During the latter years of the Baby Boomers, I was born into a family of English immigrants at Penrith, New South Wales, Australia. My three elder sisters were all verging on adulthood when I was born and by the time I had reached the age of my earliest memories, they all had boyfriends and were preparing for marriage.
The three men my sisters married are as much a part of my childhood family as my sisters, I can’t remember a time when they weren’t in my life.
And so it came to pass that I spent my childhood years as the only child, surrounded by a family of eight adults. I really did enjoy an idyllic existence.
We lived in the Blue Mountains, about fifty miles west of Sydney, in what was then a remote area, with a gravel road leading to our home. Due to the lack of children my age to play with in the area, along with the strong English accents of my family, I grew up speaking with a broad northern England accent, just as my family did. My mother preferred to call me a ‘Pozzie’ – a cross between a Pommy and an Aussie…
At 18 months old, with Dad.
With my three sisters all married and with families of their own to care about, Dad and Mum decided the three of us would move to a warmer climate, so our house was sold, along with all of our furniture, and we headed north in search of a warmer climate.
For Mum and Dad to uproot the three of us and move north must have been the simplest of ideas – they barely batted an eyelid and off we went. I can imagine after transporting themselves and their three young daughters by ship to the other side of the world, a move north, taking them a mere six-hundred-and-fifty miles would be easy. An account of the move north, where we finally settled at Murwillumbah, N.S.W. can be found here….
For me though, it wasn’t easy. I struggled to come to terms with leaving my sisters, brothers and their children, only accepting the idea of moving because I had to go, I had no other choice. It helped to know we would make regular trips back to the Blue Mountains.
At age nineteen I met the man who became my husband and the father of our four children. Allan was born and raised in Murwillumbah, N.S.W. but had accepted a position in Sydney after leaving school, with Telecom Australia, so I moved to Sydney to be with him.
We were married at St. Philip Neri Church in Northbridge, Sydney, in 1979 and have two sons and two daughters.
Allan and I with our first-born, Ben.
I have researched my husband’s family history over the years but will not record any of his family history here. Allan has a very large extended family and all lines of his family have been thoroughly researched, however, if anyone has an interest in the following surnames, I would be more than happy to share any information I have or put you in contact with someone who can help ~ Keevers, Kelly, Twohill, Mills, Hatton and Neylan.
We spent the first fifteen years of our marriage in Sydney, the city I still call home. In 1992 however, and seven months pregnant with my third child, I made the same move I had made many years earlier with my parents – we moved back north.
There was a purpose for the move, however traumatic it seemed at the time. My mother had taken seriously ill and I didn’t know how much longer I would have her.
By August 1993 my mother was gone and over the next five years, it gave me the opportunity to really get to know my Dad. (Mum always told me that there was a silver lining to every cloud!) Dad and I became very close during the years he lived alone and it hit me incredibly hard when one day, without a word of warning, he had joined my mother. ‘Dead’ is such a permanent word so I will not refer to any of my family in that way. They are no longer with me in physical form, but they are still with me.
Holding my first daughter, Hayley.
Starting this website has been a dream of mine for many years now. It has taken a while to get my head around the planning and layout of what I wish to achieve and I sincerely hope that many people will have the opportunity to be enlightened on aspects of their own branch of the family by visiting this website.
My one week old baby girl, Emma.
As new relatives are added to the site and I build on the information I have already found, it is my hope that you will find here more than just the branches of a tree, with names, dates and places. For as many relatives as possible, I will also include photos, personal stories and information on their lives. This is where I will be asking my extended family to assist, by sending photos and stories of their own for inclusion here.
Baby number four – Adam.
I’m sure I will continue to add to this site for many years, although it may never reach a stage of completion, as my search for ancestors continues…