Reyson Gracie, a great-great-grandson of a Scotsman and a 9 dam red belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, is currently in Scotland from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, exploring the roots of the Gracie family. On Sunday 7 June 2009, he was in Morton with his daughter Kendra Gracie and his son-in-law Martin Pullinger. They visited the graveyard where many Gracies are buried and also the location where they used to live. Reyson comments: “our visit to Dumfries in 2007 was incomplete but now we finally arrived where we wanted to be – on the soil where over 200 years ago our ancestors planted the food they ate”.
The Gracie family is originally from Low Carronhill, Morton, Dumfries, Scotland.
George Gracie left Scotland for Brazil in 1826 at the age of 25, where he founded the Brazilian branch of the Gracie family. Two years after George Gracie’s father James Gracie died, George visited Scotland and erected a gravestone in Greenhead Cemetery, Morton. Part of the grave inscription says “Erected by their son Mr George Gracie of Rio de Janeiro 1859”. Reyson is the second Brazilian Gracie to visit the graveyard in Morton. Before him there was Ambassador Samuel Souza Leao Gracie in 1955.
Norman Anderson, a retired headteacher of Wallace Hall Academy, Thornhill, Scotland, made an invaluable contribution to these findings. “He has selflessly given a lot of his time to research our family roots and we are very grateful for that”, says Kendra, whose next step is to study all the new information and make the connections with the branches of the Gracie family that went to England and then Australia from Scotland.
In Reyson’s first exploratory visit to Dumfries in 2007, Dumfries and Galloway City Council paid homage to the Gracie Family in a ceremony at the Loreburn Hall. Find out more at http://www.reysongracie.com