Friday, December 01, 2006

Tracing my family Tree…

I have spent the last few days tracing my roots. It has been hugely interesting and to be honest very revealing!
For instance my new baby niece Julia is a long line of Julia’s that stretch back to the early 1800s. My dad’s gran was a Julia, her mum was a Julia and her mum was also called Julia with the surname Derham. Very unusual name I think, but there we have it. I also discovered that both my great grandparents Annie and James died on the same day in December 1952. That must have shaken the family losing both parents.
The funny thing I came across was that the name Gunn was in my family, well we always knew I had guns in the family for a long time!

So I have been immersed in the last century for days now and find it really amazing how these people lived and little did they know that one day I would be writing about them.
All those poor wee Dutch and French immigrants who made there merry way to Scotland, marrying, breeding and finally settling in Glasgow, never telling much to each generation, only leaving behind Parish records and Marriage certificates, scrawling names that they probably never thought anyone would want to read again and never knowing that I, their great-great-great grand daughter would finally get to run my finger over that weak blue ink.
They buried children stricken by the measles and whooping cough, they sent sons of to war, they became weavers and bar tenders, they married and died and I wonder what part of that DNA was left in me. Probably none I suppose, but I do wonder what the women of my past were like.
I would love to know how they lived and how they died.
My mother died at 47 years and her mother died at 38 years old, but the women before that survived into their 60’s.
I traced Ashley dad’s side of the family and they ended up Irish and French on his side, and extremely Scottish on his mother’s, mother’s side. They were highlanders’ through and through but am sure history tells us that no-one is truly British we are all descendants through Scandinavians and Normans. Though Ashley tells me it’s a fact that one in four of the world’s population are descended from China.
So if anyone out there knows the name Derham, then we may well be related!

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