For many years I have been trying to research various lines of my family tree. My interest was sparked way back in the 1980’s when as a Benalla High School student I was asked to complete a fairly simple family tree. I still vividly remember visiting Grandpa and Grandma (Alan & Ella Davis) in their farmhouse at Woodvale, Boho and quizzing them as to what they knew of their ancestors. I was given a few clues, a few family stories (that turned out to be both true and false), and a few red herrings (just to make the hunt more interesting).
But, from that day of sitting by the wood fire in my grandparents living room, munching on Gran’s scones, sipping tea, and possibly listening to Grandpa’s favourite tape recording of Charlie Pride music in the background, something inside me clicked, and from that moment on, I have been really interested (my husband might say obsessed) in the stories of those that came before us.
It’s always a good exercise to see how far back you can remember. For me, the past isn’t lost, it’s just mislaid in my jumbled up attic of a brain. A good rummage around can make us remember important parts of our living history.
So, what follows is a product of many years research, both in Australia, and in England and Ireland, tracking down old addresses, old records and documents, walking around cemeteries trying to find that elusive headstone. I have spent hours in the Record offices of London trawling through patent registers, birth, death & marriage records, walking around the East End scouring the street numbers; enjoying the atmosphere of the armoury section in the Tower of London; reading my 3 x great grandfathers published book in the British Library; and paying out many fees for various documents and records.
Many years ago, I was also lucky enough to receive a special collection of family records and photos from Ern Long. It was Ern (son of Irene Davis) that passed on to me the diary and music book of Dr Samson Davis.
Although I have taken considerable care compiling these records, if you do happen to find anything that you wish to query, please do. I would love some feedback.
Although it is always pleasant to think of what our ancestors may have done, I have always tried to stick to the facts. As Agatha Christie’s ‘Poirot’ often says…
“The facts are the cobbles that make up the road of which we travel”.
To a true family historian like myself, family history is much more than just a hobby. It’s a way of life, grounding ourselves in time, of knowing who we are and of understanding a past that’s brought us all back to the future we now live.
I have written this blog so that all our families can have something to read, ponder over, and remember that part of their heritage that can be so easily forgotten.
Leave me a comment below…. I’d love to hear what you think…..