Sunday, March 17, 2013


Today I was thinking a lot about my adopted half-brother Len who was born in London on this day 102 years ago.  He was born nearly 21 before me and was wonderful to me when I was young. This got me chatting to my other half about people we had known and still remembered quite well and how long ago they had been born.

The furtherest back I could go would by my first husband's grandfather (George) who was born in Sydney in 1872 and was aged 88 when he died in 1961.  His wife Alice was born in 1880 in Perth so she would I imagine be the next person I remember well who was born so long ago.  She was 94 when she died in 1974.  I knew both of them very well and spent many happy hours in their home in North Perth.

My adopted dad Henry was born in London in 1885 and my adopted mum Gwin in 1897, also in London.  I think they are probably the only other people I can remember really well who were born in the 19th century except for two English friends of theirs (Jim and Annie Dakin) (who I do remember quite well) who were born in 1877 and 1879 respectively.  There are many I have known that were born in the early 20th century all of whom have now left this mortal coil but I often delight in thinking about all of them.

MOH then put on his thinking cap and is sure that his grandfather would be the furtherest back he could go. His granddad (Charles) was born in England in 1858 and died in Coventry, Warks in 1947 at the age of 89.  When he was very young Charles was with the British Army fighting in the Afghan War (1878-1882) which makes you realise just how long ago that was.  There were other family members of his also born in the 19th century including his other grandparents who were born in 1880 and 1881.

When I look back on what I have written I realise that the majority of these people were born in England which shows just how many British people immigrated to Australia through the years.  The only two people I know of not born in Britain that belong to my extended family were my maternal great-grandparents who had emigrated from Denmark to Queensland in the 19th century.  Great-grandma remarried when her husband died and she and her 3 children then came over to Perth.

I hope this will give you something to ponder far back can you go when thinking of someone you knew (family or friend) who was born WAY BACK THEN?


  1. Can't go too too far back:
    Great grandma Black was born in 1880 in Ontario and died in 1975 just a few months before my daughter was born
    Grandad Espey was born in 1887 in Ontario and passed away in 1961
    Grandad Peters was born in 1899 in Ontario and died in 1989.
    I always feel so furtunate to have had two full sets of grandparents and one great grandparent to start out life with.

    1. That is very interesting Delores.
      You are so fortunate in having had grandparents and even a great grandparent that you actually knew and remember.
      My adopted parents had emigrated from England so my family was just the two of them and my adopted half-brother. No cousins, aunts, uncles either.
      Perhaps that is one reason I'm a bit of a loner.
      I did find it very interesting doing the genealogy for both my families though. It's amazing how many skeletons pop out of the closets along the way. :)

  2. Not far at all. I never knew grandparents or indeed any relatives on either side of my family. Which is something I regret.

    1. I am like you EC...(see reply to Delores above). I guess I was fortunate in my first hubby having grandparents and aunts and uncles and was lucky I got on so well with all of them. It was them I missed when he and I separated although I still saw some of them occasionally.

  3. My Grandfather was born in 1889 and that is all I really remember. Fascinating history for you. I know all the history of my family but only remember one birthday that I remember of a man I truly loved to spend time with. B

    1. Like me Buttons you have no loving memories of older family members.
      I have so much family history stored in my computers of both my families and that of my hubby too that at times one can easily get confused about who was who. I've often regretted I've not much more genealogy to do but every now and again I find another distant family member. It is all so interesting.

  4. The oldest people I know or knew are my old mother in law and father in law, first hubby's parents who will both be 88 this year. I knew my mother in law's stepmum briefly, she died soon after our wedding, I think she was born in 1894, but can't be sure. I never knew my own grandparents as they lived and died in Germany, but I believe they were born before 1900, I'd have to check the family tree which is currently locked away in a heavy suitcase.

    1. I am glad I got people thinking about this. Some people are so fortunate in having large families and yet this is not always the case as there do appear to be many dysfunctional families these days. Perhaps the old adage "friends you can choose; family you are stuck with" rings true in many cases. My son must have felt like that when he decided to 'divorce' all of us just over 11 years ago.
      My genealogy is all in my computer (Mac uses Reunion 8) so just a click and I find whoever I want in a few seconds which is so convenient.