What’s in a name?

What’s in a name?

Above :The Canadian cousins called it a “Murdo fest” My son Murdo Jnr. me, cousin Murdo James and uncle Murdo who left Kyle in 1937 Here we are in Ottawa in 2014

The name Murdo Murchison  is as far as I can make out first recorded as Murchadh MacCalmain born in 2520 came from Ireland to Stromba Lochaber then went on to be the strange mixture of minister and constable of Eilean Donan Castle in Wester Ross round about the time of the reformation. His offspring stayed in the area so many Murdo Murchisons followed down the generations. You cn see him at the top of the family tree at the bottom of this post.

Me with my grandfather known in his day as Murdo Jnr in 1958
MacCalmain  means son of Columba who brought Christianity to Scotland in circa 560  Much was made of this in previous generations. The old Murchison gravestones have doves inscribed on them-a symbol used by Columba himself who was a tremendously interesting character.

Over the past 500 years considering we are an insignificant Highland clan there have been a mixture of ruthless opportunists, pioneers, seamen, high achievers , crofters, soldiers, airmen, businessmen, not to mention preachers, all of them descendants of Murchadh MacCalmain (original Gaelic version of Murdo Murchison) Recently  listening to my son Duncan preaching  had me think, not just of the original Murdo Murchison in the family tree, but of the five successive generations of my family who have been preachers. Donald Murchison Catechist, post disruption, Murdo Murchison my grandfather lay preacher,  my father lay  preacher, myself, lay preacher and church planter, Duncan ,my son ,a candidate for the ministry.  His maternal grandfather who died in February aged 91 was a well known Free Church minister.    For a blog on how miraculously, with clear help from God, he defied death as a young man go to https://murdomurchison.wordpress.com/2017/02/18/rev-alasdair-smith/?iframe=true&theme_preview=true

Years ago people all over the Highlands told me they had heard three generations of my family preach. Older people in Wester Ross now tell me that they have heard four generations now that Duncan is going round the country preaching.

I do not know if there were Murchison horse traders away back in previous generations but we now have four generations of motor trade people in the family. Murdo, Finlay, Ian and Stephen. Most of my own life has been spent as a modern horse trader! Three out  of the four Murdos photographed above, were or are  pilots.

When the latest Murdo Murchison was born, having vowed to end the name I found myself naming him Murdo and fortunately he likes his name better than I did. For sure you do not hear it much in Central Scotland.

The clear teaching of the bible is that individuals as well as successive generations are important in the eyes of God. This is the reason we have detailed genealogy throughout the bible. Notice the great lists with each individual named. You may  think of yourself as insignificant in the eyes of God but the clear teaching is that YOU ARE IMPORTANT . He sent his Son to seek and to save the lost. He died for the ‘ungodly and the sinner’. Each of us must come to him acknowledging that we come under that terrible category, he then freely wipes the slate clean. Thinking about our heritage  may be be good and can be fun, but  BEING RECONCILED TO OUR MAKER IS VITAL. Here is the glorious thing about the gospel  IT IS FREE. A gift from God… will you accept the gift?…his son Jesus.

Family tree from 1520 showing me and my brother Ian in the right hand bottom corner


One thought on “What’s in a name?

  1. Murdo, please ignore my previous post about not knowing how to purchase your book. I was able to pre-order a copy with Amazon. I send my prays.

    Liked by 1 person

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