1996 Reunion - Scotland

Published in JFA newsletter no. 10, July 1995

The 1996 reunion of the Junkins Family Association in Scotland is less than a year away. The dates have been set for June 13 through June 26. Jim Bolles and Karen Spencer, of Ancestral Tours, Ltd. have just recently returned from two of their 1995 tours. This past spring, they conducted a tour for the New England Historical Society and just a few weeks ago, returned from England after conducting a tour for the Graves Family Association. In late November and early December of last year, Jim and Karen spent several weeks in England and Scotland on their first planning trip on behalf of the Junkins Family Association. They returned very excited with the prospects of a trip that will be a once-in-a-lifetime experience for our family…a chance to truly "walk in the footsteps of our ancestor, Robert Junkins."

Many of you have been asking about the plans and more details of the trip. Shortly after Labor Day, you will be receiving a package outlining the complete tour and costs. I can't tell you the whole story, but I can give you a rough outline of some of the events that will take place over the thirteen days in Scotland and England.

The story begins in Careston, Scotland where Robert was born and travels to Brechin where he was baptized in the cathedral. We will meet with Rev. Mackenzie, a delightful man, who is enthusiastically planning to make our family welcome. We will enjoy a buffet dinner with the townspeople followed by a "cailidh" (key-lee), a traditional Scottish evening of conversation and musical entertainment. David Adams, a local historian, will be with us during the day and evening to bring to life the local history.

Our entire tour will be led by Dr. George Redmonds, author, lecturer, and recognized British surname authority. At present, he is working on a book commissioned by the New England Historic and Genealogical Society.

On Sunday, we will attend the morning worship service at the Brechin Cathedral, where some of the family members may participate in reading of the lessons. After the service, we will be hosted in the private homes of some of the parishioners for a leisurely get-acquainted lunch and afternoon visit.

The tour will include a full day's visit to the city of Edinburgh, with its magnificent castle, which has never been captured, along with some time for shopping or even golf, if anyone desires.

The tour proceeds to the town of Dunbar where we will be met and escorted for the day by local historian, Stephen Bunyan. We will stand on the heights of Doon Hill, while Stephen describes, in detail, the events and progression of the Battle of Dunbar and the capture of our ancestor, Robert Junkins.

For the next several days, we will follow the tragic death march of the 5,000 Scot prisoners, including Robert. We will relive the trek through Lamberton Toll; Berwick-upon-Tweed, where you can walk across the same ancient stone-arched bridge that Robert walked three hundred and forty-five years ago; visit and tour and have an evening banquet at Alnwick Castle, where the prisoners were held for several days; Morpeth and the famous "cabbage garden" where hundreds of prisoners became sick and died from eating raw cabbage; and then on to the magnificent Durham Cathedral, the southernmost part of the death march. As you know, Robert was then marched back north to Newcastle, where he was put on board a sailing ship for London and then to the colonies. We will spend our last two days in London visiting all the famous sites.

I hope you will give serious thought to joining us on this adventure and Betty and I will be there to greet you in Brechin.

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