Perhaps you remember the letter I got from my granddaughter, Cecilia Pearl Gull, relative to the situation in Salt Lake City, Utah with the official State Bird and other issues concerning the Gull Family. Well, Ceci Gull is at it again and in her genealogical research she has found a long lost branch of the Gull Family in Scotland.
I have just received a letter from a nephew many times removed concerning his activities in Edinburgh, Scotland. I would love to be able to visit Seamus Crosbie Gull, he likes to be called SC Gull, but it is unrealistic to suppose that I can fly to Scotland. He has written me a letter and sent some pictures which I include in this message. Here is the letter:
Hello Uncle Bob:
I am writing from Edinburgh, Scotland to let you know how we are doing.
Cousin Ceci contacted me all the way from Utah and told me how to get ahold of you. She says that you are my uncle thrice removed and cross several other Gull family lines. She goes on to say that you are the reigning Gull Family patriarch in California and a very high flying old bird.
Anyway, our Family lives here in Edinburgh and we feed both on the fish in the Firth of Forth and from what we can scavenge from the tourists that visit the city. Edinburgh Castle is easy pickings for us and most of the tourists will drop their food and scatter when we strafe them while they are standing in line to buy tickets and tour the exhibits. We really like to heckle the pretenders who wear kilts since they look really silly when they run.
We are only here in the Spring and Summer months and then we go across the water for the Winter since it can be bitter cold and windy in Scotland.
Here are some pictures of me and the boys heckling the tourists at Edinburgh Castle on Easter weekend. We plan to go out to the Firth for some fishing later this week and I will send you some more pictures if anything turns up. Do you and the lads in California strafe the tourists for food?
Fly safe and stay warm, your nephew,
P.S. We are thinking about a trip to Ireland to visit Belfast. It is only a short flight across the water towards the setting sun. If we go I will try to get some more pictures and send them to you.
Well, I have to admit Seamus does sound like a chip off the old block in our family. I am not sure how that end of the family got all the way to Scotland, but who knows how the trade winds blow. I have heard the crew members on the SS Jeremiah O’Brien talk about ports of call for the Liberty ships in both Scotland and Ireland and the ship did sail from southern England during her earlier years.
Editor’s Note: The letter from Seamus Crosbie Gull has caused quite a stir in the Gull Family circle in San Francisco. We originally assumed that SC Gull was some form of California Gull similar to Bob, but further research lead us to believe that he was probably a European Herring Gull ( Larus argentatus ). Once the pictures he sent were examined by our bird experts they decided that he is probably a Yellow Legged Gull ( Larus michahellis ) because he clearly has yellow legs and feet whereas the European Herring Gull has pink legs and feet. How Bob, who is a California Gull, is related to a Yellow Legged Gull is a mystery yet to be solved.
SC Gull mentions fishing in the Firth of Forth. A ‘Firth’ is an estuary and the Firth of Forth is a fjord formed by the fourth glacial period. The River Forth flows into the North Sea and the fjord extends far inland almost to the middle of Scotland. He also mentions going across the water for Winter. It is likely that SC Gull and his family winter in the Mediterranean Sea and that the rookery is in that area as well.
The reference about how the SS Jeremiah O’Brien visited ports in England is correct. The records show that she made eleven consecutive crossings from various British ports to the American landing beaches codenamed Omaha and Utah between June and October 1944.
For those of you not contemplating a trip to Scotland you might consider a trip to San Francisco to see Bob C. Gull and the SS Jeremiah O’Brien. We do not have too many incidents of the gulls strafing the tourists and the California Gull is not quite as aggressive as the Yellow Legged Gull from Scotland.