Ok….so I am a little mean and have teased you with a long break in the DNA story between Part 2 and Part 3. But it’s worth it….trust me.
When we first looked at doing DNA testing, the advice was always to get as many older relatives tested as you could. My Nanna (Mum’s mum) passed away many years ago. Her sister Kay was alive, but seriously ill with cancer and sadly passed away before she could take the test. Uncle Bob (Mum’s brother) instead used the DNA test and with the idea of getting a clear picture of the male line.
Some time later, the results came back and Mum opened them with interest. And now here is the tricky part.
My Nanna, well, let’s just say she had her faults. I would like to say Nanna had a troubled childhood, to explain her self-destructive behaviour. But she grew up in a regular, loving family. He father, known as ‘Da’ was an absolute sweetie. I have very fond memories of visiting him in Sydney. But for whatever reason, Nanna had a little of the wild child about her and loved a drink (or ten). So although she did marry the three fathers of all her children, it seems there was a little twist in the story.
Mum has three half-brothers and one ‘full blood’ brother – Uncle Bob who she shares the same Mum and Dad with. But that all changed when Mum looked at the DNA test results – Bob was actually her half-brother too! They have a different father! For all our joking and knowing Nanna had a naughty streak, we didn’t actually think it would happen.
It was a bit of a shock. Although her parents split when she was very young, Mum remained close to her father’s family. She suddenly lost a connection with family she loved dearly and was close to. Beloved Aunty Nella, who I saw as my ‘surrogate’ Nanna, was now gone from the family tree. However, when Mum spoke to Uncle Les, he summed it up well and said “No matter what, you’re still my niece’” And, if Aunty Nella were still alive, she wouldn’t give two hoots about it either. It all comes back to nature and nurture really. And in that sense, the Moore’s are still family.
Looking at it purely from a family history point of view though, in one fell swoop, an entire branch was lopped from the tree. I have had a few brick walls on my Dad’s side of the family, but now we are now faced with a reinforced brick wall. And this was the side of the family Mum knew about too. It was the side of the family with an old family tree claiming royal connections (possibly a Victorian fake). Family with a great Naval history. A family full of Australian explorers. And a family connected with Australian royalty (aka convicts).
This year Mum and I attended WDYTYA:live in Birmingham. It was good to speak with various helpful experts, and we have a few ideas on where to go to from here. But it won’t be an easy search. And just how do you email a distant cousin about this “Do you have a relative who was in Sydney in….”