Old Bones, Old Loves, Old Tragedies

Monday, April 19, 2010
A little jaunt to the other side of the city yesterday, saw us hunting up the graves of long-dead relatives.

One thing about researching genealogy is that it's very addictive. Once you start, it's hard to stop.

Pretty little, quiet country churchyard on a warm, still Sunday afternoon.

After learning that some of my ancestors were convicts sent to Australia for burglary (the Old Bailey now have online records), or whalers or sealers (not exactly a clean profession, and certainly not politically correct in these modern times, but essential to survival 200 years ago), and hearing stories passed down of sons who went into professions not exactly desired by their fathers, (my great-grandfather owned a tobacconists shop in Christchurch, and my other great grandfather went mining - and didn't find his fortune - after leaving his family business in Auckland), I have been very happy to discover my Great great grandparents in the little country settlement of Kilinchy.

Farmers. Good, honest, respectable farmers - part of that great band of early settlers. The ones who struggled and toiled, to make our country what it is today.

Robert Weavers - an immigrant from England married Sarah Jane Fielder - who immigrated to New Zealand on the immigrant ship Glentanner in 1857 with her carpenter father and mother and two siblings.
She was 10 years old.

Somehow I feel a connection with these people. They lived here, they married here, they gave birth here and raised their family here. They experienced tragedy and sadness and no doubt, great joy as well, and they died here.
I wish it were possible to go back into time and meet them and to see them as they went about their daily business. I want to meet my Great Aunt Emma, the sister of my great grandfather, who died suddenly at age 24 after a short illness. I mean, look at the date of her death! What a dreadful time that must have been for her family. I found a newspaper clipping of her obituary, which said she was a favourite and so loved by the community for her sweet nature and kindness. It is nice to know I have someone like that in my ancestry.

I'd like to meet Great Uncle Henry, and find out what happened to him.

I'd like to know why my Great Grandfather George (the eldest son) gave up the family farm and went to the city to own and run a tobacconists shop. What's with that? Did my Great great grandparents like the girl he married - Martha, whom my Grandmother told me I take after, in looks and personality.

I'd like to find the old family farm, which I have heard rumoured to still be around somewhere. So many questions. So many mysteries. I want to know these people. I want to know the intimate details of their existance.
The hunt is endless sport.

1 comment :

momentsofwhimsy said...

What a wonderful legacy you have. I'd love to find some of my rels, but they are all in Southern NSW - my dad has since visited his boyhood farmhouse which was lovely for him.

Oh - and I'm a descendant of an Irish convict that was transported to Australia (probably stole a loaf of bread to feed his family)

C ;-)

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