Of Bloodlines and Origins

Bloganuary day 8

Today’s prompt: How far back in your family tree can you go?

I was so surprised that this was today’s prompt as, out of the blue, my son and my nephew both asked for access to our family tree this afternoon. Our Family tree was therefore top of mind for me anyway today. How cool is that!

We are very fortunate in that my Dad has spent the last few years delving into the history of our family, especially on his dad’s side as this is name we carry. Thus far he has gone as far back as the early 1700’s. On my mum’s side, we can trace my grandfather’s family back to the 1800’s as far as I know but we don’t know really know anything about my grandmother’s family.

We are of mixed race. On my dad’s side it is English and Zulu and on my mum’s side it is English and St Helenic. Somehere in the St Helenic line is Asian ancestory as the boys in particular in my grandfather’s family have Asian features. My mum inherited those feautues as well and passed those genes on to us as well. It is has far easier to trace the English bloodline than it has been the Zulu line. As far as I know, no records exist for the Zulu bloodline. I assume my mum’s mum still has family in St Helena as I went onto the website one day and I say a picture of a lady standing at her back door that looked so much like her. When I looked at the caption I was pleasantly surprised to see that she had the surname as my gran so it’s highly likely she is family.

As most of our knowledge is about my dad’s side of the family, I can only really speak to that. I must admit that it has been empowering to learn that we descend from ship owners on the one hand and a strong, courageous woman on the other. Unfortunately all my grandparents had passed by the time I was 10 and I never knew my dad’s dad as he passed when my dad was 16. My dad’s mum is the only one I got to hear stories from. She would have us help her fold laundry on rainy days and entertain us with stories of her school days. She was one of the first 23 students that attended the school where she grew up in the early 1900’s so it was all very novel to them.

The pics below were taken at the home of my Great great grandfather which, up until recently, was a snapshot of their life in the early 1900’s. It is also surrounded by a nature reserve so it is extremely peaceful. I have loved walking through the grounds. We’ve had to side step the zebras and, if we wanted to see the buck that roamed the grounds, we had to remain very still as they were very skittish. It’s also the location that I chose for our family portrait last year.

Coedmore castle. Photographer: Author
Posing with the Zebras. Photographer: Author
Understanding their history with Grandpa. Photographer: MFenner Photography

We inherit from our ancestors gifts so often taken for granted. Each of us contains within this inheritance of soul. We are links between the ages, containing past and present expectations, sacred memories and future promise.

Edward Sellner

I could go on and on about our family tree but i will stop here. I think it is so importnat and very empowering to know where we come from. We don’t realise that we all carry great bloodlines if we go back far enough.

Thank you for taking this walk through our family history with me. I hope you have enjoyed it. Bye for now.

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