Updated: Oct 26
1 - The Scudamores, A Poem and a Video Story, that weave together the branches of my family tree.
If you are interested in finding out about your past but never quite got round to doing any research or you are a budding genealogist then you should find my journey of interest. Hopefully you will enjoy the poems written by my talented relative, Lynne Noreen Arrol in our traditional Scots language, as much as I have.
You may have already guessed by the title of this chapter that I am in fact referring to the Skidmores. When my mother was researching our maternal line she was in touch with someone who informed her that Skidmores could trace their way back to the Scudamores of the 14th Century. The French name of Scudamore appears to have been anglicised to Skidmore.
Sir James Scudamore (1558 - 1619) was a jouster, soldier and courtier to Queen Elizabeth I. He must have been an impressive sight in his suit of armour made of gold, steel and leather and particularly stood out with his heart shaped shield.
It’s fascinating to learn that his suit of armour was restored by and is displayed in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, having been found in the ancestral home in Herefordshire called Holme Lacy.
Holme Lacy is now a hotel owned by the Warner Group. This Grade I listed mansion, built in 1674 has 181 bedrooms and is set in 20 acres of gardens in the Wye Valley.
Ma maw traced Skidmore ancestry
Back tae the 14th Century!
An "quelle surprise!" - a link tae France!
Sir James Scudamore - no by chance.
Thon motto on his heart shaped shield,
"L'escu D'amour," hus been revealed
As Anglo - Norman fur his name.
Aye, "shield of love" wus his surname!
Noo Scudamore hus been revised
Tae Skidmore - it's been anglicised.
Wi monie ither spellin's tae
But ma fam'ly spell it this way.
Sir James wus way back in ma line
Jouster an soldier. Unco fine.
An Courtier - ah'm fit tae burst!
Tae Queen Elizabeth the furst!
Poem by Lynne Noreen Arrol 2023
'Beyond Time's Veil'
I’ve found it increasingly exciting and enjoyable researching my family tree and creating stories to leave and enrich the knowledge of the members of my family, especially the younger generation. I’ve used an AI tool from Artflow.AI to create a fantasy chapter. Their video story is free to produce, with editing very restricted at the time I used it, but I enjoyed the experience as well as the interpretation of my plot and and hope it encourages others to use AI to their advantage.
My story is based on ancestors who I may or may not be related to - Sir James Scudamore who was a courtier and jousting Knight to Queen Elizabeth I and Clifford Richard Parker who had high aspirations and decided to emigrate to New York but tragically lost his life on the Titanic. Skidmore is the name on my maternal side which has a long association with psychic powers, and the following story introduces my grandmother Mary Skidmore Drysdale, who was known for telling tales of the future by simply reading tea leaves.
By coincidence Clifford's destination was New York, and the magnificent suit of armour worn by Sir James was purchased and displayed by the city’s Metropolitan Museum of Art. Both of my time travelling ancestors are united in New York in 2023, one attempting to claim his beloved jousting armoury and the other researching the history of the fateful event where he lost his life. My story ‘Beyond Time’s Veil’ relays the start of their unusual friendship, nurtured by my mystical grandmother. If you want to know more about their trials and tribulations, let me know and I may very well continue to entertain you.
Copyright, Lesley Ann Parker 2023