I grew up in Australia, happily avoiding brown snakes, sharks and sunburn – an idyllic childhood living in Sydney as well as coastal and country NSW. I’ve moved more times than I care to think – my Grandad once called me a gypsy…which was cheeky coming from him of all people! It’s a well-known family story that he nearly moved his young family to the other side of Australia (to Perth), so I think perhaps he was just a little jealous of my adventures.
In early 2014 I moved to London where I now live with my extended family. A reverse migration if you like – from the UK to Australia…and back again.
In our family there have been quite a few mysteries to solve and I do love a good mystery…this family history obsession possibly started as my own real life ‘Agatha Christie’! Who was ‘Great Granny’…and soon moved on to did Grandad Edgecombe encounter smugglers? Is the explorer Franklin really our ancestor? Who really was Elsie May’s mother? Did Lydia really drown in the bath or was there something more sinister?
These mysteries aside (all will be revealed in time), there are also a few striking family resemblances. I take after my dear Granny (Dad’s mum) in a way that amazes even the two of us, and if I’m honest, perhaps scares me a little too! Our mannerisms and gestures, even our hands are all so alike!
And my sister Victoria takes after our Mum in a way that is equally amazing – photos of them at the same age are so similar it’s uncanny and both are often asked if their ancestry is Chinese? Italian? Spanish? More recently we have used DNA to totally dispel all these theories on our family’s origins.
I wonder then how much of us is defined by nature and how much is from nurture? I have no idea….but either way both our genes and our environment make us who we are. Exploring your family history is a fascinating insight into how the same genes and the environment of that time may, or may not, have affected our own lives today.
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