To the laptop, and back to the family tree which I'd been working on for a few years. I hadn't been on for a while, usually I go at it in spurts before coming to dead ends and frustratingly switching away for a few weeks before going back with fresh vigour to find new links to other branches. Once I get stuck in to an interesting area I can be on for hours, and today was no exception. Except for what I discovered! I originally worked upwards through my paternal line, Spenceleys all the way back 450 years, up to 100 years ago all farmers in the North Yorkshire Moors, explains why I can wander for miles and enjoy it, tough stock up there on the moors.
Anyway, I diverted up through my fathers mother and her paternal branch, something I hadn't looked closely at, and, after three hours, found I was a direct descendent of none other than King Olaf the Black of the Isle of Man! Olaf Godredsson, amongst other Norse, Gaelic, and other names, ruled the Island from 1226 to 1237. I'm descended from his daughter who married into the DeGunn family, shortened to the Gunns, big landowners and Knights Templar, down through scholars and reverends, and eventually down to a working class kid from 'Ull. Through 23 generations although as Olaf was Norse, I don't know if technically I have manx heritage, although most original Manx are from Norse, so more research to do. My original research showed the Spenceleys lived around Pickering in North Yorkshire in the late 1500's and eventually ended up in Hull in early 1900's. Pickering is about 55 miles North of Hull, and after my first Parish I could claim that I had walked further in one day than my family had travelled in 450 years. Now I know I have Scottish blood (Och No!) as well as Viking and possibly Irish It's all confusing. Still, as he's supposedly buried at St Marys Abbey in Rushen, then something to do while I'm across next week.
There's still lots of research to do, I've only gone directly up the tree, so I'll try and find out as much as I can before I come across. My father was pleased to hear the news, now he has some claim to be manx when he's shuffling for a good fishing spot at Sulby Reservoir. I don't think it has any other connotations, especially as it's 23 generations, but at least when I toe the line on the 25th, I'll have some claim to racing on home territory, however tenuous.
Great grandad Olaf in his Mcleod clan tartan. (I think, some historian will put me right hopefully)