Luckily for us, one of our cousins decided to research down the line of Gregg, and has compiled some of our history in a small book titled Family Histories of the Gregg and Woodworth Families. In the book, there are a lot of interesting facts about the McGregors.
Here are a few quick ones:
1) “Royalty is Our Race” was our family motto (we occupied the throne of Scotland for some time).
2) By 1563, the McGregors were a hated clan and were persecuted by Queen Mary. Our name was completely abolished by King James I.
3) It wasn’t until 1661 that our clan was allowed to resume our family name, due to our help in battle.
4) In the early 1600’s, part of our clan, now Gregg, moved to Ireland. It is here that we became Quakers and were friends of William Penn. It was with Penn that we came to the U.S. in 1682.
As interesting as that all is, as a writer, I find another one of my relatives to be the most fascinating. In the early 1800’s, Josiah Gregg was part of a group that traveled the West and established the “Gregg Trail,” better known as the Santa Fe Trail. Josiah would go on to write one of the most popular books regarding the Santa Fe Trail called the Commerce of the Prairies. To this day, it is popular among early U.S. historians.
Today, Commerce of the Prairies is still sold in various editions. Once I found out that I had a famous author in the family, of course I had to have a copy.
And one last interesting fact. Currently, on Highway 66 just east of Albequerque, is a road marker that reads:
“Josiah Gregg frontiersman and trail blazer established a trade route between Ft. Smith, Arkansas and Santa Fe in 1839. The return trail from Santa Fe in 1840 passed just south of here roughly paralleling this highway. The route was little used until 1849 when the California Gold Rush drew immigrants from the East.”
It’s intriguing having a famous author in my distant family—at least for me. I may never be a famous author like Josiah Gregg, but I hope that my writing speaks well for the Gregg name in the coming years. And now, as I plan on welcoming my twin babies in the next week or so, I can only hope that someday they will be as interested in their heritage as I am.