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Hello. My name is Claire Margaret Jordan but I am the illegitimate daughter of Roderick (Rory) Denis Edward Langford-Rae. My father was part Burmese but the Rae side of his family were Southern Irish Catholics from Kerry who moved to the Raj in the mid 19th C. The family name was originally Rae rather than Langford Rae, but Langford occurred as a common first or middle name among the Kerry Raes, who seem to have been quite well-to-do landowners. I assume the family were originally Jacobite refugees.

My problem is this. I never knew my father, because my parents split up over religious differences and when my mother tried to trace my father a few years later, she found that he had been killed in an accident in Assam when I was six.

I have recently traced one of my father's much younger half-brothers. One of them knew my father very well and he has told me that my father did a lot of genaeological and historical research into his family.

Now, this guy, my half uncle, is remembering conversations he had as a very young man 46 years ago, but he reckons he clearly remembers my father telling him - several times, from the sound of it - that he had learned that in 901AD the MacRaes almost died out as a family, and were saved only because a monk who was a MacRae quit the church in order to have lots of children.

This would make perfectly sound cultural sense. The MacRaes would still have been in Ireland at that point, there were probably still some monasteries left which adhered to the Celtic Church, and monks in the Celtic Church were permitted to marry.

Unfortunately, however, I haven't managed to find any references to this story. Does anybody recognise it and know where my father would have heard it?

Query posted by : Claire M Jordan

11 Feb 2011 at 02.38
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