Sunday, 6 November 2011

In the beginning

Family history research is an addictive, time consuming passion. As a child I was told that there was a convict in the family who had travelled to Australia on the Third Fleet and had become an influential businessman in Sydney and owned a number of properties in New South Wales. The name of this convict was Simeon Lord. One of the teachers at the primary school that I attended remembered the family's connection with Simeon Lord and contacted my parents when he was preparing a paper for the AIGS. Did this mean that having a convict in the family was important? Some years later we were contacted by a television station working on a program that included Simeon and my parents were asked for their consent which was readily given. Other members of the family were not so happy about it being known that they were related to a convict. Times have certainly changed from the 1960s. Studying Australian history at school, and later at university, I kept finding references to Simeon in Australian history books. When I was a teenager my grandmother told me stories about members of her family who had lived in India during the nineteenth century. One member of the family had been killed in the Indian Mutiny in 1857. Unfortunately at the time I was not that interested however the outline of the stories remained in my memory. At the age of 17 I decided that I wanted to find out all I could about the history of my family. Many years later I am still searching.

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