Genealogy has always been fascinating to me. I loved to hear stories from my Mum and Dad about where we had originally come from. You see, they were just stories passed down from generation to generation. I longed to have the family history I had read about in Looking for Alibrandi. I wanted to have family recipes, old photos, old love letters. Anything that I could build on, stories I could share.
When I met my now-Husband he had stories of his Dad when he lived back in Ireland, how he grew up, what he overcame, and of course how he came to live in Australia.
When I was little I knew that we were ‘Irish’, as in Dad’s family line had come from Ireland (a long, long, long time ago). I used to take this and my red hair would make sense to me (only one in the family!), I believed my pale skin and my freckles were as a result of my heritage. Having a name with a ‘y’ and an ‘e’ where they really didn’t need to be made sense. Our Mum would tell us stories that her Dad had told her, and his Dad before him – about the Scottish and Norwegian heritage on her side.
I have managed to trace my Paternal side back to Patrick Byrnes, who arrived in Australia as a convict in the mid 19th Century, my maternal side is very well tracked due to the Service records held from WW1 and WW2. So whilst administratively I have been able to put together some form of a family tree, the genetic side of things has been much trickier. Like a good fiction book, I come from a line of ‘I am not your sister, I am your Mum’, ‘Yes your name is XYZ, but I had a baby before you and named them XYZ before adopting them out’, and ‘Oh yeah, your Mum died, so I married her sister, who has the same name as you’. Seriously – it would make one hell of a book!
This search was to determine our genetic roots, it was so important to me to be able to have a foundation to build off. When I have children of my own, I want to be able to pinpoint their heritage. It is harder when your people have been in Australia for as long as ours have. I am really excited to pull apart the results and go through them!
Have you done your DNA testing? Did you have any surprises?
x Courtney x
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