The Tracy Family History
The "Magnificent" Wallace Line
Three of our cousins marching through the streets of Kings Mountain...
...Oct. 7th, 1981, in the parade celebrating the 200th
anniversary of the famous battle. R to L: Scott Hosier IV, CAR, Scott Hosier II,
SAR, and Scott Hosier III, SAR. They are wearing the green jacket and scarlet
cape of an officer of the 8th Virginia Regiment in honor of their kinsman Capt.
Andrew Wallace who fought at Kings Mountain on Oct. 7, 1780.
Our Woods, Wallace and McDowells all fought at Kings Mountain.
When passing the review stand a voice was heard to say, “Magnificent!” Later it was learned that General William Westmoreland uttered this word.
This is a short, 9 page condensed history of Scotland as it applies to our people. It is appalling how our people lived!
The Ancestry of Martha Melvina Wallace:
Peter Wallace Sr., born 1680 in Scotland, died about 1724 in
Ireland; married Elizabeth Woods, born 1681 in Ireland,
died 1745 in Virginia; married 1704 in Ireland. They had a son...
...Peter Wallace Jr., born 1719 in Ireland, died 1786 in Virginia; married Martha Woods (1st cousin), born 1720 in Ireland, died 1790 in Virginia; married 1744 (or 1739). They had a son...
...John Wallace, born 1748 in Virginia, died 1832 in Indiana; married Jane Miller, born (?), died about 1820 (Killed by lightening); married 1780(?) in Tennessee. They had a son...
...David Wallace, born 1790 in Virginia, died 1841 in Tennessee; married Elizabeth Adkins, born 1791 in Tennessee,
died 1865 in Tennessee; married 1810. They had a son...
...John Miller Wallace, born 1811 (or 1810) in TN., died 1884 in Missouri; married Rosanna (Jane) Manley, born 1816 in TN., died 1890 in TN; married 1833. They had a daughter...
...Martha Melvina Wallace, born 1834 in Missouri, died 1911 in California; married Archibald Moon, born 1827 in Missouri, died 1908 in California; married 1857 in Missouri.
Our Wallace Connection
(Left) Martha Melvina Wallace, 2nd wife of Archibald Moon.
At the age of 28, she and her family were burned out
of Missouri by the Yankees and crossed the plains by
covered wagons in 1863.
One of her sons was named James Luman Moon, who had a daughter named Flo.
(Right) Our cousin, Flo Casarotti, in Petaluma, CA. She was 94 years old when this photo was taken in 2001. Her father was in the famous Archibald funeral photo. She told me the story of being a little girl and watching Grandma sit in her rocking chair smoking a corncob pipe. Grandma was born in 1834, 167 years ago! So we are not that far removed from history.
Our Scottish Heritage
"The Scots'…They spend all their time in wars, and
when there is no war they fight one another."
--Pedro de Ayala, Spanish Ambassador
to the English Court during the rein
of King James IV
Before researching the history of Scotland I thought our people were peaceful shepherds tending their flocks by night. I was wrong.
When studying the history of Scotland, honestly, it makes no sense at all. All you have is people killing one another! There were clan chieftains who had absolute power of life and death over their people. There were kings and queens who had the same power, which power was often used arbitrarily.
But the true story of Scotland is that of these leaders gaining power and then trying to hold onto their power once it was gained. There were plots and counterplots, treasons, intrigues, betrayals, assassinations, even plain murders, many times close relatives killing one another. Men, women, and children were not spared.
Anyone who was a threat to a position of power was eliminated. It was kill or be killed. Often times, who would rule a region or kingdom was determined by battle in which men were killed, taken captive…then ransomed. As decisive as battles were arraigned marriages. There were defections in politics and quite often even in battle. It was not unusual that in the middle of a battle a general would have his soldiers feint combat, only watching to see which side would win, then choose the winning side. Treaties would be signed, and quickly broken.
A ruler, or king, may die without a successor. Alliances could sometimes be just plain weird. The Presbyterian Scots would ally themselves with Catholic France to fight the Protestant English.
Many times the successor would be a child (Mary Queen of Scots ascended the throne when she was less than one-week old.), or the inheritor of the throne might be mentally or physically unable to handle the job. So, in comes the Regent or Regents who would rule in their stead. Then the Regents were murdered just as if they were kings, which in fact they were.
No one who held the throne or might have pretense to the throne was safe. Two young children, pretenders, were invited to dinner and then murdered by the king. Often times invitations were issued to dinner, or other social events, only to end in murder. Such invitations… almost always under a safe conduct pass.
One king was even murdered in the presence of his wife, "…who retaliated by inflicting horrible tortures upon the assassins, which even the savage Scots found to be excessive."
But the worst story of treason is that of the bastard Angus Og. (Don't be shocked by my language. He was literally the bastard son of one of the clan chiefs.) He decided to take over the kingdom from both his father and the king. He defeats his father in battle, takes his cousin, Maclean, as prisoner, and is about to kill his cousin. At that moment the cousin's archenemy, Macdonald, comes forward to spare his life with this convoluted logic, "If Maclean were gone, who should I have to bicker with?" Ten years later Og will experience the most humiliating assassination in Scottish history. He was murdered by his own harpists. I could understand a drummer. But a harpists?
To review: An ungrateful son goes to war with his father over a kingdom, defeats his family in battle, is about to murder his cousin, when the cousin's enemy comes forth to save his life. Then the ungrateful son has his throat cut by his own harpists.
I guess you had to be there to understand.
It was treason, and treason, and more treason. That famous scene in the TV series Shogun best describes the philosophy of gaining or holding on to power. "Is that not treason?" asked the Japanese warlord to the English pilot. "Not if you win," was the reply.
Not only was it bad times for those in power, or those aspiring to power, but it wasn't much better for the common man. When King Robert II came to the throne in 1371, a contemporary wrote, "In those days there was no law in Scotland: but the great man opposed the poor man and the whole country was one den of thieves. Slaughters, robberies, fire-raising and other crimes went unpunished, and justice was sent into banishment, beyond the Kingdom's bounds."
Strangely, the Scots were not from Scotland. They were from everywhere but Scotland. For hundreds of years the Scottish land would be inhabited by a few differing groups, which did war with one another.
By the 5th century there were different races or tribes that divided Scotland, one of which was called the Scots. They were nominally Christians. This is not surprising as Christianity was carried to this land by some of the early Roman Legionaries. By the end of the 7th century there were four tribes in Scotland, all of who were Christians, in religion but not in politics. The Vatican found the Scottish interpretation and implementation of its doctrine to be somewhat bizarre.
In 1124, King David I came to the throne. At that time Scotland was still a primitive land, having no towns or industries. There was no common language. The local chiefs simply ignored the king and ruled over their own domains. Some chiefs even pledged their loyalty to kings of other nations.
The Scottish nation, by itself, was not in the habit of crossing the waters and invading another country. They would do so only in alliance with other countries, but not that often. In 1421, 12,000 Scottish soldiers wind up in France. The French peasants observed that the Scottish soldiers had a great capacity for food and drink as well as their fighting ability.
Somewhere along the line there developed the "clan" system. It was one big family, theoretically. The chief, the father of his clan, had absolute power. At the top of this power structure was the unquestioned right of life or death over his subjects. He received absolute loyalty from his people. He shared his land with his kin. Everything that they owned was his. When he went to battle, it was also their battle. The best farm land would go to the bravest warriors, not the best farmers. This would insure the loyalty of the best fighters.
The clan chief stood halfway between his subjects and his God. He would arbitrate their disputes, help them in every way whenever needed, protect them from their enemies. Most of all he protected their prized possession, little stunted black cattle, which were the basis for the clan society. They were a status symbol and source of wealth for the clansman. The chief's foremost duty was to guard his land and the clan's cattle.
No matter how humble the servant, they all bore great pride in being a member of their clan. They often believed themselves to descend from the father of the clan himself. No matter how poor they could boast, "Though poor, I am noble." "Thank God I am a Maclean." (For Maclean, you may insert any clan name.) "That man is a cousin to the King of the Scots." From ancient times to today, every Scot "is a genealogists."
Again, the clans were fiercely independent from the Scottish government, king and parliament. They were minor kingdoms unto themselves. They would align themselves with king and parliament, or other clans, only when it suited their purpose.
It was the custom of the time, a custom that would last for centuries, that when a man choose the wrong side and lost, his land would be confiscated (forfeited) by the winner. The winner was usually a king. Those who were clever enough, and there were many, would be able to ingratiate themselves to the king, even after losing. It was a very tricky game keeping your estate as well as your head.
When the crown confiscated an estate it never took away the individuals family name, or clan loyalty.
The warrior Scots were not fools. Truce was always called during times for lambing, gathering harvest, and any other projects that were necessary for the sustaining of normal life.
“Not for Glory, nor Riches, nor Honour,
but only for that Liberty”
–The barons of Scotland
to the Pope
William Wallace, Scotland's greatest hero.
Legend says that this is an old oil paint of the Scotch Patriot. It is said that Cromwell sold it from the Royal Collection of Charles I. It is probably not a true likeness as I do not believe any exist. I include it because it is believed to be several centuries old.
William Wallace was born to an upper class, although somewhat insignificant family. Not a tall man, he had a unique build with incredible strength. There was nothing in his upbringing that would foretell that he would become famous. He probably would have lived, and died, an equally insignificant life if the English, as were there wont, had not invaded Scotland.
In the year 1296, the English invaded Scotland, sacking the town of Berwick, putting all, men, women, and children to the sword. This was not unusual for the times, except that Berwick was an extremely modern and wealthy town, with the most active seaport and trade in all of Britain ... and 7,000 to 60,000 Scots died that day. Ever since, the Scots have hated the English, even more than usual. (Even now many Scots, being members of the United Kingdom, consider themselves to be living in a police state.)
This aroused many Scots to drive the English from their land. One of them was William Wallace. Wallace would come to the forefront and lead a much smaller Scottish army against the English. The Scottish tactics were those of the guerrillas, small actions, not taking a standup fight against the English in the field ... until Sterling Bridge.
At this bridge, Wallace, and his rag-tag army would meet the enemy in full battle. From a military viewpoint, the Scots did not stand a chance. The numbers in the English army were vastly superior, as was their weaponry, cavalry, and military experience. These Scots had never stood in formal battle, knew nothing of military matters, and were poorly equipped with weaponry. The Scots stood against these seasoned English soldiers.
Wallace did not come from a military family and knew nothing of the art of war. However, he had a natural genius. He realized that Stirling Bridge was the gateway to Northern Scotland. Stop the English here and he saved half of Scotland. The Scottish soldiers were absolutely loyal to Wallace, and followed his orders without questions. Through brilliant military tactics, Wallace totally annihilated the English army. He then drove the English out of all of Scotland.
Incredibly, as often happens in history, a man who would come out of nowhere and accomplished all this. Like Alexander the Great, he was very young, no more than thirty years of age. His date of birth is not known for certain. So it is possible that this greatest moment of Scottish history was accomplished by a man in his early twenties.
Wallace even went a step further and invaded England itself.
In less than twelve months the English would invade Scotland again. No match for the superiority of the English army, Wallace was this time defeated. For seven years the English army would ravish Scotland. During those seven years, William Wallace was a man on the run.
Finally, through betrayal, of course, William Wallace was given up to the English. The king wished to make an example of him so that no Scot would ever rise up against the English again. He was brought to London and stood before a mock trial. Then he was horribly tortured and put to death in 1305.
It is our family tradition that we descend from William Wallace. (But, then, it is every Scottish family tradition that they descend from William Wallace.)
Some historian say that William Wallace was never married, thus he had no children. Furthermore, they say, he had no illegitimate children. Others say that he was married and did have children.
I wish to believe that he was married, indeed had children and that from the year of his death in 1305, a generation-by-generation genealogy chart has been kept proving our ancestral link. These records are probably in an old abbey somewhere in the Scottish outback, and someday will be found… hopefully, in time for this publication.
Scottish history is replete with its great leaders crying out to be freed from the yoke of being ruled by the tyrannical English kings: "As long as there shall but one hundred of us remain alive we will never consent to subject ourselves to the dominion of the English."
When the Scots spoke of "Liberty" and "Freedom," they did not mean liberty and freedom as we know it today. They did not want a democracy, one-man-one-vote. This concept did not exist in their world, or anywhere in the world at that time in history. They wanted to rid themselves of being ruled by the tyrannical English kings so tyrannical Scottish kings could rule over them.
And how did the Scottish people fare under their own kings? In 1607, Sir Charles Piggott, Member of the English Parliament, explained the Scottish monarchy. "The Scots have not suffered above two kings to die in their beds these two hundred years."
After King James I was assassinated in 1437, the country was then ruled for the next two hundreds years almost exclusively by children.
In 1517, just when you thought things could not get any worse, Martin Luther broke with the Catholic Church. All hell would break loose throughout Europe. For 12 centuries there had been just one “true church.” Soon there would be many “true churches.” But the truest of the true churches would arise in Scotland, they called themselves Presbyterians. In 1517, the Scots just hated the Catholic Church, which was rather strange because 100 percent of the Scottish people were Catholics.
The people had good reason for their hatred. The church was incredibly wealthy, owning more than half of the country. One parson lived with his mistress and children in great luxury, in a house "…full of gold and silver, damask and silk, carved and gilded furniture and feathered beds, with a striking clock and in the bedroom, a parrot in a cage." The church provided for all nine children of one bishop,"…while the bastard daughters of rich prelates were much in demand for their dowries." Most nuns could not write their own name. A Cardinal writes, the nuns "…go forth abroad surrounded by their numerous sons, and give their daughters in marriage dowered by the ample revenues of the Church." No self-respecting family would place their daughters in a nunnery.
Appointment to church offices was political from the king on down the chain of hierarchy. Their bastards were given high church positions even while they were still children. One bastard son was made an Archbishop at the age of eleven. Monasteries, cathedrals, and other church lands were taken over by the nobles for their personal use. One every 300 Scots was a priests. Priest would be admitted to the clergy who did not even know the alphabet. Others would give sermons while still drunk.
The Pope was so disgusted with the Scottish church that he called the Scottish Bishops "Pilates." Then, the Pope, for political reasons, provided priories and abbeys for the bastard children of King James V.
Although there was great abuse of the church by those in power, among the bad there are always some good. In fairness, it should be pointed out that most of the priests lived in dire poverty.
In 1558, the English ruled Scotland. In that year Queen Mary Tudor, a Catholic, died. Her half-sister, Elizabeth, a Protestant, now became Queen. Two years later the English and French troops agreed to leave Scotland.
The Catholics in Scotland from those on high to those at the bottom of the rung could recognize the warning sign. The Catholic clergy, as the people, converted to Presbyterianism.
In 1561, Mary Queen of Scots returned to regain her rightful throne. She was Catholic, but wisely provided the Presbyterians with high positions. Six years later, still a devout Catholic, she would marry according to the rites of the Protestant Church.
To review: Martin Luther broke with the Catholic Church. Over a period of many years, the Scots were able to introduce Protestantism to their nation, eventually expelling the Catholic Church from the land. Through stealth and cunning, the Scots were able to establish on the face of the earth, for the first time, the "true religion.” From that day to this, the Scottish nation has been Presbyterian.
Now it was time to spread the true Presbyterian religion to Protestant England, and Catholic Ireland. God even provided the time, the year of 1642. In that year, the English Parliament, eventually to be led by Oliver Cromwell, declared war on the king.
Within a few months, Cromwell's forces were looking at defeat. In desperation, Cromwell looked for an alliance with the Scots. A deal was struck. The Scots would attack the king's army from the north. In return, the Scots would get a lot of money, payable monthly, and most importantly, they would be allowed to introduce Presbyterianism, not only to England, but also Ireland. Cromwell was desperate! He wanted to import English Protestantism to Scotland and Ireland himself. In order to win the war, Cromwell had sold his soul. The deal that was struck was done under the guise of a covenant in which the two countries would try to negotiate their religious differences.
It should be pointed out that the Scots had no concern over who was right or wrong in the English Civil War. They merely choose the side which would allow them to bring Presbyterianism to England. If the king, in the middle of the war, had offered the Scots a better deal, then the Scots just as readily would have changed sides. This may seem confusing to us today some 350 years later, but God approved it all.
To make a long story short (All stories of Scottish history are long, even the short ones.) Cromwell won the war, decided he didn't want any Presbyterianism in England; then he invaded Scotland. Strangely, for hundreds of years the Scots fought so that they would not be ruled by English kings. Now an English commoner ruled them.
Cromwell quickly brought efficiency and stability to Scotland. "A man could ride all over Scotland with a switch in his hand and 100 pounds in his pocket, which he could not have done these 500 years."
As for the Scots, "…scare a man of them showed any sign of rejoicing."
Now I will jump forward to the year of 1682. That was the year that our progenitor, Peter Wallace Sr., was born, somewhere in Scotland. I have two years for his birth, 1680 and 1682. I have chosen, for purposes of advancing the story, the year of 1682. For in that year of his birth began what has gone down in history as the "Killing Time.” This period would last five years. The "Killing Time" was the same as before, only worse.
There are some in the family line who take the genealogy back farther than Peter Wallace Sr., to many many generations, as far back as the mid-1400's. However, there appears to be no sound basis for this pedigree.
Now the story comes home. For it was our people who had to live through this history, day-by-day. What I have told you is the true history of Scotland. That is, it is the true history if you are Presbyterian (Church of Scotland), which were our Wallaces. However, if you were Catholic or Episcopalian (Church of England), then it is an entirely different true story. The history of Scotland is totally in the eyes of the prejudice of the writer, and all writers of Scottish history are biased.
The truth: The Catholic Church is in Scotland today, because the Catholic Church never left Scotland in the first place. In fact, the Catholics rank number two in membership. The Presbyterian Church is the largest with a membership two and a half times that of the Catholics. The Episcopal Church comes in a very distant third. Scotland today even has room for a smattering of other churches.
It is almost impossible to find a book on the history of Scotland that makes any sense. The books are too detailed and too confusing. One recommended book is A Concise History of Scotland, by Fitzroy Maclean. It is very readable.
If you wish to know how our people lived when they were not in turmoil then I suggest the book A History of the Scottish People, 1560-1830, by T.C. Smout. This is good for looking up specific subjects, such as: The land and agriculture, villages and housing, education and the treatment of the poor, and how the peasantry lived. It covers many other aspects of old Scottish life. I am only concerned about our Wallaces. So you need only go as far as page 192, which covers the burning of the witches.
Actually, the Presbyterian Scots didn't burn that many witches. Between 1560 and 1707, only 3,000 to 4,500 witches were burned at the stake (after sever torture). This can be compared to Germany, which executed 100,000 witches.
Scotland would be different from the rest of Europe in its persecution of witches. In Scotland, the upper class and nobility were exempt, whereas in the rest of Europe they executed anyone regardless of status.
Before the Presbyterians took over, the ancient Scots would deal with the witches by just leaving food out for them. Most of the Scottish witches were women whose husbands were in the lower classes of society. Many were old widows. Some women would hallucinate and confess voluntarily, but most of the confessions were extracted by torture.
After torturing a confession, the witch was then made to name her conspirators, as they were always in "covens of thirteen.” These thirteen would have to name another thirteen. The accusation of just one person could easily wipe out an entire county. Looking at the records at the time of this writing, in the year 2002, it is possible that some of the victims were innocent.
Throughout the history of Scotland, the people usually had enough of the needs of life to survive. Nevertheless, there would be times of starvation. It would be particularly bad during the years of the youth of our Peter Wallace Sr. There would be four years in a row of famine caused by a climatic change.
During the famines the people would first subsist entirely upon their primary food source. For the fishermen this meant herring. The Highlanders would live on cheese. These single diets would cause bowel problems. During these times, the prices of what foods did exist would rise to the point that the average man could not afford. It would reach the point that the people would have to eat "weeds, nettles and draft." In total desperation, they then would be forced to eat their seed corn. This meant that there would be no crops for the ensuing years, which made the famine even worse.
When all sources of food were gone then the family was forced to go begging, swelling the ranks of Scotland's already large number of homeless. In some counties, more than half of the population would die or immigrate.
It was particularly bad in 1699 when people would die in their tracks. Babies died for lack of milk. The people went about with a feeble gate and on their faces wore the look of death. They would be forced to eat grass and die with the grasses still in their mouths. In the very last stage of death, many would drag themselves towards the graveyards in hope of receiving a descent Christian burial.
After reading the history of Scotland my mother commented, "I am sure glad our people got out of there." To which all of our Wallace cousins say, "Amen."
That is exactly what our Peter Wallace did. He got out of there, and immigrated to Ireland, probably during the years of one of the great famines. It may have even been during the year of 1699, the second "Killing Year."
In reading my story, one might get the impression that I am anti-Christian: Not at all. I believe Christianity could be very good, if it weren't for the Christians. I can not help but think that Scotland would have been better off if the Roman Legionaries had been Quakers.
At the time I wrote the first draft of this story, 2001, I was listening to an interview of a minister who commented on the state of wars today. He said that of the 35 wars going on in the world today, 33 were religiously based.
My family history web site has 79 chapters. If you would like to know more about the other chapters then go to my
Home Page www.thetracyfamilyhistory.net