In the early 1980s, while I was attending art school, members of the family each received a Christmas gift of a winter scarf in McNaughton plaid. I still didn’t have a clear idea of exactly how I was related to the McNaughtons, but I loved that scarf and wore it regularly during the winter. When I lost it about 1986—left it somewhere? dropped it accidentally?—I was disappointed.
My paternal grandfather, Stanley Raymond Shanower (1917-1987), died the next year. He had owned one of the McNaughton scarves. Since my scarf had been lost, I got his. I guess you could call it an inheritance. I didn’t want to risk losing Grandpa’s McNaughton scarf like I lost the first one, so I’ve never worn it. Losing Grandpa’s scarf would mean also losing a tangible connection to him.
In the past few years my hazy connection to the name McNaughton has grown more concrete. Since I’ve started delving into my family genealogy, I have a better idea of who my McNaughton forebears were.
|David Elmer Shanower (1885-1967) and his wife Edna Marietta McNaughton Shanower (1891-1964), my great-grandparents, circa the late 1950s.
Edna’s father William Malcolm McNaughton (1850-1914) was born in Galt, Ontario, Canada, and ended up in Claridon, Geauga County, Ohio. He died before his grandson Stanley, my grandfather, was born, although his wife, Mary Elizabeth Grant McNaughton (1856-1946), lived a few more decades. My father knew Grandma Mac when he was a child. I recently visited their gravesite.
|Gravestone of William Malcolm McNaughton (1850-1914) and Mary Elizabeth Grant McNaughton (1856-1946) in Claridon Center Cemetery, Claridon, Geauga County, Ohio.
|William Malcolm McNaughton's blacksmith shop sign, one side.
|William Malcolm McNaughton's blacksmith shop sign, the other side.
I have Malcolm Duncan’s father as Malcolm McNaughton (1790-1870) and coming to North America from Reispole, Strontian, Argyll, Scotland. This information is unproven and has some details I find questionable, but it’s reasonable to believe that the McNaughtons came from Scotland.
Farther back than that, however, my McNaughton ancestry is lost in the haze of time. I wish I knew more about my McNaughton family, but for now I’ll be content to look at pictures, to know that the McNaughton blacksmith sign survives, and to own my Grandpa’s McNaughton scarf.