We’ve got our own version of ‘Who Do You Think You Are’. It’s called ‘Fa’s the Boy?’

Last week we all tuned in to see Annie Lennox trail around a fascinating selection of derelict closes, abandoned factories and tumbledown shacks. But her tour of Northern Scotland’s most vandalized buildings wasn’t just kryptonite for the tourism industry, it’s also inspired some of our regular contributors to look into their own ancestry.

DODDIE ESSLEMONT, Radical Independence Campaigner

When a researcher from TV’s “Who Do You Think You Are” turned up on my doorstep, I was not surprised.  I had been expecting it since I heard that they were doing a show on Annie Lennox.  I’d never had proof that we were related but had always felt a deep connection to her.  For instance, I frequently sing her “Thorn in My Side” while looking at a map of England.  It came as a bit of a shock, therefore, to learn that I was not related to her, but to an entirely different public figure from south of the border. The news that I had English blood was disconcerting but not a complete surprise; on reflection, it is obvious to me now that the Sassenach genes are centered in my right knee, which is gammy in a way that no truly Scottish joint could be.  It has, however, taken some time to get over the shock that I am distantly related to David Cameron.  A meeting has been set up and I am very much looking forward to it.  I say this partly because it will provide me with a forum to advance my radically independent agenda; partly because it is a reminder that there is more in life that unites us than divides us, even from our greatest enemies; but mainly, because although two of us will go into that meeting, only one will come out.

JOCK ALEXANDER – MTV (Meikle Wartle Television) Presenter

Weel michty, it’s been a genealogical wik here in the village! I decided tae mak a study of my femly tree, luckily, it’s growin’ oot in the field a’hin my coo-shed. Weel, I say growin’ it’s jist a stump noo thanks to that dose o’ Dutch Elm Disease. So instead, I engaged the help o’ the Meikle Wartle Femly History Society, itherwise kent as Maisie Ferguson, Village Gossip. She kens a’thin aboot a’bdy; in particular fa’s been inveigled with fa, ga’an back tae Nineteen oatcake.  I brocht along the parish records, which were a great help tae her, as they kept her bar stool steady files she regaled me with a’ my femly’s ins and oots. The research broke doon a bittie fan we got tae my great-grandfaither, Wullie Alexander, as according tae femly tradition, he wiz also my great-uncle. And possibly his ain cousin’s faither-in-law. Or his brither twice removed.  Onywye, fit became clear wis that exactly like Annie Lennox’s forbears; folk in Meikle Wartle lived in rural poverty, with illegitimacy and deprivation commonplace. And I’m proud to say that here in the village we’re keeping those traditions very much alive!

‘CAVA’ KENNY CORDINER – Football pundit

I was dead excited when I babbled in a bit of genealogy the other day.  I was asked at a testimonial dinner if my faither had ever done football for a living.  I says to the boy, I says “Aye. My old man Billy Cordiner used to be sweeper for Hall Russell.” Next day I checked with my mither and she says to me, she says “Dinna be daft Kenny! Sweeper wisna his position at Hall Russell, it wis his job description! He played ootside half for Culter!”  This was quite a revolution, and as I drove away from my mither’s in the Jag, I started thinking, – what about my Da’s Da?  And my Da’s Da’s Da?  And my Da’s Da’s Da’s Da? And then I realised that for some reason I had driven to ASDAs. Mental.

Anyroad, It turns out there’s been Cordiners in and around Aberdeen since the mid-1800s and they have all been excellent footballers. In 1887 one of my Manchesters, Stanley Cordiner, was the first holder of the record for “career red cards” and it only got beat in 1910 by his son Archie.  Spookily, the record has been broke every twenty-odd years by one of us Cordiner boys, right up to my own tally of 31.  Here’s hoping my wee boy, Zander, is a clip off the old block!

JIMMY HOLLYWOOD – Sandilands’ most eligible bachelor

“Fa div I think I am?” God’s gift tae the ladies, that’s fa! But hey, seriously, investigating my lineage is something hiv explored with interest. Just like the Hazelheid Maze. And Internet pornography.

I hiv been real keen on looking intae far I come fae, given I hiv nae real info aboot onybody on my Da’s side of the family. Or aboot my Da, come tae think aboot it.

Onywye, last night I did ask Ma Hollywood aboot my roots – and she telt me l needed to go and see Shireen. Tae get them done again.