Family reunion for US visitors

Christine (centre, front) with her family during a reunion at Cheers Bar in Fraserburgh.
Christine (centre, front) with her family during a reunion at Cheers Bar in Fraserburgh.

A US family met their distant cousins for the first time during a trip to the North-east recently following an appeal in the Fraserburgh Herald.

Christine Gerrie and her family, who live in Oregon, made a one-day trip to Fraserburgh on Tuesday this week.

During the reunion, which was held at Cheers Cafe Bar and Tavern, Christine and her family met no fewer than seven of their distant relatives.

The US visitors spent a few days in England before heading north to Edinburgh. They then made the journey to Fraserburgh to see their family.

Christine travelled with her husband, Brad, her parents and her brother, Tom, and Tom’s wife, Nicole.

Commenting during the visit, Christine said: “I feel very blessed to have met our extended family.

“We have wanted to meet our relatives for many years and I’m so glad we’ve made it happen.

“Being here and seeing our relatives has given me such a sense of being.”

Christine’s father, Paul Hendry Gerrie, commented: “It’s very nice to see where you came from. I call this the Motherland now.

“It’s very special. I feel humbled.”

Bill Birnie, who is one of Christine’s distant cousins, added: “It’s very interesting to meet descendants of my mother’s uncle.

“I’m very pleased to see them - they’ve come such a long way to see us.

“I’m looking forward to seeing them again.”

Christine’s great-grandparents, Joseph Gerrie Sr and Jessie Sommers, were born in Fraserburgh and had three children: Paul Hendry Gerrie Sr, Joseph Gerrie Jr and Janet Gerrie.

Paul Sr was born in Fraserburgh in 1919. He was named in honor of his uncle, Paul Hendry Gerrie, who died in 1918 in the First World War.

Paul Sr had three children: Paul Jr, Pat and Bruce.

Paul Jr was born in 1943. Christine is Paul Jr’s daughter.

Joseph and Jessie brought their young family to New Jersey in the 1920s. Joseph and Jessie moved back to Scotland in the late 1950s and they died in Fraserburgh.

Christine’s family owns a winery in Oregon, Cristom Vineyards, which is named after Christine and her brother. One of their vineyards, Jessie vineyard, is named after Jessie Summers.

After their one-day trip to Fraserburgh, the family were due to visit Ireland.