Taking The First Step

How My Ancestry Search Made Me The Family Historian

Footprints on an empty beach captioned,"Daughter of a Ten Pound Pom"
An Ancestry Search To Find The Footprints My Family Left Behind

My Unplanned Ancestry Search

Today is Australia Day 2019. I am watching the Aboriginal “Welcome to the Sun” ceremony. I am envious of what they have……an unshakable “connection to country”. In New Zealand, I would acknowledge my standing place or “turongawaiwai”. In England? Well, perhaps if I wasn’t a “Ten Pound Pom” I would acknowledge my “East Ender” roots by claiming “It’s me ‘ome, innit!”

Today is Australia Day 2019 and I now live on a boat. This is not the beginning of my life story. I am writing in the same way I have lived my life. No planning, no purpose and no end goal!

Me? As a child I remember many times being asked where I came from and I never knew what to say. I was born in England, emigrated to New Zealand on an assisted passage (colloquially referred to as a “Ten Pound Pom”) After six weeks at sea we arrived in Milton transit camp, then on to Bluff, Ohai, Waikouaiti, Dunedin, Wedderburn and finally to return to Milton!

You can understand that being asked what school I went to was always difficult to answer if I didn’t want to explain my life history to someone who was only making polite conversation!

Even as an adult there always seemed to be a reason to keep moving……. Oamaru, Timaru, London, Birmingham, Gold Coast (Australia)! I avoided answering the question, “Where do you come from?” by replying, “Wherever my bed is!”

Having a place on a family tree was pointless when there was only five members. I would never have imagined that I would search for ancestors and my family tree would take me back to the 17th century! Nor would I accept the title of family historian with a sense of personal pride and satisfaction.

The journey from “home is where my bed is” to a family tree of over 440 ancestors (and counting) can be found in the links below. Whilst the stories found in my search for ancestors will also remain my primary focus I have accumulated a wealth of skills that other beginning family historians will find helpful. The best of these can also be found in the links below.

Subscribing/Following Warts and All will mean you wont miss out on the FREE DOWNLOADS which I add regularly. I should also point out that I do not send daily emails (or monthly ones for that matter!) so Subscribing/Following is the best way not to miss out on these FREEBIES!

You may be a writer, a podcaster or a digital scrapbooking fan. Perhaps you want to know how to search for your ancestors. What ever your focus Warts and All will get you started. My journey began with one very tattered, small letter about a brother I had no memory of and no one spoke about (Love Letter For Jimmy) and a desire to know where I belonged,

If you have had a similar “gypsy” lifestyle or would like to share why you started your ancestry search I would love to hear from you in the comments below

Just Vicki

Links To Ancestry Search Tools

How To Attack Writers Block

Writing Your Family History & Interviewing Tips

How To Find The Hidden Stories in Military Records

Writing Family History Templates

Writing A Podcast Transcript

How To Podcast Your Short Story

The Stories My Ancestry Search Discovered

Child Of a Ten Pound Pom When a 6 week journey took me from my roots.

All Aboard The Charabanc: My Mother’s Day Out No men allowed!

Ancestry Search To Family Story How ancestry searches leads to a new role…..Family Historian

A Love Letter For Jimmy The story I thought I would never write.

A Tangled Web Of Truths & Untruths Search for ancestors can uncover more than you bargain for!

Scrapbooking: How to Write A Story With Photos

Finding my family tree one story at a time !

Standing Place is the lace you call home
My Houseboat – My Home

9 thoughts on “Taking The First Step

Add yours

  1. “Even as an adult there always seemed to be a reason to keep moving” expresses how it must be for so many of us now adult child immigrants. Thank you for a beautiful and insightful blog.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Many thanks for your positive comment. It is so motivating and a real boost to my confidence. Although I”m not sure how it happened that you had to wait so long for a reply!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Hi, a person in your family tree John Thomas Swinbourne, has parents listed which I believe to be incorrect, as I am a direct descendant and have his marriage certificate where he clearly states his fathers name. Please email me if you would like details. It may save you researching backwards for the wrong ancestors. All the other details in your tree seem the same as what I have. Also, if you check Adam and Sarah on the census 3 years after his birth, you will see they don’t have a three year old child. Wendy Bond


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