Uprooted: Steeped in History

Uprooted: Steeped in History

A trivial look at Sir Thomas J. Lipton's family tree.

It’s a summer day: The sun is shining, crickets are chirping, and you’re relaxing on the front porch with a tall glass of Lipton iced tea. As a genealogist, you can’t help but be curious about the roots of that famous brew — and its namesake. Sir Thomas J. Lipton, a self-made merchant and yachtsman, was born in Glasgow, Scotland, May 10, 1848 (though he claimed to be two years younger). After becoming a successful grocer, Lipton turned to tea in the 1880s, aiming to sell quality products at prices that undercut his competitors. His teas took off not only in the British Isles, but also in America, making him a millionaire. Queen Victoria knighted Lipton in 1898, and when he died Oct. 2, 1931, he left his fortune to the city of Glasgow. Drink up more details about the Lipton family in this quiz.

  1. Before Lipton was known for tea, he sold
  2. Some of Lipton’s ancestors were originally from
  3. Lipton married Margaret McAuslan May 12, 1871, because
  4. Thomas and Margaret named their first child
  5. The Liptons left Ireland and settled in Glasglow because of
  6. Lipton’s paternal grandfather, also named Thomas Lipton, earned his living
  7. Lipton christened his first yacht
  8. After Lipton and his wife became estranged, she and their son, William, resettled in
  9. Lipton died
  10. Lipton was buried


  1. d.
  2. c. His ancestors are belived to have been part of the Ulster Plantation of Scottish settlers in Ireland in the early 1600s.
  3. b. Lipton, a Protestant, did the honorable thing and married the Catholic McAuslan when she was about two months pregnant.
  4. a. Baby Thomas died at the age of 10 months Nov. 6, 1872.
  5. c.
  6. d.
  7. b.
  8. b. After she gave birth to their son William Sept. 15, 1873, she vanished from Scottish records. Lipton biographer James Mackay believes she went to Canada.
  9. c.
  10. a. They were buried in Southern Necropolis, Glasglow, Scotland.


Number of correct answers:

8-10 Celebrity Savvy

6-7 Notably Knowledgeable

4-5 Star Crossed

0-3 Infamously Ignorant

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