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National Family History Month Week 1 #NFHM2022

August 8, 2022

Alexander Daw from Family Tree Frog blog has challenged bloggers to participate in a bloggers challenge to celebrate National Family History Month. As I can’t resist a challenge, and even though August is a busy month for me, I have decided to dive in and have a go.

The challenge is to post on a family history theme, each week in August. Alex has suggested four weekly topics which I intend to follow.

Week 1

The theme for the first week is August, which can also mean respected or impressive. Who do you think is the most respected or impressive member of your family tree and why?

Many of the people in my family, though mostly very ordinary people, are impressive to me, but for different reasons

John TAYLOR and Martha LLOYD – left their life in Haverfordwest, Wales, and made the long voyage across the seas, not knowing what their life would be like. To add to the complications of their voyage, they had a toddler and a baby travelling with them. Their courage has given me, and my family, the opportunity to have awesome lives in Australia

Previous posts that I have written about John and Martha:
John Taylor and Martha Lloyd
Children of John Taylor and Martha Lloyd

Thomas WATERS, my 2x great grandfather faced many challenges in trying to make a new life for himself and his family in Australia. At the time of his marriage, in 1857, to Elizabeth Ann COX/COCK, he was living in South Australia.

In 1859 the couple decided to travel to Melbourne to make a new start. When Thomas wasn’t able to leave his work as expected, arrangements were made for his wife to go on ahead with the children, and another couple.

The second child George Burton, was just nine months old. The couple arranged to meet in Melbourne when Thomas arrived. When he arrived at the station, he found his wife in distress, with baby George, dangerously ill, and with no money, after spending the last of it, on consulting a doctor.

The child died, and Thomas used the last of his money to bury him and to purchase a ticket for his wife and son to travel by coach to Kyneton. He found someone to pay his wife’s coach fare, but he himself had to walk to Kyneton.

After arrival in Kyneton, the struggles continued, as Thomas tried to find work to earn enough money to feed and clothe his children. Thomas wrote a Letter to his family in Bedfordshire, England outlining his difficulties in more detail.

I can only feel total respect and admiration for Thomas as he faced life’s difficulties head on. Thomas wrote a series of letters home, where it was obvious that he was also feeling extremely homesick and sad, at being away from his family.

These stories are just two stories from my family history. I feel a that I owe a huge debt to those who made the decision to leave their homes and families, on the other side of the world, in the search for a better life. They made that decision, not knowing what the long journey would be like, and also not knowing what was waiting for them in the new land. For that I owe them a huge thank you on behalf of myself and my family. The priveleged and happy lives that we live today are due to the sacrifices that they made.

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