m sure) when I spent many a vacation with her, after my first son was born, that I had asked her many details in our talks. She was always interesting and the most desirable company for all ages. To me, she always had the love for, and the interest of her grandchildren. Even at the age of 89yrs she was youthful in mind and actions. She seemed to understand the growing problems of the young and had a very broad outlook on life.

She notes:

Grandfather Taylor was of English decent. Grandmother Taylor was Scotch-Irish descent.

Another passage:

During World War II while the grandson she raised, William Ray Richardson Jr. was stationed in England Grandmother renewed her interest of investigating her legacy in the banks in Scotland. I was told by Grandmother she has money there drawing interest these many years. To collect she had to present this Bible and a certain seal, which had been misplaced. Grandmother had the Bible which I saw and I was always informed with her passing - the Bible was to go to her grandson, William Ray Richardson Jr. which I assume he now has.

And, yet, another passage:

Turnbull name from early date has supplied a romantic origin. According to tradition the name derived from a man named Rule who saved the life of King Robert the Bruce by turning a ferocious bull which had threatened to gore the King. For this service he obtained a grant of the lands of Bedrule and a new name – Hector Boece (1526) to whom we are indebted for a number of picturesque tales relating to our early history – Not withstanding the spelling of 1315 the name is probably from O. E. Trunhald “strongly hold.” Patrick Turnbull was bailie of Edinburgh 1388. The Turnbulls were among the most turbulent of the Border Clans as attested by the frequency of their name in Pitcairn’s Criminal Trials.

In sum: Ancestrally speaking, I have a bloodline to the Queen, a secret bible and key-like seal that leads to some Scottish treasure and something to do with Robert the Bruce.

Clue by clue… Adventure by adventure…

My amazing sidekicks and I will travel anywhere required, from West Virginia to Buckingham Palace, and talk to whomever necessary until the mystery legacy of my family lineage is solved.

When we put another piece of the puzzle together, it will cut to an awesome dream-like-reenactment-type sequence. You know, like my awesome, mythic imagination. Such as when I found out there were some rowdy Scottish clans involved, I flashed to Braveheart. That was rad. This show will be like nothing you have ever seen. Funny, with heart, it will be a magical-docu show. It will be a quest…

A Jessiquest.

That would totally be 56.222278452 x better than any show on MTV, including “Date My Mom because I'm lame,” “TRL with five hosts and no videos,” and “Movie Awards that are a commercial promoting movies that haven’t even come out yet instead of mostly celebrating the ones that have.”

Totally.

Grandmother enclosed a letter with the journal pages she sent. In the letter, written to me in her own hand, her final words to me were, “I would like to find out how I am related to the Queen.”

Truly, I do have some work ahead of me.

And no, C.Sto, I'm not splitting the treasure with you. Unless you agree to become my sidekick.

For life.

Update: A letter from a master genealogist.

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