Today I shall take you on a trip to the past. I have always been fascinated by history from Tudors to the First Fleet to American history. One of my biggest area’s of history is Family History though. First off, I will admit in the past few years I haven’t had as much of a chance to work on ours as I would like but it is still a passion. I find it fascinating to see where we come from, what stories our past holds, what secrets we can discover.
It would have had to have been 2000 when I first got into it. I don’t remember exactly how it was but one of the very first things I remember is discovering that I was descended from two of the original settlers of Norfolk Island. In fact the two of them were convicts and quite succesful convicts too at that. They also had thirteen children though two of them died when they were two and still on Norfolk Island. From there we went searching for more information and I got more and more involved with it. Mostly focusing on mum’s side though as dad’s had his tree done quite some time ago, going back to the 700′s though it has some interesting stories to it too.
While there are many people working on family histories around the world – including mine, it can never hurt to do some research of your own! There’s lots of places to start – ancestry.com, ancestry.co.uk, geneology.com and many others websites – just do a google search for family history sites, geneology or something along those lines. Not only are there these websites but there are also magazines such as Family Tree and numerous books about finding and starting on your search. In otherwords there are plenty of rescources out there to help you with your research.
There is a lot that can be discovered in researching your family history, which can be captured some what on shows such as “Who Do You Think You Are?” etc. Perhaps it is just me but watching these shows can show me such interesting stories, how the world and even cities have changed over times, especially when they reveal something surprising and quite unexpected about someone or some place.
For me? Not only did I discover we were descended from two convicts but actually four (if not more!). Two of them were the first married on Norfolk Island even before it was technically allowed. One of them’s sister was supposedly mistress to King George and the other one was supposedly an aristocrat but yet both were convicts? That is probably something we’ll never know for sure but what we know is that there is a lot that doesn’t make sense regarding their past. One of them was a carpenter by trade and built the first Windmill in Australia and worked with Sir Frances Greenway among others projects. The two of them are the ancesters to 40,000 descendants who are alive today and is the largest family in Australia. That is just one of the many things we have discovered about one side of my family.
On the other side? Yes we haven’t really touched it (though my Aunt is working on this side a bit) we have more fascinating stories to discover within the branches of the family tree. Yes I’m just a normal Australian girl, nothing spectacular but did you know I’m descended from William the Conquerer and have other members of the British (English, Scottish royal families and French aristocracy? That Macbeth was a real person though he wasn’t anywhere evil as Shakespeare potrayed him in the play?
It isn’t even back so many generations that we find the interesting stories in our past. My grandfather was apart of the Indian army and actually lived in India as a child. My grandmother lived in Israel from a number of years before coming to Australia from England.
One just never knows what you will discover. Even the stories of where you name comes from can provide clues to your family history and what secrets the past holds for you. Who knows, you could be related to Margaret Thatcher or even Elizabeth I for all you know! Even George Washington! You might even be distantly related to your best friend! I suggest not looking up your significant other though! To quote something I read ‘if you know how closely related you and your partner are its too close’.
Why don’t you go research your past if you don’t know it? It’s interesting and I’m positive you’ll learn something new and exciting!