The County You Live, Work And Play
Retired Miner Might Be Osmonds Cousin
The man who gave the world Long-haired Lover From Liverpool has a bald-headed cousin from Lanarkshire. Or at least that’s what retired miner Matthew Paterson suspects.
Matthew, 78, read that Jimmy Osmond had traced his Scots ancestors back to Old Monkland in Coatbridge and was on the hunt for any relatives still living in the area.
And he’s convinced he’s a distant cousin of the 70s idol.
Jimmy’s great-great-grandad, William Birrell, lived in Old Monkland. And Matthew’s great-granny, Margaret Birrell, hailed from the same small village.
Matthew said: “When I read about the Osmonds’ connection with Old Monkland and the name Birrell – which is my middle name – it all came together.
“I’ve got photos of wedding and birth certificates going back to my great- grandad Crawford Paterson and his wife Margaret Birrell, my great-grandmother.
“She married in 1874 in Old Monkland. Everything is there and there’s a good chance Jimmy and I are related. If we are, I’d like to meet him.”
Matthew admitted with a smile that he doesn’t share 52-year-old Jimmy’s talent for singing – or have the same long hair. But he added that his daughter Linda, now 56, was a massive Osmonds fan when she was younger.
The pensioner, who now lives in Alloa, continued: “Our family line is made up of all working people, like miners – there are no other millionaires in there at all! There are 14 brothers and sisters in our family and my father worked night shift.”
Jimmy and the rest of his family have always believed they have Scottish roots and have been researching their family tree for years. He said: “I have always believed we got our musical talent from the Scots and Welsh side of the family. I haven’t checked to see if there are still people in Lanarkshire but my friend who is a genealogist confirmed it and it’s cool to know we have family who are Scottish. We would love to meet other members of the clan.
“I think I have Scottish characteristics because I think Scottish people are fun-loving and disciplined, which we are too. Scottish people know how to have energy and give back to performers. I love it there.”