Wednesday, 25 May 2011

The Family Tree

I of course didn’t take my own advice and take it easy whilst I’m recovering from the latest RSD relapse. I’ve been muddling through a pattern; doing too much for two days followed by three days of a lot of pain and fatigue. I just can’t help myself, completely good days are far and few between so I have to make the most of it!!

Anyway, regular readers and friends will know that I’ve been slightly, okay.... borderline obsessed, about my family tree. 5 years ago Mike (more keen than myself) not only became my boyfriend by my Genealogy teacher too. And I’ve not stopped banging on about my roots ever since.

The whole argument of nature verses nurture is one that fascinates me. My love of writing could be attributed to my grandfather’s career in journalism and my father’s talent in poetry, my enthusiastic love of cooking, I assume comes from my Mum, but beyond my direct and close family, where do these interests and skills come from?

My whole obsession with my family tree started when I found a marriage certificate in my Nan’s possessions after she had died. The certificate was that of my Great Grandmother Eva, marrying Albert the union itself didn't tell me what I hadn’t already heard before, but Eva’s father’s name was Djalma Smith. Why such an exotic Christian name with an all too common English surname?

After research I found that Djalma’s parents were Robert and Anna Smith and they had named two more of their children Kate-Zillah and Tizrah amongst the more average names of Robert, William, Anne, Elsie and Sydney. What made my great 3x Great Grandparents choose such unusual names? It’s something I doubt anyone living could tell me, but I began to wonder who had stories they wanted to share? Did I have long lost family?

I already have a huge family of a dozen aunts and uncles, 40+ cousins and 5 nieces and nephews, but what I recently discovered was that that’s only a tip of the iceberg. My Mum’s parents have 12+ siblings and my maternal great grandmother/father had 20 siblings between them! This tree was fast becoming a forest!

About 3 months ago I received and e-mail from a Karl saying that we were related. It turns out we are second cousinss once removed! His grandfather and my Great Grandmother were siblings and Karl was just, if not more, intrigued by this almighty brood of people we are connected by.

It just so happens, Karl, who lives in Hong Kong, was visiting the UK and he visited me last weekend! We spent a long morning swapping stories, certificates and my favourite – photos. Wonderful photo’s including my great uncle playing a grand piano and another third and removed cousin in his First World War army uniform, amongst many more.

It just so turns out that the gap between my two front teeth, that no one else in my immediate family has, is no longer a childhood bullying target but a family heirloom that I inherited from my Hudson ancestors! – Thanks guys!

I would definitely recommend trying genealogy if you really want to know where you come from. The stories that have surfaced during my research have been scandalous, comical, upsetting and confusing but you have to admit it’s far more interesting to read about the amazing people that make up your being here than the trials and tribulations of Z list celebs!

L x 

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