Getting to the Old Country

Sarah William's Book 1807

Sarah William’s Book 1807

I started my family history with the goal of “getting everyone out of Australia”. It’s been remarkably easy with the help of an Ancestry subscription for the records and a good working knowledge of family stories. For many years I’ve been a repository for papers and photos and lists and memories, but committing to a subscription was the start of getting all this stuff organised and put into some sort of context. As I don’t have too many “old people” left to ask about things it had to be now or not at all. Ever.

So getting back to England or Scotland or wherever seemed like a good first goal. Along the way I met some intriguing characters. I am impressed by the number of these ancestors whose genes seem to have past on their occupational skills to me!

There’s the linen weaver from Ireland and the flax dresser from Yorkshire. I have a deep love for wearing linen and also for spinning it. There’s also the shipbuilder who settled in Tasmania with his convict wife – is he the reason I seemed to understand sailing (at least crewing) the first time I was taken out on a skiff? Was she the reason I have a love of silk as well? Poor Rebecca certainly ended up Down Under because of her attraction to silk shawls!

My coal miners from Scotland perhaps gave me my preference for the dwarves in Lord of the Rings when most people loved the elves. And is the Belfast shoemaker behind my insistence on simple well made shoes?

But wait.

All those dressmakers – what happened to their skills? I certainly didn’t get those genes although sometimes I wish I had.

And so it goes on. My Names List page is where you can meet those folk who took the arduous voyage to get to Australia, a voyage that has been likened to us taking a trip to Mars, an incredible distance with little hope of returning.

And these folk left behind brothers and sisters, aunts and uncles, parents – some of whom travelled the other way to Canada and USA. And here it gets really interesting because it is with those North American descendants that I’m finding a lot of DNA relatives.

The other thing that’s fascinating is how many of these ancestors married more than once which has a huge impact on working out DNA connections – it’s no longer just my direct line and their siblings who must be found but their half-siblings as well. There really is no end to the research that can be done.

Which suits me just fine – I love it. But I’m wondering, have you set out to create your own family tree? And if you have how do you choose who goes into it?

Bye for now

2 thoughts on “Getting to the Old Country

  1. It’s fascinating to see how the lives of ancestors weave their way into our present. I enjoyed reading your post Margaret. I have started a family tree but it’s a work in progress. Deciding who to include is difficult… I think add whoever you have information about.

  2. One of my sisters has undertaken the tasks required to work on our family tree. Seems lots who came to Australia as convicts or new settlers left relatives in Ireland, England, Wales and Scotland. And we also have distant relatives resettled in Canada and America.
    glad you are enjoying the search. 🙂

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