Blogovus: Connections, Trinidad, Australia, Scotland, Canada, Jamaica, Philippines











We remain connected

By microscopic strands of  history and of DNA:

 Entangled by our narratives, by now partly fiction,

Embellishments from our imaginings

Of the way things



The email thread below was initiated by Eric Roche, son of Inga and Tony of Australia who reported a reference to a Dr. Girvan of Ayrshire, Scotland, who in 1715 traveled from St. Petersburg to Peking. We can not presume to claim this Dr. Girvan as our own since the town of Girvan must have spun off a considerable number of people carrying the tribal name of the place of their origin. A bit of perspective is shown below from an article, Girvan-A work in Progress,  by Peter Mclean in Zakta Guide.

People have been living in the Girvan valley for thousands of years. The oldest officially discovered sign of habitation within Girvan is dated between 3300 – 2500 B.C.,.that is between 5,300 – 4500 years ago. Two Cinerary corded burial urns (dated between 3300 B.C. and 2500 B.C.), excavated in 1961 and containing the remains of a female, an adolescent and an infant, are the oldest artifacts that have been found in Girvan. In 1861 a Collared urn was found near the above site.

To put some historical perspectives on the travelogue from which Eric got the reference, Dr. Girvan made his international diplomatic mission 115 years before John Girvan and his brothers Thomas and William came to Jamaica to sow, or dare I say scatter, the seeds for several generations of beautiful people among whom you can count yourself. The year 1715 from a broader European historical perspective is the year of the death of The Sun King,  Louis XIV of France after a reign of 72 years! (Eat your heart out Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain!)

Does the name Dr. Girvan and the function of diplomatic representation in international affairs ring a bell for you as it does for me? Ah, our irrepressibly peripatetic, perennially recurrent Norman!!!


The email thread below starts with Jasmine in Trinidad.

Hi guys,
just forwarding this from Tony and Inga in Australia.
Hope you are both fine.
I am preparing for an exhibition here in November . I will send pics.
Sending lots of love ,
On Sunday, October 2, 2016 8:38 PM, Tony Morphett wrote:
Dear Jasmine

How are you and how are Alexander and Alatashe? We’re battling on, but as they say, old age is not for sissies.

The email below came in from our son Eric. It concerns a Dr Girvan from Ayr who was traveling from St Petersburg to Peking in 1715. Ayrshire being the ancestral home of the Girvans, there’s almost certainly a connection. Anyway, we thought Gary Girvan who did the Girvanopaedia might be interested, but we don’t have his email address. If you have perhaps you could forward this to him.

Inga sends her love and so do I. (She’s so busy that she doesn’t spend time on line any more, so any correspondence should be sent via me.)


Tony’s SF novels Starship Home, Starship World, Quest Beyond Time and The Distant Home now available from Amazon Kindle eBooks

From: Eric Roche
Sent: Saturday, 24 September 2016 1:56 PM
To: ‘Tony Morphett’

Tony – Thanks!

As it happens I’ve just started reading travelogue: “A Journey from St Petersburg to Pekin 1719-22” by a Scots doctor by name of John Bell. It’s available online in PDF in two volumes.

Inga may be interested since I just now read this bit on p12 of v1:

“On the 10th of August [1715], my friends, Messieurs Lange and Girvan, arrived here on their way to China, on a message from the Czar [Peter the Great] to the Emperor of China. The first was a Swede, and the other a physician, from the county of Ayr in Scotland.”

This was in Moscow.
So there you go another Girvan for the Girvanopedia! I can’t see a first name as it is only a passing reference, but a Dr Girvan from the county of Ayr just about has to be a distant relative.


– Eric


Jasmine and Norman, Victoria, B.C. 2013

Jasmine and our own peripatetic Dr. Girvan, Victoria, B.C. 2013 (Click on photos to magnify)



Dr. Girvan, the Youngest

Dr. Girvan, the Youngest


10 thoughts on “Blogovus: Connections, Trinidad, Australia, Scotland, Canada, Jamaica, Philippines

    • Hassan, It is a pleasure to meet you online. We knew that there was likely to be descendants of William Girvan in Zamboanga, Mindanao, but it is good that we now have contact with someone there. Thank you for the invitation to come to meet our Philippine family but I no longer travel. I am old and not well enough to travel. Dr. Norman Girvan was my cousin. We grew up in Jamaaica. I have lived in Canada for 63 years after leaving Jamaica in 1955. Inga Margaret is also fairly old and no longer communicates by computer. We would like to hear about William and his descendants. If someone could write a short summary of his Philippine descendants we could include the story of William and his descendants in this blog site. A photo of his grave site or his headstone and photos of others from the Philippine family between William and those families who are still alive, could be included. We also have on this blog site some information about William which is not correct and incomplete. Please correct and add information which I can include on William’s page on the blog (see the link to William’s page here).

  1. We are searching for a direct contact from Inga Margareth. No one had ever known that we exist here in the Philippines, southern Mindanao.My sister had been exchanging chats with the late Dr.Girvan proving us been lost in the family tree. But unfortunately he died and never been contact again. We have picture of my late great grandfather William Girvan’s grave .

  2. My father’s contact number is 09161322384 and my number is 09161612621. pls contact us to supply you informations. We would be very glad. My father is now 69 years old. I sympathize my father searching and finding the truth. Dr.Girvan also supplied us information and he prove all correct. My father always telling me about the graves of Thomas and William be arrange but unfortunately we can’t without your help. My father doesn’t want this to just be forgotten. Thomas is buried in a land we believe he owned called Massinloc. But the local govt claimed and changed the name to Mampang Arena Blanco. William as well was buried in a Protestant cemetery here. And my father wanted to gather and arrange them. Please contact us or send a direct email for us to send you all information. My heart cries for a long time that how my father wished to fulfill all of this and even telling me how if he’ll pass away and everything we are will be gone and they won’t know that we exist.

    • Hassan, we are simple people with no power to make a difference in the important parts of the political and economic existence of other people’s lives. But in the mind of your father there can be some contentment that people who carry the DNA of his ancestors are still living and laughing, loving and dying, struggling, failing and succeeding in other parts of the world.

  3. William Girvan has two siblings namely Billy and Christina. Billy or my grandfather also had 2 siblings namely Billy jr. and Dorothy. Billy jr is my father,I’m the youngest of 5: Billy|||,Attimar,Omar and Fauzi are my elder brothers and sister. We are the only Girvans here in the Philippines. My sister (Attimar)was the one who was then exchanging chats with Dr Norman Girvan before he died last 2014. William was married to a native Filipina and died 1919 not 1912. pls send us email for me to send you photos that we had.

    • Thank you Hassan for this information. We will change the date of William’s death on the blog. I will add the information that you have sent here to the story of William and send you a link so that you can see the changes and show them to your father. Your father may be interested in the stories of ancestors of the Caribbean Girvans who are the descendants of the siblings of your father who stayed in the the Caribbean. We are a mixed people who have a wide range of physical characteristics because, like William who married a native of the Philippines, there was intermarriage between the European Girvans and the descendants of African slaves in the Islands of the Caribbean. As you can see in this blog, many of the descendants of the Caribbean Girvans have left the Caribbean and relocated to Canada and the U.S.A. to now start another line of Girvans in another part of the world.

      • Yes, I understand. Deep in my heart of gladness and gratitude hearing from you. Greatest thanks to modern technology being connected to you somehow. We are thankful and proud in spite of our luck we are still what we are. In addition to the info, I would like to post photos of the siblings of William,the grave, map of Thomas Henderson’s grave at the said land and the 2 medallions which William stated to give to his son Billy. But I can’t post in this blog.

  4. Hassan, I sent an email to your email address about 2 hours ago. You can send the photos by email but you will probably have to send one photo, then put another photo on another email until you send them all.

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